I want to buy comics
April 30, 2020 8:40 PM   Subscribe

Comics and graphic novels from the last 10 years or so you've loved? I'm omnivorous - from the weird to the mainstream: If you think this is a good comic because of the story, the writing, the art, the themes, whatever, lay it on me. I am not very interested in horror or extreme violence but I could be open if for some reason you think the comic in question is exceptionally well done. Restriction is looking for relatively recent works, and not really into buying floppies - I want books. Happy to buy directly from creators/small presses or get curbside pickup from one of our local comic shops.
posted by latkes to Media & Arts (24 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
You want Check Please (two volumes) by Ngozi Ukazu.

It's about gay boys, baking, and hockey. The art style is adorable and also really really good, the central queer love story is amazing and happy while still being emotional and deep, and the side characters are wonderful. And the published volumes have tweets from Bitty (the main character) in them and they're a treasure.
posted by Tamanna at 8:52 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]

I'm sure these will show up in other folks' lists, but the three runs that I've bought in print are Saga, The Wicked + The Divine, and Matt Fraction's Hawkeye series from 2012-2015.

Saga primarily for the art - although the story is good too, it's really Fiona Staples' art that sucked me in.
The Wicked + The Divine take the question of "Every 90 years, 12 teens are chosen to become gods. They are as rock stars. And within two years, they will be dead."
And Hawkeye... well, what does an Avenger do when he's not with the Avengers?
posted by neilbert at 9:06 PM on April 30 [3 favorites]

Alison Bechdel's Fun Home is indescribably fantastic.
posted by nantucket at 9:24 PM on April 30 [8 favorites]

Giant Days, by writer John Allison, was my favorite comic for the past few years. There's about hmm, 10 trades? You can find his free stuff on http://www.scarygoround.com/ and Bobbins.horse if you'd like to sample the flavor in his strip comics. Giant Days is the tale of 3 young women in college together and their orbiting satellites of friends and romantic interests. Allison's art partner on (the majority of) this is Max Sarin, whose faces and bodies are just brilliant expressions of comedy. I think Allison has the most wonderful ear for dialog going. This is a comic for when you need to smile and laugh. And there is a bunch of it, and it just wrapped up earlier this year, so you can go the distance.
posted by taterpie at 9:42 PM on April 30 [8 favorites]

On A Sunbeam by Tillie Walden is one of my absolute favorite books from the last couple years. Gorgeous queer love story in space.
posted by wsquared at 10:16 PM on April 30 [3 favorites]

If you’re into avant-garde stuff, I really liked Asterios Polyp, by David Mazzucchelli. It’s a super interesting use of multiple art styles, representing different different POVs.

For contemporary fantasy, I’ll 2nd Saga and Wicked+Divine.

If you’re into memoirs, I’ve liked:
- Blankets, by Craig Thompson is a popular coming-of-age memoir. It’s about first loves and religion, and is drawn in a lovely style.
- Smile by Raina Telgemeier, is a kid’s graphic novel, about growing up in SF and getting braces. I think that it does a good job being more authentic about childhood, than children’s literature usually is.
- Pregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag, by A.K. Summers is a really interesting story about the author’s experience as a trans man who gets pregnant.
- Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast, is a memoir about losing one’s parents.
posted by tinymegalo at 10:44 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]

Octopus Pie - beautiful art, really excellent writing. It's slice of life/coming of age in a slightly surreal Brooklyn.
Seconding John Allison. He has a few separate comics all taking place in the same universe each with a slightly different tone and flavor, and if one doesn't grab you it's possible another will. (e.g. Giant Days doesn't do it for me but I love Bad Machinery.)

You can buy physical books for both, as well as read online to see if they're to your taste.
posted by trig at 1:46 AM on May 1

I highly recommend Widdershins by Kate Ashwin! You can read it online or you can support the artist and buy the books.

From the site: Widdershins is a series of Victorian-era adventure stories, set in the fictional town of Widdershins, West Yorkshire- England's magical epicentre, home to bounty hunters, failed wizards, stage magicians, and more, besides. It's all written and drawn by Kate Ashwin.

Each chapter is a complete story, with a main thread running throughout. All of them are lighthearted, fun, and often comical, and I hope you enjoy them! Start reading here!

There's a new page every Tuesday and Friday, generally at 8am to noon London Time.

Winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Comic/Graphic Novel, 2019!
posted by HypotheticalWoman at 2:15 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]

- American Born Chinese, Gene Yuen Lang (I’ve heard Boxers and Saints and The Shadow Hero are also good, haven’t read ‘em yet)
- Digger, Ursula Vernon
- Silk, Robbie Thompson/Stacey Lee/Tana Ford et al (start with volume 0, not 1)
- The Best We Could Do, Thi Bui
posted by bettafish at 2:30 AM on May 1 [2 favorites]

Nthing John Allison. Everything he makes is alarmingly perfect. (Bad Machinery is my favorite, and I'm digging Steeple right now too.)
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 2:59 AM on May 1

All of Isabel Greenberg's graphic novels have been great; I love her style and stories.
posted by sedimentary_deer at 3:49 AM on May 1

Absolutely wicked and the divine.

Rat Queens is an interesting parody / take down / love letter/pretty darn good series in the D&D genre. It crude as hell, and has a ton of drug use and the occasional Gore (i think) but a cast of characters that truly love each other and is largely lgbtqia plus friendly.

Fables and all their connected stories with something I really enjoyed.

Fence! Is a story of pretty boys in high school who sword fight. It might be something of a niche, but as a not quite pretty boy who fenced, it's fun and accurate.

The Dresden files graphic novels are really good as well.
posted by Jacen at 5:24 AM on May 1

Descender has great story and art by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen respectively. It's a complete story, I enjoyed it a lot.

Black Science by Rick Remender and art by Dustin Nguyen (again, i love his watercolor style) starts
really strong, but kind of peters out. The big hardcover volume is excellent, but gets a little meh past that.

Paper Girls is by the same author as Saga, I'm enjoying it so far. It's like Stranger Things but better.
posted by askmehow at 5:45 AM on May 1 [2 favorites]

Oh gosh, anything that Jodorowsky wrote. Check out Screaming Planet for one.
Mr.Miracle by Tom King
Vision, also by Tom King
Little Bird
Underwater Welder
Beautiful Darkness
Star Seeds

I'm sure I'm missing dozens but I fell off the comics wagon a year or so ago.
posted by Young Kullervo at 5:52 AM on May 1

Rat Queens
William Gibson's Alien 3
William Gibson's Archangel
The Adventure Zone comics
Southern Cross
The Wicked + The Divine
Second Quest
Bitch Planet
China Mieville's Dial H comics
Bottomless Belly Button
posted by neushoorn at 7:19 AM on May 1

Some from the last 10 years that I've loved:
- Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
- Beauty by Kerascoët & Hubert. Also Miss Don't Touch Me by the same authors
- The Arab of the Future by Riad Sattouf
- Portugal by Cyril Pedrosa
- Wrinkles by Paco Roca
- Habibi by Craig Thompson
- Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
- In this Corner of the World by Fumiyo Kouno
posted by snarfois at 8:28 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]

Lovelace And Babbage, Sydney Padua. Fun and well-researched romp that imagines: what if Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage had become friends and built a working supercomputer?

Glass Town by Isabel Greenberg goes into the story of Brontës and their juvenilia. Art style is kind of scratchy-on-purpose, but it's well written and I like it.

Queen Of The Sea by Dylan Meconis is a story set in a Tudor-era community of nuns on a remote island who unexpectedly become hosts to a royal prisoner. YA, seen through the eyes of the youngest nun-to-be, but *really* well written and the art is great.

(If you like that, her other comics are also great. Bite Me is a comedy with vampires during the French Revolution. Family Man is set in eighteenth-century Germany: a Jewish lecturer finally lands a job at a small university in a remote town, where the Rector's daughter is the librarian. At night, wolves howl in the woods surrounding the town...)

The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiyya by Reimena Yee is a charming, beautifully drawn story of how a young Turkish man decides to leave the life of scholarship, get married and become a carpet merchant. If you like it, the creator is currently raising funds for Volume 2.

The Nameless City/The Stone Heart/The Divided Earth by Faith Erin Hicks: a trilogy set in a city which has been conquered so many times that it now contains many cultures living side by side. An unlikely friendship forms between the young son of an officer in the latest conquering army and a girl who grew up on the city's streets and rooftops.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang: a happy story about a prince who employs a dressmaker. Why would a prince need a dressmaker? Eventually he has to let her in on an important secret. YA, but it made this adult happy.

Highest House by Mike Carey and Peter Gross: a boy from the country is sold into slavery and sent to work in a castle. It's not all bad: he makes friends and finds unexpected corners of freedom... but it comes at the price of a symbiotic relationship with a sinister otherworldly creature.

Seconding Widdershins (the author sells actual books if you prefer those)

(Note: I've mostly linked to Amazon here because of the role they play in MeFi's advertising revenue. Ordering from one's local comic shop is good practice, as always.)
posted by Pallas Athena at 8:57 AM on May 1

My Boyfriend is a Bear (text by Pamela Ribon, art by Cat Farris) is a graphic novel about a woman who, after various unsatisfying relationships, falls in love with a literal bear. Cute, sweet, interesting and varied art, bears! (Note that there's a sad plotline involving the heroine's pet, so this might not be the graphic novel for you on a day when you need 100% pure fluff, but if you want 95% adorableness and 5% "sometimes life is hard for normal reasons" this is just the ticket.)
posted by yarntheory at 9:08 AM on May 1

Saga for sure. Fiona Staples' art is amazing, but it's actually the story that I'm in love with - there are so few depictions of parenting, badass mothers, inter-whatever relationships, etc out there. And the way that bigger politics affect the family is sensitive and poignant and deeply contemporary and relevant.

Also +1 to On A Sunbeam. It's a charmingly self-contained story with breathtaking art.
posted by epanalepsis at 11:16 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]

In this Corner of the World by Fumiyo Kouno

Seconding. I tore through all three in a weekend and it's just...it just IS.
posted by Young Kullervo at 12:17 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]

Anything by Terry Moore.

His ur-comic, "Strangers in Paradise," started in the early 90s but didn't finish up until 2007. It's available in several collected versions, as are all the books mentioned below. Yes, this is older than 10 years, but it's very contemporary. It's a dramedy about relationships, with asides into The Mob/crime, and has some violence. It is the foundation of the so-called "Terryverse."

More recent stuff by Terry is "Echo" (2008-2011, science fiction), "Rachel Rising" (2011-2016, horror), "Motor Girl" (2016-2017, science fiction-ish), "Strangers In Paradise XXV" (2018, a sequel to the original), "Five Years" (2019-ongoing, science fiction). Echo, Rachel Rising and Motor Girl are standalone stories, but starting with Motor Girl we start to see bleed-over of characters from previous series, and by the end of Strangers XXV going on into Five Years it's pretty firmly established all the stories happen in the same universe, with foundational characters and plot elements are established in previous series, especially the original Strangers In Paradise.
posted by lhauser at 7:34 PM on May 1

There is a new comics zine called Stay At Home with all profits going to charity, it's full of great artists so you can discover more that you like plus for a fiver you get to support some very good causes.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 12:46 AM on May 2

Interestingly enough, I was also thinking about finding some new graphic novels to read yesterday, and I stumbled scross theslingsandarrows.com which has hundreds of graphic novel reviews.
posted by wittgenstein at 9:16 AM on May 3

Thanks folks! I've been working my way through these, marked a couple favorites I've liked so far. Especially struck by On a Sunbeam and Fence!
posted by latkes at 8:17 PM on May 23

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