Historical Fiction

While some items on this page (like Maus) aren't really fiction,
and others, (like Usagi Yojimbo) often wander into fantasy,
these are all works of some historical merit.

The Desert Peach: Politics, Pilots, and Puppies by Donna Barr
And now for something completely different. You've heard of Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox? The Desert Peach is his gay brother... um... this is not really a book one can describe and do any justice to. I can, however, say that this is just about my favorite comic book ever, and you really should read it. This volume reprints Issues 4-6 of the original series.

The Desert Peach: Foreign Relations by Donna Barr
This volume reprints Issues 7-9 of the original series.

The Desert Peach: Marriage and Mayhem by Donna Barr
This volume reprints Issues 16, 17 & 19 of the original series (#18 was the program to the musical. Seriously.)

The Desert Peach: Peach Slices by Donna Barr
This volume collects a number of short stories from various sources, including the grimly beautiful "Peach On Earth:" Pfirsich trying to survive the miserable Christmas of 1945, with a rubble-wise kid named "Hans."

Maus I by Art Spiegelman
Know anyone that doubts the power and potential of comic books as an artistic medium? Give them a copy of Maus. Don't forget to mention that it won the Pulitzer Prize.

Maus II by Art Spiegelman
"A quiet triumph, moving and simple - impossible to describe accurately, and impossible to achieve in any medium but comics." - Washington Post
"The most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust." - Wall Street Journal

Usagi Yojimbo: Book One by Stan Sakai
"Usagi Yojimbo" translates literally as "Rabbit Bodygaurd" (or so I've been told). Miyamoto Usagi is a samuri in feudal Japan. When his lord was killed in battle, he became a wandering ronin (masterless samuri). This is the story of his adventures. This first book contains Sakai's earliest Usagi stories.

Usagi Yojimbo: Book Two by Stan Sakai
Usagi Yojimbo is what we call an "anthropomorphic" comic... all the characters are animals. This is simply a stylistic choice made by some creators, and it is used to great effect in this title. Book Two contains the muli-parted story of Usagi's youth... how he learned the ways of Bushido, and how he entered into the service of Lord Mifune.

Usagi Yojimbo: Book Three by Stan Sakai
Even though this book is all fiction and contains a fair amount of fantasy, I've chosen to list it in the "Historical" section. Sakai's attention to detail in Japanese history, culture and mythology is remarkable, and although there is certainly a modern and Western bias to his style and storytelling, there is nonetheless much that can be learned here about life in feudal Japan.

Usagi Yojimbo: Book Four by Stan Sakai
This volume contains the "Dragon Bellows Conspiracy", the longest Usagi story to date. A number of old characters reappear to foil a conspiracy to overthrow the shogun.

Usagi Yojimbo: Book Five by Stan Sakai
This volume reprints a number of single-issue stories, including a story of a kite festival, and Sakai's version of the "Lone Wolf & Cub" assassins.

Usagi Yojimbo: Book Six by Stan Sakai
In this volume, several short stories are followed by the multi-part "Circles", wherein Usagi returns home to settle down. Of course, things are never that simple....

Usagi Yojimbo: Book Seven by Stan Sakai
In this volume, after a couple of ghost stories, we learn a little bit about the past of the bounty hunter Gen.

Jouney: Tall Tales by William Messner-Loebs
This volume reprints the first four issues of the late, great series "Journey", which chronicled the adventures of Josh "Wolverine" McAlistaire, a wild frontiersman and reluctant legend-in-his-own-time. These stories are great fun and, while I can't vouch for their historical accuracy, they do have a very authentic feel to them.

Two-Fisted Science by Jim Ottaviani & Various
This is a mixed bag of stories about scientists by numerous artists. While the quality varies, I expect Mudders will generally enjoy it. The Bernie Mireault-illustrated "Safecracker" stories about Feynman's days at Los Alamos make this volume well worth reading.

- Link
Link to an external site with info on the title or (a) creator of this title.
- Highly recommended!
I highly recommend all the comics in my library... they wouldn't be here otherwise. But these are either seminal works in the medium (e.g. Maus, Watchmen), or things that you probably haven't heard of but that I love dearly and think everyone should read.
- Warning
As I said in my disclaimer, I don't consider any of this material pornographic. On the other hand, I'm sure there's someone that would be offended by anything in this collection. Items with this mark, though, are a little severe, and trying their damnedest to offend. Good for them!
- A Complete Story
These titles are either a complete story unto themselves, or, like the Sandman, contain multiple volumes, but all volumes are here in the library. That is to say, there's no more to run out and buy.
- Ongoing
This title is still being published, either regularly or at least occasionally. That is to say, start collecting it now!
- Not Available (?)
These titles may not be available any more. I don't generally know this for a fact (nor do I promise that you can find any title not so marked), but my suspicion is that you'd have some trouble tracking these ones down.