Last weekend, I went down to Chicago for the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con. I didn’t quite know what to expect; while I am fairly nerdy, I am not nearly as intense about comic books as some people. I had a surprisingly wonderful time, and I met some fantastic people.
I also have a confession: I don’t really read that many comic books. However, I think this is about to change, as I got to talk to some artists and writers who inspired me to pick up some of these great reads.
Some of these are webcomics, too, which I think is great. I love webcomics because they usually have online communities attached to them, and we all know how much I love the Internet.
Here are some comics I highly recommend. I will probably do another post like this in the next week or so, in addition to posting some video interviews I conducted with artists/authors/creators last weekend.
“Oh Goodie!” by S.P. Burke
In addition to being one of the nicest guys on the planet, S.P. Burke is an extremely talented
artist, writer, and comedian. “Oh Goodie!” is about a teenager, James, who is in a band called The Filthy F@#$ing Fairies. The drummer is a panda, named Panda. The bassist is named Maestro, and he doesn’t talk. But aside from the awesome humor of the comic, there’s also a serious message about censorship and self-expression in high school and beyond. Burke manages to fit all of this into a strip that, on average, is around three panels long. Read it now.
“Paradigm Shift” by Dirk Tiede
Dirk Tiede has a really cool mustache and he writes an awesome comic about werewolves! Kate McAllister is a detective who is investigating some brutal animal maulings, when she begins to develop odd
symptoms that make her wonder about her own humanity. Tiede describes this as a modern police thriller colliding with a classic werewolf tale. The art is gorgeous and the story is compelling. Genre-mixing is a great way to introduce comics to people who haven’t read them before, and it also freshens up tired plots. “Paradigm Shift” takes police thrillers and procedurals to a new level of complexity and excitement. Pick this up!
“The Redeemers” by Eric Rampson and Wil Brendel
If you like rock ‘n’ roll, redemption, and comics, this is for you. It’s about a band of super guys (who might be superheroes) who are making up for
events in their past. A music journalist follows them around, trying to figure out their true identities. The art is slick, colorful, and fun, and the writing is clever. Eric Rampson, the guy who writes it, is a big fan of Joss Whedon, and that’s definitely noticeable in this comic. Wil Brendel, the artist and letterer, has a great style; he makes a guitarist with wings and a guitar sword (that’s right, a guitar sword) look realistic and fantastic at the same time. Check out “The Redeemers” and some other great titles at Lonely Robot Comics.
“Lackluster World” by Eric Adams
Fahrenheit Monahan was born with albinism, but he hasn’t let that stop him in his quest to become a great journalist (and secret vandal). His
brother and sister, Kelvin and Celsius, are aggressively religious, however, and they try to convert Fahrenheit. Fahrenheit decides to change the world before he lets it change him. The art in this comic is starkly beautiful, utilizing mostly black and white, with an occasional pop of color (like Fahrenheit’s pink eyes). The tone is political, revolutionary, and empowering. Eric Adams is intensely talented. He comes from a film background, which lends to his art’s movement, framing, and style.
What comics do you love and recommend? Let me know!