Legends Comics and Books

Recommended Reading

  1. Watchmen – “Who Watches the Watchmen?” Written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons, this was originally a twelve-part series published by DC from 1986-87. A watershed moment in comics, Watchmen reconfigured the superhero landscape, de-centering the genre and revitalizing the medium.
  2. Walking Dead – Written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard, this series presents a post-apocalyptic world based on the classic zombie tale. Works particularly well because of the finely crafted and compelling characters.
  3. The Invisibles – Written and created by Grant Morrison and featuring a revolving door of illustrators, this series pushed the limits of reality and meta-reality. Various collections: all worth a read.
  4. Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron – Written and illustrated by Dan Clowes, this graphic novel brings the recesses of the unconscious to the surface of the page. Originally serialized in Eightball.
  5. Ed The Happy Clown – Written and illustrated by Chester Brown and first appearing as a serialized version in Yummy Fur, it is automatic writing incarnate. Bizarre and anguished, like skiing uphill without skis and without a hill, but feeling the cold rush of the wind wipe away the tears from your eyes.
  6. Black Hole – Written and illustrated by Charles Burns, this book quivers with strange sex and occult-like mutations as a host of hormone-oozing teenagers play out their drama in the midnight hour. Drawn in Burn’s inimitably creepy style, this is not for the timid.
  7. Blankets – By Craig Thompson. Lo-fi autobiography: a gentle breeze to quell the fear in your bones; love in cool lines. Thompson is a master of portraying the small but vital moments in life.
  8. PrometheaAlan Moore’s latest, this work features his ideas, aesthetics and compulsions: magic, meta-fiction, societal critique, and symbolism, all sifted through the remains of the superhero genre.
  9. Completely Pip and Norton – Creator Dave Cooper brings us his hyper-reality saturated in surreal colours and bombastic inks – it will make your pupils expand and your tongue loll.
  10. Louis RielChester Brown’s graphic novel renders in meticulous detail Louis Riel and the Metis Rebellion. A sublime and noteworthy addition to all things Canadian.
  11. Lost GirlsAlan Moore’s extended meditation on sex and eroticism. Illustrated by Melinda Gebbie, Lost Girls dances playfully between the lines of art and pornography.
  12. V For Vendetta – Written by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd, this is a dystopian nightmare set in a future that is now the past. Has since become a Hollywood hit – much to Moore’s chagrin.
  13. Kraven’s Last Hunt – Originally published across the various Spiderman comics of 1987, this is the work of writer JM DeMatteis and penciller Mike Zeck. A spider-fan favourite, this dealt with the dark topic of suicide, a subject that had yet to be broached in the web-slinger’s history.
  14. American Elf – Cartoonist James Kochalka’s ugly-but-loveable freakchild of a comic, this book weaves together the mundane details of existence with Kochalka’s off the wall imagination.
  15. A Contract With God – Created by Will Eisner, who is universally regarded as the best writer, artist, innovator and businessman in the history of the medium. Published in 1978, it is most often credited as originating the form called “the graphic novel.” A Contract With God helped to guide the comic book away from the areas of the fantastic and to the quieter spaces of human experience.
  16. Y The Last Man – Writer Brian K Vaughn and illustrator Pia Guerra bring us the ultimate male fantasy – to be the last man on earth – but they do so without leaving out the complications and humor such a situation entails.
  17. Fables – Creator Bill Willingham extracts from folklore a slew of storybook figures – Snow White, Bluebeard, Cinderella, to name a few – and delivers them to New York City where they live in an underground community called Fabletown. See what happens in a world where Snow White and The Big Bad Wolf vie for power.
  18. Preacher – Created by Garth Ennis, this is ostensibly a book about polarizations, and more specifically, the Mecca of extremes: Old Glory, America. Like all of Ennis’ best work it is hilariously savage.
  19. We3 – Do you like cute furry animals? And do you like robots? How about vivisection? Well this book has all three fused into one and delivered by none other than the meta-magician himself, Grant Morrison. Illustrated by Frank Quitely.
  20. Planetary – Written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by John Cassaday. A trio of Ubermenschen are assigned the task of digging up the dirt on our “secret history” for curiousity, altruism, and other unfathomable reasons.
  21. Daredevil Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev have created one of the most engrossing stories that’s appeared in mainstream comics this decade, an ornately zig-zagging narrative about moral blindness and double lives, with a hero sinking irreparably into a pit he’s dug for himself; an intimate, understated security-camera perspective on the demimonde of crime, law, and the press.
  22. Stray Bullets – This is from writer and illustrator David Lapham. In look, feel, and content, it is very dark and evades easy categorization. Lapham plays with genre like a child mucking about in a sandbox.
  23. Swamp Thing – An on-going series since the 70’s, Alan Moore established his reputation by saving Swamp Thing from the clutches of kitsch. Since Moore’s intervention, it’s been a respectable print published through Vertigo.
  24. 300 – By creator Frank Miller, this is a violent tale of the true-life Spartans’ Battle of Thermopylae. It is now a movie that is equally savage.
  25. Transmetropolitan – Written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Darick Robertson, this is post-cyberpunk angst at its finest. Lots of techno-nastiness and flagrant misanthropy.