9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
If you are going to buy one book about graphic novels...,
This review is from: The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels (Rough Guide Specials) (Paperback)
... then it probably shouldn't be this one. A better bet is 500 Essential Graphic Novels: The Ultimate Guide (500 Essential...). That said, this is a good second choice and complements the aforementioned book quite well.
The Rough Guide isn't as comprehensive, focussing in-depth on a top 60 graphic novels, referencing dozens of others. It also includes a short graphic novel about graphic novels, brief articles about icons of the genre (Eisner, Gaiman, Crumb, Moore, all the usual suspects and some not so usual), a piece about Manga, and quite a lot more.
As for how effective it is, it certainly brought to my attention a number of graphic novels I hadn't either considered or heard of before and I'm very glad it did.
Overall, not by a long way a definitive reference work, but not a bad introduction, and worthwhile. (The rating is really three and a half stars.)