These are the comics I enjoyed reading early on in the year (figured I should bust out more book logs before the year is completely over). I feel a little guilty for not getting into many new titles but nothing’s jumped out as something I needed to pick up right away. Also, my reading speed is slow as molasses so I’m usually a couple years behind on new graphic novels.
The Manara Library vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3 by Milo Manara: Manara has a gorgeous and easy-to-recognize style but, before borrowing these books, I hadn’t read any of his work. I don’t think every story is a masterpiece but the art- OMIGOD!- it is always top notch. I read the first volume on the bus and immediately felt weird for opening up to a series of graphic adult scenes (obviously, I would have put the book away if any kids were in eyeshot). Imagine my surprise when an old lady sat next to me, peeked over and said, ‘Oh, those are pretty paintings.’ Maybe this speaks to the nosy but easy-going nature of Seattle bus-riders but hahaha! Every panel is remarkably beautiful. My favorite stories were Indian Summer, El Gaucho, and Trip to Tulum. Hugo Pratt is next on my list to check out.
Prophet, vol. 1 by Simon Roy, Farel Dalrymple, Giannis Milogiannis, Brandon Graham: John Prophet wakes up in the distant future where humanity appears completely lost. He treks across hostile landscapes and gets to do tough guy things like kill and eat misshapen creatures. I always want stories set in space to go as big and strange as possible and there’s all sorts of weirdness here thanks to a very cool group of creators. I worry I may not be picking up on everything I should with the story and characters but I’m stickin’ with it. There aren’t enough sci-fi comics this interesting and good lookin’.
The Sixth Gun, vol 4 by Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt: James recommended The Sixth Gun to me when it was about a year in and it remains one of the most fun, addictive series I read. In this volume, Drake is captured and Becky ends up in a town of mutant people. (Don’t drink the water!) The main plot about the six pistols with evil powers doesn’t move forward but, UGH, this series is like crack. Very impressive that there hasn’t been a slow point the whole time. Myth, action, and some truly epic wordless pages.
Prison Pit, vol 4 by Johnny Ryan: If you aren’t familiar, Prison Pit is about a monster criminal named Cannibal Fuckface who is thrown into a literal prison pit. There he fights other monster criminals to the death, while parasites latch onto his limbs and he encounters powerful crystal genitals. It’s not for everyone… but it’s been one of my go-to birthday presents for awhile so if we’re close friends, you’ve probably seen at least the first book. The harsh lines, extreme gore, and mutant characters always make me smile.
Chance in Hell and The Troublemakers by Gilbert Hernandez: These are two books depicting the B-Movies of Love & Rockets character, Fritz… so they’re comic book adaptations of movies from the filmography of a comic book character. Chance in Hell is about an orphan girl who is raised in a violent garbage slum, rescued by a protective dad-figure, and befriended by a child-pimp. Yeesh, lifelong damage that can never be fully repaired. The Troublemakers is about four con artists all going after some cash. No one can trust their friends or lovers. It’s a little bit like The Grifters but with magic tricks! If you haven’t read Love & Rockets, I’d recommend that first but these stories certainly stand on their own. It probably goes without saying but I LOVE Gilbert Hernandez’s drawing style. He’s one of the few who can draw expressions psychotic enough to make me feel uncomfortable.
The Unwritten, vol. 6 and The Unwritten, vol. 7 by Mike Carey, Peter Gross:
The heroic trio hang tight at an ice station and then there is a War of Words… which is exactly what it sounds like: Tom’s fans read his stories to give him strength while the cabal combats this by hiring a fleet of writers to type up libel. That was great and the background story on Pullman is awesome. I’m actually having trouble remembering what happened in volume 7 but Mike Carey has never really let me down. I definitely remember seeing more of that scary nun who I like. Also, Yuko Shimizu’s elegant cover pages are always a treat.
Right now, I’ve just finished reading Savage Continent (non-fiction) and started The Interpretation of Murder (fiction/mystery) and The Sixth Gun vol 5. Otherwise, I’ve checked out half a dozen cookbooks for holiday inspiration. :)
What’ve you guys been reading?