An alternate title for this blog is “things I bought because Southern Cross #5 still isn’t out yet”. Some people eat their feelings, some people buy their feelings, I do a little of both. An alternate-alternate title is “wow this is such a late haul” but we won’t go into that.
Of course, I’ll start with one of my favorite ongoing series, Low, #8 and #9. My personal favorite single issue was #7, which I bought in June and have gone back to read multiple times. For the later ones, I believe they hired a new colorist, so while the story is still interesting, the colors are a bit muddy and unpleasant.
Low is a futuristic underwater dystopian series where the surface world is uninhabitable and everyone lives in underwater cities that are quickly running out of clean air. The next issue is due out in October, but I’ve learned my lesson on providing exact dates when they can change without warning.
Next I picked up the first Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl, from the team who also does The Wicked + the Divine, which I hauled last month. I really enjoyed WicDiv, so I decided to pick this up in between. So far, I don’t know what to think, for two reasons. One, much like WicDiv, very little is explained in the first issue (not to mention, this is a continuing anthology-series, and I didn’t realize there were two other Phonogram miniseries before this one.) I was incredibly confused and have just decided to have faith that I will gain some sort of understanding later in the series. Two, I have little-to-no music knowledge, and if you haven’t guessed based on the title, this is a series that heavily relies on music.
As I mentioned, this is a miniseries, so even if I end up not enjoying it, the most it will set me back is about six issues of content. Maybe I’ll pick up one of the older Phonograms during the month-long waits between installments.
The second issue of The Spire came out pretty early in the month, and of course I picked it up to devour right away. This is a beautiful fantasy/murder mystery story. I love the art style, but at times it gets a little sketchy and almost lazy, where other panels are pretty breathtaking and impressive. Much like after I finished the first issue, I wanted to pick this series back up and re-read it again. I believe this is another mini-series, with only two more issues to be released even though I’d like for it to go on forever. But again, if there’s anything I’m learning from my foray into the land of comic books, it’s this:
I also decided to continue with Power Up, and god, I’m so glad I did. This second issue brought all four Chosen Ones, prophesied (probably mistakenly) to restore balance to the universe, together at last: Sandy the soccer mom, Kevin the construction worker, Amie the 20-something pet store worker, and Silas… a goldfish. I love all of the characters in this series. Everyone is so unapologetically themselves– you have to understand, I read mostly YA where diverse characters are either “side characters” or the main characters in “issue books” where their sexuality/race/mental health is perceived as something they must overcome while finding themselves. We don’t get middle-aged superhero moms who keep their teenage kids in the car while they fight monsters. We rarely see queer ladies. We definitely never see men in magical-girl “armor”. This series is a joy, and I recommend it to everyone. There’s a laser whale! I want a laser whale!
Though Mulan: Revelations #2 technically came out at the end of July, I didn’t end up picking it up until the week before the third issue came out. So I grabbed both #2 and #3 during August and… only read the second. It follows the reincarnation of the Mulan we all know and love, but with a fantasy, cyber-punk twist. This is a beautiful series in the art-department, but almost too much is left unsaid in the story. I felt like I was missing pages– the story is moving at a bit too quick of a pace (probably because this is another miniseries with few pages to tell what has the potential for a much longer run). I want to re-read both the first and second before moving on to the third, but I haven’t had the motivation to dive back into it.
Probably the least thought-through purchase of this month were the first three installments of Death Sentence: London. I’m not saying I don’t want to eventually read these, but I usually do a quick google-search before purchasing anything because I don’t want to accidentally start in the middle of a series. Well, this time I didn’t, and guess what happened…
So it turns out, Death Sentence was a graphic novel a couple of years ago, and Death Sentence: London picks up right where the first left off. From other reviews I’ve skimmed, it’s pretty much mandatory to read the one before the other, which I’m still planning to do, so somehow that justified not only picking up the first issue, but the first three in the series before I ordered the graphic novel. I’m pretty antsy to get around to these. The cover art is gorgeous, and apparently queer ladies are an absolute necessity in my comic book buys.
The only graphic novel I bought in the month of August was Rachel Rising, Vol. 1 by Terry Moore. Essentially, the main character, Rachel, wakes up in a shallow grave, mostly dead, and sets out to figure out what happened and who killed her. In a word, this was incredible. I picked it up one night before bed, expecting to flip through a few pages before I turned in, and ended up absolutely devouring it. I don’t know why I was surprised it was so good; so many people recommended I read it, and I was just resolutely not-reading it.
As you can see, I’m branching out a bit compared to my first haul. This is mostly thanks to the girl at the comic book store (she has a name now. It’s Taylor.) who is only capable of recommending good things. I must also be an easy customer, considering I don’t have enough experience to really know what I want to read.
Every month I’m blown away by the kinds of stories being told in comic books, stories that I could never imagine existing in young adult fiction or literature in general. It’s doing wonders for my own writing… but that’s a blog post for another day. 😉