In previous years, this was a memory box so we didn't miss any good nominations for the Cappies. With the Cappies hypertimed away, that doesn't mean we have to discontinue these threads. I've always liked going back at the end of the year and seeing the books and stories and moments that people really champion -- including plenty of stuff that I've forgotten about come Christmastime.
So have at it, Legionnaires! What in 2016 has knocked you out?
Here's a webcomic I've been following avidly that I think some of you would really enjoy. It's an adaptation of The Book of Three, the first book of Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain, my favorite fantasy series ever. (Maybe my favorite book series ever.) The adaptor, Saeriellyn, is an avid fan and a fantastic artist who's really grown in the course of the project -- she's adapting this book with care and love and buckets of talent. She handles pacing and action scenes well, and lets the adaptation expand from the text where necessary (say, in expanding a recent fight scene with the nightmarish Cauldron-Born).
It's a great adaptation, and now that I'm caught up, one page a week from her is simply not enough. Anyway, it's definitely one of my favorite things right now, and I urge you to check it out. (And check out the novels, too, which are incredible!)
MMW CAPTAIN AMERICA V8: When I was a kid, Captain America was among the first three series I completed my collection of. I read them more than once, but by the time I got to college, I needed some money and I decided there were some of those issues I would never read again, so I sold them. This volume contains issues #160-175, most of them written by Steve Englehart, one of my favorite writers of the era, yet it was about half of the issues in this run I decided I could live without. I’m curious to re-read those issues in particular for the first time in 30+ to see if my opinion of them has changed.
I’ve already read the introduction to this volume. Englehart breaks him commentary down issue by issue as he is wont to do, but this time, month by month, he tells which issue he’s working on, when it will be published, what the cover date will be, and what’s going on in the news (Watergate) at the time. Very interesting.
STAR TREK: THE CLASSIC UK COMICS: The artwork on these is pretty nice, but the writer wasn’t familiar with the show. These comics feature the adventures of “Captain Kurt” and his “Vulcanite” first officer aboard the U.S.S. (stands for “Universe Space Ship”) Enterprise. The format changes a bit throughout the series. All of the strip are two pages, but the earliest ones are presented “comic strip” style, meaning the art reads across the page (instead of down one, then down the next). This makes it difficult to read captions and dialogue across the inner crease. Then there’s a short section in black and white. When it returns to color, the page format changes (to two individual pages rather than the strip format at the beginning of the book). It easier to read, but Captain Kurt wears a rad shirt throughout.
These comics may not be canon, but the kitsch factor is off the scale.
I have most of these issues in the Cap Secret Empire collection and I loved this point in Cap history - even more so the Nomad issues that followed too.
The Star Trek oddities are not yet available in the UK (ironic since they originated here!) but I am really looking forward to them soon
Jeff of Earth-J said:
MMW CAPTAIN AMERICA V8:
STAR TREK: THE CLASSIC UK COMICS:
It took me a couple of weeks to read it, but The Fix from Image might be my favorite first issue in a good long while. Written by Nick Spencer with art by Steve Lieber, it's a really funny story of two crooks that surprises at every turn. The first issue is double-sized for its $3.99 price tag, and well worth checking out.
Flash Gordon Dailies, Vol. 1 (Dan Barry)
Lots of things worth mentioning this week, starting with...
LI'L ABNER V8: I am so far behind reading so many of the strip collections I buy, but Li'l Abner had been one I was keeping up with... until volume six, that is. I've been stalled in the middle of volume six for some time now. As soon as I'm finished with my current reading projects (one of them, anyway), Li'l Abner's moving to the top of the "to read" pile.
CARL BARKS LIBRARY V8: This is a series I am caught up reading and I intend to stay that way!
Other notables this week include STEVE DITKO ARCHIVES V6 and the WALLY WOOD T.H.U.N.D.E.R AGENTS ARTIST'S EDITION PORTFOLIO.
MARVEL MASTERWORKS CAPTAIN MARVEL Vol. 6: I don’t usually mention MMWs in this context, but I’ve been looking forward to this volume for so long (even before it was actually solicited six months ago) I couldn’t resist. It comprises one of my favorite runs of Captain Marvel ever (by Doug Moench and Pat Broderick); the fact that this volume also contains “The Death of Captain Marvel” graphic novel is just icing on the cake. The introduction is by Roger Stern, and extra features include the never-before-published covers for Captain Marvel #63 (the series was cancelled with #62) and Marvel Spotlight #12 (the series was cancelled with #11).
SHATTUCK: A short-lived western by Wally Wood. The strips appear to be photocopies of the original art. This strip was produced specifically for the armed forces, so if you’ve seen Wally Wood’s Cannon or Sally Forth, you’ll have some idea of what to expect.
Jeff of Earth-J said:
That is pretty tempting. I remember those issues well. Would love to see the "remastered" versions.
MARVEL MASTERWORKS CAPTAIN MARVEL Vol. 6: I don’t usually mention MMWs in this context, but I’ve been looking forward to this volume for so long (even before it was actually solicited six months ago) I couldn’t resist. It comprises one of my favorite runs of Captain Marvel ever (by Doug Moench and Pat Broderick)...
Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus by Chester Brown: A great graphic novel that are Chester Brown's interpretation of some of the stories in the Bible. I will say that Brown does not shy away from controversial topics. He also includes copious amounts of notes in the back that go into detail about some of the choices he makes, really more than I wanted to read. There is a bonus story about Job in the back as well. Really good book.
That's a terrific book. I was hoping to interview Brown about it for the Village Voice, but it was not to be. :(
THE INCREDIBLE HULK EPIC COLLECTION: MAN OR MONSTER?, which places all of the Hulk’s earliest appearances in chronological order under a single cover for the first time ever. I was disappointed by some coloring errors, though (Bruce Banner’s hair is grey in two of the issues).
Collecting INCREDIBLE HULK (1962) #1-6, FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #12 and #25-26, AVENGERS (1963) #1-3 and #5, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #14, and material from TALES TO ASTONISH (1959) #59 and JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY (1952) #112.
I thought Paul Dini's Batman autobiographical story was brilliant. He really put all of his flaws right out there on the line, didn't he? And Eduardo Risso did some of the work of his career on that book--and that's quite a career already. This will be on my end of year list for sure.