19 Indie Comics That You Need To Be Reading
Giving Marvel and DC a run for their money, the indie publisher renaissance is NOW.
Creators: Brian K. Vaughan (writer) and Fiona Staples (artist)
What it's about: Caught in the middle of an interplanetary civil war, Marko, Alana, and their newborn child are fugitives fleeing from both sides of the conflict. Politicians and contract killers want them dead, while all they want to do is live their lives.
What it's like: Total Recall (1990), Star Wars
Why you should read it: Saga has been compared to a lot of things (Star Wars, Game of Thrones, etc.), but it's really only like, well, Saga. Regardless, it's one of the best books out right now in any genre. Read it. Click here for more information.
2. Deadly Class
Creators: Rick Remender (writer), Wesley Craig (artist), Lee Loughridge (colorist)
What it's about: Marcus Lopez seems to be going through what all high schoolers go through, with one major exception: He attends King's Dominion High, a school for the next generation of top assassins.
What it's like: X-Men, The Professional, Hitman
Why you should read it: Deadly Class has a creative team with a proven track record. It's like X-Men for killers. Spoiler: #teen problems actually are life and death. Click here for more information.
Creator: Gabriel Hardman (writer & artist)
What it's about: Kinski follows Joe, a chicken feed sales rep who finds a lost dog that he develops an unhealthy and self-destructive obsession with. When the dog's rightful owners take it back, Joe starts making a series of very questionable decisions.
What it's like: Following, Seven Psychopaths, and Beethoven (sort of)
Why you should read it: To be perfectly honest, there's nothing out there quite like Kinski. The level of suspense in this comic is so high that it proves high stakes doesn't equal high tension. This story about a man and a dog will keep you on the edge of your seat. Click here for more information.
4. Pretty Deadly
Creators: Kelly Sue DeConnick (writer), Emma Rios (artist), Jordie Bellaire (colorist)
What it's about: A Western with a touch of the supernatural. The story follows Death's daughter, a female assassin with a scarred face, as she shoots her way to retribution.
What it's like: Constantine, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Kill Bill
Why you should read it: Pretty Deadly is a fresh take on an old genre, one that was reeking of expressionless old white men. So on top of being a breath of fresh air, it's a really awesome read as well. Click here for more information.
5. Red Team
Creators: Garth Ennis (writer) and Craig Cermak (artist)
What it's about: The Red Team, an elite NYPD unit, are sick and tired of watching the biggest and baddest criminals slip through the cracks in the justice system and walk free. What do they decide to do about it? Why, they decide to kill them of course.
What it's like: The Wire, Dexter, Breaking Bad
Why you should read it: Written by the mastermind that brought us Preacher, Red Team is an exceptionally suspenseful story. Being that it's told in flashbacks during a police interrogation of two members of the Red Team, you know it all goes to shit, you just don't know when. Click here for more information.
6. Ash and the Army of Darkness
Creators: Steve Niles (writer) and Dennis Calero (artist)
What it's about: Immediately following the events of the 1992 film Army of Darkness, Ash finds himself back in medieval times. Oh, and there's quite the price on his head.
What it's like: Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness
Why you should read it: The closest thing to an actual sequel of Sam Raimi's cult classics. It doesn't hurt that it's written by horror icon Steven Niles either. Click here for more information.
7. Dead Body Road
Creators: Justin Jordan (writer), Matteo Scalera (artist), and Moreno Dinisio (colorist)
What it's about: When Gage's wife is murdered in a bank robbery, he sets out to take revenge on every person responsible.
What it's like: Death Wish, Hard to Kill, Hard Boiled
Why you should read it: Like gritty action movies? Dead Body Road would make Charles Bronson grimace his worst smile. Click here for more information.
8. The Last of Us: American Dreams
Creators: Neil Druckmann (writer), Faith Erin Hicks (writer & artist), Christina Strain (colorist)
What it's about: The official prequel to the acclaimed video game The Last of Us, co-written by the game's writer. Before Ellie ever crosses paths with Joel, she finds herself all alone at a military boarding school within the Boston quarantine zone. The world is overrun with the infected, and the Fireflies, a rebel group tired of living under the oppression of military rule, make one of the last safe places on earth a virtual war zone.
What it's like: 28 Days Later, The Walking Dead, Epidemic
Why you should read it: If you loved the game then this is necessary reading. If you haven't played the game, this is still worth a read. It stands all on its own. Click here for more information.
9. The Army of Dr. Moreau
Creators: David F. Walker (writer), Carl Sciacchitano (artist), Sara Machajewski (colorist)
What it's about: Imagine a world where H.G. Wells' famous story, The Island of Dr. Moreau, was based on true events. Now imagine that Nazi Germany got its hands on Moreau's research. The result: an army of man-animal super soldiers. This comic is about the team sent to stop them.
What it's like: The Island of Dr. Moreau, Inglorious Bastards, Hellboy
Why you should read it: Part science-fiction, part historical fiction, The Army of Dr. Moreau is a good old-fashioned adventure story that makes the very best of its unfortunately brief issues. Click here for more information.
10. Sex Criminals
Creators: Matt Fraction (writer), Chip Zdarsky (artist)
What it's about: When Jon and Suzie orgasm, they stop time. Before they found each other, they used their gift — or curse — in aimless and arbitrary ways. When they find each other, they decide to rob a bank.
What it's like: The Masters of Sex, Bonnie and Clyde
Why you should read it: Sex Criminals is as real as it gets. Tackling sexual issues in the tradition of John Waters, Fraction and Zdarsky take a funny concept and turn it into an amazing story. Click here for more information.
11. Strange Nation
Creators: Paul Allor (writer), Juan Romera (artist & colorist)
What it's about: Norma Park had a chance to be a respected journalist, but she gave all that up to write for Strange Nation, a publication that specializes in conspiracy theories. But that doesn't mean she isn't onto something. In fact, there are more cover-ups than even she is prepared to tackle. It's a good thing Elvis is her sidekick.
What it's like: The X-Files, Ghostbusters
Why you should read it: Investigative journalism meets monster and UFO conspiracies. It's a fascinating universe. It's where Jesse Ventura believes he lives. Click here for more information.
12. Minimum Wage
Creator: Bob Fingerman (writer & artist)
What it's about: Considered by many to be one of the original cringe comedies. Minimum Wage is the story of a twentysomething named Rob just trying to get by, in the spirit of Louie and Girls.
What it's like: South Park, Louie, Step Brothers
Why you should read it: Fingerman's original run of Minimum Wage inspired the likes of Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Patton Oswald. After a 15-year hiatus, it's back. Read the comic that inspired a generation of comedians and then read its brand-new run. Click here for more information.
Creators: Ales Kot (writer), Jordie Bellaire (colorist), Michael Walsh (artist), Tradd Moore (artist), Mateus Santolouco (artist), Morgan Jeske (artist), Will Tempest (artist), Vanessa R Del Rey (artist), Matt Taylor (artist), Jorge Coelho (artist), Tonci Zonjic (artist), Michael Gaydos (artist)
What it's about: Wondering why there are so many artists? This radical series is about an assassin's descent into cold detachedness with each ruthless hit. Every issue details a new mission, each drawn by a different artist.
What it's like: Full Metal Jacket, The Professional
Why you should read it: If you enjoy brutal war films, or are at all interested in how abrupt aesthetic changes impact the overall tone of the narrative, then Zero is for you. Click here for more information.
Creators: Brian Winkeler (writer), Robert Wilson IV (artist), Jordan Boyd (colorist)
What it's about: Trevor K. Trevinski is a slacker. When aliens give him the crystal fist, an extraterrestrial weapon that gives immense amounts of power to the wielder, he can think of only one way to use it: for cheating at video games. When his city is attacked, will he rise to the challenge?
What it's like: Hancock, Blankman, Mystery Men
Why you should read it: What good are superpowers when all you want to do is sit around and play Xbox? Finally, a superhero story that challenges the old adage that with great power comes great responsibility. Click here for more information.
15. Red Light Properties
Creator: Dan Goldman (writer & artist)
What it's about: Jude and Cecilia Tobin sell houses — that is, after they've removed the spirits within. Red Light Properties is about a Miami family that takes haunted houses, exorcises them, and flips them for profit.
What it's like: The Exorcist, The Poltergeist, The Money Pit
Why you should read it: Ghost Hunters meets Flip This House — I kid you not. It's a heartwarming story about family, exorcisms, and real estate. Click here for more information.
16. Bushido: The Way of the Warrior
Creators: Rob Levin (writer), Jessada Sutthi (artist), Studio HIVE (colorist)
What it's about: An army of vampires invades feudal Japan with the intention of feeding and conquering. Kichiro, an outcast, fights for the only home he's ever known.
What it's like: 30 Days of Night, From Dusk Till Dawn, Yojimbo
Why you should read it: Samurai meets vampires. Need I say more? Click here for more information.
17. Black Science
Creators: Rick Remender (writer), Matteo Scalera (artist), and Dean White (colors)
What it's about: Grant McKay is a brilliant scientist who has allowed his anarchist sentiments to serve as his moral compass as he boldly goes where no man has gone before. Upon building a machine that makes cross-dimensional travel possible, a saboteur sees to it that Grant and his team get lost in a seemingly endless spiral of dimensional jumps, each new world weirder and more dangerous than the last.
What it's like: Lost In Space, Star Trek
Why you should read it: Brilliantly paced and wildly imaginative, the settings run as deep as the characters, and that's saying a lot. Black Science is one of the most original science fiction stories to come out in a long while. Click here for more information.
18. The Mercenary Sea
Creators: Kel Symons (writer) and Mathew Reynolds (artist)
What it's about: Jack Harper captains a submarine full of ragtag mercenaries in the South Pacific. The year is 1938 and global tensions are high. Packed with treasure, pirates, and cutthroats, Mercenary Sea is a story that always manages to stay interesting. Somewhere, somehow, there's always trouble afoot.
What it's like: Raiders of the Lost Arc, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Firefly
Why you should read it: Proof that good adventure stories don't need to take place in outer space. The submarine = the original spaceship. Click here for more information.
19. The Other Dead
Creators: Joshua Ortega (writer), Digger T. Mesch (writer), Qing Ping Mui (artist), Blond (colorist)
What it's about: On the verge of a massive storm, dead animals begin rising from the grave. It causes a national panic, and Barack Obama heads down South to tackle the issue head-on.
What it's like: Night of the Living Dead, Pet Sematary, The Birds
Why you should read it: Yes, it's about zombie animals. Yes, that's Obama packing heat on the cover. And yes, Dick Cheney is attacked by a deer he just killed in the opening pages. Click here for more information.