Comics You Should Read | The Winter Men

“Revolution means a Circle”

We’re posting our favorite comics you should read on Thursdays, both as a way to talk about what influenced and inspired us to make comics, as well as to promote the kind of books we’d like to see get more press. We’re starting the series out with what I (Zach) consider I high water mark over in comics from the 2000s and 2010s ; Brett Lewis and John Paul Leon’s masterpiece, The Winter Men. ⁠

The Winter Men Scene 1

I can’t really do this book justice in a short 500 word blurb; suffice to say, this book has been really influential for me as far as the kinds of comics I’d like to make. It’s a slow-burn “superhero” comic that barely has any super people (literally, maybe 5 pages in the entire 120 page run), and is more subdued-eastern-bloc-infused-noire-mystery than anything else.

John Paul Leon is the perfect artist. Not for this, I mean, he’s just, literally, the perfect artist and you should read everything he does.

The Winter Men Original Art

He is especially suited for bringing this world to life though, and his work sings with every page flip. Brett Lewis packs more research into a single issue than most modern comics pack into an entire run. The world he created here feels realer than 99% of the contemporary fiction these days (much less comics).

The Winter Men Scene 2

Brief set-up so you know what you’re getting into: Kris Kalenov is a Spetznaz (special forces soldier) for the former USSR, and now a semi-private heavy tasked with maintaining the delicate balance between the varied interests (roofs) vying for primacy in Moscow.

It’s cold and grim and absolutely gorgeous, with the art and script complimenting each other so well, you forget that you’re reading a collaboration and not a solo creator’s work. ⁠

It’s out of print and I don’t think it’s available digitally either, so this is a back-issues-bins-or-Ebay deal. I bought a couple of copies of the TPB when it came out, so if you know me IRL, I can loan you one to read.⁠

– Zach

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