Posts Tagged "comixologist recommends"
A comiXologist Recommends:
Eric Arroyo recommends Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga #1

In 1966, while the Adam West Batman series was becoming a phenomenon, Jiro Kuwata took Batman to Japan in the pages of Shonen King Magazine, depicting a familiar-looking hero through a black-and-white, horror-scifi filter. After highlighting the series in the collection Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan, DC is now releasing weekly chapters from the original Batman manga, and the first two story arcs have recently wrapped up on ComiXology.

Instead of radically changing the Batman mythos for a Japanese audience, Kuwata brings grim but over-the-top villains and a ’60s science action aesthetic to Gotham City. The magic of Kuwata’s Batman stories comes from his marriage of disparate elements. Lord Death Man, the rogue in the opening arc, exemplifies this: he comes out of the shadows with a grizzly visage and power over death itself, but he’s as theatrical as he is creepy. Here, grim and ruthless villains add a texture of horror to ludicrous and delightful action stories. 

These stories tumble through tragic origin stories and chilling nightmares, while hitting absurd set pieces along the way, like a climactic battle atop a giant monument to Batman. With their unique perspective, Kuwata’s Batman stories can use these playful situations to subvert our expectations; while Batman vs Doctor Faceless appears like a traditional villain origin, it goes in farcical directions to pull the reader into a fresh and serious twist.

Kuwata’s Batman is also a testament to the strengths of mid-‘60s manga storytelling. Using efficient line work and paneling, Kuwata clearly depicts impactful action that flows through the page. Occasional spot-color adds an extra expressive element to stories full of rich hatching and pen-line texture.

If you love diving into vintage action manga like Cyborg 009, or you’re taking advantage of Batman’s 75th anniversary to explore other interpretations of the character, like in Batman ’66, pick up Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga. Come for Lord Death Man, stay for the wrecking-ball surfing.

[Read Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga!]

Eric Alexander Arroyo is a Brooklyn-based cartoonist and a Digital Editor at comiXology. He’s probably drawing giant robots and listening to ABBA.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Mike Isenberg recommends Devil Dinosaur

The king of comics takes on the king of the thunder lizards!

Jack “King” Kirby is inarguably one of the most influential comic creators of the last century.  By the end of the 1960s, Kirby had co-created Captain America, the Fantastic Four, Thor, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, the X-Men, the Inhumans, and Black Panther, all for Marvel comics.  In the first half of the 1970s, however, Kirby left Marvel for a five-year stint at DC, where he continued to astound readers with his incredible imagination and bombastic, innovative art style.

One of Kirby’s more successful creations at DC during this period was Kamandi: The Last Boy On Earth, a series about a young boy’s adventures in a post-apocalyptic wilderness.

In the latter half the 70s, Kirby returned to Marvel, and Kamandi had been optioned for an animated television series.  With the buzz for DC’s Kamandi growing, Marvel decided that they needed their own Kirby-created young-boy-in-the-wild series, and so Devil Dinosaur was born.  But instead of the last human boy in the far-flung future, Devil Dinosaur features the first human boy in the far-flung past.  And also his best friend, a bright red tyrannosaurus rex.

Devil Dinosaur only ran for 9 issues but each issue is a gem.  Kirby’s artwork is a wonder to behold.  It’s said that Kirby’s forte was his dynamic and innovative depictions of power and strength; it’s hard to get much stronger or more powerful than a big ol’ dinosaur rampaging through the jungle.

The stories themselves are also great, brimming with Kirby’s delightfully imaginative weirdness.  Over the course of nine issues, Devil and Moon Boy encounter giant neanderthals, alien invaders, super-sized ants, dinosaur tamers, and a time-warp that briefly sends Devil rampaging into 1978.

Devil Dinosaur is a fantastic adventure series from a master of the medium.  Highly recommended.

[Read Devil Dinosaur Here!]

Mike Isenberg is an Associate Production Coordinator at comiXology, and the co-writer of FIRST LAW OF MAD SCIENCE.  He lives in Harlem with his cats, TESLA AND EDISON

A comiXologist Recommends:
Harris Smith recommends Sensation Comics #1

Wonder Woman has always been kind of the odd girl out in DC’s Big Three.  There’s no denying that she’s a great character, but writers have always seemed to have a hard time figuring out exactly what to do with her.  The immediate appeal of Superman, rooted in his overarching sense of All-American goodness and epic-scale adventures, and Batman, defined by his moody stoicism and hardboiled urban crime milieu, are far easier to pin down than the mythological roots of Wonder Woman, or her conception as a proto-feminist super-heroine by psychologist William Moulton Marston in 1941

Over the years, Wonder Woman has gone through many iterations.  In her earliest stories, she frequently aided the US Army against the Axis during World War 2. Later, in the 1960’s, she gave up her superpowers and learned martial arts, running a mod clothing boutique while also working as a spy. In the 80’s, George Perez’s reboot returned to her mythological roots, and largely defined the character through Brian Azzarello’s New 52 reboot.

It stands to reason such an elusive, yet powerful, character would be well-served by an anthology series, something that lets different artists and writers evoke their own visions of who Wonder Woman is and what she does without necessarily being beholden to ongoing continuity.  After the success of their Digital First series Legends of the Dark Knight and Adventures of Superman, DC has wisely chosen this path with their newest Digital First, Sensation Comics.

The first issue kicks things off with a literal bang as Wonder Woman takes on the villains of Gotham City after the Bat-Family is massacred in an explosion.  Penned and illustrated by two of DC’s top creators, Gail Simone (gailsimone) and Ethan Van Sciver, Sensation Comics #1 is full of breathless, exhilarating action.  In just 20 pages, Wonder Woman takes on the Joker, Two-Face, the Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Penguin and even Man-Bat.  It’s a thrilling start to what promises to be an exciting run of diverse and imaginative takes on a true feminist icon and one of the all-time greats of comic book heroism!

[Read Sensation Comics #1 on comiXology]

For fans of: female leads, superheroes

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.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Lindsay Smith recommends Thoughts from Iceland #2

If you’re like 97% of the population in my neighborhood, you have been yearning to visit the trendy glacial wonderland that is Iceland. For those of you who can’t swing a plane ticket, Lonnie Mann's Thoughts from Iceland #2 is the sort of illustrated travel journal gem that you hope to discover at a cool indie comics show. 

Lonnie made this comic travelogue after a three-day trip to Iceland in December 2012, and a portion of it was included into the Digital category of the Society of Illustrator’s Comic and Cartoon Art Annual 2014. 

The story picks up after his adventures on Day 1 and Lonnie is being violently awoken from a jet-lag slumber by his alarm. There are several missed snooze buttons, but luckily for us he does wake up in time to make his trip to the Sólheimajökull glacier. Thoughts from Iceland is full of many familiar moments that anyone who has travelled outside their comfort zone will recognize, but the reader is also gifted with Lonnie’s attentive (and often humorous) observations of Icelandic culture, folklore, and landscapes. 

Hopefully Lonnie will have an opportunity to return to Iceland and pass on more of his experiences there, but in the mean time, check out Thoughts From Iceland #2. I also suggest his Thoughts from Iceland #1, Natalie Nourigat’s Amsterdam Sketchbook, and for the Francophone among us, Christian Clot’s Mary Kingsley

[Read Thoughts from Iceland #2 on comiXology]

Lindsay Smith is an International Production Coordinator Associate at comiXology. She lives in Brooklyn and stores comics in her sweater drawer, because bookshelves are for people who are way too optimistic about trips to Ikea. .

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Michael Crowe recommends The Kursk #1

Tired of stories about fictional characters? Then pick up our newest Comixology Submit book:

The Kursk #1 is a story about honor and duty for your nation. It’s also a story about relationships, be they international, marital, or fraternal. It is the real story behind a nearly forgotten headline and a way to immortalize all those who were lost on August 12th 2000.

Originally written as a play, Sasha Janowicz’s script recounts a real life tragedy; the sinking of the Russian submarine K-141 Kursk. The story centers on two young officers, Rashyd and Dmitry, as they prepare to depart on a three day training exercise. This first issue captures the mundanity of life, before tragedy strikes. It also introduces us to the joys, fears and passions that drive these characters. A sense of foreboding hovers over everything; we already know what fate awaits them.

Andrea Montano’s art, rendered in a soft grayscale, is haunting. It evokes the feeling of an old, blurry, well worn photography. This style lends a timelessness to the tale, although the events happened only fourteen years ago. Andrea adeptly illustrates the many kinds of ships, submersibles, and weapons featured in the narrative. Each character is handled with the same attention to detail. Every face is unique, representing a life lost or ruined by the unexpected. The cover, designed by Slawomir Nietupski, reflect the sensibilities of the interior. Immediately the atmosphere is established, inviting the reader on a journey deep into the heart of tragedy. Together, this creative team effortlessly translates this story across mediums; from the stage to the page.

[Read The Kursk #1 on comiXology]

For fans of: drama, history

Michael Crowe works on the digital assets/launch team by day and writes comics and prose by night. He’s an avid consumer of comics and all things sci-fi.

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Eric Arroyo recommends Giant Days #2

John Allison’s (scarygoround) Giant Days brings the sass and flavor of Bad Machinery and Scary-Go-Round to the first weeks of college, where freshmen form bonds with the first people they see and navigate the challenges of independence, often disastrously. After cementing their friendship through brawling a gang of former head girls/martial artists, Esther de Groot, Daisy Wooton, and Susan Ptolemy find themselves simultaneously stumbling through matters of love and that annoying band upstairs that won’t stop practicing at night.

Although Esther, Daisy, and Susan are still figuring out their identities, cartoonist John Allison has a firm grasp on their characters. Allison cements the girls’ personalities and dynamics through authentic dialogue and playful mannerisms. As they play off each other, they naturally roll into the kind of young adult tussles that are easy to identify with, but portrayed with enough wit and self-awareness to be as hilarious as they are embarrassing. Matters of long-distance relationships and unrequited love are dealt with with a frankness and lack of melodrama that’s awfully refreshing; characters aren’t villainized for their poor decisions, and the young women’s agency over their sexuality isn’t scandalous.

Giant Days #2 may not feature the more fantastic beat-downs of its first issue, but it maintains the well-paced, interlocked rollercoaster of humor and teen drama, synching the two rails at the end for a fiasco of a climax. If you fondly remember the neighbors you met the first time you locked yourself out of your dorm, or if you hate their awful mugs, dive back into university with Giant Days.

[Pick up Giant Days #2 here!]

For fans of: female leads, slice of life

Eric Alexander Arroyo is a Brooklyn-based cartoonist and a Digital Editor at comiXology. He’s probably drawing giant robots or listening to ABBA.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Kate Kasenow recommends Moon Knight #6

Continuing a long-running streak of brilliant reboots, the newest series of Moon Knight does not disappoint! While issue #6 is the finale of the current creative team, it invigorates the story of Mr. Knight and passes on a truly impeccable story unto the next.

In this issue, we are not lead by Moon Knight at all, but the tragic rise of a would-be antagonist. The plot of this issue really drives forward the idea that as not all heroes are created equal neither are villains and sometimes the best of intentions can lead to the wost of consequences. The character of Moon Knight, especially during this current series, is rife with both personal and psychological issues. The exploration of these issues from both sides—from the perspectives of both protagonist and antagonist, is what makes this series truly shine.

Behind these perspectives, is the seasoned writer Warren Ellis, who’s sparse style really packs a punch—sometimes literally. His characters are often reserved until their thoughts have marinated enough to let the words flow freely, but when they do the story rolls along with them. Each character is full of depth that allows them to exist fully in the dark underworld that Ellis paints with his writing. Backing up Ellis’ words is the fantastic art of Declan Shalvey (dshalv) with colors by Jordie Bellaire (jordiecolorsthings). The mood of the colors is always pitch-perfect and Shalvey’s lines move effortlessly across the page, each one laid out with an incredible sense of design.

This issue is the swan song of an incredible team and isn’t to be missed!

[Read Moon Knight #6 on comiXology!]

For fans of: superheroes, crime, mystery, action

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.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Hanni Brosh recommends Steven Universe #1

They… ARE the Crystal Gems!

They being the stoic Garnet, sassy Amethyst, fretful Pearl, and Steven, our young hero with a golden heart and a gemstone belly button. Steven Universe, created by rebeccasugar, is the latest animated series to make the jump to the comic page, joining Adventure Time and Bee and Puppycat in BOOM’s impressive cartoon lineup. 

Steven balances being a magical Crystal Gem and a regular human boy - a protector of the universe who is still a fun-loving, energetic kid. While his fellow Gems are neutralizing unsavory creatures, Steven keeps their spirits up with his optimistic attitude (and some wacky yesteryear sunglasses). Writer jeremysorese and artist colemanengle make up the main story team and their debut issue is a hit; Sorese captures small character moments among the chaos of battle (notably Amethyst and Pearl’s bickering), while Engle’s bold brushwork and bright colors bring a gaseous rainbow beast to life and send it whizzing through magnificent temple ruins. Three back-up stories round out the issue - an adventure with some side characters, a hot dog recipe, and a charming attempt at birthday cake baking.

Steven Universe is a delight for readers of all ages - rich in creative locales, thoughtfully realized characters, and a good dose of magically-charged brawling. The first issue sets a high mark for the ongoing series, making “Steven” a comic you can believe in!

[Pick up Steven Universe #1 here!]

For fans of: comedy, action

Hanni Brosh is a digital editor at comiXology. She draws comics and has a really cute dog.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Eric Arroyo recommends Boss Snake - Cold Blood, Cold Streets

Gate City’s underbelly is home to more than enough crime lords and cults for a single pulp action hero to take on. Covered in foreboding geometric spot-blacks and brought to life with ink wash textures, this post-WWII setting recalls the first decades of the superhero genre, with all the mobsters, mysticism, and mad science to go with it. But unlike Doc Unknown, the heroic pulp-revivalist adventure comic that introduced Boss Snake, Boss Snake: Cold Blood, Cold Streets turns its snake-eyes on the story’s villain and explores his rise to power.

In Doc Unknown #1, our hero summed up Boss Snake’s life as a brutal rags-to-riches story. But this embellished tale shows that on the road to controlling Gate City’s underworld, Snake lost much more than he could ever gain. Unlike Doc Unknown’s more whimsical adventures, Cold Blood, Cold Streets is a down-to-earth, Depression-era tragedy, with the most fantastical element being Snake’s own reptilian mug. Artist Ryan Cody and writer Fabian Rangel Jr. craft a world that’s out to get Snake, with deep shadows and gritty brush strokes lurking even in the corners of Snake’s happiest moments. The slick, contrast-rich art style couples design sensibilities that recall the time period with contemporary storytelling sophistication. Cody suggests time and place with specific and iconic details, making Gate City feel fully realized with just a few marks of the pen.

Cold Blood, Cold Streets doesn’t set out to reveal that Boss Snake deep down has a heart of gold. Instead, it builds his worldview, showing what happens when a man who’s hardly given a chance has to take everything that life refuses to give him. Boss Snake is a villain you learn to respect, but never forgive.

If you ever wanted to see the dark side of pulp adventure like The Rocketeer and The Spirit, coupled with a classic mob story, look no further than Boss Snake: Cold Blood, Cold Streets. And if you’d rather stick with the high-flying adventure, read about Doc Unknown’s exploits in his own title.

[Pick up Boss Snake - Cold Blood, Cold Streets here!]

For fans of: crime, supernatural

Eric Alexander Arroyo is a Brooklyn-based cartoonist and a Digital Editor at comiXology. He’s probably drawing giant robots or listening to ABBA.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Jonah Chuang recommends The Sandman: Overture #3

Neil Gaiman and J.H. Williams III’s The Sandman: Overture is the kind of series that you have to sit down and absorb in order to appreciate it fully. The art is mind-blowingly detailed and expansive, and the content of the story is cerebral and rich.

This series is the prequel to the acclaimed original Sandman series from way back in 1991.  In the beginning of that story, the protagonist, Dream of the Endless (the lord, master and literal embodiment of dreams), is returning to Earth, exhausted from a long battle when he is caught in a trap by a mediocre human sorcerer and kept prisoner for a long time, causing all kinds of problems. This story is the story of the epic battle and it so far it has been exactly that: epic.

In the first two issues, Dream encounters his alternate selves and learns of his death and the existence of a “mad star” (like the Sun, but crazy) that’s poised to destroy the universe. As a result, Dream must go stop this star, as, apparently, it is his fault that it’s mad to begin with.

In this issue, Dream goes over to the place where none of the Endless can go and then goes in anyway. Partnered with a giant cat version of yourself, Dream walks through a lawless land of dangerous criminals and murderers looking for answers. The story takes on a fantasy space western feel, which is actually pretty big right now.

J.H. Williams III’s art is nuts, and perfect for this book. There’s no other way to describe it except imagination made physical. There are also a bunch of little familiar nuggets in this story that make you want to go back and read the original series again and rediscover the magic all over again.

[Read The Sandman: Overture #3 on comiXology]

For fans of: fantasy, supernatural, mature content

Jonah Chuang is a Production Coordinator Assistant. He is very much looking forward to seeing the footage from Avengers: Age of Ultron.