The launch of Comixology properly launched the age of the digital comic. Ingeniously easy to use, it succeeded in getting comics into the hands of comics readers. While comic shops fear the digital revolution, it turns out digital sales don’t cannibalise physical sales they add to them. So since a friend recently asked me what I was buying from Comixology on a monthly basis, I decided it was time for a new regular column.
- Ten Grand – I’ll be honest, I’m mostly a follower of writers in comics. I know the art is important, and the artists’ ability for visual narrative can make or break a comic, but for me the characterisation, the dialogue, the storytelling comes first and foremost from the writer. There are two exceptions to this, two artists who would make me pick up a comic even without seeing who wrote it. The first of these is Ben Templesmith, the artist of the excellent 30 Days of Night. In Ten Grand he collaborates with J. Michael Straczynski on a spellbinding tale of urban horror of an ex mob enforcer, become heaven’s hit man, making an angels bargain to capture short glimpses of his true love. Even the best of intentions can lead to hell…
- Young Avengers – The second artist I would always go to, is Jamie McKelvie, mostly known for Suburban Glamour and Phonogram. And it is with his Phonogram collaborator, Kieron Gillen, one of my current favourite comic scribes, that he creates Young Avengers. This is the Marvel book that’s okay to like; it’s the comic book aimed at teens, written for teens, and thereby managing to make this book a more mature superhero book than pretty much all its contemporaries.
- Saga – Written by Brian K. Vaughan, famed for Y: The Last Man, with art by the sublime Fiona Staples, this science fiction family tale is nigh-perfect. High emotion, high adventure, action, darkly funny… and yet it’s in its minutia that Saga excels: Those tiny quirks of feeling, easy to miss but so expressive; the delicate timing; the in-your-face cliffhangers.
- The Invisibles – Grant Morrison’s tale of magical freedom fighters battling the demonic forces of mundanity is not new, it has run its course. But the series was important to me, even inspiring an article, and so I have taken to re-read it.