I’ve been looking forward to getting this one out there.
UBER 18 is basically where I delve into the Manhattan Project, and all things atomic bomb-y. It’s also a stand-alone issue, which means if you’ve been looking for an opportunity to try out Uber (or want to see how the book’s changed since it’s early days) this would be a good one to grab.
Hmm. I now realise we’ve got the bomb the wrong colour on the cover. Don’t worry, it’s right on the inside.
Hope you find it interesting.
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Kate Kasenow recommends Thor #1
I will be the first to admit that Thor has never been one of my faves. That isn’t to say I didn’t like him, just that he’d never done anything to show up on my radar. Then came Thor: The Mighty Avenger, from Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee (chrissamnee), and I was intrigued. Shortly after, the Thor movie debuted, with all its wit and charm. The final straw however, was the release of Thor: God of Thunder, written by Jason Aaron with lead artist Esad Ribic. This series literally combined the past, present, and future of Thor to expose not only a powerfully endearing god, but also the struggle of a hero to be worthy. It’s a truly compelling series that you should definitely read and it’s the series that’s lead me here today…to tell you about the old Thor and the new.
Written once more by the incredible Jason Aaron and illustrated by the shining talents of Russell Dauterman (russelldauterman) and colored by the continuously brilliant Matt Wilson, Thor #1 starts out not at the beginning but at the end of the Odinson’s tale. Having been mysteriously deemed unworthy by his enchanted hammer, he is distraught and rushes headlong into a situation he probably shouldn’t. Old enemies are stirring and war is afoot in Midgard and the Thor we knew has lost his way. But, as the unknown figure in the last pages of the comic says, “There must always be a Thor.”
So at last we come to it. Our new Thor may still be a mystery, but it’s obvious that she’s ready to take over for the Odinson while he rediscovers what it means to be worthy.
There’s been much controversy surrounding the shift from the male Odinson to a female Thor, but what really matters is knowing will always be at least one deity ready to hit frost giants in the face with a hammer at the drop of a prayer.
Kate Kasenow is a comics artist from Indiana currently living in Manhattan. She works at ComiXology as a Lead Digital Editor and spends most of her spare time re-reading J. R. R. Tolkien.
tumblr was being weird when i posted this before, so here it is again!
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Harris Smith recommends The Lonesome Go
Boxcar riders, bikers, pool hustlers, small time crooks, hitchhikers, drunks, punks and losers all abound in Tim Lane’s The Lonesome Go, published by fantagraphics. Lane’s dark and shadowy tales explore the dusty, dingy corners of 20th century America, fueled by angst and alienation, set to a score of Motown, Bruce Springsteen and the Ramones. The artwork is meticulous, yet far from sterile, rendered in severe, shadowy black and white, recalling a less gynecological Charles Burns, or perhaps a Winsor McCay fever dream of skid row, with occasional flourishes of odd Steve Ditko esque manic insanity. Though stylistically different, one could draw a thematic line between Lane’s vision and the paintings of Edward Hopper, capturing stark moments of everyday life with just a hint of subdued otherworldliness. Like his artwork, Lane’s writing is gritty yet insightful. He is part of the tradition of American authors, like Nelson Algren, John Fante and Raymond Carver, able to carve out small slices of down-and-out despair with sensitivity, perception and pathos, and, quite often, a touch of sinister, damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t humor.
Though the subject matter is often rough and tumble, there is a delicacy to the comics here, not just in Lane’s fine, detailed line work, or in the vulnerability of his characters beneath their grizzled veneers, but in the intricate structure of the book itself. Four ongoing stories- “In Another Life,” “Belligerent Piano,” “Notes of a Second Class Citizen” and “The Motorcycle Chapter”- are split into chapters and interspersed among other, shorter stories, as well as fragments, diary entries, prose pieces, family history, author commentary, pin-ups, fold outs and cut outs. From the open road to claustrophobic barrooms to profiles of the Temptations and the history of the leather jacket, Lane covers a lot of terrain here, all of it fertile ground.
At times harsh, but always humane, The Lonesome Go hits you like a smack in the face. It’s a graphic novel in the truest sense, meant to be read as much as viewed. It’s a rich, substantial work by an artist and writer who is using the medium of comics to its fullest potential. Tim Lane is a visionary, and his vision is really out of sight.
Harris Smith is a Brooklyn-based comics and media professional. In addition to his role as a Senior Production Coordinator at comiXology, he edits several comics anthologies, including Jeans and Felony Comics, under the banner of Negative Pleasure Publications. He’s also the host of the weekly radio show Neagtive Pleasure on Newtown Radio.
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Jen Keith recommends Nenetl of the Forgotten Spirits #2
Introduced in Nenetl of the Forgotten Spirits #1, Nena is the mischievous forgotten spirit chased by Bastian, an exorcist, through the streets of a city in Mexico on the Day of the Dead when the barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead is thinnest. The only way to truly be dead is to die the third death and be forgotten, and Nena seeks her family so that they might once again light a candle for her. We find out in this issue why Nena, though unremembered, walks again, and we meet Father Eduardo with his group of young exorcists.
Now is the ideal season to start reading this series with its perfect fall atmosphere and palette echoing the colors of Autumn. Nena’s dress and bursts of golden and fiery leaves are shockingly bold against cool evening blues, creating a gorgeous contrast and pop. The overall movements of the characters, especially Nena, flow beautifully across the page. Artist Laura Müller does a wonderful job creating sumptuous illustrations interspersed with graphic work in the style of the famed sugar skulls of the Day of the Dead.
Writer Vera Greentea jumps right into the story with endearing characters that all feel like they have some intriguing story behind them. Each one, though only two issues in, feels very human and natural when making trouble with each other, and there is no short of trouble to be made when the spirits are walking again. There are more mysteries yet to be revealed, and Greentea built a strong foundation early into this tale.
Check out Greentea’s Papa for more of her work, and get ready to dive into the spirit world with Nenetl of the Forgotten Spirits #2!
Jen Keith is a Digital Editor at comiXology, comic artist, music addict, and is already made of pumpkin spice even though the season only just started.
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Alex Arroyo recommends The Loxleys and the War of 1812
In the fall of 1811, the Loxley family has made a comfortable living for themselves in the Canadian wilderness. But when the young United States renews war against the British, the Loxleys are dragged into a conflict that not even their neighbors across the Niagara want. As the family is split apart and tested by the war, their struggles give a comprehensive and emotional perspective on a brutal yet rarely discussed period of history.
The Loxleys and the War of 1812 follows the path of great children’s historical fiction by giving the reader a relatable perspective into a foreign and complicated world; instead of dryly throwing information at the reader, we become emotionally invested in the personal narratives of the Loxleys, and their journey gives a much-needed sense of scale to the political and military failures on both sides of the border. Claude St. Aubin and Lovern Kindzierski’s art not only properly sets up the period, but Aubin’s sense of action and attention-to-detail bring the 19th-century Great Lakes region life. The art’s greatest credit is in its portrayal of battle: The Loxleys and the War of 1812 is earnest about war’s brutality, and the illustrations reflect this without indulging in graphic imagery.
The Loxleys isn’t simply a story about boys playing war. The story also highlights the often-marginalized voices of women and First Nation peoples, focusing on the struggles of women and children against rogue American soldiers, the tragedy that befell the Native American tribes involved, and how the sacrifice of both groups affected the war’s outcome.
All of these elements come together to depict The War of 1812 as a senseless and brutal affair, made worse by the lack of long-distance communication we take for granted today. This book does a fantastic job of presenting this complicated history in an easy-to-digest form, and after it draws you into the conflict through its narrative, the writers provide a detailed overview of the war that fills in the blanks of the comic.
As both an educational text and a beautiful reminder of the mistakes we keep repeating, The Loxleys and the War of 1812 is worth the trip to Niagara Falls.
Eric Alexander Arroyo is a Brooklyn-based cartoonist and a Digital Editor at comiXology. He’s probably drawing giant robots and listening to ABBA.
They’re in good company, joining an ever-growing group of publishers that support DRM-free backups.
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Kara Szamborki recommends Lobo #1
Sorry, not sorry: this Lobo book is everything I wanted from an ongoing when I first finished reading Justice League 23.2 last year AND MORE. First off, there’s action, because what else are you expecting from a Lobo book? But let’s talk about what’s REALLY important: tantalizing flashbacks and seamless plot setup. So many books try to be complicated right off the bat, but the storytelling in Lobo mirrors the character: You know what you’re signing up for, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be surprises at every turn. The genius of the new Lobo concept is that instead of retconning the Lobo we know and love from the pre-New 52 universe, the twist is that he was lying to us the whole time, the thief of another Czarnian’s identity, one we’re only meeting now—and let me tell you, I’m glad we know more, because holy bastiches this backstory is the last thing I expected.
Let’s be real here: you need to read this book. If you’ve never followed Lobo to the crazy corners of the DCU, this is the perfect time to jump in, and if you’re a long time Lobo fan you’re going to be curious, if only to know more about that flashback and what happened to Czarnia.
If you want more old-school Lobo to tide you over until the next issue, check out Lobo: Portrait of a Bastich or that time he tried to kill Santa Claus or one of his many cameos, from Justice League International to Reign in Hell to the DCU-spanning epic 52. He shows up everywhere and always when you least expect it, because you can’t keep a bad Czarnian down.
Kara Szamborski supervises the International Production Team at comiXology and has started reading the original TMNT comics thanks to the latest movie.