After Wednesday

Greeting, crusaders! In a week that was dominated by the release of a comic by some guys named Gaiman and Williams III there were some other titles that got released I found to be worthy of a read. For those new to the column: I am a comic enthusiast who reads a lot of titles from all over the place and puts forth my suggestions of what I found to be pretty good. All opinions are my own, and I use this column as a way to share with others. Cool? Ok, here we go:

Bad houses cover
Bad Houses: (a) Carla Speed McNeil, (w) Sara Ryan, Dark Horse Comics, $19.99

As a small town citizen most of my life I found a lot to relate to with this lovely gem of an OGN about love and loss in a struggling town in Oregon. Using the phenomena of hoarding and antique collectors and sellers, writer Sara Ryan has created complex, dynamic, yet incredibly identifiable characters that are struggling with living life in the present while holding on to things that maybe one should let go. Matching those feelings is the lovely black-and-white detailed art of Carla Speed McNeil, whose long running indie sci-fi series Finder I am always kicking myself to get around to catching up on since encountering the story in Dark Horse Presents. This is my vote for a book club entry this week, or the kind of story that can be an example you give someone of how well a comic can tell as good a story as any traditional literature on the fiction shelves.

Prophet #40 (w) Brandon Graham, Simon Roy, (a) Giannis Milogiannis, Simon Roy, Matt Sheean, Malachi Ward, Nero O'Reilly, (c) Joseph Bergin III, (l) Ed Brisson, Image Comics, $3.99
“Prophet #40” (w) Brandon Graham, Simon Roy, (a) Giannis Milogiannis, Simon Roy, Matt Sheean, Malachi Ward, Nero O’Reilly, (c) Joseph Bergin III, (l) Ed Brisson, Image Comics, $3.99

This imaginative intergalactic space opera continues. Usually, when a book from most publishers has multiple artists to tell a story there is a production problem and the product is uneven; however, in the world that Graham and company have created, it is a compliment as the series has established a consistent creator mash-up. This does not top the last issue, a high water mark for the series that used all of the regular artists to tell a story spanning 10,000 years, but with the end of the monthly in sight (a mini-series will be out next year to tie up everything), the pieces of this large, fragmented narrative move quickly towards convergence. If you are behind, you may want to get caught up before diving into this issue; however, if the more abstract left-of-the-dial sci-fi comic is not your cup of imaginary tea, perhaps you should try…

Planetoid, Volume 1 (w/a) Ken Garing, Image comics, $15.99
Planetoid, Volume 1 (w/a) Ken Garing, Image comics, $15.99

“Resistance to oppression is a beautiful thing…even when you lose.” Sometimes it is so hard to find a fantasy hero story that actually makes you feel hopeful and optimistic, and creator Ken Garing does just that in transmitting some solid storytelling talent in this creator owned tale about becoming a hero in the most desperate of inhabitable places and situations. This sci-fi tale is an appealing, straight forward balance of action and story and contains one of my favorite splash pages in recent memory of a solitary kite in flight. I do not know where volume two, if it happens, will go, but I am in if it happens.

The Double Life of Miranda Turner #1 (w) Jamie S. Rich, (a) George Kambadais, (c) Mike Toris, (l) Crank!, Monkeybrain Digital Comics, $0.99
“The Double Life of Miranda Turner #1” (w) Jamie S. Rich, (a) George Kambadais, (c) Mike Toris, (l) Crank!, Monkeybrain Digital Comics, $0.99

Monkeybrain has probably what I would say is the most charming line of heroine books on the virtual comics shelf, from Bandette, to Amelia Cole, to now Miranda Turner. Very similar in style and tone to Bandette, The Double Life of Miranda Turner opens by establishing a nice twist on the standard hero genre (deceased hero sister mentors alive sibling who is trying to solve sisters murder and keep the masked heroine identity alive—whew!) with enough clues to entice the reader towards issue #2. Plus, who couldn’t love two villains who use Lego blocks as their evil power? If you say no to that, you may have a heart of stone.

So some really good finds out there this week on one of the long months in comics. As always, please feel free to leave your comments below, over at our Facebook page, or hit us up on twitter @capelesscrusade with the #afterwednesday. See you next time!