Sean X. Ahern
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The Inkblot–Sean’s Comic Recommendations

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I’ve been getting some requests to talk about some of my favorite comics, trades and webcomics as of late. People I know at local water holes, family, friends, random streetwalkers–seems everyone wants to know what I am reading these days!

Here is a short list of trades that I have enjoyed over the past few months for you and yours this holiday season!

200px-East_of_WestEast of West–Johnathan Hickman

Do you like westerns? Do you like religious stories about the end of times? Do you like sci fi in an alternative America where North American has been split up into five distinct kingdoms? THEN LEMME TELL YA–this is a book for you. It is the meth of popular culture books. Every issue is better than the last, and every trade ends on a satisfying climax.

Following the horsemen of Death in an avenging mission to save his wife and son from a group of North American leaders bent on bringing the end of times to the new world, this book pulls you in straight from the first page. Hickman makes a deep and broken world from the get-go. Everyone hates everyone else for  fighting for individual freedom to screw the next guy over. Of course, when you mess with Death in a cowboy hat, you know some Unforgiven–level stuff is bound to happen. It’s like Kill Bill with cowboys and a lot more death. And Native American shamans. And robot horses. And Texas Rangers that shoot on sight. Totally worth a grab for some light, righteous reading.

 

250px-Saga1coverByFionaStaplesSaga--Brian K. Vaughan

In another family sci-fi tale, Mr. K. Vaughan creates a space oddity from the perspective of a daughter of parents from warring factions reminiscing on her childhood on the run from government-backed bounty hunters. Touching upon everything from the relationship of a young mercenary and the child prostitute he saved from sexual slavery, to spurned fiancee’ and aristocratic robots, Saga highlights the growing pains of a young family on intergalactic levels.

Sex_Criminals_CoverSex Criminals–Matt Fraction

What if in the afterglow of sex you could stop time? What would you do post climax? What if your partner could do the same? Would you stop world hunger? Throw a kinky party for two in a senior center? No you dolt! You would rob banks of course!

Sex Criminals comes from the mind of Matt Fraction, a man who made Hawkeye cool again. Following the exploits of a young couple robbing banks to save a local library after getting freaky, they quickly find out they aren’t the only ones able to stop time after sex. They quickly find themselves running from sex cops who use kegels to enter “the quiet” with them. Second trade comes out right before X-Mas so make sure it is on your pull list for your bae next to the pearl necklace. Not that pearl necklace. The one next to the model Cleveland Steamer and Rusty Trombone you found at the Flea Market this past weekend!

TheWickedAndDivine_vol1-1The Wicked + The Divine–Kieron Gillen

First off, read everything by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. Phonogram, Young Avengers, Suburban Glamour – read it all. Magic, music, fashion and youth rebellion are what these two do best and The Wicked + The Divine is their best so far. Magnum Opus, even.

Every ninety years the gods inhabit the bodies of chosen youthful people, who go on to shape popular culture until two years later when they suddenly die and dissapear into the ether of myth. It is rock star celebrity mixed with the gods of old. A dash of David Bowie and a lot of pretty colors by McKelvie. By the end of the first trade, you will fall in love with Lucifer, wonder why Baal looks like Kanye West and hunt down the playlist Gilleon created to fill out this book into a multimedia experience on Spotify.

Hellblazer: City of DemonsHellblazer_City_of_Demons_Vol_1_1
Speaking of Lucifer--Hellblazer: City of Demons is a great pulpy-punk mixture coming for your eyeholes. Thanks to Si Spencer we see a John Constantine that is lost in the culture clash of ’77. A true punk rock warlord fighting the forces of evil in this limited run in DC Comics. The favorite magical bad boy of the company and its affiliates, Constantine fights love, monsters, women and the recently departed in London, England. He makes off references to the undergound rock of decades past that will make any punk rock root for Constantine’s personal brand of “anarchy in the UK.”

Completely in the tone of the Hellblazer we all know and love from the 80′s and 90′s, City of Demons  brings Constantine back to his British roots while pushing a beautiful appropriation of the hard boiled detective stories of old. Quick must-read for any aspiring magicians and warlocks out there who are over Harry Potter-esque wand waving.

 

 east-of-west01

Notable Mentions:

Superior Foes of Spiderman

Justice League International

Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon

C.O.W.L.

Bitch Planet

Web Comics of interest:

Draw Play 27

Football-Centric webcomic that paints a pretty truthful picture about all aspects of the National Football League.

Sunstone (NSFW)

An ongoing tale of a couple in love–and their kinky selves. Messy as any other relationship, the comic deals with unrequited love, jealousy, fear of commitment and safewords. For audiences 18+ who are interested in kink, BDSM and fetish culture. Soon to be out in graphic novel form.

Hip Hop Family Tree 

A detailed history of the beginnings of hip hop updated on Boing Boing. Now out in graphic novel form in a two volume set, this ongoing webcomic is a must read for any music lover. Everything (and everyone) you would expect from rap makes an appearance: Wu Tang, Rick Rubin, KRS-One, Beastie Boys, Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Quick read and definitely worth bookmarking.

 

 

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