Drawn Out: The 50 Best Non-Superhero Graphic Novels

Disaffected hipsters, cyberpunk dystopias, cranky ducks and boy geniuses: here are the greatest comic-story collections that don't feature caped crusaders

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'Cerebus,' Dave Sim

Courtesy Aardvark-Vanheim

You think you write ambitious, philiosophical graphic novels? Dave Sim would beg to differ. From
1977 to 2004, over 6,000 pages spread over 300 issues, writer-artist Sim — along with his mono-monikered, occasional collaborator Gerhard, who drew the eye-poppingly elaborate backgrounds — created the Remembrance of Things Past of North American comics. It's a sprawling saga that went from a Conan parody about a barbarian aardvark to a mediation on both governmental and sexual politics, monotheism, the end of Oscar Wilde and, later, Sim's increasingly distasteful philosophy regarding gender and monotheism. The result could be unfocused, pretentious and an extremely tough read at times, yet there remains absolutely nothing like it.

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