Get ready to fly the friendly skies with “So You Want To Read Comics” , our weekly feature where we take a look at a single topic and then offer a pair of comic book recommendations, great for new readers, related to that topic. This week we’re taking a look at comics for flying in planes.
A while back we did a feature where we looked at comics for people who love the idea of flight (here). This is a little different. These books are ones that are great for people who are on a flight and need something to read (and take it from someone who’s sat through a 24 hour flight to Indonesia, you want something to read). The first scheduled passenger flight took place on Jan. 1st 1917 to Tampa Fl. from St. Petersburg Fl. Since then, planes have become the most popular mode of long distance travel in the world. It’s estimated that on average 1.73 million people fly everyday, and that’s just in the US. So, chances are you yourself might find yourself taking to the skies.
A good airplane comic book has a few criteria. While the whole series doesn’t need to be completed in a single flight, the volume you bring with should be. It should be engaging, but being interrupted by turbulence, snack carts, and announcements shouldn’t be enough to take you out of the reading experience. Finally, it should be convenient to bring with you, so sorry the 464 page hardcover Absolute Watchmen, is probably not going to cut it.
So let’s get into it.
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Saga is one of those books that can somehow be recommended regardless of what the parameters are. The story of two star-crossed lovers traipsing across a vibrant and strange cosmic landscape, in the middle of a galactic war, is one that manages to be appealing in so many ways, each one competently. There’s action, humor, romance, tenderness, Royal families with TVs for heads, it’s basically Princess Bride for the modern era. But the reason it’s being featured here is for a very specific reason. The series up to this point has been collected in so many different variations that regardless of how long your flight is, there’s a version of Saga that’ll fill up the time. There’s typical trade paperback sized volumes, there’s slightly larger deluxe editions that feature some bonus content, you could even go with the individual floppy issues, not to mention the monstrous 1400 page compendium edition (which is definitely pushing the limits on convenience, but it is soft-covered). Basically, it’s hard to find another series that’s as convenient to read as Saga, not to mention, it’s a really good book.
Scott Pilgrim Vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life
Writer: Bryan Lee O’Malley
Artist: Bryan Lee O’Malley
Publisher: Oni Press
Possibly better known for it’s movie adaptation featuring Michael Cera, Scott Pilgrim began its life as the little indie darling comic book series that could. People found themselves enthralled with all the little video game winks and nods sprinkled through, the absolutely bonkers premise of a guy having to fight 7 evil exes to win the girl of his dreams, and the titular character himself, who managed to be appealing while being a total jerk at the same time. This is the type of book that has layers and it’s possible to take away something new every time you read it. All of this lends itself to being a good airplane book. It’s easy to read a couple pages then set it down, then pick it back up, and even if you end up reading a few pages over again, you might just find yourself noticing something you hadn’t before. Plus, it typically comes in a smaller format which is very convenient considering how common it’s become for airlines to charge extra for carry-on luggage, having a comic you can slip into your hoodie pocket is nice. .
What do you think of these recommendations? Do you have a favorite airplane book? Let us know in the comment section below.