The Bookshelf: Favorite Comics of 2013

The comics medium is an ever expanding literary form that continues to extend its tentacles into every aspect of our popular culture. Over the course of 2013, we have read and talked about a lot of comics over at The Next Issue podcast. While there are a lot a great comics out there, here are our top three favorite tittles of 2013.

1. Kill Shakespeare: The Tide of Blood (

The sequel to the original Kill Shakespeare series picked up the ball of the original series and scored another touchdown. The introduction of Prospero and Miranda to the Kill Shakespeare world was a welcome addition that was further cemented by the excellent writing of Del Col and McCreery and the art of Belanger.The Tide of Blood has left us wanting more ofJuliet, Othello, Romeo, and Hamlet.

2. Sex Criminals (Image)

This has to be the one title that really surprised us this year. While the art by Chip Zdarsky is excellent, it is the writing of Matt Fraction that really grabs the reader. The dialogue between the two main characters are very much grounded in reality and are very much indicative of the conversations that most of us have had during the course of our adult lives. While this series is relatively new, we are quite intrigued (and excited) to see how the series will evolve in the next year.

3. Superior Spider-Man (Marvel)

The year 2013 began with a new Spider-Man. This Spider-Man still retained the shell of Peter Parker, but the inside was now controlled by the conscieousness of Spider-Man greatest foe: Dr. Otto Octavius. This new twist on Spider-Man has led to a non stop roller coaster of a story helmed by Dan Slott. While there are many that are still sulking at the death of Peter Parker, Superior Spider-Man is a tittle that we haven’t been able to put down.

Reflecting on the Milestones of Comics, Pop Culture, and Beyond.

SavedPicture-20131216101546.jpgThe passage of one’s journey through time and space are marked by many milestones. These milestones are fixed points on that journey which highlight significant events. Milestones are important because their very occurrence can impact change within a lifespan, becoming icons for decisions that were made, loves that were lost, and regrets that were had. When all is said and done, these milestone leave a lasting impression on oneself and the world around us. Milestone Media changed many lives and impacted the conciseness of many. Now a new exhibit seeks to showcase the impacts of not only Milestone Media, but of African Americans in comics, pop culture, and beyond.

Using the backdrop a downtown Baltimore and enveloped by the shadow of Oriole Park, the gala opening featured a recorded welcome from Deal or No Deal host Wayne Brady and one of Milestone Media’s founders Michael Davis. From there the guest were treated to art from various creators in the industry and other items and imagery that spoke to the influence of African Americans in pop culture including a vintage Michael Jackson doll and a statue of Storm to name a few.

Camera360_2013_12_13_094012Many of the creators that were featured in the exhibit were also on hand to take part in the celebration. Fresh from his snit with Wayne Brady, Milestone co-founder Michael Davis delivered a rousing speech filled with quips and polite jabs at owner Steve Geppi, but emphasized that African American art and pop culture wasn’t a black thing, but that it was an American thing. Comic luminaries including Denys Cowan and Kyle Baker graced the halls with not only their artwork, but also with tales of their triumphs and obstacles within the industry as they sought to tell the stories that they were passionate about.

Personally the exhibit was a dream come true. As a continued fan of Milestone Media and the universe that they created, this exhibit spoke to the impact that many of these creators have had on my life (see that impact here) and on many of those around me. As Mr. Davis emphasized, Milestone, African American art, and the African American influence on pop culture is an part of American culture, but black culture. As such these Milestones have shaped my life as well as many others, and now they can be seen, shared, and experienced by the whole world.


With Mr. Denys Cowan
With Mr. Denys Cowan

Side Note: A special thank you goes out to Patrick Michael Strange and Ulysses Campbell of for the invite. Also a special thank you goes out to Mr. Denys Cowan for allowing me to go total fan boy with him. It’s not everyday that you get to meet your idols. Thank you for indulging me.

The New Definition of the Urban Male


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