Sunday Digest 27/10/13 – this weekend’s must-read digital comics with Ed Brubaker’s Velvet, Bandette and Gestalt Comics’ The Example

This weekend’s must-read digital comics in the Sunday Digest include Ed Brubaker’s new spy thriller Velvet which reunites him with Captain America artist Steve Epting, a collected version of one of our favourite digital comics in Bandette Volume 1: Presto and another stunning offering from Aussie publishers Gestalt Comics with black and white one-shot The Example.

Velvet #1 (Image Comics)

Velvet 1 cover

Reunited with his Captain America alum Steve Epting superstar writer Ed Brubaker continues in the tradition of books like Criminal, Incognito and Fatale by delivering another noir soaked knockout with a spy thriller edge. It reads like a James Bond-esque spy thriller at first, but set in the the gritty 1970s (unlike the actual 70s Bond which was campy and comedic), and on first impression of the opening pages seems pretty vanilla and straight forward. However half way through it takes a novel twist shifting the emphasis from the generic male spies to the mole they are hunting – who just happens to be the secretary in head office. It’s James Bond where Moneypenny is more like Foxy Brown and gives the book the required kick in the ass to take it from being just another spy book and turns it into something rather cool. Unlike Rucka and Lark’s Lazarus which has become laboured and convoluted since its stunning launch, Velvet feels like a much more exciting read, not bogged down with exposition, and if you’ve read Brubakers take on the Black Widow in Winter Soldier you’ll know that she won’t end up being a 1-dimensional cliche. Epting’s artwork as always brings the grittiness to the book and compliments Brubaker’s style almost as well as Fatale/Criminal artist Sean Philips does, which can only be a good thing for readers, as it means another outstanding Brubaker book will be hitting ComiXology with more frequency!
Velvet is avaialble via the ComiXology or Image Comics apps for £1.99/$2.99

Bandette Volume 1 Presto! (MonkeyBrain Comics/Dark Horse Comics)

Bandette Volume 1The latest MonkeyBrain title to make the retro step from digital to print, is the brilliant Bandette, with Dark Horse Comics  collecting the first 5 issues along with some fantastic one-shots. For those who haven’t been following this title – shame on you – Bandette is the Eisner-award winning ‘digital comic of the year’ from writer Paul Tobin and artist Colleen Coover and one of our absolute favourites in the MonkeyBrain stable. Bandette reads ike the offspring of Tintin and the Black Cat with a generous dose of Nancy Drew and Oliver Twist to create a brilliant mix of crime-fighting, cat burglary and Parisian chic. With tongue pressed firmly in cheek it if full of quirky humour and plenty of pluck. Tobin’s script is packed full of sparkling one liners with a really fizzing, fun tone which is backed up by Coover’s loose illustrative style. Bandette is always one for a kooky expression of an unconventional pose and it’s the kind of book that never stays still, just like it’s heroine. Bandette is one of the great all-ages female heroines and is an absolute must-read, especially for comic fans with young daughters who want them to read a book with a positive female role model that is unpatronising but still super cool!
Bandette Volume 1 Presto is available from Dark Horse via Amazon for £10.99 or you can purchase the original issue digitally from ComiXology for £0.69/$0.99 

The Example (Gestalt Comics)

The Example (Gestalt Comics)When it comes to digital comics, we love an unconventional, black and white one-shot, and so following in the footsteps of Kurt Busiek’s Thoughts on a Winter Morning and Zack Smith’s The Stars Below comes Tom Taylor and Colin Wilson’s The Example from Gestalt Comics. The premise is simple, a man and a woman on a railway platform discuss a left-behind briefcase. Should they hand it in, will it cause them harm, when will the train arrive, who knows?! As is often the case with books like this a synopsis cannot fully do it justice as it is the mundanity of subject combined with the smartness of the script and art that makes it work. It is that slice of life that we all recognise but is handled so deftly as to make it interesting and engaging. With superb monochrome artwork from Wilson this is one of those timeless books that could work in any time period and deserves to stand the test of time. With an exquisite 1930s style cover making this point even moreso, this is an absolute gem of a book that justly deserves being included alongside those aforementioned one-shots as one of our absolute favourite digital comics in recent memory.
The Example is available from ComiXology for £0.69/$0.99 or direct from the Gestalt Comics website