Archive for the ‘Staff Picks’


April 23, 2014 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks rico_staff_picksRICO’S PICKS :: THE ELTINGVILLE CLUB #1: Evan Dorkin has been exposing and skewering the dark recesses of fandom since the days before the internet existed. I love to hate these guys and this book comes at a time when tolerance for this kind of entitled fan is at an all time low. If you read this and think it’s about you, it’s time to make a change!

ELEKTRA #1: When a creative thinker who has been turning in brilliant cover after brilliant cover for years at Marvel is let loose on the inside of one of their comics you shouldn’t take it for granted. Mike Del Mundo has been producing some conceptual cover masterpieces for Marvel and I can’t wait to see what he does on this book!


STAFF PICKS :: Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: “Trail Of The Unicorn” (Vol. 6) (The Carl Barks Library) :: APRIL 23, 2014

April 23, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICK :: Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: “Trail Of The Unicorn”: I will not rest until everyone is reading these reasonably priced and beautifully designed and edited volumes of  Carl Barks’ Disney Duck masterpieces.  This is the 6th volume to be published by Fantagraphics and every one of them are great. You can purchases ANY single one of them and read them in any order.  Fantagraphics is not even bothering to number the series, so readers can just jump in anywhere they want.  Gasp! That goes against everything our passion/hobby usually requires. But these are arguably some of the greatest comics ever published. And they are as vital and funny today as they were when they were first published over 65 years ago.  Each volume includes a handful of the Donald duck full length adventures and the, marvelous 10 pages as well as a number of single page gag cartoons. And each volume contains short essays about each story from some of the best critics and comic writers around. Please buy this volume–Trail of the Unicorn or any other volume Justin keeps  on the shelf. You can’t lose!




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


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



April 21, 2014 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: Some weeks, doing a staff pick can be pretty tough. I mean, I know there are homeless and starving people in the world, but do THEY have to sift a SINGLE comic book – out of hundreds – to highlight on a weekly basis? NO. Clearly, my plight is underrated. Taking a cue from our man Phil, I’m just going to babble about a few things that’ve struck my fancy of late. We’ll call this the Southern Variation, since that’s an appropriately nerdy in-joke one out of ten of you will understand.

First of all, Uncanny Avengers. This is my favorite Marvel comic going right now (but it better watch its back, She-Hulk’s creeping up fast). Rick Remender packs more into a single issue than most writers manage to squeeze into a trade paperback. The pacing can be pretty glacial, and he wanders off on a lot of tangents, but man, are they good tangents. Remender is one of those guys that really understands the synthesis of plot and characterization, and how crucial that alchemy is to comics. Too many of his contemporaries seem to sacrifice one for the other, and it makes for some pretty boring and/or predictable comics. Of course, having Daniel Acuña illustrate your scripts is never collateral damage, and this guy’s stuff just gets better and better. I liken his artistic development to whittling: the more he shaves off, the more beauty is revealed. Uncanny Avengers #16 is part two of a big denouement for the series – Avenge the Earth – and even though the involvement of Kang makes any incident inherently undoable, it’s about the trip, not the destination.


If you’d like to take a different trip, why not visit the fantastical land featured in Chris Roberson and Paul Maybury’s new Image sword and sorcery series, Sovereign? Issue two is out this week; #1 teased just enough to really whet the imagination.  Understandably, it concerned itself more with exposition and conceptualizing, but hinted at broad enough conflicts to fuel this title for some time. The focus is split between a few different classes: religious, royal, and warrior, and an underlying sense of dread informs the whole issue. This is an obvious choice for fans of Saga or Game of Thrones, and the art! Paul Maybury is consistently overlooked as a reliable and deft storyteller. The guy deserves more eyes on his stuff. Provide a pair, won’t you?


Lastly, my generation will not permit the publication of a Simpsons one-shot without at least a passing remark. After the likes of Mr. Burns, Professor Frink, and even Lisa Simpson have proven to be shining solo stars, who could warrant the treatment next? Moe Szyslak? Bumblebee Man? The Captial City Goofball? Close, but no cigar! It’s the one, the only…DUFFMAN! That’s right, Springfield’s resident swill shill is ready for Spring Break with an issue of his very own comics magazine! What shenanigans may ensue are anyone’s guess, but here’s hoping the Seven Duffs show up (“Surly only looks after one guy: Surly.”). I suppose for this particular issue, we’ll have to move back to the former genre rack residency…but then again, what 80s kid didn’t adore Spuds MacKenzie? Alas, those were different, heady times.


Welp, that’s the top of the heap for me this week. Good night, and good luck. See you in the funnypages. Etc.



April 15, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICK :: ART OF DISNEY GOLDEN BOOKS HC: Chances are good that the first book you ever held in your hand, ripped its pages, drew in, or drooled on was a Golden  Book and if your parents were anything  like mine and in as much of a hurry to buy a Golden Book to shut me up that they only noticed and bought the  one’s that featured familiar Disney characters, well sir (or madam) this is the book for you. These books have inspired generation after generation of budding animators and cartooists.  Now comes The Art of Disney Golden Books.  It is a beautiful hard cover book celebrating eighty years of the marvelous Disney character art that every kid spent time tracing, copying or spilling juice on.  Either way, Golden Books are an essential link in the chain that eventually can lead to …comic books!!  Enjoy! And good luck keeping it ‘mint’.



April 14, 2014 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: BOHEMIANS GN: Being sequestered in the sticks as a teenager, and being something of an inherent weirdo, I took some solace in my creative side, and also developed a healthy fascination with the Beats (i.e. Kerouac, Ginsberg, and my personal favorite, William S. Burroughs). Bohemians promises to chronicle the predecessors of America’s original counter-pop-cultural movement. If this is an area that interests you, I’d also heartily recommend the late Harvey Pekar’s Beats Graphic History (mostly illustrated by Hip Hop Family Tree’s Ed Piskor, among others, but happy hunting…it’s out of print!). Hopefully, Bohemians will take a similar tack to Pekar’s examination, and dispose with the glamorizing of its subject matter. The lives lived under the radar, by their own rules, are easily romanticized with the benefit of hindsight. In all honesty, it’s a lot more squalid than that. Either way, I’m reading.



STAFF PICKS :: DOOP #1 :: APRIL 9, 2014

April 07, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICK :: DOOP #1: Back in 2001, Peter Milligan and Mike Allred turned the mutant world on its backside by re-imagining X-Force a super-team that eventually morphed into X-Statix. Replacing the old X-Men reliables like Cable, Deadpool, Warpath , Milligan and Allred turned a team of misfit super-heroes into well… a bunch of reality star super-powered misfits.  Now the key players on the team were Dead Girl, Phat, U-Go Girl, Anarchist and my personal favorite Doop who looked like the love child of Proty II and Slimer from Ghostbusters. Milligan returns with artist David LaFuente (and covers by Allred!) for a five issue mini-series that is sure to be one of the gems of this summer.  And if you have never read the Milligan/Allred Mutant series, pick up a book or three from Heroes– it is a great read.



April 04, 2014 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: FLASH GORDON #1: Fortunately for you, it’s tough to translate singing to type, so you’re spared a lousy, off-key reprise of the Flash Gordon theme song. But rest assured, it will resound throughout the store on Wednesday. Batman 66 scribe Jeff Parker joins forces with Evan Shaner (who drew one of the best one shots ever, last year’s Buddy Cops) to celebrate the 80th anniversary of one of sci-fi’s most enduring icons. It’s not Flash fandom that draws me to this book; rather, I like Parker’s unobtrusive scripting, and Shaner’s clean, crisp art is highly enjoyable in its own right. I expect these gentlemen to turn in a fine adventure of the Man from Earth. Now, off to practice that falsetto…




April 03, 2014 By: Heather Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks heather_staff_picksHEATHER’S PICKS: It’s a two for one staff pick for me this week thanks to Marvel debuting solo books of two of my favorite characters this week.  That’s right, both Doop and Nightcrawler are getting their own series this spring.  I’m not sure how one week is going to be able to contain so much awesomeness.

DOOP #1: I was excited about the Doop mini-series from the moment it was announced.  Then I saw the previews for the first issue and I nearly punched someone, my excitement was so great.  Those pages from David Lafuente look amazing.  It’s also good to see Doop in the hands of one his creators, Peter Milligan.  I am so glad I only have to wait less than a week to read this book for the first of what is sure to be a million times.

NIGHTCRAWLER #1: Jason Aaron was one of my favorite writers before he brought Nightcrawler back, but the return of one of the best blue guys in comics earned him a permanent spot on that list.  I’m looking forward to Chris Claremont and Todd Nauck taking on Nightcrawler’s return to the X-Men.  I hope he has many new adventures in store (especially pirate adventures…).


April 01, 2014 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks rico_staff_picksRICO’S PICK :: DEAD LETTERS #1:  I’ve seen a black and white preview of this book and it sucks you in immediately. It’s a great first issue. The story begins as a classic amnesia fiction so we are learning what’s going on right along with the main character Sam. Writer Chris Sebela and artist Chris Visions will BOTH be at HeroesCon this year. You should probably get your copy of Dead Letters #1 signed and get a sketch from Visions this year before the rest of the world catches on to his greatness and he’s hard to meet, his bold art won’t stay a secret for long!