Well, comic book. And you know what? That absolutely counts. Going through the English major program during college, I came across a lot of people who looked down their noses at anything that wasn’t the classics or the masters. I remember two guys in one of my classes basically laughing at Stephen King, saying he wouldn’t be as good as Keats, of all people. I thought, what the hell is wrong with you? First off that’s comparing an apple to a cucumber – King is a horror novelist, and Keats was a poet. Second, King’s books are very popular for a reason – they’re well written, they’re engaging, and damn it they are fun to read. And that is really all that matters when it comes to what you like to read. Is it fun to read? Do you have trouble putting it down? Does it make you happy or sad or make you think about life? Then it counts.
There is some excellent writing happening in comic books right now. Not only are the big ones at Marvel and DC still going strong – X Men, Batman, Spiderman, all of those are still out there in one form or another – but there’s some really original series to be found, especially at Image Comics. One of my favorite over the past year has been the series Pretty Deadly written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and drawn by Emma Rios. Not only is it simply stunning to look at, the story is written in such a way that by the time each issue ends, you cannot wait for the next issue to come out, to get a little more of the story and understand the universe.
The story of Ginny, the daughter of Death; Alice, who has her reasons for hunting Ginny; and the Mason who loved too deeply are told by a skeleton bunny and his butterfly friend. It is a gorgeous western intertwined with a heartbreaking horror story. It is action packed one second and quietly introspected the next. The first volume, consisting of the first six issues, is out now. Do yourself a favor and pick it up the next time you’re at your local comic store or bookstore – you will not be disappointed!