Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I Love Fear

I read a lot of comics. Thankfully, most of the publishers I used to deal with as my weekly entertainment magazine’s Head Comics Geek in Charge have kept me on their comp lists, so a lot of stuff crosses my desk. Most of it isn’t very good. But that’s par for the course: most of any medium’s offerings aren’t very good. (I’ve still got the C. Thomas Howell direct-to-DVD version of The War of the Worlds on my shelf. Why? Because it’s too bad to let fall into the wrong hands.)

Where was I? Ah, comics. My new favorite comic is Image's Fear Agent, written by Rick Remender and drawn by Tony Moore. I could say I love it because it’s smart, or because it’s funny, or because with each issue it gives you the kind of story-dump you don’t seem to get much any more.

But I love it because it’s sci-fi. (Not to mention manly-man sci-fi, with swaggering, drunk heroes and pretty girls and dastardly bug-eyed monsters.) And there just aren’t many good sci-fi comics out there.

Many smarter people (or, at least, more invested people) have decried the myopia of the American comics industry: that it supports one genre (superheroes), to the exclusion of all others. Sure, there are people doing fantastic work in other story-spaces published by independent companies, be it horror, or Westerns, or slackers trying to get laid. But after Warren Ellis brought Transmetropolitan to a close (and besides Y: The Last Man) there hasn't been a lot of real, thinking man’s science fiction out there for mass consumption.

Granted, Fear Agent is cut from a different cloth than Transmet, and they are aiming to do different things, but they both engage on one level or another. Which is more than I can say for most.

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