Before last night, I knew there were some fans of the sequential art in our community. It makes sense, given the importance of art, storytelling, and emotion to our work. Having just finished the first three installments of the new Ms. Marvel, I decided to ask for recommendations.
I had no idea, however, that I’d get such an enthusiastic response to the quick question I asked at 9pm last night: “Considering a graphic novel for vacation. Have enjoyed Marvelous Land of Oz, Making Comics, Maus, Persepolis, Watchmen. Recommendations?”
Recommendations? And how!
I’m happy to report that folks had a ton of recommendations. In just 30 tweets over a few hours, 11 people recommended 43 different books (or series) and 3 creators.
Trigger warning: Or, rather, a trigger meta-warning: Comics can be, well, graphic. Before reading any comics (including those listed below), please check summaries for sensitive content that you may want to avoid. That’s one reason I’m linking to descriptive articles (mostly Wikipedia) rather than directly to shops.
Though I plan to look up each of the recommended comics (especially those supported by intriguing comments from the recommenders, thank you!), there were eight that were recommended by two or three people:
- Ex Machina by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris
- Fables, created by writer Bill Willingham
- From Hell by writer Alan Moore and artist Eddie Campbell
- Fenyman by writer Jim Ottoviani and illustrator Leland Myrick
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and illustrated by Kevin O’Neill
- Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples
- Transmetropolitian by Warren Ellis with art by Darick Robertsonby
- Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra
If you want to check out the whole list, feel free to reference this Google Spreadsheet of the recommendations. Note that there’s still data clean up for me to do, including confirming the books and adding creator names.*
New to comics?
If you haven’t read many comics, I highly recommend Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. Yep, it’s a comic about comics.
Though I have enjoyed the comics I’ve happened upon, I’m not well read—that’s what started this whole inquiry. But when I discovered Understanding Comics sitting on the desk of a classmate in college, I couldn’t put it down. My classmate had just finished reading it for his Japanese media class, and so, much to my happiness, he gifted it to me. It’s one of my favorite books in my collection.
Thank you, recommenders!
You brilliant people, thank you.
- Jason Alderman
- Lynn Boyden
- Dan Brown
- Jesse James Garrett
- Andrew Hinton
- Livia Labate
- Jesse Luehrs
- Peter Merholz
- Christina Wodtke
Now, I have a list of comics to check out that is more catered to my tastes than the “best graphic novel” lists I was attempting to sort through yesterday. Y’all rock!
What about you?
Are you a fan of comics, or thinking of diving in? Which ones are you reading, and which are you going to try?
* If you find yourself doing this, please do share it with me, and I’ll credit you and update this one!