Graphic Novels 1-21-10
It’s January, 2010 – do you know where the good graphic novels are? A host of excellent titles can be found at Schuler Books and Music. Here are some of the more recent masterpieces on display:
The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity
As a child, Tommy Taylor’s life was written into a series of Potteresque fantasy adventures by his distant and mysterious father. Now, as an adult, Tommy – long-abandoned by his vanished father, and cut off from the estate – signs autographs at fantasy conventions to make a living. But when questions of his real identity start to swirl in the media, aspects of his father’s fictions become real and deadly, leading Tommy to investigate his own, uncertain background. Literary truth and urban fantasy collide in this new ongoing series by the writer and artist of DC/Vertigo’s acclaimed Lucifer.
The Life and Times of Savior 28:
What does America’s greatest superhero do when, in the wake of 9/11, he realizes that most of his life has been spent fighting the wrong enemies in the wrong way? In the case of Savior 28, he vows never to fight again, but practicing non-violence while wearing spandex is easier said than done, especially with his list of enemies, old and new. As his plans fail, old foes become allies, and his emotional stability and patriotism are publicly questioned, we are shown just how hard it is for even a superman to change the world when it clearly doesn’t want it. J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Cavallaro present a politically realistic look at superheroes that is sad, poignant, and yet hopeful.
Human Target: Chance Meetings:
Who is the Human Target? Christopher Chance thought he was, but Christopher Chance isn’t entirely sure who he is, anymore – especially when, after a risky job, a deadly assassin comes to kill him, and he’s saved by… himself? Who is impersonating who, here? This classic story of lost identity, written by Peter Milligan and beautifully illustrated by the late Edvin Biukovic, has been re-issued along with its direct sequel, Human Target: Final Cut (Peter Milligan and Javier Pulido) in anticpation of the tv show. Do yourself a favor – put down the remote, pick up this book, and marvel at Milligan’s decidedly mature and questioning take on the classic DC character.
You think YOUR childhood was bad? David Small’s 1950′s upbringing – smothered by his bad secrets and lurking insanity – is both surreal and unnerving. A fateful turn of events, fueled by parental apathy and possibly something worse, lead to a dreadful consequence that he learns to overcome in his own, quiet way. This biographic novel is a brilliant meld of story and art, and a harrowing journey into what happens behind drawn curtains and silent voices. Stunning.
A Marvel Comics event several years in the making is about to unfold like a poison flower. You think you know what’s been going on, now that the Civil War is won, the Secret Invasion is foiled, and Norman Osborn has ascended to national prominence – kicking SHIELD, Tony Stark, and the proper Avengers to the curb in the process? True Believers, you haven’t seen nothing yet. This selection of re-issues from Dark Avengers, Dark Reign, Thor, and Marvel’s past bring to light some of the hideous tendrils that are about to burst out and make what’s happened so far look like one of Aunt May’s pot pies. Crossover genius in motion!
This childlike story with a big heart ruminates on the true meaning of friendship, as an abandoned robot lies on the beach, wondering when his builder will come back to him. Meanwhile, the builder undergoes various other adventures of his own, seeking companionship and redemption after an act of embarassed selfishness. Sara Varon’s dialogue-free tale is haunting and charming, and worthy of multiple re-readings.
Other Graphic Novels to check out: A D: New Orleans after the Deluge, Chill, The Impostor’s Daughter, Sandman: The Dream Hunters (P. Craig Russell’s art)
Other ongoing series to keep an eye on: The Boys, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, BPRD, Dark Avengers, DMZ, Ex Machina, Fables, Freakangels, Irredeemable, Locke & Key, Marvel Zombies, New Avengers, Scalped, Thor, The Walking Dead, Wet Moon
And if you haven’t been taking advantage of DC/Vertigo’s steady reprinting of Transmetropolitan, Spider Jerusalem would like you to know that he’s coming around with both filthy assistants to give you a severe kicking. Because they care.
-Jim Tremlett, Eastwood