We asked our contributors to share the best comic book, graphic novel, or webcomic that they read last month and here they are! We’ve got creepy, adventures, a mushroom, and even reality TV in space—plus much more! Enjoy, and tell us about the highlight of your October 2018 comic reading in the comments.
Adulthood Is a Myth (Sarah’s Scribbles #1) by Sarah Andersen (Andrews McMeel, 2016)
I picked this up at NYCC and read it in one quick setting, and then immediately ordered the next two books of hers. Nearly every page had a comic that was pure truth. They’re simple black and white comics that illustrate so much of everyday life and awkward events. Hugely relatable and I loved it, as well as the other two books of hers, Big Mushy Happy Lump and Herding Cats. If you’re looking for a fun read, pick this up.
The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, and Carey Pietsch
I just inhaled this graphic novel based on a podcast, and I don’t even listen to podcasts. Though I think maybe I have to now? Here’s the lowdown: “The Adventure Zone” is a popular comedy podcast that follows a D&D campaign. This graphic novel is an adaptation of that podcast, and it is hilarious good fun. While the comic follows along with the in-game characters (with occasional pop-ins from the DM), the personalities of the players—who are clearly D&D noobs—shine through. As someone who is also a D&D noob, I connected with the characters, and found myself LOLing on every page. I can’t believe I have to wait nearly a year for the sequel.
Border Town #2 by Eric M. Esquivel, Tamra Bonvillain, and Ramon Villalobos (DC/Vertigo, 10-17)
After surviving their first Scooby Gang moment, Quinteh, Frank, Juliette, and Aimi convene over nachos to determine protocol when your town is invaded by monsters from Mictlan. They ultimately decide to go their separate ways and pretend it never happened. It doesn’t take.
The Dreaming #2 by Simon Spurrier, Art by Bilquis Evely, Cover by Jae Lee
I was overjoyed (and a bit nervous) when I heard that the world of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman was coming back to comics stories. I also formally apologized to my bank account, as usually I wait for graphic novels, but this time I was going to have to get the bimonthly updates as they arrived. The Dreaming #1 was an introduction of sorts, but this 2nd volume was a really fun one narrated by disgruntled pumpkin-head Merv. Evely’s art shines as bright as ever in this strange romp through a Dreaming that is changing before Merv’s eyes.
—Leah Rachel von Essen
Driving Short Distances by Joff Winterhart
This is a quietly moving slice-of-life tale of the unusual relationship that springs up between a young man with depression and an elderly man clinging to the past. Ostensibly one is the other’s employer, but really they’re just driving around their small English town together, as one talks and the other listens. Winterhart is skilled at capturing personalities and relationships without having to say much himself.
Hi, Deathcap by Shing Yin Khor (Webcomic, 10/18/18)
This is a cute Twitter webcomic by Shing Yin Khor about a depressed mushroom that seeks meditation and self-care. Deathcap is sweet, but feels weighed down by their internal worries and fears. Not only is it endearing to balance the melancholy, but also provides poignant empathy and reflections on why we exist, and how we take care of ourselves.
Monstress, Vol 3: Haven by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda
Monstress continues to be one of my favorite comics at the moment. Every volume whisks me away to this incredible (and terrible) world of steampunk technology and magic. Takeda’s intricate artwork really brings the story to life, so much so that I often find myself getting much more distracted by the art than I usually do in comics. Can volume 4 just come out already?
Sheets by Brenna Thummler
Sheets is a lovely little graphic novel about a girl named Marjorie and a ghost boy named Wendell. Marjorie’s mother died, so now she runs her family’s laundromat, and Wendell wreaks havoc on said laundromat because he’s a ghost wearing a sheet. It’s a sweet story about determination and friendship when life is hard and confusing. The art is lovely, and the colors are mostly pink/purple/blue. It’s the perfect cozy rainy-day read.
Space Battle Lunchtime, Volume 2 by Natalie Riess
This is a comic about a reality TV cooking show in space. With aliens. And ingredients like moon butter. There’s also a rival cooking show called Cannibal Coliseum where the contests try to cook each other. Our heroine Peony is whisked away from the bakery where she works on Earth to compete in the cutthroat world of galactic cooking. Also, there’s a queer love story. I mean, really, what more could you possibly want out of a comic?
Super Chill: A Year of Living Anxiously by Adam Ellis
Adam Ellis, former Buzzfeed illustrator, writes the most hilarious and relatable webcomics. I love his stuff, and this collection totally lived up to what I expect from him. The autobiographical comics chronicle a year of his life and hilariously tackle heavy topics like depression, anxiety, and self-esteem. Bonus: they feature his adorable three-legged cat, Maxwell.
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
This was my perfect October read—creepy and mesmerizing. It’s like I fell into a world aslant from our own, and everything was so much more vivid and so much more threatening. The art is amazing, bold and dark and truly scary. Some of the images will never leave me. And some spreads are brilliant—like Little Red Riding Hood going on her walk through the woods. It’s a collection of short stories, and while originally I thought I’d read one a night, I ended up reading them all at once. And it was so worth the bad dreams.
Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal (Drawn and Quarterly, Sept 2018)
Adapted from Dhaliwal’s fantastic webcomic, this engrossing and nonlinear collection follows a community of women in the period after all men have disappeared from the gene pool. That “apocalypse” was more of a reconfiguration, after which basic services had to be rebuilt, but in which women and girls are also free to embrace their bodies, themselves, and their honest sexual identities. Big philosophical questions are here, but so are quiet and silly moments. This is a great celebration of women’s power and potential.
—Michelle Anne Schingler