Find us on Facebook
Sorry. No data so far.
So you’re thinking of reading Comic Books, eh? And you have no idea where to start, eh? And the whole thing seems super confusing. Like, why is Thor a woman now and The Hulk is a beefy green lady? And why did Marvel cut Ta-Nehisi Coates’s and Roxane Gay’s take on the Black Panther comic series short? WHO KNOWS.
But, as a total outsider to this world, I’m here to offer you my suggestions based on my limited reach and experience within this world. Full disclosure, my boyfriend is a comic book illustrator who had helped educate me in the ways of this medium and downloaded many a book I didn’t end up reading or caring for. So, if I misuse industry language in this, that’s on me!
Now whether this is how whacky the system that traditional comic book publishers like Marvel or DC utilize is, or it’s just my lack of understanding, I’ve pretty much decided to overlook the Spidermans (and Gwens) and Batmans and whoever else from those universes in favor of a more indie approach. I bypass the “new this week shelf” and head for the trade paperbacks, the compilations and bound issues. This is probably something DC and Marvel should sit up and pay attention to, but I’m not gonna worry about trying to dissect why their publishing methods are declining and no one’s buying into baloney like Captain America being a Nazi for all intents and purposes. That’s another post for another person more knowledgable on the subject.
In the death match battle of Brian K Vaughan books, Paper Girls is probably my favorite story of the moment/year/perhaps ever. Yes, sorry Saga, I like you a lot but there’s just something about Papergirls that you don’t have. We’ve reviewed the first trade paperback here on TN but it’s the story of four 12-year old newspaper delivery girls in the 80s. One morning on their routes they encounter some crazy, supernatural shit that changes their course and sends them BACK TO THE FUTURE! Well, maybe not like Marty McFly, but pretty much. They time travel, they meet their future selves, they meet the leader of the futuristic cult-like group (who is essentially a Steve Jobs-like character in Jerry Garcia’s body) that is causing their world to be turned upside down. It’s great. I know this has been said a billion times, but if you liked Stranger Things and Runaways and 80s nostalgia, you’ll like Paper Girls.
Matt Wilson’s colors are one of my favorite things about the book along with Cliff Chiang’s art (for the most part, there’s the usual comic book rushed look to some of the pages) that captures 80s hair and fashion pretty darn perfectly. My only beef with Paper Girls is that it’s a book about four teenage girls and the creative team is made entirely of men. Not cool bros.
Oh wait, my other beef with Paper Girls is that there won’t be ANY merch or Comic-con exclusives in San Diego next month. If any series needed an enamel pin or perhaps a mix tape, it’s this one! UGH!
Paper Girls Vol 3 comes out August 8 (ugh) or you could jump in and catch up with the comic books released weekly.
Next up in the Brian K. Vaughan pantheon of comics with leading ladies… it’s SAGA! We’ve covered Saga in our Boozy Book Club, we’ve stood in line for Saga Comic-con exclusives (and will again this summer!) and we love it still. It’s been up and down and had so many storylines but we’re HERE for it. It’s a Romeo and Juliet space odyssey where the main characters aren’t teens who kill themselves, yet a couple from opposite ends of the universe trying to protect their unborn child. It’s full of family drama, weirdos, lying cats (it’s a thing) and badass (I hate that term) women like our main character, Alana who breastfeeds on the cover, marries Marko the hottest dude with ram horns ever, and has the haircut I only wish I could pull off.
Bonus points for the story featuring a FEMALE artist, Fiona Staples bringing our love birds and a host of creepy creatures to life. Double bonus: here’s me doing my best Vanna White, showing off the gorgeous supplemental art between “chapters” during our Saga Boozy Book Club.
Buy aaaalll the Saga books here.
Raise your hand if you like angst! Yup, I see you all out there and I’d like to introduce you to Craig Thompson’s Blankets. This graphic novel is the weight of a science textbook but has all the gooey feelings of first love and hearbreak. If you grew up in a relatively sheltered environment, throw in church and summer camp, hormones and emotions and first love, you have blankets. While I could write a few sternly worded Tweets about the art or some of the storylines of the above two stories, Blankets gets none of that from me, it exists almost on a different plane and in a different universe than traditional and even “indie” comics. The art is meticulous and the story. THE STORY. It’s a beautiful stand alone novel that will remind you of the bittersweet joy of growing up.
Ok, fine I clearly have a thing for nostalgia stories. WHATEVER.
Ok, so I said I mostly askew the traditional comic books that come out weekly for trade paperbacks and novels but that’s not entirely true, I’ve recently read the first issues of two new books by the new publisher Vault Comics and I had to add them here. Another full disclosure: the boyfriend I mentioned above is actually working on a book that will be published by Vault next year. But that isn’t the reason I’m including these next two, it’s because they’re REALLY good, so good, I actually want to figure out that that thing called a “pull list” is and do it.
Get ready for something novel, I’m about to reveal… HEATHEN is a comic book featuring a female creative team. OMG!?!? WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING?! I’m not saying they’re the first, but these kinds of things are the exception and not the rule. Ok, anyway Heathen by Natasha Alterici is the story of Ardyis a viking warrior lady and outcast coming to terms with who she is and how she fits into her world. But what is most exciting about Heathen is the story turns the usual viking and warrior tropes on their heads, “Born into a time of warfare, suffering, and subjugation of women, she is on a mission to end the oppressive reign of the god-king Odin.” Yes gurl. Read into that little description all you want cause it’s good. And she is drawn with a “real” body and when I say real I mean not like a fake super hero female looking woman with tennis ball boobs and leg muscles that probably aren’t in Gray’s Anatomy.
Bonus info: Heathen’s first trade paperback will be out July 26th, you can catch up all at once, or download them onto your device or beg for them at your local comic book store.
Lastly and definitely not leastly, we have Fissue. You know when a book/song/movie/tv show features a timeline that seems ripped from the headlines but given the calendar, there’s no way the creator could have referenced a current event? That’s Fissure. Fissure was written in a pre-Trump world and debuted in a post-Trump world and couldn’t be any more timely. Enter Fissure by Tim Daniel and Patricio Delpache, this is a star crossed lovers / Romeo and Juliet from two different sides of town story, only the sides of town are in El Sueño, Texas where are main characters are Hark, the dude with the white-trashy mullet and Avery, the Latinx with again, an awesome haircut I could never pull off. The description says everything you need to know: “El Sueno, Texas was a single street town withering under the shadow of the Mexico-U.S. Barrier. Then the pavement split, and a massive crack spread from one end to the other, rapidly swallowing El Sueno whole. Young couple Avery Lee Olmos and Hark Wright fight to escape the mysterious sinkhole and the malevolent force that beckons from its depths.”
Plus those colors! *Heart eye emoji*
Now’s the time to head to that local comic book store, or start ordering and downloading online! Then report back with your findings!
Have a fave comic book or graphic novel I haven’t listed? Share it in the comments!
Sorry. No data so far.