Essential reading

  • Grendel: Devil By The Deed (Grendel (Graphic Novels))
    by Matt Wagner, Rich Rankin, Others

    The beginning, the end, and the one Grendel book all readers must own. Hunter Rose is an unmatched genius, best-selling novelist, olympic-level athlete, charismatic socialite, and, secretly, the legendary masked crime lord Grendel. An easy description would be: imagine if Batman was a villain. Like Bruce Wayne, Rose is so rich that he could set fire to his ill-gotten gains, it doesn't matter. All that does matter is Grendel's relentless quest to utterly dominate every single person in New York. Grendel knows all. He sees all. He cannot be stopped.

    Devil by the Deed tells the story of Hunter Rose in 48 of the most beautiful pages I've ever seen. Wagner's story is classic  -- all subsequently published Hunter Rose stories take place between the events of this most critical volume -- but the gorgeous art deco illustrations are reasons enough to read this book. I can't say it enough, Devil by the Deed is beautiful. 

    When you're done with this book, check out my comprehensive guide to the Grendel saga for where to go next.

  • The Nightly News
    by Jonathan Hickman

    Network meets Fight Club. Arguably the best graphic novel of the last decade -- and certainly my personal favorite -- and the debut of creator Jonathan Hickman, whose every work subsequent work so far has been excellent.

    As an act of violence spirals out of control to encompass the entirety of the news media, a cult has emerged from the errors and retractions that have ruined careers, marriages and even lives. Under direction from his cult master, The Hand leads an army of followers committed to revolution, willing to die for their cause.

  • Spirit Vol. 1 (Spirit (DC Comics))
    by Darwyn Cooke

    Forget the dubious film version you may have heard of, this has little to do with that. The truth is I had a truly joyous experience reading Darwyn Cooke's The Spirit, which is available in two volumes. Whether you're a longtime fan of the comic book medium or a curious tourist, you cannot go wrong with Cooke's The Spirit. They're flawless comics; perfection of the form.

    Darwyn Cooke – the visionary creator of the acclaimed DC: THE NEW FRONTIER — turns his attention to the classic Will Eisner creation The Spirit in this amazing hardcover collecting the first six issues of the new series from DC Comics plus the BATMAN/THE SPIRIT special! In these thrilling tales. Cooke maintains the "spirit" of Eisner's creation but brings his own original sensibilities to the character. The Spirit, a.k.a. Denny Colt, Commissioner Dolan, and his Daughter Ellen are reintroduced in this go-for-broke, shoot-the-lights-out collection of crime stories filled with action, adventure, humor and sexy girls!