Pick Of The Week: Comics For You Chosen By Our Comicon Crew
by Olly MacNamee
Welcome, welcome, welcome one and all to the first of a regular new Friday afternoon spot looking at some of the favorite comic books as chosen by our regular contributing writers and reviewers. With hardly any DC or Marvel comics out this week, it could be argued we chose the wrong week to launch this new column, but there are plenty more comic out there this past week for your consideration beyond the big two, online and in print. Here, then, are our choices from the past week for your consideration:
Bad Karma #2, published by Panel Syndicate, words and letters by Alex de Campi, art by Ryan Howe, colors by Dee Cunniffe .
Unwilling to stand by while a man gets sentenced to death for a murder they committed, Sully and Ethan start to try and clear his name, but confessing isn’t going as well as they might’ve hoped, as issue #2 plays around with how far De Campi and Howe can take not telling this story in a linear fashion.
Their decision to open the issue on two different conversations, for example, immediately puts readers to work telling the two scenes apart. Cunniffe could’ve made the answer obvious, by coloring the scenes so it’s easy to tell they’re in different locations, but it takes noticing Sully and Ethan are wearing different sweaters, and while Howe changes the panel size, the characters are positioned very similarly, too, in both scenes, so they meld together more.
It’s a compact way of hitting all the story points that eliminates filler and it keeps readers sharp while they’re reading, too. The other thing De Campi and Howe do really well is give their supporting characters more to do than just exist in the background, like taking time to see things from the waitress who serves Sully and Ethan’s food’s point of view and not taking her presence in those scenes for granted. – Rachel Bellwoar
Raiders – A sword and sorcery tale that’s sure to appeal to fans of Mike Mignola, Head Lopper, and D&D.
Daniel Freedman and CROM introduce readers to a world of magic, monsters, and political intrigue. The art shines in its use blend of painterly esthetics with loose linework. The result, is a vision that stays true to classic fantasy but with an updated design sensibility. – Tito James
The Out by Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison (2000 AD Prog 2188, published 1 July)
Starting in Prog 2187, so just 10 pages in at this point, Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison have given us a strip called The Out. And it is absolutely beautifully done.
I’ve banged on before about first issues being so hard to really get right. Yet Abnett and Harrison did an entire first issue in just five pages and STILL managed to make it more enjoyable than any first issue I’ve read all year. The second episode – JUST as good.
It’s all about Cyd Finlea, photo-journalist for the Global Neographic organisation in the furthest edge of the universe, far into the future. She travels, she photographs things, she sends them in, she gets paid, she moves on and repeats it all over again. That’s it. In the second episode, she realises she’s not been paid for a year and has no way of getting in touch to see what the hell’s gone on.
Abnett and Harrison have set it all up so well that it’s a joy to be fed exposition about the who, what, why of the strip. Yet it never feels like it at all, I was just too busy enjoying it all, too busy devouring Harrison’s busy yet crystal clear pages of absolute alienness.
So yes, pick of the week for me (for the past two weeks) is just five pages a week of The Out in 2000 AD Prog. The next five pages landed in my inbox earlier with the press email from 2000 AD. I’m looking forward to seeing just where it goes. – Richard Bruton
The Goddamned: The Virgin Brides #1 By Jason Aaron, R.M. Guéra and Giulia Brusco
The return of the gang’s radical remix of the Book of Genesis set in the primitive, violent world of the Old Testament where God is all fire and vengeance and the people are too; all set against the bountiful backdrop of Guéra’s stunning, exotic vistas when the Earth as young and wild. And most definitely not a world in which you would want to raise a girl, that’s for sure, as we meet a commune of all-female pseudo-religious zealots who stand over their young wards with a callous, calculating plan for each young girl once they start blooming. Ever so evocative of Mœbius and early Metal Hurlant with the maturity of the story, by Aaron, only stirring up these connections further. It may be a brutal story, but it’s done ever so beautifully – Olly MacNamee
A unashamed DC Comics fan and sometime teacher for over 20 years! I got lucky and found the escape hatch. Now, I just read and write about comics all day long. Co-host of the ICE-Cast podcast and one third of the brains behind Birmingham's street art and graffiti festival High Vis Fest.