Catch it at the Comic Shop August 9th, 2017

[Here's a new feature we're trying out! Hope you enjoy!]

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 this picks three single issues and one trade for your consideration, with a little bit about why we like it.

Rob's Picks:

My Pretty Vampire by Katie Skelly, Published by Fantagraphics.  I love Katie Skelly's linework, which flows across the page, making her the perfect artist to work on comics with a sexual feel to them. This time, it's a woman who's been turned into a vampire who wants to get out from her brother's controlling shadow. I've been looking forward to this collection for some time, which I plan to get at her signing here in Portland in a few weeks. But you should get it now!

Popeye Classics #61 by Bud Sagendorf, Published by IDW.  I had no idea how good these classic Popeye stories were until I started reading them thanks to this series by IDW. Sagendorf's Popeye is a sitcom dad, playing perfect straight man while insane things happen around him. Oh, and of course, he eats his spinach to save the day, but the fun here is often seeing Popeye's reactions to the things that interrupt his quiet day. Sometimes these comics have problematic themes or portrayals, so be aware, but overall, these are often a highlight of my reading month.

Wicked + Devine #30 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matt Wilson. Published by Image.  If you haven't read this series yet, make sure you go back and do so. But this story about a once-in-a-generation group who literally burn out instead of fading away continues to be one of the best ongoings out there.

Groo: Play of the Gods #2 by Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier. Published by Dark Horse.  It's amazing to me that we still get Groo comics, not that I'm complaining! As the series goes on, Aragones' art doesn't miss a beat, as he draws more details into one panel than most artists do in an entire comic, while still "drawing funny" as Sergio puts it. Evanier's scripts can sometimes get a little preachy, but in 2017, that's just what we need. Enjoy stupidity with social satire in this latest series from the long-standing (long-suffering?) creative pair.

James' Picks:

Kill or be Killed Vol. 2 by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser, published by Image.  If a book is written by Ed Brubaker and drawn by Sean Phillips, then it's definitely worth a look. Those two have been telling great stories together for years now, and Elizabeth Breitweiser (on colors) has been a terrific addition. Kill or be Killed is a story about violence and revenge and feels like a critique of vigilantism itself. Plus there may be supernatural elements involved. It's a gorgeous read, and everything this team does is worth a look.

Mister Miracle #1 by Tom King and Mitch Gerads, published by DC Comics.  Tom King has certainly made a splash in comics the past few years.  With Vision, The Sheriff of Babylon and Omega Men, King has created some thoughtful and memorable books along with some artists doing stunning work. King has reteamed with his Sheriff of Babylon partner Mitch Gerads on a new book about Mister Miracle. I've always enjoyed the character of Mister Miracle and the New Gods generally, even in spite of (or maybe because of) the way their weirdness doesn't quite fit in the DC Universe.  From everything I've read and heard in interviews, King and Gerads have brought their A-game; this feels like it's going to be something special.

Redlands #1 from Jordie Bellaire, Vanesa Del Rey and Clayton Cowles, published by Image Comics.  I'm not a huge horror fan, but I am a huge Jordie Bellaire fan. She's a fantastic, versatile colorist and therefore a fantastic artist and storyteller. Seriously, go back and read Zero. Bellaire colors every issue and completely changes her style to suit the artist and mood of the issue. I'm always interested to see artists in one area branch out and try other areas, so I'm curious how a story written by Bellaire will feel. She's got a great partner in Vanesa Del Rey who in Zero and Scarlet Witch has shown herself to be a terrifically moody, atmospheric artist who can do scary and weird.

Low #19 from Rick Remender, Greg Tocchini and Dave McCaig, published by Image Comics.  If you're not reading Low this issue is probably not the best way to catch up. But if you're not reading Low you definitely should be.  This gorgeous underwater futuristic story tells the story of the dying remnants of humanity attempting to eke out an existence underwater and hold on to some sort of hope even though all their circumstances are dark and seem pretty hopeless. But it's a great, weird, engaging read, with stunning dramatic, complex, sexy and widescreen art from Greg Tocchini, with correspondingly vivid colors from Dave McCaig. Low's a great read.

Scott's Picks:

Mister Miracle #1 by Tom King and Mitch Gerads, published by DC Comics.
  James has already recommended this but this has been one of my most eagerly anticipated superhero comics of this year.  Kirby?  Check.  Mister Miracle?  Check?  The writer of 2016's The Vision?  Check.  The creative team behind The Sheriff of Babylon?  Well, I think you get it.  And I have no idea where this preview leads but I want to find out.

Shadows On the Grave #7 by Richard Corben, published by Dark Horse Comics.  This is one of those series that I'm sadly behind on but I'm more than thrilled that the 71-year-old cartoonist is still cranking these out.  This one-man anthology is pure Corben horror and that's basically its own brand of horror.

And for the first of these "Catch it..." posts, I'm going to break the rules and throw in two collections.

Behaving Madly by various, compiled by Ger Apeldoorn Craig Yoe and published by IDW.  After the success of Mad Magazine back in 1954, everyone tried to get in on the humor mag business.  This new book from Yoe! Books collects a number of those stories.  So in here, you get to see Jack Kirby, Ross Andru, Steve Ditko and trying their hand at Mad-like stories.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Artisan Edition by Peter Eastman and Kevin Laird, published by IDW Publishing.  For those of you like me who can't afford those big, deluxe artist editions, IDW has their little brother, the Artisan Edition.  This series has reprinted in more affordable books scans of the original work of Jack Kirby, Wally Wood and Dave Stevens.  It sounds like this edition only collects the first issue plus other miscellaneous pieces but it's been a long time since I read any TMNT (I can still remember buying the 3rd printing of the first issue from a shop in Worth, IL) so I'm looking forward to just drinking in Laird's artwork.