Monday, March 24, 2014

More recommendations

Hello friends,

I've been a bit remiss with my contributions here at the Scribblerati blog lately, unfortunately--or maybe: Yay, me!--I've been too busy with my own writing to have much to say on the actual subject of writing. I still don't have much to say on the actual subject of writing honestly, but in an effort to pick up the slack a bit, here I am. And I've brought along a few recommendations for you.

I've done this before. 

I've recommended some comics. I've recommend some books, some movies and some TV. Over on my own personal blog, I've recommended a pretty cool short story by a very handsome individual and I'm currently keeping track of some films I am looking forward to. It's a nice fall-back topic when you need content. Plus, who knows, maybe some of you lovely people out there will come across something here that interests you. That's my hope, at least.

So, what will I be recommending to you today?


Sure. Why not?

1. Black Science -- Grant McKay is a member of an anarchist collective of scientists and the creator of something he calls The Pillar. With this device, he has punched through the walls between realities and has traveled to alien dimensions, on the hunt for unknown truths and amazing new discoveries. Unfortunately, the only thing he finds is terror and chaos, and now he and his team and his children are lost in the multiverse, cast adrift on a sea of infinite and unimaginable worlds, desperately trying to get home again alive. 

Written by Rick Remender, with art by Matteo Scalera.

Sounds pretty classic, right? It's definitely very rooted in pulp sci-fi, that's a big reason I was initially drawn to the comic. I am a sucker for alternate dimension stories, after all. Another big reason: I was kind of a fan of Sliders, but I was a huge Voyagers fan back in the day, but hey... who wasn't, amirite? Anyway, I was drawn in by the premise, but I have stayed for the story. And if you know me and my buying habits (which you probably don't), this would be kind of surprising, because I haven't been a big fan of Rick Remender's stuff. His Marvel stuff, while hitting some interesting notes, just doesn't quite work for me. The characters are too shallow. This might not make sense to some of you, but they seemed too much like DC characters to me, too much mask and not enough man behind the mask, y'know? Maybe not, either way... here, he not only gets to stretch and be crazy, but his characters seem much more unique and real. They're quickly identifiable too, despite the series starting in media res, which instantly plunges them into danger, so the story moves. It's fun and exciting and full of twists. What more could you ask for from a dimension-hopping adventure? Giant turtles with cities on their backs? Well...

The book is soaked in pulp sci-fi tropes, but it's setting is a modern one, and it hints that Dr. McKay's original dimension is probably not our own too. It's not what you would expect, which is a big part of the fun, and it's still early in the series, only the first 4 or 5 issues are out, so it's a good time to jump on. Also, if tracking down the back issues seems like too much work, a trade paperback collection will be released after issue 6. Take a look, it's a good-looking and good quality book.

2. Deadly Class -- It's 1987 and Kings Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts is the deadliest high school on Earth; it's where the world's most powerful governments, richest corporations, and top crime families send the next generation of assassins--their children--to be trained. Here, the classes are murder and the hallways are even worse. Marcus Lopez is wanted by the police, he's an orphan and currently homeless, and he has found himself suddenly enrolled. He's the new kid, and just like in any school, that's something that puts a big target on his back.

Written by Rick Remender, with art by Wes Craig.

Holy crap, TWO Rick Remender comic books? But... but... I thought you weren't a fan, Jon? I'm not. Or at least, I wasn't, but what can I say? The guy has a damn fine pair of comics here. Never let it be said that I am not open to re-evaluating previously set opinions based upon new output. The fact of the matter is, Remender has done a really good job with both of these titles. I am now looking forward to each new issue. I know, shocking. I trust if anyone out there decides to pass on my sudden change of opinion to the man, they will first take a moment to make sure he is sitting down. So anyway, right off the bat I liked this book for two reasons. 1. I love the style. It looks great and I'm a fan of the skate/punk ascetic. And 2. One of the things that's always stuck with me about Harry Potter was that, during the Goblet of Fire, you didn't see the American School of Magic. Why not? But then I thought about it and realized that we probably weren't invited because the American School of Magic is most likely filled with crazy assholes, dangerous idiots, and outright criminals... we would have totally ruined that whole Goblet-tournament thing. You think a bunch of trashy Americans give a shit about Voldemort? We're a hundred times worse than Voldemort. Fuck Voldemort, stupid no face having jerk... So what does this tangent have to do with anything? Well, this book is basically all about the American School of Magic, with all the killer assholes and dangerous idiots intact, only... without the magic.

There are only two issues out so far, so right now is the perfect time for you to swing on into your friendly neighborhood LCS (local comic shop, natch...) and check it out. The art is fantastic and Remender does a great job of introducing the cast and setting while keeping the story moving. I'm very interested in seeing where this book goes.

3. Jupiter's Legacy -- In a world where WWII was headed in a very different direction than in our own, a group of explorers discover an uncharted island and receive strange gifts that changed their world forever. Now, the children of the world's greatest superheroes struggle under the pressure of that incredible legacy. Can they ever hope to equal their parents or do they have plans of their own? 

Written by Mark Millar, with art by Frank Quitely.

The Utopian and Lady Liberty are the leaders of a group of superheroes, they are the greatest among them. They are good Americans, they believe in the system. Hugely powerful, nearly Gods, they love their country. They respect it. They have saved it, and the world, many times over. But in the years since, their children have grown up to be spoiled, drunken and nearly-invulnerable celebutants with the ability to fly and punch through mountains. And that's not the worst of it, either. With no super villains left and with the Utopian refusing to allow any of their number to interfere with the day-to-day operation of society--fearing what a person with so much power might become--the super-powered population has grown bored and restless. That boredom has led to a seething resentment, a fire stoked by a jealous rival until it flares up into murderous betrayal and open rebellion. During the chaos, the daughter of the world's greatest heroes--a fallen super powered former party girl now pregnant with the child of her reformed super villain boyfriend--must go into hiding, on the run from the unleashed rage of the vengeful superhumans. It's pretty great so far. Quitely's art is, as always, amazing. It's written by Mark Millar, who can often be problematic, douchey and/or incredibly terrible, but occasionally he ignores his stupid shock-tactic bullshit and does something good. I think this is one of those titles... so far.

Like the previous two, this book is also early in it's publishing schedule. Only four issues have come out, so its bandwagon is primed and ready to be jumped on. The only problem is they're a bit slow with the delivery of this one. It's supposed to be every six weeks, but they were late on a couple--a ridiculous and disappointingly common issue with some comic book companies--so some of you out there might want to wait for the eventual trades. I wouldn't, but some of you might want to.

Okay, so there's three new comics to check out, if you're so inclined. Who knows where they'll go from here, but for now, I think they're showing a lot of potential. I know I'm going to stick with them. Plus, as an added incentive, they're all still new and relatively stand alone, so you don't need any pre-loaded comic knowledge if you want to check them out. And you should, because they're good.

Questions? Comments? General unrelated nonsense?

Let me know,

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