The end of every summer is always a fascinating time for comics. The big movements and tentpole events that publishers use to boost their “home from school” sales begin to settle, and readers can see which trumpeting storylines will make lasting impacts on their favorite books. It’s also when a lot of new comics find their groove, and get into the meat of their stories. This week is still a little early to feel those effects, but there’s still quite a bit on the shelves worth checking out. In this week’s comic roundup, Marvel gets into the fan-fiction game, a woman with strange powers is surrounded by monsters, and more.
‘Annual’ releases exist in a strange place in the comic world. Created as a way to tell a different story in a series without interrupting the main plotline or numbering, some see annuals as a marketing gimmick. But, as evidenced by All-New, All-Different Avengers Annual #1, they can be a bold chance to think outside the box. This issue sees everyone’s favorite teen from Jersey City, Ms. Marvel, logging onto her favorite fan-fiction website to write some stories about her fellow heroes. Once logged on, she sees that other people have written stories about her and her friends, and she’s shocked but compelled to read on. The rest of this comic, then, are those fan-fiction stories of Marvel heroes. Layered, and with plenty of goofiness and a variety of styles, this annual does exactly what it should: it tells weird stories the regular comics certainly couldn’t.
This horror-centric comic is on its way to television as a new show on Syfy, and it’ll be a work of art if it captures even a slice of the mood, tone, and tenor of the books. Harrow County’s a creepy little town where monsters and strange things prowl around the edges. Emmy, a resident of the town, finds she’s connected deeply to the supernatural roots and history of Harrow. This issue sees Emmy trying to reconcile her place in the world, and the comic drips with a low, thumping dread. This is horror with something to say, a spooky comic that doesn’t pander to its readers.
Ringside tells a classic, seedy crime story, but twists it by setting it in the world of professional underground wrestling. While the plot of issue six may be a bit hard to follow for readers jumping right in, the artwork by Nick Barber and Simon Gough is enough to instantly hook comic fans. Truly cinematic in its scope, Ringside feels like a comic adaptation of The Wrestler, but with a bit less wallowing.
The Dundee, Scotland-based Treehouse Comics Collective is a showcase for fantastic up-and-coming Scottish creators. This volume of comics ranges in style and tone from Kathryn Briggs' lighthearted (but beautifully illustrated) comic about cats in outer space, to a sparse mini-comic about velociraptors. Full of off-center wit and an array of sketching styles, Treehouse Volume 8 is a great, breezy read for adventurous readers interested in raw talent.
What were your favorite comics this week? Leave a comment here or let us know on Twitter: @CreatorsProject.