Monday, November 2, 2009

Bookmonkey's Top 5 Current Comic Series

I'm one of those people who likes to wait until a comic, novel, or television series are finished before I start buying them. I want to see where the story ends before I decide that it needs to be on my shelf, but certain comics are so good I can't wait. Although I love reading super hero comics, they make up a pretty small part of my overall collection.

Here are my top five currently published comic series that I'm snapping up as they come out (in graphic novel format).

Okay, this is the one I actually buy issue by issue but the reasons are pretty simple. The Dark Tower series of novels by Stephen King is possibly my favourite genre series of all time (Sorry LOTR, but you come a very close second). The series is written by Peter David and illustrated by Jae Lee. It works to fill in the gaps between the novel series and although I've had a problem with Lee's art in the past - it fits this series so well I am consistently blown away by it. If your a fan of the novels, check out the comics, they are simply that good.

You have to read this series. Bill Willingham is simply an amazing storyteller. Take all of your common knowledge of nursery rhymes, fairy tales, fantasy books and myths, then turn it into a series that is by turns violent, wonderful, epic, sensual, urban, hilarious, and a war story and you begin to get the idea of how good this series is. In addition, the spin-off series Jack of Fables, is also incredible. I'm not even sure why you are still reading my recommendation, go and read this now.

Last week I talked about how the protagonist of this series is one of my favourites in horror fiction. The series does exactly what I want to know after every zombie film - What next? Where does this go? What happens six months later. This series is pretty grim, what with all the zombies, but there is also a lot of hope in it, and for me hope is a pretty big part of what I like in any story. I just read that the series is being made into a TV show for AMC next year, and as I'm a fan of both of their other big shows (Mad Men and Breaking Bad), I am really jazzed about how they will adapt this amazing series.

In a way, part of why I like these series is the same as why I'm a fan of Fables - they take classic folklore and give it a modern twist. Hellboy is simply an incredible character. I think I decided on loving this series when I read the two-page story, Pancakes, which shows a defining moment in the characters life, when he chose good over evil. The stories are incredible, the artwork is amazing (although BPRD's takes a little getting used to), and the graphic novels are actually decently priced (thanks Dark Horse!). The movie adaptations are great, but the original material is fan-freaking-tastic.

All right, I'll admit it, a huge part of why I love this series is because I'm Canadian. It takes a basic story (young man growing into adulthood and finding his first love) and then adds in the fact that in this world, if you date a girl you must battle each of her evil ex-boyfriends - in seriously awesome, martial arts battles. The series owes a lot to manga for its style and is incredibly funny. Scott's world is so well developed you end up caring for all of his friends and their stories too. Simply put, this is my current favourite comic book.

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