Girl Genius, by Phil and Kaja Foglio: “A gaslamp fantasy with adventure, romance, and mad science.” It’s a continuing steampunk adventure/comedy set in an alternate 19th century where warring mad scientists (or “sparks” as they’re called to their faces) have devastated Europe. Graduate student Agatha Clay belatedly discovers her own “spark” as she is whisked into the world of Klaus von Wulfenbach, the “spark” who has conquered most of Europe. A fun read every time – it’s a real pity that it only comes out four times a year. (Published quarterly by Studio Foglio/Airship Comics.) Edit: The comic is now available online at girlgeniusonline.com!
Fables, by Bill Willingham and various artists. Imagine if all the fairy tales really did happen. But Snow White, the big bad wolf, and the rest have been forced out of their world and into ours, where they live in an expatriate community in modern New York City. Here, they face everything from murder mysteries and personal intrigue to political infighting and all-out revolution. It is R-rated, so you probably wouldn’t want to hand it to an 8-year old, but if you liked Sandman you should check this out. It’s a mix of multi-part story-lines and single-issue stories. DC has been collecting each storyline in graphic novel form. (Published monthly by DC Comics/Vertigo.)
Halo and Sprocket, by Kerry Callen. In the words of the comic’s own website, “Halo is an angel assigned to assist Sprocket in learning about the human condition from Katie. [Ed. note: no, not that Katie!] But Sprocket’s logic, Halo’s metaphysics, and Katie’s real-life antics don’t always mesh.” Each issue features several stand-alone short stories that find the comedy in even the most ordinary situations, as well as the contradictions and foibles of humanity. Wayne brought the first three issues over one time, and everyone was laughing hysterically! A collection of the first four issues should be out by December. (Published several times a year by Amaze Ink/SLG Publishing)
And while you’re at it, check out the graphic novel Midnight Nation, by J. Michael Straczynski and Gary Frank. The collected edition is a bit pricey, but it’s worth it!