Madefire ComicsWe always love the arrival of new Madefire titles, and this month we have had not one but two new installments of Dave Gibbon’s brilliant Treatment series. If you’ve not checked it out before, Treatment is a global televisual phenomenon whereupon the guilty are judged live on TV for the pleasure of an increasingly blood-thirsty audience. With franchises in different cities it makes for a brilliantly imaginative franchise and one of the most consistent in the Madefire catalogue.

NEMO_HOI_FC_PromoThere’s no denying that Alan Moore is a visionary comics writer, his résumé speaks for itself. But in recent years as his work has taken a more avant grade and experimental approach, not always for the better. The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, once his most well rounded book has descended into psychedelic insanity, perhaps as a reaction to the ill fated movie, and subsequent books, especially the recent 1969 and 2009 editions, although brimming with inventive ideas became oblique and pretentious. They were still packed full of insightful references from the world of music, art and literature and Kevin O’Neill’s art still bristled with energy and imagination, but as the references became increasingly obscure and the characters often more and more self indulgent each issue seemed to require a degree in occult literature and an epic companion glossary just to make head nor tail of it. Although it is great to know that someone is at least making intelligent comics,  showing off how much you know about obscure literarty characters it does not always make for the most interesting read. 

Transformers Monstrosity O01_CVRFollowing in the metallic footsteps of last years Transformers: Autocracy from IDW Publishing comes another digital exclusive title in the form of Transformers: Monstrosity. Written by the same time of Chris Metzen and Flint Dille and with the stunning painted artwork of Livio Ramondelli it continues the story of the early days of the Autobots and Decepticons on Cybertron. Following on from the events in Autocracy, Orion Pax has assumed the title of Optimus Prime after ousting the despotic Zeta Prime and defeating the rebellious Decepticons – who had aided his coup d’état but betrayed him and left him for dead before he uncovered the Matrix of Leadership and vanquished the duplicitous Megatron.

VerityFair-Main-Menu-001-229x300The latest comic book to get the ‘Deluxe Digital Graphic Novel’ treatment from developers Panel Nine is Terry Wiley’s 2008 book Verity Fair. Telling the story of wannabe starlet Verity Bourneville (aka Tracey Perkins) and her various misadventures, from working in a fish shop to trying to make it as an actress. This is much more than just a ‘slice of life‘ Brit comic as Wiley’s captures the nuances of this eclectic 40-year old expertly. Creating a character who is both wildly entertaining and poignantly tragic in equal measures which in turn makes her a heroine whose stories are endlessly readable, whatever the format.

Hawkeye 7When it comes to weaving real life incidents into a comics storyline avoiding mawkishness and insensitivity is not easy and is the primary reason that many comics choose to base their books in fictitious cities or alternative timelines. However for a company like Marvel who pride themselves on their links to New York and the sense of realism it gives their stories then it means that when something as profound as Hurricane Sandy happens then they are almost duty bound to cover it, just as they did with 9/11 in 2001. However to get the tone right is not easy, reconciling the fantastic world of the Avengers with the real life heroics of everyday New Yorkers requires a subtle hand to avoid sensationalism and poor taste, but fortunately for Marvel they have an ace up their sleeve in Matt Fraction’s brilliant Hawkeye.