I love me some Marvel and DC comics, and I’ve read some of the most classic stories by both publishers. However, there comes a time when one needs to broaden their horizons and explore other works in a genre. There are thousands of wonderful artists and story writers creating excellent works of fiction in the world of comics, and attending events like Comic Con and mayamada GamePad has opened my eyes to this. If you’re also looking to read some classic graphic novels that aren’t under the Marvel or DC banner, then here’s a short list to point you in the right direction.
by Craig Thompson
Blankets is an autobiographical coming of age story by Craig Thompson. The story follows Craig as he struggles to find the confidence to express his creative voice. It shows his conflicts with his Christian family and details the first time he fell in love. Time magazine ranked the graphic novel #1 in its 2003 Best Comics list and it has been continuously recommended to me ever since. This book is a nice change of pace if you want to get away from superheroes all together and explore more relatable themes.
by by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Scott Pilgrim is a series of graphic stories about a young adult in Toronto who is a part-time musician. Scott falls in love with delivery girl Ramona Flowers, but must defeat her seven evil exes in order to date her. The series is both satire and completely edgy, but its oddball approach is what captures the imagination of readers. Although a film was made called Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, it’s recommended that you read the series to understand its true excellence.
by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Saga is an epic space opera/fantasy comic book series. It’s a tale of a family trying to find their place in the universe. The series is often described as a mashup between Star Wars and Game of Thrones and it’s said to be one of the most imaginative marriages of sci-fi and fantasy.
by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso
100 Bullets is currently my favourite graphic novel. It’s a pulp noir series that sees an unregulated government organisation (the minutemen) approaching members of the public who have been wronged in some way. The victims are given a briefcase containing a gun, 100 bullets and an attaché detailing the person who has wronged them and how it occurred. It’s then up to the victim to decide whether they wish to get revenge using the gun and the untraceable bullets. When these untraceable bullets are used, all police will ignore the crime. 100 Bullets is a brilliant look at human morality and government corruption.
Watson and Holmes
by Karl Bollers and Rick Leonardi
As someone who loves Sir Author Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, I’m always open to new interpretations. Watson and Holmes takes things to the extreme by pitting the duo on the streets of Harlem, New York. The series is a modern and urban take on each of the original stories by Doyle. Karl Boller is actually a Marvel contributor who paired up with Rick Leonardi, Brandon Perlow and Paul Mendoza to create this new series. It all started with a successful Kickstarter campaign and it’s currently available in two volumes.