The “Big Two” get a lot of press but comics wouldn’t be what they are today without that other [roughly] 25% market share. Some of comics greatest books and characters were/are independently created and despite their volume they are the nuts and bolts that keep the industry fresh and original. From grimy noir or horror books, sci-fi space dramas, fantasy epics, comedy gut-busters, or coming of age nostalgia independent comics know no genre boundaries and aren’t promised tomorrow – which is just one of the reasons they are so great.
Our favorite independent books category includes any comic book series from 2011 not published by DC or Marvel.
Footprints | Geoff Arbuckle
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, no independent book captured more of what I like in any story than Footprints. You have monsters solving a decades old mystery in black and white noir that was just flat out interesting and fresh. Yeah, I pimped this book as much as I could and got to meet the creators, but it never once influenced my opinion about this truly fun and original yarn featuring Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, Jersey Devil, Megaladon, Cupacabra, and a damn sexy Moth(wo)man. I got to read a lot of really good grassroots indie books this year, but this little ditty by Joey Esposito and Jonathan Moore just knocked my socks off.
All our Footprints content HERE
Chew | John Barringer
Chew has been around long enough now that some of the hype and momentum it first generated has seemed to quiet down; undeservingly so though as the book is still one of the most innovative, well plotted, beautifully done, funny, and unique comics in the industry. Every issue is it’s own twisted adventure with a fighting chicken exposed to a super soldier serum, or solar radiation mutated babies conceived in zero-gravity, or a scientist who’s intelligence increases as he eats (so he inevitability becomes super obese), or whatever else John Layman can think up – all the while peeling away at a larger mystery that has been building since issue #1. Add to it Rob Guillory’s gorgeous cartoon style that is as distinctive as the narrative and a natural fit (credit to Guillory for the inks and colors as well). In 2011 the curtain was lifted on the overlapping mystery more than ever before and outside of being great itself, it’s only more proof that this book’s greatness will continue.
The Sixth Gun | Dan Cole
This weird western tale of gunslingers, outlaws, mystics and otherworldly threats is perhaps a highlight of the year. The 19th century aesthetic enhances a narrative that at times is unsettling. Cullen Bunn is creating an epic and rich tapestry with every issue as the story of six guns imbued with supernatural power becomes more and more complex. Brian Hurtt’s art breathes life into the western horror tale as he balances both genres perfectly. Thrilling and scary The Sixth Gun will draw you in and entertain you.
All our Sixth Gun content HERE
Dungeons And Dragons | Victor Kutsenok
Beyond any shadow of a doubt, this is one of the most nostalgic books for a long time collector and gamer like myself. Every issue is packed with D&D goodness. Lots of familiar images for long time players of the game that will bring back great memories of the good old days. Not to mention that each issue is packed with humor and action and excitement at every turn. The characters are well written and really come to life to people who used to play the game. And if you never played the game, but enjoy a great read with a compelling plot and lots of adventure, then this is the book for you.
All our Dungeons And Dragons content HERE
The Walking Dead | Tom Parry
With everything thats happened in this tumoltuous year, its hard to know where to start, but as the series proves month after month to keep you on your toes, even after so many years, something special needs to be said about The Walking Dead. Its a rare series that puls you in and never lets go. Some issues may seem to be lackluster, but you can always rest assured that something will manage to rehook you by the end.
All our Walking Dead content HERE
Green Hornet | Wayland Smith
A real hero in a time when that becomes more and more rare. He fights the good fight, doesn’t kill his foes, there’s no needless ploys to try and be “cool” or drag in readers, just solid storytelling in the newest incarnation of a decades long legend.
All our Green Hornet content HERE
Let us know what your favorites were!