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01.25.16 Rick Remender01.12.16 January To-Do's
10.30.15 No 'Vember Like November10.09.15 Concerts I'm Attending Soon
10.02.15 October? But I hardly know 'er!07.31.15 August: Everything I'm After
07.10.15 Seeing Rosetta tonight06.12.15 Albums I'm Excited For
05.08.15 Impulse Buys01.23.15 Upcoming Concerts
01.08.15 Physical Albums (or Cds)?11.14.14 Steady Digs
10.03.14 Albums I Need To Get09.04.14 Birthday Albums
08.10.14 Whimsy05.26.14 Hannibal And Fargo
05.02.14 Favorite Ongoing Comic Books04.26.14 Further Investigation
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Rick Remender a beast. I've been following a few of his comic series for a while now, and just finished up the most recent tpb of Deadly Class on my snow day. That catalyst, as well as a few rounds of gin, has inspired me to post this tentative--and highly non-comprehensive, given I haven't worked up the courage to tackle any of his work for Marvel--ranking of what I've read, as well as the avenues I'm most excited to explore next. Albums are snow day jams.
Above & Down Below

Tokyo Ghost - Remender's newest (to my knowledge); I've only read the first issue so far, but it's definitely got me intrigued. Plus, since she's awesome and I'm lucky, my girlfriend has the rest.
Thoughts on the Album - Very solid. Picked this up on a whim, seeing they were on the Mylene Sheath label, and was not disappointed. The back-half definitely ends up sealing the deal.
7Will Butler

Strange Girl - Found this super cheap at my local comic shop, so I'll be giving it a read soon. Post-rapture, gross-out satire? Sounds good to me!
TotA - Eh, it's decent. Definitely get a strong Talking Heads vibe here. And, to its credit, doesn't overstay its welcome, though it might have made for a very strong 5-song EP, as opposed to a just-decent full-length. I just hope some of the proceeds go towards finally getting Arcade Fire's fantastic score for Her an official release.
Not to Disappear

Fear Agent - Next up on my Remender to-read list. I got the first "Library Volume" edition for Christmas, and I'm pretty sure the reason I haven't cracked the cover yet is the sheer size of the thing. It looks pretty awesome, but goddamn if that massive tome isn't intimidating. Still, as you intrepid readers will see, Remender in sci-fi mode is my favorite Remender, so I'm confident this will scale the ranks soon enough.
TotA - This release snuck up on me, but it's gotten steady rotation for at least a week now--which, hey, is just about as long as it's been out. In my opinion, even better than the band's first.
5Foreign Fields
Anywhere But Where I Am

The End League - Early-ish Remender (at least based on my own exposure), and it sort of shows, but I think that's partially due to working with a larger cast of characters than I've typically seen. Still miles ahead of plenty of other similarly high-concept tweaks on society-with-superheroes, with concision in its favor.
TotA - Some great chillout music here. Maybe had slightly higher hopes for it, but I've also only heard it twice or so, and fallen asleep one of those times, so it's not the fairest evaluation criteria...
4Ceremony (USA-CA)
The L-Shaped Man

Deadly Class - By his own admission, Remender's most personal comic. Sort of makes you feel for the guy, but on top of that, a very precise examination of the cutthroat nature of high school clique culture. Only, y'know, cutthroat being literal in this particular instance. The series has its fits and starts, pacing-wise, and while I can appreciate the sincerity of the narration, at times it can feel like a bit of a self-pitying wallow. But still, enough truth cuts through to justify the missteps, and I'm beyond excited for what the next arc holds.
TotA - I knew coming in that Ceremony had switched up genres, but not just how thoroughly they'd committed to the post-punk bit. Still, while it hasn't "grabbed" me, per se, it's also not put me off yet, so I have hopes for this being a grower.
3Ryan Adams

Last Days of American Crime - I was describing this book to a friend recently, and he put it best: Remender does Brubaker. While reductive, that idea sums up this snappy series, telling the story of one last heist before the government broadcasts a frequency that physically prevents crime. Despite its brevity, or perhaps because of it, this series also showcases Remender's tremendous character work, and would probably rank in a little bit higher were it not for the somewhat old-hat wrap-up.
TotA - No matter Father John Misty's thoughts on the matter (hilarious as they are), this is truly a would-be, should-be trainwreck that ended up not only justifying its existence, but also arguably making the original product look even better. (Full disclosure, T-Swizzle's been a guilty pleasure of mine since she stopped writing her name in cursive on her album covers. Weirdly enough, my grindcore-listening roommate seemed more mortified to see me listening to Mr. Adams than her. Go figure.)
2The Ongoing Concept

Low - Grabbed this book originally based on its cover art by Greg Tocchini--which honestly remains a huge part of its appeal to this day. Undersea sci-fi with devastating, depressing page-turner after devastating, depressing page-turner belying a beating heart of hope and optimism in the face of fathomless odds. If you like comics, sci-fi, and/or terrific art, there's no excuse not to read this monthly.
TotA - Listening right now. So far, so good. A significantly different vibe than Saloon, but also a bit more accessible--again, so far.
1Swallow the Sun
Songs From The North I, II & III

Black Science - The series that got me into Remender, and still my favorite. With a whiplash-inducing pace, a bedrock of legitimate scientific theory and psychology, as well as stellar characters to pull it all into orbit, this series is second only to Hickamn's East of West in terms of my favorite ongoing comic. Has one of my personal favorite storytelling techniques of not only toggling perspectives to flesh out characters, but making you root for--or at least sympathize with--competing interests mid-conflict. Just fantastic.
TotA - Up next. Not unlike Fear Agent, had this for a little while now, and have been intimidated by its size. But if ever there were an ideal album for twilight falling on an icy landscape, a doom album with 'North' in the title would seem to fit the bill...
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