I’m just gonna say it: I love colourful comics
I’m just gonna say it: I love colourful comics. That’s not a knock at black-and-white comics— Joe Kelly’s I Kill Monsters tore my heart out of my chest and casually line-danced all over it. Rest assured, it’s been returned, but it’s never beat the same. If that sounds a little too intense, you can always check out the classic black-and-white Disney comics which, to be honest, are my life-blood— I just prefer to open a comic and get drawn in by bright colours. Vibrant whorls and cheerful swirls and perfect palettes can absolutely transform an artist’s landscape and breathe life into a comic, whether you’re dealing with the nearly-psychotropic grimness of Sweet Tooth or the clean, sanitized look of DC Superhero Girls. Especially when you’re neck-deep in the throes of a Canadian winter, it’s important to crack open a comic and take a break from the biting cold and the unchanging, overcast scenery. Feeling the March blahs? Check out these (totally fun!) colourful comics to put the pep back in your step:
Henchgirl by Kristin Gudsnuk
Instant favourite, you guys, I swear. Henchgirl follows Mary Posa, a 20-something-year-old henchwoman who’s just looking to break free of her (well-paying) life of crime and into the world of Respectable Adult Jobs™. While juggling life’s little injustices, relatable family drama, and a plethora of magical girl references for those of us who grew up in the 90s, Gudsnuk’s comic will hit you right where it counts— the heart. Henchgirl is brilliant because it’s fun and emotional, and you can let your guard down while you read it. The cartoony illustrations are wonderful, and the colours absolutely tie the whole thing together like a shiny red bow on a huge Christmas present!
Snotgirl Vol 1: Green Hair, Don’t Care by Bryan Lee O’Malley (writer), Leslie Hung (artist), and Mickey Quinn (colourist)
Snotgirl is fabulous. I mean, I usually love O’Malley’s work anyway (he’s the irreverent mastermind behind the Scott Pilgrim series, as well as Seconds and Lost At Sea), but Snotgirl is a departure from what O’Malley fans usually expect by way of his signature artwork— and plot, too. I mean, he’s still got his thumb on the satirical pulse of Snotgirl’s millennial main character, Lottie Person, but Snotgirl is his first foray into a supernatural murder mystery that strives to show off its Instagram-worthy angles. Leslie Hung absolutely knocks everything art-related out of the park, and when combined with Mickey Quinn’s luminous colouring, it’s a whole new beast.
The Life After by Joshua Hale Fialkov (writer) and Gabo (art and colours)
Okay, so if a comic about the afterlife written by an atheist sounds like a wild ride— it totally is. But my favourite thing about The Life After isn’t the fact that it boldly begins in a place where most would automatically assume stories end— purgatory. In fact, the level of purgatory reserved for people who have committed suicide— or the fact that Ernest Hemingway is a main character— or even the fact that god has been reimagined as a potato (!) My favourite thing is, hands-down, Gabo’s art and colours. The colours especially are so smooth, they look like they were poured straight from a dream, or Wonderland, at the very least.
I Hate Fairyland Book One by Skottie Young (writing and art), Jean-Francois Beaulieu (colours)
If you haven’t heard of Skottie Young’s pleasantly macabre masterpiece, I Hate Fairyland, it’s kind of like what would happen if Deadpool had a one-night-stand with your childhood, and then went out of his way to corrupt the ensuing love-child by telling her the truth about Santa and the Easter Bunny as soon as she started believing in magic. Yeah. I know. It’s crazy. So basically, we follow Gert, who was sucked into the bright, shiny, fuzzy-wuzzy oasis of Fairyland at the tender age of six. She was supposed to go on a quest, find a key, and return home— 30 years later, she’s still there, trapped in her six-year-old body, and she’s so fluffing over it. Gert is hellbent on finding her key, even if she has to hack, slash, and murder the entirety of Fairyland to get home. This entire story is hilarious, but the in-your-face colouring puts it a cut above the rest.
Spell On Wheels by Kate Leth (writer), Megan Levens (artist), and Marissa Louise (colourist)
Spell on Wheels is a five-issue miniseries focusing on witches who go on a roadtrip to get their stolen stuff back. This was the perfect balance of magic, mystery, and fun— my only complaint is that there’s no plans for more. If you’ve been missing Charmed lately, or you just want to feast your eyes on Marissa Louise’s expert colours, Spell On Wheels would be perfect for you!
What are some of your favourite colourful comics? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to add some stuff to my pull-list!
Jess is a freelance journalist with training in the mystic arts of print, television, radio, and a dash of PR. She can typically be found wreaking havoc in her wheelchair, gushing over Disney, reading a book from her never-ending TBR pile, or writing like her life depends on it.