So, comiXology is having a Vertigo sale, and I thought that I would chime in on it with some recommendations of my favorites.

The Sandman by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Kelley Jones, Charles Vess, Shawn McManus, Colleen Doran, P. Craig Russell, Jill Thompson, Marc Hempel, Michael Zulli and a host of others - This is still my favorite work from Neil Gaiman, and one of my favorite comics of all time. I’m sure I can’t say anything about this book that hasn’t been said before, so I’ll just say that it’s wonderful and I love it and you should read it. I’ve bought this series in five different formats so far, because I keep loaning the books out and never getting them back. At least the digital editions will be mine forever.

Preacher by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon - A tale of love and friendship … and religion and murder and betrayal and even a guy with a face that looks like an arse. Also it has some of the best dialogue I’ve ever read.

Swamp Thing by Alan Moore, Steven Bissette and John Totleben - Alan Moore’s run on this book was groundbreaking and redefined the character. I also recommend the later run by Mark Millar and Phil Hester.

Fables by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham and Steve Leialoha - This book never failed to entertain me and I loved it when I encountered new literary characters through this series. Also, Mark Buckingham and Steve Leialoha produce some of the best art of their careers together here.

Animal Man, Doom Patrol, Flex MentalloThe Invisibles and We3 by Grant Morrison, Chaz Truog, Richard Case, Frank Quitely and many others - Doom Patrol, Flex Mentallo, and The Invisibles will blow your mind. We3 will break your heart. And Animal Man will make Buddy Baker one of your favorite characters. Read them all.

Astro City by Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson and Alex Ross - In my opinion, the best series about superheroes EVER. Kurt Busiek tells superhero stories here in ways you’ll never read anywhere else. Also, he consistently makes me care about his characters in every story, which is not an easy feat. I recommend this book to new comics readers all the time.

I’d love to write more about these series, but instead I’ll just recommend some more with a few words:

iZombie by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred - kooky stories involving a cute zombie gravedigger

The Losers by Andy Diggle and Jock - action and intrigue and awesome art

The Unwritten by Mike Carey and Peter Gross - a must-read for literature majors

The Sheriff of Babylon by Tom King and Mitch Gerads - wartime crime drama in the middle east

American Vampire by Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque - a vampire story set throughout the history of the United States

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra - a man and his monkey are the last males on earth

Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson - journalism and politics in the near future and the writing is amazing

Clean Room by Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt - Gail Simone at her darkest

Shade, the Changing Man by Peter Milligan, Chris Bachalo and many others - a Steve Ditko creation gets totally reinvented

Sandman Mystery Theatre by Matt Wagner, Steven Seagle and Guy Davis - excellent crime stories featuring Wesley Dodds, the original Sandman

Happy New Year, Lunchbox

Happy New Year, all you beautiful golly shippers.

Plus one forever.


“And there was a hole cut out of his leather pants. Over one ass cheek. I mean, why just the one cheek?” Dov asked.

“Maybe it’s his best side,” Traci quipped.

“Maybe he was testing it out before he fully committed,” Andy suggested.

“He was probably just trying to create some air flow. Leather pants can get really hot,” Chris replied earnestly.

“Why do you know that?” Dov raised an eyebrow. Traci and Andy smirked as Chris blushed.

“Gail, are you ok? You didn’t even make a comment about Chris in leather pants,” Traci asked after noticing the way her pale friend was looking across the room, distracted from the conversation of the group.

The blonde didn’t answer. She just continued to stare at a point across the room, a strange grin on her face.

Dov waved a hand in front of Gail’s eyes. “Earth to Gail. Are you listening?”

Gail slapped the hand away and started to walk away. “I need another drink,” she mumbled.

“It’s almost midnight! You don’t want to miss the countdown!” Chris called after her. Gail raised a dismissive hand in the air and kept walking.

She moved across the room, a single goal in mind. Walking up to two women, Gail grabbed the arm of the taller one and started pulling her toward the kitchen.

“Hey, what…Chloe and I are talking…” Holly stuttered as she stumbled after Gail.

“She can wait,” Gail said firmly as she continued on her path, pulling Holly gently behind.

“Gail, what…” Holly tried again, but she was cut off by Gail’s lips on her own. As soon as they had passed through the door to the kitchen, Gail had spun around, gripped Holly’s hip and pulled her flush against her body. She kissed the woman with fervor, moving her mouth passionately against her wife’s. She brought one hand up to the side of Holly’s rounded belly, moving her fingers in tender circles.

After several minutes, the women broke apart, breathing heavily. Holly took a few seconds to make sure she could speak coherently and then whispered, “What was that for?”

Gail smiled brightly and brought both hands to lay flat on the front of Holly’s baby bump. “I just saw you and I Ioved you.”

She was rewarded with her favorite lopsided smile and a tilt of Holly’s head. The brunette leaned in to place another kiss on her wife’s full lips.

In the other room, their friends began to shout a countdown, “Ten, nine, eight…”

Feeling flush with excitement and possibility, Gail slipped one hand around Holly’s back, pulling her as close as her wife’s pregnant belly would allow.

“Seven, six, five, four…”

Holly followed suit, resting one hand on the small of Gail’s back while the other rested on her wife’s cheek, thumb moving gently over a pale cheekbone.

“Three, two, one. Happy New Year!”

Undeterred by the noise in the other room, the women reveled in their stolen moment. For a few minutes, there was no one else. There were only warm hands, soft lips and a familiar intimacy.

When they finally broke apart, Holly smiled again, eyes shining with happy tears. “Happy New Year, my love.”

Gail grinned toothily, her heart exploding with affection, “Happy New Year, Lunchbox.”