Celebrate the Miracle of Comics! Catch It at the Comic Shop December 21st, 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: 

Dead Seas #1 by Cavan Scott and Nick Brokenshire, published by IDW Publishing

Ghosts are real and they're valuable. Apparently the ectoplasm from ghosts has all sorts of uses such as curing diseases. And for a educed prison sentence, Gus Ortiz is willing to spend time on the most dangerous Ghost prison. So, this is a pretty wild premise but it sounds like a lot of fun. It's been a while since I checked out a new indie book, and this one sounds promising and definitely like a weird and interesting premise. I've also enjoyed Nick Brokenshire's work on prior books, so I am happy to check this one out. 

Break Out #4 by Zack Kaplan, Wilton Santos, Jason Wordie, and Jim Campbell, published by Dark Horse

Zack Kaplan is on a roll these days, as I am currently enjoying a number of his different series (this book, Forever Forward, Metal Society (which recently concluded), and Mindset). As I've said previously, he's great at coming up with fun, accessible sci-fi premises, and then bringing those to very entertaining life. So in Break Out, these weird alien(?) cube ships have appeared above the skies of Earth and have been abducting teenagers. At first the governments seemed to care and want to do something. But eventually, they just kinda gave up, and adults are telling teenagers "welp, you might just get abducted by aliens, lol sorry." At first I was like "come on, adults wouldn't just be blasé about it like that" but then I thought some more about the past few years and the callous disregard that some people seemed to have with regard to the lives and well-being of others and I realized that no, Kaplan is spot-on. This series concerns some teens who are not just willing to accept the status quo, and they are going to try to free the kidnapped teens. It's a really engaging series, and I love the artwork from Wilton Santos (with colors from the great Jason Wordie and letters from the equally great Jim Campbell). This is a really engaging series, and I'm interested to see how it wraps up.

Catwoman Lonely City HC by Cliff Chiang, published by DC Comics

I adored this series. Catwoman: Lonely City takes place ten years in the future of the DC universe, and Catwoman has come out of jail to a very changed world, but she's going to pull off one more heist. It's a fun setup, but that doesn't even really do the series justice. This is Cliff Chiang's first foray into comics writing but you wouldn't know it. He doesn't overwrite the series, and really does let the art tell the story. Which is great for Cliff Chiang, the artist! Because Chiang's work here is extraordinary. It really feels like it's never been better (which is absurd considering how amazing his prior work is) - he's at the top of his visual storytelling game, and the whole book is so gorgeous. This is such a fun, poignant, and action-packed read, any comics reader would love it.