1. That smokey “Flavor”
(I immediately regret what I just wrote but not enough to erase it, sorry ’bout it.)
Anyway, the first issue of “Flavor” does a great job at building a charming and compelling world and you should totally read it. Co-creators Joseph Keatinge (writer) and Wook Jin Clark (artist) are at the top of their game. The characters feel real even in their strange setting and Clark (along with colorist Tamra Bonvillain) has created a completely unique style where the characters have their own texture against that of the watercolor-papery backgrounds. Hard to articulate, but here, take a look:
What I really want to focus on was how Clark and Bonvillan make the smoke, which itself is frequently used to accentuate all kinds of movement, look and feel so three dimensional. You can see it above, or below, in the way it curls over the horizon of the street.
Or here, where the smoke is practically climbing up the front of the train.
Even the smoke from cooking seems to have a life of its own.
2. “Deadpool” is really funny.
I’ll be honest, I never really read “Deadpool” in its previous incarnations, but something about Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn (oh, and Tony Moore, I remember now!) got me interested. Duggan’s long run just finished, and he did a fantastic job of carrying the torch from Remender’s coloring of the character in his “Uncanny X-Force” run, keeping him feeling three-dimensional and strangely wounded.
But he also kept things consistently and genuinely funny. Whether it was in sketch-like setups:
Solid industry references:
Something about “AW YEAH! MAKE IT RAIN, SPIDER-MAN!” is hilarious to me, when you hear it in your head:
Or just a hilariously drawn moment:
In Duggan’s final issue, Deadpool inadvertently dowses himself in a serum that induces instant vomiting and faces off against every hero in the Marvel Universe. It gets pretty lowbrow, but also wildly inventive. Like when Deadpool actually sees stink lines:
Or Ms. Marvel trying not to yark (shout out to Scott Koblish):
And finally, oh man, dogs:
3. Javier Rodriguez on “Exiles”
Javier Rodriguez has been doing all kinds of great work for a while, but on his current “Exiles” run with Saladin Ahmed (and inker Alvaro Lopez) (oh and colorist Chris O’Halloran), he’s hit a new gear. I don’t know if it was his or letterer Joe Carmagna’s idea to turn the holes in that BLAAAM into eye holes, but that’s, like, wild, right?
He also has a truly singular visual take on Ms. Marvel’s powers. She’s just Khan now in the future. Did I mention she’s got an Old Woman Ms. Marvel thing going on? You should just read the book.Continued below
He’s also great at delivering the visual gag of a pegasus trying to hide it’s wings with so much personality:
Check out how Blink travels from the left side of this panel to the right, through all kinds of dimension-hopping static:
And poor cutesy Wolverine is in over his head:
4. This little moment in “Southern Bastards”
In this sequence, Boone is stabbing the jank out of Coach Boss with a used arrow, just a typical evening in “Southern Bastards.” But what I really found remarkable was what Latour does in the third panel, where he captures multiple stabs with just one free floating fully red hand, an arrow, and three sound effects.
I don’t know, I just thought that was pretty cool.
5. Pretty much everything about “Coda”
Simon Spurrier and Matias Bergara (with color assists from Michael Doig and letterer Colin Bell) have created a gorgeously realized first issue of Coda. Bergara and Doig especially have created this sort of pastel palette for the book that can be bold and bright, like our foreground hero, or ethereal, like the clouds behind him.
They have a particularly unique take on unicorns (bonus points for Bell’s take on Traditional Comic Book Swearing™).
And Bergara moves between vantage points and distances between panels, creating a fully realized space on every page.
Miraculously, he’s also masterful at creating subtle acting in his characters.
Especially when they interact with the marvelously bizarre costumes and hairstyles he’s designed.
I’ll leave you with a perfect 1-2-3 piece of panel-to-panel storytelling.
That’s the good stuff.