In today’s article, we at Fiction Horizon are going to bring you a list of the 20 best black and white comic books of all time. The list is going to include a variety of different titles, both modern and historical, with the basic publication info and a short synopsis. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these titles and have fun reading our article.
20 best black and white comics
20. The Walking Dead
Author(s): Robert Kirkman
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: October 2003 – July 2019
The Walking Dead is a series of American black and white comic books, scripted by Robert Kirkman and drawn by Tony Moore then Charlie Adlard, published by Image Comics since 2003.
This series tells the story of a group of people trying to survive an invasion of the living dead in the United States, with Rick Grimes, a former police officer, as the main character. On July 2, 2019, Robert Kirkman announces the end of the series which ends at issue #193.
Author(s): Carla Speed McNeil
Artist(s): Carla Speed McNeil
Publisher: Lightspeed Press, Dark Horse Comics
Publication Date: Ongoing
Finder is a comic book series written and drawn by Carla Speed Mc Neill, and published by Dark Horse Comics. The story takes place on an Earth far into the future, and possibly in a random universe as well. Most people live in huge cupolas, but a few tribes stay outside.
There are, of course, humans, but also the Laeskes, a species of intelligent dinosaurs, constructs, and the Nyima, a lioness race. The main character is Jaeger, a “Finder” from a scout society. He has a bizarre ability to recover quickly.
Author(s): Greg Rucka
Artist(s): Steve Lieber
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date: July – November 1998
United States Marshal Carrie Stetko is dishonored after murdering a criminal in a blind rage. As punishment, she is sent to McMurdo Station in Antarctica, where she establishes herself as a person not to mess with. Shortly after Stetko’s arrival, a body is found in the ice, surrounded by mysterious holes in the snow.
The face being destroyed, it is identified thanks to the fingerprints as being Alex Keller, a member of a scientific expedition. Stetko investigates the other members of Keller’s expedition, starting with Victoria Station.
After meeting British agent Lilly Sharpe, they discover that the two members stationed at the base have been murdered.
Author(s): Marjane Satrapi
Artist(s): Marjane Satrapi
Publication Date: 2000–2003
Persepolis is a series of autobiographical black and white comics by Marjane Satrapi, published by L’Association in four volumes between 2000 and 2003. The author traces the milestones that marked his life, from his childhood in Tehran to the Islamic revolution on its difficult entry into adult life in Europe.
Both historical testimony and reflection on identity and exile, Persepolis is the greatest editorial success of the European alternative comic strip of the 2000s. Very well received by the press, it made Satrapi one of the most recognized francophone authors.
16. Stray Bullets
Author(s): David Lapham
Artist(s): David Lapham
Publisher: El Capitan Books, Image Comics
Publication Date: March 1995–present
It often tells of criminals and the tragic misadventures of a large cast of characters, who alternate with each other in an intricate weave that is recomposed in one piece at a time, and becomes more complicated as the episodes develop, set between the early eighties and mid-nineties.
Each issue is independent and narrates a moment in the life of a character, in a specific period, it is not at all obvious that the next issue narrates the evolution or the consequences of what happened in the previous issue.
15. Tokyo Ghoul
Author(s): Sui Ishida
Artist(s): Sui Ishida
Publication Date: September 8, 2011 – September 18, 2014
In the city of Tokyo, creatures called ghouls have appeared that feed on human flesh to survive. One day, Ken Kaneki, a young student, was attacked by one of them and suffered a serious injury. To stay alive, he receives a transplant from the ghoul that attacked him and becomes a hybrid, half-human, half-ghoul (artificial one-eyed).
Quickly, he realizes that he cannot eat the same foods as before. But he will soon find himself at the heart of a bloody war between the CCG (Center for Ghoul Control), determined to find and exterminate them to the last, and the Aogiri Tree, an organization of merciless ghouls.
Author(s): Jim Davis
Artist(s): Jim Davis
Publisher: United Feature Syndicate (1978–1994), Universal Press Syndicate/Universal Uclick/Andrews McMeel Syndication (1994–present)
Publication Date: June 19, 1978–present
Garfield is a comic strip by Jim Davis. It was first published on June 19, 1978 in 41 newspapers. In 2010, it was published in more than 2,570 newspapers in 111 countries, and has been translated into 28 languages, making it one of the most published comics in the world.
The story is a series of gags revolving around a big orange cat, named Garfield, from which the comic takes its name. This character is characterized by his wicked and ferocious humor, his laziness as well as his disillusioned, sometimes philosophical reflections.
13. Love and Rockets
Author(s): Hernandez Brothers
Artist(s): Hernandez Brot
Publication Date: September 1982 – April 1996, 2001–2007, 2008–2016, 2016-present
Love and Rockets is a periodical comic book series published by the American publisher Fantagraphics and created by the Hernandez brothers: Jaime, Gilbert, and Mario (less prolific and less well-known than the other two), sometimes credited under the collective designation “Los Bros Hernandez ”.
The work of the Hernandez brothers is characterized by complex cultural influences: Central America, the poor neighborhoods of Los Angeles, the comics of the 1950s as much as the underground comics of the late 1960s, science fiction, South American literature (Gabriel García Márquez for example), or even punk music.
12. Alan Ford
Author(s): Max Bunker
Publisher: Editoriale Corno, Max Bunker Press, 1000VolteMeglio Publishing
Publication Date: May 1969–present
Alan Ford is an Italian comic book series created by cartoonist Magnus (aka Roberto Raviola) and writer Max Bunker (pseudonym of writer Luciano Secchi) in June 1969 for publisher Corno. In the full wave of fumetti neri, this parody of the world of espionage was a surprise and a great success. Magnus designed the series until 1976 before getting bored.
Between 1983 and 1984, Max Bunker decided to take his independence and created his own publishing house: Max Bunker Press which continues to edit Alan Ford and his multiple derivative series despite certain wear and tear of the character.
11. Cerebus the Aardvark
Author(s): Dave Sim
Artist(s): Dave Sim, Gerhard
Publication Date: December 1977 – March 2004
Cerebus the Aardvark or more simply Cerebus is a self-published comic strip created by Canadian Dave Sim (later joined by his compatriot Gerhard) in 1977 which tells the stories of an aardvark over 300 episodes, developing a number of themes such as the female condition, religion, or time.
Completed in March 2004, this series is the longest published comic by a single team in English, with 300 issues and over 6,000 pages. Its creator considers the series to be a graphic novel of 6,000 pages.
Author(s): Guido Nolitta
Artist(s): Gallieno Ferri
Publisher: Sergio Bonelli Editore
Publication Date: 1961–present
Zagor is a comic book character created in 1961 by Guido Nolitta (pseudonym of Sergio Bonelli) and graphically done by Gallieno Ferri, the protagonist of the eponymous comic series published by Sergio Bonelli Editore; the series was initially published in striped format and then passed in 1965 on the Zenith Gigante necklace in the classic bonellide format.
Published continuously for over fifty years, the series has exceeded 600 volumes and has been reprinted several times. The character represents one of the most famous Italian tarzanids and is part of the history of Italian culture.
Author(s): Tite Kubo
Artist(s): Tite Kubo
Publication Date: August 7, 2001 – August 22, 2016
The story begins in 2001 in Japan in the fictional city of Karakura. The 15-year-old high school student Ichigo Kurosaki has been able to see, hear and touch the souls of the dead since he was little. One evening, her daily routine is turned upside down following her encounter with a Shinigami, Rukia Kuchiki, and the arrival of a monster called a Hollow.
The latter has come to devour the souls of his family and the Shinigami who came to protect him having been injured by his fault, Ichigo accepts to become a shinigami himself in order to save them.
8. Strangers in Paradise
Author(s): Terry Moore
Artist(s): Terry Moore
Publisher: Antarctic Press (3 issues, 1993–1994), Abstract Studio (14 issues, 1994–1996), Image Comics/Homage Comics (8 issues, 1996–1997), Abstract Studio (82 issues, 1997–2007)
Publication Date: January 1993 – 2007
Strangers in Paradise, written and illustrated by Terry Moore, is defined as a soap opera comic book and therefore takes the party to see its characters evolve, sometimes in unexpected directions, as the episodes progress. It occupies a special place in comics because it is one of the few series that has found a large female audience.
It has also become popular for its realistic portrayal of the characters and the situations.
7. Dragon Ball
Author(s): Akira Toriyama
Artist(s): Akira Toriyama
Publication Date: December 3, 1984 – June 5, 1995 (original)
The series follows Son Goku’s adventures from childhood to adulthood as he trains in martial arts and explores the world in search of the seven orbs known as the Dragon Balls, which summon a dragon that grants wishes when assembled.
Along his journey, Goku makes several friends and battles a wide variety of villains, many of whom also seek out the Dragon Balls.
6. Batman: Black and White
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: 1996, 2013–2014, 2020–2021
Batman: Black and White is an American anthology mini-series of Batman comics in four volumes, whose specificity is to offer several short stories in several volumes by big-name authors. It has been published in three separate periods, with the most recent being in 2020.
The origin of this series is told by Mark Chiarello, the DC Comics editorial supervisor who proposed this anthology, in his introduction to the first volume of the hardcover edition.
5. Sin City
Author(s): Frank Miller
Artist(s): Frank Miller
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Publication Date: April 1991 – 2000
Sin City is a comic book series written and drawn by Frank Miller published by Dark Horse. It is characterized by the choice of black and white. However, it is common to find in the pages of Sin City a few colored notes, when the author wishes to attract the reader’s attention and provoke an emotion (red blood, blue eyes, etc.).
Thus, in the fourth volume (That Yellow Bastard), Miller has fun coloring his killer yellow in order to provoke disgust, while creating a play on words with his title.
4. From Hell
Author(s): Alan Moore
Artist(s): Eddie Campbell
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Publication Date: 1989–1996
The story deals with the identity and motivations of Jack the Ripper, while also painting a social painting of the Victorian era and reflecting on the position of women in Western society through the ages. The title (literally “from hell”) comes from a letter received by the police in 1888 and attributed to the murderer.
Author(s): Masashi Kishimoto
Artist(s): Masashi Kishimoto
Publication Date: September 21, 1999 – November 10, 2014
The story begins during Naruto’s adolescence, around his twelve years. His dream: to become the best Hokage. Naruto trains hard in order to become genin, the first level among ninjas. After failing the genin exam 3 times, he finally manages to receive his Konoha forehead band.
He is then included in a team of three apprentice ninjas, with Sakura Haruno and the talented Sasuke Uchiha who wants to avenge the people dear to him, by killing his brother Itachi Uchiha. Soon after, they meet their jōnin, the one who will take care of their training: the mysterious Kakashi Hatake.
2. Usagi Yojimbo
Author(s): Stan Sakai
Artist(s): Stan Sakai
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics, Thoughts and Images, Fantagraphics Books, Mirage Studios, Radio Comix, IDW Publishing
Publication Date: 1984–present
The adventures of this samurai rabbit take place in Japan at the beginning of the Edo period (early 17th century). This is an anthropomorphic comic where humans are replaced by animals. The hero is a rōnin, Miyamoto Usagi, who travels the country on a shogyusha (warrior pilgrimage), sometimes monetizing his bodyguard services.
The comic is a collection of several stories of varying duration against the backdrop of a deeper plot that runs throughout the series.
Author(s): Charles M. Schulz
Artist(s): Charles M. Schulz
Publisher: United Feature Syndicate (October 2, 1950 – February 26, 2011), Universal Uclick/Andrews McMeel Syndication (February 27, 2011 – present)
Publication Date: October 2, 1950 – January 3, 2000 (dailies) / January 6, 1952 – February 13, 2000 (Sundays)
Peanuts is a series of gags that revolve around two central characters, a clumsy, unlucky, and depressed boy, Charlie Brown and his dog, Snoopy. The strip is based on the principle of running gag (rehearsal comedy) where the same situations between the characters occur throughout the comic strip. In addition, each of the characters has their own peculiarities, obsessions and props, which come back every time they appear.
And while they are not completely black and white, Peanuts are a piece of comic book history and art history in general, which is why we decided to honor the legacy of the great Charles Schulz with a first place on our list.