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1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die: The Ultimate Guide to Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and Manga (1001 Before You Die)

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  193 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Visually amazing, this critical history of comic books, manga, and graphic novels is a must-have for any comic buff or collector.  Over the centuries, comic books and their offshoots, such as graphic novels, manga, and bandes dessinées, have evolved into a phenomenally popular, influential, and unique art form with which we can express our opinions, our fantasies, our nigh ...more
Hardcover, 960 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Universe (first published 2011)
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Robert Wright
Apr 17, 2012 Robert Wright rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
If you think that Alan Moore is a genius that can do no wrong...
If you think the Comics Journal is the ultimate reading guide to comics...
If you only love indy/underground/foreign comics...
If you're too cool for the mainstream...

Then this is the comics guide for you. I'm not saying there's anything bad here, just that something that purports to be the "ultimate" guide should do a better job of representing the DC/Marvel mainstream and larger, popular independents. Some concessions are made to ti
Apr 01, 2015 Sara rated it liked it
I skimmed through this book and found it interesting and informative. It's a bit heavy for light reading (and I think the pun is intended). By heavy, I mean literally heavy. There were some good ideas for some comics I'd like to read someday but I wasn't ambitious enough to take notes so I'll have to check it out again from the library one of these days. (Or perhaps the list is online somewhere.)
Mar 19, 2014 Erica rated it liked it
Mmmmm...I dunno that I'd agree this compilation of abstracts is really a MUST READ BEFORE YOU DIE bucket list as much as it is a shopping list of things to read so you can talk to other people at parties who read these things. I've maybe read 20 of the titles listed? I was pleased to see my favorite (Yotsuba&!, Vol. 01) right after karen's beloved Fluffy and my interest was piqued over some titles I'd previously overlooked because they didn't sound interesting at the time, but as a READ THES ...more
Jun 18, 2012 Nancy rated it it was ok
Of course I'm glad this joins the "1001" series, and the chronological order is fun, and the international scope interesting... but but but. But what?
I kept being bothered by the typeface of the titles (which are meant to look like they are filled with tiny lines but only look like their printer ribbon was low) -- which can't really be the problem, but may indicate the somewhat sloppy approach to editing this admittedly big beast.
Perhaps this book is doomed to be unsatisfying -- not because we
Dec 03, 2016 Lestat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-books
Talk about a thorough compendium of the comic book industry! As one of the resident geeks at work, I received a copy of this book for review purposes, and I have to say, at first I was drawn in and gripped, but later on the choice of entries began to baffle and bewilder me.

The book traces comics to its very origins - the alleged first comic book ever was by a French-speaking Swiss named Rodolphe Töpffer whose adventures of Mr. Vieux Bois was published in 1837, before being pirated across many o
Bryson Kopf
As a librarian, I approached this book mainly as a collection development tool and in that mindset, this book is solid. The entries are encyclopedic, encompassing a selection of works from all over the world, and over a vast period of time reaching back into the 19th century! Each entry is well written containing alternative titles (titles in the original language), occasional read-a-likes, creator, publisher, and a blurb on basic plot and impact on the form.

Now some of the weakness of the book
Jun 27, 2016 Kenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Waiting for the new edition. Otherwise! It's a good starting point with lots of surprises and bon mots.
Michelle Nogales
Apr 24, 2015 Michelle Nogales rated it really liked it
This book is *terrible*! It is making me want to read obscure comic books that I'm sure I'll never be able to find!! Help!!!
May 09, 2014 Tamahome rated it really liked it

I can't really claim to have 'read' all 960 pages, but it seems like a very good reference. I don't know how you can buy a lot of these older comics.
Feather Mista
Jun 27, 2012 Feather Mista marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Veremos...
Recommended to Feather by: Título, básicamente
Algo me dice que no voy a estar muy de acuerdo que digamos con esta selección, y ya encontré varios errores en las reseñas que leí de los cómics que llevo leídos. De todos modos, lo marco tomo "to-read" al menos para ver qué porcentaje de los 1001 comics imprescindibles tengo leídos o me interesa leer.

Por ahora, ya leí:
-20th Century Boys (los primeros tomos).
-30 días de noche (la primera serie).
-5, el número perfecto.

-Agente secreto X-9 (en la biblioteca Clarín, creo).
-Agujero negro.
Am Y
Nov 24, 2013 Am Y rated it it was ok
This is more a compendium of famous or ground-breaking comics through the ages, than it is a "must-read" list.

I thought only English-language comics would be showcased, but there are foreign language comics from Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Czech Republic, former Yugoslavia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Australia and several African countries as well... but absolutely nothing from China. This is
George Marshall
Jan 31, 2012 George Marshall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Comic compilations tend to be rather sectarian - either disregarding the experimental and introspective end, or completely ignoring the superhero mainstream (sometimes with an apology that comics are much more than just men in tights). But this book gets it just right- it recognises all genres as contributing to the overall art form and pulls out the exceptional examples across the field. It also has an appropriately global perspective with entries from all cultures- though I fear that many of t ...more
Jan 06, 2012 Harris rated it really liked it
While I did not get to study this book as long as I would have wished, I would have to say that this was among my favorite of the 1001 blah blah blah series so far. As I flipped through it, I noted a variety of interesting titles I had not heard of, some favorites, as well as a few I might find a bit questionable (which is, I feel, part of the appeal of the series). I mean, the Wizard of Id and Hagar the Horrible, but no Far Side? What gives? This being said, I was impressed by the extensive gen ...more
Chris Tinniswood
Jan 01, 2012 Chris Tinniswood rated it it was amazing
This is no mere 'favourite comics I've read' book. This is both an all-encompassing history of the medium and a knowledgable tome to refer to when you're looking for a new challenge.
Full of interesting anecdotes about the artists and writers, and also the countries they have hailed from and their attitude to this much-maligned medium that is only now, after over 100 years of existence, (if you discount cave paintings and the bayeux tapestry!) coming into its own.
Well worth a read for enthusiasts
Dec 08, 2011 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with even a passing interest in comic books, graphic novels or sequential art.
Shelves: reference
Massive book detailing, yes, 1001 comic books starting with Rudolph Töpffer's The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck and going right up to Craig Thompson's Habibi, published in 2011. Running in chronological order (but with useful indexes at front and back), the book gives on average a page to each title. Well-researched, extensive and clearly affectionate - this thing is a joy.
J. Christopher
Mar 05, 2013 J. Christopher rated it really liked it
Shelves: books
Personally, I enjoyed looking through this for ideas on what to read. It is probably different from my top 1000 but that is to be expected. Btw, Alan Moore did do some great comics as did several non-american/indie creators. I enjoy mainstream comic but maybe 1/10 is really well written and drawn. It is what the title says. If you want yo find comics/ graphic novels you may not have heard of from the last 50+ years check it out at your local library.
Apr 23, 2012 Alex rated it really liked it
Being new to readings in the comic/graphic novel genre I was happy to see such a comprehensive guide. My initial exploration of the book has already given me many months worth of reading! This is clearly a book that one must buy since it will be a great reference as I read my way through the pantheon of comic creations.
Feb 09, 2012 Bob rated it really liked it
I'm surprised by how many I had read, and the wealth of unknown ones is helpful too. Would have hoped for a bit more visuals, but then it probably would have spread over two volumes. Lots of omissions to quibble about (no George Metzger? no P. Craig Russell?) but that's what it's all about I'm sure.
Bukunya cukup oke karena ada manga-manga favorit saya di dalamnya, seperti One Piece, Furuba, dan 20th Century Boys.

Karena saya nggak ada niat untuk baca sampai habis buku yang tebelnya kayak bantal dan tebelnya kayak Ensiklopedia itu, maka saya cukupkan sampai di sini saja review saya.

Ty Keith
Apr 28, 2015 Ty Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an entertaining and enlightening read. My only problem was that the books that intrigued me, but I had not read were generally now not of print. Any sellers of these books on eBay also thought highly enough of these books that they priced in the 100 dollar neighborhood. No, digital does not seem to be a viable option for acquiring these books either.
Tommaso Querini
1001 is really too much and the fact that half of the comics don't have an image that describes them makes this book a poor reading. But it's good to take note of the comics you should read. I took pictures of all the pages I was interested in and I will slowly read through all the titles.
Daken Howlett
Aug 09, 2014 Daken Howlett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interessante edizione italiana del volume originale,modifica alcune voci eliminando opere straniere per introdurre al loro posto fumetti italiani piuttosto sconosciuti al di fuori del loro paese,ma senza dubbio meritevoli.
Sep 15, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting list (with images) of comics and some graphic novels organized chronologically. It is more of a reference work than a read per se, but it helped me generate a list of materials I want to read.
Sep 13, 2012 Lucas rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An excellent reference to some well known graphic novels and also some obscure ones.
Jan 28, 2013 to'c rated it really liked it
Any guide that contains the Katzenjammmer Kids and Watchmen knows what it's about.
Jun 05, 2012 Briana rated it it was amazing
Great book! So much fun to look back and almost count all the books you have actually read. Perfect for total nerds and bookworms like me.
Nov 18, 2015 Thomasin added it
Shelves: borrowed
This caught my eye and I skimmed it. Would certainly read it again more thoroughly. This is a type of story i haven't really read (other than Calvin and Hobbes).
Regina Hunter
Feb 02, 2013 Regina Hunter rated it really liked it
That will be one weird to-read list.
May 14, 2012 Subu rated it liked it
Must read if you love the same time you cannot read it in one go...start becoming a bit dry...better used as reference...
Keyshia Dorsey
Sep 23, 2013 Keyshia Dorsey rated it did not like it
i thought there'd be more comic and less guidelines lol
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