In the first issue of American Gods, P. Craig Russell and Scott Hampton effectively bring to life the darkness and mystery of Neil Gaiman’s brilliant novel. The variant covers, drawn by several different artists, illuminate terrors of mythology and provide a glimpse of the intensity this thrilling story promises to provide. The covers are enticing and spellbinding and serve as perfect entry points to a visualized adaptation of Gaiman’s masterpiece.
If you’re uncertain about what comic book to buy next, especially because one issue might not give you all that you’re looking for as it builds upon an origin story or what to expect from particular characters, then bypass any number ones and pick up Giant Days: Volume Four. This BOOM! Box trade paperback collects issues 13 through 16, as writer John Allison dives further into the wonderfully entertaining lives of college freshman roommates Daisy, Esther, and Susan. Not only does a fourth volume suggest the success of Giant Days as a proven commodity, the stories told within these pages by Allison are brilliantly funny by providing the reader with three characters who are constantly building upon their friendship, watching them grow before you as they navigate their daily lives. Or perhaps you’ll just enjoy the regular banter they have with each other, and toward the rest of the world, as they search for a new place to live, attempt to find a job, enter a film festival, and look for romance in all of the places. (Whether any of them are right or wrong, you’ll get to see first-hand.) If you need any more proof, it’s literally printed right on the cover – “Will Eisner Nominee for ‘2016 Best Writer’ and ‘2016 Best Continuing Series.’”
When we last left our crew of stalwart and increasingly more impatient Gods, they were doing what all large groups of Gods with limited time left and a rising threat on the horizon do: sit around and vote on what to do. With the Great Darkness in retreat for now, the group - in all of their wisdom - chose from three options: fight the thing, study it, or kind of just do whatever and who cares. The latter won out, because of course it did, and this issue gets the anarchy going in a big way. The factions of Gods have splintered once again, with several looking to study, some preparing for battle, and others doing anything (or anyone) that strikes them.
The air is frigid. Snow falls to the ground, covering every inch moving forward. The fallen medieval soldier is within sight of sanctuary, a large house toward the mountain top. Though, his outstretched arm does not reach for warm comfort; instead, he reaches for some kind of snow queen cascaded in blue and white light. Will she rescue the warrior? Will her ability to control winter protect him from the brutal elements waiting within?
There are certain rides we all know that we shouldn't take - strangers with big vans, the cab without lights, some lady with a Jesus fish and beads on the seats - but some rides will really be your last. The Greeks had Charon to ferry souls across the Styx to the afterlife, Disney made a pretty penny off of giving Davey Jones and the Flying Dutchman a similar task, and now Simon Birks, RH Stewart, Lyndon White, and Dan Thorens at Blue Fox Comics present the last thing that some jerks will ever need: hope.
Welcome to the Grass Kingdom, a microcosm of civilization. In Matt Kindt’s newest series, Grass Kings, a collective of people have laid claim to a small territory of land. Here, they abide by their own laws and rules. The first issue has the local officer escorting a trespasser off the private land. The trespasser is a young man who calls the people who live there squatters. From there, the first issue is mostly expository as we’re given a tour of the Kingdom; it’s not a terribly involving first issue story-wise. Despite its lackadaisical beginning, Kindt has earned my trust in building a story, which only comes into focus at the end of this issue. Echoes of the past point to conflicts in the future, conflicts that appear to rise from a mystery that has been left unsolved: a crime.
They say that we can be our own worst enemies, and it’s true. How often do we fight with ourselves over the trivial things in life? How often do we struggle with our own inner demons more than others?
I’ve been reading Harrow County since the second story arc, and not once has Cullen Bunn broken the reality for a good scare. Not once has he cheapened the world by breaking the rules set forth. That’s not what kind of horror this is. The horror Bunn is dealing with is much deeper and darker than that. I think even profound. Yes, it has the witches, the monsters hiding in the dark, the struggles that take place at the ledge of life and death, but we’re talking about a character’s soul here. The soul of Emmy: a young woman born of evil, the offspring (of sorts) of a witch, and imbued with the power to direct the fate of others - humans and haints (those monsters in the shadows) alike.
I’ve taken to listening to music while reading comics, and I found the perfect (for the moment) song to listen to while reading Joelle Jones’ Lady Killer: "Zorba’s Dance" from the film score for Zorba the Greek. It has a nice, slow build with escalating anticipation, a playful rhythm, and a promise of something that’s about to happen while the enjoyment of what’s happening unspools before you. Like with the classic score by Mikis Theodorakis, you can tell Jones is having a hell of a good time on this book and that she really cares about it. How can I tell? Look at the detail.