Friday, October 28, 2016

Single Issue Awards: September & October 2016 | Amanda

September & October 2016 Stats
Total Comics Read:16
New Series Started: 6
Series Continued:3
Series Abandoned:0

Note: I put these months together because I only read three comics in September and that did not seem fair for a top three list.

The Bronze Award Goes To: 
Spirit Leaves #3 (August 2016) 
By Rossi Gifford

Spirit Leaves is an interesting little comic that takes place in a forest following a deer-girl from a shamanistic tribe, and a wolf-boy from a warrior tribe.

Both are on the cusp of adulthood, and eager to prove their worth to their tribes.  This shared desire becomes a bridge to friendship between them when they meet out in the woods.

It does not explicitly state that these two should be enemies, but you get the sense that their friendship is unnatural.

I really enjoy the landscape art in this comic.  It is really lush and cleverly used to express the passage of time on a journey.  Issue two had some sort of printing mishap because it seemed to zoom in and pixilate the images, but luckily, issue #3 has us back on track.

Issue three brought us to a bustling forest town, in the middle of a festival, and introduced a new adversary.

I cannot wait to see which part of the forest the story takes us next. 

The Silver Award Goes To:
The Haunted Masion #5 (July 2016) 
By Williamson, Coelho, & Gist

The fifth issue of Disney Kingdoms' Haunted Mansion completed the miniseries.

A timid boy named Danny finds his courage after being brought into the haunted mansion on a mission to save a ghost who is very important to him.

But are things in the mansion truly as they seem?  Or is Danny being tricked by the more sinister residents?

This series got a tad bit stale for me in the middle.  I thought that some of the big reveals were not all that surprising, but Danny remained likeable, and the rest of the characters were charismatic.

This concluding issue really saved the series for me.  We saw more of the Mansion, and in true Disney fashion, got hit with some feels.  It offered an extremely satisfying ending which neatly wrapped up the entire series and made it a memorable read for me.

The Gold Award Goes To:
Lake of Fire #1 (August 2016)
By Nathan Fairbairn & Matt Smith 

Crusaders versus Aliens.

I picked this comic up because it reminded me of the movie Outlander (2008) where we had Vikings versus Aliens.

This is the first issue in what is planned to be a 5 part miniseries following a band of rejected Crusaders, Religious Zealots, and a Cathar Prefect (Their heretical enemy).

I was super surprised by how much I enjoyed this comic by the end.

It had a very slow start, so good thing its an XL issue.  The banter it opens up with is between a young well-to-do knight and the commander of the camp he has just arrived in.  It is clear that the knight has not seen much of the real world, and I quickly became worried that this whole series was going to fall solely on his unlikable shoulders.

But once the jaded old Crusader was brought in to lead the party with the cynical world view of a man that has seen it all, I jumped right on board.  He's about to face something totally new: Intergalactic parasites that have crash landed in the countryside.

The characters are ones I've seen before.  The setting, and even plot, are not incredibly original to me (But I'm sure there are still plenty of people whom it will be fresh to), but I actually think the familiarity of it all is a strong point for the series.  I like "this sort of thing" and I am excited to see more of it.

Historical tidbit:

The story takes place during a particularly bloody and futile Crusade which occurred in France for nearly 20 years.  Essentially, during this time, the Crusaders killed everyone.

It is from this bloody time period that we get a very famous historical phrase...

"Kill them all, and let god sort them out." 

- There, according to the Cistercian writer Caesarius of Heisterbach, Arnaud Amalric responded when asked by a Crusader how to distinguish the Cathars from the Catholics

Until next month!

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