I am, by no means, a comics expert — I barely know the major story arcs of Marvel and DC from the last decade, and, in fact, find most of them tedious! But after I put the kiddo to bed, my wind-down includes about 30-60 minutes of digital comics on the iPad. In lieu of Bandcamp finds this week, consider this the Viking's Choice 6-Pack: Comic Book Edition!
DIE by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans (Image): When it comes to gaming, I've always been more the observer than the player — I am far too nervous to react on the spot, and would rather experience the story through more capable hands/minds. I did one year-long D&D campaign with friends over dinner and drinks, but it did not prepare me for this beautiful, bleak and ultimately human world transported to an all-too-real fantasy land. The Wicked + The Divine's writer and illustrator re-team up to wrench out the essential means and meaning of RPGs — I'll be thinking about DIE's final question for some time.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrels Just Wanna Have Fun by Will Murray, Ryan North, Zac Gorman and Erica Henderson (Marvel): Ever since the 2015 reboot, Squirrel Girl has been such a refreshing change of pace — not just as a wholesome counterpoint to the doom and gloom of most Marvel titles, but especially as a fully-rounded superhero who wrestles with goodness not as a flaw but as a character trait in flux.
Saga, Issue #55 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image): Saga is back! I really don't want to spoil the story if a) you've never read any of the nine volumes, b) it's really been so long since that devastating cliffhanger! But, wow, this issue's sex scene is intense!
Clear by Scott Synder and Francis Manapul (Comixology Originals): Scott Synder's writing three creator-driven stories at once (see also: Night of the Ghoul with Francesco Francavilla, We Have Demons with Greg Capullo) but Clear is my favorite, so far. Dystopian world building that asks bigger questions about the realities we project onto the world, funneled through a retrofuturist Detective Comics style.
The Manhattan Projects by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra (Image): What if the Manhattan Project was a front not only for worldwide but intergalactic domination? Backstabbing, plot-twisting, politically incorrect alternate reality chaos from the writer who's helmed several major story arcs for Marvel and DC.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin by Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, et al. (IDW Publishing): I've really enjoyed the past decade's TMNT revival, giving the mythology more room to breathe, but also space for beloved characters to be complicated. Admittedly, The Last Ronin is pretty grim, echoing Old Man Logan and Old Man Hawkeye — Michelangelo's the only brother left alive in a future's authoritarian society. The action sequences are astounding, however, and there's an uncertainty of the story's outcome that has me waiting for issues 4 and 5.
Stream the updated Viking's Choice playlist via BNDCMPR. Tracklist below:
Papé Nziengui, "Gho Mitsaba Na Voko"
Moonlight Sorcery, "Ice-Veiled Spell"
Television, "Satisfaction (Rolling Stones cover) (Live)"
Star Party, "Push You Aside"
Erasers, "Constant Connection"
OHYUNG, "symphonies sweeping!"
Inokasira Rangers, "Who Do I Get (Buzzcocks cover)"
Chico Sonido, "Claro que si (feat. La Goony Chonga)"
DJ Travella, "Crazy Beat Music Umeme 2"
Baphomorph, "Don't Try"
maria bc, "The Only Thing"
50 Foot Wave, "Staring into the Sun"
Ainulindalë, "Wasted Years (Iron Maiden cover)"
Branko Mataja, "Tamo Daleko"
Godspeed You! Black Emperor, "all lights f***** on the hairy amp drooling, side B1"
The Fact, "Never Surrender"
Petrol Girls, "Baby, I Had an Abortion"
Anika, "Finger Pies (Maral At The Controls Dub Mix)"
Betty Davis, "You Won't See Me in the Morning"
Pigs, "If I'm in Luck (Betty Davis cover)"
Toe Ring, "This is the End"
Height/Dismay, "Blood Pressure in the Sand"
Junior Y Du Equipo, "La Borrachita"
Florry, "Cowgirl in a Ditch (Live)"
Christina Carter, "Rocks"
Static Abyss, "Jawbone Ritual"
Field Works, "Station 5"
Lotus of Darkness, "Sompas-Naga"
ML Wah, "Liberation"