I haven’t written a lot of reviews recently, and I haven’t read a lot of comics recently (a sad admission!), but a year or so ago writer/artist Richard Fairgray asked me if I’d like to read a graphic novel he had put together - a memoir that he wrote over lock down. Without hesitation, I said, “Absolutely!” It was literally the first time we met in person. It turned out to be Octopus. I told him he had to publish it. I can only imagine anyone else who had read it probably told him the same thing. I am thrilled that he’s moving forward with a Kickstarter campaign (which is launching this week) for the project.
A lot of people live their lives stuck. That’s what Shed is ultimately about. The abyss of being stuck and what that can do to a person. I’m not going to get into the metaphor at play here, because it should be experienced for itself. So, I’ll start again…
Matt Kindt loves the spy genre. It captures shifting allegiances, nefarious doings, and the muddy waters of right and wrong. If used properly, it is the stomping ground for observing heightened human reactions and relationships on both the personal and the infrastructural levels.
Heady and psychotic: That’s how I’ll describe the second issue of Mind MGMT: Bootleg. Our hero from the first issue is now working as a recruiter to find the two other people that survived Zanzibar to work for the newly formed Mind MGMT. While the plot is pretty simple, it is not simplistic, especially if you understand the lore and story of the first series.
Mind MGMT is Matt Kindt’s opus. It was the series that really, truly caught the attention of a wider audience and for good reason. It’s brilliantly subversive and wickedly intelligent. It casts a spell and never lets up. While telling an incredible story, it also dissects the format of the comic book to put you into the proper mindset: that your brain is about to get effed with. Now, we have Mind MGMT: Bootleg.
Hellboy is a curious comic grounded by the almost private eye mentality of “I’m too old for this shit” from Hellboy himself. He’s just over it. This collection of Mike Mignola’s The Amazing Screw-on Head and Other Curious Objects is like reading Hellboy without Hellboy. These are the weird, curious things bouncing around in Mignola’s head, given room to breathe… and collected here. Let me tell you, it’s really fun to live in that head for a short time.
Savage Avengers #1 is back with a fast-paced set up that knows exactly who its intended audience is. While the adult in me prefers a little more time spent on building towards the main story arc, the 13-year-old in me, the one who loves a good John Carter of Mars or Conan the Cimmerian yarn, was quite pleased.
It has been a decade since I’ve seen the first Avatar film. I saw it three times in the theatre and not since then. I’m more than curious to see where the next film takes us, but before that we have a sort of prelude series to bring us up to date.
The dynamic duo of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are back again. If you pick up on the reference and don’t realize they brought us Batman together for a couple years, then you’re missing out on some amazing Batman stories, but to compare their newest offering (We Have Demons) to Batman would be like comparing Evil Dead 2 to A Simple Plan just because Sam Raimi directed them.
Coda was one of better comic book experiences I’d run across in some time. It was the first collaboration that I knew of from Si Spurrier and Matías Bergara. They gave me a unique vision. They used the scope of what fantasy could entail to tell a challenging story; it was something like no one else was doing. It was unhinged and yet focused, it was melancholic and yet hopeful, it was thrilling and yet meant something important. When it was done, I wanted more. Since the announcement of Step by Bloody Step, this was the “more,” and - boy howdy - is it even more than I expected.