Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
I first discovered the joy of comics in 1980 when some girls on my school bus brought in their father's copies of Wendy and Richard Pini's "Elfquest" and the rest, as they say, is history. Since then, I've written freelance interviews and articles for "Wizard" (going all the way back to the first issue), headed up the Small Press Expo and the Ignatz Awards, served as an Eisner judge and written reviews regularly since 1999 (first for iComics.com, then moving to my own site Read About Comics).
I moved to the Washington DC area in 1974 and have yet to leave. I design and develop training for the Federal government during the day, and I've had both fiction and non-fiction professionally published. In my spare time I train for marathons and triathlons. I've promised my friends one of these days I'll run a race dressed as the Flash.
FIRST COMIC: "Elfquest" #5
FAVORITE CHARACTER: Fone Bone, Captain Britain, Rachel Summers Grey
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"With juggled plotlines and a growing cast of characters, every new issue of Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's 'Sex Criminals' is a real joy to read."
"Tim Seeley and Tom King's story in 'Grayson' #10 is fun and full of spy action, but it's Mikel Janin's superstar art that ultimately steals the show."
Noelle Steveonson, Shannon Watters and Brooke Allen's "Lumberjanes" #16 is, "yet again, a real joy to read."
Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok's "Justice League" #42 "feels like it's providing a story that will eventually shape the future of a lot of characters."
"Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples 'Saga" #30 is a knock-out issue in one of the strongest ongoing series being published right now."
Kieron Gillen and Kate Brown's "The Wicked + The Divine" #12 "is divinely fun, but wicked in making us wait another month to find out what happens next."
"Readers will be very pleased with what they find" in Brian K. Vaughan and Steve Skroce's "We Stand On Guard" #1.
"There's more than enough here to bring readers back for a second issue" in Lee Bermejo, Jorge Corona and Khary Randolph's "We Are Robin" #1.
Jason Aaron and Jason Latour's "Southern Bastards" #9 "is a beautiful book, even when it's ugly."
"The mixture of Egyptian mythology and superhero identities is a joy to read" in Paul Levitz and Sonny Liew's "Doctor Fate" #1.
Brenden Fletcher and Annie Wu's "Black Canary" #1 "has the potential to stick around for a long time to come."
Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti and Emanuela Lupacchino's "Starfire" #1 takes "exactly the right tactic for this character, whose exuberance is infectious."
"Batman" #41 "is a great opportunity and it feels like Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Danny Miki are taking full advantage of it."
Steve Orlando and ACO "take a great deal of care to be inviting, and it pays off" in "Midnighter" #1.
"Action Comics" #41 "may be tied into the overall 'Truth' storyline, but Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder continue to bring their own voice to the title."
Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda's "The Omega Men" #1 is "complex, but has a real game plan."
Despite its delays, Neil Gaiman and J.H. William III's "Sandman: Overture" #5 "is still well above average and worth reading."
Stan Sakai's "Usagi Yojimbo" #145 is "a good place for a new reader to jump in and discover why Sakai's comic was and continues to be a genuine treasure."
Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters and Brooke Allen's "Lumberjanes" #14 "is, once again, a strong issue in a series that just gets better and better."
Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson's "Astro City" #23 "looks great, and the story itself is even better."
The team visits Changralyn to try and take possession of the Holy Key of Alpha, but Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda don't make things easy for our group of Vega System outlaws in "The Omega Men" #5.
The Justice League paying a visit to past and present Batman in "Detective Comics" #45, but Peter J. Tomasi and Marcio Takara's story feels like a tired retread.
Greg Pak, Aaron Kuder and Scott Kolins begin to tie together multiple story threads in "Action Comics" #45 as Superman follows the path of Wrath.
Lauren Beukes and Dale Halvorsen have big ideas in their script for "Survivors' Club" #1, but it's Ryan Kelly's visuals that evoke a sense of horror above all else as six survivors of occult events are brought together.
In "Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor: Year Two" #1, Si Spurrier, Rob Williams and Simon Fraser plunge the Doctor and Alice into a problem started by one of the Doctor's past selves, but the present needs more zip to it.
James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea kick off a new Batman weekly series in "Batman and Robin Eternal" #1, and we quickly see why this comic gives Robin title billing.
Gene Luen Yang, John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson continue their "Before Truth" storyline in "Superman" #44, but the little glimpses of fun fail to make up for a book that is otherwise lacking in energy.
Neil Gaiman, J.H. Williams, Dave Stewart and Todd Klein present their story's final act in "The Sandman: Overture" #6, as the vortex is defeated and Dream's descent into "The Sandman" #1 happens once more.
Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Stephane Roux and Elliot Fernandez 's "Harley Quinn and Power Girl" #4 goes from one silly situation to another, all while keeping a bit of drama.
Tom King, Tim Seeley and Mikel Janin's "Grayson" #12 takes Dick back to his old stomping grounds in Gotham City, where his closest allies discover the truth about his "death."
Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs mix familiar emotion and the supernatural in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10" #19, which is just as good as the original show's high points.
Mike Mignola not only revisits part of Hellboy's past, but also shows us the future of Hell as "The Hounds of Pluto" concludes in "Hellboy in Hell" #8.
Kelly Thompson & Emma Vieceli's "Jem and the Holograms" #7 finds Jerrica and Co. dealing with their sudden popularity as the Misfits prepare to strike back.
Donna Troy gets a new outfit, but otherwise nothing really happens in Meredith Finch, David Finch and Jonathan Glapion's "Wonder Woman" #44.
Cullen Bunn and Javier Pina launch "Green Lantern: The Lost Army" #4 into its endgame against the light-stealers.
"Dark Truth" continues in "Superman/Wonder Woman" #21, as Peter J. Tomasi, Doug Mahnke and company introduce more bumps in the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship as well as a new power-hungry villain or two.
Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti and Emanuela Lupacchino pour on the charm in "Starfire" #4 as Starfire and Terra team up to destroy a Chida monster from beneath the planet's surface.
Marguerite Bennett, G. Willow Wilson, Jorge Molina, Craig Yeung and Walden Wong reveal the identity of Arcadia's traitor and kick off the final fight in "A-Force" #4, but some of the sense of wonder is sadly diminished.
Clark Kent successfully defends his old neighborhood in "Action Comics" #44, even as Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder leave the Man of Steel feeling more homeless than ever.
"The Wicked + The Divine" #14 gives Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie the chance to release a remix and, like all good remixes, former plot threads are brought to the foreground and have new prominence while added material explains much.