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.

Monday, 27 August 2012

General recommendations

I had such a lot of things to write about this week and then my other half got hit by a car and is in hospital (but thankfully isn't hurt too badly - he'll just take a long time to heal), so I find myself unable to write proper reviews.

Instead, can I suggest these books and/or series.  I may have mentioned them before - if so, then you should definitely get them!

Jenspiration and Skal - These are two comics I've been promising the creator (Jennie Gyllblad) that I'll review for months.  My problem is I just don't know how to describe the deliciousness of Skal.  It's beautiful.  Drop dead beautiful.
Jenspiration is a doodle comic.  Jennie has a great comic storytelling ability.  The panels are set up well, her characters are full of life, the jokes work, the serious parts work, and it's a joy to read.  She has also done something called Clockwork Watch which I haven't read but want to pick up at Thought Bubble this year.  I am convinced Jennie will be a star of the indie comics scene.

Pregnant Butch - This is wonderfully drawn and well told.  It's about a pregnant butch lesbian, and explores her experiences around being pregnant and butch. That's not very well explained is it?  It looks at gender and identity, and people's reactions to you when they can't quite match up the feminine idea of pregnancy with the masculine presentation of butchness.

For superhero comics, try:

Cloak and Dagger - Spider Island: This is a 3 issue mini series that tied in with a Marvel event, related to Spider-man.  I honestly have no idea what the bigger event was, but as I like the Cloak and Dagger characters I bought it.  The art is lovely, the story is fun, the characterisation is good.  You can buy the 3 issues from ebay.  Unfortunately they don't seem to have collected.

From DC, try their new series:
Wonder Woman - The mythology and art is great.  The retconning of Wonder Woman's origin is awful, as is the Amazon's new attitude to men.  Gone is the idea of an immortal island of women, peaceful and strong, inspiring the wider world.  Now they appear to hate men and murder them after they've conceived.  But, if you avoid the issues with this stuff in, it's a great comic.
Teen Titans - Good read for teenagers.  This is a surprise hit of the new 52.  It's consistently good fun.
Birds of Prey - This was good until issue 12 where the bad guy (Poison Ivy) went from being ambiguous to actual bad.  I find those plot twists very boring.  The art is a bit shoddy in the last few issues, but the first 6 issues or so are really very good.  And it's a team of all women.
Supergirl - Beautiful art.  If you've never read any Supergirl before this is a good place to start.
Batman and Robin - I've not read this but have heard good things.  Robin in this case is Bruce Wayne's 10 year old son and a little sociopathic brat.  A great character to read.
Animal Man - A brilliant horror comic.  I've really enjoyed every single issue of this that I've read.
Batwing - Also good.  And quite different to a lot of other books out there.
Green Arrow - Sometimes bizarre art, but from issue 7 onwards it's been a good read.
Smallville - Continuing the story from the TV shows.  Art can be a bit amateurish, but the writer has the character's voices and plotlines spot on.  Only available digitally.
Ame-comi girls - This is manga influenced art, where all the heroes and villains are women.  Because they are all women, they do things and act in ways that usually only male characters do.  They are seriously scary, or proper heroic, or bored, or jokey, and more.  They are still girly, but they are more than just females.  It's astonishing to see the changes in narrative demanded by an all female cast.  Seeing Power-Girl treated like Superman, answering the signal watch, seen as the pre-eminent hero on earth - it's fabulous.  For once, the women are whole people and girly doesn't equal weak.  Only available digitally.

The Chimpanzee Complex - Published by Cinebook; I've read the first one and was blown away by it.  I just need to get a little bit of extra money together and I'll get the last two.

Peckham Invalids - an independent comic about Victorian superheroes who are all in some way disabled.
The writer has also done a series called The Lengths, which looks very interesting.

Lastly, here's a directory of comics made by women.


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