If You Love Watching ‘Game Of Thrones’, Read These Comics Next
Game of Thrones has returned, and though now in its sixth season, it remains one of the most riveting and talked about shows on television. Even after all this time and all this death, we’re still tuning in, hoping against hope that our faves don’t get brutally murdered, and maybe that someone rides on a dragon.
Fantasy stories have been appearing in comics since near the very beginning of the medium, and there are so many great stories and series to choose from for fans looking for more of a fantasy fix. We’ve picked out five of the best independent and creator-owned comics to keep you going through the week as you wait for more episodes of Game of Thrones.
Rat Queens has been one of the biggest creator-owned hits of the last couple of years, and one of the best fantasy comics in quite a while. It reads like the best D&D campaign you ever participated in, as the titular Rat Queens go on quests, get in fights and drink a lot of mead.
Although the series is packed with recognizable archetypes and roleplaying tropes, Rat Queens really excels at its character and story work, and you immediately become invested in everyone in its world. Unfortunately, Rat Queens is going on indefinite hiatus very soon, but that gives you plenty of time to catch up before it comes back.
Conan: Rogues In The House
Everyone knows Conan, but perhaps everyone doesn’t know how weird Conan stories can get. You know that he’s got big muscles and he wields a big sword and he sometimes speaks in an Austrian accent, but did you know that he fights a Gorilla Wizard? Because that’s what happens in “Rogues In The House.”
This story is actually based on one of the classic Robert E. Howard short stories starring Conan, and sees The Cimmerian caught up in a rivalry between the two most powerful men in the land. A tightly plotted tale of intrigue, politics and Gorilla Wizards, “Rogues In The House” is a perfect starting point for readers new to Conan.
While decidedly more family friendly than Game of Thrones, in terms of fantasy comics you can’t go wrong with Tellos, which features a boy named Jarek and his anthropomorphic tiger buddy Koj on a quest to uncover his origins and bring down the mad wizard who wants to stop Jarek at all costs.
In many ways Tellos was the precursor to the modern slate of creator-owned comics, as an all-ages high fantasy series at Image Comics was quite unique at the time. Although unfinished due to Mike Wieringo’s untimely death, Tellos is still worth checking out for its imagination and gorgeous interiors.
Groo: The Hogs of Horder
Groo The Wanderer is a series that has been in publication in one form or another for nearly thirty-five years, an astounding achievement not just in creator-owned comics, but in the entire industry. Another book with a much lighter tone than some fantasy fare, Groo is a parody of sword and sorcery characters and tales, specifically Conan.
With so much to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start with Groo, but 2009’s “The Hogs of Horder” miniseries is a great way to get a taste of what the series is about. A self-contained miniseries that sees Groo defending a village against an unstoppable Horde, it’s everything you want from sword and sorcery, but with the comedic spin only Groo provides.
East of West
East of West might look a little out of place on this list, being sci-fi rather than fantasy, but when you break it down, it’s actually the most comparable to Game of Thrones. There are city states resting in uncomfortable alliances that could crumble into war at any moment, but it doesn’t matter because an unstoppable, unknowable evil is coming to destroy everything anyway.
The series is set in a near-apocalyptic America divided into sections such as The Union, The Kingdom, and The People’s Republic, but the main character is in fact Death of the Four Horsemen, who wants to stop his siblings and settle down with his family. A gritty, colorful future-western, East of West is one of the most inventive and consistently exciting books on the stands today.