Comic Books That Comics-haters Should Try
- The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
- Sin City by Frank Miller (all volumes - very violent, even for a comic)
- 300 by Frank Miller
- Concrete by Paul Chadwick (all volumes/collections, but I particularly liked Strange Armor)
- The Watchmen by Alan Moore
- Bone by Jeff Smith (all volumes)
- Sandman by Neil Gaiman (all volumes)
- Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai (all volumes)
- Any Far Side Collection by Gary Larson
- Any Calvin and Hobbes Collection by Bill Watterson
- Any Doonesbury Collection by Gary Trudeau
First off, it seems weird to put the "funnies" (Larson, Watterson, and Trudeau) on the same list with the "comics". All those terms are misleading. Except for Bone, there's very little "comic" about the "comics" entries, and while The Far Side, Calvin & Hobbes, and Doonesbury are certainly funny, calling them "funnies" just doesn't do them justice. Enough semantics; all are terrific in their own right.
Leaving the "funnies" aside, let me comment quickly on the others. All have been collected into trade paperbacks (I read few comics, but those that grab me, I only read once they are collected into trade paperbacks (graphic novels)), so you don't have do buy them issue-by-issue. Dark Knight, Concrete, Watchmen, and Sandman are all serious. Bone is light-hearted and good for all ages. Usagi Yojimbo draws on Japanese history, and is excellent. If I told you it centered around a Samauri rabbit, you would neither take me seriously, nor read it, so I won't tell you that.