Catch It at the Comic Shop October 14th, 2020

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...

Neil's Picks:

The Devil’s Red Bride #1 by Sebastian Girner, John Bivens, Iris Monahan and Jeff Powell, published by Vault Comics
If you’re a lover of movies/stories based on Samurai, feudal Japan or Japanese mythology, then The Devil’s Red Bride is for you. This is my most anticipated comic of 2020, one that I wrote about here, and it does not disappoint. A solid first issue that is packed with all of the above as well as being a monumental homage to grindhouse samurai movies of the 60s - 70s. Violence, bloodshed and vengeance whilst at the same time taking inspiration from a real-life Onna-bugeisha story set in the 12th century. Bring me issue 2 asap!

We Live #1 - by Inaki Miranda, Roy Miranda, Dave Sharpe and Eva de la Cruz, published by AfterShock Comics
Browsing through the week's releases on Comixology, We Live caught my eye due to its almost anime-inspired cover art. Reading the summary I didn’t know if I could handle another apocalyptic storyline but on seeking out preview pages I was sold instantly. We Live looks to take huge inspiration from the works of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki with bright, bold colours, fantastical creatures and a story that is central to children. But that’s where the similarities end because add to that violence, horror and bloodshed and this futuristic journey takes on a whole new definition.

 James' Picks:

Rorschach #1 by Tom King and Jorge Fornes, published by DC Comics 

I'm incredibly curious about this book. I really enjoy King's work much more often than not, and I'm currently very much enjoying his Strange Adventures book. This similarly sounds interesting. Except, do we really need more Watchmen-related comics? I don't know.  That's what has me curious. I trust King enough as a writer to think that if he's doing this comic, he's got some interesting ideas. And I don't really know Fornes' art, but what I've seen looks incredible. So, we'll see.

The Devil's Red Bride #1 by Sebastian Girner and John Bivens, published by Vault Comics

So, Neil has already prepared an excellent review of this book, but I'm excited for it as well.  I've read the first issue and really enjoyed it. The comic really conjures a snese of place and time. And as someone who loves classic Samurai movies, I felt like I was taken into one of those engaging stories, like Throne of Blood or Sword of Doom.  I understand Girner has a substantial background in Japanese history and culture, and that comes across thus far in the story. And I enjoyed Bivens' art, it was big and dramatic and violent (i.e., everything it should be. If you're a fan of any sort of Samurai stories, you ought to give this comic a look. 

Sean's Picks:

Dead Dudes by Christopher Sebela, Ben Sears, Ryan Hill and Warren Wucinich, published by Oni Press

This is a story of three buddies who were part of the uprising of the ghost hunting television show genre. They had their moment and are now being faced with eventual cancelation due to the saturated market and a competition that has far surpassed their own brand of ghost hunting television antics. As a last ditch effort to salvage their relevance the team set out to film footage at a location no one has gotten ghost footage before. Though many have tried, none have succeeded. Labeled as the Chernobyl of ghosts, and the haunted gauntlet itself, these dimwits head toward Edgeway Penitentiary in Montana. It may sound silly, and that’s because it is. Combine the cynical wit of Sebela and the childlike illustrations of Sears and the resulting presentation is a welcoming conflict of creative interests that play off each other in ways that a traditional approach to the premise would have failed. I love the fact that this looks like an all ages book but the story dives deep into the mind of Sebela that would prove otherwise. I’m a big fan of this team here, and it is always nice to see the product of their creativity seemingly firing on all cylinders. Dead Dudes is some of the most fun I’ve had reading a Sebela book since the early days of Crowded, and I hope that Sebela and Sears team up again in the future.

Red Mother 9 by Jeremy Haun, Danny Luckert, Ed Dukeshire and Nick Filardi, published by BOOM! Studios

We last left Ian in a situation where I’m still attempting to catch my breath from; and Daisy too, her day-to-day continues to keep my toes firmly planted in the ground anticipating an eventual pivot and balls-to-the-wall sprint on out of here. This title had previously been a slow burn that became a sleeper on my list of comics that I pay active attention to. It actually fell victim to falling off my monthly read list temporarily because it didn’t seem to have the hook that my attention craves. Admittingly, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Catching up with Daisy and her unfortunate story a few weeks ago, I have now been obsessing over the Red Mother eagerly awaiting each new issue. This latest issue is by far the most effed-up! The pacing is eerily hypnotic, and we have a new.. villain (?) in a mask. Daisy is continuing to see red at a more increasing rate and the periodic arguing with herself is beginning to take on a more frightful level than before. Fans of Gideon Falls will sure love this book. It has a similar story thread, but without all the paneling theatrics or supernatural and twisted cognitive realities. This is your straight-up real life horror story. I am all in.

The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys National Anthem 1 (of 6) by Gerard Way, Shaun Simon, Leonardo Romero, Jordie Bellaire and Nate Piekos, published by Dark Horse

Having no idea what this comic was about, I had a massive amount of interest for Killjoys simply for the fact that it’s been some time since we’ve had an original cast of characters coming, in part, from the mind who brought us the Umbrella Academy. Gerard Way knows how to make interpersonal and weird stories accessible and oh-so-likable. That said, my interest is piqued. I cannot wait to see where this story of the Killjoys will go. As expected there are a group of colorfully eccentric characters to start off, and there are plenty… and I do mean PLENTY, of other characters to go around. Way and Simon have distributed foundation for a modestly sized universe for a story that could go far beyond the slatted six issues. Truth be told, I hope that it does. The story is dense, the characters (as mentioned) are eccentric, and the color and artwork are a breath of fresh air. Looking at the interior pages here made me feel like a kid again. It looks and feels like a comic from the Bronze Age of comic books. Being that this is the era where I grew up reading comics, it seems natural for me to feel ironically safe and sound in a book that reads so intense and destructive.

Mike’s Picks:

Devil’s Red Bride 1 by Sebastian Girner, John Givens, Iris Monahan, and Jeff Powell, published by Vault Comics

You know when you find a book, and you say to yourself, “Self, I think this is pretty good,” but you don’t know exactly, because it isn’t in your genre wheelhouse, so maybe a more initiated fan would kind of roll their eyes at it? But then your buddy tells you it’s legit, and you’re like, yes!, and you do a transatlantic virtual fist bump? That’s what I thought after I read Devil’s Red Bride and conversed with my friend, Neil. Girner is incredibly invested in Edo Japanese culture, and it truly comes across in this debut issue.

Little Witches: Magic in Concord by Leigh Dragoon and Hassan Otsane-Elhaou published by Oni Lion Forge

Leigh Dragoon creates a terrifically fun mash-up with Little Witches. It’s a clever choice to re-imagine the March sisters as witches, and the story comes together very nicely just in time for Halloween season. Dragoon has a strong cartooning style, reminiscent of a modern cartooning style heavily influenced by classic Disney animation. It works nicely for this story, and the narrative works as both an homage to the original text and a fun update. 

The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen, published by Random House

I’m always in favor of updates to fairy and folktales, especially the kind that champion the original message of the story while updating it’s metaphorical meaning for a new audience, age, or culture. The Magic Fish looks like a wonderful story, one that uses Vietnamese fairy tales to impart wisdom to a young man, Tien, struggling with how to come out to his parents. Nguyen brings both generational and linguistic distance to the forefront of this graphic novel, moving Tien through fairy tales because they provide the universal message and relevance he needs. From the preview pages I’ve seen, Nguyen does a great job merging the fantastical world with Tien’s own, creating his own modern fairy tale as a result.
Beth's Picks:

Wonder Woman, #764 by Mariko Tamaki, Steve Pugh and Romulo Fajardo Jr, published by DC Comics

This issue begins a new story arc in Mariko Tamaki’s run on the Amazing Amazon, where we see her teaming up with a “reformed” Maxwell Lord. (Hey, nothing can go wrong there, right?) I like Mariko’s take on the character. We get a Diana who is always trying to see the good in people—in the prior issue, she does her best to understand the motivations of fun new villain Liar Liar (and in the end, adopts her pet rabbit when LL goes to jail—fingers crossed the rabbit becomes a recurring character, because I really want to hear more of Diana’s conversations with the bunny). But, it’s clear she’s not letting her guard down with Max, who, to put it mildly, she has some history with. Steve Pugh’s art perfectly capture the mood of this “buddy” adventure, set in Miami. All in all, good superhero fun. 

Back Issue #122, published by TwoMorrows

Not technically a comic, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to give a shout-out to what promises to be a stellar issue of one of my favorite publications. If you’re a Bronze Age comic book baby like me and haven’t checked out Back Issue yet, you’re missing out. Each issue celebrates a theme or character from the Bronze Age—this time out, it’s the Marv Wolfman/George Pérez New Teen Titans. Back Issue features in-depth interview with creators and never-before or rarely seen art. It’s not for casual fans, but if you have great affection for this era, it’s a treat.