November 10, 2020

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Catch It at the Comic Shop November 11th, 2020

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...

Sean's Picks:

Terminal Punks #1 by Matthew Erman, Shelby Criswell and Micah Myers, published by Mad Cave Studios
A rich man collecting animals. A group of four friends traveling by plane to NYC. Orangutans, snakes, and elephants running amuck while in transport.. by plane.. to NYC. Two planes, two worlds, two stories collide. Not literally, but figuratively. Four punks, Sway, Burton, D’arby and Kee are the eyes, ears and voice to the story as we navigate darks corridors of a terminal. This is a bizarre story. It’s modestly dense with narrative, but it works, and it works well. Visually this is perfect. The tastefully grotesque images are spaced out well and give it the edge needed to stand out above other small press indie books. This is a title that will remain on my radar. First issue is out this week and it is a strong one!
 
Alienated TPB by Simon Spurrier, Chris Wildgoose and Andre May, published by BOOM! Studios

I recently read through my single issue copies of this recently concluded mini series from BOOM! and there’s something to say about consuming a story in its entirety all in one sitting. I did read most of the issues as they came out, but having read through the entire story without pause gave me a greater appreciation for the story. There’s a lot of depth here. The characters have contrasting parallels with each other as well as with real life circumstance. BOOM! has been producing a lot of quality titles lately and this is one to add to that list. Consider this my enthusiastic recommendation to pick up the collected volume of Alienated, a whimsically illustrated story of friendship, loyalty, secrets, lies, and reasons for which we do any of these. Oh.. and.. an alien puppy with the ability to transmit telepathic powers.
 
Red Mother #10 by Jeremy Haun, Danny Luckert and Ed Dukeshire, published by BOOM! Studios
Right now is a great time to be a fan of scary stories. There’s so many out there, and thankfully, many of them are worth the time to read or watch them. Red Mother is one of these that I am currently enjoying and it is scaring the hell out of me. It’s an interesting story about a woman as she struggles to navigate through her daily life. A lot has happened so far, so I do not recommend jumping in with this issue. But I do take this moment to remind any who have fallen off this book for whatever reason to get back on it. It’s scary without the weird. It’s horror without the costumes. This is a “down-to-earth” horror book that borrows the smallest amount from the supernatural realm to allow it’s spook to exist without seemingly going overboard in any possible way of the genre.

Bill and Ted are Doomed #3 by Evan Dorkin and Roger Langridge, published by Dark Horse
While in the middle of a pandemic, and what seems to be a most tumultuous election period, the last thing that we would want is to entertain the thought of more doom and gloom. Have no fear, Bill and Ted are Doomed is here! No need to worry as this series is not going to exaggerate any preconceived ideas you may have on any current event you’re stuck in and losing battle to. Oh and, did I mention that this issue they battle evil death metal fans? This hilarious Dark Horse book from acclaimed and legendary creators Evan Dorkin and Roger Langridge is a welcomed addition to a stack of comics in my to-read pile. I don’t really feel like I’m giving this title the justice it deserves, all I know is that what it does deserve is to have more visibility. It’s a fun read and is silly enough to help remind me that there is still room left in this life to fit in some good times. Even if it’s packaged with a little light-hearted “Doom”. Count me in.

Villainous #2 by Stonie Williams, Jef Sadzinzki, Joana Lafuente and Justin Birch, published by Mad Cave Studios

Sometimes you pick up a book and get surprised. This was one such instance. I recently read the first issue of Villianous and had one hell of a time. What you have is a group of heroes that form a coalition, they call it the Coalition Of Heroes. The C.O.H. has a revolving door of sidekick apprenticeships that begins to have modes relevance with the second issue out this week. Matilda Anderson is latest subject to be given opportunity at the sidekick gig. But.. the good guys wind up being the villains. It’s a bit like The Boys but without a crassness to settle in. If nothing else, this will be a fun series to read through and I look forward to seeing how this creative team will use this familiar story formula to tell their own.

James' Picks:

American Ronin #2 by Peter Milligan, ACO and Dean White, published by AWA Studios

The first issue of this series was a delightful surprise. This is a clever story about a killer for hire that uses an emotional connection he can form with the DNA of victims, in order to kill them (at least, I think that's what's going on). It was a clever first issue from writer Peter Milligan, and artist ACO was absolutely terrific. I'm excited for more.  

Champions #2 by Eve Ewing and Simone Di Meo, published by Marvel Comics

The first issue of this book was great. Teen heroes have been outlawed and the Champions are in hiding...and Kamala Khan is the face of the law that band teen heroes? Things have gotten pretty tense amongst the various heroes. The first issue was really strong thanks to terrific writing from Eve Ewing, and fantastic art from Simone Di Meo, who has very quickly become one of my favorite artists. There are some smart real world parallels in this book, and I recommend it.

Billionaire Island GN by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh and Chris Chuckry, published by Ahoy Comics

From the team that brought you The Flintstones, is another smart, hilarious social satire. This one is all about an all-too-possible future where everything just keeps getting worse, and billionaires have retreated to their own private island. I think this will read very well collected, and I'm a huge fan of this creative team. Russell writes some of the very smartest comics out there, and Pugh and Chuckry are a fantastic art team. 

We Only Find Them When They're Dead #3 by Al Ewing and Simone Di Meo, published by Boom! Studios

We're only on issue 3 but We Only Find Them When They're Dead is already one of my favorite books of the year (review here).  Al Ewing is just writing comics at the highest level these days, with this and the continued brilliance of Immortal Hulk. Well this comic is a fantastic sci-fi adventure story that's also a metaphor for late-stage capitalism, and for man's search for meaning. Yes, it's ambitious. But it's also a lot of fun.  As I've already mentioned this week, Simone Di Meo is doing just stunning work, his art feels incredibly alive. You gotta check this out. 

Rob's Picks:

Titan by Francois Vigneault, published by Oni Press
It is incredibly hard to find good science fiction by creators working outside the monthly single issue format. I love a lot of that material, but there's something about non-affiliated creators doing that work as well. While Titan is being published by Oni Press, its original format was smaller, effectively self-published comics by Vigneault. (I think I still have mine.) The biggest issue many face when drawing a book like Titan is trying to balance the feel of an indie comic with the details needed for things to work credibly in a sci-fi setting. Vigneault handles that perfectly, and his plot is a nice variation on the theme of conflict between labor forces, in this case the genetic giants of titan and their earth-based masters. Toss in some romance and personal angst and you have a great blend of zine feel combined with the quality of Oni Press. We've been waiting a long time for this one to officially release, but trust me, it's well worth it.

Marvel Action Chillers #1 by Jeremy Whitley, Seth Smith, Gretel Lusky, Derek Charm, Nahuel Ruiz, and Valeria Lopez, published by IDW
Hydra messes with a majorly evil book, but is stopped by the Avengers, only to have Tony Stark's arrogance make things just as bad if not worse. Now it's up to Ironheart and Doctor Strange to clean up the mess in an unlikely science-magic team up in this horror-tinged all-ages book that continues to show IDW's strength at making Marvel's characters accessible. At the writing desk this time is Jeremy (Princeless) Whitley, showing once again his skills making young women characters shine. He's no slouch at the Iron Man parts, either, with some great wit and a nice blending of Movie Tony and Comic Tony. Things look bad, but not artistically, as the team of creators works very well in a slightly exaggerated style that's perfect when Tony's trying to outwit power tools from Hell. I'm so glad Marvel is working with IDW on these books, which are always a joy to my week.

Mike's Picks:
 
The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott by Zoe Thorogood, published by Avery Hill
I know this book technically already arrived on our shores through mail order and bookshops, and if you've been paying any attention to comics social media, you'll know it's been well received by a number of pros and reviewers, including our own Kirk. But, thought it's been available for about month, this book technically arrives in comic shops this week, and I'm going to use it as an excuse to yet again praise this absolutely spectacular debut graphic novel, one that channels youth and depression without shortchanging either. I firmly believe Zoe Thorogood will be a force in the scene for years to come. So, do yourself a favor, and get in on this action so you can say, "I knew her when."

Bionic by Koren Shadmi, published by Top Shelf/IDW
Above, while discussing the excellent Titan, Rob reminds us that it is often hard to find solid science fiction outside of the monthly format. Bionic is another exception to that rule. An adolescent romance injected with a dose of cyberpunk concepts, Koren Shadmi's story feels simultaneously familiar and novel. He explores how we interact with one another and how we fit into the world, enhancing it with a mediation on otherness. And his cartooning is very engaging. It has a throwback feel to it, likely a result of his heavy, occasionally scratchy shading, and his color pencil-esque palette. 


Cutting Edge Siren's Song by Francesco Dimitri and Mario Alberti, published by Titan Comics
I'll admit I know very little about this series, so I did a little googling and found out it's originally a Delcourt series coming to us via Titan Comics and, more importantly, Mario Alberti's art looks absolutely stunning. The previews I've seen make me recall something in-between Daniel Warren Johnson and John Cassaday, like he's got enough Darrow influence but maintains a lighter feel. Couple that with a premise of a science fiction adventure, and I'm in. 

Once and Future Volume 2 by Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora, and Tamra Bonvillain, published by BOOM! Studios
I thoroughly enjoyed the first volume of Once and Future. It is a great re-imagining of Arthur for a modern audience, but it is not merely a update or even a superficially modernized retread of classic tales. Instead, it functions as an examination of culture and heritage, one that pokes holes in nationalism while explaining how we can hold our traditions dear without denigrating others. All the while, it's a mystical fantasy story that is upbeat while being just dark enough. I'm a fan of Mora, and of Tamra, and I love what they produce in this book. So, yeah, I haven't read the second volume yet, at least not past the first issue, and I'm really looking forward to getting back into this world.

Neil's Pick:
Scarenthood #1 by Nick Roche, Chris O’Halloran and Shawn Lee Published by IDW Publishing
A parents life isn’t easy, I’m not complaining, I love my kids but you rarely get time for yourselves. If I’m honest my comic reading passion has taken a HUGE hit over the past 10 years due to being a parent. But I am slowly starting to get back into it when I’m not asleep before 10 pm. So with a comic landing that follows parents who spend their minimal spare time ghost-hunting while their kids are on a field trip, I just have to pick it up. I can’t say ghost-hunting is something I’d like to take up in my spare time but with writer/artist Nick Roche of Transformers (IDW) fame at the helm, this is going to be one hell of a fun read.