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!