Monthly Archives: December 2014

More Black Friday Issues: A Review

If you are a regular to new comic book day and frequent the local comic book store, than you understand what it means to explore the shop looking for the latest and newest titles and to be surprised in both good and bad ways from taking chances on those new books or series. Heck, this year alone, I started and quit at least ten different titles. While some of the titles that I’ve already quit are critically acclaimed, they’re just not for me. That’s the great thing about this day and age of comics…there are so many titles, just like this amazing time in television, there will be something for you to call your own. I subscribe to about seven different titles, which means, my home store holds those titles for me every month when they come out. Of course titles like Saga put out six issues then break to release the trade (the bigger books with the heavier cover that compile issues), so it might not be waiting for me every month, but that gives me more incentive to try new books!

In my last post, I informed you that Black Friday was good to me, and I was going to take this week to post about issues that I purchased on that glorious day. So today, I’m going to give you the run down on three single issues that I acquired from three different publishers: DC, Marvel, and Image. As you get to know comic publishers, you will begin to understand that each publisher specializes in a different feel of book. While most of us know Marvel and DC, mainly from their saturation of the television and film markets, publishers such as Image and IDW appeal more to me since they seem to take more risks with their stories and titles, and they are not so super-hero driven.

The three books I will be discussing today include a new DC title: Gotham Academy.

download (7)

A Marvel One-Shot from 2010: Firestar.

download (6)

And an Image new release from Matt Fraction: ODY-C.

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If not for the amazing deals on Black Friday, I might not have tried a couple of these, but I’m glad I did.

I’ll start with the one-shot. For those of you that don’t know, a one-shot is an issue that comes out as a one-time thing. Some series release one-shots as stand-alone issues that tell a very specific tale from the series, or publishers like Marvel and DC might release them to get in a quick story, expand on a character, or make a few bucks. This Firestar one-shot from 2010 begins with a page of back-story on the character of Firestar…which is good for me because as some of you know, I’m a hero fan, but they are not my bread and butter. The one-shot primarily focuses on the issue of being an outcast and uses family dynamics and dealing with disease to tackle these issues. While there is no ultimate hero vs. villain conflict in this issue, what we are given is an understanding that we all face our own demons. I’d use this issue in my classroom. First of all, a single comic issue can be read very quickly; I could quickly tack this onto a lesson on relationships, internal conflict, etc. I could also tie it to a number of novels and short-stories as a hook. Plus, a few issues of a comic (although I don’t know how it works with older issues) are much cheaper than trades or collected titles.
The DC title is a new book called Gotham Academy. The story follows a group of prep-school kids dealing with issues of the teen and supernatural variety. The art is very cool, and it has a Courtney Crumrin feel to it. This is the first issue, so there is a bunch of exposition and character who/what going on, but it has promise. I see teens really getting into this book as well as fan-boys/girls…after all Bruce Wayne does make an appearance at the school (that he funds), and I hope that that constant Bat-Signal in the sky of the story indicates that Batman will be swinging through a bit now and then throughout the tale. Check this one out, and leave it on your desk for students to checkout as well!

The final issue that I’ll discuss is Matt Fraction’s new title: ODY-C. You may already have your favorite comics’ writers and artists, but if you do not, you will, and when you do, Matt Fraction will most-likely make your list. The guy is amazing, and with titles like Hawkeye and Sex Criminals under his belt, along with many Eisner Awards, it’s no wonder I was super excited to see a new Fraction title on the shelf! The issue contains a very interesting poster after the front cover, and if I’m being honest, my excitement ended there. While the art is cool, the story felt strange and convoluted. Now, you may love it! But for me, it’s too much…sooo many crazy made-up names in such a short amount of time turned me off quickly; really, that’s why most fantasy novels do nothing for me. The story is about three Goddesses and their flying away in space-ships, and battles, and some nudity…I don’t know, ya’ll; I just didn’t dig it. The artwork is cool, but the story did not pull me in to future issues, but like I said earlier, that’s the great thing about comics: hundreds of stories to choose from. This is not to be left on your classroom desk.

There’s just a bit about my experiences with new and single issues. I hope you explore new titles often, and I’d love to hear what you are reading and what you think I should be reading.

Tomorrow, a new title, so check back soon!

Happy reading, everyone!

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