Non-superhero comics have gained a lot of popularity in the past couple of years. Here is the list of non-superhero graphic novels that I have read and liked this year.
East of West: A sci-fi western but this description is no justice to this series. The Texas-western part is only a small part of the greater whole. There are also other cultures like Chinese, African, American-Indian and technologically advanced humans etc that all are enemies joined in a UN type alliance, in a world that is about to end. The four horseman are here but Death like always have plans of his own. The story, dialogue and artworks are perfection. I have never been suck so deep in a comic book ever in my life.
Saga: Its been called ‘the StarWars meets Game of Thrones’ of graphic novels but it is not really true. Except for the occasional nudity, many characters of which some keep dying and the insane success of this series in the comic book world… wait a second, I see why would someone called it that, specially with the space setting and strange species.
Paper Girls: The writer of Saga and artist of new Wonder Woman series join forces to create this amazing mystery, vintage, teenage adventure series that became a summer hit recently. If this sounds like Stranger Things to you, it’s because it actually is, just with girls in lead roles instead of boys and also time travel.
Honorable Mentions: Freak Angels, Drifter, Arcadia, Limbo
Spindrift: Although it ended abruptly, its 100 pages so far are far too good in both artwork and story to deny it the number one spot.
The Wicked + The Divine: Has that classic Sandman vibe to it but it is much more. What if Lucifer was a musician and gets power from his fan following. Still on issue 3 but truly loving it so far.
Monstress: Don’t know why I am including it but it’s been getting a lot of attention lately for have a female lead that curses a lot which I do not like but it has amazing artwork and setting of alternate-Asia. My main problem with this one is the cliche story and dialogue, and way too many female characters. Sounds wrong complaining about the excess of beautifully drawn women but it’s really annoying when reading. It’s like men do not exist in this world but you can say the same about women in Lord of the Rings. God forgive me if I compare it to Tolkien’s work but you have to agree LotR has too many male characters and opposite is the case with this one. Still the art is way too good so we will let the story slide.
Honourable Mentions: The Wolf Sister, Autumnland, Heathen (If an Amazonian becomes a Viking), Weirdworld, Low, Death Vigil, Pathfinder
Funny/Comedy: All 3 entries here have superpowers but they are not your traditional superhero comic books.
Ms Marvel, Kamala Khan: Been fan of this series every since the first issue came out and like many other series with Pakistani characters it this not disappoint. A teenage Pakistani-American Muslim girl who gets Mr Fantastic like powers with a healing factor. This series is funny but also very real. Her day to day problems include dealing with a Pakistani family, meet the challenges of a Muslim girl in America and fighting super villains. Also she is a big fan-girl and not only is her Avengers fan-fiction doing good online, she also often gets to team up with all the famous Marvel superheros.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: The best superhero in town. She has already yielded the infinity gauntlet and defeated Thanos single handedly while being cool and funny at the same time. The avengers have the bars set high by this undeniably likable squirrel.
Chew: If this picture looks familiar, it’s because it is da Vinci’s the Last Supper with Chew characters. This series is full of stuff like this for the fans of pop culture. In a world where selling and/or eating chicken is a crime punishable by seven years to a lifetime in prison, this is the story of a detective, Tony Chu who has the power to chew into a food (or human) and know everything it/they have done or been through in the past. A fun read except it is not for the foodies. You were warned.