Daytripper is a comic that melds discussion about death, friendship, and love into a story with so many twists and turns that you almost can’t keep up. Created by the famous twin-team of comic artists Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon — who you may recognize from a previous review — and published by Vertigo in 2011. This comic has been on my list to read for awhile ever since I saw samples of their art in passing, and even more so after I read How to Talk to Girls at Parties. I finally got the chance to borrow it out of my local library, and I was not disappointed. Both the story and the art are finely crafted to emphasize themes of living life to its fullest and appreciating the time you have with people.
The story of Daytripper follows the life of a man named Bras who works as an obituary editor at his local paper. He spends most of his time writing about the lives of people who have recently passed while trying to make a name for himself as a novelist. In each chapter, Bras takes us through a different segment of his life, whether it be his childhood playing with his cousins on a farm or the time he first met his future wife. However, each event inevitably ends in his death, highlighting the inescapable nature of death and cycle of life itself. Continue reading
I wanted to step away from the print arena for a little while to talk about a webcomic I recently came across called Love Not Found, created by writer and artist Gina Biggs. I’m always looking for new stories and comics to explore, and webcomics provide a way for new and experienced creators to tell the stories they want to tell. Love Not Found is a comic that may show a slightly amateurish art style, but it makes up for it for the story it weaves full of futuristic technology and the re-discovery of love. I was hesitant to read it at first, as I can be picky about art styles, but the unique world she brings to life kept me coming back for more.
To give an idea what this comic is about, here’s a quick synopsis:
In the years following the decline of Earth, much of its past inhabitants looked to the stars for their new homes, venturing to new planets and ecosystems to reap out a new living. But as they journeyed the galaxy and technology increased, the need for human contact diminished. Much of the human population gets their pleasure through personalized machines and sees human touch of any kind as revolting. It is in this time that Abeille decides to move from her planet of perpetual winter to one filled with lush, yet alien, greenery. She brings with her one desire, to build a garden in memory of her deceased sister. But that dream quickly becomes eclipsed by another: to feel what it’s like to be touched by another human being. Continue reading
Lucky Penny is co-created by one of my favorite artist and writer teams, Yuko Ota and Ananth Hirsh, who also create the webcomic Johnny Wander plus many other independent comics and collaborations.This graphic novel was published through the support of backers on Kickstarter, but the experience and unique style of Ota and Hirsch help make it a great and entertaining read especially for fans of other comics like Scott Pilgrim by Brian Lee O’Malley. I saw a lot of his influence in both Ota’s style and the story overall, a story that follows the lives of two very flawed but passionate people trying to come together and grow into adulthood while facing some seemingly unlucky events.
If you haven’t had a chance to take a look at Lucky Penny, here’s a quick synopsis:
Penny Brighton is a woman down on her luck. She lost her job, lost her apartment, and is now living in a storage shed and working for a 12-year-old boss at a laundromat. Armed with her stash of raunchy romance novels and a cat named Boyfriend, she tries to make the best of her situation. But when she agrees to go on a date with the slightly dorky and quiet Walter in exchange for free showers at the gym, will her luck begin to turn? What about the rumors of middle schoolers causing trouble, does that have anything to do with the sounds she’s hearing outside her shed door? Continue reading
The Other Side is a queer paranormal romance anthology largely funded by Kickstarter that debuted in Spring 2016. I first came across it when I attended a small indie comic expo in Boston where a lot of the contributing authors were attending. I was originally looking for pretty much anything in the romance genre that I could review, but The Other Side is unique like most anthologies in that it features a variety of authors and styles I can talk about. It features 19 stories from 23 different authors focusing on queer romance in a paranormal setting, so anything from the love between human and ghost or human and monster, though the stories don’t stop there. With primarily PG-13 content, this anthology looks to showcase underrepresented groups such as gay/lesbian, transsexual, and everything in between. Continue reading
Blankets tells a tale ripe with childhood innocence, the search for religious meaning, and the pull of obsession found in love. Written as a memoir, the story follows Craig as he grows from a child troubled by bullies and the fundamentalist religion that both scares and comforts him to a man tangled in obsession and searching for the meaning behind God. Craig recounts the childhood games him and his brother used to play and the fateful meeting that led to a relationship shadowed by naivete and shame. While a long read, clocking in at 592 pages, this autobiographical graphic novel is filled to the brim with amazing artwork and a story full of discovery and loss. Continue reading
Exquisite Corpse follows the life of main character Zoe who works as a booth babe at conventions and hates it. Her life consists of going to work and then coming home to a boyfriend who is outright verbally abusive at times. While on her lunch break, she notices someone peaking out of his window at her and decides to stumble into his apartment to use his bathroom, not knowing that he is the world famous author Thomas Rocher. His apartment becomes an escape for her and they quickly form a relationship, but his unwillingness to leave his apartment is troubling. Thus starts Zoe’s investigation into Thomas’ terrible secret. Continue reading
When this comic first came out in 2013, there was a flood of praise for it, citing the story as revolutionary in the way it depicted sex and relationships and hilarious in its hijinks. I picked it up later when the compiled volume came out, but surprisingly put it down after about three issues in. Sex Criminals has been hailed as one of the first comics to depict real people in real relationships, showing not only the good moments but the messy ones as well. Honestly, I can give Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky props for some things, but I don’t think of them as trailblazers when it comes to romance or comedy. Maybe their type of comedy just isn’t for me, but whether or not the comic is good is up to you. I’m just here to talk about what I thought was good and bad about this comic. Continue reading
This comic is an adaption of a short story by Neil Gaiman of the same name that was nominated for a Hugo Award. The art is done by the twin artists Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, who have worked on such comics as Casanova (Image) and Daytripper (Vertigo). Published at the beginning of this year, this comic probably is meant to coincide or lead up to the release of the spin-off movie that is coming next year. Hopefully the movie will capture the same otherworldliness and style that made this comic so interesting to me. Continue reading
Issue two of Sex Criminals, aptly named “Come, World,” switches over to the backstory of Jon and how he came to discover his ability. Again we see the inclusion of a frame narrative, where the main plot of the robbery borders the flashbacks and developing story of Jon. The main point of this issue centers around the differences between how boys learn about sex versus how girls do as seen in the last issue. Along the way, we also get to see more characterization of both Jon and Suzie. Continue reading
When this comic first came out in 2013, there was a flood of praise for it, citing the story as revolutionary in the way it depicted sex and relationships and hilarious in its hijinks. I picked it up later when the compiled volume came out, but surprisingly put it down after about three issues in. I can see where the praise is coming from and I do generally like how Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky display a lot of important issues from dealing with puberty, sex education, mental illness, and even rape, but it’s not the what that made me put this down, it’s the how. I’m not the hugest fan of how the story is told and Fraction’s form of comedy that is abundantly interspersed within.
Sex Criminals, for those that haven’t read it yet, is a comic about two people, Suzanne and Jon, who can stop time when they orgasm. Both of them discover this power through the confusing and awkward nature of puberty and come to meet each other by happenstance at a party. Realizing they can stop time together after having sex, Suzie and Jon decide to use their ability to rob banks in order to save the library that Suzie works at. But, they realize too late that they’re in way over their heads. To call this a caper story would be misleading, though its main plot involves robbing a bank. Sex Criminals’ main focus is relationships and sex, framed by the narrative of a bank robbery. Each issue begins and ends in the present, showing just a little more of the frame narrative to keep the suspense going as it lays on the heavy themes that have won it so much critical praise. Continue reading