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STAFF PICKS :: LOW #1 :: JULY 30, 2014

July 28, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_smlSETH’S PICK:: LOW #1: What I won’t do with this recommendation is to go on and on about why I love Rick Remender’s comics. That’s been done already. What I can do is talk about the concept behind this promising new Image comic. The story is set at the bottom of the ocean, where humanity was forced to go after the sun’s enlargement turned the Earth’s surface into an uninhabitable wasteland. While that alone could offer plenty of interesting stories, the twist is that the remnants of humanity receive notice that one of the probes they sent ages ago to discover more suitable planets finally returned. Unfortunately, it returned to that irradiated nightmare that is the Earth’s surface. With a strong writer and a strong concept, there’s plenty to be excited about in this new series. This time around, however, I’m most interested in seeing the work of artist Greg Tocchini. The multitude of sci-fi and fantasy elements here seem ready-made for his work to flourish in, and the preview pages released strongly reflect that. If you need even more Remender comics this week, don’t forget that his other excellent sci-fi series Black Science also returns this week with issue seven and a new story arc. low1

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STAFF PICKS :: TRANSFORMERS VS. G.I. JOE #1 (AND MORE!) :: JULY 23, 2014

July 21, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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SETH’S PICKS: The week of San Diego Comic Con is always one where publishers unload lots of big titles. This week is no exception. In fact, there are so many notable titles that I couldn’t limit my Staff Pick to a mere single book. Let the lightning round begin!

1) Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #1: As with most ’80s children, I loved both of these toy-cartoon-comics. The adult in me, however, hasn’t paid much attention to either franchise. Leave it to writer/artist Tom Scioli to be the creator to pull me back in. Aside from Scioli’s always impressive Kirby-inspired art, I must say that it was his obvious enthusiasm for this project that he displayed in conversation at HeroesCon that makes this the book I’m most looking forward to this week. transgij1

2) Street Angel HC: Jim Rugg is a creator whose work always demands attention. Though this is a new repackaging of Street Angel, it’s printed in a larger format than the original collection. If comics can do with more of anything, it’s larger Jim Rugg art. Plus, since this new collection is brought to you by Adhouse Books, you know it’ll be a handsome publication. streetangel2

3) Avengers 100th Anniversary Special: James Stokoe writes and draws this one shot. It features future versions of Doctor Strange, Beta Ray Bill and Rogue. That’s about all you need to know about this one. If for some reason you aren’t familiar with Stokoe’s Orc Stain and Wonton Soup, here’s your opportunity to discover a comics giant-in-the-making.

4) Ragnarok #1: This is Walt Simonson’s new creator owned project for IDW. It happens to be a Norse-themed book, which we all know Simonson to excel at. I could go on, but do you really need another reason to look at this besides Simonson?

5) Supreme: Blue Rose #1: Warren Ellis writes this new chapter of the Supreme saga. While that alone will be enough to entice some readers, the art is provided by Tula Lotay. Some of you may not be familiar with her beautiful work, but you will be soon enough. Don’t forget that Lotay will be signing at Heroes next Tuesday, July 29, so make sure to pick up your copy this week. TulaLotaySigning

6) Hellboy Artist’s Edition: IDW continues their barrage of epic artist editions with Mike Mignola’s Hellboy. Giant format Mignola art painstakingly reproduced from the original pages? If that doesn’t warrant a spot on your bookshelf, I don’t know what will.

7) Guardians of the Galaxy: The Complete Abnett and Lanning Collection vol. 1: We’re only a week away from the Guardians of the Galaxy film. This series was a primary influence on the new film, and since speculators have driven the cost of the single issues and original collections sky high, here’s an affordable chance to see where it all started. In my opinion, this was a fun, inventive series that never got its due when first published. Even if you don’t care about seeing the movie, I think this is the Guardians series most worth your time.

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STAFF PICKS :: DEADLY CLASS TP VOL. 1 :: JULY 16, 2014

July 11, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: DEADLY CLASS TP VOL. 1:  Rick Remender is a writer who continues to tell entertaining and expansive stories regardless of whether he’s writing creator-owned properties or popular Marvel characters. Continuing their recent trend of affordable debut trade paperback collections, this week you have the opportunity to pick up the first six issues of Remender’s excellent Image title Deadly Class for a mere $9.99.  This series, set in the 1980s, follows a new student at the world’s premiere high school for assassins. It’s wonderfully brought to life by the art of Wesley Craig, who perfectly matches the tone and energy of the writing.  This collection is well worth your attention, and gives you yet another chance to see why so many of us Heroes staffers dig Remender’s impressive body of work. deadlyclass_tp_v1

Bonus Pick: Cap’n Dinosaur One Shot: The latest from the inimitable Shaky Kane is bound to be a fine addition to his fabled catalog of pop culture explosions. Besides the title character, who has one of the great charcter names in recent history, you can likely expect to see an abandoned amusement park, giant insects, monsters, weird killers and/or clowns. If all of those strange entities don’t appear, I’m sure there will be plenty of comparably odd inclusions to entice you.  Shaky Kane is another creator whose work many of us around here love, and hopefully a few of you will give this standalone book a shot. capndinosaur

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HEROESCON 2014 & BILL WATTERSON IN THE NEWS!

June 09, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: Comics Industry, EVENTS, Guest List, Heroes Aren't Hard To Find, HeroesCon, HeroesCon News, NEWS, Schedule, Special Offers

Watterson - Team Cul De SacEarly Saturday morning we announced that HeroesCon will exhibit Bill Watterson and Stephan Pastis‘ three collaborative strips in Pearls Before Swine. While we knew that this would be huge news, we are thrilled that several national outlets covered the story. From the Washington Post, who broke the story, to TIME, CNN and Rolling Stone, the media seems rightly excited about Watterson’s return to the comic strip. Several comic sites, including CBR, Comics ReporterComics Alliance, Nerdist and The Beat also covered the story. And Stephan Pastis himself told the story of how his collaboration with Watterson came to be.

Remember, HeroesCon is the only place that anyone will be able to see this art before it is auctioned off. While the media coverage is nice to see, the most important aspect of this story is that all of the money collected from the auction will be donated to our friends at Team Cul de Sac and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. We’ve been working with TCDS for four years in their efforts to raise money for Parkinson’s Research, and are honored to be a part of their continuing efforts.

The Watterson and Pastis strips will be on display all weekend at HeroesCon, and we’ll have even more surprises on hand at Friday night’s Drink and Draw event. Don’t forget that you can hear all about how this art was produced and how it came to HeroesCon at our panel on Friday, June 20 at 5:30. If you haven’t ordered your tickets for HeroesCon, we’re just a few days away. Now’s the time!

Eventbrite - HEROES CONVENTION 2014 :: 3 DAY REGISTRATION

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HEROESCON TO DISPLAY NEW ART FROM BILL WATTERSON!

June 06, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: Comics Industry, DISCUSS, EVENTS, Guest List, Heroes Aren't Hard To Find, HeroesCon, HeroesCon Art Auction, HeroesCon News, Indie Island, NEWS, Now Read This!, QuickDraw, Schedule, Special Offers, This Just In

Watterson - Team Cul De Sac

This year HeroesCon is proud to display the first published comic strip art from Bill Watterson in nearly twenty years! Watterson completed his inimitable Calvin and Hobbes strip in 1995, and has since remained largely private in his life and art. If you happened to read Stephan Pastis popular Pearls Before Swine strip this week, you may have noticed that Pastis employed a guest artist, billed as a second grade girl named Libby, to help him with three strips. Astute readers speculated about the true identity of the guest artist, and today the Washington Post revealed it to be none other than the legendary Bill Watterson!

In conjunction with Chris Sparks and Team Cul de Sac, we are happy to be bringing all three Watterson and Pastis strips to Charlotte to display at HeroesCon, June 20 through 22 at the Charlotte Convention Center. The art will be displayed on the convention floor all weekend, at our Drink and Draw event on Friday night, and at Saturday night’s Art Auction.   We’ll also be hosting a panel on Friday, June 20 where fans will get to hear the story of how this remarkable art was produced, how it came to be featured in Charlotte, and the part that Cul de Sac cartoonist Richard Thompson plays in all of it.

The three strips produced by Watterson and Pastis will be auctioned off in the coming months, with all proceeds from the sale going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. This charity works closely with our good friends at Team Cul de Sac, for whom we host our annual HeroesCon Drink and Draw charity event. More specifics regarding the auction of these pieces will be available at HeroesCon, here on our site and at Team Cul de Sac‘s page in the coming weeks.

HeroesCon is the only place anyone will be able to see the rare Watterson and Pastis original art in person before they are auctioned off. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for comic and art fans across the country, and we are humbled and honored to be bringing it to Charlotte.

HeroesCon takes place June 20 – 22 at the Charlotte Convention Center. The Bill Watterson and Cul de Sac panel takes place Friday, June 20 at 5:30 at the convention center.

Eventbrite - HEROES CONVENTION 2014 :: 3 DAY REGISTRATION

The HeroesCon Drink and Draw event takes place on Friday, June 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hilton Center City atrium. HeroesCon’s first Drink and Draw event was in 2011, modeled after the Drink and Draw Social Club founded by comic artists Dave Johnson, Dan Panosian and Jeff Johnson. That event and every one since has raised money for Team Cul de Sac, the organization founded in honor of Cul de Sac cartoonist Richard Thompson that raises money and awareness for Parkinson’s Research.

The HeroesCon Art Auction will take place on Saturday, June 21 at 8 p.m. in the Providence Ballroom at the Westin.

For more information on all things HeroesCon, stayed tuned to www.heroesonline.com. If you have any questions regarding the Watterson and Pastis exhibit in Charlotte, contact Seth Peagler at seth@heroesonline.com or through the Heroes store at 704.375.7462. Additionally, you can contact Team Cul de Sac’s Chris Sparks at teamculdesac@gmail.com for further information.

 

 

 

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STAFF PICKS :: BLACK SCIENCE TP VOL. 1 :: May 28, 2014

May 27, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: BLACK SCIENCE TP VOL. 1: There are several reasons to pick up this first volume of the acclaimed series Black Science. Firstly, it’s an energetic sci-fi tour de force from Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera. There’s a reason these single issues sold out quickly, and if you missed any of them, here’s the perfect opportunity to see what we’ve all been talking about. Secondly, and of equal importance, this collection is only $9.99! Image Comics has been using this price point for the first volumes of their new series’ trade paperback collections, and it’s a smart publishing initiative. In fact, you could pick up this volume and the first collections of Manifest Destiny and Pretty Deadly for just over $30 plus tax. That’s a lot of good comics for not a lot of money. BlackScience_v1

Bonus Pick: Southern Bastards #2: This is yet another sold out Image series, and my favorite new title of the year. Jason Aaron and Jason Latour’s southern crime story employs finely tuned writing and meticulous art to brilliant effect. Their cinematic use of tension and release remind us of how comics can still be used to tell unique stories in unique ways.

Bonus Pick #2: Devil Dinosaur by Jack Kirby TP: This is not the King’s greatest comic work, no, not by a long shot. But it is a series where he draws all kinds of dinosaurs and monsters, and that’s enough for me. Plus, this is the first time the whole series is available in a single trade paperback.

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STAFF PICKS :: STARLIGHT #3 :: MAY 14, 2014

May 12, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: STARLIGHT #3: Starlight is yet another fine indicator of the recent resurgence of so many classic pulp elements back into comics. I will admit, though, that it took a little convincing from fellow Heroes staffers Rico and Justin for me to pick this one up. The art was a guaranteed joy from the time the book was announced. Artist Goran Parlov always produces strong and interesting work. My hesitation to pick it up was only rooted in the fact that I’ve historically found the work of writer Mark Millar to be gratuitous on many levels. He’s obviously a talented and versatile creator, I just doubted I’d have much interest in his take on the space opera.

Thankfully, I did give the book a shot, and soon realized that this is a very different kind of story for Millar. It’s full of classic pulp adventure goodness, and clearly reflects his love for the genre. Parlov is excellent as always, but I’d be remiss not to mention how impressed I’ve been with Millar’s character work here. His protagonist, the perfectly named Duke McQueen, did save the universe some four decades ago. After that heroism, he had a fairly mundane life, complete with a wife and kids. But what happens if you had your one adventure, somehow outlive your wife (and usefulness in the eyes of your kids), and in your golden years are called upon to save the universe once again? It’s an ambitious story about aging and adventuring that thus far hasn’t drifted into the excessive tendencies you might expect from Millar. If these two creators keep this up, we might just have a new classic in the making. starlight3

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STAFF PICKS :: COMPLETE CUL DE SAC BOXED SET :: MAY 7, 2014

May 06, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: COMPLETE CUL DE SAC BOXED SET: I’m happy to remind you all that this week finally sees the release of the Complete Cul de Sac! Some of you may not know the work of artist Richard Thompson, but comic strip fans around the country know him to be a national treasure. But it’s not just fans who appreciate Thompson, it’s writers and artists who are rightly blown away by the genius-level writing and art that he infused into not only the Cul de Sac strip, but also his Richard’s Poor Almanac series. The level of humor, heart and skill readily available in Thompson’s work is truly astounding, and I can’t think of many books I’d rather have in my home library than this one. culdesac2

Some of you may know that for the past several years we’ve celebrated Thompson’s work at our HeroesCon Drink and Draw event. We’re thrilled to once again be working with Team Cul de Sac at this year’s event, which will take place on the Friday night of HeroesCon. I’ll be letting you know more specifics about it soon, but if you haven’t been to our Drink and Draw before, it’s a fun event where artists from hobbyists to professionals hang out at a nice bar and create art. We then auction off that art that very night, with all the money we raise going to Team Cul de Sac and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. It’s the best way to celebrate the greatness of the comics community and help us raise money for a worthy cause. Kick off the celebration by picking up The Complete Cul de Sac this week!

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HEROES REVIEW :: SOUTHERN BASTARDS #1

April 29, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS

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I arrived at Southern Bastards #1 with plenty of high hopes. Jason Aaron has long been one of my favorite writers, with his creator-owned Scalped being one of our great modern crime epics, and his mainstream Marvel work on Wolverine and Wolverine and the X-men being of reliable entertainment and quality. Jason Latour is an artist/neighbor whose work I’ve had a chance to see develop and flourish over the past 8 years. He’s proven himself as an accomplished writer on the creator owned Loose Ends and Marvel’s Winter Soldier, and as an artist on everything from B.P.R.D. to Captain America. Needless to say, I had a lot of expectations riding on this book. sb1

Upon my first reading of Southern Bastards, I quickly realized it was hitting close to home. I’ve lived in Charlotte my entire life. There aren’t many of us who can say that anymore. North Carolina isn’t the South of Southern Bastards’ Craw County, Alabama, but my Dad hails from Jackson, Mississippi, so I’ve got some deep south in my blood. Southern Bastards pulled up some of my memories of Mississippi and made me angry and wistful at the same time. The Mississippi of my memory is quiet and spacious, and seemingly hot all the time.  There’s all kinds of beauty surrounding you, but it’s not always easy to see it, because there’s plenty there to offend and infuriate. It’s an odd juxtaposition, the vast expanse of natural beauty and the racism and violence that occurs within it. It’s all part of what modern southern songwriter Patterson Hood refers to as “The Duality of the Southern Thing,” and it’s always there. Southern Bastards does a better job of encapsulating this duality that just about any comic I’ve ever read. sb2

Aaron and Latour wisely don’t acknowledge this equal parts blessing and curse with a slap-you-in-the-face, didactic approach.  Instead, they use open space and quiet moments to intended effect.  These are storytellers seasoned in Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, William Faulkner, and Flannery O’Conner. They know a little can go a long way. They also know that the South is full of spiritual things that can be as unsettling as they are revelatory. Southern Bastards’ protagonist Earl Tubb sees this all too well in the first issue when he sees a giant tree growing right out of his father’s grave. Earl surmises that it sprouted from the legendary stick that his daddy used to clean up Craw County. It’s quite a sight, but for all the mystery it represents, it’s not necessarily something Earl wants to see. Earl comes back to Craw County for the first time in forty years, and you see in his face that home can be a place full of memories and still somewhere you don’t want to go. It’s like North Carolina writer Thomas Wolfe said: “You can’t go home again.” sb3

When we first meet Earl, he’s been in the big city (Birmingham) for years now, and he quickly realizes why he left his hometown. For all the good memories, there are plenty of things difficult and terrible about Craw County. While the series will surely tell us more about all of these things, it strikes me that it’s not an accident that Aaron and Latour chose Alabama as the locale for their story. Aside from the obvious fact that Aaron hails from the state, it’s worth remembering that Alabama is notable for several things other than football. On the cultural front, Muscle Shoals’ Fame Studios was a place where black and white musicians came together to make some of the most enduring American records, even in the midst of the unrest around them. And then you have Birmingham itself, where the violence of the Civil Rights struggles came to a head in 1963. Southern Bastards seems to be very conscious of so much that makes the South a wonderful and troubling place.

There’s a phrase applied to music that says “always serve the song.” It refers to the idea of pushing your ego out of the way in a performance and letting the song’s inherent soul be revealed to the audience. Though a different medium entirely, Aaron and Latour clearly serve the song in Southern Bastards, and it’s one that will get stuck in your head if you let it. This is a comic of deft storytelling and uncommon soul. I, for one, can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

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STAFF PICKS :: SOVEREIGN #2 :: APRIL 23, 2014

April 22, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: SOVEREIGN #2: Many readers have only recently realized that Image Comics is putting out some of the highest quality comics on the stands.  But for every runaway hit that sells out immediately (think Black Science), there are others with a slower burning fuse of public awareness.  Sovereign may fall into that latter category, but I’m here to let you know that it’s a new series well worth your time and money.  In the first issue, creators Chris Roberson and Paul Maybury establish a range of themes and possibilities.  There are obvious fantasy elements present, namely in the book’s inclusion of a healthy amount of magic and the undead, but those are all balanced with strong characters amid societies rife with civil unrest.  I’ve seen the book regaled as a story existing in the vein of Game of Thrones, and there may well be some truth to that.  This is, however, a story that was born for the comics medium, and Maybury’s always impressive cartooning eloquently reminds us of that.  Sovereign is a comic with endless potential, and may just be yet another long running and entertaining series for Image. sov2

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