THOUGHTS ON COMICS: Sweet Tooth Volume Three
With the third installment of this already stellar series, the plot threats that have been simmering for the first two volumes hit the boiling point. Jeff Lemire writes with great restraint and illustrates with true, startling originality. If it weren’t 1AM, I’d be on my way to the comic shop to buy the remaining three volumes.
Sweet Tooth is painfully good.
THOUGHTS ON COMICS: Sweet Tooth Volume Two
So far, I’m floored by this series. Every chapter has been perfection. Jepperd and Gus, while on completely different ends of the spectrum, are two of the best characters this industry has even turned out. Inventive storytelling, beautiful art that pushes boundaries, and raw, unsentimental emotion make this volume a stunning read.
If the quality stays this high, I’d put Jeff Lemire’s post-apocalyptic epic right up there with Y: The Last Man.
I can’t wait to read what happens to these lovely characters next.
THOUGHTS ON COMICS: Sweet Tooth Volume One
I read SWEET TOOTH: VOLUME ONE while I was in the hotel during my off time at Heroes Con this year. I was moved to tears twice, shocked by the storytelling multiple times per issue, and inspired to be a better writer and, by extension, person throughout reading it. I cannot praise this post-apocalyptic indie sci-fi thriller character drama horror-thing enough. Beat by beat perfect. “This could be the beginning of a classic,” was my first thought after completing it. I’ve had some time, I’m still thinking the same thing.
I have the rest in trade, so let’s see if it lives up.
NEWS: Thomasina’s Human Zoo (young adult graphic novel)
Hey all. Big big news. Silver Dragon Books, the all agents imprint of Zenescope Entertainment, will be digitally publishing my creator-owned comic book series, Thomasina’s Human Zoo.
Thomasina’s Human Zoo, created by me and Distillum artist Sarah Dill, will be publishing monthly from March - August 2013. After the six issues are out, it will be collected into an original graphic novel that will be solicited through Diamond Previews. I’ll post order codes when it is up in Previews, and will be linking you all to the downloading sites when each issue goes up.
Adventures in Poor Taste spoke with me about the book. Click the link for the whole interview, but here is the Thomasina bit: ”It’s about an orphan girl who lives with her grandma, aunts, and uncles. She was raised on fantasy books like Harry Potter and Narnia, so she sort of grew up with this hope that a wizard would come take her away and show her that she’s magic. That it’s all be worth something and that she’s special. We catch up with her as a teenager, and how she deals with the truth of this tragedy.
"Annnnd then her family gets turned into animals and she has to figure out what the heck is going on. It’s a poignant and silly and heartwarming tale about a girl trying to find herself in a world that keeps making less and less sense."
More info to come!
REVIEW: Vowels by Skye Ogden
I recently had the chance to read and review a graphic novel called VOWELS by Skye Ogden. It was my first time reading a book from Gestalt Comics, and it surely won’t be my last, not only because of how interesting their other books look, but because of how damn good Vowels was.
This book came out in 2007 and managed to pass me by until now. It’s a completely “silent” graphic novel, and it pulls the wordlessness off by distilling its images gracefully into visually uncomplicated but morally complex images of humor, connection, tragedy, and hope. The characters are anthropomorphic non-humans that have quite a lot in common with our society and history. The narrative follows them through different time periods and bookends stories of heartbreak with basic but visceral tales of predators and prey, and the “humans” involved in these roles are never simplified.
It evokes A Contract with God in tone and, oddly enough, Goodbye Chunky Rice in style, but never copies either. Writer/artist Skye Ogden has a startlingly original voice (a bit ironic for a wordless book) and Vowels is a true vision. Fans of Top Shelf and Fantagraphics would do well to pay attention to Gestalt Comics, because if this book is any indication of the rest of their catalogue, they are preparing to inject a dose of much needed originality into the comics industry.
iZombie Volume Three & Writerly Updates
iZombie is the rare comic that makes me abandon my Writer Logic. You know what I mean - it’s that annoying voice in the back of your head that puts plot threads together and makes assumptions while you’re watching movies; it’s the voice that goes “oh, I see what they did there” at key points; it’s the un-cut-outable part of you that is painfully aware of the process. It is you, writers.
Well, here’s the thing. I just finished the third volume of Chris Roberson and Mike Allred’s iZombie, and I’m pissed off. Why? Because I love the damn thing so much and it’s going to be a long time before that fourth volume is out, and an even longer time for the fifth volume to hit shelves. Why? Well, illogically, it’s that lazy writer! That lazy artist! Bah, they’re probably on Facebook or drunk Tweeting movies when they should be churning out weekly - no, daily! - issues of this series I love so much, abandoning their lovers, sleep, and sanity for my enjoyment.
See the above rant? Complete lack of Writer Logic. That’s what iZombie does to me. It strips me of all the things I know about the process and replaces me with this ranting, foamy-mouthed creature of pure need.
I think I have to start following this book monthly. And I know just what book I’m going to drop in order to do so. Sorry, superhero comics. iZombie has my heart and my br- er, stopping myself right there. I almost abandoned my Writer Logic again and resorted to one of those cheesy puns that reviewers love doing so much.
On a decidedly Writerly note, I’ve got some reaaaaally interesting stuff happening behind the scenes. A company I’ve worked with a lot has expressed interest in hiring me for more of their properties, and they’re currently considering one of my creator owned books. Yay!
As for now, I’ve got two books coming out next month.
- Grimm Fairy Tales: April Fools Edition #3
Every year, Zenescope celebrates the silliest day on the calendar by reprinting some of their old stories with funny dialogue. I scripted this year’s issue with Ralph Tedesco, and I even got some of my buddies in on the fun. It includes a pin-up from my Blood Pong co-creator Ian McGinty and a fake ad for 52 new Zenescope books from my Thomasina’s Human Zoo co-creator Sarah ‘Pickles’ Dill.
- Grimm Fairy Tales: Different Seasons Vol. 2
This TPB reprints a bunch of fun stories, including my giant size holiday issue from December 2011.
More announcements coming soon! As for now, I’m off to do some editing on a feature film I shot… wow, a year and a half ago at this point. Time flies.