This Week in Comics: 7/11/12

This week in comics, Frankenstein, Demon Knights, and The Shade continue to impress, Image launches a pretty fantastic new title in Revival, and we can finally stop giving a crap about owls.

Pictured: A scene that is still a good 15+ years off from where this issue ends.

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Review: Fairest #1

Fairest #1

Though I always enjoyed Bill Willingham’s surprise smash-hit Fables (by far Vertigo’s most financially successful property in many, many years), I never really looked forward to it.  For me, the series peaked with its fourth trade, “March of the Wooden Soldiers“, which was the perfect combination of soapy plotting and military fantasy for which the series had always (in my opinion) been aiming.  It remained solid for years after that, but with so many excellent books coming out, and such an enormous back-catalog to catch up on, I fell behind.  But I always noticed its spin-offs, from the winning Cinderella books to the occasionally enjoyable Jack of Fables, and I was interested when I saw the new spin-0ff, Fairest, on the shelves.  With a gorgeous Adam Hughes cover, pencils by the immensely respected Phil Jimenez, not to mention Willingham writing in his element, it seemed like a must-read.

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Review: The Unexpected #1

The Unexpected #1, cover by Rafael Grampa

A few months back, I reviewed another anthology of short stories by Vertigo: Strange Adventures.  And while I found the book to be something of a failure, it had nothing to do with the format, but with the stories.  Only Peter Milligan and  Sylvain Savoia’s “Partners” was a truly great short story, while most other creators seemed to be grappling with some difficulty in telling a coherent story using such a small page count.  I’m happy to say, The Unexpected #1 has solved that problem thoroughly, introducing a series of fun, memorable short stories from a variety of star creators.

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One Shot 8: The Unwritten #5

The Unwritten #5, “How the Whale Became”

Mike Carey broke in a big way with Lucifer, his spin-off from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman – a spin-off that managed to build into one of the most satisfying fantasies in the medium, turning an already well-drawn character into one of comics’ best.  Afterwards, he crafted and contributed to a few fascinating Vertigo books – including one that I firmly believe deserves more discussion, Crossing Midnight – and some noble failures, but none took off the way Lucifer had… and he was busy becoming one of Marvel’s superstars, as well as a successful novelist.  His big creator-owned-comics success story would have to wait.

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Top 5 Best Comics of May 2011


I read 24 comics in May, and these were the best.

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One Shot Update


Hello again, read/RANT fans! Cal here. I know updates have been few and far between around here, but now that I FINALLY have a) an internet connection (well… kind of) and b) the ability to purchase comics, I hope to start posting a little more regularly.

I’m still working on a way to revamp The Unread Canon, to move the focus away from ongoing story-arcs and towards a more coherent look at some ‘classic’ books, but for now, I hope you folks enjoyed my One Shot colums (from the number of readers I got on the Astro City and Animal Man issues, I’d imagine you did). I’m going to ease back in, and the first part of that will involve starting up my looks at standalone issues of comics, some great, some merely okay, once again.

This, hopefully, is what my schedule will look like for One Shot this year…

6/12/11 – The Unwritten #5, “How the Whale Became”
7/10/11 – All-Star Superman #10, “Neverending”
8/14/11 – X-Factor #13, “Re-X-Aminations”
9/11/11 – Ex Machina #40, “Ruthless”
10/09/11 – Tales of the Slayers, “Righteous”
11/13/11 – Daytripper #8, “47”

As ever, any suggestions for future issues are more than welcome, and hopefully I’ll get more writing coming up soon!

I apologize that life has pulled so many of us away from the site, particularly given how exciting things have gotten with DC’s recent announcement – more on that later.

Glad to be back!

– Cal Cleary

Top 5 Best Comics of February 2011


I read 20 comics in February, and these were the best.

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Review: The New York Five #1

DC’s Minx line never got the appreciation – or the fan base – it deserved. Filled with clever, well-made teen romance genre riffs aimed squarely at an audience of teenage girls, Minx should have become a break-away hit with the manga/supernatural romance crowd as well as any comic fans looking for something a little different. It had the quality. It had the creators. It just didn’t have the readers. After all, what young girl is going to run into the comic shops, or head to the Western comics section?
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Top Ten Best Comics of 2010


I’m actually getting this thing out on time? It’s a Kwanzaa miracle! This is my list for the top ten stories of 2010! Woo hoo! Now, before we get to all the fun of me voicing my opinions and you disagreeing with them, I have to get a few rules out of the way.

1. These are the top ten stories/arcs/whatever. Not comic in general, not trade, but best stories (What can I say, I’m trying to be somewhat unique).

2. These are stories that ended in 2010. They could begin at any time, but as long as they concluded in 2010, they’re eligible.

3. I tried to keep the list as diverse and reader-friendly as possible. I love certain writers, but it would be boring if it was three Morrison books, two Ennis books, etc. So, a writer/artist will only appear once on the list. I tried to spread the love evenly. You will see Marvel, DC, and even Indies on this list.

Wow, with all those rules, how did I come up with a great top ten? Well, I hope I did. Anyway, let’s begin the fun!

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Top 5 Best Comics of December 2010


I read 19 comics in December, and these were the best.

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