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WTF Comics

WTF-CertifiedThroughout the month of April, DC Comics released all of their comics with special gatefold covers that folded out for a shocking reveal. This month-long promotion was initially marketed as WTF Certified, but that label was later dropped, possibly when the internet repeatedly reminded DC Comics of the meaning of WTF. Despite all of that, the comics were still released with a number of surprises. I teamed up with Weyward Sisters Productions to document my response to these comics.

For some more info on the making of this video, see CoreyBlake.com.

New Comics for New Readers – April 17, 2013

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three brand new releases worthy of your consideration. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.

While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology, ComicList.com and PREVIEWSworld.

(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

Transfusion

Transfusion by Steve Niles and menton3

Transfusion
Written by Steve Niles
Illustrated by menton3
Published by IDW Publishing
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Ages: 14+
104 pages
$17.99

In a future overrun by out-of-control machines and monsters, a handful of human survivors try to fight their way back to a normal life. But what is normal in a world where both monsters and machines need human blood? And which are the real bad guys?

Find out in this horrific new story by 30 Days of Night co-creator Steve Niles and menton3, the demented artist behind Monocyte!

 

 

 

 

Happy

Happy! by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson

Happy!
Written by Grant Morrison
Illustrated by Darick Robertson
Published by Image Comics
Genre: Crime
Ages: 16+
96 pages
$12.99

Meet Nick Sax, a corrupt, intoxicated ex-cop turned hit-man, adrift in a stinking twilight world of casual murder, soulless sex, eczema, and betrayal. With a hit gone wrong, a bullet in his side, the cops and the mob on his tail, and a monstrous child killer in a Santa suit on the loose, Nick and his world will be changed forever this Christmas.

By a tiny blue horse called Happy…

 

 

 

 

MarshalLaw

Marshal Law: The Deluxe Edition by Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill

Marshal Law: The Deluxe Edition
Written by Pat Mills
Illustrated by Kevin O’Neill
Published by DC Comics
Genre: Satire, Super-Hero
Ages: 16+
480 pages
$49.99

In the spirit of Judge Dredd and the current hit series The Boys, Marshal Law is a violent, satirical series about a futuristic law official charged with policing super-heroes gone rogue by any means necessary, all while fighting his own self-hatred for being the thing he hates most: a super-hero.

Featuring art by Kevin O’Neill, illustrator of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the centerpiece of this massive volume is the original six-part tale in which Marshal Law hunts down the Sleepman, a serial killer who is somehow connected to the popular hero known as The Public Spirit.

New Comics for New Readers – April 3, 2013

Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three brand new releases worthy of your consideration. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.

While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology, ComicList.com and PREVIEWSworld.

(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

LettingItGo

Letting It Go by Mariam Katin

Letting It Go
Written and illustrated by Miriam Katin
Published by Drawn and Quarterly
Genre: Non-Fiction
Ages: 13+
pages
$24.95

A Holocaust survivor struggles to let go of the past

Miriam Katin has the light hand of a master storyteller in this flowing, expressive, full-color masterpiece.  A Holocaust survivor and mother, Katin’s world is turned upside down by the news that her adult son is moving to Berlin, a city she’s villainized for the past forty years. As she struggles to accept her son’s decision, she visits the city twice, first to see her son and then to attend a museum gala featuring her own artwork. What she witnesses firsthand is a city coming to terms with its traumatic past, much as Katin is herself. Letting It Go is a deft and careful balance: wry, self-deprecating anecdotes counterpoint a serious account of the myriad ways trauma inflects daily existence, both for survivors and for their families.

Katin’s first book, We Are On Our Own, was a memoir of her childhood, detailing how she and her mother hid in the Hungarian countryside, disguising themselves as a peasant woman and her illegitimate child in order to escape the Nazis. The stunning story, along with Katin’s gorgeous pencil work, immediately garnered acclaim in the comics world and beyond. With Letting It Go, Katin’s storytelling and artistic skills allow her to explore a voice and perspective like no other found in the medium.

JuliosDay

Julio’s Day by Gilbert Hernandez

Julio’s Day
Written and illustrated by Gilbert Hernandez
Published by Fantagraphics
Genre: Fiction
Ages: 13+
104 pages
$19.99

It begins in the year 1900, with the scream of a newborn. It ends, 100 pages later, in the year 2000, with the death rattle of a 100-year-old man. The infant and the old man are both Julio, and Gilbert Hernandez’s Julio’s Day (originally serialized in Love and Rockets Vol. II but never completed until now) is his latest graphic novel, a masterpiece of elliptical, emotional storytelling that traces one life — indeed, one century in a human life — through a series of carefully crafted, consistently surprising and enthralling vignettes.

There is hope and joy, there is bullying and grief, there is war (so much war — this is after all the 20th century), there is love, there is heartbreak. While Julio’s Day has some settings and elements in common with Hernandez’s Palomar cycle (the Central American protagonists and milieu, the vivid characters, the strong familial and social ties), this is very much a singular, standalone story that will help cement his position as one of the strongest and most original cartoonists of this, or any other, century.

Julio’s Day is a story of one man’s life, but it’s a great deal more than that as well. It’s the story of the life of a century, also told as if a day. Beginning with Julio’s birth in 1900 and ending with his death in 2000, the graphic novel touches on most of the major events that shaped the 20th century.” – Brian Evenson, from his introduction

“A haunting performance and about as perfect a literary work as I’ve read in years. Hernandez accomplishes in 100 pages what most novelists only dream of — rendering the closeted phlegmatic Julio in all his confounding complexity and in the process creating an unflinching biography of a community, a country and a century. A masterpiece.” – Junot Díaz

PunkRockJesus

Punk Rock Jesus by Sean Murphy

Punk Rock Jesus
Written and illustrated by Sean Murphy
Published by Vertigo/DC Comics
Genre: Science Fiction
Ages: 16+
224 pages
$16.99

A reality TV show starring a clone of Jesus Christ causes chaos across the U.S. of the near future in Punk Rock Jesus, a new graphic novel written and drawn by Sean Murphy, the acclaimed illustrator of Joe the Barbarian and American Vampire.

J2 causes both outrage and adulation. Religious zealots either love or hate the show, angry politicians worry about its influence on the nation, and members of the scientific community fear the implications of cloning a human being at all, let alone the Son of God. And what effect will this all have on Gwen, the young woman who is selected, through an American Idol-style process, to be the mother of the new Messiah?

Thomas McKael is the clones’s bodyguard and former IRA operative, who despite his turbulent past is hired to protect the new Jesus—a baby who captivates the world, but grows up to become an angry teenager.

When falling ratings force the network to cut Jesus’s mother from the series the young star runs away, renounces his religious heritage and forms a punk rock band. And what starts off as babysitting for Thomas becomes an epic battle, as Jesus goes to war against the corporate media complex that created him.

Op-Ed: Hate is not a belief

In a special op-ed, columnist Wayne Rée examines a recent controversy in comics.

AdventuresOfSuperman1

Adventures of Superman #1 (cover by Chris Samnee)

Last week, Chris Sprouse – the artist that was scheduled to work with writer Orson Scott Card on DC Comics’ new anthology series The Adventures of Superman – left the project. Sprouse’s departure, unsurprisingly, has reignited the flame of controversy that has surrounded Card and DC since the initial announcement of the Ender’s Game author’s involvement.

Some fans are calling for the publisher to remove Card, citing his anti-gay marriage stance as one of the reasons why Card should stay away from comics’ most prominent bastion of Truth and Justice. Some fans, however, think it’s unfair to blacklist a writer based on his beliefs.

And I agree with both those parties. DC Comics shouldn’t drop Card because of his beliefs.

Hear me out. I was raised Catholic, but left the faith a couple of years back. I’ve seen a lot of people pick out pretty unsavory passages from the Bible to show just how ‘vile’ and ‘despicable’ religions like Catholicism are. And, granted, these excerpts don’t exactly paint the church in a positive light.

I, however, have seen for myself that religion can be, and usually is, more than just passages from a book. Most of my friends still identify themselves as Catholic – and they’re all good people. I’m sure a lot of you could say the same thing about your religious friends too, regardless of what god or gods they worship. Because religion and hate are not synonymous concepts.

Orson Scott Card isn’t a hateful person because of his religion. Mormonism, no matter what its teachings, should never be used as a reason to can his Superman story.

But Card isn’t just a person who believes that homosexuality isn’t natural; as a board member of the National Organization for Marriage, a body dedicated to blocking the legalization of gay marriage, he’s a man who’s actively trying to stop people who’re in love from tying the knot. People whose sexual orientation does not, in any way, harm others. Simply put, he’s preaching hate.

As Michael Hartney so perfectly put it in his open letter to DC Comics, “There’s a difference between having conservative political beliefs and being an active force of bigotry and hatred.”

So, like I said before, no, I don’t think DC Comics should drop Orson Scott Card for what he believes in.

But hate is not a belief.

Wayne Rée’s been writing professionally for about ten years. He’s worked in everything from advertising to publishing, and was even part of the team that created Singapore’s very first tattoo magazine. He’s currently putting together his very first short story collection. He blogs about his upcoming book, storytelling and other things at http://waynereewrites.tumblr.com. And contrary to what you might think, he really likes Ender’s Game and the Bean series.

New Comics for New Readers – March 6, 2013

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three brand new releases worthy of your consideration. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.

While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology, ComicList.com and PREVIEWSworld.

(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

FannyAndRomeo

Fanny and Romeo by Yves Pelletier and Pascal Girard

Fanny and Romeo
Written by Yves Pelletier
Illustrated by Pascal Girard
Published by Conundrum Press
Genre: Comedy
Ages: 12+
$20.00

It’s him or the cat in this charming collaboration between first time author (and renown Quebec comic actor) Yves Pelletier and the established artist Pascal Girard (winner of the Doug Wright Award for Bigfoot).

The story concerns a young couple, Fanny wants to have children, and Fabien doesn’t feel ready. Then a cat called Romeo comes into their lives. She falls in love, but he’s allergic. Fanny becomes more and more attached to the cat, to the point where she actually rents a separate apartment for it. But it turns out her Romeo has actually been two-timing her.

A perfect blend of Pelletier’s writing with Girard’s beautiful watercolors, this story will warm the hearts of cat lovers and people lovers alike!

Barrage1

Barrage by Kouhei Horikoshi

Barrage Volume 1
Written and illustrated by Kouhei Horikoshi
Published by VIZ Media
Genre: Action/Adventure, Science Fiction, Comedy
Ages: 12+
192 pages
$9.99

Spunky slum kid Astro gets the chance of a lifetime to end the chaos ripping apart his home planet when the playboy prince switches places with him. Now Astro has become Prince Barrage, a boy charged with the duty of restoring peace to the planet…and given an all-powerful magical spear to do it!

In order to save the planet, Astro will have to battle terrifying aliens while learning how to fight from his even more frightening guardian, the exacting knight Tiamat. Does a kid like Astro have what it takes to become the real prince and save the planet?

 

 

MessagesInABottle

Messages in a Bottle by B. Krigstein

Messages in a Bottle: Comic Book Stories by B. Krigstein
Written and illustrated by Bernard Krigstein
Edited by Greg Sadowski
Published by Fantagraphics Books
Genre: Anthology
Ages: 16+
272 pages
$35.00

Working in comic books for just over a decade in the 1940s and ’50s, Bernard Krigstein applied all the craft, intelligence, and ambition of a burgeoning “serious” artist, achieving results that remain stunning to this day. While his legend rests mostly on his landmark narratives created for EC Comics, dozens of stories for lesser publishers equally showcase his singular draftsmanship and radical reinterpretation of the comics page.

Harvey and Eisner Award-winning Krigstein biographer Greg Sadowski has assembled the very best of the artist’s work, starting with his earliest creative rumblings, through his glory days at EC, to his final daring experiments for Stan Lee’s Atlas Comics — running through nearly every genre popular at the time, be it horror, science fiction, war, western, or romance.

This edition reprints the out-of-print 2004 hardcover B. Krigstein Comics, with a number of stories re-tooled and improved in terms of reproduction, and several new stories added. Legendary EC colorist Marie Severin, in her last major assignment before her retirement, recolored 20 stories for this edition. The remainder has been taken from printed comics, digitally restored with subtlety and restraint. Original art pages, photostats from Krigstein’s personal archives, and an extensive set of historical and editorial notes by Sadowski round out this compelling volume.

Honorable mentions for new editions of two favorites:

LastDayInVietnam

Last Day in Vietnam by Will Eisner

Last Day in Vietnam: A Memory
Written and illustrated by Will Eisner
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Genre: War, Memoir
Ages: 16+
80 pages
$17.99

Last Day in Vietnam recounts Will Eisner’s own experiences with soldiers engaged not only in the daily hostilities of war but also in larger, more personal combat. Some of the stories in this novel are comical, some heartrending, some frightening, yet all display the incredible insight into humanity characteristic of Eisner’s entire oeuvre.

* Introduction by Matt Fraction!

* Printed with special sepia ink and in hardcover for the first time.

* Released to coincide with Will Eisner Week — the annual celebration of Eisner’s life and work.

JoeTheBarbarian

Joe the Barbarian by Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy

Joe the Barbarian
Written by Grant Morrison
Illustrated by Sean Murphy
Published by Vertigo/DC Comics
Genre: Fantasy
Ages: 16+
224 pages
$19.99

Joe is an imaginative young kid of 11 who happens to suffer from type 1 diabetes. He can’t fit in at school. He’s the victim of bullies. His dad died overseas in the Iraq war. Without supervision and insulin, he can easily slip into a delirious, disassociative state that presages coma and death.

One fateful day, his condition causes him to believe he has entered a vivid fantasy world in which he is the lost savior — a fantastic land based on the layout and contents of his home. His desperate attempts to make it out of his bedroom and down the mountainous stairs, to find food, switch the lights on and answer the phone to his mother, transform into an incredible, epic adventure through a bizarre landscape of submarine pirate dwarves, evil Hell Hounds, Lightning Lords and besieged castles; a landscape which allows him to work out his own and his family’s problems.

But is his quest really just an insulin-deprived delirium — from which he can die if he doesn’t take his meds — or something much bigger?

New Comics for New Readers – February 6, 2013

Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three brand new releases worthy of your consideration. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.

While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology and ComicList.com.

(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

BTOOOMv1

BTOOOM! Volume 1 by Junya Inoue

BTOOOM! Volume 1
Written and illustrated by Junya Inoue
Published by Yen Press
Genre: Action/Adventure
Ages: 16+
192 pages
$11.99

An expert gamer is forced to play a real-life version of his favorite game in a battle to the death!

By all counts, Ryouta Sakamoto is a loser when he’s not holed up in his room, bombing things into oblivion in his favorite online action RPG. But his very own uneventful life is blown to pieces when he’s abducted and taken to an uninhabited island, where he soon learns the hard way that he’s being pitted against others just like him in an explosives-riddled death match!

How could this be happening? Who’s putting them up to this? And why!? The name, not to mention the objective, of this very real survival game is eerily familiar to Ryouta, who has mastered its virtual counterpart—BTOOOM! Can Ryouta still come out on top when he’s playing for his life!?

NewDeadwardians

The New Deadwardians by Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard

The New Deadwardians
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by I.N.J. Culbard
Published by Vertigo / DC Comics
Genre: Crime, Horror
Age: 18+
176 pages
$14.99

In post-Victorian England, nearly everyone of the upper classes has voluntarily become a vampire in order to escape the lower classes who are all zombies. Into this simmering cauldron is thrust Chief Inspector George Suttle, a lonely detective who’s got the slowest beat in London: investigating murders in a world where everyone is already dead!

When the body of a young aristocrat washes up on the banks of the Thames, Suttle’s quest for the truth will take him from the darkest sewers to the gleaming halls of power, and reveal the rotten heart at the center of this strange world.

 

Debris

Debris by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Riley Rossmo

Debris
Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe
Illustrated by Riley Rossmo
Published by Image Comics
Genre: Action/Adventure
Ages: 12+
128 pages
$14.99

In the far future, humanity has doomed planet Earth to rot and decay, covering her surface with garbage.  Now, ancient spirits called the Colossals rise from the debris and attack the remaining survivors, forcing the human race to the brink of extinction. After an attack leaves their people without water, Maya, the last Protector, sets out on a journey for pure water, to save the world before the monsters bring it all to an end.

New Comics for New Readers – January 23, 2013

Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three brand new releases worthy of your consideration. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.

While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology and ComicList.com.

(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

CallingDrLaura

Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir by Nicole J. Georges

Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir
Written and illustrated by Nicole J. Georges
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Autobiography
Ages: 13+
288 pages
$16.95

When Nicole Georges was two years old, her family told her that her father was dead. When she was twenty-three, a psychic told her he was alive. Her sister, saddled with guilt, admits that the psychic is right and that the whole family has conspired to keep him a secret. Sent into a tailspin about her identity, Nicole turns to radio talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger for advice.

Packed cover-to-cover with heartfelt and disarming black-and-white illustrations, Calling Dr. Laura tells the story of what happens to you when you are raised in a family of secrets, and what happens to your brain (and heart) when you learn the truth from an unlikely source. Part coming-of-age and part coming-out story, Calling Dr. Laura marks the arrival of an exciting and winning new voice in graphic literature.

DearBelovedStranger

Dear Beloved Stranger by Dino Pai

Dear Beloved Stranger
Written and illustrated by Dino Pai
Published by Urban Fairy Tales / Top Shelf Publications
Genre: Autobiography
Ages: 13+
184 pages
$19.95

Clueless, naïve, full of dreams… and unemployed. Fresh out of art school, our hero Dino is ready to start a new chapter in his life, but can’t figure out how, and struggles to find his identity as an artist. With a little encouragement from a classmate, he sets out on a fantastic inner journey to wipe the dust off his teenage obsessions and reignite his passion.

Blending fact and fiction, past and present, pencil and paint, debut author Dino Pai brings a wide range of voices and influences to bear on the most intimate story in his heart, in this Xeric Award-winning graphic novel.

ADD-AdolescentDemoDivision

A.D.D. by Douglas Rushkoff and Goran Sudzuka

A.D.D.: Adolescent Demo Division
Written by Douglas Rushkoff
Illustrated by Goran Sudzuka and Jose Marzan Jr.
Published by Vertigo / DC Comics
Genre: Sci-fi
Ages: 16+
152 pages
$24.99

The Adolescent Demo Division are the world’s luckiest teen gamers. Raised from birth to test media, appear on reality TV and enjoy the fruits of corporate culture, the squad develop special abilities that make them the envy of the world – and a grave concern to their keepers.

One by one, they “graduate” to new levels that are not what they seem. But their heightened abilities can only take them so far as the ultimate search for their birth families leads to an inconceivably harrowing discovery.

Written by Douglas Rushkoff, world-renowned media theorist, Frontline TV correspondent and author (Ecstasy Club, Media Virus, Program or Be Programmed, Testament), with full color art by Goran Sudzuka and Jose Marzan Jr. (Y: The Last Man).

New Comics for New Readers – November 21, 2012

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights three brand new releases worth checking out that should be suitable for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before.

These are out today! If you like what you see here, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. Then head to your local comic book store, or check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology and ComicList.com.

(Disclaimer: These aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release press, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

Digestate: A Food & Eating Themed Anthology

Digestate: A Food and Eating Anthology
Written and illustrated by various (see description)
Edited by J.T. Yost
Published by Birdcage Bottom Books
Genre: Anthology
Ages: 16+
288 pages
$19.95

Over 50 indie comic artists contribute their interpretations of the theme “food and eating” in this gigantic telephone-book sized anthology. A wide range of subject and tone including autobio, fiction, nonfiction and essays (and everything in-between).

Contributors:

Jeffrey Brown, Renée French, Alex Robinson, James Kochalka, Marc Bell, Box Brown, Kevin Cannon, Noah Van Sciver, Josh Bayer, Danny Hellman, Sam Henderson, Josh Burggraf, L. Nichols, Al Ortiz, Sophia Wiedeman, Paul Hoppe, C.M. Butzer, Victor Kerlow, John Kerschbaum, Dan Piraro, Jess Ruliffson, Ben Snakepit, Cha, Adam Hines, Sungyoon Choi, Nate Doyle, Minty Lewis, Hawk Krall, Aaron Mew, Jonas Madden-Connor, Keith Knight, Pranas T. Naujokaitis, Tod C. Parkhill, Jungyeon Roh, Hazel Newlevant, J.T. Yost, Aron Nels Steinke, Gary Fields, Marek Bennett, J.T. Dockery, Jonathan Baylis, Anuj Shrestha, K. Thor Jensen, Nicole J. Georges, Jeremy Tinder, Darryl Ayo, Neil Brideau, James Turek, Jeff Zwirek, Ayun Halliday, Lisa Rosalie Eisenberg, William Cardini, Liz Prince

Saucer Country Vol. 1: Run by Paul Cornell and Ryan Kelly

Saucer Country Volume 1: Run
Written by Paul Cornell
Illustrated by Ryan Kelly
Published by Vertigo/DC Comics
Genre: Science-fiction
Ages: 16+
144 pages
$14.99

Arcadia Alvarado, the leading Democratic candidate for President of the United States, says she was ‘abducted by aliens.’ As the Mexican-American Governor of New Mexico, she’s dealing with immigration, budget cuts and an alcoholic ex. She’s about to toss her hat into the ring as a candidate for President in the most volatile political climate ever. But then…a lonely road and a nightmarish encounter have left her with terrible, half-glimpsed memories. And now she has to become President. To expose the truth–and maybe, to save the world.

Arcadia’s quest is at the heart of this new title from writer Paul Cornell (Demon Knights, Action Comics, Doctor Who) and artist Ryan Kelly (New York Five, Northlanders, Local). With the help of her quirky staff, Arcadia will pursue the truth of her abduction into danger, mystery and awe.

Saucer Country is a dark thriller that blends UFO lore and alien abduction with political intrigue, all set in the hauntingly beautiful Southwest.

The Adventures of Augusta Wind #1 by J.M. DeMatteis and Vassilis Gogtizilas

The Adventures of Augusta Wind #1
Written by J.M. DeMatteis
Illustrated by Vassilis Gogtzilas
Published by IDW Publishing
Genre: Fantasy
Ages: 12+
32 pages
$3.99

Augusta Webster thought she was an ordinary girl living an ordinary life in an ordinary town. But that was before the Snabbit – half-snake/half-rabbit – arrived to turn Augusta’s world upside down and reveal that she’s anything but ordinary.

A new all-ages fantasy from J.M. DeMatteis, creator of Abadazad, with astonishing art by Vassilis Gogtizilas.

 

The Journey, Man 08 – Cheers, mate

Columnist Wayne Rée shares his discovery of comic books, from his start as a super-hero fan to his evolution into a believer of the power of the art form of comics.

Hellblazer: Original Sins by Jamie Delano and John Ridgway

For as long as I’ve been reading comics, there’s been Hellblazer.

A spin-off of the horror series Swamp Thing, this mainstay of DC Comics’ Vertigo mature readers line starred the morally ambiguous, but thoroughly charismatic and quintessentially British magician John Constantine.

I use the past tense in that last bit because DC recently announced that they’re cancelling the long-running title, and relaunching it as a comic where Constantine would operate in the same world as the likes of Batman and Superman. Not a superhero book, mind you – but a book set in a superhero universe. And this makes me feel… weird.

The sneering, swearing, smoking visage of John Constantine is as familiar to me as the likes of Spider-Man and Daredevil. He was the face of mainstream comics’ darker underbelly. Not a character you’d find on kids’ PJs, sure, but he certainly wasn’t an underground figure either.

More than just the familiarity of the book’s protagonist, however, Hellblazer was an institution – a series that some of the biggest and best creators worked on. It introduced me to artists and writers like Brian Azzarello, Giuseppe Camuncoli and the legendary Richard Corben. From its inception in the late 80s, it was the first name in mature mainstream horror comics.

Hellblazer: Setting Sun by Warren Ellis, Tim Bradstreet, et al.

And now it’s gone.

I never followed it regularly, but whenever I did go back to it, it was always like sitting down with an old friend for a pint and catching up on lost time. Hellblazer, more than almost any other mainstream book, mastered the art of welcoming new and lapsed readers. Did it help to know more about John Constantine’s history? Yeah. But it never felt like it was essential.

Now, this new, probably PG-13 book that they’re replacing it with could easily be pretty damn good in its own right. But that’s not the point. To me, it’s not about having a book with John Constantine out there, no matter what sort of world he operates in. It’s a matter of having Hellblazer specifically. Or at least something like it. Constantine, with all his charm and unnerving depth, was just the icing on the cake.

For as long as I’ve been reading comics, there’s always been a mainstream book for truly weird, disturbing and cool horror. That title used to be Hellblazer. But the universe abhors a void and the comic market doubly so. There will be another Hellblazer-type title eventually, I’m sure of it. It’s just that it’ll be a shame to see my old friend go for good.

Wayne Rée’s been writing professionally for about ten years. He’s worked in everything from advertising to publishing, and was even part of the team that created Singapore’s very first tattoo magazine. He dabbles in screenwriting and photography, travels way too much, and is currently putting together his very first short story collection.

Confessions of a Cranky Comic Book Cartoonist: Now It Can Be Told! – “I Was the Alien Superman!”

Columnist Scott Shaw! brings his perspective as an experienced professional cartoonist and active participant in the comic book industry for more than 40 years. Get an insider’s look at the art form from someone in the trenches every day.

While you’re still enjoying your trick or treat treasures, here’s a rare installment of Scott Shaw!’s Now It Can Be Told that reveals a particularly memorable Halloween that changed the way Scott thought about comics forever!

Now It Can Be Told is a web-comic Scott creates as part of the web-collective Act-I-Vate. This story never appeared online though, and was first seen in Streetwise, an anthology of autobiographical stories published by TwoMorrows Publishing in 2000.

Click the comic for a closer view.

Scroll to the bottom for a better look at the classic comic that inspired Scott’s costume.

World’s Finest Comics #105 was published by DC Comics in late 1959 and featured cover art by legendary Superman artist Curt Swan. The cover story was written by Bill Finger, the uncredited co-creator of Batman and other related characters, and drawn by Dick Sprang who defined the look of Batman for twenty years starting in the mid-1940s.

World’s Finest Comics #105 (November 1959)

Scott Shaw! — yes, that exclamation point has adorned his name since junior high school — currently writes and draws comic books starring the Simpsons for Bongo Comic, The Adventures of Captain Rochester for Rochester Electronics, and his autobiographical comic strip, Now It Can Be Told! for Act-I-Vate, as well as performing his live Oddball Comics show. He just finished storyboarding four episodes of Cartoon Network’s Annoying Orange animated show, is finishing a new 8-page Now It Can Be Told! story for Dark Horse Presents (“I Covered Myself With Peanut Butter To Become…The Turd!”) and will be drawing an upcoming Mark Evanier-written Garfield comic book story for Ka-Boom. He’s currently writing and drawing on the first Annoying Orange graphic novel – split with Mike Kazaleh – for Papercutz.

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