Things To Have and to Hold

Sorry I was so over productive and wrote about an event that happened after I wrote last weeks article, but happened before the article was published. I’m too on top of it, my bad.

The only other thing I have to say is buy Sabertooth Swordsman by Damon Gentry and Aaron Conley. My eyeballs wept from happiness, it was so good. Like so good, I could only stand to read about 10 pages at a time because I didn’t want to rush it, or have the beauty end too soon.

Buying this book will be the best thing you do with your money/time/self all year. I promise.

Oh, and buying these books too.

Fifth Essence Part 1: The Dreaming Galaxy

I’ll start things off big. Like really big. Like, have you seen the size of these Incal hardcover editions? This masterpiece tale from French writer, Jodorowsky and master illustrator, Moebius is super-duper deluxe and features original colors, and a limited 999 pressings. Oh, you haven’t read any of the Incal and feel that this book wouldn’t be worth it? Now who’s the fool? (You’ll get that joke if you buy this book). The fifth installment can be devoured and enjoyed on its own, or as a part of the groundbreaking series that follows P.I. John DiFool and his talking seagull as they fight off the forces of Darkness, who are trying to capture the Incal, a mysterious artifact, from John. That battle continues on in this book that would make a perfect gift for a collector, or for yourself because Moebius is a genius, his books are rare and harder to find since his death. Originally published in 1988, and split into two books because this epic story couldn’t be contained, few artists or series have had a greater influence on your favorite modern sequential storytellers.

Nowhere Men Vol 1: Fate Worse than Death

You may have missed the latest issue (#6) of Nowhere Men that dropped mid-October. There was a large delay between that book, and the 5th issue, which released in May. Author Eric Stephenson is a busy guy though. Being Executive Director of a little company called Image can probably be time consuming, especially through the long summer haul affectionately known at ‘Con-Season’. But this impressive creative team has persevered on to bring you the first collection of the fast paced and engaging sci-fi series. You may have scored a “Science is the New Rock and Roll” t-shirt from the series while they were available. It’s hard not to want having the lifestyle of World Com. Research Team that helped develop the state of modern technology. They lived the highlife, and pushed scientific development at any cost. This book explores the ethics of science, hubristic downfall, and celebrity culture, albeit at the command of brilliant scientists rather than moronic internet-culture fame. How will their collapse affect the world?

Sunny Vol. 2 HC

sunny-manga-taiyo-matsumoto-image-2-500x275

Moments define memory, and memory defines life. For the children within Eisner award winning author Taiyo Matsumoto’s series, Sunny, memory is something they chose to create for themselves as an escape from a present that is painful. Sunny is a car that transports the orphans who find it to a better place, their imaginations. Matsumoto combines classic comic inking with watercolor to create a world that is both realistic and blurred along the edges to mimic the importance of a balanced life. It’s a beautifully sad story that reminds us to love the mundane moments for the calmness they can provide, but to never let your dreams and imagination be hampered by oppressive people or events.

Violent Cases HC

This is the book that launched a thousand careers. Well, notably two, but this is a ripple effect that has been rippling far and wide for a long time. Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean are two names that people outside of the comics can throw around for their brilliance in storytelling, art, and Britishness. But this 1987 release from the somewhat obscure, and now defunct, British magazine Escape that sought to elevate European comics to a level of higher acclaim. This idiom, pushed by founder Paul Gravett, led to the release of the 44-page graphic novel, Violent Cases. Deeply darker and edgier than any of the later releases from the two, grounded in the mystery of memory and the actual reliability of the narrator himself. The trappings and failings of both tell the memoir-esque story of the narrator’s history with a doctor who claimed to have treated Al Capone. There are the ever-present themes of Gaiman’s work that most people are familiar with: childhood; less than great parents; but all with a darker reaction that kind of sinks in your stomach. All of which is aided by McKean’s sketchy but visceral characters; with barely-there background washes that evoke a high level of expressionism when symbolizing the possible downfall of memory.                                                                                                                                                       I was just talking about how without school my brain has started turning into mush, so this write-up was my subconscious attempt to prove myself wrong. Anyway, this book is now being re-released by Dark Horse in hardcover with an additional art section. Buy this book! It’s important to our modern comic history that deserves your eyeballs!

Harley Quinn #0

There’s a new Harley Quinn series coming out by Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti! And featuring art from a whole slue of amazing people including Darwyn Cooke, Sam Kieth, Tony S. Daniel, Paul Pope, Walter Simonson, Art Baltazar (and others!). And by others I mean there’s a total of 17 artists working on this book, off and on. In this lead-in issue to the series, Harley breaks the fourth wall a lot by talking to Connor and Palmiotti like they’re old friends. Well, maybe not friends. The calculatingly crazy Quinn gets into arguments about how she looks, other artists who worked on previous characters, and basically trying to get the correct fit for her character with a blend between New 52 “Suicide Squad” and the popular Arkham video game series. This lead-in issue is funny, fast, and pretty wild. And it actually gets me excited to see what they’ll do with the real story arc if they’re having so much fun with her already.

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