April 1sts: Saucer Country and Fairestby Bobby Acosta on Apr. 18, 2012, under Comic Books, Independent comics, Vertigo
This has been an exciting month for comic books. Over on the major side of the publishers, Marvel Comics has just begun their massive “Avengers vs. X-Men” event, which coincidentally comes right on the tails of all the great Avengers movie press. (Funny how that works out. Almost like they planned it…)
And on the DC Comics side of things, their New 52 is going to experience a Second Wave of titles coming in to replace 8 titles that are stopping publication. They told their stories and they are done. Plus, they still dominate the Diamond Comic Distributor’s sales charts with records across the board.
All in all, it’s a good time to be a comic book fan. Even if you’re not a superhero fan.
This month, Comic Matters has dedicated itself to looking at a number of brand new comic book series that have recently started. Many come from smaller publishers, and practically all of them have been good. These past two weeks, we looked at the super-villain heist comic Supercrooks, as well as Peter Pan in World War II in Peter Panzerfaust and Zombies vs. vampires in Victorian England in The New Deadwardians. This week we look at two more series with completely different modus operandi.
Saucer Country, Written by Dan Abnett, Drawn by Ryan Kelly
For many, this book will hit extremely close to home.
Recommended to me by a co-worker, Saucer Country tells a tale of intrigue and mystery as a future presidential candidate deals with the ramifications of the fact that she was abducted by aliens.
To properly describe my support for this book, I feel like I need to describe my realization that came at the very end. When I finished this first issue, I felt almost incomplete. Like, I hadn’t been given enough.
I wanted more.
That’s when I realized, I wanted another issue. I practically craved it.
So, I know this issue accomplished what it needed to do.
Anyway, the story primarily focuses on Arcadia Alvarado, the Mexican-American Governor of New Mexico. The story begins in the middle of her attempt to start her presidential campaign. Creating strong parallels to our world (even our state), the story immediately addresses the notion of illegal immigrants and the problems they pose or solutions they bring. Alvarado stands strong by her views, even as the rest of her team feel otherwise.
Balancing strong political drama with human emotion, author Paul Cornell presents to us an imaginary character that is all too real to believe. As the first issue unfolds, the people surrounding Governor Arcadia’s life are revealed. From her ex-husband to her political campaign group, each person has a role to play and they are fleshed out extremely well.
Accompanying writer Cornell is his artistic partner, Ryan Kelly. Even though at this point aliens are nothing but a myth, he brings a sense of dread and realism to every panel. I found it difficult to look at each page and not imagine it to be real, creating an overwhelming sense of dread.
Now, who knows what this series will be bringing in the months to come. Will it create comparisons between the current border crisis here in the Arizona/New Mexico/Texas and the imminent invasion of aliens? Or will it be an intense, political-esque drama that tells a woman’s story as she runs for president? Either way, it should be an exquisite ride.
Issues Published: 2, the newest issue came out just last week. Go check it out!
Fairest, Written by Bill Willingham, Drawn by Phil Jimenez
Hopefully, you’ve taken the advice I’ve given in previous columns and actually gone out and read some of the stories that I’ve written about. One of the earliest ones was about a current comic book series called Fables (you can read it here), that tells the stories of classic fairy tale characters trying to adjust to living in modern day New York.
This new series, called Fairest, could be considered spin-off series in some aspects. It is doing reinterpretations of classic fairy tale characters. For example, this first story arc (written by Fables author Bill Willingham and drawn by overall great master Phil Jimenez) begins with the Prince of Thieves, Ali-Baba, discovering a lamp. This lamp has the potential to hold a powerful djinn, or genie, that could grant his wildest wishes. However, what it does hold is a little, wise-cracking blue imp that knows of everything, even the future. See as he predicts presidential candidates and seasons of television shows that never happened.
This imp tells him to accomplish his goals and attain, he must save a sleeping princess from an army of goblins and defeat a forest warrior made of wood.
At times, I love the fact that I read comic books.
Entertaining and hilarious, this story also features some of the best artwork on the stands. It’s been a while since Phil Jimenez has drawn something, and most of the time he usually draws massive stories with exploding planets, so a fantasy tale is something different. And it works.
This series will feature a rotating crew of writers and artists, with each story arc focusing on the important question: Who is the fairest of them all? If you’ve been reading Fables and know the characters, or even if you haven’t, this series is going to do it’s best to figure out the answer.
Issues Published: Just 2! Find out who the fairest of them all is now!
So with this post wrapped, we can look forward to the fact that another week has passed and has brought us closer to Free Comic Book Day. As exciting as it is for the possibilities that it brings to new readers, April 1sts is all about talking the here and now. These new comic book series are out there now. Check them out before the big day, May 5th!
Next Week: America’s hottest new reality show involves young, super-powered teenagers competing to the near-death to be on the premiere super team! It’s violent and edgy! Also, the ultimate thief story! Brought to you by the creator of The Walking Dead!
Days Until Free Comic Book Day: 17 Days!
- In addition to writing for the column “Comic Matters” for the Tucson Citizen website, Bobby Acosta is also a 5th Grade Elementary school teacher, frequenter of local comic book shop Heroes & Villains, and explorer of the importance of comics. He recommends each and every comic he writes about. Contact him at email@example.com
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