There are a lot of great new comics out this month and I'll dig back a little into April too so we're fully up to date.
Here then are my picks of the new comics you should have a look at this month, including one graphic novel, two collections, and an art book amongst the fabulous new series.
In a tweet: Fluid and grand, standing for change and absolution, beautiful in its communication of empathy - a brand new level for superhero comics.
Full disclosure - I've never read a Bucky Barnes comic before. In fact I've only really read old school Captain America. So this was the least likely comic for me to read, pretty much ever. Until I saw some preview pages. Featuring Marco Rudy's art. And was BLOWN AWAY. And then I realised it was by Kot, oops! So of course it was something I was going to try, but damn if it ain't one of the most fun and beautiful comics I've read this year.
Now I have come across Rudy's work before, and been really impressed, but this is a whole new level of amazing and something that makes getting the trade collections a real joy. From the full page spreads to the lavish panel design, I'm struck by how easy it is for newcomers to still follow Rudy's more experimental layouts.
On the one hand, Bucky is sexy as sin here. On the other, he's dealing with an incredibly traumatic history, a life governed by war, and the realisation that his survival instincts and protective walls are no longer quite as necessary. He's operating on a galactic scale, seeing his story reflected in the cosmos but also seeing new ways of living; new ways of being.
It's fluid and it's grand, it's about change and absolution, and it's beautiful in its communication of empathy. Oh, and it also mentions polyamory as a valid relationship choice - hurrah!
Those that follow me on Goodreads* may be aware that I am reading a LOT of comics right now. I'm working on some reviews behind the scenes, as well as for Panel Mania, and press, but I've been intrigued by the very positive reaction to my short twitter reviews of what I'm reading on a weekly basis.
Here then is the first of... a few(?) review roundups of my ongoing comic reads!
Rules: I'm only including comics that have had at least 2 issues published, and I'm only including the comics that I think are four and five star reads, ie the comics that I can't wait to read each month.
(*where I am tracking every comic I read in 2015.)
In a tweet: Best zombie comic on the shelves, requires no prior Archie reading! Very fun, great characters, and nods to horror comics of old.
Aka the first Archie comic I ever read. I know, I know, it's not such a big title in the UK but I did at least know the basics of who each character was. This is a great comic to read and probably the best zombie comic on the market right now, kicking off with great gusto but keeping the character development going. As a non-Archie reader I had no trouble keeping up. The covers, courtesy of Francavilla, lovingly hark back to the horror comics of old, making them almost worth the price alone. Afterlife With Archie returns in May and I can't wait!
(Hit the jump for more!)
I've been using Goodreads to track my comics reading and I've been surprised to see just how much I really get through each month, and the range of genres that I love the most.
I'm still catching up on some series from last year as well, but here are my top picks for February and March - and hopefully these recommendations will be helpful to others too! (I'm still loving Lady Killer and Feathers from January...)
As a trial, I've put my ratings (from Goodreads) next to each comic.
Early last week there was an article in The Guardian that got a lot of folk mad, positing as it did that comics were "banal" and that the '80s was the pinnacle of the medium. In turn they published an article by myself later in the week, celebrating all that was good in the world of comics.
Negative articles about comics get a lot of attention which is understandable - it's easier to feel passionate about something that angers us, and comics exist in that weird underground-but-mainstream limbo where only certain comics are awarded literary merit by non-comic readers.
The editors picked brilliant images for the piece, and hopefully I was able to communicate that comics are not just restricted to English-speaking countries, and that comics are far from the static images they are often critiqued as.
The Simpsons Tapped Out is a popular freemium city-building game for iOS and Android, and one of the very few mobile games to consistently hold on to long-time players as well as new, thanks to fun event and nostalgia-stirring plots, and no annoying Facebook requests.
It keeps that old-school Simpsons humour alive and well, frequently mocking its own freemium mechanics, and allows the player to rebuild the entirety of Springfield with the vast majority of characters and buildings free, with some extras that can be bought with donuts - the freemium cash - which are often earned via normal quests.
It's fun basically, especially on a tablet or iPad, and the latest event is no exception with an invasion of superheroes and villains, and a distinctly 60s Batman feel. But with Pie Man and Plopper the Spider-Pig of course!
Hit the jump for more info!
Nearly 8 years since the last in the series was published, Pottermania is still going strong. We've had books, films, a website and theme parks - is it time now, finally, for a comic adaptation?
Throughout January, French artist Nesskain (Le Cercle) posted a sample comics page for each of the seven books in the Harry Potter franchise, a personal project but one that attracted the attention of Delcourt's David Chauvel, who in turn pointed it out to JK Rowling and her agents.
They're taking a look, hopefully sparking a conversation about comics rather than IP protection.
Hit the jump for more, and prepare for the feels!