Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?
Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three brand new releases worthy of your consideration. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.
While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.
(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)
An expert gamer is forced to play a real-life version of his favorite game in a battle to the death!
By all counts, Ryouta Sakamoto is a loser when he’s not holed up in his room, bombing things into oblivion in his favorite online action RPG. But his very own uneventful life is blown to pieces when he’s abducted and taken to an uninhabited island, where he soon learns the hard way that he’s being pitted against others just like him in an explosives-riddled death match!
How could this be happening? Who’s putting them up to this? And why!? The name, not to mention the objective, of this very real survival game is eerily familiar to Ryouta, who has mastered its virtual counterpart—BTOOOM! Can Ryouta still come out on top when he’s playing for his life!?
In post-Victorian England, nearly everyone of the upper classes has voluntarily become a vampire in order to escape the lower classes who are all zombies. Into this simmering cauldron is thrust Chief Inspector George Suttle, a lonely detective who’s got the slowest beat in London: investigating murders in a world where everyone is already dead!
When the body of a young aristocrat washes up on the banks of the Thames, Suttle’s quest for the truth will take him from the darkest sewers to the gleaming halls of power, and reveal the rotten heart at the center of this strange world.
In the far future, humanity has doomed planet Earth to rot and decay, covering her surface with garbage. Now, ancient spirits called the Colossals rise from the debris and attack the remaining survivors, forcing the human race to the brink of extinction. After an attack leaves their people without water, Maya, the last Protector, sets out on a journey for pure water, to save the world before the monsters bring it all to an end.
Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights three brand new releases worth checking out that should be suitable for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before.
These are out today! If you like what you see here, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. Then head to your local comic book store, or check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.
(Disclaimer: These aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release press, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)
A monster hunter is suddenly out of a job when a religious sect supposedly rids the world of them, but is the sect’s noble deed too good to be true?
Monster hunter Irro is perhaps the only person in Kevala making a good living. The city pays him and his tailed assistant, Hari, a bounty for each monster carcass they bring in. But one day a religious sect called The Way of the Sacred Peace comes to Kevala to solve the monster problem by capping the city’s Spirit Fountain. Out of a job with all the monsters gone, Irro and Hari are determined to prove that there is a more sinister plot behind the Sacred Peace’s plan.
From the co-creators of Gotham Central and Fatale comes a lost crime noir masterpiece. Long out of print, and presented here for the first time in an oversized hardback edition, Scene of the Crime was the first time Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark worked together – before their acclaimed runs on Daredevil and Gotham Central – and it was inked by Sean Phillips, who also designed this deluxe edition.
This is where it all began, with a hard-hitting mystery story, a modern day “Chinatown” that garnered nominations for Best Miniseries and Best Writer in the 2000 Eisner Awards. Also included in this new collection are behind the scenes art and stories, a new foreword by Brubaker, and many other extras. This is the book you’ll want on your shelves.
Aron’s Absurd Armada Volume 1
Written and illustrated by MiSun Kim
Published by Yen Press
We are pirates…
Yup, we are totally pirates…
Whatever anyone may think, we are definitely pirates…
We have a captain, a crew (?), and even Robin, so we are absolutely pirates…
Captain Aron is a brainless idiot, and Robin only loves money, but we are still pirates…
Sailing in search of treasure (or not), we are unquestionably pirates…
So, in conclusion, we are pirates…!
On a whim, Aron Cornwall decides he wants to live a pirate’s life of thrills, sailing on the high seas in search of distant lands and buried treasure. And when you are the son of a duke, you generally get what you want. Accompanied by his reluctant manservant, Robin, Aron scrounges up a crew — including a cook who cannot cook, a transvestite assassin, and a boy (girl?) genius — and sets off on the craziest pirate adventure you’ve ever seen!
Happy Holidays, everyone. Now stop using the internet. That appears to be the message from a number of comics publishers, however unintentional.
On Thursday, December 22, the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, chaired by Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), released a list of supporters of H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). This bill is an attempt by lawmakers to address intellectual property security concerns on the internet. However, it has been flagged by various organizations and individuals for going too far, giving broad power without due process, limiting free speech and discouraging technical innovation. Graphic Policy has a great summary of the bill’s weaknesses and how it relates to the comic book industry. Some are claiming it could cripple social sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Tumblr, along with thousands of harmless fan-sites and any other sites sharing their IP addresses.
Among the corporations and organizations listed as supporters of SOPA are the following comic book and graphic novel publishers:
- Marvel Entertainment, LLC (Disney-owned corporate name of Marvel Comics)
- Disney Publishing Worldwide, Inc.
- Time Warner (parent company of DC Comics)
- Hachette Book Group (imprints include manga publisher Yen Press and occasional graphic novel publisher Little, Brown and Company)
- HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide, Inc.
- Hyperion Books (owned by Disney)
- Macmillan (include First Second Books and Hill and Wang imprints)
- Penguin Group (USA), Inc.
- Random House (includes Pantheon Graphic Novels imprint; distributes for manga publisher Kodansha Comics)
- Scholastic, Inc. (includes graphic novel imprint Graphix)
- The Perseus Books Group (includes one-time graphic novel imprint Running Press)
- W.W. Norton & Company
Also included is the Association of American Publishers, which counts DC Comics, Disney Publishing and more among their members.
As we come out of the holidays, many of these organizations might have to start responding to a vocal outpouring of concern among customers and partners, and in some cases, threats of organized boycotts.
There has been considerable push back already, and from public pressure some organizations have dropped their support of SOPA. The Graphic Artists Guild has retracted their support, stating “We are concerned that the bill may have unintended consequences that may do more harm than good.” They also added that they “have not spent a dime on any lobbyist in Congress for this bill”. The largest domain name registrar GoDaddy faced massive threats of boycotts, and has also reversed their position. Time will tell if more will shift their support.
(via Graphic Policy)
The issue of gender in comics has been getting a lot of attention over the last few months. One of the recurring criticisms is the lack of female creators. The grassroots anthology Womanthology proves that there is an abundance of very talented comic book creators ready and willing to work, and that there is a very enthusiastic audience ready and willing to pay for such material. And yet most comics publishers still have a significant minority of female creators. Or in some cases, none whatsoever.
To get a better understanding, I’ve taken a look at nearly 25 comic book publishers and the products they are planning to release this November.
The only publishers that have an even split or majority of female credits are manga publishers Viz Media, Yen Press, Go Manga/Seven Seas, and Digital Manga Publishing. Publishers with a more literary or alternative focus, such as Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly, have 1/3 female creators. Of the major comic book publishers, proportionally Dark Horse probably has the best female representation, but still a minority. Despite criticism leveled against DC Comics for the lack of women creators in their New 52 marketing blitz, they are not the worst of the larger publishers. Archie Comics surprisingly has only one female writer.
Jenny Frison appears to be the busiest with 7 credits, mostly for cover art, such as the image here.
What does all of this prove? Manga captured a greater female readership for a reason. It’s a lesson that the rest of comics could stand to learn, just as it was learned by the producers of the sitcom Community. Despite all of the numbers, it’s not a quota. Hitting an exact 50% or more really isn’t the goal or the point. The idea is that if you want to speak to a demographic, you hire that demographic. And it works.
This doesn’t mean that men can’t produce work that appeals to women or that they shouldn’t be hired. There are plenty of examples and reasons why that doesn’t hold water. There are enough comics (and jobs) for everyone, especially if more people are reading comics because of the increased diversity.
And of course the other lesson is that real diversity and experimentation often happens first outside of structured publishers. That’s why there are so many fantastic female creators making web-comics with varying levels of financial success. The establishment will eventually catch up.
Click through if you want all of the nitty-gritty numbers. Corrections welcome. Read the rest of this entry