I’ve been reading comics all my life. I practically learned to read from comics. I’ve read thousands of comics in my life. Here is a list of the best of the best, in my opinion.
5) Y: The Last Man – by Brian K Vaughan and (mostly) Pia Guerra. Y is the story of Yorick Brown, the last man on Earth, but that’s almost beside the point, as the story is about the people left on Earth, the women, and how Yorick deals with his fate of being the last guy around. And that last issue…damn.
4) Transmetropolitan – by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson. Transmet is the story of deranged outlaw journalist Spider Jerusalem. And if the name Spider Jerusalem isn’t enough to make you want to read this, it covers an incredible range of themes and emotions, and introduces three-headed cats and bowel disruptors. Warren Ellis is a genius.
3) Planetary – by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday. Did I mention that Warren Ellis is a genius? Planetary is about three ‘archeologists of the strange’, three people with superhuman abilities who are anything but superheroes, who dig around the secret history of the world and fight against those who want to keep humanity in the dark. Especially brave is the lack of a consistent cover design. Cassaday created a brand new cover design for every issue. You had to work to pick out the new Planetary issue on the stands. But goddamn, was it worth it.
2) The Invisibles – by Grant Morrison and dozens of artists. The Invisibles is the comic book equivalent of shock therapy. It’s just the huge, expansive, crazy, fucked-up, at-times-nonsensical story. And it’s brilliant. Huge ideas, amazing characters, and a story about fighting back against the oppression of the evil forces of order. I literally cannot even begin to describe it, but for anyone who’s familiar with Grant Morrison’s work can attest, he’s a madman with incredibly whacked out ideas, and this is him amped up to a million.
1) Preacher – by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. Preacher holds a special place in my heart, because it was the book that got me back into reading comics, after I’d drifted away in my early 20s. Preacher was the perfect reintroduction to comics, and it made me realize all that could be done with a comic book. You could tell a smart, adult, scary, engaging, funny story. You didn’t need superheroes. For a very long time, I wanted to draw comic books. That was my goal for so long, but after reading Preacher, and realizing how much range there could be in a comic, I changed my focus to writing. My first scripts were HEAVILY influenced by Preacher and the other Vertigo comics of the day, and this remains my unparalleled, absolute favorite comic of all-time.