Don’t Take Any Wooden Nickels: Catch It at the Comic Shop July 14th, 2021

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...

Sean’s Picks:

Silver Coin #4 by Jeff Lemire & Michael Walsh and published by Image Comics

Michael Walsh has created a universe with just one nickel. His new series, now four issues in after this week’s issue collaborated with Jeff Lemire, is about as flat out creepy and scary as a picture book can get. Walsh really knows how to make a page talk at you and make you wiggle around a bit. He has been pairing himself with different writers each month for a story involving the cursed coin, and this week Lemire holds the reigns. Loyal readers of this new series will notice the pacing differences in this issue, but loyal readers of Lemire will shrug it off and be satisfied nonetheless. This really is a strong series with an endless amount of potential in the long term. Just so long as he doesn’t take any wooden nickels and try passing them off as silver coins. Cheers to you, Mister Walsh. You’ve managed to spook my socks off.

Haha #6 by W. Maxwell Prince, Martin Morazzo & Chris O’Halloran and published by Image Comics
This has been a good miniseries from one of the best writers in indie comics today. This week’s final issue brings W. Maxwell Prince back with his Ice Cream Man counterpart, Martin Morazzo, as they close things out in a style that no one else could. This is a heavy and dark issue, but hey ..if you’ve read anything by this pair then you’re well aware of that dynamic. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the cataclysmic conclusion to the dreadfully sad comic series with the funny name: Haha.

6 Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton #2 by Kyle Starks, Chris Schweizer & Liz Trice Schweizer and published by Image Comics
Four former sidekicks of Trigger are on the hunt for his alleged killer. As second issues go, this one is as strong as they get. Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton is a whodunnit story with enough guts and glory and humor to slingshot this band of idiots to the front of the line. There isn’t a lot of brains between the four of them, so let’s hope that things get a little more focused as they add sidekick number five and then six to the game. And the name of the game is solving the Murder of the most hated actor in Hollywood, Trigger Keaton. I’m really having a great time reading this comic. It’s a joyride that has Starks at his best while Schweizer is giving the bonkers wild goose chase a Saturday morning cartoon vibe. This title is one for the pull list. And things have only just begun. 

Canto III Lionhearted #1 by David M. Booher & Drew Zucker and published by IDW
Volume 3 starts now in Canto III: Lionhearted. If you like quests then you’ll love Canto. These are the comics I love. Ones that I can devour and lose myself in and then hand it over to my kids so they can do the same. The Shrouded Man is back and Canto now is to face him head on but must first seek allies with those whom which used to be his slaver. This isn’t my first time recommending a Canto title and it won’t be my last either. The best part about these comics are that they are in little bite sizes so you can pick and choose which portions of Canto’s ever-evolving quest you’re ready to experience. 

Bunny Mask #2 by Paul Tobin, Andrea Mutti & Taylor Esposito and published by Aftershock Comics
Aftershock Comics have another gem with Bunny Mask. This is a horror story about a detective and a woman in a bunny mask. Who is the person behind the mask and what will it take for our detective to reach his breaking point. The debut last month was one of my favorite issues of June and I see no signs of that hype slowing down. Mutti’s illustration style picks up the horror vibe that Tobin is putting down so well that I felt goosebumps at very specific moments while reading it. Will the detective uncover the mystery of the bunny mask? Should he even be snooping around at all? Or will something else take place worse if he doesn’t? This new horror comic is fresh and exciting and worth every silver nickel spent. Go...get it.

James' Pick:

Ninjak #1 by Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido, published by Valiant Comics
I've only seen the first few preview pages for this one but I'm thrilled to pick it up. Jeff Parker is a wonderful writer whose work is always filled with humanity and humor. And Javier Pulido is a fantastic artist whose style works for detailed, skillful sequential storytelling with the sort of line you might not necessarily expect in a ninja comic (his style, while very much at home, feels at least tangentially related to other incredible Spanish artists such as Marcos Martin and Javier Rodriguez). While I like the character, I haven't felt like I really needed to read a Ninjak comic in the past few years, although there have definitely been some good ones. But it's just this sort of "outside the box" creative team that has me very excited to pick up this book. I expect a fun, smart comic with amazing visuals and a lot of great ideas and heart. 

Mike’s Picks

Ninjak 1 by Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido, published by Valiant Comics
This is how you relaunch a series. Javier Pulido’s art on this book is a beautifully rendered pop art expression, connoting the perfect feel for secret agent aesthetic of the character. He mixes textures very well, and leaves the art just flat enough at points that it is almost mesmerizing to read. Jeff Parker rightly leans into this aesthetic for his story and he scripts an excellent first issue that feels as new reader friendly as it does connected to the greater Ninjak backstory. Parker accomplishes this task by imbuing the issue with hints at the past while setting it in a world that reflects some recent international events. Parker has always known how to update characters for modern audiences without losing a feels or the underpinning nostalgia of legacy, and along with Pulido’s organically perfect artwork, he’s reached a new high on this one. 

2000 AD: Regened Volume 2 by Various Artists and Writers, published by Rebellion/2000 AD
This latest collection of the now quarterly devotion to all-ages and new reader friendly progs gathers a bunch of great stories that work for readers of all ages. It certainly is a wonderful introduction to the world of 2000 AD, but it also includes some of the best short stories of the year, most prominently Roger Langridge and Brett Pearson’s steam-punky take on Mary Poppins, Pandora Perfect. Not to be outdone, however, is Cavan Scott and Paul Davidson’s Anderson: PSI Division two-parter and the exceptional Department K story from Rory McConville and the artist of my current favorite 2000 AD strip, P.J. Holden. Perhaps the best thing about this collection is the fact that it is self-contained, allowing the reader, young or old, to dive into the world of 2000 AD without trepidation.