Catch it at the Comic Shop September 27th, 2017

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 three single issues and one trade for your consideration, with a little bit about why we like it.

Scott' Picks:
Annual 2017 by Joe Casey, Jim Rugg, Luke Parker, Nathan Fox, Wilfredo Torres, Published by Image Comics
Joe Casey is doing an anthology where he writes everything and has some great artists joining him.  With a great cover that oddly pays homage to both the Teletubbies but more importantly Trevor Von Eeden, the stories in Annual are all Casey playing with the superhero genre with his own pop-sensibilities added to them.  I have a feeling that Casey's writing is either a flavor of superhero storytelling that you like or you don't but it's always worth checking out for the artists that he gets to work with.

Berlin # 21 by Jason Lutes, published by Drawn and Quarterly
Since this is the penultimate issue of Berlin, hopefully Jason Lutes will spend 2018 doing a victory lap of all of the comix festival to celebrate this book.  It's already been announced that the final issue will be out sometime next year with a big collection of it in the fall.  Admittedly, picking up the 21st issue of a 22 issue series may not be the best jumping-on point but if you've never read any Lutes, try to find his Jar of Fools (a personal favorite) or the collection of the first few issues of Berlin.
Goodnight Punpun V7 by Inio Asano, published by Viz Media
I can't say that I've really enjoyed reading this series.  Between this series and his A Girl On The Shore, Asano's recently translated works have been hard to get through because his characters aren't people that you really want to spend time with. Punpun was a distant kid who grew up over the course of this series into a hard and dark young man, haunted by the lack of love he experienced during childhood.  Asano doesn't seem to be interested in compassionate or sympathetic characters in this story but he does seem to want to see how far he can push their actions and reactions as young men and women and keep them the same characters they were as childen in the fisrt volumees of this series.

Corto Maltese Graphic Novel 6: Fable of Venice, by Hugo Pratt, published by IDW.

I've seen a handful English translations of Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese stories over the years but I don't think any of them have looked as lovely as IDW's recent collections.  These volumes are just a great way to experience Maltese and Hugo Pratt.  

James' Picks:

The Black Monday Murders #7 by Jonathan Hickman and Tomm Coker, published by Image Comics.
This is one of my favorite comics right now. It doesn't come out all that often, but each issue feels important. The hook of this story is a good one - the world's most powerful financial institutions are actually driven by and powered by dark magic. This isn't Harry Potter wizardry, this is some dark stuff. As always with Jonathan Hickman, there's a complex mythology, a lot of world-building, and a lot of moving pieces. The art from Tomm Coker (with colors from Michael Garland) is terrific, dark and realistic. There's also terrific supplemental materials throughout the series that make up an integral part of the story. A fantastic, smart read.

Hadrian's Wall by Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel and Rod Reis, Published by Image Comics.
I enjoyed the work of Higgins, Siegel and Reis on their prior collaboration C.O.W.L. so i'm interested to check this book out. Reis has a really interesting, unique artistic style that worked well for the period vibe in C.O.W.L. so I'm curious to see how it goes in this book. Hadrian's Wall is a science fiction murder mystery that takes place in the late 20th century aboard a starship; what's appealing about the book, in part, is the aesthetic. It's meant to look like the future, but how the future was envisioned by people in the 1970's or 1980's. It should be a fun and engaging science fiction read.

Rock Candy Mountain vol. 1 by Kyle Starks and Chris Schweitzer, Published by Image Comics.
If you're not familiar with Kyle Starks' earlier work, I strongly recommend you go out and read Sexcastle (his homage to 80's macho action heroes) and Kill Them All (his homage to 90's martial arts revenge movies). Starks has a deceptively simple style, but he is a fantastic sequential storyteller, and he brings that skill to a wonderful, hilarious, and surprisingly moving story about a hobo on the rails looking for the mythical Rock Candy Mountain, and the wannabe Hollywood type who's following him, and their misadventures in the country as they try to find the mythical mountain and avoid the Devil. Reall, it's an amazing read. I highly recommend it.

The Mighty Thor #23 by Jason Aaron and Valerio Schiti, Published by Marvel Comics.
Jason Aaron has been putting together an amazing run on Thor the past few years. First on Thor: God of Thunder, one of the most metal comics you will ever read (with incredible art from Esad Ribic). And more recently on The Mighty Thor, with the wonderfully talented Russell Dauterman - they've been telling the tale of Jane Foster Thor, and it's big and complex and brings in many different parts of the Marvel Nine Realms, and all the while he writes all the characters with empathy and distinct voices. I haven't loved so much of Marvel's output, but this continues to be one of their stellar bright lights.

Mike's Picks:

Ducktales # 1 by Joe Caramagna, Lucas Usai, Gianfranco Florio, and Marco Ghiglione, published by IDW Comics. 
DuckTales returned to the comic shop in July with a zero issue, and to television a few weeks later in early August with a rebooted half hour program on Disney XD. For fans of either the original DuckTales cartoon or the classic Don Rosa and Carl Barks Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck stories that inspired that series, DuckTales is a must buy. Unlike IDWs other Disney properties that reprint European offerings, DuckTales features original stories that feature collaboration between Joe Caramagna (Eisner Nominated Letterer) and a rotating cast of Disney Italia artists.

Wonder Woman # 31 by James Robinson, Carlo Pagulayan, and Bryan Hitch, published by DC Comics.   
The backlash surrounding the announcement of James Robinson’s story plans for his run on Wonder Woman was enough to drive him from Twitter. Many critics argued that he intended to imbue WW with more unnecessarily masculine energy via the introduction of her as yet unknown brother. Robinson certainly has an uphill battle following Greg Rucka’s initial run coupled with Shea Fontana’s excellent (albeit brief) arc. Maybe those critics are right. I’d like to see for sure.

Berlin # 21 by Jason Lutes, published by Drawn and Quarterly
I caught onto Berlin about halfway through the series. Works like this feel that much more essential because of the length – not of the series as a whole (issue 21 is the penultimate of the series) but of the time span needed to complete the run (twenty-one years). Lutes is a master cartoonist, and there’s something special about taking part in such a singular work.

Corto Maltese Graphic Novel 6: Fable of Venice, by Hugo Pratt, published by IDW.
I bought my first Corto Maltese graphic novel a few years ago when I visited Venice. It’s in Italian, and I can’t really read Italian. I was thrilled when we started to receive new English editions, and I’m incredibly excited for this particular offering because it features Hugo Pratt’s rendering of his hometown. This book is arguably one of the most beautiful chapters in a master cartoonist’s magnum opus.