Saturday, February 16, 2019

Comics Lust 2/16/2019

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director/administrative assistant/my valentine. Alrighty, the 30-Day Real Food challenge is over and I have had tacos with chips at Corazón Cocina and beer at the Garden; all is right in the world once again. Now that things are back in order and my puppy executive team and I are back to business as usual and armed with better dietary knowledge, we can commence maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company…after a quick nap. Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health and sanity, treat your friends to some tacos, keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, and read some great comics. Thank you for reading!


*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magiks mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.


Not sure what “Comics Lust” is about? Take a look at the Introduction to “Comics Lust” post or take a look at the static “Comics Lust Table of Contents” page to jump to a topic.

Comics Lust

Chocolate and Peanut Butter: Cross-Company Crossovers (Part 3)



I have no idea what I’m about to get myself into, but for this installment, I want to look at cross-company crossovers that mostly focus on the Dark Knight himself, Batman. I’m aware that this will probably need to be a multiparter within a multiparter as everyone who’s anyone has teamed with The Bat at some time or another. We’ll see how it goes. We’ll start with some of my favorites as well as others that touch on some well-known darlings from the ’80s: aliens, and predators, and terminators, oh my!


Batman Grendel #1–2

(Everythinged by Matt Wagner, originally published in 1993 by DC Comics and Dark Horse)
Oh, man, it has been far too long since I read this awesome crossover. Everyone knows my deep love of Wagner’s Grendel comics (and Mage, as well), so when you have the creator of the infamous crime boss Grendel training his electrified fork upon Gotham’s dark knight, there was no way I could let this one slip by. Here you have billionaire playboys Hunter Rose and Bruce Wayne meeting for the first time as their alter egos clash at night in some truly spectacular fight sequences mixed with noir intrigue. Fans of either character—or both, like me—simply must read this miniseries, especially before diving into the follow-up…


Batman Grendel II #1–2

(Everythinged by Matt Wagner, originally published in 1996 by DC Comics and Dark Horse)
Batman squares off against Grendel once again, only this is a different incarnation known as Grendel Prime, an unstoppable and ruthless killer determined to locate the skull of Hunter Rose. Gorgeous Art Deco style art by Wagner and a compelling as hell story have me chomping at the bit to dive back in. A trade collecting both parts exists, but it unfortunately looks to be out of print. Whether you read in issues or trade, just be sure you get yourself caught up.


Batman Hellboy Starman #1–2

(Written by James Robinson, illustrated by Mike Mignola, originally published in 1999 by DC Comics and Darkhorse)
This one completely snuck past me way back when which is shocking as I love Robinson’s Starman series. Jack and Ted Knight, Batman and Hellboy have to combine sorcery with science to stop a bunch Nazi scum from summoning an evil elder god? Heck. Yeah. So much fun! The only way to get these two issues collected is by finding either the Hellboy: Masks and Monsters collection or the Starman Omnibus Volume 4 or the DC Comics/Dark Horse Comics: Justice League Volume 1 (more on this one later).


Batman and Judge Dredd

I had always been aware of Judge Dredd and the 2000 AD publisher, especially during the ’80s, it’s just that my allowance was limited and there were a ton of other comics vying for my dollars. Then, in 1991, Batman had a one-shot that caught my attention as did a string of other books that followed:


Now, admittedly, I’ve only read the first half of these fine books, but thankfully there is a readily available trade called Batman/Judge Dredd Collection that includes all four of the above, with the bonus Lobo/Judge Dredd: Psycho Biker (written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, illustrated by Val Semeiks and John Dell, originally published in 1995 by DC Comics) included. Looks like I’ll be picking up this collection in the near future.


Aliens, Predators, and Terminators Meet DC

Okay, these are all uncharted waters for this here Donist, which is why I decided to take a closer look in the first place. Time to add to my own reading list, let’s see what we find:

  • Batman Versus Predator #1–3 (Written by Dave Gibbons, illustrated by Andy Kubert and Adam Kubert, originally published in 1992 by DC Comics and Dark Horse)
  • Batman Versus Predator II: Bloodmatch #1–4 (Written by Doug Moench, illustrated by Paul Gulacy and Terry Austin, originally published in 1994 by DC Comics and Dark Horse)
  • Superman Aliens #1–3 (Written by Dan Jurgens, illustrated by Dan Jurgens and Kevin Nowlan, originally published in 1995 by DC Comics and Dark Horse) This looks pretty dang cool to me!
  • Batman Versus Predator III: Blood Ties #1–4 (Written by Chuck Dixon, illustrated by Rodolfo Damaggio and Robert Campanella, originally published in 1997 by DC Comics and Dark Horse)
  • Batman Aliens #1–2 (Written by Ron Marz, illustrated by Bernie Wrightson, originally published in 1997 by DC Comics and Dark Horse). Wrightson on art?!?! How the hell did I miss this?!
  • Superman Versus the Terminator: Fight for the Future #1–4 (Written by Alan Grant, illustrated by Steve Pugh, originally published in 1999 by DC Comics and Dark Horse) Okay, given the creators, I totally want to check this out.
  • Superman vs. Predator #1–3 (Written by David Michelinie, illustrated by Alex Maleev, originally published in 2000 by DC Comics and Dark Horse)
  • Green Lantern Versus Aliens #1–4 (Written by Ron Marz, illustrated by Rick Leonardi and Mike Perkins, originally published in 2000 by DC Comics and Dark Horse) Yeah, I really want to check this one out!

Wow. This was a more extensive list than I initially thought it would be, but the good thing is that there are certain to be some real gems in there and they all look to be quite fun. Now, reading them in collected formats appears to be somewhat difficult in that each series has its own trade, but luckily you can read them all—with some extras—in these five collections:


Holy cow, I have a bunch of stuff to track down so I can get my read on! See you next week.



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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Comics Lust 2/9/2019

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director/administrative assistant/reluctant rain runner Tulip. Thank goodness the rain let up for a few hours so my puppy executive team and I could go for a UCSB walk and discuss our plans for maintaining our standing as a Fortune 325,000 company as well as future topics of “Comics Lust” and for finally releasing the second volume of Tulip the Superpowered Boston Terrier. Exciting times.  Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health and sanity, treat your friends to some tacos (which we can't eat except for the meat and veggies), keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, and read some great comics. Thank you for reading!


*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magiks mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.


Not sure what “Comics Lust” is about? Take a look at the Introduction to “Comics Lust” post or take a look at the static “Comics Lust Table of Contents” page to jump to a topic.

Comics Lust

Under the Sea: Adventures Below the Waves (Part 1)



With all of the rain we have received over the past few months and after seeing the turbulent waves of the Pacific Ocean while taking Tulip for a walk, I got to thinking about comic books that focus primarily on what occurs below the water’s surface. Of course, I could go the route of Aquaman or Namor the Submariner, but you could easily go multiple entries on each of those characters alone. Today, I want to focus on less widely known comics which showcase underwater worlds that can be as spectacular as they are nightmarish.


Low

(Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Greg Tocchini, colored by Dave McCaig, originally published in 2014 by Image Comics)
After the Earth’s surface was irradiated to the point of being uninhabitable, humanity retreats to the depths of the ocean after sending countless probes out into the universe to find new hospitable worlds. Now, many millennia later, a probe has returned and crashed upon the land and it is up to Stel Caine to brave pirates and monsters to find it before the once oxygen-rich waters also turn toxic.
Despite many delays over the past four and a half years, the tremendous Low is slowly approaching the end of the series. Focusing primarily on Stel Caine and her daughters, it is a story of the struggle to remain optimistic when tragedy after tragedy attempts to drag everyone down. Beautifully illustrated by Tocchini with what looks to be painted colors by McCaig, the pair gives us a lovely yet terrifying submerged world with unique character and creature designs that are certain to captivate new readers and old—I especially like the designs of the immensely powerful Helm Suits, and of the oh-so-lovely leading women. No matter how long it takes for this series to play out, I will be there with the hope that the Caine family can finally persevere their countless obstacles to finally succeed; I can’t wait to see how it all eventually ends. Thankfully, you can catch up on the—as of this writing—20 issues via the four trades (Issues 1–19) or the first hardcover (issues 1–15). No need to dip your toe, just dive in!


The Wake

(Written by Scott Snyder, illustrated by Sean Murphy, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, originally published in 2013 by Vertigo Comics, a DC Comics imprint)
My main problem with this series is that it is only 10 issues long. This was a bummer to me as I fell in love with the world Snyder and Murphy had created in the second half of the series. But what about the first half of the series?, you ask. That’s the thing about The Wake, each five issue chunk is practically its own tale. The first half sees marine biologist Lee Archer being transported to the Arctic Circle and down to an underwater oil rig which houses a captured creature that looks to turn the oil rig into the researchers' watery tomb. The second half switches gears by jumping two hundred years into the future to a predominantly flooded Earth with new character Leeward as she faces threats from both land and sea as the genre shifts from mostly horror to mostly science fiction. This second half is where I wanted to see more: more of the characters, more of what occurred in between the jumps in time, and more of Murphy’s stunning character work and cityscapes. If you want a quick read that will give you shivers while making you hesitant to get in the bathtub, then this is the real deal! You can read the done-in-one hardcover or the done-in-one trade if tracking down the individual issues is not your scene.


Atlantis Chronicles

(Written by Peter David, illustrated by Estaban Moroto, originally published in 1990 by DC Comics)
It has been a while since I read this epic, seven-issue series about the history of Atlantis. Yes, this is the same Atlantis where Aquaman currently resides, but I am sticking true to not talking about that green and orange costumed superhero. In fact, Arthur Curry is barely mentioned throughout the entirety of this remarkable series. Atlantis Chronicles has much to offer for fans of Game of Thrones and fictional history buffs as it begins 50,000 years in the past to follow the rulers of Atlantis both before the fabled city’s descent beneath the waves and up to the point of Aquaman’s beginnings—at least his beginnings according to the ’90s. Each issue is extra long with tons of material both historical and action-packed as politics and intrigue bring about the rise and fall and rise again of this great empire. Atlantis Chronicles is a damn fine read that you can do in issue form or through the recently released deluxe hardcover


Undertow

(Written Steve Orlando, illustrated by Artyom Trakhanov, originally published in 2014 by Image Comics)
Usually, stories focus on humans initially delving into the depths of the opaque blackness of the ocean but in Undertow, it is a society of fish-men who take exploratory missions to the surface world where Neanderthals roam the lands. Traveling via watertight exploratory vessels and wearing battle suits filled with water, Ukinnu and the commander Anshargal set out with a rapidly dwindling crew to find the mythical “Amphibian” a once water dweller who has someone adapted to breathing air and who is said to rule early man as a cannibalistic god. This short, six-issue series is a trippy joy to read especially given Trakhanov’s Warren Magazine-esque style of art that keeps things good and creepy. You can also find Undertow in trade form.


Sea Devils

(Originally written by Robert Kanigher, originally illustrated by Russ Heath, originally published in 1960 by DC Comics)
I know very little about this series other than I really want to read it—I might be on the older side of things, but I’m not THAT old. What I do know is that Sea Devils originally appeared in Showcase Presents #27–29 in 1960, before graduating to their own series Sea Devils #1–35 from 1961–1967. The books follow a team of underwater adventurers as they face off against monsters and sea spirits and all sorts of undersea mysteries. There is an out-of-print Showcase Presents: Sea Devils phonebook-style collection, but that is black and white and only has about half of the series. Here’s hoping we someday get a Silver Age collection of the whole enchilada because individual issues are REALLY expensive and hard to come by.


That’s it for this installment, keep dry and stay away from any sea serpents that might be lurking in your nearest body of water. See you next week.



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Saturday, February 2, 2019

Comics Lust 2/2/2019

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director/administrative assistant/rain-hater Tulip. Dang, the rain got pretty crazy this morning and, like last year, the 101 freeway was shut down for at least a few hours. Now, it’s all clear blue skies and my puppy executive team is out enjoying it while it lasts…which will only be a few hours until the pounding storm returns. Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health and sanity, treat your friends to some tacos (which we can't eat except for the meat and veggies), keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, and read some great comics. Thank you for reading!


*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magiks mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.


Not sure what “Comics Lust” is about? Take a look at the Introduction to “Comics Lust” post or take a look at the static “Comics Lust Table of Contents” page to jump to a topic.

Comics Lust

Chocolate and Peanut Butter: Cross-Company Crossovers (Part 2)



It’s no secret that I love Marvel’s cosmic characters and comics, especially when it comes to Jim Starlin’s work with Adam Warlock and Thanos. I straight up love that stuff. But right around the comic implosion of the mid-’90s, I threw in the towel on comic books after the blatant money grab that was Infinity Crusade (I don’t blame Starlin for this), which saw the event spreading across practically ever comic book Marvel had to offer. I was done. Gimmick covers, continuously late titles, the “extremification” of most superhero comics, polybags, trading cards, rushed products, and wallet-busting event after event chased this diehard Donist away from all comics for about three or four years.
Many companies folded during this time, many were acquired, and little did I know that my much loved Adam Warlock had gotten into some cross-company shenanigans that I only became aware of a few years ago.
Cool.
I had heard of Malibu back in the day, and I was aware of some of their properties, but what I did not know was that Marvel had acquired Malibu Comics and for a few years Warlock became part of Malibu’s “Ultraverse.” I know next to nothing about the Ultraverse, and will be focusing today on the character of Rune, a vampire of sorts who ended up crossing paths with Warlock for a bunch of issues and who supposedly got his greasy talons on the Infinity Gauntlet itself. Let’s see how this unfolds.


Rune #0–9

(Written by Barry Windsor-Smith and Chris Ulm, illustrated by Barry Windsor-Smith, originally published in 1994 by Malibu Comics)
Alrighty, Adam Warlock does not appear in this run, but it is the first main appearance of Rune, a vampiric alien in possession of the Star Stones, a magical necklace that grants him tremendous power but afflicts him with a terrible, vampiric blood lust. Immortal and nigh indestructible, Rune has tormented Earth for hundreds of years. A perfect example of why I fled comics in the ’90s was the #0 issue that required readers to clip coupons from 11 Malibu comics that were to be mailed to Malibu in order to have the comic mailed to them. The #0 issue came with a poster, a trading card, and a temporary tattoo. Or, you could read eleven three-page stories in each of the individual comics, or get the Rune Spin Special which collected eight of the essential three-page stories in one easier to find comic. WTF?! As irritating as all that is, having Windsor-Smith as the creative force behind this character definitely has my interest peaked.


Curse of Rune #1–4

(Written by Chris Ulm, illustrated by Kyle Hotz and Mitch Byrd, originally published in 1994 by Malibu Comics)
Here we go: Adam Warlock appears in the Ultraverse…or at least the Soul Gem does. Hot off the heels of Infinity Gauntlet (1991), Infinity War (1992), Warlock and the Infinity Watch (1992–1995), Warlock Chronicles (1993–1994), Infinity Crusade (1993), and Silver Surfer and Warlock: Resurrection (1993), Warlock somehow ends up in the Ultraverse and he loses his soul gem to none other than Rune. As for how this all goes down and how everything gets put back in order I have no idea, but I can definitely say I am intrigued. A six-month delay between the releases of the first and second issue doesn’t bode well for the series, and neither does bringing in a second artist on the fourth and final issue, but whatchagonnado? It looks like the first issue came out at the same time as issue #5 of the first series.


Godwheel #0–3

(Written by Dan Danko and Chris Ulm, illustrated by Mark Pacella and Jason Moore, originally published in 1994 by Malibu Comics)
No idea exactly what this one is all about, but Thor is in it, Rune is in it, and a whole other mess of Ultraverse characters are in it. I guess we’ll just have to back issue bin dive for these and see what it’s all about.


Giant Size Rune #1

(Written by Barry Windsor-Smith and Chris Ulm, illustrated by Barry Windsor-Smith, originally published in 1995 by Malibu Comics) Not quite sure what the hell this one is about, but the cover depicts a blood-drenched Rune wailing into the night as he holds what looks to be some poor chaps spinal column. Whatever. Put me down for this one for sure.


Rune/Silver Surfer #1

(Written by Chris Ulm and Dan Danko, illustrated by Henry Flint, originally published in 1995 by Marvel Comics)
This is a flipbook, which means you have two comics in one that requires you to flip the physical comic over in order to read the other comic. No idea what goes on here other than Rune and the Silver Surfer fight while you get Marvel character guest appearances up the wazoo.


Rune Vs. Venom

(Written by Chris Ulm and Len Kaminski, illustrated by Mark Pacella and Gabriel Gecko, originally published in 1995 by Marvel Comics)
Although Venom was a hot commodity in the ’90s, I never really cared about the character—not until Donny Cates got ahold of him in his current incredible run—but if you’re thinking of chasing down everything relating to Rune, then you might as well jump all-in on this 48-page beast of comic.


Conan #4

(Written by Larry Hama, illustrated by Barry Crain, originally published in 1995 by Marvel Comics) Rune appears in a Conan comic from the ’90s!


Conan Vs. Rune #1

(Written by Barry Windsor-Smith, illustrated by Barry Windsor-Smith, originally published in 1995 by Marvel Comics)
Wait…what?! How the hell did I not know about Windsor-Smith returning to the character that made him a household name in the ’70s and pitting that character against a new character of Windsor-Smith’s creation over two decades later?! Whatever. 36 pages of comic’s favorite barbarian warrior squaring off against a vampire god? Yeah, I really need to get this. Dang.


Rune #Infinity

(Written by Len Kaminski, illustrated by Kyle Hotz and Jason Moore, originally published in 1995 by Malibu Comics)
Sporting an all-black cover and a blood-red logo, this series looks to not only kick off the new Rune series that follows, but it also makes Adam Warlock a major character for the series. Yes, it will one day be mine. This was part of a company-wide initiative called “Black September.”


Rune #1–7

(Written by Len Kaminski and later Paul O’Connor; illustrated by Kyle Hotz, Jason Moore, Patrick Rolo, Jeff Whiting, Steve Ellis, Pav Kovacic, Tony Akins, Gabriel Gecko, Terry Pallot, John Cleary, Norm Rapmund, and Stephen Baskerville; originally published in 1995 by Malibu Comics)
Okay, what the malevolent maelstrom is going on with this comic?! Did you get a load of how many artists were involved with this seven-issue series? Criminy! Even if some of the people on this book were penciller/inker teams, that is still a truckload of people working on a few measly issues. Anyhow, Adam Warlock features prominently and Annihilus—yes, that bug-man from the Negative Zone and scourge of the Fantastic Four—is causing problems for all as well. Even with soooooo many people involved, I totally want to see what happens and if the sheer volume of creative team switches can help pull this series together.


Ultraverse Unlimited #1

(Written by Len Kaminski, illustrated by Gabriel Gecko (who is Gabriel Hardman) and Andrew Wildman and Stephen Baskerville, originally published in 1996 by Marvel Comics)
This 48-page beast of a comic looks to be the final appearance of Warlock in the Ultraverse, so if you’ve been following this cross-company, crossover extravaganza, then you will need this book to see how it all ends.


Rune Hearts of Darkness #1–3

(Written by Doug Moench and James Felder; illustrated by Kyle Hotz, The Pander Brothers, and Tim Bradstreet; originally published in 1996 by Marvel Comics)
Okay, despite some gimmicky gimmicks and sinful shenanigans involving flip covers, I totally want to read this series given that Doug Moench was involved. From what I can tell, there is the regular story featuring Rune and the secondary story that features Rune fighting against a villain that readers of “Wizard” magazine voted into being. What the heck?! Bah...I guess we’ll just have to go with the flow on this one, too.


Man, that was beyond complex. Oh, my stars and garters, Denizens, I feel faint. I can’t imagine how difficult it was for a Rune fan at the time to actually follow their favorite space vampire (after Vampirella, of course). That said, I have not read a single one of these comics, but I fully intend to change that if I can get ahold of them…for the right price. Until next time, you can find me in the bargain bins.



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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Comics Lust 1/26/2019

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director/administrative assistant/crime stopper Tulip. After hearing the news and seeing the video (awesome!) of a longstanding, lying criminal getting arrested at his home for being a longstanding, lying criminal, we thought what better time to return to the crime comic genre. Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health and sanity, treat your friends to some tacos (which we can't eat except for the meat and veggies), keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, and read some great comics. Thank you for reading!


*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magiks mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.


Not sure what “Comics Lust” is about? Take a look at the Introduction to “Comics Lust” post or take a look at the static “Comics Lust Table of Contents” page to jump to a topic.

Comics Lust

The Scene of the Crime (Part 2)



There are a fair amount of crime comics out there and admittedly, there are only a few that I have actually read, which is something I am in the process of remedying for a “Part 3” and a “Part 4” in the near future. For the past few years I have been riding the wave of great crime Podcasts like The Last Podcast on the Left, Serial, My Favorite Murder, Up and Vanished, and many others, which have led the way to some great television shows. Comics, however, are my first love and crime comics have been around for a good long while and I took notice of them way before the podcasts and television shows re-sparked my interests. As a timely aside, a recent newsletter from none other than Warren Ellis reminded me of the Paradox Press titles from the ‘90s that I never read and I am now plotting a course to collect them all. At the tail end of the “The Scene of the Crime (Part 1),” I teased there was a must-read, must-own series that demands all crime enthusiasts, art lovers, and/or those looking for an introduction to the comic medium to experience, so we open with…


Parker: The Hunter

(Everythinged by Darwyn Cooke, originally published in 2009 by IDW Publishing)
There are soooooo many reasons to read this brilliant masterwork from Cooke: Cooke’s oh-so-gorgeous art that was tailor-made for a noir comic; Cooke’s flawless adaptation of Richard Stark’s Parker novels through the storytelling of the art and the placement of the dialogue; the perfectly suited design and production of the actual book from dust jacket, to hardcover material, to form factor, to the simplistic embossing on the cover, to the two-color print job, to the interior lettering, to the interior lead-in design; and the fact that Cooke did everything. The Parker novels were written by Donald Westlake under the pseudonym Richard Stark, who was supposedly quite hesitant to allow his name to be attached to any sort of adaptation, but Cooke’s respect for the work and his willingness to listen to Westlake’s feedback is what garnered the author’s approval. Unfortunately, Westlake died in 2008 before being able to see the first volume. Thankfully, we were blessed with four editions before Cooke’s untimely passing in 2016 at the age of 53. Here are the books in order:


After all of that lead-up, what is the first book about? Well…Parker may very well be the best heist guy there is. He pulls off a robbery, lives off the gains in luxury hotels for as long as he can, and then moves on to the next job. Only this time, he’s betrayed by his woman and double-crossed by his best friend. Unfortunately for those who wronged him…Parker is alive and he wants what’s his. All four of these OGN adaptations are just too damn good to miss. Read while sitting in a smoke-filled room and drinking bourbon on the rocks.


Blacksad

(Written by Juan Díaz Canales, illustrated by Juanjo Guarnido, lettered by Studio Cutie, originally published in 2010 by Dark Horse Books)
I often hear of people disliking anthropomorphic animal stories, which is so very limiting considering the treasure that is Blacksad. Yes, the main character, private investigator John Blacksad, is a bipedal feline, but by the time you make it to page three you quickly forget that he is a cat, and instead see a man who just found the woman he once loved (another cat) murdered, and who vows make the killer pay. Now, I have a soft spot in my heart for painted comics and Guarnido’s work is nothing short of heavenly. Whether he is capturing all of the drama of a scene through the expressions of animal characters (few can successfully do this, by the way), or showing exactly why Blacksad is so irresistible to the ladies in this book (hint: he’s one helluva tall drink of water, if you get my drift), or showing just how stunningly gorgeous his animal women can be, I promise that you have not seen anything like this book—don’t even get me started on his cityscapes, oh my goodness. Equally strong are the three stories contained in the first volume, which deal not only with murder and crime in ‘50s America, but also with racism and even the “Red Scare” amidst conspiracies and political maneuverings. Once you read the first volume, you best be scrambling to get the other two. Here are the hardcover books you need:


You know you want to jump on these!


Satellite Sam

(Written by Matt Fraction, illustrated by Howard Chaykin, originally published in 2013 by Image Comics)
In New York City, 1951, America’s television darling, Carlyle White, star of the hit show Satellite Sam, is found dead in a secret flophouse with an impressive assortment of scandalous photographs in his collection. When Carlyle’s rarely-sober son, Mike, explores the room, he begins to suspect foul play and suddenly recognizes one of the women in the stacks of his father’s lascivious photographs. This 15-issue series has a robust cast of characters all brought to life in black and white by Chaykin—including all the lovely women and handsome men you can expect in one of his books—all while providing a fascinating look at the seedy side of the Golden Age of television. Fraction gives fans of Mad Men, crime tales, period pieces, sex scandals, and the television biz all they could hope for in this thrilling and titillating ride. You can read in issues, three trades, or in one glorious hardcover.


Detectives, Inc.
(Written by Don McGregor, illustrated by Marshall Rogers and Gene Colan, originally published in 1980 by Eclipse Comics)
Ted Denning and Bob Rainier make up the private detective team Detectives, Inc. In their first appearance, “A Remembrance of Threatening Green,” illustrated by Marshall Rogers, the detectives, whose personal lives are falling apart as their business teeters on the brink of collapse, take a case to help a woman bring her lesbian lover’s killer to justice. In the second volume, “A Terror of Dying Dreams,” printed directly from Gene Colan’s pencils, sees Denning and Rainier investigating a wife-beating millionaire at the behest of a concerned social worker. Both story and art alone make for a fantastic read for crime junkies, but what is equally important is that “A Remembrance of Threatening Green” is the first mass-market comic to feature a lesbian character, and “A Terror of Dying Dreams” is to be commended for dealing with the subject of domestic violence. The sadly short-lived series can also be praised for its take on race relations and abortion in addition to being a straight-up thrilling read. Unfortunately, the publication history is somewhat complex, so here goes:

  • Detectives, Inc.: A Remembrance of Threatening Green (Written by Don McGregor, illustrated by Marshall Rogers, published in 1980 by Eclipse Comics) Where it all began. Printed in black and white.
  • Detectives, Inc.: A Terror of Dying Dreams (Written by Don McGregor, illustrated by Gene Colan, published in ???? by Eclipse Comics) Supposedly there was a black and white graphic novel of this before the three-issue series debuted, but I cannot find anything about it.
  • Detectives, Inc. #1–2 (Written by Don McGregor, illustrated by Marshall Rogers, published in 1985 by Eclipse Comics) A color reprinting of “A Remembrance of Threatening Green” spread over two issues.
  • Detectives, Inc. #1–3 (Written by Don McGregor, illustrated by Gene Colan, published in 1987 by Eclipse Comics) A sepia-tone wash version of “A Terror of Dying Dreams” spread over three issues.
  • Detectives, Inc.: A Remembrance of Threatening Green (Written by Don McGregor, illustrated by Marshall Rogers, published in 1999 by Image Comics) A black and white reprint of the original graphic novel.
  • Detectives, Inc.: A Terror of Dying Dreams (Written by Don McGregor, illustrated by Gene Colan, published in 1999 by Image Comics) A black and white reprinting of the original graphic novel (of which I can find no evidence of). (Head scratching)
  • Detectives, Inc. HC (Written by Don McGregor, illustrated by Marshall Rogers and Gene Colan, published in 2009 by IDW Publishing) Now THIS is the way you need to read this monumental detective series. In black and white and both chapters in one beautiful hardcover will get you the whole shebang.

Now, it looks like I need to put on my detective hat and see if I can actually find if there is indeed a 1985 graphic novel or not.


There you have it, Denizens, enough crime comic reading to keep you busy until the next installment. Happy reading!



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