Holy moly. This time next week I’ll be back in my beloved second city, New York City. For NYCC! I’m going to hug everyone at Forbidden Planet so hard they won’t know what hit them. I might just actually hit people instead. Either way, there’s a solid amount of talent going to NYCC that don’t normally make it to very many conventions, like: Joe Mad! Paul Pope, David Lloyd, and Ramona Fradon (whaaat?!). Personally, I’ll be holding it down with the awesome ladies and gents of Oni Press (booth 1844!), so you should come and say, “Heeeeey”, just like that.
I’m super pumped! Also pumped about comics this week (and every week)!
(I should cut back on parentheses)
Shaolin Cowboy #1
Shaolin Cowboy; Geoff Darrow; ongoing. Three awesome things to read in tandem. The classic, and fan-favorite, kung-fu fighting cowboy returns to Dark Horse this week with a new and on-going story. It’s an easy spot to drop in if it’s your first time venturing into the wild, chainsaw-wielding West, but it also has everything the tried and true fans of Darrow’s hyper violence want out of the series. In case you missed that, yes, chainsaw-wielding. I read an interview in which someone asked Darrow about why he liked to draw them so much, and he replied by saying he wasn’t sure where the fascination came from, he just liked to draw them, oh but wait, my uncle did sever his leg with a chainsaw when I was younger. Regardless of the chainsaw origin, there’s never been anything more right than an outlawed Shaolin monk who fights badies that are after the bounty placed on his head. Am I sufficiently making it clear to you how awesome this series is? So good to have you back old friend.
Popeye Classics #15
Oh, you thought I only like to talk about super violent action books? I have a soft spot for the classics, and feel it pertinent that people know your parents/grandparents/self(?) had a few things right with these timeless comics. And thanks to the publishers at IDW, cartoonist Bug Sagendorf is finally being recognized for his work, and held up alongside the greats like Carl Barks (Donald Duck), and John Stanley (Little Lulu). Sagendorf did Popeye comics for almost 20 years, and in that time developed a comedy style that still makes me laugh every time I read them. If this is the first time you’re picking up a Popeye Classic, you don’t really have to worry about a plot of who’s good, who’s evil, what interstellar space race is trying to destroy the planet, you just have to try to get this into the hands of youngsters to set them straight on a long and happy life of comics reading/appreciating/loving.
This sentiment translates to all the classic, all-ages comics that are being published right now: Nancy, Peanuts, Little Lulu, Donald Duck. They’re all fantastically funny, heartfelt, and surprisingly relevant.
Rocket Girl #1
If I had a pick of the week, this would be my pick of the week. The plot line itself might make your head explode, so take precautions while reading this: a teenage girl who fights for space police in a high-tech version of 2013 travels back in time to gritty 1986 New York City to investigate the conglomerate, Quintum Mechanics for time crime. Along the way she discovers alternate realities! Utopias v. rampant crime! Landline phones! This uber-successful Kickstarter project from writer Brandon Montclare and fan-favorite artist Amy Reeder, turned Image project, has been teasing fans for months with back page ads that look like they’re ripped from 1986. If you’re a fan of the tough ‘80s action movie female characters that used to be so prevalent in classics like Predator 2, Robocop, and Terminator, then Rocket Girl will not disappoint. Amy Reeder’s world building, highly saturated colors, and eye for detail (particularly for fashion, especially if you remember their Halloween special last year, Halloween Eve), is essential in telling this period piece story. A teenage police officer, who travels time, and wears a jetpack is pretty essential too.
Archer and Armstrong #14
A Valiant reboot of a solid buddy-team comics appears to be their strong suit, and I for one am not complaining. If you’re unaware of the basic plot, let me catch you up: Archer was raised to respect and love his family, who in turned trained him to fight a great evil that threatens his family and their beliefs. That evil turns out to be the constantly old, and constantly drunk, Armstrong. But instead of killing him, Archer realizes that he may have been lied to his entire life, and that his parents are really a part of an age-old organization called the Sect, that has its claws in every religious and government body in the world. This new arc is a solid jumping on point as the various factions that make up the Sect are tired of each other, and a massive civil war is about to be unleashed. It’s no surprise who the only two people are that can stop them are, but we have no idea how! These books are easy to read, easy to get into, and never disappointing in action or comedy. Valiant really tries to remember that comics really are the best medium for one-liners, and they don’t hold back.
There’s fortunately, a ton of other stuff I want to pimp this week, but for the sake of my laziness, I’m going to condense them into a Halloween/Fall package of awesome:
Coffin Hill #1 is the newest addition to the Vertigo family. There’s something about New England that makes authors want to write truly F’d up novels and comics, and novelist Caitlin Kittredge upholds that maker with a story about a cop, Eve Coffin, forced into early retirement who makes her way back to her hometown. Only to discover that a night of drugs, drinking, witchcraft, and murder 10 years ago has left a lingering impression in the woods, and her dark past is seeking revenge. Art by Inaki Miranda (Fables!)! Creepy Comics #14 Good gravy there are so many people working on this issue: Ray Fawkes, Dan Braun, Peter Bagge, Matthew Southworth, Tomm Coker, Tim Seeley, David Palumbo. My job is done, you’re probably already reading this now, aren’t you? More convincing? It’s only $3.99 and 40 pages long! Lucifer TP Vol 2 I don’t talk about collections that often, but if you didn’t get a chance to read the Sandman spinoff, Lucifer, before it went out of print, then there is little to zero time to waste when it comes to picking this up. The Satan that people love to hate is building his own Garden of Eden, and playing, well, God? This is some of Mike Carey’s best work, and the density of these books makes them worth every penny, and every page.