Welcome to Panels #1, the first issue of a new column where I talk about one or three comic books I’m reading and why I love them or want to burn them.
Note: before I begin I have to be come clean and say that I haven’t been reading comics for some months now. I recently began to read after being in Paris for a few days (because comic book shops there are a trip), and seeing all these comics I wanted to read, but couldn’t because I had no money. Not everything I read is new and popular, so don’t judge me if you see comics from earlier in the year here.
The majority of what I read is alternative and/or self-published by creators, which means you probably won’t see that much Marvel or DC unless an artist or writer I really like is working on one of their books. If that’s not an issue, I think you’ll find some good recommendations here or at least something new to look at.
Writer: Jay Faerber
Pencils: Scott Godlewski
Colors: Ron Riley
This space western’s debut introduces us to Officer Bronson, who is just moving into the desert town of Copperhead alongside her son, Zeke, to be the town’s new sheriff, and who will soon find out her new workplace doesn’t take well to strangers.
I was drawn to this book by it’s art, but was pleasantly surprised to find dialog that flows very well and builds tension without having to explain everything that’s going on. I like my comics with a bit of mystery and the biggest one in Copperhead seems to be that I don’t know who Bronson can trust. Each character has their own agenda and some are more obvious about it that others.
The fact that this book has such a strong female lead makes me want to read it more. Bronson is sure of herself, but she’s also bitter and has little patience, so I want to see it turn this town upside down.
So: Yes. I’m on board for the next issue, cause I need to see what was up with that cliffhanger!
Gotham Academy #1
Writers: Becky Cloonan y Brenden Fletcher
Pencils: Karl Kerschl
Colors: Geyser junto a Dave McCaig
What stories are there left in the Batman universe that we haven’t read, played or seen before? In an effort to provide the answer, Gotham’s most recent tangent veers into a boarding school for rich kids owned by Bruce Wayne in which our protagonist, Olive Silverlock, is assigned chaperone freshman Maps Mizuguchi, whose gaping jaws at the sight of luxury in a school is not at all unjustified.
Several clichés popped up in the first issue (ok, it’s a class where kids learn “Architecture and the Arkhams” and “Civil War and the Cobblepots”?), but overall it wasn’t a rocky start and I think it’ll be a fun ride as long as they don’t fall back on easter eggs and cameos to remind me that this school is part of Gotham City’s lore. It’s in the book’s name, I get it.
So: Yes. I enjoyed the art and the exposition was a bit much, but not enough to lose interest on what’s next. I’m picking up #2 when it’s out.
Writer: Rick Remender
Art: Greg Tocchini
This comic has been ongoing since July and it tells of a future in which the sun’s radiation is such that mankind has been forced to live in the depths of the sea, waiting for the big ol’ star to finally blow up and end it all. It’s in this promising scenario that we are introduced to the Caine family, whose lineage goes back to the first settlers at the bottom of the sea and whose blue day is about to turn real black after a family trip is interrupted by bandits.
Low is a comic that caught my eye due to its spectacular art. Just the cover with all its colors and clean typography called to me, but unfortunately my first impression of the book was swiftly opaqued by pretty dull dialog and a complicated panel sequence. There’s a lot of exposition here, but it’s hard to keep track of it because the art in the book is amazingly beautiful and yet in some pages it’s confusing and distracts from the narrative. I think Remender might be writing too many books at the same time and the quality of his work isn’t consistent.
So: Not sure. Low #2 can improve or it can get even harder to read, so I’m holding out till next week and if I have time I’ll read it and if I don’t I’ll change it for another book.
What did you think about the first issue of Panels? I think I want to keep it straight to the point and short. I’d like to publish this column on Sundays, but I want to hear from you. If you have suggestions, please write them on the comments below and I’ll take them in for the next article. See you next week!