A stable week for a change and this meant that I was able to read some more comics this time. Didn’t get through quite as many as I wanted to, and I certainly didn’t get around to reviewing as many as I wanted to, but that’s fine really. Gotta take a bit of an occasional lighter load I think. Most of the Marvel books I read this week weren’t all that impressive (as the top picks at the end will show), but DC was better. And Vertigo’s newest series looks to be damn good too, can’t wait to check out the second issue of that next month.
And I did manage to begin my Flash New 52 read-through finally with volume 1 last night, so that’s something there. Planning to read a lot of graphic novels this year, mostly in terms of catching up with series I’ve missed out on, so we shall see how it all pans out.
Once again, a very light reading week, with no graphic novel reading at all. I took a trip to India and back over the weekend, mostly because preparations for a cousin’s upcoming marriage and mom’s treatment, so reading time was extremely limited. I’m even behind on my novel reading at the moment, so I’m generally not doing well on that front at all.
Some really fun titles launched this past week, such as Night of the Living Deadpool, so it was an entertaining week at least, for the most part.
I usually prefer the comics and novels I read to be fast-paced and with lots of action as well. Sure, I like having the character moments sprinkled here and there, but overall I like something that keeps moving and that keeps throwing things at me to sink my teeth into, to latch on to (if that makes sense). This is one of the reasons why I generally don’t read horror because its almost always slow-paced and I have trouble connecting. But, Vertigo’s Coffin Hill series has changed that around, and this is a series that I’m definitely enjoying, largely because its an excellent slow-burn story.
Writer Caitlin Kittredge with artists Inaki Miranda and Eva de la Cruz have created a really great setting in this series that has seen some spectacular moments in the first three issues. Month after month, this has been a series to read and I haven’t really been disappointed with it. With the new issue I was expecting more of the same, but the creative team still managed to come up with quite a few surprises and finally delivered on the identity of the big bad of the story, and gave us a tiny glimpse into the objective of this big bad.
The eighth book cover that I pick for the “12 Days of Best Covers of 2013″ list is Halo lead concept artist Sparth’s gorgeous illustration for Michael Martinez’s debut novel The Daedalus Incident, released this year by the Night Shade imprint of Skyhorse Publishing. The Daedalus Incident is a story that meshes in solar system space opera with alchemical fantasy and creates a really fun and unique setting all of its own. It also so happens that one of the protagonists is an Indian woman by the name of Shaila Jain and that she is a written as a strong character completely independent of any romance subplots. What more can you ask for?
The eighth comic cover that I pick is from Jeff Lemire’s first issue of Trillium, a series that he both draws and writes. I held a rather passing interest in the title until I picked up this issue and after reading it I was a total fan. It is weird SF pulp adventure space opera (basically a really fun mish-mash of SF subgenres) and I love the series. Jeff Lemire has done some really great things in this series and while I haven’t read the latest issue as yet, like many of the series I’ve featured on this list, Trillium is one of my most highly anticipated monthly comics.
Without further ado, hit the break to see both the covers in all their glory! The full list of all these covers is available here.
Caitlin Kittredge and Inaki Miranda’s Coffin Hill #1 set a wonderful tone for the new horror series from Vertigo when it came out in the month of horror. We got a good dose of supernatural mysteries and met some interesting characters, including the protagonist Eve Coffin. Last month, Coffin Hill #2 continued to build on that foundation and further both the story and the characters themselves so that by the end of it we had the beginnings of a really nice, multi-layered story involving characters who weren’t cardboard cut-outs but did have some depth to them.
The two creators go that extra mile with the third issue, released this past week, and it is definitely quite a fun issue. Some ten years ago something dreadful and horrific happened in the woods near the Coffin mansion, and that began a series of really gruesome events in the town that have now led to Eve returning after years of being away and history repeating itself. Sort of. The most fun part of the comic is still the interactions between the characters, and Caitlin does not disappoint in that regard. Nor does Inaki disappoint with the artwork, which is pretty damn good.
Managed to read a handful of more comics this week, since there were a lot of titles released that I was really interested in, and a couple from previous weeks that I hadn’t been able to get around to at the time. As usual, it was all a mixed reading experience, with some really good comics mixed in with some bad ones and a few that straddle the fence between the two extremes. More positive ones than negative ones.
No graphic novels this week sadly, since this week was a real slog in reading, again, and I was struggling for time in general with everything else too. Perhaps this coming week can be different!
Vertigo’s Hinterkind is one of those out-there kind of comics that the publisher loves to put out. They are different from the norm, often bend conventions a certain way, and they all have a very unique flavour. Ian Edginton proved that with last month’s first issue, in which he told a post-apocalyptic story wherein mankind is almost extinct, nature has taken over the world, and there are creatures from mythologies and urban legends running around all over.
He continues in the same vein with the new issue, building on the things he introduced in the previous issue, adding to the world, and giving you more reasons to care about it. But at the same point, things feel a little too slow. But, this was still an interesting issue because we get to see the other side of the conflict, much as with the bookend final scenes of the first issue, and we get to find out what the Hinterkind think of humans and what their goals are.
Vertigo took some (further?) forays into the horror genre last month, the month of horror, by bringing out a new series called Coffin Hill, written by Caitlin Kittredge and drawn by Inaki Miranda. With a story revolving around your heiress Eve Coffin, Kittredge created a dramatic world with all the typical horror elements, but none of the cheesiness and very little of the cliches. Her world was full of interesting characters, and interesting events, which made the first issue a great experience, not to mention Miranda’s spectacular artwork.
With the second issue, we see the world developing, and so do the characters, as more mysteries are introduced while some are answered. Where the first issue could be called a bold but hesitant step forward into the genre, the second issue is the opposite. It feels as if an experienced writer is at the helm of the series. Sure, there are a few flaws, but the second issue proves to be a much more satisfying read, which is what I wanted and what I got.
Slow reading this week, mostly because of the fact that my weekend was taken up entirely with celebrations for Diwali, an annual Indian festival, and because the National Novel Writing Month began on the weekend too. So I was either having a blast with cousins, and getting tired out a lot, or doing lots of writing on a new project which you can read about here.
Right mix of comics once again, some of them disappointing, some of them unexpectedly good, and some in between as well. Got another graphic novel finished this week, which was good. I’ve had it on my reading list for ages now, so its nice to get that out of the way and reduce my immense reading pile by that much at least. Pretty tough to maintain a reading list as long as mine.
Next week, or this week rather, should be good since there are a lot of cool comics coming out. And I’m hoping to get another graphic novel out of the way. We’ll see.
Joining the ranks of all the Vertigo titles I’ve been reading of late is the first in a “new” series by noted SFF author Neil Gaiman, The Sandman: Overture. This series is a prequel to The Sandman that Vertigo used to publish a few years back and is one of Gaiman’s earlier works of fiction, and one of his earliest successes to boot. From what I gather, The Sandman is very much a classic series in the industry, and of its greatest successes and yet owing nothing to the superhero genre at all.
I’ve never read anything by Neil Gaiman before, and this pretty much my first experience of his work as a result. Its been mixed. There are some great strengths of this issue, but there are a lot of weaknesses as well. But as someone approaching this world, this setting for the first time, I’m often left in the dark as to what is going on.
Finally, this was a week where my non-DC reading far out-stripped my DC reading. Villain’s Month really seems to have taken a toll with my reading, what with reading like seven or eight titles a week. Things are finally becoming more normal, and that’s excellent in and of itself. Lots of Dark Horse and IDW reading as well this week, which was really nice, since I’m playing catch-up with a few of their titles and really need to be getting down to read these issues.
However, no luck with reading any graphic novels again this week. I had hoped to read at least one during my flight back to Dubai from Delhi but things didn’t work out like that since I slept on the entire flight, all three and a half hours of it. That’s something I suppose. But now I have the time I hope so will see what happens.