Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2017.4.14, Exciting Times…

The first week of April brought much joy to the comic stores around the world, with some damn fine reads. Some of which were fresh, exciting, and different. I also picked up continuing favorites, for which I always look forward too. Nothing bad, though the picks are not for everyone.

Below are my further notes on the following books (with minor spoilers). Read on!!!

RECENT COMICS, RELEASED 4/5/2017:

 

Extremity #2 (Image) by Daniel Warren Johnson, Mike Spicer

“Thea has taken her first step toward vengeance against the Paznina warlords who ruined her family. But this world offers more than vengeance as she discovers a new ally in the wreckage of the Rising Plains.”

A good followup to an excellent first issue. The second issue expands a bit more on the unforgiving world of the Rising Pains, expanding on the background losses of the first issue, an apparent retaliation for something yet clear. It would be almost depressing if not for the awesome fantasy visuals and mystery building. Though we get less of Leah during this issue, I am happy to see a bit more expanding on the character of Rollo. We also get a bit of the other side and deeper look at the ruling class. There is much development at play here, and looking forward to what may come of it. I also love the map at the end, putting the board in a sensible perspective.

Eleanor & the Egret #1 (Aftershock) by John Layman, Sam Keith

“The most daring art thief in Paris has struck again, and the police have assigned their best detective to the case. His only clue? A single white feather left at the scene. Could this feather belong to the thief? To the thief’s accomplice, an oversized talking egret? Or will his investigation lead him to somewhere even stranger? (Answer: all of the above.) Presenting a peculiar and unforgettable tale of birds and banditry, paintings and pets, larceny, love and… lamprey-wielding assassins?

I love the hell out of this first issue, which combines the best of Layman’s narrative, meta-writing style with the gorgeous storytelling visuals of Sam Keith. I didn’t think this would work, but this first issue found me eating my words. The character of Eleanor is a fascinating and mysterious one, as an art thief that only a persistent detective could expect. The egret is a fantastic avian criminal, with the taste in art (heheh). The introduction to the key players is perfect, without giving too much away. I leave myself to only guess where this story could go; as also the first issue ends too soon, leaving me begging for more. Definitely check this one, if wanting something a little different.

Paper Girls #13 (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang

“Trapped in the distant past, KJ discovers something shocking about the future.”

More adventure, more mystery, more intriguing pieces to a very big puzzle, with more questions than answers. And also, more character development than the last arc for sure (especially with that ending). But, I think what is really working for me more than ever is the outstanding art by Cliff Chiang, combined with some truly superb coloring. There seems some very deep thought put into each panel, with each stroke rather thick or thin to have some additive into the surreal situation of our misplaced Paper Girls. 

Rock Candy Mountain #1 (Image) by Kyle Starks

“SERIES PREMIERE Eisner-nominated comic creator, KYLE STARKS (SEXCASTLE), would like to invite you to enter the magical world of hobos. The world’s toughest hobo is searching through post-World War II America for the mythological Rock Candy Mountain, and he’s going to have to fight his way to get there. Lots of hobo fights. So many hobo fights. A new action-comedy series full of high action, epic stakes, magic, friendships, trains, punching, kicking, joking, a ton of hobo nonsense, and the Literal Devil. Yeah. The Literal Devil.”

Another pleasant oddity for this week in comic reading. Rock Candy Mountian has a bit of classic cartoonism to it, with a sort of play on familiar caricatures mixed with brilliant action at the end. The package is a ton of fireworks, with humorous and fun dialog sequences. Jackson the hobo is a great character, who comes off as a sort of guide to this strange world of hoboing. The color and inking speak for itself, adding thrills and excitement to the otherwise drab world. Such the book may not be for everyone, but those who enjoy great sequences with momentary meanings and humor may find it most welcoming. I do enjoythis.

Black Cloud #1 (Image) by Jason Latour, Ivan Brandon, Greg Hinkle, Matt Wilson

“Zelda was born in a world of dreams, and hers burned bigger than anyone had ever seen. Now she’s on the run in our world, the dreams broken in her hands. But the pieces are for sale, the rich and the powerful are buying, and suddenly her world isn’t the only place Zelda’s running from. From the creators that brought you Spider-Gwen, SOUTHERN BASTARDS, and DRIFTER, and the incredible colorist of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE, comes a place where dreams come true–and today, they go to war.”

This is an interesting book, for what it does to the reader in terms of narration and story dissection. It’s a story of someone born from a bigger story, and we meet Zelda; someone who others consider of no importance; yet through the narrative has great ties into something otherworldly and deeply imaginative. Zelda connected the two worlds together, for reasons not quite clear other than a sort of escapism into a sad exile of sorts into a world of modern sadness. Her and us readers fall into what could be mistaken for dreams but know there is something more. The art is special, though the sequences, later on, can be tricky; leading the reader to slow down and comprehend the strange structure of things. This can be a good, for many issues. We shall see.

The Flintstones #10 (DC) by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh

“Bedrock is in ruins and its citizens believe their mayor, Clod the Destroyer, is to blame! Meanwhile, Bamm-Bamm develops his first crush. Can his best friend Pebbles help him get the girl?”

The most topical issue yet, with the usual hard-hitting satire. Clod the Destroyer seeks to make Bedrock great again by declaring war upon the tree people. The result is hilarious connecting stuff from the earlier issues, as Clod seems to struggle with common sense and the repercussions of his actions. We also cut to the more local happenings in between, being the discovery of cinema and its impact upon daily lives. There is less emphasis on Fred’s personal struggles as he does his best to do the right thing while indulging in personal pleasures. But, the real heart string is the incredibly saga of Vacuum Cleaner, coming to a very sad end (though judging from earlier issues could mean the start of a household item revolution). The end is a tear jerker, leaving this reader feeling a bit emotional.

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That’s all until next time. Did we miss any worthwhile reads on the latest shelves?  Do you have further thoughts on the books covered here? Leave a comment below!

 

 

Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2017.4.4, Only Fear Itself…

Last week was a good week for fresh reads, with a little something for everyone.

Below are my further notes on the following books, mostly released last week (with minor spoilers). Read on!!!

RECENT COMICS, RELEASED 3/29/2017:

 

The Old Guard #2 (Image Comics) by Greg Rucka, Leandro Fernandez

“PART TWO The Old Guard is revealed. A new immortal is discovered. Things go sideways, fast.”

I felt astounded by the inside art, panel compositions for this second issue. I think there Greg Rucka does well with storytelling in relation to the artist working along with (especially on Detective Comics Batwoman arc, Gotham CentralQueen and Country, Lazerus). The storytelling is leaps ahead of the first issue, where we learn more about the immortal soldiers in past war flashbacks and them coming together. In the present, the men seem almost lost in their trapped state, taking direction from their female commander (Andy). Then we meet Nile, another female immortal new to the game. There is a quick bond, leading to a fearful end of which is shocking and presents an interesting direction for the series.

Plague #1 (AAM/Markosia) by Dennis Fallon, Jason Palmatier, Zachary Brunner

“When the King of the Fey dies from the Black Plague, his angry young heir, Twylyth Tegg, vows to save his people by any means necessary. That same night, we meet our hero, Robb Aubert, a fearful friar of the Jedburgh Forest who has lost his faith and fellow friars to the dreaded plague. Driven by a mysterious note from the German Bishop of Hildesheim, Friar Robb is about to catch the last boat leaving the English Isles for the mainland when he crosses paths with an injured English Fairy – Danann Atreyu – a fey girl who has just lost her family to the infamous Black Cross, the Warbishop Jean De Moray. But Moray is more than just a bloodthirsty tyrant, he’s a man haunted by the long-ago death of this baby brother and at war with himself over all he’s done in the name of God since. His dreaded Dyrewolves track Danann’s blood-trail to the gates of the abbey where Friar Robb has unwittingly taken her in. It seems Robb is harboring a magical creature – a crime punishable by death.”

Plague brings us the best of classical fantasy escapism mixed with the worst of medieval era real life horrors. The awesome art, with a mix of pencils, earthy tones and sudden touches of fairy magic feel very inviting. But reading throughout, there is an eclipse of darkness leading to some ghastly violence and the sad realism that mirrored the times that inspired this hybrid fantasy world. There is a repeated theme of personal loss of loved ones under cruel circumstances, where both hero and villain deal with such in their personal way. Then, we have a fairy creature caught in the middle, who also suffered the loss of loved ones. This first issue is a gripping read, though it may feel a bit heavier to those who identify more so with the characters within.

Rough Riders: Riders of the Storm #2 (Aftershock) by Patrick Glass, Patrick Oliffe

“Madman Leon Czolgosz has just shot President McKinley at the 1901 World’s Fair. As the nation looks to Vice President Theodore Roosevelt for guidance, he calls upon his fellow ROUGH RIDERS to help him investigate the assassination attempt. As they dig deeper they unearth a WORLDWIDE CONSPIRACY that not only threatens the fabric of our society, but also pits the Rough Riders against some of history’s most famous characters. Join this secret adventure of the greatest band of heroes that the world never knew.”

Rough Riders remains a personal guilty pleasure, with this escalated mix of cheesy action and historical fan fiction. For this issue, there is a lot more interaction between the heroes and what makes them tick.  Aside from that Roosevelt is a bit more of a detective in this issue, whose actions carry the story in a more logical direction. Meanwhile, Annie is a very casual badass with some very hell yeah moments. Jack Johnson is a good muscle though I wish more involvement with his character. Edison, I feel has grear potential in an eventual villain to this overall story. I like the development in the casual pacing of Rough Riders, of which I am enjoying and hoping it will be around for a while.

Jughead: The Hunger #1 (Archie) by Frank Tieri, Michael Walsh

“BRAND NEW ONE-SHOT SPECIAL! Jughead Jones has always had an insatiable appetite… but what if his hunger came from a sinister place? When a murderous menace is on the prowl, taking the lives of some of the most well-known and esteemed inhabitants of Riverdale, Jughead and his family’s dark legacy comes to light. Join writer Frank Tieri (Wolverine) and artist Michael Walsh (Secret Avengers) for this horrifying one-shot for TEEN+ readers.”

Not confused with the award-winning series, Afterlife with Archie; Jughead: The Hunger has a similar visual tone and style involving supernatural horror. Yet here, there is a closer draw to its campy, humorous feel to the comics originally based from, but without the cartoonish caricatures. The violence and PG-13 situations are present, and the visuals are very dark, drawing closer to the classic EC horror classics. The premise is simple. Jughead hungers for more than hamburgers, as his nature becomes more lupine. What develops through is a fun treat for horror readers and fans fo Archie Comics, in whatever bizarre form they transform.

Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: The Movie #1 (IDW) by Tom Scioli

“Imagine a world where the greatest comic book crossover of all time inspires a movie adaptation… and that movie adaptation inspires its own comic book! Visionary writer-artist Tom Scioli returns to the weird world of Transformers vs. G.I. Joe and brings an even weirder twist to this new story: what would the comic book adaptation of the movie version of the comic book look like? It’s time to find out in the most epic, scintillating, off-the-wall, exciting comic of 2017!”

Just when I thought the surreal oddity that was the recent Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe series ended, then came this surprise issue. And once again, something only for the purest, nostalgia-loving fans of the cartoons that popularized, thinking deep into whatever philosophical tones that could come from them. Throughout, we get the usual fan-service to a high degree, with some meta-commentary thrown in. This being my favorite moment:

So yeah, do enjoy for whatever one may take from this issue, for which there is much. Even with the story over, there continue some goofy extras. An overall oddity, that will be appreciated much like the franchise, in time.

Animosity #6 (Aftershock) by Marguerite Bennett,  Rafael De LaTorre

“When Jesse is abducted by humans, Sandor, her faithful and protective Bloodhound, will cut a swath of blood and bone through everything that stands in his path to find and rescue his beloved friend.”

Another great issue, though I think for the wrong reasons. I savor the drama in this book to a higher emotional state than intended for the continuous absurd premise of the series. I really enjoyed the developing suspense and horror to of the sudden reveal of the “dragon,” being a truly horrible beast, and in ways worse than a dragon. Then we have Jessie, who is directly the opposite, though she resorts to the desperate surprising measure of survival while in captivity. Her friends, I also fear towards any sudden horrible end that remains possible with every possible page turn. Sanders, remaining the most fearful, and I think will eventually come. Overall, a short felt victory of good vs.evil, until we get to the end…very chilling.

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That’s all until next time. Did we miss any worthwhile reads on the latest shelves?  Do you have further thoughts on the books covered here? Leave a comment below!

 

Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2017.2.28, More Recent Reads..

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Hey, some more comic read from the previous weeks!

Here are my notes on the following books worth checking out (with minor spoilers)…

RECENT COMICS, RELEASED 2/15 and 2/21, 2017:

Animosity #5 (Aftershock), by Marguerite Bennett , Rafael De la Torre

“A safe haven looms on the horizon, but the walled city will not take all of Jesse and Sandor’s companions. Who will live, and who will die to save the pack?”

PICK OF THE WEEK! I love this particular issue, which practically reinvents the series to where I thought this going. This is a good thing, as I was hoping the writing would stay away from the novelty of talking animal apocalypse melodrama, and straight into something oddly more serious and emotionally driven. This being the relationships between humans and animals, now that we have this surreal understanding. Everything about this issue is great, from the intro of philosophizing shrimp to the chilling foreshadowing hinted ahead. In between, are fantastic moments and thoughtful character development, especially of Sandor the dog; who comes off as a badass, yet caring. Jesse also develops, in more than ways than I expected (a very surprise moment I best not spoil). The art and coloring continue to give this series set the tone, with an added touches that flesh the world of Animosity into a strangely believable one.

The Old Guard #1 (Image) by Greg Rucka, Leandro Fernandez

“Eisner-winning writer GREG RUCKA (LAZARUS, BLACK MAGICK, Wonder Woman) and critically acclaimed artist LEANDRO FERNÁNDEZ (THE DISCIPLINE, Deadpool, Punisher: MAX) team up together to introduce THE OLD GUARD, the story of old soldiers who never die…and yet cannot seem to fade away. Trapped in an immortality without explanation, Andromache of Scythia—“Andy”—and her comrades ply their trade for those who can find and afford their services. But in the 21st century, immortality is a hard secret to keep, and when you live long enough, you learn that there are many fates worse than death.”

A good concept from a favorite writer. There is something about the set-up that seems bothering. The soldiers after living the long runs, seem somewhat unfulfilled on what to do with it all. I would hope there is some direction in the way of making sense of it all. Though, they find themselves easily manipulated. For what reasons, we shall soon see. The problem is not having as much to identify with the characters, in an ugly horrible world of war and death around. I like the art and interesting use of panel storytelling, especially the high point of intense violence. I feel there is something worth a payoff in the overall story, but not visible yet.

Star Trek: Boldly Go #5 (IDW) by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh

“The hit new ongoing series continues with this special story focusing on Jaylah, the breakout alien heroine from STAR TREK BEYOND! Learn the secrets of Jaylah’s past as she prepares for a bold new future at Starfleet Academy!”

The Star Trek Beyond film is my favorite of the new Trek films. Much of that because I liked the character of Jaylah, but felt there could have been more to her. This particular issue delivers her back story, and strengthening her character further. To what direction could this mean? I wish she did not join Starfleet, and kind of continued on a sort of anti-hero or rebel. Still, I hope for something new and fresh from her in this new Star Trek series, and not rehashing old elements (like recent Borg storyline in the previous arc). The art was all right, but hoping for something a bit more vibrant in the coming issues.

Drifter #17 (Image) by Ivan Brandon, Nic Klein

“Pollux has been searching for the truth ever since he arrived on Ouro. But now the truth finds him, and sometimes that’s the worst thing that can happen to you..”

Finally, comes a satisfiable explanation to much of the mystery of this great series. Its time was very much due, and such is more than expected, all with the usual awesome coloring and art. Pollux’s back story prior to the series is interesting, towards a reaction of where emotions can vary, depending on the reader. Pollux sudden actions to an impossible situation ends tragically. The fact that he lives through it all and not succumbing to regret and despair; enabling a good hero for the tough times ahead. I look forward to seeing where his character and overall story arc heads and ends. Then, I will reread the entire series to fully appreciate the added dimensions, which felt a hidden in the earlier issues.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss any worthwhile reads on the latest shelves?  Do you have further thoughts on the books covered here? Leave a comment below!

Orion T – SW chief writer and seeker of great comic books and all related wonderful things. 

 

Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2017.2.27, More Wonderful Strangeness…

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Some new comics from last week, yes!

Below are my further notes on the following books that caught my interest (with minor spoilers)…

RECENT COMICS, RELEASED 2/15 and 2/22, 2017:

Rough Riders{ Riders of the Storm #1 (Aftershock) by Adam Glass. Patrick Oliffe

“Three years have passed since the Rough Riders’ last adventure, but when an assassin’s bullet takes President William McKinley’s life, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt is thrust into the role of Commander in Chief. As a country mourns the loss of their leader, Roosevelt believes that the assassin is part of a bigger conspiracy, one whose tentacles reach back to Europe and whose intentions are to destroy humanity through world- wide ANARCHY. To stop them, Roosevelt must convince Harry Houdini, Jack Johnson, Thomas Edison and a surprisingly very alive Annie Oakley to band together again. But time has strained the bonds that once united them and the ideologies of their enemies may have already seeped into one of their own. Welcome to ROUGH RIDERS: RIDERS ON THE STORM.”

A great jump-on point for those missed out on the first series. I further think this issue might be better for jumping on, than the first series. Anyway, this true guilty pleasure of historical science fiction is back, and much of the issue is spent with ol Teddy seeking out the gang (though some seek him out). Some great characterization that feels more like the creative build than likely the true-life versions, and that’s all right. I see some tense trust issues among the protagonists, where anything can happen in this series. I enjoy much of this new setup, plus the art. The characters feel more defined, with nothing too artistic or over the top. The dramatic angles and use of action at times bring me back to the older Bronze Age Marvel comics. That is also good.

Sun Bakery #1 (Image) by Corey Lewis

“Sun Bakery comics anthology features the following stories: “Dream Skills,” about a city where guns are obsolete and the social culture is swordplay; “Arem,” a space adventurer on a quest to photograph the most beautiful galactic vistas; and “Bat Rider,” a supernatural skateboarding comic.”

Three very stylish stories, with sweet and diverse choices of color and ink styles. Much feels a bit surreal yet imaginative in very different directions. Such, I feel unprepared for, along with the subtle takes on game and pop culture. “Dream Skills” was my favorite among the stories, which emphasizes the absurd choice of swordplay in futuristic, sci-fi worlds with role-playing elements.  I love the characters and brilliant dialogue throughout, leaving me in hopes for more. The other stores are good in their own way but felt they were best kept short and sweet, as they are. Overall, a joy to read with a bonus story and commentary for this happy reader to further enjoy.

The Few #2 (Image) by Sean Lewis, Hayden Sherman

“As Hale and the Boys run further from Herrod they find themselves taken in by the father of the militiamen. Hale’s past comes more and more into light as we discover how these boys are as good at guerilla warfare as they are.”

The second issue expands upon the first greatly, on the social and political aspects of this fictional post-apocalyptic drama. The art truly drives the story, with a fantastic use of earthly tones and complex lines that are either a bit disorderly to emphasize intensity, or structured perfectly to establish setting and situation.  The tense danger and stresses of the rising dystopia bring about the character in Hale; which develops hs character and purpose along the way of the story. The contrast in the flashback is also well-done, building upon intriguing developments both personal and broad. To where all this goes, leaves no promises. I remain interested at least for the art and the interesting puzzle of world building being done.

Motro #4 (Oni Press) by Ulises Farinas, Ryan Hill

“The nefarious Reptoids, defeated and relinquished to hidden outskirts away from the Northern Kingdom, abscond with the human race’s final hope for survival—the last of their children. Motro convinces the city’s elders to sacrifice themselves to reveal the Reptoids’ location so the children may still be rescued, but they’re met with a horrifying discovery. Motro, with great warriors and a squadron of tri-tankerbeasts at his side, must decide what it means to save humanity when faced with extinction or a grisly new future.”

I love Ulises Farinas art and visual style, from much of his past work (Transformers, Gamma, Judge Dredd). Issue #4 is an another awesome balance of the complexity of his pencils, and the deeply imaginative story developed. For this issue, there is much happening with twists and turns, thrills me much. There lies an epic heroism on display here, especially toward the end. The result is another underrated classic from the mind of Farinas, in line with my other favorite work of his in Gamma. While there is excitement in seeing his work from licensed properties, Motro shows far more potential gain in greater work from his own creative visions.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss any worthwhile reads on the latest shelves?  Do you have further thoughts on the books covered here? Leave a comment below!

Orion T – SW chief writer and seeker of great comic books and all related wonderful things. 

 

Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2016.9.20 – less than usual..

 

This week for the last week in new comics, felt brief and limited for me. I picked one issue, from a personal favorite début. Then, took my chances with two new series. Both, new takes on old concepts but in very different directions. How did that go? Find out below…

Here we go, (with minor spoilers)…

RECENT COMICS:

Hadrian’s Wall #1 (Image Comics), by Kyle Higgins, Alex Siegel, Rod Reis

Here, we have a strong start to a series that feels fresh, though it takes from a lot of old genres and mixes them together. It’s a murder mystery, a science fiction tale, an emotional drama. Stemming from an alternate timeline where America and the Soviet Union exchanged nuclear strikes, there is a new Cold War brewing between Earth and the Theta colony. The main driver to the story is a drug-addicted investigator looking for answers to a sudden death in space. The situation is a bit complex, as connections involve his troubled past. The first issue is mostly a set-up on the set-up and key players for the first act. The mix of paint and digital color gives the atmosphere a soft tone throughout, with little speckles and stokes to establish mood and drama. There is a lack of personality throughout the players here, where the past gives more of the emotion than the present. That’s a good thing, to where we wonder where all the emotion will come from. The ending gives a good direction for all that, and then I think the story will (and should) accelerate in the following issues.

Animosity #2 (Aftershock), by Marguerite Bennett , Rafael De la Torre

I loved the first issue, leading to my excitement for the second issue here. The story continues the strange global development, where animals become intelligent and talk (never mind the impossible non-explanation of it all). My expectations were a bit different as I was expecting more of a horror story with dark comedic elements. Yet, I feel much of that was left, in favor of something odd uplifting about the spirit of humanity. The animals overall don’t see as vengeful as they appeared in the first issue. Here, there are other aspects to their nature bringing it all perhaps to something that will turn over the Earth into some Planet of Apes (and other animals). But then the book takes a brutal turn, where many humans have now become the monsters. Some driven by their volatile natures, to commit new terrible acts of violence. This leads to an ending where the survival is not against both the violent humans and animals, while an innocent representation of both must team-up go on a quest.

Doom Patrol #1 (DC), by Gerard Way, Nick Derington, Tamra Bonvillian

DC’s weirdest superheroes are back in this new series written by the former leader singer of My Chemical Romance (also the writer of the critically acclaimed Umbrella Academy comic series). Here, I am greatly confused on what the hell is going on, where it was, and where it’s going. I could try to explain it, but would just come off as misguided perhaps, by those who better understand this series. I never read the classic Grant Morrison run, but I do feel a sort of throwback to the classic Vertigo comics of that early late 80s, early 90s era, where abstract thinking and surreality where welcome among the mainstream. I love the art and panel play going on throughout, while I felt captivated at this overall puzzle with vague references to characters I have come to somewhat know through the DC Universe. I will likely not pick up the second issue, as I feel that perhaps this book is not for me. I do however appreciate DC Comics to do bold things again with new imprints. This carries the new “Young Animal” imprint, where I hope other titles will follow in originally, but something with a bit less puzzling for my brain.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss anything on the shelves, that is a worthy read?  Do you have further thoughts on the books covered here? Leave a comment below!

Orion T – SW chief writer and seeker of great comic books and all related wonderful things.

 

Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2016.8.9 – Up the Weirdness…

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Last week was a bit weird, with chances taken on the unfamiliar while engaging the usual strangeness I love. I have a few interesting books this week, and added a couple oddities from the recent past. Such is the good time, when one can try new things; adding favorites upon favorites.

Here we go (with minor spoilers)..

NEW COMICS FROM LAST WEEK:

Paper Girls #8 (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang

Another great issue with a little more character development and action than the usual. I love how Mac continues on with her smoking, knowing her fate lies elsewhere. Erin converses with her future self with little worry on the impact of her life, though such reveals deeper complexities and questions to her character. Meanwhile, the future keeps getting stranger, which leaves me to ponder what is truly going on, and how much do the subplots of the Paper Girls personal lives really mean on the developments on the bigger picture. Such is great storytelling, though I can’t even begin to guess on where is all goes. Also, great coloring and art as usual.

Cinema Purgatorio #4 (Avatar) by Alan Moore, Kevin O’Neill, Kieron Gillen, Garth Ennis, Max Brooks, and more

An all right issue, with writer favorites paired with great artists taking advantage of the black and white medium. The opening story with Alan Moore, I had trouble grasping the meaning of it all, as there is some sort of presentation of a familiar ape of classic cinema, revealing a much more complex personal story. The conclusion left me scratching my head. Perhaps, I should read that again, because the visual sequence by Kevin O’Neill is awesome. The other stories are all right, with my favorite being the one by Kieron Gillen, carrying on a sort of gaming motif with a sort of metaphysical approach. Overall, I love the varied art styles which come together to tug at the imagination by mixing familiar settings with fantastical situations. I feel this latest result has been the most experimental.

Animosity (Aftershock) #1 Marguerite Bennett, Rafeal  de Latorre

This is off to a kickass start! The premise is simple, yet endless in possibilities; where the animals of the world are suddenly intelligent and speaking English. The results are shocking, touching, violent, emotional, violent with sudden personas taking over. Many are instantly evil, while others become compassionate; mostly depends on their current situation. The situation turns into a survive or die for a young protagonist and her dog, as they fight together to survive. The pacing is high, with great action and drama. I love the art and coloring, very modernist but sticking to a classic comic panel format. The only big problem is the book being over too soon, leaving me begging for more.

TWO FROM PREVIOUS WEEKS:

Kentucky Fried Chicken presents: Colonel Corps (DC) by Antony Bedard, Tom Derenick

NOTE: A free comic digitally available through DC’s online app and Comixology service, or in print to the lucky attendees standing round the DC booth at the recent San Diego Comic Con.

Wow, just what did I read?! How does one even think of such a ridiculous over the top story about a fast food icon traveling the multiverse collecting alternate realties of itself to fight a an evil mirror universe mastermind? Such is packed with many DC Multiverse eggs for the hardcore fans out there. As for Colonel Sanders fans not so much on the DCU, get ready for odd references to the Kingdom Come universe, Teen Titans Go, Bizarro World, and more surprises. The creepiest of them, is one Colonel Sanders joining the fray as an actual chicken variant (!). Such overall is a hilarious ad awesome treat, which somehow ends up as original and crispy.

Heart of Weirdness by Seth Andrew Jacob, Michael Lee Macdonald

NOTE: Digitally available via the Comixology Submit program. Click here if interested.

A nice little gem for those who love a short story with no limits. Here, a soldier risks his sanity in traveling to another universe to find a madman whose taken over. The story takes the reader through otherworldly landscapes with strange life and bizarre tech; which overall makes sense is and is not too weird when the reader’s mind accepts. I love the art, with a throwback to the classic Heavy Metal mags and cool indie sci-fi of yesterday. I wished much for the story to have lasted longer, to go deeper past its abrupt end; leaving the reader to ponder what really happened. For the 99 cents price of the digital format, Heart of Weirdness is a worthwhile read.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss anything on the shelves, that is a worthy read?  Do you have further thoughts on the books covered here? Leave a comment below!

Orion T – SW chief writer and seeker of great comic books and all related wonderful things.