Yesterday, writer Jim Zub started a hashtag on Twitter that quickly took off into this glorious internet waterfall of remarkable comics. There’s lots of great stuff there with both creators and fans chiming in that definitely makes it worth scrolling through the tag.
I did, of course, share my own four.
It started with my older brothers’ comics. A few Aquaman, but mostly stuff like G.I. Joe and Punisher and I remember one cover that had Nick Fury on it, but I can’t recall if it was a S.H.I.E.L.D. comic or Howling Commandos or what. Those ones never appealed to 7-year-old me, but Aquaman … oh my God, Aquaman … with his pretty blonde hair on that cover, so colorful and happy looking—that definitely drew me in. I would sit and read those comics in the attic when my brothers weren’t home so they didn’t know I was touching them. And while Aquaman himself was amazing, I eventually met Mera and couldn’t believe how beautiful she was and how fierce. That is my earliest memory of comics, and when I think about it I still get that same feeling I had when I read them so long ago. That warm, incredible feeling that something like this could exist—characters like that could exist. I wish my brothers still had those issues, but none of us have been able to find them for years, and I’m lost as to what happened to them.
I still have my hands on that Ren & Stimpy, which was the first comic I ever consciously chose for myself, picked up off the rack at the comics shop during a trip with my brothers. Calvin & Hobbes came after, a collection that my sister had and encouraged me to read again and again. Most of the jokes and brilliance of that book were quite far over my head at the time, but it was still enjoyable and further fueled the addiction. I just recently asked my sister if I could have that well-loved copy of Calvin, but was met with a resounding no. (In fact, I think the exact words were “HECK NO, I love that book.”)
As my siblings got older, spent more time being social, and eventually outgrew comics, my access to the good stuff took a big hit. It wasn’t until my preteen years when I was on a trip with my parents and happened to walk into a bookstore that—shock!—sold comics, that my love for them was reignited. They had collections of re-printed arcs, and I remember seeing an X-Men cover with Savage Land Rogue on it. That was the moment it was all over. The deed was done, the cement block of love walloped me on the head, and I was finished. I saw that issue and thought I MUST HAVE THIS.
And I did have it.
And it was like a drug.
I was already a huge Rogue fan, having grown up watching the X-Men animated series, so realizing that the story was still going and that I could, in fact, get more of it was life-changing. I continue to collect X-Men to this day. And while there’s more to my particular history of comics—working in a comic shop, branching out to genres outside of superhero, even sacrificing comics for a time—the one constant has been that feeling I always get when I pick up a book that speaks to me. It’s a feeling that no other medium can replicate. Like going home.
The #fourcomics trend from yesterday gave me that feeling a hundred times over.
I’m scouring eBay for that issue of Aquaman.
Did you see it? Tell me you watched it, because if you didn’t, it’s still saved on my DVR, and we can watch it together and have popcorn and fangirl(boy?) out.
I’m talking about the magnificence that is AGENT CARTER.
Good God. That premiere was everything I was hoping for and beyond. You know when a show/movie/book is so good and really hits you, and you wake up the next morning still thinking about it? That was my reaction to this. Suddenly I am looking forward to Tuesday night television.
That Ant-Man preview, on the other hand … not so much. I’ve been using the term “meh” a lot lately, but when things are so meh that they evoke no other response in you, you have no choice but to MEH all over the place. And Ant-Man was legit meeehhhh. Is this movie supposed to be serious and grim? That’s the impression I got from the teaser trailer (also, side note, what the hell is a “teaser trailer,” anyway? How is it any different from a standard trailer? Film people, help me out). And if it IS supposed to be serious and grim, with the occasional bit of humor, and you cast a guy like Paul Rudd as the lead, then … uh … you’re doing it wrong. I wasn’t particularly inclined to see this movie anyway, and the teaser did not do its job to change that.
Oh well. Agent Carteeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
My post about BoCoCo is up now on CBR’s Comics Should Be Good.
Go check it out!
Big thanks to the fantastic, hard working con staff who coordinated all of this in the face of challenges and tragedy earlier in the year. They turned this one into the best show yet.
Well, that’s the theory, anyway.
Head on over to the Comics Should Be Good blog at Comic Book Resources for some new material by yours truly.
And as always, thank you for reading!
Guess what, guys?! I read, like, twelve comics last week! That is HUGE for me! Stuff is really happening!
Here are some things I wanted to share with you until my next post:
The incredible Phil Noto did a staggeringly awesome cover for Journey into Mystery featuring Sif and you need to see it.
Next, more awesomeness: Peter V. Nguyen’s new DC women print is here and, uh, wow. It’s too big to embed here and I didn’t want to re-size or scrunch it up, so check it out in full-size glory at the link.
Also, if you followed the 2012 Olympics at all, you might find this as hilarious as I did. I am totally buying this cover.
Finally, one thing I’ve been meaning to mention again since back in July is a project called How i Made the World. You may recall I linked to the comic earlier this year as an “honorable mention” in the list of web stuff I’d been following. The artist of the comic, Randy Michaels, was kind enough to send me some of his and writer Liz Plourde’s material that was published in an anthology called Lies Grown Ups Told Me. That collection wound up winning a Stumptown Comic Arts Award for Best Anthology. It’s some pretty great stuff, and if you can get your hands on a copy (it seems the print run was low, so that might be a task), I’d highly recommend the read.
But the even better news is that Randy and Liz were awarded the Xeric Grant in July. They write on their website:
We’d discussed applying for a Xeric grant since we first began work on How i Made the World. When we heard there would be one final comic book review, we knew we had to apply. Yet, we also knew the competition would be fierce. Entries from throughout the U.S. and Canada are judged on “originality, literary and artistic merit, and a sense of commitment to the work.” […] Today, we’re thrilled to announce we are the recipients of a 2012 Xeric Award. The grant is to be used for the printing, advertising, and distribution of our comic book, the pilot issue of How i Made the World. We’ve enjoyed the comic books of past Xeric recipients for years. They are among the most entertaining and innovative independent comic books being published, and they are often included in Houghton Mifflin’s annual The Best American Comics. We’re deeply honored to be among those recognized by the foundation. We’ll be working on the final stages of our comic and preparing it for press in the coming months. Stay tuned! This is only the beginning.
So here’s a late congrats to the team, and I look forward to reading more!
You may remember when I confessed my disappointment upon meeting Clay Mann during Boston Comic Con a few months ago. I didn’t go into any detail other than to say that I walked away feeling let down, and left it there. But as it turns out, and as anyone smarter than me could evidently have told you, there’s not much you can say on the Internet that won’t eventually be discovered. As such, Clay Mann found me. And he messaged me. And he apologized. It was extraordinarily kind—not to mention unexpected—and has certainly given me a much different perspective on the experience I had. And I just wanted to share that with you all, because he’s a stand-up guy, and doesn’t deserve to be thought of otherwise due to something I may have written here.
You may or may not know that Clay is working on a new Gambit title that was announced recently. And while Gambit is far from being one of my favorite characters (I’m probably in the fangirl minority there), I’ll still give this book a shot, because one of its creators was kind enough to reach out to a disheartened fan. That should mean a lot.
My last post talked about what a badass Greg Rucka is; if you still need some convincing, here’s a fantastic essay he wrote for io9. Revel in its triumph.
To follow up on that awesomeness, this week I discovered (through a friend) the magical art of Craig Davison. Who is Craig Davison, you ask? Why, he’s this guy! And his art is beautiful and moving. I want to buy some gigantic framed prints and hang them throughout my house. Check these out:
Tell me those aren’t inspiring? There are many other great ones, as well. Princess Leia with the hairdryer? Brilliance.
I haven’t been reading very many new comics lately. Marvel’s latest event, AvX, coupled with DC’s newest crossover, Court of Owls, is leaving me a little disinterested and disengaged, so I’ve taken to working through some old trades and hardcovers I’ve picked up over the last few months and neglected. I just finished the first three volumes of Brubaker’s Death of Captain America saga—good stuff. So good, in fact, that despite already knowing the major plot and ending, I’m still engrossed. That is the mark of an excellent writer. Still left in my reading stack is the newest volume of Chew; Marjane Satrapi’s The Sigh; two volumes of Gotham City Sirens; Terry Moore’s complete Echo, and so much more. I’m having trouble deciding what to read in what order.
Final item—there’s a fun little shoutout to good ol’ Worcester, MA in this week’s The Line it is Drawn on CBR. See if you can spot it.
That’s all for today—have a great week, and read good comics.