In this feature at Panels, we take a look at what the Panelteers are reading this month.
These are the comics that occupy our pull lists, that fill our Comixology account, and line our graphic novel bookshelves. Included are handy links to buy some of the books in question or at least get more information. Be warned: your pull list is in peril of expanding.
Bitch Planet #4 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine DeLandro: For some reason I hadn’t picked up on this until last week when I read about Jenn’s survey. I picked up issue one for free on Comixology last week and then immediately went back for the subsequent issues. (Digital)
The Sculptor by Scott McCloud: Having purchased this the week it came out, it has been sitting on my shelf gazing at me reproachfully ever since. I’ve made a start now though, and I am looking forward to dipping into this over the next month as my bedtime read. (Print)
Unflattening by Nick Sousanis: I am super excited to read this book which is the published version of Sousanis’ PhD thesis (thesis as comic, so so cool!). Unflattening is all about the relationships between text and image and the ways in which we see; the pages I have read so far have only made me more excited about getting my paws on it! (Print)
Legends of Red Sonja edited by Gail Simone with contributors including Nancy Collins, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Devin Grayson, et al: I spotted this volume when I was perusing a sale on Red Sonja comics. Having never read any of them, I figured a compendium of respected creators would be a great place to start. (Digital)
Capture Creatures #3 by Frank Gibson and Becky Dreistadt: This series has quickly become a favorite, and we’ve been waiting on this issue foreverrrr. I’m happy to say that it was plenty easy to fall back in and pick up where we left off, though a reread is certainly on the horizon. (Digital)
The Ballad of Halo Jones by Alan Moore and Ian Gibson: My curiosity was piqued by Marcy’s mention of this book in her awesome “The Problem with the Comic that Got Me Into Comics’” post. (Print)
Aquaman, vol. 1: The Trench by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis: I know there’ve been a million think pieces about how Aquaman is the most underrated hero of our time, but…I’m still skeptical. But, some folks whose opinions I trust really want me to read this, so I’m giving it a shot.
The Pulse by Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley, and Scott Hanna: I figure I should start brushing up on my Jessica Jones knowledge now before she hits the small screen later this year.
Avengers by Jonathan Hickman and Mike Deodato
New Avengers by Jonathan Hickman and Kev Walker
Yes, I’m going there. I read Secret Wars #1 and for some reason felt that I needed to go back and read these runs. I’m currently drowning in Hickman. If you don’t hear from me soon, send help. Or just vodka.
This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki: I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this story that I simply had to run out and buy it. Too bad Barnes & Noble incorrectly shelved it in the manga section. (Print)
A Distant Soil by Colleen Doran: I was researching about queer comics at Image and was recommended this one! I’m excited to dive further into queer comics history. (Print)
The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes by Kurt Busiek, George Pérez, Roger Stern, John Francis Moore, Jerry Ordway, and Carlos Pacheco: A colossal collection of the first half of Busiek’s legendary late 90s Avengers run, including the epic 12-part “Avengers Forever” and the super iconic “Ultron Unlimited,” perfect reading to accompany the movie. (Print)
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson: Starts out fun and earns some surprising emotional depth by the end. It’s a really cool, sometimes wicked little book that opens with one of the best dedications I’ve ever seen. (Print)
Thanos by Jim Starlin, Al Milgrom, Keith Giffen, and Ron Lim: I’m starting a deep dive into the gigantic, Marvel Cosmic saga from 2004-2011 that directly inspired the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Step one is a series about that purple guy who shows up while people are throwing away their popcorn. It handles the villain protagonist thing pretty well, and there’s some great Galactus material in here. Galactus rocks. (Digital)
Exquisite Corpse by Pénélope Bagieu, translation by Alexis Siegel: This was a total impulse buy, but the story revolves around a girl moving in with an author who’s faked his own death, so I’m pretty into the concept. (Print)
Bandette Vol. 2: Stealers Keepers by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover: Bandette is such a fun character – she’s kinetic and lively, but not someone to mess with. Plus the Urchin Stories have a ton of different, fantastic artists.(Print)
Gotham City Sirens Book Two by Tony Bedard, Peter Calloway, Andres Guinaldo, Jeremy Haun, and Ramon F. Bachs: How did it take me so long to hop on this particular train? I had this book recommended to me a few years ago, but it was out of print. Now DC is re-releasing them and I’m very excited about it. I loved the first trade, and I’m hyped to read volume two. (Print)
Space is the Place by John Allison: I’m six cases behind in Bad Machinery, I’m still in the first year of Scary-Go-Round, and I barely read volume one of Giant Days before the current arc started. I love John Allison’s work, but this is my first time being up-to-date on a John Allison comic. I feel weirdly victorious. (Digital)
Saga Vol 1. by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples, Fonografiks: Yes, I am finally, finally getting around to reading this series. I bought the first volume through a Comixology sale ages ago but avoided starting it because I knew enough about it to know it would break my heart. Now I’m slowly getting through this trade and patiently waiting for it to break my heart. Oh yeah, and it’s great. (Digital)
Everything Convergence by everyone at DC. I’ve never actually followed an event and all its tie-ins before, and, well, it’s an experience! The main series is mostly a confusing series of punch-outs between Z-listers and unfamiliar alternate versions of A- and B-listers, but some of the minis have been fun, and Jeff Parker, Doc Shaner, and Jordie Bellaire’s Convergence: Shazam! might be one of the best comics I’ve ever read period, event or no. (Mix of Print and Digital)
Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels: I was super excited to pick this up (two hands required) at TCAF because Drawn & Quarterly publishes some of my favorites (Kate Beaton, Jillian Tamaki, Rutu Modan, Julie Delporte, and on and on) and it’s massive at nearly 800 pages, so I know it’s going to keep me happily reading for months. Plus there is a perfect collision of awesome in it with an essay called “Kate Beaton: An Appreciation” by Margaret Atwood! (Print)
The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs: I’m kind of new to accepting my geekiness, so I need this book. (Print)
Exquisite Corpse by Pénélope Bagieu: This is such a fun, charming read that I want to take a French for Comic Book Nerds class so I can read all of Bagieu’s other (sadly untranslated) comics. (Print)
Batman Eternal 1-52 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Tim Seeley, Ray Fawkes, Kyle Higgins, and a HUGE roster of artists: So I binged and read 52 weekly issues in about two weeks this month. I’m very wary of weekly book, particularly books that feel like some kind of stunt, but with Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV as the story architects, I’ll admit I was curious. And then I started hearing some good things, and then I started seeing that the art teams consisted of some wildly diverse styles, and I got even more intrigued. My verdict? This was FUN. It’s a HUGE mystery, probably the biggest I’ve ever seen attempted, and while it does, at times, wear itself thin with so many suspects and red herrings and fake-outs, the labyrinthine plot does what serialized comics do so well — tons of cliffhangers and last page reveals ensconced in a sprawling, globe-trotting plot. One of the better curated weeklies I’ve read. (Digital)
Aquaman 35-40 by Jeff Parker, Paul Pelletier, Sean Parson, and Rain Beredo: I like Jeff Parker’s sensibilities as a storyteller, but until this point, I had decided not to jump on his Aquaman book — more because I haven’t been a huge fan of most of the New 52 books. But, as with Batman Eternal above, that’s starting to change, and I find myself testing new — ahem — waters. So I dove into Aquaman’s last story arc, “Maelstrom,” and while it took me about an issue to get oriented, I ended up really enjoying this arc. Paul Pelletier’s clean artwork works well to match the pulpy, adventurous tone of Parker story, which involves Arthur’s search for his mother, who he finds in a lost world doing her best Red Sonja impression. It’s a bit like throwing Indiana Jones, The Lost World, and Game of Thrones in a massive underwater blender. Fun stuff. (Digital)
Shutter, Vol. 1: Wanderlost by Joe Keatinge, Leila Del Duca, Owen Gieni, and Ed Brisson: I picked up the first collection of this Image ongoing sight unseen based on glowing reviews from some friends. Something with a female explorer whose parents have disappeared, and lots of anthropomorphic animals? Obviously I haven’t gotten very far but the character designs — and particularly the vivid coloring, which reminds me of the thrill of playing with oil pastels in middle art class, and looks like nothing else in comics — promises a thrilling ride. (Print)
Daredevil: Visionaries: Frank Miller: Volume 3 by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson and Elektra: Assassin by Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz: Watching the Netflix Daredevil show reminded me that I’ve just scratched the surface of Miller’s classic work on the character. I’ve had both of these books lying around for a while, so I may as well dive in. (Print)
Ms. Marvel #12-#15 by G. Willow Wilson, Elmo Bondoc, Takeshi Myazawa, and Ian Herring: While I have been going to my LCS to pick up my comics every week, I am months behind in all my reading. I am SO EXCITED to dig into my stack and catch up with Kamala. (Print)
Southern Bastards Vol 1 by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour: This is one of the books Austin Comics Ladies are reading and discussing next month! It comes highly recommended by several of my comic loving ladies, and I love stories of small, southern towns and people, so this should be be right up my alley. (Digital)
Intrepid Girlbot Vol 2 by Diana Nock: I just finished the print version of volume 1, and now I need to know what other adventures and mishaps Girlbot and her cyborg raccoon friend are getting into these days. Thankfully, this delightful, wordless sci-fi adventure is a webcomic, so I can catch up easily. (Digital)
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson: I discovered Noelle Stevenson and Nimona in the early days of the webcomic. And while I was almost immediately in love with the endearingly exaggerated expressions and sharp, quick wit of the comic, I knew it was something I’d personally enjoy more once it was all finished. (Collected/Print)
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua: I’m a sucker for a well-produced book. And Pantheon’s hardcover collection of this delightful and historically inaccurate webcomic definitely falls into that category. The over-sized, heavy pages beautifully showcase Padua’s detailed art, enveloping you in the ink and soot-filled Victorian world she’s created. I promise I’m actually reading this book and not just staring at it lovingly. (Collected/Print)
Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques: While I was at TCAF I realized that I am woefully unaware of some pretty great webcomic. I’m currently “binge watching” Questionable Content, which is a great slice-of-life/relationship-y strip that has an adorable mini-robot called Pintsize. Will definitely be checking this one out more often. (Webcomic)
As for Me:
Empire by Mark Waid and Barry Kitson: Giving one of my favorite stories a reread since Empire: Uprising has launched at IDW. (Print)
Convergence by Jeff King, Scott Lobdell, Jason Paz, Carlo Pagulayan, et. al.: I cannot afford all of the Convergence one-offs, but I’m reading the main story to find out what happens to the DCU. (print)
Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine DeLandro: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I adore this series. It always jumps to the top of my reading pile when a new one comes out. (print)
What are you reading this month?
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