Good Comics at the Comic Shop December 18

It’s the last real comic Wednesday of the year — since next week is Christmas Day, and then it’s 2014 — and it’s a doozy! (Come to think of it, I don’t know what happens next week, given the holiday. Check your local store for their hours.) So here’s a couple of good books coming out at your local comic shop.

The book of the week is A Boy and a Girl (Oni Press, $19.99) by Jamie S. Rich and Natalie Nourigat. It’s a near-future romance that tackles the essential question of life choices. Two young adults try to figure out sudden romance in the face of a career bound to take them apart. I was perhaps too harsh on it when I reviewed it, so read the much more thorough review by Rob McMonigal instead.

Bloodhound: Crowbar Medicine #3 cover

There are a TON of periodicals out, so everyone should be able to find something to read during their time off. My favorite is Bloodhound: Crowbar Medicine #3 (Dark Horse, $3.99), because I adore what Dan Jolley and Leonard Kirk are doing with a blend of superheroes, crime comics, and a modern take on dealing with the aftereffects of vengeance. Clevenger is more heroic than most of the costumed types we see in today’s comics, because he’s trying to be true to his own ethics, which include a career-stopping lack of respect for false authority. He’s also very smart in a practical way, which I appreciate seeing in a world where too many plots are forced forwards by stupid choices because that’s what the author needs.

However, I don’t want to praise this book solely in terms of “it’s better than that other trash”, because that’s not fair to what Jolley and Kirk are creating — which is an intriguing mystery about a doctor who claims to be able to give people superpowers, and how catastrophically that might turn out. It’s an involving case that reminds me of how divided people are about gun ownership, and I appreciate the real-world allusions as a way of shedding new light on cultural debates — with plenty of well-drawn action and characterization.

In a reminder that kids might be interested in comics, too, especially ones with colorful superheroes doing wacky things, DC launches a new Teen Titans Go! print comic series, reprinting stories already available digitally. Multiple revenue models, yay!

On the Marvel side, there’s the next-to-last issue of Young Avengers (Marvel Comics, $2.99), although I’m sure it’ll be relaunched in some form or fashion, probably at a higher price. Since it won’t have Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, though, I’m not sure I’ll care. Such is the way of the world — as the year ends, a new one begins. As a title ends, I find something else to read.

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