Confessional – List of Comic Works I Still Need to Read

This is a list of comics, graphic novels, and authors which I have yet to read. A lot of them are big names and important works to me as an aspiring illustrator and lover of graphic storytelling in general. These are works that when talking about comics, they often are brought up as one person or another's favorites. Or they are simply things that I have been meaning to read forever and just have not gotten around to it yet.

The list is primarily for my use, but I thought some people might get a kick out of reading it, either for amusement or a reference of something they may want to read.

There are even a few that I will likely never read...

List items

  • This is the very top of my superhero comic list. After watching the first season of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, I became a huge Black Panther fan. He was just so friggin cool in that cartoon. After seeing that, I looked up stuff about him and read about the importance of his character, and the "Panther's Rage" story arc in particular. Don McGregor wrote this volume, and it is hailed by many, including the late Dwayne McDuffie as the first "superhero epic." My guess is it is the type of book that was an influence on Frank Miller's Daredevil run, as well as the various runs on Batman, and other stories of epic proportion. I have the Marvel Masterworks volume in hand.

    And for some reason I am sitting here writing this list instead.... (Which is really a procrastination from working on my thesis... oops.)

    *By the way, just met Don McGregor at NYCC 2011... a real sweet dude. Can't wait to read more of his work!*

  • I've read the first story arc, and loved it. I have been eyeing the hardcovers for a while now, and am just trying to lay down enough hints to my family for my Christmas list this year.

    Next to Panther's Rage, I am aching to read this the most.

  • I have never read a comic with The Spirit, let alone a Will Eisner story outside of samples he provides of his work in Eisner's comic book educational books.

    My negligence here is probably a crime somewhere.

  • I have not read anything written by Grant Morrison.

    I know, I'm not sure how that is possible either.

    ** I lied. I read the Marvel Knights Marvel Boy series, which was a blast.

  • Also another Brian K. Vaughn book, which my brother claims he likes even more than Y: The Last Man.

  • My brother had all of these. Then a friend of his borrowed them and never returned them.

  • I have been an Inhumans fan since the 1998 Paul Jenkins/Jae Lee story. I have read every Inhumans story or appearance since then. I have now started to go back and read their oldest appearances, starting with the first Marvel Masterworks volume. Although sagging a bit in the middle, that volume has given me tons of ideas for future Inhumans story arcs, and I now want to go back and read more, including their first appearances in Fantastic Four.

  • If you have ready anything I have written, you probably already knew this was coming. I am a huge fan of Daredevil, and similar to Inhumans have been reading since the Marvel Knights days. Although, unlike Inhumans, there is a lot of his past appearances I have already read. However, someday, I would like to have read every Daredevil issue dating back to his first appearance. This is a goal for the long haul, not one I need to satisfy immediately, but I just love the guy so much, I want to read as much as possible.

  • Windsor McCay is one of the grandfathers of comics as a medium. He has some of the most beautiful layouts and linework I have ever seen. But that's just it – I've only seen simple one-pagers and individual panels, I have never gotten to read the story in full. I know there is a giant book out there somewhere just waiting for me to pick it up.

  • I purport myself to be a huge Tintin fan, growing up reading the comics and watching the cartoons when I lived overseas, but for the most part I have read certain books over and over again. My family knows I love the guy, and continue to buy me books, but I have not read half of the books or Hergé process/biographies.

  • I have tried to read the work of Chris Ware.

    The beauty of his layouts and design skills are undeniable, and his books make for great eye candy. However, his storytelling is the most depressing stuff I have ever read.

    I recently read a friend's copy of Acme Novelty Library #20. Beautiful imagery, great colors, all the visuals were great. But once I finished reading it, I simply wanted to cry and never leave my bed again.

    And it's not like it made me tear up like the Where the Wild Things or Wrestler movies did – those made me think and reminisce about my life, and were truly moving, as sad as they were.

    Nor does Ware's work compare to the bittersweet endings of Adrian Tomine's stories in Optic Nerve. It doesn't even have that sly winking attitude that permeates Daniel Clowes' books.

    Chris Ware's work is just depressing. Completely and utterly devoid of joy.

    I don't care how many people like his work, how many critics recommend it to me, what museums hang his stuff on their walls, or friends tell me that they love the fact his stories are so depressing. I get absolutely nothing from his books except a need to extract the pessimism from my mind. And who needs more pessimism?

    So that night, I went and I read the newest issue of Mighty Thor, and drifted to sleep happy knowing that there is still lofty escapism to carry me into pleasant dreams.

  • Grand pappy of indie comix, and I haven't read a lick of his work.

  • Ditto. (see above)

  • Some people tell me Alan Moore's work on Swamp Thing is their favorite of anything he has written. I've always been drawn to darker characters in the superhero world, the outcasts, and those that skate the line of good and evil... and I've got a green thumb... and I'm reading the New 52 relaunch... it is only a matter of time before I pick this up.

  • I've read some of Alan Moore's biggest works – Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. And I have tried to sit down and read this one. However, most comics I read before bed... And I started reading From Hell... but it scared the living crap outta me! I know I'll get to it eventually... I'm just a wuss.

  • I've been loving getting to know the cad that is Tony Stark. Primarily through Matt Fraction's run on Invincible Iron Man, as well as Avengers books and events like Civil War, as well as, of course the films... And I love his checkered ways, how he pisses a lot of other heroes off nearly every other day... and this has got to be the pinnacle of it. Plus I always loved that one cover's tagline: "By morning, Tony Stark will either be sober... or DEAD!"

  • Probably one of the most famous Spider-Man stories, and as a fan of the character, I feel I gotta read this at some point.

  • This is one of those big ones in the independent crowd. I have it on permanent loan from my brother, but have yet to crack it. With the release of Craig Thompson's beautiful looking new book Habibi, I am even more motivated to read this volume.

  • I'm a big Vertigo fan. I love that the line is so diverse and creator-driven and simply allows each book to play in their own sandbox, and are largely independent of any other book. Right to where the story ends – where the creators want it too.

    That said, I have yet to read the biggest Vertigo book of them all – Sandman. I've read Neil Gaiman's work before in Neverwhere, 1602, Eternals, Coraline, and other works, but have yet to sample his most famous volume.

  • Okay, soooo I'm a comic fan, and try to read as much as I can, sampling each great work and character in order to get a feel for the whole medium as a whole. But I've never read a Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Flash, or numerous other big titles. I've read and loved plenty of Batman. I've sampled other non-Marvel works like Wildcats, Savage Dragon, Spawn, and Fathom. But I've by and large stayed away from the DC Universe. This is partly because I just need to draw the line somewhere to save money and time, but it is also because I just don't really feel drawn to DC characters. To me, many seem a little squeaky clean and not as relatable as those in the Marvel U. I know that statement will have a lot of people chastising me, but I can't help if I'm not attracted to something. A large part of this feeling I believe is due to Superman. I have always felt he is too perfect, and that bothered me. I have never liked perfect characters in any media. Simply because they are not relatable. I'm sure Superman has his flaws and humanizing characteristics too. But when a character's main flaw is his weakness to a alien rock, it removes them so far from reality that I just can't get into their story.

    All this said, I am always willing to give things a try. I am currently picking up a couple of the New 52, but have stuck with the more fringe characters like Swamp Thing and Animal Man. The closest to DC superheroes is Birds of Prey. I've heard great things about Action Comics, and it is written by Grant Morrison, so that would kill two birds with one stone... but I'm just never sold on Superman. We'll see, maybe time will tell.