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Ever wanted to read a graphic novel or comic but dont know where to start? Well here are a few of the best to get you on your way.

1.    Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo – No list could be complete without the Akira series, it is regarded by many as the finest comic series ever produced and I have to agree, it’s pretty awesome. Read it then finish off by watching the brilliant 1988 film.

“Akira is set in the post-apocalypse Neo-Tokyo of 2019, a vast metropolis built on the ashes of a Tokyo annihilated by an apocalyptic blast of unknown power that triggered World War III. The lives of two streetwise teenage friends, Tetsuo and Kaneda, change forever when dormant paranormal abilities begin to waken in Tetsuo, who becomes a target for a shadowy government operation, a group who will stop at nothing to prevent another catastrophe like that which leveled Tokyo. And at the core of their motivation is a raw, all-consuming fear: a fear of someone — or something — of unthinkably monstrous power known only as…Akira. And Akira is about to rise.”

2.    Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon (Writer), John Cassaday (Artist) – There is a sea of X-men comics out there so why not begin with this well written, compact series. Starting with Vol. 1: Gifted.

“Cyclops and Emma Frost re-form the X-Men with the express purpose of “astonishing” the world. But when breaking news regarding the mutant gene unexpectedly hits the airwaves, will it derail their new plans before they even get started?”

3.    Preacher by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon – Not for the faint hearted but definitely a page turner.

“At first glance, the Reverend Jesse Custer doesn’t look like anyone special-just another small-town minister slowly losing his flock and his faith. But he’s about to come face-to-face with proof that God does indeed exist. Merging with a bizarre spiritual force called Genesis, Jesse now possesses the power of “the Word,” an ability to make people do whatever he utters. He begins a violent and riotous journey across the country in search of answers from the elusive deity.”

4.    Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons (Illustrator), John Higgins (Colorist), Len Wein (Editor) – Set along an alternate time line where America has won the Vietnam War and is electing Nixon into a third term, Watchmen is an almost anti-superhero novel.

“This Hugo Award-winning graphic novel chronicles the fall from grace of a group of super-heroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the super-hero is dissected as the heroes are stalked by an unknown assassin.”

5.    Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama – Quirky, cute and humorous, you’ll fall in love with the characters in this adventure series.

“Meet a naive young monkey-tailed boy named Goku, whose quiet life changes when he meets a girl named Bulma who is on a quest to collect seven “Dragon Balls.” If she gathers them all, an incredibly powerful dragon will appear and grant her one wish. But the precious orbs are scattered all over the world, and Bulma needs Goku’s help (and his super-strength)! So begins the adventure of a lifetime…”

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