Some people think comics are all superheroes like Spider-man and Batman. We try to tell these people that comics are an artistic medium, like film or television, through which many different stories can be told in various different ways. That's when they usually ask us to recommend some comics.
We've been reticent to post this, because we feel we need to read every comic in the world first. We honestly thought there might be a quiet weekend when we would get around to that, but it just dawned on us that that's never going to happen, so let's say this is a work-in-progress; by no means comprehensive. We haven't read every comic, or even most. But there are some lesser-known, non-superhero titles that we think deserve more readers/attention/love/Eisner awards. Maybe we'll add on to this in the future, or do another post entirely, but we decided that shouldn't preclude us from piping up about our favorites now.
Fables: our all-time favorite comic. Fairytale characters find themselves in modern-day America. Funny, tragic, romantic, thought-provoking, intelligent - this comic introduces you to the richest, most layered characters that you (thought you) already knew, and masterfully weaves outstanding, profound and unexpected stories with them.
Fairest: a spin-off of Fables, featuring stories about the most beautiful in all the land.
Castle Waiting: more fairy tale characters! But this group lives together in a land of fairy tales, and it's the characters and message that are quite modern.
Stuff of Legend: a child is kidnapped by The Boogeyman, and his brave toys set out to rescue him from a dark underworld of discarded playthings. This is a stunningly beautiful and moving comic.
Cursed Pirate Girl: a pirate girl sets sail on the high seas of adventure to find her lost father.
Love and Capes: sitcom-style comedy about a Superhero and his girlfriend Abby. Abby may not have superpowers, but she's no shrinking violet, and many moments are just laugh out-loud funny.
Girl Genius: steampunk comic about a scholarly student with a mysterious background.
Princeless: a young princess sets out with her pet dragon to rescue herself and her sisters.
Superbia: Superheroes and their respective spouses/girlfriends/boyfriends live and work together in their own (off the grid) neighborhood. It sounds like "Real Housewives of Superhero Lane" but it's really not. Smart and deftly plotted, this has great characters and unexpected humor.
American Vampire: the title says it all really, but the female protagonist is a fantastic vampire heroine. Manages to make the vampire genre fresh, which is no small feat these days.
Courtney Crumrin: a mysterious little girl who lives with an even more mysterious uncle in an even more mysterious neighborhood. Funny, sometimes dark, but always fascinating.
The Sword: we've given this to several people and all of them have loved it. The story of a young woman who discovers a mysterious secret about her family - and then battles with gods. A truly exceptional comic.
Cinderella: What if Cinderella were actually a secret agent for fairy tale characters and their Fable homelands? This comic is another Fables spin-off, and both of the stories are impossible to put down.
Reed Gunther: just a guy and his bear, having adventures in the Old West. Great all-ages comic.
Bunny Comics (a topic in which I am an expert)
A Home For Mr. Easter: a wonderful, moving story about a girl out to save the Easter Bunny.
Fluffy: The tale of a fluffy bunny and her human dad.
So those are some of my favorites. What about you? I'd love to hear what comics you're reading!