John Ward’s top 10 go-to comic books and graphic novels

True North Country Comics presents John Ward’s top 10 go-to comic books and graphic novels.

John is a writer of film, TV, comics and prose, and creator of the 49 degrees north writers podcast. He also has a PhD in String Theory and studied string theory in the early universe and gauge-gravity duality. Relevant to this podcast, is John’s work as a writer on a variety of comic book projects including Dark Fragments, Death of the Horror Anthology, Scratcher, Ultrabot Go Go Go! and more. Earlier this year, he published the first issue of his crime/sci-fi comic Acausal via Kickstarter.

Here (in no particular order) are John Ward’s top 10 go-to comic books and graphic novels:

From Hell  – written by Alan Moore, art by Eddie Campbell
“What can you say about this haunting examination of Jack the Ripper? It’s sheer genius.” 

Sparks: an urban fairytale – by Lawrence Marvit
“I was given this book by my Offbeats co-creator Tom Sacchi, and I love it. It’s the story of a Jo, a lonely young woman who builds a robot – who subsequently comes to life. Jo reaches the robot about the ways of the world, and their friendship turns into an exploration of life and its meaning.” 

Kill or be killed – written by Ed Brubaker, art by Sean Phillips, colours by Elizabeth Breitweiser
“A smart an inventive thriller driven by an unreliable narrator. I’m a big fan of Brubaker and Phillips as creators and will pick up anything that has their names on it – but this one is a particular favourite.” 

Where We Live  – Anthology curated by J. H. Williams III and Wendy Wright-Williams
“There are so many great anthologies out there, but this one really stuck with me. Created to support the survivors of the Las Vegas shooting, this book is full of incredible stories examining the issue of guns from multiple perspectives.” 

Daredevil: Born Again – written by Frank Miller, pencils by David Mazzucchelli, colours by Christie Scheele and Richmond Lewis, lettered by Joe Rosen
“Everyone has their favourite Big Two superhero and Daredevil is mine, and this story is a classic I keep coming back to time and again.”

Daredevil: Wake Up  – written by Brian Michael Bendis, pencils by David Mack, inks by Mark Morales and Pond Scum, colours by Richard Isanove, lettered by RS and Comicraft 
“I think this may was the first Daredevil book I ever read and it’s one of my favourites. The entire team deliver a heart-breaking story as Daredevil tries to help a young survivor of abuse come to terms with an impossible trauma. The art in this book is beautiful and distinctive, but absolutely crucial to the storytelling.” 

Black Hole – by Charles Burns
“A beautiful and weird book set in 1970’s Seattle. An unusual coming of age story set against the backdrop of an STI that causes young people to mutate. The art is superb, and the heavy use of ink helps create a dark mood and tone which beautifully contrasts the hopeful ‘light’ pages set at the beach.” 

Kabuki: Circle of Blood – by David Mack
“The entire series is well worth checking out, but Circle of Blood is a stand-out for me. The book showcases David Mack’s poetic storytelling and somehow manages to balance quiet internal moments with thrilling and revelatory action.” 

V for Vendetta – written by Alan Moore, art by David Lloyd, colours by David Lloyd, Steve Whitaker, and Siobhan Dodds, lettered by Jenny O’Connor, Steve Craddock, and Elitta Fell
“This is one of those books that seems to grow more relevant over time. It’s a nasty, and unsettling vision of a future not far removed from our own.”

Y: The Last Man – written by Brian K  Vaughn, pencils by Pia Guerra and Goran Sudžuka, inked by José Marzán Jr., and Goran Sudžuka, colours by Pamela Rambo and Zylonol, lettered by Clem Robins
“An epic series following Yorick Brown – the last man – and his monkey, Ampersand, following a plague that killed every other creature with a Y chromosome. The book explores this interesting and unique world through a number of interesting themes and perspectives and tackles gender, politics, culture and identity in interesting and unexpected ways. Yorick is an interesting and deeply flawed character who starts out selfish and ignorant but matures (somewhat) over the entire run, with the support of the mysterious Agent 355 and the talented Dr. Allison Mann.”

You can discover more about John on Twitter at @arbutus_films and online at

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