First a digression:
A work colleague once told me getting fired was one of the best things to happen to her. At the time I was working at a toxic place and just couldn’t see losing my job as a good thing even though I was unhappy. I did eventually lose my job in 2016 and it was a hard pill to swallow.
Fast forward to 2017, I had a new job in a new state. Things changed for the better, then my cancer diagnosed in 2019. Since being in treatment and going for daily chemo infusions each day, I’m learning that getting fire may have just saved my life. In PA, employers are allowed to fire anyone who uses short term disability for whatever reason. If I were still working in PA, I would have been fired from my job, lost healthcare, had to figure out Cobra (which isn’t cheap) and apply for the Affordable Care Aid benefits. My cancer is fast acting, any unscheduled breaks in treatment due to say, lack of coverage would have been a death sentence.
New York state has laws that protect employees in these situations so while I’m dealing with cancer, I’m not also stressed over my income and benefits. So yeah, it can be said that getting fired was one of the best things to happen to me, it saved my life.
Now let’s talk about some comics:
Three of my favorite comic book series ended recently and though I am sad to see them go; I’m happy to have had the experience. The stories were original, not like the typical superhero genre but new and more engaging than the norm in my opinion. The artwork was breathtaking, unique and all together spellbinding. I really didn’t want to see the end of any of them but I understand all good things come to an end nonetheless.
The Walking Dead (October 2003 – July 2019)
I admit this isn’t an recent end, happening some eight months ago, it’s still a shocker for me. I remember walking into a comic shop on South Street in downtown Philly and seeing issue 1 on the shelf. Robert Kirkman didn’t stand out as a writer to me at the time and I’d never heard of Tony Moore. Still the cover was compelling and I love(d) anything zombies so I purchased a copy. I bought every issue afterward and when possible the variants as well. There were so many pivotal moments in that 193 issue run that I feel like the ones I mention may not do the series justice, yet I want to share so here we go.
Carl kills Shane. Shane and Rick argue over Lori and Carl. At one point Shane concludes everything would have been find for him if Rick was not around (as in dead) and he turn a gun on his ‘friend’. Young Carl, newly gifted with his own hand gun for zombie shooting, shows up and fires a round to protect his father. Some serious shock factor here and I was not prepared at the time. Little did I know Carl was soon going to be my favorite character of the series out pacing even Rick for that spotlight. The boy is badass.
Rick looses a hand. I was sure after witnessing the outright savage cruelty of the governor, by crippling Rick the main character of the series, I was done with this comic. Ha! I couldn’t stop reading just to see how the loss of a hand would effect Rick’s survival. I think it made him more badass then ever. Further in the series, Rick opens a can of stump whoop-ass on some would be hillbillies that planned to use Carl as a sex doll.
Michonne pays a visit to the Governor. The gory details of Michonne’s torture at the hands of the governor are not for the faint of heart. Because of it, one can’t help but root for her when she pays him a vengeful visit to return in kind. It looked as though she did a little Home Depot shopping while explains every torturous tool at her disposal.
Carl kills Ben. Ben guts his twin brother Billy like a fish and doesn’t even bat an eye. He even confesses he left his brother’s brain in tack so he will come back, no harm done. While the adults stand around arguing over what to do with the little murderer, Carl steps ups and addresses the issue.
Death of Glenn Rhee. One of the most likable characters in the series and someone who appears as early as issue 2 of the series is Glenn. He saves Rick from a zombie swarm in Atlanta and is instrumental in Rick being reunited with his Lori and Carl. Glenn is a steady staple throughout the series until issue 100 when he dies a very horrific death in front of friends, family and his wife.
There are so many more decisive moments in The Walking Dead that I could easily go on for months. Around issue 7, Charlie Adlard picks up artist responsibilities from Tony Moore but Kirkman never misses a beat. The series is heart-pounding in it’s intensity and finishes like a fine aged wine such that my head is still spinning.
Black Science (November 2013 – October 2019)
When this comic series came out, I just started at the cover in awe. I’d never seen anything like it. I began to read the issue and was just blown way by the fantastical sci-fi. It’s the tale of a brilliant scientist and inter-dimensional travel, Lost in Space on steroids. I loved every issue and the artwork from Mattero Scalera was heart pounding to say the lest. Rick Rememder’s writing spun a web of super natural wonderment, something I don’t think comics will ever see again.
East of West (March 2014 – December 2019)
I remember seeing the advertisement for this comic in Previews way back when. I was mesmerized by Nick Dragotta’s brilliant artwork and wanted to read the series just because of it. I was pleasantly surprised when Jonathan Hickman rocked my world with his amazing composition of the mythical world in East of West. I absolutely loved the Nation and the depiction of the four horsemen felt spot on.
And now… they are all gone. I don’t think there will ever be another book like The Walking Dead and I’m certain Black Science and East of West can not be duplicated. I will miss reading new issues of these series but, well, good things and come to an end, you know.