Our robo-goblin overlord has declared a Month of Joy, and allowed that in this month, by his grace, I am allowed to be right about comics.
Therefore, this month, I’m going to do a round-up of comics I’ve been loving. Which is a lot, since this is the year I decided to get into comics writing, and as a result, have been reading a LOT of comics, especially since Baltimore Comic-Con. Here’s a round-up of some of the books that have wowed me this month:
Captain Marvel (2014-) Volume One
Writer:Kelly Sue DeConnick, Artist: David Lopez, Colorist: Lee Loughridge, Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramanga
Carol Danvers heads into space in the first volume of the Marvel Now! Captain Marvel. DeConnick’s depiction of Carol continues to cement the character as a cornerstone of the Marvel universe. DeConnick effectively balances humor with drama, working well with the great artistic skills of Lopez and Loughridge (Lopez’s pencils are hilarious at times, and Loughridge’s colors have a great range and use of temperature in the color palate). I’d probably recommend reading the earlier Captain Marvel trades before diving into this one, but this is designed as a jumping-on point, and serves as such as needed.
Skullkickers, Treasure Trove Vol. 1
Writer: Jim Zub, Pencils: Edwin Huang, Chris Stevens, Inks: Edwin Huang, Mike Luckas, Kevin Raganit, Crystal Reid, Colors: Misty Coats, Espen Grundetjern, Mike Luckas, Chris Stevens, Jim Zub, Color Flatting Artist: Tom Liu, Lettering: Marshall Dillon
This comic is just plain fun. If you’ve ever played D&D just to run around and bash heads in or loved the classic Sword & Sorcery romps of Fritz Leiber and his contemporaries, I highly recommend Skullkickers, the tale of two ridiculous mercenaries who get themselves into deeper and deeper trouble, and then fight their way out of it (and into even more trouble).
Spider-Man: The Parker Luck
Writer: Dan Slott, Penciler: Humberto Ramos, Inker: Victor Olabaza, Colorist: Edgar Delgado, Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
So, a while back, Spider-Man died. He’d swapped bodies with Dr. Octopus, and so Octavius’s mind ended up in Parker’s body, with only a shadow of Peter’s own mind left in the passenger’s seat. Doc Ock then became The Superior Spider-Man, bringing his evil genius approach to being the Webslinger.
But now Parker is back, and as soon as he returns, his trademark terrible luck comes right along with him. Getting his life back and repairing his reputation as Spidey after all of Doc Ock’s not-so-nice-play is easier said than done.
This volume also introduces a new character to the Spider-verse, a woman with a familiar origin story. It looks like this character is going to be a big part of the Spider-Verse moving forward, which has me excited, as I think the character has some potential.
Words For Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing for Comics and Graphic Novels by Brian Michael Bendis
I also read a non-fiction book about comics: Words for Pictures by Brian Michael Bendis. I’ve read many of the major non-fiction books on comics: Understanding Comics and Making Comics by Scott McCloud, as well as Will Eisner’s books on the form.
It’s early yet, since Bendis’ book was just published this year, but I think it may quickly be mentioned in the same breath with the other books I mentioned. It’s a thorough, detailed, and actionable overview of writing for the comics form, and includes lots of content and interviews from other writers, as well as artists, editors, and an essay on the business end of comics from Bendis’ sales manager, his wife Alisa. The book is informed by Bendis’ experience, so it’s weighted toward Marvel comics and their paradigm, but that bias is complemented decently by the guest essayist/interviewees.
There you have it. That’s what I’m reading. What about you? Any comics loves in your life right now?