From Kickass to Watchman, from V for Vendetta to Dr Strange, graphic novels and comic books are now happily in the main stream. Some series have been running for many years, such as DC and Marvel, and to fully understand them can take hours of wiki searches and lore videos on youtube. You’d be mad to go in to 2016s Secret Wars event blind. Luckily there are some comic series’ independent of all the lore and past history, praised for their writing and art styles. Here are 5 brilliant comic books to get you into the genre
5. The Walking Dead
The most famous and the longest running on this list, The Walking Dead began in 2003 and has spawned two TV series, numerous games and is near competing with Disney for merchandise. If you haven’t heard of this series chances are you haven’t been anywhere near a telly or the internet in the last half dozen years. Praised for revitalising the zombie genre, The Walking Dead comic focuses on one small group of survivors as they try to survive the apocalypse without losing themselves. If you’re willing to put in the time, it’s a rewarding series with very well written characters. However if you’re looking for something easier to catch up on and far less soul crushing, I present to you…
4. Sex Criminals
Not one for the prudish, as you may have gathered from the title. Sex Criminals follows a young couple as they meet and fall in love. But this couple is somewhat different than most. Both of the protagonists have a special gift. That gift being they can stop time with an orgasm. Yep. You read that correctly. And what do you do when you find you have this power? Rob banks to fund a library. Obviously. One of the funniest and most well written love stories I’ve read, the series has yet to release a fourth volume. The art style is beautiful, the language explicit and the characters fantastically realised. Well worth a read.
3. Y: The Last Man
When Steven King praises it as one of the best graphic novels he’s read, you know it’s got to be good. A complete series, you can read it from start to end without worrying about the next release. Y: The Last Man is set in 2002 where one day all XY creatures on earth died. All of them. Save for two. Yorik, a young man with a magician membership card in his wallet, and Ampersand, his young pet monkey. And for some reason he thinks his smartest move is to find his girlfriend on the other side of the world, in Australia. The question is, will he survive the trip? Smart, scary, gritty and unfortunately still as relevant now as it was 15 years ago. An investment you won’t regret.
A delight from start to finish, the graphic novel Seconds is brilliantly drawn and well-paced. Written and drawn by the mind behind Scott Pilgrim, the book follows a young chef as she looks to start her own restaurant. But things aren’t going to plan. Her boss is mean, her ex is dating someone now, and the money for the new place is running dry. But then she finds a mushroom which when eaten grants her a wish. She should have stopped at one mushroom. Instead, she went back for seconds. An easy read, and one I’ve found I’ve picked up time and again for a pick me up, Seconds deserves its place on your book shelf.
Raising a child is hard. Raising a child in war time is harder. Raising a child in war time when you’re members of two different species, who have been at war with each other for centuries, is damn near impossible. There aren’t many comics I’d pre-order the next volume of. Saga volume 7 I pre-ordered the second it went live on Amazon. This Science-Fantasy stars a cast ranging from a half blown up teenage ghost/nannie to a king with a television for a head, and despite that it tells the personal and intimate story of a family just trying to get by with their first baby. Set across multiple worlds and with many different interweaving story lines, the comic book earns its title and if you have a tenner spare, volume 1 should be the first thing you buy after reading this article. You won’t regret it.
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