Exit Wounds, Burma Chronicles and Sleepwalk in Telegraph’s Top Ten

How Comic Books became part of the literary establishment

The Telegraph    |    Tim Martin    |    April 2, 2009

The Top Ten Comic Books

Understanding Comics: the

Invisible Art

by Scott McCloud

(HarperCollins, £14.99)

Peerless comic-about-comics, the medium’s first serious example of literary criticism and a valuable and often very funny work of popular aesthetic philosophy.

Exit Wounds

by Rutu Modan

(Jonathan Cape, £14.99)

This tremendous work of fiction perfectly captures the gloss and grime of Israel in peace and war. It has a dark wit and a distinctive look.

Burma Chronicles

by Guy Delisle

(Jonathan Cape, £14.99)

A personal chronicle of Delisle’s time under the Burmese dictatorship with his wife (an aid worker) and young son.


by Marjane Satrapi

(Vintage, £7.99)

A mordantly funny chronicle of the author’s childhood in pre- and post-revolutionary Iran.


by Alan Moore

(Titan Books, various volumes)

A beginner’s guide to the history of occultism in the form of a feminist superhero epic, incorporating some of the most adventurous narrative and didactic techniques in contemporary comics.


by Adrian Tomine

(Faber & Faber, £9.99)

Ice-cool vignettes of disenchanted urban life, some with memorable stings in the tail, by one of comics’ most exciting young creators.


by Chris Onstad


Hands down the funniest web comic, an extravagant tale of oversexed cats, retarded otters, robots and the like, with dialogue that rarely ventures far from comic genius. Updated twice weekly, and free to read online, it has people cackling and rolling in their office chairs.

The Invisibles

by Grant Morrison

(Titan Books, £17.99)

A full-time mental series about a band of time-travelling British anarchists seeking to avert the annihilation of world consciousness. Incredibly clever, totally barking.

Krazy and Ignatz

by George Herriman

(Fantagraphics, various volumes, £13.99 each)

The inimitable ancestor of contemporary alternative comics: the perennial love quadrilateral between a cat, a mouse, a dog and a brick. One of the most good-hearted and amusing works of mortal man.

Alice in Sunderland

by Bryan Talbot

(Jonathan Cape, £18.99)

Centuries of local history, John Lennon, Alice in Wonderland, George Formby and the Empire Theatre in Sunderland. Glorious, panoptic and precise; one of the oddest and cleverest comics there is.

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