May 22, 2018

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Catch It at the Comic Shop May 23, 2018

Welcome to Catch it at the Comic Shop, where the Panel Patter team looks at what's coming out at your favorite store or digital device this week. Each one of us that participates picks up to five items due out this week, with a little bit about why we like them. (NOTE: We use solicitation material for this, so if we miss creators, please talk to your publisher!) Sometimes we might only have a few items to share, other weeks, keeping it to five will make for hard choices. Here's what the team wanted to highlight this week...

May 18, 2018

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Doug's Single Minded for the Week of May 16th, 2018

[Hey everyone! Please give our own Doug Peach a warm welcome back! He's helping to do the soft launch of something I think we'll be seeing more of soon. It's very appropriate that Doug and this column--Single Minded--return at the same time as part of Panel Patter's 2018! Enjoy! -Rob M.]

May 17, 2018

May 15, 2018

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Catch It at the Comic Shop May 16, 2018

Welcome to Catch it at the Comic Shop, where the Panel Patter team looks at what's coming out at your favorite store or digital device this week. Each one of us that participates picks up to five items due out this week, with a little bit about why we like them. (NOTE: We use solicitation material for this, so if we miss creators, please talk to your publisher!) Sometimes we might only have a few items to share, other weeks, keeping it to five will make for hard choices. Here's what the team wanted to highlight this week...

May 14, 2018

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Girl Genius Book 4 by the Foglios

Written and Illustrated by Phil and Kaja Foglio (with Laurie E. Smith, Shaenon E Garrity and Cheyenne Wright)
Self-Published, Originally a Webcomic

Agatha has escaped the Baron, alongside her talking cat friend Krosp, but they soon run into trouble when their airship crashes in the wastelands--an area in which danger lurks at every turn. They run into a peculiar circus, mechanical menaces, and of course, the Baron's men--making things even more complicated as they try to keep one step ahead in this next collection of adventures.

May 13, 2018

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Graphic Nonfiction: Allyson Shwed on the History of Mother's Day

It's been awhile, but here's another entry in our Graphic Nonfiction series, where we highlight online work of creators who are here not to tell you a story, but to hit you with stone cold fact.

Happy Mother's Day to all of our readers who are mothers! We're so happy you've taken the time from your life to raise someone else!

Mother's Day is something we see all over the media around this time, as with any holiday. But just as how we see sales on the day we celebrate a socialist who was murdered for his views on civil rights in the US and abroad, Mother's Day has, over time, become less about recognizing the struggles of mothers everywhere and more about getting a deal on a new car.

Well, that would anger the founder of Mother's Day even more than she already was at the commercialization of her celebration. That's just what Allyson Shwed points out in her brief history of Mother's Day, as recently featured on The Nib.

As you can see, after trying so hard to get the holiday established:

Once it started getting diluted, she wasn't happy:

I really like the layout of these panels and those in the rest of the comic. Shwed doesn't try to do anything overly detailed, but you can clearly see the emotions on the faces of the people she portrays, such as how those people behind Anna look positively puzzled that she's taking out her rage on mayo-covered tubers.

The final splash panel at the end is especially well-crafted, with a background of stores and a mother who just really need a break--not a bouquet of flowers. You'll want to go over to the site and see it for yourself.

So after reading this comic, maybe instead of taking Mom out for dinner, take out the trash like you're supposed do. Or better yet, do both. Happy Mother's Day!

May 11, 2018

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This Looks Cool: Boom! Presents Rod Serling's Original Planet of the Apes

21st Century Fox is a partial owner of Boom! Studios. Boom! has been putting out amazingly good Planet of the Apes material for years now. So it's no surprise that Fox would work with them to release something that I think will be a big hit when it comes out: A graphic adaptation of Rod Serling's original Planet of the Apes script, adapted by Dana Gould of the Simpsons and artist Chad Lewis.

May 8, 2018

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Catch It at the Comic Shop May 09, 2018

Welcome to Catch it at the Comic Shop, where the Panel Patter team looks at what's coming out at your favorite store or digital device this week. Each one of us that participates picks up to five items due out this week, with a little bit about why we like them. (NOTE: We use solicitation material for this, so if we miss creators, please talk to your publisher!) Sometimes we might only have a few items to share, other weeks, keeping it to five will make for hard choices. Here's what the team wanted to highlight this week...

May 5, 2018

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Rob's FCBD 2018 in Portland, OR Liveblog -Final Edition with Pictures

[Last year, I went to five stores for FCBD, and "live-blogged" about it (in quotes because there was some lag in time, as my priority was the stores and I was writing as I had time on the buses in-between). Here's this year's edition. This final version is edited to make more sense, as well as pictures and details, but most of it was written as I went along. I hope you enjoy! - Rob]

May 4, 2018

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Catch It at the Comic Shop: Free Comic Book Day 2018 Edition

Welcome to a special edition of Catch it at the Comic Shop, where the team takes a look at the Free Comic Book Day offerings on tap for tomorrow and pick out our favorites.

James' Picks:

Transformers: Unicron from IDW Publishing.
So, I'm not a regular reader of the IDW Transformers comics, and that's on me, because I know how great they are. But this story has been marketed as the end of the IDW Transformers universe, and it has Unicron, so I have to check it out. I was 10 years old when Transformers: The Movie came out, and it completely blew my mind. They upped the stakes an incredible level and killed off a whole bunch of characters - that was an important moment for me as a kid, and so I'll read any Transformers story that brings that sense of finality and scope.

Avengers/Captain America from Marvel Comics.
So, I love the Avengers and I'm excited to check this book out to see what's up with the reunited classic Avengers book. But the real draw for me is the sneak preview at Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Yu on Captain America.  I've had mixed feelings about Coates' Black Panther book, as I think he's bursting with ideas but also still figuring out how to be a comics writer as far as pacing is concerned.But I think he's continuing to improve, and brings so much intelligence and thoughtfulness to his stories. And Yu is one of my favorite artists, I love everything he does. So I think this will be worth checking out.

Overwatch/Black Hammer from Dark Horse Entertainment.
So, full disclosure, I don't play Overwatch and don't know anything about it. The reason I'm picking this book up is that it has a new Black Hammer story set 1,000 years in the future of the Black Hammer universe.  If you're nto reading Black Hammer, you are absolutely missing out on one of the very best comics of recent years. Jeff Lemire is writing an amazing, dark exploration of superhero tropes with his signature exploration of emotion, loneliness and regret. He's had amazing artistic collaboration from Dean Ormston and David Rubin. I'm sure this will be a fun story.

Mike's Picks:

Note: I have a core ranking system inherent to my FCBD picks that overwhelms actual content. Simply put, I give preference to books that offer an entirely new story and then to books that offer a complete reprint of an issue. I tend to have an aversion to books that reprint portions of various stories, and I loathe books that function more like Previews catalogs than actual narratives (though that trend seems to die a little more each year).

Original Stories:

Bongo Comics Free-For-All, published by Bongo Comics
I’m a fan of Simpsons comics in general. I think they tend to be underrated, and I dread each month to hear some terrible news that Bongo has shut down or that it’s converted to digital-only format. Bongo’s perennially FCBD offering, the Free-For-All is always the first book I read after getting home from the store. It’s full of original stories, and it usually contains some great comic book satire and meta humor. I’d love to give credit to the team behind this book, but the FCBD website lists Matt Groening as both the writer and artist, and that doesn’t check out . . .

2000 AD Regened by various, published by 2000 AD
Not only is 2000 AD offering a book of entirely new stories featuring some of their most classic characters, said characters are all-ages re-imaginations. It says something that a British company that probably doesn’t sell very many monthlies in the United States somehow manages to produce a more authentic and worthwhile FCBD offering than either of our Big 2 (and upper echelon independents). Bonus points for them for putting out a quality product that kids can enjoy, because we all know that FCBD should really be for kids and/or new readers, not the weird guy in a kilt who accidentally spits onto the back of your head as he’s asking you to move so that he can get a copy of the IDW Star Trek FCBD issue that he could easily reach if he just took a different angle instead of breathing his hot breath onto you and now you think maybe you smell that way and this is probably your new reality so get used to it.

Barrier by Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin, published by Image
While this is technically a reprint of a webcomic series, I’m still going to count it as new material since it is the first time it will see print. I have to say that I love what Image is doing with this five issue weekly series – providing the first book on FCBD before releasing the next four. Not only do we get a BKV story this FCBD, we get a new(ish) 53 pages!

Transformers: Unicron, by John Barber, Alex Milne, and Sara Pitre-Durocher, published by IDW 
I’ll admit that I’ve fallen behind on IDW’s Transformers comics, but I’m 37 and I watched the original animated Transformers: The Movie 1000 times in my youth, and this solicit reads that Unicron has arrived to eat Rom’s home world and I’m in even if I have no idea what’s going on.

First Issue Reprints:

Maxwell’s Demons by Deniz Camp and Vittorio Astone, published by Vault Comics
Though it isn’t a brand new story, Vault is giving readers a complete issue in their reprint of Deniz Camp and Vittorio Astone’s Maxwell’s Demons # 1. If you’re a fan of big ideas comics and you liked stories such as The Stuff of Legend, or you like characters like Franklin Richards, then this book will be right up your alley.

Berlin by Jason Lutes, published by Drawn and Quarterly
FCBD is an exceptional day because it unites the various genres of sequential art under one roof. I hope some superhero fans pick up Berlin this Saturday. Drawn and Quarterly gives us the first page of the recent wrapped series by cartoonist Jason Lutes. A labor of love for over two decades, Berlin is a near masterpiece of the genre.

Rob's Picks:

Looking over my choices, 4 of my 5 are licensed books. I didn't mean to do that, but honestly, my experience with a lot of FCBD titles over the years has led me to feel that the comics which come from the publishers below will be the best comics you'll see at the stories. If you're at a store that only allows a few picks per person, I only want you to get the best. With all due respect to things like the DC Superhero Girls book, I can't stand it when I get "Hey, if you want to see how this story ends, you have to buy something else." These should always be self-contained, things that make you want to get more, not force you into it. So here's mine, which probably show that I really do dig licensed books these days. I can live with that.

Bongo Comics Free-For-All by Various Creators, Published by Bongo Comics
Mike isn't just an alias for me, I swear. But pound for pound, Bongo's Free Comic Book Day offering is the best one each year, and it's really not even close. They don't skimp on the stories, making sure that potential readers see just how much fun reading their comics can be. No idea which creators are involved this time around, but remember they've had everyone from Sergio Aragones to Gail Simone at any give time. If you like the show at all and haven't read the comics yet--here's your chance. They're often better than what's on TV.

2000 AD Regened by various, published by 2000 AD
This isn't doing anything to help dispel the idea that Mike and I are the same person, is it? Oh well, I don't care. 2000 AD is always good for a fun FCBD offering, and this year, they're using it to launch a new concept for them--all ages comics featuring their famously dark characters. This is ambitious as all hell, and I can't wait to read it. Sci-fi horror Future Shocks written roughly at Goosebumps level. Cadet Dredd. This is going to be brilliant, I think, and you should pick it up Saturday to get in on the ground floor.

The Tick by Jeff McClelland and Ian Nichols, published by New England Comics
Oh, I guess you want more than that. [Scott: Yes, Rob. Your contributing editor commands you!]
I'll never forget my first experience with the Tick cartoon, and that love has extended to the comics, and I've even portrayed the big blue lug as a Halloween costume. (I also "murdered" him/me in one of my annual murder mysteries, which I need to do again. But I digress.) While I haven't read any of the regular series for awhile because I try to limit my print singles, I always look forward to whatever the NEC crew has up their sleeve. Apparently, it's a lost plot from the early days re-scripted. With the new TV show around, I'd hoped the comics might get a bigger bounce. Oh well. But if you like the character at all, pick this one up.

SpongeBob Freestyle Funnies 2018 by Various Creators, published by Bongo/United Plankton
Like the Simpsons, this series, since it began, has had a murderer's row of creative talent, including regular contributions from James Kochalka and Joey Weiser. Even Ramona Fraden(!!) has made an art appearance. There's a lot of winks and nods to comics within the comic, and this issue features a longtime nemesis calling in the bad guys, featured in this cool cover. As Mike mentioned above, my preference is for the comics who give readers new, cool stories. This one always delivers.

Doctor Who 0 by Various Creators, published by Titan Comics
I loved the IDW Doctor Who comics, but I have to say that the Titan Comics version has been excellent as well, especially in their portrayals of the 10th and 11th Doctors, who are of course also my two favorites from the new incarnation of the show. This, as in past years, offers a little something about the styles of the Doctors, from each of their creative teams, and will be the first glimpse of the 13th Doctor in comic form, if I understand things right. It's a good way to see if you might enjoy these comics, which is exactly what Free Comic Book Day should be.

May 1, 2018

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Catch It at the Comic Shop May 02, 2018

Welcome to Catch it at the Comic Shop, where the Panel Patter team looks at what's coming out at your favorite store or digital device this week. Each one of us that participates picks up to five items due out this week, with a little bit about why we like them. (NOTE: We use solicitation material for this, so if we miss creators, please talk to your publisher!) Sometimes we might only have a few items to share, other weeks, keeping it to five will make for hard choices. Here's what the team wanted to highlight this week...

Rob's Picks:

Maxwell's Demons #3 by Deniz Camp, Vittorio Astone, and Nathan Gooden, published by Vault Comics
Mike kept telling me about how great Vault Comics were, and I took advantage of ECCC to grab a bunch of their books, which I'm working on a post about. In the meantime I highly recommend you catch up on this one, which looks to bet Yet Another Boy Learning About a Magical Land(TM), then dumps you squarely into a different kind of story. Here we appear to be back towards the beginning of Maxwell's life, and I can't wait to see what's going to happen. The art is sharp and Vault's production values are amazing. There's still time to jump in on this one and find your new favorite fantasy book.

You Are Deadpool #1 by Al Ewing and Salva Espin, published by Marvel Comics
How the heck could I not be intrigued by this one, which promises to be a comic that enables you to be role-playing alongside the story and score yourself against Wade (though I presume he'll cheat!). I love Al Ewing, quietly one of Marvel's best writers and the premise has me sold. I always was a sucker for the idea of Choose Your Own Adventure...

Street Angel Goes to Juvie by Brian Maruca and Jim Rugg, published by Image Comics
A long time ago, I wrote an embarrassingly bad review of the original Street Angel. To be fair, I was still learning how to write a review. It's still up here if you want to go see it. At any rate, it's great to see the character continue to have adventures. This time around, our fabulous main character gets sent to juvenile detention, which might not be so bad, given her lack of stability. Ah, who are we kidding? Very much looking forward to the ever-changing Rugg's art choices here, his exploitation influences, and a collaboration with Maruca. I don't expect you need to read the others to read this.

Red Sonja/Tarzan #1 by Gail Simone and Walter Giovanni, published by Dynamite Entertainment
Gail Simone and Walter Giovanni re-unite to tell another Sonja tale, this time with Tarzan in tow. I'm not quite sure how that's going to work, but Giovanni's art--at least last time around--was very Romita-esque and I loved it, so I can't wait for more. Gail is of course a love her or hate her creator, so your mileage may vary. I've been really impressed with her work on Sonja, especially these crossovers, so I'm all in for this one.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Through the Mirror #1 by Dennis Tipton, Scott Tipton, Marcus To, Brittany Peer, and J. K. Woodward, published by IDW
More Mirror Universe Madness, with the Tiptons and J.K. Woodward along for the ride. I'm in. Though I wish Woodward was doing all the art, his painted style takes time, so I get having a more traditional line artist in To, who does a great job with the likenesses and panel structure. As usual, anything goes with an alt universe story, and Trek fans know already how good IDW comics in the Trek world are. This one's no exception.

James' Picks:

East of West #37 by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta, and Frank Martin, published by Image Comics.
East of West is one of those books that's been so good for so long that I think people sleep on it. Well, that would be a mistake. I think it's probably my favorite comic of the last 10 years, and that is saying something (considering how many great comics there have been). It's fun, complex, engaging, weird (all things you can expect from writer Jonathan Hickman), and has absolutely stunning art from Nick Dragotta and colorist Frank Martin (and they keep getting better and better). 

Captain America #701 by Mark Waid and Leonardo Romero, published by Marvel Comics.
I was sorry to see Chris Samnee leave this book, but I can't think of a much better replacement than Leonardo Romero. He did terrific work on the recent Hawkeye series, and I'm sure will do excellent work on Captain America.   Romero has a terrific, classic, clean style that reminds me a little of Samnee, but also somewhere in the Doc Shaner/David Aja world, which is some amazing company to be in. This is a Captain American story set centuries in the future, and I'm excited to see where this goes. I think Waid has been a great guy to bring Cap back to his roots, and this sounds like an exciting twist.

Avengers #1 by Jason Aaron and Ed McGuiness, published by Marvel Comics. 
This is it, the big new Avengers relaunch.  I'm excited to see where this goes.  I enjoyed Avengers: No Surrender as I thought it was a fun, old-school crossover event, and I think it left the team in an interesting place. It sounds like they're bringing the original "big three" back together, and while the move away from better representation is something that I'm not thrilled about, it has been a number of years since Steve, Tony and Thor Odinson have been together on a team, so it should be a fun reunion. And there are few writers I would trust right now more than Jason Aaron to get this book off to a great start. He's been doing incredible work on Thor for years, and if you ever read his Wolverine and the X-Men book, you know he knows how to write a fun team book.

Death or Glory #1 by Rick Remender and Bengal, published by Image Comics. 
If Rick Remender has a new #1 at Image Comics, that's something I need to check out. He's one of the most important writers of recent years, and has a remarkable track record at Image Comics (Black Science, Deadly Class, Low, Seven Minutes to Eternity). Remender is a writer who just knows how to tell an engaging story.  I'm really curious to check this one out - Bengal is a fantastic artist but not exactly the sort of gritty artist with whom Remender usually works, so it should be an interesting change of pace.

Mike's Picks

Death or Glory # 1 by Rick Remender and Bengal, published by Image Comics
Rick Remender is one of the most creative writers working in the business today. Pair him with a remarkable artist like Bengal, and we have a recipe for something special. I read the advance copy of this issue, and I have to say that it’s core Remender – a mashup of genres with veiled societal commentary. For this story, Remender channels his previous works, Tokyo Ghost and Low, weaving those tropes into a tense chase narrative.

Maxwell’s Demons # 3 by Deniz Camp, Vittorio Astone, and Nathan Gooden
Deniz Camp filters big ideas through an adventure narrative that feels more like a 90s Saturday morning cartoon series than it does a comic. Camp’s narrative is brought to light by Vittorio Astone, who provides both line and color art for the series. And, to be honest, it’s the color pallet that sets this book apart. If you like big stories a la vintage Fantastic Four, I’d suggest making sure you check out Maxwell’s Demons.

Zero Hour: Crisis in Time, by Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Frank Fosco, and Ken Branch, published by DC Comics
I shouldn’t let nostalgia overwhelm me, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t pick this collection because, believe it or not, Zero Hour is what turned me from a casual-yet-invested-but-inconsistent-and-confused comic book reader to a still-confused-yet-with-less-disposable-income comic collector. I was too young to understand neither Crisis nor its ripple effects, but Zero Hour (which I originally read in trade, likely my first instance of that experience as well) caught me at the right time when my early adolescent love of the summer crossover collided with my curiosity after my then proto-collector experiences with The Death and Return of Superman and Knightfall. I love this series. I always will. And I can’t wait to read it again.

April 25, 2018

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One of the First, One of the Best: Retrofit Kickstarter 2018

These days, using Kickstarter for micropress comic publishing is pretty common. But it wasn't always like that. One of the pioneers of this model was Box Brown and Retrofit Comics, which started out doing a series of mini-comics only and has since branched out to mix between shorter and longer works.

Retrofit is still around and they're finishing up their 2018 Kickstarter, which still needs some help getting to the finish line. If you haven't see this one yet and backed it, here's who they have on offer:
  • All the Sad Songs - Summer Pierre
  • Fashion Forecasts - Yumi Sakugawa
  • I Love You - Sara Lautman
  • John, Dear - Laura Lannes
  • Our Wretched Town Hall - Eric Kostiuk Williams
  • The Prince - Liam Cobb
  • Survive 300 Million 1 - Pat Aulisio
  • Survive 300 Million 2: Serpentine Captives - Pat Aulisio
  • The Troublemakers - Baron Yoshimoto
  • TRUMPTRUMP vol. 2: Modern Day Presidential - Warren Craghead III
  • Understanding - Becca Tobin
  • The Winner - Karl Stevens
 That's an amazing lineup! Craghead III's Trump Trump takes the verbal monstrosities of the 45th President and visualizes them, showing in pictures how toxic his words can be. I own the first volume and it's a great--if depressing--work. Any chance to get a Yumi Sakugawa book is not to be missed, and Pat Aulisio's style is very out there, making for extremely imaginative sci-fi work. I've been a fan for years. The others I'm less familiar with, but looking over the sample pages provided on the Kickstarter page, they look really amazing. I'm particularly interested in Summer Pierre and Eric Kostiuk Williams' contributions.

Here's a few sample pages to give you an idea of what you can get:

Summer Pierre
Yumi Sakugawa

Warren Craghead III

Pat Aulisio
One of the best things about Retrofit is how different the styles are between the creators. Just looking at these four examples, you can see the variety. That's why I always go for a full subscription--I love getting to see the different creators, both familiar and unfamiliar, work their craft. I encourage you to do the same, but if you can't afford to or have very particular comic taste, the Kickstarter does give you options to select certain books instead of the whole set.

There are also options to pick up the back catalog of Retrofit digitally, get original art from Craghead, and other higher-tier perks, for those who are really interested.

No matter what you can pledge, please head over to the Kickstarter and back this one. We need more good comics in our lives, especially in this era of ugliness, and Retrofit is one of the best. After so many years of successful publishing, I'd hate to see it miss out. Go grab some good comics today!

April 24, 2018

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Catch It at the Comic Shop April 25, 2018

Welcome to Catch it at the Comic Shop, where the Panel Patter team looks at what's coming out at your favorite store or digital device this week. Each one of us that participates picks up to five items due out this week, with a little bit about why we like them. (NOTE: We use solicitation material for this, so if we miss creators, please talk to your publisher!) Sometimes we might only have a few items to share, other weeks, keeping it to five will make for hard choices. Here's what the team wanted to highlight this week...

James' Picks:

Exiles #2 by Saladin Ahmed and Javier Rodriguez, published by Marvel Comics.
I'm not really familiar with Blink as a character, but I get that she has previously led a team of Exiles from different universes that go around and have adventures. But you don't really need to have read the prior Exiles book to enjoy this one. There's an old battle-scarred version of Kamala Khan, and it looks like some other fun team embers should be joining up this week as the team travels from one universe to another trying to stop the eater of universes.

The Terrifics #3 by Jeff Lemire, Joe Prado and Ivan Reis, published by DC Comics.
I'm enjoying this book so far, as it's a team brought together by circumstances with a genius, a stretchy guy, a big rocky guy and an invisible woman. It's just fantastic! I mean, terrific!  Anyway, it's been a fun read so far, and I'd like to see where it goes.

Thanos Annual #1 by various, published by Marvel Comics.
With Avengers: Infinity War coming out this week, now's the perfect time to read some stories about everyone's favorite purple genocidal tyrant who's really into gloves with bling on them. The Donny Cates/Geoff Shaw arc on Thanos was a fun book, and I'm hoping for some more fun stories here.

Mike's Picks:

Cult Classic: Return to Whisper #2 by Eliot Rahal, Felipe Cunha, Dee Cunniffe, Irene Koh, and Taylor Esposito, published by Vault Comics
Vault has a bevy of spectacular offerings this week – so much so that picking one to spotlight is a bit of a dice roll. I’m going with Return to Whisper for three key reasons. First, I was incredibly intrigued by the first issue that embraced notable horror movie tropes in a way that felt familiar but not heavy handed. Second, the characters all appear to be in early 30s range, perhaps just a bit younger than me. As a result, the flashback sequences coupled with the characters’ general outlook taps my nostalgia gene. Third, the art works in ways that are difficult to describe in text. It’s heavily inked, especially on the edges. The colors, as per Vault standards, are vibrant and emotive. It feels, for lack of a better word, animated. And that feels right. Or at least, it looks cool.

The Wilds # 2 by Vita Ayala, Emily Pearson, Marissa Louise, and Natasha Alterici, published by Black Mask Studios
I’ve honestly enjoyed the output by Vault and Black Mask more than anything else I’ve read over the past few months because the stories have felt more original and, no pun intended, wild. Vita Ayala and Emily Pearson’s story ramps up the tension in issue two of a tale that is steeped in post-apocalyptic survival mythos. Pearson’s art is clean and direct, making contrasts between in and out of the compound that much starker. Marissa Louise’s coloring works well to establish tension in the story and delineation between present day and flashback material. 

Every Image First One-Shot by Various, published by Image Comics
Yes, this is an odd pick. Nonetheless, Image offers reprinted editions of top notch books this month, and there likely isn’t a better way to spend $8. This set features the first issue of Eric Shanower’s masterpiece, The Age of Bronze, in addition to the first offerings of Afar, Curse Words, Moonshine, Moonstruck, Redneck, and Street Angel. The piece de resistance, though, is the first issue of Rick Remender, Tony Moore, and Jerome Opeña’s Fear Agent, which makes its way to Image from Dark Horse . . .  

Fear Agent: The Final Edition by Rick Remender, Tony Moore, and Jerome Opeña, published by Image Comics

Rick Remender is the master of a special type of science fiction comic that blends high science content with pulpy trashy depiction. I discovered Fear Agent shortly I started reading Remender’s stellar Uncanny X-Force run. To use an analogy Remender himself might enjoy, Fear Agent is Remender’s “What Make A Man Start Fires.” It’s not the masterpiece that is “Double Nickels on the Dime,” but damn is it good, and maybe even a little better(?).

Rob's Picks:

Exiles #2 by Saladin Ahmed and Javier Rodriguez, published by Marvel Comics.
It's rare for me to be excited for a Marvel comic, but Saladin loves the Universe and all its weird quirks as much as I do, and it shows in this series, which takes characters from universes we've seen (and some we haven't I think?) and puts them together to save the multiverse, which I'm happy to hear still exists. After seeing their foe for the first time--and it's a brilliant idea--I don't know how this team is going to win--or even if they're supposed to. Javier Rodriguez's art is amazing--slick, able to handle all these characters and words--and really works with Ahmed's script. A great comic that doesn't require reading an entire line of books to enjoy.

Prisoner #1 by Peter Milligan and Colin Lorimer, published by Titan Comics
The Prisoner is one of my all-time favorite television series. I have absolutely no idea what Milligan and Lorimer have planned--whether it's a return to the village or set within the series--but I am here for it. Can't wait to pick this one up at the shop on my next visit.

Adventure Time 75 by Various Creators, published by Boom! Studios
After 75 issues, this series is coming to a close, and I couldn't let that go without putting it on the list here. I remember reading the first issue thinking, "Can the Dinosaur Comics Guy write a regular series?" and the answer was an overwhelming yes, even including his signature alt-text at the bottom of most pages. Defined by North, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb, many others have also written the characters, who translated better to the page that some other cartoons have. This issue is a celebration of what was, what is, and what might be for these characters, and I look forward to reading it, with the hope that these aren't the last comic stories in the land of Ooo.

April 23, 2018

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Panel Pattering: Action 1000 Reaction

Action 1000 cover by the Allreds

In honor of the release of Action 1000, several of us on the Panel Patter team all read the issue and provided our opinions, independent of each other. This is something Rob's been wanting to try for awhile, and this seemed like a good chance to do it.

So here we go, diving right into the 80th Anniversary of the character who failed to make it into the newspapers and by doing so, effectively launched a whole new style of comics. And a weird fashion quirk. But that's a whole other story...