Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Single Issue Awards: May 2016 | Amanda

During the month of May 2016, I read quite a few single issue comics. I had three 'new series' leftover from the month of April that I had bought, but not found the time to read before the month was through. And then, I picked up four new series' that peaked my interest this month. Only one of which I will not continue (Adventure Time: Ice King)

May 2016 Stats
Total Comics Read: 23
New Series Started: 7 
Series Continued: 1
Series Abandoned: 1

Alrighty, onto the awards...Excelsior!

The Bronze Award Goes To: 
Over the Garden Wall #1 (April 2016) 
By Campbell, Levari, McGee

I missed out on the original, four issue, limited-series run of the Over the Garden Wall comic and am currently waiting to get my hot little hands on the graphic novel (Future Release, August 2016).  So you can probably guess my level of excitement after finding out that an ongoing comic had been created in the interim.
(Hint: Level of excitement ≥ high)

Over the Garden Wall has tons of my favorite things: Creepy Woods. Cute, clean, art style. Wacky humor. Characters with a vintage, and/or otherworldly, feel to them. And a whimsical atmosphere of anything can happen. 

This first issue of the new series (currently being referred to as Volume 2?) follows Greg as he returns to Dreamland. And then switches to chronicle Anna, as she tries different ways to find her father, the Woodsman, without ever actually leaving the cabin. For she has been left alone in the woods.

I love the mix of adorable and eerie in this series as a whole and that vibe really came through in this first issue.

The Silver Award Goes To:
Niobe | She is Life #1 (April 2016) 
By Jones, Stenberg, Woods, May

I reeeeallyyy liked this comic. Elves and Vampires in a world that is reminiscent of Pandora from James Cameron's Avatar (2009).

This comic opens up with plenty of wonder and excitement as Niobe, a young half elf, escapes the clutches of a Vampiress.  She then treks through some wilderness landscapes, including a waterfall scene which reminded me of  Disney's Pocahontas, to find her Elven homeland.  But will she find 'home' there?

Beyond a great fantasy story about the fate of the world of Asunda, good versus evil, and an unlikely young hero with the weight of the world on her shoulders, I am excited to see if this story will pull from any of the African mythologies which speak of hellish daemons threatening the Earthen dwellers.

Both the character design and world design is fantastic, as exemplified in this beautiful cover.

Co-author, Amandla Stenberg probably best know as the actress who portrayed Rue in the Hunger Games, lends her voice, and unique experience, to the storytelling as her life as a half black female, mirrors the coming of age struggles of Niobe, the half Elf.  Both Stenberg and Jones have been cited stating their pride for this project, and feel it will become an important addition to the propulsion of female characters of color in comics and media in general.

The Gold Award Goes To:
Toil and Trouble #1 (September 2015)
By Mairghread Scott and Kyla Vanderklugt

A comic series starring the three witches of Macbeth.  It's almost as if they know exactly what I want...

Alright, but in all seriousness, I am a big Shakespeare fan, so this comic had a pretty decent shot of taking the Gold based off that fact alone.  However, I assure you that there is even more to love here.

The fate of Scotland is at stake and the witches are overseeing the battle for this land, just as they have during all the past ages.  Each of the three seemingly has their own agenda. And even though the rules of the Old Religion state that they ought not meddle in the lives of men--meddle they shall.

Smertae's struggle, and conflict with her 'sisters', is incredibly sympathetic and created an instant connection between me and the characters.

This series checks off so many of my favorite boxes:
a. Witches
b. Magic
c. Knights
d. Celtic Influence or History (as I am of Irish heritage)
e. Standing Stones (Archaeology)

Again, this series has phenomenal character design.  Especially within the three witches themselves.  I really appreciated the way that each witches animal form was incorporated into their human design as well.

This unique spin on the story of Macbeth is both thoughtful and highly entertaining.

Until next month!

To see all the comics I read this month, and every month, check out my Goodreads 'comics shelf' here: