By Chance or Providence

Becky Cloonan (Image Comics)

Recc'd by: NICKI

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Previously self-published and then collected through kickstarter, By Chance or Providence is my favorite work by one of my most admired writers and artists, Becky Cloonan. A collection of three separate comics, each story is beautifully dark and gothic, folding in elements of nordic storytelling and the kind of eeriness that only comes from the oldest of fairy-tales.

The art itself is gorgeous, using simple 3-4 color palettes and letting the heavy, dramatic inks do most of the work. You can really sink your teeth into these stories, and get lost in the melancholic, heavy fantasy of medieval curses, supernatural creatures and terrible, tragic love.

If you liked DOOM THAT CAME TO GOTHAM and HELLBOY, you might like this!

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

Ryan North and Erica Henderson (& others) (Marvel Comics)

Recc'd by: ALLISON

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Do you need a break from this serious world, or overly serious comics? Do you long for the fun of 60s Marvel comics? If so, spend some time with Doreen Green, the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl! Armed with the powers of a girl, of a squirrel, of computer science, and most importantly of friendship, Doreen takes on the likes of Galactus, Kraven the Hunter, and Doctor Doom. Meet her brilliant sidekick Tippy Toe, follow her tweets to mentor Tony Stark, check out her collection of Deadpool’s Guide to Super Villain cards, and don’t miss the snarky comments hidden on the bottom of many pages.

Author Ryan North, the creator of Adventure Time, keeps the dialogue whimsical and modern while channeling a comprehensive history of silver age Marvel Comics. Artist Erica Henderson's style is sharp and expressive. Excellent reading for all ages, and complete with a theme song!

If you liked MS MARVEL and DEADPOOL, you might like this!


Motor Crush

Babs Tarr, Brenden Fletcher, and Cameron Stewart (Image Comics)

Recc'd by: SARA

Usagi Yojimbo

Stan Sakai (Dark Horse Comics)

Recc'd by: ALLISON

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If you’ve somehow missed Usagi Yojimbo, stop what are you doing and pick this comic up. The longest independent serial comic in existence, Usagi follows a wandering Ronin rabbit on his epic journey across early 17th century Japan. Set in an anthropomorphic world including cats, bats, rhinos, dinosaurs, and a variety of monsters and ghosts, Usagi tries not to get involved in local politics, however his duty to help those in need tends to get the best of him.

Author Stan Sakai has won numerous Eisner awards as well as the National Society of Cartoonist Award and Parents Choice Award. The sole creator and owner, Stan’s writing is fluid and relaxed, and the comic is immersed in carefully researched details of Japanese history, art, and folklore. Easily one of my top five comic series of all time! Also check out his recent team up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the latest one shot or hard cover format.

If you like TMNT and AKIRA KUROSAWA, you might like this!

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Set in the futuristic Nova Honda, MOTOR CRUSH follows Domino Swift, a star racer in the worldwide motorcycle league. But Domino has a secret-- at night, she competes in vicious underground tournaments against biker gangs to win Crush, a machine narcotic that can boost racers' engines. For Domino, however, it isn't about making her bike faster; it's about staying alive. For reasons unknown, Domino must ingest doses of Crush to survive, or else succumb to her strange illness. 

Equal parts action and family drama, MOTOR CRUSH is a thrill ride of a comic. With gorgeous art, diverse and engaging characters, and a plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat, MOTOR CRUSH is one of the best comics on the shelf.  Tarr, Fletcher, and Stewart are a dream team and a force to be reckoned with in modern comics.

If you liked DC BOMBSHELLS and MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, you might like this!

Suggested for a Mature Audience.


Sleepless

Sarah Vaughn, Leila Del Duca, Alissa Sallah (Image Comics)

Recc'd by: SARA

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You may know the story of Sleeping Beauty-- a beautiful princess is cursed to sleep until she is woken by true love's kiss. Now, flip that story upside down and you get: a knight who is cursed to never sleep and is sworn to guard the kingdom until he is released from his vows or-- worse-- falls into insanity and a deathlike sleep.

Cyrenic, a Sleepless Knight, is sworn to Lady "Poppy" Pyppenia and his job becomes even harder when the new king is coronated. As the threats to her life mount, Poppy and Cyrenic race to uncover who is behind the attacks and just what it is their mysterious enemy wants from Poppy. With no help from Poppy's uncle (the king) and faced with a court full of suspects, Poppy and Cyrenic have no one to trust but each other. Filled with high fantasy magic, political intrigue, and a romance to make your heart swoon, Sleepless is a story that will become an indelible icon in the fantasy comic genre.

If you like GAME OF THRONES and GRIMM FAIRY TALES, you might like this!

Suggested for a Teen & Up Audience.