John Buys Comics, Unnamed Edition

I was absolutely positive that I would write an epically spectacular John Buys Comics last night. I'd read everything (for once), it was a good week full of good comics, I had these little cheesy shortbready things to snack upon... conditions were perfect. Then, disaster: my package from Topatoco arrived and I was powerless to resist the allure of Problem Sleuth and theMachine of Death. Curse my ways!

But who can blame me for loving Problem Sleuth (and by extension MSPaint Adventures)? I certainly can't! Why, brilliantly foolish comics and olde schoole adventure/puzzle games are two of my very favourite things and Andrew Hussie blends the two into something delightful. The closest thing to a criticism that I could think to level at the thing is "it's very long." and when you get right down to it, that's more like a bonus feature.

As for the comics that came out this week as opposed to several months ago, it was reminiscent of my Best of 2010 - Action Comics, Generation Lost, The Sixth Gun, Skullkickers - and they were all just as great as usual. Plus, in a callback to the Best of 2009, the trade paperback of the excellent Cursed Pirate Girl came out this week, and let me tell you again: this is one of the most original comics to come out in years, on a couple of levels.


The story of a cursed girl who gets swordfighting lessons in her dreams and follows a talking parrot on a fantastical voyage beneath the sea to find her missing pirate father (gasp) is good enough, but Jeremy Bastian's art hearkens back to the sort of intricate line drawing that started cartooning off in the first place, way back in the political cartoons in the 1800s. Except you can actually read the writing in all of the bubbles and rather than being about, say, an obscure bit of Victorian social satire, it's all little girls fighting monster octopi and murderous buccaneers.

Also new this week: Off Road by Sean Murphy!

Okay, not quite new. evidently this first came out in 2005 or so and I missed it completely. This is a shame, as I should have known about Sean Murphy years ago - between this and Joe the Barbarian he has very quickly found a place in my heart. The plot? Three guys (Trent, Brad, Greg) go offroading in Greg's new Jeep, get stuck in a swamp and have a hell of a time getting back out. It is, yes, the classic Dudes Get Into a Sticky Situation and Learn a Lot About Themselves and Each Other story, but it's a very satisfying example of the breed. It's always a joy to find out that someone whose art you dig can also sling a tale, and Murphy has definitely made the list.