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HERE ARE SOME ISSUES THAT WILL NOT DISAPPOINT.
The Wicked + The Divine Volume 3
The title may have been Commercial Suicide, but Volume 3 of this Image series was the strongest yet. Consisting of one and done stories focused on various member of the Pantheon, Kieron Gillen revealed new layers to the gods’ personalities, while a string of guest artists turned in visually stunning pages. The powerful Tara tale (one of my two picks for best single issue of the year) is alone worth the price of admission. Wicked + Divine appeared on a slew of Best Of lists this past December. This trade offers ample evidence why those laurels were so well earned Continue reading INDUBITABLE ISSUES ISSUES & PULL LISTS (2/03/2016)
Pat: Just read Providence, pretty impressive…
Reed: I thought PROVIDENCE was great. I was intrigued by the “Exit Garden in Bryan Park” featured in the comic; I thought, “Was that a real thing in that period?” It can’t be. It’s just that all the other period details are so accurate (the controversy over the proposed Versailles Treaty, the speculation on the pending Prohibition, etc.) that Moore makes you wonder if “exit gardens” were a real thing in 1919. It’s like he’s suggesting, in a very subtle way, that the horror fiction of Robert Chambers is creeping into the real world. Continue reading Comic Convo: Providence #1
by Alan Moore, Garth Ennis, Kieron Gillen, Max Brooks, Christos Gage, Kevin O’Neill, Gabriel Andrade, Raulo Carces, Ignacio Calero & Michael Dipascale
Alan Moore’s most recent work through Avatar has been mixed in terms of quality from the writers sky high ambitions against the companies lack of resources in the rest of their books production. Crossed +100 has proven to be more interesting then good while Providence is an incredible story that suffers from a subpar art team. Moore’s new horror anthology, Cinema Purgatorio, teams the writer with top flight creative talent like Kieron Gillen, Kevin O’Neill & Garth Ennis. While it’s still suffers slightly from inconsistency in quality, it’s high’s are better and more fully realized then anything Moore has done with the publisher since returning to ongoing monthly comics at Avatar as it is for his peers that join him on the books debut issue.
As a horror anthology, Cinema Purgatorio is as diverse a selection of comics as you’ll see in the genre and each has a distinctive hook that feel’s singular to the creators. Moore’s opening story with League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen co-creator Kevin O’Neill is a dark surrealist parody of a silent film that displays a brilliant allegory of power, authority and economics that is stunning and harrowing. Garth Ennis writes the beginnings of a vampire story that has the creator doing some of his most measured and satisfying work in years for it’s daft usage of humor and narrative, Kieron Gillen creates a post apocalypse dystopia comic that already feel’s awesomely epic, World War Z writer Max Brook’s has an interesting alternate history strip on the Civil War while Christos Gage goes full on big monster versus fighter jets that is loads of fun. The writing on Cinema Purgatorio is some of the strongest you could expect from it’s assortment of creators and while the art doesn’t always match up, it’s far superior then Avatar’s typical half assed approached. Partially because the comic is all black & white; more house style artists like Gabriel Andrade, Ingacio Calero or Raul Caceres look much more interesting in their stylistic flourishes, technical details & visual narration. The overproduced digital sheen is gone with only the artists pencils which end up looking far superior to their past work when completely stripped down to the bare bones. Ignacio Calero in particular shines brightly with his technically precise but still cartoonish art for he & Gillen’s excellent Modded with deft storytelling and expressive design work. Kevin O’Neill is as strong as ever with Moore where his work has a detailed playfulness reminiscent of Saturday newspaper strips to contrast it’s bleak outlook. In fact, the only part of Cinema Purgatorio that really doesn’t work is Michal Dipascale’s contribution to A More Perfect Union with Max Brooks where the art’s flat lifelessness becomes even more accentuated without any color or inking. Still, considering the source and quality of material surrounding it, one poor element out of the bunch is a minor miracle.
The debut issue of Cinema Purgatorio is great and if they can keep the book going while adding to it’s roster with the same quality, care and diverse subject matter within it’s sub-genre, it’s an anthology that could be an excellent counterpoint to Rios & Graham’s art driven Island anthology. That might be a lofty expectations and considering the books sources, a comics writer that has gone from being one of the mediums most important creator’s to a bitter and out of touch old hermit and a publisher that’s traditionally valued shock, awe & bombast over quality in the comic’s it’s published, it’s probably not likely. Regardless, Cinema Purgatorio’s debut is excellent in it’s execution and with the talent Moore has assembled, that is pretty thrilling in and of itself.
Attentive readers may notice the Sustainable Forestry Initiative certification label printed inside the comic books published by DC Comics and Dynamite Entertainment. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is a forest certification system provided by the non-profit organization SFI, Inc. Forest certification systems provided by third-party organizations like SFI, Inc. should give consumers confidence that the paper products they are purchasing come from suppliers who follow good environmental and social practices: protecting biodiversity and water quality, the quick replanting of trees, and working with the local communities affected by logging, among others.
However, some environmental organizations are critical of the SFI system, raising questions about whether the SFI label used by DC and Dynamite should assure readers that the paper in their comics was created in an environmentally friendly manner. Also, other comics publishers are not as transparent about their paper sourcing, and were unresponsive to inquiries from Nothing But Comics about the certification systems used for their paper.
Continue reading Certified?: Paper Sourcing and Comics
It is debatable whether the content of comic books should be considered “light reading,” but it is evident that comic books are physically light. But how much do comic books weigh? To answer that question, Nothing But Comics took a sample of comics from different publishers to a U.S. Post Office and weighed them. Examining the weight of the various comic books provided some interesting insights about the comics, and allowed us to determine the average weight of a comic book.
Continue reading Light Reading: How Much Do Comic Books Weigh?
Alan Moore of Watchmen, Swamp Thing, V For Vendetta, From Hell, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Miracle Man & Batman: The Killing Joke will be reteaming with Neonomicon artistic collaborator Jacen Burrows for a new series titled Providence from Avatar Press. The title will be released in May of 2015. More details via Avatar
“The Great Burn.”
Remember reading about it in high school? How Germany, in September 1945, used its army of superhumans to systematically set fire to Western Europe? How the intense heat of these super-soldiers’ pyrokinetic blasts destroyed buildings and melted human bodies? Were you horrified when you read about the senseless destruction? In your studies of the period, were you disgusted by the waste of human life in a war that seemed to just keep escalating in atrocity with each day?
Perhaps you took comfort from reading about the Allied response – about the covert efforts of Bletchely Park to produce Allied super-soldiers to stop the Germans? Maybe you saw the movie, the one in which Benedict Cumberbatch played Alan Turing, the mathematician who helped the enigmatic “Agent Stephanie” in her efforts to create stronger, more deadly superhumans? (I loved that movie – I got teary-eyed about the plight of Leah, the poor test subject turned into a monstrous and deformed creature with the codename “HMH Churchill.”) Perhaps you were inspired by the strength of the Allied super-soldier codenamed “HMH Dunkirk” at the Battle of Brussels?
Did you learn about the Russian sacrifices in your classes? In the United States, we tend to focus on American sacrifice and heroes, but the Russians suffered terribly during World War II, and killed a lot of Germans. And the mentally unstable and unreliable super-soldier named Maria killed more Germans than most.
If you didn’t learn such things in school, it’s probably because you live in a reality where such things never occurred during World War II. But take heart – you can learn about all this and more by reading the excellent comics work of historians Kieron Gillen (a writer of some regard, with an impressive imaginative understanding of the impact of superhuman warfare) and Daniel Gete (an artist who skillfully captures the bleak, depressing horror of war) in the comic book Über #23 from publisher Avatar Press.
Read it. It will make you think, and perhaps appreciate the sacrifices and heroism that occurred in the non-superhuman World War II of your reality even more.
Last updated 2/11/15 10:33 a.m.