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.
My interview of Scott McCloud's The Sculptor in tomorrow's Independent on Sunday is up early on the website, and the graphic novel is an early contender for comic of the year.
"If Understanding Comics was the research, The Sculptor is the finished thesis – far more than the sum of its parts, and a wonderful testament to the power of comics."
The latest issue of SciFiNow Magazine (#102) features my review of Brass Sun by Ian Edginton and INJ Culbard, a brilliant science-fiction clockpunk tale of a real life orrery solar system.
This is a really accessible read, and one I highly recommend to all.
"While the sheer sense of fun and adventure call to mind the works of Ursula K Le Guin, and the early films of Terry Gilliam, the true triumph of Brass Sun is the characterisation of our entire cast. From evil religious tyrants to untrustworthy allies, the secretive monks who run the rails of the clockwork to crazed looking bounty hunters, a terrifying metallic enemy to Wren herself, each character leaps from the page with alarming force."
In a year already tragically marked by the ever familiar battle between art and religion, freedom of speech and religious (in)tolerance, this fable about faith, identity, and art within an oppressive society from the critically acclaimed Miss Lasko-Gross has been noted as being particularly timely.
It's a tale that will be relevant for a long time to come, commenting not only on fundamentalist beliefs but societal oppression of women, rebellion against repression, and the power of art.
Underground comix star Lasko-Gross is well known for her celebrated semi-autobiographical graphic novels Escape from "Special" and A Mess of Everything (available from Fantagraphics), as well as featuring in the Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women touring exhibition.
As promised, the first instalment proper of my new column for the British Science Fiction Association's critical journal, Vector. Coverage of the world of SF literature can be a tad bloke heavy, and comics are no exception.
Time then to delve into the truly groundbreaking work from SF comic creators that just happen to be female: Starstruck, A Distant Soil, and Finder; and their modern successors Saga, Decrypting Rita, and Grindhouse.
Hit the jump for the full article!