Comics I Read in January 2015

In trying to get back on the comics reading train, I’ve been keeping a close eye on what I have read, and I’ll be giving capsule-or-better opinions on them. That photo above is the pile from more-or-less January ’15. Obviously it doesn’t include digital stuff.

Okay so from top to bottom, here goes:

Seconds (O’Malley, Ballentine) – Generally eh. I’m too old to care too much about Young People Figuring Out Their Lives. The supernatural element just didn’t work for me either. And I don’t much like reading about food. So nothing here really clicked for me.

Street Angel (Rugg/Maruga, Top Shelf) – I fell in love with this when it first came out ages ago, but then I sold all my floppy comics and didn’t replace most of them. I jumped on the solicitation for this and am glad I did. It’s so great, all over again. Glad to finally have it on my shelf once more.

SAM: After Man (Marazano/Shang Xiao. Cinebook) – I’ve been on a Cinebook kick lately, enjoying their various translated Eurocomics offerings. This one was okay, but the notes it hits — post-apocalyptic, humans hunted by robots, possible “good” robot, scrappy kids — are all things I’ve seen a million times. Not bad, but not compelling enough to stick with for me.

Judge Dredd: Mega-City Two: City of Courts (Wolk/Farinas/Hill, IDW) – I like Farina’s art but man, this story was a mess. It was weirdly paced and I felt like half the panels were missing. I can’t tell you how many times I flipped back to see if I had overlooked something or if we were just dropping something new in suddenly. I stuck with it but eh.

Abe Sapien: Dark and Terrible (Mignola/Allie/Arcudi/Fiumara, Dark Horse) – I finally gave up on BPRD. I like the individual characters, but this global threat thing has completely turned me off. I thought maybe I’d avoid it in an Abe solo series but no dice. Even at this level I’m uninterested.

Everything volume 1: Blabber Blabber Blabber (Barry, Drawn & Quarterly) – I’ve never read anything by Lynda Barry, so I figured, why not start with EVERYTHING? Ha ha. Seriously, though, although I don’t know enough of her later work to really appreciate her growth, it was no problem, because this collection was charming and hilarious, and I’m read for more.

Lobster Johnson: Satan Smells a Rat (Mignola/Arcudi/Etc, Dark Horse) – Thankfully, despite my disinterest in the larger realm of the Hellboyverse, these comics are unaffected. Lobster Johnson is always a treat, even if I probably should just read the original comics it’s ripping off.

Nijigahara Holograph (Asano, Fantagraphics) – I heard really good things about this but I have to admit: it went straight over my head. I didn’t follow this at all. I kept it for now to give it another crack, though.

Hellboy in Hell: The Descent (Mignola/Stewart, Dark Horse) – I’ll stick with Hellboy himself to the bitter end, I think. I am hoping this series does wrap up his story for good. As much as I like the character, I’d love for him to have a definite end to his story. It would seem unfair to make him walk the Earth eternally.

Usagi Yojimbo: Red Scorpion (Sakai, Dark Horse) – Whenever I get a new Usagi trade I’m always hesitant, since I think, “Man, do I remember what happened in the last couple?” And every time it’s NO PROBLEM. Stan Sakai will get me up to speed in no time. Always an absolute joy, and this was a nicely self-contained arc.

Concrete Park: You Send Me (Puryear/Alexander, Dark Horse) – I read a bit of this in an anthology; not sure which one, and it seemed interesting. It’s a story of, essentially, a giant prison/ghetto on a different planet, where the residents (who are, of course, all non-white because even in the future prison is where we don’t keep the white people) have to sort of make a society as they go along. It just throws you in and expects you to keep up, which is tough, but doable. I had put this in the pile to trade in because, while I liked it, I wasn’t sure I’d roll with more of it, but I regretted that. Thankfully, the comic shop didn’t buy that one. I may get future volumes digitally.

Sucker Bait (Ingles/Etc, Fantagraphics) – This and Zero Hour below are part of Fantagraphics’ EC reprints series, focusing on specific writers and artists. These are always interesting, and I’ve pretty much been grabbing them all (except I’m not terribly interested in a lot of the crime or war ones.)

Shackleton: Arctic Odyssey (Bertozzi, First Second) – Cool retelling of the explorer’s attempt to cross Antarctica on foot. It’s a trip they said couldn’t be done, and (spoiler) it can’t. Not by him, at least. The expedition fails practically out the gate, but what they go through is still pretty damned incredible.

Cochlea & Eustachia (Rickheit, Fantagraphics) – Every now and then I like a bit of just plain obscure weirdness. I liked Rickheit’s The Squirrel Machine and I enjoyed this as well. Do I think I “got” it? Not really, but I enjoy the ride.

Zero Hour (Kamen/Etc, Fantagraphics) – see Sucker Bait.

Boo! Halloween Stories vol 2 (Morris/Etc, Monkeybrain) – This is from October, and featured a bunch of folks I knew. I bought it when it came out but had a hard time getting myself to read it because the fact that I was supposed to be in it as well and wasn’t still smarted. But there are some great and funny stories in here. It’s a fun collection, well worth the price.

Star Wars #1 (Aaron/Cassaday/Martin, Marvel) – It’s pretty clear the Star Wars desert skiff has sailed for me. I can’t say I won’t see the new movie when it comes out, but these days I don’t even know what kind of Star Wars content I’d like to see anymore. Not this. This was a pretty by-the-numbers Star Wars story featuring the appropriately drawn characters doing Star Warsian things and I just didn’t care about any of it. I seem to be in the minority and people like it a bunch, so I’m glad, but this sort of thing just doesn’t seem to have any resonance for me anymore.

Join me next month when I tackle the stack some more. I am hoping to at some point run out of stuff I bought and need to read! Maybe I’ll eventually get to re-read some things I’ve had my eye on!

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