I’m not embarrassed to say I fell asleep with my computer open and lights on last night. Or that when I woke up this morning to finish writing, I fell asleep again sitting at my computer. Maybe a little embarrassed. Not enough, obviously, to stop me from mentioning how much I want to burrow inside a pile of blankets like a dog. Pillows piled high, next to a crackling space heater. I think I’m trying to live vicariously through my own words now. You work hard, now you should play hard by buying comics, and crawling into bed to read them.
When the conspiracies began to abound back on Earth, I was nervous President Blake was going to be, to borrow a phrase from real politics, a lame duck. But as the first arc of the series comes to a close, Blake has shown us that he will not back down. Nothing Charles Soule does in this story is drawn out, so President Blake kicks ass and takes names, but doesn’t take prisoners, but he’s all out of bubble gum so he might take some of that. Up in the big black emptiness, life has ended for some, and begun for others. Secrets of the aliens are revealed to the remaining crewmembers of the Clarke, but things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.
Sheltered makes you feel bad about yourself. It makes you feel bad because you watch some truly awful people to terrible, terrible things to one another. Instead of just feeling complacent like a reader usually does, I turn every page with trepidation; afraid of what I’ll find waiting for me. Maybe I feel too deeply, maybe Ed Brisson writes this cast with too much callous fervor, or maybe Johnnie Christmas illustrates with too much stylized energy that I can’t help but want to crawl into this comic and punch Lucas (the boy leading a coup against the parents of their pre-apocalyptic encampment for his own psychopathic entertainment). Or maybe I want to do that is because this it really is addictively aggravating to watch imminent disaster looming for these kids in their f’d up Lord of the Flies world, and hope that most of them burn when everything goes downhill.
All praises be to Jaime Hernandez, and the deliciously poignant masterpiece that is Love Bunglers. Backdoor brag, I’ve read A LOT of Hernandez brothers in my life, but this might possibly be my favorite epic about the girl from Hoppers, Maggie Chascarillo. Life for the Love and Rockets cast of characters has grown increasingly complicated over the 30+ years since its inception. This hardcover release collects all pieces of the Love Bunglers that originally appeared in the ongoing series, Love and Rockets New Stories. Years of character development, history, and heartbreak have culminated in a beautifully illustrated story that captures a slice of middle-aged life, rarely seen in media.
The eternal struggle first contemplated by the great ancient philosophers of time: science and superheroes; can the two mix? I guess my definition of great philosopher would also be Brian Michael Bendis, which is probably why I almost failed it in college. (X-Men aren’t reliable sources when arguing sentiency of personhood). Regardless! In their first creator-owned series together, Bendis and Bagley pitted their own college geniuses against the mystery of superpowers, and had them tinker until the powers ticked back. Where does the true power of the world lie when all it’s seemingly magical doors are opened, and everyone’s nerves are exposed?
I’ve started and stopped three times trying to write a preview as to why you should pick up this time traveling, conspiracy creating, and friendship unraveling, without giving something away. But I can’t do it. Fialkov is too good. He’s too smart, and no thread starts to pull in this series without the whole sweater (or you know, the world) falling apart.