Need To Know… 19.8.13
Welcome back folks, to the column that provides continuity your comics can’t (or won’t). Specifically, after last week’s cluster of mildly depressing watercooler outrage surrounding Millar, McFarlane, and the ladies, this week brought the nominations for the Ignatz Awards for excellence in independent comics and they’re a hit list of diverse, interesting creators you will enjoy looking up. She may not be on that list, but Faith Erin Hicks won last week in comics by taking the Neil Gaiman route to make a comic out of the whole furore. Also upcoming in the independent quarter is SPX, whose Tumblr is chock-full of compelling comics launching there (probably to include something by Ze Jian Shen, fingers crossed!), including this UK anthology. More cool UK comics, you cry? How about Raygun Roads? Or The Mice? It’s enough to make you a patriot, but there’s even more, as Gareth Brookes details his unmissable The Black Project for Paul Gravett. God Save the Queen.
In a shocking turn of events, this week’s chit-chat revolves around varying readings of a seminal Batman comic. Wait, people are actually talking about comics, not their creators or the industry? Excellent! Including mainstream media appreciation of Kirby? Dang! Of course, one comic everybody was talking about was the Hickman-conceived Infinity #1, which I did enjoy (kind of), but its hard to imagine enjoying any event comic as much as we enjoy poking fun at them. That’s event comics for you, yet what’s important is that Hickman’s creator-owned East of West is still ringing people’s bells, inspiring these great annotations, and making Nick Dragotta a very, very happy man.
Well, a happier man than a Smiths-mashed Charlie Brown, anyway, but maybe not quite as happy as the folks over at Archie comics, who are easily making the most culturally relevant comics out there, if not necessarily the hardest-hitting reportage. Speaking of hard-hitting, this tale of one manga fan’s ordeal is an eye-opener about the high prices to be paid for liking things outside the mainstream. More power to him.
This is a different kind of fan hardship, the kind felt by those who love cool characters that rarely get written into good comics, while over at CBR there’s a great takedown of nostalgic and negative comparisons, centred around Waid’s Daredevil. Old ain’t always better, folks, so check out the New School.
Last week’s post introduced you to Annie Koyama of Koyama Press, and this week’s introduces their upcoming releases, making extra room for an Ant Comic sneak peek (treat yourself). Also lifting the skirt a little are Dark Horse, who’re bringing you Monsters!, possibly the best silent comic of the last couple years, while Image make the Dark Arts look gooooooood. Of course, if you want real darkness, the kind that only lightning can pierce, you look to Esad Ribic, who wasn’t always appreciated. That’s something Harley Quinn can relate to, though a new ongoing should help her feel more part of things. Especially with that creator list, its tasty!
This week’s Kickstarter is plain awesome, and will especially appeal to those who read Sean Howe’s Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, and dug on the Don McGregor sections. But if you want rewards without investment, take heart, for Tucker Stone returned to The Comics Journal last week. Where else will you find elaborate poop routines, critical analysis of comics fight choreography via Lone Wolf and Cub, and incisive Paul Pope deflation all in one column? I love that guy’s writing.
Finally, when graphic just ain’t enough, go Super Graphic. You won’t regret it.