The Wilds (one of our Top Comics for 2018) – Submerged – Livewire
It has been an absolute pleasure reading more and more work coming from Vita. From the fresh take that is THE WILDS to reinvigorating a decades old character in LIVEWIRE, Vita has trail-blazed a path cutting right through the heart of the comic industry. It isn’t just the quality with which the stories are written but the range of issues that are tackled with which readers can relate. Everything from self and mob mentality, social interactions, abuse, and abandonment are just a few of the real world aspects of life that are contained in Vita’s writings. I’m very excited about what is coming and what will be told.
Bombshells – Animosity – Angela Marvel books
I absolutely loved Bombshells. It was a breath of pure, fresh air. It isn’t all that easy to create stories with alternate versions of characters that aren’t just “different” because “different.” The entirety of the ‘Bombshell-verse’ was down right enjoyable on every level. It was Animosity though that showed the creative depth Marguerite possesses. The critical and fan acclaim for the book speaks volumes and says it all. I’m itching to get my hands on the HC collected editions so I can go back and sit with this book. When they originally hit I was just happy to have some spotlight shown on Angela with her own dedicated stories. Looking back at them and putting them together with Marguerite’s other writings and I’m loving the themes contained in her stories.
Bone Parish (one of our Top Comics for 2018) – Dark Ark (one of our Top Comics for 2018) – Shadow Roads
The absolute modern master of horror is who we’re dealing with here. For me the diversity he brings to the horror genre is without parallel. Two books he’s got on the shelves right now are a prime example of this. Religious tones in Dark Ark give way to beasts and happenings that scare even the monsters of the old world while Bone Parish brings psychological and physical horror to the drug trade trope. Cullen isn’t all horror though. Taking the supernatural cue from his mega hit The Sixth Gun, he’s spun off an equally impressive story in Shadow Roads. Honestly I don’t think there’s a character type or story direction that he can’t tackle and make his own with top tier results. Cullen needs to be on more books, in my opinion.
Euthanauts – Assassinistas – The Skeptics
I love Cold War ere stories and takes. This was my introduction to Tini. For me it was brilliant (Cold War and potential WWIII as the backdrop for a super power story that wasn’t at all) little tale exposing the brains over brawn process with a new little twist. My biggest take from the book was “personality” and that is a constant in Tini written books. From the characters to the scope of the books (seriously, dive into Euthanauts) Tini excels at both creating AND drawing out the personality of the characters and stories within the pages of the books. It’s uncanny. You certainly will not be wishing there was ‘more’ contained within the pages Tini writes.
Wasted Space (one of our Top Comics for 2018) – Roche Limit – ReincarNATE
Michael has exploded onto the scene (for me) by being able to take classic genre points and making them seem brand freaking new. The latest from him, Wasted Space, is THE poster for creating a brand new epic saga. It isn’t just all fun, bad assery, and fuq-bots though as Michael deals with rather heavy themes. He’s used to that though as he’s penned a deep thought sci-fi book before in Roche Limit. My first exposure to his work though was with ReincarNATE. This is a wonderful crime-noir entry that uses sci-fi as a backdrop but offers up so much more to both genres. Moreci already has a bona-fide super hit on his hands and appears to be just getting started.
Friendo (top comics of 2018 mention) – Turncoat – Arcadia
So Alex is riding a rocket straight into the stratosphere of comic writing. His first entry to writing is the overbearing concept of humanity, morality, and pretty much everything in between. Arcadia is as ambitious of a concept as any seasoned writer has attempted and Paknadel knocked it out of the park as his opening salvo to the comic world. Currently he’s about to wrap up a literal throat punch of the corporatism and superficial greed infecting human kind in Friendo. He’s also managed to weave an excellent noir cop tale using the setting of a failed alien occupation of Earth. Yeah. Oh, and he was given the reigns to THE keystone book in Catalyst Prime’s heroic universe (as it’s being built). Take notice folks.
Hot Lunch Special (top comics of 2018 mention) – The Paybacks – Quantum & Woody
Gritty, dirty, and humorous. Kind of an odd combination but perfectly fitting for Eliot. The stories he creates clearly have some personal strings woven in and it is that extra layer that makes his writing so enjoyable. Hot Lunch Special (a favorite book of mine from 2018) exemplifies this. Being just as effective and skilled with dark and seedy along with funny and care free is really hard to do. There’s not even so much as a hiccup when going from HLS to either The Paybacks or Q&W. It all feels genuine when Eliot is writing and that endears the reader to his writings. It’s what hooked me.
It’s really just the overall talent that draws me to Rosenberg’s books. Taking over from Soule on an Xbook was a hard ask but not here. Rosenberg elevated what was built and delivered such a wonderful Xtale that he was given the reigns to the new Uncanny. That’s good because the Xcharacters need to go back to what makes them tick and THAT is exactly what Rosenberg nails with his work. He did it with Kingpin and was able to draw it out of a ‘insert letter of the alphabet here’ character in Multiple Man. Building the stories OUT OF, not around, the characters is the heart of comic writing and I’m not sure there’s anyone better currently.
Evolution (one of our Top Comics for 2018) – Shanghai Red – High Crimes
Reading Sebela’s work brings the world REAL to mind. Sitting there turning page after page and I’m not so sure I’m reading a story but an account of events. Evolution strikes that chord through Dr Hurley’s plight. Sebela has also given us a fallen hero caught up in government cover ops (High Crimes) who’s plight is painstakingly familiar. Smash hit Shanghai Red delivers a reality that the world we live in today isn’t all that far removed from in the grand scheme of things. The approach is visceral and it resonates. The stories from Sebela stick with you long after you’ve set the book down.
These Savage Shores (top comics of 2018 mention) – Paradiso – Grafity’s Wall
Utter brilliance in writing is what comes to mind with Ram. His ability to craft worlds of rich and deep beauty are in a category to itself. The difference in scope couldn’t be further away than These Savage Shores is to Paradiso, but the breadth and scope of these worlds are equally as rich. I’m amazed at the detail and how grand the presentation is in Ram’s writing. He’s also done it with taking his own experiences and presenting the universal struggle all young people face in Grafity’s Wall. I cannot help but feel enriched after taking in pages written by Ram.