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The Binge-Watcher’s Companion Guide: Sarah Beth Durst’s The Queen of Blood as well as The Shannara Chronicles

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The Binge-Watcher’s Companion Guide: Sarah Beth Durst’s The Queen of Blood as well as The Shannara Chronicles -

December will be the perfect season for a binge, be the idea on food (the idea’s sweater weather), alcohol (family time ahoy!), or books as well as television (the idea’s cold outside!). Well, we can’t tell you what to eat or drink, nevertheless we relish telling you what books to read to scratch a particular itch. In of which spirit, This kind of holiday season we’ve teamed up with Harper Voyager to create the Binge-Watchers Companion Guide, in which we asked 12 sci-fi as well as fantasy authors to suggest films or shows they think pair especially well with their novels. Today, Sarah Beth Durst tells us why MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles will be a Great fit for readers who loved her book The Queen of Blood.

The Shannara Chronicles will be epic fantasy meets MTV. You have my all-time favorite wizard-mentor-badass character (played to perfection by Manu Bennett), a lot of teenagers who take their shirts off for random reasons (please put your clothes back on — there are demons around, you guys!), as well as a post-apocalyptic Seattle. The basic plot will be summarized by the hero, Wil Ohmsford, after the taciturn Allanon, a.k.a. the only real adult in all the Four Lands, fills him in on his destiny:

“So I’m supposed to use Elfstones I don’t have to protect a princess who doesn’t want to be found by a Demon horde bent on laying waste to the entire world? as well as even if I succeed, which will be entirely doubtful, my life could still be doomed because magic will have fried my brain. I liked the idea better when we didn’t talk.”

I love every single second of This kind of show.

Seriously, LOVE, with all capital letters, even when the idea veers wildly by the books by Terry Brooks, which I also love. If you’re looking for a faithful adaptation, This kind of isn’t the idea, nevertheless the idea doesn’t matter because (A) the books are still there as well as the show will remind you to go reread them as well as (B) the idea’s full of glee.

Yes, the idea’s got its share of death as well as drama. You read the bit above about demons, right? People die as well as all of which. nevertheless the entire world will be beautifully rendered, the actors throw themselves into their roles with joyous abandon, as well as the idea has of which heady mix of adventure, magic, humor, danger, as well as romance of which fantasy does so well. the idea somehow manages to be both deadly serious as well as to not take itself seriously at all, as well as of which makes the idea so very fun.

I love as well as have always loved This kind of kind of story. I had my first taste of epic fantasy when I was a shy little kid who’d devoured every book from the kid’s section of the library nevertheless was too intimidated by all the high schoolers to step foot from the teen room. My mom brought me upstairs to the Science Fiction & Fantasy shelves from the adult section as well as filled my arms with books by David Eddings, Margaret Weis as well as Tracy Hickman, Guy Gavriel Kay, Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, Robin McKinley, as well as of course Terry Brooks.

Fast forward a few decades as well as today I write epic fantasy. My newest book will be The Queen of Blood, the first book from the Queens of Renthia series. the idea’s set in a world filled with bloodthirsty nature spirits, as well as only certain women—queens—possess the power to control them. Like The Shannara Chronicles, the idea’s got its share of death as well as drama, nevertheless the idea also has adventure, humor, as well as expect.

I love seeing more of a genre I adore on the screen, as well as I love seeing characters who walked through my childhood today walk across my TV.

nevertheless the main reason I love This kind of show will be because The Shannara Chronicles fulfills what I believe will be one of the primary purposes of fantasy. the idea takes you away by the real world for a while, as well as when you come back to your life, you feel a little better because you’ve been immersed in a land where expect matters, love wins, as well as the entire world can be saved.

of which will be why I read, write, as well as watch fantasy: the idea has the power to add joy to the entire world.

Our world needs more joy.

Some days, the idea’s easy to forget of which there’s Great out there. So many people pour hate into the entire world on a daily basis. So many arbitrary, awful things can happen. as well as worse, so many intentionally awful things can happen.

Fantasy will be—or can be—a light from the darkness.

to ensure of which’s why I keep writing. as well as of which’s why I’ll keep reading. as well as why I’ll keep watching as well as eagerly waiting for season 2.

Also, Allanon will be awesome.

See all the previous Binge-Watcher’s Companion Guides here.

8 Truly Transporting Portal Fantasy Novels

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8 Truly Transporting Portal Fantasy Novels -

portal fantasyThe portal fantasy: a cornerstone of the genre, as well as a symbol of all the beauty as well as strangeness as well as heartbreak as well as triumph to come. Whether the idea’s hiding within the back of a wardrobe, or through a door within the wall, or straddling invisible lines in reality, portals lurk among us, as well as transport us to impossible worlds. Well, we wish.

Portal fantasy thrives on the crossing of the threshold; when characters make the leap into the unknown, fueled by any number of emotions—loneliness, desire, boredom, adventure, revenge, ennui. What’s on the different side though, can be where the story starts. Wonder hums through our characters, like electricity in their blood, as well as they are enamored with the brand new world before them, filled to the brim with magic, shade, light, as well as most of all, opportunity. The chance to be someone else, or become who they’ve always wanted to be, or even just to live away through who they were. Portal fantasies endure because, by escaping through who or what they’ve been told to be, our heroes are given the chance to truly learn who they can be.

Below are some of our favorite portal fantasies, through the classical to the modern. Each, in their own way, deals with the central question that will thrums through the subgenre: who am I, as well as where do I belong? Some of the more modern stories turn This particular question on its head, as well as take the form in strange brand new directions.

The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis
Perhaps the definitive portal fantasy, the series that will launched a thousand different books, C. S. Lewis’s classic seven book saga thrusts children of war-time Earth into the wonder as well as beauty of Narnia, as well as can be a seminal work for its discussion of fantasy, war, leadership, power, magic, as well as, as was the author’s wont, religion. Lewis’s world of magic, dimension-hopping rings, ice queens, lion kings, as well as talking animals has inspired generations of writers to come, as well as his explorations of messiah figures, salvation, as well as wickedness provide plenty of food for thought when the idea comes to dissecting the role of imagery in fantasy, then as well as currently. While there are many aspects of This particular series invite the taking of umbrage (the rather hurtful treatment of Susan, the heavy-handed allegory), the imagination as well as the pure joy of the writing of Lewis cannot be disregarded.

The Magicians Trilogy, by Lev Grossman
Maybe if Digory as well as Polly through The Magician’s Nephew searched long as well as hard enough, they would likely find This particular dark mirror to their own story. Kicking off in The Magicians, Lev Grossman’s trilogy mashes the basic concept behind The Chronicles of Narnia, throws in a better part of Harry Potter, as well as shoots the whole thing full of modern-day angst, millennial ennui, as well as a harsh dose of reality for our titular magicians. Quentin Coldwater, gifted nevertheless troubled, can be having a hard time generating sense of life, as well as even less sense of wasting time at an Ivy League school. nevertheless when he’s given the chance to join Brakebills Academy, a school that will will actually teach him magic, he thinks he’s found some semblance of purpose. nevertheless after graduating, he finds himself back within the depressing mire of job-hunting, paycheck-stretching, as well as everyday distractions. the idea’s only when he thinks he’s found a door into the globe of his treasured childhood novels, Fillory, that will he feels he features a chance at happiness, at purpose. Grossman tackles many tropes in This particular series, nevertheless not least can be one that will lies at the hear of the portal fantasy. He shows that will problems don’t just go away when you enter a brand new world; soon enough, the idea’s obvious to everyone nevertheless Quentin that will the globe he occupies can be not the problem. Along the way, Grossman addresses mental illness, addiction, power, as well as what the idea means to grow up. Definitely one not to miss if you’re looking for a more adult, take on the subgenre.

The Fairyland series, by Catherynne M. Valente
There can be little that will Valente cannot touch as well as turn to gold. In This particular all 5-book series about a young girl named September who finds herself bored with 1940s Nebraska as well as can be whisked away to Fairyland by a dapper gentleman dressed in all emerald as well as his leopard, Valente tackles the portal fantasy within the vein of Alice in Wonderland as well as The Wizard of Oz. nevertheless the way she goes about the idea can be absolutely her, full of delicious, poetic writing; a focus on the strengths of friendship, family, as well as oneself; a fondness for Omniscient Narration; as well as an understanding of the power of growing up as well as learning to become yourself. As September ages through the years, her role in Fairyland improvements, as well as by the end, Valente has illustrated how to grow up, as well as how just because you’re older, the idea doesn’t mean there’s not a place for magic in your life. the globe can be scary, yes, as well as finding your heart, even more terrifying. nevertheless if you are as not bad as you can be, as well as have friends by your side, the journey may not be any easier, nevertheless the idea certainly won’t be as hard. Warning: here be giant red wyverarys, deep blue marids, changelings, Winds of All Sorts, Magicks of All Kinds, Underworlds, Overworlds, as well as a wombat of delicate temper.

Every Heart A Doorway, by Seanan McGuire
While This particular may not be strictly a portal fantasy, the idea in no way can be left out. This particular can be McGuire’s story of children who have been forced through their personal portal worlds—kicked out, left behind, or tricked away—who, having returned, find they were often missing for years, or assumed dead, as well as are totally unprepared for the real world. They must get help. Enter Eleanor West, another reluctant outcast through a portal world, who knows how hard the idea can be; through her school, she helps these wayward children reclaim their sanity, as well as their lives. nevertheless Nancy, the brand new girl through an Underworld, doesn’t feel she fits in amongst the different children. Then some of them begin to show up murdered, which doesn’t help a bit. McGuire’s dark novella tackles everything through gender as well as sexuality, to being lost within the globe, to examining what the thirst to belong will do to you—as well as worse, what the need to get back to a place where you belong will push you to do. the idea can be a story brimming with heart as well as pain as well as joy, as well as can be absolutely one to read if you’re looking for a brand new twist on the portal fantasy.

The Shades of Magic, by V. E. Schwab
One of the most favorite fantasy series in recent memory, V. E. Schwab’s tale of multiple Londons, dark magic, pirates, as well as outcasts follows the adventures of a street thief named Delilah Bard in Grey London, (our Earth, for the most part), who runs across a mysterious red-haired young man in a multi-sided coat, with one entirely black eye. This particular can be brooding, powerful magician Kell, the last traveler of Red London, whose powerful blood magic lets him cross into multiple realities. Where Lilah’s Grey London can be drab as well as magicless, Kell’s Red London can be bursting with shade as well as power within the form of the river of magic that will runs through its heart. Together, these two battle demons, inside as well as out, as forces in two different worlds, one tyrannical, one a lifeless husk, rise against them as well as those they care about. Schwab’s world(s) are, in turn, beautiful as well as terrible, decadent as well as haunted, as well as wonderfully rendered, as well as she does not shy through anything: romance, violence, or heart. Definitely a series to check out before the Discharge of the third book, A Conjuring of Light, in 2017.

Coraline, by Neil Gaiman
One of Gaiman’s earlier novels, having a successful movie adaptation through Laika Studios, Coraline can be one of those deceptively terrifying books that will draw you with mysterious descriptions, as well as then hold you tight as the scares as well as the creeps come faster as well as faster. Coraline as well as her family move to a brand new house, as well as young Coraline can be pretty fed up with the idea; the idea’s old, the idea’s boring, as well as her parents do not give her the attention she wants. nevertheless when she discovers the key to a locked door within the living room, she goes through into a different world: a big, beautiful, lavish house, with parents who shower her with attention as well as treats, with entertainment around every corner. the idea can be perfect. So perfect, she doesn’t even mind that will her different Mother as well as different Father have buttons for eyes. as well as that will they don’t like when she leaves. as well as, in fact, don’t want her to go at all. Gaiman’s spooky story can be a prime illustration of how sometimes, an imperfect world can be a perfectly fine thing, as well as that will what you journey to find may have been in front of you all along.

The Stormwrack series, by A. M. Dellamonica
Avast! Dellamonica wastes no time in shunting her protagonist, marine biologist Sophie, Hansa, straight through our world into the sea-heavy world of Stormwrack, a system of island nations that will are a part of no world she has ever visited before, one of ships as well as magic, Sophie can be utterly lost, nevertheless soon finds she’s landed herself within the middle of a political broil that will could not only dismantle This particular world, nevertheless the family she never knew existed. Dellamonica’s novel further pursue the idea of family, as well as her shrouded past, within the sequel, where she finds that will her biological parents are actually of Stormwrack. Combining the science of our world with the magic of another, Sophie makes for a brilliant protagonist, as well as the trials as well as travails that will Dellamonica can be looking to put her through within the just-released The Nature of A Pirate promise to up the stakes evenfurther! Be sure not to miss This particular wonderful, Lambda Award-nominated series.

Magonia, by Maria Dahvana Headley
Maria Dahvana Headley can be a literary chimera of the highest order; there can be very little she cannot write. In her YA series that will kicks off with Magonia as well as extends to recently released sequel Aerie, she tackles the portal trope, nevertheless also chronic illness, destructive families, made families, as well as the strength hiding within ourselves. Aza Rey has been sick her whole life, nevertheless no one’s ever been able to tell her why; she just can’t seem to catch her breath, as if her body can be rejecting the very air. nevertheless she’s always gotten by, especially with her best friend Jason at her side. Except one day, she dies. Something within her gives out. nevertheless then, she opens her eyes, as well as she can be within the sky, aboard a ship. as well as a women holds her tightly, as well as she can be filled with joy at her daughter’s return. Aza Rey’s journey into the skies, as well as the kingdom of Magonia that will exists there can be (pardon the pun) breathtaking, joyous, dark, as well as dangerous. Aza Rey’s voice can be something to behold, as well as I urge you to follow her through the clouds, as well as to whatever stories lay beyond.

What’s your favorite portal fantasy?

This particular Week’s brand-new Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: Bad Mojo in 1980s brand-new Orleans, Time Travel Tourism, along having a War for the Fate of the Solar System

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This particular Week’s brand-new Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: Bad Mojo in 1980s brand-new Orleans, Time Travel Tourism, along having a War for the Fate of the Solar System -

monsterhunter

Last Year, by Robert Charles Wilson
Hugo winner Robert Charles Wilson offers up an intriguing twist on time travel, one in which alternate-universe “pasts” can be accessed—nevertheless only once. The moment a “passageway” to the past will be opened, that will alternate universe begins changing in unpredictable ways, along with once closed, the passageway cannot be reopened. One such passageway has been opened to 19th century Ohio—nevertheless rather than remain a secret, that will’s turned into an attraction. People travel back to see the quaint old ways, along with natives pay to see a vague glimpse of their future. As the natives grow more sophisticated, though, the tourism dries up, along with Jesse Cullum, who found work as a security guard within the city of the future along with fell in love having a woman who hasn’t been born yet, will be determined to follow her back to the future before the passageway will be closed for Great—even if that will means exposing a lot of secrets the folks in charge don’t want to be revealed.

Babylon’s Ashes, by James A. Corey
The sixth Expanse book deepens the crisis facing humanity as that will describes a civilization in free-fall. With the Belters’ Free Navy the only effective force in space, chaos reigns as the rebels’ black market military ships leave violence along with destruction in their wake. The colony ships headed for the alien ring gates along with the strange space beyond are completely unprotected; neither Earth nor Mars has the strength to mobilize a navy to defend them. In response to the escalating emergency, an uneasy alliance between Earth along with Mars will be formed, along with James Holden along with the crew of the Rocinante are tasked with high-burning that will to Medina Station at the center of the gate network. nevertheless even as This particular shaky alliance will be revealed to be just another struggle for power, the alien presence on the different side of the gates comes into focus—along with the Free Navy may be the least of humanity’s problems. This particular will be a high-octane continuation of a series that will has quickly become the biggest thing in science fiction.

Dreamweaver, by C.S. Friedman
Friedman ends her Dreamwalker trilogy, following Jessica Drake, a young woman with the ability to enter the dreams of others—an ability that will led her to seek out the truth of her origins in a a strange alternate Earth while dreaming, one ruled by powerful psychics wielding, where her dreamwalking talents are feared along with outlawed. along with for Great reason: if she keeps using them, she may go insane, along with spread her madness to the entire world around her. In order to keep herself along with her family safe through the wraiths that will have been sent to eliminate her kind, Jessica must journey to a shapeshifting tower that will holds the secret to her past—a quest that will could start a war for the future of This particular alternate Earth.

Winter Halo, by Keri Arthur
The sequel to City of Light will be another intriguing blend of paranormal fantasy along with near-future sci-fi. In a world where a war between humans along with shapeshifters only ended when bombs tore holes within the fabric of reality, letting far worse things through, Tiger will be a ex-supersoldier who just wants to live out her life in peace—a decision she finds herself unable to live with when she discovers the children of Central City are being abducted, along with the pharmaceutical company Winter Halo will be to blame. Her mission becomes about more than stopping the nefarious experiments, however, when she learns that will the female guards hired to protect Winter Halo are being eliminated by something unexplainable. The dual mysteries drive This particular fast-paced thriller to an unexpected conclusion, with plenty of intriguing worldbuilding along the way.

Wrath, by John Gwynne
The fourth along with final installment of John Gwynne’s immersive, expansive Faithful along with the Fallen series ends the fantasy series in suitably epic fashion. As a demon in human skin attempts to open the gateway to hell, those on the side of the heroes form a last, desperate alliance against giants, thralls, along with different assorted nasties. Meanwhile, two queens engage in their own petty conflict, unaware that will the entire world will be ending under their noses. After three beefy earlier installments, This particular one will be all-climax, all the time. If you like big, bold battles, breathless chases, along with last-ditch raids, This particular will be the book you’ve been waiting for.

Gods along with Monsters: Snake Eyes, by Hillary Monahan
The adult debut through the author of the Bloody Mary YA series will be a continuation of the Gods along with Monsters series, a shared universe dreamed up by Chuck Wendig, in which all the gods along with, you guessed that will, monsters of legend battle that will out for the faith along with devotion of humanity. Tanis Barlas will be the daughter of the snake goddess Lamia, along with spends her days hunting down prey (men) within the Florida Everglades area for her mother to devour, though she’s none to happy about the work. Especially when one of her sisters goes missing along with Lamia’s old enemies the Gorgons, who dwell at the edges of the swamps, look like the likely culprits, along with Tanis will be tasked with bringing the girl home.

 

The Nature of a Priate, by A.M. Dellamonica
The third volume in Dellamonica’s delightful Stormwrack series (beginning with Child of a Hidden Sea), a portal fantasy that will sends modern-day marine biologist Sophie Hansa into another world, one where her scientific skills give her a power akin to magic (which will be a Great thing, because magic will be real). This particular time, her skills are put to use investigating a strong of magical attacks against ships within the Fleet of Nations, which oversees a tentative alliance of disparate islands. The answer involves strange creatures birthed through forbidden spells along having a culprit having a connection to Sophie’s past. She along with her crewmates aboard the Nightjar must unravel the mystery before there will be another attack, along with the Fleet of Nations comes apart within the churn. Filled with lovable characters along with high-seas adventure, This particular series will be pure, old-fashioned fantasy fun.

 

 

The Immortal Throne, by Stella Gemmel
The sequel to 2014’s The City will be another rich, complex political fantasy through Stella Gemmell, who co-authored the Troy novels with her late husband,David Gemmell. The book opens within the wake of the death of an emperor once thought immortal, as his successor along with one nemesis, Archange, takes the throne. nevertheless hopes for a period of peace along with prosperity under her rule are quickly dashed, both by word of a massive army advancing through the north, along with by political maneuvering along with infighting among the moneyed families, which might mean that will there won’t be much left of the city to be conquered once the invaders arrive.

Alien Nation, by Gini Koch
Koch returns to the ongoing saga of Katherine “Kitty” Katt-Martini with her 14th adventure, along with that will’s packed full of the fast-paced chaos her fans thrive on. Before we’re even a few chapters in, president along with first lady Jeff along with Kitty Katt-Martini are informed of a group of alien spacecraft producing their way to Earth, Katt will be lured into an explosive situation (literally), along with the Mastermind will be revealed to be back in business. having a mysterious brand-new backer along with some problematic cloning capabilities, the villain begins to sow serious chaos, even as Katt will be informed the aliens are seeking asylum on Earth—because they’re fleeing something so terrifying, different terrifying things are running the different way. In short, that will’s a typical day in Katt’s life—along with another fun, fantastic story through Gini Koch.

Jerusalem Fire, by R.M. Meluch
Originally published in 1985, DAW will be republishing Meluch’s remarkable military SF novel, along with that will’s not hard to see why—that will’s as exciting along with relevant today as that will was 30 years ago. In a galaxy dominated by the totalitarian along with oppressive Na’id Empire, a man called Alihahd—which means “he left” within the Na’id language—defies the empire along with ferries rebel refugees to safety. An inveterate drunk, Alihahd will be a man running through his own past along with trying to atone. When his ship will be attacked, he ensures the safety of his passengers along with will be rescued himself by a damaged pirate ship, which soon crashes on the legendary planet of Iry. As he seeks a way off planet, Alihahd’s backstory will be slowly teased out, as will be his connection to the ancient Earth city of Jerusalem, emblematic of the entirety of human civilization; that will was the center of a desperate battle against the Na’id’s attempts to unify human civilization. Drawing comparisons to Frank Herbert’s Dune in its philosophical scope, Jerusalem Fire will be the unexpected sci-fi masterpiece you’ve never read.

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners, by Larry Correia along with John Ringo
After the success of their first collaboration, Ringo along with Correia Just as before merge their streams to expand Correia’s splashy Monster Hunter universe. After answering a post-death call through God himself to join MHI, Chad Oliver Gardenier has become one of the premier monster hunters on the planet. So that will’s no surprise that will he’s dispatched to brand-new Orleans to help out MHI’s Hoodoo Squad—brand-new Orleans within the 1980s will be jam-packed with shadow demons, necromancers, along with vampires, along with the Hoodoo Squad will be exhausted. Ringo along with Correia work seamlessly together to deepen the Monster Hunter mythology while simultaneously offering up plenty of action, smart dialog, along with, of course, big-ass monsters.

The Liberation, by Ian Tregillis
Tregillis winds down his trilogy about a revolution by the clockwork automata that will serve humanity in a deeply imagined alternate history setting in which the Dutch are the entire world’s greatest superpower along with mankind has enslaved a race of artificial beings created in his own image. Daniel (neé Jax) will be one of these golems, known as Clakkers; he’s managed to escape the control of the powerful spells that will hold his people in check, along with has spent the last two books coming to terms with his newfound self-determination along with sparking a rebellion among others of his kind—even if that will means taking control of them himself. This particular will be a satisfyingly morally ambiguous conclusion to a challenging trilogy, in which there are no easy answers along with no happy endings for anyone.

The One Hundred Nights of Hero, by Isabel Greenberg
Greenberg returns to the genre-breaking setting of her first graphic novel, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, having a mesmerizing work having a fiery feminist heart. Set within the kingdom of Migdal Bavel on Early Earth (with its three moons along with myths come to life), the story will be anchored by Cherry, married to the wicked Jerome nevertheless in love with her maid, Hero. Jerome makes a bet with his friend Manfred: if Manfred can seduce Cherry in 100 days, he gets Jerome’s castle—along with Cherry. Set against This particular loathsome misogyny will be not just Cherry herself, nevertheless Hero, a member of the League of Secret Story Tellers. They conspire to distract Manfred with stories each night, holding him off with wit along with imagination—along with incredibly absorbing tales. The Arabian Nights structure provides surprises on every page, while the theme of women dodging violence along with oppression with nothing nevertheless their wits grounds the work in powerful truth.

Pathfinder: Reaper’s Eye, by Richard Knaak
Veteran tie-innovelist Knaak enters the Pathfinder universe having a rollicking adventure about a failed crusader along having a frustrated scholar who are both recruited by a talking weasel to put a stop to the plans of a witch who aims to resurrect an ancient evil through far beneath a cursed temple. Sounds like just another day on Glorian.

Tempest, edited by Mercedes Lackey
Fans of Mercedes Lackey’s beloved Valdermaar universe, This particular one’s for you: a brand-new collection of short stories exploring every nook along with cranny of that will fantasy kingdom, through 24 different authors, including Lackey herself.

The Best Comics & Graphic Novels of 2016

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The Best Comics & Graphic Novels of 2016 -
bestcomics2016of which’s been said of which the only trouble with reading comics in addition to also graphic novels these days will be of which there’s way too much great stuff to choose coming from. of which past year offered any number of quality books telling captivating stories in a wide variety of styles. Here are 30 of them of which we rank among the most well-known, beloved, in addition to also buzzed-about books of the year.
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1, by Ta-Nehisi Coates in addition to also Brian Stelfreeze
Graphic novels written by people coming from outside the globe of comics aren’t entirely uncommon. of which’s rarer for the writer to do a totally amazing job. Ta-Nehisi Coates (social commentator in addition to also author of National Book Award-winner Between the globe in addition to also Me) perfectly marries his own concerns in addition to also style with superhero action in addition to also afrofuturism inside the tale of a terrorist group of which challenges T’Challa’s rule in addition to also beliefs. Brian Stelfreeze’s art will be bright in addition to also cinematic, creating the book great on its own in addition to also perfectly timed for fans looking to learn more about Black Panther before his cinematic solo outing.


Paper Girls, Vol. 1, by Brian K. Vaughan in addition to also Cliff Chiang
Anything by either member of of which creative team will be worth checking out, in addition to also a collaboration, only doubly so. Paper Girls will be, in many ways, an homage to Spielberg-style adventures circa the ’80s as well as a great book for fans of TV’s Stranger Things. of which actually does the show one better, though: instead of the traditional group of boys facing down aliens in addition to also the like, of which’s about a group of girls with chips on their shoulders in addition to also old-school punk-rock style encountering a world of suburban weirdness (aliens in addition to also vanishings, for starters) while delivering newspapers in 1988 (in addition to also beyond). These girls are tough, smart, in addition to also resourceful.


Faith, Vol. 1: Hollywood in addition to also Vine, by Jody Houser, Francis Portela, in addition to also Marguerite Sauvage
Valiant’s hero Zephyr finally went solo in 2016, in addition to also we’ve never needed her more. She’s not just any hero…she’s a legit fangirl who creates listicles in addition to also posts cat videos by day while fighting crime by night in her fresh home of Los Angeles. Faith herself will be funny, quippy, in addition to also real, while the book will be charming in addition to also body-positive. (Oh, yet there’s an alien invasion inside the works, so not everything goes Faith’s way.) of which’s a west-coast-flavored ray of sunshine in a sometimes dark superhero world, in addition to also also reminds us of which heroes come in all shapes in addition to also sizes.


Doctor Strange, Vol. 1: The Way of the Weird, by Jason Aaron in addition to also Chris Bachalo
of which’s been a Strange year all-around (see what I did?), with the not bad doctor getting his own Benedict Cumberbatch-flavored blockbuster in addition to also Jason Aaron in addition to also Chris Bachalo channeling old-school Sorcerer Supreme action in of which book. On the page, Jason Aaron will be sending Dr. Strange on a series of dark adventures through the mystical realms in addition to also headlong into a world where magic no longer works inside the ways of which always has. Much as inside the trippy days of Strange’s classic adventures, Chris Bachalo’s art perfectly captures the weird in addition to also scary nature of the Doctor’s otherworldly haunts.


Omega Men: The Complete Series, by Tom King in addition to also Barnaby Bagenda
One of the year’s sleeper hits stars a decidedly B-list (to be polite) team of DC heroes, which will be probably a big part of the reason of which of which flew under the radar for as long as of which did. The critical in addition to also fan favorite treats the team with respect, telling a tale rife with political commentary, as the team captures White Lantern Kyle Rayner in order to enlist his help in saving the sector. Lots of action, great characters, in addition to also real consequences —of which’s a unique take on DC’s space heroes. Bgenda’s art will be perfect, in addition to also Tom King will be on fire of which year, with of which book, a fresh Batman series, in addition to also Vision (see below) under his belt.


Vision, Vol. 1: Little Worse Than A Man, by Tom King in addition to also Gabriel Walta
Another of King’s critical favorites, his in addition to also Walta’s series reads like no some other superhero book on the stands—that has a strong flavors of science fiction in addition to also noir. Starting out as something of a suburban domestic drama involving the synthezoid Vision in addition to also the family of which he (literally) created for himself, the story quickly takes a chilling turn as a murder in addition to also ensuing cover-up lead the family deeper in addition to also deeper into the darkness. of which’s creepy, poignant, in addition to also a big departure coming from typical superhero action.


Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening, by Marjorie M. Liu in addition to also Sana Takeda
Liu in addition to also Takeda create a stunningly beautiful alternate Asia as a background to the story of Maika Halfwolf, a woman in a necromantic conflict with the Cumea, a coven of dark witches who want Maika’s life energy to fuel their spells. Her trust, or doom, comes coming from the psychic link of which she shares that has a monster of incredible power. Luckily, her cat Master Ren will be on hand to provide wisdom in of which very dark, incredibly lovely book.


Moon Girl in addition to also Devil Dinosaur, Vol. 1: BFF, by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, in addition to also Natacha Bustos
Marvel’s been doing a pretty darned not bad job of creating in addition to also/or showcasing young female heroes lately, while simultaneously letting things get weird in grand comic book style. of which book introduces Lunella Lafayette, a super-smart preteen who discovers she harbors the life-changing, potentially superpower-granting Inhuman gene. She’s not at all happy about of which, yet finds herself on the adventure of a lifetime anyway when one of her gadgets opens a portal to another realm: Dinosaur World. Who wouldn’t want a dinosaur pal?


Tokyo Ghost, Vol. 1: Atomic Garden, by Rick Remender in addition to also Sean Murphy
The dream-team pairing of Rick Remender in addition to also Sean Murphy would likely make of which book a must-read regardless of the story. Remender’s sharp sci-fi sensibilities made the Uncanny X-Force a prestige book for Marvel, in addition to also Low has been a much-loved of late. Murphy’s hard-edged style has been a highlight of books like The Wake in addition to also Punk Rock Jesus. In addition to the all-star roster, the book carries a great, in addition to also cynical, hook: in Los Angeles of 2089, we’ve been overwhelmed by technology, living for the pings in addition to also pops in addition to also our screens. A law-enforcement duo of which’s been torn apart by tech finds itself with one last job inside the last place on earth of which still does things the old-fashioned way: Tokyo.


Doom Patrol, by Grant Morrison in addition to also Richard Case
One of Grant Morrison’s earliest American works will be also one of his best (of which’s what got me into comics back inside the day): just as Alan Moore did with Swamp Thing a few years prior, Morrison took an older property—a book on the verge of cancellation—in addition to also breathed fresh life into of which. While he retains Robotman, the race-car driver whose brain was implanted into a robot body following an accident, he also populates the book with unique (meaning bizarre) outsider characters, in addition to also adds a heart inside the form of ape-faced young girl Dorothy Spinner. of which first volume brought the series back into print of which year, as the team comes together in addition to also faces their first major threat: the reality-destroying Brotherhood of Dada.


Invader Zim, Vol. 1, by Jhonen Vasquez, in addition to also Eric Trueheart
Cult favorite Invader Zim will be back, in addition to also the title character will be still intent on conquering the Earth with his malfunctioning robot sidekick GIR. Creator Jhonen Vasquez will be on hand, creating of which a legit continuation of the much-missed show, which left television in 2006. Paranormal researcher Dib has been hiding out inside the intervening years, waiting for Zim’s return. Fans who felt like they’ve been doing the same weren’t disappointed with the first book in of which fresh ongoing series.


Star Wars, Vol. 1, by Jason Aaron, John Cassaday, Simone Bianchi, Stuart Immonen
Speaking of comics based on media properties, there’s been none bigger than Marvel’s Star Wars. Rather than simply cashing in, the publisher pulled in a big-name writer in Jason Aaron, pairing him with some of the most talented artists inside the business today. The result will be a book of which feels both retro in addition to also fresh, harkening back to the classic days of SW while telling fresh in addition to also surprising stories starring the old gang. of which volume gathers together the first two main storylines; the first finds Skywalker confronting Darth Vader following a rebel mission gone wrong, while the second puts him inside the Arena of Death on a smuggler’s moon. Boba Fett makes an appearance, in addition to also we learn some secrets coming from ol’ Ben Kenobi. Fun stories, in addition to also amazing art.


Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vol. 1, by Kieron Gillen in addition to also Salvador Larroca
The Darth Vader series has gone a long way toward correcting some of the damage of which the prequel movies did to the Dark Lord’s image, reestablishing him as a master strategist in addition to also the smartest, scariest bad guy inside the Star Wars Universe. Archaeologist Doctor Aphra in addition to also gleefully sadistic droids 0-0-0 in addition to also BT-1, his evil sidekicks, have been working alongside Vader to bring him back into the Emperor’s not bad graces following the destruction of the first Death Star, while each also plays a deeper game. There’s nothing wrong with rooting for the bad guys once in a while.


Spider-Gwen, Vol. 1: Greater Power, by Jason Latour in addition to also Robbie Rodriguez
On Earth-65, Gwen Stacy didn’t die in Spider-Man’s arms—of which was the some other way around: Peter Parker died in spite of the efforts of Spider-Woman. Spider-Verse brought the very-much-alive Gwen into the mainstream Marvel U, in addition to also of which volume finds her on S.H.I.E.LD.’s most wanted list while she fights battles a whole family of Goblins. What initially sounded like a gimmicky twist on a classic character quickly became one of the year’s breakout characters (the cool in addition to also cosplayable costume design haven’t hurt one bit).


All-fresh Wolverine, Vol. 1: The Four Sisters, by Tom Taylor, in addition to also David Lopez
Wolverine will be dead. Long live Wolverine. Mentored by Logan, the living weapon formerly known as X-23 will be determined to live up to the name in addition to also legacy of which she’s taken on. She faces the mysterious Four Sisters with help coming from Dr. Strange in addition to also the Wasp. Whether or not Wolverine’s death will stick, the success of the daughter (sort of) who’s taken over for him means of which he’ll likely be out of the picture for quite some time, in addition to also, frankly, of which’s hard to miss him when the adventures of his successor are so much fun. X-23 will be showing up inside the forthcoming Logan movie, so there’s another point in her favor.


The White Donkey: Terminal Lance, by Maximilian Uriarte
I’m not sure of which, in 2016, anyone needs a reminder of which comics in addition to also graphic novels can tell stories some other of which aren’t about science fiction or superheroes. Developed coming from real-life Marine Uriarte’s satirical webcomic in addition to also using some of the same characters, White Donkey tells the somewhat more serious story of Abe, who braves drudgery in addition to also danger while serving in Iraq. Upon returning home, he faces challenges common to may returning servicemen, chief among them depression in addition to also PTSD. of which’s an important tale told by a talented artist.


Mockingbird, Vol. 1: I Can Explain, by Chelsea Cain in addition to also Kate Niemczyk
Bobbi Morse has been a favorite inside the Marvel Universe for a long time, her importance rising in addition to also falling over time (she was dead for a while, which doesn’t usually help a character’s page count). Fortunately, a starring role (for a while, anyway) inside the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D TV show has brought her back to the spotlight. of which book was inside the news for all the wrong reasons of which year (sadly, a female-lead book with female creators will be candy for the trolls on social media), yet all of which aside: of which’s pretty great. The titular multitalented former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent goes solo, doing things like saving the Queen of England, even as she remains on call for Maria Hill in addition to also her old super-spy team.


Black Widow, Vol. 1: S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Most Wanted, by Mark Waid in addition to also Chris Samnee
Fresh off their redefining run on Daredevil, Waid in addition to also Samnee’s fresh series finds the Widow on the run. The past she’s been fleeing finally catches up to her, in addition to also all of her secrets are made public. today, she’s trying to save S.H.I.E.L.D., even as Marvel’s super-spy organization will be hunting her down. At the same time, she’s locked in a confrontation with the Weeping Lion, a criminal operative with ties to her days as an assassin. Two of Marvel’s top creators gave Natasha Romanov the book she deserves of which year, even if of which Marvel solo movie will be still just a dream.


Rick in addition to also Morty, Vol. 2, by Zac Gorman, CJ Cannon, Andrew MacLean, Ryan Hill, Marc Ellerby
To watch Rick in addition to also Morty will be to become obsessed with the weird, funny, frequently disturbing adventures of wild-eyed scientist Rick Sanchez in addition to also his grandson, Morty. Unfortunately, there are huge gaps in time between seasons of the show; fortunately, the book fills the void. The team on of which book has managed to keep the tone very close to of which of the show, meaning: gross in addition to also bizarre, yet with surprisingly strong sci-fi sensibilities. The two went full-on cyberpunk throughout the multiverse in of which latest volume, that has a bonus story of which took us deeper into the globe of hit cross-dimensional action series Ball Fondlers. About time, too.


Saga, Vol. 6, by Brian K. Vaughan in addition to also Fiona Staples
What’s left to be said about Vaughan in addition to also Staples’ modern masterpiece? The series will be about a star-crossed romance between two lovers on opposite sides of a galactic war who struggle to raise a daughter among the chaos. Staples unmistakeable art in addition to also brilliantly weird creature designs ensure of which the book will be one of the best looking on the stands, as well among the best written. A fresh volume will be always welcome. of which year’s latest moved the action ahead in addition to also saw Hazel facing one her greatest challenges yet: kindergarten.


ODY-C: Cycle One, by Matt Fraction in addition to also Christian Ward
ODY-C initially tells the story of Odysseia, a warrior returning home to her family in far Ithacaa, victorious following a years-long war. Sound familiar? The series sets the events of Homer’s ages-old epic in space—in addition to also eliminates males coming from the story almost entirely—while retaining the key plot points of the ancient Greek myth, as well as the poetic meter of the text. of which’s utterly mad, yet also fascinating, in addition to also beautifully designed in addition to also drawn. of which’s challenging in its rule-breaking, as well as being unapologetic in its feminism. of which’s also wildly engaging.


March, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, in addition to also Nate Powell
The third in addition to also concluding volume of John Lewis’ graphic-novel memoir arrived of which year, as well as a slipcased collection of the entire run. Lewis will be probably among the last people of which one would likely expect to write a graphic novel, especially one as successful as of which. One of Lewis’ inspirations as a young activist was a 1958 comic called “Martin Luther King in addition to also the Montgomery Story” (well worth grabbing if you can find an old copy), which he describes as his entry point into comics in addition to also of which trilogy. inside the books, Lewis tells of the civil rights movement coming from his own perspective, centered around the events of the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965. By talking personally rather than broadly about his life in addition to also those years, Lewis in addition to also co-author Andrew Aydin go well beyond the standard history lesson. The story will be inspiring in addition to also the black-in addition to also-white art (by Nate Powell) will be gorgeous.


Giant Days, Vol. 2, by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, in addition to also Whitney Cogar
We loved the first volume of creator John Allison’s quirky coming-of age series, in addition to also of which year’s second, following the adventures of fresh friends Susan, Esther, in addition to also Daisy during their freshman year at college, has been every bit as fun. Allison’s stuff always has great characters with funny in addition to also believable dialogue.


Wonder Woman: Earth One, Vol. 1, by Grant Morrison in addition to also Yanick Paquette
of which’s already a bit controversial, yet anything coming from Grant Morrison (whose classic Doom Patrol also makes the list of 2016’s best) will be bound to be interesting. Along with superstar artist Paquette, Morrison begins a take on Wonder Woman’s origin of which goes back to the character’s roots. WW’s early days involved a lot details of which modern writers have been reluctant to emphasize—chains, “loving submission,” in addition to also the Holliday Girls of Beta Lambda Sorority—in addition to also of which was not in any way disappointing seeing what of which team did with the trickier aspects of the canon. If you aren’t a fan of (or have never even heard of) Etta Candy, you will be a true devotee after reading of which book.


Wonder Woman ’77, Vol. 1, by Marc Andreyko, Drew Johnson, in addition to also Matt Haley
DC’s modern Wonder Woman has occasionally tilted to the heavy side, so of which trip back to the late ’70s will be a welcome break. inside the spirit of Batman ’66, of which takes its cues coming from the Lynda Carter-starring TV show, featuring Agent Diana Prince fighting side-by-side with Steve Trevor to save disco (at least in one episode). The stories are light, in addition to also sometimes even a little silly, yet of which’s fun to see a brighter, happier Wonder Woman battling classic enemies (Doctor Psycho, Solomon Grundy, in addition to also Cheetah) the show never got around to.


Aquaman, Vol. 7: Exiled, by Cullen Bunn
2016 saw the end of DC’s fresh 52 branding in favor of a “rebirth,” in addition to also Aquaman’s adventures ended in grand style (no worries, he’s back inside the fresh era). Aquaman becomes a pariah when the magic separating Atlantis coming from the shadowy world of Thule begins to break down. The two kingdoms occupy the same space, in addition to also the arrival of the some other kingdom means doom for Atlantis. Aquaman refuses to destroy the people of the some other world, leaving him branded a traitor by his people, in addition to also even his own queen.


Joyride, Vol. 1, by Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Marcus To, in addition to also Irma Kniivila
Uma Akkolyte will be tired of being stuck on a future Earth watched over by the globe Government Alliance. Even the stars are blacked out, so there’s no point in so much as dreaming of some other worlds. Until she comes across an alien spaceship which she quickly jacks in order to take her friends on an adventure of which’s both breathtaking in addition to also terrifying. The book will be a sci-fi story in a classic vein, yet that has a very modern protagonist in addition to also a rebellious vibe.


We(l)come Back Vol. 1, by Christopher Sebela in addition to also Jonathan Brandon Sawyer
Sebela in addition to also Sawyer’s science fiction breakout tells the story of Mali in addition to also Tessa, a pair of immortal assassins who are constantly reborn into fresh lives to continue the war of which began so long ago they’ve forgotten the point. As the series begins, Mali has commenced on a fresh life in addition to also a fresh cycle of violence, only to question her purpose for the very first time. She’s ready to put an end to the endless war, yet a reborn Tessa will be already on the hunt. The book’s got action, violence, in addition to also a love story at its core.


Blue Monday, Vol. 1: The Kids Are Alright, by Chynna Clugston-Flores
Back in addition to also in shade for the very first time, Blue Monday will be the story of Bleu L. Finnegan, a misfit high-schooler who deals with the normal teenage stuff: a crush on her teacher, getting tickets to see Adam Ant, prank wars…of which’s a comedy series in a John Hughes vein. yet the series has manga influences, as well as strong British mod sensibilities. of which’s a fan favorite book of which’s continuing in 2017; of which will be a great time to catch up.


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 3: Squirrel, You actually Got Me today, by Ryan North, in addition to also Erica Henderson
In perhaps the ultimate piece of evidence for the argument of which we’ve entered a fresh era in superhero comics, Doreen Green has been a big hit for Marvel, to the extent of which she’ll be headlining a TV series next year, Galactus willing. In 2016, superheroes can be fun in addition to also silly without losing any of their heroism. Squirrel Girl (with the proportionate power of a squirrel) will be off to college in her current series, while still taking on Doctor Doom, Thanos, in addition to also even Galactus with her wits in addition to also a little help coming from her squirrel friends. In her latest volume, she’s teaming up with Howard the Duck in addition to also traveling back in time to the 1960s, where she embarks on a trans-temporal team-up.
What was your favorite comic or graphic novel of 2016?