What comics should I be reading?
May 21, 2014 9:04 PM   Subscribe

Over in this thread, Pope Guilty recommended Rat Queens, and it occurred to me that I haven't paid attention to any comics that weren't manga in ages.

Read the first volume of Saga, and that was quite good, but that's been it.

What have I been missing? What's come out in the past few years that I need to be catching up on? (My tastes: Ellis, Morrison, Bendis, Mignola... not into capes unless it's an interesting twist on the concept.)
posted by rifflesby to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
Brandon Graham's Prophet, King City, and Multiple Warheads.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:09 PM on May 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

Seconding Rat Queens. I'm also really enjoying Hawkeye which is more about his day to day life and leaves the superhero business to other books. Pretty Deadly is gorgeous and well worth a read.
posted by angelchrys at 9:12 PM on May 21, 2014

If you like the kind of slightly goofy horror thing that Mignola is doing, you might enjoy the Midas Flesh miniseries, currently running and published by Boom.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 9:22 PM on May 21, 2014

Sex Criminals and Hawkeye by Matt Fraction come to mind.


Brian Posehn's run on Deadpool is wonderful.
posted by inturnaround at 9:29 PM on May 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

There are two more volumes of Saga now!
posted by ocherdraco at 9:30 PM on May 21, 2014

This is a really horrible question to ask me right now, because I should be packing for a trip and I leave in six hours. But I have a lot of opinions.

Sorted by publisher:


Lumberjanes!- about girls at a sleepaway camp having adventures. ADORABLE.


Lazarus: Rucka's new thing. In a dystopian future, a semi-feudal society has arisen, and is about a woman who is in charge of protecting her 'family's holding. Pretty, interesting worldbuilding.

Pretty Deadly: Beautiful. Weird. Western. Hard to explain, but at least check out the first issue.

Rat Queens: Fantasy comic about an all-female troupe of adventurers. Awesome.

Revival: Rural Zombie Survival Horror - which may or may not be your thing, but it's a very well done version of it.

Sex Criminals: So, a guy and a girl figure out that when they orgasm, they stop time. So they rob banks. It's not as revolutionary as the writer seems to think it is, but it's funny and smart about sex.


Black Widow: So, you hear a lot about how Hawkeye is about what he does when he's not an adventure, and it's a lot of him being kind of a lovable shlub? Black Widow's comic is about what she does when she's not being an Avenger, but what she does is take on cartels and contemplate her bloody past. Even if you're not into capes - it's beautiful and makes a good bookend to the Hawkeye Series.

Hawkeye: It's about Clint Barton and Kate Bishop and what they do when they're not 'on the clock' as Avengers - which is pretty much, get into more trouble than they should. The writing and art is absolutely fantastic.

She-Hulk: Seriously, the mostly-law procedural with random fighting premise still charms the hell out of me. Pulido is a good match for this, too, art-wise.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:37 PM on May 21, 2014 [4 favorites]

Oh, also, I was thinking newer things that have come out, but also try Chew? I think you'd like Chew, if you haven't tried it.

It's about an FDA agent who solves crimes by receiving psychic images from any animal he eats. Including humans. It's hilarious.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:50 PM on May 21, 2014

Manhattan Projects: really, really weird alternate timeline of the Manhattan Project. The series opens with Oppenheimer being eaten and his consciousness absorbed by his evil twin. It's awesome.

East of West: Futurey, Westernish. The four horsemen of the apocalypse are real, except Death isn't on board anymore. Oh, and after the civil war, the USA splintered into a bunch of different countries. And each of the leaders of those countries is on board with bringing forth the apocalypse.

Also Hawkeye, Sex Criminals, King City.
posted by Maecenas at 10:20 PM on May 21, 2014

I cannot support Rat Queens, Hawkeye and She-Hulk strongly enough. They're wonderful. I have not yet gotten hold of Black Widow, but all indications are it's similarly great.

If you want something a little more mainstream-Marvel but still on a cutting edge, go for Captain Marvel. It's less quirky than Hawkeye, but still witty and ass-kicking. Ms. Marvel, which has a young Pakistani-American Muslim girl as its title protagonist, also shows great promise.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:31 PM on May 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

Sex criminals, Saga, Manhattan Project. I'm digging the new animal man stuff, but ymmv
posted by lumpenprole at 11:04 PM on May 21, 2014

You mention not being into capes unless it's a new twist on the concept, so you might be interested in Powers, which is a noirish book about police detectives in a world where superheros are an accepted fact of life. I've only read the first collection, Who Killed Retro Girl, but it's pretty great.

It's over now, but there's like 300 issues of Hellblazer, about a British con man and occultist who takes on the series antagonists of Heaven, Hell, and the Conservative Party, and everything in between. Early on it's still explicitly in the main DC universe and makes references to superheroes, but as time goes on it slips into its own universe.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:06 AM on May 22, 2014

Matt Fraction's Casanova
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:50 AM on May 22, 2014

I'll note that a lot of the titles here are on Marvel Unlimited, which can occasionally be a bit of a pain in the ass (they fuck up the ordering of some of their titles) but which gives access to a metric shitload of comics for Netflix-ish prices.
posted by NoraReed at 3:28 AM on May 22, 2014

I'm getting my fix from Comixology (yeah yeah Amazon blah blah) and I'm glad Manhattan Projects has been mentioned because it's my kinda weirdness.
Also Prophet which just gets downright crazypants, and now I've just started on Think Tank (hard science implemenation of such things as telepathy, I gather).
posted by arzakh at 6:01 AM on May 22, 2014

Daytripper by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon is self-contained, and each issue shows one important day in a kind of negative continuity where he dies at the end every time. It's beautiful, thoughtful and one of my favorite short-time projects to come out recently.
posted by graymouser at 6:02 AM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I can second Chew (which I should really catch up with) and Saga. One of my favorite monthly titles is Fatale by Brubaker and Phillips. It's often been described as "Lovecraftian noir" but as the series goes on, there's more noir and less Lovecraftian themes, which suits me fine. If you're okay with getting trades, I heartily recommend Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's run on Young Avengers.
posted by Kitteh at 6:52 AM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I really enjoyed DMZ by Brian Wood, which is about a journalist stuck in the demilitarized zone of Manhattan after a civil war in the US. Aya of Yop City by Margaret Abouet is about a girl in the capital of Cote d'Ivoire during the 1970s. I also liked Josh Dysart's reboot of Unknown Soldier, who is now a Ugandan doctor in northern Uganda during the war with the Lord Republican Army.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:32 AM on May 22, 2014

Manhattan Projects is amazing- I just started getting into comics besides manga as a result of discovering it.
I also just bought, but haven't gotten around to reading Nowhere Men, which came highly recommended to me based on my interest in MP and looks pretty fun.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 7:43 AM on May 22, 2014

My pull is:

Stray Bullets
Rogue Trooper
Rogue Trooper Classics
Moon Knight
The Wake

Used to be a couple dozen more but I dropped em. Moon Knight started promising but issues 2 and 3 were mostly white space, literally and figuratively. I regret sticking with The Wake as long as I have and am dropping it today even though there's only two issues to go. Caliban gets one more issue.

The rest have stayed pretty strong and are worth a look. Prophet especially is weirdly hypnotic.
posted by turbid dahlia at 1:54 PM on May 22, 2014

There's so many interesting-sounding titles here that I'd feel silly marking *everyone* as 'best answer', so here's a global "Thanks everybody! :D "
posted by rifflesby at 6:47 PM on May 22, 2014

The Unwritten is fantastic. Beautiful art and storytelling.
posted by spacewaitress at 11:39 AM on May 27, 2014

Stuff I tend to pick up at the comic shop:

Prophet - an ancient empire of highly genetically modified Space Conan clones starts to wake up and resume conquest.
Black Science - cranky scientists and their families lost in endless parallel worlds.
Tales from the Beanworld - "an ecological fantasy". Really quite unique and wonderful.
Rasl - Noir, parallel worlds, conspiracies, and Tesla. From the creator of Bone.
Heavy Liquid - a gritty chase over an alien liquid you can melt and stick in your ear to get high. Also whatever else you find by Paul Pope.

I feel like a lot of the real action these days is on the web. I may be biased what with having my own stuff show up that way.

Girl Genius - A long-running "gaslamp fantasy" about a mad scientist.
Wesslingsaung - time-twisting alien fantasy.
Homestuck - a very strange and dense riff on JRPG conventions. Warning: it kinda hates you for trying to read it.
Spacetrawler - comic SF with a surprisingly grimdark center. Finished.
Decrypting Rita - A robot lady and her starkly-rendered reality problems. (By me.)
posted by egypturnash at 6:14 PM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

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