Catch it at the Comic Shop September 4th, 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...

Please welcome Jenn, making her Panel Patter debut! You may recognize her name from some of the Twitter work we did at San Diego Comic-Con this year. Jenn agreed to join the team, and is working hard to get ahold of our social media passwords. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Jenn's Picks:

Pretty Deadly The Rat #1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles, published by Image Comics
Pretty Deadly never fails to leave me wondering. Just in general, wondering. I am consistently waiting to see how the moving pieces of this story are going to interlock, and what is coming next, or searching for a tiny detail in the intensely detailed art that will give just a little bit more of the story to me. The Rat  is no exception, since I am still sitting here...wondering. A portion of this story was conveyed to us through images of a film strip, and I must have revisited these pages and panels a dozen times, just taking them in, and the story within the story they create. We see a wolf in sheep's clothing, the double edged sword of luxuries we may be offered in life, and a forced view of perspective verse reality of these things through beautiful, haunting art. Only one issue into The Rat and I am invested in seeing this ominous story play out.

Something is Killing the Children #1 by James Tynion IV, Werther Dell'edera, Miquel Muerto, and Andworld Design, published by Boom! Studios
This series is a coming at a ideal time, with autumn beckoning, and all things creepy coming to a store near you. Something is Killing The Children, is not just a title- it's a very accurate description of what is going on throughout it's pages. What I always enjoy in a story like this, is that bad things happen in the world and we know it, but when a town doesn't know what is behind it, it's okay for the rational to be thrown out of the window if it means answers. A classic game of truth or dare, some misplaced adolescent angst, a mysterious out-of-towner, some light carnage, seriously- what more could you ask for with a title like this?

Rob's Picks:

Battlepug #1 by Mike Norton, Allen Passalaqua, and Crank! (with Shawn Pryor and Craig Cermak), published by Image Comics
A Conan-like figure with the potential for magic goes on adventures in a fantasy world with his gigantic pug companion, aided by a foul mouthed child mage and a storyteller with two talking dogs. If that doesn't hook you, I can't do anything to help. Mike Norton's amazing webcomic (now available in a collected edition from Image) gets a comic book sequel, with the same style of humor as before, mixed with a touch of serious danger and foreboding (and a minor antagonist that gets the shit kicked out of him that looks more than a bit like a famous Russian politician). Mike's become "The Pug Guy" thanks to this and Grumble, and he's making the most of it by telling a very entertaining Sword, Slapstick, and Sorcery tale with phenomenal artwork, particularly when it comes to expressions.

Pretty Deadly The Rat #1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles, published by Image Comics
One of the most gorgeous books that often confuses the hell out of me is back for another arc, this time in the seedy side of Hollywood. The story here is as mysterious as ever, as we try to find the link between the agents of Death and our humans this time around. Fortunately, if anything, the art is even better. The sequence towards the end in which Rios draws various Reapers dancing their dangerous proposals to a young woman is one of the best I've seen in a comic all year. Intricate in its detail, horrifying in its intricacies, anytime we get more work from Rios is worth spotlighting. I'm looking forward to see how this connects to the first two volumes, and how the outline proposed in the end notes takes shape over the next few years.

Vampirella Red Sonja #1 by Jordie Bellaire, Drew Moss, Rebecca Nalty, and Becca Carey, published by Dynamite Entertainment
Something is attacking people in a tiny Russian town during the height of the Cold War, and Vampirella is determined to figure out its cause. Will even her powers be enough when she comes face to face with a threat from another Age? This one has a bit more set-up than I'd like from a first issue, but the build-up to the final reveal makes the wait worth it, as Bellaire gets ready to throw the unlikely characters together. The use of Russia's reluctance to reveal anything negative relating to an experiment (a timeless concept, if you've been reading the news lately) makes for a great setting, too. Drew Moss's art is always a welcome sight, and he does a really good job of showing Vampi's transformation as well as keeping the mystery going as long as possible. He's a good fit for this story that's piqued my interest and should be on your pull lists.

James' Pick:

Giant Days #54 by John Allison and Max Sarin, published by Boom! Studios
This is issue #54 of a 55-issue series, so I'm not really suggesting that you go pick up issue #54 if you haven't read the series already.  No, I'm suggesting that you go back and read this book from the very beginning, because it's a really special book. If you'd told me that one of my favorite ongoing comic series of all time (easily in my top 20) would be a story about the trials, tribulations, romances and goings-on of 3 women at University in England, I would've been skeptical.  After all, it's not superheroes, it's not science fiction, horror or some mind-bending story about weird abilities and secret agencies.  But this is one of the many reasons I'm so glad to be a contributor to Panel Patter.  Being involved, and reading review copies of books, has really helped me broaden my horizons.

Anyway, back to Giant Days.  My pitch is that I'm not the natural audience for this book, but I have come to really love this story and the characters in it.  I have so much affection for Daisy, Susan and Esther; I honestly feel sad, like I'm leaving a loved one. Writer John Allison and artist Max Sarin (who has been the artist for most of the book) have really brought to life a wonderfully quirky, fun, universe of characters with real personalities, real heartbreak, along with enough absurdist humor and clever dialogue to keep any discerning reader happy.

Neil's Pick:

Something is Killing the Children #1 by James Tynion IV, Werther Dell'edera, Miquel Muerto, and Andworld Design, published by Boom! Studios
Not to ruin the debut issue for anyone, but after reading, this is not "IT". Numerous comments online under promotional materials for this title made my blood boil. You cannot from a title alone say this is a ripoff! Tynion is creating a seemingly horrific story involving children, monsters and a shady organisation. You could say this is Stranger Things, but I assure it isn't. Dell'edera and Muerto do a great  job of setting the dark brooding tone of the comic. Playing with creepy shadows and blue hour twilight to a level that is incredibly haunting. This is a special comic. One that may push the boundaries on the graphic nature of the violence shown.