While setting up The Illustrated Section site, I have had the privilege of reviewing lots of splendid books. Some I knew about already, while others were a pleasant new discovery.
Here is a selection of my top picks so far. They are all available here in the store, and they are all independently made. I love them for their awesome artwork, attention to detail, and outstanding stories. Each of these creators deserve every ounce of support you can give them. And best of all, you can buy every single one of them and still not break the $10 mark.
Red’s Planet #1 by Eddie Pittman
Eddie makes one of the most high-quality, expertly drawn and written webcomics I have ever seen – Red’s Planet. I am constantly amazed by his draftsmanship, linework, and coloring skills. Besides the great art, the story itself is an awesome fun ride about a spunky redhead and her adventures with aliens. The fun cartoon style and all-ages story makes it perfect for kids and adults alike. Do yourself a favor and pick it up! (And follow the ongoing webcomic too.)
The Ghosts of Pineville by Sara Turner
I had not read Sara’s story until a few weeks ago, but when I sat down to read it, I plowed right through. Ghosts of Pineville follows three twelve-year-olds as they investigate the mystery and legend of a couple missing kids from their town. The story has great humor and personality, and I loved the three main characters and their chemistry. This PDF contains the entire first book, a full self-contained story in 60 pages. Read it now, then make sure you head right on over to Book 2, which is currently running on the Ghosts of Pineville webcomic site.
Ellie Connelly and the Eye of the Vortex by Indigo Kelleigh
Ellie Connelly combines mystery, action, archaeology, and good fun. Think Indiana Jones, but with a sassy kick-butt girl in the lead. I’m amazed at how much detail Indigo fits into each page. He’s created a great world with super characters. The main girl Ellie has a wit, attitude, and toughness that has me thinking Buffy in the 19th century. The story is well-written and imaginative. I’m on the edge of my seat for book two! Follow the comic here.
When Girl Met Chicken by Jannie Ho
Jannie Ho, or Chickengirl as she is also known around the web, creates some of the most charming art with endearing characters and great sense of humor. When Girl Met Chicken is a silly little tale with all of these qualities. And best of all, it has the best price ever – free!
And if you want to read one of the funniest things I have read in recent memory, also check out the pages she has posted on her blog for the recent Sketchbook Project.
Spaced Thing by Eric Merced
This is another great book in our free section. It’s a fun little tale about some some astronauts in outer space and their encounter with a mysterious alien. I love Eric’s distinctive cartooning style. The only bad thing I can say about Spaced Thing is that it is an unfinished story since it came from one of Eric’s incomplete projects, but at least it is getting to see the light of day now. If you enjoy the free book, I highly encourage you check out and buy Eric’s other books that are also available in the store.
Monkey & Croc by Will Terry
So far, The Illustrated Section is dominated by comics, but my first love is picture books. Will Terry is an incredibly prolific children’s artist with a very distinct and bold style. I was absolutely delighted when he released his very own picture book with Monkey & Croc. I love how the story is simple, yet carries plenty of suspense, humor, and character. I won’t tell you how it ends, but it’s sweet!
Cleopatra in Space #1 by Mike Maihack
Egyptian princesses. Outer space. Cats. Need I say more?
Seriously, if you’re not reading Cleopatra in Space yet, then you’re missing one of the most fun, imaginative, and well-crafted comics around. Mike puts a lot of work in everything he does, and it shows. Plus Cleo happens to be one of the most popular books in The Illustrated Section so far. Trust me, it’s for a good reason.
I can go on and on – there are many more great titles on the site and I encourage you to browse through them. But if you’re on a budget, these are some can’t-miss top-notch books in my opinion, especially for such a great deal.
Which ones are your favorites? Be sure to let the creators know how much you love their work by leaving a comment or review!
And if you have your own blog or website, why not write your own review? Help spread the word about the great works these artists are making. We’d love to know what you think – feel free to share your review links with us in the comments or by email.