Since this is my first post here at Cult Spark, where I’m going to be covering the comics beat, I figure the easiest way to introduce myself is to break down what I’m reading and what I enjoy. I don’t consider myself a prototypical comics reader, meaning I haven’t been reading all my life, my pulls don’t consist of 10-plus comics a week and I do my best to stay away from the soap opera-ish superhero titles. That being said, let’s just get down to business, but please keep in mind this isn’t everything I read — it’s just a start.
Best Title — Saga: I think this is a no-brainer for a lot of people. The world that is currently being built by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (a taste of which is featured in the above artwork) is unlike anything that you can currently find in any entertainment medium. Only 12 issues in, it’s not too late jump on board for what is certain to be one hell of a ride. If you happen to not know the types of stories BKV can tell, do yourself a favor and pick up Y: The Last Man and Ex-Machina. The man is at the top of the comics world.
Favorite Title — Morning Glories: It’s not for everyone, but if you do happen to get caught up in this Lost-esque mystery, there is no way out. Each panel of every issue is dissected by every reader, Multiversity’s Study Hall feature is now included in the monthly book and chats are held on the day of every new issue. The cult following it has amassed is pretty remarkable, and it helps that its creators Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma join in on all the fun. I look forward to reading this title more than anything currently on the shelves.
Guilty Pleasures — Futurama & Regular Show: What can I say? I watch cartoons. Futurama, in particular, has molded itself into one of the funniest, most intelligent series of its kind. And Regular Show … well, it just cracks me up. Both comics read well enough to function as an episode and satisfy my fix.
Digital Only — The Private Eye: It’s Brian K. Vaughan again. Vaughan and Marcos Martin created Panel Syndicate as a way to release creator-owned comics without the need for the middle-man publisher. It helps that these two carry enough weight to do this, because it’s been very successful thus far. The issues are released in a variety of formats and languages with users deciding how much to pay. (You can even download for free, if you’re that cheap.) The response should lead to more ventures like this, which can only mean good things for comics.
Hanging On — Batman Incorporated: Grant Morrison’s epic Batman run is about to come to an end. He’ll be leaving the cowl behind once Batman Inc. ends in the next couple issues, and to say he’s stirred a bit of controversy during his run would be an understatement. I must admit that Damian Wayne is my all-time favorite character (for reasons that I’ll save for a future post), so his killing of Damian did not sit well with me. However, I do need to thank him for bringing him to the world in the first place. So I’ll see this through the end, then pray that some future writer develops a great comeback story because we all know comic deaths don’t last.
Letting Go — Avengers Arena: I loved Runaways (no surprise there, another BKV creation), and I read Avengers Academy. I was thrilled to see this title use some of those casts and was willing to look past the lack of creativity in a Battle Royale /Hunger Games ripoff. But the story didn’t expand upon the characters I’ve come to enjoy, despite what author Dennis Hopeless says. I wish this was better. I wish I was compelled to read every issue. Wasn’t meant to be, though.
Wait for the Trade — Hawkeye: I don’t read Marvel’s Hawkeye series monthly, though I probably should. This a beautifully done book that provides a refreshing look at this Marvel hero and how he spends his days when he’s not with the Avengers. It’s funny, down-to-earth and surprisingly relatable.
As I mentioned, this isn’t everything I read, but it gives you a good start in understanding what piques my interest and forms my opinions. I actually keep a list of everything I’ve read since I returned to the comics game, and I appreciate recommendations for something new. Even better, if you want to talk about what’s out there today, I’m always down for that. Be on the lookout here for more comics-related features soon.