Catch It at the Comic Shop October 3rd, 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...

Rob's Picks:

These Savage Shores #1 by Ram V, Sumit Kumar, Vittorio Astone, and Aditya Bidikar, published by Vault Comics
It's the 18th Century and some elites in the British Empire need to export a troublesome peer, so they send a sloppy vampire to the Silk Road. The problem is that there are even greater monsters at the edges of the East India Company's reach, as we find out in this first issue that does a wonderful job of meshing the arrogance of vampires with the arrogance of Europeans when it came to their various colonies. Ram V's script is a slow build here, but it works, and gives you plenty of time to linger on the linework of Sumit Kumar, which, combined with Astone's colors, is absolutely lush and gorgeous. This is yet another hit from Vault--a perfect gothic horror romance for your October reading pleasure!

What If...Spider-Man #1 by Gerry Conway(!), Diego Olortegui, and others, published by Marvel Comics
First of all, it's great to see Gerry Conway doing some more comics work again, after so many years of writing great TV shows (and yes, I know it's not his first work back). Second, it's great to see What If? coming back, even if it's only in one-shots like this. Third--Flash Thompson as teenage Spider-Man? Yes, please! We know Flash matured over time and was Venom for awhile, but that's after seeing war (which war depends on the comic!) changed him. This is the Football Star Flash, and it's not going to end well. I can't wait to read this!

Dead Rabbit #1 by Gerry Duggan, John McCrae, Mike Spicer, and Joe Sabino, published by Image Comics
The Dead Rabbit was a force in the Boston underworld, attacking everyone from the Boston Red Sox to drug dealers. But he's out of the game and has been for a long time, right? Not so fast. When he discovers a low-life checking out at his dead-end retail job with all the tools to dispose of a dead body, the Rabbit returns. And nobody's happy about it. I'm not usually a good mark for books about violent anti-hero types, but Duggan drew me in with his plot that combines the character's longing with a desire to do the right thing (the low life is really low, as it turns out) and what happens when a famous figure gets back into a game that's changed so much. Combined with McCrae's natural ability to draw seedy shit extremely well and if anything, he's gotten better--his figures here look fuller and better defined than I remember from books like Hitman. This one's gonna be gritty, so plan accordingly.

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden, published by First Second
I'm so happy to see this webcomic turned into a collection for people who don't like to read comics on their computer screens or in bits and pieces. Tillie Walden is an amazing talent in comics, with the ability to draw imaginative worlds that leave the reader breathless as you look deep into the lines and pick up new details each time you review a page. This story features ruined buildings, boarding school romance, space exploration, and more. If you've never read any of Tillie's work, this is a great place to start.

Spookhouse 2 #1 by Eric Powell, Steve Mannion, Kyle Hotz and others, published by Albatross
Okay, so I know almost nothing about this one, but what I do know is that Eric Powell writes really cool horror stuff for adults, and his art is amazingly cool. The Goon is a rare series I've re-read multiple times. I own a few of the singles from the first Spookhouse and they were great, all-ages fun, with characters who, if I'm remembering right, are mostly kids or teens. This is going to be a riot, and I think it's already on my pull list. If not, it will be on Wednesday afternoon.

Sean's Picks:

Analog Vol 1 by Gerry Duggan, David O’Sullivan, and others, published by Image
A while back I wrote a review for Panel Patter of the final issue in this first arc. I called it one of the more compelling comic stories to come out this year. I still stand by this claim. This week new readers can pick up the collected first volume in one easy swipe. This is a tale of bad-assery and of the great American story of the lone gunman. Jack McGinnis is arguably the most entertaining character in print today. His wit, his inhibition, and his gringo machismo have him destined for a long standing cult following. Get this collected volume to catch yourself up then add the title to your local comic shop subscriptions. Trust me, coming from someone who has nearly 2 dozens on his own pull list.. this is the one that I always read first.

Me the People by Pia Guerra, published by Image
Get this one before it’s gone. Pia Guerra, artist best known for Y: the Last Man, has put together a brilliantly satirical yet honest look at our current commander-in-peach.. err.. chief. Given the constant cluster smuck every literal day it’s refreshing to be able to let your guard down momentarily and laugh at all the blazing vortexed infernos consuming our every spare moment.

Batman White Knight Collected Edition by Sean Gordon Murphy, published by DC Comics
I’m getting a little tired of the Bat, truthfully. The story seems played out and there’s only so many versions of Bruce Wayne’s origin story or how he and the Joker battle it out to a match of wits and tricks. Sean Gordon Murphy, author and artist to one of my personal favorite creator owned series Punk Rock Jesus, has surprised the most sagacious cynic with White Knight. Fans of the Bat want a good story, we desire new direction and an inventive take on why Bruce Wayne even continues to be the Batman at all. This collected volume of eight issues explores right v wrong from both sides of the Bat, from both sides of the Joker. There are some hidden gems and some respectable surprises in this story that most longtime fans of the character will enjoy. I have every cover of the series, and I’ll stand here before you and admit that I’ll be purchasing the collected volume as well.

Star Wars: Tales from Vader’s Castle 1 by Cavan Scott, Derek Charm, and others, published by IDW
This pick is straight up for my kids. They, hands down, school me constantly on Star Wars fun facts. Whenever they come with me to my local comic shop with the intent of grabbing a book with me they, nine times out of ten, will choose a back issue of Star Wars Adventures. I recently told them about IDW’s intent to branch out the series into additional titles. This one in particular got my son most excited as it naturally feeds into his like for the antagonist.

Border Town 2 by Eric M Esquivel, Ramon Villalobos, Tamra Bonvillan, and Deron Bennett, published by DC/Vertigo
It’s no secret that I am a big fan of what is happening over at Vertigo with the relaunch. Some of my all-time favorite comics have come from this DC imprint. Border Town’s first issue last month took me back with great surprise and I have told multiple (non-comic reading) others of its necessity. A timely tale of immigration, integration, teen displacement, and raw unadulterated expression of modern American culture regarding lines drawn in the sand more commonly referred to as borders. This is a huge favorite of mine for the year and it’s only on its second issue. Eric and Ramon have something special here.

James' Picks:

The Dead Hand Vol. 1 by Kyle Higgins, Stephen Mooney and Jordie Bellaire, published by Image Comics
I've liked the superhero comics that I've read by Kyle Higgins, but I've positively LOVED his creator-owned work. This includes C.O.W.L., Hadrian's Wall, and The Dead Hand.  I think he's got some very cool ideas and I enjoy the retro or neo-retro settings of his stories. The Dead Hand is a terrific espionage series with some twists that you won't see coming. It's got strong writing from the aforementioned Higgins, and fantastic art from Stephen Mooney and Jordie Bellaire.

Euthanauts #3 by Tini Howard and Nick Robles, published by IDW/Black Crown
I recently caught up on the first 2 issues of this series, and this is some weird, interesting, complex stuff. There are people that are exploring the great beyond by "tethering" themselves to the recently deceased. But the main character in this story seems to have been pulled into this very weird undertaking unwittingly. There's a lot going on and it's cool and weird and has style and fun and mystery to spare. Howard has quickly become an up-and-coming writer to watch, and the art from Nick Robles is very strong here.

House Amok #2 by Christopher Sebela and Shawn McManus, published by IDW/Black Crown
The first issue of this comic was some seriously messed up stuff. There's a family that appears to be suffering from a group/mass delusion, with some really insane ideas, and they're doing all sorts of crazy and murderous things. However, one of the family members seems to have come out of the delusion. It's even weirder than it sounds, and I really dug the first issue of this comic, from master of weirdness Chris Sebela and artist Shawn McManus who's fun art provides an unsettling contrast to the subject matter. 

The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #1 by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba, published by Dark Horse Comics
I recently reread the first 2 volumes of The Umbrella Academy for the first time in years, and forgotten what a fantastic, weird, stylish series it is. So much odd, funny, dark stuff going on. So I'm thrilled that there's more to enjoy. I've read this first issue and I'll be honest, I don't totally know what's going on. But I'm not worried, I know that with this creative team I'm in good hands. And Gabriel Ba remains an absolutely stunning, stylish artist. This is a fun read.

Danny's Picks:

Border Town by Eric M. Esquivel, Ramon Villalobos, Tamra Bonvillain, and Deron Bennett, published by DC/Vertigo
With a debut issue that may well make my top 5 this year, it's safe to say I'm excited for this next installment. Vertigo has something special on their hands here, with enough potential for a long-lasting run. Esquivel's easy-flowing script that actually sounds similar to how high school kids talk (finally!) and the art team of Villalobos and Bonvillain's gorgeously rendered environments make it one of the most entertaining and stylish books on the shelves.

Lone Ranger Volume 3 #1 by Mark Russell, Bob Q, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, published by Dynamite
Oh boy, is this series a dream already. Russell has quickly climbed the ranks of my favorite writers across such titles as Prez, Flintstones, and Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, but giving him the reins to one of America's most enduring Western fictions has made me excited like no other series could. Paired with the immensely talented Bob Q and letterer/comics analyst/PanelxPanel editor Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, Russell is bringing the titular character, along with Tonto and Silver, back to the mainstream in a look at the mythologizing of the American West. And I can't wait!

Redlands #7 by Jordie Bellaire, Vanessa Del Rey, and Clayton Cowles, published by Image Comics
After a mesmerizing opening arc, the Redlands coven is finally back on the shelves. I was extremely impressed with the first volume of this series from first-time writer, long-time colorist Jordie Bellaire and stunningly talented Vanessa Del Rey as the creative team delivered an atmospheric horror experience like no other.

These Savage Shores #1 by Ram V, Sumit Kumar, Vittorio Astone, and Aditya Bidikar, published by Vault Comics
These Vault Comics people really have some cool stuff, don't they? As unfamiliar with the creative team as I may be, colonial gothic horror is right up my alley and early reviews promise a delightful slow burn. Very excited for this one!

What If? Spider-Man #1 by Gerry Conway, Diego Olortegui, and others, published by Marvel Comics
The classic Marvel series returns in a series of one-shots, all beginning with a simple question: What if? In this installment, veteran webhead writer Gerry Conway returns to add a twist to Spider-Man's origins. Here, Flash Thompson, the high school bully who tormented Peter Parker for decades is Spider-Man. I've long been a fan of the What If? series of comics, and this twist shepherded by such a talented writer should prove extremely entertaining.