I’m so happy that #StoriesMatter to me. That I can pick up an issue of a comic book by one of my favorite writers, knowing that I’m going to be taken someplace completely unexpected. That’s how I always feel reading a book by Simon Spurrier.
Having relished his previous series, Coda, I was 100% ready to dive into his next creator-owned project. Here it is: Alienated - a sci-fi take on what it means to be a loner in high school. The first page of this issue will never prepare you for the final page, and that’s what I love!
While this is not the penultimate issue, Ronin Island’s end is drawing nigh. All of the forces are converging on the island of refugees that our young heroes have so bravely sought to protect. Hana and Kenichi, beginning this story just as they became adults, were put to a much bigger test than the those faced by the island. Fighting against and for a new Shogunate, fighting against and for each other, every step of the way they have learned something new about themselves and what it means to sacrifice for a greater cause.
It’s not often these days that I’ll see a movie in the theatre more than once. Who has time? It has to be something really special - truly unique - to draw me back in for a repeat, big-screen presentation. I just finished my second viewing of Richard Stanley’s Color Our of Space, based on the H.P. Lovecraft short story. I fell immediately in love with the film, which I had incredibly high expectations for upon my first viewing. The second viewing not only confirmed that love, but nourished it.
The After Realm is a well-written tale from one of my favorite artists: Michael Avon Oeming. While the first 99% of the story tackles what is a fantasy adventure tale about a young Elven ranger named Oona, the final page of the comic opens the flood gates to what might be a pretty bonkers, post-fantasy world overridden by the elements of chaos.
Gideon Falls hits a crossroads as it wraps up its fourth story arc. The great evil known as the Smiling Man is getting ever closer to what he wants: Danny. The rest of the characters try their damnedest to fight back. Although, how do you grapple with something that lies beyond comprehension? Is a victory a real victory? Is a defeat a real defeat? My mind is bent. Every step that creators Lemire, Sorrentino, Stewart, and Wand take is even more unexpected than the previous one. This is storytelling on a mythic scale. At the same time, it never loses sight of the personal journeys of its characters within this expansive, breathtaking puzzle.
James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’edera’s Something Is Killing the Children is wicked, wonderful fun. After setting up chess pieces and moving them strategically for the last four issues, the first climatic battle is taking place in issue 5. From everything the first four issues set up, it’s everything you would hope it to be.
I’m honestly not sure what to do with the information that has been presented in the penultimate issue of the phenomenal sci-fi adventure series, The Weatherman.
With Fanbase Press’ #StoriesMatter initiative, the staff is being challenged to look more deeply at the stories we consume to examine how they affect us personally and to pinpoint their relevance in the grander scheme of things, because, ultimately, stories do matter, and comic books continue to herald some of the best stories we have today.
Folktales are important. They teach us about the many faces of good and evil. They teach us about ourselves and the foibles of humanity. They are cautionary. They pique the darkest recesses of our imagination to scare us into making wise decisions. Fanbase Press, with its #StoriesMatter initiative, is inviting yours truly and all of its staff to dig into why stories matter to us, and in broader strokes, what they mean to our culture, our history, or whatever the story inspires us to talk about. With Folklords, I can’t think of a better writer or a better story to begin delving into this goal.
I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about my favorite fictional universes - about what science fiction specifically means to me. It might be because the Skywalker saga came to an end, and that was one of the big stories that first captured my imagination when I was no older then 6. There’s Ray Bradbury, the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender and Korra, Alejandro Jodorowsky, to name a few. Amidst those few and far between, one name from recent years continues to find space in my mind, and that is the words and worlds of Matt Kindt.