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Comics (1637)

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was about the ambition of science, about playing god, and about how humans are more monsters than the monsters they create. These themes have resided comfortably in fiction ever since, from Blade Runner to just about every zombie story ever written. Mike Mignola’s Hellboy has always been about fitting in, the monsters we have within us, and the internal and external fight against those monsters. Frankenstein Undone is the border between these two worlds, the crossing of these themes, and a conversation between creators and it fits like a glove. #StoriesMatter because they allow us to feed off previous stories and reflect on what matters to us in new stories.

The team of Evan Dorkin and Veronica and Andy Fish are spinning a tale with multiple threads that inevitably will continue after next issue’s conclusion. There are just too many things at play, and they are all wonderful. I would hate to see any of them get short shrift.

I've never been a huge fan of horror.  I don't know why, but so much of the genre always seemed to rely on incredible amounts of bloody gruesomeness and jump scares that I never enjoyed.  And I have held this aversion to mainstream horror so long that I've forgotten... I actually love it.  Now, I'm not fibbing above; I've never seen most of the big-name slasher flicks, and the last horror film I recall seeing was Blair Witch, which wasn't frightening to me because they were careless in shooting and I didn't think that you could get lost in the woods that close to the roads.  (Camera angles hid the actual roads, but tree ages and symmetrical placement were just kind of dead giveaways.)  No, when I recall scary stories that actually pique my interest, I think of the works of Neil Gaiman, the Bachman Books by Stephen King, and Are You Afraid of the Dark? on Nickelodeon.  Well, the subtitle for the first part of the Black Sand Beach definitely invokes its influences, and Richard Fairgray nails the feeling of that terrifying boundary between curiosity and revulsion.

Small towns are strange places, all with their own cultures, customs, and sets of rules. Each of them is unique, and many are insular, with tight-knit communities that look out for each other at all costs. In Eden, Wyoming, the concept of a close community is obvious. In the middle of nowhere, this small town lives by its own rules, setting itself as a haven for second chances. Founded by those who live in defiance of the law and run by those with criminal histories of their own, Eden has one major rule: There will be no crime inside the limits of Eden, Wyoming. Breaking this cardinal rule brings dire consequences, handed down by the co-founder of the town, Mayor Laura Shiffron. Along with her son Mark, the town postman who lives with Asperger Syndrome, they attempt to keep the peace . . . which goes about as well as expected when the entire town is made up of those who've made mistakes or who take pleasure in operating under a different system of right and wrong.

I have waited months after the sold-out first issue to read the second installment of Image Comics' Victorian Gothic tale, Mercy. A small recap for issue #1: The mysterious Lady Hellaine has arrived in Woodsburgh, where the town is being terrified by “The Woodburgh Devil” whose victim list is getting longer and longer. Hellaine meets the intelligent Widow Swanson, a witty woman who also seems to be hiding something.

It’s been almost 3 months since John Layman and Afu Chan’s Outer Darkness/Chew debut issue hit the shelves, and it would have been science fiction to guess that the “shelves” would be vacant of new comic books until last week.  The sophomore issue of the crossover event of the century was worth the wait, and our meager ideas of science fiction are no match for what beholds the mind and pencil of Layman and Chan.  This is sci-fi that doesn’t shy away from tropes but embraces and gives them a much-needed upgrade.  For as our times get weirder, the medium’s job is to take us to more outrageous worlds.  

I can honestly say I have never read anything like it. The title is referring to a group of people who are, you guessed it, ludicrous aristocrats. I myself have read most of Gillen’s work and have always been a fan, which is why I wanted to pick this new issue up. But I have to say, this isn’t my cup of tea.

Let me preface this with the fact that I have been reading Snotgirl since day 1. I have been obsessed since I read an early edition of the first issue. It is one of the few titles I have never taken off my pull list at the local comic shop. From the first page, I was completely entranced by Leslie Hung’s art and by the terrible person that is Lottie Person, famous fashion blogger. I am an addict and a supplier, because I have successfully gotten many others addicted so that I have someone to talk to about my addiction.

Comics fans, rejoice!  The mighty medium has returned.  It’s been 7 weeks since Diamond Comic Distributors decided to discontinue publishing new comics due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and everyone - retailers, creators, and fans - has felt the ramifications of that decision.  Yet as the saying goes, “The greater the storm, the brighter the rainbow bridge at the end of the tunnel,” as Diamond announced that it’ll be resuming its trade in shipping Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics, and more from May 20. What better title to get those old feels of new comics than reading Image Comics' Savage Dragon!  

The nitty-gritty: After an issue exploring Kendra’s past to give her appearance some context, we finally get to some “Ring of Fire” realness. This issue is definitely setting up where this arc will go, and it’s - for the most part - successful. Relationships are set up to fall apart, so this is pretty par for the course.

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