When considering the quality of a single issue comic, scope is something I always come back to; how much story does a single issue tell within the natural confines of the medium & format. Single issue comics have natural limitations in terms of size, anything approaching one hundred pages or more is probably a graphic novel at that point, while a single comics page itself can probably handle nine to twelve panels at most per page. Furthermore, a sizable portion of comics are created using pre-existing intellectual property, which in itself creates it’s own form of constraints on story telling based on the framework of the concept, to say nothing of the editorial guidelines of the corporate IP holders. But all these limitations are a big part of what I like about comics, seeing how creative talent can work within those guidelines and still tell an amazing story in a way that no other medium can. And that starts with scope, how much story a creative team leverages out of those limitations. Batman: Creature of The Night #1, by Kurt Busiek & Jean Paul Leon, is a comic that fully realizes its scope, and mines out its limitations for an incredibly creative and profound single issue, with a technical proficiency & synthesis in the art & writing that makes for a purely excellent single issue comics. Continue reading This Week’s Finest: Batman Creature of The Night #1
Kill or Be Killed, Saga, Paper Girls, Black Hammer, Criminal, Astro City, Mockingbird & Beasts of Burden appear to be the nomination leaders. Details below Continue reading 2017 Eisner Award Nominees
If you like epic fantasy, you should be reading The Autumnlands. Written by Kurt Busiek and illustrated by artist Benjamin Dewey with colorist Jordie Bellaire, the Image Comics fantasy series features anthropomorphic animal characters in a world where magic is dying, and a confused champion from another world may be their only hope of salvation.
As fans of the series, we were curious about writer Kurt Busiek’s favorite fantasy fiction, so we sent superhero the Fighting Yank (via Twitter) to ask him about his favorite fantasy novels, comics, and stories.
Nothing But Comics is about to hit our two year mark and in observance of the sites anniversary, every Tuesday from now until we finish, one of our staff members will list off their favorite series, runs or issues of all time. This week it’s Cosmo Continue reading Tuesday Top Ten: All Time Favorites Cosmo
Last week, I discussed the debut and origin of Avengers’ nemesis Ultron. This week, I would like to explore how later writers have used the character, starting with:
Ultron Unlimited, Avengers #19-23
Kurt Busiek’s new model of Ultron is even more vicious than the preceding ones. He announces his return by unleashing a whole new level of terror: the slaughter of every single man, woman and child in the Baltic state of Slorenia. In a matter of hours, an entire nation’s population is decimated. Meanwhile, his robot minions are snatching up his extended family, gathering them about him. Captain America leads a desperate cavalry charge, but all they seem to be able to do is, at best, maintain a stalemate. Every turn, Ultron maintains the upper hand.
Continue reading Ages of Ultron, Growth
LOOKING FOR BOOKS TO BUY THIS WEEK?
LOOK NO FURTHER.
HERE ARE SOME ISSUES THAT WILL NOT DISAPPOINT.Dean wants you to take notice of… Avengers Undercover #2 One of my favorite series last year was Avengers Arena. I got attached to these characters, most of which I didn’t know prior to the series. Avengers Undercover is the after math of Avengers Arena. If you missed out last year don’t miss out this year. Add Avengers Undercover to your pull list and thank me later. Continue reading Indubitable Issues
I freaking love comics. So many comics. Too many to put in one single list. We all like different things. Some of us like big two comics. Other’s may prefer large publisher creator owned work while other’s dig the small press. I like all of that. I’ll cover my favorites from the different corners of comic book publishing over the month of December.
For this week I’ll be covering Intellectual Property from outside DC and Marvel
Being a publisher that doesn’t feature The Avengers or Batman is a tough sell. Engaging your audience with characters that exist outside of the mainline of traditional superhero’s can be an uphill battles. One way for companies to stay afloat or even thrive is to use intellectual property with a name recognition that keep’s the orders coming in and the lights on. It’s much easier to sell whoever your buyer is on a name with some kind of proven track record in pop culture then what can feel like a hit or miss investment on new creator owned properties. This list is an approximation for all the non Marvel or DC mainline intellectual property comics that transcend what can appear as a blatant cash grab for excellent comic book product. Honorable mention to Valliant titles Archer and Armstrong, Eternal Warrior XO Manawar and Unity that just barely missed the cut mostly because I just started reading a lot of that in the last six months, Brian Wood’s excellent Star Wars ongoing, Layman’s and Sam Keith’s Alien series that was orginally printed in Dark Horse Presents before being collected in hardcover format, Joe Hill’s new mini series The Wraith and Howard Chaykin’s super fun PoliSciFi take on Buck Rogers Now on to the list
One of the common clichés of life is that we should leave no door unopened. As a general sentiment, I would whole heartedly agree. Part of maturing is sampling different experiences; otherwise, how will we ever know if what we have is what we want? How could we ever grow? Yet, part of maturity is also knowing when to look at a door, and, no matter how tempting, recognize that this is not the right one for you. Anyone can throw themselves into anything hoping for the best; the wise know when to pause for consideration.
This theme is explored in issue six of Kurt Busiek’s Astro City. Astro City is a series centered in the fictional metropolis of the same name, populated by many colorful costumed heroes. However, instead of concentrating on larger than life superpowered beings, Busiek often focuses instead on the lives of everyday people, in this case a man by the name of Thatcher Jerome.
Astro City #17 by Kurt Busiek, Tom Grummett & Various
When readers first see The Honor Guard, it is an innocuous moment: Red Cake Day. Once a year, a large spread of red baked goods mysteriously materialize in their headquarters. This time, though, something, or someone appears as well. His name is Eth and he comes from a subatomic realm. He is weighed down by great guilt for a past action which is somehow tied in with Red Cake Day. Only, Eth refers to it as Sorrowsday.
Eth belongs to the Quiqui-A. Their central purpose is harvesting a red grain called Jhef which also grants them precognitive abilities. One day they have the vision of a creature called Krigari. Krigari is the living embodiment of the expression “whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” Each life he ends, every world he razes makes him more powerful. Races die at his hand. His armada steadily makes its way through the realms. Sooner or later, it will reach the Qui-qui.
Continue reading Review of Astro City #17