Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Unique Comic Book Recs

"Top Ten Tuesday" is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

If I had to choose just one change in my reading habits of the past year as being the most significant, the intensity and regularity with which I started to read comic books would probably be the most dynamic shift.

Today's theme - talking about favorite kinds of graphically-oriented books, be they picture books or graphic novels - gives me plenty of room to shout out some of my favorites. Oriented into categories that I think fit them best, I hope you'll give at least a few of these a try, and do a little bit to read outside your comfort zone, just like I did!

Girl Power (and Girls with Powers!) 

Naturally, one of the most traditional standbys of the comic book format is a good ol' superhero tale. Thanks to plenty of recent additions to the comic book lineup, that men's club is seeing a lot more diversity, and it's spent no time branching out into the fantasy and sci fi genres, too! Here are some of my favorite picks for super-powered supergirls, whether they use those powers to protect the U.S.A., England, or some other realm entirely. 


1. Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal, G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
You've definitely heard of her before: Marvel doesn't just turn over one of their most trusty super-titles to a teenage Muslim girl living in Jersey City without the world hearing about it. As it turns out, Kamala Khan is one of the most engaging, relatable heroes the superhero superfranchise has turned out in years! There's never a wrong time to get acquainted with one of the comic industry's most timely heroines, but after the chaos of the #MuslimBan this past week, I know I'm not the only one who's been thinking of her. 

2.  Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass and Sorcery, Kurtis J. Wiebe
One of my other big personal-growth type moves of the past year? Joining a kickass Dungeons and Dragons group. This comics series illustrates some of the best parts of kicking it with an all-girl party, inappropriate references and rando hilarity included.

3. The Wicked and the Divine: The Faust Act, Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, and Clayton Coles
This is it, you guys: where my weird childhood obsession with international theology came in handy, and I was able to spot all the allusions in this amazing contemporary fantasy pick, where the powers and personalities of famous gods and goddesses are personified in the bodies of everyday people just about every century, turning them into world-famous pop singers, and causing them to die out after only two years. It's amazing. 

Out of their Element

The comic book's unique stylistic formatting allows for plenty of variety... and these titles take them to the extreme! Whether it's a subversion of typical story standards, or deliberately changing the conventional theming, these unique picks will help broaden your understanding of not just the genre, by the ways plenty have already broken with tradition, and out of their neat paneled boxes.


4. Common Grounds, Troy Hickman
Sure, there are plenty of coffee stores out there, but none with this kind of clientele: instead of following superheroes as they fight the good fight, or charting the take downs of supervillians who deserve what they get, this comics series details what it's like to get coffee with them, instead. (I reviewed this one over two years ago, in 2015!)

5. Hark, a Vagrant!, Kate Beaton
I've praised Beaton before, and I'm more than happy to do it again. This fearless feminist comic artist makes allusions to grand works of literature and obscure historical figures as the features for her particular brand of humor, and I just can't get enough of it.

6. Beyond: the Queer Sci-Fi and Fantasy Comic Anthology, Sfe R. Monster
I know, I know: I've talked plenty about this book recently, too. But I can't help myself! Fantasy and Science Fiction are cool, and Diversity and Inclusion are cool, and everything about this collection is so cool is deserves all the "TTT" spots and capital letters, okay?

7. The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity, Mike Carey
This book can typically be found on recc lists for fans of Harry Potter, primarily due to its main character. Tom Taylor is the son of a famous novelist, used as inspiration for a best-selling series of a wizarding boy who saves the world. However, similarities end there: this gorey and suspenseful story follows along as Taylor is lead on a search through the locations in literary classics, dodging death threats from mysterious, magical forces, in the hopes of finding out the truth in all the fantasy. 

Girls Who Can (and Will) Kick Your Teeth In

Remember all that girl power I mentioned earlier? They're not the only ones taking on a world that's out to get them... only others don't quite pack the same kind of super-artillery. Sometimes, all a girl needs is guts, gusto, and her own particular brand of ingenuity. (And, of course, it's always better to bring a friend along for the ride, too.)


8. I Hate Fairyland: Madly Ever After, Skottie Young
It's a classic children's story: a youngster gets transported to a magical land, follows a hero's quest, saves the day, and is safely transported back home, having learned a little bit about themselves along the way. However, all Gert has learned is that she hates it in Fairyland... and after 34 years of fruitless questing, there's a lot she's willing to do to break herself out.

9. Lumberjanes
Secret adventures, daring challenges, three-eyed foxes, rabid Boy Scouts, and more, await the intrepid campers at this summer stay, but it's nothing that Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley aren't prepared for. Fans of Gravity Falls should definitely pick up a copy!

10. Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, Tony Cliff
If all I could do was say three phrases, I would choose: "the 1800s," "a flying boat," and "if Indiana Jones and Captain Jack Sparrow raised a baby girl together." Intrigued yet? Here's one English rose who isn't content to spend her days in a garden. (And the sequel's even better!)

What's in your Top Ten? Let me know, in the comments below!


  1. Great list! I've read some (who are also on my list) and am still meaning to get into others.

  2. YES! Love that you have Rat Queens! That was one of my favourites the year I read it. Still is in my top 10. Great list!

  3. I did not do a list today for myself, I asked my daughter if she wanted to help and list her favorite books!
    I never read a comic book.So The only ones I read were the VA and Percy Jackson graphic novels. But we did something a little different. Allyson added some comics she read on her list.
    Also check out our easy to enter Valentine's giveaway!

    My TTT.

  4. Nice list of book titles. Many of them I would like to read.

    Here's a link to my TTT post for this week:

  5. I've only just started getting into graphic novels - this is a great list for some recommendations to add to my TBR! Thanks!

  6. I've seen Ms. Marvel on lots of lists today which suggests perhaps I should give it a try. One of these days. :)

  7. I've been wanting to read The Wicked and the Divine for AGES but my library won't buy it. lol And sure sounds like I need to add Delilah Dirk to my TBR... sounds like a ton of fun. :)