Graphic novels from Top Shelf Productions are among the most sophisticated, best-selling, and award-winning graphic novels out there. Right now, Amazon’s running a sale on Top Shelf Production books, which includes many of their best, most popular graphic novels.
Note that with the exception of the Owly series and Monster on the Hill, which are fine for grades 3 and up, the books featured in this post contain violence and adult subject matter and are not intended for children. If you click through on the link at the end to view the full sale listings, remember that unless a given description specifies the book is appropriate for kids you should assume it’s intended for adults only.
Honored by the Georgia Center for the Book as one of the 25 Books All Young Georgians Should Read!
Owly is a kind, yet lonely, little owl who’s always on the search for new friends and adventure. The first graphic novel in the series contains two enchanting novellas, “The Way Home”& “The Bittersweet Summer”, wherein Owly discovers the meaning of friendship, and that saying goodbye doesn’t always mean forever. Relying on a mixture of symbols, icons, and expressions to tell his silent stories, Runton’s clean, animated, and heartwarming style makes it a perfect read for anyone who’s a fan of Jeff Smith’s Bone or Mike Kunkel’s Herobear and the Kid.
“Charming.”– People Magazine
“Younger readers thrill to the wordless adventures of Owly.”– USA Today
“… the cutest comic you will ever see.”– Sean Scott, Mile High Comics
“Andy Runton may have created the single most charming graphic novel I’ve ever read. … These stories will appeal to anyone who has ever experienced loneliness, heartache, true friendship or the sense of achievement one experiences when overcoming obstacles to do the right thing.”– Mike Bullock, Broken Frontier
In a fantastical 1860s England, every quiet little township is terrorized by a ferocious monster — much to the townsfolk’s delight! Each town’s unique monster is a source of local pride, not to mention tourism.
Each town, that is… except for one. Unfortunately for the people of Stoker-on-Avon, their monster isn’t quite as impressive. In fact, he’s a little down in the dumps. Can the morose Rayburn get a monstrous makeover and become a proper horror? It’s up to the eccentric Dr. Charles Wilkie and plucky street urchin Timothy to get him up to snuff, before a greater threat turns the whole town to kindling.
Monsters of all ages are sure to enjoy this tale about life’s challenges, the power of friendship, and creative redemption, packed with epic battles and plenty of wild beasts!
“Really fun, goofy, extremely silly fantasy for readers of all ages, crying out for reviewers and critics to make appalling puns of the ‘monstrously good’ variety.” — Neil Gaiman
“Rob Harrell has jumped the fence from comic strips to graphic novels with ease, and brought with him wit, strong characters, and last minute twists. Funny, original, unexpected. And best of all: excellent monsters!” — Jeff Smith, creator of Bone
“Rob Harrell reminds us of a more interesting time when cities took great civic pride in the quality and flamboyance of their local monsters, instead of something silly like football teams. And I sure am glad he does. More, Rob, I want to hear more!” — Richard Thompson, creator of Cul de Sac and Richard’s Poor Almanac
“A funny, exciting tale of melancholy monsters and eminent Victorians.. like How to Train Your Dragon with a twist of Bloom County and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Harrell makes the jump from the newspaper page to the graphic novel with his sense of humor intact.” — Noel Murray, The AV Club
“Harrell’s exuberant, cinematic cartooning plays up the fun of his mashup concept; despite the 19th-century setting, the dialogue is determinedly modern in a way that recalls the Shrek films. But the anachronisms in no way damper the fun—the jokes pile up as quickly as the carnage.” — Publishers Weekly
“One of the very greatest works by that unique and irreplaceable American voice, the truly splendorous Harvey Pekar… graced by the impeccable and poignant artistry of Joseph Remnant.” — From the introduction by Alan Moore
“A must for graphic-novel, Americana, and localism buffs alike.” — Booklist (starred review)
“Often insightful, and unafraid to show himself in an extremely uncomplimentary light, Pekar illustrates 70 years of recent history as seen through the eyes of one gloomy but talented pessimist… Remnant brings this very personal history to vibrant life with his own flair for the charm of the ordinary. Cleveland will stand as a must-have volume in Pekar’s body of work.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A lifelong resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Harvey Pekar (1939-2010) pioneered autobiographical comics, mining the mundane for magic since 1976 in his critically acclaimed series American Splendor. Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland is sadly one of his last, but happily one of his most definitive graphic novels. It presents key moments and characters from the city’s history, intertwined with Harvey’s own ups and downs, as relayed to us by Our Man and meticulously researched and rendered by artist Joseph Remnant. At once a history of Cleveland and a portrait of Harvey, it’s a tribute to the ordinary greatness of both.
“America’s poet-comic-laureate of curmudgeonhood is sorely missed, but thankfully, this posthumous book, like Hamlet’s father, is here to remind us of the great man, the great Pekar.” — Jonathan Ames, author and creator of HBO’s Bored to Deathdsaf
From Hell (4.5/5 stars, adults, currently priced at $3.99)
Winner of the Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz Awards for Best Graphic Novel. A New York Times Bestseller!
From Hell is the story of Jack the Ripper, perhaps the most infamous man in the annals of murder. Detailing the events leading up to the Whitechapel killings and the cover-up that followed, From Hell is a meditation on the mind of a madman whose savagery and violence gave birth to the 20th century. The serialized story, presented in its entirety in this volume, has garnered widespread attention from critics and scholars, and has been adapted into a major motion picture from Twentieth Century Fox starring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham. Often regarded as one of the most significant graphic novels ever published, From Hell combines meticulous research with educated speculation, resulting in a masterpiece of historical fiction both compelling and terrifying.
“My all-time favorite graphic novel … an immense, majestic work about the Jack the Ripper murders, the dark Victorian world they happened in, and the birth of the 20th century.” — Warren Ellis, Entertainment Weekly
“Moore’s works have often defied the public’s expectations of the medium, and his most ambitious work, the massive graphic novel From Hell, is no exception. … The result is at once a meditation on evil, a police procedural and a commentary on Victorian England. … an impressive piece of work.” — Patrick Day, The Los Angeles Times
“… a massive exploration of the Jack The Ripper murders that incorporates British history, Masonic ritual, and London geography in a fascinating and horrifying conspiracy theory.” — Tasha Robinson, The AV Club
This critically-acclaimed graphic novel was recently chosen as one of Canada Reads’ Top 5 Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade! It is also the winner of the American Library Association’s Alex Award, the Doug Wright Award, and the Joe Shuster Award.
Where does a young boy turn when his whole world suddenly disappears? What could change two brothers from an unstoppable team into a pair of bitterly estranged loners? How does the work of one middle-aged nurse reveal the scars of an entire community, and can anything heal the wounds caused by a century of deception?Set in an imaginary version of Jeff Lemire’s hometown, ESSEX COUNTY is an intimate study of an eccentric farming community, and a tender meditation on family, memory, grief, secrets, and reconciliation. With the lush, expressive inking of a cartoonist at the height of his powers, Lemire draws us in and sets us free.
“A rich tapestry … Mr. Lemire infuses his characters with vivid details that make them burst to life.” — George Gene Gustines, The New York Times
“Jeff Lemire’s Essex County trilogy represents one of the most remarkable recent achievements in indie comics: three interlocking graphic novels about the mysteries and melancholy of a small Canadian farming community, rendered in a distinctive style and turned out surprisingly quickly.” — The AV Club”
Essex County is a tremendous achievement … This heartfelt piece of graphic literature surpasses its form to stand as an enduring example of the finest in Canadian literature.” — from the introduction by Darwyn Cooke
“The subtle inter-weaving of Jeff Lemire’s Essex County Trilogy is brilliant and constantly surprising. The cumulative impact left a lump in my throat.” — Jeff Smith, creator of Bone and RASL”These three books on Canadian lives are individually striking, and cumulatively stunning.” — Paul Gravett, author of Graphic Novels: Stories to Change Your Life”This is the comics medium at its best.” — Booklist (from one of three starred reviews)