In case you’re one of the
richer people in this world (myself not included, very much to my dismay), you are probably attending this year’s San Diego Comic Con at the end of the month. Due to my masochism, I’ll be aiding you in your panel and booth decisions.
First up are the award-winning twins from Brazil, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá, who may not have a booth this year, but will be at a few panels:
Thursday, July 23rd: 6:00 -7:00 Vertigo New Ongoing Series/Crime Line (Room 5AB)
Friday, July 24th: 5:30-6:30 Vertigo: View of the Future (Room 5AB)
Friday, July 24th: 12:30-1:30pm Spotlight on Fabio Moon (Room 10)
Now go have some geeky, nerdish fun on my behalf.
Read More | Fabio and Gabriel's Blog
As grueling as it is to wait week after week for Wednesday for come (sometimes longer, depending upon which comics you get), MySpace and Dark Horse teamed up to get you through it. What makes it even better is when writers like Zack Whedon present great Dr. Horrible comics like this month’s Penny: Keep Your Head Up.
Although I thoroughly enjoy anything with a Whedon attached to it, this comic ought to have some sort of warning label for it. Not only does the premise bring a frown to your face (centering around events in Penny’s life prior to her death), but the fact that everything Penny does for others makes you feel as if you have completely failed as a human being.
Despite having nearly gone through a few tissues, the comic is sweet and ends on a very cute note! You can find the comic at MySpace Dark Horse Presents.
June marked the first month in which Joss Whedon‘s Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight took a break from the familiar faces we have fallen in (and out) of love with to introduce the human-vampire co-existence brought upon by Harmony. American Virgin writer Becky Cloonan writes up the parallel story, titled Tales of the Vampires: The Thrill, as Grecian artist Vasilis Lolos (The Pirates of Coney Island) provides Buffyverse readers with a very colorful and crisp world very new to them.
The issue introduces the protagonist of this one-shot, Jacob, a morose teenager (surprise) with Xander’s geek factor and Riley’s desperation. As vampires are now accepted and assimilated in society, Jacob quickly illustrates the long-chronicled allure of vampire lust. Merely “just want[ing] to feel something” (again, very reminiscent of Riley’s arc in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Five), Jacob catapults farther into the world he longs for with the help of a student new to town.
Wacky, weird, and wonderful, The Umbrella Academy was the surprise hit of last year. Created and written by My Chemical Romance vocalist Gerard Way, The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite is the story of a group of children spontaneously born at the moment “Tusslin Tom” Gurney knocked out the space squid from Rigel X-9 with an atomic flying elbow. (I told you it was weird). Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves, who along with his talking chimp Pogo, adopts seven of the children, who he trains as superheroes at the Umbrella Academy.
I’m not a fan of My Chemical Romance (I’m more of a classic/hard rock kind of guy), so I thought nothing of this title when it first debuted on Free Comic Book Day. But, when people like Grant Morrison are saying it’s one of the best books out there, my curiosity gets piqued, so I decided to check out the first trade paperback. What I found was a mix of the plot of Rising Stars, the familial dynamic of the Fantastic Four, and the weirdness of Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol all dressed with a dark, expressionistic, art style.
The story’s main thrust is Hargreeves has died and the team has reunited for the funeral. It is not a happy one, as the team must deal with not only an old villain’s last plot, the family issues that tore them apart in the first place, the Orchestra Verdammten, who have composed a piece to destroy the world, and the revelation that their estranged non-powered sister Vanya is really the most powerful of them all. Add battles with the Eiffel Tower, a journey to the future, and a talking monkey professor, and you have one fun and unique book. I don’t know what else to say other then you won’t see anything like this from Marvel and DC.
1. Pickup A Graphic Novel
It can be hard to pick up a comic book for the first time. Many times you’re reading about a character who has a history spanning the last fifty years, which can cause difficulty in understanding the plot line and character’s motivations.
Graphic Novels are usually self-contained, meaning that in order to follow the plot and storyline, there is no prior comic book history knowledge required. All the characters, special powers, jargon, etc is all within the pages you hold in your hands.
If you like superhero stories with an edge, a great starting place is Watchmen. It was recently made into a film, so you can even get a headstart on your friends by reading the book, and surprise them with your clairvoyance.
Maybe you’re not a fan of super-heroes and want something more indie-flavored. Blankets is beautiful book about teen angst and a long distance relationship in the early 90’s grunge era. With quotes from songs by The Cure, it’s a can’t-miss.
And if you’d like something in between with superhero-like characters, an indie-edge, and a beautiful noir storyline; I’d suggest any of Frank Miller’s Sin City books. While you may have seen the movie, which is a spectacular translation of the work to film, the comics will introduce you to the format and structure of graphic novels.
Whenever someone tells me they think that comics are for kids, I usually give them a graphic novel to read. Though comics began with kids in mind, it has since changed drastically to include all age groups. While these are my favorites to give to friends and family, feel free to pick out whatever you find interesting.
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