Promethea – This is an Alan Moore comic, I haven’t really read much of him besides Watchman. He has a long prose introduction that I actually thought was quite good. It is supposedly a history of this character Promethea in fiction which I had assumed to be true but turns out is all made up for the comic. The intro is not at all Alan Moore-ey, its reasoned and thoughtful. He makes up a terrible racist character in an early-1900s version of the story, which is weird to do when it’s not real. But he’s trying to make up a history of this character that reflects the world it was written in, which is actually pretty interesting. Unfortunately, to me, the rest of the book doesn’t live up to the intro. I only got Book 1, maybe the rest are better, but I wasn’t super into the story. The art is pretty good, bright and colorful and my style. But the mechanics of the plot were kind of sleepy. Not good enough to make me track down the other books.
Kill Shakespeare – This sounded cool, but ended up boring. It’s like Fables (or Once Upon a Time, for lame people), except with Shakespeare characters. They all exist in a shared world, interacting in various ways. I don’t know that stuff at all well enough to compare these versions of them to the classic version, but it’s kind of neat. And then there’s a mysterious Shakespeare who is maybe the creator or maybe a wizard or maybe a god and different people have different plans regarding him. That all sounds like a cool setup. But I read the whole first trade and I’m not interesting in reading the rest. It was okay, just not that interesting and didn’t keep me around.
Beautiful Darkness – This is one of the weirdest comics I’ve ever read. It’s an “anti-fairy tale”. Which basically means a dark and effed up story. A bunch of people, kids maybe, I’m not sure, get shrunk down to bug size and have to survive. There’s not much of a story, the pages feel kind of nonsequitor. But it does some pretty disturbing things, and the worst part of it is it’s very very casual about it. A person will die in an icky way, and then next panel, like no big deal. That is clearly on purpose, in contrast with its very cutesy art style. I guess it succeeds in what it’s trying to do, but what it’s trying to do is pretty weird. Not sure I exactly enjoyed it, though it was interesting.
Black Science – Read the first collected edition of this. It’s kind of a wacky scifi, other dimensions kind of story. The art style feels pretty frenetic, which suits the pace. It’s a little bloody, but not crazy. It’s very in media res, but you catch up pretty easily. It throws a lot out in the first 6 issues, and plows through its characters pretty relentlessly. Not sure how the next books will go, but I think I’m in to it.
Manhattan Projects – If I hadn’t also just read Beautiful Darkness, I would say this is a very weird book. It is still weird, just in a different way. It’s an alternate history of the Manhattan Project, wherein pretty much everyone is a psychopath. Einstein is some sort of evil version, some other guy is a skeleton made out of plasma or something, Oppenheimer is a replaced by his multiple personality, cannabalistic twin. So fucking weird. It feels like a really dark version of Atomic Robo, in that it’s set in the past, but there’s a lot of future tech, portals, lasers, etc. It’s pretty crazy, but I really like it, going to get more.