31 Days of Comics Challenge Day 29: A Comic That Changed The Way You See The World

DMZ_-1_page01_panel01This one isn’t easy. Some of the comics that changed the way I see the world I’ve already mentioned in previous posts. When I really think about it though, I’d have to go with Brian Wood’s epic post apocalyptic ‘love letter’ to New York City, DMZ.

DMZ takes place in the not too distant future. America’s Second Civil War between the United States Government and the ultra-right wing militia calling themselves the ‘Free States’ has turned America into a bit of a nightmare. The ware is most heavily felt in the hugely contested New York City which has been turned into a No Man’s Land war zone.

The story centers around amateur journalist Matty Roth who gets dropped into the chaos of Manhattan and never leaves. As the story unfolds, writer Brian Wood touches on various aspects of New York City and of our current political landscape. Much of what he writes about seems like he’s taking pages out of recent history until you realize that this was published before many of the things he’s talking about happened.

It’s a comic book with no super-heroes and no easy answers. And it gave me an insight into the Free State mentality that isn’t too far off from many right wingers these days.

For more on the 31 Days of Comics Challenge click here.

Tomorrow: A Truly Smart Comic

– Jack Cameron


31 Days of Comics Challenge Day 28: A Comic For Kids

51WRHeUMPQL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I’ll admit I don’t read many all-ages comics. I tend to like my comics gritty and dark. Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming’s Powers is a perfect example of that. And it’s because of my interest in Powers that I ended up picking up Takio. Takio is done by the same creative team but it’s intentionally a kids comic.

Takio is about a little girl who ends up getting powers and fighting evil all the while trying to remain a little girl as well. It’s adorable and cute without being boring. There’s an excitement in the adventures she goes on because she’s so young and carefree. It’s like a solo Powerpuff Girls comic. 

For more information on the 31 Days of Comics Challenge click here.

Tomorrow: A Comic That Changed The Way You See The World

– Jack Cameron

31 Days of Comics Challenge Day 27: A Comic You’ve Read The Most Times

x-men1It’s no surprise to anyone that the comic I’ve read most is an X-Men comic. It’s the comic book that the movie X-Men 2 was supposedly based on. I say supposedly because X-Men 2 has almost no resemblance to the graphic novel X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills.

God Loves, Man Kills starts out with two children being murdered and strung up on a playground simply because they are mutants. Magneto finds them. At the time I first read it, I didn’t realize the multiple dimensions of Magneto as a character. He was just a villain. But right from the start of this, we see Magneto as a man of compassion for his people. We understand his motivation for fighting humans. In many ways, it makes more sense that Xavier’s insistence on working with them.

The story progresses with a group of X-Men including Xavier being captured by a Reverend Stryker. He treats mutants as an abomination to God. This culminates in a confrontation in a crowded arena. It’s one of the best Magneto moments ever. This book is a masterpiece and a great read thanks to writer Chris Claremont and artist Brent Anderson doing some of the best work of their careers.

God Loves, Man Kills-51

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Tomorrow: Comic For Kids

– Jack Cameron

31 Days of Comics Challenge Day 26: A Guilty Pleasure Comic

1003585Rob Liefeld. Say that name to a comic book collector and you’ll get an opinion. It’s like saying ‘Rush Limbaugh’ to a political junkie. Plenty of people dislike Rob Liefeld. His art, his storytelling, his personality. And I get it. I understand. I simply can’t read Youngblood. However, every few years, I’ll dig out my issues of New Mutants and X-Force. This is where Rob Liefeld became a name and for good reason.

Yes, the art is stylized to the point of absurdity. Yes, there are strange pouches and shoulder pads on most of the characters and their feet always look strange, but damn if it isn’t fun. The art is just as nuts as the stories. Any story where the good guys show up at the bad guy’s hideout with their former leader’s head literally on a stick is an interesting story.

Of course it’s a guilty pleasure comic and of course I wouldn’t put it in the Top 20 or even Top 50 comic book stories I’ve read, but it’s a very enjoyable read.

For more on the 31 Days of Comics Challenge click here.

Tomorrow: A Comic You’ve Read The Most Times

– Jack Cameron

31 Days of Comics Challenge Day 25: A Comic From A Favorite Creator

sovereign-seven36Like most kids, when I started collecting comics it was all about the characters. Eventually I noticed that not every Wolverine story was great and the reason for that was the creators. Some artists just don’t do the sort of art I enjoy. Some writers just don’t understand the characters they’re writing. This resulted in me paying attention to who is writing and who is drawing.

My first favorite creator was Chris Claremont. He wrote Uncanny X-Men for 17 years. It’s safe to say that without Chris Claremont, there would be no X-Men movies. In the early 1990s Claremont left Marvel due to creative differences. After a bit, he ended up working at Marvel’s competition doing a creator owned book called Sovereign Seven. It ran for 36 issues until Marvel wooed him back to them.

Sovereign Seven was about a group of heroes each from different doomed dimensions. Each other their worlds had been destroyed by the same thing. They had formed to put a stop to it. The characters were interesting and most of them were different enough that they didn’t entirely feel like recreated X-Men characters. Almost every issue had a pop culture cameo which was kind of amusing and it was a fun little book. It’s the only DC book I own the full run of. Good stuff.

For more on the 31 Days of Comics Challenge click here.

Tomorrow: A Guilty Pleasure Comic

– Jack Cameron

31 Days of Comics Challenge Day 24: A Comic That Made You Laugh

x-factor_219There aren’t too many straight up humor comics I enjoy. But there are plenty of writers out there who still manage to bring the funny along with all the super-heroing. One of the best in the business is Peter David. David recently wrapped an epic run on X-Factor. This team is different than the one I mentioned earlier. These guys are private investigators…and super-heroes.

The one other thing you could guarantee is that every issue will make you laugh at least once. Whether it’s a quick one-off joke or something that would only be funny if you’d read the previous thirty issues, you reading an issue of Peter David’s X-Factor is going to bring a smile to your face.

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Tomorrow: A Comic From A Favorite Creator

– Jack Cameron

31 Days of Comics Challenge Day 23: The First Comic You Ever Bought

gijoeI’ve always been a storyteller. I used to make up stories for my Star Wars action figures and after that, I used GI Joes because their arms and legs moved better. With Star Wars I had three movies to use as inspiration. For GI Joes all I had was the cartoon and it just wasn’t enough. I needed more source material. So I sought out the GI Joe comic book. I had no idea this would lead to an entirely new hobby that would continue throughout the rest of my life.

My first issue was issue 64 with the Baroness, Serpentor and Cobra Commander on the cover, all action figures I owned. Writer Larry Hama had crafted an incredibly detailed story and it was fun to try to get caught up on what was happening. Thanks to Hama’s scripts, I suddenly had all sorts of directions to take my action figures in. But as time went on, I read more comics and played less with action figures. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it.

As a side note, it turns out Larry Hama has returned to GI Joe comics and is continuing the stories of the characters I read as a child.

For more on the 31 Days of Comics Challenge Click Here.

Tomorrow: A Comic That Made You Laugh

– Jack Cameron