In response to a comment from last week’s post on comics, I have compiled a short list of comics that are definitely worth reading. Many of these titles can be found at your public library in the Graphic Novel section. This is how I discovered many of these titles.
Watchmen by Allan Moore and Dave Gibbons
This graphic novel revolutionized the comics industry. It showed the real human side of superheroes and told a serious story that dealt with mature subject matter. It was the first graphic novel to ever win a Hugo award for fiction. It is a classic.
Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra
Every male mammal on earth mysterious dies. There are only two exceptions, a man named Yorick and his pet monkey.
It sounds like a crazy premise but it is extremely well written and drawn. This is a series that I discovered at the library. It always seems to be signed out and I have to wait to find the issues that I need.
Ex Machina by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris
Another great series by the phenomenal writer Brian K. Vaughan. This one deals with a superhero who speaks to machines. He is able to thwart the plans of the terrorists on September 11th and prevents the second tower from toppling. He then retires and becomes mayor. It is a mature series and meant for adult readers.
Rising Stars by J. Michael Straczynski
There are several graphic novels in this series and they are all superb. The story predates television’s Heroes but has the same kind of feel. It is set in a very real world in which just happen to be some people with special abilities. These people are called “Specials” and the story deals with how society reacts to them and how they grow and decide to use their powers.
Midnight Nation by J. Michael Straczynski
Another great series by Straczynski. He weaves a complex tale that is part metaphor and part real life journey for the character. It deals in the supernatural or metaphysical world and what happens to people who are forgotten. It is a great read.
Bone by Jeff Smith
This is a fun series. It is the first one of my list that I would recommend for children and adults alike.
The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
Frank Miller is a legend in comics. This is his dark take on Batman. It is brilliant!
Crisis on Infinite Earths by Marv Wolfman and George Perez
This graphic novel is a crossover special. Pretty much every single character in the DC universe is in it. This was DC Comics attempt at bringing all their characters into one universe. It tidied up storylines and timelines. There have been several other crisis books over the years as well.
Daredevil Yellow by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale
A retelling of Daredevil’s origin. The character was first introduced in 1964 and at that time he had a yellow costume. This story makes the yellow costume make sense and explains how he came to wear the traditional red costume we associate the character with today. I love this story. This is a great origin story, even better than the original or Frank Miller’s retelling. It’s a must have in any comic collection.
More to Come
I hope you find this very short list useful. These are just a few of my favourite comics. I hope to write about some more titles here in the future. There are now comics to suit any genre or taste. You might be surprised at what you find in this medium that often gets overlooked. Many of these books I would like to file in the literature section of the library. They tell great stories and are superbly written. Go check them out.