Nothing is safe anymore, is it? The world was rocked once more this week by a series of pop-culture calamities, proving without a shadow of a doubt that we live in a world where nothing is sacred. Not Amy Winehouse’s wedding dress, nor the good clean fun of a new Will Smith album. While all around you are being bought by Disney, what’s left for us to do?
Comics, you guys. Comics are safe.
And what another great week this was for comics! More comics came into existence this week, with some of them being very exceptional indeed. Scroll down to read two recommendations for this week, but first: what’s everyone else been happy about?
Robot 6 have been enjoying Patton Oswalt’s Halloween costume, and admiring Kerry Callen’s work in animating a scene from Jack Kirby’s classic Fantastic Four run. Watch those motors roll! Newsarama got to interview Phil Jimenez, when not letting Graeme McMillan do what he does best: muse, and ponder the future. McMillan does love a good ponder! And I love reading him do so.
For Halloween, Comics Bulletin has been the place to go. They’ve been ranking horror films from every decade, and compiling some of the scariest comic book covers of all time. Comicsalliance also got into the spirit, with some creepy best art ever and a discussion of anti-life. Not even Tom Spurgeon could flee the lure of All Hallows, with this creepy bloody image he decided to share with the world, without a word of forewarning.
Still not exhilarated? I have more links. iFanboy celebrated the eminently celebratable Emma Rios, while the brilliant X-Men Twitter accounts reactivated over Halloween. And speaking of Twitter, Jamie McKelvie took this week to update us all on the condition of his nuts. Thanks, Jamie!
But now – on to the comics! As ever, I have two books to recommend for this week. If you have anything you’d like to recommend for next week, shout at me on Twitter! Here’s two of the best:
2000AD Prog 1807
Hailed as being a major step forward for the company, this week’s prog caught everybody off-guard twice. In the process, we were treated to some brilliant writing from those involved, as the three lead stories did something fairly audacious. The storytelling was clever and unique, with a variety of voice and sequencing from the writers and artists which stood each different piece apart from the others. I’m going to mention what 2000AD did in the next paragraph, so jump ship to the next review if you don’t want to know yet!
This isn’t a revelation as such, or a dramatic surprise which will shock everybody to their core. But it was a smart, unpromoted move which showed how much a comic can benefit from secrecy. Rather than shout from the rooftops that the three headline stories in this issue were interconnected, 2000AD simply let it happen, leaving the surprise for the readers. Al Ewing and Henry Flint’s Dredd storyline ended and was subsequently picked up by Si Spurrier and Simon Coleby’s Simping Detective, before Rob Williams and D’Israeli added a connecting tag halfway through their story as well!
It was a clever piece of pacing from the editors, and leads all three stories down interesting, distinct paths. And then there were still two more stories to follow! Oh 2000AD, how you reward us.
Super Dinosaur #15
A comic which has slipped off the collective radar somewhat over the past few months, Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard’s Image series about a boy and his best pal has just wrapped up the current storyline. If you’re unfamiliar, the book tells the story of Derek Dynamo, the son of a famous scientist who once found a world called ‘Inner Earth’ and brought back a talking dinosaur. Dinosaur and Derek grew up together, and now go on adventures fighting monsters.
Questioning all-ages comics is a favourite topic online, but Super Dinosaur is a fun series I’ve been enjoying since the start. Drawn with energy by Howard, the book has raced from story to story without dropping momentum whatsoever, and refrains from any dirty tactics in the way it appeals to kids. If anything, the book has the feel of Saturday-morning television like Power Rangers or Beetleborgs (yeah! Good work comics for letting me drop in a Big Bad Beetleborgs reference!).
The action is fast-paced and exciting without showing a realistic sense of violence, but the characters and heart of the book provide an authentic and empathetic family for readers to root for. The characters fight giant monsters – but they also look out for each other, and appreciate each other. There’s soul in this series.
Enjoy! And now, let’s leave you on one final note. This week, that final note is The Invasion of Disneyland:
Have a great weekend!