The Reading Pile #8

This week we take a look at Volition, Pearl, Crowded, Farmhand, Ice Cream Man and Copperhead. You want to take a look at my comic books? Ok, just take a look at The Reading Pile right now!

Copperhead 19, Image Comics, 6/13/2018
Writer: Jay Faerber
Artist: Scott Godlewski

I first became aware of Jay Faerber’s writing with Near Death (Image Comics, 2011) and Point of Impact (Image Comics, 2012) both books are of the crime/noir/hard boiled genres that I totally enjoy. I’ve been looking over his body of work and, wow, he’s had quite the career, writing everything from Superman to Robotech to Vampirella.

So anyways, Copperhead is sort of a science fiction type story in a mining town. Not a whole lot else for me to say other than that the character developments and universe building are on par with both Saga and Monstress. It’s a shame this book has never received any of the acclaim that those titles have. Perhaps lengthy delays between issues are responsible, but just take a look at this page:

Doesn’t this look like something you should be reading? Recommended. 3.5/5

Farmhand 2, Image Comics, 8/8/2018
Writer: Rob Guillory
Artist: Rob Guillory

I gushed about Farmhand 1 in issue 3 of The Reading Pile and I’m happy to report issue 2 is just as strong if not stronger. We get to see further anguish of Zeke Jenkin’s weird childhood and upbringing, a hilarious nose plant finds a new face, we check in on Zeke’s kids (Riley and Abby) at school and at home and, lastly, we see it’s not all roses with some of these agricultural body transplants.

This issue was great and resonates with me on a level that Chew, Guillory’s previous title, never did…and I liked Chew. Just a really well done title. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t point out the captivating Clint Joslin article on this title here. 5/5

Crowded 1, Image Comics, 8/15/2018
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Ro Stein

I knew nothing about this book other than that the videotastic Brian Wood was looking forward to it and that it was a new Image title. Let’s do this!

Vita is a bodyguard for hire on the Dfend app, Charlie is a woman who has a Reapr campaign; in other words, she has a contract out on her life. This issue spends time on their backstories and a couple of attempts on Charlie’s life. Writer, Christopher Sebela, calls this an “odd adventure” in the postscript column and it is. This didn’t do a lot for me, but it was ok and a lot of folks liked it. 3/5

Ice Cream Man 6, Image Comics, 8/15/2018
Writer: W. Maxwell Prince
Artist: Martin Morazzo

Wasn’t planning on including this title this week, but, damn, this issue was soooooo good that I had to review it. Strange Neapolitan takes one character on three different adventures after buying, what else, a neapolitan ice cream cone.

This was probably my favorite issue of this series yet. Do me a favor and check this issue out and I leave you to ponder this question, “Where did your life split?5/5

Pearl 1, Jinxworld/DC Comics, 8/15/2018
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Michael Gaydos

The first page of Pearl reminds me of something that I really liked when I first became aware of Bendis years ago, Jinx or Fire? Ugh, can’t really remember. Segue into the art; a really cool accessible style that is both sketchy and photorealistic. Uses duotones interspersed with sepias to great affect with greens, reds, browns and blues. This is a really great looking book.

LOVING the first couple of pages. I am immediately watching characters talk about something that is interesting, even though it is as simple as two people talking about a tattoo. I read so many books these days that just immediately throw a ton of detail and backstory at you without letting things develop organically and I hate that. Sorry for the tangent, back to our story.

Ok, so this book is a Yakuza tale that centers around Pearl who is both tattoo artist and vulnerable, young assassin. Trendy topics these days, but don’t let that deter you, I really enjoyed this. 4/5

Volition 1, Aftershock Comics, 8/15/2018
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Omar Franca

Stories about robots and artificial intelligence are plentiful these days. Thankfully, I’m not sick of them yet.

Book starts out, quite nicely I must say, with the “birth” of Amber-7T and her introduction to her robot (robots are called Artificials in this book) parents and the world. Then we are bombarded with four pages of backstory, but I’m into it.

Familiar trope of the Artificials being slaves to humans, but then gaining the right to integrate into society, but not without discrimination and prejudice.

Cut to a “smash-and-grab” by a group of robots where the leader (you figure he plays a big part in the story eventually as he is pretty prominent on the A cover) is captured. Then we quickly cut back to Amber, as a nurse in an Artifical hospital, being attacked by an Artificial patient with the Rust virus. I can’t tell you anymore, unfortunately.

This was good and I suspect anyone into the TV shows Battlestar Galactica, Humans or the Descender comic will like this. The art is really slick (the cover, shown above, represents the interior art really well) and serves the story nicely. 3.5/5

Quick Hits: Justice League continues to slay and we get a preview to the new Lee Bermejo title: Batman Damned. Just not feeling The Realm anymore. Issue 8 isn’t bad; the title just isn’t for me anymore.

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