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.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Lengths

Writer and Art: Howard Hardiman
Publisher: Self published

What's it about?

What lengths do we go to in our lives? To make money? To meet boyfriends? To keep boyfriends? To survive?

From the website:
"It’s hard being someone’s Mister Right when for a hundred pounds an hour, you’re anyone’s Mister Right Now.  Young ex-art student Eddie has abandoned his course, his family, his lover and his friends to follow a male escort into a world of sex, drugs and unrequited love. Now, he is beginning a tentative romance with an old friend and having to face up to the challenge of being honest in a relationship about what he’s doing in the weird hours he works and the lengths he’s willing to go to to try to please everyone around him."

There's no rainbows in this, no whimsical camp paraphernalia.  It's a seedy, gritty story about a male prostitute coming to a crossroads in his life.  It's sometimes sordid, sometimes touching.  The juxtaposition between the lead's life as Ford, sex worker, and his life as Eddie, drop out art student, is the main message of the story.  Exploring this, we see Eddie with past boyfriends, how he got into sex work, and his blossoming relationship with Dan, who has no idea about Eddie's job.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Comics now available on the Kindle

This news is a little bit late, but today is the first time I've had a chance to write something.

A recently released  update now means that comics can be read comfortably on the Amazon Kindle. Previously, the e-reader supported pdf files and could easily display images, but you couldn't zoom in to particular panels or places on the page.  This meant that the text and detail of the images could be difficult to read.

This has all changed.  The updated software that Kindle have installed on all users' devices now displays your comics one page at a time, then panel by panel for that page.   This makes them a lot easier to read as the images are big enough that squinting is unnecessary.  There are now hundreds and hundreds of comics for sale on the Kindle website.

The downside is that most comics weren't created to be read in a panel by panel format, so you could potentially lose some of the impact of the page.  When artists/letterers/colourists/inkers create a page they have, up to now at least, done so with the knowledge that readers will look at the whole page first, then read it panel by panel.  There are a few comics out there written for e-readers (DC's Ame-Comi Girls and Smallville are two examples), and you can see how they are put together and laid out differently.  Also, the Kindle (not the Kindle Fire) can only display black and white images.

However for people like me who have a Kindle, don't want to carry lots of comics around, and are willing to sacrifice the colour or page impact, comics on the Kindle is a bloody great thing.  Go forth and buy!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Peckham House for Invalids

Story & Script: Howard Hardiman
Script, Line Art & Colour: Sarah Gordon
Cover art: Julia Scheele
Publisher: Self published

This will not be a full review as we're looking at only 1 issue here, but it's that good I just want to gush about it!

From the website:
In 1906, as Britain surges on a tide of industrialisation driven by the brave innovations of the boldest and the best, Ms York has opened the doors of her modest home in Peckham. A group of poor, young, ill-educated, disabled and abandoned girls found their way to her and under her auspices are learning about the power they have feared the most in the world of oppression and stark inequality: their own. The Peckham Invalids is a comic about disabled teenage superheroines in 1906 Peckham from Howard Hardiman, Julia Scheele, Sarah Gordon and friends.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Spider-Girl (MC2 universe)

 "No one dies on my watch"
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Pat Oliffe
Inks: Various
Colours: Various
Letters: Various
Publisher: Marvel Comics

What's it about?
Spider-Girl is May Parker, the daughter of Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and Mary-Jane Watson.  This series is set in the Marvel Comics 2 (MC2) universe, a sort of What If? parallel reality where creators can explore alternative ideas.  In the main continuity May Parker was snatched from her parents shortly after birth, and is presumed dead.  In this MC2 universe she was snatched but then given back, and is now about 15 years old.  She's a regular schoolgirl - reasonable student, loves basketball and plays for the school team.  As the series starts she is just starting to exhibit her inherited spider powers, more or less the same as her Dad's.
Image on the right is from issue 56.

This series is about her life - how she dons the Spider-Girl mantle, how she deals with new villains and old heroes, how she manages school life and superheroics, and how her parents support her in her new activities.  It's a basic premise, delivered with a sense of fun and love.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Green Arrow Sale on Comixology

A Twitter friend has just alerted me to the fact that Comixology, the digital comics retailer, has a Green Arrow sale.  Each issue is 99 American cents, or about 50p (English money).

Green Arrow is one of DC's superheroes.  He dresses in green and is an ace archer.  He has an on again/off again relationship with Black Canary, ace martial artist with a sonic scream.