Tag Archives: comics

The Final Flight

After reading the latest volume of the Flight series (vol. eight) I was skimming through the artist bios when something caught my eye. In many of the bios the authors/artists were bidding farewell to Flight. Apparently, this was the last volume.

Shocked, appalled, heartbroken, I went to the internet to find answers. What I found was very little.

Kazu Kibuishi, the editor of the series from day one, did a brief interview for a blog called The Secret Adventures of WriterGirl in 2010. In the interview Kibuishi states that Flight will probably end with volume eight so that he may focus on Explorer. He also said that he hopes Flight will become a publishing imprint, which will allow him to publish full graphic novels. In another, more recent interview at ComicBookResources.com, Kibuishi reiterates these sentiments but in a slightly more candid way. He talks about how the books were successful (for an anthology) but not very profitable. With a cover price of $27 it is a little steep, but that’s because of the quality of the printing and full color spreads within the book. And honestly, I think it’s worth every penny.

Sadly there isn’t much more information on the Flight series available online, the “official site” is a blog that hasn’t been updated since Oct. 2010. It’s surprising to me how little information was available, it’s almost as if this series was a small flash in the pan instead of the brilliant eight volume series that spanned from 2004-2011.

The last volume contains 18 stories from different artists and all of them are a pleasure to read. Some sad, some hopeful, some cute and funny, (like “Igloohead and Treehead in ‘Accomplishments,’”) they are all beautifully drawn and colored and offer a wonderland for the eyes to enjoy.

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of this series, I suggest going out and ordering the whole lot of them. They are kid-friendly as well, if you were hoping to get something for that youngster in your life.

Here’s to Kazu, I hope Explorer is half as good as Flight was.

The Walking Dead Vol. 2: Miles Behind Us

A couple of months ago I began The Walking Dead series with Vol. 1. Though I was impressed by the first book, it took me quite some time to order the second volume. I’m really glad I did.

The second volume, “Miles Behind Us,” continues the story where it left off, with the crew about to head out onto the open road in search of a safer place to live. In this book they come across a few places they (at first) think are perfect until something happens that proves otherwise. In one gated community they are surprised by flocks (herds?) of famished zombies and lose one of their own in the attack. The second place they find (through an unfortunate shooting accident) is a farm inhabited by a family. The father, an older man with four grown children and two little ones, allows the group to stay temporarily. Rick Grimes (our fearless hero) butts heads with the old farmer and by the end of the book the crew are on the road again- sans one young man.

This series is fantastic, it has the horror of the zombie attacks mixed with many different characters from different backgrounds. The authors really focus on how different types of people survive and feel about the zombies, giving a depth to this series that most zombie tales lack. In movie terms it’s much closer to 28 Days Later than Dawn of the Dead. 

One of the things I love about this series is that it always keeps me guessing. Characters you are certain will last are quickly killed off, while other seemingly minor characters are given some spotlight. So far it’s been a really fun read and I intend on getting the other volumes soon.

Bobwhite by Magnolia Porter (a webcomic)

Aside from a previous post about how much I adore webcomics, I haven’t taken the time to do an actual review of one yet. I recently stumbled upon a webcomic by Magnolia Porter called “Bobwhite” about three art students trying to balance their lives of school, relationships, and potential careers. It is a full, completed comic so you can read the whole thing start to finish without waiting for updates.

The main characters are sassy film student Marlene, neurotic, boy-obsessed design student Cleo, and the slovenly illustration student Ivy. Each character has some pretty clear character traits, but are fleshed out with family back stories and unique characteristics. The author does a great job creating complex, interesting characters that feel like real people instead of stereotypes.

There is some romantic drama, but it’s also a very smart, funny strip about growing up and being in college. It was fun for me to read because I could relate to a lot of the characters’ experiences (dancing to a Peaches song, putting off work, having friends who play the ukulele). It also made me want to be more creative, and maybe I’ll spend some more time on my art.

After a few days of reading the strip pretty religiously, I was really sad to see it end. I was even sadder to see that Porter had been at the Emerald City Comic Con I had attended this year; I missed her and didn’t even know!

I highly suggest you all check out the comic here. She also has two other comics (I haven’t yet read them) called Monster Pulse and Dracula Mystery Club.

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

I know, I know. How could I have possibly made it this long without reading Ghost World? The answer is, I saw the movie first.

I remember seeing it in high school and thinking that I would connect with it in some way, but I didn’t. In fact, I think I found it really boring. This resulted in a complete apathy toward the book, even when I was working at Fantagraphics Books (Ghost World’s publisher). Then, the other day at a garage sale, I saw it. I bought the thing for a dollar and read it in one afternoon.

I liked the art, the blue/black/white color schemes and the slightly goofy looking faces of the people. The content was, as I had previously read, a rather accurate rendering of how teenagers talk and interact with each other. It was perhaps this accuracy that turned me off, because the characters are so repulsively self-involved and attention hungry. True, that’s the teenage way of life, but reading a book in which nothing much happens except for two girls talking at each other or making fun of the sad people around them can be a little dragging.

That said, I thought it was a heart-pinching story about two girls in a very close, slightly dysfunctional, relationship coming to grips with growing up and growing apart. The ending panels are both sad and hopeful, and the loud-mouthed Enid’s last words in the book speak volumes to where she’s been and how she’s grown.

It’s a must-read for comic lovers, and I may even give the movie a second chance.

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

It’s been a science experiments gone wrong/graphic novel week for me. First, I read Elephantmen Vol. 1 and now V for Vendetta. I have also recently started working on an online literary journal called Pif Magazine, so much of what I have been reading this week (apart from the graphic novels) has been submissions. As I am now working on two literary journals my personal reading may be reduced quite noticeably, but I will try to continue to update the blog as often as possible with useful information.

V for Vendetta is not a new book, it originally came out in the 1980s and had a movie made in 2006 starring the lovely Natalie Portman. So I know anything I have to say about this graphic novel has most likely been said before. I’m going to take a crack at it anyway.

V for Vendetta, if you are unfamiliar with the story, is about a masked man who takes vengeance into his own hands and tries to dismantle the fascist government in England. He systematically kills off head members of the government while taking under his wing a young girl he saves from dirty cops called “fingermen”.

“V,” as the shadowy man is called, is wrapped in mystery and speaks in riddles. His back story is revealed (he was in one of the internment camps in which thousands of people were tortured, killed, and subjected to scientific experiments) but what they did to him we never find out.

The story itself is a familiar one to anyone who read 1984 or any other story about a dystopian society. There are a lot of bad people in power controlling the masses with security cameras and strict laws punishable by death or torture. What makes this story so compelling is how close it is to things that have already happened in our society. The internment camps, the ovens, and the genocide isn’t just a made up horror show. It’s taken straight from history; it’s basically the story of what would have happened had Hitler prevailed.

I enjoyed the book, but I couldn’t help but be disappointed by the lack of information given about V. Yes, I know that seeing his face would have been a disappointment because of “all he could have been” and knowing the gory details of the experiments done to him wouldn’t really add anything to the story, even a more personal background of the character would have taken away his magic. V says himself, at one point, that he is ideas, not a human being. I get it, I like it, I think it was fantastic.

I still wanted more. 

The art was also a little disappointing. I’ve been spoiled lately by the smooth glossy pages of the graphic novels being made today, with lush color and imaginative layouts. V for Vendetta is printed on a coarse paper that feels like a thick newspaper stock and is printed in what looks to be solely primary colors (red, yellow, and blue). Many of the drawings are also a little hard to make out, and some of the characters look so similar it’s hard to keep track of them.

If you’re new to graphic novels, or even just new to Alan Moore, I would suggest picking up Watchmen first and then this one.