Tag Archives: Image

It’s Wednesday! (March 6, 2013)

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Lots of solid continuing books this week, but I’m going to focus on starts and stops.

LOST VEGAS #1 (of 4)
Story by:Jim McCann Art By:Janet Lee

The EISNER AWARD-WINNING team of JIM McCANN & JANET LEE reunite to create a universe filled with intrigue as one gambler-turned-slave has 24 hours to go all in and pull off the greatest heist the universe has seen.

WELCOME TO LOST VEGAS! Aboard this luxurious casino-filled traveling space-station you will find the highest stakes games from every corner of every planet, unheard-of winnings, and the greatest attractions anywhere!

*the fine print- those who bet it all and lose must work it off as indentured servants to the casino. Escape is not possible. No one is exempt from these rules.

From the duo who brought us Return of the Dapper Men comes a new series. I wish I could tell you what that one was about, but I haven’t had time yet to read it. I do, however, know it earned high praise and it’s something I’ve been meaning to get around to for some time. What little more I have read about that book sounds right up my alley, so I’m doubly curious. I’m also curious to see where they are headed in this next series.

As soon as I get around to reading this book, I will let you know (most likely via Twitter, so please follow if you are curious to hear)

The Franceso Francavilla variant cover is featured above. I completely dig his style. He does some fantastic covers on The Lone Ranger and The Black Beetle is a real fun read.

SEX #1
Story byJoe Casey Art ByPiotr Kowalski

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Finally, a good reason for you come in the comicbook store — to buy SEX! Simon Cooke has retired from his own “alternative lifestyle” and returned to the city he’d previously sworn to protect. Now he’s just another average citizen — or is he? The term “adult” has never been so appropriate as it is when it applies to SEX.

Basically the combo of Joe Casey + the blurb + a few preview pages got me intrigued. So here I am. Can’t tell you much more at this point. It might be good. Or…

COLDER #5 (of 5)
darkhorse_colder5_finalissueWriter: Paul Tobin Artist: Juan Ferrerya Cover Artist: Juan Ferreyra

A mental patient battles insanity incarnate in a horrific finale to this mind-bending series.

* From the creative team behind the Falling Skies comics!

* Horror in the vein of Locke & Key and Preacher.

The blurb on the cover of this issue reads: “Basically, if you aren’t reading Colder, you’re making a big mistake. Hugely. Don’t make that mistake.” by FamousMonsters.com.

I don’t think I would be shouting from the mountain top for this book, but I do recommend it for anyone looking for a good horror read. The writing is solid and the art is quite good. I’m glad I took a chance on this series.

The crazy cover to issue #1 (no pun intended) definitely hooked me initially, so some great marketing there (even though that scene doesn’t show up until this issue). I mean that in the most positive way possible. The first few issues of this book are a really great read. And the so-called punchline to this story (spoilers, I guess) about journeying into a world of nightmares that is shared by the minds of the insane is quite clever. So more points for that as well.

Here are some people who liked the book:

Comic Addition reviews issue #3

Comic Attack reviews issue #4

And here is a video review of issue #3 by acomicbookmom, who really enjoys it (“It’s crazy awesome.”)

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It’s Wednesday! (February 20, 2013)

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DARK HORSE PRESENTS #21
Writers: Neil Gaiman, Duane Swierczynski, Geoffrey Thorne, Michael Avon Oeming, Denis Medri, Gabriel Hardman, Corinna Bechko, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Michael T. Gilbert, Simon Roy, Jason Wordie, Shannon Wheeler, Shaun Manning

Artists: Michael Avon Oeming, Denis Medri, Gabriel Hardman, Michael T. Gilbert, Simon Roy, Jason Wordie, Shannon Wheeler, Paul Chadwick, Eric Nguyen, Todd Harris, Steve Lieber, Greg Ruth, Andrew Drilon

Neil Gaiman (Sandman, American Gods) teams with Paul Chadwick (Concrete) for “The Day the Saucers Came”!

Plus, three new series debut this month, including work by Simon Roy (Prophet), Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man), and Arcade Boy by Denis Medri!

* Caitlín R. Kiernan’s Alabaster and Michael Avon Oeming’sThe Victories continue!

“Comics’ best kept secret trove of great comics.”—Comic Book Resources

Do you really need any more reason than that to buy this issue? Take another look at that lineup of writers and artists.

Month in, month out this book continues to impress.

HAPPY #4
Story byGrant Morrison, Art byDarick Robertson

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Christmas is here and the bad men are about to open their presents! It’s showdown time but can Nick Sax save the day without Happy to help him – or will he screw this up like everything else? You must not miss the blood-drenched conclusion of our heartwarming Yuletide classic!

Nick Sax is one sad sack of shit. Seriously. For the longest time I was hoping he would come around. But he had the right idea from the start: who listens to a tiny buck-toothed blue unicorn with wings?

Random line while flipping through the book: “He can see me and he says he’s wasted. It’s Santa Claus on drugs, Nick!” (says the blue flying horse)

REVIVAL #7
Story by: Tim Seeley, Art by: Mike Norton

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Dana tracks down a wolf in sheep’s clothing serial killer.  Talk show pundit, Clyde Birch comes to down and all hell breaks loose.  And, those Check boys are up to something nasty.

This series took me completely by surprise. I stacked up a few issues and when I finally got around to reading them, I was hooked. There are some strange, perverse things going on in these pages. I like Norton’s art, although I’m curious how this book would read were it in the hands of someone like a Bill Sienkewicz?


SAGA #10

Story by: Brian K. VaughanArt By: Fiona Staples

Marko and Alana’s long-lost babysitter Izabel finally returns to the fold, but at what cost?

This is, without question, my favourite comic right now with Prophet nipping at its heels. Not much I can say that does it justice, I just wanted an excuse to post this excellent cover.

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I’ll stop here, but there’s more! I could easily include MIND MGMT #8, and I’m curious about what Valiant has brewing this montH with HARBINGER and X-O MANOWAR, both of which have been surprising me for the better part of this past year with strong writing and art.

That’s all I have time for now!

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It’s Wednesday! (January 16, 2013)

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Quite a few good books this week I’m itching to read. (Man, don’t I sound like a broken record?…)

Okay, let’s just get on with it.

TODD THE UGLIEST KID #1 (of 4)

Story by: Ken Kristensen, Art By: M.K. Perker

This series, a collision of comedy, sex, and violence, follows the misadventures of America’s most dysfunctional family as they go head-to-severed head with an Oprah-loving ax murderer, a cult-crazy soap opera star, and a neo-Nazi prison gang. 

First issue: Todd wants desperately to make friends, but every kid he approaches winds up decapitated. Or worse. Meanwhile, Todd’s mother is on a mission to get even with her husband who she believes is having an affair.

Sounds delightfully diabolical. I’m hoping for zany ultra-violence and such.

saga#9-imageSAGA #9
Story by: Brian K. Vaughan, Art By: Fiona Staples

The Will finally has a good day.

If you read this blog, you know I love this book.

Today a fellow customer at my local comic store saw this one in my stack of books as I was cashing out and asked me what it was about. That’s a difficult one to describe in one sentence. The best approximation I could come up with on the spot: a bit like Romeo and Juliet as a space opera.

conan12-darkhorseCONAN THE BARBARIAN #12
Writer: Brian Wood, Artist: Declan Shalvey, Colorist: Dave Stewart, Cover Artist: Massimo Carnevale

Unable to obtain a cure for the deadly illness afflicting Bêlit and the crew of the Tigress, Conan feels the fear of loss for the first time. With no hope and a broken heart, the Cimmerian is horrified at how appealing he finds Bêlit’s order to abandon the ship and his queen! The haunting conclusion of “The Death”!

This series is smokin’ and I’m not even a Conan fan. I like to read the story in its entirety, so I bank all the issues until I have the last chapter before I start. And I’ve been chomping at the bit to read this for 3 months now. In fact, I think I’m going to start reading this one tonight.

lildepressedboy15-imageTHE LI’L DEPRESSED BOY #15
Story by: S Steven Struble, Art By: Sina Grace, Cover By: Anis Mojgani

“IT’S NOT A LIE, IT’S A SECRET”
Things are moving fast with the Li’l Depressed Boy and his new girl, but can they survive keeping their relationship hidden? Featuring a cover by amazing poet and The Feather Room author, ANIS MOJGANI.

Okay, confession time: this title doesn’t thrill me like the others on this list. So a few issues tend to pile up before I get around to reading them, and just as I’m thinking “Should I keep buying this?” I’ll read through my run and come away refreshed like a tall cold, glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. It’s so different from everything else I’m reading that I can’t part with it.

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Comic book anthologies make a comeback

It’s great to see so many anthologies on comic store shelves recently.

With this month’s launch of Creator-Owned Heroes (Image), three of the four top-selling comic companies are currently publishing a regular anthology series – only Marvel is the outlier. With so many titles, the range of talent and content is staggering.

I’ll admit, I haven’t always been a fan of anthologies. I can probably trace my interest to 2009 and the release of Marvel’s Strange Tales three-issue miniseries and DC’s 12-issue weekly anthology project Wednesday Comics. I was mostly turned on by the use of established-yet-non-mainstream talent. It was a gateway to the indie scene for me. Since then, I’ve gone out of my way to find anthology series. I’ve even been picking up runs of Marvel’s Epic Illustrated on eBay in the hopes of digging up diamonds.

Back to the here-and-now, here are a few current books I’ve been reading:

Dark Horse Presents

Only one year old for the newly-revived print edition (following 36 digital issues on MySpace), DHP is proving to be a powerhouse for comic talent and new properties. Harlan Ellison, Fiona Staples, Steve Niles, Neal Adams, John Layman, Sam Keith, Francesco Francavilla, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Brian Wood…the list goes on and on and on. This monthly series edited by Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson is great value for the money at $8 for a minimum of 80 pages. It features a mix of serialized and singles stories, established characters and franchises – such as Concrete, Hellboy, and Criminal Macabre – as well as new stories and characters.

Each issue of this title covers a range of genres. It’s been a great testing ground for new ideas such as Resident Alien and Carla Speed McNeil’s Finder: Third World, as well as serving as the launch pad for new DH series, like Brian Wood’s new eco-thriller, The Massive. You’ll even find the occasional prose story.

While some of the serialized stories are being collected into one-shots worth picking up for those of you who aren’t reading this series regularly (*ahem* Resident Alien and Skeleton Key), much of the material can only be found within these covers. Plus Richardson’s introductions (often insightful, always interesting) are one of the reasons I like picking up this book.

Mystery in Space (Vertigo)

This one-shot anthology is loaded with unsettling short stories that will hijack your imagination and take you to strange, mysterious places. Journey to the edge of the abyss with Michael Allred! Plus: Broken hearts will be cryogenically frozen, a zero-gravity menage á trois will be compromised by aliens, and solar systems will spiral out of control when top comics talents and exciting newcomers collide!

Eighty pages of solid sci-fi, this is Vertigo’s latest instalment to their recently launched bi-annual anthology series. Last year, they published one sci-fi and one horror book – Strange Adventures and The Unexpected respectively – both excellent. When Strange Adventures was released, there were many reviews comparing it to Dark Horse Presents, but they are two entirely different beasts in my opinion. Vertigo’s are one-shot issues packed with standalone stories that play within one of the two genres. Each entry so far has proven its worth both in content and talent. Mike Allred, Kyle Baker, Andy Diggle, Ann Nocenti, Robert Rodi, Ming Doyle, Duane Swierczynski, Davide Gianfelice, Michael Wm. Kaluta are just a few of the top caliber names you’ll find in this issue of Mystery in Space.

Creator-Owned Heroes (Image)

“AMERICAN MUSCLE, Part One by STEVE NILES & KEVIN MELLON

The world ended a long time ago. How it happened exactly and what exists in the wasteland have always been a mystery. Now Chloe, Gil and a gang of rebels have escaped the last human stronghold and are blazing across Post-Apocalypse America in search of paradise.

TRIGGERGIRL 6, Part One, by JIMMY PALMIOTTI, JUSTIN GRAY & PHIL NOTO
In this sci-fi thriller, the sixth in a series of genetically modified assassins born in a secret laboratory sets her sights on the ultimate target. But what happens when the perfect killing machine takes a personal interest in her target only to uncover a conspiracy that may change the fate of the entire human race?

PLUS! An interview with NEIL GAIMAN! Triggergirl cosplay! Con photos! And original articles all celebrating the creator-owned spirit of independence!

So that’s the promo blurb.

One part comic, book one part magazine. Jimmy Palmiotti’s editorial pretty much nails part of the problem with comics today: “These days, some comics can be read in a few minutes and without letters page, they’re a quick read for your money.”

Tell me about it. Nothing frustrates me more than putting down $4 for 5 minutes of entertainment. I might as well pay for a lap dance if that’s going to be the case. So Jimmy, Justin and Steve have embarked on a mission to provide readers with a more value-for-your-money comic experience.

This is not something new. In addition to Marvel reintroducing letters pages to some books, the Ed Brubaker/Steve Phillips Criminal and Incognito series have included essays and long editorials that provided many additional minutes of reading pleasure.

It’s too early for me to have an opinion on the two strips. But after taking in most of the first issue, including the non-strip material in the back half of the book, I must say it’s a fascinating read. I’ll be curious to see how long Jimmy and Justin can keep it up.

The first issue also includes interviews with Neil Gaiman, rambling columns by Palmiotti, Gray and Niles, backstage information on the cover design, and even some convention and cosplay photos. Everything a comic geek could ask for.

Cover to cover fun.

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Tokyopop closes office. Is the golden age of comic books coming to an end?

When I read on ICV2 that Tokyopop was closing it’s U.S. office, my heart sank a little.

The publisher is largely credited with introducing the manga genre/format to North American readers. (Remember Sailor Moon?)

Writes ICV2:

Tokyopop revolutionized the English-language manga business with its “authentic manga” program in 2002, bringing manga to bookstores and comic stores in a left-to-right trade paperback format similar to the  way manga is published in Japan (see “Tokyopop to Publish Manga in Japanese Format”). The new format, coupled with substantial outreach to new customers, especially teen girls in bookstores, brought legions of new fans to manga and comics in North America.

Comics Alliance says about the announcement:

While the company has suffered a number of setbacks over the last few years — including layoffs; the controversial handling of a line of original English language books; and the loss of the lucrative Kodansha licenses — it would seem that the recent bankruptcy of Borders, a critically important manga reseller in the U.S. market, was the final nail in the TOKYOPOP coffin.

Read More: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/04/15/tokyopop-closes-american-office/#ixzz1JeWPLQzu

I’m not a big reader of manga so can’t say I’m really a fan of the publisher like I might of, say, Vertigo. But I’d recently discovered Brandon Graham’s King City (one of their non-manga books), which I’ve come to discover has quite the loyal following among fans and industry talent. I picked up a few of the Image 2010 editions completely by accident while browsing the shelves at 1,000,000 Comix a few weeks ago. The issues I’ve read have brought me much joy.

Unfortunately Tokyopop’s news comes at the same time as Dark Horse Comics, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2011, announced layoffs – seven people in total. Without knowing how large is its staff, it’s difficult to gauge the impact. Needless to say, these are slim operations, and based on the Twitter chatter, this was difficult news. And in the case of both companies, there are criticisms of mismanagement.

Nevertheless, this has me a little nervous. There are so many talented people putting out books these days. And yet, I’m not sure for how many more generations this medium is going to be around. The fact that sales of comics are stable at best, usually sliding, does not bode well. Ironically you’ll find more good material on the shelves these days that at any time in the history of the industry. I’ve been telling friends for years that we’re enjoying a golden age in comic books. Is the era coming to an end?

King City is a rare find. There are apparently few copies available. Collected editions are selling for big bucks online. There were some rumours the book was being reprinted for re-release, but that seems unlikely now.

So if you happen across a copy while browsing the comic store shelves, grab it and enjoy. This might be one of the last of its kind.

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