WLG #410: The Mad Men of Comics

A column article by: Kyle Garret



I realize that we’re all still debating what Don’s answer was at the end of the season finale of Mad Men, but let’s not forget that we have new comics coming.  Even better, we get a couple of (kind of) brand new books from quality indie publishers.  I think the partners at Sterling Cooper Draper Price (Campbell Holloway) would like these handpicked books, so much so that I’ve chosen to assign one to each of them.

Bad Medicine #1Roger Sterling – This one is pretty obvious, given Roger’s affinity for mind altering substances.  Both Roger Sterling and Oni have made unusual financial decisions: Roger keeps paying people to do things for him on the side, while Oni took money out of the equation all together and offered the first issue of Bad Medicine online for free.  It was also their Free Comic Book Day offering.  I have to wonder how that will affect sales of issue #1, but I suppose the goal is to increase sales for issue #2 and beyond.  I’ve managed to avoid both free versions, so it will still be new to me.  Anything involving fringe science generally gets a shot from me.

The Massive #1Joan Holloway – Okay, let’s not make the obvious joke with this connection.  The Massive started off as a serialized story in Dark Horse Presents, eventually graduating to its own series, not unlike the way Joan was simply a member of the staff until becoming a partner.  I haven’t read all of the chapters from DHP, but the few that I did were interesting.  It seems there’s some kind of large organization trying to clean up the world, but it’s not going so well, as evidenced by, well, the world.  The art by Kristian Donaldson looks fantastic.

Sixth Gun #23Burt Cooper – Okay, fine, I attached the Western book to Burt Cooper because he’s old.  You should in no way take that to mean that the Sixth Gun is boring, because it’s anything but.  It’s consistently one of the best books out the market, filling a void that has long needed to be filled.  All Star Western gets a decent amount of praise for being something other than a superhero book, but Sixth Gun is the best Western book out there today, and it shows no signs of letting up.

Batman #10Don Draper – Well, this one was kind of obvious, wasn’t it?  “I’m the goddamn Don Draper.”  And, hey, not unlike this last season of Mad Men, the first 10 issues of the new Batman series have been a little on the slow side. 

I appreciate that the Court of Owls storyline is meant to be epic, and I believe it will be when it’s done, but it’s taking an awfully long time to get there.  It’s basically been the only storyline since this book started, and we’re now ten months in.  I’m glad I’ve decided to trade wait on this one, as I think it will read better that way.

Dungeons & Dragons Classics vol. 3Pete Campbell – If Dungeons & Dragons had been around in the 60’s, you know Pete Campbell would have played it.  He would have been one of those guys who took it really seriously, his ego living and dying based upon how well his character does.  I was never that bad, but I fully admit to playing D&D up through my freshman year in college.  If I had the time, I wouldn’t be averse to playing it now, to be honest, but I suppose that’s why I have an Xbox. 

The book really started to hit its stride with these issues, and Jan Duursema’s artwork gets better and better.  This is going to make me long for the regular D&D book, which appears to be on indefinite hiatus.  It also makes me hope that, when that book hopefully returns, we get to revisit the characters in this collection.  I think John Rogers would do great things with them.

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