Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Some Comics that Made me Happy Recently

Today was a day about politics, and politics are depressing. Here are some comics that made me happy recently:

1. Flash Gordon #6: This is fast becoming my favorite series, having spun out of Kings Watch, which was already one of the best books of the year. What a delight, then, to look at the credits for this issue and see that one of my new favorite artists, Greg Smallwood, would be contributing. It ended up being only two pages, but it's a quiet character study of the villain, and apparently it will continue next time, so I'm excited. Also it's written by colorist Jordie Bellaire, easily the best colorist in comics right now, so good on her for stretching another muscle. I don't know if she's written before, but this is definitely the first time I have read anything by her, so...double excited. A good issue of a great series with an amazing and unexpected bonus in the final two pages.

2. garfield minus garfield: Remember this? I was telling my wife Katie about it the other night, and it prompted me to check and see if it was still going. It is, and it's as wonderful as ever. I laughed and laughed. For the unfamiliar, garfield minus garfield delivers exactly what the title promises. That is, Garfield comicstrips with Garfield removed from them, so they are just Jon Arbuckle talking to himself and being super-duper extra depressing. It's a legitimate hoot.

3. The Wrenchies: Farel Dalrymple's graphic novel about a magic comicbook, time travel, a demon invasion that destroys the world, and a million other weird and wacky ideas explored in a dizzying but controlled way. Dalrymple tells his story arrhythmically, and his art is like an earthy, gritty psychedelia, bleak and bright at once. I will be rereading this several times, and I have no doubt that I'll discover new details, themes, and connections with each pass.

4. Drumhellar #10: This seems to be the end of the series...? There's no issue #11 solicited anywhere I can find, it says "The. End." on the final page, and it reveals Drum's origin story, the "truth" of who/what he is and why he can see what he sees. I know this title wasn't everyone's cup of tea; I've read some scathing and dismissive reviews. And I'm not going to say it was a perfect piece of graphic storytelling or anything...it has some plot holes, and even when delivering information it could be vague or cryptic to an obnoxious degree. But Riley Rossmo cutting loose on a passion project about a guy who regularly hallucinates his head off? It was one of those books that felt tailor-made just for me, and so soon after Rossmo's Dia de Los Muertos had already filled that role in my life. I'm going to miss it, and didn't know it was ending (though I wondered if it might, since Rossmo just started doing Rasputin), but now that it's over, I'm really looking forward to rereading Drumhellar front to back and seeing what shakes out.

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