My Top 10 Comics…Today

 

books-bookstore-book-reading-159711.jpegWhew! This is a long one, but…sorry? Not sorry. There are so many good comic books out there right now. I used to feel a little weird about making recommendations, because I’m not one of those people who’ve been reading comics since I was a kid. About 4-5 years ago I jumped into comics with both feet, and by both feet I mean Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. After that I was a little lost, but I got some great recommendations from a good friend, and eventually I ventured out on my own.

Most of my reading comes from independent publishers like AfterShock and Image, because finding entry points into some of the historic characters of the big 2 was a little intimidating….I’ve gotten over that now, but I still lean heavily toward the books the independent publishers release.

These are my Top 10 Books as of…today. They’re listed in no particular order. Think I missed something? Let me know. I’m always looking for new books!


bookFUJITSU

1. Fu Jitsu – Published by Aftershock Comics, written by Jai Nitz & art by Wes St. Claire

Fu Jitsu is the world’s smartest boy, and has been for the last hundred years. Wait, what? Fu is an un-aging genius, and has had adventures around the globe and around the galaxy. From Einstein and the Wright brothers, to Gandhi and Johnny Unitas, Fu has met everyone in history while protecting Earth from Robert Wadlow, the world’s tallest man, and his dangerous magi-science.

TheRealm_01-12. The Realm – Published by Image Comics, co-created by Shaun Peck & Jeremy Haun

Fifteen years ago, our world was overrun by creatures of myth; orcs, dragons, and other nameless horrors threw the entire planet into total chaos. Today, the shattered remnants of civilization must fight just to survive in a deadly new era of violence and mayhem. While a powerful sorcerer marshals his forces, a group of warriors embark on a journey to reclaim our world from the growing darkness. An all new post-apocalyptic high-fantasy adventure series from co-creators SETH M. PECK (X-Men) and JEREMY HAUN (THE BEAUTY) featuring colors by NICK FILARDI and letters by THOMAS MAUER.


ImaginaryFiends1

3. Imaginary Fiends – Published by Vertigo, written by Tim Seeley & art by StephenMolnar, Quinton Winter, & Carlos M. Mangual

Agent Melba Li and her imaginary monster partner, Polly Peachpit, continue their search for a missing child, as a twisted conspiracy unfolds in the small town of Maiden Springs. What is the Fraidy Cat? And how can a woman who lives in fear defeat something that lives on it?

Doomsday_Clock_Vol_1_14. Doomsday Clock – Published by DC Comics, written by Geoff Johns, pencils by Gary Frank, colors by Brad Anderson

Doomsday Clock is a twelve-issue comic book series written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Gary Frank. It began on November 21st 2017, at three minutes to midnight. It is the sequel to Watchmen, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons.

Coyotes_01-15. Coyotes – Published by Image Comics, written by Sean Lewis, art by Caitlin Yarsky

Underworld meets Sicario in this new series from SEAN LEWIS (SAINTS, THE FEW) and amazing new artist CAITLIN YARSKY. Hunted by a legion of wolves that roam the border, women are disappearing. The survivors band together to wage war. Detective Frank Coffey is trying to understand this mythic-level bloodbath when he comes across Red, a little girl with a secret and a sword. Ultra-violent and smart as hell, COYOTES transforms the everyday into a myth we can rally behind.

BatmanWhiteKnight16. Batman White Knight – Published by DC Comics, by Sean Murphy

In a world where Batman has gone too far, The Joker must save Gotham City.

He’s been called a maniac, a killer and the “Clown Prince of Crime” but “white knight”? Never. Until now…

Set in a world where the Joker is cured of his insanity and homicidal tendencies, The Joker, now known as “Jack,” sets about trying to right his wrongs. First he plans to reconcile with Harley Quinn, and then he’ll try to save the city from the one person who he thinks is truly Gotham City’s greatest villain: Batman!

Superstar writer and artist Sean Murphy (PUNK ROCK JESUS, THE WAKE) presents a seven-issue miniseries of a twisted Gotham City with a massive cast of heroes and villains that, at its heart, is a tragic story of a hero and a villain: Batman and The Joker. But which is the hero—and which the villain?

GrassKings017. Grass Kings – Published by BOOM! Studios, written by Matt Kindt, art by Tyler Jenkins

From The New York Times bestselling writer Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT) and Peter Panzerfaust artist Tyler Jenkins comes a rural mystery series chronicling the tragic lives of the Grass Kings, three brothers and rulers of a trailer park kingdom, a fiefdom of the hopeless and lost, of the desperate poor seeking a promised land. Eldest brother Robert leads a grief-stricken life, having lost his daughter to a tragic accident, followed by his wife disappearing one morning never to return. When an enigmatic young woman named Maria flees to their community in search of safe haven, Robert takes her in. Will his decision lead to ruin and retribution dooming the Kingdom? Perfect for fans of True Detective Season One or Scalped?

Maestros_01-18. Maestro – Published by Image Comics, written by Steve Skroce, art by Steve Skroce, Dave Stewart

he Maestro and his entire royal family have been murdered. Now, his banished son from Earth will inherit the Wizard King’s throne along with a spell that turns its user into GOD. With enemies everywhere, will this Orlando-born millennial be able to keep his new magic kingdom? From STEVE SKROCE, the storyboard artist of The Matrix trilogy, the artist and co-creator of WE STAND ON GUARD and Doc Frankenstein, the writer / artist of Wolverine, and the artist of Amazing Spider-Man and ALAN MOORE’s YOUNGBLOOD.

Redlands_01-19. Redlands – Published by Image Comics, written by Jordie Bellaire, art by Vanesa R. Del Rey

A brand-new horror book from the minds of Eisner Award-winner JORDIE BELLAIRE (PRETTY DEADLY, Vision, Batman) and critically acclaimed artist VANESA R. DEL REY (ZERO, Scarlet Witch, Constantine) brings you to the sleepy, sunny town of Redlands, Florida. The police are failing to maintain control of their old-fashioned town, and a coven of killer witches plan to take everything from them. This summer, hide your bibles.

GodComplex_01-110. God Complex – Published by Top Cow, written by Paul Jenkins, Bryan Lie, art by Hendry Prasetya

In the futuristic city of Delphi, a young digital-forensics investigator named Seneca finds himself embroiled in the bizarre murders of three church acolytes. Guided by his cryptic mentor, the Ruler named Hermes, Seneca uncovers a stunning conspiracy and a mystery that will turn his entire world upside down. From writer PAUL JENKINS (Inhumans, Wolverine: Origin) and artist HENDRY PRASETYA (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) comes a unique vision of a digital future powered by mythological gods.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

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Planet Comicon 2018

q6EwygLASAe8BUvGzhji6wOh my, oh my! I can always count on Planet Comicon in Kansas City to be filled with adventure, and this year was no exception. February 16-18 Bartle Hall filled with geeks of all kinds. I’m not wasting a lot of space here on the impressive celebrity lineup, the phenomenal cosplayers (so many great cosplays!), or the after hours events.  Just checkout their website or facebook page to see all that great stuff, and, believe me, it was amazing. I’m really here for the comic books and their creators, that’s why I go to these things after all.

The Kansas City area is home to a host of incredibly talented creators including Jai Nitz, co-creator of El Diablo; Freddie Williams II, Batman/TMNT; Jason Aaron, Southern Bastards; and so many others there’s a website for creators in the Kansas City, Lawrence & Topeka area. Creators like Nitz have been participating in this show since its inception, 19 years ago. They also pull in creators from across the country: Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Marguerite Bennett, Amy Chu, Tom King, Jason Latour, Jae Lee, Matt Hawkins…and if I added all the wonderful people at this show on my list we’d be here for a looooonnnnngggg time. The wealth of talent at this show is heady.

All the creators means you get some really good panels, and this year was no exception. They scheduled so many interesting panels that there was no way we could get to them all.  That was the only disappointment.

When you get Matt Hawkins (Think Tank, Postal), Tom King (Batman), CW Cooke (Solitary), Jai Nitz (El Diablo, Dream Thief), Marguerite Bennett (Animosity, DC Bombshells), and Amy Chu (Red Sonya) together on a panel about writing comics an hour just isn’t enough…not by half. Then there was the drawing comics panel with Jae Lee, Freddie Williams II, and Chad Hardin who manage to talk while they draw some amazing images. There’s always an opportunity to learn something new.

My favorite thing about these events is the opportunity to talk with the creators. These are kind people who are generous with their time. They never hesitate to spend a moment with someone who supports their work, and they’re supportive of those interested in becoming a creator themselves. I never fail to learn something new, and I always walk away inspired. So, this is a big “THANK YOU” to all of the people out there who spend the extra time, support those aspiring to be something more, and for smiling through all the sputtering as we stumble our way through our appreciation for your work.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

 

 


It’s Been A Long Time…

I’ve reached the end of a long road.  Today, I finished all the work for my second Bachelor degree in Graphic Design. Graduation is officially February 2nd, but I picked Planet Comic Con in Kansas City with lots of friends instead of a trip to Florida with one very good friend. (Don’t worry, we have a trip to wine country planned later in the year!)  The last two and a half years flew by me, and a lot of that is due to the fact that I freaking love design. Most of the time, it never even felt like work, which is kind of amazing.


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Now, I need to figure out what real life really looks like…post academic life. One thing I discovered during my academic journey is…tabletop games. Thanks to a work friend who introduced me to Wil Wheaton’s YouTube Series Tabletop, I’ve discovered quite a few new games like Settlers of Catan, Lords of Waterdeep, and a several others. That’s why one of the first orders of business was to set up a game night/ weekend with some friends.  Yes, that’s right, game weekend.  We’re going to eat, drink, and play every tabletop game we’ve got.  I’ve even got a game based on John Carpenter’s The Thing. It’s been teasing me from my kitchen table since December.

Catan2

Getting into tabletop games was a little intimidating for me. Gaming stores are filled with all kinds of options and expansion packs, and finding a game that is just a step above Monopoly is harder than I expected.  Sometimes, when you’re presented with too many options, its so overwhelming, you just don’t choose anything. (At one point this was true of my life too, but I think I’ve gotten better at that.) When a colleague mentioned going to a gaming convention this summer, I started asking questions…a lot of questions. I’m pretty sure that YouTube was his way of getting me to shut up, so he could work.

His first recommendation was Settlers of Catan.  This game provides an excellent entry point to tabletop gaming. Once I started talking about playing, I was surprised by the number of people I know who already play.  They’ve made other recommendations we’re trying out this weekend.

So, tell me, what games do you like to play? I’m going to need new things to do to fill all this new free time!

‘Til Next Time,

Jessica


Talking Turkey

My neighborhood has a flock of turkeys.  My. Neighborhood. Has. A. Flock. Of. Turkeys.  This is a sentence I never thought I’d utter, write or even think.  So, turkeys in the middle of the Tulsa Metro, weird, but not that weird.  What if one of them were impaled with an arrow?  An. Arrow.

While I know many hunters, and have enjoyed the bounty of their hard work, I can’t bear to see an animal suffer unnecessarily. However, I have no idea what to do about a turkey shot with an arrow.  Who do you call about a turkey?

Dad.  I called my dad.  Of course, he was no help whatsoever.  His suggestion involved No. 4 birdshot.  I thought maybe it would just die on its own, but I saw the darned thing again…and again.  It didn’t look injured…except for the freaking arrow going through its body.  My conscience (and my mother) wouldn’t let me stop there, so I called my vet.

They’d be happy to treat the turkey…if I caught it.  How do you catch a turkey?  Have you seen a wild turkey?  They’re not cuddly creatures!

wild-turkey-1665326_1280

Wild Turkey via Pixabay

So, I called the SPCA.  The gentleman expressed such gratitude I cared about the animal, and he would be happy to give me treatment options…if I caught the turkey.

The wild life refuge rehabilitates and re-homes animals when they’re well. They’d be happy to treat the turkey as well…if I brought it in.

At this point I’m getting a bit excited. Who knows how to catch a turkey?  I don’t!  Does anyone have a suggestion?

“Well, this is a multi-person job,” the helpful refuge personnel informed me.  “I’ve got the numbers for a couple of companies you can pay to help you catch the turkey.”

Pay to…does anyone else realize this is not my turkey?  I just don’t want the animal to suffer needlessly.  Catch a turkey?  What the hell would I do with it when I caught it?  Load the “docile” animal in my Hyundai and trek down to the wildlife refuge?  Are you kidding me?

However, my colleague upon hearing my plight offered an excellent suggestion.  I should lasso the turkey…Lasso. The. Turkey.

Okay, so setting aside the fact this is…a turkey.  What on God’s green Earth makes anyone think I a) am in possession of a LASSO b) would in any way shape or form be able to LASSO A TURKEY?

Fortunately, she was able to demonstrate the lassoing motion…along with a handy gallop. Because apparently, I would be riding a stick pony while wielding my lasso.

Of course, this was not the only suggestion offered up in my quest to capture the…turkey. Calling Channel 2 came up surprisingly often.  Although I’m not sure what a news crew could do.  I suppose that is a multi-person effort.

My mother helpfully suggested shooting the animal with a tranquilizer dart.  Fortunately, I keep the dart gun stored next to my LASSO.  It is so much more convenient than storing them separately.

She also suggested a blow gun…that suggestion came complete with sound effects. Seriously, I’m not even going there.

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Turkey via Pixabay

The placement of the arrow came up several times, but let me be clear.  The only time I’d been in the presence of a whole turkey was at Thanksgiving dinner.  The vantage point was just a little different.  I can be pretty certain the arrow didn’t damage the drumstick though.

 

The fate of the turkey?  I have no idea.  It seemed content to be pecking away in my neighbor’s yard the last time I saw it.  In the end, I hung up the phone and poured a drink. There’s no Wild Turkey in my house, so it was a Jameson’s.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

P.S. No, it is not turkey season.  Yes, hunting is illegal within the city limits.  I did get confirmation that a few geese have also been shot with arrows.  The SPCA’s opinion is that this is not hunting for food.  This is target practice and sport.  Just in case you’re a little foggy.  Maiming animals is NOT okay.  In my opinion, hunting for anything other than food is NOT okay.  Don’t be a jackass.

 


Best 40 Minutes of Your Week

tashi-and-the-monkEvery once in a while, I stumble across something wonderful in the course of my classwork.  This time, it was a documentary from Pilgrim Films about a Buddhist monk who started a home for unwanted children.  Tashi and the Monk is filled with the sound of children laughing, playing, learning and healing.  I rejoiced in the happiness of 85 formerly unwanted and unloved children who found a family, a home, and a steadfast father figure who dedicates himself to making sure they have the childhood he never got.  Easily the best 40min you’ll spend this week.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

P.S. Did I mention Tashi and the Monk won an Emmy for Outstanding Short Documentary in 2016?


Have a Holly Jolly…Whatever

The holiday season is here.  Not fast approaching.  Not on its way. Brace yourself, it has arrived.  Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza or Festivus, this time of year becomes a hectic mesh of holiday gatherings with family, friends and co-workers.  For all the frivolity, to be honest, it stresses me out.  All the cooking, baking, gift buying, wrapping, parties…when are you supposed to get a chance to relax and actually enjoy it?

My favorite part of the season is the decorating bit.  Not necessarily because it puts me in a celebratory frame of mind, but because my decorations are filled with memories.  Places I’ve been, people I love, and even mistakes I’ve made, are all hung on an evergreen with warm lights, twinkling in the dark. Here are a few of my favorite memories from my parents tree.

I hope you enjoy them.

‘Til next time,

Jessica


Its All In the Details…

Koi by Jessica Thompson

Koi by Jessica Thompson

The Exposition

The week after a holiday at a bank is always a little rough. When you toss in a significant reduction in staff due to…life and things, and the maelstrom of chaos that ensues is enough cause a wee bit of gray matter to leak from the ears. You know your brain is mush when you read your class assignment…several times, and still misread, we’ll just say significant portions of said assignment…significant portions.

Rising Action

 

Logo by Jessica Thompson

Logo by Jessica Thompson

At least I made it a policy to review the assignments one last time before I finalize formats and submit my work. Whew! So instead of needing to complete three small sketches, I need to do six other things. Create clip art, Photoshop masks, logos, or some combination. Fortunately, they don’t need to be completed, just in process. I don’t think tea is going to cut it tonight. Note to self, coffee actually makes me vibrate. Everything gets started, compiled, and the video is completed. Adobe Spark videos are pretty cool, I’m going to have to play with that some more. I breathe a sign of relief, because it is all finished.

The Climax

Kermit by Jessica Thompson

Kermit by Jessica Thompson

…in time for the internet to crash mid-upload (which is why, girls and boys you never wait until the last minute). Expletive deleted, expletive deleted.  You know, because starting an upload 10 minutes before the deadline isn’t stressful enough as it is. Expletive deleted, expletive deleted, expletive deleted.

Falling Action

Don’t panic!

jimsconeyisland

Logo by Jessica Thompson

The assignment is uploaded, the video is posted, the timesheet is completed. That’s 10% of the course grade right there. It got submitted, one minute before the deadline, but that’s still on time. The discussion post…that got posted ten minutes late (stupid, beautiful, internet we have a love/hate relationship), not cool, but only 2%.

Resolution

The perfectionist in me rails at the lateness, my inattention to detail, the threat (though minor) to my GPA, but on the whole I’m just trying to figure out if an adult beverage will help me stop the caffeine fueled vibrating so I can sleep or just change the frequency.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

P.S. Whiskey changes the frequency of the vibrations, dogs don’t care that you didn’t get any sleep, but at least I got pancakes for breakfast.


Don’t Do It Halfway

livsnjutareDo you know anyone like this?  I do.  I admire them.  Everyone I’ve met who loves life deeply exudes passion for…all the things.  A life filled with passion is a great thing.

‘Til next time,

Jessica


How Do You Process Your Thoughts?

babelismI tend to process complicated things out loud.  Whether those are emotions, concepts, plans, whatever, I need to talk it out.  Responses are generally not necessary because what pours out of my mouth is a confusions of ideas, speech, and thought.  Once I sift through the rubble, I have a cohesive…something.

In this respect, I can relate to Sherlock Holmes and the skull.  I have been known to talk to the dog.  Dexter isn’t the best conversationalist, but he’s an excellent listener.

‘Til next time,

Jessica


I Can Relate

abibliophobiaEvery time I head out on a trip, I begin to get anxious unless I’ve packed a book for every day I’m going to be away.  I’m not talking comic books here.  These are novels.  They’re heavy.  They take up massive amounts of space.  There’s always a nagging feeling I’ve forgotten something unless I have them.

‘Til next time,

Jessica