When you mix a holiday weekend with some long-overdue time off from work in the middle of a global pandemic, the concept of time tends to go out the window pretty quickly, if not immediately. I thought I was going to have another week with no comics to write about (more on that in the back half of the column) but a proverbial knight in shining armour arrived to save me.
Onward, noble steed…to comics!
Canto and the Clockwork Fairies
David M. Booher (W)
Drew Zucker (A)
“Canto returns in a fantastic one-shot from IDW!” I’m starting with the jacket quote and will work my way back to it, I promise.
When I got the review PDF of Canto and the Clockwork Fairies I thought to myself, “Oh, cool! I’d been meaning to check out this book!” I read it, loved it, and immediately bought the collected edition of the first miniseries which I consumed in a single sitting. I had initially seen some ads for the first Canto miniseries in the Previews catalogue last year but neglected to have my LCS hold a copy for me. I resolved to check it out at a later date.
Which is now!
Canto is a great all-ages book, full stop. In the collected edition, Booher lists some of his modern fairytale influences at the back of the book and this book feels very much of that world but is still completely unique. An adorably diminutive clockwork knight, Canto is on a quest to fight evil in all its forms and I cannot get enough of it.
Clockwork Fairies is very much a stand-alone story that requires no knowledge of what had transpired previously in Canto but there are enough intriguing callbacks to the first story that made me want to pick it up as soon as possible. It’s a fun fantasy adventure that captures the spirit of things like The Dark Crystal or Labyrinth and like those worlds, it gives the reader just enough to remain mysterious and interesting.
I really dug this book and can’t wait for more of it…thankfully, there’s a second miniseries coming soon. It’s always great when a new book comes along to get excited for and Canto is no exception. I regret sleeping on the title the first time around. Now that I’m on board with it I want a Canto PS5 game, a Canto CGI movie, a Canto live-action Henson-produced animatronic puppet series for Netflix. All of it.
But I’ll settle for more Canto comics…for now.
As of this writing, the DC Universe streaming app is dying a death by a thousand cuts as all the previously exclusive shows it had are being sent piecemeal to HBO MAXXXXX. I’ve written before about how I only subscribed to DCU when they had something I wanted to watch (Titans and Young Justice. Doom Patrol was a surprise bonus) and cancelled it between seasons of those shows. At any rate, I forgot to unsubscribe to their weekly emails and I noticed this week that their in-house behind-the-scenes show was ending.
DC Universe was one of the first streaming apps to philosophically ask, “Why am I here?” Sure, Quibi did the same thing this year only louder and more expensively but DCU did it first. I’m not privy to the corporate goings-on that led to the launch of this app but it seemed pretty clear that Disney+ was coming to take its lunch money and give it a Melvin. Enter HBO MAXXXXXXX. It was here to be everything HBO was but with added superheroes and The Big Bang Theory. When they announced that season 2 of Doom Patrol would be available on BOTH apps…well, the Undertaker was measuring DC Universe for its pine box.
Who really knows what’s going to happen next? I have no intention of immediately subscribing to HBO MAXXXXXXXXXX and when I DO subscribe it will be on an ad-hoc basis (which is how I chose to kick it with Disney+). I will say that the comics reading experience on the DC app was abysmal. I’m not a huge fan of digital comics and this app was not helping to change that. The app often crashed, it never held my place in the book, and panels were often presented in the wrong order or cropped poorly.
Additionally, since DC has switched to their own distribution and away from Diamond I’ve been finding it personally very difficult to keep track of what they have coming out. For the love of God, I just need an alphabetical list of books coming out by date. Nothing like a webpage with a bunch of superfluous filters like the DC Comics website offered me.
If I were to put on my tinfoil hat, I’d almost want to say that they’re making it more difficult for readers and brick and mortar retail stores to get physical books into the hand of their customers in an attempt to push readers into going digital. BUT THAT’S CRAZY TALK, RIGHT?