IMG_7883_1_.JPG

Many centuries ago when I was in college, a film that I made (on celluloid, that’s how long ago it was) won an award, and I accepted it at a ceremony while wearing a t-shirt that said “THE BOOK WAS BETTER.” God, I was insufferable.

Sponsored

I’d like to think that my snobbery isn’t quite so performative these days (except, apparently, when it’s time for me to write an article for Seattle’s Only Newspaper), but I do still believe that books almost always suffer when translated to the screen. I’m challenged to think of an example of any that is as enjoyable to watch as it is to read—okay, Lord of the Rings works, but that’s almost entirely canceled out by the ordeal that is The Hobbit.

However! There are at least three new comic books out this week that I can’t stop imagining being adapted to the screen. One is explicitly pornographic, so that adaptation will probably have to remain in my imagination; but another has all the ingredients of a marvelous indie coming-of-age film, and the third has already been snatched up by a studio for a giant monster-fighting adventure, so as long as movies exist in the next few years, there’ll be lots to look forward to.

As always, I picked out this week’s recs with help from our friends at Phoenix Comics—and hey, don’t forget that today is Local Comic Shop Day!


cheater.jpg

It should be against the rules for a book to be this good, and in fact it IS against the rules if you are under 18. This decidedly adults-only book starts with explicit queer sex before veering into relationship heartbreak and then plunging into a brilliant sci-fi story that’s kind of TRON meets Sean Cody.

Kennedy seeks to evade the pain of a breakup by distracting himself with video games, but the video games have other ideas. Transported into his favorite games, Kennedy finds himself plunging through explicit adventures with action-dads, furries, orcs and more. And wouldn’t you know it, each of those video game worlds is an analogue for the various forms of personal growth he must undergo to move forward in his non-game life. Boasting super sexy art with wonderful writing and fantastic fun characters, I can’t remember the last time I recommended a book with such spunky enthusiasm.

Support The Stranger



juliet.jpg

Awash in lovely pink and purple pastels, Juliet Takes a Breath is a perfect coming-of-age adventure. College freshman Juliet Milagros Palante just moved from the Bronx to Portland in this adaptation of Gabby Rivera’s delightful novel, with Juliet’s mother dropping a homophobic bombshell just as her daughter departs. Displaced from her familiar home, Juliet is reeling and unsure about her place in the family; but a chosen family awaits her on the west coast. Portland isn’t everything Juliet expected—her internship with her favorite author yields harsh lessons in identity, feminism, and race—and as she dives into her work researching the erased history of women who came before, she finds herself writing a future for the woman she’ll become. Simultaneously inspiring and adorable, I can’t wait to see (fingers crossed) the eventual film adaptation.


KAIJU SCORE

kaiju.jpg

It’s a heist! It’s a monster fight! It’s Quentin Tarantino plus Godzilla! Kaiju Score is the genre hybrid I can’t believe it never occurred to me that I should long for, and now that I’ve read it I can’t wait for more. Issue #1 introduces us to a world of monsters—some towering colossuses, others sly human criminals. The heist-movie tropes are hit with great glee: The team is assembled, the plan is formulated, the plot is thickened. But adding to the inevitable mayhem is a giant horned monster, and that’s on top of the sharply flawed antiheroes. It’s clear that writer James Patrick and artist Rem Broo love both the monsters and the sleazy noir of a heist, and it’s an unmitigated delight to simmer in the overlap with them. The book has already been optioned for a film adaptation by Sony, and while that’s no guarantee that a movie version will happen, I can already picture what a giddy, gleeful action romp it would be.


MORE MONSTERS, MORE HEROES, MORE TENTACLES

Vox Machina Origins
Vox Machina Origins

Hoooooboy there’s a lot more good stuff out this week: Miskatonic is a wonderfully moody crime-noir that feels like X-Files in the 1920s, with a mystery-solving team investigating paranormal phenomena. Also good is The Other History of the DC Universe, a retelling of DC hero stories from the point of view of characters who were previously overlooked—a fascinating new take for DC fans. Horror aficionados should check out I Walk With Monsters, a super creepy Issue #1 about a woman still dealing with the loss of her brother while also fighting injustice with the help of a friend who can turn into a deadly monster. And if you’re looking for a gift for the Critical Role fan in your life, look no further than the beautiful Vox Machina Origins library edition, a hardcover collection of the first six issues of series I and II.