So this may be kind of long compared to my other Sunday Comics posts (this will be posted at dead wood comics also)
The first series I'm posting about earlier this week due to a non-travercy that happened on Wednesday. Saga has been running for the last year from Image Comics by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Stapes.
To the right is an image of The Will (the romance novel cover type guy without the shirt), a mercenary in this story, he's my favorite from the story, who is one of the many background characters from the love, escape, romance sci-fantasy drama that is Saga.
The story is narrated by Hazel,the child of the main characters, talking about her parents and the trials and tribulations in escaping from the powers that want them dead. Its a setting in which two disparate species are at war Marko and Alanna are from separate sides of this generations long conflict that really should be settled and people could live lives separate from war. Its a sad setting so much like the real world with small minded politicians and real people caught in lives that could be so much better without all the BS that politics creates. The characters are so relateable because the situations though extreme to us are so familiar in that its the powers that be that cause the crap getting in the way. Brian writes characters that are relateable no matter their form wether they be winged, horned, covered with furr of ephemeral and Fiona is such a great expressive artist that even the incidental characters are effective. Issue 11 of the series was totally heartbreaking; I say this as someone raised partially by my grandparents and my grandfather was the father figure in my life.
No matter how extreme and unfamiliar the physicality of the character the players in this drama they are are relateable. Mr. Vaughan has a long history in comics and has written for DC's vertigo line, I liked his run on Runaways at Marvel and am sad to have never read Y the Last Man or his political superhero story Ex-Machina and hope to remedy that soon.
Saga involves both science and magic, politics and ritual. During the corse of the first twelve issues Marco Alanna.and Hazel,their daughter, the narrator, encounter ghosts, giants, soldiers, living ships, the grandparents and that is just the major characters. Saga includes characters with televisions for heads, talking lie detecting cats and all kinds of deviants that Lucas would have been afraid to include in Star Wars. Make no mistake this comic is for consenting adults. It is one of the best comics for the money out there right now; I never feel giped picking this one up at 2.99
Here is a link to the first issue on Image's website there is a collection available of the first six issues that is a bargin at under a tenner. Here is a link to that collection and there is a second collection in the works. Earlier this week there was lots of posts about issue 12 because of something a bit adult in the issue and I fell into the conversation. I have to say sorry for pointing a finger at apple when they were not the ones that made a choice. The comic is still as good as ever and I look forward to my real copy of issue twelve soon.
In my Wanted Dispatch post on dead wood reviews on the 13 th I mentioned a novel by Paul Cornell and today I'll be mentioning that name again with Wolverine #2
Wolverine #1 by Paul was on my list a month ago and I liked the issue but was not flored by it. Issue 2 pictured here justified my love of issue number one. In terms of action its good and kinda standard for marvel being mostly a protracted chase scene with Logan chasing the alien weapon wielding child from the end of issue one. The art by Alan Davis is as good as ever recalling his runs on Captian Britian and Excalibur; the illustrations really pulled me into the issue and made the story fly by.
Paul in this story, helped by the artistry of Alan, brought a humanity to Logan that for me he's been lacking in many stories. I felt the re was a man behind that mask and one that gave a crap about and was affected by the actions he has taken. On the letters page Paul writes a letter to readers telling them of his reasons of taking the job, his respect for Chris Clarmont, and his intent for the book. Paul also plans to answer and read fan mail. I was on the fence till the missile of the issue and now it will be on my pull list monthly. Paul brought me a new view on Logan and I really like it, he's a bit of a mystery again and that is a great thing. Grab yourself a copy you'll hopefully be as surprised as I was.
Issue two of Fearless Defenders was good but Issue 3 really lived up to the promise of Issue one. Characters who you might not expect get pulled into the fray as heroines and no one here is waiting for the big strong male to save them. As with Katherine Immonen in Journey into Mystery the women of Fearless Defenders are the story. Women is fantasy fiction hardly get to play the leading role particularly in fantasy comics (excepting Red Sonija) and its so cool to see females not looking to the men to save the day. Along with Captian Marvel and JiM this is again fresh air right up there with Gail Simone's Batgirl and the Secret Six that I so sorely miss.
Valkyrie is so damaged and easy to relate to Misty is so tough and ready to go Fearless Defenders is one of those third teir titles I so want to survive much like Demon Knights and Frankenstein Agent of Shade and Dial H.
Today I'm going to give you the link to one of my favorite free online comics too. Howard Taylor is the creator, writer and artist on this series and its been running daily since early 2000. All the archives are free to read, yeas you can buy dead paper versions which I totally support and endorse, but you can read all of it to today on your computer, or your mobile device free.
Howard has developed a unique art style and you can see it develop over the years. He has built a business selling collections, calendars, coffee mugs and recently a kickstarted boardgame. You can go read the entirety of Schlock Mercenary here it will take a while since its a decade plus of comic strips. The is a iPod/iPhone/iPad app you can get for free that not only ca you read the archives but notifies you of new strips daily. Howard podcasts on the weekly Writing Excuses podcast with Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells and the amazing Mary Robinette Kowal. The series is one of the better space opera stories around following Alistair Reynolds and Neal Asher. Go check it all out and check out my book reviews too for more spec fic reviews.