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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 Detective Comics #965.
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Eddy Barrows
I love Eddy Barrows’ artwork. There is something about his verisimilitude, the manner of his panel composition, the loving way he renders characters that feels classic and new simultaneously. My assumption is the level of detail he puts in his work paints him into the slower end of artists (pun intended) but that is okay. That makes his pages all the more special.
“Special” is the right word for this issue. Kicking off a story arc entitled “A Lonely Place of Living” (a title which must make long-time Batman fans take notice), ridiculously underrated writer James Tynion IV tells the origin story of ridiculously underrated character Tim Drake – Red Robin. Red Robin has been “off the board” for months, the captive of the mysterious Mr. Oz, and is about to break big.
That the story (along with the latest issues of Action Comics) reveals the identity of Mr. Oz is not what makes the story special, nor is the science fiction heights for which the narrative reaches.
What makes it special is the treatment of Red Robin, the respect paid to the works of Wolfman, Perez and Aparo and the promise of a return that is both important and is woven into the fabric of the rebirthed DC Universe.
I am glad Tim Drake is back and I am glad his return is being handled by these particular creators. Drake, Tynion IV and Barrows are all superstars.