A Reading List for the Bored: The Classics

by Jake Zawlacki

angel-195x300 A Reading List for the Bored: The Classics

Finding yourself with a lot of time on your hands? Here are some comics that might keep the boredness away.

The Writing

If you’re like me, you’re finding yourself with a lot of time to pace around the house, look at garbage memes online, and read some comic books. I’m someone who’s more interested in the writing of a book than the art. Sure, sometimes the art can push a book over the edge, but rarely can a comic stand on art alone. You’ve got to have a great writer at the helm.

So, in the spirit of sharing some of my favorite superhero mags, let’s get started.

joker-196x300 A Reading List for the Bored: The ClassicsThe Killing Joke

This is a legendary story and if you haven’t already read it, you should. It’s Mastermind Moore in all of his glory telling the origin story of the greatest villain ever penciled. (Is it even an argument?) And if you read this series, you’ll be convinced of it. Also, here’s an example of the types of panel notes Moore wrote for this thing. Almost as psychotic as the Clown Prince himself.

There’s been a lot of these trading hands so the 9.8 FMV is $180. Not bad for one of the best comics ever written.

marvels-191x300 A Reading List for the Bored: The ClassicsMarvels

As I briefly mentioned here, Marvels is fantastic. It captures the oldies but goodies and puts them in the perspective of a run of the mill photographer living in, you guessed it, New York. This was an Eisner award-winning series with every panel painted by the great Alex Ross. While Ross is mainly known for his work on covers, his meticulous talent pops in each painted panel.

The 9.8 FMV on a Marvels #1 is a staggering…$32? Can that be right? Keep reading while I go and check.

watchmen-200x300 A Reading List for the Bored: The ClassicsWatchmen

This book changed how the world saw superheroes. It was the proverbial crack in the armor that showed us that things weren’t just good or bad, but always in between. I waxed poetic about the book a few months ago, so I’ll keep this short. You really can’t consider yourself an avid comic book fan if you haven’t read this series. It’s beautiful. It’s philosophical. And it changed the game forever.

This book has a lot more popularity than these other masterpieces, so it’s considerably more valuable. A 9.8 FMV of Watchmen #1 is currently at $475 and with the recent TV show, past movie, prequel series, and who knows whatever else, it’s a good bet the Watchmen aren’t going anywhere.

batman-195x300 A Reading List for the Bored: The ClassicsThe Dark Knight Returns

This comic, coupled with Watchmen, put superheroes in the realm of “serious conversation” (whatever that means) in the late 80s. Miller is at his best in what many consider the greatest Batman story of all time. Miller pencils the book, but it’s the coloring by Lynn Varley that adds the operatic quality through an almost watercolor-like coloring. So many movies and later Batman books picked themes and moments from this masterwork. It’s one of those essential Superhero comics you’ve just got to read.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1 9.8 FMV on this bad boy is pretty steep at $600. It’s popular. It’s a classic book. And it’s not going anywhere.

gr-198x300 A Reading List for the Bored: The ClassicsA Personal Favorite: Ghost Rider

This is one of Mr. Ennis’s lesser-known runs. You might know him as the writer of Preacher and The Boys (both pretty successful shows and both being produced by Seth Rogen. Go figure.) Anyway, I love this story because I’m partial to Ghost Rider and it’s the story that finally does him justice. There’s Hell, there’s Heaven, there’s angels and demons and possessions and limbs ripped out and penance stares and the best art that’s ever been done in a Ghost Rider comic hands down. Clayton Crain was tailor-made for the project. And Garth Ennis couldn’t have done it better. It’s six issues. It’s dirt cheap. And it’s a flame engulfed hell ride.

Did I mention a 9.8 is averaging only $80? It looks pretty cheap to me…


Well, if you’ve already read all of these, hang tight. I’ll be moving from popular to some lesser-known books. And if you haven’t read some of these yet, check them out! What else would you rather be doing?


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Tony May 13, 2020 - 9:26 am

You can’t go wrong with Alan Moore; hard not to add V for Vendetta to this list. This is another book that goes cheap at CGC 9.8 (around $100)

Jake Zawlacki May 13, 2020 - 1:30 pm

Totally agree! I’ll be highlighting more of his work in future posts. He’s certainly a master of the medium.


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