A comiXologist Recommends:
Kate Kasenow recommends The Woods #3
In the first two issues, new and original BOOM! Studios’ series The Woods established itself as the perfect storm of apocalyptic high school adventures in sci-fi horror. If that phrasing alone seems a bit intense for you, then you’d better fasten your seatbelts, because issue #3 is one wild ride.
Despite what the faculty and staff seem to think, things are looking grim for the students of Bay Point Prepartory Academy. After getting mysteriously transported to another world, the principal is daydreaming while the athletics department is turning the school into the dystopian setting of 1984. Meanwhile, Adrian Roth is fighting over control of a ragtag group of students with Sanami Ota. Both have powerful ideas about what needs to be done, but, unfortunately, so does everyone else.
Underneath the fantastic setting and lurking horrors of the plot, the story is essentially a diverse set of character studies. Writer James Tynion IV (jamesthefourth) has done a brilliant job of delving into each character’s personality and initiatives while still leaving a lot of mystery for readers to contemplate. Not to be discounted in the least, Michael Dialynas’ (thewoodencrown) artwork gives a unique look and feel to the multitude of genres represented. I’ve long been a fan of Dialynas’ work and seeing him tackle both endearing character moments as well as monstrous acts of violence is both refreshing and invigorating. Like a bright cherry atop this cake of terror, Jose Gonzalez’s colors add vibrance and surreality to this mysterious new world and its newest residents.
By now you might be asking yourself, “Why high school students? How will they survive? Who’s behind all this?”
Jump into The Woods now and find out!
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:
Harris Smith recommends Vertigo Quarterly: CMYK
Comics printing is based on four colors, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black). Though these colors are part of the fusion of elements that comprise how we view sequential narratives, they have rarely been the basis for the conceptual vision of comics, until now. This week, Vertigo launches their new anthology Vertigo Quarterly: CMYK. The artists and writers contributing to this intriguing new series were given a color from the CMYK model and asked to represent it within their narrative, be it in terms of theme or mood, or as an element of the plot, or a visual motif.
Unlike previous Vertigo anthologies, such as Strange Adventures and Ghosts, Vertigo Quarterly: CMYK eschews big name creators in favor of up-and-coming talent, and the result, in this first issue, is a very rich and varied collection of unique and original voices and visions across a variety of genres and styles, all based, in sometimes ingenious ways, around the blued hues of Cyan.
In Shaun Simon and Tony Akins's sly, E.C. Comics-inspired horror story, the color pops up as a grim punchline. Amy Chu and Alitha Martinez's “So Blue” uses the color deceptively, the title suggesting a tale of depression but delivering something darkly humorous instead. Death Sentence creator Monty Nero and artist Al Davison use the color as a striking visual cue in their smart sci-fi story , which is otherwise in black and white.
Concept aside, CMYK presents a refreshing breadth of diverse, intelligent stories by emerging voices in the comics world, in genres ranging from sci-fi and horror to crime and fantasy. It’s a fun and thoughtful read for comic fans who like some ideas and vision along with their entertainment.
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 Negative Pleasure on Newtown Radio.