Thee Comic Column #100: The Five Graphic Novels Everyone Should Read

Preacher-59For the 100th entry into this column, a column meant to be a celebration of all things great in comics, I wanted to do something a little special. A host of ideas came to me, most of which would require a heck of a lot more time to write than I currently have in any given week. But there’s one thing that I’ve meant to do since this column began, something that harkens back to every comic shop I’ve ever been in or even my time working at a big box bookstore with a fairly hearty graphic novel section. Inevitably, in either place of employ, the good folks working there are often called upon to act as gatekeepers for the curious – “what’s good?” “Where should I start?” “What do you recommend?” And in no time during my thirty-eight years on planet Earf has this question been more relevant than now, when comic book culture IS pop culture. Everyday more and more people take a tip from AMC’s The Walking Dead or whatever the newest brilliant Marvel movie is and they flit about online and (hopefully) wander into comic book stores looking to find out if comic books/graphic novels are for them. “What should I read if I want to try to get into comics?” Oh, how I love those words. I used to write a column on CHUD.com where I identified myself as “The Opinionated Bastard”, largely because as anyone who knows me will tell you I have a lot of opinions, especially when it comes to great content to consume, and in no other area is that expertise more honed than in comics (well, I’m no slouch with music either, but Joup’s Thomas H. Williams and Chester Whelks have shown me I have a long way to go in that department). And so, I thought for this 100th edition of Thee Comic Column I would give the world the top five Graphic Novels I feel everyone should read, not just because they showcase just how much more graphic fiction is capable of than the uninitiated often consider, and not just because they are by this time mostly all iconic, but because in every sense of the words they are great, life-affirming contemplations on the human experience.

Thee Comic Column #75: Larime Taylor’s A Voice in the Dark

image courtesy of bloody disgusting.com

Have you ever had an experience that completely humbled you? Probably. We all get them from time to time, the dividing line being between those who pay attention to these occurrences and try to integrate them into their lives as a source of betterment, and those who simply shirk them off, preferring to leave their lives unchanged. I for one try to pay attention, and I will tell you now that earlier today when I set out to do a little research for this week’s column I had one of those experiences, quite unexpectedly. Here all I set out to do was tell you about a new comic called A Voice in the Dark that I am absolutely CRAZY about when I encountered the story of a man that inspired me in ways I cannot even begin to describe. The man’s name is Larime Taylor and he is the creator/writer/artist/letterer of A Voice in The Dark.

Thee Comic Column #64: Save Rachel Rising

image courtesy of ifanboy.com

This week’s column was originally going to be about the best comic book news all year – the return of David Lapham’s Stray Bullets! However in the cosmic balance of ying/yang, the good news was almost immediately followed by the worst news in comics this year. The heartbreak arrived via Twitter when earlier in the week when iconic comic book creator Terry Moore – best known for the long-running and highly influential series Strangers in Paradise – tweeted the following about his newest series, Rachel Rising:

Thee Comic Column #11: Terry Moore’s Rachel Rising

image courtesy of http://ifanboy.com/

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