"Her daddy was a hustler so she loved them." - Common, Testify
Sin City by Frank Miller (Dark Horse). These really should all be counted separately but, like I said, I have a problem. I can only justify adding Sin City if I count all 1000 pages (give or take) as one story. That kind of thinking does a disservice to the amount of work Miller put in to making these hard boiled tales (and how much time I've spent getting through the dense dialogue and intricate art) but, yeah, it is what it is.
My Sin City revival (and growing Frank Miller obsession), of course, is a direct effect of the exceptional film adaptation. I wanted the source material. Sin City on film is manic and hyper-violent. The comic books are even more so. The characters are even less sympathetic. The bent moral compass of Basin City is so off-kilter that good deeds never go without a usually fatal price. One indiscretion is likely to put you in the path of a blue dressed assassin without even knowing it. Disrespect a woman and Miho will bring you down. There is no gray (quite literally in the art) in this world of black and white.
My favorite of the long form stories was also my favorite in the film - The Hard Goodbye. Marv is the perfect archetype of the Sin City man and a constant presence throughout the series. The best of the books overall, though, is probably Booze, Broads & Bullets. B, B & B is essentially a short story collection featuring the poetic Rats and Blue Eyes. The truly fucked up Blue Eyes.
Taken separately or as a whole, Miller's dark city is worthy of being called a novel. His artwork only enhances the story and never detracts.
And maybe I will stop turning up my nose at the graphic novel. If the storytelling is there, it matters not if its in a panel or a paragraph, right?