Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Tired of a million (mostly) inconsequential zero issues from DC? Tired of the never-ending AvX event? Here’s a little something for everyone from the Indies…
THE VOYEURS BY GABRIELLE BELL
Every year, one way or another I find myself re-reading Gabrielle Bell’s Lucky. And I suspect her new collection The Voyeurs will also become a yearly re-read for me. Full of wonderful autobiographical tales that are equal parts hilarious and insightful, Bell has become an absolute master of autobio comics. I bought the The Voyeurs from Bell directly at her site, and if you order now you can add on her awesome July Diary for not much more. The book is also available in finer comic and book stores and if you must, Amazon as well.
WET MOON V6: YESTERDAY’S GONE BY ROSS CAMPBELL
Wet Moon 6 by Ross Campbell is finally out! Campell’s compelling character drama featuring college students and tinged with a bit of the supernatural, has been an engrossing and emotional journey, and this long awaited installment is no exception. This Comics Alliance review of Wet Moon 6 is quite frankly awesome and includes a big preview of the book, so check it out if you’ve been on the fence about Wet Moon or just haven’t gotten to it in your “to read” list. If you can’t find it at your local shop it’s of course available on Amazon, it’s also on comixology if you’re doing the digital thing these days. Campbell is also releasing pages on his website, if you like to try before you buy. Also, if you missed out on Glory in single issues, the trade is out – go get it!
STUMPTOWN V2 BY GREG RUCKA AND MATTHEW SOUTHWORTH
Anyone in the know is aware that Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth’s Stumptown is back. The first issue of volume 2 finds private eye Dex Parios on a new case and it’s oh so good. You don’t need to have read the first series to enjoy the second one, but if you haven’t bought the gorgeous Stumptown Volume 1 hardcover you are missing out as it’s one of the best comics around. You can get Stumptown V2 #1 in your comic book shop, from Oni, and it’s also available digitally on Comixology.
PUNK ROCK JESUS BY SEAN MURPHY and THE NEW DEADWARDIANS BY DAN ABNETT & I.N.J. CULBARD
Vertigo is obviously not the most indie of imprints, but their quality when they get it right absolutely cannot be denied. Sean Murphy’s 6-issue mini-series Punk Rock Jesus is high-concept book full of beautiful black and artwork and plenty of surprises. Three issues in, there’s still time to jump onto this series, with issue #4 dropping in October. The 8-issue mini-series The New Deadwardians by Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard is unfortunately almost over with issue #7 coming out this week, but this is a series everyone should check out in trade if you missed it in single issues or can’t hunt them down. That said, the entire series thus far is easily available on Comixology and worth every penny! One of the most refreshing mini’s I’ve read in a long time – and that’s saying a lot considering it’s technically about vampires and zombies, two subjects which should be tapped out, but with a clever spin feel entirely new again. You can find both titles in your local comic book shops, and on Comixology.
LEGENDS OF ZITA THE SPACEGIRL BY BEN HATKE and DRAMA BY RAINA TELGEMEIER
For young readers the new graphic novel Legends of Zita The Spacegirl from Ben Hatke and First Second is a great find. Full of adventure and beautiful cartooning, the book follows the adventures of a young adventurer (Zita) that’s become famous for saving the universe (in her previous volume Zita The Spacegirl – which you don’t have to read to jump on to this volume). Although tired of being herself, when she’s replaced by a robot that can mimic her appearance, she realizes how important her identity is, and races through the universe to get it back. Also for the kids is Raina Telgemeier’s new release Drama. With the same enthusiasm and innocence of her bestselling Smile, Telgemeier’s Drama is a different kind of story, but one with the same honest look at what it’s like to be a kid. While Drama doesn’t necessarily have the layers that might make it more interesting for adult readers, it’s kind of wonderful to see something made entirely for kids. It’s also unique in that although there is a lot of focus on boys and crushes, ultimately our heroine ends up “single” and completely content with it. That’s a rare find in ANY comic. Both books are available in finer comic and book stores everywhere, and on Amazon if you can’t find them locally.
CONAN THE BARBARIAN BY BRIAN WOOD, THE MASSIVE BY BRIAN WOOD, and MIND MGMT BY MATT KINDT
Brian Wood’s Dark Horse dominance continues with his series Conan The Barbarian and The Massive getting better with every installment. This is what awesome indie comics look like! With top notch art teams on both books (even when they change, the quality remains exceptional) both books are some of the best monthly reading I get in my stack. If you’ve missed out on some of the issues, Amazon has single issues of both series available to buy for reasonable prices – and then add them to your pull list so you don’t miss any more! Also from Dark Horse is Matt Kindt’s Mind Mgmt. Only 4 issues in, and issue #5 due out this week it’s a very cool book worth checking out. From the totally intriguing plot to the expressive and inventive non-traditional artwork inside, it’s interesting from tip to tail in a way most comics never manage.
Image has a new series upcoming from Sina Grace called Not My Bag. I haven’t read it yet, so I can’t full recommend it, but the promo art has been gorgeous and the concept is one full of possibilities – it’s definitely worth checking out – the first issue drops October 23rd so keep an eye out. And of course you’re all reading Saga, right? If you screwed up and missed it, you’re in luck because the first trade drops in October. Saga is hands down the best non-superhero book I’m reading right now (and truthfully I think it’s tied for first when it comes to the best comics I’m reading period).
THE MIRE and WOLVES BY BECKY CLOONAN
I’m a bit late to the party on this one, but I finally got my hands on both of Becky Cloonan’s recent mini-comics: Wolves and The Mire. Both rock pretty goddamn hard. Short and sweet (or rather, completely terrifying) both books are filled with clever ideas and stunning artwork. I’d expect no less from Cloonan. You can pick up both off Cloonan’s website for a cool $10 (total – $5 each!) and they are well worth it!
HAWKEYE BY MATT FRACTION AND DAVID AJA
So. This is obviously the complete opposite of Indie since it is both a superhero book and it’s published by Marvel, but as it’s best book Marvel is putting out right now by a country mile, and also perhaps the best superhero book I’ve ever read, I have to give a shout out to Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye. We’re two issues in and it is everything a superhero comic should be – full of heart and humor, with pitch perfect writing and art that is flawlessly in synch that I have honestly marveled at the first two issues. The first issue blew me away and I thought the second couldn’t possibly live up to that promise…turns out issue #2 was EVEN BETTER. What will happen with issue #3? Will the world implode from this book’s awesomeness? This book is as close to perfect as I have ever found in a superhero comic and since it’s a “small” comic compared to some of the other big Marvel team books, I wanted to call it out. Because if a book like this can’t survive (ant thrive) then I may have to give up on this whole “superhero thing” for a while. PLEASE SUPERHERO COMICS, ALL OF YOU ENDEAVOR TO BE THIS GODDAMN GOOD. You can find the first two issue of Hawkeye in your LCS, or at Comixology, and the third issue is coming up in October – so put it on your pull lists, or keep an eye out. Great, great stuff.
So, that’s all I have time for today, but honestly? There was a lot more on my list. Also worth checking out, and available digitally if you cannot find them in your shops are Rachel Rising, which continues to be an amazing and horrifying series, Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover’s Bandette which is lovely and fun (and digital only), also from Monkey Brain and for a cool 99 cents is the intriguing The October Girl, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Noto’s Ghost is all kinds of beautiful and Joshua Dysart is just killing it on Valiant’s relaunched Harbinger series…the list just goes on and on. There’s a lot of great stuff out there – you’ve just got to step outside the box and look for it.
Sound off in the comments with your thoughts on any of these books – and your indie finds that have delighted you of late!
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