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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.
Comics I Read Last Week:
The best comic I read last week was Batman #28
Writers: Tom King
Artists: Michael Janin
Michael Janin is back.
Tom King is still writing.
The War of Jokes and Riddles continues.
Batman is one hell of a ride.
Here is the thing: King’s story is just fascinating. The manner in which he is playing his cards – for the very long game – is masterful. He continues to put Batman, a character with an over 75-year publishing history, into situations which are new, unexpected and breathtaking. That accomplishment, in-and-of-itself, is worth the top spot every other week.
What makes Janin’s art such a perfect compliment to King’s writing is how the artist tends toward the realistic. King’s writing, as gonzo as it is, is somehow, someway, rooted in realism. I am not sure of the writer’s process, but it seems as though he asks “what would happen to Batman if…” and then drafts the answers.
The focus here in on Jim Gordon and the role he will play in the Joker/Riddler war. Spoiler alert: it is going to be a painful one.
But not as painful as it will be for Batman himself.