What I’m Reading, by C.O.W.L.’s KYLE HIGGINS

C.O.W.L. #1 comes out from Image today, and co-creator Kyle Higgins stops by with a WHAT I’M READING

C.O.W.L., by former Nightwing writer Higgins, Alec Siegel and artist Rod Reis, tells the tale of the world’s first superhero labor union, set in 1960s Chicago. So it only makes sense that Chicago native Kyle’s list is tinged with retro and the Windy City.

Oh, and here’s a reminder that we’re running monthly dossiers on C.O.W.L.’s characters — like this one — here at 13th Dimension!



“Boss”/”One More Time.” I first heard of Mike Royko about 10 years ago, when my mom bought “One More Time” for my dad as a Father’s Day present. My dad was a big fan of Royko’s, and followed his writing for 30 years… from the Chicago Daily News to the Sun Times and the Tribune. I first read Mike Royko three years ago with “Boss,” when I started doing more research for C.O.W.L. I’m rereading “Boss” right now, as it focuses on Mayor Richard J. Daley and the Chicago political machine. I’m also– finally– diving into “One More Time.” Both are fantastic, from a writer who lived and breathed the city, fought for the little guy, and had a wonderfully unique voice filled with wit (on leaving the Sun Times after Rupert Murdoch’s acquisition of it: “no self respecting fish would want to be wrapped in a Murdoch paper.”)


Parker. I only discovered Donald Westlake/Richard Stark a few years ago, after Duane Swierczynski mailed me a box filled with old crime paperbacks. I tore through “The Man With the Getaway Face,” “The Hunter” and “The Outfit” … and have a stack of others waiting for me. So, it’s probably no surprise that I really love Darwyn Cooke’s adaptations of the Parker novels from IDW. I’ve had the first two books (The Hunter and The Outfit) for a few years, but it was only this month that I picked up the rest. Darwyn’s a brilliant cartoonist and everything about these books is striking — I particularly love the single color washes in each book.

DC: The New Frontier. Did I mention how amazing Darwyn Cooke is? As a part of our C.O.W.L. research/reference, Alec and I have been diving back in to The New Frontier. It’s DC superheroes in the late 1950’s, right at the beginning of the Silver Age of comics. The story’s great, the art’s incredible (made even better by Dave Stewart’s colors) and it’s been a real pleasure jumping back into this. Like revisiting an old friend.


Black Science. One of my favorite new series — not coincidentally, coming out from Image — about the Anarchist League of scientists, who’ve developed a device that allows them to jump from timeline to timeline. Of course, something has gone wrong, and the team (led by Grant McKay) is thrown into strange world after strange world, with no simple way to get back. This is one of the coolest books on the stands right now, from Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera. Highly recommend it.


Sex Criminals.  In addition to being a crazy, touching love story, this book from Image makes me genuinely laugh every issue. The writing is so out of my wheelhouse, I can’t help but be inspired and jealous of Matt Fraction/Chip Zdarsky. And the letters column each month is worth the cover price alone.

Velvet. I’m a big Ed Brubaker fan, and have been for quite a while. In the past, Ed’s comics have always hit on the things I love — crime, espionage, the cold war… which is part of why I love his Captain America run with Steve Epting so much. It hit all of those at once. So, when I heard Ed and Steve were reteaming for a new Image book about a top-spy-turned secretary who’s drawn back into her old life after being framed for murder, there was no way I was going to miss it. I’m four issues in, and the book’s as fantastic as I’d hoped it would be. Plus, it’s set in the 1960’s … and the title pages make me want to pop in the Criterion disc for “The Spy Who Came In From the Cold.”

Southern Bastards. Issue 1 from Image just came out, but already I feel like I’m in for a big treat with this book. Jason Aaron and Jason Latour are creating a world that’s both incredibly fascinating and quite a bit scary. And the bit with the tree and the grave is one of my favorite pages this year.


Author: 13th Dimension

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