In lieu of the weekly comic book list, True North Country Comics presents the top 10 go-to comic book/graphic novel list from Casey Parsons.
Casey is an artist from Stoney Creek, Ontario. He has recently appeared in Toronto Comics Anthology and is featured in the new indie anthology magazine Cauldron. He has worked on pinups and variant covers for indie titles. Trained as a fine artist and graduating in art programs from Sheridan College and McMaster University, he has been illustrating and freelancing for indie comics for the past few years.
Here’s Casey’s top 10 go-to comic book and graphic novel list.
1. The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley
“My annual go to is typically DKR, the original, Miller proving himself with all his unapologetic guts in his prime. I think it’s a damn near perfect superhero story, because of excellent storytelling, the words and images mesh so well and are paced beautifully so you get sucked right into this believable dystopia, and Varley’s colours are only add to the gritty tone. Could talk or analyze this ad nauseum.”
2. Daredevil by Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, Lalit Kumar Sharma, and Julian Totino Tedesco
“I tend to follow certain artists or writers or good combos, regardless of publisher. One current mainstream title is Daredevil. Yes, I know Chip, and he is the reason I started picking it up. But I’ve always loved DD, and on Chip’s books you know his storytelling is topnotch. As is Checchetto’s art, and ya gotta love the Tedesco covers too.”
3. Killadelphia by Jason Shawn Alexander and Rodney Barnes
“I also follow artists as well as favourite writers, (definitely prefer when both are excellent and well matched). If you know me you know I go on about Jason Shawn Alexander’s work. Why? He is a big influence and speaks to a little of what I am going for when I create. He manages to combine fine art and comic illustration seamlessly, and is usually on great dark exciting horror stuff. Right now he’s killing it on Killadelphia; about vampires taking over America story, with nearly 300 year old president John Adams as the head vampire!”
4. The Immortal Hulk by Joe Bennett and Al Ewing
“Buy the Immortal Hulk. Joe Bennett and Al Ewing’s gamma powers are peaking as they make Hulk fun again. It’s classic Hulk but updated and much more of an ongoing horror story, with tons of fun cameos and twists to the mythos. It’s pure fun.”
5. Gideon Falls by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino and Dave Stewart
“Gideon Falls, because Jeff Lemire is a powerhouse Canadian storyteller who deserves our attention and admiration. When he’s on he’s on, and with Sorrentino‘s art this could be the best thing Lemire has going out of his 50 monthly books.”
6. Criminal by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
“Criminal, by Brubaker and Phillips. Their classic series continues. These guys are one of those perfect mashups I mentioned earlier. They make you feel like you are in an old noir detective film, and they are just consistently enjoyable and always worth keeping up with.”
7. DC’s Black Label
“I gotta give credit to DC’s Black Label titles, i’m gonna lump ‘em all (mostly) together even though each one deserves special merit, because it’s my list and I feel like it. I especially enjoy the Wonder Woman series; I am enjoying Sienkiewicz’s quick sorcerers inks over Cowan’s pencils on the Question series; Batman Damned that kicked it off was excellent. I just love that DC took the chance on the mag format which showcases good art, and having mature readers books. Now if only Epic would come back.”
8. Violent Cases by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
“That’s enough of current things. I have been reading/rereading Dave McKean’s projects, Cages and Pictures That Tick, Black Dog…he is a living gentleman genius I figure. Just check him out if you haven’t, maybe start with Mr. Punch or Violent Cases (both written by Neil Gaiman). He makes you feel like he’s always been roosting in your subconscious and assembling creepy dolls in there, like he has access to any door of the mentally and emotionally abstract.”
9. Swamp Thing by Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, John Totleben, and Rick Veitch
“…people go to Watchmen every year, and I get it. I go to it every five years I think. But, you must not ignore the great Alan Moore (I rhymed that on purpose). For me, his Swamp Thing run taught me a lot about what comics were capable of. Brilliant stories and luscious Bissette/Totleben/Veitch art, if you haven’t please read them! Affordable trades are always in print.”
10. Little Bird by Darcy Van Poelgeest, Ian Bertram and Matt Hollingsworth
“To further bloat and end this verbose opinion list of what I like, I won’t point to any one work. At the expense of leaving out important works, I would rather encourage readers to give more indie books a chance. Find art and stories that speak to you, approach the comic rack with a receptive attitude. Discovering new things can improve your life! Find out what your current favourite creators are reading, and who their influences are. Not saying there is anything wrong with following your favourite characters, just saying give those indie passion projects a chance, I guarantee your new favourite comic book is out there. Oh okay, if you must have a title, try Image’s Little Bird by Poelgeest and Bertram, the hardcovers out now and it was my favourite mini series last year.”
You can discover more about Casey on Twitter at @caseyarts77 and on Instagram at instagram.com/caseyarts77