Hello, my name is Mike and I’m a comic book nerd.
I’ve read comics since I was a kid. Going to high school in the late eighties, it was something one hid, like a scarlet letter "C" blazoned across your chest. (Which is ironic since comics were then more popular than ever before). You spoke about comics in hushed voices in the darkest corners of campus. You confided only to your closest friends about them, a trusted few who shared the same secret shame. And you never, NEVER, mentioned them to girls.
Times have changed.
Comics are no longer confined to magazine racks and dingy little comic shops. They now sit on the shelves of most major book stores in the form of graphic novels and trade paperback reprints. And, while the majority of readers have been adults for some time, the medium is reaching a broader range of readers everyday.
Still, I feel many adults resist comics. So, in an effort to expose the Murderati readers out there to a different kind of storytelling, I give you my picks of some of the best comics out there. Give them a try and you just might discover the secret nerd within.
CRIME AND GRIME
The first and best of Frank Miller’s Sin City yarns. Dark and violent with images cut from blocks of pure shadow, the graphic novel is even better than the film. Miller IS the best in the business.
Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso mix two parts hard-boiled crime with a healthy dose of espionage to create one very addictive story. Buyer beware, this one is an ongoing series.
My all time favorite series, written by Garth Ennis with art by Steve Dillon. The storyline follows ex-preacher Jesse Custer, his gunslinging girlfriend, and their Irish vampire sidekick on a quest to find God and give the man upstairs a good ole fashion ass whuppin’. Funny, outrageous, violent, and thought provoking.
Take Hunter S. Thompson and drop him in the dark future of Blade Runner. ‘Nuff said. Written by Warren Ellis with art by Darrick Robertson.
MEN IN TIGHTS
Thanks to a campy TV show and a slew of horrible cartoons, Batman had become one of the most laughable comic book heroes in history. Then came Frank Miller’s masterpiece. In one stroke, Miller returned Batman to his darker origins and proved once and for all that comics (even superhero comics) weren’t just for kids. (I told you he’s the best.)
A great story by Mark Waid with beautiful painted cells by Alex Ross. I hate Superman, but I loved this book. A must have in any collection.
Okay, I might have included this one for nostagila stake. Everybody’s favorite mutant claws his way through an army of ninjas. Loads of fun for the young of heart. Story by Chris Claremont with artwork by Frank Miller (yes, Frank made the list one last time).
Those in the know might notice my list is heavy on the D.C. side. As a teenager, I always found myself in the Marvel camp (X-Men, The Punisher, Daredevil). But these days it seems DC and the Independents are telling more sophisticated stories. Anyone out there have any Marvel picks that should go on my list?
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