Monday, 26 June 2017

My favourite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics Books)

Every now and again, something comes along that just kicks you squarely in the guts with a whump so powerful that you have to sit up and pay attention.

So it was with "My Favourite Thing is Monsters" by Emil Ferris.

I was hooked by that cover even before I knew what the book was about, I have always loved that scritchy-scratchy type of biro pen rendering that this book is filled with (though that sounds like I'm understating Emil's substantial artistic talents - which I'm really not, the work in this book is just utterly mind blowing).

So to the story, of young Karen who isn't quite like other girls. Living in late 60s Chicago with her mother and brother in a very odd disjointed relationship, Karen idolises her upstairs neighbour Anka Silverberg, who is glamorous, beautiful and full of stories.

When her neighbour is discovered dead one morning, tucked up in bed as if nothing had happened but with a gunshot wound, there's a mystery to be solved and Karen is determined to be the one who solves it.

This book is utterly amazing to look at, and it's a stunning read too!
As Karen's life is thrown into turmoil by various events at home, Karen's dogged determination continues until she starts to find the tangled threads of the mystery are even more complex than first thought. When she starts to dig into Anka's terrible past, and her narrow escape from a concentration camp in Germany, Karen has to find a huge amount of inner strength - and perhaps some allies along the way.

Wish I could draw like this. So beautiful. Should've sent a poet. 

Filled with darkly tinged humour, but also some fairly harrowing stuff (definitely not for kids - a lot of expletives and nudity throughout as well as some strong adult themes), it's one of the most amazing pieces of work I've ever seen (and I've read a LOT of graphic novels and comics). Set out like a spiral-bound journal but chock full of incredible pen drawings, it's a huge thick paperback book that'll take you a couple of evenings to work through just to take in all the brilliance (and it'll make you want to re-read it as soon as you've finished too).

Book 2 is on the way and I seriously cannot wait (I've got it on preorder this time, not risking missing this for the world!)

If we did a book of the year on this blog, this would be it. Tough to get hold of on this side of the Atlantic, but so worth it.

"My Favourite Thing is Monsters" by Emil Ferris is out now, published by Fantagraphics Books (Self purchased). 

Motor Crush Volume 1 by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr (Image Comics)

I need to be more careful when browsing through people's Twitter timelines, as it's beginning to cost me an arm and a leg in comics.

I've seen a lot of people buzzing about how brilliant "Motor Crush" is, and I wanted to find out for myself - but because I'm one of those weirdo traditionalists who still likes paper comics, I'm forced to wait until collections become available.

So here's Motor Crush Volume 1, collecting the first five issues of Brenden, Cameron and Babs awesome comic.

Introducing us to Domino (Dom), a streetwise hell-for-leather bike racer who is a rising star on the World Motorcycle Racing League, but by night is also a tooth-smashing battle biker, raising some additional funds through nefarious and illegal means.

Domino's dad (or rather her surrogate dad) backs her racing career but we soon find out that there's a lot more to Dom's backstory than meets the eye.

After a particularly harrowing accident, Dom is forced to try and claw her way back - and in the meantime discovers more about her past, tiny snippets of information that begin to fit together. She also reunites with her ex, and with the makings of a racing team it's time for Domino to put up or shut up.

She will kick your ass, make no mistake about it
This is like a glorious love letter to Road Rash and Speed Racer fused with a pseudo-futuristic drug culture (the "Crush" in the comic's title refers to a horribly addictive machine drug that Dom takes a lot of risks to acquire) and some pretty manga-esque props.

Tightly written and ending on the sort of cliffhanger that makes you want to chew the comic in half once you reach the end, Volume 2 is definitely getting done once it appears.

Babs Tarr, fresh from her stint of completely rejuvenating and reinventing Batgirl, Babs Tarr's artwork is scintillating and fantastic.

With a roster of characters that make this a real standout title, "Motor Crush" may well be your new comic crush too. Incredibly addictive stuff, as you'd expect!

"Motor Crush Volume 1" by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr is out now, published by Image Comics (self purchased). 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Saga Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image Comics)

Oh the delicious pain of waiting for a year between collected volumes of the most fantastic Sci Fi / Fantasy comic ever to cross our threshold.

Saga Volume 7 (which actually came out in April - I need to keep better track of these things) sees Hazel reunited with her parents Marko and Alana, still fleeing from pursuing forces intent on snatching Hazel away and executing Marko and Alana for the war crime of consorting with an enemy species.

As usual, Saga sticks two fingers up to most comic book conventions, opening with an entirely adult scene of Prince Robot alone in his room choking the robot chicken - while the fragile ship containing an ever-increasing rag tag band of miscreants ends up making an emergency landing on a comet world.

New allies are found, new enemies identified, including a vicious new mercenary who makes very short work of a well-loved character early on (no spoilers).

Vaughan and Staples are making comic history, honing this long-running tale into something that has evolved way past being a simple sci fi yarn into something truly spectacular.

Staples gets plenty of praise for her work, which gets tighter and tighter (and more beautiful) all the time. Vaughan's writing stabs neatly into the heart of issues that rage on our own world today, but have particular relevance in the story's arc. Politics, war, sex and parenting - a potent mix indeed.

Now once again I enter the period of waiting until January 2018 for the next collected version of Saga (while you comic fans hoover up the monthly issues happily - Sorry but I've never been any good at collecting comics properly and being able to source them so it's always all about the collections).

This series had a bit of a wobble but it's now firmly back on track, back to being as fun, sexy and potent as ever before.

"Saga" Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples is out now, published by Image Comics. 

Monday, 26 June 2017

My favourite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics Books)

No comments:
Every now and again, something comes along that just kicks you squarely in the guts with a whump so powerful that you have to sit up and pay attention.

So it was with "My Favourite Thing is Monsters" by Emil Ferris.

I was hooked by that cover even before I knew what the book was about, I have always loved that scritchy-scratchy type of biro pen rendering that this book is filled with (though that sounds like I'm understating Emil's substantial artistic talents - which I'm really not, the work in this book is just utterly mind blowing).

So to the story, of young Karen who isn't quite like other girls. Living in late 60s Chicago with her mother and brother in a very odd disjointed relationship, Karen idolises her upstairs neighbour Anka Silverberg, who is glamorous, beautiful and full of stories.

When her neighbour is discovered dead one morning, tucked up in bed as if nothing had happened but with a gunshot wound, there's a mystery to be solved and Karen is determined to be the one who solves it.

This book is utterly amazing to look at, and it's a stunning read too!
As Karen's life is thrown into turmoil by various events at home, Karen's dogged determination continues until she starts to find the tangled threads of the mystery are even more complex than first thought. When she starts to dig into Anka's terrible past, and her narrow escape from a concentration camp in Germany, Karen has to find a huge amount of inner strength - and perhaps some allies along the way.

Wish I could draw like this. So beautiful. Should've sent a poet. 

Filled with darkly tinged humour, but also some fairly harrowing stuff (definitely not for kids - a lot of expletives and nudity throughout as well as some strong adult themes), it's one of the most amazing pieces of work I've ever seen (and I've read a LOT of graphic novels and comics). Set out like a spiral-bound journal but chock full of incredible pen drawings, it's a huge thick paperback book that'll take you a couple of evenings to work through just to take in all the brilliance (and it'll make you want to re-read it as soon as you've finished too).

Book 2 is on the way and I seriously cannot wait (I've got it on preorder this time, not risking missing this for the world!)

If we did a book of the year on this blog, this would be it. Tough to get hold of on this side of the Atlantic, but so worth it.

"My Favourite Thing is Monsters" by Emil Ferris is out now, published by Fantagraphics Books (Self purchased). 
Read More

Motor Crush Volume 1 by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr (Image Comics)

No comments:
I need to be more careful when browsing through people's Twitter timelines, as it's beginning to cost me an arm and a leg in comics.

I've seen a lot of people buzzing about how brilliant "Motor Crush" is, and I wanted to find out for myself - but because I'm one of those weirdo traditionalists who still likes paper comics, I'm forced to wait until collections become available.

So here's Motor Crush Volume 1, collecting the first five issues of Brenden, Cameron and Babs awesome comic.

Introducing us to Domino (Dom), a streetwise hell-for-leather bike racer who is a rising star on the World Motorcycle Racing League, but by night is also a tooth-smashing battle biker, raising some additional funds through nefarious and illegal means.

Domino's dad (or rather her surrogate dad) backs her racing career but we soon find out that there's a lot more to Dom's backstory than meets the eye.

After a particularly harrowing accident, Dom is forced to try and claw her way back - and in the meantime discovers more about her past, tiny snippets of information that begin to fit together. She also reunites with her ex, and with the makings of a racing team it's time for Domino to put up or shut up.

She will kick your ass, make no mistake about it
This is like a glorious love letter to Road Rash and Speed Racer fused with a pseudo-futuristic drug culture (the "Crush" in the comic's title refers to a horribly addictive machine drug that Dom takes a lot of risks to acquire) and some pretty manga-esque props.

Tightly written and ending on the sort of cliffhanger that makes you want to chew the comic in half once you reach the end, Volume 2 is definitely getting done once it appears.

Babs Tarr, fresh from her stint of completely rejuvenating and reinventing Batgirl, Babs Tarr's artwork is scintillating and fantastic.

With a roster of characters that make this a real standout title, "Motor Crush" may well be your new comic crush too. Incredibly addictive stuff, as you'd expect!

"Motor Crush Volume 1" by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr is out now, published by Image Comics (self purchased). 
Read More

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Saga Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image Comics)

No comments:
Oh the delicious pain of waiting for a year between collected volumes of the most fantastic Sci Fi / Fantasy comic ever to cross our threshold.

Saga Volume 7 (which actually came out in April - I need to keep better track of these things) sees Hazel reunited with her parents Marko and Alana, still fleeing from pursuing forces intent on snatching Hazel away and executing Marko and Alana for the war crime of consorting with an enemy species.

As usual, Saga sticks two fingers up to most comic book conventions, opening with an entirely adult scene of Prince Robot alone in his room choking the robot chicken - while the fragile ship containing an ever-increasing rag tag band of miscreants ends up making an emergency landing on a comet world.

New allies are found, new enemies identified, including a vicious new mercenary who makes very short work of a well-loved character early on (no spoilers).

Vaughan and Staples are making comic history, honing this long-running tale into something that has evolved way past being a simple sci fi yarn into something truly spectacular.

Staples gets plenty of praise for her work, which gets tighter and tighter (and more beautiful) all the time. Vaughan's writing stabs neatly into the heart of issues that rage on our own world today, but have particular relevance in the story's arc. Politics, war, sex and parenting - a potent mix indeed.

Now once again I enter the period of waiting until January 2018 for the next collected version of Saga (while you comic fans hoover up the monthly issues happily - Sorry but I've never been any good at collecting comics properly and being able to source them so it's always all about the collections).

This series had a bit of a wobble but it's now firmly back on track, back to being as fun, sexy and potent as ever before.

"Saga" Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples is out now, published by Image Comics. 
Read More