Day Tripper #1 (Vertigo Comics)
Writers: Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá, Artists: Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá
Brazilian comic creators Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá are stepping into the scene with a brilliant indie comic that is full of poetic imagery and visual dialog. It reads not entirely unlike a novella of sorts. Moon and Bá have a writing style that can be matched to writers of a century ago. Day Tripper is about a man, wallowing in his destiny, and trying to find the meaning of it all. This book is not for the faint of heart or the fanboy who only reads cape n’ cowl comics. It is heavy laden with emotional turmoil and internal retrospect. It is breathtaking and original, but not what one would consider a lighthearted romp, but neither was The Road, but only a total suck-head would think it was boring. If you are somewhat intelligent, pick up a copy of this book. I have a feeling it is going to be a hit and you don’t want to miss out on the premier issue.
Pilot Season: Murderer #1 (Top Cow Comics)
Writer: Robert Kirkman, Artist: Marc Silvestri
Kirkman is fast replacing Warren Ellis as the guy who writes a butt-load of comics every month. Pilot Season’s first story, Murderer, is the story of a guy whose “super power” is that he can hear everyone’s thoughts. Think of the movie What Women Want, take out all of the chick-flick fodder, add a bit of Jack the Ripper and you’ll be close. The story is well written, as everything by Kirkman is, and artist Marc Silvestri utilizes his talent for facial expressions to the limit. This is sure to be a big hit around the office. Especially when you explain to your coworkers how you really connect with the character’s hatred of everyone and desire to kill in order to make the voices in his head stop. Pilot Season is an annual event around Top Cow’s water cooler. Six new premier one-shots are released and fans get to vote for which comic they want to see as a regular title. This one is a keeper, for sure. So after you’ve read Murderer, be sure to hop on over to Top Cow and tell them how much you love it!
Tank Girl: Dark Nuggets One-Shot (Image Comics)
Writer: Alan Martin, Artist: Rufus Dayglo
I was reading Tank Girl comics long before I was reading comics. Way back then, I though the incredible team of Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin were an anomaly, that Tank Girl was one-of-a-kind. Well, hundreds of comics later, I still feel the same about my punky little princess. I’ve read nearly everything Tank Girl. Hell, I even shaved my head for a few years, leaving only a few tufts behind in homage to my animated role-model. For years, I read crappy versions of TG, written by crap heads that couldn’t tell a tank from a hole in their butt, in an attempt to recapture that feelings of joy and violence. But alas, no one could write the way Martin did. But guess what, my post-apocalyptic friends? Martin is back and writing as witty as ever. With Rufus Dayglo penning the magic, there is no stopping this train…er, tank. The duo has honed their skills over the past year, that is to say… Martin has coached Dayglo on the art of being less of a Hewlett copycat, and Dark Nuggets is a perfect example of why you should be reading this comic. If you love tanks and poop and nonsense, you will love Tank Girl.
Chew #6 (Image Comics)
Writer: John Layman, Artist: Rob Guillory
This is the second story arc for the tremendously unique and innovative comic by John Layman. “International Flavor” takes our hero across the globe to sample new and exciting foods (among other things) and assigns Agent Chu to a new partner. This comic does not slow down. Every issue is full of fun and adventure, leaving you reeling from the rollercoaster ride that Layman has just taken you on. Artist Rob Guillory matches wit with style frame-by-frame and is known to hide a nice treat in the background for your enjoyment. If you are living in a cave and have not heard of this monstrously popular comic, have no fear! The same week that Chew #6 comes out, the first five issues will be out in trade paperback. Lucky you! Hop on your rock-mobile and pedal on down to B.C. Comics. Heh. I’m funny.
Creepy #3 (Dark Horse Comics)
Writers: Various, Artists: Various
Dark Horse had done an amazing job at raising this eerie (pun intended) comic up from the beyond. The premier issue was so good that I immediately went out and bought Volume One of the reissues and began my search for original pressings of the 1960s era horror magazine. Issue #2 is just as delicious. There is a laundry list of top-named writers attached to this vignette style comic. If you love horror comics, hell if you just kind of like horror comics, you’ll be very impressed with this book. Then you’ll be buying Uncle Creepy t-shirts and having dreams about killing your cheatin’ spouse by poisoning him slowly. The price is $4.99, but it is well worth it, since it is twice as big as your average comic… and twice as awesome.
Goon #33 (Dark Horse Comics)
Writer: Eric Powell, Artist: Eric Powell
This is very exciting. I really can’t remember when the last issue of Goon Came out. I know Eric Powell takes his time getting it done, but wow. It is always worth the wait, though. Powell’s noir-esque charcoal art is beyond amazing. His humorous depiction of the undead, also known as “slack-jaws” inspires a strong desire to punch the heads off any unwitting zombies that happen to cross your path. Franky is by far my favorite sidekick in a comic. The lil’ squirt has more bite in him than even the most vicious Mafioso. There is no coming back from the pain he causes. Issue #33 is just as every bit outstanding as the previous 32 issues, so you don’t want to miss out. Be warned, however, you can’t unsee what you will see in the pages of The Goon.]]>
Writer: Arvid Nelson, Artist: Nick Stakal, Cover: Jock
Deadlocke comes from the coming-of-age teen novel, Venomous by Christopher Krovatin. It is the story of a teenager that can’t control his rage and the struggle he has with himself and those around him in an effort to overcome his violent tendencies. Now, I know how sappy that sounds, but if you think about it, that isn’t much different than the story of our good friend, Alex DeLarge, in A Clockwork Orange. Teen boy, hell-bent on causing suffering, realizes that there is more to life than just giving the old in-out to devotchkas, grows up, the end. This comic promises to be a big hit with tweens and 25-30 year old women. No wait, that’s Twilight. Writer Arvid Nelson is showing his chops by expanding into the world of adaptations, while artist Nick Stakal takes a break from creating the dark world of the Criminal Macabre to create a bit of ultra-violence for our enjoyment. See, doesn’t that sound like fun?
Dr. Horrible One-Shot (Dark Horse Comics)
Writer: Zack Whedon, Artist: Joelle Jones, Cover: Kristian Donaldson
Yup, that’s right. The internet sensation, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog has made its way into the funny pages. Dr. Horrible (sans the sing-along) is the origin story of the sweetest darn bad guy ever to give a speech in melodic tones. You see, when he was a boy, little Billy was picked on for being too smart. He learned to hate everyone for their narrow-mindedness and self-absorption. The lesson to be learned kids: never pick on someone smarter than you or they will grow up and freeze you with their ray-gun. Writer Zack Whedon was co-writer for the web series, and yes, he is related to Joss Whedon, so you’d better tell your comic book guy to stick this one is your saver, cause the Buffy-natics are going to be all over this one.
Drone #1 (Red 5 Comics)
Writer: Scott Chitwood, Artist:Randy Kintz
You could say that this comic is very topical right now. It was inspired by real-life events that took place in recent history. Writer Scott Chitwood said in an interview with The Comic Book Bin that he read a story in the news about drones in Afghanistan being controlled by soldiers in the U.S. and it got his wheels-a-turning. Drone is about a couple of hackers who unwittingly become rescue heroes because of a peeping-tom-style hack that they got themselves into. What makes this comic great is that it is still a great robo-story, which Red 5 is known for with their extremely popular, Atomic Robo. I’m sure the big wigs at Red 5 are worried that people will start to think this company is a one-trick robo-pony, but who says that would be a bad thing? Plus, Drone is way different, so there.
Invincible #68 (Image Comics)
Writer: Robert Kirkman, Artist: Ryan Ottley
Kirkman is gearing up for the big Vultrimite war, and in this issue we see what the prelude to war is doing to our moody hero. Invincible must know what is coming and he’s got a bit of the P.M.S. about it. Issue #68 is chock-fulla city smashing goodness, complete with the requisite 50-foot-tall dinosaur. It is being touted as a great jumping-on point for any of you noobs out there that have been a little gun shy about picking up another superhero title. So, if you haven’t already been reading Incinvible, well, then you’re stupid, but that is beside the point. You can get a little less stupid by picking up issue #68.]]>
Batman/Doc Savage Special #1 (DC Comics)
Writer: Brian Azzarello, Artist: Phil Noto, Cover: JG Jones
I know how exciting it is too see that the writer of 100 Bullets taking the reins on Marvel’s beloved, The First Wave bull. Writer Brian Azzarello is arguably the best known writer of pulp style comics of the past decade, and his noir influence drips from the pages of the Batman/Doc Savage Special. This first issue is set in an earlier time. A time when bats were young and full of life, and not yet beaten down by loss and betrayal… see what I mean, the guy’s contagious or something. Artist Phil Noto is the perfect complement to the dusty pages of the streets of DC’s yester-years. He has this cute way of drawing batman when he’s mad that just makes you want to giggle. DC is threatening that this comic is the jumping off point for a complete re-imagining of the DCU, but don’t worry, they’ve threatened that before, about a hundred times in the past 9 months. The book is $4.99 but it comes with a cute little sketchbook section by Rags Morales, so it is sure to be a collector’s item to someone someday.
The Ghoul #1 (IDW Comics)
Writer: Steve Niles, Artist: Bernie Wrightson
Nipping at the heels of Dead, She Said comes another horror comic by the creative team of the century. The Ghoul is about, well… a ghoul, and FBI ghoul to be exact. He is teaming up with a detective to solve a kooky mystery. This comic is not all together nothing like one of writer Steve Niles’ other character’s, Cal MacDonald. It is a bit thrill for me, since I absolutely love that crazy washed-up detective. Niles has a way with horror comics that, in my opinion, is unmatched by any other. He adds a bit of humor, a bit of action, and a whole lot of creepsville to his tales. There may not be any better artist to match Niles’ work than artist Bernie Wrightson. Wrightson’s stark contrast and crayon-box colors blend perfectly with Niles style. The Ghoul is sure to please if you love horror comics in general, and Nile and Wrightson specifically.
Hellboy: Wild Hunt #8 (Dark Horse Comics)
Writer: Mike Mignola, Artist: Duncan Fegredo
This is the last in the Wild Hunt story arc, and possibly the last Hellboy comic for quite a while. At the 2009 San Diego International Comic Convention, Mignola expressed that he might be putting this baby to bed for a while he focuses on some other projects. We’ve had a good run of Hellboy over the past few years, and if there was ever a good arc to leave us (for a while) with, Wild Hunt is it. Hellboy has discovered that he is the rightful heir to the British crown and is the only one who can save the world from total annihilation (again), but it comes with a hefty price that Hellboy may not be willing to pay. What I want to know is, will it end up all a dream?
Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows #1 (Dark Horse)
Writer: Joe Hill, Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Anyone that has actually read my comic reviews will know just how much I adore Locke & Key. It quickly became my favorite new comic and holds a place in my heart right up there with The Goon and Walking Dead. After the second story arc of this series, Head Games, ended some time ago and fans of this frightening and gruesome tale have been waiting as patiently as a teenage girl at a Twilight signing. But the wait is finally over. The third (and probably final) arc of the series is out. If you’ve never read Locke & Key then, well… you’re stupid. You should go out and buy the back issues and catch yourself up. It is an amazing and unique story, written by a man with an uncanny talent for scaring the bajesus out of you.]]>
On September 7th, just after the sleeper hit, Chew released its 4th issue and final printing of its first issue, your humble narrator had the unbelievable opportunity to sit down with the decrepit-minded creator of the CSI-gone-Fringe comic book, John Layman. I’ll tell ya folks, listen to your moms when she says, “It’s the nice ones you gotta watch out for.” Cause this guy’s got it in spades, but I’d hate to see what he’s hiding in his basement. Issue #5 hit stores last week. Read the interview, then go out and buy all five issues as soon as your sweaty butts can skateboard to your local comic shop.
How has the success of Chew affected your life?
The video game company is my full time job and I didn’t expect this. The video game was supposed to come out in June, so I just did this comic to get back into comics. I thought, Chew wasn’t going to sell and it wasn’t going t be popular. I would just show it to editors and I’d get some Marvel work, or I’d get some DC work. But then, suddenly it sold, and now that’s no longer an issue. I can’t quite live on it, but almost.
Why did Chew get so big?
I really have no idea. I mean, I did all the normal circuit interviews with, like, Newsarama [dot com] and CBR and, you now, little blog posts and all of that. But, it seemed like just a normal amount of buzz, so it didn’t seem like anything special and the numbers were good, for Image [Comics], but not spectacular, and no one knew. Suddenly, it sold out really quick and started, just, steamrolling on the Internet. Then, people noticed it on the Internet and started talking about it… [Breaks for Phone call]… I thought it would be this weird little cult hit where, some people would like it. I’d do five issues… cause I’m financing it. I wrote Soldier of Fortune; Payback and I put the money I made from it into a slush fund to pay for five issues of a comic. I thought, I’d do this little cult hit, put out a trade and eventually make the money back and then do five more issues. But now, its taken of at such a stratospheric rate that we can now do it as a monthly, which is like a dream… but it is kinda scary, ‘cause I’ve got a full-time job, Rob is fast, but he is doing everything.
With the success of Chew, are you looking to get back into comics full-time?
Yes…Yes. Or, at least not have an office job ‘cause it’s hard to work in a cubicle all day, and it’s hard to then go home and work. That’s not a surprise to Cryptic [Studios]. They knew I was just going to be there for launch, and maybe I’ll stay on in some capacity, but not as a staff writer.
You’ve been there a couple of years, right?
Yeah. I got hired June 2007 to write the Marvel game because I’d written for Marvel and they wanted a real comic book writer, and I was just on the heals of the Marvel Trading Card Game for the PSP. So they hired me. [Brian Michael] Bendis was going to write the game and they wanted someone in-house so that they could coordinate while he plot-mastered. I did that for about four months, and then Microsoft came in and killed the game. I had moved there, to San Jose from Seattle. My wife had quit her job. So, I was like, “Wow, this is a bad situation.” But then Cryptic bought Champions [Role-playing Game] and turned it into a completely different game, and I got a lot more, sort of, autonomy to do my own thing and add my own mark to the game. It turned out for the best, even though it wasn’t Marvel because the game now has a lot more of my touches in it.
How did you get that job?
Well, I blundered into video games because I had a friend at Nintendo who got asked to write a gig and he said, “I can’t do it, I work at Nintendo, sorry Activision, but here… my friend is a comic book writer and he could do it.” So, I wrote for them and they really liked it, and they through another at me, and another at me. Then, my friend’s boss at Nintendo heard how much Activision liked me, so they hired me for something. I don’t know how Konami heard about me, but they came to me because I had written some Marvel stuff for the Marvel Trading Card Game. In the mean time, I was living in Seattle, and I had hung out with Ed Brubaker and some other people. I played X-Box with Brubaker and Bendis, and even [Matt] Fraction on occasion. I also had friends that worked at Microsoft. Microsoft recommended me, Bendis recommended me. For Cryptic, I had everything they were looking for because I was a Marvel writer and a video game writer.
Here’s the ironic thing: video games pay so much more, and I’ve never had to look for video game work, it just falls in my lap. But I’ve struggled and struggled with comics, which pays dirt.
Do you see the possibility of quitting your full-time job and just writing Chew?
Yes, but I mean, its not the wild thing that everyone thinks, you know… “Hey what are you doing with your Chew millions?” It’s not really like that. But, once we get a trade or two, as long as the bottom doesn’t fall out, we’re going to get to the end.
So, you already have the end to your story?
Oh, yeah. I don’t write anything without knowing the end.
How does that affect your issue-to-issue writing?
I know some milestones. I mean, five is a game changer… 15 is a huge game changer. I kinda know what each story arch is gonna be about. I kinda know what this is gonna be about. I know certain points, and then I’ve told Rob the ending. I said, “When this happens, we’ve reached end game, when this character does this thing, we’ll start to tie up loose ends, and that’s it, but its going to take a while to get there. It was going to be 20-25 issues if it was bare bones without meandering or exploring anything, but now I’ve got the freedom to have a little more fun.
You seem to be really passionate about this comic.
I really am. I mean, its my character in the way that Army of Darkness or Tek Jansen never was. I’ve done a lot of license stuff, and you can’t get too attached to those characters. Even Puffed was a lark. It was a guy’s night. This is a character’s life and the life of multiple characters.
You’ve mentioned that Chew’s story will end at issue 60. When you reach that, let’s say, five years from now, do you think you’d keep going?
No. [Robert] Kirkman has said things like, “Oh, Walking Dead, I’m going to make that last forever… Invincible, this book is going to last forever.” I have got to work toward an ending.
Do you have ideas for another book then?
Yeah. In theory, if I can get this going and get my life in order, I’d have something like a Kirkman-verse where I’d have a Walking Dead and Invincible and Wolf-man, you know two or three books. So, yeah, I have some other ideas, but they would be wildly different and… not successful. But then, that’s what I thought about Chew.
A lot of the stuff you have written has a bit of humor, mixed with a bit of dark-edge. Is that the universe you are working toward?
Yeah, all of the stuff is a little bit twisted, but I like humor in it as well.
Where did you come up with the idea for a guy who gets psychic impressions from food, anyway?
I don’t know. I’ve had it for a super-long time. I’ve been talking about it for a super-long time. People just kind of laughed about it. I told another comic book publisher about it. It was like, “Oh, what are you working on?” Oh, I’m doing this bird flu/cannibal cop book. And they were like, “Ah, good luck with that.” But, I’ve had it forever and I’ve talked about it forever and people looked at it like, “Oh, that’s lame. It’s that weird book that he’ll eventually get around to, and it won’t do well and he’ll do his next thing.”
What are some of the differences between writing for a label-owned comic and a creator-owned comic?
Well, for a licensed comic, you’ve gotta work for this comic editor who has licensed this out and you’re also writing for the fans of that. Marvel Zombies [Vs. Army of Darkness] is a perfect example of that. This guy accused me of ripping off Ash lines, verbatim, from the movies. And I came back to him and I was like, alright dude, tell me what lines I ripped off. He went back to the movies and didn’t find anything. He was like, “I was wrong, you are writing in his voice. There is nothing you said that Ash said in the movies, but the fact that I thought you did tells me that your writing is good.” That ended up turning an insult into a complement. But you have to try to get the character’s voice and write with respect for the fans and still get your sensibilities across.
So I’ve been pretty lucky because Army of Darkness was a good match, and even Xena has some humor, and Tek Jansen, even though their were a lot of hurdles, was pretty fun, and Gambit had a lot of humor in it as well.
Even though you obviously get to be more creative with a creator-owned comic, you still seem to have an appreciation for writing for label-owned titles.
Oh, yeah. I mean, there is still a huge fanboy thrill putting words into Spiderman’s mouth and stuff like that.
Your comic script reads sort of like a T.V. or Movie script with a lot of details.
I think a lot of that comes from being an editor. I got to read Warren Ellis and I got to read Joe Casey and Kurt Busiek. I’ve taken the things I like from all of those guy’s scripts. You learn what to do and what not to do. Most guys have a script that is like, 18 to 20 pages and my scripts are like, 45 pages. It’s also because I’ve got nothing else to do. I mean, when you’re Bendis and you write four or five books a month, you’ve gotta keep it concise, where as I’ll kind of go off on tangents and talk for a long time. I’m also not a control freak, so I may say, this is how I see it in my head, but if you’ve got a better idea, go for it. Since I know Rob now, it’s sort of just a jumping off point.
You wrote the first issue before you had an artist, but now, you write with Rob Guillory. How is that dynamic working out?
Well, now, I’m writing for Rob [Guillory]. It is kind of like I’m talking to him on paper. I’ll make jokes for him, like something will happen and it will look like a coloring error and I’ll be like, oh Rob, now everyone is going to make fun of you and think you suck. I understand his strengths are, and I don’t really know what his weaknesses are because I haven’t seen them yet, but I know that he is really good at action scenes and he is really good with movement. There are things I would be reluctant to do with other artists that I’m comfortable to do with him because I know he can pull it off.
I really don’t know. I had to pick something and I knew it would gross some people out and some people wouldn’t care and I don’t really care. So I thought it would be just there. It is also blood colored so I thought it might help in future issues.
How do you do it all? You work full-time, you write full-time, you have a family…
Well, I’m pretty burned out all the time. I play a lot of [World of] Warcraft. I don’t read a whole lot, I don’t watch a lot of T.V. I work. I put the kid down. I try to run three and a half miles a day, and then I work on Chew. Then I play a little Warcraft and then I go to bed. There are no weekends because you still have to do letters pages and interviews and all that stuff.
Do you have anything else you want the readers to know?
Only that, I think issue five is going to shock a lot of people. Four has been my favorite, because I look at it and think, holy shit. This is bizarre even by my standards. Three, I thought, would be the issue that would decide the readers. If they liked the girl and they could handle all the throwing up, then they are in it for the duration. But four is just crackpot. People are not going to be prepared for what issue five has coming. It was gut-wrenching to write and I was exhausted for a week, and then Rob was like, “That is so emotionally draining.” So I’m interested to see what people thing about issue five.
Writer: John Layman, Artist: Rob Guillory
For anyone living in the greater Sacramento area that was smart enough to pick up the first issue of Chew when I came out and wants to immediately make it worth a crap load more, John Layman will be signing copies of his extremely popular comic on Saturday, September 5, 2009 at World’s Best Comics in Sacramento California. This comic is going strong with no signs of slowing. The first issue is in its fourth printing, with each subsequent issue on a reprinting roll. Every once in a blue moon, a comic comes out that is sought after solely because of word-of-mouth. No hype, no flood of advertising. Just good, old-fashioned reader excitement. Chew is the book for 2009. It is original, clever and well written. Each new issue has been just as interesting as the last, with plenty of plot development to keep you on the edge of your seat. If you still haven’t ready Chew, you are missing out on a great new comic. Pick up this and the three previous issues before they stop reprinting them and you can’t find a copy anywhere.
Ender’s Game: Command School #1 (Marvel Comics)
Writer: Christopher Yost, Artist: Pasqual Ferry
Oh crap! Ender is going to Command School, and anyone who read the novelette will know what crazy antics the boy Wiggin is headed for next. I won’t spoil it for you noobs, but the whole dang story comes to a head at Command School. Writer Christopher Yost is a seasoned veteran when it comes to the Enderverse. He penned the first arch of the comic series and is back in full-swing for Andrew Wiggin’s fate. He is taking the helm again for the second arch of Ender’s Game. Pasquel Ferry is back on board as well. If you loved Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi phenomenon, then check out the comic series for added delight.
Strange Tales #1 (Marvel Comics)
Writers: Various, Artists: Various
Strange Tales is as star-studded as a comic could possibly get. Jam-packed full of short stories written by no less than eleven different writers, this comic is sure to be a hit with the fanboys. When DC released its first issue of Wednesday Comics, a similar, but more often released title, it sold out before the end of the day. Strange Tales is sure to follow suit. For all of you continuity freaks out there, this is not part of the regular Marvel cannon, so pull your panties out of your butts. This three issue mini-series is for fans that are sick of having to read the same, boring story about their favorite superheroes by writers that are restricted to following the timeline set for them 50 years ago. But I digress. The point I was trying to make is that you should pick up a copy of this book before it sells out. Ahem.
Sweet Tooth #1 (Vertigo)
Writer: Jeff Larime, Artist: Jeff Larime
Have you ever wondered what would the world be like if human DNA was mixed with animal DNA? Could you run as fast as a cheetah? Could you have the strength of a gorilla? What if you grew antlers? Would you be hunted like a deer? Well, that is what Sweet Tooth is about. A boy called a hybrid, with antlers, tries to make it in a harsh and unforgiving world. X-Men, this is not. In this world, mutants don’t have super powers and they don’t have a nice, rich man to hide them away in his mansion. In this world, life is hard for the hybrids and deer-headed, Gus, is just trying to stay alive. This is an exciting new comic just waiting to blow you away.]]>
Writer: Kevin Smith, Artist: Walter Flanagan & Art Thibert, Cover: Bill Sienkiewicz
Kevin Smith wrote a fairly gruesome Batman story for us last year called “Cacophony” that was pretty awesome. Smith is able to hold onto the true grit of a Dark Night title, while sprinkling a bit of potty humor in for taste. He’s back with a new story for us that he claims will actually come out on schedule (we’ll see). Widening Gyre is a typical detective tale filled with mystery, intrigue and, knowing Smith, a lot of indiscretion. Smith will be introducing a brand new hero to the DCU in this arch that will later be the start of his (or her) own comic. Big news for DC fans who are stirring for something new to chew on. Issue #1 sets the stage for what is sure to be a whirlwind of an adventure for the Caped Crusader.
Darkness/Pitt #1 (Image Comics)
Writer: Paul Jenkins, Artist: Dale Keown
You want to talk about some seriously dark art. Check out the Darkness/Pitt crossover. Pitt creator and artist Dale Keown has a special ability to make your neck hairs stand up on end with his swords and spiky costumes. Bringing the chaos inducing Pitt into the world of The Darkness is a bumpy ride, at best. It is almost unbelievable that our beloved hero from the nineties has finally made it back into print for more than just a special guest appearance. While I have never been interested enough to pick up an issue of The Darkness, I have to admit to ogling the covers, wondering if it was work three bucks to check it out. If you are like me, then now is your chance to see if you are ready to embrace the darkness. We already know that Pitt is kick-ass.
Spin Angels #1 (Marvel Comics)
Writer: Jean-Luc Sala, Artist: Pierre-Mony Chan
Another foreign comic from Marvel is at your local comic shop. Yay Frenchies! Spin Angels is the story of a bunch of bad-ass Catholics fighting a bad-ass mafia hit-man. Add a little love interest and a power hungry priest and you’ve got yourself a hell of a Saturday night. I’ve mentioned this before, but it should be reiterated that comic lovers should support the import of these European comics. It is a special treat for us to have access to these titles. Europe gets bunches of our crap. It’s about time we were able to tap into their highly intellectual, literary prowess. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is no Batman: Killing Joke or anything, but Spin Angels (as well as the previous imported comics) is well worth the six bucks you’ll spend on it. Note: Not sure why it says Crossfire on the cover. Maybe that was the working title?]]>
Writer: Bryan Q. Miller, Artists: Lee Garbett & Trevor Scott, Cover: Phil Noto
Batman’s disappearance in the R.I.P arch has affected every g-dang thing in the DC Universe. Now, we are forced to love a new Batgirl. Barbara Gordon was unbeatable. The noob that Gail Simone introduced in the Birds of Prey Series was alright, but didn’t hold a candle to the Commish’s baby girl. New Batgirl is fighting more than just crime. She is getting harassed by various cowl wearers and evil doers every time she steps out. We’ll just have to see if this lady earns respect, or if she will be tossed out like yesterday’s jam.
Invincible #65 (Image Comics)
Writer: Robert Kirkman, Artist: Ryan Ottley & FCO Plascencia
Invincible has been getting bloodier and bloodier over the past several issues and I’m loving it. Practically everything that we know and have grown to love about Invincible has just been destroyed. Now, it is time to rebuild. For those of you out there who think Kirkman is going too far with his violent rampage, have no fear, things are starting to calm down. The worst is over and now, Invincible just has to deal with the aftermath of his decisions. In some respects, his emotional tribulations are worse than any broken bones I’ve seen in this series. Be prepared for some dark times ahead.
King City (Image Comics)
Writer & Artist Brandon Graham
I know this comic is presented by Tokyo Pop, but don’t let that fool you. This indie-style sci-fi book is not your momma’s manga. It released to great fan fair in 2007, won an Eisner nomination in 2008, and is back with a vengeance on Image’s label. If you’ve never read King City, then pick this book up. Its quirky humor and fantastic art will leave you wanting more. Creator Brandon Graham tells a unique story filled with adventure and mayhem. There is something for everyone in this book. Graham’s art style is not altogether anything like Jeff Darrows, but you can see his influence in each panel. If you have already read King City, then you will only have to wait about another half a year before part two comes out. That’s right, Graham has signed on with Image to put the continuing saga out in a monthly comic. Hurray for Image!]]>
Writer: Geoff Johns, Artists: Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert
DC is calling this the most anticipated comic of the year. I’m not sure I agree with their findings, but this comic is sure to be a universe altering hit. This is not your typical zombie attack. Yes, the dead do rise again, but it is nothing like Marvel Zombies. This title is the culmination of a hell of a lot of history in the DC Universe. The preverbal “poop” has hit the fan, and the fight to save humanity in general, and superheroes, specifically, starts here. Geoff Johns is the perfect writer for this death-heavy event since he wrote the first six issues of Green Lantern: Rebirth, and Blackest Night is an off-shoot of that. What I want to know is, in the end of all of this death and dying trip, will we ever see Bruce Wayne again? Maybe Blackest Night will finally answer some questions.
Citizen Rex #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
Writers: Mario & Gilbert Hernandez, Artist: Gilbert Hernandez
From the creative team of Love & Rockets, Citizen Rex is their next big thing. This is science-fiction tale of a gossip columnist set 50 years in the future. The art and vibe is just as indie as their critically acclaimed Love & Rockets, but this one has more of the sci-fi goods that us non-emo kids are looking for. This book is both interesting and unique. The art, by Gilbert Hernandez, is stark black and white with thick, childlike lines. I mean that in a good way. All of the panels have depth and movement, while holding onto the simplistic style that triumphed in the heydays of indie comics. Citizen Rex is only slated for six issues, but it the story is popular enough, we may see more of the futuristic tale of gossip and robots.
Creepy Comics #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
Writers: Various, Artists: Various, Cover Eric Powell
There is so much to tell about this comic… where to start? Well, fist of all, it was originally a magazine published in 1964. One of the original artists will be involved in this book. Bernie Wrightson will do some magic, and Eric Powell graces us with his delectable cover art. That alone is worth the $3.50. Creepy Comics will give you the heeby-geebies and make you happy to be a horror fan. If there were ever a classic horror comic, this one would be it, surpassing Tales from the Crypt in and quantity, and might I be so bold as to say… quality? It is great to see the revitalization of such an under rated, but genuinely interesting comic. There are rumors on the nets that both Creepy and Eerie are set to become a movie, so maybe the whole thing will get some well-deserved recognition.
RASL #5 (Cartoon Books)
Writer: Jeff Smith, Artist: Jeff Smith
RASL is really picking up momentum with issue five. The first three issues opened us up to Jeff Smith’s adult-ish time-travel crime story, while issue four gave us a bit of the flashback. Well, now we are being let in on the secret origins of this crazy time-traveling concoction, and how and why Miles is using it at all. Smith is well known for his work on Bone. If you haven’t heard of it, you are not a real comic fan. RASL is a much more grown-up comic, but still has a sweet hint of kiddieness inside. For example, the characters that Smith draws may be muscle-y and covered in tattoos, but they still look like they might only be five feet tall if they were real. The main character may have blood dripping from his scowling face, but it is still round and wide-eyed. Another bit of exciting information is that this comic is set to become bi-monthly, instead of the, every six months or so, lazy schedule that Smith has been keeping so far. So, look forward to hearing me rave about this awesome comic more often in the coming months.
Walking Dead #63 (Image Comics)
Writer: Robert Kirkman, Artists: Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn
I haven’t said a peep about my most favorite comic since, like, Issue 56. So stop giving me crap about it. There are a few reasons why this is on my hot list again. First of all, it’s the Walking Dead, duh. Second, some serious problems have arisen over the past few issues that are really challenging my faith in comic book humanity. I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say that no one, and I mean no one, is safe in the hostile existence that Rick and his rag-tag crew are in. Issue #62 began the “Fear The Hunters” arch and if you thought the Governor was bad… just wait and see. The last reason that I’m bringing up this issue is that a special full issue of Chew #1 will be reprinted as a black-and-white flip book in the back of issue #63. Me thinks that Kirkman and Chew’s writer, John Layman, are in cahoots together. Maybe Layman has been promising back rubs in exchange for good press. Well, no matter the reason for the combo, you’ll be able to pick up both stories for the price of one comic, and you can’t beat that.]]>
Writers :Various, Artists: Various
DC Comics is really pushing the envelope with reinventing the way they do comics here. First, they gave us the extremely popular, weekly comic, 52, which opened the door for a whole line of weekly titles to enjoy. Now, they are giving us Wednesday Comics, which is a brilliantly original, weekly 16-page fold-out comic with nothing but newsprint style strips of all your favorite DC characters. This is the first of its kind, and sure to be a hit with fans. However, DC is attempting to boost their popularity with noobs, and thanks to a run of Wednesday Comics in USA Today, they anticipate adding a few million to their, already gi-normous readership. Here is a great way to bring your brother’s kid into the folds of geekdom. Once he reads John Arcudi’s version of Superman, your almost cool nephew will be hooked for life. Any you will finally have someone other than cyberDan142 to talk to about the death of Batman.
North 40 #1 (Wildstorm Comics)
Writer: Aaron Williams, Artist: Fiona Staples
North 40 is another Lovecraft inspired book with a modern twist. This time, it is about a small Midwest town under the throes of a not-so-uncthulu-like monster that was mistakenly unleashed by the local kids. Ain’t nothing’ better than a buncha yokles raisin’ hell on a coupla blood-thirsty oogedy-boogadies. Nuff said.
Tom Strong #1 Special Edition (Wildstorm Comics)
Writer: Alan Moore, Artist: Chris Sprouse
In the wake of the unrelentingly popular, Watchmen, reissues of long-forgotten comics are making their way to the “new This Week” shelves of our beloved comic shops. Tom Strong is next in line for a revitalization effort. I’m sure Alan Moore is seething in his hermit cave as he watches his precious comics get put back on their well-deserved pedestals. Started in the late nineties, Tom Strong was written as an homage to science-fiction pulp novels. Strong is a beefcakey scientist who became a superhero because of some crazy West Indian root he ate to give him unnaturally long life and strength (kids, don’t try this at home!). With all of the hoopla surrounding the recent movie adaptation of two of Moore’s comics (V for Vendetta and Watchmen), it is no wonder DC is trying to capitalize on the general public’s growing interest in the elusive writer. My boyfriend’s 50-year-old aunt has just started reading every Alan Moore book she can get her hands on. Smart thinking guys… smart thinking.