Tagged: Forbidden Planet

A Week late a dollar more

A solid week for trades, and a solid week from Oni Press. I guess all books are solid though. Their matter through chemical bonding, organic material, etc. Good thing books aren’t metal! Cause then I’d have to explain the Fermi Surface principle, and we really just don’t have time for quantum solids theory. But you can probably figure it out from this:

We’ll discuss it next week. Instead, here’s a book about a cat…

I Was the Cat by Paul Tobin and Ben Dewey- Last night, I had a dream I was a cat. Everything was cat perspective, but I was aware of myself as something I normally was not. It wasn’t a long dream; I just did a bunch of exploring and typical cat things, nothing special. But my journey doesn’t have to end. I can imagine myself as the best cat around thanks to a new hardcover book out this week from Oni Press. Imagine that every major event in history involved one cat living each of his nine lives hidden in between the pages of every textbook, and you get Burma the cat. Reaching the end of his life, he reaches out to journalist Allison Breaking to make his last mark in society. But there are some pieces he’d rather leave uncovered. Tobin has written more books than I can name, and the same can be said for artist Benjamin Dewey. But their collaboration is something is the beginning of a magical cat romp through life.

 

Henry and Glen Forever and Ever TP by Tom Neely- Neely, of course, isn’t the only credit in this book. A labor of love about two domestic lovers who labor over their mothers, defeating cults, and sometimes going to therapy to help keep their eternal rocking passion alive. If you’ve picked up the minis when then came out, or you’re just curious about what this curious little world is about, you can now HAVE IT ALL! I got to peep an early release one this past week in San Diego, and just the painted American Gothic cover is worth picking this book up. Plus, Neely is working on a new Image book, and will soon be the coolest kid in town, so get his stuff while you still can.

 

Steven Universe #1 by Jeremy Sorese and Coleman Engle- Rebecca Sugar has done amazing work making the titular cartoon network show a hit amongst the little tweens, and the older stoners who enjoy the colors and bubbliness of the show. Steven is the youngest in a family of universal guardians, and while he’s trying to figure out the superhero gig, he’s also trying to figure out his coming-of-age emotions and pains of getting older. But in his first comic, Steven is all about having fun, and riding bikes. Though nothing is ever simple for Steven, and he gets in over his head. The former Adventure Time writer set the stage for an amazing cartoon that will surely win over the hearts and minds of all my other childish contemporaries.

 

Trillium TP by Jeff Lemire- You’ve probably been following this story all along, which I have, but you probably haven’t seen the flipbook madness collected all in one place, which I have not. That’s why this trade is so important to pick up this week. Between the distant past, and the far future, Lemire weaves a half love, half adventure story that delineates the space-time continuum. And the literal flipbook he uses to visually illustrate just how far apart our protagonists are can only be put to better use in a full collection of their love story that seeks the end the universe.

Bunker TP by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari- Look. Let’s get real. Fialkov is one of the most inventive writers currently writing inventive books. And Infurnari compliments this inventiveness with dreamlike art that mimics the surreal landscape in which the characters of The Bunker must traverse; past, present, and future. Investigating the moral grounds of whether messing with the past will beget a brighter future, the characters of The Bunker are deeply flawed, all while trying to do the best they can to save humanity (and themselves) with only the information that has been left for them from the future. As a psychological thriller fan, this goes greatly in tandem with those who are fans of shows like The Leftovers, Under the Dome, etc. It’s really a comic perfect for anyone who enjoys a story, like a real story. A story that twists and turns, and leaves you with unexpected feelings of alliance and betrayal.

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Weapon Brown Touching Down

Weapon-BrownJason Yungbluth will be at FP to sign super special edition hardcover (and soft cover) copies of this fan favorite mishmash comic about a nuclear Charlie Brown. If you don’t know about this book do yourself a favor and come down on August 13th and get a copy and then at 5 get it sign by Jason. It’s post apocalyptic world meets Peanuts, do I really need to sell this anymore?

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August 6th at FP there is going to be…just read the post…

deadpoolArtist Reilly Brown will be with us at Forbidden Planet on August 6th at 6pm to sign copies of his new book Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet. All you Deadpoo fans out there are losing your Deadpoo right now, we know, so make sure to get down here or “insert quippy Deadpool joke about him doing something hyper violent to you if you are not in attendance.” You’re welcome.

Khary-RandolphWEBOh yeah, and if that wasn’t enough we’re also going to have Khary Randolph here as well. Who doesn’t love Tech Jacket?
Satans-PrepWEBMOREMOREMORE! We will also have writer Gabe Guarente and artist Dave Fox in the Planet to sign copies of their new graphic novel Satan’s Prep as well. Okay, now you’re welcome.

 

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We’ve Been at 832 Broadway for Two Years Now

Happy anniversary to us! Happy anniversary to us!

Forbidden Planet NYC moved into its current home at 832 Broadway (bet. 13th and 12th) on June 24th 2012, two years ago todayCoincidentally, today is also the two year anniversary of the highest level of exhaustion I have ever known.

Jeff Ayers sleeping Forbidden Planet moveIt’s certainly been an interesting, fun couple of years at the new* shop. Personally, I would like to thank, if not hug, every one of our staff, family and friends who helped build this place and continue to do so daily. Every customer who spends their hard-earned dough in our store. Every single person who has made these such memorable years in this location.

Hope to see you around the shop soon!

*Until we get another one, 832 will always be “the new shop” to me. 821 will always be the “old” one.

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Holy moly

My brain is on comic book overload. I’ve been packing, shipping, printing and planning for San Diego Comic Con this week. Traveling with a manual credit card slammer isn’t normal, but for SDCC it is. If you’re going, visit me at booth 1718 for Fantagraphics! But if you’re not going, there’s plenty of comics right where you are! And way less crowded.

100th Anniversary Special #1 The Avengers- Holy fing moly. Besides the fact that Marvel decided to speed up time and pretend that they’ve already been around for 100 years, they’ve also decided to that the best way to celebrate one of their most successful series would be to have James Stokoe headline it with words and art. King of gradients, emperor of hyperlines, and owner of a brain that gives us some of the most original worlds we have ever seen and felt. Stokoe is known for original works like Orc Stain, Wonton Soup, and for the IDW Godzilla series (the good one), but picking up the mantle on familiar characters like Dr. Strange, Rogue and Beta Ray Bill, will definitely give you a different perspective on stories you thought you knew. Besides being set in 2061, the acid trip meets Aztecan atmosphere of a Stokoe Avengers world is going to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Mike Mignola’s Hellboy Artist Edition- If the Steranko Artist Edition book released last week was literally too much to handle, then the slightly smaller, but just as fantastic, Mignola Helboy book should be a perfect match for you and all your little monsters. For over 20 years, Mike Mignola has proven himself to be one of the most consistent and visionary artists with his titular, and fan favorite character, Hellboy. Shown in their oversized and rough stages, this book includes the first five issues of Hellboy in Hell, supplemental material, and work from Nextmen, The Corpse, and more. There’s no better way to follow the process and progress of your favorite artists than through their artist edition pages.

Groo vs. Conan #1- What happens when the ultimate parody goes to battle against the barbarian that spawned his arrival? The Mr. Magoo of the warrior sword clashing comic world, Groo has been one of the most successful original characters, created in early ‘80s by Sergio Aragones. But now he’s bumbled his way into battle against the King of Barbarians, Conan, the mightiest fighter. Will they be friend? Foe? Will Groo’s fate be left in the hands of Conan? The four-part miniseries that’s being written by Aragones, and Mark Evanier, and illustrated by Aragones with assist from Tom Yeates, sets out to settle one of the oldest questions to have ever plagued humankind, who would win a fight?

Zero #9- If you’ve been missing out on this series, this week should give you extra incentive to pick it up. Besides being the first new issue since May, and making it a good jumping on point (though you’re a fool to not pick up the trade), the official word came down last week that Zero is going to get to live on the big screen. Or the small screen. Depends on how big your TV is. There’s a long road from getting signing to production, but it’ll be exciting to see the espionage spy story, that’s really about male rage and the death of the American dream, be played out in a new medium. Ales Kot and his vast team of talents keep readers on their toes by mixing up artists, and dropping in unexpected twists and turns, just like the best spy stories.

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I almost forgot to send this

Anyone do anything cool last week? Doing anything cool this weekend? That’s cool. Hey, no, I figured you were busy. It’s cool. We’ll catch up next week. Oh yeah here’s some comics. Yeah I’ll talk to you later. Say “Hi” to Steve for me!

 

Twelve Gems-What do you get when you cross Heavy Metal with your high school math composition notebook full of drawings of spaceships and sword-wielding babes? Obviously the answer is Twelve Gems! Originally done around 2010-2012, it’s getting an official release from Fantagraphics and taking the sci-fi world by storm. Follow Furz, Venus, and Dogstar as they travel the universe, unraveling adventures and mysterious while they help Dr. Z retrieve the legendary Twelve Gems of Power. But anyone named Dr. Z is probably not the most trustworthy person in the world (since it’s a few steps below Professor X). Hilarious, eye-catching, and a really fun read. I’ve been waiting about 2 months since I first read it for this book to finally come out so I can shove it in everyone’s faces and make them eat it. I mean read it.

 

White Suits #4-The conclusion! Will all the answers about the deadly white suits that agent Anderson and former suit Prizrak have been searching, and killing for, finally be answered? Even if it’s not answered, Toby Cypress will still probably knock your socks off with the art that he pulls off in this book. He could just draw a pile of socks and you could probably feel the cotton and smell the stink lines. Always action packed, always inventive. Coupled with Barbiere’s succinct, puply writing, I want these two to make comics until my children’s children are born as wifi ports.

I Am Rosa Parks-Allow me to soapbox for a moment (it’s my column and can do whatever I want). A serious problem is the lack of diversity in children’s books. In formative developmental years when children are mostly visually learning how to read, it’s done in tandem with pictures and words. And when the majority of characters within books are represented by only one race, gender, family structure, etc. we do a lot of harm to what a child grows up thinking is normal v. not normal. Prolific and award winning novelist, comic author, and TV show writer, Brad Meltzer is taking a stab at a line of books that profile American icons that show kids who heroes can be. The first book features Rosa Parks in a lively retelling of her story about standing up to racial segregation in the South; teaching kids to stand up for themselves. Thus endeth the soapbox.

 

Luba and Her Family-The newest Love and Rockets collection from Gilbert Hernandez’s half of the dynamic comic duo’s decades sprawling family saga. This volume obviously focuses on the life of Luba, her sisters, moving to the states, and their ensuing family dramas, and joys. Volume 10 of the Love and Rockets library bids farewell to the town of Palomar as Luba and her family emigrate to the United States and make new lives for themselves. The L&R Library is the most comprehensive collection of the series, and I don’t need to tell you how important these artists are to the universe of comics, you just need to know it’s out!

 

The Field #3-The past two issues, and the first half of this one, have mostly been car chases and gun battles between groups that are all after this one guy. For completely unexplained reasons! Until nooooow! I was happy just enjoying the shit out of this comic even if everything was a mystery. The crazy characters, the idiomatic language, and beautifully rendered trekkie knockoffs. In fact, the reveal of why all these crazy groups are after The Source, reminds me quite a bit of a certain time looped TNG episode…Whether or not it’s inspired from that, this book gets better and better with every issue; art, story, violence, everything (and it already started out pretty great). Brisson and Roy are unstoppable Canadian comic book war machines, powerhouses, hockey fiends? I’m just assuming.

 

Wonton Soup COLLECTION-James Stokoe’s Wonton Soup worked its way into my hands when it was first released in 2007. I was still in high school, and don’t think I was ready to handle the Technicolor, hyper-lined art, that has become the signature Stokoe look. And by couldn’t handle, I mean it did severe brain damage to me because after that I just wanted all of the comic books. Thankfully since then he gained some traction with books like Orc-Stain and Godzilla: Half Century War. In Wonton Soup, a champion chef turned space trucker gave up fame and fortune for reasons unknown, but has to pull out his greatest knife skills when he gets into trouble and finds himself in a cook off to end all cook off’s. Originally put out in two volumes, the first when went out of print a few years ago, depriving new generations of reprobates from having good comics. FINALLY Oni has put them into one big beautiful book to put you into maximum comic overdrive.

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Look what i did!

Yikes, there’s a lot of heavy hitters out this week. From old to new. Indie to mainstream. Black and white to two-tone, to hyper-color. There’s something for everyone this month. Stop hating and get with the program!

Ritual Three: Vile Decay- It can seem blasé (read: lazy) to say that someone is an “exciting” artist. What does that really mean? Are they doing something new or different? Does the art itself illicit an excited energy? Are you so excited when you see something new by that artist that you want to vomit? If you’re talking about anything by Malachi Ward, the answer is yes to all of the above. Known for working on the Brandon Graham mega-project, Prophet, and for the notoriety gained from The Scout put out by Study Group Comics (which is seriously one of the best independent publishers in the business. you can read their stuff online for free. do it. you’d be an f’in fool not to). This new stand-alone sci-fi weaves together a grandmother’s recollection to her grandson about how the world simply went bad. Ward’s settings and characters are gracefully drawn, with an element of Charles Burn’s other (but still similar) worldly eeriness. I’m getting a little comics hyphy just thinking of it being in my hands this time next week. And if you’re in the NYC area, he’ll be attending a release party at Bergen Street Comics on June 25th, so you can gush in person!

Judgment Day- Joe Orlando is often lauded as the nicest man in comics. He’s been passed for a while, so I can neither confirm nor deny this praise. But what I can tell you is that his technical skill, editing abilities, breadth of work throughout the industry’s formative years, and the subsequent influence that he left on everyone that ever picked up one of his comics, is true to the core. Anything of his you can find is worth a look, but Fantagraphics has included his EC work, some of the first professional comics stories he did. Most of the stories in this collection are scripted by Al Feldstein, and they highlight Orlando’s most prolific sci-fi stories; including the titular story that spoke out against the racism of the early ‘50s in which these stories were published. Orlando is true comic book history, and his work is legendary.

 

Amazing World of Gumball #1- Truth time, I’ve never watched Gumball. It’s been on Cartoon Network for about 5 years, and I’ve had no TV for about 6, so there’s that. But it’s new form just had comic book life breathed into it by Frank Gibson (who I’ve written about previously for his work on Baby Fiona and Cake, and Tiny Kitten Teeth), and one of my all time favorite web cartoonists, Tyson Hesse. He does this little thing called Boxer Hockey, and when I started reading it about two years ago I never thought I would get so emotional about a stupid little comic about a group of friends who play a field hockey type game in their underwear, essentially using frogs as pucks. But I did get emotional, and I still read certain panels that make me misty eyed. Whether it’s Nickelodeon studio work, or little cartoons of his poodle on twitter, no one has made cute cartoons that have had as much of an influence on me than Hesse has.  Sometimes you follow an artist to whatever project they work on, whatever the story is, and Hesse is one of those artists.

Pirates in the Heartland Vol 1: Clay Wilson- If Joe Orlando and his contemporaries set precedence’s for the future of superhero and action comics, S. Clay Wilson is without a doubt a parallel of that mark in the alternative comics world. R. Crumb, who is cited as every other alt cartoonists main influence, lists Wilson himself as his great comix influence and contemporary. Hailing from the middle of nowhere, sometimes called Nebraska, Wilson ended up in San Francisco after an army stint, and quickly unleashed the underground art scene with his wild dreams and nightmares of gore, sex, body parts and general bedlam. This first of three hardcover volumes attempts to catalog his comics that appeared in publications like Zap, Pork, Insect Fear, and Arcade Magazine. Part biography, part retrospective, part collected chronicles of a comic legend, this is a huge undertaking that pays off in every way you could expect, and a million ways you couldn’t. Stay tuned.

New Avengers Annual #1There’s a lot of simple reasons to pick this book up. Frank Barbiere is writing it. Marco Rudy is doing the art. And it’s all about DR. STRANGE! Everyone’s favorite world-saving, evil magic slaying, sorcerer is staring in his own book. He’s heading back to his Himalayan roots to help some techno-monks (the name of my new hip-hop crew) defeat an evil they summoned that’s beyond their control. It’s oversized Dr. Strange, I think that’s all you really need to know…

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Forbidden Planet NYC Mega-Signing with Paul Pope, Dean Haspiel, Nick Bertozzi and Chris Miskiewicz

Here’s an FP event I’ve been looking forward to for about, oh, seventeen years or so….

Pope_Bertozzi_MiskiewiczWEB

On Wednesday, the 18th of June 2014, Forbidden Planet NYC will be hosting a very special signing with PAUL POPE, DEAN HASPIEL, NICK BERTOZZI and CHRIS MISKIEWICZ- all four of whom will be celebrating the release of new comics, graphic novels, and/or editions of their iconic work!

*Paul Pope – Z2 comics is releasing a brand new hardcover edition of Escapo, a long out of print masterpiece, and we’re overjoyed to announce a rare in-store signing with the man himself! DO NOT miss your opportunity to meet one of the world’s most acclaimed comics artists. We’ve been looking forward to presenting you this event since, well… FOREVER.

From the mind of three-time Eisner Award-winner Paul Pope comes Escapo! Like a feverish mash-up of Fellini films, Heavy Metal magazine, and classic Jack Kirby comics, Escapo tells the tale of a circus escape artist extraordinaire, who can escape from any situation – even from Death himself! However, there is one force even more powerful than the Reaper which Escapo must face. A meditation on life, love, and mortality, Escapo is not to be missed! Originally published in 1999 and long out of print, the new Z2 edition of Escapo is fully colored and redesigned in the French BD format, featuring 50+ pages of bonus content. Included here is the rare two-page alternate ending, only seen in the French edition, as well as a new ten-page story and added pin-ups and sketchbook content by Paul Pope.

**Dean Haspiel- Fear My Dear collects Dean’s Billy Dogma stories. “Remastered from the original webcomics series, Billy Dogma is “the last romantic antihero,” a passionate bruiser head-over-heels for his knock-em-dead dame. Created in 1995, Billy Dogma is Dean Haspiel’s ongoing love letter to the insanity of love.”

**Nick Bertozzi- Storytelling wizard and all around swell guy Nick Bertozzi takes us on one of the greatest true-story adventures of all time.  Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey is the follow-up to Nick’s New York Times 2013 best-seller Jerusalem.

**Chris  Miskiewicz- We at Forbidden Planet have known Chris for years as (among other things…) one of our most loyal customers, so we’re tickled pink for his debut book. Plus, I promised him in, like, the 90s we’d do a Forbidden Planet event when his first major-publisher comic work came out. Well, Thomas Alsop is the book, and Wednesday the 18th of June 2014′s the day. If you will it, it is no dream,.

*Purchase of Escapo from Forbidden Planet NYC is mandatory to attend the Paul Pope side of our event. Your receipt, and a voucher we will attach to it at checkout, will be your ticket to Paul’s line. We anticipate a large turnout for him, and are limiting additional autographs ONE ITEM per attendee to keep things moving. Please do not bring more than that. 

**If you will be here to see Dean, Nick and/or Chris we also encourage purchase of their books (and will have plenty of ‘em… they’re well worth it), but there will be no limit to additional autographs.

UPDATE 6/10/14- Bob Fingerman (Minimum Wage) will also be joining us!

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I Hope This Isn’t Late

Hope everyone had fun at BookCon/Book Expo. Was Chaucer there? He’s pretty great. If you’re Northwest local, the Olympia Comics Fest is this weekend in our state capitol, with special guest Charles Burns! He’s pretty great too.

The Superannuated Man #1Ted McKeever would never be accused of making stories that weren’t unusual. His last series from Image, Miniature Jesus was premised on a crucifix that becomes sentient and leads the alcoholic pastor of a small church down a path of supernatural recovery. This new book, The Superannuated Man, is no less bizarre. The coastal town of Blackwater is overrun with mutated creatures who speak with heavy Scottish-like accents, often eat each other, and at the very least and really really concerned with the one person who appears to have not mutated, but is probably losing his mind. McKeever stabs into the peculiar without exposition, and the reader follows closely behind, with all senses alert, not knowing exactly what they’ll find on the journey.

Big Trouble in Little China #1The legend of Jack Burton is alive and well in one of my most anticipated cult movie-turned comic book releases of the year. What’s almost better than the fact that we’ll be able to read more stories about everyone’s favorite truck driver as he navigates the supernatural and with super kung-fu through San Fran Chinatown trying to help his friends Wang Chi and Miao Yin actually tie the knot. So it’s pretty much a straight up sequel from the movie. But the best part is the creative team. Eric Powell and Brian Churilla! These are some straight up pros of the highest caliber, with books like The Goon and D.B. Cooper under their respective belts. The film’s director, John Carpenter, consulted with Powell on the script, ensuring that the new series will have the same Pork Chop Express vibe everyone loves.

Princess Ugg #1-Continuing the solid list of highly anticipated number one issues coming out this week, is a new series by Ted Naifeh, author and artist of the acclaimed and well-loved series, Courtney Crumrin. Princess UGG! She’s not like other princesses. Swords instead of scepters, wielding axes instead of ladies in waiting, and a trusty mammoth instead of a pony. The Princess Academy of Atraesca won’t know how to handle Princess Ülga of Grimmeria. An exciting new teen book from Oni Press that makes me laugh and root for Ülga every time I read it. This princess ain’t nothin to mess with.

Nailbiter #2I think I was lazy the week this first issue came out, and didn’t write about it. But after reading the second issue I’m glad I waited to endorse reading this, because it got even better. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re no strangers to the lore that something about our constant overcast (it’s sunny right now), damp dreariness (it’s like 75 degrees), and frazzled caffeine nerves (no comment), are the perfect hotbed concoction for serial killer primordial ooze. And while I can’t deny that a fair number of people who decided to take up the serial mantel were either born here, or spent considerable time here, doesn’t mean that we all have pillows made out of human hair. But the permeable myth has festered in the town of Buckaroo, Oregon, which has played home to nearly a dozen killers. When one detective goes missing in the town, his partner is determined to uncover the secret to why this town spawns some horrific butchers.

Judge Dredd: Mega-City Two #5-They say all good things must come to an end, and unfortunately that’s true for everyone’s favorite high energy Dredd story of whirl-wind of crime fighting, monster slaying, and where the camera’s are constantly rolling. The conflagration of Dredd’s West Coast-best coast investigation into covert corruption have led us to LAW-CON, where you’ll see the most egos packed into one room outside of San Diego comic-con. This event will put our hero through the gauntlet one last time. Will he ever make it back home to the peaceful, serene, Mega-City One?

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Your 2014 Eisner Nominees

Best Short Story
“Go Owls,” by Adrian Tomine, in Optic Nerve #13 (Drawn & Quarterly)
“Mars to Stay,” by Brett Lewis and Cliff Chiang, in Witching Hour (DC)
“Seaside Home,” by Josh Simmons, in Habit #1 (Oily)
Untitled,” by Gilbert Hernandez, in Love and Rockets: New Stories #6 (Fantagraphics)
When Your House Is Burning Down, You Should Brush Your Teeth,” by Matthew Inman, theoatmeal.com/comics/house

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot) 
Demeter, by Becky Cloonan (self-published)
Hawkeye #11: “Pizza Is My Business,” by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
Love and Rockets: New Stories #6, by Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
Viewotron #2, by Sam Sharpe (self-published)
Watson and Holmes #6, by Brandon Easton, and N. Steven Harris (New Paradigm Studios)

Best Continuing Series
East of West, by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta (Image)
Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
Nowhere Men, by Eric Stephenson and Nate Bellegarde (Image)
Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)
Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (Image)

Best Limited Series
The Black Beetle: No Way Out, by Francesco Francavilla (Dark Horse)
Colder, by Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra (Dark Horse)
47 Ronin, by Mike Richardson and Stan Sakai (Dark Horse)
Trillium, by Jeff Lemire (Vertigo/DC)
The Wake, by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy (Vertigo/DC)

Best New Series
High Crimes, by Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa (Monkeybrain)
Lazarus, by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark (Image)
Rat Queens, by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch (Image/Shadowline)
Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (Image)
Watson and Holmes, by Karl Bollers, Rick Leonardi, Paul Mendoza et al. (New Paradigm Studios)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7) 
Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas, by Philippe Coudray (TOON Books)
The Big Wet Balloon, by Liniers (TOON Books)
Itty Bitty Hellboy, by Art Baltazar and Franco (Dark Horse)
Odd Duck, by Cecil Castellucci and Sara Varon (First Second)
Otto’s Backwards Day, by Frank Cammuso (with Jay Lynch) (TOON Books)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)

The Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks (Dark Horse)
Hilda and the Bird Parade, by Luke Pearson (Nobrow)
Jane, the Fox, and Me, by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault (Groundwood)
The Lost Boy, by Greg Ruth (Graphix/Scholastic)
Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, vol. 2, edited by David Petersen, Paul Morrissey, and Rebecca Taylor (Archaia/BOOM!)
Star Wars: Jedi Academy, by Jeffrey Brown (Scholastic)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17) 
Battling Boy, by Paul Pope (First Second)
Bluffton: My Summers with Buster, by Matt Phelan (Candlewick)
Boxers and Saints, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)
Dogs of War, by Sheila Keenan and Nathan Fox (Graphix/Scholastic)
March (Book One), by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
Templar, by Jordan Mechner, LeUyen Pham, and Alex Puviland (First Second)

Best Humor Publication
The Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks (Dark Horse)
The Complete Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes and Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)
The (True!) History of Art, by Sylvain Coissard and Alexis Lemoine (SelfMadeHero)
Vader’s Little Princess, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)
You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Anthology
Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)
Nobrow #8: Hysteria, edited by Sam Arthur and Alex Spiro (Nobrow)
Outlaw Territory, edited by Michael Woods (Image)
Smoke Signal, edited by Gabe Fowler (Desert Island)
Thrilling Adventure Hour, by Ben Acker, Ben Blacker et al. (Archaia/BOOM!)

Best Digital/Webcomic
As the Crow Flies, by Melanie Gillman, www.melaniegillman.com
Failing Sky, by Dax Tran-Caffee, failingsky.com
High Crimes, by Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa (Monkeybrain), www.monkeybraincomics.com/titles/high-crimes/
The Last Mechanical Monster, by Brian Fies, lastmechanicalmonster.blogspot.com
The Oatmeal by Matthew Inman, theoatmeal.com

Best Reality-Based Work
A Bag of Marbles, by Joseph Joffo, Kris, and Vincent Bailly (Graphic Universe/Lerner)
The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker (M Press/Dark Horse)
Hip Hop Family Tree, vol. 1, by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)
March (Book One), by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, by Ulli Lust (Fantagraphics)
Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story, by Peter Bagge (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Graphic Album—New
Bluffton: My Summers with Buster, by Matt Phelan (Candlewick)
The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, by Isabel Greenberg (Little, Brown)
Good Dog, by Graham Chaffee (Fantagraphics)
Homesick by Jason Walz (Tinto Press)
The Property, by Rutu Modan (Drawn & Quarterly)
War Brothers, by Sharon McKay and Daniel LaFrance (Annick Press)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium
The Castle, by Franz Kafka, adapted by David Zane Mairowitz and Jaromír 99 (SelfMadeHero)
The Complete Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, adapted by Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)
Django Unchained, adapted by Quentin Tarantino, Reginald Hudlin, R. M. Guéra et al. (DC/Vertigo)
Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground, by Donald Westlake, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)
The Strange Tale of Panorama Island, by Edogawa Rampo, adapted by Suehiro Maruo (Last Gasp)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint
The Creep, by John Arcudi and Jonathan Case (Dark Horse)
Hand-Drying in America and Other Stories, by Ben Katchor (Pantheon)
Heck, by Zander Cannon (Top Shelf)
Julio’s Day, by Gilbert Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
RASL, by Jeff Smith (Cartoon Books)
Solo: The Deluxe Edition, edited by Mark Chiarello (DC)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
Barnaby, vol. 1, by Crockett Johnson, edited by Philip Nel and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
Percy Crosby’s Skippy Daily Comics, vol. 2: 1928–1930, edited by Jared Gardner and Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
Prince Valiant vols. 6-7, by Hal Foster, edited by Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics)
Society Is Nix: Gleeful Anarchy at the Dawn of the American Comic Strip, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press)
Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips, vol. 1, edited by Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
VIP: The Mad World of Virgil Partch, edited by Jonathan Barli (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
Best of EC Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
Canteen Kate, by Matt Baker (Canton Street Press)
In the Days of the Mob, by Jack Kirby (DC)
MAD Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
Will Eisner’s The Spirit Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
Adventures of a Japanese Businessman, by Jose Domingo (Nobrow)
Goddam This War! by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Pierre Verney (Fantagraphics)
Incidents in the Night, Book One, by David B. (Uncivilized Books)
Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, by Ulli Lust (Fantagraphics)
When David Lost His Voice, by Judith Vanistendael (SelfMadeHero)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
The Heart of Thomas, by Moto Hagio (Fantagraphics)
The Mysterious Underground Men, by Osamu Tezuka (PictureBox)
Showa: A History of Japan, 1926–1939, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
Summit of the Gods, vol. 4, by Yemmakura Baku and Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
Utsubora: The Story of a Novelist, by Asumiko Nakamura (Vertical)

Best Writer
Kelly Sue DeConnick, Pretty Deadly (Image); Captain Marvel (Marvel)
Matt Fraction, Sex Criminals (Image); Hawkeye, Fantastic Four, FF (Marvel)
Jonathan Hickman, East of West, The Manhattan Projects (Image); Avengers, Infinity (Marvel)
Scott Snyder, Batman (DC); American Vampire, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
Eric Stephenson, Nowhere Men (Image)
Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image)

Best Writer/Artist
Isabel Greenberg, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth (Little, Brown)
Jaime Hernandez, Love and Rockets New Stories #6 (Fantagraphics)
Terry Moore, Rachel Rising (Abstract Studio)
Luke Pearson, Hilda and the Bird Parade (Nobrow)
Matt Phelan, Bluffton: My Summers with Buster (Candlewick)
Judith Vanistendael, When David Lost His Voice (SelfMadeHero)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
Nate Bellegarde, Nowhere Men (Image)
Nick Dragotta, East of West (Image)
Sean Murphy, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
Nate Powell, March (Book One) (Top Shelf)
Emma Ríos, Pretty Deadly (Image)
Thomas Yeates, Law of the Desert Born: A Graphic Novel (Bantam)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art) 
Andrew C. Robinson, The Fifth Beatle (Dark Horse)
Sonia Sanchéz, Here I Am (Capstone)
Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
Ive Svorcina, Thor (Marvel)
Marguerite Van Cook, 7 Miles a Second (Fantagraphics)
Judith Vanistendael, When David Lost His Voice (SelfMadeHero)

Best Cover Artist
David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)
Mike Del Mundo, X-Men Legacy (Marvel)
Sean Murphy/Jordie Belaire, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
Emma Ríos, Pretty Deadly (Image)
Chris Samnee, Daredevil (Marvel)
Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)

Best Coloring
Jordie Bellaire, The Manhattan Projects, Nowhere Men, Pretty Deadly, Zero (Image); The Massive (Dark Horse); Tom Strong (DC); X-Files Season 10 (IDW); Captain Marvel, Journey into Mystery (Marvel); Numbercruncher (Titan); Quantum and Woody (Valiant)

Steve Hamaker, Mylo Xyloto (Bongo), Strangers in Paradise 20th Anniversary Issue 1 (Abstract Studio), RASL (Cartoon Books)

Matt Hollingsworth, Hawkeye, Daredevil: End of Days (Marvel); The Wake (DC/Vertigo)

Frank Martin, East of West (Image)

Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien, Baltimore: The Infernal Train, BPRD: Hell on Earth, Conan the Barbarian, Hellboy In Hell, The Massive, The Shaolin Cowboy, Sledgehammer 44 (Dark Horse)

Best Lettering
Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground (IDW)
Carla Speed McNeil, Bad Houses; “Finder” in Dark Horse Presents (Dark Horse)
Terry Moore, Rachel Rising (Abstract Studio)
Ed Piskor, Hip Hop Family Tree (Fantagraphics)
Britt Wilson, Adventure Time with Fiona and Cake (kaBOOM!)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
Comic Book Resources, produced by Jonah Weiland, www.comicbookresources.com
The Comics Journal #302, edited by Gary Groth and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)
Comics and Cola, by Zainab Akhtar, www.comicsandcola.com
Multiversity Comics, edited by Matthew Meylikhov, www.multiversitycomics.com
tcj.com, edited by Dan Nadel and Timothy Hodler (Fantagrapahics), www.tcj.com

Best Comics-Related Book
Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary, by Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen (Bloomsbury)
The Art of Rube Goldberg, selected by Jennifer George (Abrams ComicArts)
Co-Mix: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps, by Art Spiegelman (Drawn & Quarterly)
Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, by Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell (LOAC/IDW)
The Love and Rockets Companion, edited by Marc Sobel and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)

Best Scholarly/Academic Work
Anti-Foreign Imagery in American Pulps and Comic Books, 1920–1960, by Nathan Vernon Madison (McFarland)
Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation, edited by Sheena C. Howard and Ronald L. Jackson II (Bloomsbury)
Drawing from Life: Memory and Subjectivity in Comic Art, edited by Jane Tolmie (University Press of Mississippi)
International Journal of Comic Art, edited by John A. Lent
The Superhero Reader, edited by Charles Hatfield, Jeet Heer, and Ken Worcester (University Press of Mississippi)

Best Publication Design
The Art of Rube Goldberg, designed by Chad W. Beckerman (Abrams ComicArts)
Beta Testing the Apocalypse, designed by Tom Kaczynski (Fantagraphics)
Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, designed by Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme: A Panorama, by Joe Sacco, designed by Chin-Yee Lai (Norton)
Little Tommy Lost, Book 1, designed by Cole Closser (Koyama)

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Thanks For Noticing

It was my birthday last Friday. Thanks for noticing. All your gifts and well wishes were received in kind, and you can expect thank you cards in the mail within the week. VanCaf happened this past memorial day weekend, and if I was smart I would have said something about it last week. But I’m not smart you see. I’m simply a vessel of firing synapses that causes electrical currents to make my fingers dance across my keyboard in a whirl of creative furry and madness. Much like Amadeus. Yes, I am the Mozart of my generation. It’s my birthday.

Amateurs by Connor Stechschulte- When we forget history we’re doomed to repeat it, but for the butchers in this graphic novella premiere from Massachusetts artist, Connor Stechschulte, the horror of the lack of memory propels them into what is probably the worst day of their lives. As the owners of a butcher shop, they both show up to work one day with no idea how to butcher. Their follies unfold as customers arrive. I mean, imagine if someone asked you right now for pork back strap, would you know how to do it? The mess and problems what would ensue, the torture of your sensibilities and of the animal? The situational humor built out of such an absurd scenario reveals itself to be darker, and much more problematic for everyone involved. Juxtapozed with the framing of a terrible crime on the outset of the story, the black and white crosshatched story is anything but amateur.

Trees #1 By Warren Ellis and Jason Howard-Do you still lie awake at night because Ellis and Templesmith haven’t updated Fell since 2008? This is new series is nothing like Fell, but hopefully the fact that this will be Ellis’s first release on Image since 2008, might ease the pain. Trees. They’re here. Here is Earth. What are trees? Trees are alien intelligence. Intelligence belongs to the trees. Trees see humans as we see trees. Not alive. Not intelligent. Howard, who worked with Ellis before on the web series Scatterlands, usually keeps a tight Super Dinosaur look in his art, but has pushed himself to a new level with this book, borrowing looks from fan favorite artists such as Simon Roy and Giannis Milonogiannis. As a standard writer for decades, Ellis is continuing to prove his relevance in modern comics.

 

Tanpopo Collection Vol 2 HC by Camilla d’Errico- Like the work that the story of Tanpopo is based on, reading the work calls for careful consideration of the philosophy in play, and to experience the poetry in tandem with the art. Playing off the themes of the German play, Faust, the first volume begins with the titular protagonist, a girl whose existence is dependent on the knowledge given to her by a machine, at the cost of human experience and emotion. She is given the opportunity to experience the pain and joy of humanity upon entering a pact with the devil, which seems like a bad idea, but ultimate knowledge without shared experience is often argued as the absence of existence. Because even the greatest minds of our generation precipice their knowledge on base experience like procreation. Take episode 16 of season three from Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Offspring”, where Data creates a daughter. This series is basically that. With roughly the same amount of Shakespeare. More devil though.

 

Chew/Revival #1 Layman/Seeley and Guillroy/Norton-I barely know what the word crossover means not coming into comics with a superhero background, that and my debilitating illiteracy, but my interest in the notion was certainly peaked when I heard last February that the teams behind Image comics Chew and Revival were joining forces of awesome to bring a series that follows everyone’s favorite cibopath detective into the rural crime-noir. The zombie crime-time town is the perfect host for Tony Chu and his newest investigation. I’m trying really hard to make a cheese-head/head-cheese joke, but it’s just not happening. I just want everyone to know I tried.

The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor #1 by Mark Waid and Neil Edwards- I’ve googled Gold Key so much in the past few months I’ve started getting targeted ads from Masterlock. Why have I been searching it so much? Because the revivals coming from them have literally rocked my world. I talk about them frequently, but now that one of my favorite occult investigators, (my first fav being Constantine) is getting a revamped series I might as well make it an auto search and send it to my rss feed. (I have no idea if those are real things. How does the internet work?) But Doctor Adam Spektor is like the Geraldo Rivera meets Criss Angel of occult detective work, and his public persona has started to drain on his personal life. But when you’re a TV legend, Wall Street wolf, Internet mogul, tabloid bad boy, master metaphysicist, spiritualist, and monster hunter, what more could you possibly need to make you happy? Comic extraordinaire Mark Waid (Daredevil) dares to find out.

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Sci-fi summer school

To organize your thoughts, to give yourself new ideas, and to think about things a different way, I often try to give myself some thematic perameteres to work in. Often those themes don’t stick because they’re dumb, or don’t actually make sense to people other than myself. But today I made themes and decided to leave them.

What are some writing tips you have?! What themes did you notice this week?! Hunt someone down in the store and aggressively tell him or her your thoughts!

This week’s comics are, dyna-miiiiite!

Magnus: Robot Fighter #3-Fred Van Lente turns it up when he pits human hunter Leeja Clarke against the hostile robots of the future. Her introduction is solid pulp, but her fighting prowess is completely real. She’s punching her way up in life, using her own flesh and blood to take down our hero human. If you thought fighting maleficent metal miscreants was going to be Russell Magnus’s biggest challenge, you thought wrong. (But it was a good effort. I mean, it makes sense to assume that his hardest opponents would be robots. But you’re still wrong. Don’t beat yourself up over it though.)

Solar: Man of the Atom #2-With confusion over who is REALLY the new Solar that was left in the wake of #1, I have to say, if you are confused, why do you care?! It’s a pretty solid character trait of first issues to leave a cliffhanger with the audience going “omg what’s going to happen?!?! So crazy!!” but some people just seemed bummed that solar might not be who they thought he was going to be. But this comic is so good I really have to wonder again, why does it matter?! So the mantel of a solar reboot is being passed to someone else, if it’s written as well as Barbiere probably writes his grocery lists, the new Solar will be sure to impress all audiences. Try on some super science with this spectacular new series!

Flash Gordon #2-Evan Shaner is drawing the ever-loving crap out of Jeff Parker’s take on Flash Gordon. The man from Earth is doing a not so great job at keeping his identity when attempting to save an alien race from being transformed into minions of the nefarious Ming. Classic humor and new adventures make this story just generally fun to read, but the amazing art team kills at making this book fun just to look at. The team will continue hopping through time and space in their overarching quest to defeat Ming the Merciless, and prevent the invasion of Earth.

Game on, with Hick-mon….? I’m so embarrassed now

Manhattan Projects Vol. 4-Just buy it! It’s a part of my top 5 fav series! I don’t want to keep telling you to read it! (yes I do)

East of West #12-War is imminent in the best western, high sci-flyin, cryptic apocalyptic, adventure you cowpoke folk ever did read. But the effort swelling to change the course of the war-horse is the greatest quest for Death’s theistic compatriots.

Firsts and lasts

MPH #1-Mark Millaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar has a gotten tired of violence and is instead writing a new book about self-discovery through meditation. Just kidding. This book is about DRUGS, and MONEY, and going really FAST! When two friends realize that a new street drug will give you super speed abilities, they use it to do anything but help others. Obviously something like that will only get them into trouble; but that’s the least of their worries as long as they’re having fun and stacking cheddar. Coming to you from Mark Millar and Duncan Fegredo. I expect a bunch of speed lines.

 Dark horse Presents #36-The series is ending! (only not really) We’ll never see it again! (it’ll be back in July) Nothing will ever be the same! (it will be in a different format though). Full scoop, the current version of DHP you know and love, mainly that it’s 80 pages of awesome, will be going on a diet and getting a little slimmer to fit into a more cost effective model, coming out sometime in July. But that doesn’t mean they skimped on creators for the final (this version) issue. In this corner, we have Mike Mignola! Stan Sakai! And JAIME HERNANDEZ! + a bunch of others. They’ll be wrapping some stories up, starting some new ones, and giving you all around great tales for a great price.

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Summa

I’ve taken up the ancient art form of origami as of late, and between creating lotus flowers, cranes, and tie-fighters, I have learned the power of creativity, dexterity, concentration, and the overwhelming urge to set all pieces of decorative paper on fire out of sheer frustration.I’d like to think there’s a metaphor for life somewhere in there, but I’m too consumed with rage to see it yet.Anyways, this books will calm me down…

 

Rust Vol 3: Death of Rocket Boy by Royden Lepp-Like a steam punk gateway, this beautiful and fantastical world has created a world that’s full of robots, family struggles, and jet packs. Life was forever changed for the Taylors, when Jet Jones and a decommissioned robot from the alternate universe World Wars crash land on their farm. Lepp has spent the previous two hardcover volumes building up family secrets, sacrifice, and robot action that will all come to a head in this penultimate book of the series. This book seriously is all ages, because I’ve recommended to readers of any age, and no one is disappointed with the action or the heart that sits at the core of these books.

 

Manifest Destiny Vol 1 by Chris Dingess and Matthew Roberts-

History and giant monsters collide in this take on the REAL story of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark! Especially pertinent to us Washingtonians, or anyone who enjoyed a rousing CD-Rom game of the Oregon Trail, the journey to discover the Pacific Ocean is historical, but the truth is what will make this story legend. Wild monsters, infection, betrayal, and help from the French and Native Americans drive all first six issues of this collected edition. The American frontier is a dangerous place, I suggest using this as a guidebook for your journey.

 

This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki- Summer is not officially here, but the memory is always present. Fires, camping, jumping in lakes, back sweat, booty shorts. If you’ve been missing any of the above, This One Summer, might help alleviate that. Possibly with less booty shorts than my summer, the one written and drawn by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki does capture the youthfulness of summer nostalgia, and then wrecks it. Rose and Windy are best beach buds, and have always looked forward to spending their long days doing what kids do best. But things have gotten rough between Rose’s parents, and Windy and Rose look for a distraction that ends up getting them involved in the even bigger problems of some older local kids. This might not have been the summer they dreamed up, but it’s one they’ll never forget. Cousin duo, the Tamaki’s, produce tween angst against artwork that has a beautiful flow.

thisonesummer_01

Rogue Trooper Classic #1 by Gerry Finley-Day and Dave Gibbons- Did James Stokoe’s covers on the new Rogue Trooper series make you wonder where all these badass blue warriors came from? Wonder no longer! IDW is bringing the original comics from 2000AD, created by Gerry Finley-Day and Dave Gibbons, back to life in fuuuuullllll cooolooooooorrrr. The war torn future is rife with chemical weapons and warfare, and the only ones able to fight the fight are the genetically modified infantrymen. These are the tales of one such Genetic Infantryman, Rogue. One part Full Metal Jacket, and one part Fallout, this classic series will feature appearances by Judge Dredd, who will feel right at home in the war ravaged Nu-Earth.

 

The Auteur #3 by Rick Spears and James Callahan- I know I mention this book every week, but I don’t STOP mentioning it because it’s LITERALLY THE BEST THING EVER. If I haven’t convinced you at this point to read a book that’s about a psychotropic drug rampage through Hollywood and your own mind, on the quest to create the most realistic horror film ever, then I haven’t been doing my job and I might as well jump off a cliff. (I also use the term job loosely because I have yet to receive as much praise and adulation and keys to cities and babies presented for healing kisses, as my words deserve)

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I’ll never be successful because I’m not crazy

Jodorowsky’s Dune finally came to Seattle this weekend, and I was painfully inspired by this doc. You basically get an animated Moebius film, in between beautiful H.G. Giger art, and topped with an amazing soundtrack that really feels essentially Dune. I can’t say enough good things about this film. For sci-fi, comic, film fans alike.
I followed the painful inspiration with a weekend of day drinking, nail painting, and reading. My magnum opus won’t be built in a day.

Adventure Time Annual 2014- The thing I love about annuals is that they come out once a year. They’re also bigger. They feature a new creative team. And sometimes they’re Adventure Time. Lucky for us, this one hits all those sweet spots. Joining the already extra special AT Team is husband-wife comic duo, Becky and Frank! They write and draw the super adorable webcomic, Tiny Kitten Teeth (that is hand painted, I might add). If you have diabetes you might want to keep a candy bar on hand for this one, because it not only features the sugary cuteness of their typical art style, but the story follows little Fionna and BABY CAKE! The sweetness is in the name! Just thinking about it gets me a little light headed. The two get into all sorts of magical trouble, but who could ever stay mad at a baby Fionna and Cake?!

Buddy Buys a Dump TPB

bagge3
Continuing the Buddy Bradley series from the collected books of Buddy Does Jersey, and Buddy Does Seattle, comes the first collection we’ve seen from Peter Bagge’s iconic Hate Annual series in seven years! But this newest collected version will also feature new pages created by Bagge; a major contribution to the renaissance Seattle is having right now of its alternative comics scene. Life for the junky, 1990’s famous anti-hero, Buddy Bradley has changed significantly. We find him now in his 30’s, with a wife, son, owning a junkyard, and wearing an eye patch. Pretty normal for Buddy I’d say. This conclusion to his most recent arc will be marked by the 25th anniversary of Hate Comix in 2015. I’d say that time has flown by, and something nostalgic like “I remember when these comics blah blah blah”, but I’ll be honest, Hate came out the year I was born. So I’ve had A LOT of catching up to do.(If you’re interested in the current work of underground Seattle cartoonists, look up the work of Ben Horak, Gnartoons, and Tom Van Deusen in their monthly publication, The Intruder)

Unlovable Vol 3 HC- Grotesquely hilarious, in only the way an illustrated journal of a teenage girl from 1989 can be. Unlovable, by Esther Pearl Watson, is what all of us were at some point in our adolescence, but wishing we never were. Summer is here for Tammy Pierce, and she’s ready to party, flirt with all the boys, and wear waaaaay too much mascara. This is a must read for all Tina Belcher fans. This is also a must read for anyone who likes fun!

Southern Bastards #1- Jason Aaron just made the South real dirty. Dirty with rednecks, piss, and dogs. Craw County is home to all of the above; it’s also home to the meanest sheriff the town has ever seen, and his brutality is the stuff of legend. But it’s very real to his son who has come back to town for the first time in years. His dad is dead, but his brutality lives on in the town, through a new boss who has this football town in his fist, and people running from his terror. While this may not be a welcome home for Earl Tugg, for fans of Aaron’s work on books like Scalped, this feels like we’ve been greeted with open arms. Originally from Alabama himself, this feels really down home Southern. Artist and co-creator, Jason Latour also hails from North Carolina, and these two don’t miss a beat when it comes to creating an atmosphere that’s soiled with too many memories, and too much power.

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two #4- When you combine the most serious man in crime fighting, with two cute animal tour guides to Crimeland that sing rhyming tunes, you get only a piece of the wacky ride that is Judge Dredd Mega City Two. Dredd takes care of some old fashioned boss’s in the amusement park that caters to showing old-fashioned street crime! Sounds like a good time for Dredd and his film crew, until they run into a rogue Judge who turns their world upside down by giving up the law…to help the people. The art is out of control on this issue, and the contrast between the hyper detail of the city and landscape, combined with the cartoonish auxiliary characters gives this book a distinguishing flavor from anything that’s on the shelves today. And this issue definitely satisfies my need for some form of musical theatre.

Pretty Deadly Vol 1 TPB- Prolific author Gabriel Garcia Marquez may have left us, but this world is no less full of magical realism as long as Pretty Deadly is still around. DeConnick and Rios have left a sizeable dent in the comics’ world, following the release of their spaghetti western meets kung-fu epic. If you’re one of the poor souls wandering this wasteland of a planet lost and alone because you haven’t picked this book up yet, now is your chance to feel the swift righteous blade of death’s daughter, Ginny. Her origin is the stuff of legend; a tale that bards sing around a fire. But the wronged always know where to find her.

Pretty-Deadly-hed

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