It’s Saturday once again, and that must mean it’s time for Weekend Reading 55! As always, we’re spending the weekend inside Stately Beat Manor, reading.
What will you be paging through this weekend? The Beat wants to hear from you! Let us know in the comment section or on social media @comicsbeat!
AVERY KAPLAN: This weekend, I’ll be perusing Heavy Metal #304, and I’m especially excited for the first entry of Starward by Steve Orlando, Ivan Shavrin, and Saida Temofonte. While the comic looked amazing in The Beat’s preview, seeing the art printed on the magazine-size pages is truly a treat (especially considering the incredible use of gutters and page layouts). Then, I’m overdue for some nonfiction, so I’ll be checking out the skin-crawing new book Dark Archives: A Librarian’s Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin by Megan Rosebloom. As Ashley J. Williams might say: Groovy!
TAIMUR DAR: I’ve really been enjoying the Invincible animated series so I decided to finally read the original Robert Kirkman comics last week and I was hooked! Took advantage of the comiXology Invincible digital sale and bought the compendium collections. Read the first dozen or so issues so now I’m hoping to get through as much as the first compendium and hopefully the second before the first season of Invincible ends.
DEAN SIMONS: Still drifting through 1960s Marvel. Current source of amusement are the early issues of Uncanny X-Men – the ideas are all over the shop, but the art is fantastic. Also continuing to read Jack Katz’ dense opus The First Kingdom. Loving it.
ARPAD OKAY: Shony Glassware, a mini comic by Manning Coe. Some slice of life. Some life stuff reimagined as cartoonish fancy. Spacious fun stuff where nothing really happens and super dense stuff the reader has to weave their way through like Centipede. Coe’s art style is reminiscent of yesteryear’s Drawn & Quarterly, the super simple balloon art chunky shapes of, say, Skibber Bee-Bye but with a little more street punk flavor. If “I found it at Quimby’s” is a mood you’ve been missing, this.
RICARDO SERRANO: I picked up this gritty, violent looking book from the shelves when last I went to my local shop based on its title alone: Grendel, Kentucky. The cover had bikers, shotguns, hints of illegal weed growing, and a peculiar monster looming in the background that looked like it was alluding to Beowulf’s classic creature, the titular Grendel. Lo and behold, I found that the story itself is a kind of remixing of the Grendel parts of the old English epic but surrounded instead with characters that would feel right at home in Sons of Anarchy. The comic is written by Jeff McComsey and illustrated by the amazing Tommy Lee Edwards. It’s looking like deliciously gory weekend for me.
BILLY HENEHAN: Way back in the early days of Shut In Theater, a younger, more innocent and naive Billy Henehan thought he could read all four volumes of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus while working full time from home and attempting to educate and entertain a very active four year old. That Billy made it through New Gods #1 in Volume 1, but never made it any further. Well, last week’s journey of Suicide Squad making me back into Legends changed all that. After making it through the first two parts of Legends, the sight of Darkseid and the other miscreants from Apokolips in Legends #1 (side note: how is Legends #1 the THIRD part of Legends??) reignited my desire to read the original telling of these characters’ stories, straight from the pen of Jack “The King” Kirby. I’m already further into Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus Volume 1 than I ended in the Spring. If all goes well*, you’ll read about me starting Volume 2 next week! One of these days, I’ll get around to actually reading Suicide Squad like I originally planned to last week. Just need to read four volumes of Fourth World and all of Legends first.
*I’m a fool. I now have TWO kids! Good luck, me.
CORI MCCREERY: This weekend I’m getting rid of one of my biggest DC Comics blind spots, and following Billy’s lead, as I read through the first volume of Jack Kirby Absolute Fourth World. I know the characters, because I’ve been immersed in the DC Universe for most of my life, I even know bits of the story that were brought back by the Superman teams of the 1990’s, but I have never read Jack Kirby’s actual books until now. The absolute edition has been sitting on my shelves for months just waiting for me to dive in. And boy, am I glad I waited for the perfect version to read, because friends, the Absolute Edition is the immaculate format to read Kirby in. The larger pages just make his art blast off the page, and allow you to see all the detail he packs into the backgrounds. When I finish volume one, I’m just going to wait until volume two comes out, because I can’t imagine switching from this to a tablet to finish the story.