“Fundamental Comics,” a monthly editorial series that introduces readers to comics, graphic novels, and manga that have been impactful to the sequential art medium and the comic book industry on a foundational level.  Each month, a new essay will examine a familiar or less-known title through an in-depth analysis, exploring the history of the title, significant themes, and context for the title’s popularity since it was first released.

The latest episode of American Gods, “Treasure of the Sun,” tells the history of Mad Sweeney through a series of flashbacks, and it only seems fitting to depict story of such an unconventional leprechaun backwards.  Starting with a prophecy of his death, his journey traces back to the beginning of his descent.

Well, bah. I’m late to the party for Descender, but not too late to get in on the ground floor of Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s continuation in the upcoming series, Ascender.  The original series centered on Tim-21, a robot who lived in a galaxy where androids were illegal and humans hunted them. The new series carries over a few characters from the previous series, along with introducing new ones, but with a fantasy twist.

The quirky jewel heist/buddy comedy continues, as suave jewel thief Mia Corsair and socially awkward hacker Brenda (a.k.a. “Killa-B”) prepare to steal the famed Net of Indra in broad daylight from a museum exhibit. The two are still working to bypass the exhibit’s security system, but Brenda can’t seem to concentrate, as she’s too busy thinking about her secret crush, a woman named Tallulah Blue who posts in the same online forum as “Killa-B.”

On a normal day in a supermarket, people gather to partake in a daily tradition. Something we don’t even think about; it’s second nature. We’ve moved from hunters and gatherers to purchasers and complainers. Customer service has taken on the slowly evolving task of the big hunt. We hunt for coupons now: deals - the ability to go about our business without being bothered. This is how the story of Dark Rage - inspired by true events - begins. Moments later, men in white masks, armed to the teeth, lay waste to nearly a dozen shoppers. It’s bloody, it’s tragic, and it changes the lives of two women who become inexplicably tied together, forever.

It's been said for awhile now that the end is fast approaching for both the gods inside The Wicked + The Divine and the book itself, but with only two issues remaining, this has never been more true. As the final battle with Minerva and the revelations of the previous issues come to a head, there is a lot to unpack right now. Laura and the other gods have banded together and set themselves up for their final confrontation. All there is left to do now is save the world and potentially kill themselves in the process.

Their peaceful life in Austin ended in a conflagration, and the Bowmans have found themselves on the run once again. Out of options, and with Bartlett's survival hanging in the balance, the family makes their way to a place where even vampires fear to go. Issue nineteen begins a new chapter in Donny Cates and Lisandro Estherren's supernatural/western saga that promises to be as gripping as it is game-changing.

I somehow missed reading and reviewing issue #10 of Coda, but that just meant I had the pleasure of reading two issues last night. And what a pleasure it was!

A quick recap from the last issue: Mal has been captured by Boss Moon, and the rest of the crew are on the run from the homicidal cult. So, we're basically on par of the usual level of shenanigans when it comes to this crew. Moving on to the present. Things pick up immediately from there, with the Serenity crew (with the addition of Chang-Benitez) still on the run, but an accidental fuel cell mishap saves the day. Elsewhere, Mal and Boss Moon trade barbs and blows.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart famously began composing music when he was only five years old. What was life like for him, being a musical genius at such a young age? What was it like for his family, having to put up with a five-year-old musical genius? That’s the premise of Young Mozart, a series of newspaper-style comic strips based on the composer’s early years.

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