Rolling comic books 2021

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Lol @ this Steve Ditko quote on the back of this Star Wars card. pic.twitter.com/PcjVSlZd5n

— The Mole Man (@KingMoleMan) December 19, 2020

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 21 January 2021 19:56 (five months ago) link

It already came out in 2019, but I only recently found about Liz Suburbia's Egg Cream, bought it and read it. Most of it consists of the first part of the sequel to her Sacred Heart book. It's really more of an epilogue, exploring what the plot twist in the very last panel of SH really meant. As such it's kinda superfluous, but it's also intriguing because it illuminates many of the cryptic background references in SH, which you could never get without reading this sequel. So apparently she put a lot of effort into creating a whole backstory of SH even though almost none of it was revealed there, which I think is cool.

Tuomas, Thursday, 21 January 2021 23:54 (five months ago) link

Going through a Crepax volume. Insane that he sent Louise Brooks some of his porn Valentina books with the info that she was the inspiration for them and instead of going "wtf gross" she was befuddled but flattered and they started corresponding on the regular.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 22 January 2021 14:57 (five months ago) link

I dunno, the woman who said of Pabst's Pandora's Box “the movie should have ended with the knife in the vagina" could probably handle Crepax's softcore psych.

Ward Fowler, Friday, 22 January 2021 15:29 (five months ago) link

https://www.factualopinion.com/the_factual_opinion/2021/01/the-richard-corben-cast.html
Found this podcast enjoyable, haven't listened to it in ages. And I didn't know this Slow Death revival was a thing
https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/45689/last-gasp-plans-50th-anniversary-slow-death

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 27 January 2021 23:06 (four months ago) link

Laughed a bit at Tucker talking about Peter David coming back to Hulk after Bruce Jones.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 27 January 2021 23:08 (four months ago) link

Corben did so much and so much of it is impossible to find. The guy had a truly amazing imagination. I was re-reading the Dark Horse Conan run and Corben did a flashback sequence in a Tim Truman story about Conan's grandfather Connacht. It's really good.

One of my plague of 2020 things has been reading the Hulk and Daredevil from the start. I'm up to the early 70s in both series. I kinda think the Hulk is one of the better reads of the early Marvel series, I love that pretty much EVERY issue is a big cliffhanger (AKA to be HULKTINUED).

earlnash, Sunday, 31 January 2021 18:26 (four months ago) link

I think I probably got into Corben at a good time, I was able to get most of his books online in mid to late 00s. The guys in that podcast enthuse about the few I didn't bother with (Punisher: The End, Hellblazer: Hard Time and Cage Max), I read a bit of the Conan stuff but there just weren't enough of his pages, I did love that line "come closer so I can kill you".
There's so many bits and bobs never collected. Would like the full version of Bloodstar too because it apparently never came out in intended book form. Sad to hear that Creepy Presents Corben never stayed in print, I assumed it would have.

I liked the original Hulk miniseries well enough but the early Tales To Astonish era was unreadable for me.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 31 January 2021 18:42 (four months ago) link

reading the Hulk and Daredevil from the start

I think I've read all of Daredevil from the early 00s Bendis stuff onwards and imo it's one of the most consistently good long-running comics. I am curious to know if the rest of it stands up as well. I should probably make time for the Frank Miller run, right?

salsa shark, Monday, 1 February 2021 13:53 (four months ago) link

yeah. it's dated in a lot of ways, but some really classic moments throughout. make sure you remember to get to the Elektra minis too

Nhex, Monday, 1 February 2021 14:54 (four months ago) link

Nocenti run is fun and weird

Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 1 February 2021 18:32 (four months ago) link

the Elektra minis

You know, I absolutely love Elektra: Assassin, but I never bothered to see if there were more things like it. It's Bill Sienkiewicz that makes it though imo. I forgot about the Nocenti stuff, I had been meaning to get around to that too. Thanks!

salsa shark, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 12:22 (four months ago) link

euro album format Love & War by Miller and Billy is the other Sienkiewicz thing u need

shivers me timber (sic), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 13:24 (four months ago) link

Aw, bummer - with Disney closing Blue Sky Studios, the Nimona movie in production got cancelled.
https://deadline.com/2021/02/blue-sky-studios-closing-disney-ice-age-franchise-animation-1234690310/

Nhex, Tuesday, 9 February 2021 18:43 (four months ago) link

aw that's bullshit. Maybe she can take it to netflix?

That's not really my scene (I'm 41) (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 9 February 2021 22:42 (four months ago) link

Wow, I had no idea there even was a Nimona movie in production! Though I can't imagine Disney could even do faithful adaptation with all the violence and queer stuff in it... I guess Netflix could, they did let Stevenson make She-Ra into the queerest American kids' cartoon ever.

Tuomas, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 08:18 (four months ago) link

David Britton died recently. I think he mostly wrote novels but probably more people have seen his comics. Savoy co-founder, Lord Horror, Reverbstorm.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 18:39 (four months ago) link

Read House Of X for a comic discussion group, that was quite bonkers and fun! Artwise I enjoyed the Lisa Frank vibes in the background. Also struck me this stuff would be unreadable on an issue-by-issue basis, which has been my eXperience with Hickman - cancelled my subscription to East Of West after many a month of reading an issue and realising I had no idea what happened in the last one.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 11 February 2021 11:17 (four months ago) link

True - thankfully House/Powers of X was published weekly. Reading his monthly X-Men has been plodding by comparison.
I'm still on board with his titles and Marauders, dropped all the remaining X books though, of which there seems to be a new series almost every month.

Nhex, Thursday, 11 February 2021 13:52 (four months ago) link

I was a bit underwhelmed by HoX/PoX. I appreciate the gargantuan effort of it all (as I wrote in a separate comics forum, the fact that someone like Goldballs has a purpose in this universe is testament to the consideration Hickman has given to how this new mutant society is supposed to work) but I like X-Men best when it focuses more on smaller teams, which as a more expository/setup piece Hoxpox doesn't do as much. Maybe some of the many offshoot series will deliver eventually; I read a few issues and wasn't compelled, but I'm willing to try again when this whole iteration of X-Men wraps up and it's clearer which series/arcs are worthwhile.

Side note, someone in that comics forum shared this article, which I found interesting: From Jerusalem To Krakoa: House Of X & The State Of Israel

salsa shark, Saturday, 13 February 2021 17:47 (four months ago) link

Gold... Balls...?

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Sunday, 14 February 2021 02:36 (four months ago) link

GOLDBALLS, baby. Love it or leave it!

Nhex, Sunday, 14 February 2021 03:03 (four months ago) link

I loved hoxpox but the regular series’s pandemic release schedule/crossovers/confusing reading orders/crappy side titles, mixed with having a toddler, have somewhat stalled my interest. Marauders seems ok though.

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 14 February 2021 08:52 (four months ago) link

Enjoying Zdarsky’s Stillwater, which is basically “The Walking Alive”, but like a lot of his comics, it’s missing a bit of personality (his)

Al Ewing’s new Boom series is not for me, sadly - nice art and story concept, but it’s impossible to follow what’s going on, which I guess is part of the point, but it’s taking too long to coalesce for me

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 14 February 2021 08:57 (four months ago) link

I immediatley thought of the Israel paralell re: HoX and think Hickman explicitly introduces an Israeli character early on to avoid that reading - it would be a terrible metaphor because, y'know, no Palestinians.

Daniel_Rf, Sunday, 14 February 2021 13:11 (four months ago) link

xp Tuomas: your mention of Sacred Heart got me to check it out. Pretty good stuff, like a punk rock cousin of Black Hole. Still trying to piece together what it was all about, exactly, besides the plot. Def interested in a followup, but knowing that Egg Cream is only part 1 makes me want to wait for a full sequel.

Nhex, Saturday, 20 February 2021 02:27 (four months ago) link

Billionaire Island by Russell and Pugh - funny, not angry enough, but a good effort.

Nhex, Sunday, 21 February 2021 19:11 (four months ago) link

Def interested in a followup, but knowing that Egg Cream is only part 1 makes me want to wait for a full sequel.

It's technically part 1 of a sequel, but really it's more of an epilogue taking place years after the events of Sacred Heart, explaining most of the odd stuff that happened in the first story. There's some hints of where the story might go in future installments, but if you liked Sacred Heart I think you can easily read it now, cos it's not like it even starts a proper new plot.

Tuomas, Sunday, 7 March 2021 00:07 (three months ago) link

Always loved this cover.
https://www.comics.org/issue/5609/cover/4/

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 15 March 2021 19:41 (three months ago) link

Fiction House is the fucking best imo

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Monday, 15 March 2021 22:08 (three months ago) link

I'm not sure if I've read much of their stuff. Thought of getting the big compilation.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 16 March 2021 00:47 (three months ago) link

a lot is available for free i think.
hang on.

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 00:59 (three months ago) link

https://digitalcomicmuseum.com/index.php?cid=16
^requires a login but worth it

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 01:01 (three months ago) link

*cough* librarygenesis

mh, Tuesday, 16 March 2021 01:04 (three months ago) link

yow that's a find

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 01:09 (three months ago) link

giving credit to ilxor dean intercom

mh, Tuesday, 16 March 2021 01:33 (three months ago) link

Just discovered 2020 documentary "For Madmen Only: The Stories of Del Close" on Kanopy (movie streaming service free for library card holders in US and .au and elsewhere) - I would have been happy if it mentioned Wasteland at all, but it leans HEAVILY on it in the early parts, including recreated scenes of writing sessions with James Urbaniak as Close, Matt Walsh as Mike Gold, and Josh Fadem (Twin Peaks / Better Call Saul) as John Ostrander.

armoured van, Holden (sic), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 05:25 (three months ago) link

Had no idea he wrote comics, is it any good/worth looking for?

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 17 March 2021 15:17 (three months ago) link

Wasteland is pretty classic as i remember it, Bill Loebs / David Lloyd / Dandy Don Simpson on the art for the most part
https://readcomiconline.to/Comic/Wasteland-1987

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 17 March 2021 15:32 (three months ago) link

Thanks! I remember the cover design so vividly but never read it

Just looking at Lovern Kindzierski's garish-but-amazing colouring is instantly transporting

For some reason I only just realised he was a guy

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 17 March 2021 15:41 (three months ago) link

Feels like this thread is slower than usual. Because of covid? Do you buy less comics when you can't browse around shops? For years I haven't been reading much comics other than little online quickies. I seen that Barry Windsor Smith's Monsters (35 years in the making) is coming very soon and I just want to flip through it quickly, I truly respect the dedication but I don't think it's something I want to read much, will be interested to hear reactions.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 26 March 2021 19:17 (two months ago) link

i'm reading a lot of digital comics and could talk about them but they're really all over the place.

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Friday, 26 March 2021 19:21 (two months ago) link

I've actually gotten more into comics during the pandemic, especially once my LCS opened back up (although they were doing curbside pickup almost immediately and actually implemented a delivery van as well!). I used to just wait until tpbs came out of the stuff I was interested in, but now I'm subscribed to a bunch of comics. I just don't participate because I feel like I don't have the depth of knowledge about comics shit that most everybody else on here has. Shit I've read lately:

True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem (great series; wasn't thrilled by the ending)
You Look Like Death
We Only Find Them When They're Dead (have all the issues, but I'm not fully caught up on reading)
Something Is Killing the Children (and lots of other James Tynion-involved stuff: Razorblades, Department of Truth...)
Redfork (by Alex Paknadel on TKO, whose Giga I'm also following, although I'm not totally into it yet)
All the little TKO Shorts books
Bitter Root, which is really beautifully colored
Just got the first issues of both Nocterra and Stray Dogs, which are both promising in very different ways.

peace, man, Friday, 26 March 2021 19:44 (two months ago) link

I bought four paper comics last year (one miniseries) and read the last two of them this week

armoured van, Holden (sic), Friday, 26 March 2021 20:20 (two months ago) link

Am enjoying Something is Killing the Children. Reading that via Hoopla from library, which has the first two graphic novels (1-5, 6-10) and single issues of 11-15. Waiting for the next collection to finish it in one borrow.

Red Mother looked interesting - any opinions?

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Friday, 26 March 2021 20:24 (two months ago) link

I think it's in the current Boom Humble Bundle - might grab that, lots of new stuff in there
https://www.humblebundle.com/books/best-year-of-boom-studios-books

Nhex, Saturday, 27 March 2021 00:35 (two months ago) link

^^ I came here to post this! I've been off comics since around September in favour of other hobbies and because libraries (where I get a lot of my books) are closed, but this bundle looks like some fun weekend reading

salsa shark, Saturday, 27 March 2021 02:20 (two months ago) link

Physical comics stuff I have bought this year, mostly from online sources

Morbius Epic Collection 1 by Gerber, Moench, Gulacy et al
Crashpad by Gary Panter
New Yorker cartoons issue
Trigan Empire Vol 2 by Butterworth and Lawrence
The Steel Claw: Invisible Man by Bulmer, Tully and Blasco
A 'facsimile edition' of Black Knight 1 (1955) by Lee and Maneely

Ward Fowler, Saturday, 27 March 2021 10:03 (two months ago) link

I've been bulk reading piles of manga and had to stop reading Berserk because it was starting to giving me nightmares
http://i.imgur.com/Nzcp13Q.png

G.A.G.S. (Gophers Against Getting Stuffed) (forksclovetofu), Saturday, 27 March 2021 18:34 (two months ago) link

I like his SA comics, his Flash run w/Morrison, prefer his Authority run to Ellis's, and the first two Ultimates series were a genuine breath of fresh air when they came out. In retrospect the Ultimates looks majorly edgelordy, but at the time, reading it month-to-month, felt pretty exciting.

Everything else seems obnoxious/overly tropey/sub-Ennis/Ellis. I enjoyed how Hickman built his incredible Fantastic Four run on the back of Millar's terrible run.

He appears to have better business acumen than 99% of all comics creators, and that's okay.

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 30 April 2021 10:40 (one month ago) link

It's weird how all the second wave British Invasion have turned out to be wankers who had one or two pretty good ideas/writing gigs then descended into self-parody and circle jerks with acolytes (allow yourself to decide the literalness of that).

Millar's true nature probably got exposed by Trouble and it was all downhill from there although, as you say, he's monetised the model WE was using badly, quite successfully.

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Friday, 30 April 2021 10:58 (one month ago) link

lol i totally forgot about Trouble! tbh i was fine with that level of silliness. it's not quite pointing at the reader and joyfully singing "you're garbage for loving comics" and the cheesy drama of it kinda fit the classic Marvel romance comics it was parodying/replicating

Nhex, Friday, 30 April 2021 12:43 (one month ago) link

RIP John Paul Leon

https://www.cbr.com/john-paul-leon-dies-static-earth-x/

Duane Barry, Monday, 3 May 2021 11:10 (one month ago) link

IMO Millar has some good ideas for stories, but his at his best when his writing stuff where the nature of the project and/or the editorial policy limits his edgelordy tendencies, which is why the best things his done are traditional superhero comics; Superman: Red Son and 1985 are both excellent "what if" type of superhero stories (even though the events of the latter apparently became canon with Marvels's 616 universe). But most of his indie comics, where there's no genre conventions or editors to rein him in, might have an interesting premise but end up being transgressive carbage. And yeah, he definitely feels like sub-Ennis in the sense that even Ennis's edgiest comics still have moments where his basic humanism shines through, whereas with Millar there's nothing but dumb nihilism.

Tuomas, Monday, 3 May 2021 12:04 (one month ago) link

xp Shame; I liked his work on Creature of the Night.

Nhex, Monday, 3 May 2021 13:43 (one month ago) link

Genuinely wonder if Saga is ever coming back. It's always a puzzle when people have a hit series on their hands and they just abandon it. A much lower quality level applies to this example but that Riverdale zombie thing was the same.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Thursday, 6 May 2021 00:15 (one month ago) link

I'm nearing the end of Steve Gerber's run on Daredevil. He definitely was a step ahead for early 70s comics in style. You got to know if Grant Morrison ever did a run of Daredevil, he would definitely have to use a couple of Gerber's psychedelic villains like Angar the Screamer and the Dark Messiah.

Angar the Screamer is awesome. I love how he looks like he could be a member of Grand Funk Railroad.

earlnash, Thursday, 6 May 2021 01:00 (one month ago) link

BKV in January: "And just to head off the comments, yes, Fiona and I are still hard at work on Saga, and we remain hugely appreciative of the four of you left who haven't completely lost patience with our extended intermission. Hard to believe as it may seem, I promise these new issues will be worth the wait."

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Thursday, 6 May 2021 01:04 (one month ago) link

"I think you'll be surprised at the new characters we've found for you to love, and us to kill

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 6 May 2021 07:18 (one month ago) link

Vaughan does that pretty much in all of his comics, though, so I think people should be used to it by now.

Tuomas, Thursday, 6 May 2021 09:45 (one month ago) link

I've not read Ex Machina and Pride of Baghdad, but it's not something I associate with Paper Girls, Runaways and Y: The Last Man? I'm aware I've already wandered into a spoiler minefield.

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 6 May 2021 09:50 (one month ago) link

Ex Machina is by some measure the worst thing he's done, not counting Under the Dome, so lucky escape.

There's a random death at the end of Y The Last Man that's always struck me as a little dumb; killing Alex so quickly in Runaways seems like something he wouldn't get away (or choose to do) now

Anyway Saga's been fine and as long as he doesn't kill the adorable little seal who's obviously marked for death, I'm ok

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 6 May 2021 10:22 (one month ago) link

Hard disagree on Ex Machina! Besides that I actually like it, you're ignoring all his (mostly passable) Marvel hack work.

Nhex, Thursday, 6 May 2021 12:36 (one month ago) link

That's true, I haven't read that stuff!

Ex Machina always felt a bit un-BKV-ish to me, like it's a weird Sorkin/Bendis mashup that happens to have BKV's name on. It's a bit too "I'm the dialogue guy!" for me

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 6 May 2021 12:44 (one month ago) link

Yeah, Y: the Last Man is a prime example of him building up an interesting character throughout series, then killing them at the most tragic point imaginable, not because it fits the theme of the story or anything, but because he seems to think a story isn't good if a main character doesn't die.

Tuomas, Thursday, 6 May 2021 13:22 (one month ago) link

prayers up for the little seal person

mh, Thursday, 6 May 2021 20:22 (one month ago) link

Vaughn's 'Logan' mini series with Russo was pretty cool. I've heard that Dr. Strange mini-series is a pretty good read too.

I read and liked Y the Last Man but I sold my issues of Saga cause they got going for stupid money and I never went back.

I'd pretty much read anything by Eduardo Risso. He's done some pretty weird stuff and I like some of those minis he has done like Spaceman (w/100 Bullets dude) & that bizarro Cain/exit of Eden comic he did with Jason Aaron. I think they got in that one and realized it was too crazy to go there for the cash payoff. I still haven't read that Lono mini-series yet, but 100 Bullets was one of those series I got hooked on trades. It was so long between issues!

earlnash, Friday, 7 May 2021 02:38 (one month ago) link

I loved Risso's Batman. Love to see him do something with Ed Brubaker. That Werewolf/whiskey comic Moonshine I also really like. Azzarello has some stuff I did not get with...I read that western one but it was pretty forgettable.

earlnash, Friday, 7 May 2021 02:41 (one month ago) link

After the Hellblazer issues where John Constantine talks like a Cheeky Cockney, I gave myself permission to never read him again. But I guess I could be missing something. David Lapham's patchy enough for me to want to read the Guy Who's Not Quite as Good as David Lapham.

Having never seen a photo of him, I was excited to discover Azzarello looks maybe 100% like I expected him to look

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 7 May 2021 11:46 (one month ago) link

lol! that's totally the stereotypical '00s comics writer look

Nhex, Friday, 7 May 2021 12:40 (one month ago) link

I went to a comic shop a number of years ago without realizing Jill Thompson was doing an in-store appearance and it took me way too long to realize that the sullen-looking dude sitting by himself off to the side was Azzarello. Didn't realize 'til just now that they've since divorced.

Slime Goobody (Old Lunch), Friday, 7 May 2021 13:02 (one month ago) link

Oh, tangentially speaking of Jill Thompson, that reminds me that the new Beasts of Burden series is starting off really good, although she isn't involved with it this time around.

peace, man, Friday, 7 May 2021 13:20 (one month ago) link

You know, I reacted badly after Jill [Thompson, co-creator of Beasts of Burden] left the book, and I still feel bad about taking that situation public. Jill and I are in touch now. We talk. I blew a gasket about the schedule of the book publicly, twice. At one point, I shot the book down. I was walking away from it. Things are okay now. Jill is doing a variant cover for us. I would like Jill to come back, but I understand if she might not want to. Maybe that experience is just not something she'd want to deal with again. But we co-own the series and we’re in touch when anything affects the series.

http://www.tcj.com/i-consider-myself-very-lucky-that-i-dont-really-have-to-listen-to-anybody-a-conversation-with-evan-dorkin/

Draymond is "Mr Dumpy" (forksclovetofu), Friday, 7 May 2021 18:02 (one month ago) link

Misread that as "“I Consider Myself Very Lucky That I Don’t Really Have To Listen To A Conversation with Evan Dorkin".

peace, man, Friday, 7 May 2021 18:07 (one month ago) link

His gasket-blowing was pretty fair at the time - she'd ghosted the book in the middle of an issue, and wasn't even replying to the editor as an intermediary anymore. By the time she agreed to let the replacement artist take over, the third issue of that miniseries came out over five years after the first, and they'd missed four Christmasses of hardcover collection sales = shoes and food for Evan and Sarah's kid.

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Friday, 7 May 2021 19:25 (one month ago) link

Thanks for clarifying, sic!

peace, man, Friday, 7 May 2021 19:50 (one month ago) link

Just read Sloane Leong's A Map to the Sun. Heavy adolescent drama. Extremely good and well-crafted.

Nhex, Friday, 14 May 2021 22:09 (one month ago) link

On a whim, or compelled by Fantagraphics' Facebook ads, I bought Barry Windsor-Smith's Monsters. Looks fantastic, plenty of virtuosity on display, but he needed firmer editors than Gary Groth, Conrad Groth, and Mike Catron when it came to writing dialogue.

In my house are many Manchins (WmC), Wednesday, 19 May 2021 17:40 (one month ago) link

Oh man.
https://comicbook.com/anime/news/berserk-kentaro-miura-creator-dies-54/

Nhex, Thursday, 20 May 2021 05:12 (one month ago) link

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck
Beyond him just being too young, it leaves this mammoth unfinished work behind. Heartbreaking

Draymond is "Mr Dumpy" (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 20 May 2021 05:15 (one month ago) link

Yeah, that's a heavy one. I'll need to read those remaining ones and Giganto Maxia.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 20 May 2021 18:46 (one month ago) link

I've been mostly lurking on and off here since the 2000s, aside from a few comments about Love & Rockets and Hellblazer. I've been feeling less blown away by comics lately, most likely from my becoming older and a parent and various larger factors (the mainstreaming of comics into YA/childrens lit, aging of the British invasion writers, not being that into most varieties of highly acclaimed comics of the present). So I thought I'd post, try to stir up some conversation and see if anyone else had read anything lately that seemed particularly stunning. Here are some recent picks from the library.

YELLOW NEGROES AND OTHER IMAGINARY CREATURES by Yvan Alagbé (NYRB) - This is probably the best comic I've read in the last year or two, a translation of short narratives by a Black French artist. There was a level of realism and social reality that I felt like put American comics to shame (something I weirdly felt also reading the much more picaresque Corto Maltese, a scene where he inquires about a character's illegitimate child). The book often touches on social issues without feeling self-conscious or discursive, (e.g., there's one a great page of a character jumping a turnstyle in a moment when NYC was criminalizing that).

KILLING AND DYING by Adrian Tomine (D&Q) - It's hard to imagine a more "well-crafted" version of what this is, but I was left wondering why the world needed another melancholic narrative about misanthropic middle aged dudes. This left me depressed about the imaginative narrowness of this generation of indie cartoonists.

AAMA by Frederik Peeters (Self Made Hero) - This is a four-part sci-fi series with a tinge of Fantastic Planet meets the trippy eco-horror Jeffrey Van Der Meer with a little bit Inkal messianism. The artwork has that hyperrealistic objective draftmanship that I've come to associate with French SF comics. Pretty enjoyable! I've started Lupus also by Peeters, a sort of stoner Y Tu Mama Tambien in space, but I'm finding the expressive brushwork difficult to get into.

ABBOTT by Saladin Ahmed - This is a urban horror comic set in 1970s Detroit that reminded me a lot of an early Vertigo comic, but I felt like the writer could have done more research on the period as the setting didn't feel very realized.

johnasdf, Thursday, 3 June 2021 17:24 (three weeks ago) link

I liked Yellow Negroes too! Agreed on Abbott underachieving; there's a sequel that continues the Life on Mars vibe.

I feel that Adrian Tomine is actually a little younger than what I'd automatically consider that generation - he's only ("only") 47!

Andrew Farrell, Saturday, 5 June 2021 07:05 (two weeks ago) link

I missed that it was your first-ish post - it's a good one!

Andrew Farrell, Saturday, 5 June 2021 07:08 (two weeks ago) link

Not passing a judgment on Tomine, but he started publishing comics as a teen in the '90s, so he basically is part of that same generation you're referring to (with all the melancolic narratives about middle aged dudes) imo

The other titles sound interesting, thank you for the notes

Nhex, Saturday, 5 June 2021 22:44 (two weeks ago) link

Hey all, thanks for the kind words! Okay, so re Tomine: I think you're both right, as his precociousness makes him feel more like a peer to the Clowes/Ware types, which makes the book slightly more disappointing, since he was always more like the cool younger brother, doing cartoons about punk scenes, etc., rather than writing stories that might star Paul Giamatti.

Have any of you been reading anything mind-blowing lately? I feel like once Grant Morrison stopped producing work regularly, my comics purchases declined a lot. Okay, here are a few more things I've gotten from the library in an attempt to check that. My latest process has been looking at the Comics Journal link blog and seeing what's getting reviewed.

THE HOUSE by PACO ROCA (Fantagraphics) - This is a semi-autobiographical, humanistic story by a Spanish artist about adult siblings who go to rebuild their father's home after he's passed away. It's a little slow to start and then the details accrete on you and it ends up being fairly moving and absorbing without being very sentimental. Not an enormous fan of the artwork, which can be stilted like a cartoony film (same camera angle for several panels in a row), but unlike many comics, the pages sometimes detailed backgrounds and feel like lived spaces; also the coloring can subtle and sophisticated.

THE BOOK TOUR by ANDI WATSON (Top Shelf) - A dark comedy story about a midlist author who gradually becomes suspected of being a serial killer--sort of an English bookish humor meets Kafka or Aki Kaurismäki. The drawing style is all antique crosshatching and can go from being cartoony like Tom Gauld to more ominously shaded like From Hell. Slight but enjoyable?

BAD WEEKEND by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image) - I've enjoyed their moody noir comics like Criminal and Sleeper. This comic has a similarly consistent quality, though never ends up being as provocative or good as those, maybe bc its focus on a comics artist means it can't deploy the old noir tropes. It's about a standard Brubaker/Philips stubbly brown-haired guy helping an over-the-top alcoholic comics veteran. The depiction here is a little more interesting and less hagiographic than the Seth/Clowes comics-about-comics in that it feels less nostalgic for the dirtbag old days and more willing to juxtapose that era with the contemporary world of cosplay and conventions.

johnasdf, Wednesday, 9 June 2021 13:49 (two weeks ago) link

Bad Weekend is just a mini-collection of a two-parter Criminals story iirc - I've enjoyed nearly everything they've growled out (though I'd give Fatale a miss)

Andrew Farrell, Wednesday, 9 June 2021 15:08 (two weeks ago) link

cool younger brother, doing cartoons about punk scenes

I do not recall this being a feature of his work!

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Wednesday, 9 June 2021 19:49 (two weeks ago) link

Maybe my own wishful revisionist thinking!

johnasdf, Wednesday, 9 June 2021 21:08 (two weeks ago) link

Have any of you been reading anything mind-blowing lately?

Read Barry Winsdor Smith's Monsters for my comic book reading group, and though it's not gonna be one of my all-time faves or anything it does feel very much a Major Work, just in terms of art if nothing else (like many comics nerds, the side of comics that I'm worst at talking about). Very dark, upsetting book.

I also read the new Matthew DeForge which I think would've blown my mind if I hadn't already read Ant Colony. Dude certainly has a style.

In general I think the Comics Journal is good for staying up to date on what's cool, also editor Stone's podcast Comic Books Are Burning In Hell.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 10 June 2021 09:49 (two weeks ago) link

Anyone read Nathan Cowdry's book, Crash Site? I gotta try to pick that up this summer. His "Sea-Diver" story on Instagram (@stinkstagram) has been great.

Nhex, Thursday, 10 June 2021 14:27 (two weeks ago) link

THE BOOK TOUR by ANDI WATSON -- just read this too, felt similarly

Finally got around to The Lie and How We Told It by Tommi Parrish, which was excellent, but at only just over 100p seemed way to short. Would have loved it to be a proper novel-length novel.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Friday, 11 June 2021 05:40 (one week ago) link

I'm up to about '74/75 in my continuing Hulk, Daredevil & now Defenders reading. Hulk is one of the most consistently bonkers and fun Marvel series of the old stuff. Herb Trimpe definitely is a child of King Kirby and he comes up with some bonkers looking stuff.

The scenes when T-Bolt tells Betty that Talbot is dead (presumably) and she freaks the f'k out is amazing. Then the Hulk tries to bring her flowers to like him again and fights Modok in a giant robot outside her hospital window. Then the next issue Modok turns Betty into the Harpy.

Marv Wolfman is not nearly as good as he later got in his DD run and it is a bit all over the places, but it's ok. The manipulation of photos by a computer and people being duped by conspiracy (based on the 73/74 version) looks a bit prescient in a 2021 lens though.

earlnash, Saturday, 12 June 2021 21:35 (one week ago) link

Okay, some new library reads:

GIFT FOR A GHOST by Borja Gonzalez (Abrams) - This is a beautiful nocturnal story by a Mexican artist that weaves between a contemporary girl indie band and a late 1800s debutante world, which may or may not be real. Not a lot of plot, but there is an interesting dream logic layered throughout the book and a lot of negative space and emptiness. The art is really immaculate: sort of like Mike Mignola (blacks and reds, ornate backgrounds) and Nick Drnaso (no one has facial features!).

ART OF CHARLIE CHAN HOCK CHYE by Sonny Liew (Pantheon) - A big book I meant to read when it came out. This is a super ambitious book that presents itself as a coffee table art book, a retrospective of a Singaporean comic artist (Charlie Chan Hock Chye), but this is a framing device. Chan is an invented protagonist and the book uses this form as a way to tell the story of his life and the history of 20th century Singapore/Malaya via his comic books, which are done in this amazing pastiche of global comics styles (Dan Dare, Pogo, Astro Boy, Harvey Kurtzman war, Ditko, Mad magazine, even Dark Knight Returns). This makes the book initially a bit staccato and hard to get into, but it comes together in the end and the framing device allows Liew to constantly translate out of the Singapore context to create a story that feels both personal and a history of the 20th century anti-colonial left. Here's an essay about it w/ some images: https://aaww.org/rewriting-singapore-story/

johnasdf, Thursday, 17 June 2021 15:12 (one week ago) link

Oooh that last one sounds up my alley, thanks!

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 18 June 2021 10:48 (six days ago) link

I just learned about the Warren Ellis metoo situation from last year (https://www.somanyofus.com/ if you somehow missed this like I did). The story resurfaced because Image is publishing a new comic from him. I'm not an enormous fan of his; just was a big fan of transmet back in the early 2000s. But the plethora of stories that these women put forward have me aghast. Why are people shit?

peace, man, Wednesday, 23 June 2021 19:04 (yesterday) link

I had forgotten about the Warren Ellis story--terrible!

I really want to check out Barry Windsor Smith's MONSTERS. I remember loving his Archer & Armstrong run...

The art for The Lie and How We Told It by Tommi Parrish looks cool. I'll try to check it out.

Here are some more library reads:

THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE: A CHILDHOOD IN THE MIDDLE EAST (1978-1984) by Riad Sattouf -- This is a graphic novel I've seen on the bookshelves of a lot of non-comics readers and it also has the combination of being by both an Arab artist and a Charlie Hebdo guy, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The comic has a weird combination of objectivity and puerility, retelling the author's childhood experiences in Libya, France, and Syria with extensive detail but then (being from a boy's POV) often swerving a bit to focus on something juvenile (e.g., torturing animals, seeing a nude woman in the window). Almost every Arab character and especially every Arab man is depicted as a grotesque. There is a lot here that would delight a French Islamophobe in the depiction of Syria and Libya as (impoverished) dictatorships, though life in either country is surely worse now after Western intervention than it was in the early '80s. Other than that, the book is well-constructed, entertaining, humorous, etc., particularly scenes where the main character's dad negotiates humiliation or the main character imagines god as the french pop singer George Brassens. The art is "cartoony," but there is a strong sense of perspective, volume, and one-tone color, so the world feels real.

I REMEMBER BEIRUT by Zeina Abirached - A very abbreviated recollection of Lebanon's civil war (really a proxy war by other countries). Not really a comic or even a diary, but some memories with very graphic design-style images, seemingly influenced by David B and Marjane Satrapi. Her other book was supposed to be better, will check that out.

THE CONTRADICTIONS by Sophie Yanow - I'd heard about Yanow from the mailing list of Copacetic Comics, which seems to stock great art comics. This comic is about a queer American college student studying abroad in France and her adventures hitchhiking and crushing on a surly/depressed anarchist. (Possibly a spoiler: but lefty anarchism is revealed at the end as adolescent selfishness and the narrator returns to her previous bourgeois lifestyle!) The story is more developed and scene-based than most first person comics, but the ligne claire-style of the drawing makes the art feel like a summary of itself, so the comic feels less memorable.

RUNAWAY PRINCESS Johan Troïanowski - This is actually a comic I borrowed for my kid, but it was really fun. Not necessarily mind-blowingly original and definitely a kid's comic, ((translted from French and published by Random House 'ss raphic novel series for kids) bbut reminded me of Pippi Longstocking, Nausicaa, Valerian, etc., in its sense of playfulness and adventure! I

johnasdf, Wednesday, 23 June 2021 22:05 (yesterday) link


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