Welcome all, to this week’s Rae’s Recs! This small, weekly comic recommendation posts every Thursday and I’ll be doing my best to bring you some cool titles you may not have noticed on your first go-round on New Comic Book Day! I recommend two of my favorite single issues for the week, one or two graphic novels or trade comics from the past few weeks, and then two all-ages comics. These have no time frame, but are just some really great titles to share with a kiddo, or even an adult, in your life. One of them is still in issues, one is in trade format.
Thanks so much and I hope you enjoy!
World Reader is a cool new title from the comic company Aftershock, which has quickly impressed many people (especially me) with a wide range of really interesting titles in a variety of genres. Jeff Loveness brings his first all-original world to life with an astronaut traveling through space, trying to learn what exactly is causing the worlds out there to die out. She has a leg up on the rest of her crew with her research, though – she can psychically link with the spirits still on the planet. While the crew may not believe her, she’s uncovering something sinister running loose in the galaxy. Drawn by Juan Doe, this comic features beautiful design and expressive faces. Let’s not forget, of course, plenty of vibrant color.
This week, Vault Comics, another small company that has impressed me with almost every title I’ve been lucky enough to pick up, released the second issue of Powerless. David M. Booher brings us to a world where every person is born with a natural gift, the likes of which we would associate with a superhero. With that as the norm, the world around them is almost a fantastical place, but a virus is sweeping through the people, taking away powers and worse in some cases. A quarantine is being put into effect, but not everyone believes the virus is dangerous, and not all victims want to be put into quarantine. With art by Nathan Goodman and Mike Spicer, it’s a visually beautiful book. What really stands out, though, is the use of the powers in the world. Not only is there depth in the characters and the world, but with powers that are familiar but unique in their limitations, they’ve been able to create something wholly new and exciting.
From a beloved artist of mine personally, Leila Del Duca, comes Afar. Teaming up with Kit Seaton and produced by Image Comics, this story gives us an exciting look at a fantasy world unlike most others. Boetama and her brother Inotu live in a desert with their frivolous parents. After a mistake has their father moving them away from home and eventually leaving the siblings on their own, Boetama begins dreaming herself into other places, other worlds, other bodies. Unsure how to explain without seeming like she’s lost her mind, she keeps this a secret until her brother catches on. Together, they embark on a journey across the desert to find their way and stay safe from the trouble Inotu has found himself in. While Inotu tries to make sense of his changing world, Boetama tries to make sense of her newfound power and fix places she’s only seen through the eyes of another. In a similar vein to books like Nameless City, Afar takes us on a fantasy adventure with several bright worlds and beautiful alien characters. This books stands out with it’s use of design where new species are concerned, making each one unique in its own right, and still believable.
From KaBOOM! Comics comes Mega Princess, written by Kelly Thompson and drawn by Brianne Drouhard. In this fun and exciting story for kids, we meet Princess Maxine on her birthday. Like all princesses, she meets her fairy godmother and is gifted with the power of a princess, but not just any power. She’s gifted with all the powers of princesses everywhere. The only issue is that Maxine doesn’t even want to be a princess. She wants to be a detective! Soon after gaining her powers, though, her little brother Baby Bobs disappears! With the whole kingdom in a tizzy, Maxine goes investigating with her trusty, albeit kind of rude, pony to find him and bring in the culprit!
Teen Dog is a short, simple, positive comic brought to us by BOOM! Comics and Jake Lawrence as both writer and artist. Teen Dog is the coolest in school, be they dog or person, and is best friends with Mariella, who is just about equally cool. This book is good, sweet fun and full of pizza, skateboarding, and accepting all types of people for exactly who they are. This book reminds me of an Archie comic set in the 90’s, but with far less love shenanigans and way more understanding.