Emerald City Comicon is going on today and tomorrow at the Washington State Convention Center. Hopefully, in between all the celebrity sightings and panel discussions about movies and TV shows, you'll remember to check out the acres of comic books for sale. Here are a few comics you should keep an eye out for:
· I've mentioned this before, but Image Comics is on fire, lately. Drop by their booth and hunt down Prophet and Glory, which are two Rob Liefeld concepts that are getting loving redesigns. (Liefeld is also publishing an Alan Moore-written and Erik Larsen-drawn run of Supreme, but it honestly feels like a tired rehash of Moore's excellent earlier Supreme run.) In other fun superhero news, Paul Grist's Mudman—about a teenager who develops the power to turn into mud after a bizarre accident—is reminiscent of early Lee/Ditko Spider-Man while still honorng Grist's very British sense of understatement. I also very much liked Queen Crab, a Kickstarter-funded weird fairy tale of a book about a woman who has to become half-crab in order to develop self-respect.
· Also out from Image is the highly promising first issue of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples's Saga. It reads like the first chapter of a fantasy novel, wherein a pair of doomed lovers and their newborn baby try to shake off their destiny. Except for all the space travel and giant war robots. The fact is, I don't know how to identify this comic book. Is it a love story? A war story? A story about magic? A story about science? By the time the first issue ends, I don't care. I just want to read more. It helps that this is the kind of story that would only work as a comic book—the interplay between the narration and the panels adds a friction that wouldn't come across in prose, and there are so many huge genre concepts on display here that it would be way too expensive to turn into a movie. Vaughan works best when he's got a great artist working closely with him, and this looks like it could wind up being even better than his Y the Last Man.
· Now that all the buzz over the plasticky (but still entertaining!) Tintin movie has passed, you should take a look at The Adventures of Hergé, by José-Louis Bocquet and Jean-Luc Fromental. It's an interesting concept for a comic biography—the art and writing echoes Hergé's own work, but it also brings a more cubist bent to both the pictures and the story. It's sentimental without being cloying, and it reclaims Tintin for the realm of literature by respecting Hergé and representing him as a very human storyteller.