Wednesday's New Things: The Shortest Distance Between Point A and Point B, No Matter How Far You've Gone

Let's get mathy...

Displacement by Lucy Knisley 
I had the good fortune to read this book's twin, An Age of License, just after the new year. That book is about what happens after we grow up, and Displacement is its other side, what happens when our loved ones grow old. Knisley's work, delicately colored and generally free of the visual structure provided by panels, has an easy touch, but also hits right where it hurts-- something about just how diagrammatic it is, something about how all the open space draws you in, something about her inward focus, makes for very effective memoir, like Lucy Knisley's books are, more or less, guides to being Lucy Knisley. I'm looking forward to this one. Preview here

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

Help Us! Great Warrior by Madeleine Flores, colors by Trillian Gunn
Speaking of McCloud, one of the things he talked about on Sunday, something I didn't write about yesterday, was the fact that, for aspiring cartoonists, putting your work out online is never a bad idea. If it's good, if it's interesting, if people like it, then either companies will come calling or you'll be able to put the work out yourself. Help Us! Great Warrior is a good example; formerly a webcomic, Flores has recently been working for Nickelodeon, and also managed to get Boom to put out her sweet and funny comic in physical format. Seems like a win win.

The Empty by Jimmie Robinson 
It's curious that comics haven't really embraced the trends that have emerged from YA literature over the last decade or so and then proliferated into television and movies, notably dystopian fiction and vampires. You see bits and pieces, here and there, and, as the eighties showed, any world with superheroes in it is, in one respect or many, a dystopian one. Jimmie Robinson's The Empty doesn't quite fit in with that paradigm, seeming to align more in tone with sci-fi comics like Prophet and Saga, but, from the preview, it does seem to share the deep darkness and cynicism of the former genre. I've never read Robinson's long running Bomb Queens, but The Empty, with its wide open imagination and its melodramatic beats, seems like its worth a look.

Satellite Sam, written by Matt Fraction, art by Howard Chaykin
Satellite Sam's third act is upon us. In some ways, I think the television murder mystery represents the positive side of a shift, as of maybe 18 months ago, to a later stage in Matt Fraction's career, in which he's only working on projects he really cares about (and, not coincidentally, that are largely creator owned). This book, too, has grown up a lot-- I found Chaykin's black and white art hard to follow in the beginning, and several of the characters hard to tell apart, but he quickly straightened everything out. I've been trade waiting this one; I think perhaps it's time to catch up.   

Darth Vader #1, written by Kieron Gillen, art by Salvador Lorroca, color by Edgar Delgado
The great licensing comic conundrum returns! Gillen is usually an auto buy for me, although this is the second of his recent comics about which I'm unsure (the first being Angela: Asgard's Assassin). I have no doubt that this comic is good, and I bet Sal Lorroca's sheen is perfect for it, but at $4.99 I think I'll see if I can't read someone else's copy. Preview here.

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