A kid, a killer, and a paranormal investigation team: some good comics

Franklin Richards

So I spent so much time talking about what I didn’t like about Marvel and DC recently, I figured I would talk about some things that were still good.  The image above is from a title I like, called Franklin Richards, Son of a Genius.  It isn’t published regularly, and it seems very much influenced by Calvin and Hobbes– or at least that is what it reminds me of.  I don’t know why I like it so much, it’s silly, it’s funny, but it works.  It almost begins to feel like it would work much better as a comic strip, or as a one-page supplement each month at the end of a Marvel comic (like the good old Rufferto one pages on the back cover of one of my favorite books from back in the day, Groo the Wanderer).  Anyway, I don’t read many “funny” comics, but this is one of the few that is worth doing so, if you are even marginally into Marvel comics. 

For something a little less-light, one of the best titles I’ve read this whole past year has been Mike Magnolia’s B.P.R.D.  In fact, though I feel like stating this might be considered a faux pas by hard-core Magnolia fans, I’ve liked B.P.R.D. more than the recent Hellboy titles.  I do like Hellboy, and have since I first stumbled across it when it was a supplement to John Byrne’s Next Men (which I still have).  It has only gotten better and better over the years since then; however, something about B.P.R.D. just really keeps me on the edge of my reading seat, eager for more and more.  I have to give my hats off to Magnolia and company for bumping up the publication schedule of this book to make it a monthly (I think, or very close to it) release.  If you’ve never read any of them, this title gets one of my highest possible recommendations.  It does help to read previous issues, but it isn’t necessary, as long as you can go with it; however, the build-up characterization and the previous stories are just so frickin good, you’d be doing yourself a disservice not to at least seek out the collected editions of some of the previous stories (almost all of them are 4-5 issue story-arcs, issues as a mini-series). 

Lastly, after finishing the final issue, I have to put in a good word for David Mack’s Kabuki: The Alchemy.  I’ve read most of the previous Kabuki stories, and yes, they are cool; but The Alchemy is truly a giant step up for Mack, who has taken his storytelling ability to a literary level.  This title is amazing; it is self-reflexive, deeply aware that is a comic, and at the same time reflective, at times actually becoming the thing the story is talking about.  No amount of explication can really do justice to what I am trying to talk about.  Even if you’ve never read Kabuki before, that’s okay, you can pick up The Alchemy and appreciate the depth and complexity of what Mack has done with this title.  Really, it is one of the most-impressive 9 issues of comics I have read in a long time. 

Another thing I want to add is that if you have never had the pleasure of meeting David Mack, get yourself to any convention he is slated to be at.  One of the things that most impresses me about Mack, besides his work and the beautiful Asian women he always has around him, is how … well, how nice he is.  Yes, it was pretty exciting to see some of his original panels, to see how multi-layered and multi-media based they were; but what really left an impression was how generous with his time he was, how genuine his politeness and humility came across, and just how darn pleasant he was, as if he was just as excited about seeing people come over to his table as the people were about going to meet him.  I know that may sound cheesy, but I’m not the first person to say that about Mack, and he is ever in your vicinity you should stop by.  If not, at the very least you should check out The Alchemy.  Issue #9 (the final issue) came out not too long ago, so the collected editions should be making their way out soon.  Look for it.  But if you get the single issues, you can get a nifty artistic license like below!



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