…that aren’t superhero comics
This is a step away from my usual kind of post, but inspired by this awesome list, and by request from a few friends who have asked me the best starting point when you’re just breaking into comics.
The important thing to note is that you can enjoy comics even if all you read is autobiographies or the atlas.
The choice out there can be quite overwhelming, and if you’re like me, sometimes even going into a comic book shop can be fairly intimidating (the staff can are always lovely), but sometimes, you may get the odd judgement look from the things you pick up off the shelf – so STARE RIGHT BACK.
Anyway, so where do you start? Here are some of my suggestions for the less fantastical, more story based.
1. Scott Pilgrim‘s Precious Little Life – Bryan Lee ‘O Malley
Obviously, this is also a film, but I’d say it’s quite a nice starting point, as each volume is fairly small (more Manga, than Trade Paperback). I won’t spoil it too much, but it’s about someone falling in love, properly for the first time, intertwined with tons of pop culture and video game references. Also, Canada.
2. Blankets – Craig Thompson
This might seem like an odd choice, becuase it’s so massive, and it’s probably not the most ideal tome when you’re looking at a new thing to read, but honestly, this is incredible, it’s my favourite comic book of all time. Loosely, it tells the story of teenage love, and a repressive childhood in the USA.
3. Chew – Rob Guillory and Jonh Layman
Chew is one of the least realistic stories, and probably not for the fainthearted, but in its nature its a good old fashioned detective story. Tony Chu is a police detective solving heinous crimes with his ‘superpower’*, the ability to understand see the origins of what he eats, including the death. More often than not, he is urged to um…have a nibble on the murder victim a little. As gross as it sounds, and although the plans for a TV pilot were cancelled, this is fast becoming a modern classic.
4. Sweet Tooth – Jeff Lemire
Not quite a character from a Fall Out Boy video, Gus is a half boy, half deer creation. Resulting from a post apocolyptic virus, the world is turned upside down, and Gus is part of the group of rebels trying to fix it. Jeff Lemire, is an absolute genius with his ability to tug at the heart strings, and every single issue has had me in tears.
5. Daytripper – Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba
Another of my top 5 of all time. Daytripper is about a guy who writes obituaries. I’m leaving it there, but this is glorious, and also, had me in tears. This time in a coffee shop in front of two teenage girls who were completely perplexed. Buy it.
I’ve linked to amazon for all of these, but I urge you to visit your local store to check out more things. I’ll probably do a couple more of these kinds of posts based around themes.
Have any of you read any of these, or do you have any realistic comics you’d like to recommend? Let me know in the comments below.