Notable Indy Comic books of the 1980s: a list
Personal note: Except for the Ninja Turtles, I saw each one of these characters show up in comic book stores in the 1980s, and they were each one startling and "new," a departure away from the DC/Marvel centric publishing and in some ways a breath of the European style of comic books, tha is, being a bit more open-ended on what is allowed for story and artwork, and probably more importantly, how to handle continuity.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. Featuring mutated anthropomorphic turtles trained in ninjitsu, this comic was first published by Mirage Studios in 1984 and is easily the most popular and financially successful indy comic book from the era.
Love and Rockets by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez. The Hernandez brothers started publishing Love and Rockets in 1982 and off-and-on has been used over the decades as representing the high quality possible by independent comic creators.
Cerebus by Dave Sim. Cerebus the Aardvark began in 1977 but had a long peak period in the 1980s in which what began as a straight-forward Conan the Barbarian parody kept developing into a multi-layered tale about much more than sword play.
American Flagg! by Howard Chaykin. A dystopian, satirical series set in the future which hammered at various 1980's political and social stereotypes.
Concrete by Paul Chadwick: First appearing in 1987, it utilized science fiction and environmental themes while alternating between an intelligent adult thematic approach but cushioned by an almost kids-book gentleness.
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Original page November 27, 2023 | Updated November 30, 2023