When it comes to comic books, independent really only means one thing: not Marvel or DC. And that's great, because there's a whole lot of indie imprints out there generating some really awesome indie comic content.
All of the indie comics on this list should definitely be a lot more widely read. Fans may recognize the most popular titles like Fables and Preacher, but may be missing out big time on books like Lumberjanes and Scalped. Even if Batman is your favorite, these underrated indie comics will guarantee you fall in love thanks to suspenseful writing, brilliant world building, and dedicated writers and illustrators.
This list will help you discover all the amazing indie comic books that have been hiding under your nose, just waiting to be read.
The setting of Southern Bastards sounds relatively boring. It centers around a small, southern town with a passion for football and a domineering high school coach. Luckily, creators Jason Aaron and Jason Latour have a thing for drawing the absolute most out of any concept, and they’ve turned Southern Bastards into a complex drama that constantly keeps its readers on the edge of their seat. Every new development in the plot is so shocking that reading each issue is truly exhilarating. And whether you care about small football towns or not, you'll want to keep checking in to see what the characters are up to.
Preacher might be the most well-known comic on this list, as it was adapted into a television series in 2016. However, few fans have experienced the comics, which differ pretty substantially from the show. Preacher has a fantastic creative team of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, and a concept straight from the depths of hell: Preacher stars a Texan good ol’ boy, forced into a life of preaching. He receives god-like powers and sets out to kick God’s ass for doing a bad job of running the world. Oh, and his best friend is an Irish vampire. Preacher is a true gem.
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Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky might just be the funniest people in comics, and Sex Criminals is their magnum opus. The conceit of the series is amazing: two lovers meet and just so happen to share an interesting superpower. Suzie and Jon both stop time whenever they orgasm, and can freely move around the frozen world for a while thereafter. After previously thinking they were alone in the world, the couple decides to use their amazing power to commit crimes, namely bank robberies. When they encounter a police force made up of others with sex-related superpowers, things start to get weird, and it only gets more bizarre from there. If you like sex jokes of both the mature and immature variety, Sex Criminals is for you.
The success of Bill Willingham’s Fables, which ran for 150 issues, helped usher in a new wave of fairy tale re-imaginings. Fables is one of the first series to toy with using classic children’s characters in more adult situations, and the results are spectacular. Characters like Snow White, Boy Blue, and Bigby Wolf experience drama that is well beyond what would be appropriate for pre-school audiences, but their nostalgic nature helps give the entire series an instant depth and importance. The series inspired more than a few excellent spin-offs, and finally concluded its 13-year run in 2015.
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