Yea! I finally got to go to a real comic store and buy comics. On Thursday, I had a break in meetings from 4-6pm, so I made the 1.6-mile hike to Isotope. It was a lovely walk and one of the advantages of taking on this commitment: a citywalk mid-week. Because Marvel NOW! is so staggered, I actually didn't have much to pick up this week, just the flagship title Uncanny Avengers and a Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. tie-in with Rotworld. I ended up picking up a Batman issue and the first trade paperback volume of Saga. I deeply enjoyed all four reads.
Uncanny Avengers was beautiful to look at and the story enveloped me in the modern Marvel Universe. Despite the obvious misgivings of being a #1 and needing to do a bunch of set-up, I felt tension, intrigue, and character development. One of the pitfalls of this new passion is that I have a familiarity with story elements before the issue comes out - even while trying to dodge spoiler alerts. The villain was played as a reveal at the end, but my familiarity with trade press meant it wasn't actually a reveal - however it still had a provocative, shocking ending. I'm hooked to this book for at least this arc. My subscription stays intact.
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. was a new experience for me, but I wasn't too hesitant considering the comic features A) a giant monster weiding a sword and B) a story that I love, Rotworld. The premise of Rotworld is the cycle of Fauna (The Red), Flora (The Green) and Death (The Rot.) Frankenstein being one of the "undead," he makes a strong warrior against The Rot. The whole idea is a lovely read for Autumn/Halloween/Winter when I seek time to be pensive about such things, especially within the season-dampening confines of the SF Bay Area.
Batman is starting a new, big Joker story arc. Those words are often all I need to convince me to buy. This book gave me chills at one point. Joker of course isn't a super-natural monster or even possessing super-powers. He is just a representation of the sometimes broken thin line in the human brain that keep us from being dreadful. Batman is fantastic, but it is the touch of realism that always gives pause.
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. Wow. I saw on Twitter a statement that if you buy anything from comics this year, buy this book. Um, yeah. I agree. (I already got Sam hooked.) Beautiful, fresh, touching, fantastic, elaborate, edgy, emotional, compelling - did I mention how gorgeous this book is? Saga is one of my favorite type of finds; it is full of archetypes and classic story elements - but so darn FRESH. Buy. this. book.
Things I learned so far:
I love the anticipation of the comics. We live in such an instant world, I sometimes forget how important and lovely anticipation is to joy. This also has created a sense of savoring the books. I don't binge read as with a graphic novel (or as many do with full seasons of TV shows these days.) I carefully turn each page. I spend time staring. It is similar to the act of savoring food. Stopping, thinking about what you are eating. Enjoying it. Savoring it. Allowing the experience to seep into the taste.
I don't think we spend enough time allowing ourselves to add value to the things we consume. We have an expectation that others are supposed to supply the value. The easiest and most authentic way to have more value in our lives is to pause and appreciate.