At work, we've been using a sort of guide book for "civilians" who've been coming in looking for comics with similar sensibilities to current TV series, movies and books. Thought we'd share to a wider audience:
Chew Vol. 1 through 3 (Image Comics):
Vice cop Tony Chu lives in a world where, after a global epidemic of avian flu, all poultry is illegal. Chu also has a secret; he’s a “cibopath,” a person who gets psychic impressions from the things he eats. While investigating an illegal chicken smuggling operation, he tastes a bowl of chicken soup, finding himself on the trail of a serial killer.
If you’re a fan of the current Batman series of movies, you may like:
Batman: Year One (DC Comics)
The skill of leaping from rooftop to rooftop while dodging bullets isn’t something you learn overnight. No, there’s a definite learning curve. This book explores the forging of a man into a hero. Batman: Year One is what many believe to be Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Sin City writer/artist Frank Miller’s stronger Batman work.
If you’re a fan of Breaking Bad, you may like:
Scalped Vol. 1 through 6 (Vertigo):
Bearing nunchucks and an attitude, Dashiell Bad Horse returns to the Prairie Rose Reservation he left fifteen years ago. A lot’s changed in the years, he’s been gone, meth labs litter the area adding more misery to the already crushing poverty. Soon, a 97 million dollar casino will open on this land, headed up by Lincoln Red Crow, a man from Dash’s past who’ll also play a major hand in his future. With brilliant characterization and sharp dialogue, Scalped is simply of the best books being printed today.
Richard Stark’s Parker series by Darwyn Cooke (IDW Publishing):
Parker is neither hero nor villain. He knows exactly who he is. He’s a thief, simply out for his next dollar. What makes him the character so interesting is that when it’s all said and done, you’ll respect the character’s honesty. Adapting author Richard Stark’s singular character is master storyteller Darwyn Cooke of DC: The New Frontier fame. Art-wise, Cooke builds a world reminiscent of the time in which Mad Men is set while maintaining the stylistic flourishes comics fans have come to appreciate within his work. Look for both The Hunter and the newly released, The Outfit.
Queen and Country Definitive Editions One through Four (Oni Press):
Tara Chace is an operative within The British Secret Service. The work is rarely glamorous and rarely involves traveling to exotic locations, sipping martinis. When the assignment does come, it usually involves being sent to some far off place with the express knowledge that you may be being sent off to die and knowing that if you live, you may need to drink to forget the things you’ve done. You’ll never see the espionage thriller in the same way after reading this.
If you’re a fan of Calvin and Hobbes, you may like:
Tiny Titans (DC Comics):
Full of good, simple fun and drawn in an art style accessible to young and old, The Tiny Titans are the child sidekicks of some of superherodom’s most famous heroes. Robin, Superboy, a couple of Wonder Girls, a Kid Flash and few super-pets, among others, hang out in a clubhouse while keeping the world safe for whimsy.
If you’re a fan of the Iron Man movie and comics series, you may like:
Secret Avengers (Marvel Comics):
Following the events of the Siege mini-series, Steve Rogers, the former Captain America, realizes a need for a more pro-active team of Avengers; one that takes the fight directly to any potential threat. Featuring Avengers mainstays such as Black Widow while utilizing mission specific and insanely clever additions such as Shang Chi, The Master of Kung Fu, Secret Avengers is what happens when childhood fave G.I. Joe meets the storied Avengers franchise.
American Vampire Volume One, co-written by Stephen King (Vertigo Comics):
Skinner Sweet is sick. Sick of aristocratic vampires trying to run the world. Sick of the romanticizing of what he is. Sick of vampires who seek the light. Skinner Sweet is an outlaw and vampire turned during the height of The Wild West. Skinner Sweet does not sparkle. Under the stellar writing of Stephen King and Scott Snyder, he shines.
If you’re a fan of political thrillers, you may like:
Ex Machina Vol. 1 through 10 (DC/Wildstorm)
Following his actions during a pivotal moment in American history, Mitchell Hundred has become the first superhero ever to be elected Mayor of New York. Operating in real time, Ex Machina follows this man through his four years in office. One of comics’ best series, Ex Machine opens with a first chapter that will leave you absolutely stunned and a final chapter that will leave you speechless.
If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter series of books, you may like:
The Books Of Magic (DC/Vertigo)
Tim Hunter, a bespectacled, young British orphan is taken on a tutorial through The Books of Magic by some of the world’s greatest magicians. Will he reject or embrace his destiny to become the world’s greatest magician? Released in 1990, a full seven years before the first Harry Potter novel, The Books Of Magic is written by Sandman and American Gods author Neil Gaiman.
Green Lantern (DC Comics)
Hal Jordan is a test pilot, ne’er do well and possessor of the most powerful weapon in the universe, the Green Lantern Power Ring, a ring fueled by the only thing he has in spades: willpower. The only thing that can stop Hal Jordan is the one thing he’s never known: fear. When the two meet, a battle of truly universal importance will take place and a legend will be born. To get your best look at just who Hal Jordan is; the trade paperback collections of Green Lantern: Secret Origin and Green Lantern: Rebirth are both highly recommended.