Apologies, that pesky Real Life got in the way of part two of our regular FPI’s Most Wanted part two this month, which normally posts on the 2nd of each month with some of the titles from the next month’s scheduled releases the blog crew want to read. Various ups and downs and demands on free time means this month we’re a bit late and I’m afraid a little truncated too as there’s only been time to put together my own list. So apologies, but then again (if I do say so myself!) there are some damned good looking works coming up in November so hopefully it’s still worth posting this shorter than usual list for consideration:
Ms Marvel Omnibus Volume 1 Hardcover, G Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Takeshi Miyazawa , Marvel
This series has just won so many plaudits, not least for featuring a believable female lead and her family interactions and for adding to ethnic diversity in mainstream superhero comics. And it richly deserves those, but it also gains huge kudos for the clever storytelling and the emotional investment the writers and artists invest into the characters. Remember how troubled Peter Parker felt real to us when we started out reading comics? More real than someone like Bruce Wayne? That’s what Ms Marvel offers. One of the best new Marvel series in years getting the omnibus treatment.
Howard the Duck Volume 2 : Good Night, Good Duck, Chip Zdarsky, Joe Quinones, Marvel
For years, like many, I imagine, I thought nobody could really do Howard the Duck properly except Steve Gerber. But Zdarsky (co-creator on the fabulous Sex Criminals) and Quinones have been delivering a series that has fun adventure romps, lovely, cheeky sideswipes at other major Marvel characters such as Spider-Man and leaves me with a huge smile on my face every time.
Ody-C : Cycle One Hardcover, Matt Fraction, Christian Ward, Image
I’ve had a fascination with Classical myth and legends since I was a young boy, I think I first approached the Iliad and Odyssey when I was about ten or eleven. Cornerstones of world literature many of the stories and character archetypes repeat throughout centuries of story telling, and here it is done deliciously, cleverly and intoxicatingly, with a gender-flipped cast from the Odyssey (we now have the female captain, cunning Odyssia and Helen of Troy become He, one of the few men in the story), a science fiction setting (still in a universe with bickering, flawed, nasty gods) and oh ye four colour gods, Ward’s art. The art is astonishing, imaginative, amazingly vibrant, colourful – imagine Moebius crossed with Brendan McCarthy. This volume collects the entire first twelve issue run.
Alex + Ada : the Complete Collection Deluxe Edition Hardcover, Sarah Vaughn, Jonathan Luna, Image
I really enjoyed this series, partly a science fiction tale about Artificial Intelligence and a morality play about our own fears and prejudices and how we would treat such beings (our treatment of them saying much about ourselves), but also partly just a good old-fashioned tale of star-crossed hearts meeting, one human, one artificial and a will-they, won’t-they plot, beautifully done, avoiding the mushiness while keeping alive the romance. This collects the entire mini-series – you can read a review of the first volume here on the blog.
Brutal Nature, Luciano Saracino, Ariel Olivetti, IDW
History meets mythology and folklore in this tale set during the horribly brutal Conquistador rape of South America, greedy imperialists in search of land and gold and not caring who they harm or kill to take it, coming up against a young native tribesman who can take on aspects of numerous creatures, drawing on the ancient spirits of the land. But against Spanish greed and lust, steel and gunpowder how can anyone resist… You can read our review of the first issue here.
The Return of the Honey Buzzard Hardcover, Aimee de Jongh, SelfMadeHero
I’ve been hearing some very good word of mouth around Aimee de Jongh’s debut graphic novel, following Simon, a bookseller who retreats further into himself after witnessing a suicide that triggers old memories, long buried, a past he is reluctant to face but which still has power over him and the person who may, just may, be able to help him through those memories.
Clear Blue Tomorrows, Fabien Vehlmann, Bruno Gazzotti, Ralph Meyer, Cinebooks
More stylish European science fiction comics translated by the good folks at Cinebook, Clear Blue Tomorrows is the story of Nolan Ska, an engineer from a dystopian future where all of the human population is under dictatorial control because of neural implant technology. He travels back in time to find the original inventor, F.G. Wilson and is determined to change this wretched future by persuading Wilson to pursue his first career choice of novelist. One problem – he’s really not a very good writer…
Glenn Gould : A Life Off Tempo Hardcover, Sandrine Revel, NBM
For any of us who adore classical piano, Gould is little short of a god, and a wonderfully odd and eccentric one at that. The Canadian musician was a child prodigy and grew to be an astonishing musician, with unorthodox approaches both to the music and to the instrument, he expressed strong views on the nature of true art and could be contradictory, conservative at one moment, wonderfully progressive at others, and then he halted his live performances at the age of only 31. Revel seeks to understand this odd man who produced some of the most beautiful interpretations, most notably of the sublime music of Bach.