July 17, 2018

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Catch It at the Comic Shop July 18, 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:


Shipwreck vol. 1 by Warren Ellis and Phil Hester, published by AfterShock Comics.
So this is a weird book. That's a feature, not a bug. I read the individual issues mostly as they were coming out, and I am still pretty sure I don't understand at all what happens in this comic. But it intrigues me, and it's got a lot of cool Ellis-type things going on (weird science, parallel universes). I want to read it again, see what I can figure out. The art from Phil Hester is amazing. He's so versatile - this is definitely a creepy book and Hester brings that to full, weird life.


East of West #38 by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta and Frank Martin, published by Image Comics.
Probably my favorite comic being published. Everything about this story is great. It's a dense, sweeping narrative, amazing dialogue, and some of the most eye-popping, staggering art you'll ever see, with colors every bit as spectacular. East of West is a complex read. A great place to start would be issue #1. But if you do, you'll be supremely rewarded with a fantastic science fiction/fantasy/western/apocalyptic/religious allegory/love story.

Dept. H vol. 4 by Matt and Sharlene Kindt, published by Dark Horse Comics.
Full disclosure, I actually won't be picking this comic up this week. But, that's only because I ordered a special edition from the Kindts which has extra illustration in the book. I only bring this up to illustrate how much I enjoyed this book. I'm a huge fan of Matt Kindt's work, and this story has been no exception. It's got fantastic art, including amazing watercolors from Sharlene Kindt, and a complex story that's both a murder mystery and a thoughtful psychological exploration of a number of damaged people. It's also a crazy undersea adventure. A fantastic read.

Brooklyn Blood by Paul Levitz and Tim Hamilton, published by Dark Horse Comics.
I was completely unfamiliar with this story until recently, when I heard a great podcast interview with Paul Levitz where he talked about this story, which sounds like a fascinating police procedural with lots of other interesting ideas being explored. The art from Tim Hamilton (with whom I was previously unfamiliar) looks terrific, so I'm going to give this one a shot. Why not check out an intriguing new book from a legendary comics creator?


The Life of Captain Marvel #1 by Margaret Stohl, Carlos Pacheco, and Julian Totino Tedesco, published by Marvel Comics.
This looks like a fun read, with gorgeous covers. If there's any character who could use an origin story retelling and an image rehab, it's Captain Marvel. It's such a shame too, because Kelly Sue DeConnick did such great, thoughtful work in turning the prior Ms. Marvel into Captain Marvel. And then Civil War II happened. Brian Michael Bendis is a very talented writer and has done tons of amazing work, but what he did to Carol Danvers in Civil War II is basically character assassination. He took a smart, thoughtful character and basically made her into a fascist. Anyway, she's a terrific character who could use some rehab and this looks like just the book to do it. 

Kirk's Picks:

Ice Cream Man #5 by W. Maxwell Prince, Martin Morazzo, and Chris O’Halloran, Published by Image Comics.
I never thought I would be recommending so many horror comics to friends as much as I have in recent years.  I believe horror is incredibly hard to pull off in a comic format and as we head into the 5th issue of this series, it’s remarkable how consistently this title delivers. Did you miss the first 4 issues? That’s okay. Each installment serves as it’s own self-contained anxiety delivering tale. Don’t expect a lot of shadow play or blurry art choices to convey the scares. In fact, brace yourself with the almost Easter-like color scheme of suburbia that betrays the horror genre. The panel layout in this issue complements the tone of the story so well, it would make Hitchcock proud. Though reoccurring characters pop in and out hinting at a larger more cohesive arc, I promise it won’t affect your reading experience as you catch yourself smiling gleefully to the final page wondering if you had any right to do so in the first place.

Analog #4 by Gerry Duggan, David O’Sullivan, and others, Published by Image Comics.
Analog is the lighter side of the future-noir genre of sci-fi. Taking place about 5 minutes into our future, we follow Jack. He’s known as a courier and they deliver your information to its next destination. The catch is that the Internet was sabotaged and every person in the entire world’s secrets was all exposed. So no one trusts technology anymore. So while the Internet’s sole use is now for porn, all information once again exists only on honest-to-god paper. I’ve been reading it as a possible prologue to BKV’s Private Eye story as both titles share a similar premise. I say it’s the lighter side of the genre because Duggan writes with excellent comedic timing while still maintaining the mood set by David O’Sullivan’s square-jawed drawn machismo characters. This title is for fans of Blade Runner that don’t mind visual gags and smartass one-liners in their story that will rest easy knowing all the porn will be safe in the future.

Rob's Picks:

Archie Meets Batman 66 #1 by Jeff Parker, Michael Moreci, Dan Parent, J. Bone, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and Jack Morelli, Published by Archie/DC.
Panel Pal Jeff Parker joins Panel Pal Mike Moreci to script a story of the Dynamic Duo from the TV show meeting the classic version of the Archie characters. Add in Dan Parent and J. Bone on the line art, and if I have to keep going, I don't know what to tell you. Who knows and who cares what the premise will be, this comic going to to be AWESOME.

Euthanauts #1 by Tini Howard, Nick Robles, and Aditya Bidikar, published by IDW.
This latest from IDW's Black Crown imprint, curated and edited by Shelly Bond, has intrigued me from the moment Tini announced it at ECCC. Howard does humor extremely well, but the depth of her writing of Carrie is part of why that series is so good. Here, she's working on a premise of exploring our relation to death. I can't wait to read how this will go in her hands. With strong art by Robles and Bidikar, based on the previews I've seen, this is going to be an amazing series as Howard shows there's a lot of life in the world of Vertigo-style books.

Immortal Hulk #3 by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, and others, published by Marvel.
The Hulk was one of my three favorite characters from when I was four: Spidey, Ben Grimm, and Hulk. Hell, they still are. But I haven't connected with Bruce since Greg Pak's World War Hulk, though Loeb's was dumb fun. Enter Al Ewing's concept: What if the Hulk was a mix of The Punisher and The Spectre, doing horrible things to bad people--but leaving them alive? It's amazing so far, and I can't wait to read more. Don't sleep on this one--it's one of the best books on the stands right now.

Mike's Picks:


Archie Meets Batman ’66 1 by Jeff Parker, Dan Parent, and Michael Allred, published by DC Comics/Archie Comics.
There’s probably a saturation point for these Batman ’66 crossovers, but I think the various creators and publishers have done a good job spacing them out and choosing good pairings (even if it spawned a whole set of similar crossovers for Dynamite and somehow created a Green Hornet ’66 brand. The Archie crossover is a no brainer, and I’m happy that Jeff Parker, who previously told me he was done with mashups when I asked him for a Batman ’66/Flash Gordon crossover, is here to handle the scripting duties along with Michael Moreci (Wasted Space, Hoax Hunters). Even better is that the interior art is handled by longtime classic Archie artist Dan Parent.


Proxima Centauri 2 by Farel Dalrymple, published by Image Comics.
We have no shortage of strong science fiction comics these days, but Proxima Centauri is a book that manages to stand out because it looks unlike any other mainstream comic, and that makes sense give Dalrymple’s pedigree. Issue two ramped up the pace of the series and increased the intensity. This is a heady series, wrought with complex metaphors, non-linear narratives, staccato pacing, and bold stylistic shifts. Proxima Centauri is an allegory of adolescence, and its frenetic, somewhat confusing pace sets up the metaphor for maturation. It’s at times esoteric and sel-referential, but isn’t one’s teenage years just that?

Mage: The Hero Denied 10 by Matt Wagner and Brennan Wagner, published by Image Comics.
I fell behind on my Mage reading, but I caught up with a few issues this weekend, and I’m all set for number 10. A 15 issue series is an interesting breakdown, and these last five issues of Mage will represent the final arc in the story. Wagner worked hard over the first two arcs to build his story to this point, and now it seems like it will be an action-packed race to the finish.

Kindred by Octavia Butler, Damian Duffy, and John Jennings, published by Abrams Comicarts.
While I don’t know much about the creative team that his handling this adaptation, I have an extreme fondness for Octavia Butler’s Kindred, the novel that introduced me to her and made me an immediate fan. I also know that Abrams tends not to mess around, nor does Ms. Butler’s estate, so I have confidence in this presentation ever before googling Duffy and Jennings, who don’t look like they mess around either.


Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Three Caballeros Ride Again (The Don Rosa Library # 9), published by Fantagraphics.
I remember when I first watched The Three Caballeros with my dad. It was shortly after Roger Rabbit, another Disney movie that used both animation and live action, and I was watching whatever Disney animation I could find. This collection not only includes Rosa’s 2000 return to Donald, Jose, and Panchito but other late period Rosa work, including “The Beagle Boys vs. The Money Bin.”