Koren Shadmi is an award-winning illustrator whose work has been seen in the likes of Wired and The New York Times, and whose comics are apparently known elsewhere in the world, but he's yet to have his big breakthrough in American comics. Hopefully that changes with his new book The Abaddon, from Z2 Comics, a haunting and exquisite trip into sex and death, memory and torment.
John R. Parker
On October 2nd, 1950, Charles Schulz's Peanuts debuted in nine newspapers for United Features Syndicate. Fifty years later, it concluded with just shy of eighteen thousand strips published in thousands of papers, with the final installment appearing one day after Schulz passed away.
Between those two loci, Peanuts begat a billion-dollar media empire, the modern American comic strip, and a legacy of progressiveness, honesty, and inclusion that endures today. If Peanuts isn't definitively the greatest comic strip of all time, it's probably the most influential, and certainly the most successful, forever altering the dominant styles and subject matter of the funny pages.
When you look at the sheer range and number of original stories being told in comics form today, it’s hard to imagine a better time to be a comics reader. Online and in print, from all around the world, artists and writers are telling stories with their own voices and styles, and there’s so much to choose from that it’s sometimes difficult to know what to read next. With Should I Be Reading… ?, ComicsAlliance hopes to offer you a guide to some of the best original ongoing comics being published today.
A troubled young woman discovers that the mental problems she's been struggling with all her life are actually a form of telepathy, and that there are others with gifts similar to hers. The setup is very familiar, but in They're Not Like Us, our hero Syd discovers that the group that takes her in is a little different: they're entitled, narcissistic jerks.
As endemic as violence is to mainstream comics, it's rare when you see a representation of it that inspires an appropriate level of shock. That's to be expected in superhero comics, where the gap between art and reality is wider, but even in books that maintain a closer relationship with the truth there are only a few books that portray violence in an un-stylized, un-sensationalized manner that still conveys how jarring it really is.
There are some great examples, from Scalped to the work of Johnny Craig (still a little sensationalized, but he gets a pass) to almost everything Garth Ennis has ever written. Even among that company, what David Lapham does in Stray Bullets is unique.
Glenn Head has been a fixture in the underground and alternative scenes since the 80s, contributing to legendary anthologies like R. Crumb's Weirdo, Zero Zero, and his own Snake Eyes (co-edited with Kaz). He's not as well-known as many of the other names that even the moderately-educated alt-fan like me can rattle off, because he doesn't have that singular, long-form work that the others do. In Chicago from Fantagraphics, Head finally has his signature piece.
Born on August 30th, 1943, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Robert Crumb is one of the most influential and divisive comics artists of all time, with as many followers as detractors. So which Crumb is the real one? The artistic genius or the pervert?
In Curt Pires and David Rubin's The Fiction for Boom Studios, a magical book makes the imaginary real, and two lifelong friends re-enter the fantastic world it contains in search of two more of their group who disappeared into The Fiction. The "Step Into a Good Book" library program might want to work out a new campaign.
Good war comics are much harder to come by than they used to be, but there's at least one source that will remain consistent. Garth Ennis has written some of the most emotionally compelling and contextually complex stories in the genre over the course of his career, and that continues with Avatar's War Stories, with artist Tomas Aira.
Eddie Campbell was born on this day in 1955. Comics' greatest raconteur, Campbell has been chronicling memories, spinning yarns, and chasing trains of thought since the early 80s, influencing entire generations of creators along the way.
On July 30th, 1974, Wolverine made his first full appearance in The Incredible Hulk #181, and comics history was forever changed. For some reason. Somehow, a funny-looking, funny-talking, pint-sized, hairy Canadian, who literally scratches people, became one of the most popular characters in comics. How did the guy with whiskers on his mask become the epitome of toughness?
Created by Len Wein and John Romita, and brought to life by Herb Trimpe, Wolverine could have easily become another throwaway character. With his bright yellow-and-blue costume, he looks at least as ridiculous as every other one-and-done character, save for the arresting hook of those razor-sharp claws.