If you’re a comic book fan, the modern era has something for nearly everyone. Contrary to popular misconceptions, comic books are about more than just superheroes. Marvel and DC still dominate in that category, but the other publishers offer several different genres. For example, Image Comics is publishing several original titles that defy categorization by some of the biggest creators in the industry. And Dark Horse Comics has offered a mixture of creator owned titles and licensed properties for over two decades. If there’s a TV show or a movie that you love, chances are good that there’s a comic book adaptation that tells the further adventures of your favorite characters.
For anyone new to comics, diving into the medium can be a daunting experience. Sometimes it’s hard to find a good place to start. The terminology may also be off-putting. People who don’t like using the word “comics” tend to embrace “graphic novels” as an alternate name. Comic books are periodicals, and they can’t accurately be called “novels.” Reprinted collections of comic books are called trade paperbacks. As for graphic novels, that term was originally applied to stories that used comic book sequential storytelling that were published as a single book.
The reality is that they’re all comics. Even manga is just another iteration of the comic book format. And despite decades of predictions that the comic book medium would fade away, it’s still here and ready to be discovered by new readers.
This year’s Comics & Graphic Novel Gift Guide was assembled from the newly released and upcoming titles from several different publishers. We’ve picked ten trade paperbacks and graphic novels that we feel rank among the best in the medium. All opinions are subjective and your taste may vary. But feel free to share your comic picks in the comment section below!