Haven’t read a comic book or graphic novel in a while? Just dip your toe in every so often? Then you may not be aware that the first Saturday of May is Free Comic Book Day. Yeah, that’s right, free comics at your local comic book shop. There are 50 free comics available this year, although not every shop will have every comic. If you aren’t sure whether you have a local comic shop, be sure to check out the store locator at the Free Comic Book Day website.
If it’s your first trip, you’re going to want to walk around and check things out, not just grab your free comic and leave. If you’re anything like those of us at Readerly, you won’t be able to leave without buying something, but if you’re a comics novice, you may not be sure what to grab. Luckily we’ve been on a huge comics binge lately and have some top-notch picks for you.
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image) Don’t be put off by the man with horns or the woman with wings; Saga is a fantastical space drama whose otherworldly characters have remarkably deep human emotions. Sure, the protagonists are trying to evade an intergalactic war, but they’re also young parents trying to learn what it means to be a family.
Hawkeye by Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Javier Pulido (Marvel) If you want to explore the Superhero comic genre, Hawkeye is a wonderful choice. Although Hawkeye is an Avenger, this series focuses on his time between Avenger gigs when he is just a good but somewhat hapless guy who is trying to do the right thing. Bonus: His sidekick Kate Bishop (a young Avenger who also goes by the moniker Hawkeye) is a wonderfully strong and sassy young woman who doesn’t take crap from anyone.
Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (Image) Every time Susie has an orgasm, she freezes time. Things really get weird when it turns out that her new guy, Jon, is also able to freeze time with his orgasms. Sex Criminals is full of sexy sex and silly sex jokes but manages to avoid the cheap or smutty. This is a smart and hilarious comic, and the biggest problem with it is there just isn’t enough of it available yet.
Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (Marvel) This Ms. Marvel reboot features Kamala Khan, a young Muslim-American woman who wants to be a normal teenager, but instead finds herself with strange powers after becoming lost in a mysterious fog. This is a fun and authentically young comic suitable for adults and teenagers alike.—Jen Karsbaek