New comics day may be Wednesday, but you need to read Friday (and other great comics)! Catch it for December 14th, 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:

Friday vol. 2 by Ed Brubaker, Marcos Martin, and Muntsa Vicente, published by Image Comics
I'm so excited to pick up the new volume of Friday. I reviewed the first volume, and outlined the core appeal of the series:
Did you read Nancy DrewHardy Boys, or Encyclopedia Brown stories when you were a kid? I definitely did. They were so much fun. It was incredibly rewarding to try to figure out the mystery. But even more than that, I loved reading stories where kids were smart and capable and could figure things out for themselves. I loved the idea of kids my age going out there, taking risks, solving mysteries (particularly since I was a pretty risk-averse kid myself). But what happens when those kids grow up? A 12-year old running around solving mysteries seems cute and precocious; at 18 years old, it seems odd. And what if one of your dynamic duo of mystery-solvers wants to just grow up and do normal teenager things, and the other one doesn't? Well then, it could get pretty awkward.
That's the basic premise of the absolutely wonderful Friday. First published digitally through Panel Syndicate, this volume from Image Comics collects the first 3 issues of Friday. For anyone who ever enjoyed reading those kid-mystery stories, or for anyone who ever grew up and moved away from home and then came back and it was weird, this is an absolute delight to read. Artist Marcos Martin and color artist Muntsa Vicente perfectly create a charming, snowy New England town where weirdness is lurking just under the surface. And writer Ed Brubaker's script brings to life a wonderful combination of teen angst, self-awareness, and genuine mystery and terror.  

Danger Street #1 by Tom King, Jorge Fornes, and Dave Stewart, published by DC Comics/Black Label
I know very little about this comic, but the creative team really is enough for me. King, Fornes and Stewart previously collaborated on a 12-issue Rorschach series. And while I didn't totally understand where that series ended up, it was a fascinating, compelling read and the art was unimpeachably gorgeous. This series looks like it involves a number of less-known DC characters ("Lady Cop"?) and I'm sure that King et al. will have a fun, weird, engaging story to tell. I'm a huge King fan, so I'm pretty much on board for whatever he's doing. 

Art Brut #1 by W. Maxwell Prince, Martin Morazzo, and Mat Lopes, published by Image Comics
This is a comic from the team that brings you the weird, scary, fun Ice Cream Man. Before they created that story, they told a story called Art Brut that's being reissued now. I've read this first issue and it is a LOT of fun. It's engaging in a completely surrealist way. There's an art detective that solves crimes within art paintings. He's known as the Art Brut. This is a bonkers debut issue, and it's weird and wild and I totally recommend it. 

Specs #1 by David Booher, Chris Shehan, and Roman Stevens, published by Boom! Studios
I really enjoyed the first issue of Specs. It was a fun debut issue that really got me intrigued for more. Two teens send away for a pair of pagic specs, and those specs really do seem to have power to them, and seem to be a lot more than the kids bargained for. That's just a great setup, and the creative tream really delivered in the first issue. The story from David Booher was tremendous fun, and it was brought to life in a very appealing way by Chris Shehan and Roman Stevens. I'm excited to read more.

Love Everlasting #5 by Tom King, Elsa Charretier, Matt Hollingsworth, and Clayton Cowles, published by Image Comics
I adore Love Everlasting. It's one of my favorite comics of the year, because it's weird and smart and gorgeously drawn and colored, and it is clearly going to weird and big places. If you're not already reading this book I highly recommend you get caught up. It's a really special series. Elsa Charretier is a fantastic illustrator, and she really brings these wonderfully vintage, surreal words to life, with the amazing Matt Hollingsworth on colors. Here's more of what I had to say in my review of the first issue:
I'm very excited to see where this story goes. I enjoy a story that plays with the tropes of the genre (Watchmen, Sandman, Planetary, Astro City, many others), and I also have enjoyed stories where the protagonist begins to be aware that they themselves are in a story (see, Animal Man from Grant Morrison), but it's a fine line to walk. If you steer too far into mocking those tropes, you might end up just mocking the entire genre that you're portraying (Scary Movie and other similar parodies, and also see The Boys, of which I'm not a big fan, at least of the comic). Parody might get some laughs from me, but it doesn't interest me as a method of storytelling. And I don't just want to see a meta-story because it's fun or cool. I need the story to still be about something. Through one issue, I can tell you that I think King and Charretier are heading much more in the direction of stories that play with the tropes of genre (in this case, romance) in a loving and thoughtful way.