March 13, 2018

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Catch It at the Comic Shop March 14, 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:

Cold War #2 by Chris Sebela and Hayden Sherman, published by Aftershock
I picked up issue one from Chris at ECCC and I liked it a lot, but that's no surprise given how much I like Sebela's work, especially his indie stuff. This one involves people who were (are?) frozen, only to be revived and dumped in the middle of a strange war, with no idea of anything other than survival. It's all very mysterious, which is cool, and Sherman's linework fits the theme perfectly, with a little bit of a Miller-Janson vibe in terms of being angular and flat, but still able to tell a story. His varied, muddied colors also keep everything feeling off-beat and not quite real. I don't know what's going on, but I'm looking forward to reading more this week.

Eternity Girl by Magdalene Visaggio, Sonny Liew, Chris Chuckry, and Todd Klein, published by DC Comics/Young Animal
Eternity Girl can't die, no matter how much she'd like to do so. An old foe offers her the chance to end her life--but there's a catch: She has to end everything else first! They pitched this one at the Vertigo ECCC panel, and I was extremely intrigued. With Mags writing and Sonny Liew on art, it's sure to be a strong comic, and the premise, which can't possibly happen (right?) but still has to be just likely enough to keep going, is going to challenge both of their creative skills to the max. Looking forward to seeing what happens in this one.

Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir, Steenz, and Joamette Gil, published by Oni Press
Oni does such a great job at finding comics like this, where we have a character who might not normally get space elsewhere (a young woman with depression issues that impact on her life significantly), and when you add in the fact that she's a librarian working at a basically haunted mansion who gets tagged by a ghost who needs help, you have Rob's undivided attention. The art style by Steenz works well for the material, reminding me of a Eurocomic vibe. I'm looking forward to digging into this one in more depth soon. You should, too!

Fraggle Rock Omnibus by Various, published by Boom! Studios
Boom! collects its Fraggle Rock comics for those who missed out of them the first time. The fun thing here isn't so much the characters, who don't hold the attachment to me that other licensed products from my childhood do, but the creators involved: Jeffrey Brown, Katie Cook, Sophie Campbell, Chandra Free, and Joanna Estep, just to name a few. These are cute stories that don't necessarily break new ground in the way that some comics based on media do, but they're fun, and if I had a kid, I'd be all over this. As it is, I enjoyed another sitting with some of my favorite creators.

James' Picks:

Port of Earth Vol. 1 from Zack Kaplan and Andrea Mutti, published by Image Comics.
This is a smart, gritty murder-mystery story that also happens to involve aliens. It's a very realistic, near-future scifi story from Zack Kaplan (who write the terrific Eclipse) with great art from Andrea Mutti. If you liked books like Invisible Republic or Lazarus, this is a good book for you as well.

Cold War #2 by Christopher Sebela and Hayden Sherman, published by AfterShock Comics.
I loved the first issue of this book. Fantastic art from Hayden Sherman, and an unsettling premise from Christopher Sebela that throws the reader right into the middle of a disorienting situation. The art works perfectly for this story because it's a little disorienting, and you yourself are trying to figure out just what the hell is going on. Issue 1 had a great twist, and I'm excited to read more.

Mister Miracle #7 by Tom King and Mitch Gerads, published by DC Comics.
I probably don't need to tell you this book is great, but it really s. King and Gerads are doing something special here, I really see it as a profound story about the effects of mental illness, both depression but also psychosis. The book reads with a sense that reality is fragile and slipping away, and the art conveys all of that perfectly.

Vs. #2 by Ivan Brandon, Esad Ribic and Nic Klein.
I really loved the first issue of this book. This is an exciting sci-fi gladiator story, and the art from Esad Ribic and colors from Nic Klein are just incredible. There are some images in the first issue that are just stunning, and Ribic is a really gifted visual storyteller. This book is a real treat.

Mike's Picks:

Eternity Girl by Magdalene Visaggio, Sonny Liew, Chris Chuckry, and Todd Klein, published by DC Comics/Young Animal
I’m changing things up this week by picking one floppy and three collections, and I couldn’t think of a better single issue to trumpet than this offering featuring art by the as talented as he is selective Sonny Liew. His art is a sort of Mike Allred-inflected Saturday Morning Cartoon style, an aesthetic ultra-suited not only to DC’s Young Animal “house style,” but also to Mags Vissaggio’s narrative structure. Chuckry’s colors look stellar as well, providing a nice contrasting tone for the book.

Irredeemable Premier Edition Volume 5, by Mark Waid, Diego Barreto, Damian Couceiro, and Marcio Takara, published by BOOM! Studios
I think Irredeemable is a masterpiece, and BOOM! has done a nice job collecting Waid’s entire tale: both the core Plutonian storyline and the parallel Incorruptible series. This series means a great deal to me because it’s one of the first things I started collecting when I returned to the world of comics nine years ago. Volume 5 completes the tale, and thus includes series finale # 37, one of my favorite single issue comics. If you’re new to this series, enjoy the denouement. If you’re re-reading, I assure you that it’s just as enjoyable as the original read.

Sherriff of Babylon Deluxe Edition by Tom King, Mitch Gerads, and John Paul Leon, published by Vertigo
It’s striking to think that this series only debuted two years ago, but Tom King has been rather prolific since bursting onto the scene in 2014. Sherriff of Babylon also features the debut of Mitch Gerads and Tom King as a creative force, solidifying Gerads as a top tier artist. The semi-autobiographical series is a complex tale that displays King’s maturation as a writer and showcases his unique style in near-infancy.
Fighting American Vol. 1 by Gordon Rennie, Duke Mighten, and Terry Dodson, published by Titan Comics
Titan does some very interesting things, and when the company first announced a new Fighting American series, I was intrigued because of its strong handling of other licensed properties including Tank Girl and Robotech. The last iteration of Fighting American arrived during the late 90s, an era not specifically known for its subtle ironies. As a vehicle for Rob Liefield’s unpublished Captain America material, it’s no wonder that the Awesome Comics version lacked the same satiric tone as the classic Kirby/Simon version. Thankfully, Judge Dreed vet Gordon Rennie is no stranger to superhero satire.