Seeing as how popular my 13 Comics To Read in 2013- Chacebook Edition post continues to be (its gotten even more hits since it went live than my posts about Rick Olney), I figure I should try to recommend other comic-books, specifically comics that prominently feature Black and other POC characters, and are published by independent publishers, instead of Marvel or DC Comics. So here are three comics that I own, and are all readily available digitally.
44 pages! Eve has an imagination that’s more than active – it can be downright dangerous! Working late at the costume super-store Halloween Land, she gets lost in her own thoughts until something goes bump in the night. The rubber masks and plastic novelties are coming to life, and Eve must face ghosts, goblins, and gorilla suits made real. High fantasy and heartbreak in an oversized holiday one-shot by BRANDON MONTCLARE (Fear Itself: Fearsome Four) and Eisner Award nominee Amy Reeder (Batwoman, Madame Xanadu).
Don’t let the fact that it’s a Halloween-themed book fool you, you can pick this book up and enjoy it no matter what time of the year it is. Also, don’t assume that it’s a “horror” book either, despite the subject matter. It’s closer to a fairy tale, really. Like a shorter version of a Wizard of OZ, or Alice in Wonderland type of story. The lead characters, EVE, is a woman that it not very satisfied with her life, until she is thrust into this adventure with living costumes, and learns something about herself along the way. Montclare’s story is fun, and Reeder’s art is a wonder to behold. I love it. 5 STARS
2/PILOT SEASON: SERAPH #1
The angelic warrior now known only as Seraph was once a sinner. After living a life of selfishness and sin, personal tragedy drove him to kill himself. Plucked on his way to Hell by Heaven, the man was made Heaven’s soldier in an endless battle. Charged with fighting an ancient war, but bound by God’s law, can Seraph triumph over opponents not restricted in the same way and regain his faith in the process? Creator LANCE BRIGGS (Chicago Bears) and writer PHIL HESTER (THE DARKNESS, Wonder Woman) are joined by artist JOSE LUIS (Justice League of America) deliver a story of personal loss and redemption wrapped in a rich supernatural mythos.
This was part of Top Cow Productions’ annual “Pilot Season” contest, where several one-shots are published, and whichever one sells the best gets launched as an ongoing. This one was from 2011, and it didn’t win, which I think is a darn shame, as I think it had much potential. I’ll admit, when I first heard of the basic premise, a Black man unjustly dies and is resurrected to now be an agent of the afterlife on Earth, my immediate reaction was: SPAWN? WEll, that is somewhat of an apt comparison, but in a good way, because in the early years, Spawn was awesome. The lead character is a man named DeSean Murray, he lived a hard life, his parents died of an unnamed illness, and he lost his sister to drugs, so one day he gave up on everything and tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head. But an angel from Heaven brought him back, and he was given given immense powers, enhances strength, and some kind of telekinesis, and he has this large cross tattoo on his back, that burns when there’s a need to confront evil, which is what guides him now. In this issue, while searching for the missing young daughter of a drug-addicted prostitute, he encounters a demonic figure who may have been behind the disappearance of DeSean’s own sister years ago. But his abilities are dependent on his faith and righteousness, so he must fight to not given into his feelings of anger or revenge, lest he become weaker.
Like I said, it’s shame this hasn’t been continued as a series, but this one issue at least contains one complete story with a beginning, middle, and end, therefor it’s still worth reading just for itself, and that’s why I recommend it. 4 STARS
In the crumbling, chaotic city now known as Rotten Apple, San Gee is hired by religious fanatics to find a lost, sacred artifact called the Bleeding Rock—but other strange sell-swords are also on the hunt for the priceless relic! A manic, Cannonball Run-style race for a mystical relic by writer Chuck Brown and artist Sanford Greene!
This is one tripped out book. Set in a dystopian future New York, the heroine is a teenage girl with awesome martial arts and swordsmen skills, who has to fight her way through zombies, mutants, living scarecrows and giant monsters, while being hunted by a group of mercenaries in horror masks. This is some fun stuff, you must get it, and I’d love to see more of this character in the future. 5 STARS
So there you go. Three cool comics that you can get right now, with ease. Presumably you’re reading this blog right now on a PC, laptop, or tablet, so now all you have to do is click a the links, and within a couple of minutes the comics will be right there on your screen, ready for you to enjoy.
And, okay, for those Luddites out there, who are resisting digital comics and insist on only reading books published on the remains of dead trees, hard copies of each of these can also be ordered via MyComicShop.com (see, I’m doing all I can, to make this as easy as possible for you people):