Comics round-up!

The recent launch of Book Riot’s sister site, Panels, plus the many comics posts of folks like Sarah and Andi and Memory, have put more new comics on my radar than I have the money to keep up with. But now and then my library abruptly has all the comics I have been wanting, and then I get to do a jolly little binge. So here’s what I’ve been reading:

Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson

This is the same Noelle Stevenson of Lumberjanes fame! And, okay, this isn’t something the library had, because the print edition of Nimona won’t exist until May. It began its life as a webcomic about a girl called Nimona who shows up to be the sidekick to an arch-villain named Ballister. He isn’t in the market for a sidekick, and she is a powerful, bloodthirsty shapeshifter. It is all the best all the time, and the author’s comments under each day’s page are wonderful too. Here is a sample page that will demonstrate the delightfulness of the series as a whole.

(Note: One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to read more webcomics. I have already accomplished that! HA!)

The Manhattan Projects, Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra

“What if the research and development department created to produce the first atomic bomb was a front for a series of other, more unusual, programs?” Hey, yeah! And what if those other programs involved aliens and monks and doors to other worlds and a bitter Albert Einstein and Wernher von Braun but absolutely no ladies? Would a lady comics fan such as myself find this annoying?

Yes. As it turns out, she would.

Pretty Deadly, vol.1, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Ríos

Not what I expected! When the world said, “Death’s daughter in the Wild West,” I pictured a comic rather brighter-eyed and bushier-tailed than this turned out to be. If that sounds like a loony expectation for a book about Death, please note that DeConnick’s Captain Marvel — while certainly dark in spots — is on the whole a cheerful and bantery run of comics.

Anyway, this isn’t. It’s got the bloody-minded fatedness of a Greek tragedy and the do-what-you-have-to morality of an Elmore Leonard novel. Strange, dark, and beautiful, but nowhere near fun.

Rat Queens, vol. 1, by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch

The blogosphere is so high on Rat Queens I don’t even remember where I heard about it first. The elevator pitch is, it’s a bunch of diverse, hard-ass lady mercenaries doing adventures. After that I don’t know what else there is to say. It’s fun, it’s profane, it’s about fighting women who are fiercely loyal to each other. And the first volume ends with a nice little cliffhanger. More please!

  • Lately, I have been reading more comics too and it feels good to return to this medium after so long! I haven’t read Rat Queens yet but it sounds like a must-read! Diverse hard-ass lady mercenaries doing adventures? Sign me up!

    • Gin Jenny

      I know! It’s totally fun! I can’t wait for the next trade paperback to come out.

  • I was just telling a friend the other day that I couldn’t quite trace the comics explosion in my world lately, but I think you nailed it – Panels plus all those wonderful bloggers and more have a lot to answer for 😛 Anyway, yay, comics! Pretty Deadly is dark and beautiful indeed – the best way I could describe it when I read it was, “it’s like a Nick Cave song minus the occasional random misogyny”. And I got Rat Queens this week! I’m super excited to read it. I’m waiting for Nimona to be out physically, but I strongly suspect I’m going to love it too.

    • Gin Jenny

      Yay comics! I’m so into it! I can rely on awesome recommendations for comics any time I run out! And I think you will looooove Nimona when it comes out.

  • Isn’t Rat Queens fun? I believe the next volume is due out in May. I’ll have to look for the others you mention, I’ve not read any of them.

    • Gin Jenny

      Do! Especially Nimona, I absolutely loved it.

  • “And what if those other programs involved aliens and monks and doors to other worlds and a bitter Albert Einstein and Wernher von Braun but absolutely no ladies?”

    I… have never noticed this. Holy crap. I’m so used to science being a sausage fest I didn’t even notice it in the comics. Okay, I’m still gonna read it because I love the zany science and ridiculousness… not I’m slapping myself on the hand too.

    • Gin Jenny

      It probably caught me at a bad time, this comic — I had just read Rat Queens and was feeling very “ladies in comics! Yeah!” about everything. :p

  • Heather

    RAT QUEENS!!!! WOOT!

    • Gin Jenny

      YAYYYYYYY

  • aartichapati

    Yay comics! I don’t even follow Panels, so obviously I’ve been missing out on a whole lot of potential here. I’ll have to course adjust and catch up! 🙂

    • Gin Jenny

      Oh, yeah, you should definitely be following them. Very often it just gives me wistful feelings about comics my library won’t order for ages and ages, but still! I like to have the recommendations.

  • Hurray for comics, and ESPECIALLY FOR NIMONA OMG. It’s on my Hugo ballot this year. I desperately want it to make it onto the final slate so everyone will read it and know how awesome it is.

    I’m bummed about THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS. I got it as part of the Humble Bundle and I feel markedly less enthusiastic about it now I know it’s all dudes, all the time. I’ve been reading so many great comics with lots of women in them that it feels weird to think that isn’t necessary the case with all comics, everywhere.

    I get sooooo many recommendations from Panels. Soooo many. Although, they were also the ones that gave me the sorta-kinda spoiler about SAGA VOLUME FOUR, so I sometimes proceed with caution when they talk about newer comics.

    • Gin Jenny

      Look, I dunno, try The Manhattan Projects. Don’t just listen to me. It just felt like a bummer that it was all dudes, and all white, and I wanted there to be more awesome diversity in this science world. Plus, honestly, the story just wasn’t grabbing me. So it was a combination of things.

      What did they spoil about Saga? PS this reminds me that a new issue of Saga probably came out earlier this month, and I was too busy to notice, and now I am going to read it as a treat to myself on my lunch hour tomorrow. Woot.