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Avenge Free Comic Book Day

Todd Powelson
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Poison Thrower - by James Stokoe

With The Avengers movie coming out next weekend, it’s a good time for a funny-book in tights extravaganza! I’ve already written about the Ultimates, but if you’re looking for a good Avengers story, that is a good place to start (even if, in that story, the super-hero team goes by a different name).

Also, another Free Comic Book Day is coming up fast on May 5th, so I think it’s a good time to post some books that I’ve enjoyed over this last year… even though they won’t necessarily be free, they are worth checking out. In comics, just like in everything else, there is a lot of garbage out there. But I think what I’ve listed below are some real gems.

Orc Stain
Orc Stain is such a great book, with beautiful and intricate artwork, and a story and world that draws you in from the beginning. All about a rampaging horde, controlled by the Orc Tzar. The main character, a scrawny one-eyed thief who can find the weak point of anything, is a treasure hunter destined to destroy the barbarian society. Not for kids though, especially since the characters are very focused on cutting off other’s “Gronchs” and using it as currency. Written and illustrated by James Stokoe.

Rachel Rising
The story starts with an undead Rachel digging herself out of a shallow grave with no memory of how she got there. She goes and visits with her old friends, trying to figure out what happened to her, and the story just keeps getting weirder and weirder. This comic is written and illustrated by the great Terry Moore.

Sixth Gun

Oh man, this is such a great series. Goes something like this: During the Civil War there were sig guns with all sorts of supernatural powers. The book focuses on a girl who inherits one of those guns from her father. She begins to see vision, and one of the guns previous owners hunts her down to retrieve his old gun so he will have possession of them all. Written by Collen Bunn, and illustrated by Brian Hurt, art and story are solid all the way through.

This series is definitely not for everybody, but I finally got around to reading it this year and loved it. If you like weird alternate Gnostic dimensions of time and the imagination then this series might be for you too! Writer Grant Morrison can be hit or miss for me, but when he is on, he is one of the best storytellers around. And he is at his weirdest and best in this series.

Weathercraft & Congress of Animals
Artist Jim Woodring is the author and illustrator for both of these books. Very surreal, very beautiful, but easy to follow. What makes it even more amazing to me is that there aren’t any word at all, the whole story is told through images, and it is even better for that reason. Woodring is a master, using beautiful images and line work to tell his stories.


Forming started as a web comic that has been collected and published by Nobrow, although you can still read most of it online (click here). Written and illustrated by Jesse Moynihan, and I got to say, he knows his stuff when it comes to mythology. Told from a very irreverent and comedic slant, but very well informed and thought out. I love this comic.

Legion Lost

The Legion of Superheroes has been published since the 1950s, but I’d really never read anything before. For that reason, I am not completely sure why I decided to pick up their Legion Lost story arc. Probably because I was familiar with writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning from other stories. I am glad I did try this one. In this book, some of the Legionaries find themselves stranded in a distant galaxy trying to find their way home. I know that is a very brief summary, but believe me, this is a great story.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
I’ve owned all of the League comics for years, but had only read the first collection. Somehow, I lost the other three volumes in my basement, and didn’t come across them again until last summer. Since Alan Moore is one of my all-time favorite writers, when I found them, I had to read them. What a great series. And then, last fall, a brand new collection called 1969 was published. The League brings fictional characters like Captain Nemo, Alan Quartermain, Mina Harker, Dr. Jekyll and others together to fight crime and save the world (of course)! I love it.

Geek out!

Todd Powelson
Todd Powelson works as a Graphic Designer, Illustrator, and Visual Artist.

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