The Combined Best Graphic Novels of 2015!

Excel

Over the last few months there have been many, many websites with “Best of 2015” lists concerning comic books and graphic novels. If you’ve looked at a few, you may have noticed some of the same books on different lists and seen some unique to only that list.

I went through 94 different “Best Of” Lists regarding comic books and graphic novels and combined them into a spreadsheet. There are 1,822 different listings of books from these websites. I should note that I included books that were given honorable mentions. In short, if somebody thought it was a good book that you should check out, it’s on here. Pivot tables have been created to show which books appeared on the number of lists. Here are the books with 5 or more recommendations, starting with a tie for the top spot with 25 recommendations:

 

Book Title Count Writer Artist Publisher
Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection 25 Kate Beaton Kate Beaton Drawn & Quarterly
Ms. Marvel 25 G. Willow Wilson Adrian Alphona Marvel Comics
SuperMutant Magic Academy 24 Jillian Tamaki Jillian Tamaki Drawn & Quarterly
Nimona 24 Noelle Stevenson Noelle Stevenson Harper Collins
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 23 Ryan North Erica Henderson Marvel Comics
March: Book Two 21 John Robert Lewis, Andrew Aydin Nate Powell Top Shelf
Killing and Dying 21 Adrian Tomine Adrian Tomine Drawn & Quarterly
Bitch Planet 20 Kelly Sue DeConnick Valentine De Landro Image Comics
The Wicked + The Divine 20 Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie Image Comics
Paper Girls 20 Brian K. Vaughan Cliff Chiang Image Comics
Saga 20 Brian K. Vaughan Fiona Staples Image Comics
Southern Bastards 19 Jason Aaron Jason Latour Image Comics
Lumberjanes 16 Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson Brooke Allen Boom!
The Sculptor 15 Scott McCloud Scott McCloud First Second
Descender 15 Jeff Lemire Dustin Nguyen Image Comics
The Story of My Tits 15 Jennifer Hayden Jennifer Hayden Top Shelf
The Sandman: Overture 14 Neil Gaiman J.H. Williams III DC Comics/Vertigo
Two Brothers 14 Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá Dark Horse Comics
Archie 13 Mark Waid Fiona Staples, Annie Wu Archie Comics
Secret Wars 13 Jonathan Hickman Esad Ribic Marvel Comics
The Fade Out 12 Ed Brubaker Sean Phillips Image Comics
The Divine 12 Boaz Lavie Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka First Second
The Multiversity 12 Grant Morrison Frank Quitely, Ivan Reis and Jim Lee DC Comics/Vertigo
Black River 11 Josh Simmons Josh Simmons Fantagraphics Books
Batgirl 11 Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart Babs Tarr DC Comics/Vertigo
The Omega Men 11 Tom King Barnaby Bagenda and Toby Cypress DC Comics/Vertigo
Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Love Affair With A Famous Cartoonist 11 Bill Griffith Bill Griffith Fantagraphics Books
Wytches 11 Scott Snyder Jock Image Comics
Sacred Heart 10 Liz Suburbia Liz Suburbia Fantagraphics Books
The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984: A Graphic Memoir 10 Riad Sattouf Riad Sattouf Metropolitan Books
Airboy 10 James Robinson Greg Hinkle Image Comics
Midnighter 10 Steve Orlando ACO, Alec Morgan, Stephen Mooney DC Comics/Vertigo
Fante Bukowski 10 Noah Van Sciver Noah Van Sciver Fantagraphics Books
Jem and The Holograms 9 Kelly Thompson Sophie Campbell IDW Publishing
Harrow County 9 Cullen Bunn Tyler Crook Dark Horse Comics
Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics and Graphic Novels 9 Various Various Drawn & Quarterly
Russian Olive To Red King 8 Kathryn Immonen Stuart Immonen Adhouse Books
Giant Days 8 John Allison Lissa Treiman Boom!
Frontier 8 Various Various Youth in Decline
Hawkeye 8 Matt Fraction David Aja, Francesco Francavilla Marvel Comics
Ruins 8 Peter Kuper Peter Kuper Abrams
Nanjing: The Burning City 8 Ethan Young Ethan Young Random House
Hellboy in Hell 8 Mike Mignola Mike Mignola Dark Horse Comics
Star Wars 7 Jason Aaron John Cassaday and Stuart Immonen Marvel Comics
One-Punch Man 7 ONE Yusuke Murata Viz Media
Sexcastle 7 Kyle Starks Kyle Starks Image Comics
Lazarus 7 Greg Rucka Michael Lark Image Comics
Providence 7 Alan Moore Jacen Burrows Avatar Press
Mowgli’s Mirror 7 Olivier Schrauwen Olivier Schrauwen Retrofit Comics
The Autumnlands 7 Kurt Busiek Benjamin Dewey Image Comics
Silver Surfer 7 Dan Slott Mike Allred Marvel Comics
Monstress 7 Marjorie Liu Sana Takeda Image Comics
Terror Assaulter (O.M.W.O.T.) 7 Benjamin Marra Benjamin Marra Fantagraphics Books
Displacement: A Travelogue 7 Lucy Knisley Lucy Knisley Fantagraphics Books
COPRA 7 Michel Fiffe Michel Fiffe Self-Published
Rat Queens 6 Kurtis J. Wiebe Roc Upchurch and Stjepan Šejić Image Comics
MIND MGMT 6 Matt Kindt Matt Kindt Dark Horse Comics
Trashed 6 Derf Backderf Derf Backderf Abrams
Star Wars: Darth Vader 6 Kieron Gillen Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado Marvel Comics
Unflattening 6 Nick Sousanis Nick Sousanis Harvard University Press
The Oven 6 Sophie Goldstein Sophie Goldstein AdHouse Books
Sex Criminals 6 Matt Fraction Chip Zdarsky Image Comics
Wuvable Oaf 6 Ed Luce Ed Luce Fantagraphics Books
Roller Girl 6 Victoria Jamieson Victoria Jamieson Dial Books
Grayson 6 Tim Seeley and Tom King Mikel Janin, Stephen Mooney DC Comics/Vertigo
The Eternaut 6 Héctor Germán Oesterheld Francisco Solano López Fantagraphics Books
Borb 6 Jason Little Jason Little Uncivilized Books
Alex + Ada 5 Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn Jonathan Luna Image Comics
Sky In Stereo 5 Mardou Mardou Revival House/Alternative Comics
I Hate Fairyland 5 Skottie Young Skottie Young Image Comics
Pablo 5 Julie Birmant & Clément Oubrerie Clément Oubrerie SelfMadeHero
Exquisite Corpse 5 Penelope Bagieu Penelope Bagieu First Second
The Age of Selfishness 5 Darryl Cunningham Darryl Cunningham Abrams
Not Funny Ha-Ha 5 Leah Hayes Leah Hayes Fantagraphics Books
Private Eye: Deluxe Edition 5 Brian K. Vaughan Marcos Martin Image Comics
Generous Bosom 5 Conor Stechschulte Conor Stechschulte Breakdown Press
Bright-Eyed at Midnight 5 Leslie Stein Leslie Stein Fantagraphics Books
The Humans 5 Keenan Marshall Keller Tom Neely Image Comics
Fütchi Perf 5 Kevin Czap Kevin Czap Czap Books
Gotham Academy 5 Brenden Fletcher and Becky Cloonan Karl Kerschl DC Comics/Vertigo
Island 5 Various Various Image Comics
Lady Killer 5 Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich Joëlle Jones Dark Horse Comics
Prez 5 Mark Russell Ben Caldwell DC Comics/Vertigo
East of West 5 Jonathan Hickman Nick Dragotta Image Comics
Daredevil 5 Mark Waid Chris Samnee Marvel Comics
We Can Never Go Home 5 Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon Josh Hood Black Mask Studios
Space Dumplins 5 Craig Thompson Craig Thompson Scholastic
Bacchus Omnibus Edition, Vol. 1 5 Eddie Campbell Eddie Campbell Top Shelf
Stray Bullets: Sunshine & Roses 5 David Lapham David Lapham Image Comics
The Last Man 5 Bastien Vivès, Michaël Sanlaville, Balak Bastien Vivès, Michaël Sanlaville, Balak First Second
Kaijumax 5 Zander Cannon Zander Cannon Oni Press
Fantasy Sports 5 Sam Bosma Sam Bosma Nobrow Press
Huck 5 Mark Millar Rafael Albuquerque Image Comics
Melody: Story Of A Nude Dancer 5 Sylvie Rancourt Sylvie Rancourt Drawn & Quarterly

Also of note, a handful of reviewers included a webcomic within it’s best books lists. There was a clear winner with Lighten Up by Ronald Wimberly getting picked by 4 websites. Every other webcomic was only picked once.

 
 

The full spreadsheet with pivot tables for books, writers, publishers and more is available here.

 

 

Regarding Publishers:

Image was the most popular with 87 different titles.

Marvel and DC tied for 2nd with 50 titles each.

Fantagraphics and Dark Horse tied for 3rd with 33 titles.

Viz Media was 4th with 20 titles.

Drawn and Quarterly was 5th with 17 titles.

45 Self-Published books made the lists too.

 

Caveats:

Where websites broke up their lists into parts, I’ve counted that as 1 list.

Where a website does more than 1 list (say best Comic Books and best Graphic Novels) I’ve counted that as two separate lists.

Where a writer wrote ‘best of’ lists for multiple websites, I’ve cross referenced their lists and removed books that were named twice. I did not think it would be fair if those writers could tip the popularity scale by naming the same book(s) over and over again on multiple websites.

If a writer wrote for multiple sites, but one of those sites picks was a group effort, I did not remove books that are listed twice.

I did not include lists that were a mixed of prose books and graphic novels.

I did not use nominations for upcoming awards.

There were also a couple of “Best Books for 2016” lists that I did not include.

For simplicity sake, if a list named a specific comic book issue or specific volume of a graphic novel, I removed those specifics and just listed the series title. Apologies to the reviewers of those books.

Some writers included books that were technically published in 2014 and at least 1 just listed best books they read that year, but the vast majority of those lists were 2015 books. The number of non 2015 books in the spreadsheet is very tiny and insignificant to the overall list.

Most of the lists were general ‘best/favourite books’ of 2015, but I also included lists dedicated to young readers, manga, etc… What type list is noted on column B in the spreadsheet.

A small number of lists also had rankings and those are included in Column C.

Here are the websites I used, including the ones with lists broken up into multiple pages.

Robert Boyd – http://www.thegreatgodpanisdead.com/2015/12/my-favorite-comics-of-2015.html
Slate – http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2015/12/adrian_tomine_kate_beaton_jillian_tamaki_best_comics_and_graphic_novels.html
Good Reads – https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-graphic-novels-comics-2015
Tech Times – http://www.techtimes.com/articles/107899/20151203/best-comics-of-2015.htm
Kirkus – https://www.kirkusreviews.com/lists/best-middle-grade-graphic-novels-of-2015/ also on http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kirkus/best-middlegrade-graphic-_b_8690024.html
A.V. Club – http://www.avclub.com/article/our-favorite-graphic-novels-one-shots-and-archives-229423
Rob Kirby Comics – http://robkirbycomics.com/Rob_Kirby_Comics/Blog/Entries/2015/12/15_Robs_Top_30_Comics_and_Comics-related_Things_of_2015_%28see_2014_list_here%29.html
Vulture – http://www.vulture.com/2015/12/10-best-comic-books-of-2015.html
Vulture – http://www.vulture.com/2015/11/10-best-graphic-novels-2015.html
Paste Magazine – http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/12/10-small-press-and-self-published-comics-you-shoul.html
Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=s9_acss_bw_cg_boty15_3a1?_encoding=UTF8&node=13127711011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-6&pf_rd_r=100NMR6DKYNC4X3J66V2&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=2325173882&pf_rd_i=13108091011
The Comic Reporter 5 For Friday – http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/fff_results_post_441_the_year_in_comics/
Forbes – http://www.forbes.com/sites/robsalkowitz/2015/12/21/ten-best-graphic-novels-of-2015/
The Beat – http://www.comicsbeat.com/the-best-comics-of-2015/
CBR – http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/cbrs-top-100-comics-of-2015-100-76
CBR – http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/cbrs-top-100-comics-of-2015-75-51
CBR – http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/cbrs-top-100-comics-of-2015-50-26
CBR – http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/cbrs-top-100-comics-of-2015-25-11
CBR – http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/cbrs-top-100-comics-of-2015-10-1
Bleeding Cool – http://www.bleedingcool.com/2015/12/30/bleeding-cools-11-best-graphic-novels-of-2015/
Mental Floss – http://mentalfloss.com/article/72457/25-best-comics-and-graphic-novels-2015
i09 – http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-20-best-comics-and-graphic-novels-of-2015-1748709046
Comicosity – http://www.comicosity.com/best-of-2015-graphic-novel/
Comicosity – http://www.comicosity.com/best-of-2015-indie-comics/
Entropy Mag – http://entropymag.org/best-of-2015-comics-graphic-novels/
Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/the-best-new-manga-series-of-2015/
Comics and Cola – http://www.comicsandcola.com/2015/12/2015-in-comics-reading-guide.html
Comics Alternative – http://comicsalternative.com/episode-168-our-favorite-comics-of-2015/
CBC – http://www.cbc.ca/books/bestbooks2015/
Savage Critic – http://www.savagecritic.com/uncategorized/abhay-2015-another-year-that-i-mindlessly-consumed-entertainment-almost/
Comics for Grownups – http://comicsforgrownups.tumblr.com/post/136118333648/episode-54-best-of-2015
Journeys in Darkness and Light – https://journeysindarknessandlight.wordpress.com/2015/12/16/best-comics-of-2015-my-top-10/
Publishers Weekly – http://best-books.publishersweekly.com/pw/best-books/2015/comics
Nerdist – http://nerdist.com/the-10-best-comics-of-2015/
Polygon – http://www.polygon.com/comics/2015/12/23/10636552/best-comics-2015
Vox – http://www.vox.com/2015/12/11/9890256/12-best-comic-books-2015
CBR – http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/in-your-face-jam-top-10-series-of-2015
Bleeding Cool – http://www.bleedingcool.com/2015/12/31/bleeding-cools-11-best-comics-of-2015/
ComicBook.com – http://comicbook.com/2015/12/15/the-best-comics-of-2015-part-one/
ComicBook.com – http://comicbook.com/2015/12/15/the-best-comics-of-2015-part-two-/
Paul Gravett – http://www.paulgravett.com/articles/article/my_top_ten_comics_of_2015
The Factual Opinion – http://www.factualopinion.com/the_factual_opinion/2015/12/the-best-comics-of-2015-sure-why-not.html
popOptiq – http://www.popoptiq.com/best-comics-of-2015-part-one/
popOptiq – http://www.popoptiq.com/best-comics-of-2015-part-two/
Paste Magazine – http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/12/the-best-comic-books-of-2015.html?a=1
Guide Live – http://www.guidelive.com/comic-books/2015/12/30/top-10-comics-2015-year-newcomers-indies-took-reins
Mutha Magazine – http://muthamagazine.com/2015/12/ask-a-mutha-whats-the-good-stuff-a-readingwatching-picks-list-for-2015/
Just Indie Comics – http://justindiecomics.com/2016/01/09/best-comics-of-2015-part-one/
Just Indy Comics – http://justindiecomics.com/2016/01/12/best-comics-of-2015-part-two/
Vice – http://www.vice.com/read/vices-top-ten-comics-of-2015
CBR – Comics Can Be Good – http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2016/01/12/my-top-ten-comics-of-2015/
ABS-CBN – http://news.abs-cbn.com/lifestyle/12/30/15/the-top-comic-books-of-2015
Anime News Network – http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2015-12-11/the-best-and-most-memorable-manga-of-2015/.96203
App.com – http://www.app.com/story/entertainment/books/2015/12/25/exciting-new-comics/77875946/
A.V. Club – http://www.avclub.com/article/our-favorite-ongoing-and-serial-comics-2015-229119
Comic Bastards – http://comicbastards.com/comics/best-of-2015-best-comic-of-the-year/
American Library Association – http://www.ala.org/news/member-news/2016/01/yalsa-names-2016-great-graphic-novels-teens
CBR Comics Should Be Good – http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2016/01/16/dont-worry-about-those-other-best-comics-of-the-year-lists-because-this-is-the-one-youve-been-waiting-for/
Comics Anonymous – https://comicsanonymous2015.wordpress.com/tag/best-of-2015/
Your Chicken Enemy – http://danielrelkin.blogspot.ca/2015/12/top-10-comics-i-reviewed-of-2015.html
Entertainment Weekly – http://www.ew.com/article/2015/12/22/best-comics-2015
GQ – http://www.gq.com/story/the-10-best-graphic-novels-of-2015
The Hollywood Reporter – http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/top-10-comics-2015-851021
ICV2.com – http://icv2.com/articles/columns/view/33360/2015-comics-favorites-delights-guilty-pleasures
The Independent – http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/the-best-graphic-novels-of-2015-a6750376.html
Longbox Coffin – http://arecomicsevengood.tumblr.com/post/136186593959/top-comics-of-2015
Multiversity Comics – http://www.multiversitycomics.com/columns/2015-best-new-series/
Existential Ennui – http://www.existentialennui.com/2015/12/the-ten-best-graphic-novels-and-comics.html
NPR – http://apps.npr.org/best-books-2015/#/tag/comics-and-graphic-novels
Panel Platter – http://www.panelpatter.com/2016/01/james-2015-favorites.html
Panel Platter – http://www.panelpatter.com/2016/01/scotts-year-of-comics-or-his-favorite.html
Panel Platter – http://www.panelpatter.com/2016/01/guy-thomass-top-ten-favorite-comics-of.html
Publishers Weekly – http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/comics/article/69024-the-sculptor-tops-pw-s-10th-annual-graphic-novel-critics-poll.html
Sequential – http://www.sequential.cc/2015/12/top-ten-graphic-novels-of-2015.html
sktchd – http://sktchd.com/column/creators-share-their-favorite-comics-of-2015/
sktchd – http://sktchd.com/column/the-sktchies-favorite-comics-of-2015/
School Library Journal – http://www.slj.com/2015/11/feature-articles/top-10-graphic-novels-2015/
School Library Journal – http://blogs.slj.com/goodcomicsforkids/2015/12/15/the-good-comics-for-kids-2015-gift-guide/
Forward.com – http://forward.com/culture/books/328162/from-ira-glass-to-ultra-orthodox-ya-heroines-the-best-jewish-graphic-novels/?attribution=home-hero-item-img-4
Smoo Comics – http://www.smoo-comics.com/2015/12/five-great-comics-i-read-this-year/
The Gaurdian – http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/dec/07/best-graphic-books-2015-adrian-tomine-rachael-ball-jillian-tamaki-andy-hixon?CMP=twt_gu
The Village Voice – http://www.villagevoice.com/arts/the-outstanding-comics-of-2015-bring-it-all-back-home-7957185
Washington Post – https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/best-graphic-novels-of-2015/2015/11/18/89086376-7902-11e5-b9c1-f03c48c96ac2_story.html
Creative Bloq – http://www.creativebloq.com/comics/best-graphic-novels-2015-121518520
Comic Alliance – http://comicsalliance.com/comics-alliance-best-of-2015-winners/
The Kansas City Star – http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/books/article49301710.html
The Alligators Mouth – http://www.thealligatorsmouth.co.uk/#!Books-of-the-Year-2015-Comics-Graphic-Novels/co3i/56571c7f0cf22d6285177161
Library Journal – http://reviews.libraryjournal.com/2015/11/best-of/best-books-2015-graphic-novels/
Panels – http://panels.net/bestof2015/
Richland Library – http://www.richlandlibrary.com/recommend/best-comics-2015-biased-selection
Under the Radar – http://www.undertheradarmag.com/lists/under_the_radars_top_25_comic_books_and_graphic_novels_of_2015/
Clear Eyes Full Shelves – http://cleareyesfullshelves.com/blog/2015-list-of-awesome-comics-graphic-novels
News OK – http://newsok.com/article/5469978
ConTV – http://blog.contv.com/best-new-comic-series-and-graphic-novels-of-2015/
Harris County Public Library – http://www.hcpl.net/content/2015-staff-favorites-graphic-novels-part-one
Harris County Public Library – http://www.hcpl.net/content/2015-staff-favorites-graphic-novels-part-two
The Globe & Mail – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/the-globe-100-the-best-books-of-2015/article27607992/#collection/comicsfive/
The Mary Sue – http://www.themarysue.com/the-best-of-pull-wisely-2015/
Heroic Girls – http://www.heroicgirls.com/the-best-all-ages-comics-for-girls-in-2015/
Vertigology – http://vertigology.net/2015/12/23/the-top-30-comics-of-2015/
Outlandish Lit – http://outlandishlit.blogspot.ca/2016/01/best-comics-of-2015.html
Book Minx Reads – https://bookminxreads.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/top-ten-week-best-comicsgraphic-novels-read-in-2015/

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