comiXology Unbound's #LongReads
↳Megahex by Simon Hanselmann (girlmountain)
Megg is a depressed, drug-addicted witch. Mogg is her black cat. Their friend, Owl, is an anthropomorphized owl. They hang out a lot with Werewolf Jones. This may sound like a pure stoner comedy, but it transcends the genre: these characters struggle unsuccessfully to come to grips with their depression, drug use, sexuality, poverty, lack of work, lack of ambition, and their complex feelings about each other in ways that have made Megg and Mogg sensations on Hanselmann’s Girl Mountain Tumblr. This is the first collection of Hanselmann’s work, freed from its cumbersome Internet prison, and sure to be one of the most talked about graphic novels of 2014, featuring all of the “classic” Megg and Mogg episodes from the past five years as well as over 70 pages of all-new material.
"Simon Hanselmann is the real deal, for sure. He captures that stoner stay-at-home life so accurately that I actually find his comics really depressing and thank god I don’t ever have to hang out with anybody like that ever again." - Daniel Clowes
#LongReads: Every Thursday Afternoon comiXology Unbound suggests a comic to read for those who are looking for something more than 22 pages!
STEEL YOURSELF FOR MATT FRACTION & CHRISTIAN WARD’S ‘ODY-C’ WITH THIS PROLOGUE THAT WILL NOT BE IN THE COMIC
When it was announced back in January, we knew three things about ODY-C, the new Image series by writer Matt Fraction and artist Christian Ward: It was a retelling of The Odyssey, would take place in space, and the characters would all be gender-swapped.
What wasn’t as clear was just how trippy and brutal it would be, but if the five-page prologue Ward posted to his Tumblr last week is indicative of what the whole series will be like, those are the words to describe it.
Ward was sure to note that these pages won’t appear in the first issue of ODY-C, so get a good look at the prologue — with its positively luminous color palette, sometimes unorthodox panel layouts, and one big scene of someone getting sliced in two with a sword — now.
JACK KIRBY IN CONTEXT
Two years ago, Jack Kirby’s granddaughter Jillian launched Kirby4Heroes, a campaign to raise funds for the Hero Initiative, which helps comic artists in need. On the Kirby4Heroes Facebook page, Jillian posted several vintage pictures of her grandfather.
I thought it would be illuminating to provide a guide to what Kirby was working on at the time of each photo. Sometimes we forget that personal and professional lives don’t exist in vacuums.
(1) July 1941: Only months after the introduction of Captain America, Kirby and Joe Simon would soon leave Timely Comics. Jack and Roz Kirby spent a day at Brighton Beach.
(2) May 1961: Fantastic Four #1 was in development. It would hit newsstands on August 8. Bar Mitzvah for Neal Kirby.
(3) December 1963. Avengers #4, featuring the return of Captain America, was on newsstands. Tales of Suspense #52, featuring the first appearance of Black Widow, was at the printers. The growing Kirby family celebrated Hanukkah.
(4) July 1965: The debuts of the Inhumans (in Fantastic Four) and the Sentinels (in X-Men) were in production.
(5) June 1966: The fully-Kirby-scripted S.H.I.E.L.D. story in Strange Tales #148 hit newsstands (along with all of these). “I [did] a little editing later, but it was [Jack’s] story.” Lee said in an interview. Neal Kirby graduated.
On July 12, after Joe Simon began efforts to claim sole ownership of Captain America, Martin Goodman persuaded Jack Kirby to sign a deposition stating that Captain America, and all the work he’d done for Timely in the early 40s, was done with the understanding that it “belonged to Timely.”
(You can read much more about this in Marvel Comics: The Untold Story.)
All images ©2013 by Connie, Neal and Jillian Kirby.
You love Emma Rios, I love Emma Rios, we all love Emma Rios!
See some of her earliest mainstream work in Hexed, on sale for the rest of the day along with the rest of the books included in our BOOM! Leading Ladies Sale!
Just so you’re all aware, you know we have the first 3 issues of Lumberjanes on sale, right?
You better hurry yr buns off though, because our BOOM! Leading Ladies sale ends tonight at 11pm EDT!!
A comiXologist Recommends:
Jen Keith recommends The Odyssey
Nowadays the word “epic” is overused slang — a shadow of it’s former meaning, much like “awesome” and actually being awe-inspired. Today we go back to the original meaning of epic with Gareth Hinds’ The Odyssey.
Homer’s ancient epic poem, The Odyssey, follows the woes of Odysseus trying to return to his homeland, Ithaca, following the Trojan War while his wife faces scores of suitors greedily feasting upon their livestock and Odysseus’ son’s inheritance. Both hindered and helped by the gods of Olympus and various creatures of myth, Odysseus treks through ten years of adventure and hardship in the hope of returning to his family after battling for ten years prior in Troy.
Gareth Hinds’ (garethhinds) abridged comic adaptation, with no promise to be completely historically accurate (though doing a wonderful job by being well-researched and calling upon multiple versions of the source material), builds the tale with strikingly rich visuals and respect for the original. His use of pencil and watercolor builds a great atmosphere, with airy and colorful illustrations balancing image to word. For those unfamiliar with Greek mythology, color-coded gods ease the reader through the complexity of the cast, and for those sticklers to accuracy, Hinds’ writing takes some creative license as he smoothly transitions from his own representation to direct quotes from various translations.
Hinds is no stranger to creating compelling, faithful, and fresh adaptations of classics such as Romeo and Juliet, King Lear,and Beowulf. If you’re looking for more comics and myth combinations, check out Bacchus for entertaining twists on Greek mythology, or for a Norse fix, try Gods of Asgard and Siegfried.
Whether ensconced in your own journey or taking a breather on the couch, check out The Odyssey to get your awesome epic fix today.
Jen Keith is a Digital Editor at comiXology, comic artist, music addict, and grew up with Greek mythology for bedtime stories so this was right up her alley.
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Harris Smith recommends Saga Of Doomed Universe
The intertextual exchange between the “universes” of comic book continuity and the “real world” of comics creators and readers has long been a fertile arena for exploration on the four color page. From the 40s and 50s work of Will Eisner and EC Comics , which reflected a creative consciousness of the medium often interwoven with the narrative, to more explicitly self-reflexive works like Steve Gerber’s Howard the Duck and Grant Morrison’s Animal Man (and, more recently, The Multiversity) there has long been a fascination with both writers and readers with the liminal space between the eyeball and the page, and the possibility of some link to reality existing within the fantasy.
Scott Reed’s (scottrandalreed) Saga of a Doomed Universe, available through comiXology Submit, is a three part graphic novel that explores this tradition of postmodern reflexivity in a smart, complex and highly entertaining way. On the surface, Saga of a Doomed Universe is a 1980s-styled superhero saga in the fashion of Crisis on Infinite Earths, yet the point of view is not omniscient, or from the perspective of a superhero, but rather an outsider character a has-been hero with a decidedly cynical view on his costumed compatriots. This remove keeps the action from getting too retro or ironic and is aided by the fact that Reed is a really excellent writer, giving his character voice and depth.
Reed’s great writing, clever scenario and era-accurate art (reminiscent of John Romita Sr. would be enough, but Reed adds another layer with the addition of hyper-textual commentary from Burt Colt, the (fictional) writer of the comic-within-a-comic. Colt’s presence provides an entirely separate narrative from what’s happening on the page, yet suggests a link between the fiction world of the comic and his/our reality.
As issue two begins, Dr. Nihilist has killed all the world’s superheroes, save for the series’ narrator, Roy Brannon, formerly known as Super Sleuth, whose only power is a photographic memory. Meanwhile, in the outer narrative, the comic’s author, Burt Colt, is gradually revealing the mystery behind the non-forgotten Saga Comics, involving an industrial accident, a government conspiracy and promises of more apocalyptic revelations to come. Multilayered narrative complexities and Baudrillardian simulation/simulacra dynamics aside, it’s a compelling story, expertly written with tons of mystery and action, welcomed touches of humor and a knowing but unpretentious love of comics that’s sure to engage readers to just about any level they choose to embrace it.
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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Mike Isenberg recommends Wayward #1
As frequent anime convention attendees in the late 1990s, my friends and I had a theory that the primary export of Japan was Crazy. With a mix of its own ancient folklore and a hodgepodge of external cultural and religious influences, the collective Japanese imagination seems to constantly produce work that could never have existed anywhere else, and that often seems wild and bizarre to foreign eyes.
Wayward #1’s protagonist, Rori Lane, has one such pair of foreign eyes. Half-Japanese by birth, she begins the story traveling to Japan for the first time, moving there as a young adult to live with her mother and get a fresh start after her parents’ rough divorce. What she experiences on her first night, however, goes well beyond culture shock and jet lag, and deep into the territory of the truly bizarre and supernatural.
Written by Jim Zub (jimzub) and drawn by Steve Cummings, Wayward is a supernatural action/adventure story steeped in Japanese folklore. Just beneath the shadows of Zub & Cummings’ Tokyo is a world of mythical yōkai, mysterious and mischievous monsters of Japanese legend.
The book’s art is a pleasure to view. Cummings’ line art is crisp and dynamic, and the colors (supplied by Zub and John Rauch) make each page really pop. The action sequences are fluid and exciting, and Cummings’ deft hand with facial expressions gives the characters a significant level of depth and relatability.
Wayward #1 also features some great back-matter from Japanese folklore scholar Zack Davisson, including an overview of yōkai mythology throughout Japanese history and a short essay profiling the legendary roots of one of the monsters featured in this issue. It certainly isn’t required reading if you’d rather just focus on the gorgeous action/adventure comic preceding it, but I found all of it really fascinating and informative.
Definitely recommended for fans of supernatural action/adventure stories like Buffy The Vampire Slayer, or just anyone who wants to see feral, cat-like Japanese girls tearing into legendary turtle demons. And really, who doesn’t? If the chief export of Japan really is Crazy, then lock me in the nut house because I love this stuff.