Affectionately referred to as our ’11th favourite MonkeyBrain Comics’ title after narrowly missing out on our first top 10, Brian Winkeler and Robert Wilson IV’s tale of a hipster pizza delivery guy, a drunk English chick and a pair of slackers who inherit the cosmic power of the Crystal Fist has gone from strength to strength in the last 12 months. Packed full of action, excitement, pop culture references and an unhealthy amount of vomit, Knuckleheads has become one of the funniest books on the market and a collection of the first story arc is also now available in print from IDW Publishing.
Purchase Knuckleheads from ComiXology here
Stuck in a dead-end job, reliving past glories and frustrated by the mundanity of life, D4VE the defence-bot is going nowhere fast. That is until aliens invade earth and allow him to rekindle his past glories as an all-conquiring robot warrior and do what he does best – kick alien ass! Ryan Ferrier and Valentin Ramon’s brilliant take on the mid-life crisis genre takes the slice of life mundanity that we’re all to familiar with and gives it a science fiction make-over complete with robot strippers and huge space cannons. Mixing the humour of Futurama and Office Space with the action of Terminator and the detailed artwork of Geof Darrow D4VE will inspire you to break out of that rut and get you back to doing what you love!
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Ryan K. Lindsay’s dark fairytale mixes elements of the Truman Show, Hannibal and The Prisoner to create a brilliantly surreal take on the world of a small town sheriff. The town of Carpenter Cove may seem like your typical American small town, but it is actually the mindscape of a killer and so as Sheriff Shane attempts to keep order in this surreal town which features dragons and a robot dog bartender, in the real world killer Max is on the run from the law. Don’t be put off by the serial killer subplot, as this isn’t a book full of blood and guts, it’s a smartly written, surreal thriller that has gained momentum in every issue to create a truly compelling and original story. It’s backed up with stunning artwork from Eric Zawadzki who helps Lindsay create this fantastic world.
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4. High Crimes
Nominated for the 2014 Eisner Award for Best Digital Series, Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Mustafa’s tightly wound crime thriller will leave you as breathless as a high altitude climb. Set at the top of the world’s tallest mountain, Haskell Price makes a living by recovering the bodies of dead climbers for a price. But when he and his protege, disgraced snowboarder Zan Jensen, stumble across the body of someone who should probably have stayed hidden at the summit things take a turn for the worse. Operating in the moral grey areas, High Crimes is an incredibly original premise for a book and Sebela and Mustafa do an incredible job mixing the complex world of mountaineering with an intense story which continues to hit new heights with every episode.
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5. The Remains
Cullen Bunn’s slice of southern gothic will leave you sleeping with the light on for weeks thanks to it’s twitching zombie rats and ominous lead character. A mysterious stranger arrives at the farm of Birdie and Abigail and begins working for their father, but that is when a string of mysterious events begin to happen – including those twitching rodents. Bunn’s world feels like a hybrid of 70s horror movies and classic depression era novels and features the kind of sinister and unsettling lead character in mysterious stranger Cole Jensen that will stay with you well beyond the end of this series. Not one for the faint of heart and definitely not one for musophobics!
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Joe is a frustrated chicken feed salesman who finds his life turned around when he rescues a 4 month old black labrador puppy from the streets, who he christens Kinski. But when the dog’s real owners claim him from the pound his rescue mission turns from altruism to one of desperation as he goes on the run to try to keep his new found hound safe. Gabriel Hardman’s tale of a man and his dog on the run goes to show how far someone will go for the love of a good canine as Joe skirts a fine moral line between doing the right thing and getting caught up in his own personal crusade. Hardman’s monochrome artwork and smart story-telling makes this book a real pedigree.
Purchase Kinski from ComiXology here
7. Code Monkey Save World
Charles is a put upon coding monkey – literally – whose office love is kidnapped by a marauding alien robot aka Laura The Robo Queen. He teams up with the world’s most ruthless super villain (who is also love sick for the aforementioned Laura) and these unlikely allies attempt to get back their lost loves while fighting off office zombies and monsters galore. Based on the music of internet-sensation Jonathan Coulton and written by superstar writer Greg Pak, Code Monkey Save World is a surreal action-packed science fiction smorgasboard of stories and styles that will keep you laughing from the very first page. Even if you aren’t a fan of Coulton’s work this is one of the most startlingly bizarre and funny books you will read this year.
Purchase Code Monkey Save World from ComiXology here
8. Go Getters
Shawn Aldridge and Christopher Petersen’s Go-Getters is set in a world where it is entirely plausible to have an 8ft white gorilla named after a Beatle driving a beach buggy. If you can take that on board and it still sounds like a good idea then you are going to love Go-Getters! Maya Diaz and her ‘pet’ gorilla George Harrison run a retrievals agency who bring back lost artefacts which sees her travel the world in search of weird and wonderful items and return them to their owners – or whoever pays the best price. It’s part Indiana Jones, part Tank Girl with a generous does of Every Which Way But Loose thrown in for good measure and rockets along at a frenetic pace that never lets up. Just a shame there is only one issue of it to date!
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MonkeyBrain Comics have produced a number of superb anthologies in their time, but this collection of Brazilian comics has to be the very best. Comprising more than 40 short stories of 3-5 pages each, it was put together by Hector Lima and features a collection of writers and artists looking to make their break outside South America. With a truly eclectic mix of styles and stories, from cannibal lunch boxes to reptile commuters via the wild west and world war two, there is some stunning work on show here, and although not the cheapest compared to MonkeyBrain‘s traditional £0.69/£0.99 price point this is a showcase of some of the most exciting and original comic books you will see and so well worth the investment.
Purchase Inkshot from ComiXology here
10. Amsterdam Sketchbook
A sketchbook travelogue of a trip to the Dutch capital may not sound like the most enthralling idea for a comic, but under the guidance of Natalie Nourigat it is a true delight and a reflection of the truly eclectic nature of the MonkeyBrain roster. The stream of consciousness approach Nourigat uses makes the book feel incredibly personal as you see the strange and wonderful characters that she observes wandering around the streets of Amsterdam, from cyclists to cafe patrons and more. With a breakdown of some of her techniques and tips for aspiring artists this book is utterly charming and if it doesn’t make you want to go travelling around Europe with a sketchbook then nothing will.
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