snickfic: Gamora profile (mcu)
TV:
Agent Carter - saw the third episode, loved it. Love the Peggy+Angie friendship, love how complicated things are. Jarvis is wonderful. Everything looks so pretty. My feelings are simple, here. Oh, and in this ep we learn that Howard Stark is actualfax Blood Stupid Johnson.

Comics:
Sleepy Hollow - first two issues of a mini by Marguerite Bennett and Jorge Coelho. Two of the things I thought were out were delayed, so I picked these up instead because I'd been eyeing them every time I went in the store. (It was the Phil Noto covers, darn it.) They're a lot more directly tied into the show than I was hoping - a lot of references to stuff I didn't know. The banter is good, though, and Noelle Stevenson (of Nimona) has little two-page mini comics in the back, which was a pleasant surprise.

Copperhead - finished its first arc. I continue to enjoy everything this comic chooses to be. Liked the resolution to the mystery, am intrigued by these "Natives" that we murder with impunity but also have a treaty with and therefore can't prosecute by ordinary means; hope we see more of them. Also needed: more Clara, Broo, Ishmael (desert hermit android!), and Mrs. Sewell.

If this comic has sounded interesting to you at all, definitely check out the first trade when it comes out next month.
snickfic: half-portrait of Natasha (art by Noto) (Natasha)
I've rather abruptly gone off Marvel, for the most part. It's been a combination of becoming disenchated with:
* the charms and (mostly) pitfalls of massive shared continuity, especially re: crossovers and events
* things I like getting canceled before their potential is realized and developed
* the hamfisted, po-faced earnestness of the things that DO get lots of issues. (If I never see a superhero attempt to talk about politics again, it will be TOO SOON.)
* the vulnerability of any given comic to editorial whims and artist availability

I talked about most of those things a little bit here, and it hasn't changed much, I guess.

So, the result is that right now this is what I'm reading with enthusiasm:
* Ms. Marvel (still my fav Marvel book)
* Gotham Academy (teen girls and basically zero dependence on outside continuity)
* Saga
* Copperhead
* The Wicked + The Divine (because Jamie McKelvie, basically)
* Ody-C
* Bitch Planet
* a bunch of new Image things I'm looking forward to soon

And these are books I'm reading until my Marvel subscription runs out:
* Black Widow (although I have to say I actually liked the interwoven story structure of #12 quite a lot, even though it was only a set-up issue)
* Storm (love the art, but the story doesn't seem to be going anywhere in particular)
* Loki: Agent of Asgard (I have no idea what's going on with Loki anymore, if I ever did, and the crossover mini that I didn't read just compounded the problem)
* Captain America and the Mighty Avengers (wow do I hate what Axis did to this book. I hate it SO MUCH. And somehow Luke Ross is bizarrely Greg Land-like with his faces? Is that just me? I feel like I still haven't escape Land-face.)
snickfic: (Gwendolyn)
Image is selling another of their Humble Bundle deals right now, and it is frankly amazing. For a pay-as-you-want amount (but with all the goodies unlocked for $18+), you can get:
* Saga #1-18
* The Walking Dead #1-48 (!!)
* The Manhattan Projects #1-10
* The Wicked + the Divine #1-5
* about fifteen other things

Seriously, this is a ridiculous deal. AND you're not paying Amazon or going through Comixology's hinky comics viewer, which is a plus, IMO.

EDIT: now with a link! *facepalm*
snickfic: close-up crop of Storm (drawn by Ibanez) (Storm)
I've been feeling just much more enthused about Image than Marvel lately. It isn't that Marvel isn't producing stuff that is at least in theory relevant to my interests; in March alone there's an all-female team book, 10 female superhero solo books, the Peggy Carter + Howard Stark team-up, and a Princess Leia solo. Compared to even a year ago, that's AMAZING.

The thing is, I've been reading Marvel for a year and a half and I'm already tired of falling in love with books only to have them canceled, tied up in crossover events half the time, or on the creative team merry-go-round. Then there are the ones that I can't fall in love with because they are so deeply mediocre; I don't know if that's better or worse. I am particularly sick of all the things I like getting canceled while all the things I find so mediocre go on for 30-40 issues. I covet that kind of length for the titles I love, so that writers can really dig in and take those characters places.

Meanwhile, over at Image, we get the same creative team for dozens of issues, crossovers are vanishingly rare, and when things get canceled, at least we can chalk it up creator decision and not that of some marketing department somewhere. Plus, from Image I can get my space western AND my pulpy women's prison AND my cosmic SF myth retelling AND my space opera. And no prior knowledge required!

Basically I'm starting to believe that standalone comics with the breadth and artistry and creative control we see at Image are the wave of the future, and in fact the future might already be here.

Ahem. With that, on to the March solicits.

Image
* New title Descender, Dustin Nguyen (!!) does a sad child robot story. Just lookit this cover:
cover )

* Southern Cross - the actual premise doesn't do a lot for me, but come on, grungy SF + weird fiction + female protagonist + Becky Cloonan? I'll definitely give it a try, at least.

* Otherwise my comments this month are primarily "Yay! More issues of that comic I like!" Such comics include Bitch Planet, Ody-C, and SAGA (YAY MORE ADVENTURES OF [SPOILER] AND [SPOILER] :DDDD)

Marvel
* New Hawkeye. Very much doubt lightning strikes twice, but apparently it is still a book with two Hawkeyes, so I'm pleased to see that, at least. The cover art is intriguing; I wonder if this is anything like what we should expect from the interiors:
cover )

* Silk, Spider-Gwen, and Spider-Woman. Someone will have to tell me which if any of the spider-lady books to read.

* Judging by the Thor solicit, the identity of the lady Thor is STILL a mystery in MARCH. Erg. How are we supposed to get any kind of character development when the book won't even tell us who she is?!

* Again, someone will need to tell me if this Operation: S.I.N. book with Peggy Carter and Howard Stark is good. Likewise, if G. Willow Wilson manages to rescue X-Men from the mess it is, someone let me know. Apparently March's issue is big on Psylocke, and that is a plan I support heartily.

* Black Widow summary continues not to enthuse, but I think I quite like the cover design:
FLAAAMES )

* More Ms. Marvel, yay. More Storm, yay. Those are my two favorite things out of Marvel right now, I think.
snickfic: close-up crop of Storm (drawn by Ibanez) (Storm)
Snick's somewhat-monthly reaction post to solicits news returns!

Image
* SAGAAAAA. Saga is back, as is almost the entire cast! :DDDD

* This new #1 sounds intriguing: The Empty, by Jimmy Robinson: Tanoor lives in an empty apocalyptic world of poison and decay. Her village is all that remains of humanity as they struggle against mutant beasts and rotting bones.But Tanoor finds a chance to save her people when a stranger drifts into town. A stranger armed with the power to grow life from death. A stranger who could change the world—if Tanoor can keep them alive in the deadly world of The Empty.

* Likewise Postal by Hill/Hawkins and Goodhart: The townsfolk of Eden, Wyoming wake up to the first official murder the town has seen in 25 years. Their reaction to this isn’t normal, and there’s a reason for that. Eden operates as a haven for fugitive criminals who remain here while new identities, often including facial reconstruction, are created for them. There is zero tolerance for any illegal activity that might draw attention to the town and an “official murder” is the last thing they want. A single, tight-knit family runs Eden with the youngest oddball son Mark Shiffron overseeing the postal branch, the only means of shipping in or out of the city.

* Lots of next issues for series I'm enjoying, including East of West, The Wicked + the Divine, Lazarus (although I'm behind on that).

Marvel
* Elektra canceled. The art was so pretty, but the story was so cold. IDK. I wanted to love it.

* Lots of new female-led titles: Spider-Gwen, Silk (both Spider-man affiliated, kind of? Spider-Gwen is AU somehow), and by then we'll be three issues into Angela: Assassin of Asgard, which I must say is not a book that I'm filled with hope for, although I do like women are involved in both the writing and the arting.

* Jorge Molina is taking a shift (or taking over?) on Thor. Given the kind of style he had when he filled in on X-Force, I think he'll be a good fit, especially if they keep the same colorist. Solicit seems to imply that we still don't know new Thor's identity?!

* MS MARVEL VERSUS LOKI. ALL MY DREAMS ARE COME TRUE. I mean, just look at this cover. (Sad we don't have Jake Wyatt back, though - artist this issue is Takeshi Miyazawa, whom I'm not familiar with.)

* I will be interested to read the rest of X-Force once it finally comes to MU. This Fantomex-as-antagonist thing seems designed to make me unhappy, but Spurrier is a clever and complex writer. IDK.

* Storm #8 - Phil Briones arting this issue. I recall quite liking his work on Humphries' UXF, although not as well as I've liked Ibanez.
snickfic: (Saga)
This is kind of a gimme topic, because I am always happy to tell you about what comics I am excited about, but it's what [livejournal.com profile] dhampyresa asked for, so. Here are the comics I'm most excited to read each month:

comics below! )
snickfic: close-up crop of Storm (drawn by Ibanez) (Storm)
Over at CBR, Brian Cronin has a pair of reviews for Copperhead #1 and #2. He praises the art, which I also adore, and the worldbuilding happening in the background. I've quite liked the first two issues of this book and am looking forward to more, so I'm really pleased to see someone else giving it some attention.

Meanwhile, Rachel Edidin of Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men reviews Storm #4. I agree that the plotty aspect of #4 is weak and disappointing, but also that the character work in the first half is great, and that Ibanez' art continues to be fantastic. Specifically (emphasis author's):

There’s a tendency in comics–superhero comics in particular–for artists to make female characters pretty instead of interesting. That’s not to say a character can’t be both–but there are serious limits to what you can do with facial expressions and body language if you’re not willing to let women look anything other than model-perfect; on top of which the adherence to specific and narrow cultural standards for beauty have contributed to the significant problem of whitewashing in superhero books.

Ibañez’s Storm is beautiful, but above that, she’s expressive. Distinctive. Her face–and this is a tremendous and frustrating rarity for Storm–isn’t anglicized. Her anger and anguish and joy are raw and believable. Her face and body are narrative. Ibañez is a strong if not particularly standout artist in other areas–layouts, action–but his character art? This is our Storm.


Edidin includes screencaps that illustrates what she means; you should definitely take a gander and read the whole review.
snickfic: (Saga)

In which I look at some August direct market sales figures of books I’m reading, and I fret and stew a bit. This is a long ramble that is informed mostly by me reading a lot of discussion and articles at Comic Book Resources, so, I am no expert. Corrections welcome!

an image and a lot of rambling )

snickfic: girl reading on bench (mood reading)
It can be Reading Thursday if I want it to.

What did you finish reading?
I just reread the first volume of East of West. A non-spoilery summary: In a wildly divergent near-future, three horseman of the apocalypse want to start the apocalypse; the fourth horseman, Death, has abandoned ship for reasons of his own, and they can't start without him; their allies are seven rulers of various parts of the Americas, including one Xiaolian, once the warlord daughter of the house of Mao. It's a large cast that takes some time to get to know, but there are a lot of colorful characters in it. Meanwhile the art is gorgeous; limited, dramatic palettes, and Dragotta can draw both faces and startling architecture with ease.

When I first bought and read it a year ago, I didn't care for it much, but as I did buy it and therefore had it sitting around, I thought I'd try it again, and I like it much better now. I think this is partly due to having read a lot of bad comics since then and therefore refining my sensibilities about what good ones look like, and also because I have plenty of comics now featuring people I like and am sympathetic to, and so I'm a little more open to books with less sympathetic characters.

I have now ordered the second volume from the library.

What are you reading now?
A bunch of things, including stuff previously mentioned, but I also just started Kristin Lavransdatter, a trilogy which promises to be "a great story of a woman's passion, sin, and nobility - set against the color, the earthiness, and the violence of Medieval Norway." Yes. As written by a Norwegian in the 1920s. I really have no idea what to expect here, but the books were $.69 a piece at the thrift store, and hey, I like Norway and female characters and sagas. Although, the back cover says the trilogy won a Nobel prize, so perhaps I should have heard of it before.

Nothing to say about it yet; I'm only 11 pages in.

solicits!

Aug. 19th, 2014 08:06 am
snickfic: close-up crop of Storm (drawn by Ibanez) (x-men)
It is that time of the month again.

Image
* YAY, Odyc, finally. This is Matt Fraction's new genderswapped Odyssey in spaaace, in case you missed it. Art by Christian Ward, so we know it'll be a total trip.

* I have no idea what this Madman thing is about, but it involves the Allreds and also a lot of other good people.

* I really have to look into Copperhead, space western with female lead.


Marvel
* Really not liking the spoilers for Luke Cage (see the Mighty Avengers solicit). I know it's all to do with the Axis event somehow, but I am Not Pleased.

* Really like everything else about the Mighty Avengers solicits, though, basically because they exist. New art! Still Al Ewing!

*Dang it, I'm going to have read Spider-Woman even though it's got Greg Land on it. How am I reading two Land-arted books in a row? How? And I don't actually know enough about Jessica Drew to care about, but OTOH it looks like this book is primed to give me the girl team-up book I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED. DANG IT. (Those covers, though. Those covers are amazing. OTOH, the one page of interior is pretty cool!

* I have no particular commentary on the Storm or Ms. Marvel solicits, just, yay. I can't wait to get Storm #2 tomorrow.

* Dang it, X-Force still looks interesting. I have to re-up that subscription after all, despite the art.
snickfic: [Saga] Alana cradling Hazel and holding a cudgel (Alana)
Because I should go to bed instead, and yet here I am.

Things I'm reading as they come out because I love them that much
Loki: Agent of Asgard
Mighty Avengers
Ms. Marvel
Black Widow (I mean, I don't love it, but nor do I plan to give it up anytime soon)
Moon Knight
Elektra
Saga
Lazarus (I'm not actually caught up with this yet, but I have a Comixology subscription now!)

Things I read/am planning to read on MU as they appear or in trade
Thunderbolts
Secret Avengers (the new one)
She-Hulk
Wolverine & the X-Men (the new one)
Amazing X-Men (swashbuckling!)
Cyclops (Rucka. Also space.)
Hawkeye
Silver Surfer
X-Force (as soon as my subscription runs out)
the Original Sin side comic with the Asgardians

New things I am looking forward to with varying amounts of squee and/or trepidation
Storm (ugh, the covers. ugh, the X-office.)
Low (Remender. But so pretty! But Remender.)
Trees (Ellis. 'nuf said)
snickfic: [Hawkeye] Kate looking over the top of her sunglasses (Kate)
I've been reading comics fic relevant to my interests as I've stumbled across it. Alas, my tastes are kind of narrow, I guess? In any case, I don't find tons that is even focused on the characters/titles I want, much less stuff I like. But here's some.

No Crash Landings, by [archiveofourown.org profile] jouissant - Saga - The Stalk, The Will
This is exactly the Stalk backstory I needed. Spaceships, tentative friendship, eyebrow-raising asides about the coming-of-age rituals of the Stalk's race.

Speed Bumps, by [archiveofourown.org profile] Salmon_Pink - Young Avengers - David/Tommy
See, this is the kind of kink I expect out of a canon like Marvel, but rarely actually see. Tommy has this problem where, when he gets aroused, time doesn't operate properly for him. It's really a drag for all concerned, but they work it out eventually. Sexy and fun and with sneaky feelings, too.

so rip me up and set me loose by [archiveofourown.org profile] defcontwo - Winter Soldier comics - Natasha/Elektra
This is all sharp edges and teeth, as I'd expect from these two, set just after a major event in the Winter Soldier comic.

Lilac Perfume by [livejournal.com profile] redbrunja - Hawkeye - Clint/Kate
I don't ship this, precisely, but I don't not-ship it? And this is a delightful fic written for Porn Battle that really uses its primary prompt word - lilac - to full advantage.

Embiggen, by [archiveofourown.org profile] thingswithwings - Young Avengers, Ms. Marvel - Kamala Khan, America Chavez
Teen girl superheroes meet, bond, older shares wisdom with younger. THERE IS NO BAD HERE.
snickfic: (Saga)
Ventured out to find an LCS today. It wasn't terrible? It looked pretty well organized, but it felt not well lit enough, I was the only customer most of the time I was there, and the music was loud. I was not all that enthused. Next time I'll go find the other LCS, which I'm pretty sure is the one that had a table at GGC.

Saga #17-18 )

Ms. Marvel #3 )
snickfic: (Default)
I'm just going to say this above the cut where everyone can see it: Al Ewing's Mighty Avengers is my favorite Marvel book on the stands right now, at least that I've read more than two issues of. (Other contenders: Ms Marvel and Loki, the latter of which coincidentally is also written by Ewing.) It's just fun, with the right mix of banter and heart, and it has the advantage of being about a bunch of characters who aren't appearing anywhere else right now and in many cases haven't in a while, which means Ewing can do whatever the heck he wants with them. If you're looking to support diversity in comics, this also happens to be Marvel's "minority team book" - analogous to the all-women X-Men, I guess? But with less fanfare and better writing.

Anyhoo.

New Marvel book:
Mighty Avengers #8 )

Old books from other companies:
Revival #1 )

Atomic Robo#1 )
snickfic: (Willow magic)
I just read the latest issue of Pretty Deadly, and it had enough revelations that I went back and read the first three issues to try and get my bearings. I have a bunch of discussion below the cut, but before I get there, I want to say that finally, finally I am getting a sense of what kind of story this is. It's a story with a much grander scope that those first couple of issues seemed to suggest, which I like. I think the confusion of the basic character motivations and relationships in the first couple of issues obscured the scale of the thing, but suffice to say that it's big, and there's a lot of worldbuilding going on here.

Also, I think Emma Rios with #4 is finally coming into her own on this book. Each issue has been getting better in terms of clarity of what's being represented, helped a lot by lighter inking, but this issue I actively enjoyed the artwork (as opposed to a lot of squinting as I tried to make out what I was looking at all). Her reliance on inset boxes is working better for me now, although that may be partly because I read today's issue on Comixology with its handy comics reader, which is really helpful in guiding the eye and keeping things from feeling too busy.

All that sounds like I'm damning with faint praise, but I really did enjoy this issue, and now I'm excited to see where they're going.

anyway, on to the specifics )
snickfic: (Marko plot)
Several people have made noises to me recently about being curious about comics but unsure where to start, and I realized I had never addressed precisely that question before. Here, then, is a list of suggestions as made by someone who's very enthused about comics but only been actively reading them for eight months.

These are all fairly recent comics, some of them still ongoing, which I personally have read and enjoyed and think would be approachable to someone with very little knowledge of comics continuity, either because they're standalone titles (the Image stuff) or because the writers kept away from the continuity tangles of the larger universe inhabited by the characters (the Marvel stuff). I also stuck to stuff that's available in trades, so that you have a hope of acquiring them through your local library. However, they are all also available via Comixology, the one-stop shop for digital comics by the big publishers.

onto the recommendations! )
snickfic: (Marko plot)
Wait, there's more! I missed them!

* Matt Fraction is writing a genderswapped Odyssey in space, because WHY NOT? A glance at artist Christan Ward's work boils down to very colorful.

* Nick Spencer has a modern day spy/fantasy thriller and an SF book, both of which sound interesting.

* Rick Remender is doing a far-future aquatic SF thingy which I shouldn't care about, because Remender has been letting us down on all fronts lately, but the art is SO pretty.

* NEW GILLEN/MCKELVIE. "Every 90 years, gods reincarnate in human bodies." See cover.
snickfic: (Saga)
Joe Keatinge, who wrote Glory (which I liked a lot), has a new Image book coming out, Shutter, about a girl adventurer in an alternate/fantastic modern day. Art by Leila del Duca, whom I'm not familiar with, but I like what I'm seeing in the preview pages, and I'm always for more female creators.
snickfic: (monica rambeau)
I just caught up on reading stuff from the last three weeks or so.

First, above the cut: I subscribed to Loki: Agent of Asgard almost solely because of how impressed I've been with Al Ewing's work on Mighty Avengers. Frankly, Mighty Avengers seems to have most everything against it: it's got Greg Land on art and a relative unknown writing, its first three issues were tied up in a crossover that no one I know paid any attention to, and I, personally, have very little interest in the Avengers side of the Marvel universe. And yet Ewing keeps me consistently entertained while introducing and juggling a cast of characters I have almost no familiarity in. Even the Infinity tie-in arc felt self-contained enough to be comprehensible.

(Not that this is so much down to Ewing, but I also, it must be said, enjoy the fact of characters of color not only being the majority, but also walking on and off panel in cameos, completely unremarked upon. It's easy for me to forget how many such Marvel characters there are, because so often there's only one or two of them to a team.)

I totally understand if you just can't take the Land art on this book, but at the very least EVERYONE should pick up the three issues Valerio Schiti is arting, starting in February. And also everyone who's even marginally interested in the Loki comic should give it a closer look, because I expect Ewing to do good things on it.

Now, onto vaguely spoilery things.

Mighty Avengers #4 )

FF #15 )

X-Men #9 )

Uncanny X-Force #15 )

Rocket Girl #3 )

Pretty Deadly #3 )
snickfic: (Sam face)
(That's through issue #18 #19, FYI.) I plan to reread them all later, but for now I have one really big thought.

REALLY BIG THOUGHT )
snickfic: (Default)
I need to get ahold of some real live photo editing software, because there's only so much you can do with the Photobucket image editor. Fortunately, with comics art often a decent crop is all it takes - very little skill required. :D

Most of these are of Saga, for an [livejournal.com profile] insmallpackages wish (great taste like that needs rewarding, I felt), but also a couple of others I made a while back for my own use. Looking at them now, I find it hilarious not only that they are all of ladies - which could perhaps have been predicted - but that nearly all of them involve the lady in question looking straight at the viewer. IDK what to say about that.

1-5 Saga
6 Nextwave
7 X-Men

icons! )
snickfic: (Cordelia excited)
Morning Glories is THE BEST THING. It is super-sinister boarding school horror with teenage power fantasies! There's an institutional aspect that kinda reminds me of the best parts of Cabin in the Woods (although whether we are much fussed about the ongoing existence of the planet is as yet unclear). There is teamwork and terrifying faculty and lots of WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON, which I'm totally cool with, because I loved Lost right up until the point when I lost faith that it knew what was going on. But Nick Spencer, I assume, knows better than to raise all these questions without having answers to them.

Really, though, you had me at "sinister boarding school." I love boarding school stories of all kinds. You'd have had to work really hard to lose me after that. You would, for example, have needed much less attractive art than Joe Eisma is providing. It's all so horrifyingly cheerful and well-lit, and, oh hey! I also love claustrophobic horror like this that depends on something other than brute ugliness for its effect. Basically, if Locke & Key and Morning Glories represent two ends of some horror spectrum, I am Team Morning Glories all the way.

So yeah. I am loving this so far.

(Heads up that I'm going to be a delicate flower about spoilers for this one. I don't want to know if you think it gets better or worse later on, or whether we get new characters or we don't get new characters or whether the characters we have change your opinion as they go on.)
snickfic: (Fred math)
In the wake of the Brian Wood thing, I've been thinking more about the m/f ratio of comics creators. I knew it wasn't great, but when you get down to looking at numbers, well. A quick guesstimate for Marvel ongoings next year based on these tables combined with solicit data through February 2014 yields an instructive chart.

 malefemale
artists 371
author 373

In the face of that kind of disparity, details and caveats are basically irrelevant (though I've included them below anyway).

For the record, the artist is Sara Pichelli on Guardians of the Galaxy and the writers are G. Willow Wilson on Ms. Marvel and Kelly Sue DeConnick on Captain Marvel and Avengers Assemble (although technically she's co-writing an arc with Warren Ellis for that book for the first part of the year). Recent Marvel regulars who don't have steady gigs right now include Kathryn Immonen and Marjorie Liu, although there are probably a couple more I'm not thinking of.

(Fiddly details: these statistics don't count the number of writers, but the number of writing slots. Brian Michael Bendis, for example, is counted three times here. OTOH, a book that's co-written by two authors still only counts for one slot. Note also that artists come on and off titles all the time, so those numbers are potentially more variable over time than the writer numbers.)

I don't know Image well enough to confidently say much about it long-term, especially since I think books are produced on a much less regular schedule there. A glance over the February solicits yields only a marginally better picture (although I'm only reading Rocket Girl, Pretty Deadly, and Saga, which together have a creator ratio of 2/3 women). And I don't know DC at all, so someone else would need to crunch those numbers.
snickfic: Sif scowling while swinging sword (Sif)
Some newish things I have been reading. I'm saving the back issues reviews for another post.

Before I get to the books, though, sirdef on Tumblr has made a bunch of wonderful wallpapers from Journey into Mystery featuring Sif, and they happen to exactly fit the resolution on my laptop. I'm using the top one as my desktop right now. So pretty.

Pretty Deadly #1 )

Journey into Mystery vol. 2: Seeds of Destruction )

Fantomex MAX #2 )

Mighty Avengers #3 )
snickfic: (Saga)
Saga: Alana and Marko with baby Hazel, text: 'Marko, what the hell are you doing?' 'Cutting the umbilical?' 'You have a sword! You are wearing a sword!'

Everyone and their dog who reads comics has heard about this comic already, so this post is mostly for the rest of you. Alternate title: "Please read this awesome thing I am reading so I can talk about it with you!"

Let me tell you about Saga:
  • Surrealist star-crossed romance/family adventure comic IN SPACE. Alana and Marko are fleeing from opposing sides of a very old war, trying to keep themselves and their newborn alive without getting killed by either side.

  • Written by Brian K. Vaughan (author of Y: The Last Man and the Faith arc of the Buffy S8 comics) and art by Fiona Staples. Ongoing with 14 issues so far; it looks like there are scheduled hiatuses every six issues? There are now two volumes collected the first 12 issues.

  • Definitely an adult-content book. There is violence, sex, nudity, and bits.

  • Gorgeous artwork. The use of color, the expression and individuality of the faces, the visual concept work - Staples does wonderful stuff.

  • Gonzo worldbuilding. One of the people after us is Prince Robot IV, who comes from a race of people with TV sets for heads. Another of the people after us travels with a giant blue hairless cat which, whenever anyone lies in its presence, says, "Lying." There's a significant character with one huge eye in the middle of his face and a minor character that is a human-sized, air-breathing seahorse in a suit. And I will let you discover The Stalk for yourself, but she is possibly my favorite of all.

  • Easy to read – all the pages are left-to-right, top-to-bottom. No panels overlapping with other panels, no following panels all up and down the page. It's always extremely clear what panel to look at next. (This bullet point is aimed specifically at my friends who say they're not sure how to read comics. Saga will start you off very gently!)

  • Lots of awesome women! Specifically Alana and the infant daughter (who narrates), but we also have, uh, various spoilery other people. We frequently have more women than men in a scene.

  • First issue caused a minor hullabaloo for having Alana breastfeeding on the cover.

  • Racial diversity – almost none of these people are actually human, much less of a particular identifiable ethnicity, but Alana is noticeably browner than Marko, and [spoilery other characters] are both much darker still. It's not by species, either; Marko has horns and is light-skinned, but [spoilery character] also has horns and the darkest skin of any of the humanoids we meet.

  • The storytelling makes me trust it. It keeps returning to the elements and events it's introduced, so that a character who's a topic of discussion shows up in person six issues later, and a scene that is referenced in passing is seen in full flashback further down the road. There is no waste here.

  • It's hopeful. There's death, and it's sad, and the war is terrible and the environment in which we are trying to survive is terrible, and yet the story itself seems to be an act of building up, rather than tearing down, if that makes any sense – for the reader and for the characters.

  • The first issue is free! You can pick up the whole 6-issue volume for pretty cheap, either digitally or in hard copy, and the second for not too much more. Or, you know, Amazon. Alternatively, the library! (I'm sure there are also other, less reputable ways of acquiring it, but I can't help you with those.)

So, clearly this is something you want to investigate further, yes? Yes? :D
snickfic: Sif scowling while swinging sword (Sif)
click for largish art )

OH MY GOODNESS, you guys, GLORY. Wow. Um. I realize that "Just go read it!" is a completely unhelpful review, but it is very tempting. Because you SHOULD.

This is a quite thorough reboot of an Image character from the 90s. (For an idea of how thorough, see #2 in this list of heroine costume redesigns. Yeah.) Glory is big and violent and an alien, and the little dark-haired gal to the left on the cover is Riley, who's a quite ordinary human. The blond gal on the right is a possibly less ordinary human called Gloria, because why not?

There's a war brewing, although the factions aren't entirely clear, but Glory's clearly in the thick of it, and by extension Riley and Gloria are, too, and there are big friendly monsters and big unfriendly monsters (difficult to tell apart) and a whole lot of blood. And it's just... very unexpected. I've finished the first trade (of two), and I'm not sure which direction we're taking this, although we've set up several options for ourselves.

And the art is, well. As you can see, not your standard superhero art, even though Image categorizes this as a superhero book. There's Glory, for one thing, who is very much not standard superheroine-shaped. However, she's very much the shape of someone who's going to do a whole lot of damage. But even besides her, there's a lot of visual creativity going on - I especially like how alien our aliens look.

Definitely acquiring the second volume. Possibly sooner rather than later.

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