If you’ve never read, or even considered reading, a comic book before, it’s pretty overwhelming to figure out where to start. Plus, there are so many genres and formats to try out. To help streamline that process for you, we asked Marvel comic artist Wayne Nichols to give us the 10 best comics and graphic novels everyone should read. We think it’s a pretty good place to start.
Nichols has had his work feature in multiple comics including the Giant-Size Incredible Hulk, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed GN, Orphan Black and Exiles.
Nichols offered his must-read comics list ahead of his 2019 Oz Comic-Con appearance.
Like movies and TV series, comic books are not in short supply. It makes it tough choosing which one to read with your finite time already split between streaming services, work and general social life. So, it only made sense we ask comic book artist Dean Rankine for ones we should read ASAP, ahead of his appearance of at the 2019 Oz Comic-Con.Read more
From Hellalliteration alert
Written by Neil Gaiman, with gorgeous art by Dave McKean, it’s a story all about storytelling and the fragile nature of memory and childhood. One of those books that shows how comics can be smart, sophisticated and sumptuous to look at, and be about much more than just superheroes.
Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon create one hell of rollercoaster ride with with Preacher. I find myself re-reading the series every few years. It’s just that good. Steve Dillon is a masterful storyteller and I’ve absorbed a lot from reading his comics in terms of how to layout and pace a comic story.
I’ve long been a fan of Simon Bisley’s artwork. Paired here with the storytelling talents of Keith Giffen and Alan Grant on Lobo’s Back, they create a raucous, laugh-out-loud story for the ages. Filled with equal parts gore and hilarity!
Artist Frank Quitely always seems to bring out the best in Grant Morrison’s writing and We3 is my personal favourite of their many comic collaborations. Featuring some really eye popping visual storytelling, and a heartfelt storyline, this is one comic that touched me deeply and still inspires me to this day.
Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross created something pretty amazing with Marvels. I first read it when I was in my final year of high school. Never had comics felt so cinematic and immersive to me before, and I distinctly remember reading it and thinking, if only they could make superhero movies as good as this.
The Dark Knight Returns
Still my favourite Batman tale and a comic storytelling masterclass. Frank Miller, Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley pull out all the stops with this one. An elderly Bruce Wayne comes out of retirement to defend a Gotham City thats overrun with hyper violent street gangs. The cover featuring Batman silouetted against a giant bolt of lightning is without a doubt one of the most iconic comic book covers ever.
Frank Miller stripped his artwork down to bold black and white, and dove head first into the hard-boiled noir crime genre with Sin City. All of the Sin City stories are a thrill, but it was the first two collected editions of The Hard Goodbye and A Dame To Kill for, and their intertwining storylines that really got me hooked.
When I was around 17, I used to ride my bike for an hour to my local comic shop to buy back issues of Starman everytime I had a little extra cash to spend. Featuring reluctant hero Jack Knight, it was one of the best DC comic books to come out of the ’90s (along with Sandman). Amazing stuff by Tony Harris and James Robinson.
At this point, who doesn’t know Mike Mignola’s Hellboy. I discovered the character back in the late ’90s, falling in love with Mignola’s idiosyncratic art style. An artists’ artist, his work is truly one of a kind. Mignola and James Robinson actually produced a two issue Batman, Hellboy & Starman story at one point. As a young fan of the three characters, I was on cloud nine.
This article has been updated since its original publication.