A comiXologist Recommends:
Harris Smith recommends Luv Sucker #2
For the past several years, Charles Forsman has been making a name for himself in the comics as world as the writer and artist of books like TEOTFW and Celebrated Summer, and as the publisher of Oily Comics, a mini-comics imprint through which he publishes his own work, as well as new comics by other indie up-and-comers, including Melissa Mendes, Nick Drnaso, Dane Martin and Ben Urkowitz. Between his comics, which are by turns heartbreaking, relatable, disturbing, thoughtful, minimal, evocative and occasionally hilarious, and his publishing, Forsman has established himself not only as a substantial emerging voice, but as an asset to the comics community as a whole.
His latest is Luv Sucker, a low-key, slow burn take on the vampire genre (as the cover says, “file under: teen/blood/vampire/heartache”), published by Oily. Luv Sucker, the first two issues of which are now available via comiXology Submit, follows Natasha, a seemingly normal teenaged girl who, depressed after a breakup, is attacked by a coven of nerdy classmates claiming to be vampires. Natasha is incredulous at first, but then starts noticing weird changes in herself. Is she actually becoming a vampire, or is she just the victim of the adolescent hormones?
Eschewing the melodramatic posturing of a lot of contemporary teen genre media, as well as the seemingly omnipresent “chosen one” narrative, Forsman grounds his story in a very recognizable landscape of teenage disaffection, favoring the kind of episodic, slice-of-life moments that served him so well in TEOTFW, underplaying the horror and fantasy elements. Instead, he gives the reader a story, setting and characters that are believable and easy to relate to. Luv Sucker is smart and challenging, narratively adventurous, but it’s also unpretentious and an engaging, entertaining read. Charles Forsman once again shows us what a creator with a voice and a vision is capable of. I can’t wait for issue three..
Harris Smith is a Senior Production Coordinator at comiXology.
A comiXologist Recommends:
Jen Keith recommends Buffalo Speedway: The Deep Dish Omnibus
A little vulgar and a lot of fun…so a bit like pizza, really. I hope you’re hungry because Buffalo Speedway: The Deep Dish Omnibus is serving up comedy and the importance of pizza, two things we all should prioritize in life.
Buffalo Speedway's six issue series details the adventures of the hero of the hungry, the lazy, the lonely housewife, and the otherwise occupied: the pizza delivery boy. Our story begins with a lively cast of characters working at the local pizza joint, Turbo Pizza, on an extraordinary delivery day; it's June 17th, 1994 and there's a trifecta of pizza-ordering pandemonium as hungry TV-watchers everywhere buckle down for the infamous OJ Simpson white Bronco chase, the World Cup, and the NBA finals. All of this topped with their own worries of mysterious pizza boy murders, business woes, and sizzling romance.
It’s not all pepperoni and extra cheese though. Buffalo Speedway delves beyond tomato sauce jokes into racism in everyday life and the relationship between the main character, Figgs, and the police. I was quickly rooting for Figgs’ success in both wooing his crush and finding his way as the potential of becoming “a lifer” as a pizza boy approaches. The rest of the cast is speedily endearing, from boss Mr. B, best friend Super Cheese, the brooding Dragon, and the love-to-hate bigoted Chance. As “Speedway” suggests, the plot takes quick twists and turns as more always arises in the wacky antics of Turbo Pizza’s boys.
Creator Yehudi Mercado’s animation background shines through with great facial expressions and an abundance of energy. On top of this he provides soundtracks before every chapter to really amp up the reading experience. If you enjoyed this title, try his kid’s comic Pantalones, TX: Don’t Chicken Out on for size.
Call up your local pizza place, remember to tip well, and enjoy Buffalo Speedway, a literal slice of life.
Jen Keith is a Digital Editor at comiXology, comic artist, music addict, and loves white pizza with chicken and pineapple the most.
A comiXologist Recommends:
Jonah Chuang recommends God Hates Astronauts #1
You know when you’re watching or reading something, and the plot is ridiculously absurd but all the characters seem to react casually so you, as the reader, don’t really notice until one of the characters says something like, “I never thought I’d say those words together in a sentence”? The only way I can describe God Hates Astronauts is that it’s that idea, but literally everything you’re reading is so crazy and exciting that you have to just have to go along for the ride, and when you’ve finished you think: “what the hell did I just read?” It’s a rare and exciting experience that few writers and artists can pull off, and I’m so glad that Ryan Browne does it so well.
Now, the hard part: describing the plot of this book. At its core, this series is about a sad group of astronaut superheroes who work for NASA and fight against farmer astronauts who are trying to go into space, but to focus on this aspect of the story would be doing the story a disservice. The charm of God Hates Astronauts is in how boldly unapologetic it is about its exploration of ludicrous side characters and their struggles with love and/or anthropomorphic antagonists. Just read it and you’ll know what I mean.
When word came in that we were getting this book, I did a quick search and found that tons of reviewers were calling it the craziest comic book ever made, and it did not disappoint. If you’re familiar with Browne’s work on The Manhattan Projects, you’d know that drawing this subject matter is right in his wheelhouse. I also think fans of Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen’s Nextwave: Agents of HATE will also appreciate this book, because it’s kind of like that, but crazier and with no visible signs of censorship.
Jonah Chuang is a Production Coordinator Assistant at comiXology. He’s probably hungry right now…
A comiXologist Recommends:
Molly Brooks recommends The Legend of Bold Riley #1
In The Legend of Bold Riley Volume 1, we saw Princess Rilavashana SanParite of Prakkalore give up her claim to the throne and leave palace life behind to go adventuring. She spent the book living by her sword and her wits, defeating mythical beasts and wooing pretty girls, and this first issue of Volume 2 promises to continue in that vein.
As the story starts we find our heroine nursing a broken heart, until she happens upon a talking bone with a sad story to tell. Helping her strange new friend provides a welcome distraction from her own woes, but can Bold Riley save the day when the villain is love gone tragically wrong?
Bold Riley is a classic adventurer archetype- smart, courageous, pulled ever onward by the promise of challenge and excitement, and leaving a trail of slain monsters and well-bedded women in her wake. It’s classic sword-and-sorcery stuff in an eastern-influenced folktale style, and while it’s refreshing to have this kind of story told through the eyes of a queer woman rather than another hulking Conan-type, the queerness isn’t the focus.
Each story is part of the larger continuity of Bold Riley’s journeys through various mystical lands, but they can also be read as stand-alone fables, so this issue is a perfectly fine place to start. Can’t wait to see what becomes of her in Issue 2!
Molly Brooks is a Digital Editor for comiXology.
Some hot n spicy scifi CXrecs comin’ right up!
Prophet is amazing. One of my favorites. Big big royalboiler fan.
I asked around the office, as this is something I’ve been looking for also and here’s what I got:
- Starstruck - An anarcho-futuristic adventure that eschews gender roles and linear storytelling. A cult classic science fiction comic if there ever was one.
- Old City Blues by milonogiannis, whom you might recognize from his work on Prophet! A futuristic noir involving corrupt politicians, drug dealers, and mech smugglers.
- Manhattan Projects - A current Image fan favorite, by pronea (Jonathan Hickman) and nickpitarra - A revisionist history that has the creation of the Atomic Bomb at it’s center.
Also, if you like Brandon Graham, maybe try checking out some of his other stuff. Although it’s definitely not the same style as Prophet, Multiple Warheads is really amazing.
A comiXologist Recommends:
Michael Crowe recommends Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 2
Writer/Artist Ed Piskor (edpiskor) continues his epic journey through musical history with Hip Hop Family Tree Volume 2. Combining his passion for the musical genre with his mastery for creating comics, Piskor takes us on an encyclopedic journey through the growth of a uniquely American art form.
The 1980s were a time of expansion for the genre, across the country and the globe. This volume guides us through the continued rise of early hip hop originators alongside the birth of new acts inspired by these legends. It examines the intermingling between the uptown hip hop scene and thee downtown punk rock scene. It also documents the cultural exchange between New York arts culture and Hip Hop street culture. Piskor does a wonderful job of reminding the reader that this culture is more than the music. Hip Hop is an interdisciplinary art form that combines dance, visual art, musical production and lyrical genius to create an infectious form of modern art that’s craved en masse from Compton to Paris.
Ed Piskor’s art is stunning and his attention to detail is phenomenal. The pages appear to be printed on old textured paper. Each page pops despite the desaturated nature of the colors and the halftones used add even more texture to the pages. The result is a comic that feels straight out of the 80s. This attention to the aesthetic of a time is especially noticeable when flashing forward to the present. He illustrates these panels in a modern, highly saturated style common today. Piskor’s characterizations of classic players in the game are also unforgettable, and will evoke an immediate recognition from even a casual follower of hip hop culture.
For those interested in learning even more Piskor includes a bibliography and a discography to accompany the history he thoughtfully unravels for us. After you’ve finished reading and grooving be sure to pick up Hip Hop Family Tree Volume 1 to learn about the birth of Hip Hop and Wizzywig, Ed Piskor’s debut graphic novel about hacker culture.
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.
A comiXologist Recommends:
Jonah Chuang recommends Multiversity #1
If you’ve been reading any of DC’s monthly titles over the past few weeks, you’ve likely seen the teasers for this book in the back of your comics. There are captions that say things like read, “I’m Real?”, “I see you! I know what’s coming!”, and “I am not ad copy! DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK! The fate of the Multiverse rests in your hands!”
It turns out that this meta-awareness is a big theme in this book, and the effect is a more immersive experience. In the opening scene, an unnamed comic book reader sitting in a room full of long boxes dissects a DC comic book while participating in a forum on his tablet (none of us can relate to that, right?). Then his monkey comes to life and he turns into a comic book character and they jump into the comic book! It’s not often that you’ll find a superhero book that discusses superhero books so casually in the midst of a life or death crisis. Morrison then continues to use captions to speak directly to the audience, which is eerie and kind of cool in that it’s like having the author standing next to you and making remarks as you read.
I also really appreciate the diversity of this group. This team does seem to represent a bunch of different people from different walks of life and Morrison does seem to acknowledge that he’s doing it on purpose so maybe he’ll expand on it in the next few issues.
Finally, I absolutely love the inclusion of Captain Carrot, an anthropomorphic superhero rabbit. With the success and popularity of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’s Rocket Raccoon, it was only a matter of time before DC stepped up and presented a wacky but dangerous furry superhero of their own. All I can say is they made a great choice with Captain Carrot.
Jonah Chuang is a Production Coordinator Assistant at Comixology. He hopes to be Jabba the Hutt for Halloween this year.
I’ve mentioned before that I am a big fan of recommending idwcomics' Locke & Key if you’re looking for something in the horror genre. If you’ve never heard of it the series follows the Locke family, after the murder of their father, moves into Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them– and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all…
Also, if you haven’t read The Wake which was published by Vertigo, written by Batman’s Scott Snyder, drawn by Punk Rock Jesus’s Sean Murphy, and colored by Hawkeye’s Matt Hollingsworth… the first 5 issues make up a great horror story ala Ridley Scott’s Alien, except that instead of in space it takes place underwater.
I honestly haven't read a comic in awhile, especially DC. I know, I know, blasphemy and all. I was considering reading Batman Eternal, is it worth it? No idea? Either way, any recommendations? Maybe something I haven't heard of? Or that is awesome? Nothing? Just go sit in my Bat Cave and brood? Honestly, recommendations would be great, something outside of Marvel and DC as well. Thanks! :)
I actually wouldn’t recommend Batman Eternal to someone who hasn’t been reading the Batbooks for a while…
I know. I know. I’m not just a mindless comics slinger.
But really if you want to get back into the bat, there’s no better place to start than Scott Snyder’s current run. The first two arcs were some of the best comics to come out of the new 52, and I personally really enjoyed Zero Year which just wrapped up.
And you just want like a random recommendation of something you may not have heard of outside of Marvel & DC? Sure. I won’t sleep until everyone is reading Letter 44 by Charles Soule, so go check that out.
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I just found out that my 6 year old niece and 5 year old nephew both want to get into comics. I didn't get into comics until I was older, so I have no idea what would be appropriate for them. My niece likes the Justice League show (maybe Teen Justice too) and anything anime, and my nephew is more into the Marvel characters, especially Spider-Man. Any recommendations? I also want to make sure that they both see positive representations of women/female superheroes in comics.
Jennnnnna! Thanks for asking.
Your niece and nephew sound amazing, ngl.
For your niece, she may love the Young Justice book. Your nephew may even enjoy Batman: Brave and the Bold, which is on Netflix and brilliant. The episode where Batman and Batwoman swap bodies is pretty epic.
Any other recs for Jenna? Help a friend out.