It’s no secret that I am beyond fond of the comic book, Chew. I have enjoyed the series since it started.Every one of the 30 issues thus far have been good. There are not a lot of books you can say that about. John Layman and Rob Guillory know what they are doing, and their combined style is one for the comic hall of fame.
Chew is set to run for 60 issues, and issue #30 marked the half way point. Naturally, it was a big one. Chew #30 is a smorgasbord of memorable moments.
Something that will be forever burned into my brain in the most affectionate way: Poyo in a tuxedo. The definition of “perfect” should be edited to feature a picture of this: Continue reading
Owls, schmowls. The real horror story in Gotham arrived in Batman #13 with an eerie cackle and a face hanging off its hinges. Writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo brought the world’s scariest jester back in a big way, and the story rattled me so much that I was suspicious of every creaking floorboard for a few days. The Joker is on a highly personal mission to rid Batman of the loved ones and allies who, in his words, have made him weak. What makes this especially unsettling is that he has practically seeped into the walls and knows everything, from the kind of soap Nightwing uses to Commissioner Gordon’s restless sleeping patterns. Did I mention that the skin of his mug, already grotesque, is barely attached? “All he’s about is convincing yourself that the things you’re most afraid of are true,” Snyder told the Washington Post in his assessment of the Joker. Keep a flashlight handy, dear reader. You’ll need it to look under your bed after reading the next installment.
For better or worse, comic fans knew that DC’s relaunch would bring changes to beloved characters. As Brian Azzarello took on the daunting task of writing Diana of Themyscira, Princess of the Amazons, he had a devoted fan base to appeal to. At first, he was fairly successful. I was sold.
In my defense, the beauty of Cliff Chiang’s art goes a long way. Also, despite Phil Hester’s admirable attempt at redeeming The Odyssey story line, that was not a hard act to follow. I may or may not have been a bit hungry for another writer on Wonder Woman.
As Azzarello added more and more characters to the cast of Wonder Woman, the old gods started overshadowing our princess. Diana’s path was becoming foggy. So, it wasn’t quite clear how Azzarello was going to characterize the leading lady who was becoming more like a supporting actress in her own book. The story-shine of Zeus being her father was wearing off. So, Azzarello brought the thunder in another epic reveal in Wonder Woman #7. Continue reading
As much as I love Fables, Fairest wasn’t doing it for me … until issue #7. The wonderfully drawn-but-painfully-slow first arc of Fairest was followed by an unexpectedly fantastic one-shot about Beauty and the Beast. The issue is set in 1946 Los Angeles and drawn in a cheeky noir style by Shawn McManus. We see Beast in hot pursuit of Beauty. Why has his lovely wife skipped Fabletown? That would be because she is a homicidal, misandric serpent who needed to exorcise her inner demon.
Say what? Continue reading
I had been waiting for this moment for years. Brandon Graham’s creator-owned comic was coming back to the shelves. My excitement was palpable for weeks before the release of the first issue. On that fateful Tuesday when we got our weekly shipment into my comic shop, I grabbed the first copy I saw and sat down to read. It didn’t disappoint.
I know you’ve heard this from me before, but this comic rules. This comic gives me a boner. This comic is so great. The first issue has something for everyone- romance, violence, action, beautiful art, and an interesting plot. I only wish the series was going to be longer than 4 issues.
Call me crazy but I was actually struggling with a desire to not give this comic a chance when I first saw it solicited so many months ago. Even with the powerhouse duo that is Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan fronting the project, I was deeply skeptical. Luckily, I set my preconceived notions aside and picked up the first issue, which presented me with one of my favorite comics out there today.
I get a little pissy when Cloonan is rotated out temporarily, but this comic has been so consistently solid and innovative to a dusty story line that it blows me away every time.
Ladies, prepare to show ID. You’ll need it to get past the self-appointed guardians of geek culture who think you’ve got some nerve showing up at cons and wearing Star Wars T-shirts when you obviously don’t know Dantooine from Dagobah. And if you’re in a “provocative” costume, they might label you a troublemaking minx who dresses up not to demonstrate your love of a particular character, but to fuel their fantasies.
Fuck that noise. Continue reading
Life with Archie, the best soap opera in comics, has grabbed readers’ attention with storylines about unhappy marriages and separations, untimely deaths (Mrs. Grundy!) and characters ravaged by disease (Cheryl Blossom!). But there was at least one happy occasion in Riverdale in 2012 with war veteran Kevin Keller’s marriage to his boyfriend, Clay, in issue #16. It’s yet another example how Archie Comics has modernized, and fans have embraced the publisher’s first gay character since he arrived in 2010. Writer Paul Kupperberg handled the story just right, matter-of-factly showing Kevin and Clay as two people a loving relationship. I propose a toast.
In the first issue of the second volume of Morrison’s Batman Incorporated, Bruce and Damian are in hot pursuit of the goat-faced, gun-toting Leviathan rank and file. The chase leads them through a slaughterhouse. As bullets and bone saws fly, things get really, really bloody. With the bad guys subdued, but drenched in animal blood – Damian makes a life decision. Chris Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn execute this unforgettable moment … adorably!
Comics-wise, 2012 was a year of ups and downs. My relationship with superhero comics was troubled because I felt so disconnected from some, emphasis on some, of the newly established DC universe. I’m still a little sad about it, especially since I tried so hard to embrace the changes instead of naysaying. The silver lining is that it freed up time and money for some new titles that helped to rekindle my excitement about Wednesdays.
One of them was Vertigo’s excellent Punk Rock Jesus. Girls Gone Geek is sharing our annual rundown of the moments in comics and geek culture that delighted, shocked and outraged, and we’re kicking off with a scene from PRJ that surely left many readers speechless. Continue reading
If you have not had the pleasure of reading Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly’s New York Four and New York Five, I would highly recommend them both. It is not quite a coming of age story, but more like a snapshot into the lives of four girls attending college in Manhattan. NYU is about the only thing they have in common. Each of the ladies; Ren, Riley, Lona and Merissa are complex, interesting characters completely consumed with the ups and downs of their respective lives. Aren’t we all?
In New York Five, we meet Olive. Continue reading
This memorable moment is a twofer, and probably the one nearest to my heart.
We all (should) know that Death of the New Gods was a terrible story that did nothing but muck up continuity and convolute the lead-in to Final Crisis (while also having terrible grammar throughout the series). The last thing Final Crisis needed to be was more confusing. Those annoyances aside, the most tragic part of DotNG were the deaths of some particularly awesome New Gods, specifically … Knockout. Continue reading
It’s easy to dismiss Bruce Wayne’s son as an annoying brat, but I think that’s a shallow criticism. There’s a struggle within Damian that is fascinating, and his killer instinct has always been dangerously close to the surface. (Remember last year’s memorable moment, when he bashed the Joker’s head in with a crowbar?) Continue reading
When you read a lot of comics, it takes something truly special to stand out from the pile of panels and pages. As 2011 winds down, V. and I are taking our annual look back at the moments that stuck with us long after the issues went into the longbox. And we’re not only covering books this year, but also other comics-related delights that struck our fancy. Without further ado, I’m kicking off with a page that had me in tears. Continue reading
If you have not read Fables, I judge you harshly. You should. But, I am kind enough to warn you that there are some serious Fables #100 *SPOILERS* here. Continue at your own risk.
For those of us who have experienced the wonder and greatness of Bill Willingham’s epic tale, we know and love Frau Totenkinder. She is also known as the Black Forest Witch of Hansel and Gretel fame, as well as nearly every other witch responsible for various curses in Fable history – Rapunzel, Beauty and the Beast, the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Flycatcher, and somehow, I’m sure, many others. She might very well be the baddest bitch alive … like ever. Especially considering she’s been around since the dawn of man, I’m talking Paleolithic era, people. Continue reading
Eye of the Teenage Tiger!
I’ve not been at all shy about my affinity for Miss Darla Danberry. She is, hands down, my favorite character of 2010. Naturally, one of my favorite moments would include her.
Her journey from Jersey to The City to make it to the last Forgetless party ever is filled with drama and angst. Ultimately, Darla and her under age cohorts are triumphant. Better late than never. Especially when the internationally renowned DJ is bored by 3 a.m., and doesn’t mind someone filling in at the DJ booth. It’s these moments that we live for. When something utterly unexpected happens, that is an absolute dream. A hipster, wannabe DJ/designer, Jersey teen, too cool and creative for the suburbs she is confined to, makes it to the hottest party of the year … and gets to DJ! Not only will she be the talk of the school on Monday, but she’ll remember the moment forever. So will I.
This being a sort of shout-out to great shit in 2010, I’d like to show love to Darla’s creators: Nick Spencer and Marley Zarcone.
Nick Spencer gets my vote for really doin’ it to it all damn year. Spencer’s writing is smart and addictive. I love that he has gained the accolades and momentum that will keep him in the industry for years to come. Clearly, I’ve got a bit of a love affair going on with his writing, but that seed was planted with Darla. She is pure spitfire and brilliance.
Darla’s gem of a personality is perfected by how she is drawn. All praise to Marley Zarcone, who is definitely one of my favorite artists of the past year. Marley’s art is stylized and simple, but just bursting with beautiful character. I would buy any book Marley is on, hands down.
I so intensely desired the relaunch of Birds of Prey with Gail as the writer partly because I felt a need for the proper treatment of the character Sin. It is not news that I think Ollie and Dinah’s marriage is some Grade-A bullshit, and that stunt he pulled to hide Sin … yeah, that was the worst. I knew Gail would address that at some point. When Sin was mentioned in the first issue of Birds of Prey, it was clear that it would happen soon.
In Birds of Prey #6, not only did I get Sin, but I got Lady Shiva, too. GOOD GAWD, I love Shiva! The appearance of Shiva and Sin was, indeed, extremely satisfying. But, I was not prepared for just how moved I would be by Huntress.
Helena Bertinelli is the kind of girl you want as a best friend because she has got your back. Huntress decides to take Dinah’s place in a battle to the death against Lady Shiva, one of the deadliest people on the planet. THAT is one hell of a gesture. Not only did Helena hold Dinah down to the tenth power, but she stayed on her feet while taking that ass-kicking of a lifetime from Shiva.
Huntress has more moxie than any lady in the DCU. She is Iron Owl.
I previously had no preference for Zatanna one way or another, but I am big into the magic characters. When she got her own book, I only hoped it would be good. The book has been stellar with Dini at the helm. Zatanna is a joy to read. Straight out of the gate, the book felt like classic story-telling at it’s finest. The first arc was truly satisfying, particularly in issue #3.
After freeing her father, Zee proceeded to kick Brother Night’s ass … Magi style. Zatanna frees the souls of the thirteen children slaughtered by Brother Night, thus relinquishing him of his diabolical power. This is absolutely beautiful work by Stephane Roux and John Kalisz.
I cried, again.
Daddy issues much?
Secret Six is a book that was consistently good throughout the year. Gail never ceases to blow the line between morality and immorality completely to smithereens in ways that only work with the Six. While there have been many, many “Oh, Shit!” moments in Secret Six, issue #22 made my jaw hit the ground so hard it nearly broke.
In the final chapter of the “Cats in the Cradle” story arc, Thomas Blake takes his animal inclinations to the extreme. After hunting his son’s kidnappers by blazing a trail of blood and entrails, he finally confronts them. A meta by the name of Wallace is particularly arrogant and sinister upon Catman’s arrival, and the fight ensues. Wallace seems to be under the impression that he has the upper hand because he’s all electrical. Whilst lightning and shit-talking are plentiful, Blake takes one lunge at Wallace, and bites his fucking face off. One bite. Then he kills him with his claw-knuckle thingie and the best one-liner … ever. Gail officially sent Thomas Blake up the river to Homocidal Maniac Town, never to return.
J. Calafiore’s illustration is so epically perfect and gruesome that one cannot help but be utterly shocked.
I’d also like to give Calafiore some major props for his work on Secret Six as a whole this past year. He’s more or less melded with the Six, and I love, LOVE how he draws them. Calafiore has stepped his game up every month, and continues to improve. I’m so impressed by this book’s consistency, which is what Secret Six deserves.
With apologies to Barry Manilow, this Mandy does NOT give without taking.
7 Days from Hell, the excellent Top Cow Pilot Season contender, was straight-up robbed. Despite being head and shoulders above the more formulaic winner, 39 Minutes, this stylish, thrilling book came up short at the finish line. We went into more detail here, and if you haven’t read Bryan Edward Hill and Rob Levin’s entry, illustrated by Phil Noto, you should. 7 Days From Hell showed a lot of promise, and if I were a betting woman, I’d wager that Top Cow will give it a go. I refuse to believe that it’s too late!