Grumpy Book Grrrl

a writer and reader

I know several people who are intimidated or put off by comics and graphic novels. They either aren’t sure they will be able to follow the panels or think they won’t be able to get into the story. But they are actually way easier to read and cooler than you might think.


Although I’m a huge fan of the Marvel movies (Avengers, Doctor Strange, Thor, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, Deadpool, etc.), I’m not a huge fan of the comics. Or, I should say, I just don’t actively seek them out.

The same goes with X-Men and DC. I love Wolverine, Magneto, Professor X, and all the mutants, but I haven’t read the comics. Similarly, I adored the new Wonder Woman movie and like the Superman movies okay (mainly because of Henry Cavill), but never read any of the comics.

The exceptions being the New Suicide Squad by Sean Ryan and a couple of Doctor Strange comics (The Way of the Weird and The Oath). All of which were awesome!

The majority of my favorites come from Image and Vertigo Comics. Vertigo is an imprint of DC – but with more violence, sex, drugs, cursing, and general debauchery. No wonder it’s a favorite!

But I digress. Here is my list of highly recommended graphic novels.

NUMBER ONE: The Invisibles, created by Grant Morrison and published by Vertigo from 1994 to 2000.

If you are brave and like reading stuff you might only understand half of, are interested in conspiracy theories, mysticism, and the occult, you should seriously give this series a try. It’s mind-blowing. Counter-culture, time traveling, multi-dimensional battles with evil creatures that almost defy explanation… I think it’s freaking awesome.

NUMBER TWO: The Rat Queens, written by Kurtis J. Wiebe and published by Image Comics since 2013.

A dwarf, an elf, a Halfling, and a human ex-monster cultist walk into a bar… and proceed to get wasted and beat everyone up while making hilarious foul-mouthed jokes. That’s pretty much what this comic is about. It’s dark and raunchy, with swords and magic, yet also is diverse with female characters showing love and loyalty and representing different body types.

NUMBER THREE: Preacher, written by Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon and published by Vertigo from 1996 to 2001.

A preacher is possessed by the offspring of an angel and a demon, meets up with his ex-girlfriend who has a thing for guns, befriends an alcoholic Irish vampire, and goes on a road trip to find god and kick his ass for messing everything up. Add the leader of a secret society who is obsessed with finding Preacher and a young man who tried to Kurt Cobain himself (and survived), along with many other colorful characters, and you’ve got a wildly entertaining comic full of WTF moments. It’s also a TV show!

NUMBER FOUR: Runaways, created by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona and published by Marvel Comics.

This is a Young Adult comic that I quite like. It’s like an X-Men type deal with teenagers who discover their parents are super villains and decide to take them down! During their attempts to be heroes, they discover they have “powers.” Lots of fantasy, time travel, aliens, romance, a dinosaur, and some fun Marvel cross-over moments.

NUMBER FIVE: Fables, created and written by Bill Willingham and published by DC’s Vertigo from 2002 to 2015.

I have only started this one, but it’s good! All the fairy tale characters we read about as kids are real and hiding out from the human population. Some of them run cities and are secretly members of the legal community. The ones who can’t hide so easily in public are forced to live in Fabletown, which as you can imagine, ruffles some feathers (literally). I can’t wait to see where this one goes.

Finally, here is one that everyone seems to have read but me. I hear ONLY great things about it, and I actually own the first two volumes. I’m almost a thousand percent sure I will love it, so there really is no excuse as to why I haven’t read it yet.

BONUS: Saga, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples, and published by Image Comics since 2012.

One comic I found over-rated was The Sandman by Neil Gaiman. I know, blasphemy, right.

On my TBR shelf:

  • Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan
  • Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu
  • Lucifer by Mike Carey

6 thoughts on “Graphic Novels You Should Be Reading

  1. Love saga! I never know where to start with graphic novels so this is a huge help!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I need to get started on Saga! The others are awesome, if you don’t mind cursing, violence, sex, and weirdness! HAHA 😉 But, I’m pretty sure Saga has some of all that, right? – Shelly

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Saga has ALL of that!! My jaw dropped by the first page 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Beige says:

    Oooh! Something new to try this summer! Do you think Saga is a good place to start?


    1. I have not heard one bad thing about Saga. Literally. I need to bump it up my list!!!! – Shelly


  3. Haha, I figured it was right up my lane. I like the weird stuff. The Marvel/DC stuff isn’t weird ENOUGH for me. Rat Queens is awesome, though! Lots of girl power and a nice mix of weird, fantasy, and action. 🙂 – Shelly


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