OK, what wasn't to love about comics as a kid?
Lots of pictures, dynamic movements and dialogue - it was great when we were learning to read. Whether it was in Nickelodeon Magazine, kids books or even just newspaper strips, everybody probably read them at one point or another.
Maybe you grew out of them and moved on to superhero comics, or other stuff, before dropping them. Sometimes it seems like comics are only for kids, but there's actually a huge market and variety of them.
While some of the most popular comic genres (superhero in particular) have been slow on implementing progressive portrayals of women and LGBTQ+, many comics have recently addressed social issues and the political climate.
If you still fondly reminisce on the comics you read as a kid, here are some great ones for older readers:
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
If you like Star Wars, this is up your alley. Intergalactic war? Check. Cool alien species? Check. Wacky planets for the characters to explore? Check. No lightsabers, but an amazing plot that draws you in immediately.
New parents Alana and Marko are fleeing authorities from both of their species, who are at war with each other, while trying to raise their daughter, Hazel. I mean, this is just the tip of the iceberg of the series, but there are bounty hunters, a prince whose species look like they have TVs for heads and many other wild characters who cross paths in this space opera, Game of Thrones-esque comic.
If you like outer space and plots with twists and turns that'll keep you on your toes at all times, this is for you.
Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang
Right as Halloween is ending in 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls in the Cleveland suburbs stumble across an otherworldly conspiracy and mysteries that span countless years into the future. Some sci-fi, some horror and with a healthy dose of gunfire and action mixed in, this series has a little bit of everything for everybody.
This series is also by Brian K. Vaughan, who is the author of Saga. I never liked being around or reading about 12-year-olds before, but these girls are badasses. It's still in the process of being published, with only 15 issues out and two volumes so far, but there's so much happening that there's plenty more on the horizon for these delivery girls.
Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
Fantasy Fan? This one goes out to you.
In an alternate, matriarchal 1900's Asia, a teenage girl is caught in a war between magic beings and humans - a war rooted in race.
In addition to addressing the racial issues of the world, the series also develops the relationships between characters in a way that I can only describe as beautiful. The backstory is rich and complex, and there's so much to keep your attention and take you by surprise.
Fables by Bill Willingham
After fantasy and fable are forced out of their storybook worlds and into the gritty, sex-filled and violent streets of Manhattan, they take up residence in a magically hidden neighborhood called Fabletown. With Snow White as mayor, they struggle to adapt to the modern world while simultaneously fighting against the power that took them from their homes, named "The Adversary."
I love all of the twists that this series puts on classic characters (in what world would Snow White dump Prince Charming? This one apparently. He was cheating, after all), and the complex morality that is explored.
What is truly good and evil? Seeing popular characters from childhood make adult decisions is always a cool area to explore, and this series really captures some of the struggles that we now face as young adults on the cusp of entering the real world.
Snotgirl by Bryan Lee O'Malley and Leslie Hung
Written by the author of Scott Pilgrim, this is lowkey a new personal fave. Fashion blogger Lottie Person puts her best foot forward on her blog to hide the things that are falling apart in her offline life. Shitty friends, a breakup, sex, horrible allergies (hence the name) and... murder?
Maybe it's just that I love the premise of a fashion blogger turned potential murderer, but this is such a fun read. I might also be a sucker for the green hair. You never know what's going to happen next to our allergen-riddled heroine, and she's likeable and funny enough that you really, really want to find out what the hell is going on.