Image Comics

I finally wrote a blog but can’t think of a title so… Comics!

IMG_7269I’ve started a new blog so many times this year that it’s laughable. In the end, I don’t complete it, I don’t follow through and I regret letting another week, month go by without posting. I hope to change that today. I have been recovering from the mental abuse at the hands of a former employer. One of the most damaging things that happened to me during that time (2016) was an attack on my love for comics, comic cons and pop culture.

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I was so damaged and depressed from the whole thing that I considered walking away from comics all together. That though, is in the past. I had a transition year in 2017, I got a new job, a new car, changed states and have been in therapy. It’s 2018, I’m doing way better and I’m finding my old self; more importantly though, thanks to encouragement from my spouse and my doctor, I kept collecting comics. As things improved for me mentally, the joy I got from comic books returned. I decided to skip attending a comic con this year, instead focusing on my collection, my new job and my new home in New York.
IMG_7273So what have I been reading? Lots of stuff, though I’m still behind in my reading by about 2 months…it happens. I loved the crazy over the top fun of Shirtless Bear Fighter, from his love of pancakes and syrup to his weakness of having clothing put on this comic tale had me laughing and ready to read more. What could go wrong with wrestling bears, family drama and a tragic love story? Plenty of puns and laughs galore, Shirtless Bear Fighter remained on my pull list until the end of its limited run.
Rock Candy Mountain; man I did not see this intriguing, hilarious and action packed comic coming at all. Since my move to NY, I have yet to find a good comic book shop to call my own, for me this means new comic book day waits until I travel back to PA to visit my old faithful comic store. IMG_7292If a comic sells out and I neglected to put it on my pull list, I’m out of luck. The first issue of Rock Candy Mountain sold out at my shop, however thanks to one of my Twitter comic bros, I have a copy; signed by Kyle Starks no less. Imagine never losing a fight, any fight but specifically hand to hand combat. Imagine having this unique talent during World War II. Imagine what kind of deal was made to gain said talent. The devil has arrived to collect, can he take on the world’s toughest hobo? So many great one liners and just down right entertaining, Rock Candy Mountain rocked my world. IMG_7290There are tons of new books out that I am looking forward to reading here are a few on my pull list. Mark Millar moved his wildly popular franchise to Image Comics and I have to say Patience Lee looks fantastic in Kick-Ass. Definitely #BlackGirlMagic! I’m not sure that Robert Kirkman will ever be able to repeat his success from the Walking Dead however he is writing a new series called Oblivion Song. IMG_7291It’s on my list of books to read and I’m hopeful that it’s just a good comic. I tend not to pass up anything with Jeff Lemire’s name on it so Gideon Falls is in my read stack as well. Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl release the most amazingly stunning book I’ve seen since Monstress. Isola is a visual masterpiece that I felt compelled to own once Image Comics recommended it for Studio Ghibli fans. I have yet to be disappointed in any comic book written and drawn by Terry Moore (my hope is, I never will). A new chapter in Strangers in Paradise; I’m on board for that. I’m still reading and enjoying these old faithfuls: Monstress, Descender, Harrow County, East of West, Saga and of course The Walking Dead.

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Ahh the smell of Speculation

I try not to speculate about comics as I was one of many who was burned during the 90s bad girl foil limited edition variant cover shenanigans. I remember when Image had a few titles and Todd McFarland was still writing and drawing comics. That said, each Wednesday I check out Comic Book Scalping for shits and giggles.

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Image from Comic Book Scalping December 2016

Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised by finding something interesting to add to my hunt list. Other times, I’m tickled to find that a comic I own is a hotly sought after item with high resale value. Screen Shot 2017-01-11 at 10.07.10 AM.pngTake for instance this blurb about #GothamCitySirens. I had no idea it was so popular among speculators. Why? Because there’s going to be a movie with the same title, staring Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Catwoman. For me, it feels a little bit like The Walking Dead boom all over again (granted on a small scale but still). I picked up the variant back when it first hit the shelves because I liked the way J.G. Jones draw the ladies. Even if the suggested speculation price is inflated, any price over the $5.99 I paid is a bonus.

 

Many of the comics I like to read, turn up on this speculator’s list of books to look for; case in point “Postal” by Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill.

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Image from Comic Book Scalping September 2016

Oh yeah and last week when I finally got to my local comic shop and discovered that I had 2 copies of the recalled issue of Saga… imagine my happiness! Seems I will soon be sending a group of books off to CBCS for grading!

Yes, I have been living under a rock as I was not aware that Skybound now has a quarterly subscription box service. If I had the spare cash, I would definitely sign up for this. Here is a link to the cool write up in Comic Book Scalping Skybound MegaBox.

Comic Diva’s Favorite New Comics from 2015

In case you haven’t noticed yet, I love comics. I’m down with the reading, with the collecting, and sometimes the speculating. I’m reflecting on comics that I really enjoyed in 2015. Oh, there were “tons” of them, and I can’t write about every one of them, so I narrowed the list to share the best. These were my guidelines:

I have 119 books on my 2015 “Pull List”; the majority of them are NOT DC or Marvel. The 2015 “Pull List” includes books from Boom Studios, Valiant, Image, Vertigo and Dark Horse. There are some smaller press books on the 2015 “Pull List”, though I admit the spectrum isn’t very broad. The books on this list have a release date within the year of 2015, despite the printed cover date. Also, I don’t include re-launched titles that start over with issue 1, because this is too gimmicky for me.  That’s it.  Ready?

IMG_2632Giant Days
I have really enjoyed some titles from Boom Studios. Their IMG_2347solicitations are truly unique, ranging from kid-friendly to mature, and much between. I really love the YA drama of Giant Days, and–honestly– some of the funny antics showcased in the book truly remind me of my college youth. Dating, roommates, drama IMG_2433fields, lost love, and secret crushes are all tackled in this engaging, ongoing series by John Allison and Lissa Treiman. IMG_2346Included in the mix are strong young women who push at social stereotypes, acknowledge self-doubt, and develop strong personal character. Initially solicited as a six-part mini series, Giant Days’ success was rewarded when the creative team was asked to extend the series to 12 issues. The comic was so popular that it’s now an on-going series with an updated creative team. I’m in it for the long haul as I find Giant Days too much fun to pass up.

 

IMG_2633Harrow County
When I first read about Harrow County in Previews, I immediately added it to my regular pull list. IMG_1623I instantly recognized this comic book was going to be something I’d love to read. Young Miss Emmy has a mind of her own and a soft heart for the dark souls that inhabit the creepy places of Harrow County. She can speak to the haints (haunts), and what she says to them is typically motivating, if not compassionate. Have a ghoul IMG_1626kicking up a fuss in your attic? Emmy will gladly quell the behavior. Just know, she’ll do it by letting the ghoul know it’s welcome, and by inviting it to stay put. Emmy has a strong streak of “right” versus “wrong”, and she condemns those that would use her for something evil. She adheres to the “live and let live” motto, even if it does not always work out for her. The writer, Cullen Bunn solidified his space on my “read everything” list when he penned “The Sixth Gun.” IMG_1399He truly is a fantastic writer and I’m a happy fan. I first came across the artist, Tyler Crook, while reading WitchFinder (another Dark Horse favorite). Tyler’s drawing style and color blends match so perfectly with Cullen’s words that their joint work has uncanny flow. They’re a creative combination paired in heaven, I say.

IMG_2634Postal
Eden, Wyoming is an intriguing place. It’s a layover town full of criminals. IMG_0515Throw in several random acts of violence, a dirty FBI agent, a postman with Asperger’s, and dark family secrets, and you have the backdrop for the comic Postal, written by Matt Hawkins & Bryan Hill, drawn by Isaac Goodhart. Mark is IMG_0516the local postman with Asperger’s. Actually, he’s the only postman in town. Mark pays attention to who gets what in the mail, and reports this information to the mayor, who “just happens to be” his mother. By way of post, the mayor collects the town secrets and uses what she knows to keep everyone in line. When things don’t go her way, the mayor calls in the sheriff. Can you guess with whom the mayor’s having an affair? Postal is more than family drama though,IMG_0835 the series is on issue… and so far what readers have learned about the townspeople is: there’s a former meth dealer in residence, a cheating federal agent on-site, the murderer of Mark’s sister on the loose, and a suspected child molester in hiding. Oh yeah! There’s so much going on, so many sub-plots in this comic, I can’t help but keep reading it.

Coming in Part 2: Head Lopper, Chrononauts, and Descender. (By the way, feel free to leave me a comment or drop me a line about your favorite comic book from 2015. I welcome the discussion.) ****Update****

I would have loved to continue this discussion but truth is, I let the time slip past me. With that understanding, here are the books I really enjoyed in 2015:

  • Descender
  • Chrononauts
  • Head Lopper
  • We Stand on Guard
  • Dark Corridor
  • Paper Girls
  • Clean Room
  • Black Magick
  • Monstress
  • The Goddamed
  • Toyko Ghost
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