Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in mainstream comics because they are everywhere! We watch their movies, TV shows, and cartoons, and we buy their merchandise religiously. With weekly releases and strong online fandoms dedicated to the most popular characters and shows, it can be easy to miss what’s happening in the indie comic scene.
I love indie comics for several reasons. A lot of indie comics I come across are written by writers or artists that have worked on my favorite mainstream comics as well. Indie comics tend to push the envelope in creativity and storytelling because they aren’t being stifled by corporate executives like mainstream publishers. I love that mainstream properties can exist in a world where indie comics such as Raising Dion, Saga and Lonely Receiver can thrive just as much and have their own fandoms. It makes comics that much more fun because you’re able to enjoy a wide range of properties.
If you haven’t read any indie comics, I must say you are doing yourself a great disservice. Indie comics are creating their own lanes and are bringing their fandoms to television screens. With hits such as Invincibles, Snowpiercer and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, it’s clear that old fans and new fans are always looking for something new. So the next time you are at your local comic book store, add these indie comics to your pull list.
Wash Day Diaries by Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith (June 14)
Finally, a slice-of-life comic for us girls with natural hair. If you have natural hair, you already know the frustrations that come with maintaining your mane. Doing your hair with friends has long been a right of passage for Black girls everywhere. From pre-poo’s and leave-in conditioners to detangling, washing and caring for your natural hair can be an act of self-care, and it’s even better with your friends.
Crema By Johnnie Christmas and Dante Luiz
Last year, Johnnie Christmas released this paranormal, caffeine-induced romance, but it was only released digitally. Now, our favorite caffeinated barista, Esme, is available in a trade paperback. Esme talks to ghosts when she drinks too much coffee, leading to an unexpected whirlwind romance.
Monkey Meat by Juni Ba
Juni Ba is back with a follow-up of his futuristic, monstrous series. The Monkey Meat company started as a seemingly harmless food company that produced processed canned meat. However, the company has been using its profits to make some weird and often dangerous projects. Now, with an entire island to themselves, the monsters they’ve created struggle to survive under the food company’s capitalistic terror.
Cassidy’s Secret #1 (of 5) by Charles Holland, Antonio Fuso, and Stefano Simeone (August 4)
An unidentified comet hits planet Earth with a child aboard. The child becomes Earth’s strongest superhero. However, the comet also unleashed a virus that gives a selected few powers. Some of the people have chosen to be influencers and celebs, while others have turned into full-fledged villains. Cassie’s job is to protect the new class of people from being attacked unlawfully, and in her journey, she meets all types of newly gifted people.
Primos (#1) by Al Madrigal (July 26)
Hundreds of years ago, two Mayan brothers created a spacecraft to travel into the unknown. By the time they returned, their home and civilization had been burned and destroyed. One of the brothers vowed to destroy everything on Earth, while the other brother sets up a team of his extended family members to stop his brother from destroying the planet.
Radiant Red #1 (of 5) by Cherish Chen, David Lafuente, and Miquel Muerto (March 9)
By day, Satomi Shen is just a regular middle-school teacher. Her family and friends all adore her, and she leads a typical life of a working woman. That’s why nobody suspects that by night, she’s a powerful criminal who turns into a superhero that possesses matter-absorbing energy.
Witchy Vol. 2 by Ariel Slamet Ries
if you are looking for a new fantasy to dive into, this one won’t disappoint you. Set in the land of Hyalin, your magical strength is determined by the length of your hair. Both Nyneve and Banana are running low on magic, because one cut their hair and the other did the unspeakable by cutting someone’s hair. They run into their share of magical creatures who are powerful, but very few can match their wits.
The Eightfold Path by Steven Barnes, Charles Johnson, and Bryan Christopher Moss (March 22)
This beautifully illustrated journey intersects Afrofuturism and the teachings of Buddha. A crew of people finds themselves looking for answers from a wise spiritual teacher. They travel through caves, mountains and beyond, and while together they share stories that they soon realize connects them in more ways than one.
Sci-Fu Vol. 2: It Takes 2 by Yehudi Mercado (April 26)
Back with a new saga, Wax is still combining hip-hop, martial arts, and sci-fi together against his haters and foes. After defeating the Five Deadly Dangers on Discopia, he was crowned the planet’s king. However, he doesn’t want it. But a new challenger arrives, and she doesn’t mind taking Wax’s place in Discopia. In an effort to keep peace throughout the universe, Wax has to battle her so he can protect Brooklyn, his friends, his family, and the innocent on Discopia.
The House of Lost Horizons: A Sarah Jewell Mystery by Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Leila Del Duca, Michelle Madsen, and Clem Robins
Set in the Hellboy universe, this locked-room mystery follows two women who specialize in paranormal activities. The pair go on a weekend trip where it’s storming, and the island they are on is full of creepy vibes. As the two try to understand the supernatural occurrences that continue to happen, more and more dead bodies appear.
Virtually Yours by Jeremy Holt, Elizabeth Beals, and Adam Wollet (September 6)
This romance graphic novel explores the lighthearted side of virtual dating. Eva is only focused on being a journalist but her family insists that she takes some time to work on her social life. After reluctantly signing up, she meets Max, a former child star who is in the middle of a divorce. This will be the perfect romcom to kick off the fall season this year.
Once you’ve finished putting some of these indie comics on your pull list, head on over to read more about the history of Batman. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, read this list of YA sports comics.