What started in Brandon Graham & Emma Rios’s Island, the excellent Firebug gets completed by Johnnie Christmas & Tamra Bonvillain with the collected edition this week. Firebug is an ambitious and layered coming of age story about a teenage goddess that establishes Johnnie Christmas as one of comics most gifted storytellers, with bright and visceral color work from Tamra Bonvillain. It’s an engaging partnership between the two that makes FIrebug a must read for it’s spellbinding art and engrossing storytelling. Continue reading Review of Firebug→
The rural crime series Sheltered, ended on this weeks number fifteen capping off what was one of comics most unique titles and it was mostly by being so ordinary. Sheltered launched in the summer of 2013 amid a flurry of new high profile Image books like Sex Criminals, Lazarus, Rat Queens, Zero & Pretty Deadly after writer Ed Brisson had debuted as a writer on the cult favorite Comeback having spent the majority of his career lettering. At the time of it’s release and throughout it’s time being published, Sheltered always stood out for it’s measured long form narrative and smart premise centered on a group of violent children raised in a survivalist camp off the grid. In the series previous issue, the book gave it’s big firework moments in a way that was powerful and haunting while this final installmentexplores it’s repercussions; the emotional scars that were left from all the senseless death and pain, all the lives that were destroyed and just all the people whose situations are insurmountably worst at the end result. Artist Johnnie Christmas was a revelation for the series his sharp line style created a strong contrast between the beautiful natural setting against the dark emotional whirl wind of the characters, he brings out the life in the places and people on the pages. For as unique as Image Comics is in it’s titles, most of them tend to fall within easily classifiable genre conventions; science fiction, horror, sword & sorcery ect in that sense Sheltered always stood out as not only being one of a very few crime comics, but moreover for a setting and focus that was purely singular to the book in spite of the normalcy of it all. Perhaps that’s part of what made the book work, with the people and places feeling so familiar, it was only natural to feel their pain and sorrow. Even when the volcano does go off in the books final panel it doesn’t matter, in the end all the people have ruined each other anyway. Truth is stranger than fiction.