Friday, September 9, 2011
A Fistful of Hipster Comics! (Brad's Picks)
I don't know if you can tell, but ITMOD is pretty damn excited about SPX tomorrow. San Diego Comic Con might be our Mecca and Baltimore Comic Con may be the most pure Super Hero comic convention, but it's SPX where you find the most bizarre and original stories. It's where I discovered Scott Morse, Jim Rugg, Craig Thompson, Blacksad, and Owly. And yeah, we're all hipsters there. Own it.
5. The Ticking by Rene French: Heartbreaking. A deformed, motherless boy and his chimpanzee sister attempt to find themselves in the big city. Surreal and genuine. French never lets the book fall away into the Edward Gorey art style, keeping the emotions real, painful, and beautiful.
4. Box Office Poison by Alex Robinson: Before I read Craig Thompson's brilliant Blankets I read BOP. It was the first comic book about regular joes (or nerds/geeks/dorks/hipsters) to really grab my attention. I saw myself in Sherman, Dorthy, Ed, Stephen, and Jane and it was both thrilling and depressing. Their saga opened my eyes to stories not just beyond Marvel and DC but beyond all manner of Spandex stories. Basically, this was my Reservoir Dogs of comics minus the bloodshed & Tim Roth screaming.
3. Soulwind by Scott Morse: I recently ranted over at The Daily Grindhouse about Scott Morse's whacko Strange Science Fantasy and as fun as that book is it pales in comparison to the beauty and grandeur of this sci-fi/fantasy epic. Similar to Jeff Smith's Bone, what begins as a fanciful somewhat comic adventure soon develops into a serious bit of mythbuilding. Don't let anyone spoil the plot, a must own.
2. From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell: The world might claim Watchmen as Alan Moore's greatest work and I might scream the genius of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but when it comes down to brass tacks I gotta give it to From Hell. Once completed, you cannot look at the Jack The Ripper saga/myth the same way again. Forget the simplistic Johnny Depp adaptation, Moor & Capbell's epic is not just a portrait of a serial killer but also a massive perverted love letter to corrupted and disgusting Victorian England.
1. Black Hole by Charles Burns: I once heard someone describe this book as X-Men without all the super heroic bullshit. Yep, just the raw self-absorbed drama. Throw in some Eraserhead David Lynch and that sounds about right. The story of troubled, mutant teenagers struggling with their place in the world has plenty of creep factor thanks to Charles Burns' creepy clean line work, but you'll also find yourself grabbed by the heartstrings. It's been too long since I've taken a crack at this book, need to correct that soon.