It’s Con Time!: Summer Reading for the Comic Convention Season

Demi is the BookKids Marketing and Merchandising Manager. She likes to go to conventions like HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC and dress up like Jennifer Walters. SHE-HULK SMASH!

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San Diego Comic Con starts July 9th, and although I can’t go myself, here’s a run-down of who you should see and what you should read before you go! Comic books: ultimate summer reading.

Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction, David Aja, & Javier Pulido. Aja and Fraction are both SDCC special guests.

9780785165620Clint Barton is an Avenger. This is what he does when he’s not out Avenging. Kate Bishop is a Young Avenger. This is what she does when she’s not out Young Avenging. This first trade in the award-winning Hawkeye series is about friendship, family, and cutting the wires when the DVR doesn’t do what you want it to. Aja’s art is especially captivating, as his style is deceptively simple. Be warned, though, because this collection does not contain the “Pizza Dog issue” or the “sign language issue,” both of which are spectacular. Come for the Hawkeyes and stay for the “human crap-sack tire fire” that is Clint Barton. (Seriously. That’s what Fraction calls him.)

Sex Criminals, Vol. 1: One Weird Trick by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky. Fraction and Zdarsky are both SDCC special guests.

9781607069461The first trade of Eisner-award winning heist comedy Sex Criminals centers around Suzie and Jon, who can both stop time when they orgasm. Naturally, they use their power to rob banks for the money to save Suzie’s library, because, duh. Fraction and Zdarsky’s working relationship is so trusting and intimate that it’s palpable, and the book is unbelievably funny–as a bonus, be sure to check out the “sex tips” in the letter columns for foolproof ways to please your partner.

Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The Shrike by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios, & Jordie Bellaire. DeConnick is an SDCC special guest.

9781607069621Kelly Sue DeConnick may be best known for the introduction of Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel, but it is in independent comics like Pretty Deadly and Bitch Planet that she truly shines. The Shrike contains the first arc of a brutal, violent, terrifying West, in which the fantastical inhabits the desert wasteland and a young girl flees Death. Rios’ art is elaborate and extraordinary, and the fable-like story holds up to many, many re-reads.

The Wicked + the Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, & Matt Wilson. Image Comics will be exhibiting at SDCC.

9781632150196Every 90 years, twelve gods are reincarnated in the bodies of teenagers. They become pop stars. Laura is a fan of these gods, called The Pantheon–but what happens when one of them singles her out and draws her into their world? There is no way to do justice to this comic–Gillen, McKelvie, and Wilson all have an incredible relationship, and the stories they are telling are complex and tragic–and gorgeously styled. Drawing on many mythologies and set in southeast London, WicDiv is truly, truly unique.

Dead Letters, Vol. 1 by Christopher Sebela & Chris Visions. BOOM! Studios will be exhibiting at SDCC.

9781608864539Sam wakes up in a seedy hotel room with no memory of how he arrived. As he makes his way through a city at war, he learns he is in Purgatory, brought there to serve as a spy for God. Visions’ art is stunning–leaping off the panel, bright and vibrant–and the hard-boiled noir feeling is pitch-perfect. If nothing else on this list appeals to you, give Dead Letters a try, because it is unlike any other comic I have ever read. Just be sure to remember why you’re here.

Gotham Academy, Vol. 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan, Brendan Fletcher, & Karl Kerschel. DC Comics will be exhibiting at SDCC.

9781401254728Welcome to Gotham Academy, the most prestigious boarding school in Gotham. Its students might be children of superheroes, or supervillains. They might be on scholarships funded by Batman. They might have just broken up with their boyfriend. Their boyfriend’s kid sister might still be following them around. And weeeeeeird stuff might be happening. If you like friendships between ladies, spooky ghost stories, and fantastic art, Gotham Academy is definitely for you. I only read a few DC titles every month, but this is my favorite out of all of them.

BONUS – The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs.

9781594747892It doesn’t matter whether you’re into comic books, anime, TV, movies, cosplay, video games, tabletop, or Cards Against Humanity–you are probably a geek. Maggs breaks down the basics of girl geekery for newbies and veterans alike with the help of geek girl powerhouses such as Kate Leth, Beth Revis, Erika Moen, and Kate Beaton. Unbelievably cute and positive, The Fangirl’s Guide is one of my favorite non-fiction books this season.

There are books upon books upon books I’d like to recommend to you further, but seven is probably plenty. Go forth! Enjoy summer time! Get a picture with Stan Lee! Happy convention season, nerds.

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