Archive for the ‘Staff Picks’


August 19, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

I am a classic comic strip fanatic. And in the past I’ve hated most of the comic book updates of the old strips. I’ve enjoyed the Popeye run from Langridge, Neely and others because their comic was true to the source material. But most of the time– DC’s Modesty Blaise (meh), that late ‘80s Popeye superhero revamp (ugh!), the Marvel Annie comic (YIKES!!) –they have been a source of embarrassment at best. So when I heard about IDW’s update of Windsor McKay’s all time great strip Little Nemo in Slumberland, I said no way. Can’t they just leave things well enough alone? But then I saw the beautiful cover by Gabriel Rodriguez and I became a bit less guarded. The artwork has a spark of the master. Then I found out that the writer of the series was none other than Eric Shanower–who has done such a splendid and respectful job on the OZ adaptations–and I thought…. maybe. Then I heard the plot– King Morpheus’ daughter needs a playmate and he may be drafted into service to dream’s daughter against his will– and I admit I’m all in on this gamble.  This looks too good to miss.


August 19, 2014 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: HIP HOP FAMILY TREE VOL 02: Ed Piskor and Fantagraphics drop the second volume of this exhaustively researched and obsessively detailed history of America’s most misunderstood (and misappropriated) indigenous art form. Like comic books, baseball, and its predecessor jazz, hip-hop is a mode of expression that is undeniably ours, and for better or worse, it has infiltrated the global consciousness. Piskor has revealed himself as an authority on the subject, and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather see setting pen-to-paper in this pursuit. The treasury format gives the art plenty of room to breathe, while lending an essential old school nostalgia. If you missed out on the opening chapter of this modern masterpiece, worry not…Fantagraphics also offers a new printing of volume one to satisfy your souls. Read up, son!




August 18, 2014 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks rico_staff_picksRICO’S PICK :: MULTIVERISTY #1: DC Comics is giving Grant Morrison the keys to 51 alternate Earths in the DC U. 51 different universes (The Multiverse), each with their own particular spin on the superheroes we know and love. The concept of the DC Multiverse isn’t a new one, it’s been around since the 1960s but Grant Morrison is attempting to flesh it all out in this new series. Sounds pretty interesting. I really like this variant cover by Morrison himself.
Chris Burnham’s cover is pretty great too.



August 15, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks


seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: LITTLE NEMO: RETURN TO SLUMBERLAND #1: Though an obvious statement, it’s worth noting that Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo stories revolutionized the way cartoonists approached panels and pages. It’s hard to believe that a newspaper strip now over 100 years old was able to employ such imagination and craft. There have been more recent forays into Slumberland, but most of those have existed within non-comics forms like video games and animated films. IDW’s ambitious new Little Nemo series marks the first time in decades that we’ve seen new all ages Slumberland stories in comics. To tackle such a daunting project, IDW tapped Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez to bring Nemo to the modern era. With decades of work adapting the Oz stories for comics, Shanower is a natural choice for this effort. While I’m not as familiar with the work of Rodriguez, it’s hard to deny the popularity of his work on Locke and Key. Little Nemo has been around for over a century, but there’s still a multitude of comics fan who have likely never read any of those original strips. Hopefully this series will be a success and new readers will discover the genius of Winsor McCay. nemo1Just in case you need an example of McCay’s original Nemo genius – we all could use that reminder: mccay1



August 11, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

ANDY’S PICKS :: DC SUPER FRIENDS: A WORD ADVENTURE BOARD BOOK: SUPERMAN | DC SUPER FRIENDS: A WORD ADVENTURE BOARD BOOK: WONDER WOMAN | DC YR BOARD BOOK BATMAN SHAPES | DC YR BOARD BOOK CATWOMAN COUNTING | DC YR BOARD BOOK SUPERMAN COLORS | DC YR BOARD BOOK SM WONDER WOMAN ABC’S: Attention all pre-schoolers reading this! Remember all those times you went with Dad to that super cool store with the pretty statues, the big scary Spiderman and not so scary Statue of Liberty. Think of how many times your dad spent way too much on his weekly comics fix and suggested that you “….don’t tell your mom”. Well, this week it’s payback time. When your dad reiterates your little weekly secret, hand him a stack of these delightful YR Instructional books that feature Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman! Not only will these books help you learn your shapes, and master counting, colors and most importantly those tricky ABCs (the mystery of ‘LMNO’ finally revealed!) but it will assuage your dad’s on-going sense of guilt.  Plus you and dad can read great comics together and you will make Mr. Justin smile. It’s a win-win-win. And each book only costs ‘this many’.

Just don’t tell mom.


August 08, 2014 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks rico_staff_picksRICO’S PICK :: ZOMBILLENIUM HC VOL 02: HUMAN RESOURCES: Zombillenium, the horror-themed amusement park run by actual monsters is back! This volume once again showcases Arthur de Pins trademark lively tongue-in-cheek cartooning. The man is a master. Fans of Kyle Baker’s older work will love this! Please let us know if you missed the volume 1 of this GORGEOUS album of comics by this French cartoonist and we’ll order it for you if we don’t have it in stock.



STAFF PICKS :: Reading With Pictures: Comics That Make Kids Smarter :: August 05, 2014

August 05, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

Ever since I completed the 5 volume Cartoon History of the Universe by comics legend and History scholar Larry Gonick, I’ve been on the look-out  for more text book offered in a readable sequential format. In addition to other books by Gonick (the Cartoon Guides to Physics, Chemistry, Computers, Statistics etc.) I’ve read Jim Ottaviani’s books about Niels Boers and recent comic examination of Primates. I’ve also devoured the reprints of Will Eisner’s PS Magazine– a military publication that provides soldiers with difficult mechanical and technical directions in a simple to follow comics form. In all of these books, comics become a teaching tool. This Wednesday, Andrews McNeel Publishing adds another to this growing field with  Reading With Pictures: Comics That Make Kids Smarter a book that uses comics as a tool to improve visual literacy for use in the classroom and in real life. Topics include  Social Studies, Math, Language Arts, and Science featuring art by Fred Van Lente, Ryan Dunlavey , Katie Cook, the great , and many more. PLUS! you get a downloadable Teachers’ Guide that offers a number of tools for educators who see the potential and want to utilize comics in their classroom. Join in on the fun as comics continue to reach their greater potential.


August 01, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks


seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: CAPTAIN VICTORY AND THE GALACTIC RANGERS #1: One of Jack Kirby’s last great series gets a shot of new energy this week. It’s written by Joe Casey, who wrote one of my favorite series in recent history, Dark Horse’s Catalyst Comix. Similarly to that book, Captain Victory teams Casey with a variety of talented artists to tell an offbeat sci-fi superhero story. This time around Casey teams up with Nathan Fox, Jim Rugg, Ulises Farinas, Ben Marra, Farel Dalrymple, Michel Fiffe and more, all creators who happen to make some of today’s most consistently inventive comics.  The preview pages suggest that these artists brought plenty of joy and enthusiasm to Kirby’s world, and I can’t wait to see their work on this underrated property.


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

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


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



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


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.