Catch it at the Comic Shop August 15th, 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:

Crowded #1 by Chris Sebela, Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, Triona Farrell, and Cardinal Rae, published by Image Comics
I've read the first issue of Crowded and I can say that it's one of the funniest, sharpest comics I've read this year. It's without question the most "2018" comic I've read in 2018. Writer Chris Sebela has real skill for humor, human insight, and also for being able to capture the absurdities of the current zeitgeist. I really don't want to spoil the jokes for you, so I'll just say that this story takes the idea of crowdfunding and the gig economy to their natural conclusion. Like the best satire or science fiction (which I suppose this is, sort of) this feels like something that takes place right now, only pushing the envelope a little more. The art in the story is brought to terrific, engaging, fun life by the team of Ro Stein, Ted Brandt and Triona Farrell. There's great character work, as these character are exaggerated but their humanity and personalities really come through. There's excellent and creative sequential storytelling here, and it's enriched by terrific, bright, gorgeous color. Crowded is funny, insightful, dramatic, topical, weird, and really engaging. You should pick it up.

Pearl #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos, published by Jinxworld/DC Comics
Pearl is a crime story about a talented tattoo artist for the Yakuza, and it sounds like it's got supernatural elements. This comic is brought to you from the same creative team that brought you Alias/Jessica Jones. I don't know about you, but that's literally all I need to know. I absolutely trust the Bendis/Gaydos pair to bring their A-game and tell an interesting, violent, creative, weird story. I look forward to it.

Gideon Falls #6 by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino and Dave Stewart, published by Image Comics
I absolutely love this comic. This is the comic that's made me second-guess my "I don't like horror" stance. This comic is scary in the best possible way, it's just full of lingering existential dread. The shape of the evil is (I think) going to be revealed in this issue, and the creative team has done a fantastic job of building up the threat while never quite directly showing us what it is. The art in this book is just spectacular. Sorrentino is incredibly detailed with thoughtful, creative layout choices. And with Stewart on colors, his pages have never looked better. This is a great book.

Kill or be Killed vol. 4 by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser, published by Image Comics
From the creative team that brought you Fatale and The Fade Out. Seriously, just stop there. That's all I need to know. But I've read the first 3 volumes of this series ad it's not exactly what you expect. It's a modern setting which is a change of pace, but it's a story with crime, possibly supernatural elements, and of course, absolutely stunning art. I'm excited to pick up the fourth volume of Kill or be Killed and see how the story is wrapped up.

Rob's Picks

EC Archives: War Against Crime Archives Vol 1 by Various Creators, including Johnny Craig and Al Feldstein, originally published by EC Comics, republished by Dark Horse
Collecting the first six issues of this series, which purported to feature real crimes, this entry into Dark Horse's EC reprints adds another dimension to their collections, moving from outer space to the inner city. (Couldn't resist the poetic nature of the phrase, sorry.) I don't recognize a lot of the creators, but any time you get more Johnny Craig and Al Feldstein into the modern world, it's a good thing. I'm a sucker for Golden Age comics and true crime so here's this week's catnip for Rob.

Crowded #1 by Chris Sebela, Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, Triona Farrell, and Cardinal Rae, published by Image Comics
There's no hiding that I'm a fan of Chris Sebela, but the man just writes some amazing comics. Crowded is the latest gem, which I had the pleasure of grabbing a preview for back at ECCC. Imagine that if you're disliked enough, people can tag-team to have you, well, murdered. Such is the fate for poor Charlie, who hires a defender...but it might not be enough. This is both farce and social commentary, and Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, and Triona Farrell create a distinctive look for the comic that's both angular and flowing at the same time, with a bright palette. There's odd angles, splash pages you'll linger over, and more awaiting you in a book i'd just about recommend to anyone. Go get it and thank us later!

Archie Meets Batman 66 #2 by Jeff Parker, Michael Moreci, Dan Parent, J. Bone, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and Jack Morelli, Published by Archie/DC.
I don't even know what else to say about this that I didn't last month, but in case you missed it due to it being SDCC week, a murderer's row of great creators combined their forces to bring the Adam West Batman to Riverdale. I had the distinct pleasure to get Dan and Mike to sign my copy of issue one at the Con, and the first issue was a great use of the characters. Now Robin and Batgirl have to pose as students at Riverdale...oh that's not going to end well. I'm in for this at the same Bat Time, same Bat Channel -- my local shop.

The Thing and Human Torch by Dan Slott collection, including Various Artists, published by Marvel Comics
I can't say that I'm a huge fan of the 2018 Dan Slott, but once upon a time, he was one of my favorite creators. This collection combines two of his best works--the all-too-short Thing series and the Spider-Man/Human Torch mini, which took an amazing look at all three characters and really get into what makes them tick. They're great stories, but they're also a lot of fun, using the long history of three of Marvel's best (and their relationship with each other) to make amazing work. I don't recall all the artists on these stories, but they're top notch, too. I am so excited to see these back in print, and if you at all love Bashful Ben, Johnny, and Peter--you owe it to yourself to read these.

Mike's Picks:

Bartman – Spectacularly Super Secret Saga by Max Davison, Rex Lindsey, and Jason Ho, published by Bongo Comics
I’ve still not fully processed the news that Bongo will be shuttering its presses this fall. Bongo has been steadily releasing print versions of their digital-first offerings, providing some degree of solace in these final months. Bongo’s Simpsons books have always been some of the more entertaining books, and they’ve always excelled at this parody-cum-pastice style, much like the namesake television show in its heyday.

Batman 53 by Tom King and Lee Weeks, published by DC Comics
Tom King’s Batman run is rightly celebrated. Along with a spectacular array of collaborators, he has crafted 50+ Batman issues that, as a whole, represent some of the more unique perspectives on the Dark Knight in his 75+ year history.  I don’t know if I’m reaching here, but “Cold Days” might represent the best of King’s run. At the heart of this story is a question about not only whether Bruce Wayne should be Batman, but more so whether or not Batman should exist at all.

Stellar 3 by Joe Keatinge, Bret Blevins, and Rus Wooton, published by Image/Skybound
Ok – I honestly don’t know what Image book to pick this week, so I’m going to go with Stellar 3. In addition to Stellar, Image is also releasing new issues of Gideon Falls, Proxima Centauri, Coyotes, Mage, Weatherman, Manifest Destiny, Wicked and Divine, and Evolution, along with the debut of Crowded. I mean. Wow. You can’t go wrong. But I’m picking Stellar specifically because it’s a beautiful book. It’s a space opera fantasy that asks big questions about how a planet would handle the discovery of both sentient life and alternate realities. Blevins’s art is cinematic with a touch of the avant-garde. He uses novel shading and outlining techniques to create both blends and separations, emphasizing the character-to-character interaction while underlaying the chaotic setting below. 


Sean's so new, we didn't get a chance to ask him for a bio! So let's get right to it!

Sean's Picks:

Analog 5 by Gerry Duggan, David O'Sullivan, and co, published by Image
After getting past everyone from the cops to Nazis, Jack is back in the last issue of the first arc of this surprise personal favorite of mine. I picked up the first issue back in April only to be immediately consumed by its massively addicting plot of a future that, though it seems distant and far-fetched, can only be assumed to be closer than we hope. Issue five, out this week, has Jack taking his often witty and sometimes hilarious mishaps to the streets of Tokyo. Will he survive? More than likely.. but more importantly.. what one-liner dripping with sarcasm will be quoted on the back cover metaphorically hugging Jack’s narrative with bitter taunt? This title will continue to remain on my pull list during its brief break to set up the second arc.

Gideon Falls 6 by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrenentino, and co, published by Image
Father Fred. Norton. Angie. Sheriff Miller. THE BLACK BARN! Gideon Falls has been a personal favorite of mine since it’s first issue and I had been looking forward to it for a modest amount of time leading into that date as well. I have high expectations for any comic with Lemire’s name attached, but this one in particular has no reason to second guess its relevance in the market. In addition, Andrea's art is drawing new boundaries for the medium (pun intended) and Lemire’s storytelling has hit a peak that was not expected, even after having just finished reading the newly concluded Descender. The upcoming first trade will be a highly recommended book that will eventually be in stores after this weeks final issue of the first arc is released. Fans of comics .. fans of Lemire.. fans of Andrea's.. fans of horror.. go read this book!

The Weatherman 3 by Jody LeHeup, Nathan Fox, Dave Stewart, and Co, published by Image
The somewhat bipolar tone of the first two issues of the weatherman fit so perfectly together it was near impossible to not read them a third time leading into this weeks issue three. Nathan Bright and the various cast of characters in this still new and often quirky sci fi story of life on mars is exactly the pace that a sci fi comic book thriller needs to be. Moments after you are rooting for Bright and secretly cheering his escape you can easily stumble into a surprised state of wonder regarding whether or not he is even worth the effort exhausted in the time spent. It is still fairly unknown exactly where this story is going, but I remain on the edge of my seat examining each detail and word of every single page.