Best of 2017: Best Series

Series

We all love a good one-off or anthology, but it’s the thrill of a series that keeps us coming back to our comic shop week-in, week-out. Whether it’s a brand new creator-owned series or a staple of the big two, serialized storytelling allows for bigger casts, bigger worlds, and bigger adventures. That bigness was on full display this year, as series made grand statement after grand statement about what they were all about. These are our top 10 series of 2017.  Continue reading

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Best of 2017: Best Artists

Artists

Without artists, all of your favorite characters, scenes, costumes, and locations would just be words on a page. In short, they’re the ones that make comics comics. That’s a lot of responsibility, yet the best artists manage to juggle all of those tasks and inject some meaningful art and style into the proceedings. Whether its a subtle expression or a jaw-dropping action sequence, our favorite artists add the requisite magic to make their worlds and characters real. These are our top 10 artists of 2017. Continue reading

Best of 2017: Best Issues

Best Issues of 2017

Episodic storytelling is the name of the game in monthly comics. Month- or even multi-year-long arcs are fine, but a series lives and dies by its individual chapters. From self-contained one-offs to issues that recontextualize their respective series, this year had a ton of great issues. Whittling down those issues to a list was no easy task (and we look forward to hearing how your lists differ in the comments), but we would gladly recommend any (and all) of these issues without hesitation. These are our top 10 issues of 2017. Continue reading

Best of 2017: Best Covers

Best Covers of 2017

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. This year found us marveling at covers that weren’t just carefully designed and lushly colored, but that actually did a great deal of storytelling, cramming all of the drama, excitement and emotion of the whole issue into one succinct image. Some did it literally, some did it metaphorically, but all moved us in some way beyond simply broadcasting which of our favorite characters would appear in the issue. These are our top 10 covers of 2017. Continue reading

Godshaper 6: Discussion

by Spencer Irwin and Drew Baumgartner

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

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Spencer: It’s a marvelous thing to watch a series come into focus — to reach that eureka moment where you finally get what a creator is trying to say, where a series’ message finally clicks. Simon Spurrier and Jonas Goonface’s Godshaper 6 has been one of those moments for me, a finale that brings all the themes the series has been exploring together in a satisfying, yet completely unexpected fashion. Continue reading

Accepting or Rejecting our Personal Identities in Godshaper 5

by Spencer Irwin

This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Our race, sexuality, or gender are usually major parts of our personal identities, but because of the prejudiced society we live in, they can also end up as impediments in life if we’re non-white, queer, or non-cis/non-male — essentially, if we don’t meet the status quo. In Simon Spurrier and Jonas Goonface’s Godshaper, being a shaper has always worked as a metaphor for all these “other” identities, which makes Ennay’s reaction to an offer of a god of his own — which would free him from the stigma of being a shaper — all the more interesting. Continue reading

The Spectacular Status Quo in Godshaper 4

by Ryan Desaulniers

This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Godshaper weaves a tale of discrimination with gorgeous parallels to our current day within a new universe. Period. While parallels exist here between the “Dark Materials” series, the comic lives in its own plane, dealing with social issues in a novel, resonating way. While issue four does not break down any new walls in this series, the base-line for this comic is so consistent and lovely and revealing that I don’t even mind. Continue reading

The Role of Organized Religion in Godshaper 3

by Spencer Irwin

Godshaper 3

This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

I recently read Dear Prudence column featuring a letter from an atheist who still enjoyed going to church because of the traditions and social aspects. This probably seems almost blasphemous to those who look to religion as a path to salvation, but it turns out that there are many who look to religion to meet other needs entirely. Simon Spurrier and Jonas Goonface run with that idea in Godshaper 3, as they examine the role of organized religion in a world where everybody already has their own personal deity. Continue reading

Weekly Round-Up: Comics Released 5/10/17

Look, there are a lot of comics out there. Too many. We can never hope to have in-depth conversations about all of them. But, we sure can round up some of the more noteworthy titles we didn’t get around to from the week. Today, we discuss Godshaper 2, Green Valley 8, and Rock Candy Mountain 2. Also, we discussed Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel 1 on Friday, and will be discussing The Fix 9 on Tuesday, so come back for that! As always, this article contains SPOILERS. Continue reading

Godshaper 1

Today, Spencer and Michael are discussing Godshaper 1, originally released April 12th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Spencer: Power, as they say, makes the world go round. Whether it be fame, money, authority, or any other form of strength, some sort of power and influence is behind just about every dealing in the world, no matter how large or how small the stakes. Simon Spurrier and Jonas Goonface’s Godshaper aims to explore the nuances behind the use and abuse of power, but what’s remarkable is how the creative team does so, consolidating nearly all forms of power to one central metaphor: a personal god for each citizen whose might determines their standing in society. Continue reading