Master of the Mystic Arts?? I'm sold!
The best kiwis are the fully-ripened ones; they're about as big as your hand and look like someone welded a bunch of the grocery store versions together. Kind of ugly, but I gather they don't travel very well in this form, so big, soft, and utterly delicious.
The series starts out in the supernatural end of the DC Comics universe with nods to Superman and Batman but then peels away from superheroes and splashes in the fantasy-horror pool, becoming a series of stories about stories. There is the occasional artistic misstep, but for the most part, Neil Gaiman brings out the best in his collaborators.
This book often runs against conventional wisdom, driving home the point that often the best person to listen to regarding creative endeavors is yourself. I read this material multiple times on the original web site and was glad to have it in book form when finally available.
This is a long-running series and it varies in tone as author Matt Wagner ages, It starts as a supernaturally-tinged crime/supervillain series and we often come back to this era. Future incarnations of the character add science fiction and post-apocalyptic elements. Epic, pulpy, sometimes uneven, and often a showcase for some surprising experiments in comics layout and pacing.
Kate Beaton's comic strips are the kind that would never get into a newspaper syndicate, and I say this as a criticism of syndicates. The web is where a strip like this flowers. Beaton can effortlessly switch between historical subjects and pop culture. Plus, unlike many newspaper cartoonists, she's pretty damn funny.
This is a patchwork story of the initial journey through adulthood. The settings may too earnestly scream "indie rock" but the stories are warm and intimate. The black-and-white artwork lingers on the expressive figures. The fine-textured brushwork needs no coloring.