You should be reading Mystic.
I really thought the first of these posts would be about a webcomic. But then Marvel --big name, boring, monolithically superheroic Marvel-- decided to bribe me with a gorgeous story about two young women fighting prejudice, fate, and steampunk robot monsters:
I don't know what I can say to hook you if that's not enough.
Well, I guess I could mention that the girls plan their schemes with no romance in mind. That they rely on their own skills and sense and not once their beauty. I could, if pressed, write whole essays about the wonderful variety in character design, not just for the two main characters but throughout the large main cast- a variety that reflects and includes body shape, age, and class, and not just colors and gender.* I could mention that the story deals with bigotry of all stripes within the context of the story world and without getting preachy. And I could maybe kind of fangirl all over David Lopez and Nathan Fairbairn's art, or how I think I've got a new favorite writer with G. Willow Wilson, who's doing such a great job giving everyone a distinct voice.
But really: it's a steampunk revolution story with two kickass women leading the tale. It's got zeppelins, magic, and fancy dance parties that don't hide the servants. It's a mini-series, so there's no fear of committing to a never ending soap story with endless unresolved plot complications. Mystic is, in short, just the sort of book the big publishers almost never want to risk publishing, because common publishing wisdom says no one will read it. But it's awesome. You should read Mystic: Order the first issue here:
or just go to your favorite local comic shop and ask!
* My one teensy quibble is that there could be a bit more diversity in skin color- but since this is a Fantasy Industrial Europe, more or less, I'll let them slide with what they've got. It's still more racially mixed than most modern New York City crowd scenes in comics.
Links for more info, including some interviews with the writer:
Comic Book Resources
Marvel Sneak Peek