Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday!
For those who don’t know, the Top Ten Tuesday Tag is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is:
Top Ten Graphic Novels & Comics
10. Batgirl of Burnside – Cameron Stewart
Brenden Fletcher, Jared K. Fletcher, Maris Wicks , Babs Tarr
Batgirl of Burnside split the DC readership right down the middle. People either really liked it or they didn’t. I really enjoyed it. This version of Batgirl was marketed towards the #millennials with the narrative focusing around social media, online dating and identity. The story was small and personal, making it a nice break from the large scale narratives happening in the rest of the DCU.
The art is also worth mentioning. It’s bright, expressive and eye catching. If you’re looking for a quick fun read than I suggest you pick up this Batgirl run.
Check out our review of Volume One of Batgirl of Burnside here.
9. Watchmen – Alan Moore
When people are arguing whether comics are capital “L” literature, Watchmen is the comic that most people bring up. The first time I read this book I had a hard time getting into it, I think I was too young. When I picked it up for a university course years later I fell completely and totally in love.
Both a super hero story and a critique on the nature of superhero stories, Watchmen is beautifully put together. The twelve part follows a now disbanded team of vigilantes who are being picked off one by one by an assassin. Watchmen uses the panel structure and page layout as much as it uses dialogue and images to tell its story. Because of that Watchmen is a highly structured and stylized book.
This comic series is not perfect and I’ve been throwing around the idea of doing a series of posts analyzing it. Maybe I’ll get to it. Someday. Hopefully.
8. Batwoman – J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman , Amy Reeder , Richard Friend , Dave Stewart
The art in Batwoman is breathtaking.
The series follows Kate Kane as she returns to Gotham City. Kane needs to find a way to balance her social life (a new romance) and her life as a crime fighting caped crusader. It doesn’t help that the woman that Kane is interested in also happens to be one of the police officers trying to track Batwoman down.
Volume One: Hydrology was my first ever introduction to the character and I fell in love with her instantly. A little more stylized and dreamlike than her male counterpart, Batwoman is perfect for anyone who is looking for a little bit more magic and monsters in their superhero stories.
7. Hark A Vagrant – Kate Beaton
Kate Beaton makes funny comics based off of history, literature, art, or whatever strikes her fancy. Her work never fails to make me laugh. I suggest picking up her two collections Hark a Vagrant and Step Aside Pops and binge read them. You’re going to laugh so hard it’s going to hurt.
At the time of writing this post, Beaton is on hiatus as she finishes up a graphic novel. But you can check out her comic archives on her website.
John Constantine is a magician and a bastard and I love him.
My father introduced me to Hellblazer when I was a teenager and I started following the story religiously. His original run ended in February 2013, but since has been rebooted twice.
Constantine combines two of my greatest loves: magic and hard boiled detective fiction. This is a man that is followed by constant pain, especially when he attempts to do right by others. His past is always coming back to haunt him. Hellblazer is able to walk the line between the superhero story and the cosmic horror story.
My favourite issue of Hellblazer “On the Beach” can be found in the Volume 2: The Devil You Know. In it, Constantine tries to spend a relaxing day at the beach, but things go from wrong to weird when a nearby nuclear plant goes critical…
5. Locke and Key – Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodríguez
I discovered Locke and Key after reading Joe Hill’s novel Horns. Locke and Key follows three siblings who move into an old house after the death of their father. In the house they discover magical keys that do different things and can give them different abilities. They also discover that their family’s past might be a little darker than they ever imagined. Locke and Key is both a heartfelt story about growing up and the loss of innocence. It’s also really creepy.
If you’re a fan of dark fantasy, then this might be your cup of tea. The story starts out strong and has one of the most satisfying conclusions I have ever come across for a comic. The art is pretty rad as well.
Locke and Key is supposedly being adapted into a film trilogy, so here’d hoping that actually happens.
4. The Mighty Thor – Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman , Jorge Molina
Thor is no longer worthy and cannot bare Mjölnir. But, when the Frost Giants invade earth an unknown woman takes up the hammer to defend humanity. Who is this new Thor? Not only does she have to defend the earth from the usual rogue gallery, but from Odin who is insulted by her existence.
The female run of Thor has been a lot of fun. I was originally worried that this was going to be a short lived gimmick and I’m glad to see that I was wrong. At the time of writing this post our Lady Goddess is still going strong.
3. Rat Queens – Kurtis J. Wiebe
Rat Queens follows four badass female adventurers living in a fantasy world. They’re crude, they’re hysterical and they feel like they’re your best friends.
The series has been rocked by controversy when it came out that artist and Rat Queens co-creator Roc Upchurch was arrests for domestic abuse against his wife. Which was then followed up by a weak self destruction of a third story arc.
Creator Kurtis J. Wiebe is rebooting the series. So hopefully good things will be in the future for our favourite adventurers. I’m hopeful. I miss them.
2. Monstress – Marjorie M. Liu, Sana Takeda , Rus Wooton (Letterer)
Monstress manages to combine mythology, steampunk and cosmic horror wrapped up in a beautiful art deco style. Every single panel in this book could be framed and hung on a wall.
The comic follows Maika, as she tries to solve the mystery of her past and the connection she possesses with a demonic force. In the first volume, Monstress hints at a grand story set against a complicated world. This is one of those books that the less you know, the more fun you will have reading it. So check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
Check out our review of Monstress here.
1. Sandman – Neil Gaiman
Sandman was the comic that made me love comics again. With Sandman, Neil Gaiman blends mythology, superheroes, literature and religion into a complicated and beautiful story. Sandman follows Morpheus the Lord of Dreams, who at the beginning of the narrative has been captured by a cult who had laid a trap for Death. As the series progresses, Morpheus has to come to terms with his past decisions, the changing world around him and most importantly himself.
The art of Sandman varies from issue to issue which helps add to it’s dreamlike quality.
Sandman is my favourite comic of all time, but if I had to choose one issue to focus on it would be Desire from The Endless Nights mini series. It’s beautiful and bittersweet and gets to me every time I read it.
This list was long overdue, but a lot of fun to put together. I love comics and am always looking for new series to follow! if you have any to recommend send them my way. But until next time and next Tuesday (whenever that is) happy reading!