Comics

Published on December 31st, 2014 | by JCDoyle

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Comics Of Delights

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A few months ago someone asked me, “Do you like every comic you read?”

“Why?” I replied, a little surprised at the question, which came out of the blue.

“Well, all of your reviews are mostly positive. It’s as if everything is good and worth reading.”

The first part of that statement is true, most of my reviews on this site are, in general terms, positive with the odd exception, and there is a very good reason for this.

I read a lot of comics, and for a number of reasons I have read a whole lot more than usual this year. But I don’t like them all and I’m more than confident that this would never be the case. Not every comic that I buy makes it into my ‘monthly buy’ drawers as some get cast aside into the unwanted pile, to be disposed of in one 0f a number of ways in the future. There are titles that are released that I don’t read passed the first issue while others get two or three months before getting cut from my pull list. There are a variety of reasons why this happens, the narrative doesn’t engage me or the art work is inappropriate or distracting. Occasionally the story is just plain awful or, in some cases, actually offensive. There are also times when I just decide that the comic isn’t for me.

themassive insert

On the flipside, I have long runs where I enjoy the story or the art or both. Comics that get read and then re-read and then shared with friends. There are titles in my collection that I could break apart and tell you exactly why they are brilliant and why I love them but also some that just hit the spot but I can’t explain why. I eagerly wait for them month after month, titles like The Massive which I obsess over and flick through each issue sometimes even before I’ve paid for it.

Luckily for me and my increased reading habit, this last year has been an outstanding one for comics. There has been an influx of top quality, beautifully produced titles into the market. Out there in the world are a vast number of creators who clearly love the work they are producing and want nothing less than the very best for their readers.

This is mostly why my reviews are so positive, because there is so much quality in the comics on the shelves. I only have a limited amount of time to write reviews and this time does not allow me to review everything I read therefore why should I spend that precious time wallowing in the murkiness when I can shout to the world “Look at this! It’s amazing, give it a go”. You can probably tell what I enjoy by the comics I don’t review just as much from those that I do. I try to highlight the positive and currently neglect the negative. Maybe in the future I will redress the balance but for now I want to focus on what is good about the industry and the product it produces. My ultimate goal after all is to get people reading comics, I don’t care what comics you read, any comic is fine, just pick one and run with it.

This time of year is full of lists, lists for this, lists for that and lists for the other, so why try to buck that trend? You’ll find all sorts of stuff on Need To Consume over the next week or so about the highlights of the year in relation to everything geek related so, to finish off 2014, I thought I’d pick 5 comics to look out for in 2015.

First up, Rebels by Brian Wood.

Rebels insert

Due for release by Dark Horse Comics in April 2015, Wood’s next creator owned project is set around the time of the American Revolution. This promises to be an epic tale which illustrates the lives of people from all walks of life and shows how so much changed in one nation in such a short period of time. Wood’s other epic The Massive has just reached it’s Earth shattering conclusion so he should have a few spare hours to go to town on this and he’s bringing everyone’s favourite colourist Jordie Bellaire along for the ride. He has also employed the artistic talents of Andrea Mutti and Tula Lotay,  the later of which has been producing some knock out work on Bodies from Vertigo. All in all, a historical epic oozing with artistic talent, not one to be missed.

Secondly: Rat Queens by Kurtis J. Wiebe

rat-queens insert

Chances are you are already aware of this title which began earlier this year. If you’re not familiar with it, go pick up the first trade and the second due out in February. It’s an outstanding sword and sorcery/dungeons and dragons style story with a leading cast of outrageous women who will make you laugh out loud while falling in love with them. It’s amazing. The reason I mention it here is that Rat Queens has just acquired a new artist in the form of Stjepan Sejic who has just had an outstanding year of his own. He’s perfect for this this comic and with the writer Kurtis J Wiebe, they are going to produce a fantasy comic not to be missed.

Thirdly Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Bitch Planet.

bitchplanet insert

Issue 1 of this Sci-Fi, female prison drama came out in early December and it was greeted with much applause, figuratively speaking. All of the rave reviews were well deserved as DeConnick has crafted an  ingenious narrative that turns all of the exploitive aspects of the Women In Prison sub-genre upside down to create a strong feminist statement.  Knowing DeConnick’s previous work, this title is only going to get better and with ongoing art duties in Valentine De Landro’s  hands, there is no reason you shouldn’t be reading this.

Fourth: Southern Cross by Becky Cloonan

Southern-Cross insert

I’ll be honest, I don’t know too much about Southern Cross yet but that’s mostly by choice. I adore Becky Cloonan’s work, her art and her writing, so I’m really looking forward to this. It’s a horror/mystery set in space with the main protagonist trying to find out why her sister died. The art is being provided by Andy Belanger who’s no stranger to horror comics and has a knack at producing unnerving and creepy images and layouts so Ms Cloonan’s work is in safe hands. This is a mini series due to start in March from Image Comics, I’d recommend ordering now just to make sure you don’t miss it.

And finally (or ‘fifth’) Spider-Gwen written by Jason Latour

SPIDERGWEN insert

I want to get back into the Spider-Man comics and this seems like a good place to start. I fell out with Spider-Man (or rather what Marvel were doing with him and the creators they were using) a number of years ago but he still remains my favourite superhero but until Dan Slott leaves the monthly I’m staying away. But when Spder-Gwen was introduced earlier this year as part of the Spider-Verse story line she struck a cord with a lot of people. It was a new take on an old classic which was beautifully presented. When the announcement for an on-going came I was intrigued and the writers name, Jason Latour, sold it for me. Marvel have been producing some brilliant female led comics of late, the excellent Ms Marvel, the controversial new Thor, the soon-to-be-a-movie-franchise Captain Marvel to name but a few and I have faith that Spider-Gwen will follow suit.

The thing is, there are a whole mountain of comics out there, some new for 2015, some different takes on old characters and some that have just been around forever. But the point is, there’s something for everyone. So, in 2015 lets not moan about the few things we don’t like in a comic we haven’t been forced to buy and instead shout about the comics that touch us, that make us gasp with anticipation or laugh until our bellies hurt. Lets share the joy and get everyone we know reading at least one comic. That way, we’ll all have a common interest to talk about down the pub (coffee shop, work bench, or where ever you talk to people).

Happy New Year Consumers.

 

JCDoyle

JCDoyle

Lover of comics and Art and Sci-Fi in multiple media. Currently teaching my kids the ways of the Geek (while protecting my first editions)
JCDoyle

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