Tag Archives: Kiem

This Year’s Finest 2015: The Best Single Issues

Comics in their essence are a serialized art form. We might discuss arcs and runs, trading waiting and so on, yet , most comics are still centered on the experience of reading individual chapters parceled out over a (typically) monthly basis. With this in mind, I offer my third annual list of the year’s most memorable single issues.

I start with my choices for the two very best:

Sandman Overture 6 J.H. Williams III
J.H. Williams III

Sandman Overture #6 by Neil Gaiman & J.H. Williams III:  Dream’s cosmic journey across a universe (or two) came to a stunning conclusion in this issue. The issue contained several callbacks to Gaiman’s classic work, yet not none of them felt like self-serving fan service. Instead they enriched even further the fascinating personalities of the Dream Lord and his siblings. At the same time, Gaiman offered  a story where the stakes were huge. Williams more than ably met the challenge of Gaiman’s script handing in page after page of stunning art. His detailed, imaginative work defied any traditional sense of page layouts, spilling the action in all directions. Rarely have words and pictures blended so well to create a truly emotional experience on an epic scale. For more, read Cosmo’s staff review.
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Review of 8house Kiem #3

8House Kiem 3 Xurxo G Penalta
Xurxo G Penalta

By Brandon Graham & Xurxo G. Penalta

After two issues dwelling in Arclight, Brandon Graham’s series leaves its lush, fantasy tinged surroundings for new territory. Kiem is set in the same world as Arclight, and similar to it shares a sense of remoteness. Both inhabit cultures which are very much defined by their environments. However, where Arclight expressed itself through spells and mystical forces, Kiem is anchored more firmly in the realm of science-fiction. Despite this, the book lacks none of Arclight’s wonder or beauty. Indeed, the issue is a fully immersive experience.

The issue opens with a bird’s eye view of The Kingdom of Stone. Stretching out for miles is a barren landscape, nearly bleached of color by the sun. It has the feeling of a desert, only composed of rock instead of sand. Yet, as in a more conventional desert, life has found a way to flourish. Pathways have been cut out of the terrain, roads leading to densely packed cities. Artist Xurxo G. Penalta invests these establishing images with the same sense of ambiance which Marian Churchland gave to Arclight. The personality of the land, and therefore the people who inhabit it, is immediately made clear.
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