Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Comics That Deserve Your Time & Attention, Part 3

This third segment that features comics/graphic narratives that deserve your time and attention is brought to you in part by...well, me I guess.

Anyway, here's some more comics of the non-superhero variety that you should definitely check out...

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips

Like noir-ish type comics like "Sin City"? If so, check out "Criminal", which much like "Sin City" before it, features a revolving set of desperate characters who either put themselves or are put in some dire situations. A creator-owned title from "Captain America" writer Ed Brubaker and "Marvel Zombies" artist Sean Phillips, "Criminal" found a new home under Marvel's indie imprint Icon, and is best enjoyed in the massive hardcover Deluxe Edition which collects all of the Icon storyarcs.

Writers: Sam Kieth & William Messner-Loebs
Artist: Sam Kieth

Originally published during the early days of Image Comics through the Wildstorm imprint, Sam Kieth's "The Maxx" focuses on a title character who believes himself a superhero, but in reality is a homeless vigilante, whose sole contact is his social worker Julie. In between all this is murder, rape, and salvation, as Kieth drops little visual hints that suggest nothing is what it seems in this world. While it lost steam by the time its thirty-some issue run concluded, "The Maxx" struck such a chord that it inspired a short-lived animated series on MTV, and remains a cherished comic work to this very day as well.

Writer/Artist: Charles Burns

A labor of love that took well over a decade to complete, Charles Burns' "Black Hole" is a metaphorical story that transports readers to early-70s Seattle. Among a group of teenagers is an STD known simply as "the bug", which leaves its victims with physical deformities ranging from grown tails to shedding one's skin like a snake to having a mouth form on your neck. Shunned by normal society, we witness how things go from bad to worse to total nightmare for all involved. By the end of "Black Hole" though, one cannot help but feel truly touched to a degree, as this is something you won't be able to get out of your head for quite some time.

Pocket Books
Writer/Artist: James O'Barr

"The Crow" is mostly known as the 1994 action movie in which star Brandon Lee was killed on set. With an added feeling of mourning thrust upon the film, it was a hit at the time and still remains a fan favorite, but what most people didn't, and in some cases still don't, know is that the film was based on a comic. Created by James O'Barr as a way of coping with the death of his girlfriend, "The Crow" is a harrowing and violent tale of the resurrected Eric Draven seeking revenge on his killers. Loaded with odes and nods to O'Barr's favorite music acts (Joy Division and The Cure among them, with Eric himself semi-modeled after Iggy Pop), "The Crow" set the standard for goth-themed tales of vengeance, and still strikes an emotional chord to this very day.

More to come soon...

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