Thursday, June 8, 2017

The underappreciated UK wave writers' works

By Alex Ness

This article is meant to give readers a hint what to buy if they are fans of the writers here.  Each of the works offered are good, but, in my opinion, never received the accolades deserved.  Sales are not the same as critical praise.  And critical praise is not the same as a work that is beloved.  I make no distinction here regarding how well or poorly the work sold, whether it was critically approved of, or anything.

WARREN ELLIS wrote Strange Kiss and more featuring a character named William Gravel.  He is SAS, a warrior, an investigator and more.  The tales are vulgar and brutal, but they perfectly depict the horrors he fights against.

Jobremus Bojeffries is a collection of tales from a family that isn't normal.  There's a werewolf, a vampire, and an incredibly old grandpa, nuclear baby.  This a fun work, perhaps slightly silly, but unlike most Alan Moore and quite charming.  If you do like Alan Moore's serious entries you might not like it, but if you like great writing, I think you will.

A woman is murdered but her essence lives on, in the memories of semi sentient plants.  She has become an avatar of the green, similar to Swamp Thing or Poison Ivy.  The art is beyond beautiful here, and the story is intriguing.  Why it isn't beloved, I'll never know.

Garth Ennis is a writer who is powerful when writing political, violent intrigue.  Here he reinterprets the Unknown Soldier as an ultra patriot who has had a hand in counter revolution, anti communist partisan attacks, and a role with CIA as an assassin.  The work is revisionist, and some people hate that, but as a straight forward story it was brilliant.

I was introduced to Dan Abnett's talents through Marvel UK's Knights of Pendragon.  Using superheroes and different kinds of humans, the story tells of a reunited King Arthur's round table.  And through myth and legend tells about protecting the Green.  I loved this book and am amazed to hear Dan Abnett fans say, never heard of it.

Paul Jenkins is famous for his work on Sentry, Inhumans, and Hellblazer.  He is rightly fan appreciated for that.  But while I loved Inhumans, his work on Mythos boiled down the various Marvel legendary characters, and retold their story with a great power, respect and simplicity that is missing today.

As many who read my articles know, I love the work of Jamie Delano.  His runs on Hellblazer and Animal Man.  His recent work for Avatar, Rawbone and Narcopolis are filled with crisp dialogue and themes, along with deadly dark subject matter.  Narcopolis is an amazing consideration of how drugs have been offered to replace things like conscience, honor, thought and more.  It might be true to say, few comic book writers would have the gravitas to make such social commentary.

I love the work of Grant Morrison, and I really like the guy.  When I read his Kid Eternity story it didn't light a fire in me, nor, from what I saw,  most other readers.  But it has improved with each read, and I think it is because of the deft skills of layering meaning that he can accomplish.  Along with the artist on this book, Morrison takes a somewhat silly character and redefines him for modernity.

Mike Carey has written many comics, and as far as I am concerned, all of them good.  So this selection is a smaller work, and not so much under appreciated as unknown.  His story of the Werewolf By Night is perfectly beautiful, dangerous, and has a story rather than a vignette.

I liked it a helluva lot.

Pat Mills is responsible for Judge Dredd, ABC Warriors, Marshal Law, and my particular favorite, SLAINE.  Any of these choices is well worth your read.  But Pat Mills particular variety of story fits perfect with an offering from Marvel, PUNISHER 2099.  The future dystopia where this future version of the Punisher is as dark as Punisher is, and this work thrives upon the darkness.  It really is a good ride.  I recommend it.

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