Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Hey, look at that! I’m back in Arizona and I picked up almost two months’ worth of comics! Yeah, I’m not going to review them properly here – that would take waaaaaaaay too long. This is more of a “What I bought and the random thoughts I have about the issues and, why not, what I did in Pennsylvania for seven-and-a-half weeks.” Can you handle that??????
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Closing up our month of lists and year in review on She Has No Head! is a list of my “Bests” from 2010 (and a few worsts). Please keep in mind that I didn’t get to read ALL THE BOOKS. For example, The Return of The Dapper Men is sitting here and wooing me with its gorgeous swan song and telling me that it could have been a contender…but I just didn’t get to it…and that’s the way it is sometimes, but of the stuff that I read (which was A LOT), here’s what I really loved the most…
DV8: Gods & Monsters #1 – #8. Brian Wood (writer). Rebekah Isaacs (artist). Carrie Strachan (colors). Fiona Staples (covers). Jared K. Fletcher (letters). Ben Abernathy (editor). Kristy Quinn (assist. editor). Wildstorm. Full Color, 22-pages/book, $2.99/book.
I haven’t been shy on this column about my love for Brian Wood and Rebekah Isaac’s DV8 Gods & Monsters mini-series and now that it’s over I’m excited to talk about it in its entirety.
The first thing to say is that in the hands of Rebekah Isaacs and Carrie Strachan (colors) this series is, hands down, the best looking and most consistently stunning book I’ve read in the last year. Add to that the massively talented Brian Wood and gorgeous covers by Fiona Staples and you really have something.
The greatest thing that Wood has done with DV8 is simply to re-introduce and re-invigorate an entire cast of characters and by the end of the series poise them beautifully (well, most of them – damn you Brian Wood!) for any talented writer to pick them up and use them in a new series (hint hint DC). It’s no small feat to completely rehab characters practically forgotten in the massive landscape of comics, and Brian Wood does it here with grace and apparent ease. This entire team has been wonderfully explored and developed, updated and made relevant again and I can’t think of a team I’d be more interested in seeing in another mini-series or ongoing…and prior to this mini-series I really couldn’t have cared less about most of them.
It was fashion week in New York City this past week and that, plus my love of Dean Trippe’s wonderful superhero re-design website Project Rooftop had me thinking about the great hits and misses of superheroine fashion. So in honor of Fashion Week and Brian’s month of Top Fives I thought I’d do a nice light post about some of my favorite female superhero costumes…really just an excuse to post a lot of fantastic images.
I kept the list to five…but then added about a million honorable mentions…because, well, because I’m a terrible editor…the secret is out. Oooh, and if you think I could keep my big mouth shut about a few costumes I think are in desperate need of an update…you’d be wrong…they’re at the bottom (where they belong). Bwahahaha!
Onto the list!
I’ve talked pretty openly about my love for Brian Wood’s new DV8 mini-series Gods & Monsters, from the fact that I think it feels both modern and also somehow like a throwback to really good superhero character pieces, but it’s also been one of the inspirations for why I’ve been talking so frequently about how much I’d like to see more independent creators given a chance to show what they can do on more mainstream characters. Not that DV8 was ever totally mainstream, but there’s no reason why DV8 can’t emerge as a powerhouse of a title from Wildstorm, if done right. And with able assists from Fiona Staples on covers and Carrie Strachan delivering beautiful colors, Brian Wood and Rebekah Isaacs are doing it SO right. The way I feel a lot more indie creators could if given the chance to run wild on a title the way Wood and Isaacs have cut loose on Gods & Monsters.
Brian Wood is a goliath in this industry so it feels strange to call him independent, but if you look at his body of work, that’s exactly what it is. Wildly independent. It’s honed to his own vision and his own personal standards, which as far as I’m concerned, are well above that of most comics out there. Brian Wood puts out awesome book after awesome book ranging from ongoings like the epic Northlanders and DMZ to totally alternative superhero-ish tales in the excellent Demo; to literary short fiction made into comics in the form of Local; to now breathing new life into some 1990’s anti-heroes almost forgotten in DV8’s Gods & Monsters mini-series.
It’s all exceptional stuff. Brian Wood, for my money, is one of the great comic creators and writers of our time, so I was pretty excited when he agreed to talk to me about DV8, a comic that I really hope will pave the way (eventually) for a new direction for superheroes.
DV8: Gods And Monsters #1 (of 8). Brian Wood (writer), Rebekah Isaacs (art), Carrie Strachan (colors), Fiona Staples (cover). Wildstorm. 22 page story (and a 5 page sneak peek of Garrison #1). $2.99.
I mentioned Brian Wood and Rebekah Isaacs’ DV8 Miniseries Gods and Monsters in last week’s column as a good example of ‘doing comics right’ for both men and women and I thought I’d like to revisit that idea this week, and at the same time review a great new book.
Brian Wood’s DV8 is brilliant in its simplicity. It’s not doing anything revolutionary or overly complicated (well, not yet anyway) but it’s just solid writing for a cast of interesting characters and a thought provoking plot. And that’s really all any comic book needs to be excellent – well, that and some stunning artwork – which Rebekah Isaacs’ interiors and Fiona Staples covers are delivering with a bullet.
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