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What Are We Reading?

What books are Comic Vine staffer Inferiorego reading in his free time?

To work for Comic Vine, it's pretty obvious you have to love comic books. In fact, we read a lot of comics here, and every week, you'll see members of the Comic Vine staff review comic series at random. Some of these books we personally read at home on a regular basis, but most of the time, we just pick the books we review out of a magic hat, and the majority of the time, it's a book from either Marvel or DC.

Now, there's nothing wrong with enjoying a good book from Marvel or DC, but personally, I like a wide variety of books from a wide variety of companies. Today, we'll take a look at a few of my personal favorite books from Image comics, a company I love. I picked out three of my favorite Image books and I'll let you know why I love what I am reading.

I'm pretty weird when it comes to the majority of the Image books I read that I will only read them in trade. I like to sit down with a whole story and read it in one sitting. All of the books on this list are in trade, and as much as I'd like to recommend reading the single issues, personally, I think these books are much better in a collection.

1. THE WALKING DEAD

When I first got back into comics, in 2001, the first book I picked up was called BATTLE POPE, written by Robert Kirkman. I loved it so much that I've been following the vast majority of his work ever since. THE WALKING DEAD is my second favorite series of all time, a close second to Y: THE LAST MAN. What first attracted me to this book was the zombies. Very quickly, I realized that this book really isn't about zombies. It's about human survival and the lengths people are willing to go to survive.

The characters are extremely developed, and this book has no problem with killing off your favorites at any moment. That's right. Main characters will die without any notice. No one is safe, except maybe Rick Grimes, who is the leader of the group of humans. You will become attached to everyone in this book, and as the book goes on, you will wish for the sweet death of a few of them.

Usually the two complaints I hear about this book are that the art is black and white, and the book is slowly paced. Color or not, the art of Tony Moore (1-6) and Charlie Adlard (7-current) is fantastic and doesn't need any color. The world these characters live in is bleak and the art represents that fine in black and white. As far as this book being paced slowly, I completely disagree. I find this book to be paced realistically. Aside from building towards gigantic action scenes, this book builds more towards connections between humans, whether it is a singular person to another person or a whole group to a whole group.

When a book gets a spin-off novel (The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor) and it's own television series on AMC of the same name, the source material is obviously doing something right. I actually get surprised now when people, who read comic books, tell me they don't read THE WALKING DEAD.

The main reason I like to read this in trade is because I feel like reading it issue-to-issue isn't enough for me. As soon as I am done with one issue, I immediately want to read another one, and while it sucks to have to wait 6 months to read the next run of THE WALKING DEAD, it's certainly worth when it comes out... P.S. Vol 15 comes out December 7th. If you're going to read anything on this list, I highly suggest this one. In fact, as soon as you're done reading this article, pick it up.

2. CHEW

I picked up this book more or less on a whim, and I do not regret it. One of my close friends is friends with the writer of CHEW, John Layman. (No, I have never met John Layman, but I'd probably geek out on him a bit) All I was told is that "this book is a bit out there." That's the best description for that book. CHEW is about a detective for the FDA that gets psychic impressions from the things he eats... ANYTHING he eats.

I quickly fell in love with this book. It has an interesting story as well as some very stylish art. Artist Rob Guillory does a great job with his cartoonish style, and it really fits well together with Layman's comedic style of writing in this book.

As for the story, well, it's out there. Chicken has been outlawed by the FDA, and Tony Chu uses his abilities to, at first, solve things like "who's smuggling in chicken?" The story quickly takes a turn and Tony has to use his powers to solve a murder or two, but eating people. From there, it gets even weirder. It gets to a point where you'll be grossed out by some of the things Tony ends up eating.

What attracts me the most to this book is that it's like nothing else on the shelves, and it's a ton of fun. I've said it before, quite a few times, that as a reader, I feel overwhelmed with all the super-hero related books hitting the shelf, and it's nice to see a book like this, and it helps that the book is pretty awesome to boot.

If you're looking to pick this one up, there are 4 trades out currently, or you can pick up the "Omnivore Edition" is out collecting two trades in one, and the second Omnivore Edition will be out on December 20th... the same day as vol 15 of Walking Dead!

3. SKULLKICKERS

I love to laugh. There's no secret to that, and finding a comic book that can literally make you "laugh out loud" is extremely tough. Sure, there's tons of books currently out that claim to be funny, but they're not. Luckily, SKULLKICKERS is one of those books that actually makes me chuckle when I read it.

This is another book I picked up on accident, I guess. I had a choice, one week, to review either the 3rd issue of this book or an issue of HAUNT early. At the time, I was already reading HAUNT, and I wanted to get something new, so I reviewed this book, and I've been hooked ever since.

This book may be about two traveling mercenary-types during medieval times, but it is one of the most original and comical books on the shelf. One of the things I first noticed about this series is use of noise captions. In most comics, when a loud noise pops up in a comic, you'll see random words conveying said sound: CRASH! BOOM! and so on. In one scene of SKULLKICKERS, as the two protagonists approach a castle the words "imminent violence!" pop up. There will also be these same pop-ups describing the characters' facial expressions. With the addition of weird things like recipes for stew, this is one hilarious comic.

We haven't even gotten to the art yet either! Spoiler alert: Everything about this comic is awesome, especially the art.. It may not have the complex character development that THE WALKING DEAD has or the bizarre super-powers that CHEW has, but this book stands out on its own and there is nothing like it on the market. I'd love to shake the hands of Jim Zub, Edwin Huang, and Misty Coats for putting this book together. Currently, there are two volumes out and available at either your local comic shop or at one of those intraweb stores.

There you have it. These are actual books I read in my free time, whether I review them or not. I've always been a big supporter of Image comics, and it just so happens that three of my favorite series come from there. Have you guys ever read any of these series?

40 Comments
Posted by inferi22

I wish there was more chew on comixology - it goes up to 21 then jumps to 27

Posted by longbowhunter

Image has been putting out stellar books. Walking Dead has been a regular for me going on three years now. Currently I'm enjoying Severed, Gladstones School for World Conquerors, Infinite Vacation and Witch Doctor. The Invincible hardbacks are pretty great as well. Looking forward to Brian K. Vaughn's Saga and Fatale by Brubaker and Philips next year.

Edited by CombatSpoon86

Love Walking Dead as usual.

But Chew has to be my Favortie Image Book at the moment. It has everything you want in a comic.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

I'm also surprised when people say they don't read Walking Dead, I think this is a book every comic fan should read. Yes EVERYONE, that means YOU reading this comment, stop what you'r doing and go get Vol 1 NOW!!!

Posted by inferiorego

@spiderbat87 said:

I'm also surprised when people say they don't read Walking Dead, I think this is a book every comic fan should read. Yes EVERYONE, that means YOU reading this comment, stop what you'r doing and go get Vol 1 NOW!!!

I feel the same way about that and Y: The Last Man.

I also wish that very fan of the super-hero genre would read Invincible.

Staff
Posted by Or35ti

Skullkickers sounds really awesome, I remember when you reviewed issue 3 and I had no idea what it is but now that I know I might pick it up

Posted by inferiorego

@Or35ti said:

Skullkickers sounds really awesome, I remember when you reviewed issue 3 and I had no idea what it is but now that I know I might pick it up

I'm halfway through the second trade and I'm loving it. It's my favorite new series from Image.

Staff
Posted by Raven0207

@inferiorego: Really nice review of the books ! I can actually say I have been heavily interested in all 3 of these books and never picked them up. I guess I'm making a stop by the comic shop on the way home.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@inferiorego said:

@spiderbat87 said:

I'm also surprised when people say they don't read Walking Dead, I think this is a book every comic fan should read. Yes EVERYONE, that means YOU reading this comment, stop what you'r doing and go get Vol 1 NOW!!!

I feel the same way about that and Y: The Last Man.

I also wish that very fan of the super-hero genre would read Invincible.

Totally, Invincible is a must have imo also, it's a shame some people just dismiss it on the simple fact that its not a Marvel/DC book. 
Posted by Danial79

I've read the first volume of Chew, and even though I thought it was a cool book, I can't say I was blown away by it.

I've never read the other two though. The Walking Dead TV series is currently boring me to tears, and everyone on Twitter says it's paced just like the comic, so I doubt I will ever read it. As for Skullkickers, I've been wanting to check it out but just have never actually bothered picking it up.

Invincible is another Image book I read the first volume of and passed on. I just didn't think it provided me with anything that Marvel or DC aren't already.

Posted by The Impersonator

I love to chew that CHEW and the Walking Dead. :P

Posted by inferiorego

@spiderbat87 said:

@inferiorego said:

@spiderbat87 said:

I'm also surprised when people say they don't read Walking Dead, I think this is a book every comic fan should read. Yes EVERYONE, that means YOU reading this comment, stop what you'r doing and go get Vol 1 NOW!!!

I feel the same way about that and Y: The Last Man.

I also wish that very fan of the super-hero genre would read Invincible.

Totally, Invincible is a must have imo also, it's a shame some people just dismiss it on the simple fact that its not a Marvel/DC book.

Brand loyalty, in the comic book world, is the stupidest thing imaginable. There is such a large, amazing world of comics out there with different stories, genres, characters, and picking one (usually Marvel or DC) only hurts the rest of the industry.

Staff
Posted by humanfly26

two thumbs WAY UP for walking dead. i've been thinking about picking up Chew at some point...

Edited by kennybaese

I borrowed some The Walking Dead trades from a friend at one point (I think he's still got my copies of We3 and The Filth, now that I think about it) and I dug them, but I can't really afford to pick up, you know, 15 trades or 6 or 7 of the bigger hardback ones, so I'll probably never finish it unless I can borrow the rest of them at some point.

I also kind of bought Chew on a whim. I picked up the first two trades at a clearance sale at a Borders for like 50% off or something ridiculous. I had heard about it around the time Showtime optioned it for a TV show, and it sounded like a cool idea so I picked up the book and was hooked. It's hilarious and some of the background detail in the art is just as funny as the writing (the stuff on the screens at different NASA labs in the fourth volume comes to mind). Love the book.

I'm never really read Skull-Kickers, but I might have to check it out.

Posted by Billy Batson

I've read the first two. Good stuff. The Walking Dead is one of the best comic series (currently).
BB

Edited by DerBonk

@inferi22 said:

I wish there was more chew on comixology - it goes up to 21 then jumps to 27

They published 27 out of order as an experiment. I think comixology is actually caught up. At least at my LCS, Chew is at 21 and on delay, it seems. Could be an international thing though (Germany here).

BUT! That also makes a great jumping on point for trade readers like me. The fourth trade goes up to 20, I believe. So just one back-issue to buy and I'm current.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

I've been waiting for the Volume 15 "We Find Ourselves" TP as well and am anticipating its arrival. But are you sure its December 20? I looked on Comixology and it shows its coming out December 14. But hell you could be right of that because yesterday I checked and it still showed Vol. 15 as coming out next Wednesday and we all know how the industry pushes arrivals back sometimes. Point is, Walking Dead is a GREAT title!

Posted by ApatheticAvenger

Freaking love Chew, own all the current trades. My roommate (a chef) loves it too.

Posted by inferiorego

@RedheadedAtrocitus said:

I've been waiting for the Volume 15 "We Find Ourselves" TP as well and am anticipating its arrival. But are you sure its December 20? I looked on Comixology and it shows its coming out December 14. But hell you could be right of that because yesterday I checked and it still showed Vol. 15 as coming out next Wednesday and we all know how the industry pushes arrivals back sometimes. Point is, Walking Dead is a GREAT title!

You're right.

http://www.imagecomics.com/comics/4463/The-Walking-Dead-Vol-15-We-Find-Ourselves-TP-MR-

I was going off of what Amazon said because I couldn't find any other info. Thanks for the update.

Staff
Edited by skaarason

you guys missed one , everyone reads invincible right !!!

Posted by inferiorego

@skaarason said:

you guys missed one , everyone reads invincible right !!!

I only wanted to pick three, and I didn't feel it was fair to cover two Kirkman books. It is one of my favorite titles though.

Staff
Posted by pspin

Image books are so good in trade, I wish they would happen faster

Posted by dannymalt

@Danial79: Walking Dead comic is much better than tv show, you'll love it if you stick with it, and Invincible really picks up after the second volume. What makes Invincible better than Marvel and DC, is that Invincible is a whole comic book universe in itself. It's like DC Comics all in one series, and unlike DC Comics, characters die and stay dead, and continuity is easy to follow, it's all written by one person, one vision, and it's funny too, it parodies comic books. Really you should go through both these Kirkman books.

Posted by doordoor123

Something bothers me about the Walking Dead. I think its the artist after the first artist leaves. I just can't like it with that art. But from what Ive read, I like the story.

Chew is one of my absolute favorite comics.

Skullkickers seems interesting. I might pick it up in trade!

@skaarason said:

you guys missed one , everyone reads invincible right !!!

The problem is that when Invincible is good its F'N amazing but when its bad its really F'N boring. And it fluctuates between the two.

Posted by cyberninja

Fear Itself > everything else. 

Edited by danhimself

I've said it before....if you're wanting an action series then The Walking Dead isn't for you....now if you want great drama and character development then it's definitely a book that you should be reading....characters are nearly unrecognizable at the beginning of the series compared to where they are now...it's simply one of the best books being published today

@inferiorego: see I read the individual issues for the exact same reason that you read the trades....I can't wait to read the next part of the story...a month is too long for me...there's no way that I could wait 6 months

I haven't read Chew or Skullkickers but the fact that you put them in the same article as my all time favorite book makes me certain that I'm going to have to check them out

also...for those of you saying that there are too many issues and trades of the Walking Dead for you to catch up at a reasonable price...you should check out the Compendium and then jump over to the The Walking Dead Weekly...they recently started republishing the series starting at issue one and I think they're up to issue 27 or somewhere around there

actually I was way off...they're currently up to issue 48 which is nice because the Compendium ends with issue 48...so you could get the Compendium today and have it read in time to pick up the next issue next week!

Posted by inferiorego

@cyberninja said:

Fear Itself > everything else.

lol

Staff
Posted by MetropolisKid41

@cyberninja: Please tell me you're joking right?

Posted by The_Tree

Chew and Walking Dead are so awesome!

Edited by zackattack529

@cyberninja: hahaha thats gottta be one of my least favorite arcs of marvel! and comparing fear itself to Chew or even walking dead is like comparing a GOD to a man lol just saying man

although there are marvel titles that are on par with these titles....but then again theres titles in any comicbook industry that is on par with each other there is no BEST comic book..thats forsure :p

Posted by cyberninja
@zackattack529 said:

@cyberninja: hahaha thats gottta be one of my least favorite arcs of marvel! and comparing fear itself to Chew or even walking dead is like comparing a GOD to a man lol just saying man

That's a lie, Fear Itself is literature masterpiece.
Posted by Decept-O

@inferiorego: Skull Kickers I'd heard about, either here on the Vine or elsewhere but it sounds good. If it makes you laugh, then that is great.

Question I have, though, pertains to Y, The Last Man. Do you think it could be serialized into a TV show not unlike The Walking Dead? Would that be too difficult or offensive because it relies a lot on the male fantasy of having a world full of women ( with a few exceptions ) ? Something I've wondered about. I've only read a few issues in the past but am curious.

Posted by inferiorego

@Decept-O said:

@inferiorego: Skull Kickers I'd heard about, either here on the Vine or elsewhere but it sounds good. If it makes you laugh, then that is great.

Question I have, though, pertains to Y, The Last Man. Do you think it could be serialized into a TV show not unlike The Walking Dead? Would that be too difficult or offensive because it relies a lot on the male fantasy of having a world full of women ( with a few exceptions ) ? Something I've wondered about. I've only read a few issues in the past but am curious.

I would love to see it as a television series, but because it deals a lot with sex, something this country can't really handle without giggling, it will most likely have to be an HBO or Showtime series, but it could work. I do not want to see it as a movie though. There's way too much to cram into 2-2 1/2 hours.

Staff
Posted by Decept-O

@inferiorego: While I've only read a few issues I'd have to agree. I would think trying to do a movie would be a mistake, there is just too much going on. Yeah, HBO would be the ideal place for it.

Posted by trailofdead

@inferiorego: I used to be loyal to companies and characters when I was a younger reader. Now I follow creators.

Invincible and Walking Dead are fantastic reads. I love Fables and Morning Glories too. Hickman's Fantastic Four stuff is the only Marvel books I'm reading at the moment.

Posted by Redletter

Walking Dead was great, at the moment I'm reading the ,Vinyl underground, Artemis fowl, 7 billion needles, heavy water, I zombie, & avatar ignition city.

by far the best comic-book for this years has been Freak angels

A what if the Midwhich Cuckoos had of made it to adulthood by far the best free net comic book Ive ever read

Posted by shawn87
@longbowhunter said:
Image has been putting out stellar books. Walking Dead has been a regular for me going on three years now. Currently I'm enjoying Severed, Gladstones School for World Conquerors, Infinite Vacation and Witch Doctor. The Invincible hardbacks are pretty great as well. Looking forward to Brian K. Vaughn's Saga and Fatale by Brubaker and Philips next year.
Yes I'm definitely looking forward to Saga. I'll probably check out Fatale as well cuz I love Brubaker
Posted by Michiel76

@inferiorego: Man if you like these books (as do i and i read all three myself and some others like Nortlanders and Fables too) i can't stress how much you would love some european stuff and i don't mean books like Tin Tin or judge dredd.

It's very hard to find a superhero comic in the european collection and that's whats so great about them. It's just too bad they are very difficult to get in the USA.

Storm is an instant classic http://www.comicvine.com/storm/29-59797/

Murena http://www.comicvine.com/murena/49-40692/

XIII http://www.comicvine.com/xiii/29-67617/

and the list goes on and on (thanks to the comicviners that put up the info on these titles here on comicvine)

If you get the chance try them, you won't be dissapointed and the best thing is that most of the time one book contains a whole story so you won't have to backtrack a whole series to enjoy the comic.

Posted by Eyz

Following TWD in TPB. Which works better, pace-wise in my eyes.

Also Sweeth Tooth, another current on-going I follow and devor each new release^^

Posted by Mucklefluga

Read every single Walking Dead :D Feel So proud Love Chew as well its a great book