I've just read a couple of really enjoyable comics, and it's had me thinking about how hard it is to find good comics. Besides the part where I'm not into superheros, I think the open-ended nature of the storytelling isn't really my thing--I like to know I'm going to get an ending.
Still, I've read all of the compilations of Fables that have come out so far, and am waiting eagerly for the next one, Witches. I also read the first volume of the spinoff, Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love, which was good, but not as good as I hoped it would be. I haven't decided yet if that's because it's a different author or because of the short-run, bang-up action format, but either way, it temporarily filled my needs for more in that little realm.
This week, I was wandering by the graphic novels display at my local library, which is in the fiction section and separate from where they keep most of the comics. They do a great job selecting for that display--a lot of it draws the eye, and I've checked out quite a few books from there. This time, I picked up Bayou, by Jeremy Love.
It's the story of a sharecropper's daughter named Lee in Mississippi in the '30s. Her best friend, a little white girl, disappears in the swamp, and her father is arrested for it. Lee knows that her friend was taken by a strange swamp creature, but of course she can't prove it. So she sets off into the swamp to rescue her friend and save her father's life.
This is apparently based on a webcomic, though it wasn't free so I haven't seen it online. The next volume will be out in January, and if the library doesn't buy it, I will. The balance between creepy and enchanting is so tricky, and this book is dark and frightening and dangerous, as well as whimsical and charming. I'm so excited to have discovered it.
I also read Tower of Treasure, which is a kids' comic that claims to be the first book in a series called Three Thieves by Scott Chantler. This is the problem with comics in general, though, and recent ones in particular--will there be more? I really hope so. It's about a girl and her two friends in a traveling circus. They travel to the heart of the kingdom, where she finds out her friend is determined to steal the queen's jewels. When she learns that the queen's chancellor is the man who kidnapped her brother and killed the rest of her family, she's determined to learn everything she can, and hopefully save her brother. High adventure, high stakes, and a daring heroine--a great kids' book.
I think I've written about the other comics I've enjoyed in the past few months: Rapunzel's Revenge and its sequel, Calamity Jack, by Shannon, Dean, and Nate Hale--think fairy tales in the old west. Y: The Last Man, which failed in a lot of ways as an apocalypse story, but as the tale of a character on a quest, was really good (until the end, which was the biggest throw-the-book-across-the-room letdown of an ending every in the history in the world, not to give anything away).
But there just aren't enough really good comics out there, and I don't have the patience to sort through the mediocre ones. So I was really excited to luck into some fun stuff. The next one I have is Beanworld, which is so surreal that I don't think there are existing adjectives to describe it. When I get a chance, I'll choreograph an interpretive dance to explain it to you and post a video.