Heroes & Villains: Bags (Or A Story Thereof), Collapser + Philosophers Dogs

Let me tell you, I’m only 10 days into this whole “being 40” thing and I’ve felt every second of it. As much as I’d like to ramble on and on about the relentless march of time I’ve got a job to do…and that job is to produce a column about all the hottest new comics that are fit to print. 

Now, we’ll get to the comics in just a moment. I’d like to use my platform for purely selfish reasons for a moment (have I ever used it for anything else?) and promote something a pal of mine is working on that is worthy of your attention. The selfish part is that I really want to see this book made.

My friend the writer, troubadour, and bon vivant Samuel Dodson hand launched a crowdfunding campaign to get his book  Philosophers Dogs published. Here’s a brief synopsis:

Each and every human philosopher since time immemorial has stolen their best ‘ideas’ and insights from their four-legged friends. Not only that, but they’ve shamelessly changed and altered their dogs’ original philosophical thoughts to make them sound more human (read: more foolish).

Philosophers’ Dogs is the ground-breaking textbook that will shake the very foundations of both western and eastern philosophy.

Featuring beautiful illustrations alongside thorough, meticulous research and historical fact*, the book follows the philosophic trials, tribulations and tail-wagging of the dogs owned by famous philosophers and essayists, and presents to readers the unadulterated, real histories of the true philosophical masters of enlightenment.

*Not necessarily historical or fact.

Learn more at: https://unbound.com/books/philosophers-dogs/

Now, on to the comics!

bags-or-a-story-thereof-9781684154098_lg.jpgBags (Or A Story Thereof)
Patrick McHale (W)
Gavin Fullerton (A)
KaBOOM!/BOOM! Studios

On occasion, I’ll be lucky enough to take a chance on a work of art and have it connect with me on a deeply personal level. From that point forward the artist responsible has my unwavering support, I’ll eagerly await their next project and sing their praises from the proverbial mountaintops. 

A few years ago while at the movies I caught one of those prepackaged featurettes designed to promote upcoming TV shows. Normally, I’ll keep scrolling through twitter but the previewer for the Cartoon Network “Limited Series Event” Over The Garden Wall grabbed my attention and proceeded to dominate the next few nights of my life as it was set to premiere the following evening. I’m sure I’ll write more about that show in the future, but for now, you should make watching it a priority (after finishing this column, of course).

Patrick McHale (creator of the above-mentioned show) is back this week with Bags (Or A Story Thereof) which I was absolutely staggered by. I’ve read A LOT of great books this year but after seven months I hadn’t found one of this magnitude. It’s a story that has stuck with me for days after finishing it and will certainly end up on my Books of the Year list.

Teaming up with artist Gavin Fullerton, McHale tells the story of John Motts, a simple man searching for his lost dog. Now, when I write “simple” it’s more than just figurative. Motts is quite literally simply drawn in contrast to the lushly illustrated world around him. But, like all the best protagonists, his motivations are clear and easy to relate to. The world outside is scary other people can be scary, and the unknown is scary as well. Mott just wants to find his dog.

The book clocks in just shy of a hundred pages and can be easily digested in one sitting. I would, however, encourage you to take your time with the book. After reading the advance PDF copy I immediately got in touch with my local comic shop and reserved a copy. You should too.

Collapser 1Collapser
Mikey Way (W)
Shaun Simon (W)
Ilias Kyriazis (A)
DC’s Young Animal

While I’m on my trip about perpetual goodwill, regular readers of my nonsense should in no way be surprised that I have both read and loved DC’s newest Young Animal title. As of this writing, we’re just a few weeks out from shovelling dirt on to Vertigo’s fresh grave, an event that made me very sad.

But even in death, there is rebirth! The Young Animal books (for me) very much embody the spirit of some of my favourite Vertigo books from years long gone. I’m always excited over a new Young Animal title and Collapser is yet another one of their books that totally does it for me.

Liam James is a DJ with a day job until he receives a black hole in the mail one day (a brief aside, the delivery guy that dropped off the black hole is probably my favourite character from the issue). The black hole bonds with him, give him superpower and such and that’s about all you really need to know going into the book.

Collapser is limited to only six issues which is great! If I can get on my soapbox for a moment, I feel the future of comics lies in making books that aren’t designed to go on for hundreds of issues. After reading the first issue, Collapser has all the maskings of a book that will tell a concise story with gorgeous art that will also just so happen to make a nice collected edition. If it just so happens that there’s another six-issue story in the future that’ll be great too! 

So, check out Collapser today as well as anything else with the Young Animal logo on it. Ensure that I’ll be getting more of the comics I love!

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