Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
I started reading comics at the ripe old age of 13, well after most of my peers got hooked by that "G.I. Joe" commercial. But I haven't stopped reading since. I gave up counting how many comics sit in longboxes throughout the house years ago. Someday soon, I hope to count my comics by the megabyte.
My entrée into the world of writing about comics was in the letters columns of the 1990s, most prominently in "Savage Dragon" and DC's "Star Trek" series. I entered the on-line world -- well, back in 1986 on Q-Link, but I wasn't reading or talking about comics yet at that point, so nevermind. I started up on USENET and CompuServe in the mid-1990s, and eventually tried writing my own review column (creatively titled "Augie's Reviews"), which eventually became Pipeline in 1998. Pipeline has run every week since, without a break, and even ran twice a week for a couple of years, and alongside the first comic book podcast for nearly six years. I was the original editor of CBR's "The Commentary Track" feature, and now edit the CBR Reviews section.
I'm a computer programmer by trade, and a photographic enthusiast in addition to my sequential narrative habit. My wife enjoys Tom Beland's "True Story, Swear to God," while my daughter enjoys the works of Sandra Boynton, Dr. Seuss, and a tattered copy of "Little Lulu."
FIRST COMIC: "Amazing Spider-Man" #318
FAVORITE CHARACTER: Savage Dragon, Ultimate Spider-Man, Oracle, Jubilee, Asterix, Largo Winch
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Finally, French comics are being translated for digital distribution. This raises some questions for Augie.
With SDCC around the corner, Augie takes a trip down memory lane with pics from San Diego 15 years ago.
Ever feel like there are comics classics you haven't read yet? Like other fans judge you for not having read something? Augie understands.
Augie bids farewell to Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn's "Alex + Ada," considers Marvel's new coloring books and revisits Alan Moore's "Mr. Majestic" story.
Augie revisits then up-and-coming artist S. Clarke Hawbaker's brief, bright run on "Nomad," Marvel's superhero answer to "Lone Wolf and Cub."
Remember that time Travis Charest drew "Wildcats?" Augie re-acquainted himself with those issues and reports back on how they hold up.
"Invincible" #120 features "Ryan Ottley's bloodiest drawn fights next to some of Robert Kirkman's most touching, feel-good family moments."
With a creative roster of Joe Casey, Brian Holguin and Ed McGuinness, the late-nineties Wildstorm series couldn't help but be good!
"Mister Majestic" came out 15 years ago and didn't make it past issue #9, but it's still a great read. Augie explains why in this first of two parts.
Augie unearths his 20 year old fan art, then shares a look in his current sketchbook. Plus, remember when Heath Ledger was in line to play Spider-Man?
Augie liked "The Avengers: Age of Ultron," and continues to enjoy "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD." Plus, more of Todd McFarlane's Spider-Man pencil work!
Augie finishes up his epic re-read of "All Star Batman," and looks at what might have been.
Augie unearths copies of some of Todd McFarlane's original "Amazing Spider-Man" pencils, revisits the week in movie trailers and more!
"RunLoveKill" #1 features one of the best bits of music in comics Augie's seen. Plus, Netflix's" "Daredevil" and a comics format waiting for a break-out hit!
Augie finds out that they sell digital comics in France, too, and gets more than a little bit excited about expanding his linguistic parameters.
At last, we've come to the best issue of Frank Miller and Jim Lee's "All Star Batman and Robin," served with a tall glass of yellow lemonade!
Augie catches up with Christie's recent auction of Franco-Belgian comic art, then explains why he turned to French comics when learning to draw hands.
DC Comics may have pulled the controversial "Batgirl" cover, but Augie believes the way in which it happened leaves something to be desired.
Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard's "The Walking Dead" #138 is "rife with possibilities."
Augie compares Valiant's movie deal to Marvel and CrossGen's, finds a "Lone Wolf and Cub" magic trick video, and goes deep into the Joker issue of "All Star Batman."
The battle is on in "Glory" #33, as Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell present the battle of the ages that Glory is here to save Earth from. The entire Extreme Universe is present and it's a bloody mess.
"Comeback" #4 from Ed Brisson and Michael Walsh brings the time traveling Reconnect agents to the end of their rope, as events in the past and present collide, and the FBI plays its hand. It's time travelling drama without the headaches.
"The Manhattan Projects" finishes its storyline as the main character methodically tear into their opposition. Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Wernher Von Braun, and friends find creative ways to take care of the bad guys while setting themsel
Normally just a pretty action comic, Raffaele Ienco's "Epic Kill" turns things up a notch this month at Image Comics, leading to the most gloriously ludicrous action scene in recent memory.
"Glory" takes a breather for an issue, with the characters mentally preparing themselves for war with a slew of guest artists to show us the way. It's a quiet issue, but one loaded with great characterization and some nice fill-in art.
Brandon Seifert and Lukas Ketner's "Witch Doctor: Mal Practice" reaches its halfway point with an issue that zips by, offering a nice mix of character elements and larger plot ramifications.
Ken Kristensen and M.K. Perker bring readers "Todd the Ugliest Kid on Earth", a new four-issue humor series set in an ugly world with lots of belligerent characters who do and say bad things to one another. If you can stomach all that,
"Chew" hits its halfway point, with John Layman and Rob Guillory teaming up once again to put the readers through a funny sort of hell, as Toni Chu prepares for her wedding day.
Raffaele Ienco's tale of the ultimate fighting machine returns to Image, as "Epic Kill" attempts to do the impossible: Bring its lead character back to life. It doesn't happen here, but it's a lot of fun in the process.
Another mini-series at Image Comics concludes, as Kurtis J. Wiebe and Riley Rossmo's tale of a "punk junk" warrior maiden trying to save her people comes to a dramatic final battle and an unlikely end. It's a great end for a beautiful
"Guarding the Globe" has a lot of good elements in it, but the first issue doesn't give a strong hook. For fans of "Invincible," though, there's a strong potential worth reading here.
"The Walking Dead" celebrates its centennial with a bonus-sized issue that changes the book's direction again while keeping fans on their toes. It's a tough one.
It's a fine issue for the series, overall, but on its own, "The Walking Dead" #99 reads like the set-up issue.
The danger comes to Rick and the gang, as one ally falls and tensions rise in "The Walking Dead" #98.
Rick and his small band of survivors encounter a new zombie-free community where things aren't quite what they seem.
Despite a lot of talking heads and some decompressed storytelling, this second issue carries the story forward admirably with a great action sequence smack in the middle of things.
It's a new heist series, with snappy dialogue, a clever opening heist, and just enough cliffhanger to make you wonder what will happen next. And Shawn Martinbrough's art make widescreen storytelling come alive again.
Dragon's kids fight a Hulked-Out Osama Bin Laden, while the subplots keep rolling.
A cloaked figure fights it out with Michonne and Abraham. And his revelation could set up the next new status quo for the series.
“Near Death” gets closer to fulfilling the promise of the series, but trips up on an ending that feels too simple.