And I do mean ALERT:
And I do mean ALERT:
Black Magick v.1: Awakening
I don’t think I’ve read a better first issue of a comic in a long time than the first issue of Black Magick. It sets up everything you need to know about the series - the key characters, the setting, the combination of cop drama and magical mystery - and shows off Nicola Scott’s artwork brilliantly.
And honestly, the book would be worth reading for the art alone.
While it’s not completely black-and-white, it’s mostly monochrome, and is incredibly detailed and polished. It’s seriously impressive stuff, and is greatly enhanced by the occasional touches of colour that are deployed for significant story reasons at certain times (sometimes in a way that’s so subtle you almost don’t notice, and sometimes more dazzlingly).
Rucka’s writing is excellent too. This kind of thing is absolutely in his wheelhouse, and he creates a compelling lead character in Rowan Black, fleshes out her police workplace with a decent supporting cast of characters, keeps things dramatic and compelling in a page-turner kind of way, and judiciously drops in humour to stop things getting too po-faced and serious (in fact the whole thing opens with a great tension-puncturing gag).
The book never quite tops that opening issue - by necessity, other subplots and antagonists get introduced, and things slow down a little bit to enable the fallout from the opening chapter to play out in full - but it continues to be compelling and create an interesting world of magic that (crucially) feels bound by rules and restrictions, rather than allowing the magical characters to feel all-powerful and invincible.
It all comes together to make for good drama and great comics.
There aren’t many extras to speak of here, which is a shame - some insight into the creation of the book would be welcome, especially on the art side - but we get plenty of variant covers by a selection of artists. Although I don’t think any of them top Scott’s own efforts.
I very recently read all of Black Magick up to the latest issue (sometimes with books with delays I buy them on Comixology when they come out but then binge read them later).
I think it gets better after this volume so from your review you don’t seem to need any persuading but keep reading.
Oh, I definitely will. It’s great and I’m keen to see what happens in volume 2 - I’ll probably pick it up when the full arc is done.
seriously though that price is ludicrous
Who the hell are you? John Lewis?
I’ve now seen everything, MW posters complaining an online deal is too cheap!
Well, you take a RRP of £13.99, take 38% off and… after that it’s all maths.
You might want to wait a little longer for the OHC in November.
Oh I’ll probably just read it digitally again, maybe in the next Image sale (that’s how I got this one - a bargain at £1.60 for the first collection). The artwork looks amazing on the screen.
Ah, not anymore - you should have paid thruppence for it.
They saw me coming.
Really. At the moment I am experimenting with self-employment and hoping some venture capital money is due soon so I’m being frugal, but I really think the future is getting a 13 inch or more tablet so every comic is OHC.
Ben’s luddite ways will not approve!
Yeah, although I think there’s a trade-off with the device size in terms of how practical it is - I tend to read a lot of my digital comics on the go (I read a few TPBs on a bench out in the sun yesterday evening while waiting for my daughter at Brownies!), so I still need it to be fairly portable and not too unwieldy. So for that reason I’m not sure I will go much beyond my current 10.1" tablet even when the time comes to upgrade to a new one.
(With digital I think the actual size of the screen is slightly academic anyway, as you can use the zoom function to get a really close look at certain areas of the art, which I often do for really intricate artists.)
The only reason I wouldn’t go much below the current size is that I like to be able to display a full page at a readable size (ie. so that the text is legible), and I think much smaller than ten inches would make that tricky for some books.
Yeah I don’t really, it’s been 12 years since I had any decent commute that I didn’t have to drive (so can’t read), I read comics either on my bed or on the lav. It can be a huge heavy lump if the display is good.
It’s why I’ve never been really concerned about the unwieldy omnibus debate, I’d just lay it down.
When I was hanging out with @Jim, I gave ComiXology a shot on his 12.9" iPad Pro. It was seriously like a whole other level of experience. It had all of the crisp vibrant color of digital at the size of an Absolute. There is something to be said about being able to see the whole page at once like that. It lends to experiencing the artform in a certain way. I seriously think that’s the future of comics. Imagine having every comic oversized.
Conversely, I picked up Action Comics #1000 in physical form (as well as digital) because I had a gift card to the LCS and it was a landmark issue. I read the physical issue last night and was a bit disappointed as I’ve become used to reading digital. I think I honestly prefer digital by some margin now.
But you see Gar, my hammer has a longer reach. So I. Smash. Your tablet.
(Bonus points for those who recognise the source material for this riff.)
More seriously, books are probably the one area where I’m not that pro-tech, but everything else? I’ve lost count of the amont of stuff I’ve watched flipping between iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon Prime. (At work, I’m more the one who’s looking at all the new tools and then running the local Q branch that rolls them out.)
Ditto, if a book is too heavy to read comfortably in my hands it’s easy to lay it down on a table or cushion.
But I’m unlikely to take them on trains or planes, or on holiday.
(I actually did take an omnibus on a trip to read once, I think. It must have been a quarter of the luggage allowance on its own.)
I tend to read in bed (often with a little dog on my lap) which makes books above a certain size a bit more difficult.
Tip: Lock the dog out, put the book on the bed.
I’ve carried an Absolute around a comic convention before. I did this last time in hopes of getting Jim Lee to sign or maybe sketch in it. I don’t think I’ll do that again though.
She wouldn’t like that very much.
Out of curiosity, what tablets are you looking at, Gar?
I want Android, so the iPad Pro and Surface are out of contention. Windows mobile is on the way out, nobody wants to support the apps and iOS does not offer the flexibility and storage I want. Nice as they are.
There are options from Samsung, Lenovo and no-name Chinese brands (which may be okay as mostly I only read comics or watch the odd Netflix show). Samsung is on my shit list a little as they pack everything with useless bloatware they won’t let you delete.
There’s no obvious candidate which is a large part of what’s holding me back.