Hey, I haven’t updated this in a while, largely because things haven’t changed much in my personal comics-buying habits, but I thought I’d just put up my pull list in case people are interested. I recommend all these.
– Sex Criminals – Just broke down and started getting this as soon as it comes out. It’s amazing. The gags in the background are so great it bears multiple rereadings just to catch them all (fave at the moment, on a jar of petroleum jelly: LUBICROUS: WAY TOO MUCH LUBE). Also the dirty variant covers in the most recent story arc are uniformly terrific, especially the Jaime Hernandez one.
– Howard the Duck – This is my favorite Marvel comic, maybe ever. It is to funny comics as Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing is to horror comics. The crossover with Squirrel Girl in the most recent issue is just truly excellent.
– Silver Surfer – Mike Allred’s ability to keep up with this comic monthly is pretty astonishing. I don’t know if Marvel is fudging ship dates here and there to keep it pure Allred from start to finish, but it remains a really wonderful, beautiful book.
– Kaptara – More Zdarsky. Fun, funny space jam, nice art.
– Providence – The most disturbing thing Alan Moore has ever written. Can’t look away, can’t wait to see how it ends.
– Injection – Declan Shalvey and Warren Ellis’s magical espionage book. Really beautiful, and really intense and fun. The detective-story arc that’s just about to end is totally delightful.
– James Bond: VARGR – More Ellis, on Bond. It’s the only licensed book I’ve read in years and years; the art is a little workaday but it’s getting progressively better. Ellis is one of those writers who has good panel layout ideas and you can see Jason Masters getting into it. The irony is that he tried to do basically this exact book on Jack Cross a few years back with Gary Erskine, a much, much more accomplished penciller and it went AWOL after four issues and can only be read in reprint when DC revived briefly the “100-page super spectacular” format about five years ago in an uncharacteristic fit of good sense.
– Black Panther – Ta-Nahesi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze. I think it may be the first time the character has had an all-black creative team. The jury is out, but it’s interesting so far. It’s good, in fact.
– Archie – Yeah, it’s great. Don’t make it a thing.
– Jughead – Better than Archie, if anything. Erica Henderson’s art is terrific.
– ODY-C – Matt Fraction and Christian Ward’s insane genderswapped retelling of the Odyssey. Every time I think I can wait on the trade paperback I see the cover to the new one.
– Black Widow – Holy shit, this book is amazing. The work of Chris Samnee’s career (which is saying quite a bit) for which he very rightly gets coauthor credit with Mark Waid. Samnee’s storytelling chops are just unparalleled; he can guide your eye across the page like nobody else.
– Klaus – Grant Morrison and Dan Mora’s ironically grimdark Santa Claus: Year One tale, done up like a really happy episode of Game of Thrones. Mora’s art is excellent.
– Hellboy in Hell – The final Hellboy story. This will really have been an amazing body of work when it finishes in a couple of months.
– Karnak – This book comes out once every million years but it’s really solid. Gerardo Zaffino is a gloriously talented artist but his replacement Roland Boschi keeps the aesthetic without being swallowed up by it (Zaffino had some kind of family crisis, hence the interminable delays, so fingers crossed the last three issues arrive without incident).
– DKIII: The Master Race – I am reading this entirely for the Frank Miller-drawn minicomics in the middle of each issue. Brian Azzarello’s writing is unbearably hacky, sorry. I care not even a little about anyone in the story, but I am happy to see new Miller art.
– Strange Fruit – Sue me, I like this book. I realize the Art Police have chewed on its ankles a little but its heart is in the right place. Mark Waid’s vision of the Jim Crow South is a little hamfisted but the concept is quietly brilliant and is right in the wheelhouse for his superheroic gifts. I can’t say enough good things about J G Jones’s painted art; it’s like a particularly grim edition of the Saturday Evening Post.
TREES: Warren Ellis and Jason Howard’s near-future alien invasion book. It makes 10x more sense in collections and Jason Howard’s art is basically only okay; it’s also been really spotty coming out lately so I’m giving it until the end of the next arc before I buy it again.
ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS: Waid, Andy Kubert and Mahmud Arsar, whose stuff is not even slightly of a piece with Kubert’s. It’s an interesting counterpoint but there’s no thematic consistency to what Kubert draws and what Arsar draws. But the story is fun and I love the lineup.
DOCTOR STRANGE: Basically dropped down on this one last week because there’s some kind of crossover going on; Chris Bachalo is the best thing going and he’s not doing all the art on the new story, so we’ll see how it shakes out when it hits the stands as a collection. Often they leave out the little ancillary bits if they’re not super-central to the story, which I hope for dearly.
LOOKING FORWARD TO:
SNOTGIRL – New Brian Lee O’Malley. I will read it, even though it’s called Snotgirl.
BETTY & VERONICA – Adam Hughes is doing a serial comic, which will probably come out once every nine years, but I’m still into it. because I really like Adam Hughes.
KILL OR BE KILLED – Brubaker and Phillips’ new project, essentially a film noir Punisher.