Catch It at the Comic Shop October 24th, 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:

Isola vol. 1 by Karl Kerschl, Brenden Fletcher, MSassyk and Aditya Bidikar, published by Image Comics
Isola is a series that I think will appeal to fans of manga (the creators note that this will appeal to fans of Miyazaki movies - I haven't seen any so I can't speak to that), stories with not a lot of words, and stories with ridiculously beautiful art. It's a story of myth and magic and adventure through the forest. There is some seriously jaw-droppingly beautiful art in this book.  Karl Kerschl is that good of an artist, and Msassyk provides incredible colors. I think this is a story that will read very well collected.

Bloodstrike Brutalists by Michel Fiffe, published by Image Comics
This will appeal to fans of the 90's Image Bloodstrike comic, and will also appeal to fans of Michel Fiffe's art generally. He's got a remarkable style that feels like nothing else to me. I wasn't a reader of the old Bloodstrike comics but I still enjoyed this book. It's a gritty black-ops team, they have weird and violent missions. There, that's all you need to know. Anyway, it's a fun read and Fiffe does incredible work. 

Dead Kings #1 by Steve Orlando and Matthew Dow smith, published by Aftershock Comics
This sounds like a futuristic dystopian story, which I'm not normally drawn to, but it sounds weird enough to be really interesting. Smith is an excellent artist, and Orlando is a very talented storyteller, whether with his own individual projects like Undertow or his terrific DC work in books like Midnighter or Justice League of America. He tells edgy, interesting stories, and that makes this a book worth checking out.

The Amazing Spider-Man #8 by Nick Spencer and Humberto Ramos, published by Marvel Comics
I really can't say enough good things about this book since Nick Spencer has taken over as writer. Forget Hydra-Cap or anything else like that, and remember that Spencer is the writer of one of the funniest comics in years, Superior Foes of Spider-Man (drawn by the incomparable Steve Lieber). Amazing Spider-Man has been a fun, entertaining, back-to-basics Spidey story, with excellent art and fun characters. Spencer's voice for Peter is excellent, this is worth a look.

Neil's Picks:

Cold Spots #3 by Cullen Bunn and Mark Torres, published by Image Comics
No one writes horror comics quite like Bunn, the guy certainly has the gift of “creeping you the hell out”. Cold Spots is no different. If you love anything that has a supernatural mystery vibe then this is for you. Bunn once again creates a gripping plot with fleshed out characters that suck you in from the off. Add to that Mark Torres’s haunting artwork and you have a creepy modern-day ghost story of the highest order. With elements of The Wicker Man and Poltergeist, Bunn is once again out to make your skin crawl. You may think twice when the air around you suddenly goes cold in the future. You will see something quite regular when it comes to my weekly picks, Cullen Bunn features heavily. This series is a perfect example of why.

Aliens Essential Comics Vol 1 TPB by Mark Verheiden, Mark A. Nelson, Sam Kieth and more, published by Dark Horse Comics
After the likes of Amazing Spider-man and X-men, Aliens comics were the top of my list in the late 80’s, early 90’s. Being in my mid to late teens and experiencing Aliens for the first time on VHS, my appetite for more content of the lovable Xenomorph grew. When seeing Mark Verheiden’s Aliens: Outbreak on the shelves, my eyes almost exploded.
Set 10 years after Aliens, Outbreak follows Newt and Hicks (sorry no Ripley) as they struggle to come to terms with their experiences on LV-426. Everything is here, scientists wanting to use Xenomorphs as bio-weapons, facehuggers, Colonial Marines, Alien Queen you name it Verheiden covered it. Add to that love, loss, despair and you have a very human story. Nelson’s artwork on Outbreak in stunning. His Xenomorphs, human characters and ships are incredibly detailed. Adding to the fact that in my opinion, this book is the best Aliens story ever put into comic form (sorry Dead Orbit, but it is).
I won’t go into details on the other stories covered in this release. But if you have a huge love for the Aliens franchise and have never picked up these early stories, get this from your comic shop tomorrow!
(Sidenote: Due to these stories being canon for the franchise, Alien 3 sort of changed the way these books were republished. In later editions, Newt and Hicks names were changed to Billie and Wilks. Ridiculous I know but thought I best give you a heads up.)

Sean's Picks:

Isola vol. 1 by Karl Kerschl, Brenden Fletcher, and Aditya Bidikar, published by Image Comics
A mythic place of the dead referred to as Isola is the impending destination for our cast of characters here as they lead us on a journey of fantasy told with visually stunning and decompressed art throughout. This is a story of courage. This is a story of fear. This is a story none such like so many others trying to over explain itself into existence. This first volume of Isola brings a visually stunning
masterpiece alongside a simple narrative that drives home a most compelling story of fantasy and the like. I binge read this on a sunny afternoon one day last week, and it was an exquisitely fun ride. I
enjoyed this one and I am excited to see where this creative team takes us with it.

Abbott Vol 1 by Saladin Ahmed, Sami Kivelä, Jason Wordie, and Jim Campbell, published by Boom! Studios
This is a gem of a book. It's solid and it's drama. It's spellbinding and it's gripping. It's timely and it's transparent. It's classic so much that it's relevant. It is everything you could ask for in a story told in nearly any format. For this story in particular, it's the 1970's in Detroit and we follow the life of a badass black woman as she battles the occult and solves the unsolvable as a journalist for one of the top newspapers of its time. The beginning hits way harder than the middle and ending, but don't let that dissuade you from this book come Wednesday because the first several pages of this 5 issue
mini series is some of the best I've seen all year for a debut. With Halloween just nearing one week away I suggest everyone who reads this to then immediately head out and pick up this book.. but don't just take my word for it.. Rob's got a lengthy dive into the book upcoming. [This is why it's not on my list today!-Rob] So if it's not my heads-up that tips you off, be sure to stick around for Big Rob's exploration of it coming soon. [I...don't think anyone has ever called me that before, Sean. -Big R?]

Army of Darkness Halloween Special by Chad Bowers & Chris Sims, Edin Marron, Chris O’Halloran, Benito Cereno, Sam Lotfi, Dee Cunniffe, and Taylor Esposito, published by Dynamite Entertainment
Holy shit, Bruce Campbell. Ash Williams is back, folks, with a vengeance and a chainsaw. With this
dearly beloved one-shot we've got two shots of Ash in two raucously haunting stories that will disappoint no one with any amount of expectations for the premise. And for all you kiddos out there who only know Bruce Campbell as the snooty usher in Sam Raimi's adaptation of Spider-Man 2... well then..find out how to watch one of the two Evil Dead films (sorry parents!) and then come back and get this comic to extend the fun! I cannot stress this enough: if you are remotely familiar with The Evil Dead or Army of Darkness films then I swear to god you will not be disappointed and thank me immediately thereafter once you finish reading this one-shot Halloween special so graciously put together and distributed by Dynamite Entertainment.

Burnouts #2 by Dennis Culver, Geoffo, Lauren Perry, and Dave Dwonch, published by Image
The first issue of Burnouts created so much buzz (see what I did there?) about itself that it became one of my weekly recommends one week last month. This week the follow up to the debut comes out and advances the premise around a pasture of teenagers defying their parents and defeating alien invasions.. but the devil's in the details when they realize getting blasted is the only way to fight the
impending doom that is the alien invasion. Silly. Stupid. Fun. Awesome! This comic gets a high five from me (and another pun) and this one comes with a strong recommend to anyone looking to soften
there palate with so many hard-hitting heavy comics out there these days.

Shadowman #8 by Andy Diggle, Renato Guedes, and others, published by Valiant
Andy Diggle just ended the first story arc and is now beginning a new one with the eighth issue of Shadowman. With so many played out origin stories and overtold premises it's refreshing to see someone's bold take on a new supernatural someone with the abilities to tackle the unknown. I'll be following this story to it's end.. and finger's crossed that end doesn't come anytime soon. I've grown tired of caped and cowled comics lately. They all feel corporately contrived. I'm glad we have books like Black Hammer and Shadowman to show us how to look at these characters differently.

Rob's Picks:

Fante Bukowski 3 by Noah Van Sciver, published by Fantagraphics
One of the things Noah is best at is creating characters who don't understand how awful they are. Fante Bukowski is his crowning achievement in this regard--he's a "struggling, misunderstood genius" who is actually a hack trying to emulate his literary heroes--who probably aren't anyone you want to model yourself after in the first place. In the first two volumes, Noah's ability to skewer everyone you wish you didn't know in creative circles was flawless. I've no doubt he's got big plans for this final installment, drawn in his distinctive, tight paneling style. Get the other two if you can, and make sure you read this one, too. You'll laugh at Fante--and cringe because you know him at every single damned con.

FTL Y'all: Tales from the Age of the $200 Warp Drive, by Various Creators, published by Iron Circus
The premise is that space travel is really cheap.
The publisher is Spike.
The creators include Evan Dahm, Blue Delliquanti, Rachel Ordway (Jerry's daughter), and Panel Patter alumni Maia Kobabe.
How can you not be excited about that? Everyone who knows anything about anthology comics knows that Spike is one of the best in the business at making anthologies, and a sci-fi theme in her hands is not to be missed. The idea of space being available to all is such an uplifting one, and Spike's ability to bring together creators of all walks of life into the mix ensure the variety of stories will keep readers turning the page for how Evan, Blue, Rachel, Maia, and a ton of others approach the idea of anyone's jump into the space race.

Banana Sunday Full-Color Reprint by Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin, published by Oni Press
Banana Sunday was my first introduction to the amazing, Eisner-winning Bandette team of Coover and Tobin. Together and separately, they're two of the best in the business. And this was their start. It's the story of Kirby Steinberg, a young woman who's responsible for three talking primates. Didn't we all go through that phase? While Kirby dodges integrating her school life with keeping folks away from her simian friends, we watch Coover's art develop on the page and Paul's signature scripting wit shine through. These two have always been amazing creators. Now's your chance to see that first-hand--and in color, too. Don't miss it!