Dallas’ Reading List

Cerebus the Aardvark
(I recommend starting with book 2,
“High Society”)
The comic book equivalent
of an epic Russian novel (think “War and
Peace”) and my absolute favorite comic
of all time, chronicling the life of it’s titular character:
a hard-drinking, mean-spirited
aardvark in a world of men. Gerhard’s background art is jaw-droppingly good.
Sim’s word balloon and sound effect work
raised the bar for the medium and is still
second to no one. And it’s funny as hell.

 

Planetary
Warren Ellis and John Cassaday’s
magnum opus, and what I consider to
be one of the greatest superhero comics
of all time. A loving homage to pulp
magazines and the golden and silver
age of comics, this is smart comics.

 

 

 

 

Promethea
The apex of graphic design in
comics. JH WIlliams III created
something here that is rarely
seen in comics, by utilizing the
medium itself to create a singular
work of art that is a joy to look at.
It tells the story of Sophie Bangs,
a college student from an alternate
futuristic New York City in 1999,
who embodies the powerful entity
known as Promethea whose task it
is to bring the Apocalypse. Oh,
and FREAKING ALAN MOORE
WROTE IT.

Sex Criminals
I had to include one book
written by Matt Fraction.
He is the king of dialogue,
and nowhere is this
epitomized more than in
the beautiful relationship
of the title characters.
Absolutely gorgeous
art by Chip Zdarsky,
and the absolute funniest
book on the comics rack.

 

 

All Star Superman
Out of the “Big 2” comic companies,
I’ve always preferred Marvel. So it’s
funny this book would win out over a
book like Astonishing X-Men, but
man. Grant Morrison and Frank
Quitely
are the absolute perfect
creative team to make you both
care about Superman’s relevance
and wax nostalgic about his
history. Morrison is known as
an incredibly cerebral writer, but
for this book he drops most of
that for flat-out fun and spectacle.

 

From Hell
Another Alan Moore book,
but the initial delight in this book
is the scratchy, quirky art of
Eddie Campbell. This is a
thick book and at times a tough
read, but it’s well worth it if
you’re interested in conspiracy
theories and homicidal
madmen with delusions
of grandeur.

 

Stray Bullets
Crime books have been in
vogue for the last decade or
so thanks to books like Criminal,
but this is the better, older
brother. Cooler than Sin City,
this is a noir look into the
underbelly of society through
writer David Lapham’s eyes.
These characters wouldn’t
be out of place in a
Tarantino film.

 

 

Asterios Polyp
There are books, like “Understanding
Comics”, that explain and show, in
theory, what is possible in the comic
book medium. Then there are
masterpieces like this. Asterios
Polyp is a love letter to the form,
showing IN PRACTICE what is
possible in the medium. And it’s
a damn good yarn, too, about a
man and his singula
journey of realization.

 

Fun Home
Overrated? I don’t think so.
This beautiful, tragic book takes
the coming-of-age formula
made popular by “Blankets”
and “Persepolis” and takes
it to an auteur-like level.
Everything about this book
screams genuine and the
art is expressive and fantastic.

 

 

 

BONE One Volume Edition by Jeff Smith

We don’t talk about this book much on the show, but it is amazing. It’s well drawn, well-written, funny and epic. And best of all, it’s all-ages and super accessible.
Like a memorable Disney film, Bone is a book you can pass down to your children and share the experience with. Older readers – don’t be deceived by its simple art style. This is a masterful, timeless work.