December 29, 2020

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Catch It at the Comic Shop December 30th, 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...

James' Picks:

Colonel Weird: Cosmagog #3 by Jeff Lemire and Tyler Crook, published by Dark Horse

Colonel Weird is one of the weirder characters (fittingly) in a story full of them, in the universe of Black Hammer. He's an analogue of Adam Strange, but is constantly traveling to and from the para-zone, another dimension where time appears to have no meaning. And you never quite know *which* Colonel Weird will show up. Will he be old or young? Will he be lucid or confused?  Anyway, Colonel Weird: Cosmagog leans into the, ahem, weirdness and just explores his mind, or maybe the para-zone or honestly I have no idea. It's a bonkers, trippy story that moves from time to time and place to place in his life. But it's heartbreaking and dramatic and intense. And it's brought to life by the incredible Tyler Crook. Now I've always thought Crook was a very talented artist, going back to when I first saw his work in Harrow County, but his work in Colonel Weird: Cosmagog is truly at a whole other level. The colors and detail on every page of this bizarre comic are absolutely stunning.  

Heist: Or How to Steal a Planet TP by Paul Tobin and Arjuna Susini, published by Vault Comics

This is a fun comic where I only read the first issue or two, but I very much look forward to reading as a collected story. Heist is exactly that, a heist story, only the protagonists/thieves are somehow trying to steal a planet? It's fun and engaging and like an Ocean's 11 story in space. I very much enjoyed Arjuna Susini's work on Made Men, and am thrilled to see his fun, engaging linework in a big sci-fi story. It's got all of the elements I want. A down-on-his-luck protagonist who wants to pull off a huge job, a misfit crew, a good antagonist. I'm excited to give this a read as a collected volume. 

Rob's Picks:

Kaiju Score #2 by James Patrick, Rem Broo, and Dave Sharpe, published by Aftershock

The premise here is exactly what you think it is: a heist of a giant monster. My biggest question here is why we hadn't seen this premise before, because even if it doesn't quite stick the landing, it's such a great and fun idea. (This could also be due to me just finishing the Ocean's series and picturing George Clooney convincing his team they have to steal King Kong. For science. Or something.) Naturally, this is not a no-nonsense crime comic, partly due to the nature of the caper and partly because of how Patrick sets up the characters involved. He's helped by the flowing lines of Rem Broo, an artist I'm unfamiliar with. He exaggerates things, but not in the typical way. Everything in this world is a little rounder than you'd expect and just a smidge off-kilter. People don't stand quite naturally, but it's in a good way, not because of poor art skills. It's really slick, like a blending of Paul Pope with Matteo Scalera. The heist is just warming up here, so be sure to get in before things go from silly to absurd.

Aleister & Adolf by Douglas Rushkoff and Michael Avon Oeming, published by Dark Horse
It's a battle of wills as famous occultist Aleister Crowley is recruited into the Second World War to use his magicks against infamous occultist Adolph Hitler. With the 4th Reich looking to the supernatural for victory, it makes sense that Britain might turn to one of its own, as this historical fiction (or is it?) suggests. The trouble is that Crowley himself is a bit unpredictable and his methods might get the world in even graver danger that it was at the hands of the Nazis! I read this when it originally came out, and found it to be spectacular. The writing is crisp, shows a deep knowledge of Crowley's work and history, and it's Oeming at his thick-lined, creepy best. If you missed this a few years ago, don't miss it now. This is one of my favorite uses of Crowley in a story, and I've read quite a few.
 

Sean’s Picks: 

Black Hammer: Colonel Weird Cosmagog #3 by Jeff Lemire and Tyler Crook, published by Dark Horse Comics
There really isn’t any other way to describe this series than to just say it’s name: Weird. The third issue has Colonel Weird meandering through the cosmic space of the 60s counter-culture movement. As one of the more interesting characters from the flagship series, this Black Hammer spin-off has been nothing short of impressive.

Wasted Space #18 by Michael Moreci, Hayden Sherman, Jason Wordie & Jim Campbell, published by Vault Comics

The gang finally make it to Earth! Last issue we learned of the eventual destination and now we see what unfolds. Billy finds his [true?] purpose while Dust & Molly dig deeper into the mystery of it all. Every single issue of this series is packed with existential examinations of the relativity of our existence and uses societal infatuation toward religion as its crux. It’s a loaded tongue-in-cheek read, but it is also tons-of-fun!
 
I Walk With Monsters #2 by Paul Cornell, Sally Cantorino & Dearbhla Kelly, published by Vault Comics
The first issue ended with me scratching my head. The final page alone was what brought me to pause and retrace myself through the previous pages of the story. I find this title very intriguing while also ambitious which combined leave me no choice but to follow along. I have got to know what this girl is up to!