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For The Love Of Comics – 2017: The Year of the Bastard

sb_coverI’ll be damned if Southern Bastards didn’t just one-up itself AGAIN!

Thee Comic Column #131: Southern Cross

So CrossLast week at the shop I found issue #3 of Becky Cloonan, Andy Belanger and Lee Loughridge’s Southern Cross. Reading this issue was a lot like my experience reading issue #5 of Southern Bastards in that this is the issue that sealed the deal and made me a hardcore fan of a new monthly book that I was initially skeptical of. Southern Cross is a brilliant Sci Fi mystery/ghost story (maybe?); I picked issue #1 up without knowing anything about it and really dug it. That said, I dawdled a bit before buying issue #2. my skepticism didn’t have anything to do with the book itself, but the fact that I’ve really been trying to watch what I spend on comics lately as it’s in danger of getting ridiculous again and that’s making me a little gunshy on adding new series. Then I remembered what I should be doing to control my spending at the shop is NOT giving in to those Marvel books I’ve tried to swear off several times now – mostly succeeding but not always. Not paying $3-4.99 a book for a bunch of interconnected franchise stories, no matter how good they might be at times, will free up enough money for me to painlessly indulge in all the indie/creator-owned stuff I can. Also, Elephantmen creator Richard Starkings frequents the same comic shop I do – my beloved Comic Bug –  and he spoke very highly of the second issue of Southern Cross so lucky for me, I found I couldn’t resist.

Thee Comic Column #114: My Favorite Comics of 2014

a-voice-in-the-dark-04Wow. I read a lot of comics this year. Not just the stuff I’ve been reading, continually from year to year (there’s less and less of that with ‘classic’ titles/characters as reboots continue to constantly re-boot, rejuvenate (?) and re-evaluate the ongoing properties of the big 2) but there was a literal flood of great, new comics that hit the shelves this year. And some old friends of course; not everyone is interesting in covering up old scars. And even with all that I did read it’s clear I didn’t get to them all – reading fellow Joupitter Tommy’s year end blow-out spectacular I was shocked to see his favorite was Spread. Shocked because, well, I don’t remember even hearing about this book! Couple with that quite a few other titles on my radar that I missed out on and you’ll see this isn’t  a list compiled by someone who read everything there was to read in the 2014 world of comics, but by someone who tried really hard to read as much of it as he could. All that said, this list isn’t only for new books, simply the best comic series I read in 2014, continuing or new.

Thee Comic Column #109: Southern Bastards Just Blew My Mind

STK652986I dug Jason Aaron and Jason Latour‘s Southern Bastards from the first issue, but only in a very peripheral way. And for the record, I don’t mean that in a negative way at all. It was actually A Voice in the Dark‘s Larime Taylor, back when he guested on Drinking with Comics, that brought Southern Bastards to my attention, and after picking up and reading issue #1 I ear-marked it as a series to follow. A lot of that was based on how striking and original Mr. Latour’s art and colors were, coupled with the fact that I had previously loved Mr. Aaron’s Scalped, a series I unfortunately still have not completed to this day (it’s in the works…). However, as you may have noticed if you read this column there are a lot of series I follow, and in the tide of my weekly stacks – stacks that seem to grow exponentially month by month – Southern Bastards was a book that I bought but didn’t read for the next few months. When I bought issue #4 I finally caught up, and by the end of it I was a little shocked at the direction some things had taken, not even realizing the… um, how to do this without spoilers… severity of what had happened to one of the characters in the book. Until I picked up issue #5 the other day. After reading the first few pages of that one, well, let’s just say my jaw hit the freakin’ ground.

Thee Comic Column #85: Southern Bastards

image courtesy of Southern Bastards.com

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