Wednesday is Comic Book Day and, occasionally, Graphic Novel Day as well, depending on my mood. This afternoon, for instance, I was in the mood for a little diversity so, in addition to the latest issues of the ongoing titles I’m currently following (Uncanny X-Force, Detective Comics, Red Lanterns, Aquaman, Thunderbolts, The Punisher, and Penguin: Pride and Prejudice), I picked up a few trade paperbacks that caught my interest:
DAYTRIPPER by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba
“DAYTRIPPER follows the life of one man, Bras de Olivias Dominguez. Every chapter features an important period in Bras’ life in exotic Brazil, and each story ends the same way: with his death. And then, the following story starts up at a different point in his life, oblivious to his death in the previous issue – and then also ends with him dying again. In every chapter, Bras dies at different moments in his life, as the story follows him through his entire existence – one filled with possibilities of happiness and sorrow, good and bad, love and loneliness. Each issue rediscovers the many varieties of daily life, in a story about living life to its fullest – because any of us can die at any moment.”
AMERICAN VAMPIRE by Scott Snyder, Stephen King and Rafael Albuquereque
“This volume follows two stories: one written by Scott Snyder and one written by Stephen King. Snyder’s story is set in 1920’s LA, we follow Pearl, a young woman who is turned into a vampire and sets out on a path of righteous revenge against the European Vampires who tortured and abused her. This story is paired with King’s story, a western about Skinner Sweet, the original American Vampire– a stronger, faster creature than any vampire ever seen before with rattlesnake fangs and powered by the sun.”
RED WING by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra
“To stay alive in the future, the best fighter pilots in the world not only have to perfect their skills and master their aircraft, they also have to know how to travel through time!”
BATGIRL RISING, by Bryan Q. Miller, Phil Noto and Cully Hamner
” Stephanie Brown, the vigilante formerly known as The Spoiler and Robin has taken on the identity of Batgirl as she begins her nocturnal crusade to take back the night from the underworld. Now she has become the target of both Gotham City’s heroes (who don’t take kindly to a new person wearing the cape and the cowl) and its villains (who want to see the entire Bat-family six feet under.”
The latter is, of course, this month’s Book of the Month Club selection. Discussion begins next week so pick it up and read it. Or, if you’re unable to get your hands on a copy at your local comic store, get the DC Comics app and download it (actually, the first six issues of Bryan Q. Miller’s run) to your iPhone or iPad.
Seven days to the release of Dark Matter #1, the first issue of my new SF comic book series! Today, my editor at Dark Horse, Patrick Thorpe, forwarded me my very first reader query for the letters page (Dark Matters). Not sure how this fellow got his hot little hands on an advance copy (all the way over in Trinidad and Tobago no less!) but I’m pleased to report he actually liked what he read, concluding his letter with a question that I’ve avoided answering time and again over the course of the dozen or so interviews I’ve already done for the series: What influenced Dark Matter? Well, the reason I’ve been consistently avoiding that question is because I fear it might give away the big second issue reveal, the revelation that establishes the series’ premise and drives our heroes headlong into a chaotic race for survival…and more answers. Fortunately, by the time this particular letter appears in print, all will have been revealed, so I can go ahead and inform him that I was inspired by the combined influences of a comic book, an old genre series, a cable series, a classic film, the remake of the same film, and a movie from the 70’s.
Hey, you know what one of my biggest pet peeves is? Bigger than theater-talkers, name-droppers, slow drivers in the fast lane, or those who use the term “addicting” rather than “addictive”? Coincidence! Specifically, coincidence in film, television, and prose fiction. It’s just lazy writing, a shortcut to cheap tension or convenient dramatic developments. In certain circumstances, coincidence can be a perfectly acceptable narrative device – on those occasions, for instance, when it works against the protagonist, complicating matters and making things more difficult for them rather than making things easier in the way of providing key information or allowing them to get out of jam. Narrative contrivances aren’t interesting. They just suggest a writer who has given up trying.
I’m exhausted. And I hardly did anything today! As opposed to Akemi who found time to get her hair done AND liven up simple salami and cucumber with a Christmas twist: