November 12, 2011

What Was On My Shelf Before Superheroes

I feel like I've said this here a few times, but in case I haven't made it clear: I don't read a lot of superhero comics. In my five years or so of reading comics I've gone from reading almost none to reading a handful, mostly because of the DC New 52 and also because I fell for Captain America. That's a new development, just since August or so. When I tell this to people, the almost universal reaction (sometimes accompanied by a "something is surely wrong with you" look) is "what have you been reading?" I fumble to remember all the fantastic books on my shelf and rattle off a list of whatever books were most recently in my hands and heart. My faulty memory causes me to leave out a ton of great titles. I feel like I'm failing the person asking; sometimes it's a person just getting into comics who doesn't want to go the superhero route either or sometimes it's a strictly capes person who wants to branch out. And I'm forgetting fantastic stories. So I did the logical thing and took pictures and saved them on my phone (I may have also scanned every one of them into Goodreads).

This is only parts of three shelves. I'm in the midst of reorganizing, and this doesn't include the stacks of unread books and comics I have about my house (really, it's shameful). Some storybooks and sketch books are mixed in as well. All that aside, I still think there's plenty of representation of great indie stories and even mainstream ones that don't focus on superheroes.


It's obvious from these photos that I love Star Wars and anything published by Archaia. My love for that publisher began when I found Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 in a Barnes and Noble a few years ago. Their titles are always solid and as a bonus, always presented nicely. My two favorite stories from last year are both from Archaia: Return of the Dapper Men and The Killer. I also have graphic adaptations of books like Coraline, Stardust, and The Looking Glass Wars. 


I know, even more Star Wars. You're shocked. Click to zoom in on the rest though. You'll see V for Vendetta, the first comic I read (aside from some Muppet Babies stories when I was five and I mostly just colored in those instead of reading them). I have some Girl Genius, Love and Capes, Sandman, The Dark Tower, and Conan.


Fables and ElfQuest are two of my favorite series, and I have more them scattered around my house. If you like fairy tales, Fables is for you. If you like strong female characters and adventure drawn in a manga style, ElfQuest is fairly awesome.

Superheroes aren't taking the place of these treasures. Not even close. I see it as broadening my horizons. I'm learning comics history from them, too, by going back to read older titles. It doesn't mean I'll abandon indie comics, it just means I've made a little room in my heart for the big 2 and for capes. And that's okay.

crossposted at Geek Girls Network

5 comments:

  1. Looks like my bookshelves. :D And I love that your Elfquest books look loved. :)

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  2. I just started reading comics and graphic novels over this past summer. I'm discovering a love for superheroes - but also for a lot of other styles. I enjoyed Mouse Guard (just finished Fall). I adored Fables #1 and I'm starting to pick up the rest. I read a few of the Walking Dead volumes before I started watching the series. I just tried my first Locke and Key.

    It's amazing the breadth of styles out there! Definitely more than a "kids" thing. I'll have to give ElfQuest a try.

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  3. Locke and Key and Walking Dead are among my to-read piles somewhere. :)

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  4. Have you tried Chynna Clugston's "Blue Monday"? It's lots of fun. Also, Hickman's FF and Bendis's Ultimate Spider-man are really good superhero books.

    Just saying...

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