By The Stewart Bros. — What a year for indie comics. Seriously, has there ever been a year packed with more stellar indie debuts? We tried our hardest to limit this list to 10, but it was just too hard. So, we’ve also included a couple bonus picks! Our list is comprised of 10 indie books (five from Image, three from Vault, and one each from BOOM! Studios and IDW - Black Crown) and two from the Big 2. Ten…yes TEN of our picks have a #1 issue that was released in 2018. The future of comics is bright, indeed.
Gideon Falls by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino (Image Comics): No story has better executed the strange people in a strange town trope, at least not since Twin Peaks. Artist, Andrea Sorrentino has crafted some of the most creative page layouts in comics for this book, and we absolutely love it.
Euthanauts by Tini Howard and Nick Robles (IDW Black Crown): A smart, stunningly-rendered trip down a mortality rabbit hole. This series makes death feel beautiful, not foreboding. No small feat.
The Weather Man by Jody Leheup and Nathan Fox (Image Comics): Combines sci-fi action with black comedy to spectacular effect. The Weather Man feels like it’s just warming up and we can’t wait for what’s next.
These Savage Shores by Ram V and Sumit Kumar (Vault Comics): Top to bottom this might be the most beautifully-realized comic on the shelves right now. Everything about it, from the story to the art, is gorgeous.
Kill or be Killed by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image Comics): I can’t remember the last time a series reached such a satisfying conclusion. This instant classic is only four volumes, so time and commitment are not reasons to skip this crime thriller. In fact, we can’t think of any reason to not read this one.
Mister Miracle by Tom King and Mitch Gerads (DC Comics): The Eisner-winning creative team concluded this masterpiece in spectacular fashion. This is an all-time great story about the humanity behind superheroes.
Bone Parish by Cullen Bunn and Jonas Scharf (BOOM Comics): This book is Breaking Bad with a horror angle set in a gorgeously-rendered New Orleans. Cullen Bunn is the king of horror comics right now, and books like this make it easy to see why.
Murder Falcon by Daniel Warren Johnson (Image Comics): This comic rocks just as hard as the title implies. No one composes better pages than Daniel Warren Johnson. Each page is a piece of art unto itself.
Fearscape by Ryan O’Sullivan and Andrea Mutti (Vault Comics): The best comic about storytelling since Sandman. Full stop. If you have ever embarked on a creative endeavor, this one will speak to you.
The Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett (Marvel Comics): This Big 2 book reads like an indie title, and we mean that as a high compliment. More creative freedom, more great comics.
Isola by Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl (Image Comics): World building at it’s finest. This character driven story is immersive and heavy with gorgeous atmosphere.
Friendo by Alex Paknadel and Martin Simmonds (Vault Comics): Is modern technology sweet? Yes. Is it also subtly terrifying? Yes. No book explores this contradiction better than Friendo.
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