As a teenager, I was a regular, if somewhat casual comic reader. I picked up some X-Men, Spiderman, and, of course, Star Wars. However - I can still remember the day when I ran across this gem at my local store:

I had no idea comics could have such incredible artwork. Of course, I didn't even know what to expect when I actually read it.

I read comics even more then, and throughout college, but afterwards, I slowly stopped picking them up. Once Sandman ended, I felt like there wasn't much out there for me. (Obviously there was great stuff going on, I just didn't know.) Plus, I got tired of the whole "trying to get the complete story" thing by buying what felt like 30 different X-Men titles.

A few years back though I found myself drawn back. I'll be honest and admit it was due to finding out you could download comics online. I didn't even know digital versions of comics existed, but it was enough to bring me back to my local comic store and start a monthly selection of comics.

So - here is what I'm reading. They are in no particular order and are presented for you to comment, ridicule, and suggest.

One of my first discoveries was the new line of GI Joe comics. These include: GI Joe, GI Joe: Cobra, and GI Joe: Snake Eyes. Each of these comics share the same world (there is also a GI Joe: Real American Hero) and a much grittier, realistic version of warfare. (If you have a somewhat loose version of realism.) You won't see soldiers firing blue and red lasers. People, lots of people, actually die. The story is pretty damn incredible. In this version, Cobra was, until recently, an unknown entity. The story of how Cobra moves on to the world stage is pretty damn cool. I read GI Joe as a kid, and yeah, I still pick up the somewhat childish RAH one as well, but I definitely recommend this line. If you only select one though, get Cobra. As we know, the bad guys always have the best story.

Forget the horrible remake. Heck, forget the really good recent movie. This comic is a fascinating look at the Planet of the Ape's world and mythology. It has many threads tying it to the original movies but has a very unique take on the idea as a whole. Great artwork as well.

I just started reading Fantastic Four. I wanted to read one "mainstream" comic, and while I probably would have preferred an X-Men title or even Avengers, I thought I'd give FF a try. I never read them growing up, but something called me to it. I'm still not quite sure it's worth the money, but any comic that features Galactus every now and then has to be good. The issue I read yesterday was pretty damn incredible, so I'm going to keep it for a while.

If I had to recommend only one comic it would be "Locke and Key" by Joe Hill (who is also a damn good prose author as well). A very dark fantasy/horror series, it just wrapped up its fifth set and is wrapping up with a final story line. (I know some folks don't want to take a chance on a comic that never ends.) I'd also recommend "The Cape".

For my final recommendation, try picking up "Sweets". This book was written by a local creator, Kody Chamberlain. I've known Kody for some time now and his work is pretty damn stellar. I made him promise me to draw me into his next series in exchange for some software I wasn't using anymore. All I hope is that I don't end up as a murder victim.