Since the earliest days of comics, beginning with comic strips like The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuckopens a new window by Rodolphe Topffer in 1837, readers have fallen in love with the complex art and writing captured in their pages. Now more than ever, there is something for everyone. Check out some favorites and hidden gems from your comic book reading library friends:
From Kathryn (ArapahoeKathrynR):
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan: Space opera at its finest, Saga immerses you in a world that is strange and wonderful and terrible all at the same time. Brian Vaughan’s penchant for character-driven stories comes to a head here, as the story deals with heavy topics like interracial love, war, revenge and the difficulty of being a good person in a complicated world. Fiona Staples' art brings this comic to life with bright colors and unforgettable imagery.
Bone by Jeff Smith: This classic teen/older children’s comic has everything a good adventure story should, from dragons and mythical creatures to dark evil forces that have to be defeated. Told with humor and heart, this series is great for anyone who wants a good romp through a fantasy world.
Descender by Jeff Lemire: In a universe where robots revolted against their human masters, how is a young android to survive? Set in a future where humans have begun to conquer the stars, but haven’t yet conquered their own divisive nature, this comic explores the places where identity and technology will someday converge. Dustin Nguyen's art brings to life this almost-dystopian world.
Giant Days by John Allison: Funny, lovable, relatable characters make it easy to fall in love with John Allison’s story of a group of young girls in their first year at university. With quirky art to match the strange, relatable characters, this is a great comic for those who’d rather read a story about things that could happen in our world right now (if only our world was this funny and sweet).
Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis: The future will be weird, and it is hard not to love it. A Hunter S. Thompson-style reporter living in a near-but-distant future exposes the underlying truths behind his world. Although an older comic, this heavily cyber-punk informed world somehow manages to hit spot-on about a lot of issues in our own.
From Joshua (joshua7279):
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman: A classic series that any graphic novel reader needs to venture down. Gaiman creates a story with so much depth and breadth that it's mind-blowing. He connects the world of Morpheus (the Lord of Dreams) to the greater DC universe and a plethora of myths and legends to create a universe that truly feels deep and interesting.
East of West by Jonathan Hickman: A crazy mash of genres and ideas. Here the American Civil War did not end the same. Instead, it fractured the country into a series of smaller countries. The Union, The Confederacy, The Kingdom, The Republic of Texas, The Endless Nation and the PRA. At the continent's center stands the temple of Armistice where The Message was delivered predicting the end times. Now the four horsemen have come to start the end times, but death has gone rogue.
Velvet by Ed Brubaker: A fantastic Jason Bourne-style spy on the run story set in the 1970s. Velvet was once an elite spy, now she's stuck pushing papers at the office. That is until she's framed for the murder of a fellow spy. Now she has to go on the run and piece together why he was murdered and why she's been pulled back into the dark underworld of espionage. A fantastic three volume run.
Tokyo Ghost by Rick Remender: A dark future where everyone is "plugged in" to the internet around the clock. The world is awful and it's easiest to just ignore it. But there is a rumor that Japan has become a paradise free of technology, and the constables of L.A. want to exploit it. At its heart this is a wonderful book about love, humanity's place in the world around it, and technology all told through Remender's brutally honest lens.
From Elena (ArapahoeElena):
Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick & Valentine DeLandro: Fall in line or risk being labeled non-compliant. This series takes concepts of gendered expectations and intersectional feminism and sends them, literally and figuratively, into space. And then directly into space prison. This series is thought provoking, does its research, and represents underrepresented groups in meaningful ways.
Wytches by Scott Snyder: Did you like Stranger Things? Read Wytches. Did you like the X-Files? Read Wytches. Like Twin Peaks? Wytches. A dark and creepy exploration of the supernatural and human depravity, this book features a strong, smart female lead character who does the best she can with the tools available to her, and haunting art.
Daytripper by Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba: Daytripper explores the life of one man through several different life events and scenarios, all of which culminate in his death. It sounds morbid (and it is in parts), but it comes off as a celebration of life and love, and as a reminder to live fully.
From Cody (Cody7279):
The Manhattan Projects by Jonathan Hickman: What if the Manhattan Project was so much more than just developing the world's first atomic bomb? This series takes you into a world of aliens, conspiracies and secret societies. Everyone is there, Einstein's evil twin brother, Oppenheimer, Yuri Gagarin & Laika, Oppenheimer, Feynman, Truman and, of course, Oppenheimer. Recommended for fans of science, history, sci-fi and just crazy, outlandish fun.
The Wicked + the Divine by Kieron Gillen: A dozen gods, all from different pantheons, are reincarnated every 90 years. They capture the imaginations and adoration of the world, and in two years they will all die. This series has some amazing visuals and the story will keep you coming back for more.
Rocket Raccoon by Skottie Young followed by Groot by Jeff Loveness followed by Rocket Raccoon and Groot by Skottie Young: You have to read each of these series in this order. A story of true friendship between a raccoon and a tree. In the first series Rocket is forced to search the galaxy in order to find Groot who has gone missing, after that, well, spoilers... Skottie Young's cartoonish art style matches perfectly with Rocket's irreverent character.
Star Wars Darth Vader Volume 1, Vader by Kieron Gillen: This is Darth Vader as he always should have been. Angry, determined and homicidal, Vader is out to find Luke. He is accompanied by Doctor Aphra, an archaeologist turned mercenary and two homicidal torture droids who are easily the highlight of the series. If you only read one Star Wars comic, make it this one, but you should actually be reading all of them—they're all fantastic!
Want more from Cody? Check out his lists!