Many weeks later, I have another Comics roundup for you!
Thanks in large part to a free trial of Scribd, I’ve been dabbling in a variety of comics.
Ms Marvel Volumes 1 to 7 – Brian Reed
Ever since I read the latest version of Ms Marvel (Kamala Khan) I’ve been curious about the other Ms Marvel, Carol Danvers, who has a cameo in Khan’s story. Confusing eh? Yeah so was I!
What I like about Danvers is that before she got he superpowers she already was tough and had a kickass job flying fighter jets and later working for military intelligence (Special Ops) before taking on the role of head of security at NASA. And it is around this time that she gains her superpowers. Please note that I’ve kinda put together that bit from what I’ve read in the seven volumes as well as from online sources.
I’m always confused by comics and the very many versions/reboots/plotlines that superheroes appear in. Danvers also has been known as Warbird, Binary and Captain Marvel (!). So I just went with what was available on Scribd. But from what I understand Carol Danvers has appeared in Avengers comics, Captain Marvel and more. And these volumes that I read follow on from an alternate-reality story House of M in which Danvers was one of the world’s top superheroes.
What I liked was all the drama of being a superhero. Not the fighting aliens and baddies bits but her having a PR agent, meeting this guy, going out on a date.
What I didn’t like – how she’s drawn and that ridiculous costume of hers. I mean isn’t that sash like a potential crime-fighting hazard?
Lumberjanes #1 to #10
How I adore Lumberjanes! I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of camp. It’s not something that you find in Singapore which is where I grew up. In the first place Singapore doesn’t have summer – it’s near the equator so it’s hot all year round. So our June and December holidays are about a month each, there are a few more weeks of school break here and there but nothing as long as the summer breaks here in the US.
But yes, as a kid in Singapore, the idea of summer camp always sounded rather fun to me.
Lumberjanes is the story of five best friends, who are campers at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. All kinds of weird stuff goes on at this camp. Magic foxes. Bear woman. Dinosaurs. Yup. It’s weird and so much “what the junk?” FUN!
I really like Noelle Stevenson’s work! She wrote the webcomic Nimona which I adored!
The Complete Essex County by Jeff Lemire
It was interesting to learn from Memory that Lemire is taking over Hawkeye. Mostly because one of the characters in Essex County, a young boy, loves superheroes. He wears a mask and cape and writes his own superhero comic when he’s not helping out at his uncle’s farm in rural Canada.
This is one of those graphic novels that’s about regular people. A small town in rural Ontario. A pair of hockey-playing brothers. A nurse who takes care of an old man who’s barely managing to look after himself. The stories at first seem separate but Lemire deftly weaves them together. It is a heartbreaking and emotional read. And I would definitely recommend it!
In the kitchen with Alain Passard: Inside the world (and mind) of a master chef by Christophe Blain and Alain Passard
Ok this one didn’t work so well as a digital read. the font was a bit small and cursive and I had to enlarge each page to read it properly. But it was a different – and good – read. Blain is given a look behind the scenes at Passard’s kitchen and gardens. Alain Passard is the chef-owner of three Michelin starred L’Arpège in Paris and is apparently quite known for his vegetable dishes. There isn’t an actual storyline, it is more like a series of observations that Blain makes from his perch in the small kitchen. But wow it is an insight into the mind of this culinary genius. I probably will never eat at L’Arpege so it was such fun to observe along with Blain. Blain also makes a visit to Passard’s gardens, which supply much of his restaurant’s vegetables.
My favourite parts were when the recipes included were ‘demonstrated’ in illustrations such as in the first image.
By the way, L’Arpege is the restaurant that Christopher and Lorelei supposedly dine at in Paris.
Love and Capes Vol 1: Do You Want To Know A Secret? by Thomas F. Zahler
Love and Capes Volumes 1 to 4 – Thomas F Zahler
Such fun this one! The Crusader is a Superman-like superhero. Flies, superhuman strength, super hearing, cape and all. And he even works as an accountant! His girlfriend is a regular non-superhero type who owns a bookstore! The Crusader has a superhero best friend, a rich playboy type who doesn’t really have superpowers but has fancy gadgets instead like Batman.
So first of all, hooray for having part of this set in a bookstore! And it’s funny too.
Among the things I really enjoy is that Zahler works a joke into every page.
And most of the actual superhero duties takes place off the page so what this book really is about is relationships. It’s a story about a guy and a girl who date. Except the guy happens to be a superhero that’s all.
This might be one of my favourite comics – ever!
It’s got great characters – not just The Crusader and Abby, but also I love Darkblade and his housekeeper! And Amazonia and Charlotte! It’s such fun and so full of heart.
All you need is kill 1 and 2 by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Ryosuke Takeuchi and Takeshi Obata
Please note that this title is NOT available from Scribd.
The Tom Cruise-Emily Blunt movie Edge of Tomorrow was based on this manga. The world is at war with an alien species and Keiji is a new recruit who is killed along with the rest of his unit on his very first day out on the battlefield. But wait, was it all a dream? He wakes up and lives the whole day again. It’s like a Groundhog Day meets War of the Worlds type of story. It’s violent but well-written, and I love that the hero of the battle is a petite woman named Rita. The story is rather different from the movie, especially Tom Cruise’s character (who is an arrogant Major who hasn’t seen combat but specialises in public relations for the military vs the original character who is just a regular recruit), so it was interesting to see how much they differed.
Girl in Dior – Annie Goetzinger
Now why aren’t there more fashion-related comics? This was a rather lovely one, originally in French I believe, that tells the story of the fictional character of Claire Nohant who starts out as a rookie fashion reporter at the Christian Dior show and ends up becoming one of his models. There’s little real storyline here, and Claire has less personality than Dior’s dresses. Sometimes I can’t tell her apart from the other models. But it is lovingly illustrated and filled with such gorgeous clothes! Although Goetzinger is a best-selling and respected graphic novelist in France (her first comic Casque d’or was published in 1977!) this is the first of her works published in English. Which is a pity because I would really love to read more of her comics – she’s even written a comic about George Sand!
Here’s an interview Goetzinger did with W Magazine that has more images from the book.
Abelard – Renauad Dillies
It’s such a cutely drawn comic that at first I thought it was meant for kids. I mean look at that bird! It’s so darling! And he’s so sweetly innocent, having grown up in a pastoral rural place where they go fishing and play cards and bask in the sun. It’s a story about Abelard who decides to go to America so that he can fly in an airplane. No one believes him about the airplanes. And he gets cheated when he tries to get on board a ship that’s sailing to America. A grouchy old bear befriends him and takes care of him. So it is cute and kind of sweet, as well as a little melancholy and perhaps a little tending towards over sentimental at parts. A whimsical read that’s not for children.