The Best of New York City in Comic Books

As our own set spy photos this morning show, New York is one big playground for superheroes. It’s also the background for some of the greatest literary and indie comics ever, too. Bookish—an Amazon-alternative backed by a bunch of big publishing houses—has just posted a list of the best depictions of New York in comics, including Superman/Batman, Will Eisner’s tenement tales, and Brian Wood’s totalitarian future in DMZ. All great. We’d throw in a few more indies, to be honest: Bob Fingerman’sMinimum Wage is the definitive tale of 90s New York; My New York Diary by Julie Doucet is another classic, and there’s Leela Corman’s Unterzakhn, Art Siegelman’s In the Shadow Of No Towers, the autobio comics of Dean Haspiel—heck entire swaths of Trip City and Act-i-vate . With dozens of the greatest cartoonists of the day living in New York, there must be some we’re missing.

What about it peanut gallery? What are the great New York City comics?


  1. Dean Haspiel says:

    Thanks, Heidi. I’m particularly proud of my STREET CODE series: native New Yorker Jack escapes the dregs of Alphabet City to make a fresh start in Brooklyn, only to negotiate a new strain of street logic.

  2. Chris Hero says:

    Anything by Jane Mai and Dash Shaw! Dash Shaw’s New Jobs is *really* good.

  3. “Prince of Cats” by Ron Wimberly is very New York.

  4. Torsten Adair says:

    *limbers up his typing fingers*

    City of Glass
    Sailor Twain
    The System
    (Fables isn’t, really. They don’t really interact with the city around them.)
    The Jew of New York. (His Knipl books channel a particular setting of New York, but are not specifically set in NYC.)
    Strange Attractors?
    Bread & Wine
    Ex Machina
    New York Mon Amour?
    Page by Paige
    Madame Xanadu (the last series)
    Heavy Liquid
    The Manhattan Guardian
    Fist Stick Knife Gun

  5. Torsten Adair says:

    ”Decision: The Story of the Lives of Julio and Marisol.”

  6. Seven Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz and James Romberger
    That autobio comic Jack Kirby did

  7. global citizen says:

    This blog is too New Yawk centric what about comic geeks in Cambodia, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, South Africa, North Africa? The world does not revolve around tiny backwards Noo Yawk Shitty.

  8. Torsten Adair says:


    Vietnamerica, G. B. Tran

    Pyongyang : a journey in North Korea

    Barefoot Gen
    I Saw It

    South Africa:
    comix [dot] co [dot] za

    Central Africa:
    Tales from the Heart

    North Africa:
    The Rabbi’s Cat

  9. Damnit. I got in too late to lay on bet on how long till someone complained about New York.

  10. johnrobiethecat says:

    “The Amazing Spider-Man” (60s-70’s)
    Ditko especially, Romita too

  11. jacob lyon goddard says:

    Not including Ben Katchor is just silly.
    Frank Miller’s Daredevil should probably get a spot too.
    But 75% of everything I know about NYC I learned from Dropsie Avenue.

  12. Jackie Estrada says:

    Batton Lash’s Supernatural Law/Wolff & Byrd is set on Court Street in Brooklyn, and many of the stories over the years have had lots of Manhattan locations as well. The new SLaw graphic novel coming out this summer is “The Werewolf of New York.”

  13. Have to add my own titles QUEEN CRAB, BACK TO BROOKLYN and THE MONOLITH to the mix.

  14. Torsten Adair says:

    Ben Katchor is included in my list, specifically “The Jew of New York”.
    Julius Knipl is not specifically New York City, but rather the type of downtown which existed in cities across America before the Second World War.

    Most everything I know about New York City I learned from MAD Magazine.

    Oh, and later, reading the Village Voice:
    “Stan Mack’s Real Life Funnies”

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