With all of the hullabaloo that San Diego Comic-Con inspires, some of the smaller (but still prominent) comic book publishers get lost in all the publicity. Sure, Marvel and DC have some pretty great comic books that are worth buying, but other indie brands have great reads too. Here are some of the non-Marvel or DC books that you should be adding to your pull list for your reading pleasure.
Before you get the wrong idea, trust us – this isn’t your dad’s Archie comic. Though Archie may over 75 years old, the rebooted Archie (that premiered its first issue in 2015) is a high-school era, modern take on classic characters that definitely can’t be missed. If you’re looking for a classically Americana story that is light-hearted with characters you’re excited to read about, pick up Archie to find true-to-character reboots of Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead. (And get excited for an updated Betty & Veronica book to launch soon.)
Marjorie Liu is best known for her work on Astonishing X-Men and Black Widow, but Monstress may be her best work to date. The comic follows Maika, a young girl who struggles with a monster within as she fights (and tries to survive) a war in an alternate Asian culture. Sound interesting? It is. Monstress is surprisingly adept at addressing real-world issues like identity, politics, and the importance of humanity. Still not convinced? The cover art for every issue so far has been utterly stunning.
Over the Garden Wall
If you’re a fan of the Cartoon Network miniseries of the same name, chances are high that you’re already familiar with Over the Garden Wall and don’t need convincing to read it. If not – there’s much more to this story than just two brothers finding their way through the woods and the world is definitely worth immersing yourself in. Truthfully, I don’t want to spoil too much about the comic, as part of the fun is discovering the world for yourself, but watch the series and start reading the ongoing book. It’s a must-read.
Yes, this name is incredibly strange and yes, this is the newest book on the list, but it’s still worth a read because it promises to be a totally unique comic book experience. Published by Image Comics, this book is about a fashion blogger with allergies (get it? That’s why she’s called Snotgirl) but it promises to be funnier and more poignant than we expect it. The ongoing monthly comic is written by Bryan Lee O’Malley, famous for creating Scott Pilgrim, so we know what quality of writing to expect (and be ready to truly enjoy).
The Wicked + The Divine
This Kieron Gillian-written series is past 20 issues, but it’s not too late to get caught up with the highly addictive series. The Wicked + The Divine combines mythology, intrigue, and the drama of the music industry to make for a story you can’t put down. The art and the writing are incredible, and you’ll soon have your favorite members of the Pantheon (and will debate that they’re the best until their two years are up).