Graphic Novel(s) Of The Month

Superspy (Top Shelf): Matt Kindt’s latest work is an interwoven mélange of tales about espionage, loyalty, and romance that intersect in very engaging ways. I enjoyed his work on Pistolwhip, 2 Sisters, and others, but here his pencils seem to have taken a leap forward, looking completely refined, brilliant with the subtle addition of more color, and even more inventive page and panel layouts. This work further fuels the endless fascination with the WWII era. I love it because it’s very rooted in humanity and reality, not the type of uber-competent, bordering on self-parody, espionage that something like Mission Impossible has become. My particular hardcover of Superspy is signed by Matt Kindt and adorned with a sketch he did for me at the San Diego Comic-Con. Having finally finished reading everything I picked up at the Con nearly 3 months ago, I can definitively say that (aside from my Paul Pope original art page) this was the “score” of the Con. This is Kindt’s strongest work to date and is the type of work I would give to someone not familiar with the comic book medium if I was trying to convert them. Grade A+.

Finder: Sin-Eater: Book 1 (Light Speed Press): Carla Speed McNeil’s 10th anniversary edition hardcover is a beautifully designed book. The sturdy design of the exterior is complemented on the interior by the masterful use of shadow and negative space and distinctive lettering. The unique world that McNeil has created feels post-apocalyptic in nature, but also seems plausible and within reach. It is rugged and imaginative, but doesn’t push beyond the reader’s ability to suspend disbelief. I really enjoy the composition of lead character Jaeger, who is both the titular Sin-Eater/"ritual scapegoat" and a Finder/"Aboriginal Detective." The dichotomy between one who is buried in blame and in search of the truth plays in an engaging way that permeates all of his interpersonal relationships. McNeil’s clean, emotive lines are basically like cold water on a hot summer day. They quench your thirst, rejuvenate your being, and have that crisp healthy feeling. The annotations can only be described as icing on the cake, there is so much embedded in the panels that you can miss on first pass, that reading it all in conjunction with the annotations is like experiencing it all again for the first time in a deeper way. I want more editions of this title in this format. There are 8 additional "regular" sized trades in this series, so that should roughly equal 4 additional of this enhanced format. Even with a $30 price tag, I would buy them all on the spot today. Grade A.


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