Department of Truthful Comics, Real and Fictional: Catch Its for February 23rd, 2022

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...

James' Picks:

Olympia HC by Bastien Vives, Florent Ruppert, and Jerome Mulot, published by Fantagraphics
The Grande Odalisque was one of my favorite comics of 2021. It was a sexy, stylish, action-packed heist story, and some daring art thieves trying to steal some of the most famous pieces of art in the world. And the great news is that the creative team is back for more! In Olympia, there are new heists, more art to be stolen, and presumably more action, drama, and intrigue. This series is an absolute blast, and anyone who loves a good heist movie should pick this up.

Snow Angels TP by Jeff Lemire and Jock, published by Dark Horse
Snow Angels is weird, snowy, post-apocalyptic horror drawn by Jock. Honestly, I can just stop there. Jock is an amazing artist, and one of the best artists I've seen at bringing weird, cold, terrifying worlds to life (go read Wytches, but I wouldn't do it right before bed). This is a story where the entire world seems to be reduced to life in this icy trench. You can't wander too far or terrible things will happen. I read the first issue online and decided that I'd rather read it when the whole story is collected, so I am excited to pick this up.

Department of Truth #16 by James Tynion IV, Alison Sampson, and AdityaBidikar, published by Image Comics
Department of Truth continues to be a must-read comic about a scary world where conspiracies have the power to shape reality. I mean, ok, that just sounds like our world. And that's the idea. This current arc of the story involves the use of guest artists, and I'm excited to check out the new issue drawn by Alison Sampson. Sampson's a terrific artist in works such as Winnebago Graveyard and Sleeping Beauties, and a lot of fantastic cover work. She's got a rich, detailed style that I'm sure will be used to great effect in this comic.
The Rush #4 by Si Spurrier, Nathan Gooden, Addison Duke, and Hasan Otsmane-Elhaou, published by Vault Comics
Do you like scary comics set in the Canadian wilderness? If so, then I have wonderful news for you. Vault Comics' The Rush is an absolute must-read. It's a weird, tense, compelling comic with an overarching sense of existential dread, in addition to the occasional really scary monster or...something else. It's a smart series which has a great sense of verisimilitude (I can really feel the cold desolation of the story). Artist Nathan Gooden and colorist Addison Duke are a great team in this regard (they also teamed up for Barbaric, another of my favorites of 2021). This is some really great, smart horror, you should check it out.

Action Comics #1040 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Shawn Aldridge, Riccardo Federici, Adriana Melo, Lee Loughridge, and more, published by DC Comics
Action Comics really is SO good right now. Superman and members of The Authority (in a more modern iteration) are currently imprisoned on Warworld, a really terible place. I wouldn't recommend vacationing there. Superman and others are forced to continually engage in gladiatorial combat. And Superman's powers are mostly gone right now, due to some sort of circumstance, and due to the fact that Warworld is powered by red suns, which negate his abilities. But this story is so compelling, and I love the different location and the difficult circumstances that everyone is dealing with. I'd highly recommend picking up all of Johnson's work on Action Comics, as well as the miniseries Superman and the Authority, which serves as a prequel to this story. 

Rob's Picks:

One Hundred Columns for Razorcake by Ben Snakepit the Complete Comics 2003-2020, published by Silver Sprocket
It seems like a lifetime ago when I was involved at all in the zine world, in addition to comics. I'm not even sure what that world looks like. But I always enjoyed diary comics, and Ben Snakepit's work was some of the best out there. This collection is all of Ben's work for the magazine, covering an amazing 17 years. Think of how much you've changed from the early days of the Iraq War to the last days of the Trump years. Now think about that being documented in comics form. I can't even begin to imagine it personally, but it's all here and ready for you to read in another great collection from Silver Sprocket.

Edgar Alan Poe's Snifter of Death #5 by Kirk Vanderbeek, Jon Proctor, Rob Steen, Shane Oakley, Norm Fields, Joel Ojeda, Juan Castro, and Others, published by Ahoy
Kirk Vanderbeek takes us on quite the trip, providing two stories in this latest issue of one of my favorite ongoing anthologies. First up is a riff on "The Telltale Heart" that involves a man who schemed to scam and ended up in the ultimate con job. Proctor's really creepy, almost oppressively inked work really makes everything look sinister and matched the story perfectly. The second, "Postal" is more of a Poe pastiche, with a detective on one hell of a trip to solve a crime. Shane Oakley pushes the boundaries of narrative in some awesome ways here, with brilliant colors, angled lines so sharp they could cut the reader, and a lot of fun ways to illustrate the narrative. There's also some text pieces, HG Wells, and more in a packed plethora of Poe. 

Ice Cream Man Vol 7 by W. Maxwell Prince, Martin Morazzo, Chris O'Halloran, and Good Old Neon, published by Image
This series just continues to be a monthly highlight for me because of the fact that despite being into its third year of publication, Prince, Morazzo, O'Halloran, and Good Old Neon are still experimenting with themes to riff on and add their signature style to. Best of all, they aren't just experimenting with plot--they're doing so with form, like the sideways "family tree" comic, which both plays with how we read a comic *and* the idea of fate--but through the lens of science. "The Morphometasis" is one of my favorites of the whole series so far, really nailing the homage/parody/horror dynamic. And they do some of the best promo copy in all comics, which I'll leave you with: "It's a compendium of comedowns carefully calibrated for curious and crestfallen content come join us below."

 Sean’s Picks:

Orphan and the Five Beasts #4 by James Stokoe and published by Dark Horse
Orphan Mo’s quest comes to a hyper stylized and ultra violent conclusion just as any Stokoe series should. James Stokoe stuns readers again with another visual cataclysm in the best possible way. The orphan warrior we have been journeying alongside the entire time is now poised to stake claim to her victory against the five beasts that have tormented her master’s legacy. Stokoe readers will not leave disappointed as there are plenty of trademark visuals and bloody panels that only he could put to a page with a single pen, as do most books with this name on its cover. Stokoe’s Orphan and the Five Beasts is a final issue you should pick up this week. Even if you hadn’t had the chance to read the previous three, trust me when I tell you that any slice of a Stokoe comic is a comic to behold.


The Last Ronin #1 5th printing & #2 fourth printing by Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Tom Waltz, Esau & Isaac Escorza & Shawn Lee and published by IDW
If you hadn’t heard by now, your probably out somewhere living in a shell ..or a half one anyway. The teenage mutant ninja turtles have a five-part post apocalyptic comic series going and it’s first and second issues have their fifth and fourth printing in shops this week, respectively. Anytime Eastman and Laird come up with something new for these four is a shell of a good time. Maybe it’s nostalgia, but maybe it’s not. Either way, I urge you dear readers, go get your copies of these TMNT comics. The Last Ronin 1 and 2 are the beginning of a dark and gloomy story told within a future we have yet to see of our beloved turtles ..until now.

Ice Cream Man Vol.7 by W. Maxwell Prince, Martin Morazzo, Chris O’Halloran & Good Old Neon and published by Image
Always a good time reading issues of Ice Cream Man. As we have come to expect, these dreary and somber vignettes told within an anthology loosely held together by the series’ titular character, this comic series exceeds expectations issue after issue. The innovative measures that this series continues to pull off is matched by nearly no other. Picking up these collected volumes is a perfect way to fill one’s reading afternoon. Volume seven, which is out this week, consists of the oversized twenty-fifth anniversary issue and three other of the series’ most ambitious stories to date. There are many comics that I like and look forward to reading, but Ice Cream Man is a series I love. Every single time a new issue comes out it is the first one I read and the last one I file away.