Category Archives: Comic Books

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: January 8 – 14, 2020

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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:

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The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was Batman #86

Writer: James Tynion, IV

Artist: Tony S. Daniel

Talk about your tough acts to follow…

James Tynion, IV takes over Batman after a truly epic and inspiring run by Tom King – a run that reset Batman continuity, redefined relationships for the character and redirected the course of history for the Dark Knight and he knocks his debut issue out of the park.

Making a decision that had to be conscious not to mimic the style of King, Tynion instead takes the situations with which King left him and spins the beginnings of a new Batman story that has all the makings of being just as epic while seeming tonally and pleasing different as King’s run.

And there the comparisons should cease.

Over his years at DC, Tynion has proven himself a deft writer of small beats and big moments, a writer who understands the history of those he’s writing without being slavish to that history. He is setting up at a new angle to Gotham City and to Batman and clearly has his own, grand-scale plans in mind. It will be exciting to watch.

Providing the pencils in one of the most under appreciated artists of recent memory – Tony S. Daniel. His work across the DC Universe has been stunning for years and he is in top form in Batman #86. I believe his command of this character and his world makes him one of the defining Batman artists and he will eventually be mentioned in the same breath as Aparo and Adams. He should be. His work here is tremendous and I hope we have issue-after-issue of Daniel to come.

It’s also worth noting that the coda written by Tynion and illustrated by Guillem March is engaging, chilling and a terrific hook.

Amazing start here, gentlemen. Looking forward to the run!

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: January 1 – 7, 2020

Related Content from And There Came A Day:

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:

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The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was X-Men #4

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artist: Leinil Francis Yu

I have been digging if not completely understanding Jonathan Hickman’s take on the X-Men. And that’s okay. There are many things I don’t understand that I like… Frankly, I like when an author is smarter than I am (not that that is a particularly mean feat). When the story is more complex or unpredictable than I can write yet holds together with a clear internal logic, I am all in.

Hickman has changed almost everything about the X-Men. It feels to me almost like a Moore/Gibbons treatment of the Charlton characters than a reboot of a classic Marvel team. Though I happened to enjoy much of the X-Men mythos before this reboot, I have been all in on this X-Men relaunch.

And this has been my favorite issue of the bunch. What a tour de force of force. In changing the character’s relationships and societal status, Hickman is giving readers an utterly off-the-wall and unpredictable corner of the Marvel Universe.

Give me more… though I am very anxious to see what happens when this flavor of X-Men interacts with the more traditional characters populating Marvel Comics. That should be very interesting, indeed.

One surprising reaction I am having is to the normally distinctive work of Leinil Francis Yu. It seems he is pulling back from an earlier style – or developing as an artist from it – and that is obviously his call. His work, though – for me – has lost something of the uniqueness it had. It is not that it’s not solid, it’s just that is is simply solid.

That being said, a solid and monthly Yu is better than most artists in the business and X-Men is better than most books.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: December 25 – 31, 2019

Related Content from And There Came A Day:

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:

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The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was Incoming #1

Writer: Various

Artist: Various

This preview for upcoming Marvel events was also the only comic I read last week, so…

It was fine. There were a few story threads to which I am looking forward, a few to which I am not and a few that made no sense to me at all.

It was fine.

I read many, many better comics last week… and I am sure I’ll have many, many more better comics this week. This is what happens when Christmas falls on a Wednesday it seems.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 20 – 26, 2019

Related Content from And There Came A Day:

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:

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The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was Batman #83

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Mikel Janin

I need to stop choosing Batman as the best read of the week. I have tried. I need to give someone other than Tom King and Mikel Janin (or whatever other, stunning artist with whom King is working) a chance in my heart.

But I cannot. Not until further notice.

The King run is coming to an end and I am very sorry to see that, but the achievement is truly amazing. What he has done – the threads he has woven together in these last issues, the story he has told – it should be and will be a defining run on the character, the type of run comic fans talk about for decades.

I will miss it.

Not as much as I will miss Alfred, though… 

 

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 13 – 19, 2019

Related Content from And There Came A Day:

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:

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The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was Superman #17

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Kevin Maguire

If ever an issue was building to something big, shouting “hey, something gigantic is coming and this is a little breather before it hits!”, it’s Superman #17. It is a bit of a sadness that in today’s world, major story lines are often revealed long before they play out, but writer Brian Michael Bendis is smart enough to embrace this reality and use it to his advantage here. Crafting an issue where nothing really happens, but so much ground is covered, Bendis weaves together plot lines and characters whose payoff is surely issues away but whose interplay is tight and compelling.

And, if you’re going to have an issue that is really all talk, perhaps it’s a good idea to lasso one of the best artists in the business to assist. Any book that features interiors by Kevin Maguire is worth a look and Superman #17 is no exception. I believe Maguire’s towering abilities as a comic book artist are often overlooked because of a very understandable focus on his unique ability to render expression, but it’s that very ability that is so on display here. Maguire, as much as any other artist working today, illustrates that as much can be conveyed by a silent panel as one filled with words. Perhaps more. This pairing of writer and artist seems to bring out the best in Bendis, who can sometimes be justifiably critiqued for overwriting stories.

Not here. In Superman #17 we see a writer and artist whose comfort with the characters with whom they are working and with each other makes for a tremendous example of sequential art. What a terrific read!

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 6 – 12, 2019

Related Content from And There Came A Day:

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:

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The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was Legion of Superheroes #1

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Ryan Sook

Bold, visionary, audacious and, yes, inspiring, Brian Michael Bendis and Ryan Sook’s Legion of Superheroes is a terrific re-imagining of one of the most underrated brands in the DC Universe. The expectations for this book were very high, primarily because DC generally and Bendis specifically built them up to ridiculous proportions over the course of the last few years. It has seemed that, with each reinvention of the DC Universe, a new take on The Legion was floated and was not realized. But the hints were there. The images. The moments.

When Bendis came to DC and took over the Superman universe, his passion for The Legion became readily clear and his story telling choices began laying the groundwork that was realized in Legion of Superheroes #1.

What a fun, hope filled and joyous comic book it is.

Ryan Sook was the perfect choice to design this new version of The Legion, one that looks like an idyllic future representation of a world and universe in which many would like to like. His take on the classic characters – their costumes, their powers and their look – is a tremendous counterpart to the words Bendis is putting in their mouths. After only one issue, it is hard to see anyone else illustrating the series. I trust Sook is around for the long haul.

Bursting with plot lines and jam packed with easter eggs and action, Legion of Superheroes #1 is an almost perfect pilot episode. There are ideas here that will surely propel the book for years to come. This is a great beginning.

The reader gets the sense of the universe and of the characters in a story that is unexpected, engaging and exciting. The reader encounters a Legion that is populated by a fascinating mix of kids who really love what they are doing. The reader experiences a creative team that feels much the same way.

What more could anyone want from a Legion of Superheroes comic? Nothing except issue number 2. Immediately.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: October 30 – November 5, 2019

Related Content from And There Came A Day:

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:

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The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was Fantastic Four – Grand Design #1

Writer: Tom Scioli

Artist:Tom Scioli

In 2017, Tom Scioli took on the complex and ridiculous history of The X-Men in his instant classic X-Men – Grand Design and I remember thinking, “man, the Fantastic Four need this treatment.”

It was worth the wait.

Scioli’s humor is evident in both his writing and his artwork. His cleverness and his skill are evident throughout this issue and he somehow condenses over 50 issues of Fantastic Four history into this one book. What works so well is that the content he is addressing is almost as over-the-top as his style. He takes the sometimes funny, sometimes insane, sometimes absurd adventures of Marvel’s first family, updates pieces of it for a modern audience and weaves the stories into a cohesive narrative.

This book shows some of the best parts of comic books as a medium. The bending, twisty structure, the cartoonish, Kirby-invoking art and the scenery chewing prose are quintessentially comic book and, as Scioli re-tells the stories of the FF, he also shows his reverence for them.

Hard to find a better illustrated read this week…

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