Sunday, May 03, 2015

The Pull List, early 2015

Velvet: The Secret Lives of Dead Men by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, and Betty Breitweiser

In honor of the new Avengers movie (review soon), I thought I'd give you a run-down of what comics I read month to month. As you might expect from someone who writes and draws comics, I read a lot of comics. I was discussing this elsewhere this morning, so I thought I'd share my pull list. This does not constitute everything I read, just what I buy month to month.

Velvet by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, and Betty Breitweiser. Probably the book to which I look forward most eagerly. What you would get if Miss Moneypenny was a particularly lethal agent stashed in plain sight for years and then flushed back into the field. Hard-boiled in the best possible ways, and gorgeous to boot. This is primo stuff.

Lazarus by Greg Rucka, Michael Lark, and Santi Arcas. The other must-read from Gotham Central alums, this is dystopian science fiction at it's most dismal and energizing, focusing around another complex leading lady. This time, she's a "lazarus," a genetically enhanced enforcer for her family (the family being one of the 1% who rule the world) who's beginning to question her role in the grand scheme of things. Vigorous world building and a wonderfully complex plot. At a lull between big storylines right now.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl vs. Galactus by Ryan North and Erica Henderson

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson, which is just a delight. The kind of comic you can give your daughter or your grandmother with equal results. Just charming. Lampoons Marvel Comics with a self-effacing wit that I didn't know existed at the House of Ideas.

Hawkeye by Matt Fraction, David Aja, Annie Wu, and Matt Hollingsworth, which is almost done. The last issue is very late, as usual. So late, in fact, that the book's replacement series is already two issues into its run. So moving on...

Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky, which is dirty and fun and outrageous. And surprisingly sex-positive, given that it's about a couple who can stop time when they orgasm and use this ability to rob banks. This is imaginative and playful, though I'm sympathetic to my friend Tenebrous Kate's complaint that it's a little bit soft.

Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue DeConnick, David Lopez, and Lee Loughridge. This book is great when it's left alone by Marvel's broader continuity, but crossovers have been seriously meddling with it over the last year or so. I might drop it once it finishes its current run. Perils of being an Avenger with a forthcoming movie, I guess. And that movie had BETTER star Emily Blunt. Just saying...

Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and (usually) Adrian Alphona. I love Kamala Khan. I love the broad supporting cast. I love almost everything about this book except the villains. She really needs a better rogue's gallery. Also an occasional victim of broader continuity, though to a lesser extent than Captain Marvel.

Jem and the Holograms by Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell. This is only two issues in, so I don't have a feel for the broader story. I'm mainly buying this for Sophie Campbell, whose art is FAN-tastic (seriously, if you haven't read her version of Glory, do yourself a favor...).

I'm reading Saga and The Fade-Out in trades, and Rat-Queens and Lumberjanes digitally.

I'm currently reading from the Public Library:

Footnotes from Gaza by Joe Sacco, which shames me as a cartoonist for the scope of my own ambitions and how I use my art. Sacco's comics journalism is unique and brilliant and absolutely essential to the world.

La Perdita by Jessica Abel, which I didn't fully appreciate the first time I read it. I really admire the economy of her lines and storytelling.

The Finder Companion, vol. 2 by Carla Speed McNeil, which shows breathtaking growth as an artist. Finder is another comic I didn't fully appreciate when it first appeared, but boy, howdy, do I love it now.

Finally, the web comics I love are all in limbo right now. Girls With Slingshots by Danielle Corsetto is done. She's re-running the early strips in color now and they're really rough compared to what that strip became. Lady Sabre and the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether by Greg Rucka and Rick Burchett is on hiatus. Burchett's hard-boiled noir comic with Pat Mills, Gravedigger is likewise between stories right now. Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff has vanished from the web upon its print publication, but for the first two chapters as a teaser. And I'm so behind on Unsounded by Ashley Cope that I'm probably lost. Fortunately, Olgaf by Trudy Cooper still updates like a champ. Kate Beaton maintains her own wonderfully erratic schedule for Hark, A Vagrant!

Anyway, what are you reading?

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