I was incredibly snooty about comics when I was younger, so I didn’t read my first graphic novel (In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang) until last year. Right now I’m mostly devouring superhero comics, and while my reading has been pretty one-sided so far (mostly DC, mostly Batman), I’d like to share my favorites.
Watchmen by Alan Moore
Not for the faint of heart. I think this was the second comic I read, mostly because I’d heard it was A Book That Smart People Read and I’d like to think I’m a Smart Person. It was a bit of a baptism by fire, but I loved it. None of the characters are especially good (with the exception of both Nite Owls, I think) but all of them are more than what they first appear to be. Some parts are very dense, some parts are very graphic...so basically everything I like. :)
Batman: Noel by Lee Bermejo
It’s A Christmas Carol...with Batman! The artwork is gorgeous and the story feels both perfectly Christmassy and perfectly Batman-y. It’s also told from the point of view of one of the Joker’s (reluctant) henchman, which makes for a nice perspective flip. There’s no way you can get through this without feeling warm and fuzzy by the end.
All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder by Frank Miller
This is probably the worst comic book--make that the worst book--that I have ever read. It’s also hilarious. The artwork is beautiful when it’s not ridiculously fanservice-y, but even it couldn’t save lines like this: “They call me the Joker, but I’m not very funny.” In fact, Batman comes across as the real psycho in this story; instead of watching him and Robin bond, you’re just praying the poor kid will come out alive. So, yeah, this isn’t a good book by any means, but it’s not one you’ll soon forget, either.
Batgirl: Silent Knight by Kelley Puckett
I already gushed about this one on Goodreads, so all I’ll say here is that Cassandra Cain has been my favorite Batgirl since way before I read any comics, and her story was everything I’d hope it would be. I can’t wait to get my hands on volume 2!
Li’l Gotham by Dustin Nguyen
Possibly my favorite Batman comic ever. These are adorable, pretty and so, so funny. My favorite part is when Batman and all the Robins get together to make dinner for Alfred on Father’s Day. There’s also a Valentine’s issue (the Joker gets sprayed with a love potion that makes all the female villains fall madly in love with him) and a Mother’s Day issue (Damien and Batman go to visit Talia al Ghul and end up fighting zombies). This is Everything's Happy and Nothing Hurts: the Series.