Tag Archives: sweet tooth

It’s Wednesday! (January 9, 2013)

star-wars-1Happy New Year everyone!

I realize that was last week, but I’ve been sick and unable to formulate sentences.

One beginning and two endings join the top of my read pile this week.

sw1-insideSTAR WARS #1

Writer: Brian Wood, Artists: Carlos D’Anda, Cover: Alex Ross

This is Star Wars as you remember it . . . and as you have never seen it before! We’re taking you back to those heady, adventure-filled days following the destruction of the Death Star—when the Empire ruled, the Rebels were on the run, and the galaxy was a dangerous place where anything might happen!

I don’t follow Star Wars comics, but I’ve always had a soft spot for series that the Marvel Comics put out between ’77 and ’86. Those were my formative comic reading years. So I’m curious to see how stories from that Star Wars era might be treated in the hands of a writer like Brian Wood. It’s a bit of a bummer that Dark Horse will be losing the license to Marvel after this year, which gives us probably 12 to 15 issues. That is unless Marvel continues the series with the same creators (Wood is currently writing for Marvel after all) when they take over.

sweet-tooth-40SWEET TOOTH #40
Written, illustrated and Cover by Jeff Lemire

Gus’s journey comes to an end and the fate of the hybrids is revealed in the final issue of the acclaimed Vertigo series!

One of my favourite books of all time. But I am glad it’s coming to an end. As much as I like the idea of an ongoing series that runs endlessly (although I find myself buying fewer of those every month) increasingly I prefer comics with a story that has a natural conclusion. That is part of what I enjoyed about Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four run – he had plotted out a beginning, middle and end.

infinite vacation 5INFINITE VACATION #5
Written by: Nick SpencerArt By: Christian Ward

This is it: the mind-blowing conclusion to the biggest sci-fi epic of 2011! As Mark comes face to face with the makers of The Infinite Vacation and discovers the startling truth behind the multiverse, he’ll be forced to make a decision that will change the very nature of life itself forever!

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Dear Lina, Have You Read Jeff Lemire’s Essex County Trilogy?

Hello and Happy Easter, Passover, etc!

It’s been too long since we’ve seen one another.

I’ve been meaning to send along some information about, Essex Country Trilogy, the comic book I chose for you at Christmas! I hope you’ve been able to spend some time with the book. It’s definitely worth reading over a few times and really soaking in the pages. If I’ve learned anything about Lemire’s work is that it’s deceptively simple. There is a quiet deliberateness to each panel – try to absorb each line on the page for the full effect.

So who is Jeff Lemire? Well you probably know by now that he is a Toronto-based comic artist. He lives in my neighbourhood, actually. He shops at the comic book store where I pick up my books, in fact.  You can read a short bio from him on Wikipedia.

He published a few independent books – one of which won the now-defunct Xeric prize, which used to award self-publishing grants to comic book creators – before he scored a graphic novel deal with Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics (Superman, Batman) who publish comics geared at adult readers. The book, The Nobody (Vertigo), is a unique take on the Invisible Man character and was met with praise from both readers and critics alike. He followed that up with a popular ongoing monthly series, the post-apocalyptic tale Sweet Tooth (Vertigo), which is only a few months away from celebrating its third anniversary in publication. It boasts fairly impressive monthly and graphic novel sales for a creator-owned series. In addition to Sweet Tooth, he currently writes two mainstream titles for DC Comics, one of which, Animal Man, turned out to be a surprise hit series with everyone, including Lemire.

Why Essex County? In that collection, Lemire brings us heartbreaking stories of contemporary rural Ontario in a style reminiscent of Alice Munro. I was deeply moved by the tales of each of the narrators who share their story with the reader. We are voyeurs into dark family secrets, unfulfilled dreams, the difficult birth of new relationships. Onto those, Lemire layers Canadian cultural touch points like hockey, lumberjacks and Catholic orphanages. These are themes and iconic images that create powerful stories, a feat rarely achieved in comics.

Later this year, Lemire will release a follow-up with the same publisher, Top Shelf Productions. Underwater Welder is due out in August 2012. Lemire says it’s the closest piece of work he’s created to date exploring similar themes and styles as Essex County. I expect it will be a very strong piece of work considering how much his craft has sharpened between Top Shelf books based on the schedule he’s been keeping with DC/Vertigo the past few years.

He’s definitely one to watch over the next few years.

Some links I hope you enjoy

* A review of Essex Country from Geist literary magazine:  Jeff Lemire: The Essential Canadian Comic Book Creator

* Essex Country was included in CBC’s Canada Reads 10th anniversary edition, the first and only graphic novel to enter the competition

* Not surprisingly, it was unceremoniously dumped by panellist in the first round. When you read the following critique of the Canada Reads panellists’ decision, take special note of Darwyn Cooke’s word. He’s a prominent, popular and well-respected artist.

* I also follow Jeff’s blog.

We’re nearly finished watching Battlestar Galactica. Hope to see you soon so we can dissect the series.

Cheers,
Derek

Read also: Lina Responds

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Intriguing reviews about Strange Adventures

Released on the heels of the relaunched Dark Horse Presents (with its powerhouse lineup) comes Strange Adventures (Vertigo).

On the whole, this sci-fi compilation delivers. A few of the concepts tread very familiar ground. But there is a lot to like here, although not everyone agrees. Some of the top tweets and forum conversation on S.A. #1.

The story that stuck most is probably Peter Milligan and Sylvain Savoia‘s “Partners“. I don’t want to say too much because it would spoil the fun. Needless to say it has an interesting Stand By Me vibe and the story turns in a disturbing direction that plants many unanswered questions along the way.

Ultra: the Multi-Alien” by Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, Superboy) and “Refuse” by Ross Campbell (Wet Moon, The Abandonedcome in a close second.

Definitely worth a read if you’re into the whole sci-fi/post-apocalyptic/horror thing.

Go pick up a copy, read it, and let me know what you think. Hopefully it sells and Vertigo turns this into an annual book.

On a related note, if you’ve ever read 2020 Visions, drop me a line. I’m looking to talk to other people who’ve read it.

(Cover artist: Paul Pope. Sweet!)

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Sweet new Sweet Tooth pages

Capitalizing on the buzz for Toronto-based comic creator Jeff Lemire’s original Vertigo graphic novel The Nobody (in stores today), Graphic Content – the Vertigo blog – has released new pages from his upcoming ongoing series. Behold in all their coloured glory.

More pages on the Vertigo blog.

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