Graphic Novels Read in January 2015

scalped

Scalped, Volume 1: Indian Country (2007) Jason Aaron, R.M. Guéra (Vertigo)
MATURE READERS

What a powerful combination of writing and art… Read more here.

4.5/5

SSSS

Stand Still, Stay Silent (2013) Minna Sundberg

Stand Still, Stay Silent contains some absolutely gorgeous art and is a title that looks like it’s going to be a long, long story. We have a long 50+ page introduction featuring characters that I’m not sure we’re going to ever see again, which is a bit frustrating. Also what seems some important story elements (and some issues of differing tone) don’t begin to emerge until we’re quite far into the story. I’ll keep reading this title for the fantastic art, but some elements of the story are a bit frustrating.

Derek and I discussed Stand Still, Stay Silent at length on our second webcomics episode of The Comics Alternative.

3/5

batmanga_cover

Batman: The Jiro Kawana Batmanga Vol. 1 (2014) Jiro Kawana (DC)
(mostly black & white)

Batman and manga? Holy culture crash! (Sorry… that was bad…) But Batmanga for real in this first of three projected volumes. Read more about it here.

3.5/5

saga

Saga Deluxe Edition, Volume 1 (2014) Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (Image)
MATURE READERS

5/5

saga4

Saga, Volume 4 (2014) Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (Image)
MATURE READERS

5/5

private_eye

The Private Eye, Volume 1 (2014) Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin, Muntsa Vicente (Panel Syndicate)
MATURE READERS

5/5

I’m absolutely amazed at all the concepts and ideas Brian K. Vaughan can simultaneously juggle and still deliver an exceptional story, but I’m equally amazed at Fiona Staples’s ability to bring to life all the wild, weird, and glorious elements of Saga. Is the the best comics title out there? I think it is.

If detective/noir stories are more your thing, you should definitely check out Vaughan’s other current title The Private Eye (which will end with the upcoming issue #10). You can read The Private Eye online and pay whatever you want (including nothing, but please don’t be that way).

Derek, Andy K. and I recently spoke with Vaughan, discussing both Saga and The Private Eye, as well as Vaughan’s other work. You can listen to that podcast here.

massive

The Massive, Vol. 4: Sahara (2015) Brian Wood, Garry Brown, Daniel Zezelj (Dark Horse)

The first half of Sahara focuses on Captain Callum Israel and his first mate Mag Nagendra as they search what’s left of Eastern Europe for answers to the location of their sister ship The Massive as well as other larger questions. (And could a certain song hold the key to finding those answers?) In the second half, we learn more about the mysterious past of Mary. This is really good stuff and the pacing is excellent. The next volume will, unfortunately, be the last as The Massive just ended with issue #30. Along with Saga and Mind MGMT, The Massive is one of the best comics out there. But don’t take my word for it…

4/5

Only Skin Front Cover.indd

Only Skin: New Tales of the Slow Apocalypse (2012) Sean Ford (Secret Acres)
(black & white)

On the plus side, I was so engaged with this book I read it in one sitting. Only Skin is a missing persons story with several relationship dramas being played out with a sort of weird Twin Peaks vibe, which is the type of thing that turns my dials all the way up to 10. The ending, however, doesn’t quite satisfy. I’d definitely read it again and will also seek out more work by Sean Ford.

4/5

amelia_cole

Amelia Cole and the Enemy Unleashed (2014) Adam P. Knave, D.J. Kirkbride, Nick Brokenshire (Monkeybrain)

When I picked this volume up from the library, I had no idea it was the third volume in a series, so not knowing the backstory was a definite disadvantage. Still, this action/adventure tale of Amelia Cole – protector of a place called the Unknown World – contains magic, mayhem and some overall nice work. I hope to pick up the first volume and get a clearer picture…

3/5

kingdom_of_wicked

Kingdom of the Wicked (2004) Ian Edginton, D’Israeli (Titan)

Edginton (Hinterkind) has been around for years and this standalone volume may be his most personal work, the story of a comics creator whose creations continue living long after he’s finished writing/drawing their stories. If Edginton is an unfamiliar name to you, this reissue from Titan is well worth discovering.

Derek and I talked with Edginton recently at The Comics Alternative Podcast.

4/5

vapa

Vapor (2014) Max (Fantagraphics)
(black & white)
MATURE READERS

I was not previously familiar with the work of Spanish creator Max (Francesc Capdevilla), but I can see myself becoming a fan. Nicodemos, a long-nosed monk who is sick of everything about the world, seeks illumination in the desert by depriving himself of food, water, women. Vapor is a philosophical and spiritual journey, yet one filled with laughs and enough to keep you thinking long after you’ve finished the book. Derek and I reviewed this one recently at The Comics Alternative Podcast.

4/5

lonesome_go

The Lonesome Go (2014) Tim Lane (Fantagraphics)
(mostly black & white)
MATURE READERS

I hope to write more about this one in the near future, but I can safely say that if you’re a fan of noir and non-linear storytelling, The Lonesome Go will probably be for you. Look for a review soon.

4.5/5

I’ve had my say… I’d love to hear what you read and enjoyed last month!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s