Friday, August 20, 2010

Comics That Deserve Your Time & Attention, Part 1

Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I'm a comic book geek. Always have been, probably always will be. Keep in mind however that by the term "comic book", I'm not necessarily talking about superheroes.

Superheroes have for the most part dominated the medium since its inception, and for the most part continue to do so today. What gets lost in the middle of it all however is the fact that there are so many intelligently written and incredibly compelling comic works out there that garner little to no attention, which in itself is a crying shame.

This first segment of this blog will focus on a collection of titles that deserve your time and attention, and will make you forget that comic books are loaded with nothing but spandex-clad people...

Image Comics
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artists: Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn

An ongoing series of zombie survival horror, Robert Kirkman's "The Walking Dead" is every zombie fan's dream comic come true. Main protagonist Rick is a cop who wakes up out of a coma to find that the world he knew is now overrun by a zombie apocalypse. As he scrambles to find his missing family, Rick soon learns that the worst thing about this zombie-filled world isn't necessarily the zombies themselves, but the human survivors who haven't quite coped too well in this new world. Horrific and gripping, "The Walking Dead" became a smash for Image Comics, so much so that AMC has been prepping a live-action prime-time TV adaptation set to premiere in October.

DC/Vertigo Comics
Various writers & artists

Forget that lame "Constantine" flick from a few years back with Keanu Reeves. The real John Constantine that we know and love is a blonde, British, chain-smoking, bad ass master of black magic and bad luck. Over the years that "Hellblazer" has had various revolving creative teams, the best that stand out are the titles written by Garth Ennis, whose deconstruction and rebuilding of Constantine rank among the pivotal chapters of the character. And speaking of Garth Ennis...

DC/Vertigo Comics
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Steve Dillon

An ongoing series that ran into the late 90s, mad Irishman writer Ennis' title ranks among the most prolific in Vertigo's stable. "Preacher" revolves around the ass-kicking Jesse Custer: a reverend who smokes, drinks, screws, and swears probably much more than he should. By the time we get to Jesse's origin however, you'll have quite the understanding why. Oh yeah, he also has the power to issue a command at anyone to make them do whatever he wants; which comes in pretty handy as he, his gun-toting girlfriend Tulip, and the Irish vampire Cassidy traverse America's heartland on a search to make God answer for what he has stricken upon mankind...all the while as they avoid government agents, religious cults, and a decent abundance of perverts. Laced with pitch-black humor and straight-out horror, "Preacher" remains a comic geek favorite to this day.

Image Comics
Writer/Artist: Jonathan Hickman

What happens when those brainwashed by the biased and corporate-controlled American media strike back at it? Nothing good for anyone involved that's for sure. Graphic designer Jonathan Hickman lends a unique art style on top of a conspiracy-laden story of a group of people that have been brought together to fight back. "The Nightly News" is definitely something that isn't for all tastes, but it is something that is shockingly introspective while at the same time equally mind-blowing.

That's all for now folks, but there will be more to follow soon...

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