Tagged: x-files

Frankly Dear I Don’t Give a Damn

It’s early (right now), and I’m tired (always) because I haven’t had enough of the devil’s brew (coffee). There’s not a lot of comics news to talk about right now… Toy Fair happened? Lego’s have been having a good week? I don’t know why I’m posing these as questions, they’re factual statements. (?)

White Suits #1

It’s safe so say that since the release of the wildly popular, and critically acclaimed, series “Five Ghosts”, everyone’s been waiting with baited breath to see what project writer Frank Barbiere was going to be putting out next. You can kill the dramatics because “White Suits” is here! Torn from the pages of a past Dark Horse Presents issue, this four part miniseries expands on the world of a group of white suited assassins who went underground after the Cold War, only to reappear in New York City to take down various mob baddies. Us, and the FBI, are all wondering who these mysterious cats are, and what it is they want from their crimes. Artist Toby Cypress creates a raw and dreamlike world that let’s you think your getting closer to an answer, when really everything is just slipping from your grasp. These have pulp-mystery in their blood, and like Five Ghosts, you’ll want to read this issue over and over to get every beautifully gory detail.

Undertow #1

The heart of this new six-issue miniseries from Image is a political drama. Set in the cultural pith of Atlantis, writer Steve Orlando and artist Artyom Trakhanov have recreated modern societal dramas of hyper-consumerism, political complacency on part of the citizens, and governmental conspiracy in a newer and wetter world. Redum Anshargal found himself a victim at the hands of this superpower government, and begins his mission of recruiting people out of their contentment, and hunt the elusive Amphibian, hoping to discover the mystery’s of those crazy air-breathers! But let’s take a second to talk about Trakhanov’s art. He’s a virtual unknown in English speaking countries, because his only work is a Russian web-comic. Orlando, who used to live in Russia, is fluent in his language and was able to connect with Trakhanov via the Internet, and they begin a beautiful working relationship to create one of the most creative books this year. Very Ray Harryhausen inspired monsters and nautical adventuring, with inventive ways of exploring how the legend of Atlantis works beyond “oh, it’s just fantasy”. The added sci-fi element pushes this book out of a typical genre piece; watch as this monster-pulp makes a huge splash.

Zero Vol. 1 TP

This is a given. I’ve written about Zero pretty consistently since it’s release. It’s Ales Kot’s best work, and even though there’s a rotating artistic team, every person has brought something unique to this soon-to-be-classic, spy story. Edward Zero has lived, breathed, and killed his missions his entire life, with no remorse. But operation by operation, Zero’s disillusionment with the only world he’s ever known begins him on a slow decent to uncovering the truth of his world. But this exposure has potentially dire consequences that are only alluded to and teased out. We have to wait with anticipation to see how Edward’s actions possibly bring about the end of the world.

Dark Horse Presents #33

Remember how I said Barbiere’s first rendition of White Suits was in an issue of Presents? Seriously, you don’t remember? I wrote about it like 500 words ago. Anyway, if you want to know about the best-kept secret in comics’ previews, it’s in these pages. There are 80 pages of ad-free comics from people like Brian Churilla, Dean Motter, Brendon McCarthy, Jamie Rich, and more. It’s a great resource for finding old classics, and the next great story. This issue has an amazing line-up, but I gotta ask, Dark Horse, where the ladies at? Fix the problem by buying it, and demanding more!

X-Files Conspiracy TMNT #1

In my opinion, the X-Files can do no wrong. In film and in comics, they’ve built up a world in which anything they do it possible and accepted by readers, and is the reason that X-Files crossovers are so fantastic. So when you mix fan favorite sidekicks, like the Lone Gunmen, with classic ninja turtles, I don’t really think anything can go wrong. Other than the fact that they’re teaming up to help stop the end of the world from a deadly virus that they learned about through correspondence they received from the future. That could potentially go wrong. But when you have people like Ed Brisson, Michael Walsh, and Jordie Bellaire as your creative team, even if the world does end, you’ll probably have a good time reading about it.

X-Files_Conspiracy_TMNT_1A

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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 3: In A Galaxy Far, Far Away…

Third column. I am coming out of my sophomoric slump with an all star one this week. The only problem is that the comic industry basically takes the last week of December off meaning that there are less than 10 mainstream comics releasing. I’m not going to resort to recommending comics that I don’t believe in 100% (actually like 80% but you get the point) just to fill space so I’m going to resort to recommending books that don’t really fit the “TRY SOMETHING NEW” criteria. That’s called integrity folks. It’s not just a great metal band from Cleveland.

Before I move on to books that need your attention I would like to give a nod to Dan Slott and the Spider-Man team for wrapping up Amazing Spider-Man this week in an interesting and different direction. Mr. Slott and the Spider-Man crew have put out a really great book for a few years, consistently among the best superhero books on the shelf. Every time they try and push the story forward, evolve the character, or even just do something compelling they meet with a great deal of resistance from folks who want their superhero books to be a never changing constant in their lives. I am not sure what drives a person to want to read the same thing year in and year out, but my thanks to the Spider-Man team for not giving in to them. These are stories not security blankets. The curtain goes up, we meet a character, the curtain goes down and that character is somehow different. That is how stortytelling is supposed to work. Anyway, buy SPIDER-MAN #700 and celebrate the end of an era.

Of the handful of new titles this week, the only thing that really caught my eye as “try something new” material is Brian Wood & Ming Doyle’s MARA #1 from Image. Brian Wood has long been a favorite of mine for, at worst doing interesting and unique books (COURIERS, NEW YORK 4), and at his best being among the top writers in comics (DMZ, NORTHLANDERS, LOCAL). With his new series from Dark Horse, THE MASSIVE, easily making the best books of the year list, and his work on ULTIMATE X-MEN quickly becoming one of the best runs that book has ever had, I was very excited for MARA. Mr. Wood is good for nothing if not keeping you guessing, and MARA certainly does that in spades. A dystopian tale about the world’s most famous female volleyball player. I don’t think I need to really say anything else. Either that interests you or it doesn’t. Personally I love reading something I have never read before and this easily falls into that category. In a year of weird premised comic books, a 20+ year old story by Alan Moore takes the cake (FASHION BEAST) but MARA certainly gave it a run for it’s money. RIYL: Brian Wood’s more “out there” dystopian work, the volleyball scenes in Top Gun, or sci-fi that doesn’t “feel” sci-fi.

On to things that didn’t come out this week but you should pick up. Anders Nilsen is one of the great indie comic creators to emerge in the last decade. Everything he touches has a deeply personal and intimate feel and this allows the stories he choose to tell to be both wildly unique and relatable. His epic BIG QUESTIONS is a must read for the “lit” comics set and deserves it’s place on shelves alongside other modern classics that start with “B” like BLANKETS, BLACK HOLE, BUILDING STORIES, and BORING, DAVID. But Mr. Nilsen’s most personal work has also been the one that was the hardest to get for years, DON’T GO WHERE I CAN’T FOLLOW. Finally back in print, DGWICF is bar none one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking stories I have ever read. Using journal entries, photos, postcards, and comics, Mr. Nilsen recounts the love he shared with his fiancee, Cheryl Weaver. You follow their tale through vacations and young love, her getting sick with cancer, her hospitalization, and, heartbreakingly, through her memorial. This book is an amazing tribute to the love shared between two people and the fragility of the human experience. RIYL: Crying.

SAUCER COUNTRY is the new ongoing series by a couple of the more interesting creators in comics from one of the best publishers. Paul Cornell (Dr. Who tv show, BATMAN & ROBIN, CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI-13, etc)), Ryan Kelly (BOOKS OF MAGIC, DMZ, etc) have put together a great political alien abduction series that is as smart as it is fun. Equal parts X-Files, EX MACHINA, and The Manchurian Candidate, this book is worth picking up if you are a fan of any of that stuff. RIYL: All the stuff I just mentioned. Come on, pay attention.

My final recommendation of recent stuff that is worth grabbing is MARK TWAIN WAS RIGHT. The always excellent Microcosm Publishing releases this collection of comic journalism about the 2001 Cincinnati riots. Dan P. Moore recounts through personal experience and interviews the days leading up to and after the police shooting of Timothy Thomas, an unarmed black teenager. MTWR tells the story of the riots and civil disobedience from a perspective we are rarely are offered, the community itself. The Cincinnati riots are a major moment in recent American history and the roots and causes of the anger and sadness that took over that city for days deserve your attention as much as anything on a comic store shelf. It’s one of those rare instances where comics aren’t just telling this important story better than other media, comics is the only one telling it. Support a unique voice, support a worthwhile book, and get yourself a great book all at the same time. RIYL: Comics journalism by folks like Joe Sacco, Ted Rall, or Guy Delisle.

That’s it for my my third column. Can you tell I wrote this one when I was extra tired? I can. As always, thanks for reading. And to those of you who do, thanks for supporting new books and new ideas in comics.

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New Comics 7/14/10

by Unkiedev

Aspen comics have managed to publish a comic book WITHOUT a half-naked lady on the cover! This is an impressive feat for them, one sure to turn over some long standing bets with bookies keeping tabs on such things.

It’s called Scourge #0 and it’s written by X-Men scribe of old Scott Lobdell. Lobdell is one of those writers who I rather despised at the time, but who’s work still seems readable, almost fun and innocent now.

Apparently the Scourge is about people in New York City turning into gargoyles. I think there’s entire internet-chat rooms for people with that particular kink. Continue reading

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