A comiXologist Recommends:
Michael Crowe recommends Oddly Normal #1
Oddly Normal #1, written and illustrated by otisframpton, is a delightful tale for all ages. This inaugural issue introduces us to a young girl named Oddly. The daughter of a witch and a mortal, life is not easy for this half-ling. Torn between two worlds, Oddly struggles to fit in, both at school and at home.
Otis Frampton’s writing is simple and approachable for young readers. Drawing from his own life experiences while growing up, the book manages to capture the angst many juveniles feel as they come into their own. Often times it can feel as if no one understands you - not even members of your own family. The script channels this awkward time in a child’s life with equal parts heart and wit. Frampton likes to reference works that have come before his, in subtle ways, drawing on the shared mythology of the supernatural creatures he plans to explore. Future issues promise to delve deep into the mystical world he’s only yet hinted at.
Frampton’s care and eye for detail extend to his vibrant illustrations. Each panel bursts with little things that flesh out the world or hint at stories still untold. The character designs are unique, well defined, and approachable for young readers. Every page sizzles with rich colors and detailed backgrounds. Even rain soaked scenes seem to buzz with energy.
Like any good young adult story, this one sets out to instill life lessons while dishing out plenty of action and adventure. With Halloween just around the corner, this book is the perfect way to kick off the fall season!
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.
Copperhead is going to be a big deal
Jay Faerber is going to be a big deal
Scott Godlewski is going to be a big deal
BITCH PLANET #1
story: KELLY SUE DeCONNICK
art / cover: VALENTINE DE LANDRO
DECEMBER 10 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.50
2014 Best Writer Eisner Award nominee KELLY SUE DeCONNICK (PRETTY DEADLY, Captain Marvel) and VALENTINE DE LANDRO (X-Factor) team up for the very third time to bring you the premiere issue of BITCH PLANET, their highly-anticipated women-in-prison sci-fi exploitation riff. Think Margaret Atwood meets Inglourious Basterds.
DECEMBER CANT COME SOON ENOUGH!
A comiXologist Recommends:
Harris Smith recommends The Fade Out #1
From Criminal to Gotham Central to Fatale, there’s no disputing that Ed Brubaker is one of the modern masters of crime fiction. The strength of his work derives from a keen synthesis of his influences, particularly 30’s-60’s hardboiled crime novels and film noir, combined with a streak of imaginative originality. In Gotham Central, for example, he crafted an expertly written Ed McBain-styled police procedural and grafted it into the ongoing continuity of the DC superhero universe. Fatale began like a Dashiell Hammet-influenced detective story, combined with an element of Lovecraftian horror, then spun both ideas off in a variety of unexpected directions. A significant factor in Brubaker’s appeal is that his influences are primarily stylistic, he doesn’t bog the reader down with excessive references or in-jokes, but rather uses his understanding of genre to capture its spirit, in the service of some often highly original storytelling.
In his latest, The Fade Out, from Image, Brubaker recalls the Hollywood-set noir of Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard, In a Lonely Place (originally a novel by Dorothy Hughes, later a film by Nicholas Ray, starring Humphrey Bogart) and The Big Knife (originally a Clifford Odets play, later a film by Robert Aldrich), as well as the non-crime desperation of Tinseltown-themed stories like The Day of the Locust (both Nathaniel West’s novel and John Schlesinger’s film, one of my personal all-time favorites) and Kenneth Anger’s salacious non-fiction Hollywood Babylon. Like these classics, Brubaker casts a cynical eye on the glamor of the movie world and focuses on the corruption and decadence underneath. Taking place in 1948, The Fade Out focuses on Charlie Parish, a seemingly burnt out screenwriter who awakens from a night of blackout drinking to discover he may or may not be implicated in a murder. Along the way, Brubaker evokes Pearl Harbor, the Hollywood blacklist and other heady elements that ground the story in historical reality. Tonally, The Fade Out expertly builds, in just the first issue, from uneasiness to dread to suspense and ends satisfyingly on a low-key cliffhanger that left me anxious to find out what could possibly come next.
If you’re a fan of Brubaker, you already know what kind of magic there is to be found here. If you’re new to his work, this fresh, smart, exciting new series is a great opportunity to get onboard.
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.
Weekend Luna Brothers Sale featuring
- Alex + Ada
- Star Bright and the Looking Glass
East of West by Jonathan Hickman & nickdragotta
Lazarus by ruckawriter & Michael Lark
Nowhere Men by Eric Stephenson & fetorpse
Pretty Deadly by kellysue & steinerfrommars
Rat Queens by kurtiswiebe & johnnyrocwell
Saga by Brian K Vaughan & fionastaples
Sex Criminals by mattfractionblog & zdarsky
The Manhattan Projects by Jonathan Hickman & nickpitarra
Zero by aleskot & jordiecolorsthings
(Plus a whole lot of other people)
A comiXologist Recommends:
Mike Isenberg recommends Dark Engine #1
The story features a female warrior named Sym, created by alchemists to travel back in time and defeat the evil that plagues them in the past like some sort of berzerk lady Terminator. But the source of Sym’s power, the alchemical Dark Engine implanted deep within her, is unpredictable, and the outcome of her mission is far from certain.
Issue #1 plunges us directly into the deep end of the strange world that Burton and Bivens have created. The book introduces the setting and a few characters, but this place is weird, and very little is explained directly to the reader. Instead we are left to piece together the what, when, and why from context and a few snippets of dialogue.
Between those few dialogue scenes are a number of gorgeously rendered action sequences, mostly concerning Sym cutting her way through dinosaurs and monsters, covering herself with blood and viscera along the way. Bivens executes these beautifully, with a rough-yet-purposeful brush style that evokes the work of artists like Paul Pope and Nathan Fox.
The near-impenetrable weirdness of Dark Engine’s setting gives it a plapable sense of alienation and danger. That so little is explained directly to us only serves to make the world feel more real and alive. Fans of Brandon Graham’s (royalboiler) excellent Prophet revival will feel right at home here. Dark Engine #1 leaves us with a lot of questions, but it takes us on a wonderfully trippy ride along the way. Definitely worth checking out!