A tone-deaf Marvel doubles down on Civil War II’s Nazi agenda

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: In the aftermath of a civil war between two gangs of superheroes, the victor is elevated to a place of authority at the cost of the respect of the gangs’ peers, while the vanquished enjoys a moral victory in death. That was the ending of the original Civil War in 2007 and also…

Creep yourself out with the spooky comic book Touching Evil

Comic book horror tends to fall into one of two general categories: gore or psychological. It’s tough to do jump scares in comics, but in the last few years creators have become increasingly good at building anticipation and unleashing fear in measured, careful bites. Touching Evil Volume 1: Curse Escapes (Beardo…

Mental illness is a fluorescent storm in the challenging Our Mother

The cover of Luke Howard’s Our Mother (Retrofit Comics) features a woman’s face—the titular mother. Her head has been enlarged, but her features have remained at an otherwise-proportional size, almost as if something is growing inside of her, expanding, preparing to auto-evacuate at the expense of this woman’s life.…

The Beyond anthology is an excellent showcase of queer sci-fi and fantasy

With access to the internet and, in particular, crowdfunding websites, the “if you don’t like what’s being published, make your own comic” attitude has begun to change the momentum of the entire comic industry. Independent creators can fill niches left empty and make the kind of content they wish they saw more of. So, …

Yumi Sakugawa’s sublime Ikebana takes full advantage of the comics medium

Your Illustrated Guide To Becoming One With The Universe cartoonist Yumi Sakugawa writes primarily with metaphors. There is an ambiguity and a complexity to everything she does. Ikebana (Retrofit)—a story about Cassie Hamasaki and her art school senior thesis, and the cartoonist’s most recent release—is no different.

Jim Gordon steps into Batman’s shoes and Grant Morrison’s Annihilator concludes

Jim Gordon as a mech-suit-wearing Batman officially sanctioned by the Gotham City Police Department is the kind of idea that probably started off as a joke in a development meeting. Gordon is the main character on a network TV series, so how can he have a bigger part in the Batman comics? Why not throw him in a suit…

Wytches feeds on fear, Snackies satisfies, and Mowgli’s Mirror reflects absurdity

Scott Snyder can sell books without anybody’s help. He’s built a reputation for storytelling that’s kept him in Batman books for years, to say nothing of the fans he’s earned with Swamp Thing and The Wake. But when the announcement came that he was working with previous partner-in-crime Jock on a new horror comic, the…

New releases include Grayson, The Life After, and How To Be Happy

The buzz for Eleanor Davis’ How To Be Happy (Fantagraphics) has been building for some time now, and it’s easy to see why. This volume is a collection of short stories that dabble in a number of different genres, from so-called literary fiction to fantasy and sci-fi. It’s a beautiful collection that announces the…

New releases include Superman, Outcast, and a Palomar collection

Anyone coming to Gilbert Hernandez’s work fresh in the year 2014 has a steep hill to climb. Never a lazy cartoonist, he has become especially prolific in the last decade, producing stand-alone graphic novels in a number of different genres for Drawn & Quarterly, Dark Horse, Fantagraphics, and Vertigo. (To give an idea…