Comic Sense with Julia: April 15th Edition

It wouldn’t be a comic review article by Julia if I didn’t use the word wiggedywack at least once!

runlovekill

RunLoveKill #1

Publisher: Image Comics

Writers: Eric Canete and Jonathan Tsuei

Artist/Cover Artist: Eric Canete

Price: $2.99

Color me intrigued. Also, color me wanting to color my hair the color that Rain’s hair is in the second half of this comic. (I like color. Color, color, color.) Actually though, the colors and art of this comic are immersive and phenomenal. Though the first several pages have no words, other than a soft background “tic tic tic,” I was easily able to follow the story and, most importantly, the emotions of this opening sequence. The musicality of the intermingling chase scenes and orchestral performance scenes establishes a tone of haunting perseverance, determination, and strife as our main character is introduced. This escalates RunLoveKill from just another dystopian dictatorship story to a fascinating and captivating window into the lives of those struggling to escape from a seemingly omnipotent controller. Rain’s reflection on the moral choices and sacrifices she has made while trapped in the watchful gaze of the Origami brings up the age old question, “What are you willing to do to stay alive?” RunLoveKill is visually stunning, thought provoking, and emotionally stirring. The strong character development makes this book stand out amongst the many sci-fi, futuristic comics I read every week. RunLoveKill is definitely a story to follow. Put it on your pull list immediately.

avp

Archie vs. Predator #1

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Writer: Alex De Campi

Artist: Rich Koslowski

Cover Artist: Fernando Ruiz

Price: $3.99

I loved this comic SO much more than I expected to. I grew up reading Archie’s Double Digest constantly and I was very trepidatious about watching my loveable childhood favorites thrown into the world of the Predator. It was one thing seeing them all turn into zombies (still a bit scarred from that, tbh), but at least Afterlife with Archie’s coloring and tone were different and eerie from the beginning. Archie vs. Predator felt so classically Riverdale for the majority of the first issue, which surprisingly made the horror parts of it even better!! Nothing quite compares to seeing the gang forgive and forget high school squabbles while completely oblivious to the blood raining down on them from the trees above. Reading this issue was a wild ride of powerful nostalgia, cheesy hilarity, and frequent outbursts of “HAHAHA WHAT JUST HAPPENED. ohmygosh.” It was also accompanied by a mental soundtrack of “I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today,” because my roommate confused Jughead with J. Wellington Wimpy, which added to the general pleasant absurdity of the whole experience. I very much enjoyed Archie vs. Predator. It poked fun at classic Archie’s innocence and fluffiness through the Archie character’s themselves and combined that snarkiness with just enough suspense and gore to make things really interesting. While there were a ton of great new releases this week, Archie vs. Predator won me over and became my favorite, making it an underdog story irl.

thetithe

The Tithe #1

Publisher: Top Cow Productions

Writer: Matt Hawkins

Artist/Cover Artist: Rahsan Ekedal

Price: $3.99

DISCLAIMER: If you don’t want to hear my views on religion and the religious aspects of this comic, skip down to the last bit of this review, cause I’m about to get a little pontifical.

Before I review The Tithe, let me give you a little background about myself. I spent the majority of my childhood at or around the Catholic Church. My dad worked for the church, I went to the Catholic school across the street, I went to Wednesday night youth group, Friday night stations of the cross, Saturday morning altar server training, and I spent countless hours hanging out in my dad’s office, drawing bunnies and absorbing all the inner working and politics of the Catholic Church. As I grew older I started to realize just how hard my dad worked to help those in need and to do the right thing and how difficult ‘The Church’ as an institution made that for him. My dad came home stressed, disheartened, and exhausted every day and seeing him this way led to my own personal battles with ‘big religion.’ Here’s where The Tithe comes in. This comic questions the questions big religion and the institution of church worship. The thing that is most important to recognize is that it is not criticizing faith and religion itself, but rather it is asking us to take a closer look at the way religious groups actually carry out the messages they preach. There are so many of these groups that do phenomenal work and help so many people, but there are so many others that don’t. The Tithe really emphasizes the importance of ensuring that the good we are doing is actually making a positive difference.

Okay, stepping off of my soapbox now, The Tithe is very well done. It’s clever and witty, while holding up the tradition of elaborate and exciting heist storylines. Honestly, no matter what feelings you have about religion, or even if you have none at all, read The Tithe. It’s fun, intense, and smart, with all the characteristics of a good con job story: a mismatched, but loveable FBI duo, meaningful, yet slightly obnoxious disguises, and enough corruption and greed to fill a few cathedrals.

giantdays

Giant Days #2

Publisher: Boom! Studios

Writer: John Allison

Artist/Cover Artist: Lissa Treiman

Price: $3.99

I think I’ve decided my favorite thing about this series so far. It kind of feels like scrolling through a college girl’s Twitter or reading her blog. There aren’t a whole lot of hugely important things going on, but it’s cute, funny, and cozy. Giant Days #2 takes us back to times when we’ve been crazy ill and felt like the world was going to end. By showing each character’s unique struggle to overcome sickness, this comic becomes so relatable. I know I’ve spent days in bed piled in blankets, throwing on any clothes I could find so I could drag myself into the outdoors for some help. And really, I’d say Giant Days addresses more interesting and influential issues than most comics. How many of us are actually going to experience aliens attacking or totalitarian dictators taking over or time travel or what have you. Now, granted, many comics that have more out there plots also address important issues, but I like the simplicity and transparency of Giant Days’ approach. Friendships, relationships, and day to day activities can be hard, so let’s talk about it! They can also be very entertaining and heartwarming. I’m a big fan of the way Giant Days follows the lives of a group of friends without making them wiggedywack or glamorized. It’s like the scenes at Hogwarts where everyone studies in the common room or has snowball fights on the grounds. These were always my favorite because I felt like part of the fun.

d4ve

D4VE #3

Publisher: IDW Publishing

Writer: Ryan Ferrier

Artist/Cover Artist: Valentin Ramon

Price: $3.99

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again! There needs to be a TV show made of D4VE and D4VE needs to be voiced by H. Jon Benjamin. I already hear his dulcet tones in my head for every bit of D4VE’s dialogue, so let’s make it happen. Highlight of D4VE #3: D4VE’s flash drive is a little bitty robot dude. It kind of looks like a Lego C-3PO and it’s shiny and adorable! This issue is a great continuation of poor, bored D4VE’s redemption story. Things escalate in the alien vs. robot invasion as we discover that that D4VE is right and all his h8ers are wrong. The aliens are coming and, despite popular perception, things might not turn out so well for the robots. All the charm and vulgarity of an Archer episode (hint hint) mix with the humor and family struggles of a Bob’s Burgers episode (hint hint2) to form the next best thing in intelligent and hilarious media. D4VE continues to be a bright spot of each month for me and you should make it a highlight of yours too!!

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