There's a lot in the world to be thankful for – family, friends, employment and all the things we enjoy. For me, that list of enjoyable things includes comics. Comics fuel some of the best stories in our society – spawning movies and television series and enriching our culture. Here's a short list of 6 comics I'm thankful for!
Morning Glories is the story of six gifted young people who are admitted to an exclusive preparatory school named Morning Glories Academy. The school, however, is not what it seems to be and the students soon find themselves entangled in the plots of the administration. (In the past, we've compared the school to the Academy that River Tam attended before the events of Joss Whedon's Firefly.) Here's a quote from our previous review:
The enigmatic conspiracy behind The Academy unravels in some very unexpected ways, and our six new inductees quickly learn that they need to be just as afraid of the other students as they are of the administration. The sinister undertones running through Morning Glories is palpable.
All of these element create a story that is unique among comics and a fantastic read.
Tired of the same old comics? Chew is the cure for what ails you! Chew tells the story of a detective Tony Chu, who happens to have the weirdest gift you can imagine: Tony is a Cibopath, which means he gets psychic impressions from whatever he eats. If he eats bacon, he'll know what it was like on the farm where the pig was raised. He'll also know how the pig felt when it was slaughtered. (As you might guess, Tony doesn't each much meat.)
Tony's bizarre gift serves him well as a detective, so long as he doesn't mind eating the most awful stuff imaginable. Tony is recruited by the FDA, which has become the most powerful agency in the world following a major bird flu scare.
Chew has an imaginative plot and a very stylized, often whimsical style, and you'll enjoy every minute of the series.
Where to start: Chew Volume 1, Taster's Choice
Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead
I personally guarantee you've never read a comic like Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead. This title, from one of our favorite publishers (Radical) has the most beautiful artwork you'll ever find in a comic. Pair that with an amazing story and it is a forumla for success.
We wrote about Hotwire before, and here's our plot summary:
Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead tells the story of Alice Hotwire, a detective-exorcist living in a near future where the dead stop staying that way. The spirits of the dead now roam the world as ghosts called “Blue Lights” and have become an everyday feature of society. Rich neighborhoods even put up towers to keep Blue Lights away. Most Blue Lights are harmless, but when they aren’t, that’s where Alice Hotwire comes in.
Some pretty extraordinary Blue Light activity starts to go down, and Alice finds herself in the middle of a supernatural mystery only she can solve. We don’t want to give too much of the story away, but at one point Alice gets to break out some experimental ghostbusting technology called “the Soul Eater”. And yes, it is as awesome as it sounds.
The thing that makes Hotwire so impressive is Steve Pugh, the man behind the art, writing and lettering. Yes, one guy is responsible for all of it, and his work is so impressive that you'll be drooling over the exquisite artwork. I dare you not to read the first trade in one sitting!
Where to start: Pick up Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead, Volume 1.
The Walking Dead
I'd bet that you've heard of The Walking Dead. Perhaps you've watched the television show, perhaps you've read the comic. In case you were stranded in a wilderness for the last 5 years, I'll quickly fill you in.
The Walking Dead is the definitive zombie comic series. The story follows Rick Grimes, a police officer who gets shot and later wakes from a coma in a world of flesh-eating undead. The plague spread so quickly that there is no government, no order and almost no hope of survival. Despite the odds, Rick sets out to find his family.
The Walking Dead isn't really a comic about zombies. Yes, there are zombies in the comic, and they are a real threat, but the real story is about how people survive in this new world. It is about the perils of man pushed to the brink and dealing with constant threats, both living and dead. It is frankly a brutal book and we love every minute of it.
The Walking Dead is the gift that keeps on giving. The series is 104 issues old (a feat for any comic, especially when that comic is written by a single writer) and yet it is still thrilling. Every page of the book is worth reading, and you'll get sucked in so quick. If you've been watching the show and wonder if the comic is worth reading, the answer is a resounding “yes”.
Where to start: Pick up The Walking Dead, Volume 1, Days Gone Bye
Valiant comics was one of the bigger independent publishers to stop publishing comics in the 1990s. When it was purchased by superfans and relaunched earlier this year, we had high hopes. So far, the reborn Valiant has repeatedly delivered. One of their new titles is Bloodshot, and I'm hooked.
Bloodshot tells the story of a super soldier enhanced with nanites – microscopic robots flowing in his bloodstream that give him remarkable abilities. Bloodshot can regenerate from near-death, can temporarily change his looks, and has lightening reflexes and immense strength.
The only problem is that he's a puppet of Project Rising Spirit, a clandestine government operation that has sinister motives. Once Bloodshot learns of this, he finds himself on the run from Project Rising Spirit and on a quest to find out who he really is. The story is gripping.
Where to start: You can still pick up Bloodshot #1. Check out our review of issues 1 and 2 for a peek at the artwork.
Locke & Key
We saved the best for dessert. And when I say best, I mean it. Locke & Key is my all-time favorite comic. It tells the story of the Locke family, who experience a tragedy in the form of a violent murder that takes their father from them. As a result the family moves to their ancestral home, an old expansive mansion called Keyhouse.
The three kids (two teenagers and one 6 year old) soon begin to find mysterious keys in the house, each with supernatural powers. When the keys are used in the proper door, they transform those foolish or fearless enough to walk through them. The Locke family soon finds themselves facing an ancient evil that wants the keys for its own wicked purposes.
The writing in Locke & Key outpaces any comic I've ever read. There is a scene in the beginning of the comic that shocked and scared me so much that I actually threw the book across the room. I've never read a comic that evokes as much emotion as Locke & Key does. The artwork in the book is exceptional too, and it is the rare comic series that has completely consistent artwork from beginning to end. Locke & Key has had a sensational run, and it is now approaching the end of the series in the last story arc, titled Omega. We're biting our nails as the story reaches its final climax.
Where to start: Pick up Locke & Key Volume 1, Welcome to Lovecraft
Are there any comics you're thankful for? Tell us about them in the Comments section below!