4 Graphic Novels to Get Started With
by Corey Schroeder, owner and Enthusiast
There an absolute metric TON of comics and graphic novels in the world today! From Marvel to DC to Image and so many more publishers, mainstream and independent, it can be insurmountably difficult to know exactly where to begin and what to read first. That is where Two Cats Comic Book Store shines, but it can be handy to come to the table with some knowledge of what you're looking for, and to that end: 4 Graphic Novels to start off a lifetime of comics reading!
Civil War Trade Paperback
Not only is this the next, most anticipated Marvel Cinematic Universe offering, but it’s the gateway into exactly what’s been going on with the Marvel U comics for the last decade. It can almost all be traced back to this one, simple trade paperback and, fortunately, Mark Millar and Steve McNiven created a book worthy of all that hype. After a major disaster leaves hundreds dead, calls for superhero registration sweep the nation and the heroes themselves are staunchly divided into pro and anti-registration camps, with surprising heroes on both sides. It’s not only required reading if you want to get into the current movie climate, it’s one helluva great read on its own.
More recommendations after the jump!
Batman: Hush Trade Paperback
Batman has been many things across the years: vigilante, assistant to the police, ninja. But the one that gets so often glossed over is detective. Or, if he’s declared one, it’s often not central to the plot. Jeph Loeb never forgets that aspect of the Dark Knight, and always brings it to the fore as one of the most compelling parts of his character in this tale where he just can’t seem to get anything right. Legendary artist Jim Lee brings every page to sharp, stylized life as Batman is shown in one of his most vulnerable positions: unable to predict what comes next as none of his villains are following their prescribed pattern. There are at least two fantastic mysteries at the heart of this collection and while one might be fairly obvious, the other will likely blindside you and leave you with a whole new respect for one of Batman’s silliest villains. Whether you’re a longtime fan or looking for somewhere to start, go ahead and spoil yourself with my personal favorite of the Batman stories in this fully self-contained tale.
Sunstone Volume 01 Trade Paperback
Put the kids to bed, cause this one is for mature audiences only in every sense of the word. Started as a project by writer/artist Stjepan Šejić and published on his own Deviant Art gallery, with the release and popularity of BDSM-centric novels like “50 Shades of Gray,” this series has rocketed into being more relevant than ever for two specific reasons: 1) fantastically written, sympathetic and even realistic characters and 2) dispelling the awful myths about the BDSM community that the more “popular” features tend to perpetuate. Šejić's art is, in no uncertain terms, gorgeous, even sexy, but the storytelling never takes a back seat to the more prurient interests this kind of story could highlight. It’s a tricky needle to thread: using erotic imagery in service of the story, but Seijic manages it. And, of course, there’s a lot more going on than just sexy pictures as the characters are some of the best, most realistic you’ll read in comic and they growth, laughs and tears that they all share feel extremely genuine.
Bitch Planet Volume 01 Trade Paperback
It’s taken awhile to get here, but Kelly-Sue Deconnick’s ode to 70s exploitation “women in prison” films has absolutely been worth the wait. At first sounding like the kind of thing an angry adolescent boy dreams up while bored in class, this sci-fi tale is correctly using irony and satire in a tale of male dominance run completely amok. Even more so. Though reducing it down to merely an ode to that genre also does it a great disservice and it is a SHOCKING indictment of modern sexism taken to a logical extreme. Though the most shocking part is, sadly, how little of an extreme of modern mentality it is. Valentine De and Robert Wilson’s visuals have gone out of their way to make the visuals appropriate to the medium without descending into prurience (unless it’s mocking that very thing). Despite its crass, harsh title, this is a book with a clear voice that absolutely demands to be heard and with the storytelling chops to make that message compelling and relevant, integrating it into the plot and setting rather than setting it apart from them.