(Originally posted at Attentiondeficitdisorderly Too Flat.)
Recently I was asked by All Too Flat extended family member Dov to recommend comics to him. He's a complete newbie who got hooked on Bruce Jones's current (excellent) Incredible Hulk run due to the 25-cent promotional issue Marvel offered during the release of the film, and wanted to know what else he might dig. I wrote him a long message, just recommending a whole bunch of my favorites, and it occurred to me that this is the sort of thing I should put up on the old blog, too. Hopefully the choices will illustrate that there really is something for everyone in comics today. And I'm not doing this as Team Comix boosterism, honestly--I just feel like otherwise media-savvy people who don't read comics are driving down the art highway on only three wheels.
Here, then, are some of my favorites, all of which should be available at Amazon. Any one of them is a great way to start your comics-reading career.
We'll begin with some of the current crop of ongoing superhero monthlies:
NEW X-MEN w: Grant Morrison a: various--This is the best ongoing superhero series around, and maybe even ever. The hardcover collection of the first 12 issues or so is fantastic, but it's also available in smaller softcover editions (the first of which is called E is for Extinction). Morrison is a real visionary, very Burroughs or Pynchon or Dick. His ideas are just huge.
DAREDEVIL w: Brian Bendis a: Alex Maleev--another fantastic superhero comic, close in spirit and execution to the current Hulk series. Very pulp stories, with beautiful art; Bendis probably has the best ear for dialogue in comics today. Lots of collections of this creative team's run are available; the first is called Underboss.
ALIAS w: Brian Bendis a: Michael Gaydos--Bendis also writes this very dark look at the underbelly of the Marvel superheroes. It's a mature-readers book that's actually mature, which is saying something. Gaydos's art hooks you like nobody's business. It's about a private detective who used to be a superhero before some unnamed incident traumatized her. Again, you can find collections of this, the first one of which is I think just called Alias Volume 1.