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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 #68
Writer: Tom King
Artists: Amanda Conner
While I must admit that the current arc (much of which I don’t fully comprehend which is supposed to be part of the fun) is wearing on me a bit, what Tom King does in Batman is better than most of what is out on the market these days and his particular way of twisting painful knives into the readers’ hearts must, on some level, be admired. The set up to a massive downfall for Batman is playing out in a long, slow burn, but it is giving King an opportunity to revisit the many highlights of his time with Batman and that is just fine with me. I don’t have to understand everything as it plays out, I simply want to be able to follow along.
And I can.
Is it possible that Amanda Conner’s art is too pretty for this book? It is surely too pretty for the dark tones and sense of foreboding that accompanies the title these days but, let’s be honest, it’s also perfect, so where is the quibble? Conner is a successor to both Kevin McGuire and Adam Hughes and she combines the best of what each does. I am certain there is not a better humorist drawing comics today. Any time we get a full issue of interiors from Conner is a blessed day!