Comics get a bad rap. They're generally seen as kid stuff and admittedly, some are. But these days, publishers are producing graphic novels of maturity, complexity and beauty that appeal to a wider audience. Whether they're original illustrated novels, adaptations of classic literature or collections of single-issue comics, graphic novels tend to have a heft and seriousness that mean grown-ups don't have to be embarrassed about reading them. They're also becoming more mainstream, thanks in part to the attention garnered by film versions of major works (Hayao Miyazaki's Oscar-winning Spirited Away and the Tom Hanks vehicle Road to Perdition, for example). And there's a growing respect for artists such as Art Spiegelman and Joe Sacco, who use graphic novels to tell stories as powerful and profound as any literary fiction. We've selected a handful of new titles worthy of attention even from those who don't see themselves as comic book obsessives.
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