Comics you should be reading, part deux

To start, a bit of an update from the last “Comics you should be reading” post. I’ve since finished The Exterminators (the entire series) and the first five volumes of DMZ. I enjoyed The Exterminators quite a bit, although it felt like the ending was a little bit rushed. I think I would rather have seen another issue of the main story rather than the issue about Mrs. Perez’s son. A reader recommended that if I liked The Exterminators I should check out Maintenance by Jim Massey and Robbi Rodriguez, so I’ll have to check for that next time I’m at the comic shop. Thanks, Z.!

I’ve been enjoying DMZ quite a bit, although volume five fell a little flat for me. Volumes three and four (“Public Works” and “Friendly Fire”) featured long, well-developed, exciting stories about the civilian cost of war. Volume five, “The Hidden War” featured a series of single-issue stories about some of the peripheral characters, as well as some new ones. I like the idea behind it, but several of the stories felt rushed. “Decade Later”, “Wilson”, and “Random Fire” were interesting and well-paced, but “Amina”, “Kelly”, and “Soames” would have benefited from being longer. “Kelly” felt really out of place, though. It was a bit disjointed and seemed like it would have been much better suited for inclusion as part of a larger arc within the main story.

Anyway, on to new stuff. This time: webcomics.

Galaxion by Tara Tallan

I just started reading this comic after the campaign set up by members of The Webcomic List to plug the crap out of it. It definitely deserves the plugs, which is why I’m giving it one here. It’s a science fiction story about the crew of the Galaxion, which is a space ship that looks kind of like a nautilus shell. It’s easily one of the best-drawn webcomics I’ve had the pleasure of reading, and demonstrates some serious skill in black and white art. It’s practically a clinic on line-weight differentiation. I haven’t gotten caught up on the archives yet, but you should, because it’s good stuff.

The Battle of Dovecote Crest by Hailey Bachrach and Bridget Underwood

This is very likely the only webcomic about Civil War re-enactments. It’s also quite possibly the only comic about Civil War re-enactments, period. I’ve read more of this one than I have Galaxion, so I know a bit more about what’s actually going on in it. Charlotte is a history nut interested in the American Civil War. While many of her history-inclined friends have gone on to work at museums to further their research, Charlotte is stuck playing the part of a Union soldier during re-enactments of the Battle of Dovecote Crest at the site of the battlefield in Arkansas. I’m somewhat unclear on whether or not Dovecote Crest was an actual battle (the historical information part of the site says yes, but writer Hailey Bachrach’s profile in the About section says otherwise). Bridget Underwood’s art consists of lush watercolours (I think it’s watercolour, anyway) that give a nice, sun-baked Southern feel to the whole affair. Definitely give it a look.

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