Tagged: Ed Brubaker

Here I have bought some comics. A lot of comics actually.

All heat, no jokes, once again y’all!

Wolverine_and_the_X-Men_Vol_1_37Wolverine and the X-men #37

Jason Aaron/ Giuseppe Camuncoli/ Andrew Currie

Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages

Chapter 9 of the Battle of Atom crossover is such a pain to review on some level. On the script end of things, it’s a fine book, as Aaron delivers on several fronts. If I was discussing this book on the quality of it’s script alone, I’d say it was fantastic. But visually this art in this issue isn’t very good. The book credits Camuncoli as the penciller, and Currie as the finisher. What that means exactly, I don’t know, but it results in some less than great visuals when all is said and done. The art seems very rushed, which is unfortunate, because this event has been fantastic so far in that department, and it seem odd that Camuncoli, a veteran of the 2x a month shipping Spider-books, couldn’t deliver. Because man, this is an ugly book  and it rarely, if ever, matches the standard of Aaron’s script. Hopefully this is more of a mistep than an indication of what the final chapter will be like, because it would suck and blow if the final chapter of this event was as poorly drawn as this one was.

sex-criminals

Sex Criminals #2

Matt Fraction/ Chip Zdarsky

Image, $3.50, 20 pages

When the first issue of #SEXCRIMINALS dropped, I thought it was a very good issue, but it was not at all what I expecting given the contents of the creator’s tweets. It was great, but more 16 Candles than the 40 Year Old Virgin, which I did not see coming. Issue #2 is probably the funniest and vulgar comic I’ve read in years, starting from a page to page recap on the first page to a very candid and HILARIOUS letter page, ending with a picture of Fraction getting a nipple pierce in Toronto sex club. This book is not afraid to be an adult comic, and it’s all the better for it. Fraction writes 2 very human leads with a strange and funny power and Chip Zdarsky’s visual gags are gut-busting. His day job as a Canadian magazine/newspaper (I forget) cartoonish is on full display here, and the product is better for it. This was easily the best book I read this week, and I can’t recommend Sex Criminals enough if you’re A) 17 or older B) Not easily offended C) A little bit of a pervert.

comics-velvet-1Velvet #1

Ed Brubaker/Steve Epting

Image, $3.50, 20 pages

Before I discuss my problem with Velvet, let start by saying how GREAT this book looks. Steve Epting’s, with Elizabeth Breitweiser on colors, art is some next level stuff, as Velvet is easily one of the best looking comics in an already strong stable of artists over at Image. That being said, the Brubaker-snob in me feels this script is VERY by the books, especially after reading his other excellent creator owned series Fatale, and his modern-classic run on Captain America. While it’s an original concept, it feels a bit like an unused Black Widow script at times.  Of course your enjoyment may vary, because you may not be a Bru-snob like myself. And it’s by no means a bad comic. I’m just a little let down is all, and maybe a  little spoiled by Fatale. It’s definitely work a look if you’re a Brubaker/espionage fan though, even with a ton of great Image books already flooding the market.

dd32_bgDaredevil #32

Mark Waid/ Chris Samnee

Marvel, $2.99, 20 pages

Speaking of books that are hard to review, here’s Daredevil. Is Mark Waid one of the best writer still working in the industry? Yup. Is Chris Samnee somehow doing new things with his art, reaching Bruce Timm’s level of quality in some panels/pages. Hell, even the sound effects are used cleverly (not sure if that’s Samnee or VC’s Joe Carmagna) and are super fun. Again, this is brief, but that’s because this book remains flawless. Unless you hate great comics, y’all need to be reading Daredevil. I’m tired of trying to come up with new ways of trying to say how great this book is.

4pd1logoPretty Deadly #1

Kelly Sue Deconnick/ Emma Rios

Image, $3.50, 20 pages

As anyone whose read this column before can tell you, I’ve never had a problem admitting the fact that I’m a HUGE fan of Kelly Sue Deconnick’s writing. AND DAMN, KSD’s creator owned book’s debut comes out swinging, with Emma Rios’ best work to date, making this book a visual tour-de-force. A fantasy-western with a female lead, Pretty Deadly’s debut may not exactly be the most straightforward read, but it’s the one of the best look books to debut this year. Rios’ work is both dynamic and trippy, and it’s fun just to stare at her panel work and layouts in this book without reading any dialogue. Her character designs are pretty great, and it’s a shame that we don’t see our lead until the final page of this issue, because Ginny’s possibly the coolest new character of 2013 I.M.O, at least on a visual level.

KSD’s script is sharp, even if it’s a little abstract at time. Her work here is VERY different from her Captain Marvel scripts, aside from the fact that both books have some kick ass female leads. But it’s still fantastic, making Pretty Deadly a must read, especially with Jordie Bellaire’s colors completely the package, making this one of the best looking takes on the wild west in some time. In a white-male heavy industry, books like Pretty Deadly are rare , but definitely needed and welcomed. Arguably one of most important launches of the fall, and it delivers. Buy on sight, assuming it’s still in stock.

Tune in next time for…THE END OF BATTLE OF ATOM! SAGA! AND BECAUSE WE ALL DEMANDED IT, THE RETURN OF NEIL GAIMAN’S SANDMAN!

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New Comic Book Day October 23rd 2013

It’s New Comic Book Day(!) and the store is open from 8am to MIDNIGHT.

Here’s some of today’s new single issues.  Our picks of the week include Pretty Deadly #1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios, Velvet #1 by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting and Marvel Now What.

Pretty-Deadly-COVEREnjoy your day!

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CRIME! MYSTERY! BOOBED!

I don’t mean to purposefully draw themes from all the comics I want to talk about each week, but there was a glaringly obvious coincidence between a lot of the wonderful books coming out today (provided you’re reading this today. (Well, today is always today, but my current today is different from your current today, unless you’re somehow reading this right now, then our today’s are in fact the same) But I digress). Crime! Mystery! Seeecrets! These are driving forces in almost any fictional series, but feel particularly prevalent right now. It could be because we’re rounding the final corner into fall, where a trench coat, lit fireplace, and foggy streets feel so inviting.

Find a warm coffee shop, sip your London fog, and get comfy with these intriguing reads:

Fatale #17

One of the most highly acclaimed series to come out of the past couple years is Ed Brubaker’s Fatale. Brubaker teams up once again with Sean Phillips, who illustrated their previous award-winning titles Sleeper, Criminal, and Incognito. It’s safe to say that when it comes to the criminal noir genre, they have their sh*t together. Originally published as a 12-issue maxi series, the story blends intense criminal noir with magical realism to bring us the adventures of the ostensibly immortal Josephine as she journeys from the ’30s and upward, running away from gangsters and dark forces alike. The narrative jumps to various perspectives, allowing us to see Jo through different eyes, and occasionally giving us stand-alone stories of other femme fatales in the 1200’s and the old West. There’s a strong sense of classic dames and cigarettes from the plot’s 1930s beginnings, but the inky noir, aided by Phillips’s heavily shadowed art, allows that sense to pervade the story up through modern times. You can catch up by picking up the three TP’s that are currently out, and stop missing out on all the action.

 

Infinity Heist #1

The impending doom of Thanos, and an alien invasion, have Earth’s mightiest heroes scrambling to keep the destruction of Earth at bay. But with their attention elsewhere, Spymaster, and a slew of classic Iron Man baddies, have decided this is the perfect cover to start pulling off heists of epic proportions. Author Frank Tieri has run the gamut on Marvel titles, including New Excalibur, Iron Man, Wolverine, Civil War, and World War Hulk, so he’s no stranger to titles that round-up insanely large teams to do some damage. Tieri, with artist Ramon Bachs, is tapping into the classic heist narrative (duh, you may be thinking, hence the name; suck it, say I) to combine old-school detective and Tony Stark’s classic wit. The focus with this book is the mass villainy that imitates the Oceans 11 (through 13) round-up of characters from the benches who have mad hoop dreams. I.e. Unicorn, Blizzard, Whiplash, Firebrand, Titanium Man, and Whirlwind. I know you’ve been waiting since 1993 to see a mass reunion of these characters.

 

 

Sex Criminals #1

If you’ve been reading these reviews at all, which is obvious that you have, you know that I’m a big fan of Matt Fraction. It seems like he has his hands all over the comic book world like a horny teenager, which makes his newest series all the more auspicious. SEX CRIMINALS! Because I feel like it needs to be shouted. What happens when two people who can stop time by doing the horizontal hokey-pokey meet up for the first time? They rob banks to raise money for a closing library. Obviously. This is definitely a comedy that borrows from modern sex comic films, and but aims to do more than just titillate your funny bone. Chip Zdarsky pulls a look together that speaks to the lighthearted, and cartoony elements of the story, and aides in getting a youthful side across rather than a book that exclusively creates long-legged and big-boobed characters.* So far this book is pegged as an ongoing series, or a long form mini series, depending on how busy Matt gets while he writes every other single comic title that exists. Basically, two funny dudes writing about sex; there’s not much to lose.

*Apparently ‘legged’ is a grammatically correct term, but ‘boobed’ is not. Interesting…

 

Sin Titulo HC

Finally. Finally, finally, finally. Cameron Stewart’s beautiful web series, Sin Titulo, is finally getting a print release from Dark Horse. One that stays true to its web origins in terms of format, but offers readers the ability to shove this book in their friends hands and make them read it if they haven’t because they should be reading this book. Phew, there. On the outset, this book is about Alex’s journey to discover the importance of a mysterious blonde woman found in the photos that belonged to his grandfather. The journey takes him unexpectedly down a rabbit hole that is filled with shady people, ghostly haunts, and a murder charge. Described as noir fantasy, Stewart employs slightly surreal instances, served between realistic moments that make us question what we just read, but except these moments as disorientating fact. Such a psychological journey is made that much more haunting through the minimally colored tones, and expert use of negative space. The world of Sin Titulo is engaging, and Stewart urges to pull you straight down the rabbit hole with Alex.

 

Criminal Macabre: Eyes of Frankenstein #1

It’s hard to imagine this scenario happening: 30 Days of Night runs for 10 years on IDW; Criminal Macabre’s main character, Cal McDonald, appears off and on since 1990 mainly with Dark Horse and later with IDW; IDW allows author Steve Niles to kill off the 30 Days series in a publisher crossover battle between Cal and the vampire Eben Olemaun, culminating in a new Criminal Macabre ongoing series called ‘Eyes of Frankenstein’, that will continue Cal’s life post battle, which will be put out by Dark Horse. Hard to imagine, but it all happened. And I, for one, am so glad it did. Cal is an occult detective that drinks too much, does too many drugs, and seems to never really get it together, except when he’s kicking ass by solving paranormal cases. Eben has left Cal broken physically and mentally, and this news series follows Cal trying to slowly pull himself together, or at least pull himself out of the bottle. One of the things that will help him achieve that is his newest case. Frankenstein’s monster has lost his eyesight, due to a new disease that has ghouls falling ill and dropping deader than before. The new series brings back favorites from the universe, and introduces new faces promising to aid Cal in his search for healing and truth. Featuring art by “Wasteland’s” Christopher Mitten, this mini-series is the perfect introduction to your new favorite world of crime, drugs, and ghouls.

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I have bought some comics, and man, Chris Samnee is really good at drawing

I’m not sure about all of you guys, but I’m the type of comics enthusiast who’s active on twitter. And not in the sense where I spew e-hate at Ben Affleck for signing on to play Batman (although I did retweet about a dozen or so jokes of various degrees of hilarity.) I prefer using twitter to give props to my favorite creators, because that is the type of thing you should be doing on twitter. Example: Daredevil #30 dropped this week (Marvel Comics, $2.99, 20 pages). Chris Samnee, Eisner winner for 2 years in a row, returned to the book after  a 2 issue leave and MAN, he absolutely killed it on this issue. I went on twitter immediately to praise Samnee and he was cool enough to say thanks by the way. But yeah, issue #30 is great. As you can tell by the fantastic cover, the Silver Surfer is in town, and Samnee proceeds to draw the hell out of him, DD and this issue. There’s a double spread that screams poster/print/desktop background. It’s great stuff. Mark Waid isn’t exactly a slouch either, building off of the cliff hanger from the last issue to make DD’s life more problematic and delivering another fantastic story with Chris. Javier Rodriguez‘s color also make this book pop, and I doubt Samnee’s art would look as good as it does with another colorist. A done in one done right, Daredevil #30 is another fantastic issue in a run that can do no wrong.

My other Marvel pull for this week is Avengers Assemble #18 (Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages), an issue where a Kelly Sue Deconnick script got a much needed shot in the visuals department thanks to veteran artists Barry Kitson.  Kitson is a huge improvement over some of the artists we’ve seen as of late on the book, and I really hope he sticks around. The issue is the 1st of a 2 part Infinity tie-in, and it’s definitely a solid read, and the type of tie-in you can appreciate without reading (or understanding) the core mini. The book returns to it’s Spider-Woman heavy focus, exploring Jessica’s mind set post event in Hawkeye and the recently concluded Enemy Within crossover. Deconnick has a great handle on J-Drew; she’s a heavily flawed character, but still very down to earth and fun to read. While a few bits of the issue could have done with a little more continuity explanation, and Kitson manages to draw Thor’s costume a few different ways throughout the script, AA #18 is still a fun read.

And finally, here’s my look at the third volume of Fatale (Image Comics, $14.99, 128 pages). Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillip’s excellent noir meets Lovercraft series was a monthly pull of mine, but I decided to go with trade waiting with the 3rd volume, as it’s a series of one shots that I feel read better collected, even sans the cool articles only available in single issues. This done in ones take place before the first 10 issues of the series, telling stories of the mysterious Jo and expanding the series lore a ton. Phillips and Bru are at their finest, and it’s cool to see them tackle settings that they usually don’t  deal with. This is a great intro for new reader, and it explains a ton of things for older readers. Fatale’s buzz has died out a bit thanks to the constant barrage of new series launching at Image, not to mention the hype associated with Saga and the Walking Dead, but it deserves to be read in some format. It has a fantastic premise, and a great execution, and is arguably one of the best books Image is publishing today!

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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 13: To Destroy An Entire Planet!

I am in Seattle for Emerald City Comic Con as I write this. ECCC is the beginning of the 9 months the comics industry affectionately refers to as “Con Season.” 9 month seasons. Not so bright. Comics Industry- ok at making comics, less ok at everything else. Anyway, I flew in on the Forbidden Planet jet on Thursday night. Not the nicest private jet I have ever been on but that’s alright. I was just happy the doors closed all the way and the heat worked.

So after 4 days of intensive comics immersion in the form of announcements, chatting, gossip, snooping, and spying, what have I found out for you all? Comics people really like donuts and beer. I tried to find out other stuff but that’s all anyone really talks about. There was some cool stuff though. I saw a guy cosplay as Leeloo Multipass and that made me question my sexuality and vomit in my mouth at the same time. I saw a a bar fight where one man choked another man for 2 minutes and then both walked away like nothing happened. James Robinson called me Patrick for no discernible reason. I found out if you put Adventure Time on stuff you can probably take Scrooge McDuck style money baths. Someone who clearly doesn’t have parents or friends thought it was a good idea to cosplay as Geordi LaForge in blackface. I guess maybe some of the comic writers and artists are doing new books or redoing old books or something. I wasn’t paying attention to that. I am pretty sure there are comics planned through at least June of this year. After that, who knows?

But let’s talk about this week. Since I’ve been around a ton of comics all weekend and I’ve decided I really like ’em I am going to TRY SOMETHING NEW. In an attempt to trick you into buying more stuff and save me the effort of thinking up more jokes, we are going to do this rapid fire style. I am going to call out some books than usual that are good, write a sentence or two, and you are going to buy them. Simple and elegant. GO!

REPTILE MUSEUM #1 & #2. Only issue #2 of Reptile Museum just came out, but consulting my trusty comput-o-tron tells me that it is statistically impossible that you read issue #1 so I will review both right now. Published by Ray Ray Books which, for all I know, is either a dude in his parents basement or a division of Newscorp, Reptile Museum is what we call an indie, mini, or self-published comic. This is annoying because technically everything but Marvel and DC are “indie” so that word is meaningless. Sometimes minis are huge so that word is meaningless. And like I said before, I have no idea if Cody Pickrodt published this or Rupert Murdoch, so self-published is a difficult label to use. Either way, Reptile Museum is great. A clever post apocalyptic story that answers questions and creates them at an equal rate. Two issues in and I have no real grasp of the world at all and I love that. A unique dystopian tale, Reptile Museum spends much more time on it’s characters than it does explaining it’s world. We follow as a character reenters the folds of a mysterious organization and shows himself to be a true badass. That’s really it. But it’s great. This is a huge story scaled down and made small and personal. Mysterious and exciting, this book is well worth your support. Buy it now because you may not easily get another chance.

ALL-STAR WESTERN vol.2- WAR OF LORDS AND OWLS. DC’s most consistently great book is All-Star Western. Jonah Hex is a brilliant character, Palmiotti & Gray handle him in a way that makes it almost impossible not to love and loathe him. Someone at editorial decided to make a book that takes place in the 1880’s cross over with Batman and it isn’t horrible and stupid, it’s actually quite fun. The art is great. It’s one of 3 westerns on store shelves. Go buy it.

SLEEPER Omnibus. Ed Brubaker does superhero crime noir comics. A deep cover superhero begins to lose his identity. Do you like stuff like The Departed, Infernal Affairs, or Donnie Brasco? Well this is better. $75 gets you 2 volumes of Sleeper, the Point Blank prequel, and a ton of bonus stuff. There isn’t much more that I can say other than fans of crime, superhero, great writing, or beautiful art must own these books.

Grant Morrison writes 50% crazy nonsense that is almost impenetrable. Then he writes 50% next level brilliance that is untouchable, fun and smart. Sean Murphy is one of the best artists in comics today. They teemed up on JOE THE BARBARIAN to tell the story of a little boy getting lost in his own fantastical mind. It is the best thing either of them has done in many years. These are the best guys in the business doing their best work. Buy the paperback version out this week and lock yourself in a room so you can read though it a few times.

I don’t care about the Rocketeer. Jennifer Connelly isn’t in the comics so 12 year old me doesn’t make adult me buy them. But then Mark Waid goes and does his thing of taking old things, getting rid of the excess, and making them fun again. Then Chris Samnee comes in and does his thing of making comics that are so pretty they make everything else seem like ugly, busy, squiggles. Both men make ROCKETEER: CARGO OF DOOM a must own book for fans of pulp stuff or inventive ways to make action heroes feel fresh and familiar at the same time.

I just want to run the copy for LOST VEGAS #1 because either they have my sense of humor exactly and the notes to the editor are brilliantly funny OR someone really didn’t do their job. Either way Jim McCann and Janet Lee made RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN which is probably the most brilliant kids book in recent memory. Lost Vegas isn’t a kids book but it looks like it might be as brilliant. So, without further ado, the weird solicitation text for LOST VEGAS #1- The EISNER AWARD-WINNING team of JIM McCANN?& JANET LEE reunite to create a universe filled with intrigue as one gambler-turned-slave has 24 hours to go all in and pull off the greatest heist the universe has seen. (in this next section, can it be like a brochure, like a different font? If not, italics is cool) WELCOME TO LOST VEGAS! Aboard this luxurious casino-filled traveling space-station you will find the highest stakes games from every corner of every planet, unheard-of winnings, and the greatest attractions anywhere!* (Can the below section be a smaller font size?)*the fine print- those who bet it all and lose must work it off as indentured servants to the casino. Escape is not possible. No one is exempt from these rules.

Joe Casey is a great writer. He can do almost anything with style, heart, and humor. None of that matters because his new Image series is called SEX. He wins. SEX #1 is on shelves now. Buying any other comic instead of SEX makes you look stupid.

Cullen Bunn may be getting famous for his work over at Marvel but if there were any justice in the world he would already have been famous for his brilliant western series SIXTH GUN. He returns with a new series called HELHEIM launching this week. Vikings, the undead, gods, and monsters come together in what may be the most fun book of the year. I was lucky enough to see Joëlle Jones art for HELHEIM #1 this weekend and it is quite clear that Ms. Jones has just launched herself into the top tier of comic artists working today. With an art style that falls somewhere between Luther Strode‘s Tradd Moore and B.P.R.D.’s Tyler Crook but feels completely fresh at the same time, this book is painfully beautiful, which is what you want when you are dealing with swordsfights and beheadings.

I seem to do it every week so here I go to do it again. ARCHER & ARMSTRONG Vol 1 MICHAELANGELO CODE is out now. The Valiant relaunch books are great. Archer & Armstrong is buddy cop stuff done pitch perfect. A “struggling with his faith” teenager and a perpetual screw-up immortal are forced to work together to save the world from a problem that is both somewhat their doing. This isn’t life changing stuff, but it is the kind of comic you might fall in love with. This is super hero stuff that feels fresh. This trade is $9.99. If you read superhero books and someone as smart as me tells you that some of the best new ones are only $9.99 for volume #1 you really should buy it. Valiant are leaving cash on the table in order to offer books like this at “TRY ME!” prices. They believe in their books that much, and that should be enough for you.

OK, I wrote the last 2 paragraphs while snoring. I am going to go to sleep and regret not cosplaying as Spoonman or Niles Crane.

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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 4: It Is a Period of Civil War

It’s a new year. What better time to set new resolutions, try new things, and, most importantly read new comics. That’s where I come in. Other holidays have their mascosts; Santas and bunnies and…turkeys… and cherubs I guess… And now me. I am the Ghost of Good Comics That Will Be Canceled if You Don’t Read Them. I am your Jacob Marley. I am your conscience. Now I am going to bully you into trying a new comic you will love. You’re welcome.

Let’s start it off with the basics. You probably like comics because they are great. You probably like Spider-Man because he is amazing (or superior). You probably should be trying a new book because that is a moral imperative. While Dan Slott and co. make you wait for the debut of their new SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, Marvel newcomer Joe Keatinge gives one of Spidey’s most fun pseudo-villains a series of his own. MORBIUS THE LIVING VAMPIRE #1 comes out today. Mr. Keatinge has been working on comics for years but has really made a name for himself in the past year with Image books like HELL YEAH! and GLORY. Morbius on the other hand has been kicking around the Marvel Universe for decades while rarely getting his proper due. He is an interesting character and Mr. Keatinge is an interesting writer, making this one a no brainer for the superhero set. These last 10 years have seen the big 2 companies face a nearly impossible battle of trying to diversify their titles. Great characters like Guardians of the Galaxy, Secret Six, Sentry, OMAC, and tons more have withered on shelves because readers won’t branch out. If you have ever been in a comic shop and said to yourself “why does every book have “BAT” or “SUPER” or “X” or “AVENGERS” in the title?” the answer is that you won’t buy books like Morbius. Do us all a favor and give an interesting book a chance. Or wait patiently for Marvel to make a book called X-Avengers. RIYL: SPIDER-MAN, GLORY, or any new characters ever getting books at the big 2.

Blackacre #2

BLACK ACRE #1 was an interesting idea. Private, walled-off cities that weathered an apocalypse and now stand on the brink of collapse in the wastelands of America. Well, BLACK ACRE #2 hits this week. Comics is a difficult medium because it is episodic so it requires a series to open with a bang and really grab you. Some of the classic ones can do it on page one. Some of the others take a full 22 pages. Here’s the thing, BLACK ACRE never grabbed me like that at all. It is smart, well written, has a great setting, and nice art. It doesn’t have that hook though. It feels a lot like a movie, a whole lot of setup that seems like it is building towards something, but it isn’t there in the opening. It is hard to quantify why though. I put down issue #1 fully entertained and satisfied, but not at all curious. Now a month has passed and I find myself pretty excited for #2. And I think that is what BLACK ACRE has and why it shines. It isn’t playing a lot of the games other books are playing. It does it’s own thing and it’s clever enough to know that should be enough to keep you coming back. And here is the book I thought I had forgotten, worming it’s way to the top of my pile. RIYL: Smart dystopian sci-fi like JUDGE DREDD or WASTELAND, or near future action stuff like DMZ, or films like ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK.

Fatale TP VOL 02 Devils BusinessFATALE vol. 2: THE DEVIL’S BUSINESS comes out this week. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have spent a few years chipping away at the title of best creative team in comics. They pretty much have it in the bag but they want to put a bunch of FATALE out to make everyone else look stupid. In the realm of crime writers Brubaker now stands nearly alone in terms of quality. And in the realm of noir-ish cartoonists Phillips has very few challengers. After SLEEPER, and CRIMINAL, and INCOGNITO, these two have done some of the best crime comics ever made. FATALE is their crime comic cum Lovecraft. It’s Cthulu noir. It is better than everything else and if you didn’t buy the first one you made a horrible mistake. Buy the second one with the first one now. This book gets all the recommendations I have to give. RIYL: Crime. Horror. Good things.

47 Ronin #2 of (5)47 RONIN #2 is also out now. Mike Richardson is the founder of Dark Horse comics and has done more to raise the quality of comics than everybody but a very select few. Stan Sakai has been drawing and writing USAGI YOJIMBO for 2+ decades. The legend of the 47 Ronin is one of the most beloved and badass legends in all of human existence. Richardson & Sakai are teaming up to do a very authentic and faithful retelling of this story and it is really entertaining. Most importantly they are taking a hundreds of years old legend and making it feel relevant and fresh. Unless you read a lot of manga a book like this will be like a slap in the face, in the best possible way. Best part of all, it looks like USAGI YOJIMBO with humans… and that is just weird fun. RIYL: USAGI YOJIMBO, manga like LONE WOLF & CUB, BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL, or SAMURAI EXECUTIONER, and classic tales on the level of Homer or Brother’s Grimm.

Red Ten #1 (of 10)

RED TEN #1. A new take on Agatha Christie’s AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, this is a superhero revenge and murder mystery from the folks at upstart publisher Comixtribe. The big guys in superhero comics like to borrow liberally from the great stories of western culture and act like it’s theirs, and here Tyler James and Cesar Feliciano do the same only these guys believe in their work enough to site their influences openly and know that RED TEN still stands up on it’s own. Basically self published, put together because they care and believe the story is good and matters, and fought and hustled all the way on to comic shop shelves, this book is nothing if not a product of pure passion. Reward the creators who are fighting hard to get their stories out there for you. Pick up RED TEN and let them know that you appreciate it. RIYL: Whodunnit style superhero mysteries like BATMAN: HUSH, high stakes superhero events like SECRET WARS, or fans of BATTLE ROYALE style mayhem.

Country Ass Whuppin Tornado Relief One ShotCOUNTRY ASS-WHUPPIN’ is an awesomely named new anthology from the usually quite good folks at 12-Gauge Comics. This single issue is full of a variety of weird and fun tales by some of the better southern gentlemen & lady creators in comics. Jason Aaron (SCALPED, WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN, THE HULK), Cully Hamner (R.E.D., DETECTIVE COMICS, GREEN LANTERN), Rebekah Isaacs (ANGEL & FAITH, DV8, HACK/SLASH), and a bunch more all throw down solid stories. Best part of the whole thing? Proceeds are donated to the Red Cross tornado relief fund. You get good comics by great creators and help people in the process. It is quite possible if that doesn’t interest you that you may be a bad person. Think about it. RIYL: DARK HORSE PRESENTS, the Vertigo anthology books, helping people in need.

And that’s it for me. I am sure there is a lot of other good stuff worth grabbing this week, just make sure you get something. Happy new year. Love, GGCTWBCYDRT

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Bizzarro Unkiedev’s Umazing Futts

The Future of comic books has arrived:

SUPERMAN FAMILY ADVENTURES #2, Franco (W) Art BAltazar (W/A), DC

This is everything good with comics. Bizarro is going to punch Superman. Bizarro is a’gonna’ try and punch Supergirl, though I suspect she shall prove too fast and wily for our choky antagonist. All of this shall be rendered in a style so cute, it would make the denizens of Candy Land heave a collective sigh of adoration.

Should this prove insufficient to render instant purchase, yea jaded comics buyers, the cover of this comic promises that there will be a Kryptonian mouse named Fuzzy. He has his own lil’ super cape an’ everything. AW.

YOU TRY and not buy this. I dare you to. Don’t you want to see Superman ask Fuzzy for help against Bizarro? Can’t you imagine Streaky, Supergirl’s be-caped super cat chasing Fuzzy around so fast that they reset time? Don’t you want to see Fuzzy the Kryptonian mouse fly up Bizarro’s nostril and rip his skull out of his backwards feet…did I do that right? If normal people have skulls in their heads, then the people of Bizarro world have skulls in their feet?

But then again, they wouldn’t THINK with their brains. They would think with their skulls, and the brains would be wrapped around the skull to protect it. Let me ask that previous question in a more correct grammatical fashion, Bizarro wise:

Don’t you want to see Fuzzy the Kryptonian super mouse fly up Bizarro’s nostrils (Which he uses to see things with) in order to rip through his body, straight down to his feet in order to rip the skulls out of his legs from their squishy brain covers? Continue reading

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Comic Con-gnitive Dissonance

By Unkiedev

The San Diego Comic Con is happening tonight, tomorrow, and all through the weekend…without you or I in attendance AGAIN. How did we let this happen? It’s like the comic book rapture has occurred and we are left to fight for resources in the streets like unpure, heathen dogs. Arf.

TOP 10 COMIC BOOK RELATED THINGS TO DO IN AN ATTEMPT AT GETTING OUR MINDS OFF THE CRIPPLING DEPRESSION SPRINGING FROM NOT GOING TO SDCC 2011:

10: Go See Captain America! The Captain will cheer us up! He’s gonna’ punch Nazis, throw his shield and maybe even get injected with super-soldier serum until we feel better, why not? Maybe he’ll give us free Coffee Coolatas.

9: Come on over to the Forbidden Planet and pick up a couple of Captain America related titles after seeing Captain America. Might I recommend the Essential Avengers Vol. 1, The Captain America Omnibus by Ed Brubaker, and Secret War? Either “Secret War.”  They’ve had a couple…shhh! It’s a secret. Continue reading

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Short packed: American Avengers, non-moving parts and 2 packs

By Chris Troy

Happy 4th of July FPNYC faithful. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be drunk by 2, bbqing and watching Battlestar Galatica on Netflix. Maybe some fireworks. I dunno, Battlestar is really good and fireworks may require me to leave my apartment. Either way, with less than 20 days until Marvel Studios’ “Captain America“, today’s the best day to do your patriotic Nerd duty and swing by the store or the website and pick up some Cap swag. We have a huge selection of comics, shirt, toys and other Cap-based merch in stock, so finding something relevant to your all-American interests won’t be too hard! Also keep your eyes out for the upcoming “Captain America” #1 by Ed Brubaker and Steve McNiven, continuing Ed’s fantastic run on Cap’s book. The current Cap series is getting a new co-writer Marc Andreyko with pencils by the underrated and awesome Chris Samnee. Both books are definitely worth the money, but I have to admit I’m more excited for the Bru/Andreyko/Samee book for the insane amount of talent attached to the title. Continue reading

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Thumbs Up Soldier!: A look of the first round of Captain America figures!

By Chris Troy

One of my problems with the Thor toy line is that it strictly focuses on the Movie-verse stuff, at least for the time being. Hasbro spoiled me by giving Wolverine and Iron Man lines that focused on the comic-stuff as well, so it sucked to see that the mighty Thor not receive such treatment. Lucky for me and my nerd needs though, Hasbro’s gone all out on their Captain America: The First Avengers line, basically treating the property like G.I. Joe: The Marvel Universe edition. This makes a ton of sense, given Cap’s ties to the US Military and Government. The line launched with a wide variety of Captain America based figured, both movie and comic-based, plus a plethora of role-playing stuff for the kiddies. But until they make an affordable Chris-sized Cap shield, we’ll be focusing on the comic-line figures. But before we do so, let me just say that FPNYC has a GREAT selection of Captain America trades, hardcovers, and back issues, so if you want to get caught up on my favorite member of the Avengers trinity before the movie drops next month, you can with ease. Just start with the Ed Brubaker stuff, it’s pretty amazing. Continue reading

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SDCC: Eisner Award Winners 2010

The Eisner Awards were presented Friday evening in concurrence with Comic-Con International at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.  Onstage guests included the cast of the imminent Scott Pilgrim film, Thomas Jane, Ben Garant (Reno 911), voice actor Phil Lamarr (Futurama, Samurai Jack). The event was MC’d by Maurice LaMarche (“The Brain,” from Pinky & The Brain and notable veteran of many other cartoons).

There were also some real life comic creators there, presenting awards to their  peers, the likes of which included Chris Claremont, Milo Manara(!), James Robinson, Berkeley Breathed, Peter Bagge, James Sturm, and Jillian Tamaki.

The works below are linked to either the item on the FPNYC webstore or the winner’s homepage where applicable.

Best Short Story
“Urgent Request,” by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim, in The Eternal Smile (First Second)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
Captain America #601: “Red, White, and Blue-Blood,” by Ed Brubaker and Gene Colan (Marvel)

Best Continuing Series
The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard (Image)

Best Limited Series or Story Arc
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young (Marvel)

Best New Series
Chew, by John Layman and Rob Guillory (Image)

Best Publication for Kids
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz hardcover, by L. Frank Baum, Eric Shanower and Skottie Young (Marvel)

Beasts of Burden, winner Best Painter, Best Publication for Teens
Beasts of Burden, winner Best Painter, Best Publication for Teens

Best Publication for Teens
Beasts of Burden, by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)

Best Humor Publication
Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 5: Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe, by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni Press)

Best Anthology
Popgun, Vol. 3, edited by Mark Andrew Smith, D. J. Kirkbride and Joe Keatinge (Image)

Best Digital Comic
Sin Titulo, by Cameron Stewart

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A Drifting Life, winner Best Reality-Based Work, Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material (Asia)

Best Reality-Based Work
A Drifting Life, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Adaptation from Another Work
Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW Publishing)

Best Graphic Album — New
Asterios Polyp, by David Mazzucchelli (Pantheon)

Best Graphic Album — Reprint
Absolute Justice, by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger and Doug Braithewaite (DC Comics)

Best Archival Collection/Project — Strips
Bloom County: The Complete Library, Vol. 1, by Berkeley Breathed, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW Publishing)

Best Archival Collection/Project — Comic Books
The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures deluxe edition, by Dave Stevens, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW Publishing)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
The Photographer, by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefèvre and Frédéric Lemerier (First Second)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material — Asia
A Drifting Life, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Writer
Ed Brubaker, Captain America, Daredevil, Marvels Project (Marvel) Criminal, Incognito (Icon)

asterios_polyp
Asterios Polyp, winner Best Writer/Artist, Best Graphic Album, Best Lettering

Best Writer/Artist
David Mazzucchelli, Asterios Polyp (Pantheon)

Best Writer/Artist–Nonfiction
Joe Sacco, Footnotes in Gaza (Metropolitan/Holt)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
J. H. Williams III, Detective Comics (DC Comics)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
Jill Thompson, Beasts of Burden (Dark Horse); Magic Trixie and the Dragon (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Best Cover Artist
J. H. Williams III, Detective Comics (DC Comics)

Best Coloring
Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien, B.P.R.D., The Goon, Hellboy, Solomon Kane, Umbrella Academy, Zero Killer (Dark Horse); Detective Comics (DC Comics); Luna Park (Vertigo)

Best Lettering
David Mazzucchelli, Asterios Polyp (Pantheon)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
The Comics Reporter, produced by Tom Spurgeon

Best Comics-Related Book
The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics, by Denis Kitchen and Paul Buhle (Abrams ComicArts)

Absoloute Justice, winner Best Graphic Album (reprint), Best Publication Design
Absoloute Justice, winner Best Graphic Album (reprint), Best Publication Design

Best Publication Design
Absolute Justice, designed by Curtis King and Josh Beatman (DC Comics)

Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award
Vault of Midnight, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Hall of Fame
• Burne Hogarth
• Bob Montana
• Steve Gerber
• Dick Giordano
• Michael Kaluta
• Mort Weisinger

Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award
Jeannie Schulz

Bill Finger Award for Achievement in Comic Book Writing
Otto Binder, Gary Friedrich

Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award
Marian Churchland (Beast)

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Books of Interest Releasing 9/30/09

16326Umbrella Academy vol 02: Dallas TP– A fractured team gets thrust into new adventure involving a plot to kill JFK.  An FP bestseller, The Umbrella Academy maintains the vibrant cool of volume one with Dallas well.  Written by Gerard Way (lead singer of My Chemical Romance and a former guest of FP and an overall swell fella) with glorious art by Gabriel Ba (Casanova), who never disappoints.

prisonpitPrison Pit– Yaaaaaaaaaay!  New Johnny Ryan comics!  This time we’re served an original graphic novel from the Angry Youth Comix maestro, a hyper violent and darkly comical tale of intergalactic bloodbath as protagonist CF is thrust into the Prison Pit.  Powered by Johnny’s brilliant sense of humor (more heaping handfuls of gross blech than you can imagine, more offensive imagery than socially acceptable), this book is billed as a mishmash of influences- WWE, video games, Gary Panter’s Jimbo, and the Berserk manga.  I like to think of it as R. Crumb draws Tim Vigil’s Faust, minus the draftsmanship.  Recommended.

Buffy Season 8 Volume 5–  So I guess I’ll be seeing legions upon legions of Buffy fans this week in Forbidden Planet.  Okay then.  See ya then.

25000cov25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom– Alan Moore, he of  Lost Girls fame, contributes to this book examining centuries of smut, pornography, and filth.  Terrific.  While definitely not for all tastes, nor ages for that matter, the book posits that “the success and vibrancy of a society relates to its permissiveness in sexual matters,”and examines human history in that context.  Says Moore, “Sexually progressive cultures gave us literature, philosophy, civilization and the rest, while sexually restrictive cultures gave us the Dark Ages and the Holocaust.” It’s a pretty interesting tome, Especially if you like da nasty.

John McClane sketch from artist Steve Thompson's blog.
John McClane sketch from artist Stephen Thompson’s blog.

Die Hard #1– What? Come on, okay?  Die Hard’s my favorite Christmas movie and even I, on occasion, should be allowed to let go of snobbery and pretension long enough to enjoy big dumb fun.  Which brings us to this here comic book, chronicling  John McClane’s rookie tour with the NYPD in 1976.  Written by Howard Chaykin, a veteran of tough, grizzled action/crime stories, with art by Stephen Thopmson (Moonstone’s Buckaroo Banzai, Presidential Material: John McCain).

Sleeper Season Two TP–  Stop reading if you’ve heard my spiel about Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ masterpiece.  Okay, now that they’re gone, you simply MUST read Sleeper.  It contains zero moral value, and that’s fantastic. Secret agent Holden Carver is under deep, deep cover in THE underground criminal organization what’s got their hands in everything with seemingly no way out.  Why would he want to get out anyway, when evil’s so damn sexy?  It’s an amazingly well-executed story and if you have enjoyed these creators’ other series Criminal and Incognito you’ll more than dig this.

abproAbsolute Promethea Vol. 01– One of our favorite Alan Moore books gets the gussied-up Absolute treatment from DC/Wildstorm.  There are precious few other things you can drop a hundred bucks on.  Anyone got a hundred bucks I can borrow?

Bad Dog #3– You may want to wait for the trade on this title due to its erratic schedule, but if you’re stalwart enough to jump on board or you’ve been following it all along you’ll know that Joe Kelly’s romp is one irreverent delight after another.  Best comic featuring a Werewolf bounty hunter ever.

And that’s just the tip of the bookshelf.  Have a good Wednesday, folks.

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REVIEWS: ‘Superman Secret Origin’, ‘Planetary’, ‘Captain America Reborn’

Time to catch up on a couple of reviews, this is a mix of a couple of books that came out this week, and last week.

Fantastic Four #571Pick of the week: Fantastic Four # 571 by Jonathan Hickman and Dale Eaglesham.  I’ve never been a Fantastic Four man, but this issue captured my imagination. From what I understand, Fantastic Four has always been about family and the impossible.  I don’t think it can get more imaginative or impossible that Reed Richards creates this machine that sends him to an extra dimensional  plane where the Reed Richards of parallel universes meet and help change everything.  In this issue our Reed helps kill Galactus, with an army of other Reeds armed with Ultimate Nullifiers.  He helps create a planet full of feed that will feed starving planets, and performs surgery on the universe.  Its a wild, beautiful look into Reed Richards and what he does to save everyone, including his relationship with Sue. To be honest, I wasn’t a Fantastic Four guy before, but I’m locked in from now on. Rating: 9.0

Superman Secret Origin #1Superman Secret Origin #1: This is like Geoff Johns doing his take on Smallville. I feel like every once in a while DC allows a writer to present their take on the origin of Superman.  Mark Waid did his take with the awesome Leinil Yu with Birthright, John Byrne did his seminal retake and now a couple years later, Johns gets his. Which is cool for people to come in and see Johns do this. Its just not that interesting, and doesn’t need to exist.  Though it does give a great explanation for the glasses, and that is kind of adorable. What can I say? I’m a softie. I don’t want to spoiler but that was pretty creative with the glasses handling the heat vision. Rating: 7.0.

Captain America Reborn # 3: Brubaker is a slow burn kind of guy.  He starts out Captain America Reborn #3 very slow, but usually by the end, you see that its worth it. His entire run on Captain America and Daredevil has been just like that, and those are easily the best superhero comics out there today. So there is no reason to lose faith on that when coming into this title.  However three issues in and we’re still on the same thing.  Steve Rogers is Quantum Leaping through his life and Norman Osborn is after Bucky, Falcon, Reed Richards and the rest. That’s been beaten like a dead drum for three issues and the only thing that has moved the story forward is it being revealed to the media that Sharon Carter was the second shooter. We don’t get any repercussions of that and its just the third straight issue of, you guessed it, Steve Rogers is Quantum Leaping and the Thunderbolts are out to kill Bucky and Black Widow.  Sorry, you gotta advance the story a little bit more than that for me. Butch Guice is nice to look at though. Rating: 5.0

Planetary #27 preview. This was in the back pages of Ex Machina #45.  It has the main characters talking about building a Time Machine, and in typical Planetary fashion, building the time machine that is already laced in popular culture. The one from H.G. Wells book, and also my favorite sci fi novel ever.  Time travel, and especially interpretations on Wells’s book, has always tickled my stomach.  Both amaze me even to this day.  So the fact that one of the best books ever written and drawn tackling something in regards to Wells’ Time Machine is something I can’t wait for. Planetary #27, the final issue hits stands Oct. 2.

With Ex Machina ending and the final issue of Planetary coming out, I can’t help but say those are the last two books from Wildstorm that I still read.  So…I’ll be interested to see what Wildstorm does when these two books end.

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Happy 70th birthday, Marvel!

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Should I bust out that walker, old man? Nah, I’m just kidding.  You’ve only got 40 years, and 356 days on me. Congratulations.  Regardless, why this is a special occasion for me is I’ve followed X-Men comics since literally 1986.

My first memory is an ad with Wolverine that had a banner over it saying “Serious?” and I thought that was the character’s name.  Soon after, somehow, my parents bought me a poster of Wolverine slashing with blood streaked claws.  To say this was inappropriate for a six year old to have is just putting it mildly.  However, I’ve been hooked on Marvel, and especially X-Men comics, ever since.

(Insert Beatles music here) So today is your birthday, so happy birthday to you.  In celebration Marvel is having parties everywhere.  Here are some of the parties happening  at participating Barnes and Nobles around the country:

NYC
SPECIAL GUESTS IRON MAN AND SPIDER-MAN

150 E 86TH Street
New York, NY

Joe Quesada
Chris Claremont
Greg Pak
Klaus Janson
Fred Van Lente

ATLANTA
SPECIAL GUEST WOLVERINE

2900 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

Daniel Way
Paul Jenkins
Mark Bagley

LA
SPECIAL GUEST HULK

The Grove at Farmer’s Market
189 Grove Drive Suite K 30
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Jeph Loeb
Craig Kyle
Chris Yost
Mark Waid

PORTLAND
SPECIAL GUEST ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN

Clackamas Towne Center
12000 SE 82nd Avenue
Portland, OR 97266

Brian Michael Bendis
Jeff Parker
Rick Remender

SEATTLE
SPECIAL GUEST CAPTAIN AMERICA

2675 NE University Village Street
Seattle, WA 98105

Ed Brubaker

Clayton Crain

I’ll be making it to the NYC party, because I really have no excuse, its about four blocks from my apartment.

Hey, readers: pipe up and let us know what are some of your first Marvel memories?

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It’s Wednesday! You know what that means.

New comics.

This week we have Steve Rogers coming back from the dead, in “Captain America Reborn”. Though it shouldn’t matter whether he comes back from the dead, it is sure to be a beautifully crafted story drawn by Bryan Hitch (“The Ultimates”) and Harvey nominated writer Ed Brubaker.   Marvel Comics released a prelude webcomic yesterday to wet your appetite until you can make it to the store.

We’re huge Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely supporters around here so the fact that “Batman and Robin” #2 comes out so quickly after the first issue leaves this writer extremely happy.  What I really enjoyed about this book was the rougher pencils on Quitely’s part and the straight up cheerful almost 60s Batman tone to it, and then cut to crazy creepy David Lynch sensibilities with Professor Pyg.

Marvel seems to be cashing in on the Deadpool craze, post “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” with yet another Deadpool mini-series “Merc with a Mouth“. The great news is, all of them seem to be a ton of fun.  This mini-series with gorgeous horror themed covers by Arthur Suydam, is written by Victor Gischler and involves Deadpool being set on a mission to save the universe by getting rid of Zombie Deadpool’s decapitated head, while running around the Savage Land.

More really great comics coming out today is the second part of the X-Men/Dark Avengers crossover. As well as what appears to be the really beautiful “Justice League: Cry for Justice” written by James Robinson with art by newcomer, Mauro Cascioli.

Of course, if these aren’t the picks you’re looking forward to swing by the store in Union Square or visit ForbiddenPlanetUSA.com.

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