I wasn’t a big comic book reader when I was a kid, but in recent years, I have become a huge fan of the medium. I love both movies and novels, but in many ways, comics take the best of both worlds, combining the visual images of film with the textual dialogue of novels. When you think about it, comics are one of the oldest and purest forms of storytelling, dating back to cave paintings. I’d like to write a graphic novel of my own, if only I could draw better.
Like last year, this is a list of my favorite comic books/graphic novels that I read in 2017. Some were published in 2017, while others are older.
1. Trillium by Jeff Lemire (2014)
A time travel masterpiece and heartbreaking love story, featuring a scientist from the year 3797 and an explorer from 1921. This really blew me away. One of the best graphic novels I’ve ever read.
2. Saga (Vol. 7) by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (2017)
Saga continues to be one of my favorite on-going comic series. Just a crazy-fun space opera for the modern age.
3. Descender (Vol. 3 & 4) by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen (2016-2017)
Another continuation from last year’s list, I am liking this series more and more as it goes along. Set in the future, featuring robots, androids, humans, and cyborgs. Jeff Lemire and Brian K. Vaughan are my two favorite comic book writers working today. I’ll read anything they release.
4. RASL by Jeff Smith (2009-2012)
Another time travel comic, though this is more of a heist crime thriller.
5. Paper Girls (Vol. 3) by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang (2017)
The easiest way to describe this series is “Stranger Things with girls.”
6. Universe! Vol. 1 The Periodical of Cosmic Wonder by Albert Monteys (2017)
This is a collection of short science fiction stories set in the future. Similar to Futurama and Rick and Morty, it combines real science with comedy.
7. Introvert Doodles: An Illustrated Look at Introvert Life in an Extrovert World by Maureen “Marzi” Wilson (2016)
8. Action Philosophers by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey (2014)
Both entertaining and educational, this comic book illustrates the greatest philosophers in history and explains their ideas.
9. Green Valley by Max Landis, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cliff Rathburn, and Jean-François Beaulieu (2017)
This was written by the screenwriter Max Landis (Chronicle, American Ultra, Mr. Right, Dirk Gently) whom I’m a fan of. Set in medieval Europe, it follows a group of knights as they battle an evil time-traveling “wizard” from the future and his “dragons.” (If you haven’t noticed, I’m a pretty big fan of time travel stories.)
10. Hadrian’s Wall by Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, Rod Reis, and Eduardo Ferigato (2017)
If you’ve read my blog, you’ll know science fiction and mystery are my two favorite genres, and even better is when the two are combined. That’s exactly what this comic is—a murder mystery set on a space station—so naturally, I loved it.
- We Stand On Guard by Brian K. Vaughan and Steve Skroce
- A.D.: After Death by Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire
- Kill or Be Killed Vol. 2 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
- Misfit City by Kirsten Smith, Kurt Lustgarten, and Naomi Franquiz
- Roche Limit, Vol. 1: Anomalous by Michael Moreci and Vic Malhotra
- James Bond, Vol. 2: Eidolon by Warren Ellis and Jason Masters
- Hand Drawn Jokes for Smart Attractive People by Matthew Diffee
- Plutona by Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox
- One Week in the Library by W. Maxwell Prince
- Green River Killer by Jeff Jensen
- The Fiction by Curt Pires
- Murder Mysteries by Neil Gaiman
- Comeback by Ed Brisson, Michael Walsh
P.S. The reason I’m able to read so many comic books without going broke paying for them all is Hoopla. It’s a public library app that lets you borrow ebooks, audiobooks, digital comics, and movies straight to your computer/tablet/phone for free. If your library participates, check it out.