DC has staked their claim on the month of September. Two years ago saw the relaunch of the entire publishing line, and last year saw special “zero” issues for every series. This year, DC is releasing 52 issues featuring villains, old and new, from the DC Universe. There’s no one-for-one correspondence to existing series, and DC hasn’t been the most forthcoming with information about what exactly they’re putting out. There’s a lot to sort through here and no easy answers for what’s going to be worth our time and money. Welcome to the Chat Cave. Continue reading →
We generally avoid quantifying our enthusiasm around here — we’ll gladly praise or condemn comics as our tastes dictate, but turning that into a grade or a score makes us uncomfortable. As there are in our pull-list, there are holes in this ‘Best of’ list. Mea culpa. We’ve had some great experiences with comics this year, and these are the series that were consistently fun, thoughtful and beautiful. Too subjective for a year-end list? Ignore the rankings. Any way you slice it, these are fantastic series that deserve the scrutiny we heap on everything. Each is a rewarding read and well worth your attention. Our picks for the top 12 series of 2012:
You know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but that doesn’t mean you can’t judge the cover on its own merit. Some covers are so excellent that they back all the drama, excitement and emotion of the whole issue into one succinct image. Sometimes they end up being their own surreal experience. And other times, we’re just exciting to see our favorite heroes kicking ass one more time. These are our top 12 most awesome, creative and graphic covers of 2012.
Well, 2012 is coming to a close, and you know what that means — year end “best of” lists! We’ve got our share of those coming to you soon, but we wanted to start things out with a nod to those writers and artists excelling at a particularly 2012 task — engaging with their audience via social media. Time was, you might only ever get a chance to interact with your favorite comics creators if they happened to be attending a con near you, but technology (for better or for worse) has now put them only a few clicks away. Still, some manage it better than others, and we wanted to take a moment to single out those creators that have gone above and beyond with crafting an inviting, entertaining twitter presence. Here it is, our Top 12 Best Creator Twitter Feeds of 2012. Continue reading →
Today, (guest writer) Courtney Ehlers and Drew are discussing Batwoman 0, originally released September 19th, 2012. Batwoman 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Courtney: I don’t much care for plot in fiction. There is enough cause-and-effect to parse out in real life, and I would rather just trust fiction-writers to operate within their own made-up rules and make all the numbers add up on their own. I want to stare out the window of the car and appreciate the landscape without worrying about whether we missed our exit, and Batwoman 0 allows me to do exactly that. Continue reading →
At San Diego Comic Con this year, Vertigo made the surprising announcement that Neil Gaiman will be writing a new Sandman story arc, with Retcon Punch favorite J. H. Williams, III. Even though we don’t currently cover any Vertigo titles, Gaiman’s return to this game-changing, original, and incredibly unique title is definitely worthy of a discussion. What have been the fan reactions? What does DC’s current preponderance of prequels reflect of the current state of the industry? Are you incredibly excited for this dynamic artistic team-up? Retcon Punchers sound off: Welcome to the Chat Cave.
Shelby: I am stupid excited for a new Sandman story. When Patrick first started talking to me about working on this site, my response was, “DC Comics are great, when will we talk about Sandman?” The universe Gaiman created is unlike any other I have ever experienced, except maybe in other Gaiman books. He has a great way of blending multiple cultures’ mythologies; I never would have guessed stories featuring the Muses of the Greeks could exist next to stories of Odin and Thor, and that it would all work. What really intrigues me, though, is the comparison of fan reactions between this prequel (super positive) and the Before Watchman prequels (often negative).
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Batgirl 12, originally released August 8th, 2012.
Shelby: I am no stranger to the feeling of being unable to put a book down. There are some authors out there whose stories get their hooks in your brain; as you read, you reach a point of no return, a point that leaves you still reading at 2:30 AM on a work night because you just HAVE to know what happens next. Luckily for me, Batgirl is doled out in little bite-sized portions once a month, otherwise I would quickly reach that point. This title is so good, I can’t tear my eyes away.
Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Batwoman 9, originally released May 16th 2012.
Drew: Last month, I was pretty hard on Batwoman. The gambit of dividing the story into six discrete narratives necessarily forces the plot to only be advanced incrementally in each. That, I’m fine with, but when every story hit the emotional doldrums simultaneously, the result is an issue that strains to justify its existence. This month, writers J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman find the emotional through-line issue 8 was lacking, crafting a meaningful rumination on the nature of loyalty. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Batwoman 8, originally released April 11th 2012.
Patrick: Every time I pick up an issue from this arc of Batwoman, I have to retrain my brain on how to read this thing. The defining characteristic of this story has been a fractured chronology that essentially demands to be re-read over and over again until the pieces fit. Whenever I assemble the pieces and take a step back, more connections become apparent and the complexity of the narrative grows. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Batwoman 6, originally released February 8th, 2012.
Patrick: Batwoman #6 opens close on the Bat symbol on Kate Kane’s chest. Subtitles indicate that we are reading “Batwoman’s Story. Now.” Setting and protagonist are stated up-front in writing because we won’t be with this person, or in this time, for very long. The rest of the 22-page issue touches on the story of 5 other characters as related to the kidnapping and murder of children by members of Medusa and the origin of the La Llorona myth. It is a dizzying exercise in perspective and chronology that skips wildly between characters and locales. Some of the stories offer new perspective on events that unfolded in the five issues that proceeded it, while others (those presented as “Now”) seem to have skipped ahead in time to a climactic battle for the safety of the kidnapped children. Continue reading →