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HERE ARE SOME ISSUES THAT WILL NOT DISAPPOINT.Tyler’s Recommendation… Black Cloud #1
“Jason Latour, Ivan Brandon, Greg Hinkle, and Matt Wilson are doing a comic together at Image. I don’t
“The future will always be dark . . . A blank page we fill with aspiration.”
These words greet the reader at the opening of Image’s new series Black Cloud. In one sense they serve as an introspective beginning, as a narrator muses on the nature of storytelling. A story and time are the same as each captivate through the unknown. Suspense over what occurs in the next chapter is no different than anxiety over what might happen on a new day. The best is hoped for, even as the worst is feared. Stories provide a framework for processing these feelings, giving shape to otherwise undefinable internal rumblings. This clash of cheer and dread is elegantly expressed through Ivan Brandon’s script. (Brandon co-plotted the book with Jason Latour). The idea is further elaborated through Greg Hinkle’s riveting artwork. The first page depicts a flame drifting across an empty space. Fire has many connotations ranging from inspiration to destruction, either of which could be gleamed from Hinkle’s atmospheric illustration. This dynamic continues as the perspective pulls back revealing a seemingly pre-historic group sitting around a campfire. The storyteller finishes his tale, slinking off in exasperation before being confronted with an enormous, menacing creature. Hinkle’s art captures the wonder of this moment while still conveying its terror. This ambiance is greatly aided by Matt Wilson’s stellar coloring which lends a crackling energy to the confrontation which follows. It is a deft mixture of idea and spectacle which immediately draws the reader into this new world.
Updated: Series promo art is below
Image Comics held their semi-annual Image Expo today in anticipation of Emerald City Comic Con. Highlights below Continue reading Updated: New Image Comics Series Announced From Remender/Opena, Brubaker/Phillips, Hickman, Chaykin & more
Comics in their essence are a serialized art form. We might discuss arcs and runs, trading waiting and so on, yet , most comics are still centered on the experience of reading individual chapters parceled out over a (typically) monthly basis. With this in mind, I offer my third annual list of the year’s most memorable single issues.
I start with my choices for the two very best:
Sandman Overture #6 by Neil Gaiman & J.H. Williams III: Dream’s cosmic journey across a universe (or two) came to a stunning conclusion in this issue. The issue contained several callbacks to Gaiman’s classic work, yet not none of them felt like self-serving fan service. Instead they enriched even further the fascinating personalities of the Dream Lord and his siblings. At the same time, Gaiman offered a story where the stakes were huge. Williams more than ably met the challenge of Gaiman’s script handing in page after page of stunning art. His detailed, imaginative work defied any traditional sense of page layouts, spilling the action in all directions. Rarely have words and pictures blended so well to create a truly emotional experience on an epic scale. For more, read Cosmo’s staff review.
Continue reading This Year’s Finest 2015: The Best Single Issues
On Wensday July 1st, Image comics released the second issue of James Robinson & Greg Hinkle’s Airboy, a metatextual commentary about the creators of the comic meeting the public domain Airboy charachter in 2014 as they are planning on doing a revival of the property. Instead, they mostly binge on drugs and alcohol. The comic is meant to be an examination of James Robinson, the books writer. In it, we are shown Robinaon at a low point in his life in which he is experiencing a disconnect with his work at DC Comics and by extension his life in general. While the first issue is basically that set up and a drug binge with artist Greg Hinkle, the conclusion introduces the Airboy charachter into the story. The second shows Airboy reacting to modern America and Robinson’s world. Airboy unknowingly eats pot brownies and goes to a bar where he and Robinson each recieve a felatio from a transgender women in the bathroom. Upon Airboy’s discovery of the individual being transgender, he reacts poorly. A day after the books release, during the most recent Image Comics Expo’s, where they annouce a series of new titles coming from the publisher, people on twitter and social media began calling for the comic to be pulled off the shelf because of it’s offensive portrayal of transgender people in the comic. Past that, the idea took on a life of it’s own. The merits of the comic and it’s portrayal of trangender people were debated from a wide range of view points. What was lost in much of the discource over the minutia was the bigger picture; Airboy intent was not to be maliscious to a minority group, but because that minority group is oppressed, it struck a nerve. The reaction of Airboy #2 was a sympton of a larger problem of power structure’s and systematic subjugation. Continue reading On Airboy #2, Transphobia & Power Structures