Archive for the ‘Looking Ahead’

LOOKING AHEAD :: OCTOBER 2012

August 08, 2012 By: Heather Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Looking Ahead

Ah, October, how I look forward to all that your bring from pretty orange pumpkins to the Heroes Pop Swap to lovely and spooky comics.  Be sure to watch this space for details on the Pop Swap as well as Halloween comics.  Be sure to include some of the awesome comics on your list to the Great Pumpkin! Please let us know by the August 18 if we can order anything for you. Thanks!

A-Babies v. X-Babies #1: Some might say there’s been some childish behavior between the Avengers and the X-Men with the battle over the Phoenix and now Marvel is taking it straight to the nursery. Skottie Young is not only writing this fun foray into super babyhood, but he’s also giving us THREE baby covers in October, with variant covers for Uncanny Avengers #1 and A+X #1.  The real battle is now who’s cuter the A-Babies or the X-Babies.  (It might be hard for anyone to top Baby Cap’s little “a”.)  page 8 of Marvel Previews

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STAFF PICKS :: MUPPETS #2 :: AUGUST 1, 2012

July 26, 2012 By: Heather Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Looking Ahead, Spotlight on New Releases

Every week Heroes staff members and friends of the store will choose a book they are excited about to share here on the blog. Please don’t hesitate to let us know what books you are looking forward to here and on our Twitter and Facebook pages! Thanks, over to you Heather! -rico.

HEATHER’S PICK :: THE MUPPETS #2: Summer’s heat is upon us and just in time for the Summer issue of the Four Seasons mini-series. The Muppets are throwing a beach party to take our minds of the soaring temperatures.  Fozzie has plans of his own as a better offer has him choosing a new troupe over his current comedy partner, Scooter.  Roger Langridge’s storytelling is a sure cure for these dog days of summer.

 

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LOOKING AHEAD :: SEPTEMBER 2012

July 12, 2012 By: Heather Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Looking Ahead

Greetings comics fans! Boy, does July and this heatwave ever have me dreaming of September and the cool air that this fall will hopefully bring.  Along with the beautiful colors of fall outdoors, step into Heroes to find the beautiful colors on the shelves in the great books due out in September.  Here are some of the top picks, along with where you can find them in the latest issue of Previews.

Road to Oz #1:

Eric Shanower and Skottie Young return with the fifth Oz book which follows Dorothy on an adventure when all the roads in Kansas turn into magical highways.  Dorothy and Toto are joined by some new companions as they seek the magical highway to Oz. (page 42 of Marvel previews).  You can also catch up with Dorothy’s adventures as book four, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz is released in hardcover this month (page 69 of Marvel previews).

Ghost #0:

The Ghost story returned in Dark House Presents earlier this year and Ghost is moving into mini-series status as Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Noto (Phil Noto interiors!!! Swoon!) bring the story of Vaughn Barnes, a former journalist whose career has fallen into side work as a cameraman on second rate “Ghost Hunters” type cable reality show.  When Vaughn and Ghost connect after she is summoned to this world, the two work to solve a mystery spanning the dimensions.  (pages 36-37)

Sword of Sorcery #0:

In the midst of the new 52, DC is kicking us back to zero, with both new and current series, including the return of Amethyst, the lost princess of Gemworld.  This new book by Christy Marx, Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan not only looks pretty, but I’m always happy to have new female driven comics. (page 84)

Womanthology: Space #1 (of 5):

Speaking of female driven comics, Womanthology moves into single issues with the follow up to Womanthology: Heroic.  This is the first of three planned mini-series and features an all female cast of creators.  (page 161)

Archaia Leather-bound Hardcovers:

Archaia sure does publish some beautiful books.  You can take your collection to the next level with books worthy of sitting on any fancy library/study shelf with the limited edition leather-bound hardcovers of Return of the Dapper Men, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Volume 1, and Syndrome.  There are only 400 copies of each and they will NOT be available in bookstores. (pages 241-244)

Mattias Unfiltered: The Sketchbook Art of Mattias Adolfsson:

With an introduction by Comics Reporter’s Tom Spurgeon, this facsimile moleskin sketchbook of Swedish illustrator, Mattias Adolfsson is full of drawings from his personal sketchbooks.  If the pages reproduced in Previews are any indication, this book will be a joy for any collector to own.  Take some time to check out more on his blog. I need his art for my walls. (page 269)

Drama:

Raina Telgemeier follows Smile with Drama, a book about middle schooler, Callie, who has a love for the theater, but no ability to sing.  She takes a behind the scenes part as the set director and drama develops both on and off stage, especially when two cute brothers join the project. (page 307)

Building Stories:

This isn’t just a hardcover edition, this is a boxed hardcover edition full of lots of of various sized comics.  Based on how Chris Ware’s dust covers on previous books are works of art themselves, I cannot wait to see what this entails.  Building Stories follows the lives of the occupants of a three story Chicago apartment building.  Each floor houses a different set of occupants including a young single woman, an elderly single woman (perhaps a spinster), and an seemingly unhappy couple.  (pages 316-318)

There are lots more cool comics hitting the shelves in Septmber.  Here are just a few of them: Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland HC (p. 140), John Arcudi’s The Creep (p. 64), Darwyn Cooke covers Mike Allred’s It Girl and the Atomics (p. 217), A Wrinkle in Time by Hope Larson (p. 304), The Daniel Clowes Reader (p. 303), a new Wallace Wood art book called Woodwork (p. 179), Avengers vs. X-men HC (Marvel Previews p. 65), Nexus Omnibus vol. 1 TP (p. 41) and Shaolin Cowboy Adventure Magazine (p. 38).

Take a look through Previews, and make sure you get your special item requests in to Heroes by July 18th.

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LOOKING AHEAD: JULY 2012

May 21, 2012 By: Heather Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Looking Ahead

I know, I know, it’s so hard to think about new comics in July when we’re all so excited about HeroesCon in June.  You might even feel like there’s nothing to look forward to after the 30th Anniversary and all the great things that go along with this big year, but never fear, July brings some awesome comics to look forward to!

Previews orders are due this Thursday, so get your order in soon!

The Muppet Show: The Four Seasons “Spring”: At long last, the final Muppet stories from Roger Langridge are being published for our reading pleasure.  This four part story begins with “Spring” and features a show to celebrate the season’s arrival at the famed Muppet Theatre.  Meredith the Mountain Gorilla will be performing and attracting the attention of many admirers which is sure to peak the ire of every Muppets’ sweetheart, Miss Piggy. (Marvel Previews p. 47)

Captain Marvel #1: Former Ms. Marvel Carol Danvers gets a brand new moniker in this new series from Kelly Sue DeConnick and Dexter Soy.  She’s been a pilot, an Avenger, and now with a new name, might be facing threats on an even larger level. (Marvel Previews p. 39)

National Comics: Eternity #1: (p. 125) The new National Comics title will feature some of the industry’s top talents working on stand alone stories.  The first issue by Jeff Lemire and Cully Hamner deals with the character Kid Eternity. (p. 125)

The Creativity of Ditko: Comics Historian Craig Yoe follows up his earlier volume The Art of Ditko with this new one that features in depth essays, unpulished art, stories and photos of the reclusive comics genius. (p. 182)

DC Comics Presents: Wonder Woman Adventures #1: This new all ages collection looks awesome! Wonder Women teams up in different stories with the Justice League, Green Lantern, Catwoman and Cheetah.  Even better, this collection includes stories from Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, whose creation of Harley Quinn makes them two of my favorites in comics.  (p. 138)

Chew: Secret Agent Poyo #1: I have a love of metal chickens.  I’ve heard a lot of people talk about Chew, but I’ve never heard any of them mention a homicidal cybernetic kung-fu rooster (a failing on their part).  This one shot by John Layman and Rob Guillory is a must for my pull list.   (p. 192)

Batula HC: What happens when a peaceful fruit bat is bitten by a vampire? Find out by following the adventures of Livingston as he tries to show everyone he’s still the same inside.  This full color all ages book by Steven T. Seagle and Marco Cinello is sure to please both kids and parents. (p. 202)

Pinocchio the Vampire Slayer Volume 3, Of Wood and Blood Part 1: Before Honest Abe was slaying vamps, everyone’s favorite little liar was dusting evil thanks to a magical nose.  Dustin Higgins and Van Jensen’s twist on the vampire tales begins its final chapter in this first part of Volume 3.  Pinocchio’s wish to be a real boy has finally been granted, but the timing couldn’t be worse as the battle heats up and our slayer is left without his much needed stakes.  (p. 238)

Scott Pilgrim Color Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life HC: Fans of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim rejoice! Your collections can expand with a full color hardcover chock full of bonus features.  (p. 266)

Bonus Picks: Darth Maul: The Death Sentence #1(p. 46), Steve Niles and Scott Morse’s Criminal Macabre: The Iron Spirit HC (p. 65), Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #1 (p. 80),  DC’s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #1 (p. 141), IDW’s The Crow #1 (p. 156), Bernie Wrightson’s The Muck Monster: Artist’s Edition Portfolio (p. 164), The Walking Dead #100 (p. 188), Ed Piskor’s Wizzywig HC (p. 330), X-treme X-men #1 (Marvel Previews p. 48)

Again, Previews orders are due this Thursday, so get your order in soon!

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LOOKING AHEAD: JUNE 2012

April 13, 2012 By: Heather Peagler Category: DISCUSS, HeroesCon, Looking Ahead

Wow, it’s hard to believe I’m already writing about June books!  Not only does June bring lots of great new books, it brings us HeroesCon June 22-24.  Advance passes are still available for the 30th HeroesCon at a bargain price of $30 for three full days of comic awesomeness, plus cool incentives.  The guest list is growing every week and I can’t wait to greet all of you from the Information Booth and maybe sell you a t-shirt or three.   Now to the books!

Before Watchmen: The highly debated prequel to Alan Moore’s comic classic Watchmen debuts this month with first issues of Minutemen, Silk Spectre, Comedian, and Nite Owl.  While controversial, it’s hard to argue that DC hasn’t assembled a team of great talent to tackle such a monumental task.  The Minutemen cover by Darwyn Cooke and the Silk Spectre cover by Amanda Conner are both extremely beautiful.  It will be interesting to see where these characters are taken in the years before their appearances in the classic story.  Don’t forget, Amanda will be at HeroesCon with even more of her lovely art. (pages 74-77)

Infernal Man-Thing #1: Marvel is also reaching into the past this month with the first issue of a three part series by the late, great Steve Gerber and Kevin Nowlan. This new series brings readers Gerber’s lost Man-Thing story, which is brought to life by Nowlan’s amazing art.  The first issue also includes a cover by Art Adams, no ads and bonus content. (page 43 Marvel Previews)

Sergio Aragones’ Groo the Wanderer: Artist’s Edition: There have been several great Artist’s editions over the past few months.  June brings another must-have for any art fan, as Groo finally gets his own place in IDW’s Artist’s Edition series.  Even better, you can meet Sergio himself at HeroesCon and finally answer the question: Is his moustache as amazing in person as it is in pictures? (page 155)

Dark Horse Presents #13 : This month’s Dark Horse Presents brings readers a reboot of Ghost by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Noto.  For those unfamiliar, Ghost follows departed reporter, Elisa Cameron, in her afterlife as she seeks knowledge as to her death.  The lovely Ms. Cameron battles various demons and works with other paranormal women.  Issue #13 also includes contributions from other HeroesCon guests: Steve Niles, John Arcudi, Francesco Francavilla, and Geof Darrow. We’re excited to have all these talented creators joining us at this year’s HeroesCon! (page 35)

American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares #1:  Vertigo digs deeper into the American Vampire universe with a new mini-series placed in postwar Europe and focused on a vampire hunting agency, the Vassals of the Morning Star.  The story spotlights the life of Agent Felicia Book, who has stepped away from the hunt to raise her son,  but is asked to return to the Vassals to assist in tracking the most powerful vampire of all time.  In addition to writing from regular series creator Scott Snyder, this mini-series features art from Dustin Nguyen.  HeroesCon is a great chance to meet writer Scott Snyder, who is making his first trip to our show. (page 138)

Creator Owned Heroes #1: The first 40 page issue of Creator Owned Heroes includes two stories. Steve Niles teams with Kevin Mellon on American Muscle. Part one is set in Post-Apocalypse America following a gang of rebels as the explore the wasteland left behind in the wake of the end of the world.  Jimmy Palmiotti teams with Justin Gray and Phil Noto on Triggergirl 6 a sci-fi story about a the sixth member in a series of genetically modified assassins bred in a secret lab.  The twist is the latest assassin pays special attention to her target which leads her to uncover a conspiracy that has the potential to affect all of the human race.  Kevin and Jimmy will also be guests at HeroesCon! (page 186-189)

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century #3:  From Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill, the latest League series concludes in London 2009, with the magical child whose birth was foretold in prior centuries, grown and ready to claim his frightening birthright while the world sits at the edge of a Holy War.  With the League absent, only an asylum patient who claims to have all the answers seems to stand in his way.  (p.318)

Bonus Picks: Dave Stevens: Stories & Covers: This beautiful hardcover collects all of Stevens’ non-Rocketeer comic work. (page 152), Liberty Meadows Sunday Collection Book 1 Hardcover (page 196) Iron: Or, The War After (page 239), Everybody Loves Tank Girl #1 (page 318) , The Massive (page 30-31 ), Fatale Vol 1 TP (page 195) and Ultimate Spider-men #1 (Marvel Previews page 19).

Are you starting to notice a theme? There’s a lot of great books out in June and many of those wonderful creators will be at HeroesCon this year.  HeroesCon is a great opportunity to meet them.  There’s a lot of chances for quality interaction between fans and creators from Artists Alley and panels to the Art stage.  Get your previews order in to the store the store by April 18 and get yourself to HeroesCon, June 22-24.  We hope to see you there!

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REMINDER :: HEROES DISCUSSION GROUP MEETS SATURDAY, MARCH 24

March 16, 2012 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Discussion Group, EVENTS, Looking Ahead

Just a quick reminder, join us on Saturday, March 24th at 1:00pm as we hunker down and discuss  Daredevil: Born Again collecting Daredevil # 227-233. by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli. If you have not read it before you are in for a treat!

Here are just a few of the topics we will discuss:

  • What is it about Mazzuchelli’s art that sets it apart?
  • Does the multiple narrator frame work succeed or detract?
  • The God and Country/Armageddon Coda
  • Ben Urich’s role in the finale two issues
  • Sister Maggie
  • How did this run on Daredevil affect Miller’s career as a writer/cartoonist?
  • The lack of the patented Miller comic relief
  • Murdock’s descent into madness
  • An examination of the splash pages and the titles of each of the issues
  • And lots more–there is quite a bit to talk about!!!

And as always, Born Again is available from Heroes with the special 10% Discussion Group discount.  Just be sure to remind the clerk as you check out!

See you Saturday, March 24th!

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LOOKING AHEAD :: MAY 2012 :: PREVIEWS ORDERS DUE THIS WEEK!

March 15, 2012 By: Heather Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Looking Ahead

Spring is in the air and so is the excitement about all the comic goodness that awaits us in May.  In case all the great comics coming out in May aren’t enough to get you excited, don’t forget that Free Comic Book Day kicks off the month on May 5!  Watch this space for announcements about all the great comics and artists who will be in store for your reading and sketching pleasure.  Now on to the books!

Blacksad: A Silent Hell HC: Last year’s collected Blacksad stories by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido blew me away.  The tales of an anthropomorphic detective were exciting and intriguing and the art was beyond beautiful.  Color me happy that Dark Horse is bringing us another collection so soon and that the stories take place in 1950’s New Orleans.  Not only will readers get to enjoy the elegance and darkness of the French Quarter through the eyes of Guarnido, but A Silent Hell promises the colorful and exhilarating backdrop of Mardi Gras.  In addition to the translated comic, this newest collection promises a making-of section with both sketches and watercolors. (p. 64)

Superman Family Adventures #1: Aw yeah, Super Family! The adorable team behind Tiny Titans, Art Baltazar and Franco, bring us an exciting new All Ages monthly featuring Superman and family.  It’s a different look at the Man of Steel in a book that takes a knee high point of view of the adult world.  It’s a joy to see such a promising family friendly title that both kids and parents can equally enjoy. (p. 134)

Frankenstein Alive, Alive! #1: The delightful minds of Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson bring us a beautiful horror story in black and white picking up where Wrightson’s illustrated version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein left off.  One of the more interesting aspects of this book is that Wrightson’s art was scanned in color in order to produce black and white pages that appear closer to the original art than a typical comic page.  This is sure to be a treat for literary and art fans alike.  (p. 153)

Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Man: People are still buzzing about Fantagraphics’ publication of Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes that came out a few months ago.  Carl Barks’ work has been recolored for this new book containing four full length stories as well as short stories and single page gags.  Barks, himself, is an interesting character whose employment experience before becoming a professional artist included farmer, woodcutter and cowboy.  All of those jobs influenced the creation of both Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge.  In addition to Barks’ amazing art, George Lucas provides the intro!  (p. 294)

Batman: Earth One: Geoff Johns and Gary Frank team up to bring a new Batman story along the lines of Superman: Earth One.  This hardcover promises new insight into the evolution of Bruce Wayne into Batman.   We’re also promised more information about Alfred Pennyworth, Wayne’s ever-faithful butler and more.  Who doesn’t want to know more about the seemingly reserved Brit who maintains his dignified air even when caring for a bloodied Batman? (p. 120)

Bonus Picks:

FURY MAX #1 & #2: Featuring striking covers by Dave Johnson, Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov (acclaimed collaborators on Punisher) tell a tale of Marvel’s super agent in the years following World War II.

David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil: Born Again Artist’s Edition: Several great Artist’s Edition have been released recently, most notably volumes featuring John Romita and Wally Wood.  Now one of the greatest Daredevil stories gets black and white, 12 x 17 treatment.  It’s a joy to see the art of a comic as originally drawn by the artist.  This collection includes all seven full issues as well as covers and other extras.  (p. 163)

Cursed Pirate Girl: Collected Edition Hardcover brings together the first of Jeremy Bastian’s acclaimed stories in a single volume.  Featuring sea creatures and high seas adventures in an all ages format, Bastian’s detailed art has something for both kids and their parents!

May also offers up the second wave of New DC 52 titles, including Earth TwoWorld’s Finest, Batman, Incorporated, Dial H, and G.I. Combat: (p. 74-79)

Garfield #1: Everyone’s favorite fat cat stars in an all new kids comic from Boom!  What’s most interesting about this title is that it’s being written by frequent Sergio Aragones collaborator and comics historian Mark Evanier.  (p. 262)

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture A Career Retrospective:  For the art fans among you, this book covers the impressive career of the legendary Jack Davis from his groundbreaking comics at EC, through his timeless advertisement and movie poster work.  (p. 294)

The Lovely Horrible Stuff: Eddie Campbell: The latest original work from Campbell (From Hell, Alec) deals with money and and how it affects people, their relationships and society in general.  It’s sure to be an intelligent, witty book in a way only the inimitable Campbell can provide.  (p. 320)

Make sure to have your Previews orders in by March 18.  As always, you can email your requests HERE or bring them by the store. Happy reading!

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HEROES DISCUSSION GROUP :: UPCOMING BOOK SELECTIONS

March 09, 2012 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Discussion Group, EVENTS, Looking Ahead

Cheers to Andy Mansell, who has led and moderated the Heroes Discussion Group through 41 different books over the past four years.  We’ve tackled a wide gamut of books during this time, but rest assured, we’ve saved some of the biggest guns for this year as we approach our 50th Discussion Group Meeting.  With that in mind, we’ve put our heads together and come up with a rough outline for the rest of 2012’s book selections.  I’ll leave it to our fearless Group leader to further elaborate on our plans. – Seth

SATURDAY, MARCH 24: Daredevil: Born Again collecting Daredevil # 227-233. In this collection Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli destroy Matt Murdock’s life!  This will be the third Mazzucchelli-illustrated book we’ve discussed.  If you haven’t read Born Again— you are in for a treat.  I mean just take a stare at the cover!!!

April:  Donald Duck Lost in the Andes.  Even if you’ve never read any of his books, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Carl Barks.  He is regarded as one of the all-time great cartoonists and this recent reprint from Fantagraphics is a perfect place for you to dive in and get your feathers wet.  This also marks the Discussion Group’s first foray into classic funny animals.  You won’t be disappointed!

May:  We need to do something really big–really major– before the convention.  What is bigger (and better?) than Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize winning graphic novel Maus.  This truly belongs on the short list of must-read comics.  Read it (or read it again), join the discussion and brace yourself.

June:  We hope to have at least three Discussion Groups throughout the HeroesCon weekend.  Our goal is to discuss the particular books with the creators joining in.  Last year, the Darwyn Cooke-The Outfit Discussion and the Wednesday Comics Panel  were major highlights.  We promise we will do our level best to top them in 2012.  Watch this space!

And what about the next six months? Glad you asked.  Although these are tentative selections (based on whether the books remain in print), we hope to present: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Cages by Dave McKean, Habibi by Craig Thompson and book-length works by Gilbert Hernandez and Canadian Cartooning Legend Seth (but which ones????)

Plan to join us– it’s fun, it’s no pressure, it’s a great way to spend part of a Saturday afternoon.  We’ll announce the specific dates for each discussion right here, so stay tuned, and we hope to see you there!

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LOOKING AHEAD :: APRIL 2012 :: PREVIEWS ORDERS DUE THIS WEEK!

February 13, 2012 By: Heather Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Looking Ahead

Welcome back to another edition of Looking Ahead! This month, we’re highlighting some of the books available in April. If you see any books here on or in this month’s Previews that look like they’re for you, be sure to get your orders into the store or by email on or before February 18.

Avengers vs. X-men #1– Marvel’s latest event launches in a big way pitting two groups of normally good guys against each other.  Based on previews of this series, it appears that the return of the Phoenix and the differing views of the two groups triggers this face-off between former allies.  Marvel has assembled a huge team of talent on this event with writers Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman, and Matt Fraction and artists Adam Kubert, Olivier Coipel, and John Romita, Jr. Bendis and Romita, Jr. kick off issue #1 of the event. (back cover of main Previews and pages 1-4 of Marvel Previews)

Popeye #1– Popeye is back and brought to us by writer Roger Langridge and artist Bruce Ozella in this four issue mini-series. The spinach chomping Sailor Man is back in new comics after some time away. Langridge’s humor combines with the on point art of Ozella work together to capture the spirit of the original. If you can’t get enough of Langridge (and who can?), April also holds the first trade paperback of Snarked as well as the series’ 7th issue. (Popeye is on page 159 and Snarked is on page 266)

The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice’s Adventures Through the ABC’s and What She Found ThereJanet K. Lee from Return of the Dapper Men brings an oversized poster board book to the shelves featuring her take on the classic tale of Alice. This beautiful all ages art book is a steal at only $17.95. (page 241)

The Shadow #1– The Shadow returns to comics under the writing of Garth Ennis and the art of Aaron Campbell. The story is set in the late 1930’s and moves from New York City to Shanghai.  Ennis is known for writing violent, devious characters, but he also spent a lot of time researching outside of the previous comic stories to portray an accurate pre-World War II setting in Japanese occupied China.  (pages 271-274)

Star Wars: Blood Ties- Boba Fett is Dead #1– Dark Horse brings a new mini-series in April focusing on popular villain, Boba Fett and the reaction of the galaxy to his death.  Soon the members of the team that took down Fett find themselves to be targets of an unknown assassin (s).  Written by Tom Taylor and drawn by Chris Scalf, the story also includes Connor Freeman, the son of one of Jango Fett’s clones.  (pages 32-33)

Groo vs. Conan #1– It’s the battle of the barbarians when Groo and Conan meet up in this four part series by writer Mark Evanier and artists Sergio Aragones and Thomas Yeates.  What will happen when the goofy and loveable Groo encounters the serious and deadly Conan? Add Groo vs. Conan to your reserve bag and find out! Even better, meet and discuss this latest Groo story with Sergio himself at this year’s Heroes Con! (page 60)

Wolverine and the X-Men Volume 1 Premiere Hardcover– If you haven’t been reading this series by Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo, now’s your chance to catch up on issues 1-4 in one awesome chunk!  Headmaster Wolverine is now in charge of the next generation of mutants with help from Headmistress Kitty Pryde, and teachers like Beast and Iceman.  You read that right.  Everyone’s favorite cigar-chomping, whiskey-drinking, be-clawed curmudgeon is in charge of a bunch of smart mouthed, quiky super powered teenagers.  If the teens weren’t enough trouble, the new school is infested with impish Bamfs (tiny, awesome Nightcrawling creatures).  If you love a good dash of humor and fun in your comics, this collection is for you. (page 91 of Marvel Previews)

Bonus Picks: Several of DC’s new 52 titles arrive in hardcover and trade paperback formats.  Among those available this month are hardcovers of Detective Comics and Batwoman, and trades of Animal Man, Catwoman, and StormwatchGenius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth (page 174) is the second book in the popular biographical series focusing on one of comics’ top legends.  From Fantagraphics, check out New York Mon Amour by Jacques Tardi and Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Volume 3: High Noon At Inferno Gulch HC (page 302).  Indie fans should check out Alison Bechdel’s newest, Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama (page 308). Vertigo offers the first comics work from chef/writer Anthony Bourdain, Get Jiro! (page 136).  And Image debuts Secret, the newest original work from Jonathan Hickman and Ryan Bodenheim (page 184).

Bonus Advanced Previews: This month, Previews gives us two page spreads of two books coming out later than April. They’re both worth the extra anticipation.

Due out in May: Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score– Fans of both Darwyn Cooke and the Parker series are probably already aware of the latest book and the the promo art looks amazing!  Cooke’s latest turn in the world of Parker looks at “What kind of man tries to knock off a whole town”. Previous volumes won top industry awards, including an Eisner and a Harvey award.  This volume is sure to deliver for crime fiction enthusiasts.  (pages 152-153)

Due out in June: Crogan’s LoyaltyChris Schweizer returns to the Crogan family tree with brothers, William and Charles, on opposite sides of the Revolutionary War.  It always makes us happy to support creator owned properties and Schweizer is continuing a now well established title in his Crogan family stories.  Not only is the art great, but the history behind each family member’s story is meticulously researched.  This all ages book is a fun and interesting read for the whole family. (pages 318-319)

Wow, there’s a lot of great stuff coming out in April!  Be sure to check out Previews for yourself and let your friendly neighborhood comic store put some goodness in your reserve bag this spring.

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HEROES DISCUSSION GROUP :: CRIMINAL DOUBLE FEATURE :: FEBRUARY 18

January 30, 2012 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Discussion Group, EVENTS, Looking Ahead

There are few things more satisfying than high quality crime fiction (The Novels of Jim Thompson, HBO’s The Sopranos, and Polanski’s Chinatown just to name three).

And there is nothing more embarrassing and ridiculous than cliche-ridden badly done hard boiled crime like Mickey Spillane (OK, it’s kinda funny), Bones (yikes!), Fatal Attraction (GAH!) and sadly I could go on and on.

The essential ingredients needed to produce quality crime writing are a consistent and believable tone, a fully developed central character/narrator and solid cast of supporting characters that allow you to suspend your disbelief until the final page is turned.

In recent years there have been a number of successful crime series in comics–(Darwyn Cooke’s Hunter adaptations, Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s 100 Bullets and Warren Ellis’ Fell ) and quite a few crime comics that fall headlong into cliche (the last four Sin City GNs).

One of today’s most popular crime series is Criminal by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.  For February’s Discussion Group we’ll be looking closely at two of Criminal’s story-arcs and examining what makes the stories work.  How do the writer and artist avoid cliches or how do they use them to enhance the story?  How do the creators use the comic medium to their unique advantage versus a prose writer or film director treating the same material?

Please plan to join us on Saturday February 18th at 1:00pm down at Heroes Headquarters and help us get the facts straight about Criminal: Bad Night and Criminal: The Last of the Innocent. Just leave yer pieces at home, but bring an open mind along with an air-tight alibi (See??? Bad Crime writing is a breeze!!!).

As usual, Heroes is offering the Discussion Group 10% Discount on both books,  Just remember to mention the Discussion Group as you check out.  We’ll see you on February 18th; and as always, Dames are welcome (Dear God, somebody stop me!)

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