Good afternoon and happy holidays, comic fans! Welcome to that weird in-between week at the end of the holidays where up is down, left is right, DC is Marvel. I hope regardless of what you celebrate that you had a great holiday season, and I hope you got all of the comic goodness your nerdy little heart desired.
I am filled with cheesecake and potatoes and ready to dive into this week’s comic talk here at RVA Mag. This week we have comic author Aubrey Sitterson sitting down with me, all the way from much warmer California, to tell us his picks for the next few weeks in comic-land.
Aubrey Sitterson is the author of The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling. He has worked for all of the major comics publishers, including Marvel, DC, Image, and Dark Horse, and even lived in the River City for awhile before ultimately moving when he was eighteen. As someone who is so immersed in the industry, what does Sitterson think we need to keep an eye on for the next few weeks?
“X-Force #1” by Ed Brisson and Dylan Burnett
“I’m a sucker for the 90s X-books, and none more so than X-Force, so this is an easy sell for me to begin with,” said Sitterson. “I also know for a fact that it’ll be the best looking book on the stands the day after Christmas, because it’s got art by the brilliant Dylan Burnett, who I was lucky to work with on a series of Doctor Spektor back-ups at Dynamite!”
“Mars Attacks #3” by Kyle Starks & Chris Schweizer
“If you’re familiar with their work on Rock Candy Mountain, you know what a powerhouse pair Kyle Starks and Chris Schweizer are,” said Sitterson. “Here, they turn their considerable talents to the twisted, violent, and hilarious.”
“Conan the Barbarian #1” by Jason Aaron, Mahmud Asrar, and Matthew Wilson
“Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian is one of the most important characters in all of speculative fiction, every bit as foundational as the work of J.R.R. Tolkien,” said Sitterson. “I can’t think of a better team than Jason Aaron and Mahmud Asrar to breathe new life into the Cimmerian.”
“The Conan Reader” by Kurt Busiek, P. Craig Russell, Fred Van Lente, et al.
“Like everyone else, I’m stoked to see what-all Marvel does with the Conan license, but for years prior, Dark Horse has been bringing their A-game,” said Sitterson. “This is a massive, 700-page collection full of amazing work from Kurt Busiek, P. Craig Russell, Timothy Truman, Ariel Olivetti, and more.”
“Savage Dragon #241” by Erik Larsen
“Erik Larsen’s magnum opus is something truly unique,” said Sitterson. “Don’t worry about going back and starting from the beginning – diving into the middle of one of the all-time great superhero comics runs is a huge part of the fun.”
“Devilman Grimoire vol 5” by Go Nagai & Rui Takatou
“It’s a great time to be a fan of Go Nagai’s Devilman,” said Sitterson. “Not only was Devilman Crybaby an amazing fever dream reimagining of the classic manga, but Seven Seas Entertainment is currently publishing the original series, as well as this other recent reinterpretation, now on its fifth and final volume.”
This week as I slowly crawl back into the real world from my food and festive coma, I have one killer recommendation for you. “Die Kitty Die” by Dan Parent and Fernando Ruiz is the most meta of meta right now. Starring witch Kitty Ravencraft, Die Kitty Die finds Kitty trying to survive while the creators of her own comic try to kill her off. Bonus points for the neat cameo by God, as played by American treasure Bea Arthur.
As the year and the season draws to a close, at least we can take solace in so many things to look forward to next year: so many new and continuing comic series, the film releases of Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame, and hell, even a new chapter in the Men in Black franchise. Happy new year, comic fans!