Gotham Central, Book Two: Jokers and Madmen (2009) Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, Michael Lark (DC Comics)
I’ve seen little of the new Gotham TV show, but what I’ve seen isn’t nearly as compelling as what Brubaker, Rucka and Lark have put together in Gotham Central, a gritty, no-nonsense police procedural that's mostly without Batman. This volume contains one of the best Joker stories you’ll find anywhere.
Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale (2010) Joss Whedon, Zach Whedon, Chris Samnee (Dark Horse)
This all-too-short book focuses on the character Shepard Book from Firefly and Serenity. The writing is good and Samnee’s work is always engaging, but I would’ve liked a little more content that delved just a bit deeper.
OMAC: One Man Army Corps (1974/2008) Jack Kirby (DC Comics)
Well, it's Jack Kirby, so you have to read it, right? OMAC, in this original incarnation, only ran for eight issues, and while the stories suffer from some pretty bad dialogue that plagued much of Kirby's later work, you just can't argue with his imagination and wild ideas. Mike Royer inked two of these issues, D. Bruce Berry the rest. A must for Kirby fans.
Southern Bastards, Vol. 1: Here Was a Man (2014) Jason Aaron, Jason Latour (Image)
Whether you have a connection to the South (like me) or not, Southern Bastards is book with solid storytelling that also touches on deeper issues without getting ridiculous. This probably won’t be for everyone, but if you’re familiar with Aaron’s previous work (Scalped, for instance), you’ll want to pick this one up.
Maddy Kettle: The Adventure of the Thimblewitch (J 2014) Eric Orchard
11-year-old Maddy is on a quest to rescue her parents from spider-goblins, scarecrow warriors and more. It’s a beautifully illustrated book, filled with weird images and creatures of wonder, but while this quest story has some good things going for it - especially a fearless protagonist - a lot of situations seem to get resolved rather easily. Still, this is an adventure aimed primarily at young readers and is a great reluctant reader book. I look forward to the next book in the series.
About this time next week, Derek and I should have a publisher spotlight podcast up at The Comics Alternative Podcast looking at several titles from Nobrow Press. Included in that discussion will be:
(In a Sense) Lost and Found (2014) Roman Muradov
Art Schooled (2014) Jamie Coe
Moonhead and the Music Machine (2014) Andrew Rae
Marx (NF 2014) Corrine Maier, Anne Simon
More from October next time. Let me know what you read last month.