12 Manga and Comic Books To Read

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Recently I’ve been getting more into manga and comic books. I’m super thrilled because I used to read these books back when I was in high school and college. It didn’t follow me into my 20s and that makes me the tiniest bit sad. But now I want to change that.

The one downfall is that I don’t know what’s good anymore. I used to read important graphic novels like Maus and Persepolis and fun manga like Sailor Moon, but that was the extent of my comic life. So I asked around for some suggestions and I got a ton of new and old comic books and manga that I’m ready to try. Here’s my short list for now:

Paper Girls by Brian K Vaughn

The first story I’m starting with is Paper Girls. It’s the story of four girls who run paper routes in their small town when one day they encounter what looks to be an alien spaceship. From that point on, the story changes into a time traveling tale of these girls finding the truth, saving the day, and figuring themselves out at the same time.

Saga by Brian K Vaughn

I’ve always been intrigued by this book and its covers, but I never took a shot at it. This is a very adult-themed comic book about two people on opposite sides of a galactic war. They come together, fall in love, and become a family. The hard part is finding their place in a world that doesn’t accept them. I definitely know those feels and I can’t wait to read this one.

Deadly Class by Rick Remender

There are two comic books on this list that I’ve seen posters for all over the place. The reason? They’ve been adapted into a TV show and a movie (respectively). Deadly Class happens to be the TV show and as excited as I am about it, I would much rather read the comic book first. I’m totally a fan of this one because I love the idea of an assassin school where you go to become a bad ass. I think if this kind of school existed, I would have begged my parents to send me there.

Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo

When I was younger, I watched Akira for the first time and the whole thing went straight over my head. I got the whole bad kids trying to make it, but it completely lost me when one of the kids got weird monster powers. It’s definitely one of those movies you need to watch a few times before it makes sense. However, I’ve decided to take the route where the book will better explain what the movie didn’t. So to wrap up a really confusing and unanswered question, I’ll be reading this as well. Let’s hope it’s not as creepy as the movie.

Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama

I actually had to do a little research on this one because everyone who was ever a kid heard of Dragon Ball Z. But since the manga and the anime are really old, there’s been iteration after iteration after iteration on this story. Where do you start? Well, I did some research and I’m starting here; at Dragon Ball (no Z). This is the story that leads up to the wildly adored series Dragon Ball Z and I’m the type of person who needs to start from the beginning and get myself to the current. It’ll be a long journey with this one, but I’m excited to take it. I also might not like it. That’s another possibility.

Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi

I recently started watching this anime, but was so confused by what was going on that I decided to check out the manga. This is the story of a young girl who falls down a well in her backyard and enters Feudal Japan. In this old Japan, she meets a half-demon named Inuyasha and they travel the world together to find the shards of an ancient artifact. The anime was super good, but I can’t wait to dive into this manga.

Sandman by Neil Gaiman

Now that I’m finally into comic books again, I wanted to read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. As you already know, I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman and have already read five or six of his novels. I’m ready to add the graphic novel as well. This book sounds like a combination of life and death, myth and reality, and a whole lot of fantasy. It follows a being named Morpheus as he looks for his objects of power. I don’t know what that means, but I’m willing to find out.

One Punch Man by ONE

One Punch Man was one of those anime shows I like to hype all the time. I tell everyone to watch it because it’s funny, subversive, and full of action. Now that I’ve watched the anime I want to read the manga. I’m funny that way. This is the story of a young man who is your anti-hero. He has incredible skills and can easily take out an enemy with one punch (hence the name). However, he’s also super bored because a fight isn’t a fight if you go out in one punch. He’s constantly looking for a bigger challenge and being disappointed.

Fruits Baskets by Natsuki Takaya

This is a little bit of a departure from what I’ve been sharing so far. It’s more of a sweet fantasy with a little bit of love. It follows a young girl who loses her house and camps out on some private property. It turns out that the people on this property turn into animals of the Chinese zodiac when touched by the opposite sex. Very strange, but I watched this anime and remember how much I loved it. Of course I’m going to read the manga especially since it’s considered essential reading by a few groups.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki

This is a manga I’ve never heard of, but it’s supposed to be one of the most essential mangas you need to read. It sounds like a brotherly rival story, but with a twist. I’m going in completely blind with this one, but I’m excited to see what it’s about.

Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto

I couldn’t put a list of all the great manga I’m going to read and not include Naruto. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever watched Naruto either. I don’t know much about it, but people have raved that it’s an amazing series that makes you fall deeply in love with the characters. Naruto is a troublemaking kid that’s trying to finish Ninja school and comes across a variety of challenges. It’s going to be an exciting one and I can’t wait to get started!

Alita: Battle Angel by Yukito Kashiro

This is the other manga I’ve been seeing all over town and a little curious about. While I don’t want to watch the movie (it doesn’t look good with all that CGI), I definitely want to try out the manga. I’m not 100% sure what it’s about, but the description says it’s about a cyborg woman who lost her memories with a body that will destroy everything. She’s now trying to figure out her life and not kill everything in her path. I don’t know. Don’t quote me on that, it just looks interesting enough for me to check out.

What do you recommend for a newbie like me?