The Best Comics We Read in February 2018
We asked our contributors to share the best comic book, graphic novel, or webcomic that they read last month. Read on to see what the Rioters had on their nightstands the past four weeks, and maybe one of these will find its way to your bedside in the coming weeks. Enjoy and tell us about the highlight of your reading month in the comments.
Bingo Love by Tee Franklin, Jenn St-onge, Joy San, Cardinal Rae, Erica Schultz
A love story that spans almost a lifetime that made me feel every single emotion through the journey and left me a gooey, puddle of tears. In 2038 Elle tells someone going through a hard time the story of how she fell in love with a girl, lost the love because of hate and the era, settled for a life, and then got a second chance at happiness and love. Every single thing about this comic is beautiful and you’ll find yourself wanting to read it over and over again.
Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part Two by Michael Dante DiMartino and Irene Koh
I loved both Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra, so it’s no surprise I’m totally on board for the Korra comics (especially since I’m still bitter over how the series was sidelined and ended too early *sigh*). This volume was maybe a little less exciting than the first, but I’m really enjoying seeing how Korra and Asami’s relationship develops and how everyone is dealing with the fallout from the new spirit portal in Republic City. And I am so here for the Mako and Bolin buddy cop antics!
The Secret Loves of Geeks Edited by Hope Nicholson
This is a follow-up to The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, and I loved that volume. This one does not disappoint. Full of stories, illustrations, and comics about love, sex, and dating from comics geeks, gamer geeks, and other fandom geeks, it’s diverse in every possible way. Contributors include Gabby Rivera, Margaret Atwood, Amy Chu, Valentine de Landro, and Priya Huq, to name a few.
Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll
I love Speak. It struck me when I read it in my teens, when it came out, and it struck me when I revisited it in my adulthood. It only struck me harder seeing it updated and turned into a graphic novel. Halse Anderson’s story teamed up with Carroll’s art take a book with staying power and make it even more relevant and visceral. This should introduce tons of new readers to the original book, reintroduce fans of the original book, and stands as an example of how well a good story can be rendered across various formats. I wish it weren’t still needed, but this is a hell of an addition to bookshelves everywhere.
The Wicked + The Divine: 1923, by Kieron Gillen & Aud Koch
Wic/Div is still on hiatus, or at least its regular, contemporary timeline is. I was already intrigued by this special issue, which recounts the 1923 recurrence of the pantheon, because we meet them (well, some of them) in the very first pages of the entire series. I was totally unprepared, however, for this book. Most of it is told not in comics, but in era-appropriate prose. The comics panels are in black and white. The characters are trapped in an Agatha Christie plot. I’ve enjoyed all of Wic/Div’s special issues, but this one is a true work of art.
The Walking Dead Volume 28: A Certain Doom by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, and Cliff Rathburn
28 is an emotionally hefty volume, what with the demise of one of the beating hearts of the series. But even beyond that big-ticket moment, this volume manages something audacious: it starts to redeem its most villainous character. It’s unclear whether that’s for real or yet another ploy in a drawn-out war. But that’s both a nail-biting plot point and another example of how well The Walking Dead reflects on the nature of allegiance and loyalty in a world where these have much higher stakes.
Yona of the Dawn Volumes 1-5 by Mizuho Kusanagi
Princess Yona wants for nothing. Her bodyguard Hak is annoying but like her big brother, and she’s planning to marry her cousin Soo-won. That goes out the window when Soo-won kills Yona’s father, the king, and assumes the throne. With both of them heartbroken and betrayed, Hak takes Yona into hiding so that Soo-won won’t kill them for witnessing the murder. Yona slowly resolves to become strong enough to protect Hak in turn, and summon five legendary dragons to regain some sort of station in life. Character development and moral ambiguity run rampant through the manga, and no one is truly evil.