Ever wanted to read a comic but didn't know where to start? Interested in superheroes, manga, romance, webcomics and more? Look no further! We have all the recommendations you'll ever need.

Friday, 27 April 2012

A few recommendations

Hi all.  There has been a noticeable lack of posts recently.  I can only apologise.  I think real life has overtaken many of us.  Speaking for myself, I have started a British Sign Language NVQ recently and it's leaving me with very little spare time, so I cannot write full length reviews (heck I can barely think of things I would like to write, let along putting fingers to keyboard).

So instead, I shall share with you books I have recently read that I particularly enjoyed.

First up, and I really must write a full gushing review of this, is Jennie Gyllblad's Skal.  It's both a webcomic and a self published book, and it's beautiful.  She paints in watercolour, lending the pages an otherworldy, fine art feel that is utterly different from most other comics.  It's set in a sort of fantasy Arabic world, with a female lead protagonist, and is about visions and prophecies and fate and a smidgeon of magic (for what else if a vision of not magic?).  Read it.

Jennie has also painted a story for Bayou Arcana, and is part of the Clockwork Watch project.  She blogs sketches at Jenspiration, has a website showcasing her portfolio and is on twitter.  I think she is incredibly talented and will go far.

The 99 is about an Islamic superhero team, each one of you personifies one of the 99 names of Allah.  Armed with a noor stone, each superhero has specific skills and abilities which are enhanced when they work with two other heroes, in a team of three.  According to the website, "the idea [behind the 99] was to offer new role models of superheroes born of Middle East history and Islamic archetypes that possess values shared by the entire world".   It's a really good comic.  You can find out more about The 99 on the website (and download the first issue for free) and you can buy digital issues from Comixology.  Issues are available in Arabic and English.

Speaking of Comixology, I also recommend getting the Gotham Central series from them.  This is a crime series about the Gotham City Police Department, their daily work and how they cope in a city so saturated with superheroes and supervillians.  It's also the series that outed Renee Montoya and gave LGB comics fans a new heroine.  It's bloody great.  All 40 issues cost about $73 (American) or about £51 (UK sterling).

For kids, or those adults who want some whimsical fun, I recommend Batgirl Showcase volume 1 This collects her 1960s and 1970s stories, showing how she came to crime fighting, teamed up with other superheroes (and heroines) and eventually ran for congress.  It's wicked good fun, silly in places but with an old school innocence and charm about it that you don't get in these cynical modern days.

DC comics recently relaunched all their books.  Of these new series I am particularly enjoying the following:

Animal Man - a horror story unlike much else out there, in art and story type.
Teen Titans - superpowered teenagers.  Every month I am surprised by how good this is.
Justice League - the top heroes in the DC Universe group together to fight evil.  This is straight up unembarrassed joy in the mechanics of super heroing.
Birds of Prey - all female team of heroines and villanesses, operating a little under the radar in slightly less clear moral territory.
Wonder Woman - the queen of DC heroines.  The relaunch has transformed the mythic elements and brings us a fresh new take on the Greek Gods.

Moving away from DC Comics, last year Marvel introduced a new Spider-Man, Miles Morales, a black kid living in New York.  This series, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, is another consistently good read.

And finally, Danger Club issue one has just been released.  Written by the same team who did Supergirl Cosmic Adventures in the 8th grade, and this Batman: Brave and the Bold trade, this is about a world in which the adult heroes have all disappeared off planet to fight some otherwordly menace, and they've probably died.  This isn't really a story for kids, it's violent and more like Lord of the Flies, but issue 1 is very very good and I have high hopes for the rest of the series.

All these books are available in hard copy format as well as digitally.  I hope these suggestions are useful.  When I have more free time I'll get proper reviews uploaded.
Thanks for reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment