Sorry to say this, but comic books and graphic novels are as integral and important an aspect of geek culture as video games and sci fi movies (or long-winded high fantasy books). You may call yourself a geek, but if you have not experienced these five insane and awesome graphic novels for yourself, in my opinion, you are only partially a geek. A FULL geek knows that comics are a huge part of our culture, and were essential in forming us into antisocial dreamers we are today. Though everyone may know Batman and Superman and the X-Men, there is much more to comics and graphic novels than just dudes who wear spandex and fight bad guys (though not to undermine, that is a HUGE aspect of it). Here are 5 graphic novels you all have no excuse for not reading, as they will make you better at being a geek.
Do you even understand how amazing and unsettling and unforgettable this graphic novel is? About a sexually transmitted disease passed around among a small sect of Seattle teens during the seventies. This particular disease actually changes the way the person who gets it looks. Basically, makes them go from normal teens to hideous mutants, but with the former psyche still in tact.
Or is it?
Written and illustrated by Charles Burns, there is really no way to describe this graphic novel. Taking YEARS to finish due to the intricate (woodcut) like style to the art, Black Hole takes you on a journey that is more horrifying and daunting that most movies, but it also works as an amazing allegory for the loneliness and isolation that we feel in our teen years. Very WTF, but very remarkable as well.
So I tell you no spandex in the intro and we end up on Watchmen. Yes, well, Alan Moore’s work had to make this list, and had this not made the list, the comment section would have awash in how much I suck and don’t know shit. Thought it might be best to avoid that by just plopping this down right here, saying nothing, and walking away, which is just what I am doing.
My Mom owned a book store for most of my life, and would sometimes get some strange things in. One day, she got in a volume one of some book that looked like a comic book, and it was called Scott Pilgrim. She brought it home and gave it to me. I thought nothing of it at first, but as I began reading, it hit me:
THIS IS THE GREATEST LOVE LETTER TO COMICS, VIDEO GAMES, AND POP CULTURE I HAVE EVER READ IN MY LIFE.
Drawn and written with an Eastern influence by a man named Bryan Lee O’Mally, this book series hits nerd culture directly on the head, and leaves you laughing and reeling while it does. I’m sure you know the plot because of the movie, but trust me here, fellow geeks. Get the book, stat! Movie was great fun, but book IS better (always).
So imagine a future where pets are turned into mechanical war beasts who only purposes are to maim and murder. Now imagine if those same pets are taken from homes and can recall their former lives WHILE they are being used as war machines (against their own will). Does that sounds like one of the coolest, most intense things you have ever heard and something you NEED to know more about? Read We3, by writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely.
As you can see from the above panel, it is badassness at its most badass, but there is a real tragic element to it, as well. Poor, sweet, pets being used as mindless murderers. Sort of like when cops train innocent dogs to sniff out bombs and tackle drug dealers. Yes, it is like that, only in comic form.
Also, why this has not yet been made into a film is beyond me, as it is freaking stellar in every way.
Listen, AMC is in the process of turning this PHENOMENAL comic book (what may very well be my favorite comic book of all time) into a TV show. Keep in mind, if anyone can do it justice it would AMC, so we shouldn’t get too scared. Still, before that happens you owe it to yourself to read the entire run of this phenomenal book about a man born with the powers of God after an angel and a demon have sex.
Yes, you read that correctly. May be one of the most insane and enjoyable reads in all of comics, and if you have not read it, how dare you call thy self a geek! Speaking of stuff to geek out on….