Comic Sense with Julia: April 29th Edition

Hello everybody! Things to note: my thesis is in dandy shape so I was able to really focus on the comics this week, I just came back from C2E2 and I’m still riding the comicon high, and it’s one month until my birthday! There are really great comics coming out this week. I was blown away by the colors and the crazy stories. Read them all!!!

past aways

Past Aways #2

Publisher: Dark Horse

Writer: Matt Kindt

Artist/Cover Artist: Scott Kolins

Colorist: Bill Crabtree

Price: $3.99

Past Aways #2 is one in a series of second issues that I’ve liked so much better than the first. This is why I rarely give up on a series after only one issue. I LOVE the in-depth tour of the headquarters that starts this issue. I also LOVE the derpy way Art walks while showing them off. The fascinating specimens that he has collected are enhanced by the phenomenal artwork. I can just imagine 12 year old Julia reading this book and incorporating all of the rooms into her imaginary space world (I used to sit in my closet and pretend I was on a spaceship to Pluto. The jungle gym at school was my Pluto Palace). TBH, I’m adding this place to my imagination database even now. After getting a look at where the Past Aways are stationed, we get a brief glimpse into everybody’s past, helping to round out each character as an individual. This issue caught my attention more than the first because I was able to more fully connect with the characters and feel like I was a part of this universe. Definitely check out Past Aways #2 tomorrow.

greg universe

Steven Universe: Greg Universe Special #1

Publisher: Boom! Studios

Writer/Artist: Jeremy Sorese and Various

Cover Artist: Ru Xu

Price: $4.99

This book is so heartwarming and so wonderful. I love that it focuses on Steven’s dad. Positive portrayals of fathers in media are important to me because I will never forget my dad’s total hatred of The Berenstain Bears just because of Papa Bear. It really bothered him to see us reading a series where the dad is portrayed as a dolt and serves only as comedic relief. Now, this never stopped me from reading Berenstain Bears, but it definitely made me think. As I grew older, I realized that it wasn’t just The Bears that that irked my dad. It was every portrayal of a bumbling, incompetent dad that we encountered, which actually happened fairly often. So reading a comic specifically spotlighting a really great dad, who may not be perfect, but is clearly loving and caring, made my heart so full. I wanted to send it to my dad, but realized he would have no idea what was going on, so instead I’m just going to make sure I tell him how much I appreciate him. Greg Universe is adorable and funny and lovely. The multiple artists create a feeling of community and shared experience, as well as making it an even more interesting read.

mayday

Mayday #1

Publisher: Black Mask Comics

Writer: Curt Pires

Artist/Cover Artist: Chris Peterson

Colorist: Pete Toms

Price: $3.99

Wow. I’ve seen a lot of great color work lately, but the colors in Mayday have to be the best I’ve seen in centuries. And I haven’t even been alive for centuries. The colors in this book perfectly capture the absurdity of the Hollywood lifestyle where drugs and sex are par for the course and dead bodies may not be too far from the norm either. Mayday is wild and depraved and I love everything about it. The main character, Terrance, is a total schmuck. I definitely want to punch him on the nose. However, the other protagonist, Kleio, seems totally awesome so far!! I can’t wait to see more of the dynamic between these two. I’m also a sucker for the idea of someone who’s made a lot of bad decisions getting forced into a situation that won’t allow him to hide his true nature. Yes, Terrance drinks too much and doesn’t accomplish much, but he fights to save Kleio. I’m very excited about Mayday. It is unabashedly ridiculous, giving it a genuine and passionate air. Mayday is an entertaining read that you should not miss. And the shading is done with dots. DOTS! That are done incredibly well!! It’s a miracle! I’m ecstatic!

jem

Jem and the Holograms #2

Publisher: IDW Publishing

Writer: Kelly Thompson

Artist: Sophie Campbell

Cover Artists: Sophie Campbell and Amy Mebberson

Price: $3.99

Another second issue that blew me away!! I cannot get over the amazing art in this book! It’s so bold and wapow! The splash pages that feature the bands performing are SO glorious. I almost felt like I could hear the music just from seeing all the zany swirling colors. I also really liked the increased emphasis on the family dynamic between the Holograms. All of the sisters are so different, but so hilarious in their own way. I can imagine that family dinners growing up were ridickydonk and probably quite loud. And of course, what battle of the bands story is complete without a love interest. Or multiple love interests in this case. This entire issue was full of frolicking, feel good fun and I totally loved it. The art made it a must read for me and the story lived up to the art 100%.

pisces

Pisces #1

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe

Artist/Cover Artist: Johnnie Christmas

Price: $3.50

So. I’m very confused about this comic because the issue I read does not include the preview pages that have been provided and have accompanied most reviews I have previously seen. I feel like some of the stuff in the preview pages is kind of essential to the story so I’m a bit befuddled. However, there is a lot to talk about in what I did read, so I’m going to look at that now and try to figure out what I’m missing tomorrow. Pisces is intense and horrific and beautifully done. Much of the book is dialogue free, allowing the vivid images to really set in. With war flashbacks mixed in with the present time, Pisces feels like a nightmare version of taking Ms. Frizzle’s Magic School Bus through Dillon’s mind. It’s never really clear where reality ends and hallucinations begin, which makes everything that much more intriguing. Gruesome imagery is adjacent to beautiful landscapes and everything feels perfectly wrong. While this book made my skin crawl, it did so in the way a good horror comic should. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing when crawling bugs and slimy creatures adorned almost every page.

order of the forge

The Order of the Forge #1

Publisher: Dark Horse

Writer: Victor Gischler

Artist: Tazio Bettin

Cover Artist: Juan Ferreyra

Price $3.99

This comic is awesome. It plays off of all the stereotypes and tropes associated with the founding fathers to create a ragamuffin group of historical hooligans. It makes me wonder how the lovely people who made such a fuss about Panic #1’s ‘The Night Before Christmas’ would react. If they flipped their wigs about Santa Claus being portrayed in a less than favorale fashion, you can imagine how they would respond to Ben Franklin and George Washington receiving similar treatment. And by less than favorable I mean the founding fathers are shown drinking, spending time with women, and wielding axes willy nilly. Egads, am I right? Seriously though, The Order of the Forge is delightful. From the cover art and description, I really wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, but it super surprised me. There’s also some occult stuff going on and I’m excited to see where that leads.

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