Third Quarter Reading Recommendations, 2015

The third quarter of 2015 has found me virtually unemployed, so this list includes a lot of back issues I have obtained through trade, peppered with a few new titles.

List items

  • Lori Petty reemerged on the third season of Orange is the New Black (after an episode or two early in Season 2), but the Jamie Hewlett creation that made her a pop-culture phenom also reappeared in 2015 in this new Titan book. Fun, weird, cool=the three things most of my friends treasure in comics. Pick it up if you do, too.

  • I came to psyche myself up for the upcoming Archie/Ramones crossover in 2016, but I stayed for Mark Waid's writing and Fiona Staple's art, a surprisingly winning combination.

  • Sorry, Dre, but Lobot has much sweeter headphones. The first issue of this series went down like the smooth taste of an ice cold Colt 45. Will read more.

  • Why isn't this book a cult classic?? Jim Starlin, the man responsible for your precious damn Thanos, and Bernie Wrightson??? This four-issue limited came out around the same time as Batman: The Cult, and features an extradimensional being busting his chops to save the world! He beats the entire Justice League and Superman single-handedly before the climax of this book. I don't understand what more comic fans could want out of a book... Rob Liefeld?

  • I don't like what Dan Slott because of the frequent rape of Spider-Man, but I do like what he's doing here. Rather than be original, Slott has tapped into the popularity of Doctor Who and given the Surfer a companion and sent him off on weirdo misadventures. However, it's fun and Mike Allred (Madman, iZombie) is doing the art, so be as derivative as you like, Slott. Just don't kill off the Surfer's psyche and stick, I dunno, Captain Reptyl or somebody in his head.

  • Picked up some early issues in a trade. Grant Morrison's superb storytelling, Brian Bolland covers, and a whole lot of weird (no relation to The Weird, above) makes this one of my favorite comics ever. Morrison taps into issues and ethos that other superhero books are even now, decades later, still struggling to apprehend. Good stuff, yo.

  • A short (8-issue) run, but fun with slick interior art by Glenn Fabry. It's rare to see him do more than cover art. Slaine is not some blatant Conan rip-off, but an original fantasy character. The book does not lack in depth or complexity, and if you should chance upon it, it's worth picking up.

  • Manfred von Richthofen is the Red Baron in history (REAL history, fanboys), and Enemy Ace is his DC Comics' counterpart. This issue of DC Special made me miss Joe Kubert and gave me new appreciation for his art.

  • Frannk Thorne's four-issue limited through the late and lamented Comico may not be the easiest book to find, but for fans of the artist of Marvel's original Red Sonja run, this book is worth the Amazon and eBay hunt.

  • I have been hunting down all of the John Byrne issues (232-293)specifically [not the issues he wrote (294-295) and not the issues in which he was the guest artist, just the issues in which the FF were his artistic muse]. # 246 was one of the first comics I remember from the 1980s, and it captured my imagination and drew me deep into the warm embrace of comicdom from which I will never, ever emerge. I want that feeling back. Keep your secret convergences; I want the Marvel I fell in love with as a boy.