In honor of San Diego Comic Con this week (which, okay stopped being about comics a few years ago and is more about Hollywood these days, but whatever) I thought I’d talk about some of my favorite comic series (or graphic novels or whatever you want to call them).

I think comics sometimes get a bad wrap as being “kiddish” or only read by middle-aged sci-fi fans that live in their parents’ basement (though this long-held stereotype is definitely changing lately), but I am a huge fan of the medium and have read some stories that rival even the best award-winning “serious” literature so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite series with you these next five days.

There are so many good series that it’s hard to just pick a few to share with you, but I’ve compiled a list that I’ll share over the next five days of what I think are the best series I’ve read in the past few years.  I’m not giving these letter grades because they’re all my favorite series, so it kind of goes without saying that they’d all be A’s in my book.

Scalped written by Jason Aaron

Summary: Scalped is a noir crime story set on a Native American reservation.  Dashiell Bad Horse returns to Prairie Rose Indian Reservation, or “the rez,” after fifteen years away, under suspicious circumstances.  As Bad Horse is coerced into working for the tribal police force, he’s forced to deal with political intrigue, drug dealers, murder, and some emotional entanglements he swore he left behind.

Review: Scalped is an amazing series that constantly pushes the envelope.  Full of intrigue, double-crossing, and scandal, it’s an unflinching look at life on a reservation.  A dark and gritty storyteller, Jason Aaron never ceases to shock and amaze me with surprising twists and moving emotional archs.

This series hinges on it’s twists so I don’t want to give too much away, but Bad Horse is a complex character that I don’t necessarily like, but I just can’t seem to stop from grabbing the next issue to see what will happen next.  I like that this series, while centered around Bad Horse, gives a lot of time to other characters so you understand their motivations both in the present and in the past (Aaron blends the past and present seamlessly within his story.  This series is as much about what happened before Dashiell was even born as it is about the here and now.).  Just when I think I’ve gotten a character or storyline figured out, I’m thrown for another loop and need to re-adjust my entire perception of the series.

I can’t say enough good things about this series.  If you like mysteries, crime stories, or film noir pick up volume one of Scalped as soon as you can.

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