Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Cops on the moon, super hero cops and various non-cop-related titles (2017 review, finale)

My connection to the world of comic books has felt a bit off ever since I quit working for Marvel in 2012. Perhaps I miss the shared universe concept, the excitement of seeing different creators and their characters playing off of each other. Maybe. Still, I got into a few titles this last year.

What was the best new comic I read last year? I dunno. Let's say Mooncop or Baking with Kafka by Tom Gauld. The latter book is a collection of cartoons, while the former is a graphic novel about a police officer on the moon - unfortunately, people are steadily leaving the moon so his job seems to be a pointless one. It's funny and heartfelt.

I read a lot of other books from Canada's Drawn & Quarterly including Hostage by Guy Delisle and both of his Bad Parenting books, plus Rolling Blackouts by Sarah Glidden, which I reviewed here.

I followed Deathstroke by Christopher Priest, Joe Bennett, Carlo Pagulayan & others for most of the year until the book shifted from bi-monthly to monthly status and increased its cover price. Priest seemed to be having the time of his life playing on the fringes of the DC Universe while crafting a complex series loaded with conflicted characters. It's very much like his Black Panther, only with an amoral unstoppable protagonist. You can read one of my reviews from the past year here.

I'm also following G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero by Larry Hama & S. L. Gallant, which spent most of the last year creating a new Snake Eyes for the series (Hama killed off the most popular Joe recently). I'm reading Cerebus in Hell? by Dave Sim which has been published in various different parody title formats (ie, Strange Cerebus) and while it sure ain't Cerebus proper, it makes me chuckle. Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai published a number of issues last year and it's as consistent and strong as ever. I also dipped into the past for Top Ten by Alan Moore & Gene Ha, which I missed back in its heyday; it was as complex as I expected from Moore, but I had difficulty sorting out my feelings about the large cast.

For a time I followed the controversial The Divided States of Hysteria by Howard Chaykin, right up until my comic shop stopped putting it on the shelves! It was easily the second-most reviled book of 2017 (after Marvel's Secret Empire) and isn't that enough reason to check it out? I wrote up my thoughts here.

As I had thoroughly enjoyed the film Edge of Tomorrow I decide to give the earlier manga version a try and read All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka & Takeshi Obata. It has many differences compared to the film and definitely opts for less-optimistic ending. I'm still following Astro City by Kurt Busiek & Brent Anderson, which had a few noteworthy issues last year, particularly a two-parter about a man who learns to be a hero from the example of his dog.

Some more recent reads of mine include the Charles Dickens adaptation Marley's Ghost by Gideon Kendall, which I reviewed here; Captain Kronos by Dan Abnett & Tom Mandrake, reviewed here; The Sworn Sword by Ben Avery & Mike S. Miller which is set in the world of George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones world but is a shade more optimistic; the M. R. James adaptations found in Ghost Stories of an Antiquary Vol.2 by Leah Moore, John Reppion & others, reviewed by me here; and the European book Alter Ego: Camille by Pierre-Paul Renders, Denis Lapiere & Mathieu Reynes, which I hope to review soon as it has elements worth talking about... and people don't seem to be talking about it online.

Happy 2018!

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