RICO’S PICK :: SOUTHERN BASTARDS VOL 1: HERE WAS A MAN: If you haven’t been following Jason Latour and Jason Aaron’s incredible Image Comics series, here’s your chance to catch up. ”Welcome to Craw County, Alabama, home of Boss BBQ, the state champion Runnin’ Rebs football team…and more bastards than you’ve ever seen. When you’re an angry old man like Earl Tubb, the only way to survive a place like this…is to carry a really big stick. COLLECTS SOUTHERN BASTARDS #1-4″
HEATHER’S PICKS :: Gotham Academy #1: I’ll confess, I’m not much of a Batman reader. The closest I come to anything based in Gotham are occasional mini-series and Harley Quinn. In spite of that, Gotham Academy caught my attention from its very announcement. Perhaps one reason for that is the series is being co-written by Becky Cloonan. I adore Becky’s art and I have also enjoyed all of her mini-comics I’ve picked up. I haven’t read anything by Brenden Fletcher as of yet, but October will be the month to change that as Batgirl #35 hits October 8. Gotham Academy follows the students at a prep school that sounds both creepy and entertaining. With new characters and a look at the city’s history and mythology, Gotham Academy could become my Wolverine and the X-Men gateway book into the Batverse.
SETH’S PICK :: THE LONESOME GO: It was tough to narrow my picks down to a single book this week. I could easily write about Jason Aaron’s new crime series Men of Wrath, the second issue of Ryan Browne’s hilarious God Hates Astronauts, or Blackhand Comics from Deadly Class artist Wes Craig. I’ll be picking all of those up this week, but I’m most looking forward to The Lonesome Go from Tim Lane and Fantagraphics. That’s a name most of you probably aren’t too familiar with, but he released a fantastic critically acclaimed book called Abandoned Cars a few years ago that I reread once a year.
This new book is a continuation of the types of themes and characters Lane first explored there: drifters, hobos, Americana, automobilia, early rock and roll and more. The narratives pay homage to the Beats, Charles Bukowski and Tom Waits, among others. Visually, Lane seems to channel parts of Dan Clowes, Charles Burns and various American Splendor contributors. Lane’s stories are admittedly dark, but also keenly aware that there is something inherently nostalgic about traveling America, alone or with complete strangers. The result is a book that is, like a road trip, as freeing as it can be unsettling. Fantagraphics has several preview pages available on their site HERE. Don’t miss this excellent book in a week full of good comics choices.
Thanks for coming out for our Southern Bastards event with Jason Aaron and Jason Latour! It was a great day and a fun time was had by all! We’ve posted a bunch of photos to show you all the fun you missed if you were unable to attend. Follow us on social media and check back here for news and updates about all the events we organize!
Join us for our 3rd Annual Heroes Pop Swap, Saturday, October 25th 10AM-4PM at our store. Whether you have things to sell, are shopping for treasure, or you just want to give your Halloween costume a test run, the Pop Swap is sure to be a great place for it!
A 6′ table is only $20 and you can be sure your great collectibles will be going to a loving home. This event is limited to local creators and comics and pop culture enthusiasts (no professional dealers) who have interesting items in their personal collections that they are willing to sell and self-produced comics and related products. People who are purchasing space are encouraged not only to bring comics but any items falling under the pop culture umbrella. That could be toys, games, music, movies and more. Space is limited and reservations are 1st come, 1st served.
We have some great updates about our signing with Jason Latour and Jason Aaron THIS SATURDAY! Coach Boss is sending his buddies from Smoke and Go Catering Services to our signing on Saturday so come hungry and bring your wallets for BBQ. They will have ribs, pulled pork, smoked chicken and hot dogs. The SAAA-WEET TEA is on us.
Also, the Jasons will be bringing some Southern Bastards t-shirts with them! Before Saturday these were only available at SDCC! See y’all Saturday 2-5PM and we may have even more surprises in store. Don’t miss out!
SETH’S PICK :: EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #2: When was the last time any of you saw somebody cosplay as a character who hasn’t even appeared in a published comic? I didn’t think that was even possible until now. Over the past few months I’ve seen more and more pictures of cosplayers bringing Gwen Stacy: Spider-Woman to life. That character debuts in this week’s Edge of Spider-verse #2. So why have so many fans taken to this character so quickly?
I’m sure writer Jason Latour’s twist of putting Gwen in the Spidey outfit has something to do with it. People still love Gwen, and the thought of seeing her as a hero and not a victim is a good thing for comics. While Latour does provide some clever narrative skill in this issue, I think the bigger reason so many fans are looking forward to this issue is the brilliant design work of Robbi Rodriguez. Something obviously clicked in Robbi’s design and fans immediately responded, with cosplayers appearing as the character at multiple conventions around the country. I’d be remiss to not mention that my Heroes cohort Rico Renzi provides the fine color art in this issue. Rico and Robbi are frequent collaborators, and if you’ve seen their work on Vertigo’s FBP, you know they complement each other quite well. I’ve been fortunate to see the finished product, and all three guys should take a bow for crafting a wonderful single issue of comics. Don’t be at all surprised if we don’t see a Gwen Stacy: Spider-woman series after the inevitable success of this issue.
Along with the opening week of the Football season and the beginning of the new school term, each year September also brings us Banned Book Week. It is an annual reminder of our freedom to read.
Banned Book Week is officially scheduled Sept. 21 – 27 but there are a variety of events that will occur throughout the month. BBW is sponsored by local libraries, independent retailers along with a supportive legion of readers all over the world From the Banned Books Website: “BBW was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. There were 307 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2013, and many more go unreported.”
Each year, the American Library Association (ALA) publishes a Top Ten list of Frequently Challenged Books. This year’s list (published in April) includes the # 1 Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series for offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence. The list is rounded off with Jeff Smith’s Bone series at #10 for political viewpoint, racism, and violence
“This year we spotlight graphic novels because, despite their serious literary merit and popularity as a genre, they are often subject to censorship,” said Judith Platt, chair of the Banned Books Week National Committee.
At this past summer’s HeroesCon, Prof. Craig Fischer created a panel that focused on the history of the Comic Book Defense League Fund as well as a roundtable about the local issues an NC school had with Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. This will be posted at the Dollar Bin site later this month. www.thedollarbin.net
Locally, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Libraries are offering dozens of Banned Book Week events—everything from Art contests to Reading groups. To see all of the events in your area go to: www.cmlibrary.org/programs/
This year, Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find is doing their part to support this noble and important movement. Warehouse Manager Seth Peagler and Heroes Discussion Group leader Andy Mansell will be appearing at a number of branches this month to discuss Banned Books:
Seth will join UNCC Professors Robert Campbell (Graphic Design) and Dr. Erik Waterkotte (Print Media) to discuss the importance of comics and graphic novels and how they are susceptible to censorship. Audience: Adults, Teens (12-18) 9/18/2014 at 6:00 PM: Morrison Regional near South Park.
Andy will lead discussions at the following branches on why comics are particularly vulnerable to challenges and focus on some of the more frequently challenged titles.
9/18/2014 at 6:00 PM: Scaleybark Audience: Teens (12-18), Adults, Seniors
9/24/2014 at 2:30 PM: Independence Regional Audience: Teens (12-18)
9/25/2014 at 5:00 PM: Mountain Island Audience: Teens (12-18), Adults, Seniors
We hope to see you there and remember, reading is one of our greatest gifts. Never take it for granted!