One of the few perks of living close to campus, if you are unassociated with the university, is the little stretch of goodness on University Drive and Ash Avenue. Comics, beer, pizza, coffee and skateboards are all available for the taking within steps of each other.
So to spice up our lives, we chatted with Ash Avenue Comics & Books’ Jordan Burke about what he has been into lately and what comics should either be on your radar or in your hands.
Saga (Image Comics)
Written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples
Burke: “Saga” is my favorite comic right now. I originally picked it up because it’s by Brian K. Vaughan, who wrote a comic called “Y: The Last Man,” which is one of my favorite comics of all time. He also wrote for the TV show “Lost.” The first thing that caught my attention was the art by Fiona Staples, who was an up-and-coming artist, but now because of this book, she’s become a huge deal. It was her breakthrough comic. It’s kind of like “Romeo and Juliet” meets “Star Wars” but with tons of crazy, weird adult themes. It’s really vulgar and has a little bit of everything. It’s extremely witty and it’s basically about two people from different races and different planets that are warring with each other. These two people meet, fall in love, lead the resistance, have a child, (which is a big no no) and it’s just really fun. The world-building in it is beautiful. You never question what is happening.
Rat Queens (Image Comics)
Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe, drawn by Roc Upchurch
Burke: The writer described it as his love letter to Dungeons and Dragons, a role playing game, which he grew up playing. It takes all your generic fantasy tropes and turns them up to 11. It’s not so much making fun of the fantasy genre as more of a big “in” joke. If you grew up reading “Lord of the Rings” and playing D&D you’ll get all the little tropes that are happening, but even if you haven’t, it’s still a really fun adventure story. The main cast is all female. You’ve got your elf, your dwarf, your gnome and human. They get sent on adventures and are totally ridiculous, but it’s also very crude and adult themed.
She Hulk (Marvel Comics)
Created by Stan Lee
Burke: I never really read “She Hulk” before. The art on the cover caught my attention and then I found out that the current writer, Charles Soule, is actually an entertainment lawyer as well as a comic writer. The whole thing about She Hulk is that when she’s not being a super hero, she’s actually a lawyer. That’s her thing. So they got a lawyer who actually knows this world to write She Hulk and it’s funny as hell. I would say at least 60 percent of the comic simply focuses on her life as a lawyer. The super hero stuff is there, and when it’s done it’s done great, but the majority of it is her simple life as a lawyer, which is really fun. That’s why I love it.