Origami Girl

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

In which I'm collecting comics

Elana of Room 334 recently did a blog post about her pop culture loves and I was pretty inspired by her mention of Saga (a fantastic comic). I thought that I'd like to share with you some of the comics I'm reading.

When I was a teenager I fell in love with X-men after the first movie came out. (And yes Hugh Jackman had a lot to do with) However, after that I collected many X-men issues right up until I went to university. Then it was hard to keep up with it without the regular subscription. I didn't give up on comics though. I just started buying them from bookshops: in the full volumes. And of course, reading them in libraries. I was gathering collected volumes of Sandman and Fables and Lucifer, which still have pride of place on my shelf.

But then I moved again, to a place with a comic shop. I started getting back into single issues - the comics on the wide display shelves, the random series' to experiment with, one bit of the story every month. It's sometimes frustrating reading the story like that. The issues get battered more than a hard cover, the story is over too soon, they take up more space on the shelves, and worst of all - sometimes I miss an issue. The comics I like to collect just happen to be very popular (I have great taste obviously) which means they sell out fast. But all the same I love the joy of coming in and being handed my paper bag of comics. I love feeling like there's something to get every time. The whole collecting single issues thing makes me feel part of a community. So here's a whiz tour of my top comics at the moment:


 Lumberjanes is written by the fantastic Noelle Stevenson. She writes and draws Nimona which is a brilliant webcomic - about a supervillain and his shape-shifting side-kick Nimona, taking on the darker-than-expected protectors of the kingdom, but it's also about friendship.

Lumberjanes' is her leaving the web and getting a physical comic out there in the shops. I love Nimona to bits so when she announced this, I got my pre-orders sorted. The Lumberjanes' motto 'friendship to the max' takes her brilliant characterisations to the next level with a group of young girls at a summer camp, taking on yetis, hidden traps and wolves with ingenuity and kick-ass attitudes. It's empowering beautiful stuff. It's also only 3 issues in, so still time to get in early!

 Where to start with Saga? It's comic about parenting and war. About love as it is, awkward sex, serious baggage, pissed off alien assasins and all. Husband and wife, Marko and Alana have had a baby. Only their supposed to be on opposites side of a conflict and their relationship is seen as more than taboo - it's pretty sick. Some people even want them dead from it. The genius of the book is that even the assasins or the tabloidists are brilliantly written and loved by the fans. This won three Eisner Awards for a reason. It's brilliant, and funny and dirty and different. It's the opposite end of the spectrum from Lumberjanes, certainly not for kids but equally brilliant for female protagonists.

Hawkeye was a big jump for me. It was my first time after X-men getting back into Marvel universe stories. I'd read a lot about it online and wanted to see what the fuss was about. It's certainly nothing like the adventures of Wolverine. Hawkeye here is actually Kate Bishop. She's 'practically an avenger'. Actually, she has trouble just looking after a cat. Kate's doing her best to be somewhat of a private eye in LA, just trying to make ends meet. The stories are really interesting and it's doing something different with the genre. I keep missing issues though so I want to read a whole group together and find out more about her because I feel like I'm only getting half a story a lot of the time.

Ms Marvel
Having started reading one superhero comic, I thought I'd pick up another Marvel title that's been getting attention lately. I'm just at the start of this one and I'm already enthralled by it. It's Marvel's first Muslim character with her own headline title, so obviously that got a lot of media notice. And I'm glad, because I honestly did pick it up due to the hype and stayed for Kamala. She's all the things I loved about X-men when I was a teenage - people struggling with identity, with being accepted, with being a superhero whilst your parents have grounded you. I feel back at home with this story, but I know it's also going new places. I also love Carol Danvers who inspires the main character so I also feel like we've got something in common. If you want to try a superhero comic, you can't do better than this.

Pretty Deadly
Out of all of these, Pretty Deadly is the hardest one to get hold of the UK, and also the hardest one to describe. The story is a Western-Horror told through the eyes of Bones Bunny and a butterfly. It generates characters with mouth-watering names like Death Face Ginny, and a girl in a vulture cloak named Ginny. It's weird, and it's beautiful.  At times I have found the violence almost too much for me, and the story can be hard to follow, but the art is breathtaking. It is worth collecting it for the incredible splash pages alone. I find reading Pretty Deadly more like tracing someone's dream. I can see that there is a whole story going on, but I'm really just interested in the colours.

Are you reading any comics? Have I inspired you to give any of these a try? What am I missing that I should be reading?


  1. I never really got into comics growing up, and I think I'm too old now:P That Lumberjanes sounds pretty awesome though.

  2. I steer clear of comics - only because I collect way to much stuff as it is. Haha. But the Lumberjanes sounds sweet. My room mate is really in to comics so maybe I will have to swing by the shop next time and check some out. Thank you for sharing these with us!

  3. I don't follow any comics any more, but these all sound really good. The last ones I did follow were Marvel's series publishing L. Frank Baum's Oz series as a comic. I still love the work, but stopped because it was targeted at kids and kids' comics have an advert literally every other page. Too. Much.

  4. I totally loved her post too! I want the spread of these to happen! I've never been much of a comic person, but this kind of sound awesome.