Catch it at the Comic Shop January 3, 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:

Boom! Box Mix Tape TP by various, published by Boom! Studios.
This is a collection of the Boom! Box Mix Tape comics from 2014 - 2016, and it should be a lot of fun. Those were some great comics, which contains short stories highlighting a number of different, great all-ages comics published by Boom! Box. I'd recommend this as a sampler of the various offering you can pick up on at Boom! Box, in particular any Giant Days or Lumberjanes stories.

Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #1 by Mark Russell and Mike Feehan, published by DC Comics.
I can't want for this book. Mark Russell completely turned the Flintstones on its head with his amazing 12-issue series (with artist Steve Pugh) where he turned the stone-age Honeymooners homage into an incredibly complex and searing satire of religion, commerce, and society. With that in mind, he's turning the character of Snagglepuss into a gay southern playwright in the 1950's going up against Communist witch-hunts. I'd say this feat has a high degree of difficulty, and I can't to see how it goes.

Paper Girls #19 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson and Jared Fletcher, published by Image Comics.
Paper Girls is one of my favorite comics, and having just reread the first 3 trades, I love it even more. It's fun, engaging sci-fi story, and full of memorable characters and friendships and great moments. All of it brought to life with great art from Cliff Chiang and Matt Wilson. Everything is coming to a head in the current arc, and I recommend going back to the beginning to catch up, you absolutely won't regret it.

Rock Candy Mountain #7 by Kyle Starks and Chris Schweitzer, published by Image Comics.
Rock Candy Mountain was one of my favorite surprises of 2017, this is a funny, action-packed story of a hobo searching for a mythical city, riding the rails in post-WWII America. But it's also a profound, sad story of trauma and loss. That just happens to have the devil as a character. I highly recommend it.

Mike’s Picks

Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini # 2 by Cynthia von Buhler, published by Titan
Something interesting is happening at Titan, and landing acclaimed artist and illustrator, Cynthia von Buhler, for her first solo comics work is indicative of the company’s seriousness. A staff member of my LCS put the first issue in my hands, and I have to say that it was remarkable. Von Buhler’s art resembles stained glass, and it’s a superb pairing for her neo-noir story.
X-Men: Grand Design # 2 by Ed Piskor, published by Marvel Comics
Speaking of beautiful books, Ed Piskor’s X-Men history is as well-designed and conceived a superhero comic that I’ve seen. Everything from Piskor’s unique and occasionally abstract layouts to the rich and textured paper stock make this all too brief miniseries quite remarkable.
Batman: White Knight # 4 by Sean Gordon Murphy, published by DC Comics
We’re 3 for 3 for impeccably designed single issues this week. Murphy’s alternate take on the Batman/Joker relationship has felt both refreshing and familiar. Like the early days of Tom Taylor’s Injustice, the premise of White Knight feels like it teeters on the edge of probability within the mainstream DC universe. Murphy’s subtle narrative and gradual release of motive make it even more intriguing.
Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles # 1 by Mark Russell, Mike Feehan, and Ben Caldwell

No collected editions caught my eye this week, but this Snagglepuss update piqued my interests when I first saw it solicited. This is a Snagglepuss story set amidst American’s infatuation with McCarthyism. That’s all I got. I don’t have anything more to say. I can’t explain how entertaining that sounds.