Monday, 26 June 2017

My favourite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics Books)

Every now and again, something comes along that just kicks you squarely in the guts with a whump so powerful that you have to sit up and pay attention.

So it was with "My Favourite Thing is Monsters" by Emil Ferris.

I was hooked by that cover even before I knew what the book was about, I have always loved that scritchy-scratchy type of biro pen rendering that this book is filled with (though that sounds like I'm understating Emil's substantial artistic talents - which I'm really not, the work in this book is just utterly mind blowing).

So to the story, of young Karen who isn't quite like other girls. Living in late 60s Chicago with her mother and brother in a very odd disjointed relationship, Karen idolises her upstairs neighbour Anka Silverberg, who is glamorous, beautiful and full of stories.

When her neighbour is discovered dead one morning, tucked up in bed as if nothing had happened but with a gunshot wound, there's a mystery to be solved and Karen is determined to be the one who solves it.

This book is utterly amazing to look at, and it's a stunning read too!
As Karen's life is thrown into turmoil by various events at home, Karen's dogged determination continues until she starts to find the tangled threads of the mystery are even more complex than first thought. When she starts to dig into Anka's terrible past, and her narrow escape from a concentration camp in Germany, Karen has to find a huge amount of inner strength - and perhaps some allies along the way.

Wish I could draw like this. So beautiful. Should've sent a poet. 

Filled with darkly tinged humour, but also some fairly harrowing stuff (definitely not for kids - a lot of expletives and nudity throughout as well as some strong adult themes), it's one of the most amazing pieces of work I've ever seen (and I've read a LOT of graphic novels and comics). Set out like a spiral-bound journal but chock full of incredible pen drawings, it's a huge thick paperback book that'll take you a couple of evenings to work through just to take in all the brilliance (and it'll make you want to re-read it as soon as you've finished too).

Book 2 is on the way and I seriously cannot wait (I've got it on preorder this time, not risking missing this for the world!)

If we did a book of the year on this blog, this would be it. Tough to get hold of on this side of the Atlantic, but so worth it.

"My Favourite Thing is Monsters" by Emil Ferris is out now, published by Fantagraphics Books (Self purchased). 

Motor Crush Volume 1 by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr (Image Comics)

I need to be more careful when browsing through people's Twitter timelines, as it's beginning to cost me an arm and a leg in comics.

I've seen a lot of people buzzing about how brilliant "Motor Crush" is, and I wanted to find out for myself - but because I'm one of those weirdo traditionalists who still likes paper comics, I'm forced to wait until collections become available.

So here's Motor Crush Volume 1, collecting the first five issues of Brenden, Cameron and Babs awesome comic.

Introducing us to Domino (Dom), a streetwise hell-for-leather bike racer who is a rising star on the World Motorcycle Racing League, but by night is also a tooth-smashing battle biker, raising some additional funds through nefarious and illegal means.

Domino's dad (or rather her surrogate dad) backs her racing career but we soon find out that there's a lot more to Dom's backstory than meets the eye.

After a particularly harrowing accident, Dom is forced to try and claw her way back - and in the meantime discovers more about her past, tiny snippets of information that begin to fit together. She also reunites with her ex, and with the makings of a racing team it's time for Domino to put up or shut up.

She will kick your ass, make no mistake about it
This is like a glorious love letter to Road Rash and Speed Racer fused with a pseudo-futuristic drug culture (the "Crush" in the comic's title refers to a horribly addictive machine drug that Dom takes a lot of risks to acquire) and some pretty manga-esque props.

Tightly written and ending on the sort of cliffhanger that makes you want to chew the comic in half once you reach the end, Volume 2 is definitely getting done once it appears.

Babs Tarr, fresh from her stint of completely rejuvenating and reinventing Batgirl, Babs Tarr's artwork is scintillating and fantastic.

With a roster of characters that make this a real standout title, "Motor Crush" may well be your new comic crush too. Incredibly addictive stuff, as you'd expect!

"Motor Crush Volume 1" by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr is out now, published by Image Comics (self purchased). 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Saga Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image Comics)

Oh the delicious pain of waiting for a year between collected volumes of the most fantastic Sci Fi / Fantasy comic ever to cross our threshold.

Saga Volume 7 (which actually came out in April - I need to keep better track of these things) sees Hazel reunited with her parents Marko and Alana, still fleeing from pursuing forces intent on snatching Hazel away and executing Marko and Alana for the war crime of consorting with an enemy species.

As usual, Saga sticks two fingers up to most comic book conventions, opening with an entirely adult scene of Prince Robot alone in his room choking the robot chicken - while the fragile ship containing an ever-increasing rag tag band of miscreants ends up making an emergency landing on a comet world.

New allies are found, new enemies identified, including a vicious new mercenary who makes very short work of a well-loved character early on (no spoilers).

Vaughan and Staples are making comic history, honing this long-running tale into something that has evolved way past being a simple sci fi yarn into something truly spectacular.

Staples gets plenty of praise for her work, which gets tighter and tighter (and more beautiful) all the time. Vaughan's writing stabs neatly into the heart of issues that rage on our own world today, but have particular relevance in the story's arc. Politics, war, sex and parenting - a potent mix indeed.

Now once again I enter the period of waiting until January 2018 for the next collected version of Saga (while you comic fans hoover up the monthly issues happily - Sorry but I've never been any good at collecting comics properly and being able to source them so it's always all about the collections).

This series had a bit of a wobble but it's now firmly back on track, back to being as fun, sexy and potent as ever before.

"Saga" Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples is out now, published by Image Comics. 

Monday, 12 September 2016

Bad Little Children's Books: Kidlit Parodies, Shameless Spoofs and Offensively Tweaked Covers by Arthur C. Gackley (Abrams)

Oh dear...! Not one that I could possibly review on Read It, Daddy this one. Despite the appearance, this anthology of spoofs and parodies of "Golden Age" children's picture books - by fictional author Arthur C. Gackley, is definitely not one for kids. In fact you will have to hide this away from their prying eyes, lest they feast their peepers on some pretty questionable stuff.

"Bad Little Children's Books" is an idea that's been floating around on the Internet for quite a while. Classic children's book covers are subtly 'tweaked' for shits and giggles, spawning an ever-increasing whirlwind of madness and hilarity for those of you with a distinctly warped sense of humour, the sort of kids who spent way too much time hovering over anthills with magnifying glasses in our misspent youth.

The cover sets the table for what you'll find inside pretty well - an image of a lactose-intolerant little girl yakking up her morning milk. It really doesn't get much better from there...

Eek. 

The core idea isn't that bad, but some of the jokes fell hopelessly flat while others were the sort of jokes you nervously laugh at if a colleague at work blurts one out during coffee time.

Ack.
As I said at the top of the review, you really don't want this getting into the hands of your little ones!

Slightly worrying that I can think of a handful of folk who would probably love this as a christmas pressie stocking filler, and I can well imagine it doing very well in the run up to the yuletide season. It wanted to be cleverer than it actually was though, parodies really only work on me if they're smartly intelligent AND funny, not just the equivalent of someone farting into a cushion then holding it over your face.

"Bad Little Children's Books" by Arthur C. Gackley is out now, published by Abrams.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Saga Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image Comics)

Hello dark blog, it's been a while. I had to come and revisit you purely to talk about Saga Volume 6 which dropped into my hands a couple of days ago.

There comes a time in every comic fan's life where they reach a point in a long-running series where they start to wonder if they're just spinning their wheels waiting for 'something' to happen.

Saga, one of the most refreshing and original comics in decades, has wowed me consistently. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples have designed a grown-up comic world that has always felt like it's talking about ordinary everyday life situations put through a blender on the highest speed setting, whizzed up into a surreal sci-fi smoothie that you can't help but guzzle down in one greedy gulp.

Actually make that 6 greedy gulps so far because, without following the comics themselves and just waiting for each collection as I do, you really are on a slow burn with this series as we follow the exploits of an interstellar child, the product of a man and a woman who should be trying to kill, not kiss, each other.

Hazel is the pint-sized narrator for Saga, talking about her life from birth to now - and the 'now' sees Hazel as a toddling kindergarten kid who has probably seen and experienced far more than any kid should have.

Her parents, Marko and Alana switch from being fugitives on the run in this volume, to parents who will stop at nothing to get their daughter back after she was kidnapped at the end of Volume 5.

Hounded by Prince Robot IV, the once-enemies now join forces to find their children, marooned across the galaxy.

Saga's genius has always been in the way that it underpins the main storyline with sub-plots that feel scintillatingly saucy and no holds barred. We catch up with The Will, who has become fat and docile and even more mentally unstable than ever before since the death of his sister and his former lover. The Will is also hunting for Prince Robot IV's offspring to exact a terrible revenge.

Hazel's story is still as fresh and vital as in previous volumes though there were times where I felt this volume lost a head of steam it had been gathering nicely. Still though, there are seldom few comics that can do uber-violent sexy and feminist all within the space of a few pages. In some ways it keeps reminding me of a more adult and risque version of Lexx, the genius surreal sci fi series from the 90s that really ended way before it was due. I'm not really sure why.

Vaughan and Staples know where they're heading with this. We don't yet, but I get the feeling that this is a series that could carry on for a very long time to come. So in answer, it hasn't quite reached that point where the series has lost traction. Grab the collected first three volumes now, and then guzzle down the rest as soon as you possibly can.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Hark, a Vagrant by Kate Beaton (Jonathan Cape)

Kate Beaton's "Hark, a Vagrant" website is required reading for cerebral folk who love a bit of alternative history but also don't mind snorting coffee out of their noses.

Collecting together some of the earliest strips, the first "Hark, A Vagrant" Collection is out now from Jonathan Cape.

If you're after a flavour of what to expect, imagine history documented and chronicled by someone who has infinite respect for the subject matter, but also likes to royally extract the urine from it too.

Kate's versions of famous historical (and fictional) characters are raddled with flaws, often vainglorious, but pant-wettingly hilarious. I think I annoyed my wife with this book - partly because she thinks comic strips are a bit babyish, but mostly because the book caused me to laugh out loud spontaneously. Rarely have I ever read a comic strip anthology that's had this effect but Kate's illustrations and situational observation are both razor sharp as is her wit.

Image (C) Kate Beaton 2015

Of course, some of the strips are a bit on the sweary and adult side (which is why I'm reviewing "Hark, a Vagrant" here rather than on ReadItDaddy - and had to prise the book out of my daughter's hands before she read anything too rude) but maaan, can Kate ever swear with style and aplomb.

Check out the web comic and check out the two collected volumes (this and "Step Aside, Pops") - Both are fantastic.



Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Batman: Year 1 by Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli (DC Comics)

Perhaps the reason I'm so fascinated by Batman is that there are so many different 'takes' on the character that attempt to revive what it must've felt like to encounter Bob Kane and Bill Finger's character for the first time.

Back in the mid 80s, DC wanted to update their catalogue of superhero titles which had descended into stale samey stories with seemingly no direction or vision. Most writers tasked with re-inventing DC's other mainstays like Superman and Wonder Woman took cues from movies and TV but Frank Miller drew on something entirely different. The seething criminal underbelly of the US at the time, and the complete departure from Batman's fairly campy trademark shenanigans towards something entirely dark and malevolent.

"The Dark Knight Returns" (a huge favourite of mine) dealt with Batman's later years, as he struggles to maintain law and order in a city that has no moral boundaries, is ruled by gangs and has no sense of honour or respect amongst the various villains who cross the Dark Knight's path. Here though in "Batman: Year One" we return to Batman's well-trodden origin story to show Batman's evolution from vigilante to the ultimate symbol of justice.

We also get to learn Jim Gordon's origins (and if you're currently watching "Gotham" on Netflix, you'll definitely see seeds of Miller and Mazzuchelli's work dotted throughout that fine series) - and explore more of Batman's world as we begin to see Gotham as a city where the rot sets in from two directions, up from the streets and down from the GCPD and the justice system which is corrupt and powerless to stop various factions carving up Gotham like a christmas turkey.

Batman does take a bit of a back seat as "Year One" gets up to speed, and though it lacks the immediacy and some might say the 'completeness' of The Dark Knight Returns, it definitely instigated a huge revival of interest in the character before Tim Burton's movies came along and underpinned the comic's dark tones with cinematic gothic tones of its own.

Now it's almost impossible to imagine Batman being anything other than grim and gritty. "Year 1" is an absolutely essential part of your Bat-collection though.

Monday, 26 June 2017

My favourite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics Books)

No comments:
Every now and again, something comes along that just kicks you squarely in the guts with a whump so powerful that you have to sit up and pay attention.

So it was with "My Favourite Thing is Monsters" by Emil Ferris.

I was hooked by that cover even before I knew what the book was about, I have always loved that scritchy-scratchy type of biro pen rendering that this book is filled with (though that sounds like I'm understating Emil's substantial artistic talents - which I'm really not, the work in this book is just utterly mind blowing).

So to the story, of young Karen who isn't quite like other girls. Living in late 60s Chicago with her mother and brother in a very odd disjointed relationship, Karen idolises her upstairs neighbour Anka Silverberg, who is glamorous, beautiful and full of stories.

When her neighbour is discovered dead one morning, tucked up in bed as if nothing had happened but with a gunshot wound, there's a mystery to be solved and Karen is determined to be the one who solves it.

This book is utterly amazing to look at, and it's a stunning read too!
As Karen's life is thrown into turmoil by various events at home, Karen's dogged determination continues until she starts to find the tangled threads of the mystery are even more complex than first thought. When she starts to dig into Anka's terrible past, and her narrow escape from a concentration camp in Germany, Karen has to find a huge amount of inner strength - and perhaps some allies along the way.

Wish I could draw like this. So beautiful. Should've sent a poet. 

Filled with darkly tinged humour, but also some fairly harrowing stuff (definitely not for kids - a lot of expletives and nudity throughout as well as some strong adult themes), it's one of the most amazing pieces of work I've ever seen (and I've read a LOT of graphic novels and comics). Set out like a spiral-bound journal but chock full of incredible pen drawings, it's a huge thick paperback book that'll take you a couple of evenings to work through just to take in all the brilliance (and it'll make you want to re-read it as soon as you've finished too).

Book 2 is on the way and I seriously cannot wait (I've got it on preorder this time, not risking missing this for the world!)

If we did a book of the year on this blog, this would be it. Tough to get hold of on this side of the Atlantic, but so worth it.

"My Favourite Thing is Monsters" by Emil Ferris is out now, published by Fantagraphics Books (Self purchased). 
Read More

Motor Crush Volume 1 by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr (Image Comics)

No comments:
I need to be more careful when browsing through people's Twitter timelines, as it's beginning to cost me an arm and a leg in comics.

I've seen a lot of people buzzing about how brilliant "Motor Crush" is, and I wanted to find out for myself - but because I'm one of those weirdo traditionalists who still likes paper comics, I'm forced to wait until collections become available.

So here's Motor Crush Volume 1, collecting the first five issues of Brenden, Cameron and Babs awesome comic.

Introducing us to Domino (Dom), a streetwise hell-for-leather bike racer who is a rising star on the World Motorcycle Racing League, but by night is also a tooth-smashing battle biker, raising some additional funds through nefarious and illegal means.

Domino's dad (or rather her surrogate dad) backs her racing career but we soon find out that there's a lot more to Dom's backstory than meets the eye.

After a particularly harrowing accident, Dom is forced to try and claw her way back - and in the meantime discovers more about her past, tiny snippets of information that begin to fit together. She also reunites with her ex, and with the makings of a racing team it's time for Domino to put up or shut up.

She will kick your ass, make no mistake about it
This is like a glorious love letter to Road Rash and Speed Racer fused with a pseudo-futuristic drug culture (the "Crush" in the comic's title refers to a horribly addictive machine drug that Dom takes a lot of risks to acquire) and some pretty manga-esque props.

Tightly written and ending on the sort of cliffhanger that makes you want to chew the comic in half once you reach the end, Volume 2 is definitely getting done once it appears.

Babs Tarr, fresh from her stint of completely rejuvenating and reinventing Batgirl, Babs Tarr's artwork is scintillating and fantastic.

With a roster of characters that make this a real standout title, "Motor Crush" may well be your new comic crush too. Incredibly addictive stuff, as you'd expect!

"Motor Crush Volume 1" by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr is out now, published by Image Comics (self purchased). 
Read More

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Saga Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image Comics)

No comments:
Oh the delicious pain of waiting for a year between collected volumes of the most fantastic Sci Fi / Fantasy comic ever to cross our threshold.

Saga Volume 7 (which actually came out in April - I need to keep better track of these things) sees Hazel reunited with her parents Marko and Alana, still fleeing from pursuing forces intent on snatching Hazel away and executing Marko and Alana for the war crime of consorting with an enemy species.

As usual, Saga sticks two fingers up to most comic book conventions, opening with an entirely adult scene of Prince Robot alone in his room choking the robot chicken - while the fragile ship containing an ever-increasing rag tag band of miscreants ends up making an emergency landing on a comet world.

New allies are found, new enemies identified, including a vicious new mercenary who makes very short work of a well-loved character early on (no spoilers).

Vaughan and Staples are making comic history, honing this long-running tale into something that has evolved way past being a simple sci fi yarn into something truly spectacular.

Staples gets plenty of praise for her work, which gets tighter and tighter (and more beautiful) all the time. Vaughan's writing stabs neatly into the heart of issues that rage on our own world today, but have particular relevance in the story's arc. Politics, war, sex and parenting - a potent mix indeed.

Now once again I enter the period of waiting until January 2018 for the next collected version of Saga (while you comic fans hoover up the monthly issues happily - Sorry but I've never been any good at collecting comics properly and being able to source them so it's always all about the collections).

This series had a bit of a wobble but it's now firmly back on track, back to being as fun, sexy and potent as ever before.

"Saga" Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples is out now, published by Image Comics. 
Read More

Monday, 12 September 2016

Bad Little Children's Books: Kidlit Parodies, Shameless Spoofs and Offensively Tweaked Covers by Arthur C. Gackley (Abrams)

No comments:
Oh dear...! Not one that I could possibly review on Read It, Daddy this one. Despite the appearance, this anthology of spoofs and parodies of "Golden Age" children's picture books - by fictional author Arthur C. Gackley, is definitely not one for kids. In fact you will have to hide this away from their prying eyes, lest they feast their peepers on some pretty questionable stuff.

"Bad Little Children's Books" is an idea that's been floating around on the Internet for quite a while. Classic children's book covers are subtly 'tweaked' for shits and giggles, spawning an ever-increasing whirlwind of madness and hilarity for those of you with a distinctly warped sense of humour, the sort of kids who spent way too much time hovering over anthills with magnifying glasses in our misspent youth.

The cover sets the table for what you'll find inside pretty well - an image of a lactose-intolerant little girl yakking up her morning milk. It really doesn't get much better from there...

Eek. 

The core idea isn't that bad, but some of the jokes fell hopelessly flat while others were the sort of jokes you nervously laugh at if a colleague at work blurts one out during coffee time.

Ack.
As I said at the top of the review, you really don't want this getting into the hands of your little ones!

Slightly worrying that I can think of a handful of folk who would probably love this as a christmas pressie stocking filler, and I can well imagine it doing very well in the run up to the yuletide season. It wanted to be cleverer than it actually was though, parodies really only work on me if they're smartly intelligent AND funny, not just the equivalent of someone farting into a cushion then holding it over your face.

"Bad Little Children's Books" by Arthur C. Gackley is out now, published by Abrams.
Read More

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Saga Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image Comics)

No comments:
Hello dark blog, it's been a while. I had to come and revisit you purely to talk about Saga Volume 6 which dropped into my hands a couple of days ago.

There comes a time in every comic fan's life where they reach a point in a long-running series where they start to wonder if they're just spinning their wheels waiting for 'something' to happen.

Saga, one of the most refreshing and original comics in decades, has wowed me consistently. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples have designed a grown-up comic world that has always felt like it's talking about ordinary everyday life situations put through a blender on the highest speed setting, whizzed up into a surreal sci-fi smoothie that you can't help but guzzle down in one greedy gulp.

Actually make that 6 greedy gulps so far because, without following the comics themselves and just waiting for each collection as I do, you really are on a slow burn with this series as we follow the exploits of an interstellar child, the product of a man and a woman who should be trying to kill, not kiss, each other.

Hazel is the pint-sized narrator for Saga, talking about her life from birth to now - and the 'now' sees Hazel as a toddling kindergarten kid who has probably seen and experienced far more than any kid should have.

Her parents, Marko and Alana switch from being fugitives on the run in this volume, to parents who will stop at nothing to get their daughter back after she was kidnapped at the end of Volume 5.

Hounded by Prince Robot IV, the once-enemies now join forces to find their children, marooned across the galaxy.

Saga's genius has always been in the way that it underpins the main storyline with sub-plots that feel scintillatingly saucy and no holds barred. We catch up with The Will, who has become fat and docile and even more mentally unstable than ever before since the death of his sister and his former lover. The Will is also hunting for Prince Robot IV's offspring to exact a terrible revenge.

Hazel's story is still as fresh and vital as in previous volumes though there were times where I felt this volume lost a head of steam it had been gathering nicely. Still though, there are seldom few comics that can do uber-violent sexy and feminist all within the space of a few pages. In some ways it keeps reminding me of a more adult and risque version of Lexx, the genius surreal sci fi series from the 90s that really ended way before it was due. I'm not really sure why.

Vaughan and Staples know where they're heading with this. We don't yet, but I get the feeling that this is a series that could carry on for a very long time to come. So in answer, it hasn't quite reached that point where the series has lost traction. Grab the collected first three volumes now, and then guzzle down the rest as soon as you possibly can.
Read More

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Hark, a Vagrant by Kate Beaton (Jonathan Cape)

No comments:
Kate Beaton's "Hark, a Vagrant" website is required reading for cerebral folk who love a bit of alternative history but also don't mind snorting coffee out of their noses.

Collecting together some of the earliest strips, the first "Hark, A Vagrant" Collection is out now from Jonathan Cape.

If you're after a flavour of what to expect, imagine history documented and chronicled by someone who has infinite respect for the subject matter, but also likes to royally extract the urine from it too.

Kate's versions of famous historical (and fictional) characters are raddled with flaws, often vainglorious, but pant-wettingly hilarious. I think I annoyed my wife with this book - partly because she thinks comic strips are a bit babyish, but mostly because the book caused me to laugh out loud spontaneously. Rarely have I ever read a comic strip anthology that's had this effect but Kate's illustrations and situational observation are both razor sharp as is her wit.

Image (C) Kate Beaton 2015

Of course, some of the strips are a bit on the sweary and adult side (which is why I'm reviewing "Hark, a Vagrant" here rather than on ReadItDaddy - and had to prise the book out of my daughter's hands before she read anything too rude) but maaan, can Kate ever swear with style and aplomb.

Check out the web comic and check out the two collected volumes (this and "Step Aside, Pops") - Both are fantastic.



Read More

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Batman: Year 1 by Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli (DC Comics)

No comments:
Perhaps the reason I'm so fascinated by Batman is that there are so many different 'takes' on the character that attempt to revive what it must've felt like to encounter Bob Kane and Bill Finger's character for the first time.

Back in the mid 80s, DC wanted to update their catalogue of superhero titles which had descended into stale samey stories with seemingly no direction or vision. Most writers tasked with re-inventing DC's other mainstays like Superman and Wonder Woman took cues from movies and TV but Frank Miller drew on something entirely different. The seething criminal underbelly of the US at the time, and the complete departure from Batman's fairly campy trademark shenanigans towards something entirely dark and malevolent.

"The Dark Knight Returns" (a huge favourite of mine) dealt with Batman's later years, as he struggles to maintain law and order in a city that has no moral boundaries, is ruled by gangs and has no sense of honour or respect amongst the various villains who cross the Dark Knight's path. Here though in "Batman: Year One" we return to Batman's well-trodden origin story to show Batman's evolution from vigilante to the ultimate symbol of justice.

We also get to learn Jim Gordon's origins (and if you're currently watching "Gotham" on Netflix, you'll definitely see seeds of Miller and Mazzuchelli's work dotted throughout that fine series) - and explore more of Batman's world as we begin to see Gotham as a city where the rot sets in from two directions, up from the streets and down from the GCPD and the justice system which is corrupt and powerless to stop various factions carving up Gotham like a christmas turkey.

Batman does take a bit of a back seat as "Year One" gets up to speed, and though it lacks the immediacy and some might say the 'completeness' of The Dark Knight Returns, it definitely instigated a huge revival of interest in the character before Tim Burton's movies came along and underpinned the comic's dark tones with cinematic gothic tones of its own.

Now it's almost impossible to imagine Batman being anything other than grim and gritty. "Year 1" is an absolutely essential part of your Bat-collection though.
Read More