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 ongoing, one completed.
Thanks so much and I hope you enjoy!
RULES ARE FOR SUCKERS. Or, at least, that’s what I’m going to start telling myself, since I clearly have no intention of following the ones I set for myself anyway. This week, Marvel released a new Spider-Man title, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man. For a long time, I’ve been way too scared to pick up another Peter Parker book. I’ve dipped my toes into the Miles Morales side of things, because he’s fairly new, but Peter Parker comes with so much backstory, history, continuity that I just couldn’t do it. This comic, though, written by Chip Zdarsky (the reason I picked it up) and drawn by the fabulous Adam Kubert, was created for people like me. Peter Parker is getting a lot of traction again this year, with a new animated series and a new live action movie coming up. It’s only natural that people will want to jump into the comics as well, especially with something that’s as fun and quirky as the Spidey we all know. Spectacular Spider-Man, then, is a great place to start. It’s fun, it’s a little wacky, and it’s familiar without being so heavy in continuity that it’s overwhelming. If you’re a budding Spider-Man fan, this is a book for you!
This is, perhaps, the most crude book I’ve had on this list so far. It is, however, super funny: Introducing Shirtless Bear Fighter. If you like things that make little to no sense, then you are in for a treat here. Writers Jody LeHeup and Sebastian Girner come up with dick jokes that made me snort out loud and ridiculous bear puns that had me giggling – both visual and verbal bear puns, mind you. Artist Nil Vendrell build a colorful, ridiculous world with the manliest – almost too manly Shirtless Bear-Fighter – at it’s center. When Major City is in trouble as a result of horrible bears, will Shirtless turn his back on the forest he swore to protect to help out the government? What happened to make him turn away from the bears that raised him from birth? Most importantly – what is the nefarious plot that is driving bears to tear into the towns?
When this book came out, all I could think of was that the Avengers were played out, that they were overdone, and just Hawkeye traveling the country and feeling guilty about his part in Civil War II was a little bit of a reach anyway. I picked the book up anyway, because that is what I do, and frankly, I was a little blown away. Writers David Walker and Roy Thomas pull no punches while artists Carlos Pacheco and John Buscema help them throw several. Occupy Avengers is the most Social Justice Warrior book I have perhaps ever read, even considering the fact that all superheroes are, in essence, social justice warriors. Walker and Thomas make a point, however, to deal with real world issues, like the DAPL and the silencing of marginalized voices in our world today. Along with heroes Red Wolf and Nighthawk, Hawkeye goes on missions that make me proud to have read this book. If you care about these issues, if you feel like you’re a Social Justice Warrior, or you feel like you’re alone in caring deeply about them, please pick this book up.
This week’s All Ages book doubles as a new trade! From award winning author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Divya Srinivasan comes Cinnamon. This tale is of a princess named Cinnamon who refuses to talk and has pearls for eyes, which makes her nearly blind. Despite the many tutors to whom her parents have promised riches and status to in exchange for lessons, no one is able to get her to say a peep until a tiger comes to the palace and shows her fear, love, and understanding. The story may get a little dark, but if you can show your kids a movie like Snow White, it shouldn’t be a problem. Most of all, though, the way the story is written is beautiful, along with gorgeously illustrated pages.
Unfortunately, this will be the last week that All Ages recommends with be included in Rae’s Recs! I’m running out of books faster than I can read them doing two every week and I’m not willing to let anything I don’t feel strongly make it onto the list! Please still remember to join me for monthly recommends of indie books, as well as a monthly recommend of all ages titles!