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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Kyle's Comics Picks - September 20, 2017

This past weekend I was at SPX for the first time. For those who aren't aware what that is, it's the Small Press Expo aka a show of independent publishers and freelance creators who do not work for either of the Big Two or Image comics generally (though there's a few exceptions every once in a while). I have a whole article going up at The Beat later today on the subject of everything I bought that I'll come back and link within this article when it goes live. But I'll just say this, I spent a lot of money on really cool stuff, including the new collected edition of Michel Fiffe's Zegas, Ben Marra's Night Business, Charles Forsman's I Am Not Okay With This, and GG's I'm Not Here, among a lot of other fascinating looking material.

It's a great show, and one I encourage anybody who wants to learn a little bit more of what superheroes are like beyond the cape crowd to visit. Admittedly there's not much else going on in Bethesda, Maryland but you could make a day trip out to Washington DC just ahead or after the show if you're so inclined. That's still a thing I find recommendable, even in my days of extra back pain and exhaustion.

It's cheap too...25 bucks to attend the whole weekend! Though if you have no impulse control like me, that savings will evaporate real quick.

Let's get to this week's comics:

Black Hammer #13: Jeff Lemire's best series yet continues its vaunted path as maybe Dark Horse's best current title, and one of the best books on the stands. I think it perfectly threads that needle between his quieter rural stuff and the high octane superhero action it echoes.

Dark Knight III The Master Race h/c: I'm mostly buying this because I want to see those Frank Miller mini-comics blown up to standard size and how they're incorporated into the narrative. I only read the first three issues of this as it came out, and I have no idea what the final reaction to it all was, but it seemed to elicit not much of a peep by the end. Still, Miller's Dark Knight efforts will never not be fascinating to me, even if this one only seems to kind of count, given the amount of co-collaborators here. DK2 4 lyfe, yo!

Bug #4/Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #12: The Allreds' Kirby odyssey continues, and maybe the oddest of the Young Animal titles goes on a quite long hiatus after its 12th issue (and they all are). I like both of these books a lot, though the former hits me where it hurts just a little more.

Legion by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning: Here's a formidable collection that is basically to blame for yours truly getting back into comics his freshman year of college in 2001. This is when Abnett and Lanning were tasked with revitalizing a series that had hit some pretty moribund lows, and desperately needed a revamp. For a time the duo, along with a young Olivier Coipel, provided just that. Once they went the ongoing series route, all was lost, but for a while, there was real hope The Legion of Super-Heroes would hit some X-Men level heights.

Mister Miracle by Jack Kirby tpb: Speaks for itself. If you love the current title, pick up the original. The art here is some of my favorite of the King's.

Daredevil Epic Collection: Heart of Darkness: I'm sure these don't read that well to modern eyes anymore, but I remember loving these old Ann Nocenti era DD's, which included some great Rick Leonardi art, among others.

Fantagraphics Studio Edition Hal Foster's Prince Valiant: My lone "if you have the money" suggestion. Foster's work was formative for the very young years of artists like Kirby and Ditko and others who have basically created the backbone of our modern superhero landscape. I'd probably recommend picking up Fanta's collected editions instead for a cheaper option, but if you're really itching to see those brushstrokes up close, this is a historically important piece. 
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