Sometimes I’m just a female version of Rob Fleming (I haven’t sorted my cds by autobiographical order yet, but this must happen soon) : I love making lists. And today, my friends, this list is about my favourite comics publisher, Image Comics.
What, my favourite is NOT DC?? (yes I can hear you from here). Well, if my heart is forever glued to Tim Drake (along with Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Nightwing) I can’t deny I’m more into “indie” stuff. And Image are quite badass : film noir, teenage adventures, superheroes (see), epic sci-fi or hilarious cop banters, the Berkeley-based House is full of wonders (The Walking Dead? That’s them. Yup, Spawn too. And Wanted). Also, Image turn 20 this year. The Golden Age! Let’s show them some love.
These are my five favourite titles. You’re going to love it. (shout out to Dan who introduced me to 4 of these comics, thanks!)
5. America’s got Powers
Who knew? Jonathan Ross has a new life as a comic writer. And it’s bloody good. Joining forces with Bryan Hitch (Studio, Stormwatch and various Marvel & DC arts), the former entertainer provides a fun yet witty and deep story about a reality show revolving around teenagers with superpowers in LA. More Battle Royale than The Real World (remember that, MTV?), “America’s Got Powers”, the show, welcomes Tommy Watts, a teen with no apparent powers, and the whole thing takes a rather dramatic turn…I won’t say no more, it’s a must-read this year.
The most beautiful piece of art of 2012. People, you should stay away from Jo, the mysterious woman who never ages…She’s not as fragile as she might seem. Even if she’s beautiful, and terribly smart. Even if there’s magic involved. Behind Jo and the men she runs away from, two masters in crime fiction : Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips, who already teamed up on Incognito and Scene of The Crime, write and draw this story like a film noir. It’s addictive. And there are great essays at the end of every issue.
Brian K. Vaughan beautifully took my heart away with Y:The Last Man . I swear this guy is the Joss Whedon of all things comics. ANYWAY, let’s talk about how epic and witty Saga is, and about how my heart jumps when I read it. Saga is a space-opera. It depicts the life of Alana & Marko, and their newborn daughter, Hazel. Alana & Marko are fugitives. They deserted. Because they shouldn’t love each other. Mortal enemies never do, right? So we follow them escaping a war they hardly understand (a war that began way before they were born) to give a chance to their daughter. We follow their assailants (bounty hunters, Royal military, family, …) and of course with Vaughan, no one is either a saint or a devil. The story is drawn by Ms Fiona Staples, and the things she creates are breathtaking (the forest spaceship!!!). I can’t wait to get my heart ripped again.
“You are what you eat”. Kind of.
Agent Tony Chu is a cibopath, meaning he has psychic impressions of what he eats (except beetroot). In a world where chicken is banned (bird flu had some huge influence on this), he solves cases with this somewhat confusing ability, teams up with a part-bionic partner (John Colby, one of the most hilarious characters), falls in love with food critic Amelia Mintz, a saboscrivner (she can describe food so accurately that people feel like they taste it for real), meets some really weird people who share his skills, and generally has an hectic life that I wouldn’t share. Hilarious, smart and gore at times (always for the sake of the story), Chew stands out from the crowd with its cartoon-ey, nervous art , thanks to Rob Guillory. A delicious title. (I admit, that was easy).
1.Phonogram Vol.2 : The Singles Club
Better warn you all : This part is a love letter to Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie. I should mention all the titles they worked on but I have the feeling you know them already. (Journey Into Mystery, Uncanny X-Men, Iron Man, Suburban Glamour, Generation Hope, Young Avengers…They’re everywhere)
The Singles Club is probably my favourite title of all times. It’s an ode to our teenage nights, to the records we owned, to the music we believed in, to the magic in it.
December 23rd, 2006. Bristol. One club, one night, seven Phonomancers. These young people deal with their fate, their hopes, losses, ghosts and despairs, and most of all, with themselves, while music blasts and bodies speak. For one night, they interact with each other, only to realise they’re on their own. You must wonder what Phonomancers are? They are magicians using the power of music. Laura Heaven, who’s trying to be noticed. Penny B., the effortlessly beautiful girl devoted to The Pipettes who dances to “be herself”. Marc “Marquis”, the boy stuck in the past. Lloyd “Logos”, the lonely nerd – Also the one who discovers Los Campesinos!, and to me, the one who really gets the power of music. Kid-With-Knife, the wild non-Phonomancer. Emily Aster, my favourite, the sharp and dark one fighting against her own self. Seth & Silent Girl,the fascinating DJ’s who run the night. They all belong to the music, preferably indie, pop and sung by women. To me, they’re every part of our teenage self, all fascinating and disturbing at the same time. Jamie McKelvie captures their moments with such accuracy and grace, and Kieron Gillen transcribes the feelings of music lovers so well it’s impossible not to fall for this title. And of course, each issue has its own pop-culture reference (I am a sucker for references. Yeah, yeah, Rob Fleming). I don’t know if my words do it justice. But this story connects with me in a powerful way. December 23rd, 2006. I remember this night, I was at The Pipettes Christmas gig in London. I was all about the girl-group sound at the time. I’ve also danced in clubs like there was no tomorrow. I used to live on guest lists. I was one of them. I was a Phonomancer.
By the way, if you’re familiar with Volume 1 : Rue Britannia, you might recognise an old friend, David Kohl. If you’re not, don’t let this pushing you off : The Singles Club can be read on its own. And Emily Aster fans, rejoice : Volume 3 : The Immaterial Girl, is in the pipeline. I am excited. Don”t forget the club rules, though: No boys singers. You Must Dance. No Magic.
Be excellent to each others, and run to your favourite comics shop. x