If you’re like me and you live in a part of the world where the weather barely fluctuates from one season to the next, summer means one thing: a time when most TV shows stop airing new episodes. Sure, there’s some TV shows that only air in summer, but most of these are terrible reality shows or sitcoms that couldn’t possibly compete with good Fall shows. Right now, the only shows currently airing new episodes worth watching are Futurama and Breaking Bad (and of course late night talk shows).
For those of us who can’t get enough of our favorite TV characters, there’s the world of TV shows adapted into comics. I will warn you, most comic book TV spin-offs are not as good as the shows themselves, and some are embarassingly cheap, but these should at least satiate you until the shows themselves return.
The Simpsons: Simpsons comics have definitely gone up and down over the years, but recently they’ve been pretty good. Oftentimes, Simpsons comics retread plotlines already used in the show, but every issue contains a few laughs and occasionally you’ll find a story that’s comic gold. The Simpsons comic has one thing many TV-spinoffs don’t have: cameos from big names in the comic industry. Gail Simone, Ty Templeton, Stan Sakai, Sergio Argones and Dave Stewart have all worked on Simpsons comics at one point or another. Also, Ralph Wiggum and Milhouse Van Houten have been given their own one-shot issues.
Futurama: Futurama comics are a lot of fun, in large part because the show itself already seems like a comic book. Since The Simpsons is essentially a sit-com, it doesn’t always transfer well into a comic format, but Futurama often resembles a humor-infused throwback to the world of pulp sci-fi. Plus, the Futurama comic is now even more important since Comedy Central only ordered a measly 12 episodes a year.
Adventure Time: Similar to Futurama, Adventure Time works well as a comic because the show itself resembles a comic. The interesting thing here is, unlike the show, the Adventure Time comic uses stories that carry over from one issue to the next (the show maintains a status quo that doesn’t change much).
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The popular Sarah Michelle Gellar/ Joss Whedon TV show may have ended back in 2003, but the comic book is still going strong. Whereas most comic spin-offs are considered separate from the TV show’s canon, the Buffy comic actually picks up where the series ended, hence the comic is now called Season 8 and Season 9. To be honest, I haven’t read any of the series yet so I can’t vouch for it.
Star Trek: Here’s a comic I had very high hopes for. I love the original Star Trek series, and was thrilled to see comics continuing the adventures of the classic lineup of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and so on, but for some reason (probably to save money and make more profit), the Star Trek comics I’ve read have been far from top of the line. Usually the artwork is shoddy and the plots are almost entirely regurgitated from the show. Maybe somewhere in the universe there’s a satisfying Star Trek comic, but I have yet to find it.
There’s a lot more TV-to-comic adaptations out there, and maybe one day I’ll write about more of them, but these should keep you busy for now until something better is on.
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What are your favorite TV spin off comics?