For many, the idea of a graphic novel* evokes images of superheroes in spandex, high budget movies, and damsels in distress. However, the graphic novel genre has evolved far beyond its comic book origins, though many of its famous predecessors (see Marvel and DC Comics) have maintained relevancy and importance. Truth be told, graphic novels are comic books; they’ve just remixed and remade the genre.
Graphic novels differ from the traditional comic in both their length and subject matter. As opposed to classic stories of good versus evil, graphic novels explore a variety of genres, from horror to memoir to the delightfully whimsical. And, though there are a few on this list, graphic novels for the most part are no longer just about superheroes.
In many ways, graphic novels are the next evolution of comic books. The visual aspects of superhero comics and Sunday funny strips gave way to a fully fledged medium for storytelling. Here are some great graphic novels and series for adults that transcend the comic book genre, separated into three sub-genres: non-fiction, fiction, and series (the closest this list comes to comic books).