Literary luminaries call out Clowes, Brown and Modan for notice.

“A roundup of graphic novels worth reading” / The Chicago Tribune / The Chicago Tribune / May 25, 2013

....Daniel Handler, the author aka Lemony Snicket

Where to start: Kyle Baker's "Why I Hate Saturn" is great for beginners. It has a twisty-but-linear story that feels like a smart, weird HBO series — the kind you rewatch just to catch all the surprises.

An essential: Dan Clowes' "The Death-Ray" is everything a graphic novel should be: The story is colored like an old comic but sinks in like a book, and its fragmentary technique moves the story so speedily so that you might not notice that its structural inventiveness would have bagged a Pulitzer had it been entirely textual. It's often overlooked, although that might be because Clowes has given us at least four other essential graphic novels....

....Anders Nilsen, author of "The End" and "Big Questions"

An essential: Aside from the stuff I read as a kid — particularly Tintin — the comics that were most influential to me were Chester Brown's work in the '90s. His autobiographical work is the best in comics, but his otherworldly "Ed the Happy Clown," for me, is a real masterpiece of the medium. It's some of the most inventive, exuberant, funny, strange and disturbing storytelling on the planet. True brilliance. It's been out of print for years, but was finally reissued last year.

Where to start: A great starting point for someone new to the medium might be the work of Rutu Modan. Her book "Exit Wounds" of a few years back was really wonderful, touching on large world events, but on a very human scale, with very real characters navigating human foibles. Her drawing and color are both straightforward and beautiful....

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