I guess one can chalk this up to "saving the best for last," but after narrowing down the pile I'm down to these? Lucky me.
Sometimes there is something that niggles away at the back of your mind, perpetually unfinished and waiting to be done. It eats away at you every time you look at it, and you say - "tomorrow I'll get to it" or "later, ye shall be completed."
For me, its my pile of comics. Self admittedly, I get too many, but I blame that on one thing and one thing only - there are too many comics being published that I (at least think) want to read. Its a good problem to have, and if it fits into the budget, why not?
Why not? Because you end up with a stack like this:
For the one and only.
Ok, maybe thats a slight exaggeration (those are probably all the comics I've read in like the last year / year and a half), but you end up with a stack of books with entire sets of limited series such as Alpha Flight, and (yes this is for my favorite Mr. Rosa), the 11 issue Namor series that was cut off at the knees.
I also had oldies but goodies like the 10 issues of Herc that I got before cancellation, and the DnA-penned New Mutants Fear Itself tie-in (I think the farthest back the unread pile went was the Steve Rogers: Super Soldier miniseries that happened right after Siege). As of now, all I have left is 4 issues of the relaunched S.H.I.E.L.D series by Jonathan Hickman and Dustin Weaver. It feels really good, because some of those books have been on my floor in a stack for like 2 years.
(Plus, now I get to read all the Image books I've held off on!)
Its funny because looking at the state that Marvel is in today, its easy to see that most of the books I mentioned like Namor and Herc wouldn't even get a shot today, as all the "important books" that make up the seeming majority of Marvel's output is Avengers and X-Men related. That's fine, because even though I love trying an off the wall series like Herc or Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel doesn't seem to want to put those series out in today's market, and so I'm content to buy less comics now, or buy more from a publisher like Image or BOOM!, who's output lately has been all kinds of swell.
So that's that, I sincerely hope I never accumulate that many comics on my floor again. Ever.
Because females can smell that.
Ahh, first Scalped, and now this.
Sweet Tooth is ending at issue #40. So officially my first and second favorite comics being published right now will be over in 6 months.
I copied Jeff Lemire's blog he posted about it. He says it was entirely his choice to end it at #40, and while thats fine, I always pegged this book for at least 60 issues, and potentially more, because even though Gus and the gang's mission has always been to get to Alaska, I imagined the story spilling off from there, and going much longer, the inevitable revelation that awaits in Alaska providing the necessary fodder to explore as a jumping off point that could take Gus and Jeppard across possibly more of America, Canada, or even other countries or continents.
Well, a guy can dream. I hope the final arc offers the fitting closure this series deserves. I've got a feeling it will.
From the Vertigo Blog:
When I started working on Sweet Tooth three years ago I thought I’d be lucky if the series made it ten issues. I never dreamed I’d be able to tell the kind of sprawling, 40-issue epic that it ended up becoming. In many ways Sweet Tooth’s likelihood of survival in the competitive comics market was about as great as Gus’ likelihood of survival in the post-apocalyptic world he inhabits. After all, who would have bet on a weird little book about a boy with antlers ever surviving in a market flooded with blockbuster cape and tight titles? But somehow it did. Because of my incredibly loyal fans and the a lot of hard work from collaborators like Matt Kindt, Nate Powell, Emi Lenox and, of course, my closest and most valued teammate, the great Jose Villarrubia, Sweet Tooth survived.
So why end it now? I want to make one thing really clear…Sweet Tooth is not being cancelled. The decision to end it at #40 is entirely my choice. Truth is, I always knew what the ending of Sweet Tooth would be. It was one of the first ideas I came up with when writing the pitch for the book. The beginning and the end of this story were always pretty much written in stone, it was the middle bit that was fluid, and grew and changed as I went along. So, for me it’s incredibly gratifying to finally get to the end of the journey with Gus and Jepperd. Everything I’ve done with the series so far, everything I’ve built month after month, has all been about this, the final story.
I suppose I could have stretched it out a bit longer. I could have had a few more obstacles pop up along the way to Alaska to lengthen the journey (and the series), but it just felt like it was time. Gus wanted to get to Alaska now…and who am I to argue? I’ll miss my little antlered friend. But I owe it to him to finish his story properly. To “leave it all on the ice” as they like to say up here in Canada. And that means not prolonging the series just because I can.
But don’t give up on me. I really feel the best is still to come. The final arc, THE WILD KINGDOM, will be full of everything you’ve loved about Sweet Tooth as well asmany new surprises, new characters and new revelations. And it all builds to one final double sized, fully painted final issue with #40 this December.
And then what? Well, stay posted, because the future holds new adventures, new stories and new ideas from Jose Villarrubia and I!
May 4, 2012
Well, at least the fans of Lemire's creator-owned work still have the Underwater Welder to look forward to.
The Avengers - On one level, a fun popcorn blowout of a flick. On another level, it's something that I never thought I would see in live-action on a screen, and the fact that its done pretty well means one more box is checked in the "Nerd Dreams Fulfilled" list.
I didn't have anything specific to talk about this week, but was looking over my order today for books I'm pre-ordering this month, and noticed a book that I'm getting that sounds cool, and could very well be overlooked in a few months when its released.
I always scan most of the publishers besides the big 5 of DC/Marvel/Image/Dark Horse/IDW, and especially focus on BOOM! Studios when going down the order form, because often times they'll be launching a book or two in any given month that is worth checking out. Lately I've gotten the first issues of books like "Valen The Outcast" and ordered books such as Sam Humphries' "Higher Earth" and "Fanboys vs. Zombies", and now, a book called "Extermination."
Its written by Simon Spurrier, and with good-looking art from a newcomer named Jeffrey Edwards. I'll say that the premise is one that hasn't exactly been used before outside of the big two (at least that I can think of, correct me if I'm wrong), and I think with the proper characterization and hopefully human drama I can get behind, this book could be pretty cool.
I'm checking it out, and here's the preview below. Oh yea, and its only a buck for the first issue, so you don't have much to lose by not getting it.
BOOM! STUDIOS LAUNCHES EXTERMINATION
ALL-NEW ORIGINAL ONGOING SERIES WRITTEN BY SIMON SPURRIER
FULL FIRST ISSUE ONLY $1
April 21, 2012 - Los Angeles, CA - This June, BOOM! Studios launches EXTERMINATION, an all-new ongoing super-hero thriller written by Simon Spurrier (X-CLUB, FEAR ITSELF: THE HOME FRONT, CROSSED, WOLVERINE: DANGEROUS GAMES) and drawn by rising star Jeffrey Edwards, with a full 22-page first issue for only $1!
WE LOST. THEY WON. In the wake of an apocalyptic alien invasion, the world's greatest super-heroes and deadliest super-villains must form an alliance to prevent their own extermination. Two arch-enemies, Nox, a driven hero, and Red Reaper, a ruthless villain, form a volatile partnership for the greater good. The enemy of your enemy is your friend -- but will they be able to ultimately put aside their bitter past to prevent global genocide? What happens when all the battle lines are redrawn and foes become unlikely allies in a desperate war for the fate of the very planet -- and the outcome of a species?
Title ships in June with main covers by John Cassaday, Trevor Hairsine, Michael Gaydos, James Harren, and Frazer Irving, as well as James Harren and Trevor Hairsine sketch covers. There will also be a special 1:100, CGC certified 9.8 Near Mint sketch variant by legendary artist John Cassaday.
"Si Spurrier is a massive talent," says BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. "With EXTERMINATION, he's boldly exploring the dark crevices of the entire superhero genre. Not to be missed!"
"I love the premise of this post-apocalyptic series," says BOOM! Studios Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ross Richie. "At $1 for the first full issue and with this exciting cover line-up and a killer creative team, this book is ready to catch on fire."
EXTERMINATION is written by Simon Spurrier (X-CLUB, FEAR ITSELF: THE HOME FRONT, CROSSED, WOLVERINE: DANGEROUS GAMES) and drawn by rising star Jeffrey Edwards.
Title ships in June with main covers by John Cassaday, Trevor Hairsine, Michael Gaydos, James Harren and Frazer Irving. As well as James Harren and Trevor Hairsine sketch covers, and a special 1:100, CGC certified 9.8 Near Mint variant by legendary artist John Cassaday. This title ships for $1 with a Diamond Order Code of APR120887.
Wow, last night was disappointing.
Not only was I stuck at work for far too long, but in the middle of uploading some files to a server, I pulled out my Kindle Fire to catch up on some reading, and discovered something that is potentially sinister and evil to the highest degree.
Seriously, the shadowy organizations Skull and Bones, Club of Rome, George Soros, and George W. Bush combined could not come up with something as devious and base as what awaited me on opening my e-reader of choice.
Apparently, at the time of writing this sentence, I am unable to download any and all DC comics through Comixology to my Kindle Fire.
Now, one must understand (though with some mild trepidation), that recently I have quietly tiptoed into the digital world of comics. In fact, if one will recall, it was roughly 6 or 7 months ago that I actually began spending money on digital comic books, and did so when DC was launching the New 52 with a big push for day and date digital through partnership with Comixology. I was already familiar with Comixology because of their initiative to sign customers up for electronic pull lists that were tied to a local shop. Since then, they have of course expanded to become the largest purveyor of digital comics in America (just ask Graphic.ly, their closest competition, who only recently bowed out of the fight to focus on publishing digital independent books). I sensed Comixology's dominance fairly early on, and took a chance on buying books from them, because I figured this company seemed to have a good chance of being around in the future.
Since then I've actually been buying a decent amount of digital comics, mostly because all of the sales Comixology has been having. For instance, last week they had an arc or two of Jeff Parker's HULK on sale, and since I had heard good things about the book once Loab and McGinnis left, I bought about 7 or 8 issues. This week, there's an even bigger sale - practically all of Garth Ennis' Dynamite work is half off (The Boys, Battlefields, Jennifer Blood, ect). I had always been looking for a chance to read The Boys, and so I bought the first few issues to sample the series, and fell in love so fast that I ended up buying the entire series they had on sale.
But excuse my digression, I was thinking that somehow Amazon was blocking the sale of all DC comics on the Comixology app, because I couldn't download any DC comic I tried. I was able to download several recent issues of The Walking Dead I had just bought, so that got me to thinking that a nefarious plan by Amazon was being rolled out to force people to only buy DC comics on the Fire from the Amazon store (if anyone remembers, it was big news last year that Amazon and DC made a deal to sell digital DC graphic novels exclusively on Amazon's site).
However, at this point I am happy to say the issue has been resolved. Since I started writing this article, I emailed Comixology's customer support, and they ran a log of my system, and pointed out that I didn't have the latest version of the Comixology app. I reinstalled the new version, bam! problem solved, I can sync all my website purchases through Comixology to the Fire now, including DC comics (side note: Comixology's customer support via email was prompt, courteous and effective - good combination).
However, it is still interesting to note that on the Comixology Kindle Fire app, the DC section is still removed, and it seems to have been done so because of the reasons mentioned above.
At least there is a workaround for this though.
It won't satisfy some people, but for me, the fire has been (at least temporarily) abated.
What a lovely day to be a comics fan.
Because this day, I opened one of my absolutely favorite books that Marvel is publishing, turn to the back of said book, and gaze in rapture at the charming comments within. And whatt'ya know? There's a familiar name...
...and for the visually impared
For those keeping score, this is my second attempt at writing in to a comics letter page (the first being Scalped #48) and for gosh sakes, I'm 2 for 2!
However, for those worried that this column will devolve into me gloating every time my name appears in a comic, fear not, I wasn't kidding when I said I wasn't the letter writing type, but I also wasn't kidding when I said you need to be reading this book.
It really is one of the best things Marvel or anybody else is doing right now.
Kid Loki = Comic Gold. READ. IT.
Aaron Brewer is an aspiring filmmaker, musician and writer living in Los Angeles. There are many irons in the fire, and hopefully one day he'll be able to complete all the ideas he has floating around in his brain stew.