These seven novels and memoirs are some of the best—and the perfect starting point for getting into the genre. 

By John Maher
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The comic is one of the most versatile forms of art around. It can be text-heavy or image-heavy, colored or black and white, minimalist or extraordinarily detailed. And since the 1980s, comics have become all the more complex. Book-length works—typically called graphic novels if they are fiction, or graphic memoirs if they are nonfiction—have become more mainstream, in part because they tackle what readers see as more and more serious themes in settings very different from those in the earliest, say, Batman comics. Here are seven graphic novels and memoirs that are sure to change how you think of comics forever.

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