Comics About Cars: 15 Automotive-Themed Comic Books & Graphic Novels
While the majority of casual comic book readers think that the format is limited to just superheroes and pulp fantasy, gearheads know that plenty of titles have been published over the years that depict high-octane thrills in comic book panels. Here’s a list of the 15 most prominent comic books and graphic novels to involve car culture and vehicle racing.
Note: There are far too many Japanese mangas to include any on this list, so if you want to read about those, check out our list of the 10 most popular cars from anime.
Road Trip Planning: Fun games you can play in the car with your family
15 Comic Books Car Lovers Must Read
- Michel Vaillant
- Hot Rods
- Mod Wheels
- Monster Motors
- NASCAR Heroes
- March Grand Prix
- Art of War
- Ghost Racers
- Grand Prix
- Wacky Raceland
- Race Warrior
- Le Mans
Publisher: Le Lombard, Graton éditeur
Years: 1957 – present
Synopsis: Michel Vaillant and his family’s race team compete in numerous Formula One races, as well as other motorsports leagues around the world. The comics involve a notable amount of real-life people, teams, and locations within the stories.
Hot Rods and Racing Cars
Publisher: Charlton Comics
Years: 1951 – 1973
Synopsis: The series consists of various stories, real and fictitious, that involve car culture and automobile racing. The series was published bi-monthly by Motor Magazines, Inc.
Publisher: Gold Key
Synopsis: Steeped and 1970s fashion, slang, and car racing entertainment, the series follows Wheels and his team as they face evil drivers and compete in street races.
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Synopsis: This horror-comedy one-shot title takes place in Transylvania, KY, where mechanic Vic Frankenstein, his android iGOR, and vehicular hunter Minivan Helsing battle Cadillacula, a sinister vampire-car that sucks gas out of victim vehicles.
Publisher: ABDO Publishing
Synopsis: Bumbling janitor Dashiell James gains super powers in a radioactive accident, allowing him to race under the pseudonym Jimmy Dash and becoming NASCAR’s newest hotshot driver.
March Grand Prix
Publisher: Capstone Publishing
Synopsis: Daredevil racer March Hare faces off against other furry animals in high-speed vehicle races across the land, taking place in speedways, fields, and deserts.
The Art of War: Five Years in Formula One
Publisher: Adam Parr
Synopsis: This hardcover graphic novel that depicts the political ins and outs of Formula 1 over recent years, how the business is run and what rivalries take place within the industry.
Publisher: BOOM! Kids, Joe Books
Years: 2009-2010, 2017
Synopsis: Disney and Pixar partnered with BOOM! Studios to create the short-lived The World of Cars comics, and recently Joe Books took over the license to produce comics following Lightning McQueen in conjunction with the release of Cars 3.
Years: 2015 – present
Synopsis: Motorized mayhem takes place in the Arena, where five different iterations of the Ghost Rider compete against each other in the ruthless, high-speed Battleworld tournament. There are plenty of flaming cars and motorcycles with apocalyptic style.
Synopsis: A trio of volumes by Belgian comic artist Marvano (Mark van Oppen) who is known for historic fiction, Grand Prix depicts the feats and challenges of grand prix racers during the 1930s.
Publisher: CARtoons magazine
Years: 1951-1991, 2015 – present
Synopsis: A periodical publication that consisted of comic strips and artwork pertaining to car culture and entertainment, including recurring titles and characters over the years. It was recently revived and has received a dozen issues already.
Years: 2009 – present
Synopsis: The Calandre Collection consists of over a dozen different series that specifically involve automobiles, such as the adventures of young sleuth Mauro Caldi and his rescuing of classic cars.
Publisher: DC Comics
Synopsis: The classic Wacky Races cartoon is re-imagined as a gritty, twisted post-apocalyptic story reminiscent of Mad Max. Racers, including the psychotic Dick Dastardly, compete in a cross-wasteland race just to survive.
Publisher: Race Warrior
Synopsis: This short-lived title was marketed as “the comic book for racing fans” and featured real drivers like Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in futuristic, science fiction stories. The comic book was sponsored by 7 Up.
Publisher: Garbo Studios
Synopsis: This graphic novel adapts the first-half of the 1971 film Le Mans, starring Steve McQueen, in which Michael Delaney (McQueen) returns to compete in Le Mans and face the demons of his past. The adaptation of the second-half is currently in production.