I think you should cut your hands off, wave your bloody stumps around.*
Maybe that is a bad idea, but do cut out the big media companies out of your media diet! As Brian Niemeier says, “Don’t give money to people who hate you”. And let’s be frank, other than your money, most big media companies hate you. They put out garbage that insults your morality and is of low quality. Don’t misunderstand; I’m not saying that all fiction must be pure and wholesome and explicitly put forth a Christian worldview full of scenes where characters listen to sermons.
I mean something with defined good and evil, even if characters don’t always live up to it (just like real people). Something that doesn’t glorify moral relativism and evil acts.
Lately, I have been doing that by reading books by smaller publishers and self-published. And, I don’t want to go back. The fiction is cheaper and better quality. A real win-win.
First up, there is Deus Vult written by Jon Del Arroz. I’m more a fan of his novels than his comics**, but his comics are an enjoyable read. In particular, Deus Vult portrays a crusader who gets taken to another realm and fights demons. Ready for this?
THE CRUSADER IS THE GOOD GUY
He tries to help the cat people he meets and kill the demons that torment them. He isn’t some deluded zealot looking to hurt innocent people. He wants to protect them. On top of that, the art and colors evoke a 70s comic book look, which I thought worked. The back cover preview on Amazon will give a good look at the colors and art style you can expect to see inside. The writing, art, and colors all mesh together quite well. If you had handed this to me and told me that it came from the 1970s, I would believe it. Nothing like this is coming out of the modern big company comics industry.
Next is The Paths of Cormanor by Jim Breyfogle. If you are a frequent reader of Cirsova (which you better be!!!), you will recognize Mr. Breyfogle’s name from the Mongoose and Meerkat stories. Those are good stories. Top notch stuff. I backed the Kickstarter, so I received the book before it was made available to the general public.
This is mythic literature. It is myth and fairy tale, close enough to the real world, yet it is not our world. If Mongoose and Meerkat are good, this is great. The characters are believable and down-to-earth, despite the strange events that occur. They make sense in a way that is truly real. I struggle to find the words to describe how good this is. In my eyes, Mr. Breyfogle has elevated himself from “that guy who writes some fun stories” to “that guy who writes incredible fiction”.
Light Unto Another World by Yakov Merkin has been a surprise hit for me. I backed his crowdfunding campaign, so I have read the first five volumes. It is a genre (isekai) and style (light novel) I don’t have much familiarity with. Fast paced tales of action and adventure in another world.
Mr. Merkin really emphasizes the Jewishness of the character, which gives his series a unique twist. His character tries to follow the Jewish faith as best he can far from any rabbis or synagogues. As a Christian, I desire that all non-Christians (including, but not limited to, Jews, Muslims, pagans, and atheists) to come to the Lord Jesus Christ, but this series still gets my seal of approval. The story flows quick and is a great afternoon read! There will be more volumes, and I am looking forward to it.
Finally, Jon Del Arroz is on this list again with his Aryshan War trilogy. It scratches the itch for space opera and romance. It even pokes a little fun at Star Trek in book 2. (If you read this Mr. Del Arroz, I saw what you did there) Pure sci-fi entertainment with space battles and aliens, which is exactly what I was looking for. Now that the whole trilogy is out, it is a complete story with a beginning, middle, and satisfying ending.
Are you reading anything good?
* Do not actually cut your hands off. https://open.spotify.com/track/0LbiWdxopGqqOVZh9pe36H?si=1f1e7c9179664fcb
** Never read many comics until recently. Growing up, I read a handful of (non-superhero) comics from the 60s, but next to nothing modern. A lot of my knowledge of comic books comes second-hand via cultural osmosis. Recently, I gave independent comics a chance. Only a few, but so far, I have been pleased.
I make no money from any purchases made via the links in this post. Neither from the product itself or any sort of affiliate program.