Lately I’ve become more and more interested in independent and creator owned comics. I keep hearing such great things about books outside of the Big 2, and sometimes it’s nice to get outside of the superhero genre. I’ve also really started to enjoy buying comics digitally. I’m still buying my Big 2 stuff in print, but I like being able to just it down with my iPad and download a comic, often at a cheaper price than in print. In this post I’ll be discussing two books that I’ve started reading digitally, one that is well into its run and one that is just getting started. The first is The Sixth Gun from Oni Press, written by Cullen Bunn with art by Brian Hurtt. The second is Prophet from Image Comics, written by Brandon Graham with art by Simon Roy. I’ll also list some other books I’m interested in and that you should be checking out.
The Sixth Gun is the story of six mystical and demonic guns, each with unique properties and abilities, which together have to ability to reshape all of creation. Set in post Civil War America, the story centers on Drake Sinclair, an enigmatic man of the occult, and Becky Moncrieff, a young girl who by unfortunate circumstances comes into possession of the titular sixth gun. The two fight against all manners of unholy creatures, specifically the devilish General Hume, a man who has crawled back from the grave to seek out the sixth gun. The best way I can describe Sixth Gun is Jonah Hex meets Supernatural. This is one of the most action packed and creative books I’ve read in a long time. The first story arc, consisting of issues 1-6, is the best so far in my opinion as it introduces the characters, the mythology and powers of the Six Guns, and features the first battle against General Hume told across a dozen double pages spreads. The second story arc, issues 7-11, dials back the scale a bit to focus on the characters, and it is here that the Sixth Gun finds its strength. This book has some extremely interesting and complex characters. Cullen Bunn did an amazing job of crafting the world of the Sixth Gun and fully fleshing out the characters in a matter of a few issues. The third story arc, issues 12-17, kicks the story back into high gear and thickens the mysteries surrounding Drake Sinclair and his destiny involving the six guns. The story is currently at issue 19, all of which can be found on the comixology app for iOS, Android, or on comixology.com. The issues are $3.99 upon release but drop to $1.99 after one month. The first issue is free, so I highly recommend giving it a shot as you have nothing to lose. If you’re a fan of stories about the supernatural and occult, or are a fan of westerns with well crafted characters, then you should definitely give The Sixth Gun a try.
Prophet is the first title to be released in this year’s relaunch of Rob Liefeld’s Extreme Comics imprint from the 90’s. These books feature all new creative teams and are picking up from their original original numbering, but still read like a #1 issue. Doing away with the excesses of 90’s Extreme comics, Prophet is set in the far flung future and centers on John Prophet, who has just awoken from hundreds of years of hibernation in an underground pod. He awakens to find an Earth that is far different than he remembers. This book is such a refreshing take on the sci-fi genre, skirting away from tropes that you might expect to find in a book like this. The book is also not afraid to be genuinely weird. High concept after high concept are thrown at the reader in a brilliant rendering of a post-human Earth. Think Avatar’s Pandora on LSD. I’ve only read the first issue, #21, but issue #22 was just released and I can’t wait to read it. You can read a preview of Prophet, as well as four other Extreme titles, for free in Extreme 2012 on Comixology’s comic app. Prophet is $2.99 an issue and drops to $1.99 one month after release.
Other books I’m interested in
There are a number of other indie and creator owned books that I’m really interested in checking out, some of which have free first issues on Comixology. Here are a few to check out.
Severed by Scott Snyder, Scott Tuft, and Attila Futaki- 7 issue miniseries (First issue is free)
-For fans of horror and coming of age stories.
The Last of the Greats by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Brent Peeples- 5 issue miniseries (First issue is free)
-For fans of dark gritty superhero tales in the vein of Watchmen and Inredeemable.
Who is Jake Ellis? by Nathan Edmondson and Tonci Zonjic- 5 issue miniseries
-For fans of mysterious spy thrillers.
Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors by Mark Andrew Smith and Armand Villavert-6 issue miniseries
-For fans of zany superheroics and boarding school type stories.
Spaceman by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso- 9 issue miniseries (First issue is $0.99)
-For fans of stories about dystopian societies.
These are just a few books that critics are raving about and that I’m really looking forward to reading. It’s always fun finding something great that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Instead of buying that DC or Marvel book that you don’t really like and only buy out of compulsion, give one of these books a shot.