April 2nd, 2009

Transhuman Vol. 1Transhuman is a four-issue science fiction comic book mini-series written by Jonathan Hickman, with art by J.M. Ringuet, published by Image Comics. It was collected into a trade paperback in January 2009.

Transhuman is a story about genetic engineering in humans told in the style of a mockumentary. Think This Is Spinal Tap, but not hilarious. Although a certain dark humor is apparent throughout, Transhuman takes a more serious tone as narrator Heinrich Dowidat guides readers through the story of two corporations racing to upgrade Humans to Posthumans. Along the way Heinrich gets first-hand accounts from the scientists, the suits, and test subjects that were involved in the genetic enhancement projects. Ultimately, Transhuman is a story about people, their ambitions, their hidden agendas, their politics, their spite, and their greed. It’s about capitalism.

Transhuman, just as Jonathan Hickman’s other works, blew my mind. Though beautifully illustrated by J.M. Ringuet, the book also features several of the signature layouts that Hickman’s books are famous for. Just as is the case with The Nightly News and the unfortunately scheduled A Red Mass For Mars, I can’t recommend Transhuman highly enough.

March 18th, 2009

Firebreather Vol. 2 TPBFirebreather is an on-going comic co-created by writer Phil Hester and artist Andy Kuhn. Published by Image Comics, the story of Firebreather began with a four-issue mini-series in 2003 and continued in a 2004 one-shot. The on-going series began in 2008 and serves a fine jumping-on point for new readers.

Firebreather is about a high school student named Duncan Rosenblatt who is the son of a centuries-old dragon and a human woman. [Before you ask, no! I don't know how it's possible that Duncan has a dragon father and a human mother. Word is that the biology of it all will be explained somewhere around issue #10 in the on-going series.] Being a teenager with divorced parents has made life tough for Duncan. His mom wants him to do human things like going to school, getting good grades and going to college. His father, on the other hand, would rather he embrace his dragon heritage. Eager to appease both, Duncan attends high school every day as a social outcast and also trains to be a better dragon in the wilderness with his father.

Firebreather has a lot of qualities in common with books like Invincible and Ultimate Spider-Man. The characters have a school life, family life, and a superhero life. It’s a classic formula. They’re just very good comic books. They’re comic books that every fan of superheroes should read because they’re just about as good as superhero books get.

Also, Robert Kirkman commands it.

January 21st, 2009

Gigantic is an on-going, Dark Horse-published sci-fi comic that is currently on issue #2. Written by Rick Remender with art by Eric Nguyen, Gigantic is the first time the duo has joined forces since creating Strange Girl for Image comics which ran from 2005 to 2007.
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January 5th, 2009

Four out of five ain't bad.Though I just finished ranting about how useless an endeavor creating year-end wrap-ups and best-of lists is, I do appreciate reading them from time to time. In the case of best-of comic book lists, it gives me an idea of what collections and on-going series’ I should look into catching up on.

Comic Book Resources has compiled and released their best 100 comics of 2008 list. I’m bringing it up here because four of the five books ongoing in 2008 that I’ve recommended via Comic Tips have placed in CBR’s list. I think this is as good a time as any to say: told you so!

The four comics in CBR’s top 100 of 2008 that I’ve said you should be reading are as follows:

I was absolutely thrilled to see RASL in the top ten. I’ve voiced my concerns for it and its quarterly release schedule in the past, and it’s good to see it getting some recognition for being something special. I was disappointed to not see any Jonathan Hickman books in the mix; I’d imagine that the delays affecting his books have caused many to wait for trades. I would also liked to have seen House of Mystery in the list, but everything else feels just about right.

One thing is for certain: I need to read this Criminal TPB that has been sitting on my desk for three months.

August 14th, 2008

Yes, well, quite. No posts in a while aside from the new comic, sorry about that. I have been distracted by various PS2 JRPGs, a new TV, lots of comics and the idea of classes starting again next week. The latter, I think, is the major culprit. The idea of writing a post is one of the further things from my to-do list while I have the inevitable to worry about. You understand. However, some talking points do exist…
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August 1st, 2008

Once in a while I stumble upon a comic creator that is so good at what they do that it’s very difficult not to obsess over them for a good long while. This has happened to me in the past with Garth Ennis, Robert Kirkman, Jay Faerber, and now it’s happening again with Jonathan Hickman. My initial experience with his creations was through the first issue of Transhuman that I pulled on a lark because the idea of a mockumentary comic sounded novel and the cover was interesting. Now I simply cannot get enough of this man’s work, and that’s unfortunate since most of it – including Transhuman as well as A Red Mass For Mars – has been heavily delayed.

Jonathan Hickman has completed one mini series so far, however, called The Nightly News. The original 6 issues first shipped between November of 2006 and July of 2007. Unfortunately, I was late to the party and didn’t find out about the book until I visited Hickman’s website, but I immediately put in an order for the trade paperback. It arrived this week.
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July 9th, 2008

I just realized a couple of things about both of the comics that I have recommended in the last two weeks: they’ve both been from Image Comics, and they’ve both been Science Fiction comics. That really is not representitive of the majority of the books that I tend to read from week to week, but I figure that DC and Marvel publications get enough attention that I don’t need to talk about them here. That said, I am going to try to mix it up a little bit more in this and the coming weeks.
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