Wednesday's New Things: Big Monsters, Big Egos

1) If there's one comic that's not going to get enough press this week, it's this one, from Brazilian cartoonist Gustavo Duarte. I'm very careful about unconditional recommendations, but Duarte's stuff is as close as I'll come. Almost wordless, his comics are carried on the strength of a visual style anchored by clean lines and clean compositions, extraordinarily emotive with neither a line amiss nor a single detail too much. That efficiency belies a particularly expansive imagination, one that values wonder over all else and has to be seen to be believed. I own most of his output in original Brazilian editions, purchased from Duarte at two separate NYCCs. Among those is "Monsters," featured here, a kind of interesting and clever version of Pacific Rim. Also included is a story, "Po," which I haven't been able to get my hands on yet. Originally released as a minicomic, I came to Duarte too late to have acquired a copy on the primary market. That was several years ago; as you can imagine, I'm eager to finally get my hands on it. I'd have preferred the inclusion of the charming "Taxi" rather than the morbid "Birds," but, at, $12.99, the price is right. 

2) Speaking of almost unconditional recommendations, you won't go wrong with Francesco Francavilla's Black Beetle comics. Francavilla is one of mainstream comics' true talents, and you can find his work in all sorts of projects, from After Life With Archie, to the-beloved-by-me Black Panther: Man Without Fear series, to this creator-owned joint. Here, Francavilla writes and draws and, although his dialogue can be stilted, the art, both creative and restrained, should be enough to keep you interested. You can also pick up the collected edition of the first Black Beetle mini, No Way Out

3) Look, Stuart Moore's Egos is basically a Prophet knock off, with a slight soap opera twist:  
Years ago, The Earth/Galactic Operatives defeated Masse, a sentient, hungry galaxy—but now Masse has returned, consuming entire planets and killing millions of people. Deuce, an aging hero, decides to reform his old team and go into battle to save the day. But in order to do that, he must cross a line with Pixel, his wife and former teammate, an act that threatens to tear apart the life they've built together. 

I mean, come on, you can't get a whole lot closer than that. Even Gus Storms's (what a fabulous name) art looks a little bit like sometimes-Prophet artist Simon Roy, although the lines are little more direct. Still, there's a lot to be said for looking at the same subject from a different angle, and, with Prophet's end nigh, Egos may be a half way decent substitute. 

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