4 Fantasy Indie Comics To Escape Into

Faeries & Mermaids & Barbarians, oh my! Check your woes at the splash page, and get swept away into worlds far from the one we call home.

4 Fantasy Indie Comics To Escape Into
By: Mark Lee Apr 17, 2024, 1:02 AM

In a time when it feels like the whole world is on fire, there is no shame in seeking distractions. Much like the recent solar eclipse, [figurative] scientists recommend not looking directly at the world at large for too long without proper protection. Enter Fantasy: The genre of escapism. From Hobbits to Hodors, to those that came before and after, fantasy takes many shapes and sizes. Whether you’re in the market for swords and sorcery, or mermaids and murder, I’ve got a set of fantasy comics from a variety of subgenres, all perfect for an afternoon escape from stress.


By James Tynion IV, Michael Dialynas, and Aditya Bidikar

Genre: All Ages Fantasy, LGBTQIA+

Issues: 15, Ongoing as mini runs

  • 10 (Wynd)
  • 5 (Wynd: Thrown In The Sky)
Wynd comic coverImage: Boom Studios

Born and abandoned in Pipetown, a place that greets those of magical heritage with death, young Wynd must live in hiding under the protection of the kind-hearted woman who found him as a baby. With only a watch town to gaze upon the world outside, Wynd longs for the companionship that is forbidden from him. As a wide-eyed boy, he longs for normalcy in a place far from normal. But when his secret is threatened, Wynd must embark on a journey across the lands he was barred from so much as dreaming of, a journey for family, friendship, and freedom for everyone. 

What James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas have done with the world of Wynd is as refreshing as it is important. These creators have built the perfect all-ages fantasy, full of honest LGBTQIA+ representation worthy of making even the toughest of queers cry. With books like Wynd, no queer kid has to grow up afraid of who they are, and those of us who already have, are granted affirmation that future generations will have greater access to queer representation.

Who this is for:

  • Readers looking for accessible fantasy 
  • LGBTQIA+ readers

Black Cloak

By Kelly Thompson, Meredith McClaren, and Becca Carey

Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Crime, & Mystery

Issues: 6, Ongoing

Black Cloak comic coverImage: Image Comics

Welcome to Kiros City, home of the Black Cloaks, and the last living city in the known world. Essex and Pax, two Black Cloaks, set forth on an investigation over the murder of the beloved Prince of Kiros. The clues they follow send them through the shady underbelly of the fantastical city in a rush to find the murderer before word of the Prince’s death leaks to the public and sends the people into havoc. 

Kelly Thompson and Meredith McClaren, the team behind Heart In a Box, reunite with a comic bold enough to compare itself to Saga before its release, and certainly, the only one that can live up to that claim. Thompson’s voice provides brevity that can only be found in her stories, simultaneously tackling some of the harder-to-talk-about sides of day-to-day life. McClaren’s artwork is soft yet defined and breathes life into the streets of Kiros City, where you’ll see everything from menacing mermaids and mighty minotaurs to technologically advanced architecture. All those elements together make Black Cloak the perfect middle ground for fantasy and science fiction. 

Who this is for:

  • Fans of stories like Star Wars: Rogue One and Blade Runner 2049
  • Murder mystery enthusiasts


By Michael Moreci, Nathan Gooden, Addison Duke, Corin Howell, Robert Wilson IV, and Jim Campbell

Genre: Fantasy, Swords & Savagery 

Issues: 15, Ongoing

  • 3 (Barbaric) 
  • One-shot (Barbaric: The Harvest Blades)
  • 3 (Barbaric: Axe to Grind)
  • 4 (Barbaric: Hell to Pay)
  • One-shot (Barbaric: Wrong Kind of Righteous)
  • 3 (Queen of Swords: A Barbaric Story)
Barbaric comic coverImage: Vault Comics

    Cursed with the task of “doing good” for the rest of his life, Owen is not your run-of-the-mill barbarian. Accompanied by his foul-mouthed and blood-thirsty weapon, Axe, the two must aid those in need whenever, and wherever they may find them. As is often the case in the real world, DOING good and BEING good are very separate things that should never be conflated. For Owen, doing good looks really bad, but Axe would have it no other way. Through blood-shred and blood-lust, Barbaric tells a tale of swords and savagery that transcends the stereotypes, offering a truly one-of-a-kind adventure.

    Michael Moreci and Nathan Gooden won me over big-time this series, as I can’t say I’ve ever been one for barbarians and blades. Owen is the reluctant hero who turned things around for me. Moreci’s knack for off-the-wall comedy may seem ill-fit when discussing a book in this subgenre, but fear not, as it is the saving grace in this tale of swords and savagery. The story only grows stronger as it expands its cast, and explores each character in more depth ways than you’d expect for a book with a swearing Axe.

    Who this is for:

    • Fans of characters like Conan The Barbarian
    • Fans of crude and dark humor


    By Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans, and Clayton Cowles

    Genre: Fantasy, Drama

    Issues: 20, Completed

    Die comic coverImage: Image Comics

    What begins with a home-brew Role Playing Game, quickly evolves into a gothic fantasy for the ages. Six teenagers in 1991 go missing for two years in the world the RPG is set in, aptly named Die. Dominic Ash, his younger sister Angela, and friends Sol, Isabelle, Matt, and Chuck enter the game together, but only five return. When signs suggesting that Sol may still be alive inside of Die begin to appear twenty-five years later, the now forty-something-year-old survivors must face the nightmares of Die if they want to find their lost friend.

    To say that is just the tip of the iceberg is an understatement. Die opened me up to the fantasy genre in a way no other story has before, nor has another story come close to this masterpiece by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans. The painted panels by Hans will enchant you beyond your wildest dreams, just as it will escort you into your darkest nightmares. You couldn’t ask for a better cast of characters than the ones you will find in Die. Each one carries with them the weight of a living being, wrapped in their traumas to conceal their true selves. Through queerness, parenthood, marriage, and death, the characters of Die begin to grow from the very moment Sol’s mom opens the door in the first issue. The real-life challenges faced in and out of Die come with substantial consequences. You are bound to love these characters at their best as much as you will want to hate them at their worst. Just like they were your own friend group, the characters become a fractured mirror of yourself, inviting you to take a closer look inside. I found myself in every page of Die, and I hope you will as well.

    Who this is for:

    • Fans of Dungeons And Dragons, and classic fantasy
    • Readers interested in themes surrounding mental health

    TAGGED: BOOM! Studios, Image Comics, Vault Comics
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