A comiXologist Recommends:
Mike Isenberg recommends The Life After #1
Is your life bland and repetitive? Do you find yourself in a monotonous cycle of unsatisfying experiences? You might be dead.
The book’s protagonist is a man named Jude who seems to be sleepwalking through life. Every morning he wakes up on his couch, takes a bus through heavy traffic to a mind-numbing job, busses home, and passes out on his couch in front of his TV. Everything in his world is mildly uncomfortable, unsatisfying, and bland. And it’s all on an endless loop.
Until one day he gets off his bus early and does something that nobody has done in two thousand years.
It’s hard to say too much about issue #1 without spoiling things. “Things are not as they seem,” as the cliché goes, and the opening chapter of The Life After is mostly concerned with Jude trying to piece together what’s going on. The mystery is compelling, though, and the literary figure that turns up towards the end to play Virgil to Jude’s Dante has me excited to see where this series will be headed.
Be warned that this book is dark. The Life After #1 deals quite a bit with suicide and the experiences that might drive a person to that point. Some of the scenes are downright grisly. But if you’re up for a dark, weird, and mysterious supernatural tale, this comic will absolutely scratch that itch. For a book about the dead, The Life After definitely has some life in it.
A comiXologist Recommends:
Jen Keith recommends Wonton Soup Omnibus
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.
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!
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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comiXology Summer Reading List Day 11: Letter 44 #1
Letter 44 by Charles Soule and Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque is one of my favorite books of the past year. Big thanks to onipress for making this FREE for the day!
There’s something up there. As newly elected President Stephen Blades reads the letter left for him in the Oval Office by his predecessor, he learns this stunning secret: seven years earlier, NASA discovered an alien construction project in the asteroid belt. A crew of heroic astronauts was sent to investigate, and they’re nearing the conclusion of their epic journey. Don’t miss the first chapter in this thrilling tale of real-world space travel, intrigue, and secret histories!
A comiXologist Recommends:
Kate Kasenow recommends Princess Ugg #1
Ted Naifeh is already known for fantastic tales that throw fantasy tropes out the nearest window, but Princess Ugg #1, published by onipress, takes it up a notch, introducing us to a new princess that doesn’t seem to know the meaning of the word…yet.
At story’s beginning, we meet Ügla, Princess of Grimmeria, daughter of warriors, and stranger to luxury. Simultaneously, we’re given a glimpse of the Princess of Atraesca, but we need only this glimpse to see that this maiden fair is everything the stereotypical princess should be—the complete opposite of Ügla. The entire issue focuses on the dichotomy of these two girls, who are to attend the same educational institution, setting up a story that will surely be full of action as well as hijinks.
Naifeh’s writing is mythic in its scope but lively in its tone and each character speaks with a unique voice. What really shines throughout this issue is Naifeh’s unique artistic style, which illustrates the tiniest details beautifully. Warren Wucinich’s colors compliment both the story and the world with vibrant palettes and touches of atmosphere that draw us in, panel by panel, to this new world.
If the delivery of this first issue’s story is any indication, this series promises to be both fun and illuminating. Much like his previous works, such as the Courtney Crumrin series, Naifeh is sure to focus on the virtues his characters will learn from one another, though not in ways we might suspect.
Follow their adventure here for more action from the wee bonny berserker, Princess Ugg!
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:
Mike Isenberg recommends The Bunker #4
I love a good time-travel story. Unravelling paradoxes and reversing the expected order of cause and effect means that time-travel stories have the potential for some incredibly suspenseful and clever storytelling. But “clever” can only get a story so far; from Back to the Future to Lost, the best time-travel stories are only ever as good as their characters.
The Bunker (by Joshua Hale Fialkov (joshfialkov) and Joe Infurnari (joeinfurnari) is a time-travel story that is absolutely rooted in its characters. It features a small ensemble of five friends who begin issue #1 spending their final post-college summer together by heading out to the woods to bury a time capsule. When they break ground on their chosen spot, however, they discover their names stenciled onto the buried hatch of an underground bunker.
Like the time capsule the characters had intended to bury, the bunker is full of pictures, letters, records and memories from the time that the bunker was filled. And like the time capsule, all of these things seem to be from the characters themselves. But none of it is from the past; everything in the bunker is from decades in the future.
The letters the characters find are addressed to them from their future selves, and are full of shocking revelations. Some of these are mind-blowing: “You’re going to be president” and “You’re going to cause an apocalypse.” But, importantly, many are smaller and personal: “Your boyfriend is cheating on you.”
The commitment to the characters, their inner lives, their relationships, and their conflicts, is the glue that holds the book together, and it’s what makes the big-picture end-of-the-world part of the story matter at all to me as a reader. And boy, does it matter. I’m absolutely glued to my seat, waiting for the next issue to come out. If you have any interest at all in character-based sci-fi and time-travel stories, I can definitely recommend picking up this book.
Breaking up your week in the best way possible, #NewComicDay has arrived once again! Here’s some of the books we’re looking forward to reading most this week:
Zero Vol. 1: An Emergency - aleskot has created one of the most interesting new comics out. Kot explains that “every issue is simultaneously a self-contained story and a part of the big overarching narrative.” Issues #2 & #3 were some of the most jawdropping comics I read all year. Volume 1 collects issues 1-5, do yourself a favor and pick it up.
Daredevil #36 - The Astounding Final Issue! Where does Daredevil go from here? It’s the end of an era you don’t want to miss.
Red Sonja #7 - Part 1 of a new story arc from rockstar writer gailsimone! Fresh from her ordeals in the Queen of the Plague epic, Sonja is charged with the task of playing bodyguard to Hyborea’s greatest chef, even though seemingly everyone wants him dead! Join us for this unique issue of recipes, culinary technique, and decapitation! This edition features exclusive behind the scenes content only available on comiXology!
Loki: Ragnarok & Roll #1 (of 4) - What happens when Odin banishes Loki to Earth? He finds a world of outcasts that appreciate his style! While his kin sharpen their weapons, he picks up an electric guitar. For those who want their Norse Gods a little more Metal.
Undertow #1 - Atlantis is the world superpower, and Redum Anshargal is its worst enemy. If you want to break free of the system, he can offer you a place at his side, exploring the wild surface world in his watertight city barge The Deliverer. He and his hostage-protege Ukinnu Alal hunt the Amphibian, a legend that could be the key to an air-breathing life on land. But as they become the hunted, can Anshargal’s team survive long enough to turn the tables on the godlike beast they set out for?
Justice League #28 - A FOREVER EVIL tie-in! With the Justice League gone, new heroes continue to rise up throughout the DC Universe. The Crime Syndicate tried to kill him, but now Cyborg is back to settle the score-and with him are the Metal Men.