Comic Roundup-June/July

Series I’m Following-Issues

25356679Kaptara by Chip Zdarsky and Kagan McLeod

I think Kaptara has a lot of creativity and a lot of promise, but after only three issues, it’s still finding its footing. It’s funny, but I could use a few more serious moments I think. Or something. I don’t feel particularly invested in it at the moment as I feel so little for the characters. But it’s still early.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples 16148398

The fifth arc of Saga ended at the beginning of July and it was just as gut-wrenching as every other finale in this series so far. Saga was the first comic book I ever read (a year ago now, which is crazy, I still feel like a total newbie) and it continues to be my favorite. It balances humor and weirdness and action and emotion perfectly.

6839093Chew by John Layman and Rob Guillory

Issue #50 released at the beginning of July, concluding the tenth arc of this planned twelve arc series, and I can’t even begin to explain how epic it was. I’m dying for the next installment because the epilogue little teaser in this was way too much.

We Stand on Guard by Brian K. Vaughan and Steve Skroce25698374

I’m not even caught up on Brian K. Vaughan’s backlist, but I knew I had to run out and get this. I usually don’t get hooked by one issue of anything, but this did it. Unusual conflict, major apocalypse, ragtag band of revolutionaries. I was sold.

25484756Injection by Warren Ellis

This one is really beautiful to look at. I read the first three issues all spread out over a few weeks and I’m kind of lost, but that’s one of those things that is probably my fault, not the story’s.

The Fiction by Curt Pires and David Rubin25766953

Read the first issue of this so far and I quite enjoyed the premise (getting sucked into the story! Every reader’s wish come true!) and the action of the first installment. Definitely going to continue with it.

Trades

23228585Sex Criminals Vol 2: Two Worlds, One Cop by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

You wanna know something pathetic? I only just now got the reference in the title. Moving on.

This volume slowed down a bit, taking time to develop characters. The plot advanced a lot more slowly than I might have liked, but it had some beautiful serious moments. It also, of course had some unbelievably hilarious moments as well (Suzie at the gynecologist and The Wicked and The Divine parody are coming to mind first here)

Ms. Marvel Vol 3: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson, et. al.23546843

This volume somehow made me fall in love with this series; I was pretty indifferent about it before. But this was adorable and fun. It seems to have found a sweet spot for its irreverent charm and I’m really looking forward to following it more closely in the future.

8932593Y The Last Man Deluxe Edition: Book 5 by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, and Jose Marzan Jr.

It took me almost a year, but I finally finished this series. I stopped halfway through this volume because I didn’t want it to end, but when I finally got there, I really liked the conclusion. Even though it hurt a little bit.

East of West Vol 3: There is No Us by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta22358464

I feel like I’m finally starting to get/get into this series. I want to reread it and try to understand it a little bit better before I pick up volume 4, because I think it is going to go some very interesting places and be worth the effort.

22554204Lumberjanes Vol 1 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke A. Allen

This was really cute. I love the colors and the go-girl, strong feminist attitude of the whole thing. It also had its moments where it was funny, but it had more where I thought it was trying way too hard to be funny. I do really like most of the characters, distinctive and fun, but I hope they get some more depth to their personalities as the series goes on. I’ll pick up the next volume when it’s out and see where it goes.

The Wicked and The Divine Vol 2: Fandemonium by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie24666002

This is another series that has a great concept and is really beautiful to look at, but seems to be missing something. This volume turned around at the very end and had an awesome, wtf cliffhanger ending, but the rest of it was kind of slow and repetitive in theme.

What are you reading? What should I be checking out? With Saga and Chew on hiatus I’m in need of some more amazing series to be excited about.

Comic Roundup-April, May and June

I’ve been meaning to make these every month mid-month but I missed last month and now I’m backlogged after two months of heavy comic reading. So brace yourselves for a very lengthy catch-up, but if you find yourself needing more of a description of each book, just click on an image to be redirected to it’s Goodreads’ page.

This covers just TPB’s I’ve read, though I have also been keeping  up on single issues of Alex+Ada and Saga. All I have to say about those series is, as usual they’re great, go read them if you haven’t!

The Infernal Devices Manga: Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare and HyeKyung Baek

13226173 1322621713226246The Infernal Devices is one of my very favorite book series and this was a quick and lovely medium through which to revist it. I wouldn’t recommend diving into this if you haven’t read the source material, or at least City of Bones, since it would be pretty confusing without some background in the lore of the Shadowhunter world. That said, this was just as heart wrenching and entertaining by turns as the trilogy of novels and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind by Zack Whedon, et. al.

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If you loved Firefly the television series and have somehow missed these, it’s definitely something you should pick up. This fourth installment in the graphic novel series picks up after the events of Serenity, the movie, and  is a direct sequel to that plot line. I loved another glimpse into the world, but I thought that this volume, despite it’s hefty size, was rather rushed. Should have been a full season of television for sure. I also thought the art in this was a little odd as certain characters features seemed to blur into one another (Kaylee and Inara looked alike, as did Mal and Simon). But, like I’ve said about previous installments in this series, it’s not to be missed for fans of the show, and if you’re not a fan of the show, you clearly just haven’t watched it yet and for that I feel sorry for you.

East of West Vol 1: The Promise and Vol 2: We Are All One by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta

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If any of you have read this and you have any idea what the hell is going on, then I applaud you, because I definitely do not. I think it’s a beautiful book, art-wise. The little I understand of the story is intriguing. However, I don’t think deliberately hiding things from the audience that the characters understand about the culture and history of the world serves as a good mystery plot device. There’s been very little exposition and I find that extremely frustrating. I will probably give this series another volume to get me into it, because it is a big world and a big story, and I liked volume 2 more than volume 1, but 15 issues ought to be enough to have some understanding of the story and if it’s not, then I’ll probably walk away from this one.

Black Science Vol 2: Welcome, Nowhere by Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera, and Dean White

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This book is rich with color in its illustrations and it’s absolutely beautiful to look at. I was, however, a bit disappointed in this volume’s plot. It felt like five issues of filler, with no real character development. I think all of the characters are weak in this book, with no personality beyond a cliche (the funny black friend, the gruff Russian, the surly teenage daughter, etc.) and I was hoping they would grow in this second arc, but no luck. But it’s a gorgeous book, with an interesting plot, even if this installment didn’t delve any further than some good action scenes. I’ll continue on with it in hopes it will develop with some more depth, which I think would make it a favorite of mine, given it’s other strengths.

Deadly Class Vol 2: Kids of the Black Hole by Rick Remender, Wesley Craig, and Lee Loughridge

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Deadly Class is quite dark but extremely fun. I think this volume got a bit too mired in teenage angst, which is kind of the point, but fell a little flat to me. Definitely a series I’ll be continuing, it’s got a very distinctive atmosphere, the plot kept me guessing and the characters are growing on me issue by issue.

The Sword Vol 1: Fire and Vol 2: Water by Jonathan Luna and Joshua Luna

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I love Jonathan Luna’s art style, I’m such a big fan of Alex+Ada I had to pick this one up for that reason alone. I like this book, but it feels extremely formulaic and standard–true to the revenge story plotline. Since I’m already halfway through, I’ll probably go ahead and finish this eventually, but knowing where it’s going doesn’t put me in a huge rush.

Chew Vol 2-9 (and Issues #46-#49) by John Layman and Rob Guillory

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So I binge read volumes 4-9 in just over 24 hours after getting totally hooked by volume 3 and I’m over the moon about this series. It’s so weird and so dark and really quite gross (at least until you get used to it–by volume 7 the toe munching was not phasing me in the slightest). It starts off as an excellent crime drama and becomes more and more personal and heart-felt as the series goes on. It doesn’t rest either, expanding the cast, tying together disparate plot lines, and crafting complicated characters that are neither good nor bad. This series is vying hard with Saga as my favorite series of the moment and now that I’m all caught up I’m eagerly anticipating each new installment.

Y The Last Man-The Deluxe Edition-Book 2-4 (Volumes 3-8) by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Geurra, et al.

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It’s been a weirdly long time since I finished the first book of this series and I have no idea why I’ve waited so long. This series is very smart, highly thought provoking, and also very funny. It’s constantly evolving and changing and I’m excited to see where it goes with the conclusion.

Ms. Marvel, Vol 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson, Jacob Wyatt, Adrian Alphona

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This series seems to be quite popular and highly praised, I see it making the rounds among the graphic novel readers on BookTube, etc. and I do enjoy it. Kamala is a great character: fun, headstrong and determined, and of course putting a Muslim-American girl front and center is wonderful. I don’t even read other Marvel titles and I thought the Wolverine cross-over issue was extremely fun. Hilarious, even, as the new girl and the old hat were forced to work together. However, I wasn’t a huge fan of the main plot of this arc. I hope it doesn’t give too too much away to call it too Matrix-y. It was also kind of preachy in this needless way. I don’t know. Superheroes aren’t so much my thing anyway, and so I don’t think I’ll be sticking with this one for much longer. (But proofreading me from the future would like to add that I did just spend the $15 on volume 3, so apparently I will be checking at least a few more issues out)

Sex Criminals, Vol 1: One Weird Trick by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

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I heard a lot of great buzz about this from everyone up to and including the cashier I purchased it from at Barnes and Noble (he also got Rob Guillory to sign his Chew #1 and loves Saga–we were fast friends) and it was all well deserved. This was a hilarious and overall solid story. It dove right in, and somehow magically explained everything while keeping the plot pace on track. This is definitely a must continue as soon as possible sort of book for me.

TL;DR? Be sure to check out Chew, Sex Criminals, Y: The Last Man and Deadly Class.

Comic Roundup-March and April

More and more these last few months I’ve gotten more into comics. I used to include little mini-reviews of what I’d checked out with my monthly book wrap-up posts, but as I read more and more comics each month, those posts get longer and longer and I thought it would be fun to split them out, so those of us who want to talk about comics have our own space to do so. Without further ado, here’s what I read in March and this first half of April:

23518316Trees Vol 1 by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard

I liked the idea of this a lot more than I actually liked it. It follows a bunch of characters all over the world, which will probably pay off eventually, but in these opening issues is just really confusing. I couldn’t keep everyone straight and I had a really difficult time trying to understand what was happening overall. I’ll probably give the second volume a go once it comes out as a trade paperback (I’m finding I’m a trade fan anyway and something like this I don’t think I’ll ever be able to keep the story straight month-to-month even if I wasn’t) and see if I can get into it more.20898019

Ms. Marvel Vol 1: No Normal by Willow G. Wilson and Adrian Alphona

I don’t know that I’ll ever be a superhero comic lover, but I enjoyed this quite a bit. It’s funny and fast-paced–even though not a whole lot happens in this one–and has art that I enjoy, so I’ll be sure to continue on with this series.

11279472Serenity: Better Days and Other Stories by Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Will Conrad, Michelle Madsen,Julius Ohta, Patton Oswalt

I love the Serenity graphic novels primarily because it’s like having more Firefly, but it really feels like just a consolation prize…I’d rather have the show. This one was okay. I jaw-dropped at one point at the end (that you’ll know about if you’ve read it) but the whole distraction story leading up to it was boring. And then there were some moments that just seemed out of character. Kaylee at one point was like right in the middle of the action, which is not like her at all. This one was weird, but I’m having fun with it, and I’m not likely to pass up the rest.

Serenity: The Shepard’s Tale by Joss Whedon, Chris Semnee, Dave Stewart, Stever Morris, and Zack Whedon8596384

I enjoyed the layout of this one, moving backward in time from the Shepard’s death in the Serenity movie, and was ultimately satisfied with the story I’d been eager to know, but I thought it felt a little bit rushed. You have to do a lot of reading between the lines to discern things about this world and the character’s relationship with it and it’s not a situation where I really like working hard to figure out what should have had time to be expository.

23920475Saga #25-#27 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Saga was on hiatus for awhile and I was completely oblivious to the fact that it came back over several months ago. Luckily I stopped by the Image section at the comic book store to see if there was new Alex+Ada and spotted an unfamiliar Saga cover a few rows down. (And what a beautiful cover it is…#25 and #26 are probably two of my favorites.) The books themselves were fabulous as always, of course. The stakes are high, the action is amazing, and I have no clue what will happen next.6839093

Chew Volume 1: Taster’s Choice by John Layman and Rob Guillroy

I was having a lovely four-star kind of time with this during issues one through three, enjoying the creative concept, the dark humor, the detailed, but easy on the eyes art style, until I hit issue four, which didn’t make any sense to me, and left me confused and kind of put off. But then it rebounded spectacularly with issue five, the conclusion of this volume. So intense, big action, came back to the plot of the first three chapters and tied everything together. I’m still in awe and I can’t wait to get my hands on volume two and see where it goes. (Fun story: my comic shop only had volumes 1 and 5-9 when I went back there to get more….and already on order but ten days out is not acceptable, my friends!)

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Deadly Class Volume 1 by Rick Remender, Wesley Craig and Leigh Loughridge

As usual with the first few issues of a book with an expansive cast, I felt a lot lost. But there’s a really cool, dark but funny atmosphere to this that seems to capture the angst of adolescence in a universal way while staying rooted in the 1980’s. It’s a lot violent, but it all fits with the story and the action moves along at a break-neck pace. I’ve already bought volume 2 and I’m looking forward to this being yet another favorite for me. Definitely one to check out if you have a penchant for high school drama and a very dark sense of humor.

And of course, since I’m new to this whole scene, I’m always looking for recommendations! Especially from other publishing companies, I seem to always be drawn to Image titles, but I’m sure there’s more great stuff out there!