The return of Blacksad (and other books)! Catch It's for August 10th, 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: 

Blacksad: They All Fall Down HC Part One, by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido, published by Dark Horse

I’m thrilled that there’s a new Blacksad comic for the first time in a number of years.  Blacksad is a French-published series that’s released a number of volumes over the years, and it is truly one of the most beautiful comics you will ever read. It’s a noir detective story taking place in the 1940’s and 1950’s of a world that’s a lot like ours, except that this is world full of anthropomorphic animals. The lead character is John Blacksad, a private detective who is a large cat.  You might initially be thinking that you’re not really interested in something fantastical like that. You want more realistic, grounded stories. Well, the good news for you is that the stories here are incredibly real and grounded and compelling. Apart from the fact that the characters are animals, this is classic noir detective storytelling. There’s been murder, and politics, and racism. And like I said, you’ll be left absolutely slack-jawed by the lush, detailed cartooning, and the incredible personality that artist Juanjo Guarnido puts into every character. Don’t miss out on this one. 

Love Everlasting #1 by Tom King and Elsa Charretier, published by Image Comics

I adored this first issue of Love Everlasting (my full review here). This is a romance comic series but it’s also a series that’s about romance comics. Even if you haven’t read a ton of romance comics, you’ll catch on with the meta aspects of the story. Write Tom King and artist Elsa Charretier do a terrific job of drawing you into the premise and the story, even as they change things around you and pull the rug out from under you. Charretier Is a wonderful artist whose classic, clean style works very well for the vintage settings of the story. This series is a blast and you’re going to want to get in on it. 

Starhenge, Book One: Dragon & Boar #2, published by Image Comics

I've only read the first issue, but Starhenge is a WILD series so far. Some of it takes place in the present day, and involves teen romance. And some of it takes place in the future, in as wild of a sci-fi looking future as you have seen in a while. I am guessing it will all tie together, and I'm excited to see how that happens. Wrier-artist Liam Sharp is doing AMAZING work here. It's detailed and opulent and weird and exciting. This series is big and exciting and ambitious, which is I think exactly what comics needs right now. 

Sean’s Picks:

There’s Something Wrong With Patrick Todd #2 by Ed Brisson, Gavin Guidry, Chris O’Halloran & Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou and published by Aftershock
Last months introduction of Patrick Todd left me more than a little bit stunned. That debut was far from dull and left a mark as big as a machete makes a sound. It’s been a bit since a debut comic impressed me as much as this one did. The final pages of that debut were somewhat ambiguous suggesting that Patrick, our protagonist, had already met his maker. There’s definitely something wrong with Pat, alright. But what, exactly? His telepathic influence is hands-down one of the more interesting threads in this story. The gray area he meanders through as he attempts his own greater-good is the other piece keeping my interest. The second issue, out this week, will (presumably) take off as fast as it’s predecessor. I expect things to get much more bloody. Ed Brisson is a fine storyteller. He has paired himself here with the phenomenal colorist and lettering team of Chris O’Halloran and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, respectively, along with new-ish illustrator, Gavin Guidry. Gavin’s lines and texture will bring you into the story with a cartoonish realism that doesn’t miss a beat, and he keeps you there as Brisson’s fiction becomes believable and sustainable. This one’s still early, folks. Go grab issue two this week ..and while your out browsing—- pick up the debut as well.

Orphan and the Five Beasts TP by James Stokoe and published by Dark Horse
You don’t need me to tell you about this one, do you? This is Stokoe’s masterpiece. Written, drawn, colored, and lettered all by the hands of the man himself. Orphan tells an epic story about five beasts that must be beat. Who can stand the challenge? Must I remind you.. these pages will be jam-packed full of ultra detail and grind house horror crossed with martial arts choreographic half, full, and double page splashes. This book is a visual masterpiece. Stunning in every sense of the word.

Rob's Pick:
The EC Archives: The Haunt of Fear Volume 2 by various creators, published by Dark Horse (originally EC Comics)
You can usually pencil me in for some old horror comic reprints and this is no exception, as Dark Horse continues to reissue these in affordable paperbacks. This second set of Haunt of Fear covers issues 7-12 and has been completely recolored digitally using the great Marie Severin's original palette. With Al Feldstein leading the writing brigade, we've got the usual murder's row of creators working on murdering their characters, including Graham Ingels, Jack Davis, Johnny Craig, and Joe Orlando. Craig even has writing credits this time around on a story called "The Vamp!"  and "...on a Dead Man's Chest!" Just so much classic comic fun in one volume. These books are great for comics history--and for just enjoying a good, gruesome time.