No, there’s no Bone, or Cerebus or Fables or Sandman in our fantasy list. We like them all, but you already know about them. You may not be as familiar with these.
Armies – You won’t believe your eyes when you look at the stunning detail of the art on this historical fantasy featuring tales from a vast conquering army. It set the standard for years to come in 1970s France and is now available in English. Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Jean-Claude Gal and Humanoids.
Dungeon Zenith: Duck Heart – The start of a sprawling fantasy comedy of incompetence and luck reaching into the past and the future, centred on a treasure filled dungeon that attracts heroes. Laugh out loud funny in places. Joann Sfar, Lewis Trondheim and NBM Publishing.
Kingdom of the Wicked – A tale of growing up and losing innocence along with the subsequent regret as an author of childrens’ books finds himself transported to the fantasy land he created as a child, now far from innocent and ravaged by war. D’Israeli, Ian Edginton and Dark Horse Books.
Lost Tales – Adaptations of the more obscure myths and legends from people around the world, eight in all, each of them narratively imaginative and never dumbed down despite originally appearing in a children’s comic. A pleasure throughout. Adam Murphy and David Fickling Books.
Meridian: Flying Solo – A lost gem fantasy saga introducing two top artists and a compelling coming of age story set among a variety of worlds with a deftly characterised teenage girl as lead character. Out of print but easily found. Barbara Kesel, Joshua Middleton, Steve McNiven and Crossgen.
Monstress : Awakening – A stunning opening volume into which we’re thrown at the deep end and left to figure out what’s going on. Don’t worry, a lot’s explained before the end. Amazing art and a plot that lives up to the complexity of the introduction. Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda and Image Comics
Return of the Dapper Men – Extraordinary art distinguishes this dip into childhood fears, experimental, yet accessible, reminiscent of adventurous childrens’ books. The children here have stalled time until the Dapper Men come to sort things out. Janet Lee, Jim McCann and Top Shelf Productions.
Thor: Ages of Thunder – Tales of Thor and the Asgardian Gods way before their present day interactions with superheroes. These are petty and vindictive characters, yet brave and adventurous, and illustrated in a manner befitting mythical roaylty. Matt Fraction, Patrick Zircher and Marvel.
Thorgal: The Master of the Mountains – The best to date of this long-running European fantasy series in which genres are crossed and mixed. Here there’s some SF elements, and it doesn’t matter that this is volume 8, everything you need to know is here. Grzegorz Rosinski, Jean Van Hamme and Cinebook.
The Wizard’s Tale – Thankfully reissued, this story of an evil wizard unable to live up to the malevolence of his ancestors, and needing to locate a dangerous book of spells to retain his standing. Charming for children and adults and should be far better known. Kurt Busiek, David Wenzel and IDW.