Part of my ongoing quest to become a better nerd.
One recommendation that came up repeatedly in the comics was Saga. I saw it on the shelf at the library and got the first volume.
This is seriously among the best books I've read, definitely among the all-time greats of the medium (I would put Maus and possibly Sandman ahead of it, but I can't think of many others). This is a book that will literally change your life. After reading it, you will regularly date things according to before and after having read this. If you haven't read it, read it now (I mean literally), unless you're in jail, and if you're in jail break out or just get your jail's Andy Dufresne to request one for the jail library or wait for Hans Moleman to come around with the library cart (this can also assist you in your escape attempt).
Am I exaggerating? It is not impossible. But that's the thing: it's much easier to write a bunch of words about something middling to bad, because I can say "this was good, this was so-so, this made me envy the blind" etc. With something this great, I could say that the story, writing, characters, and artwork are just phenomenal — which pretty much just says I liked everything about it.
Maybe some specifics? Well, it's a really smart comic, so smart that it can somehow even make lines like "That giant space fetus just shot black goo out of its eyes!" seem totally appropriate. I'm going to steal a comment from one of the FaceOff judges (I can't remember if it was Auntie Nice-but-tough, Baron Dracula von Steampunkface, or The Other Guy) that there are so many things about this that just should not work (People with CRT monitors for head, goat-men who speak Esperanto [seriously!] hot fairy-on-satyr action, a pink ghost babysitter who looks like she was just wandered in from an audition for the Gorillaz, the aforementioned giant space fetus, etc.) but somehow the creative team just makes it work. All of the elements that I said were phenomenal in the previous paragraph come together to really sell this world and the people that live in it — warring races of winged-type and horned-type, playing off of angel/devil tropes, the proxy civilizations that get drawn into the fight, and the love between two people who should hate each other. Vaughan and Staples (did I mention how stunning the artwork is?) draw you into this world, making everything about it beautifully, painfully real. I've read the first two volumes so far and I can't wait to get my hands on the next one.
Did I get to use any comics knowledge? No. This book makes all other comics knowledge irrelevant.
Did I learn anything about comics? Not really, although I did just have to look up the guy who draws the Gorillaz, whose name I've already forgotten? Jamie Newsomething? Seriously, I only know my own name because people are always shouting it at me, and my kids names because I have to do a whole roll call before I get to the name of the one I'm
shouting at calmly explaining to them why it is appropriate to run naked across the house laughing maniacally when it is time for them to take a bath.
Did I get to show off my knowledgey knowledge? Well, I recognized that the Horned guys were speaking Esperanto. I studied it when I was in high school. Somewhere I have a notebook with a translation of the first couple of scenes of Rocky Horror Picture Show that I was working on at one point.
Grade A+ followed by a series of pluses that is funny, and then no longer funny, and then funny again. (I kind of liked it!)
Next time, probably Either a trip down the rabbit hole to Fabletown or the adventures of everybody's 23rd or 24th favorite superhero, Green Lantern