Topic, scope, scale, ambition — everything I see today is ambitious and/or large.
- The first actual human-human primate, not one of the near-humans that are scattered in our evolutionary past, and the very first one to take it in mind to leave Africa behind and seek out the larger world? Ambitious. Large story eventually (if not quite yet), and it’s from living master of the comics form, Jeff Smith. We’ve spoken of Tüki Save The Humans before, but now those of you inclined to support creators that give you free entertainment can do so — the first issue of Tüki is solicited for a July release, the first Jeff Smith comic in pert-near two years. It may be playing out slow, but it’s thoroughly and entirely a Jeff Smith story, and that means it’s damn good.
- Nearly 2700 color comics, a sprawling cast, and storylines that go to weird places taking all the damn time they need¹? Huge. Such a story needs sizable book collections, and with 900 strips in each of the first three reprint volumes, Jeph Jacques² could have kept pattern for the fourth Questionable Content collection, but instead he went bigger. Only 200 comics this time, but printed half-a-comic to a page, QC volume 4 clocks in at 560 friggin’ pages while keeping the US$18 price point. Watch for the earlier volumes to eventually be reprinted into this form factor, leading obsessive completists (damn you, Jeph!) to have to buy them over again.
- Know what’s even friggin’ huger than Jeph Jacques (both personally, and as a body of work), André “The Giant” Rousimoff, most famous professional wrestler of all times and subject of Box Brown’s André The Giant: The Life and Legend, a book which I greatly enjoyed. You can enjoy it now too, as today is launch day for Mr Brown and Mr The Giant, or at least check out the starred review from Kirkus.
- I’m not sure that anybody has engaged in more expansive worldbuilding than Evan Dahm, whose Overside stories now comprise thousands of pages of comics, tens of thousands of years of history, and story locations sweeping from continent to continent, culture to culture, and alphabet to alphabet. And now, because he loves you, Dahm is sharing a good chunk of the miscellany related to Overside — promotional art, illustrations, sketches, things that fit into the existing stories and things no doubt meant for future stories, extensive commentary, eight years worth in all — and put it into one massive art book at Gumroad on a pay-what-you-want (five dollar minimum) basis.
And just in case you’re the sort to think that five bucks is too much to pay for just about 100 pages, kindly forgo your next dead-tree comic which is probably priced between three and five bucks for 22 to 26 pages, plus ads. That one piece of a massive, linewide crossover that will change everything!!³ will be forgotten in a fortnight; Overside has a way of sticking with you.
² Himself a giant of a man.
³ No it won’t.