Posts Tagged "jen keith"
A comiXologist Recommends:
Jen Keith recommends Magneto #9

The Marvel universe approaches its next big event in the “March to AXIS” with the dreaded Red Skull’s crimes against mutantkind in Magneto #9. Cullen Bunn’s (cullenbunn) intense writing and Gabriel Hernandez Walta with art as gritty and brooding as the title character provide a series not to be missed.

Following the aftermath of the Avengers vs. X-Men event, Magneto lost much of his ability as “Master of Magnetism” upon being hit by the Phoenix force possessing Cyclops. With only a shadow of his immense power remaining, Magneto sets out to discover and conquer the widespread injustices plaguing his fellow mutants. This series is a great jumping off point for newcomers, fans of the movie universe’s X-Men: First Class, or seasoned readers looking for a great insight into a fascinating character.

When faced with intolerable cruelty and the blind eye of S.H.I.E.L.D., do the violent ends justify the means? We see much of the story through Magneto’s gray area point of view with near constant inner monologue; the ofttimes villain and enraged hero of his story waxes poetic without illusions as to his own failures. In this issue, Magneto’s self-loathing guides us through intermittent and hauntingly blue-washed flashbacks of his horrific experience in the Holocaust’s concentration camps (see his origin story in the excellent Magneto: Testament that parallel the hideous prison in Genosha of the Red Skull’s making. Red Skull’s horrors know no bounds when he reveals his use for (part of) Magneto’s deceased friend, Professor Charles Xavier.

While there is plenty of action, I really appreciate Magneto’s struggle to overcome his opponents through subterfuge, strategy, and the infamy of his reputation. This combined with the introspection and quiet moments balancing the dark and gruesome tone make this one of my favorite ongoing Marvel series right now, and I couldn’t recommend it more.

[Pick up Magneto #9 here!]

Jen Keith is a Digital Editor at comiXology, comic artist, music addict, and held herself back from a lot of magnet puns while writing this.

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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.

[Pick up Buffalo Speedway: The Deep Dish Omnibus here!]

Jen Keith is a Digital Editor at comiXology, comic artist, music addict, and loves white pizza with chicken and pineapple the most.

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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 JulietKing 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.

[Pick up The Odyssey here!]

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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Jen Keith recommends Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #1

Walking long-legged beds and menageries of strange creatures, a face in the moon and candy-made kids! Nemo is back and walking the dreamscape, however reluctantly, in Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #1.

First published in the New York Herald in 1905, Winsor McCay’s celebrated strip Little Nemo in Slumberland is a classic. It’s been adapted into various media including an animated film in 1989 that, I admit, terrified me as a child. The story follows young Nemo’s fantastic adventures when called into Slumberland by King Morpheus. Here too is where we meet Nemo afresh as he’s commanded to become the playmate of Slumberland’s princess. However, it’s not easy to get to the land of dreams when all of your progress is lost upon falling out of bed.

Locke & Key's artist Gabriel Rodriguez’s (gr-comicsdetailed architecture and stylization remains faithful to McCay’s art nouveau influences with decorative flourishes and nods to the original jaunty layouts. Meanwhile, writer Eric Shanower is a wonderful fit what with his work on Marvel’s Oz books; he’s no stranger to giving a great voice to kids finding themselves in bizarre new lands. This team works well together in bringing their own touch while keeping that quintessential Nemo look and feel. The story is a whimsical ride with surprises around every corner and as unpredictable as our own dreamtime escapades. Its unfettered pacing flows surreally as it never would in waking hours.

While sure to be a hit for all ages and a great jumping off point for new and old fans alike, if you need more journeys into imagination then try Marvel’s Figment.

Don’t wait for bedtime to explore dreamland when you join Nemo on his nightly romps through Slumberland. Happy reading and pleasant dreams!

[Read Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #1]

Jen Keith is a Digital Editor at comiXology, comic artist, music addict, and could really use a nap herself right about now.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Jen Keith recommends Watson & Holmes Vol. 1

“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
-Sherlock Holmes 

Or in this case: when you have eliminated your comic to-read list, whatever remains, however good, it must be Watson and Holmes that you read next.

Modern adaptations of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, and the steadfast Doctor Watson are in vogue with BBC’s Sherlock and CBS’ Elementary. Karl Bollers and Rick Leonardi, with their own avant garde take, move the now African American pair from England and into Harlem, NYC for investigations into drug trafficking, kidnapping, murder, and more. 

Despite the contemporary setting and subsequent changes to what we expect from a Holmesian story, it’s still entrenched in Doyle’s writing. Many crime dramas turn into procedural cop shows; Watson and Holmes keeps us in Watson’s shoes, observing Holmes’ genius while he himself steps into the spotlight as a force to be reckoned. As a fan of the original work I’m thrilled they maintained that quintessential vantage point while giving Watson the attention he deserves. Nods to the source material are scattered throughout, so fans of any version of Holmes and the uninitiated reader alike will find an engaging mystery for all tastes. 

Leonardi’s art keeps the distinct personalities of the characters and New York City intact. I never realized I was missing a Sherlock Holmes with dreadlocks in my life, but I was. Meanwhile, Mycroft and the Baker Street Irregulars a treat, and I eagerly await more of them. 

You may be familiar with a more traditional interpretation, but I highly recommend you pick up Watson and Holmes Vol. 1 for the collected issues #1 – 5 and a breath of fresh air in these well-loved characters. After all, the game is afoot.

[Read Watson & Holmes Vol. 1 Here!]

For fans of: crime, drama, action

Jen Keith is a Digital Editor at comiXology, comic artist, music addict, and would like you to know that Holmes never said “Elementary, my dear Watson” in the original stories.

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Jen Keith recommends Chicacabra

Isabel Sanchez, also known as Izzy, loves beetles and her Uncle and smoking with her friends. She doesn’t love pretending that everything is okay at her high school when her life and family were torn asunder only a short time ago. Still lost in a haze of getting along day by day while her own mother serves as a painful reminder of her loss, Izzy’s life is upturned once again as one lost girl becomes two when a chupacabra makes her its host body in Chicacabra.

Tom Beland's cartooning is simple yet so very expressive. With a few lines he's able to pull and engage you into a folklore of his own creating. The poignant scenes of familial bonding balance wonderfully with the comical moments of Izzy hulking out into a bloodthirsty creature that, despite being the stuff of horror legends, is just as endearing and clueless as the teen girl it inhabits. Chupacabras aren't just goat-sucking creatures; their myth is revived into something new and heart-wrenching.

On top of the folklore of the less-explored chupacabra and vejigante (which had a fascinating interpretation and I’d love to see a book just exploring Beland’s vejigante retelling), we’re brought to a new environment not as common in comics: Puerto Rico. The culture is as lush as the cast is emotive through Beland’s detail and specific locales, and it’s refreshing to see a different city from the usual set.

For lovers of expressive black and white comics, mythology, and finding your strength in times of loss, check out I Kill Giants for more young heroes finding their strength to conquer and, in time, accept what life throws at them. Until then, bring your love of folklore and a box of tissues with you for reading Chicacabra.

[Read Chicacabra Here!]

For fans of: female leads, POC leads, horror

Jen Keith is a Digital Editor at comiXology, comic artist, music addict, and kind of wants a chupacabra of her own now.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Jen Keith recommends Wonton Soup Omnibus

Ingredients: 
2 cups space truckers
¾ cup absurdity
½ pound of laugh out loud hilarity, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sweet romance
a pinch of space ninjas, to taste

Mix thoroughly and bake at 400 degrees of awesome in a science fiction oven and serve immediately. Enjoy your delicious Wonton Soup by James Stokoe, surely to be a favorite at your table or in your comics library.

Imagine combining Naruto and the Iron Chef into a wild sci-fi ride through an otherworldly culinary school, and you’ll have a small idea of the joy to be found in Wonton Soup. Johnny Boyo cruises the cosmos as a space trucker with his eccentric co-pilot/trucker buddy Deacon, eating his way through the tentacled oddities of space chickens and a menagerie of other bizarre ingredients. Rather than a strictly linear plot, we’re treated to a tasty variety platter of stories detailing the eccentricities of the characters, unusual cuisine via Boyo’s culinary prowess, and an odd (and often hilariously vulgar) universe.

It’s not often I have to pause while reading to give myself time to stifle my laughter, but this book had me taking a chuckle if not out right guffaw break every few pages.

Stokoe’s lively and intricate drawing style makes every panel just as entertaining as the last, complimenting the spirited action and humor. If you want more proof of the talent and sheer level of detail Stokoe is capable of, try Godzilla Half Century War.

And if you’re still hungry after that and want another generous helping of food-related comics, check out Toriko or Chew to hold you til dinner.

No matter how many comics you read this week, be sure to leave room for seconds because Wonton Soup is delicious to the last drop.

ed- Includes a foreword from royalboiler!

[Read Wonton Soup Here!]

For fans of: comedy, science fiction

Jen Keith is a Digital Editor at comiXology, comic artist, music addict, and looking forward to lunch because all of these comics are making her hungry.

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Jen Keith recommends Ms. Marvel #5

Last we left Kamala was in over her head on a rescue mission that wasn’t as easy as the superheroes on the news might make it look. There’s plenty of action and questions coming our way in Ms. Marvel #5. Will Kamala save the day? Is a bathing suit really the ideal superhero costume? And just who is the Inventor?!


The thing that really makes this book for me is that Kamala is just so relatable – she’s not rich or well-trained or a natural born leader…yet. She’s learning that with great power comes great costume design difficulties, arguments with your parents, and a lot of missteps in the superhero-ing business. Just because you suddenly develop powers doesn’t mean you’ll be the cool kid at school or your parents won’t ground you. If you thought trying to figure out who you are as a non-powered teenager was hard, try doing it when you can shape shift into anybody or anything on a whim (and sometimes by accident). That’s one of the best things about Ms. Marvel: we’re seeing not only a superhero being born but a person coming into their own.

Just ask the Young Avengers – it’s not easy putting your feet into the shoes of your idols. Kamala is doing it with charm, luck, and a fair bit of help (and hindrance). Writer G. Willow Wilson (gwillow) and artist Adrian Alphona bring the diverse and entertaining cast to life to endear us to a new chapter in the Marvel universe.

You don’t have to sneak out of the house in your makeshift spandex onesie and domino mask to enjoy this series – go ahead and give Ms. Marvel a chance (she’s certainly taking plenty of her own).

[Pick up Ms. Marvel #5 here!]

For fans of: female leads, POC leads, superheroes, action

Jen Keith is a Digital Editor at comiXology, comic artist, music addict, and really excited about all of these fierce lady superhero titles she’s been reading recently.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Jen Keith recommends Saga #19

From the series that brought us Lying Cat comes the next installment of the abundantly award-winning Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and fionastaples. If you haven’t been following along, it is my duty to direct you back to issue #1; you can thank me later. For those of you keeping up with your required reading, then you already know Saga #19 will be a comic treat.

Saga is your standard boy and girl meet, fall in love, betray their own species during an inter-planetary war, and run off to have what might be the cutest child that side of the universe. Narrating this space romp through lushly designed alien worlds and cultures is said cutest child, Hazel, whose impish personality shines through the re-telling of her own childhood. In Saga #19, we find our besotted heroes/haggard parents in domestic bliss – if you can call juggling a rigid mother-in-law, a messy house pet, and a live-in ghostly baby-sitter the calming, everyday life of domesticity. Work may be tough, but your kid is cute, your spouse is gorgeous, and hopefully no assassins and/or robot princes will end up on your front lawn today.

The aptly named Saga enraptures its audience with Brian K. Vaughan’s perfect balance of poignant and comedic writing and Fiona Staples’ rich, expressive artwork. If you’re all caught up on Saga and aching for more from these two wildly talented creators, Vaughan’s Y: The Last Man and Staples’ work in The Mystery Society will hopefully hold you for now.

As in every issue, Saga and its captivating cast continues the journey across the galaxy and into our hearts.

[Pick up Saga #19 here!]

For fans of: sci-fidiverse characters, POC leads, female leads, romance, action

Jen Keith is a Digital Editor at comiXology, comic creator, music addict, and shamelessly unapologetic Green Arrow enthusiast.