Staff Picks – Week of 18/10/2017

The Ghost of Gaudi
El Torres (w), Jesus Alonso Iglesias (a)
Eurocomics

Thomas says: I must confess that I’m not usually a big fan of El Torres’ work, at least based on the few things that I’ve read of his. I’m thinking primarily of Veil and the abominable Nancy in Hell books but i picked this up based initially on the gorgeous art from Iglesias and the vague synopsis. The book looked and sounded like it might be just my kind of thing.

I’m usually a big sucker for crime stories where the ‘every-man’ (in this case a woman) is swept up in events beyond their experience, forced to take a long hard look at the darkness in the world outside of their safe little bubble and if they walk away stronger for it at the end, then all the better as far as I’m concerned.

Superficially there’s a bit of a Mister X feel to the book in terms of the living city, pulp trappings though i might be projecting there but the story moves at a solid pace and never once feels rushed. I thoroughly enjoyed this for both the story and, especially, for the beautiful art and happily recommend it to anyone who will listen.

The Mighty Thor #700
Jason Aaron (w), Various (a)
Marvel Comics

Liz says: Jason Aaron’s Thor has been a consistently great book, but every now and then he surpasses himself with an issue that just blows me away. Issue #700 is a reminder of what a fantastic storyteller he is, and the (thirteen!) different artists he works with on it all rise to the occasion.

The legacy issue #700 is about the nobility, grandeur and tragedy of being a Thor. Aaron’s run has emphasized the number of ‘Thors’ that have existed before and introduced a few of his own. The most famous of these is Thor Odinson, who in this issue finds himself in the Nornkeep at the base of Yggdrasil, where the Dark Elf Malekith is preparing an attach on the Norns. The Norns (also known as the Fates) must be protected at all costs.

Meanwhile, we get a different take on Thor vs. Hulk when Jane comes across a raging Jennifer Walters. This was a wonderful subplot. Jennifer is suffering post-traumatic stress and is out of control, unable to control her power. Thor, the only one strong enough to face her, tries to help her.

On a more lighthearted note, we get a Throg story! If you didn’t know that there’s a Thor who’s also a frog, you my friend are about to be in for a treat.

There are other subplots featuring Loki, Volstagg, and many more beloved characters. All of these stories intertwine and culminate to great effect.

If you’re not reading Jason Aaron’s Thor, read this as a standalone. It will make you realize that you’ve been missing something special.

Rugrats #1
Box Brown (w), Lisa DuBois (a)
Boom! Studios (Kaboom!)

Ryan says: So yeah, I’m an animation fiend. I grew up in the early ’90s, when the industry was at an all-new high point, a new renaissance in childrens’ television. Channels like Disney, Fox Kids, Cartoon Network and indeed Nickelodeon (although most of us couldn’t get them without a satellite dish) were churning out instant hit after instant hit – and one of the most charming and funny shows was Klasky Csupo’s Rugrats.

Fortunately Kaboom! has picked up the license, and, helmed by Box Brown, faithfully captures all the humour and imagination of the original animated series. There are slightly more contemporary gags included within this incarnation, but it doesn’t detract from the adventure. The whole thing is finished off expertly by Lisa DuBois’ art which, although somewhat stylistically different, adapts the characters and tone with apparent ease.

Whether you know the series or not, Rugrats is wonderfully put together and a thoroughly enjoyable read for all ages. Besides, how can you not love Reptar?!

Sex Fantasy
Sophia Foster-Dimino
Koyama Press

Will says: Koyama is the gift that keeps on giving. Another beautiful book had me head over heels from just staring at the cover. Sex Fantasy is not what you may assume is about derived from it’s title, but rather it is a collection of personal interactions and accounts exploring relationships and our own identity. Evocative, deep and moving, Sophia’s ability to tell so much with so little is astounding.