It's Christmas Eve, and at this point, you know all the compelling reasons to buy digital comcis in this festive holiday season: Last-minute gifts for friends across the country, something to read on your phone as you take a long road trip over the river and through the woods, all that good stuff. What matters now is how many you can get, and how cheap you can get 'em, and lucky for us, Comixology has a sale on what seems to be Image's entire back catalog at 50% off!
It's a great opportunity to get recent stuff like Kaptara, Monstress, Citizen Jack, Black Magick, plus your standard year-end list-toppers like Sex Criminals, WicDiv and more, but with over 4,000 comics on offer, it's also a great time to go back and pick up some deep cuts, too. And there's no better comic to get in that entire sale than my all-time favorite superhero comic, Jack Staff.
If you've missed the first two chapters of Demon Nic, currently running in the pages of 2000 AD's Judge Dredd Megazine, here's what you need to know before the third chapter hits shelves this week: First off, it's a new supernatural action series from writer/artist Paul Grist, the man responsible to for the single greatest superhero comic ever printed, and frequent collaborator and colorist Phil Elliott. Second, the main character is a demon named Nic --- hence the title --- in a world where an uneasy truce between humanity and the forces of Hell has been broken and now demons are just sort of hanging out in the world making front-page news.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, Nic was killed at the end of the second chapter by a karate nun. There, now you're all caught up. Now check out a preview.
I've written about it before, but there are few things in this fallen world more perfect than Paul Grist's Jack Staff. It's my favorite superhero comic, and I'm a big enough fan that I've made it a point to track down pretty much everything else Grist has done, from the bizarre superheroics of Mudman all the way to the stylish crime drama of Kane, and there's not a single one of them that's disappointed. Grist, along with frequent collaborator and colorist Phil Elliot, has an impeccable track record, and I'm always up for checking out something new.
So when I found out today that not only do Grist and Elliot have a brand new project called Demon Nic running in the pages of 2000 AD's Judge Dredd Megazine, but it's been going for two months, I was pretty surprised. What wasn't surprising, however, is that it's great.
If you're getting a sense of deja vu right now, that's because you actually have read this article before. Right before the latest volume of Batman: Black & White began back in 2013, ComicsAlliance published a list of the ten best stories in the celebrated anthology series. But the fourth volume was really, really good, and included some stories strong enough to be considered among the very best.
Making a new version of that same list with just a few replacements would be cheating you, and require me to read my own writing (ecch). So instead, we're just going to stick with the 'ten best' thing. Here are the highlights from the latest volume of Black & White, and a few that were barely edged out of the first list. Will there be another version of this article after the next volume? You bet your ass. We're gonna stay here until we get this right, people.
Q: What's the best modern comics run that not enough people have read or talk about? -- @talestoenrage
A: It's a sad fact of the comics industry, but there are a ton of great stories out there that never really get the recognition that they deserve, to the point where every time something new and exciting comes out, I always end up thinking something along the lines of "they better not Thor: The Mighty Avenger this one up." But while there are comics that get canceled too soon and long-running epics like Usagi Yojimbo that never seem to hog the spotlight, there's only one that really comes to mind when I start thinking about the truly buried treasures.
If you want to talk about the absolute best of the best of the under-appreciated comics, then you want to talk about Paul Grist's Jack Staff.
If there's one thing we've learned from our years on the Internet, it's that there's no aspect of comics that can't be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there's no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we're taking it upon ourselves to compile lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.
This week, we're heading away from the Big Two for a look at some of the scariest bad guys from the world of indie comics. The catch? We're also staying away from horror comics, just to make things a little more interesting!
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.
I will buy literally any comic that Paul Grist cares to produce. That's not an exaggeration: If he wants to do Doctor Who comics? Sign me up. If he has an eight-page backup story in a comic book I don't read...
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