Catch It at the Comic Shop June 26th, 2019

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 Pick:

 Punk Mambo #3 by Cullen Bunn, Adam Gorham, Jose Villarrubia, and Dave Sharpe, published by Valiant
Punk Mambo might be her own worst enemy as she crashes the ring of loa-stealers, only to find she's up against something far larger than she imagined. The character study begun by Cullen Bunn in the first issue really pays off here, as we see Mambo in over her head and nearly completed destroyed. It's a strange feeling for her, and makes for a really strong story. Things looks really bad right now, and I love how even if Mambo wins, she's likely to lose, a key factor in superhero magic stories. Meanwhile, Adam Gorham's linework is phenomenal. His creatures really look intimidating and they push the panel borders. I also love how he portrays Mambo getting her head handed to her and the panic on the faces of the loa. This is a fun series that has held strong through the first three issues.

Mike's Picks:

Wasted Space Volume 2 by Michael Moreci, Hayden Sherman, Jason Wordie, and Jim Campbell, published by Vault Comics
If Wasted Space isn’t my favorite ongoing, it’s certainly in the running. The second arc collected here amps up the zaniness, as Billy, Dust and crew continue to find brand new ways both into and out of trouble. Wasted Space is the ultra-postmodern version of space opera, the ultimate blend of low culture into high sci-fi concepts. Moreci is a master of these motifs, working in nods to the genre and expertly navigating the intergalactic setting. But it’s not the setting or genre that makes this a must read. This could be a western, a noir, or a realistic satire, and I think it would be just as compelling. Moreci’s character work continues to drive the heart of the book, and the art pair of Hayden Sherman and Jason Wordie are among the best working today.

Fearscape TPB Volume 1 by Ryan O’Sullivan and Andrea Mutti, published by Vault Comics
Fearscape was my favorite comic of 2018 after the publication of only two issues, so I can’t pass on the opportunity to recommend its collected edition, even if I have some economic guilt about it. Nonetheless, Fearscape is a near masterpiece, a wonderfully original conceptual meta-narrative that explores the nature of fiction and the creative process as a whole. O’Sullivan explores a number of high literary concepts, meditating on the tripartite role of the author via intent, distance, and ownership, meditating on these concepts through the use of a fairly tricky concept to pull off in sequential art, a fallible narrator. Andrea Mutti’s linework is especially well suited to the misty, ominous world of the Fearscape, punctuated by Vladimir Popov’s textured, earthy tones.

BTTM FDDRS by Ben Passmore and Ezra Claytan Daniels, published by Fantagraphics
It feels like I’ve been waiting forever for this book to come out, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it Wednesday. Master cartoonists Ben Passmore and Ezra Claytan Daniels combine for what looks to be a scathing critique of gentrification in Chicago, with Daniels scripting and Passmore handling the art duties. Anyone familiar with Passmore’s work in Daygloayhole or The Nib should be well aware of his views on the subject. Daniels’s recent masterpiece Upgrade Soul explored similar themes using a different model, but it was a poignant look at what makes people who they are, and what consequences come with the same type of short-sighted greed that drives the same motivations behind alleged urban renewal.

James' Picks:

Interceptor Vol. 1 by Donny Cates and Dylan Burnett, published by Vault Comics
I don't know much about this series, but "Donny Cates" and "vampires" is enough to draw me in. I really enjoyed the FCBD issue of this series, and look forward to reading more. Cates has a really strong voice as an author, and a great grasp of science fiction and fantasy story elements, and keeping those high concept ideas balanced with a strong emotional core.

   Wasted Space Vol. 2 by Michael Moreci and Hayen Sherman, published by Vault Comics
I love this book (like really, really love it). It's a great, fun, weird, moving, sharp read, and one you don't want to miss out on. This is grimy sci-fi adventures with pointed commentary on religion and politics, along with some great, vulgar, absurdist humor. So go out and pick up volume 1 AND volume 2. I promise you'll enjoy them.

The Weatherman Vol. 2 #1 by Jody LeHeup and Nathan Fox, published by Image Comics
The first arc of this series was terrifically bonkers sci-fi adventure, about your average, everyday Weatherman on Mars who may in fact have previously been a terrorist who destroyed the Earth. This book is weird and poignant and funny, with strong writing from Jody LeHeup and spectacular, kinetic art from Nathan Fox.

Fearscape by Ryan O'Sullivan and Andrea Mutti, published by Vault Comics
This was a great, witty literary read. I fell behind on the book as it was coming out in single issues, but I really enjoyed the first issue (review here).  O"Sullivan has a great ear for narration and dialogue, and Mutti's art in this story is slightly ethereal and nicely emotive. For fans of fun, smart reads like The Unwritten, I definitely recommend Fearscape