Heroes & Villains: ‘An Unkindness of Ravens’, ‘Out of Body’

I suppose that if this column were to have a theme recently it would be that weekly themes just kind of present themselves to me as I need them. It seems like ever since I came back from my brief hiatus I’m perpetually behind the proverbial eight ball when it comes to being caught up on my comics reading. More often than not my writing process is, “Tuesday again? Let’s see what I can pull out of my ass this week.”

Often I’ll daydream of an isolated cabin, shack, or hut (possibly even a lean-to) where I could sit and write without distraction. I have to imagine this is a shared dream for anyone who even loosely considers themselves a writer. It is also a lie.

A comics writer of some note once gave advice on the subject of writing and it was something along the lines of, “write for 8 hours a day, every day.” To me, and I’m sure to the bulk of you reading this, it sounds laughable and highly unlikely. A full-time job in addition to your full-time job? Sure, pal. Right now I’m coming off of a full day of work, an incredibly sweaty bike ride, and I’ve got an annoying cat begging me for dinner (one who just jumped up on my desk to stand in front of my monitor).

As a part-time blogger and newly minted “comics journalist” I’m fairly comfortable what my output of six columns a month which roughly translates to 5,000 words per month and, even rougher still, about a novels worth out output per year. This August I’ll have been writing for BBP! For four years. That’s approximately four novels of utter nonsense. Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair.

Seldom do I have a point to all this but it does wake me up a night that there is a collected archive of my work.

On to the comics!

Unkindness of Ravens

An Unkindness of Ravens
Dan Panosian (W)
Marianna Ignazzi (A)
Boom! Studios

This week’s column is brought to you by the SUPERNATURAL. From the “I’m not sure how I missed this the first time around” file, a new comic full of spooky magic hoo-hah is out there and, predictably, I dig it.

Here’s ye olde blurb:

WELCOME TO CRAB’S EYE. A SMALL TOWN WHERE MAGIC IS REAL AND GOSSIP CAN KILL. Not all the witches burned during the Salem Witch Trials-and the ones that survived did so together, protecting the ancient secrets entrusted to them for generations. They call themselves the Ravens. Wilma is the new girl in school, and she plans to go completely unnoticed-except that she bears an eerie resemblance to the Raven member Waverly, who just went missing. The truth behind Waverly’s disappearance will put the entire coven in danger-and Wilma will have to rely on power she never knew she had if she wants to save her new friends! Collects the complete An Unkindness of Ravens #1-5.

Cool stuff, yeah? As a person who is perpetually ready for Halloween I’m always glad to see a new (to me) book hit the stands that puts out that cool witchy vibe. As of this writing I’m a few chapters in and I’m loving it.

Out of Body #1
Peter Milligan (W)
Inaki Miranda (A)
AfterShock Comics

You had me at “Peter Milligan” and you kept me with “weird occult detective thriller.”

Here’s the blurb:

When Dan Collins wakes to finds his life hanging by a thread, he must use his astral projection to discover who tried to kill him. Who is the beautiful mystic who tries to help him? Why does August Fryne want Dan’s soul – and what does it have to do with a demon who seems to be Dorian Gray?  A weird, occult detective thriller about life, death – and whatever lies in between.

From award-winning comic book writer Peter Milligan (X-Force, X-Statix) and artistic sensation Inaki Miranda (WE LIVE, Harley Quinn) comes an awesome new dimension in horror and mystery!

This book scratched the Vertigo comics itch that, as a fan of a certain age, I seem to continually have. Thankfully, a lot of my favorite Vertigo creators are still out there doing stuff…great stuff like this! I’m forever grateful to Vertigo for opening my eyes to creators like Milligan and that there are great comics outside of the Marvel/DC nexus.

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