By Jonny_Anonymous 6 Comments
Well one of my new year resolutions was to read more non-Marvel/DC books, I already have a lot of independent books on my pull list but with the sheer quality that's out there I've decided to add a few more. I think a lot of pepole pay lip service to good non-Marvel/DC books without actually reading them, I mean every one says The Sandman is amazing but how many have actually read it? same goes for Hellblazer or Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth . Sure the Big Two are great with amazing books being put out by both (Marvel: Spider-Man, Venom, Captain America. DC: Action Comics, Batman, Animal Man) but there not the be all and end all of comics. You shouldn't just snub a book because it's not from the big two.
I'm going to list some some good comic publishers and some books I think every one should at least check out once.
The SandmanWidely regarded as Neil Gaiman's opus magnum, it chronicles the "life" of Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams and one of The Endless, a group of god like beings that embody Death, Dream, Desire, Destiny, Destruction, Despair, Delirium. It's dark, beautiful, and tragic. Collected in Graphic Novel format including 5 Absolute Sandman volumes there is really no excuse not to have read this. "I will show you terror in a handful of dust"
Vulgar, disgusting, volatile, intelligent and absolutely hilarious. Just ask user Billy Batson. Spider Jerusalem, Gonzo journalist extraordinaire brakes a five year drugs binge to to help save the world. Join him why don't you.
Saga of the Swamp Thing
After the DC reboot most people would put Swamp Thing in the Top 10 of the new 52 but go back and check out Allan Moors first foray in to American comics starting with Swamp Thing #20. Moor took a regular horror comic and crafted it in to one of the greatest story arcs ever told.
Every one knows that John Constantine is one of the biggest bad asses in comic history. All you need to do is take a look at this comics record to judge it's quality, with writers like Ennis, Moor, Gaiman, Ellis and Morrison it's no wonder it's had the longest run of any comic in the Vertigo stable.
The Walking Dead
Forget that the art in this book is in black and white because it is one of the best written ongoings out there. It may be a Zombie book but it's not about the Zombies, it's about a group of desperate people living there lives, one day at a time, at the end of the world. In a book where no one is safe and anybody could die, it pains you to get attached to the characters but there so engaging you cant help but get engrossed in there struggle, so it's a real gut punch when some one bites the dust.
This is a book about Mark Grayson, a teenager with super strength, speed and flight whos father is also a super hero. Sounds a bit generic right? Wrong. This book has more character development in one issue than most others have in whole story arcs. It's not just the great humour and visceral action that makes this book a must read it's also the real emotions the characters go through, as with Kirkman's other book, The Walking Dead, you just cant help but get emotionality invested in these characters.
It's the end of the world and all thats left is a world full of mutants but not of the cool X-Men type, these guys are a bunch of monsters, so much so that they bust a cap in tha ass of none other than Mrs. Claus. Santa with nothing left to live for contemplates suicide, but every one knows Santa will live for ever as long as people believe and some where out there is one little boy who still believes so Santa set's off on his mission to off the little boy and join Mrs. Claus in the great work shop is the sky. You will actually laugh your self to tears reading this book.
Even though this series has currently stalled (more issues have been promised) don't let that put you off. In this book you step in to the Noirish world of Richard Fell, hot shot detective that's been sent to Snowtown on the "other side of the bridge". From the get go you notice there's something not quite right about the sinister Snowtown, creepy symbols appear every where, everybody seems to be on edge and the main character him self seems to be stalked by a mysterious Nun is a Richard Nixon mask. Detective Fell is the one hopeful person in a dark and cold city
Radical was a founded in 2007 and specialise in mythology and sci-fi based comics. It boasts some of the best art seen in comic books today.
Radicals version of this character is very different than the Marvel Herc, this guy is a straight up warrior. He's massively strong, wares the skin of a lion on his head and wields is club with deadly accuracy. Although him and his band of warriors claim that he is the son of Zeus, it has yet to be seen whether this war weary man is really a demi god or not. In the mean time you can follow his adventures in Tharce and Egypt.
The Last Days of American Crime
Graham Brick is the last criminal America will ever see. Rick Remender gives us a healthy does of Noir and Sci-Fi with The Last Days of American Crime. In the not too distant future the American Government plan on abolishing all crime by beaming a signal in to every brain in the country making it physically impossible to brake the law. Graham Brick has other ideas, he assembles a crew and plans on one last heist before he gets out of dodge.
Abattoir is a horror tail about a real estate agent named Richard Ashwalt that is given that task of cleaning up one of his houses after a brutal murder has taken place there. At the mansion Richard meets a creepy old man named Jebediah Crone and that's when things take a turn for the crazy. The art in this book is breath taking and the characters are intriguing, you can feel your self getting sucked in to the madding world they live in.
Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost
When most people think of Aladdin the Disney classic pops in to there head, Radicals take on the character is an altogether different beast however, there's no singing neon blue genies here. This is by far the best take on the 1001 Nights character I have seen. The young Aladdin is a thief, a cheat and a con man, born in a brothel and raised by prostitutes, he survives the streets by lying and scheming. The art is awesome and perfectly captures the mythical Arabian setting as well as the the truly terrifying Djinn of the lamp. This version of Aladdin sticks more closely to the folklore by having more than the one Djinn and also has other 1001 Nights characters making an appearance including Sinbad.
Now you would be forgiving of thinking that 2000AD was just the name of a Judge Dredd comic but actually 2000AD is a weekly book that contains many Sci-Fi and fantasy characters including futuristic lawman, Judge Dredd , genetically modified solider Rogue Trooper , mutant and intergalactic bounty hunter Johnny Alpha , Celtic barbarian Slaine , thief, rogue and nobleman Nikolai Dante and the Pulp Fiction-esq hitmen Sinister Dexter . Some of the best in the biz have worked at 2000AD including Alan Moor, Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison, with political satire and dark humour through out, this is some of the best comic book Sci-Fi out there.