The '80s were awesome: Dungeons & Dragons, government conspiracies, secret labs held by evil corporations, parallel universes, strange paranormal powers, monsters escaping into our world, Midwestern small town mysteries involving children, and rad synthesized music scores.
Petals by Gustavo Borges and Cris Peter is one of those books that, at first glance, appears deceptively simple. It’s not. The visual storytelling alone is complex and incredibly well crafted.
If you haven't seen the original Over the Garden Wall miniseries that aired on Cartoon Network, please stop whatever you are doing right now and go watch it. The whole series is the length of a single movie; an afternoon is all you need.
Sitting triumphantly on his command chair, Lord Morgan of the Black Sun Templars surveys the carnage around him during the battle of the White Monk’s citadel. Captain Janek offers his services to safeguard the malevolent leader who overconfidently replies back, “No need. The Black Knight already killed all incoming reinforcements. They’re out of surprises.” What proceeds to follow for the remainder of issue five, the final issue of book one of Sword of Ages, is nothing but continuous surprises.
I’m not a scholar of old English poetry by any means, but what I’ve read I’ve loved. I love how the words make you feel breathless. They elevate the events of the story to the point of being mythic. The Worm Ouroboros was one of the most unique reading experiences I’ve ever had. Heroes with the stature of mountains surmounting practically impossible tasks; they are almost god-like. This graphic novel adaptation of Beowulf from writer Santiago García creates an equally breathless feeling within me, and that’s in a large part thanks to the lush artwork of David Rubín.
Issue five of Coda is Simon Spurrier at his finest. Over the course of the first four issues, Spurrier has set up and filled in this world little by little with eccentricities and oddities, all making sense within the rules of the world he’s created. The world is post-fantasy, as if the magic in Lord of the Rings was stripped away and Terry Gilliam got hold of what remained and turned it into a George Miller-esque Road Warrior fight for what little magic remains. It’s a freaking romp.
Black Badge #2 from the Eisner-nominated team of Grass Kings - Matt Kindt, Tyler Jenkins, and Hilary Jenkins - swings into some dark territory by the end, especially considering that the heroes of this book are elite Boy Scouts.