For The Love of Comics

For The Love of Comics – Kill or Be Killed

killorbekilledWell howdy! Welcome to the NEW comic column. If you used to read the precursor column to this one – Thee Comic Column – you’ll no doubt remember that I dropped off penning that column all the way back in December. Holy cow! I had no idea it had been that long. The impetus for stopping Thee Comic Column – other than that particular name never really gelled with me; it was meant to be an allusion to Genesis P. Orridge’s Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth but mostly I feel just made it sound as though I had a wantonly high opinion of my thoughts on our favorite periodical industry –  was that after going for 150 mostly weekly iterations I had reached a point with my writing that no longer saw a focus placed on discussions surrounding the mediums I love. I’d already pretty much given up writing about film after leaving Chud.com, so abandoning something I had created was not without precedent in my life. And honestly I’d realized some time before December 2015 that the column was just one more way to distract myself from finishing the novel I’d been working on tooth and nail for four years. So, I jettisoned the column, my podcast Drinking with Comics (which may return at some point) and knuckled down on my own story.

Thee Comic Column #138: Return!

Weirdworld_Vol_1_5_TextlessYou may have noticed this column disappeared for the previous three weeks and became what can can only be described as sporadic for a time before that. The three weeks hiatus is a first – since I started Thee Comic Column* back in 2012 I’ve missed a week here or there, but never consecutive weeks. I need this column – it’s where I go to put down my thoughts on what I’m reading, how I’m feeling about the comic world, its trends, its ups and its downs. I once flirted with the idea of writing ‘journalistically’ and dabbled in it a microscopic bit, only to realize that journalism is not the kind of writing that I’m here for. Sure, I’m opinionated about the things I like (and dislike) and as such I like to ‘talk’ it out on the page occasionally, but there’s only so much time in a day and storytelling is my true calling. So the last few months have been a flurry of activity in that department as I finish the novel I’ve been writing for three years. Also, I went through some dark life stuff and am still climbing up out of that, so during all of that it’s probably not a stretch for me to say that I’ve read very few comics. That’s changed now –  I’m catching back up; slimmed down my pull at The Comic Bug a bit to cast off the stuff that I wasn’t really enjoying (Sandman: Overture for one, which we address on the forthcoming issue #24 of Drinking with Comics) and really began delving into some of the books that I’ve been behind on. Lazarus, Saga and Velvet are all books that I’ve been reading monthly since they began but haven’t had a chance to sit down and re-read in a tight, controlled burst. Doing that is at the top of the list. Also, there are a bunch of titles I want to pick up that my Dw/C co-host Mike Wellman turned me on to: Airboy and Weirdworld are both at the top of that particular list. And yes, Weirdworld is a Marvel book and I’m technically off Marvel books, however since it doesn’t tie into any of the standard Marvel characters I have now successfully detoxed from I’m considering it an acceptable cheat. Plus, I mean, when you look at Mike Del Mundo’s art, the fact that Jason Aaron’s writing it, or characters from freakin’ Crystar the Crystal Warrior are in it, well, Weirdworld is a title I just can’t pass up. Growing up I was always intrigued by that kinda grimy late 70s/early 80s pulp fantasy stuff but never really knew how to get into it. This will be revisionist education, if nothing else.

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.

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