To celebrate Free Comic Book Day, we here at Von’s Comics present our staff’s favorite comic and graphic novel picks.
Wallace Dye’s Picks:
Frank Miller’s gritty crime series reinvigorated noir genre when it was originally released and led to subsequent volumes and even a big screen movie. Over the past year, a new printing of all of the graphic novels have been released with new minimalist covers.
Batman: The Long Halloween
A serial killer is haunting Gotham City on the holidays. Batman must help solve a murder mystery in his sophomore year of crime fighting. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale show how Batman’s world escalates from the mafia to super-villains and the transformation from Harvey Dent to Two Face in this beautifully drawn and painted graphic novel. This book was so well received it would go on to become one of the guiding lights for the The Dark Knight.
Tyler Figg’s Picks:
Brandon Graham’s insane and surreal 12 issue series features everything from alien slave girls to catmasters.
Garth Ennis defined who and what Frank Castle was with his Punisher MAX run. These stories both entertain and make social commentary on real world issues. If you’re only familiar with The Punisher who helps Spider-Man out sometimes against super-villains with tranq rounds you’re in for a real surprise when you pick up any issue of this masterfully written, plotted, and drawn series.
The flagship X-Men title had taken a back seat to other books in the franchise in the last couple of years, but with new writer Kieron Gillen, the book has seemingly reclaimed its place as the must read X-book. The latest story has the X-Men dealing with the fallout from Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men run.
Rebekah Rackar’s Picks:
A mysterious fortune teller forbidden from directly interfering must manipulate magical powers to help her clients battle supernatural forces.
Jeff Smith’s all ages epic continues to be a must read for all comic book fans. The Bone cousins have been chased out of Boneville because of the shenanigans of Phoney Bone. What are his ever optimistic cousins, Smily and Fone Bone, to do? They’ll go to new places, meet new friends, go on an adventure, rescue a princess, and maybe even get to go home in one piece, if they’re lucky.
Salt Water Taffy
Jack and Benny Putnam are on a boring vacation at Chowder Bay…or are they?
Mauricio Castro’s Picks:
Batman and Robin
Grant Morrison’s Batman saga continues with the Batman & Robin series featuring Dick Grayson as Batman and Damian Wayne as Robin. This series action packed three issue arcs that do not let up on the excitement or weirdness. For example, this series features the all new dynamic duo’s first battles against Professor Pyg and the Red Hood.
Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon’s story of a Brazilian author and the moments in his life and the ends of each of them. An intriguing and entertaining read.
Queen and Country
Tara Chace is member of the minders, field officers of the Britains Special Ops Section. Her and the rest of the Special Section’s team’s job is to protect Great Britain from outside threats by gathering information and assets. It’s a hard life to live and it takes an extremely strong and capable woman to rise to the challenge.
Paul Shelton’s Picks:
People might know Ed Brubaker from The Death of Captain America but his other current great work is probably his creator owned books that he does with Sean Phillips. Criminal is the real world pulp crime fiction comic that features a large cast and each volume changing to a different protagonist within Center City. This is a deep dark world where hopes and dreams go to languish, decay, and die, but where people still live and breathe.
Garth Ennis combines his somewhat whimsical perspective on the superhero genre with comedic and sadistic tendencies to tell a cautinary tale about the dangers of the military industrialization of the government. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll never look at superheroes the same again.
Brian Michael Bendis is the head architect for Marvel now but one of his greatest works for the company is one of his first. His Daredevil is predicated on someone finally revealing Hornhead’s secret identity to the world and the far and wide repercussions of such a thing being done in the Marvel Universe.