Staff Picks – Week of 12/06/2019

Spider-Man: Life Story #4
Chip Zdarsky (w), Mark Bagley (a)
Marvel Comics

Scott says: It’s been an up and down ride for me with Life Story thus far. Some of the themes have washed over me, I was uneasy with a few of the continuity tweaks, and I’m not particularly one for Bagley’s art… or so I thought.

See, as it turns out, Mr Bagley’s been stealthily infiltrating my sensibilities for months now and it’s only with this issue that I’ve realised, when staring at his anguished Ben Reilly towards this issue’s conclusion, that I actually lowkey dig Bagley’s art now. A lot of the action sequences are clunky and some of his characters look a little too similar for my attention span, but ultimately I love the way this book looks, having done a great job of setting itself apart from everything else Marvel is putting out at the moment bar Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys…

Add that to the consistently splendid All-New All-Drama Zdarsky and the colossal amount of emotion, guilt, yearning and pathos in this issue, and you’ve got another splendid chapter in the lives of Pete Parkour et al.

Marvel Monograph: Art of Humberto Ramos
Humberto Ramos
Marvel Comics

Paul says: This caught my eye on the trades shelf this week. I’m not usually a fan of books covering a single artists work, but I’ve been a fan of Ramos’ art since his days doing Out There over at Image so I just had to give this a look.

Ramos’ work is always striking. His style one that instantly blends humanity and comedy. His limbs branch in interesting ways, his faces full of expressive extremity. His main strength (for me) is that he lets character bleed out into every inch of the frame, every inch of the figure. You can see the life and energy all the way through the panel.

His details are nice, giving away tiny moments in panels that otherwise might be static and uninteresting, making them breathe. Nearly all of the art here is Spider-Man centric, which allows Ramos style full reign. Most of all, it’s fun. Even in some of the darker stories, Ramos has a knack for joy and his straightforward, clear panelling keeps the context and intentions clear at all times. Come get this and remind yourself how much comics can be!