To say I love comics is probably an understatement. It’s hard to believe I’ve only been reading them for the last nine years. Even in my short time as a comic fan, I’ve noticed that there has been a noticeable, and mostly positive change in the industry when it comes to the diversity of titles. To be clear, when I’m talking about diversity, I’m not talking about diversity among characters and those creating the comics (writers, artists, etc). While there has been some strides in that particular arena, there is certainly room for further improvement, and that’s a topic that deserves its own post. No, what I’m talking about is the fact that there are comics available to fit nearly any possible taste–nearly every genre is represented. We may not be in a comic book renaissance, but this is still a pretty awesome time to be a fan. Therefore, here are some of the best books I have found within various genres.
This genre is easy for me to read, given that I read a ton of these books and it’s one of my favorite genres across any form of media. Of course Saga tops out my list, but among other strong contenders are Low, Star Wars, and East of West. If readers want to go back a few years, there are books like Fear Agent that are still available and often in beautiful collected editions.
I may be a giant nerd, but fantasy isn’t usually my cup of tea. I tend to leave that more to Tracy. Having said that, I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Rat Queens. It’s an amazing book that I binged in just a couple days. I’ve also really enjoyed The Autumnland, filled with some great art and fun magic based story.
Top of my current list would have to be Sheriff of Babylon. It has elements of history and crime rolled into some of the most compelling characters I’ve ever encountered. I can’t wait to see what happens issue to issue, though I’m almost afraid of what I might see and what may happen to the characters I enjoy most. This is also a category that is ripe for standalone graphic novels. A new take on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas has caught my eye both because of my love of Hunter S. Thompson, but also because of the art involved.
The first book that comes to mind is Petrograd, a book that follows a British intelligence agent during that last days of Rasputin in Tsarist Russia. It’s a great story that weaves its way through actual historical events and fictionalized interactions.
I’m fairly confident that almost anyone who has read Locke & Key would agree that this is one of the best books on shelves. While it may not be completely accurate to call this a horror book, it definitely fits–in part because writer Joe Hill is the son of legendary horror writer Stephen King.
This is just a small sampling of comic books that are available that don’t feature folks running around in skin tight spandex, and I didn’t even cover books from foreign publishers, who are known for everything but superheroes. My point is that there are tons of comics out there to satisfy even the pickiest of readers, and I encourage those new to graphic novels and comics to check out some of these titles.