Friday, April 6, 2018

10 Manga and Comic Books Worth Reading (Part 2)

I'm short on time and I think that the title of this post is fairly self-explanatory, so let's jump right in:

This is a post about comic books and manga that I like and think you may, too. It's a continuation of Part 1, a list you can check out here. Manga and comics are incredibly helpful when it comes to learning new styles of writing, pacing, symbolism, and plot, thus this blog post series.
10 Manga and Comic Books Worth Reading (Part 2)
Two quick notes:

1) Each book cover can be clicked on. It will deliver you straight to the book's Amazon page. Yep. I'm so helpful, aren't I?

2) If you see a manga you like and decide to read it, remember: You open them "backwards." This is important. You don't want to open it the wrong way and have the end spoiled for you.

Got it? Okay. Let's talk about comics and manga. 

1. Tom King's I Am Gotham, Vol 1 

Because of course this post has to start off with a Batman comic. This is one of my absolute favorite Batman comics. It's a beautiful look at bravery and fear and healing and continuing to do the right thing even when it doesn't seem to matter. Stumbled across this epic quote:

"Everyone gets scared. But remember, all that means is everyone gets the opportunity to fight that fear. Everyone gets the chance to be brave."

I read this right after publishing Colors of Fear, a story that I was nervous about publishing for reasons that can be found here. So thank you, Bats, for the encouragement. This comic is absolutely amazing and worth a read. 

2. Hiromu Arakawa's Silver Spoon, Vol 1

This is a hilarious, heartwarming story of a student who, suffering from academic burnout, decides to go to what he assumes is the easiest high school he can. But he soon finds that agricultural school is much harder than expected and starts questioning his lack of motivation when faced by classmates who all have goals and plans for their futures. The anime is charming and the manga is just as much so. It will put a smile on your face and important questions in your head. 

3. Charles Soule's Darth Vader, Vol 1

Picking up right after Revenge of the Sith, this comic follows the story of Darth Vader as he sets out to build his red lightsaber and kill the remaining Jedi. It is spectacular and heart-wrenching and adds some amazing depth to an already incredibly well developed character. As a huge Darth Vader fan, this series is one of my favorites.

4. Jun Mochizuki's The Case Study of Vanitas, Vol 1

Jun Mochizuki is an amazing artist and storyteller. I loved her PandoraHearts series and I love this series, too. It's steampunk, it's vampires, it's magic and curses and Paris and friendship and crazy plot twists. I can't decide what's best: The characters, the plot, or the insanely beautiful artwork.

5. Ed Brubaker's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Vol 1

Guys. GUYS. I LOVE Captain America and the Winter Soldier and this series does such a beautiful job with this storyline. It does such justice to Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes' characters and captures the pain, struggle, and undying friendship that comes with the existence of the Winter Soldier.  It is hands down the best Captain America comic I've read to date. You need to read it. 

6. Ryohgo Narita's Baccano!, Vol 1

Italian mobster manga set in NYC during prohibition? With supernatural elements? Yes, it is exactly as fun as it sounds. In classic Japanese graphic novel style, it takes a supposedly surface-level concept (mafia mixed with the supernatural) and adds in some really neat themes (the importance of family and loyalty).

7. Matt Kindt's Divinity

This comic book is very, very confusing. I need to lead with that piece of information. It has a lot of layers and doesn't make complete sense until the end (and even then you have to flip back to piece things together). That being said, it's a fascinating, unorthodox comic (leave it to Valiant comics to publish unique comics) with beautiful artwork. It tells the tragic story of a cosmonaut who gains divine powers at great personal cost. Kind of. Like I said, it's confusing. I personally like Divinity II better, but I'll talk about that in Part 3 of this series.

8. Akane Shimizu's Cell's At Work!, Vol 1

This manga makes my science major heart incredibly happy. The main character of this series is a red blood cell who goes on adventures in the human immune system. She befriends a warrior white blood  cell who protects their home from invading infections, watches platelet construction workers block up holes in walls, survives a histamine attack, and more. This is an adorable and genius series that not only helps with learning about human anatomy and the immune system, but is also downright hilarious (in a nerdy kind of way).

9. Tony Cliff's Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant 

Yes, I know this is technically a graphic novel and not a comic book. Don't start with me. Delilah Dirk is an adventurous, 19th century lady who travels around the world seeing sights and causing trouble. The characters are endearing, the plot is fun, and the dialogue is great.

10. Higasa Akai's The Royal Tutor, Vol 1

I've read several volumes of this series and it never disappoints. A very vertically challenged young man tutors four spoiled princes with distinct and hilarious personalities. This series always makes me smile: It's funny, heartwarming, and the art work is great (it features many chibi characters).

Aaaaand that concludes Part 2 of manga and comic books worth reading. I've tried to include all different kinds of stories so that you can find at least one that you're drawn to. Don't see what you're looking for? Check out Part 1 or leave a comment below with a description of the genre/style you want recommendations for. I'm happy to help!

Have you read any manga or comic books? Well, why not? They're amazing!

If you have read manga and comic books, please leave a comment below and tell me about your favorites. I'm always looking for my next good read!

Have writing, reading, or writer's life questions? Use the hashtag #ChatWithHannah below or on social media to have them answered on my Youtube channel!

Related articles:
12 Manga and Comic Books Worth Reading (Part 1)
A List of Great Self-Published Books You Should Read (Part 2)
9 Ways to Use Reading to Improve Your Writing

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  1. If you enjoyed Baccano, I'd recommend checking out Durarara!! which is by the same author and shares many of the same elements: lots of interesting characters, intriguing mysteries and plot twists, and supernatural elements mixed with a seemingly ordinary world.
    Barakamon is also a very fun manga with beautiful themes of doing things for fun instead of for glory, family and friendship, and the importance of being careful around children who will parrot anything.
    The Devil is a Part Timer! is another amazingly funny series where a demon lord from another world is transported to our own and starts working at a McDonalds stand-in. The comedy in it never ceases to make me laugh, no matter how many times I read/see it.

  2. I agree with the person above about 'The Devil is a Part Timer'.

    One of my favourites is Akatsuki no Yona. It is the story of a spoiled princess who has to flee the castle with her bodyguard after she she sees her father, the king, being assassinated. Everything about it is great: story/plot, characters, character development, world-building, action, humour, etc. And it sort of has dragons, so that's always a plus. Only downside is that it's not completed and it takes too long for it to come out in English.

    Also Fullmetal Alchemist is amazing.

  3. I hadn't read any comic books or manga till recently I bought some Daredevil comics which I have really enjoyed. But I've been really wanting to read some manga's so I put a few of these on hold at the library.

  4. Yess I love that Winter Soldier comic book! I'm so glad you like it too :)
    The Batman comic sounds great- I'll have to check it out!

  5. I have heard of Silver Spoon and I definitely want to see if I can read/watch it.
    And can I just say my inner fan girl is happy with these last two posts? Thank you for sharing!

  6. Cells At Work looks so cute!!!

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