Comics Suggestions
September 16, 2010 12:56 PM   Subscribe

Comixology got me into comics (Fables, which I was already reading, excepted). I'm currently following Sandman and Y: The Last Man, and I'd appreciate suggestions on what else I should try reading. Comixology's current roster of comics. Criteria and a few thoughts of my own below the fold.

First, I'd like to focus on comics that are largely self-contained, and do not take place within the wider DC/Marvel universes, given my general lack of familiarity with the huge cast of established characters in those universes.

Second, I'd like to focus on comics which are present on Comixology from their start.

Two series with synopses that caught my eye are Haunt and The Walking Dead. Are either/both worthy of my time?
posted by The Confessor to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Black Hole.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:58 PM on September 16, 2010

Wow, this is incredibly fortuitous as I've just been trying to get into comics of the exact same style myself. What I've found to be pretty awesome are The Unwritten and The House of Mystery (written by Fables' Bill Willingham). Will be keeping an eye on this thread for more suggestions though.
posted by bookwo3107 at 12:59 PM on September 16, 2010

The Invisibles.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:01 PM on September 16, 2010

The Walking Dead is quite good, especially as a fun, scary popcorn book. You might want to get into it before the inevitable spoilers associated with the upcoming tv series start permeating through the internet.
posted by joelhunt at 1:06 PM on September 16, 2010

I liked The Boys.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 1:06 PM on September 16, 2010

I'd say anything in their Vertigo section is worth a look. Maybe check out Hellboy under Dark Horse.
posted by Artw at 1:10 PM on September 16, 2010

Ex Machina
Powers (v. 1 and v. 2)
The Invisibles
The Walking Dead is definitely worth your time.
posted by brand-gnu at 1:18 PM on September 16, 2010

Ed Brubaker's Criminal is a fun Sin City type read.
The Walking Dead is a very fast, very fun read.
Scalped is okay. it starts out good...but kind of fades as it goes on
posted by phelixshu at 1:21 PM on September 16, 2010

How often do new series get added? If Lucifer, a Sandman offshoot, shows up, I recommend that. I'm not a comics person apart from Lucifer, Sandman, and Fables.
posted by catlet at 1:21 PM on September 16, 2010

Nth Walking Dead and adding Transmetropolitan which doesn't seem to be on that site, but is worth picking up. Hellboy is on there but isn't everyone's cup of tea. I've heard good things about Powers too.
posted by anti social order at 1:32 PM on September 16, 2010

I think there's a honeymoon period with Walking Dead where you enjoy it the way you enjoy most zombie fare.

Then there's a kind of dark hour where you ask yourself if it really needs to be so. fucking. grim. all. the. damn. time. (For me, this started to happen around volumes 6 and 7, IIRC.)

And then, if you stick it out, you come through the other side of that and learn to respect and enjoy that it doesn't want to be like traditional zombie fare, in which the destruction of our whole world and the horrific, shrieking deaths of everybody we care for are treated as a kind of grimly escapist fantasy, a release from the burdens and rules of civilization in favor of a simpler world where the id is unchained and you can just run around shooting people and taking what you need. It's more about how its characters cope with a world that doesn't have the protections and certainties of a civilized world, and who they become without those things.

All in all, highly recommended, and I have quite high hopes for the upcoming TV series.
posted by Naberius at 1:44 PM on September 16, 2010

Criminal is under Icon, it is awesome, as is Incognito.
posted by Artw at 1:50 PM on September 16, 2010

Murder Mysteries is a nice short story by Gaiman, turned into a stand-alone graphic novel.

Bone may be a bit cute, but is really enjoyable and well-written. Check the comic covers for proof that it's not a world of happy bubble people.

Mike Allred's comics are a trip, and you should check Madman if nothing else (Rocket 7 is a strange one, in a different way than Madman).

The Red Star is set in a weird mythic Soviet Russia, which was a lot of fun.

Lone Wolf 2100 was a fun reboot of the epic Lone Wolf and Cub, which are wholly worth picking up, but you can read LW2100 without knowing all of the parallels (though they add a lot). And apparently there have been two sequils to the series, though I'm not sure if either have been officially translated to English.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:52 PM on September 16, 2010

Umbrella Academy
posted by lizbunny at 2:31 PM on September 16, 2010

I read The Unwritten and The Walking Dead and would definitely recommend them. I'd also seek out Planetary, which (like Y: The Last man) ended fairly recently.
posted by gerryblog at 2:35 PM on September 16, 2010

I second Red Star, epic and gorgeous.

Also recommend Hellblazer and Sweet Tooth. Speaking of Sweet Tooth, Jeff Lemire's Essex County is poignant, touching and hauntingly beautiful.

Hellboy is very cool, especially the early books.
posted by andreinla at 3:27 PM on September 16, 2010

If they ever add it, you might want to check out 100 Bullets. I didn't see it listed, but it's definitely worth checking out.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:12 PM on September 16, 2010

DMZ, especially if you're interested in sociological studies of crisis and are sick of zombies as the main trope by which that sort of thing gets explored.

I Kill Giants from Image, the best book I read last year.

Mage: The Hero Discovered is... dark and mythic and urban-fantasy. Mage: The Hero Defined is more of a Kevin Smith-esque romp. They're both fantastic, from Image.

Chew, from Image, is deliriously fucked-up food noir. If you ever liked Invader Zim, and you like CSI, and you think they would be great together, Chew is your book.

I've met people who don't like Atomic Robo, from Red 5-- but I'm pretty sure there's something wrong with them.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 4:22 PM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

The Walking Dead is fantastic. Check out Planet Hulk. It's a story arc within Hulk, yes, but it's basically John Carter of Mars and is pretty self-contained. It's awesome, and I'm not a Hulk fan.
posted by mkultra at 4:32 PM on September 16, 2010

Stray Bullets by David Lapham. The final story arc is on hold, but it's worth reading anyway. Emotionally really intense, I had to stop a couple of times when reading it and walk away for a day or two, but that may just be me.

The Courtney Crummin books by Ted Naifeh. Really, just a load of fun, although the more serious nature of the works is at times hidden by the fact that it's about kids and has (to my eye at least) a more light hearted drawing style. His other stuff is good too, but the Courtney Crummin books are the best.
posted by Hactar at 6:44 PM on September 16, 2010

I should add that neither of them is on the site, both being a bit more indy (El Capitan Comics and Oni Press being the respective publishers), but they really are worth a read.
posted by Hactar at 6:45 PM on September 16, 2010

The person who turned me on to Neil Gaiman is also a huge fan of Strangers In Paradise (Terry Moore, I think). Not a thing like Sandman, but great characters & storytelling. Basically abused girl involved in mafia-type shenanigans grows up, tries to live a normal life falls in love with her (female, straight?) roommate, 3rd wheel guy moves into their lives, falls in love with the wrong girl, and somewhere between life being life, the sins of her past starts creeping in to haunt and stalk them. More about women & relationships & the odd kinks in life than an action-adventure sort of thing, but worth dipping into on a trial basis if you're looking for talented storytellers with strong artistic chops.

My personal favorite is Drew Hayes' Poison Elves. I've got 9 volumes of wickedly good fun (very violent, very sexual, but funny as Hell if those don't throw you), but unfortunately the author died just as he stopped dicking around and started to get serious about telling the story he promised. Picture uncouth, homicidal elves stomping around as steven-Segal type badasses in a world populated by goths. The prologues alone are worth the price of admission.
posted by Ys at 8:04 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

For Stuff that's on Comixology that ISN"T DC/Marvel:

Image Comics
Mage: The Hero Discovered
Mage: The Hero Defined
Any and All Madman titles.
Red Rocket 7

Planetary (and associated crossovers/one shots under DC Comics-- You don't need anything more than visual recognition of Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman to enjoy)

Now, there are some DC & Marvel titles on Comixology you should read, and for the most part do not require a deep knowledge of either Universe to enjoy.

All Star Superman
JLA until Grant Morrison stopped writing it at #41

Both are written by Grant Morrision (Invisibles, Animal Man) and are EXCELLENT somewhat meta-fictional takes on the iconic heroes of the DCU. All Star Supes is a self contained retelling of Superman and while JLA's Back to Basics line up isn't super-DCU-continuity dependent, there may be an occasional issue(s) where you go "Who is that guy & why are they fighting him?" Don't worry, Morrison's BIG storytelling will carry you through any confusion. FWIW, Morrison was the only DC writer who handled the brief "Superman Blue: Electric Boogaloo" travesty with any skill. Thankfully short-lived within the pages of JLA.

Hulk: Planet Hulk

Crazy mash-up of Conan the Barbarian, Spartacus and Burroughs' John Carter of Mars themes starring the The Hulk and set on an alien world. More fun than it had any right to be and the best thing Marvel has put out in years. If you enjoyed this, go and read World War Hulk, where Hulk returns to earth to take his vengence on the heroes who sent him into exile. Lossa HULK! SMASH! going on there, but nowhere near as interesting and fun as Planet Hulk.
posted by KingEdRa at 8:40 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Astro City! Though with your username, you may already be aware of that one.

Also, in no particular order, I second (or third, or fourth) Ex Machina, the Walking Dead, Transmetropolitan, The Invisibles, The Unwritten, and I'll throw in Mouse Guard for good measure. You may also want to check out The Authority; I don't remember much about it, and I don't remember if I ended up liking it, but I do remember it being interesting. I think. Also on comixology, and probably not of interest - PS238. I mention it because it's cute.
posted by daikaisho at 8:41 PM on September 16, 2010

Thanks all.

For now I'm settling on Walking Dead, Ex Machina, Powers, and Planetary, but I have all of your suggestions in a database, and plan on at least trying DMZ and I Kill Giants (among those currently available on comixology) in the future.
posted by The Confessor at 8:59 AM on September 17, 2010

I don't think anyone has mentioned any of Mike Mignola's work wxcept Hellboy, but it is worth checking out the B.P.R.D or Abe Sapien books. Very distinctive stuff. Also, if you find you are a fan of the Walking dead, see if you can find Crossed. Its not on Comixology yet, but it has the same basic themes as the Walking dead, but is much harsher.
posted by rtimmel at 2:29 PM on September 17, 2010

Concrete... unusual anti-super-hero series. Shy, intellectual man put in concrete body by aliens during a camping trip, escapes, and has to cope with normal earth in a super body, and decide what to do with it, now that he has it.
posted by gregglind at 6:23 PM on September 19, 2010

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