WWACommendations: Generation X, Josephine Baker, Sanity & Tallulah, and More

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What comics are you reading lately? Every month, WWAC contributors sound off about the comics we’re reading for funnot for research, not to keep up with a current series, but just for the sheer joy of reading. Let us know on Twitter what comics you’re reading!

Draven Katayama: I’ve been reading Generation X by Christina Strain, Amilcar Pinna, Felipe Sobreiro, and Clayton Cowles. It combines my favorite branch of Marvel characters, the X-Men, with my favorite type of characters in general: disastrous, overdramatic, impulsive teens. I love seeing Jubilee as a mentor and teacher, and longtime fan-favorite characters like Pixie and Dani Moonstar make appearances, too!

It’s refreshing reading a Marvel comic where there are multiple queer characters and multiple Asian characters. Roxy Washington and Paige Guthrie get a lot of character development, and one queer romance between two students is particularly moving. If you need a story where classmates and coworkers become the best kind of found family, give Generation X a try.

Louis Skye: I love the X-Men but I’ve been woefully out of touch with them for way too long and it seemed impossible to find a way back in. The X-verse has got so convoluted and has so many characters. Fortunately, Marvel now has the Extermination mini-series which is pretty much a self-contained series. I managed to get a hold of it and it’s great! I had forgotten how much I missed being around the characters, especially as I’ve been in DC mode all year.

The series features the original X-Men — Cyclops, Iceman, Jean Grey, Angel, Beast — from the past, as well as some of their adult, contemporary versions. They’re the characters I know best because when I started reading the X-Men, I started at the very beginning, with this team and Professor Xavier. It’s like being with old friends, and I can’t get enough of it! The art is superb and the covers are something else. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Nola Pfau: I guess we’re just leaning hard into mutants? I’ve been reading Exiles, by Saladin Ahmed. Javier Rodriguez has done the bulk of the art, but Rod Reis has done a couple and the latest issue has Joe Quinones art. It’s a fun, offbeat series that isn’t just hopping dimensions every issue like the original series, but doing fun things like pulling characters from various Marvel games (creating a canon Peggy Carter Captain America, for instance), and including a version of Valkyrie that’s based on Tessa Thompson’s portrayal of the character. It’s quirky, it’s funny, but it has stakes, too. As a series it has a very “anything goes” kind of feel, which I love. It’s not really beholden to a lot of continuity, so it’s free to do anything it likes. An indestructible cartoon Wolvie that wants to be friends with everyone! An old west gunslinger version of T’Challa! The Thing from that time he dressed as Blackbeard the Pirate! Honestly, it’s so much fun.

Paulina Przystupa: Exiles sounds awesome and a gunslinger version of T’Challa reminds me of Idris Elba in The Dark Tower. I’m also on a mutant reading spree but I’m focusing on Laura Kinney’s series. I just finished All-New Wolverine volume 5, Orphans of X, with Tom Taylor writing and Juann Cabal on art. It was good and revisits some of the Logan in Japan plots that would have been awkward without Daken. He and Gabby had some fantastic interchanges re: him regrowing an already tattooed arm and Gabby getting a superhero name.

I’ve also finally caught up on the newest X-23 series with Mariko Tamaki as writer and Cabal continuing as artist. It’s got more great sister-sister banter allowing Laura and Gabby to grow as real people. However, it’s entering a body-snatching plotline that borderlines Psylocke levels of confusing so we’ll see how that goes.   

Alenka Figa: I’m gonna have to break up this X-Men lovefest ‘cause I’m still reading manga in my spare time! (Cue laugh track at the phrase “spare time.”) I just picked up Dementia 21 by Shintaro Kago, an collection of ero guro nansensu stories about Yukie Sakai, a home help aide who seems to have the worst luck when it comes to caring for the elderly. Always determined to be the best employee possible, Sakai’s stubbornness and intense work ethic bring her to the wildest possible situations. She encounters a powerful psychic whose dementia threatens the entire human race, eerie possessed dentures, and even finds herself in a house where the number of elderly folks requiring care increases ceaselessly.

Throughout each surreal adventure Sakai perseveres, guiding the reader through some interesting commentary about attitudes toward aging, the elderly, and the laborious lives of caretakers. I was really excited to discover both this collection and ero guro nansensu – surreal stories that walk the line between horror and humor are extremely my jam.

Wendy Browne: Earlier in the year at TCAF, I picked up the 568-page tome about Josephine Baker, written by José-Luis Bocquet and illustrated by Catel Muller. After a very long day at work, I finally decided that I needed to get to reading about the life of this incredible woman. And it really is The Life Of, because it starts right from a few panels before her birth and continues through every step of the way. Connecting every moment’s ups and downs is her obvious love of dance and her joy at being the centre of the stage.

Emily Lauer: I just read the graphic novel Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks! I had read Brooks’ webcomic recently and I was excited to see this new thing by her. Sanity & Tallulah is a story of two kids on a well-established space station, and there’s a lot of delightful mad science, running, mysteries, and good families. I feel like anything else I say might be a spoiler? It comes out this month! Read it! It’s good!

Laura Stump: I finally got around to cracking Delilah Dirk and the Pillars of Hercules. The third installment in Tony Cliff’s tales of the intrepid British adventurer Delilah Dirk and her traveling companion Erdemoglu Selim takes our heroes from one end of the Mediterranean and back, with a detour into the Sahara. For fans of period exploits, Cliff’s series consistently delivers fun, awash in gorgeous colors. Highly recommend!


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Draven Katayama

Draven Katayama

Writer at Sidequest and WWAC; past executive editor of Kollaboration and writer at Newsarama and Comicosity. I'm a huge fan of Life is Strange, The Last of Us, TWICE, Blackpink, and ITZY. My MyDramaList: https://mydramalist.com/profile/loudlysilent Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/loudlysilent Tell me about the fandoms you love! @loudlysilent