Eisner Award winners

I’m a little late with these as they were announced as part of Comic-Con@Home 2021 on July 23rd.

Best Short Story
  • “Garden Boys” by Henry McCausland, in Now #8 (Fantagraphics)
  • “I Needed the Discounts” by Connor Willumsen, in The New York Times (January 3, 2020)
  • “Parts of Us,” by Chan Chau, in Elements: Earth, A Comic Anthology by Creators of Color (Ascend Press)
  • “Rookie,” by Greg Rucka and Eduardo Risso, in Detective Comics #1027 (DC)
  • “Soft Lead,” by Chan Chau, https://chanchauart.com/comics#/soft-lead/
  • “When the Menopausal Carnival Comes to Town,” by Mimi Pond, in Menopause: A Comic Treatment (Graphic Medicine/Pennsylvania State University Press)

Best Single Issue
  • The Burning Hotels, by Thomas Lampion (Birdcage Bottom Books)
  • Hedra, by Jesse Lonergan (Image)
  • The Other History of the DC Universe #1, by John Ridley and Giuseppe Camuncoli (DC)
  • Sports Is Hell, by Ben Passmore (Koyama Press)
  • Stanley’s Ghost: A Halloween Adventure, by Jeff Balke, Paul Storrie, and Dave Alvarez (Storm Kids)

Best Continuing Series
  • Bitter Root, by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene (Image)
  • Daredevil, by Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto (Marvel)
  • The Department of Truth, by James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds (Image)
  • Gideon Falls, by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino (Image)
  • Stillwater, by Chip Zdarsky and Ramón K Pérez (Image/Skybound)
  • Usagi Yojimbo, by Stan Sakai (IDW)

Best Limited Series
  • Barbalien: Red Planet, by Jeff Lemire, Tate Brombal, and Gabriel Hernandez Walta (Dark Horse)
  • Decorum, by Jonathan Hickman and Mike Huddleston (Image)
  • Far Sector, by N. K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell (DC)
  • Strange Adventures, by Tom King, Mitch Gerads, and Evan “Doc” Shaner (DC Black Label)
  • Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, by Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber (DC)
  • We Live, by Inaki Miranda and Roy Miranda (AfterShock)

Best New Series
  • Black Widow, by Kelly Thompson and Elena Casagrande (Marvel)
  • Crossover, by Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw (Image)
  • The Department of Truth, by James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds (Image)
  • Killadelphia, by Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander (Image)
  • We Only Find Them When They’re Dead, by Al Ewing and Simone Di Meo (BOOM! Studios)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)
  • Bear, by Ben Queen and Joe Todd-Stanton (Archaia/BOOM!)
  • Cat Kid Comic Club, by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic Graphix)
  • Donut Feed the Squirrels, by Mika Song (RH Graphic/RH Children’s Books)
  • Kodi, by Jared Cullum (Top Shelf)
  • Lift, by Minh Lê and Dan Santat (Little, Brown Young Readers)
  • Our Little Kitchen, by Jillian Tamaki (Abrams Books for Young Readers)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)
  • Doodleville, by Chad Sell (Knopf/BFYR/RH Children’s Books)
  • Go with the Flow, by Lily Williams and Karen Schneemann (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Mister Invincible: Local Hero, by Pascal Jousselin (Magnetic Press)
  • Snapdragon, by Kat Leyh (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Superman Smashes the Klan, by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru (DC)
  • Twins, by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright (Scholastic Graphix)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)
  • Check, Please! Book 2: Sticks & Scones, by Ngozi Ukazu (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Displacement, by Kiku Hughes (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Dragon Hoops, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Fights: One Boy’s Triumph Over Violence, by Joel Christian Gill (Oni Press)
  • A Map to the Sun, by Sloane Leong (First Second/Macmillan)
  • When Stars are Scattered, by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed (Dial Books)

Best Humor Publication
  • The Complete Fante Bukowski, by Noah Van Sciver (Fantagraphics)
  • Department of Mind-Blowing Theories, by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • FANGS, by Sarah Andersen (Andrews McMeel)
  • Wendy, Master of Art, by Walter Scott (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, by Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber (DC)
  • What If We Were . . ., by Axelle Lenoir (Top Shelf)

Best Anthology
  • Ex Mag, vols. 1–2, edited by Wren McDonald (PEOW)
  • Guantanamo Voices: True Accounts from the World’s Most Infamous Prison, edited by Sarah Mirk (Abrams)
  • Hey, Amateur! Go From Novice to Nailing It in 9 Panels, edited and curated by Shelly Bond (IDW Black Crown)
  • Los Angeles Times, edited by Sammy Harkham (NTWRK)
  • Menopause: A Comic Treatment, edited by MK Czerwiec (Graphic Medicine/Pennsylvania State University Press)
  • Now, edited by Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)

Best Reality-Based Work
  • Big Black: Stand at Attica, by Frank “Big Black” Smith, Jared Reinmuth, and Améziane (Archaia/BOOM!)
  • Dragon Hoops, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Invisible Differences: A Story of Asperger’s, Adulting, and Living a Life in Full Color, by Mme Caroline and Julie Dachez, translation by Edward Gauvin (Oni Press)
  • Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio, by Derf Backderf (Abrams)
  • Paying the Land, by Joe Sacco (Metropolitan/Henry Holt)
  • Year of the Rabbit, by Tian Veasna, translation by Helge Dascher (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Graphic Memoir
  • Banned Book Club, by Kim Hyun Sook, Ryan Estrada, and Ko Hyung-Ju (Iron Circus)
  • Dancing After TEN: A Graphic Memoir, by Vivian Chong and Georgia Webber (Fantagraphics)
  • Ginseng Roots, by Craig Thompson (Uncivilized)
  • I Don’t Know How to Give Birth! by Ayami Kazama, translated by Julie Goniwich (Yen Press)
  • The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist, by Adrian Tomine (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • When Stars Are Scattered, by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed (Dial Books)

Best Graphic Album—New
  • The Book Tour, by Andi Watson (Top Shelf)
  • Dragman, by Steven Appleby (Metropolitan)
  • Flake, by Matthew Dooley (Jonathan Cape)
  • Labyrinth, by Ben Argon (Abrams)
  • Paul at Home, by Michel Rabagliati, translation by Helge Dascher and Rob Aspinall (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Pulp, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint
  • Black Hammer Library Edition, vol. 2, by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormstom, Emi Lenox, and Rich Tommaso (Dark Horse)
  • Criminal Deluxe Edition, vol. 3, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
  • Eight-Lane Runaways, by Henry McCausland (Fantagraphics)
  • Fante Bukowski: The Complete Works, by Noah Van Sciver (Fantagraphics)
  • Herobear and the Kid: The Heritage, by Mike Kunkel (Astonish Factory)
  • Seeds and Stems, by Simon Hanselmann (Fantagraphics)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium
  • Constitution Illustrated, by R. Sikoryak (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Parable of the Sower: The Graphic Novel Adaptation, by Octavia E. Butler, adapted by Damian Duffy and John Jennings (Abrams)
  • Sapiens: A Graphic History: The Birth of Mankind, vol. 1, by Yuval Noah Harari, adapted by David Vandermeulen and Daniel Casanave (Harper Perennial)
  • Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, adapted by Ryan North and Albert Monteys (Archaia/BOOM!)
  • Superman Smashes the Klan, adapted by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru (DC)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
  • Altitude, by Olivier Bocquet and Jean-Marc Rochette, translation by Edward Gauvin (SelfMadeHero)
  • Gamayun Tales I: An Anthology of Modern Russian Folk Tales, by Alexander Utkin, translation by Lada Morozova (Nobrow)
  • Goblin Girl, by Moa Romanova, translation by Melissa Bowers (Fantagraphics)
  • Irena Books 2-3, by Jean-David Morvan, Severine Tréfouël, and David Evrard, translation by Dan Christensen (Magnetic Press)
  • When You Look Up, by Decur, translation by Chloe Garcia Roberts (Enchanted Lion Books)
  • The Winter of the Cartoonist, by Paco Roca, translation by Erica Mena (Fantagraphics)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
  • I Had That Same Dream Again, by Yoru Sumino and Idumi Kirihara, translation by Beni Axia Conrad (Seven Seas)
  • I Wish I Could Say “Thank You,” by Yukari Takinami, translation by Yukari Takeuchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • A Journal Of My Father, by Jiro Taniguchi, translation by Kumar Sivasubramanian (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
  • Ping Pong, vols. 1–2, by Taiyo Matsumoto, translation by Michael Arias (VIZ Media)
  • Remina, by Junji Ito, translation by Jocelyne Allen (VIZ Media)
  • Spy x Family, vols. 1–3, by Tatsuya Endo, translation by Casey Loe (VIZ Media)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips 
  • The Flapper Queens: Women Cartoonists of the Jazz Age, edited by Trina Robbins (Fantagraphics)
  • Gross Exaggerations: The Meshuga Comic Strips of Milt Gross, by Milt Gross, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press/IDW)
  • Krazy & Ignatz 1919-1921 by George Herriman, edited by RJ Casey (Fantagraphics)
  • Little Debbie and the Second Coming of Elmo: Daily Comic Strips, August 1960–September 1961, by Cecil Jensenedited by Frank Young (Labor of Love)
  • Pogo The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips: Volume 7: Clean as a Weasel, by Walt Kelly, edited by Mark Evanier and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
  • Art Young’s Inferno, by Art Young, edited by Glenn Bray (Fantagraphics)
  • Atlas at War! edited by Michael J. Vassallo (Dead Reckoning)
  • The Complete Hate, by Peter Bagge, edited by Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
  • Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salty Sea, by Hugo Pratt, translation by Dean Mullaney and Simone Castaldi (EuroComics/IDW)
  • Little Lulu: The Fuzzythingus Poopi, by John Stanley, edited by Frank Young and Tom Devlin (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Man and Superman and Other Stories, by Harvey Kurtzman, edited by J. Michael Catron (Fantagraphics)

Best Writer
  • Ed Brubaker, Pulp, Reckless (Image); Friday (Panel Syndicate)
  • Matt Fraction, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen (DC); Adventureman, November vols. 2–3, Sex Criminals (Image)
  • Jonathan Hickman, Decorum (Image); Giant-Size X-Men, X-Men (Marvel)
  • Jeff Lemire, Barbalien, Black Hammer, Colonel Weird: Cosmagog (Dark Horse); The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage (DC Black Label); Family Tree, Gideon Falls (Image)
  • James Tynion IV, Something Is Killing the Children, Wynd (BOOM! Studios); Batman (DC); The Department of Truth (Image); Razorblades (Tiny Onion)
  • Chip Zdarsky, Stillwater (Image/Skybound), Daredevil, Fantastic Four/X-Men (Marvel)

Best Writer/Artist
  • Junji Ito, ReminaVenus in the Blind Spot (VIZ Media)
  • Pascal Jousselin, Mister Invincible: Local Hero (Magnetic Press)
  • Trung Le Nguyen, The Magic Fish (RH Graphic/RH Children’s Books)
  • Craig Thompson, Ginseng Roots (Uncivilized)
  • Adrian Tomine, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Gene Luen Yang, Dragon Hoops (First Second/Macmillan)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
  • Michael Allred, Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams (Insight Editions)
  • Marco Chechetto, Daredevil (Marvel)
  • Jorge Corona, Middlewest (Image)
  • Bertrand Gatignol, Pistouvi (Magnetic Press)
  • Mitch Gerads/Evan “Doc” Shaner, Strange Adventures (DC Black Label)
  • Sanford Greene, Bitter Root (Image)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
  • Benjamin Adam, Soon (Europe Comics)
  • Alice Chemama, The Zolas (Europe Comics)
  • Jared Cullum, Kodi (Top Shelf)
  • Decur, When You Look Up (Enchanted Lion Books)
  • Antonio Lapone, Gentlemind (Europe Comics)
  • Anand RK/John Pearson, Blue in Green (Image)

Best Cover Artist
  • Jamal Campbell, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (BOOM! Studios); Far Sector (DC)
  • Simone Di Meo, We Only Find Them When They’re Dead (BOOM! Studio)
  • Mike Huddleston, Decorum (Image)
  • Dave Johnson, Butcher of Paris (Dark Horse)
  • Peach Momoko, Buffy the Vampire Slayer #19, Mighty Morphin #2, Something Is Killing the Children #12, Power Rangers #1 (BOOM! Studios); DIE!namite, Vampirella (Dynamite); The Crow: Lethe (IDW); Marvel Variants (Marvel
  • Ramón K. Pérez, Stillwater (Image/Skybound)

Best Coloring
  • Laura Allred, X-Ray Robot (Dark Horse); Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams (Insight Editions)
  • Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Middlewest (Image)
  • Gipi, One Story (Fantagraphics)
  • Marte Gracia, Empyre, X of Swords (Marvel)
  • Dave Stewart, Promethee 13:13 (comiXology); Black Hammer (Dark Horse); Gideon Falls (Image); Spider-Man #4-#5 (Marvel)
  • Matt Wilson, Undiscovered Country (Image); Fire Power (Image/Skybound); Thor (Marvel)

Best Lettering
  • Mike Allred, Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams (Insight Editions)
  • Deron Bennett, Bear, The Sacrifice of Darkness (Archaia); King of Nowhere, Something Is Killing the Children, We Only Find Them When They’re Dead (BOOM! Studios); Far Sector, Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red, Martian Manhunter (DC); Excellence (Image/Skybound); A Dark Interlude, Dark One, Relics of Youth, Resonant, Shadow Service, Vampire: The Masquerade: Winter’s Teeth (Vault); Ping Pong (VIZ Media)
  • Aditya Bidikar, Barbalien: Red Planet, Grafity’s Wall Expanded Edition (Dark Horse); John Constantine, Hellblazer (DC); A Map to the Sun (First Second); The Department of Truth, Lost Soldiers (Image); Giga, The Picture of Everything Else (Vault)
  • Clayton Cowles, Aquaman, Batman, Batman and the Outsiders, Strange Adventures, Superman: Man of Tomorrow, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen (DC); Adventureman, Bitter Root, Bog Bodies, Die (Image); Reaver (Image/Skybound); Morbius, X Of Swords (Marvel)
  • Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo (IDW)
  • Rus Wooton, Wonder Woman: Dead Earth (DC); Decorum, Monstress (Image); Die!Die!Die!, Fire Power, Oblivion Song, Outcast, Stillwater (Image/Skybound) 

Best Comics-Related Journalism/Periodical

Best Comics-Related Book
  • American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason, by Brett Dakin (Comic House/Lev Gleason)
  • Ditko Shrugged: The Uncompromising Life of the Artist Behind Spider-Man and the Rise of Marvel Comics, by David Currie (Hermes Press)
  • Drawing Fire: The Editorial Cartoons of Bill Mauldin, edited by Todd DePastino (Pritzker Military Museum & Library)
  • The History of EC Comics, by Grant Geissman (TASCHEN)
  • Invisible Men: The Trailblazing Black Artists of Comic Books, by Ken Quattro (Yoe Books/IDW)
  • Masters of British Comic Art, by David Roach (2000AD)

Best Academic/Scholarly Work
  • Comic Art in Museums, edited by Kim A. Munson (University Press of Mississippi)
  • Comic Studies: A Guidebook, edited by Charles Hatfield and Bart Beaty (Rutgers University Press)
  • The Content of Our Caricature: African American Comic Art and Political Belonging, by Rebecca Wanzo (New York University Press)
  • Webcomics, by Sean Kleefeld (Bloomsbury)
  • Who Understands Comics: Questioning the Universality of Visual Language Comprehension, by Neil Cohn (Bloomsbury)

Best Publication Design
  • Chasin’ the Bird: Charlie Parker in California deluxe edition, designed by David Chisholm and Tyler Boss (Z2 Comics)
  • Dbury@50: The Complete Digital Doonesbury, by G.B. Trudeau, designed by George Corsillo and Susan McCaslin (Andrews McMeel)
  • J & K, designed by John Pham (Fantagraphics)
  • The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist, designed by Adrian Tomine and Tracy Huron (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Original Art: The Dan Clowes Studio Edition, designed by Daniel Clowes (Fantagraphics)

Best Digital Comic
  • Friday, by Ed Brubaker and Marcos Martin (Panel Syndicate)
  • Genius Animals? by Vali Chandrasekaran and Jun-Pierre Shiozawa, geniusanimals.net
  • Gentlemind, by Juan Díaz Canales, Teresa Valero, and Antonio Lapone, translation by Jeremy Melloul (Europe Comics)
  • Promethee 13:13, by Andy Diggle and Shawn Martinbrough (comiXology Originals/Delcourt)
  • Olive, by Véro Cazot and Lucy Mazel, translation by Jessie Aufiery (Europe Comics)
  • Soon, by Thomas Cadène and Benjamin Adam, translation by Margaret Besser (Europe Comics)

Best Webcomic

Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award

  • The Laughing Ogre, Columbus, OH
  • The Comic Bug, Manhattan Beach, CA
  • Kingpin Books, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Rogue City Comics, Medford, OR
  • Zeppelin Comics, Benicia, CA

Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award

  • Mike Mignola & Christine Mignola

Eisner Awards Hall of Fame

Six inductees were automatically named by the Eisner judges:

  • Thomas Nast
  • Rudolphe Töpffer
  • Alberto Breccia
  • Stan Goldberg
  • Francoise Mouly
  • Lily Renée Phillips

The following inductees were selected by voters:

  • Ruth Atkinson
  • Dave Cockrum
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Scott McCloud

SOURCE: https://www.comic-con.org/awards/2021-eisner-awards-nominations

Geiger #1

Geiger #1

Story Tellers: Geoff Johns & Gary Frank

Cover Art: Gary Frank

It is a survivalist tale in a post apocalyptic future. It is a story of sacrifice. It is a story of family. It is a story of a super hero.

And it was great.

Images Comics latest comic, Geiger, came out today and it was a fantastic read. The story progresses quickly, jumping around in time, giving us hints about what happened to the world and presenting us with several secrets that create a memorable Mad max type world.

The Glowing Man is a mysterious figure and the heart of the book. How did he become the way he is? We see some pieces, but, as a good narrative does, it leaves us with more questions than answers.

Some of the art in this book are majestic. There are plenty of wonderful panels that tell the story in beautiful imagery and color. There are some full page panels that are pieces of art that would be right at home on the wall of a gallery.

This was quite a winning first issue.

Alien #1

Alien #1

Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson

Artist: Salvador Larroca

Cover Art: InHYUK Lee

Marvel has been the home for Star Wars comics for several years now. Now, another benefit from the FOX acquisition has come to light. Marvel Comics released the first comic based on the hit movie series, Alien.

Alien #1 is wonderful. The horror comic genre has been very hot lately, and this has such a classic IP to use as a backdrop. The story featured a former mercenary Gabriel Cruz, who had some kind of major event happen to him in space years before. The multinational corporation Weyland-Yutani controls the spaceways. Gabe’s estranged son, Danny, leads a group attempting to stop the corporation. Unfortunately, Danny’s group found something they did not expect.

The Xenomorph looks awesome on the pages of this comic book. The art is beautiful, in particularly the parts in space. I will say that there are some weird looking human faces in the book. It appeared as if the artist was recreating some real life faces, (including actor Lance Henriksen, who played android Bishop in the movie).

It did not take long to be drawn into the story, the father-son tale that has some horrific monsters involved. Interesting to see how the incident from Gabe’s past will play into the current situation with his son.

Off to a great start.

Non-Stop Spider-Man #1

Non-Stop Spider-Man #1

“Big Brain Play Chapter One”

Writer: Joe Kelly

Artist: Chris Bachalo

Cover Art: David Finch

Non-Stop Spider-Man #1 has found a rarity.

A Spider-Man book that I did not like.

Seriously, I love Spider-Man. I am anything but an unbiased fan. Had you said to me that Marvel would put out a new Spider-Man series that I would not enjoy, I would have laughed and guffawed at that person. Yet, here it is.

I have to say that I started off by being unimpressed with the art. With all due respect, Peter Parker looked different in every panel. There some interesting panels (especially like the Spidey on the car page), but overall, I found myself being distracted by the art.

The action was fast and furious… pun intended. I am not a huge fan of that franchise and I did not want it coming into my Spider-Man stories.

There were characters that I was not familiar with and I did not like the rapid narration of Spidey in the story and that is shocking to me. I love the character of Spider-Man, but this just did not feel right.

Now, that does not mean that I am not going to give this a chance. Perhaps it will grow on me as the story progresses. However, it did not get off to a fast start for me.

Stray Dogs #1

Stray Dogs #1

“Chapter 1: Good Girl”

Writer: Tony Fleecs

Artist: Trish Forstner

I was thumbing through the Previews edition a few months ago and I came across a new Image Comic called Stray Dogs. It was weird. A comic book about stray dogs? Who wants that? Then I read a quote from Brian Michael Bendis (which also appears on the back of the issue #1) that says, “My favorite thing about comics is when someone shows you something you didn’t know you needed. The Secret Life of Pets meets Seven? Yes, please! Welcome to STRAY DOGS. I was blown away!”

Now I do not love Brian Michael Bendis. He’s fine, but there are a bunch of writers that I prefer. There was just something about that description that tweaked my interest.

Now, Stray Dogs #1 has been released and it is even more than I expected.

The story follows a nervous little dog named Sophie, who has apparently been separated from her master and wound up with a group of other dogs in a house. Sophie could not remember anything that had happened and the other dogs were both welcoming and cliquey.

Then the story took a sinister turn and it was excellent. I am not sure how this is going to progress, but I am here to find out.

The art makes me think of old Disney animation such as Lady and the Tramp, 101 Dalmatians or All Dogs Go to Heaven. That is… until the tone of the book takes a distinctly dark turn, and the work of Trish Forstner reflects that. I mean, Forstner has been involved with IDW’s My Little Pony series and now has an opportunity to show what she can do.

Will this book go darker than it hints at? I have to say… I am anxious to see where it goes.

Specter Inspectors #1

Specter Inspector #1

Writer: Bowen McCurdy & Kaitlyn Musto

Artist: Bowen McCurdy

Cover Art: Bowen McCurdy

Last week, I went to my comic shop for the Wednesday releases. I am still a huge Marvel fan, but I have been picking up more independent comics over the last few years because I have found so many great stories. I generally look at new #1s of independents just to see. I looked at Specter Inspectors and it looked like a kids book so I let it stay on the stand.

However, as I was sitting there reading some of the books that I had purchased, the owner Ben arrived. Ben was the one who practically forced me try Somebody is Killing the Children #1 and he asked me if I had picked up Specter Inspector #1. Before I knew what had happened, it was in my box to buy the next week.

This week I purchased it but I read some of the other books first. As I was getting ready to leave ComicWorld, Ben asked me again about Specter Inspector so I figured I better read it.

Wouldn’t you know it… I really loved it.

Specter Inspectors was like Scooby Doo meets The Ghost Hunters meets Rumpelstiltskin and maybe with a splash of a G-rated Evil Dead.

I have to say that I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. There was a creepy haunted town, a group of young kids out to film the paranormal and make a name for themselves. There was a cool twist to set up the story and the interactions between the characters are great.

It is simply a lot of fun.

It is a five issue series, and, I can’t believe it, I’m looking forward to the rest of the Boom! Box series.

The Amazing Spider-Man #55

“Last Remains Part Six”

Writer: Nick Spencer

Artist: Patrick Gleason

Cover Art: Patrick Gleason

I have been enjoying the current arc of Amazing Spider-Man, that started in earnest with the return of the Sin Eater (though seeds have been planted for the character of Kindred for some time before that). Today, the Last Remains arc came to a close with an uncomfortable and unnerving issue, Amazing Spider-Man #55.

No spoilers here, but there appeared to be something tragic happen at the end of the story that I really hope is just smoke and mirrors.

The cover of the issue, drawn by Patrick Gleason, is a beautiful piece of art. It is perhaps my favorite cover of the year. It is a black profile of Spidey with his head outline with what looked like white webs. The design is gorgeous and the execution is even better. It is truly a striking cover and it is apparently causing the online price to skyrocket.

The conflict between Peter and harry continued to play out as all of the other Spider-people are in their place. There was a major hint dropped about what Spidey era of comics this story dates back to which, again, I will not spoil, but it feels as if this is just the beginning to the build to something even bigger. The LGY for the issue is #856, could they be build toward something massive for Spider-Man #900?

The issue is completely tense and nerve-wracking. It leaves off on a terrible cliffhanger too so I am anxious to see the next issue soon.

Post Americana #1

Post Americana#1

Writer: Steve Skroce

Artist: Steve Skroce

Cover Art: Steve Skroce & Dave Stewart

Sorry Todd, this was as early as I could get to this.

New series released by Image Comics found its way into my pull box because my friend Todd, who works at the comic shop I attend, thought that I would like it. I have been buying more non-Marvel books over the last year and a half and I like giving some of these a chance. This appears to be a six-issue series from Steve Skroce.

How many independent comics deal with a post apocalyptic world? There seems to be a bunch of them. You would think that there would not be any new ideas or premises that we haven’t seen before. And while Post Americana #1 may feel familiar in certain moments, there are some wild moments that make th eissue worthwhile.

I mean… chickens.

I liked how the story presented itself to us as an audience. Instead of just dropping a ton of exposition for the new version of the world the characters are living in, it takes its time and weaves the exposition in and out of the story. I thought it was a creative way to present information without the dangers of an info drop.

Our two main protagonists interest me as well. They make an intriguing pair and I look forward to seeing what will come next with them.

I found the story beat about the wealthy of the world surviving below the surface in their own little bunker as the world ended around them to be filled with a lot of potential story.

The only negative I would say was the art was not my favorite. It is difficult to put into words why I was not a fan. It was fine, and I have certainly seen worse, but there was something about it that made it feel … cartoony. I’m not sure I can explain it to you, but I was distracted by some of the art in the book despite not hating it.

Overall, it was a decent book and Todd was right with his idea that I would like it .

M.O.D.O.K: Head Games #1

Writers: Jordon Blum & Patton Oswalt

Artist: Scott Hepburn

Cover Art: Cully Hamner

Jason Blum and Patton Oswalt are the showrunners for the upcoming animated Hulu series featuring M.O.D.O.K. He is the super genius supervillain gigantic head with small arms.

It seems as if M.O.D.O.K. has having some problems. AIM is looking to regain its strength and one of the way they are choosing to do it is to deactivate the malfunctioning M.O.D.O.K.

It does not turn out well.

So what does a supervillain do when its organization turns its back on you and you start seeing images that you know cannot be true?

You’ll never guess.

I enjoyed this issue and it had a different feel to it than other Marvel books. Perhaps that comes form the writers who are not normal comic book writers. If this is what the animated series is going to be like, then I will be watching Hulu when it comes out.

King in Black #1

“Chapter One: Reign”

Writer: Donny Cates

Artist: Ryan Stegman

Cover Art: Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer & Frank Martin

I have to say, I do not collect Venom comics.  I like the character, but I have just never been into him much.  I really did like the arrival of his son in the last Venom/Spidey event, but I have not seen anything from him since.

I enjoyed King in Black a great deal.  I have not been a fan of the last few Marvel massive crossover events.  If it is not tied to Spider-Man, I have basically waited for them to end.

I think this is going to be different.

There is such a feeling of dread involved in this issue.  The arrival of Knull is absolutely devastating for the heroes, and when you see Tony Stark reacting the way he does, you know there are problems.  Knull then almost immediately shows you his dominance in a powerful moment that you do not see coming.  

I still wish we could get rid of all the crossover issues.  These major Marvel milestones always feel as if the crossover issues are unimportant and are just there to try and get the collectors to shell out some more money.  However, the main book can be intriguing and this is one of those.

I am excited to see where the story goes.  The book did a good job of telling the story and I feel as if I have a pretty decent understanding of what is happening, even though I have not been a Venom reader.  This may be a good time to jump on.

And Knull is totally terrifying.  How is this monster going to be stopped?  Our heroes are clearly at a low point.  What are they going to do?

I can’t wait to see.

Daredevil #25

“The Red Fist Part 1”

Writer: Chip Zdarsky

Artist: Marco Checchetto

Cover Art: Marco Checchetto & Matthew Wilson

Chip Zdarsky’s run on Daredevil has been a must read every month.

This month’s 25th issue of Daredevil is everything you could possibly want in a Marvel comic. The characterization is great. You have characters doing things that fit with their character and making choices that make sense and are yet shocking. The art is great. The action is great.

It has been one of the best comics in Marvel.

No spoilers here, but the focus this month on Elektra gives us some fantastic insights into the character of Elektra Natchios. We get just a flavor of Daredevil in prison. There is going to be so much more coming from that.

The issue dives into the relationship between Matt Murdock and Elektra. How they are the same. How they are different. What they think of each other.

And all of this with Hell’s Kitchen as the backdrop.

It is story telling at its finest and I cannot wait to see where it goes from here.

I Walk with Monsters #1

I Walk With Monsters#1

Writer: Paul Cornell

Artist: Sally Cantirino

Cover Art: Sally Cantirino

As I was looking at the independent comics at my local comic shop released today, I spotted a new book called I Walk With Monsters #1. Over the last year or so, I have been looking for more independent books because the ones I have tried have been so good.

One of the best ones that I have picked up was Something is Killing the Children. That is such a brilliant book that it really inspired me to keep giving these number one issues a chance. It is also why I grabbed I Walk With Monsters #1. The quick glance at it made me think about Something Killing the Children. While not at that level, I Walk With Monsters was fascinating.

I am not sure I know what happened here.

There are two characters in the book, Jacey and David, and one of them seemed to have some kind of monster inside him. A monster that ate a serial killer.

It was a shocking few pages right at the beginning.

But the unexpected surprises did not end there. They then seemingly had some flashbacks where … I think… they show a younger Jacey with another kid named Jake with their father (maybe???) and … do they, as a family… eat another kid named Eric? There was also a flashback scene from a state fair and there was something with a politician.

Honestly, I had to look it over several times. I was totally fascinated with the story. I loved that I was just not sure exactly what was happening and I really wanted to know.

The book is from a company called Vault, which I had never heard of before, but I will be buying another one.

Iron Man #1 (2020)

The Armored Avenger Goes Back to Basics in New 'Iron Man' Series This Fall  | Marvel

Iron Man #1 (2020)

“Rest Your Brains”

Writer:  Christopher Cantwell

Artist:  Cafu

Cover Art:  Alex Ross

After the run of Iron Man 2020, I was ready to see Tony Stark’s return to prominence in the Marvel Universe.  I feel as if Tony has been crushed too much and his character was messed up.  That was why I was so pleased with the new Iron Man series from Christopher Cantwell.  It feels like a great new start for the iconic character.

I really enjoyed the new direction and the arrival of Tony Stark.  I also thought the use of Patsy Walker’s Hellcat was an interesting choice.  I guess Tony Stark has to have a redhead hanging around.  It was also intriguing how they ended the Janet Van Dyne/Stark relationship in like two panels.  It made me think about JJ Abrams’ Rise of Skywalker  just wiping out some of the materials from the Last Jedi.  

I found the framing technique of the “Tweets” really funny and engaging. It worked well for me.

The art in here from Cafu was gorgeous. I did not know much about Cafu, though I remember some wonderful work in Jane Foster: Valkyrie. There is a new suit of armor for Iron Man designed by Alex Ross and it is a wonder.

This is a great start and I enjoyed this more than I have for quite a long time.

The Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn #1

Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn (2020) #1 | Comic Issues |  Marvel

The Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn #1

 Writer:  Nick Spencer

Artist:  Federico Vicentini

Cover Art:  Ryan Ottley & Nathan Fairbairn

I have to say that I typically dislike this kind of promotion.  There is no reason this issue had to be a number 1.  It could just be part of the Amazing Spider-Man series since it basically takes the storyline of the Sin Eater and continues it.  Marvel does this a lot with their event runs and it is very annoying.  Add to the fact that a lot of these types of issues feel disposable and unimportant to the storyline makes it even worse.

However…

This was just tremendous.

I loved this issue.  There was so much going on and it certainly brings the story to a new level.  The interactions between Spidey and Osborn are amazing and the formation of the group of Spider-people who plan on helping Peter out is special.  

This book continues the build of the Sin Eater (with a mouth dropping moment inside Ravencroft) and the mystery of Kindred.  And Norman Osborn is easily heading back for big things.

The Amazing Spider-Man series has been building this story for awhile now and this book was one of my favorites this week.  Nick Spencer has been knocking it out of the park lately and I am excited to see where this goes from here.