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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 House of X #1
Writer: Johnathan Hickman
Artist: Pepe Larraz
To know Hickman is to not understand Hickman, at least in my experience. But to know him is to know that he is going to play the looonggg game, going to surprise with new and innovative concepts and fascinating characters. And to know him is to know that his work is always worth the read.
For a long time now, the Merry Marvel Mutants – the X-Men – have been languishing at the fringes of the publishers’ catalog. It should not be that way. Marvel is better when the X-Men are central.
Hence the earned excitement around Hickman’s return and, if his work is inscrutable to me, it just means it needs another reading.
Pepe Larraz is a very good artist and his work in House of X is serviceable. Nothing he does here offends, but nor does it blow the reader out of the water. And that is okay. The concepts themselves take care of that reaction. Larraz knows his role here and he executes it well.
This book needs another read – or three – and will get one. It will need to be read as part of the whole.
I am thrilled Hickman is back and Marvel and I am along for the ride. I hope it will be long-term.