Never read a comic before? Here’s the list for you

We here at Crimespree know comics aren’t just for kids. They are tools that writers use to showcase other aspects of literature that ranges in every genre. Crime/noir, action/super hero, romance, comedy, indie. There is every kind of comic book out there, just like how there is every kind of novel out there. What this blog hopes to do is bring comics to the forefront of reading. If you’ve never read a comic before we hope the endorsements of us at Crimespree will help you “take the risk,” as it were, to give them a try. Chances are you’ll find more than you expected. This list will give you perfect introductions in to comics referencing genre’s you might like.
Like Political Thrillers? Try “Ex Machina.” This is what we call the comic for smart people. The world this book was set it mirrored ours in realms of political hot topics including: the war in the Middle East, legalizing marijuana, 9/11, gay marriage, the 2008 election and much more. All was from the focus point of an Independent-run Mayor of New York City, Mitchell Hundred. The hook for the series adds a nice touch of sci-fi. Mitchell can “talk” to machines. Before being mayor he strapped on a jet-pack and became a (very poor) “Super-hero” and realized he would do more good in a political office. It’s a brilliant series collected in ten volumes available from DC/Wildstorm comics.
Like Horror or Character Study? “Walking Dead” is perfect. There’s a good chance you’ve seen show, and if you haven’t, do. As exceptional as the TV series is, the inspiration for it takes intensity in reading to a new level. On paper, it’s a premise we’ve seen before, a group of people doing everything they can to survive the zombie apocalypse. But what makes it so much more is the devotion to the characters you’re able to feel. Every single one has a role and you feel for them. Whether it’s love, pity or hate, there is no character that is just “there.” Their struggle in a book where, honest-to-god, no character is safe make “Walking Dead” the best book, all around, being published right now. The series is available through Image Comics.
Like Romance and intrigue? Try “Strangers In Paradise.” SiP was a long-running, much beloved indy book that masked a political, conspiracy thriller in the guise of a romance comic. The opening storyline focuses on the relationship between lovelorn Francine, former teenage prostitute Katchoo, and their new friend David. They are the heart of the story, who they are and who they love but Katchoo’s past comes back to make trouble for all of them. Her former boss is the woman the runs the world. She “owns” politicians, celebrities, entrepreneurs, anyone with power. It’s an powerful epic of a series that wonderfully balances the personal connections and power-plays. The series is collected from Abstract Studios.
Like Action? Try “Global Frequency.” You’re an expert in a field. You get a call, not on your personal cell but on a special phone. “You’re on the frequency.” Dropping everything, you use your expertise to accomplish a task. A task the world needs to keep it running. You’re in the Global Frequency. A collection of 1,001 experts around the world that can be called upon at any moment to solve crises. Each issue is a stand alone story that reads like an epic. It’s fast-paced, page-turning action. The series is collected by DC/Wildstorm Comics.
Like Sci-Fi? Try Planetary. Take every one of your favorite sci-fi movies, mix with pulp dime-novels, super heroes, fables, and technology and twist it till the ideas themselves are unrecognizable to the best possible way and you have Planetary. The intelligence that went into Planetary is spellbinding. A group of super powered people all working to gather information on reality’s biggest mysteries sounds simple, but the concepts that are played with make every reference used seem completely new. There is so much to this intricate, heady book you’ll want to read it more than once, happily. Collected by DC/Wildstorm comics.
Like Super-heroes? There are many fantastic places to start if you like super-heroes. “Watchmen“, Batman: the Dark Knight Returns,” and “Kingdom Come” are the biggest and best. But we’re gonna suggest something new, “Irredeemable.” There is a concept that weaves these four titles together. Super-heroes, aging, look at the world with different eyes. From the realistic raw nature of WM, to the generational-gap vision of KC, “Irredeemable” shows us what would happen if a Superman-level hero turned evil. This idea is not new, but the story is so well written and is taken in so many unforeseeable twists and turns that while it might not be the first time it’s been done, it’s arguably the best. The heroes that have survived Plutonian’s (the superman alagory) destruction and “take-over” of Earth, do everything they can to fight his power. But how would someone like Hawkman truly be able to beat Superman? Truly? This book explores how. The series is currently being released by BOOM Studios.
So much for this week. Who knows what the blog’ll bring next.
Jo Schmidt
“Editor’s note: Jo has been my go to comics guru for a number of years, he’s one of a very small group who can recommend things for me that I will ALWAYS like.He’s also an all around damn nice guy”