Graphic novels
The Batman Files

Matthew K. Manning

Andrews McMeel, $100

A vivid assortment of "files" on everything in Bruce Wayne's world — gadgetry, enemies, police records, dossiers — collected by Wayne as a guide for helping his future successor.

Government Issue

Comics for the People, 1940s-2000s

Richard L. Graham

Abrams Comicarts, $29.95

How U.S. government agencies have used comic characters — Lil Abner in the Navy, for example, or Bert the Turtle surviving an atomic blast — to spread information to the public.


Craig Thompson

Pantheon, $35

The epic story of the lives of two refugees, trapped in a world of dunes and deserts.

The Joker

Daniel Wallace, introduction by Mark Hamill

Universe, $50

A fascinating look at the evolution of Batman's arch-nemesis from clownish criminal to grisly madman with a cadaver's smile.


Art Spiegelman