September 11, 2018

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Catch It at the Comic Shop September 12th, 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...

What's this? British Fantasy Award-winning author Erica Satifka is back in the Panel Patter saddle? The author of Stay Crazy (Apex Books) and frequent contributor to Interzone (among many other sci fi and fantasy pubs) rejoins the team because of a very special book she wanted to highlight!

Erica's Pick:


Mystery Science Theater 3000 #1 by Joel Hodgson, Harold Buccholz, Matt McGinnis, Mary Robinson, Seth Robinson, Sharyl Volpe, Todd Nauck, Mike Manly, Michael Heisler, and Wes Dzioba, published by Dark Horse
The Mads of Mystery Science Theater 3000 have expanded their evil scheming beyond the movie theater, and right into the pages of a comic book! In MST3K's first foray into non-theatrical riffing, Jonah and the bots are transmuted into the Golden Age by Kinga Forrester and Max (TV's Son of TV's Frank), and make the best of a bad situation by cracking jokes at the expense of Johnny Jason, Teen Reporter. (In this issue, the plucky teen muckraker is played by Tom Servo.)


But how do you riff a comic book? Many of the bubbles have been rewritten, and occasionally B-team robots M. Waverly and Growler pop up in the corners of the panels to throw in additional yuks. Rebubbles are marked with a dot, which is subtle enough not to interfere with reading. The comic makes good use of its medium by pointing out shoddy art, and there's a fourth-wall-breaking joke that rivals "watch out for snakes." Though it's mostly a standalone story, there's the hint of an arc involving Jonah and Crow, who have been stranded in their own comic book away from the others. Turn up your lights (where applicable) for this comic!

James' Picks:

The Divided Earth: The Nameless City Part 3 by Faith Erin Hicks and Jordie Bellaire, published by First Second Books
I’m really looking forward to reading this. The first two volumes have been terrific examples of engaging, fun storytelling that also provides some interesting in serious lessons regarding race, class, colonialism and stereotyping. Hicks is extremely skilled visual storyteller; she has a manga-influenced sensibility, but also what feels very much like her own distinctive style. She’s got great skill with motion, action and geography. The city feels like a real place, the details of which she has thought through carefully. I strongly recommend you pick up the first two volumes in the series, and then pick up this concluding story as well. It’s an excellent story that everyone in the family can enjoy (I say this from experience, as this is a story very much enjoyed by me, my wife and our two tween daughters).
Mech Cadet Yu #12 by Grek Pak and Takeshi Miyazawa, published by Boom! Studios
This is the final issue of the series, and this isn’t really a recommendation that you start with #12, more that you go back to the beginning and read a fun, action packed science-fiction series that should be great for all ages. it’s sort of a Harry Potter with Mechs series. there’s tense rivalries, new friendships and also scary alien invaders. This is a fun series with a lot of heart. Also this is a series with outstanding art from Takeshi Miyazawa, who you might know from Runaways or Ms. Marvel. Miyazawa is such a skilled storyteller and character artist, each of the characters really comes to life and this story reminds me (in the best possible way) of the 80s Japanese series that I loved like Robotech and Voltron.

Fantastic Four #2 by Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli, published by Marvel Comics
So as far as everyone in the Marvel universe has been concerned, Reed and Sue and their children have been missing for several years now, and it sounds like this issue is going to be the one that finally catches us up on what’s been going on with them. At the end of Secret Wars, I believe they were actually helping to create the new multiverse (as one does), and presumably have been undergoing all sorts of adventures since then. I’m excited to catch up with them, and really just looking forward to the moment when all of the members of the Fantastic Four finally come back together. The Marvel universe has not been the same without them.
MCMLXXV #1 by Joe Casey, Ian MacEwan, Brad Simpson, Sonia Harris and Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics
I’ve read the first issue of MCMLXXV and I strongly recommend this comic (and not just because I was born that year!). It’s the year 1975, and cab driver Pamela Evans drives the tough streets of New York City, working the night shift and resting during the day when she can. She’s got a boyfriend that’s a DJ for a local radio station, and she knows the streets better than just about anyone. Oh also, I should mention, she is an incredible fighting badass and she is in possession of a magical tire iron that she uses to defeat and destroy monsters. She is in the long line of taxicab drivers that also appear to act as defenders of the city, and she’s been battling monsters since she was a kid. This really was such a fun comic. Joe Casey and artist Ian MacEwan bring to life in New York City that doesn’t really exist anymore. Sweaty, much more analog, crime-ridden place that is teeming with life and weirdness and hasn’t yet been cleaned up and made incredibly expensive and corporate. MacEwan does a fantastic job illustrating this comic. This feels like old-school New York City, and his art has a ton of heart and personality to it. The art is complemented perfectly by warm, atmospheric, colors from Brad Simpson. The colors have an old fashioned feel to them which really does conjure up a city from days gone by. Pamela is a strong, terrific character, tough, no nonsense, and committed to fighting monsters that endanger the city. I don’t know where this comic is going, but I’m excited to find out.

Cemetery Beach #1 by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard, published by Image Comics
Ellis and Howard previously worked together on the series Trees, which I very much enjoyed, but which was a fairly slow, dense intellectual science-fiction series. Cemetery beach is not that series. Really, it’s Warren Ellis and talented artist Jason Howard - I promise you will enjoy this book, which has a fascinating, instantaneous hook based around a terrific concept. But, unlike Trees, this is a much more action-packed, fast-paced series and less of an intellectual and scientific exercise. The idea here is that 90 or so years ago, a group of wealthy businessmen and industrialists founded the colony on a site off earth. Mike Blackburn is involved in infiltration, and his job is to observe and report back to the people on Earth what’s been going on with this newly discovered colony for the past number of decades. He was captured, but escapes in this issue, teaming up with another prisoner, a native named Grace. Together they break out of jail and begin to try to escape this weird little colony. There’s a lot that has not yet been established about this world, but the first issue is it terrific read.

Kirk's Picks:

Seeds #2 by Ann Nocenti and David Aja, published by Dark Horse
Karen Berger has been recruiting voices that are familiar with the comic book genre that are daring to speak in a new tone with her Berger Books imprint over at Dark Horse. As the first issue set up this series to be one of the most ambitious stories of the year. Ann Nocenti grows a tale of a future society where the people have the choice to be reliant on technology or choose to cross a dividing wall and wander into a wasteland devoid of such amenities to live the life of a traglodite. David Aja’s art is pushing the boundaries of what a traditional 9 panel layout, coupled with black and white art are capable of. Even if the reader isn’t completely sure of what is exactly happening, Seeds is immersive. No matter how many more questions this series asks before we get any answers, I’m compelled to see it through.

Cemetery Beach #1 by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard, published by Image Comics
Read this book, because Warren Ellis. I say that because he writes stories that entertain himself first before he’s writing for an audience. That typically means you are going to get him at his most snarky bantering and trying to out do his own witty dialogue. No matter how heavy or introspective the subject matter, it’s a delight to read. Luckily, with this new title with his now frequent collaborator Jason, it just seems that Cemetery Beach is going to be full throttled fun. Taking place hundreds of years in the future, a rogue colony established off-world is accidentally discovered. A captured recon soldier breaks himself and a murderous inmate free in order to fight their way back off planet and get home. For all the great dialogue that I’m building up, this book is also highlighting one of the best kept secrets in comics.. that Warren Ellis also choreographs some of the best action scenes in the medium.

Wasted Space #5 by Michael Moreci and Hayden Sherman, published by Vault Comics
I pitch this book as Preacher in space, yet accessible to everyone. That’s all due to Moreci’s ability to tell grounded stories without overwhelming his audience that space is where the story is set. He uses the vast blackness of the universe as more of a device where characters are able to find solace and escape. Comforting things that normally don’t spring to mind when you think about the cold, suffocating vacuum that our planet is speeding through at 67,000 mph. Admittedly, I’m attracted to stories where an individual discovers that they are special or are a mythical ‘chosen one’ of some sort that protest it. It’s interesting to watch a protagonist fight against fate when they’ve seen proof of it. Though this type of story may have been done many time before, Moreci keeps it fresh with just the right amount of humor, tight dialogue and sex-bots. 

Danny's Picks:

Archie 1941 #1 by Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, Peter Krause, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and Jack Morelli, published by Archie Comics
With the main series on hiatus until the new creative team starts anew in a couple of months, this miniseries should do well to hold fans of Archie over. Mark Waid has proven himself a great writer on Archie and the gang, and taking the characters back to their roots is the perfect send-off.


Donald Duck: The Black Pearls of Tabu Yama by Carl Barks
Carl Barks' 1957 story "The Black Pearls of Tabu Yama" is collected here in hardcover format. Nothing beats Barks' colorful and imaginative cartooning or his joyful sense of high adventure.


Fantastic Four #2 by Dan Slott, Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D'Amico, Marte Gracia, and Joe Caramagna, published by Marvel
The Fantastic Four returned to the shelves last month, but this issue they're actually here! I can't wait to see what Reed, Sue, and the rest of the Future Foundation have been up to in their absence!

Ms. Marvel #34 by G. Willow Wilson, Nico Leon, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna, published by Marvel
Bruno and Kamala's investigation into her Inhuman powers has yielded some interesting results so far so I'm interested to see where this arc heads next. And has there ever been a take on a villain more oddly satisfying than Shocker being into Rube Goldberg machines? I think not.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 #1 by Joel Hodgson, Harold Buccholz, Matt McGinnis, Mary Robinson, Seth Robinson, Sharyl Volpe, Todd Nauck, Mike Manly, Michael Heisler, and Wes Dzioba, published by Dark Horse
I don't think I've been more excited or more curious to read a comic book in a long time. MST3K has long been a favorite TV show of mine, for both its gut-busting humor and its sincere appreciation of movies as a source of entertainment. Now, some of MST3K's alumni are angling to bring the show to the comic book medium by sticking the characters right into old public domain comics. It's a genius idea and one that I'm very much hoping works out well.

Sean's Picks:

She Could Fly 3 by Christopher Cantwell and Martin Morazzo, published by Dark Horse
This is the beginning of the second half of the intense series from Christopher Cantwell and Martin Morazzo. Not a whole lot more to say at this point, after my mid series review left me exhausted and eager for the next release, all at the same time. I want to know how this story ends, but I don’t want to let these characters go. 2 more months. 2 more months. Rubberball. Rubberball. 

Farmhand 3 by Rob Guillory, published by Image
Rob Guillory’s Farmhand is easily one of my favorite surprises of 2018. It’s weird. It’s gross. It’s relevant but without being preachy. Getting lost in the visually stunning spreads is simply unavoidable as I find myself acutely examining the personal hygiene of all the plastid distractions in the background. This is a story for my generation who is in desperate need of a story that feels like a Saturday morning cartoon from the 90s with the heart and soul of a campy horror family drama from today. 

Crowded 2 by Christopher Sebela, Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, Triona Farrell, Cardinal Rae, published by Image
Another surprise hit for me this year is Crowded. I literally didn’t even see this one coming. I picked up the first issue on a whim and immediately fell victim to routine readership. Yea.. it’s one of the now two dozen on my pull. The story is still young. The characters have just been introduced. The premise is genius and the art is phenomenal. Go get this one!

Hot Lunch Special 2 by Eliot Rahal and Jorge Fornes, published by Aftershock 
The ending to the first issue of Hot Lunch Special left so abruptly and Coen Bros-esque that I cant help but sneak this one in my weekly recommends. With indie titles focusing more on topics of social discussion these days, I am pleasantly satisfied with the foundation that we have so far. Go ahead, Eliot Rahal, I’m listening.