Benjamin Rivers’ top 10 go-to comic books and graphic novels

True North Country Comics presents Benjamin Rivers’ top 10 go-to comic books and graphic novels.

Ben has been mixing comics and videogames for decades. His last graphic novel, Snow, was nominated for a Joe Shuster Award, saw wide release through Diamond, and was even adapted into an independent feature film (as well as, naturally, an adventure game).The Worse Than Death comic book series debuted digitally in spring 2020, and is a must-read for fans of horror manga and stories set in the Canadian city of Toronto. This dark, emotional tale acts as a follow-up to the critically-acclaimed game of the same name, which has spooked audiences on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox, Steam and the App Store. It has been lauded by outlets worldwide, including the LA TImes, and was named “Best Indie Game of 2019” by Rue Morgue Magazine.

Here are Benjamin Rivers’ top 10 go-to comic books and graphic novels:

1. Touch by Mitsuru Adachi
“All of Mitsuru Adachi’s sports-manga rom-coms are wonderful, but this original 80s series features a mid-story plot point so unexpected, it will stay with you forever.”

2. Batman: Year One by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli
“It’s the kind of book that you imagine penciling and inking in your head as you read it, because every line is note-perfect.”

3. Batgirl: Year One by Scott Beatty, Chuck Dixon and Marcos Martin
“The colourful, clean art is absolutely joyful and not a single stroke is wasted; in my mind, the definitive version of the character.”

4. Master Keaton by Naomi Urasawa, Hokusei Katsushika and Takashi Nagasaki
“I didn’t realize how much I wanted to learn about European geo-politics and SAS survival skills until they were so expertly rendered by Naoki Urusawa through the experiences of such a likeable protagonist.”

5. Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow
“A book in which you can’t believe artwork can be so elaborate and yet expertly consistent. Sometimes I just open it up to hunt for new background details.”

6. Apollo’s Song by Osamu Tezuka
“One of Osamu Tezuka’s darkest works, it shows off his ability to draw just about anything and somehow make it seem better directed than any movie you’ve ever seen.”

7. Here We Are by Dirchansky
“If Canadian cartoonist Dirchansky’s manly boys-love drama doesn’t grip you, its characters’ deeply thought-out wardrobes will!”

8. Blood on the Tracks by Shuzo Oshimi
“How can hundreds of pages of seemingly nothing fill you with so much inescapable dread? This series by Shuzo Oshimi is currently ongoing, but it’s already a masterclass in understated horror.”

9. Louis Riel by Chester Brown
“I wish this existed back in history class! Its best feature is the brutally honest liner notes detailing where the comic diverges from reality to make the story flow more smoothly.”

10. Chimo by David Collier
“Canadian cartoonist David Collier can make almost anything riveting; I will never forget that panel of his kneecap dislocating as long as I live.”

You can discover more about Ben on Twitter at @benjaminrivers and on Instagram at @benjaminriversinc

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