Printed in glorious black and white and drawn in a simple cartoony style, this book reads like a really long comic strip. This book has a childlike sense of humor and fun without being condesending to adults, and with enough genuinley interesting plot developments that you'll want to keep buying the series until their aren't any left to be bought, and then write angry letters demanding more.
2) The Watchmen -
Considered by many critics to be the best comic ever written, I listed it second because, unlike Bone, it's not the easiest comic book to read, and really, I wouldn't recomend it to anyone who didn't already enjoy reading in general a great deal. But to those who gunuinley enjoy challenging literature, you owe it to yourself to take a look at this novel which examines the gonera of comics, the goverment, and the human psyche.
3) Starman: Sins of the Father -
An interesting take on comics, a comic book hero who came out in the fourties has retired, and his middle aged goatee wearing son reluctintly accepts the mantel, mocking his father's mask and tights fetish, and generally putting to voice many of the questions super hero detractors have been asking for decades. This isn't just a satire, though, as it chronicals his meetings with many interesting, unqiue, and facinatingly powered people.
4) Kingdom Come -
Iconic, instantly reconizable superheroes - Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman - a couple decades into the future, making realistic desicions that drasticly affect the well being of the average American. A mistake by an inexperinced superhero virtualy eliminates the whole of the state of Kansan, and the goverment has to question weather superheroes should even exsist in America - as if they could remove them if they wanted to.
5) Ultimate Spiderman: Power and Responsibility -
More light hearted then most of the books on this list (and actually apropriate for almost any age), this book chroniciles a teenaged Spiderman in modern day times, from how he recived his powers, to the way he gets along with his peers in high school, to the tragic events that altered his life, perceptions, and destiny. This book has practicly no super hero battles in it whatsoever, instead consintrating soley on the feelings and interactions of the characters.
6) The Dark Knight Returns -
Considered by many to be the best comic ever, after Watchmen, this book is likewise somewhat difficult to read, espicially for those who aren't very well aquinted with the Batman mythos (helpful hint: The woman named "Selinia"? That's Catwoman). However, I still recomend it for newcomers because it, more then anything else written, explains why Batman really is a super hero as opposed to just a disillusioned guy who works out and runs around in a bat costume. Nothing has changed the way I look at comics more then the scene near the end featuring Batman and Superman, both in their fifties, fighting to the death in an alley in Gotham city.
7) Understanding Comics -
Excactly what the title says, this book delves so deeply into it's subject that it could almost qualify as a textbook, and yet it always manages to remain easy to read. This is achived in great part by the fact that the author chooses to explain everything to you via a comic book character of himself. Read this book all the way thru, and more likely then not, you'll find yourself in a pasionate debate with some random person trying to convince them excactly why comics really ARE a serious art form.
8) A Contract With God -
This is an excelent example of excactly what a comic can be. In it the author chronicles true tales that center around the tentement building he grew up in during the thirties. Although the stories inside are decididly adult orianted, sometimes disturbing, and certinly not for everyone, their very artfully told, and a perfect illistration of the fact that comics don't have to be fiction about muscular men in tights, or for that matter, fiction at all.