Another week, another round of reads dear readers! We've combed the shelves at our local shops and rummaged through the backwaters of the internet to find the best, the bizarre, and the brutal. This week , David pines for some atomic history, I tackle some of Michael Cho’s older work, and Patrick comes to terms with his Conan obsession (if you consider continuing his compulsive enjoyment of the title “coming to terms with it”).
Join us! And as always, feel free to tell us about your favorite reads of the week in the comments down below.
Anthony Rosen // Clinically Concise
Papercut, written and drawn by Michael Cho, was a collection of short stories published over on the Transmission X Website from 2007 to 2008. Each story tackled a different subject and story, from the daft and zany the Lonely Monkey to the depressingly insightful Waiting. Michael Cho’s Trinity is a considerably more concise look at the events than Jonathan Fetter-Vorm's work, but Cho’s distinct coloring and washed-out style delivers its own suitably thought-provoking and visually striking take.
Plus it’s free. Check it out at the Transmission X site.
Patrick Smith // Reliably Verbose, Relatably Engrossed
Alright, I swear after this week I wont talk about Conan the Barbarian for a while (unless PBS green lights that "Conan's Corner" show I keep pitching, which would consist of me telling a bunch of small impressionable children what’s best in life), but this book is just too good not to praise. From issue one, Brian Wood has been structuring this book as the story of a budding relationship between a boy and a girl with all the basic beats of a long form romance. Starting with boy meets girl (issues one through three), the first date (issues four through six), and now with issue seven we have the boy introducing the girl to the folks. However, the boy in this scenario is a marauding murder machine, the girl is a psychotic pirate queen, and the folks are village elders who inform the boy that his identity has been stolen by another equal (if not more out and out malicious) murder machine. That’s pretty amazing, even before you add the fact that Becky Cloonan is back for this issue, and surprise surprise she's great. This issue gives her a much more subdued story than the previous arc she was involved in, but it doesn't make her art any less compelling. Take for example, the scene where Conan’s mother meets Belit. Cloonan gives the mother both a steely resolve that makes it clear this is the woman who gave birth to Conan, and a look of out and out contempt which she directs tightly at Belit. Women have always been an intricate part of Conan’s characterization, but those women were always goals to be rescued, defeated, or bedded (and sometimes all three). In his relationship with Belit, we're seeing Conan dealing with romantic drama for the first time. With each subsequent issue it begins to feel more and more real, and damn if it doesn't make for a compelling read.
Beth Scorzato // Just Likes Alliteration
I've been going through and re-reading all of Chi's Sweet Home this week, since I picked up three more volumes when I was at SDCC. I'm not typically a manga fan but I AM a cat fan (you can ask the one that's currently sitting partially on my keyboard) so it works out nicely. It's spot on and adorable and if you're looking for something light, sweet and all-ages appropriate I would suggest picking it up. It's a Vertical book so I know I've seen it at my LCBS.
I also re-read Kitty & Dino (and by re-read I mean read to my nephew) and while not strictly a comic book it IS a graphic work and is similarly adorable, with phenomenal artwork by Sara Richard. And a cat. And a freaking dinosaur.