Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Read More Comics - Vol 1

Sorry for the delay in updates, intrepid readers.

For the past day or so I've been strucken with an illness that's kept me from getting a good night's sleep for a few days now. I hear there's a bit of it going around, but luckily for us both, I've shaken it* for a quick update about two comics you should read! Yes, YOU!

Read More Comics

This is the first post in this new, hopefully weekly, feature. I'll list off two reccomendations about books you should give a chance. Read 'em or not, here they come.

- The Pirates of Coney Island -

One part The Warriors, one part Oliver Twist, and a healthy dash of street-urchin punk-rock sensibility. Mix until fucking awesome and you've got The Pirates of Coney Island.

Written by Rick Spears, author of one of my favorite trades Teenagers From Mars, he brings an attitude of rebellion and destruction with a story of a runaway that joins a street gang of modern day pirates. They board, steal, and sell cars off the streets of New York.

They've even got a harpoon.

The art is note perfect for the story, too. Vasilis Lolos brings his style of Paul Pope organic grimeiness mixed with a Gorillaz inspired stylization to the table, and makes every bruise and cut look infected, every smile slightly crooked - yet still everything exists in a hyper-real cartoon world, where characters are just that - precisely designed and simplified like your favorite saturday morning cartoon characters. Adding to that overall surreal feeling is Nick Filardi's outstanding colors. I usually don't notice coloring in a book unless it's really bad (What's up, first several years of Nightwing?), so for something good to pop out at me, it's got to be really good.

If that's not enough for you, how about a black vampire car called Caddilacula?

I thought so.

Newsarama's got a 10-page preview of the first issue, so read it! It's free!
Also check out Rick Spears' and Lolos' respective websites to see more of their work.

- Fleep -

Cartoonist and author Jason Shiga describes Fleep as, "ambitous, mysterious and utterly masturbatory." He leaves out, however, the fact that it's genius.

The story is at once simple (a man goes into a phonebooth and is suddenly trapped) and incredibly interesting and complex (what happened to him and how the hell is he going to get out?).

The genius lies in the way that Shiga makes the story compelling to us, the reader. It's two-fold.

First, the character in the story is a blank slate. In the first three strips all we see are him entering a phonebooth, then darkness, then his slightly confused thought. By bringing us into the story immediately before the conflict begins we're instantly hooked, before we can wait to see what happens, the protagonist of our story is already trapped in the phonebooth.

The second is the art style. The main character is the best kind of cartoon design - simple, yet incredibly expressive. At times he's not more than two eyes and a nose, but though body language and subtle changes in those eyes we're instantly in his head. In fact, the lack of detail makes the character even MORE relatable, as a, "hey, that could be me!" feeling sinks in. So when you put a blank slate and simple design together, we end up trapped in that phonebooth with this character.

Fleep is original, honest, suspensefull, and in the end more than a little heartbreaking.

Like Pirates, you can read it online for free! Unlike Pirates, you get the WHOLE THING on Shiga's website.

Do yourself a favor and read it now.

So that's it for me tonight. Tomorrow sees the return of one of my childhood favorite characters to comics. Unfortunately, he's being written by one of, in my opinion, Marvel's hackiest hacks to ever hack a hack. What character, you ask? Well, here's a hint:

It's not Goose Rider.
But it's close.


*The batteries in my Wii-mote ran out.

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