Archive for the ‘Staff Picks’

STAFF PICKS :: SOUTHERN BASTARDS #10 :: WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2015

July 29, 2015 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks rico_staff_picksRICO’S PICK :: SOUTHERN BASTARDS #10: The boys are back in town and this issue of SoBas is especially rough. Spending a day with Esaw is no plate of ribs with all the fixins’. Aside from all the sex and violence Jason Latour and Jason Aaron stuffed into this issue, proceeds from sales of the variant cover go to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund: http://www.charleston-sc.gov/index.aspx?NID=1330

From the mouth of Latour, “The variant is available in as high a quantity as your retailer wants to order. But please keep in mind that Southern Bastards remains an unabashedly rated R plus comic book. It wasn’t the plan but this one maybe more so.”

We ordered heavy on the “Death To The Flag, Long Live The South” cover so be sure to come by and grab a copy when you can. Thanks!
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By using the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund
This city’s fund will provide direct financial support for the funeral and burial expenses of the nine victims of the senseless tragedy. Any funds remaining after the funeral and burial expenses are paid will be donated directly to the Emanuel AME Church in ways best determined to benefit the surviving families and the Church.  Donations to this fund are NOT tax-deductible.
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STAFF PICKS :: WEIRDWORLD #2 :: JULY, 22, 2015

July 21, 2015 By: Seth Peagler Category: Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: WEIRDWORLD #2: Trust me, I get it. Company wide events, crossovers, tie-ins, reboots, and the like can be frustrating, difficult to navigate, and time consuming to deal with whether you’re a fan, a retailer, or like me, both. Let’s face it, they’re not all going to be worth your time and money, but when there are so many being produced, a few will fall through the cracks and fail to get the attention they deserve. Thus, this Staff Pick.

On the surface, Weirdworld may appear as just another ripple in the flood of the Secret Wars Battleworld miniseries. The premise is simple enough, with a lesser known character, Arkon fighting to escape his titular locale, while an array of beastly/monstrous hordes attempt to kill and/or eat him. It’s so simple that in lesser hands, this comic would certainly remain inconsequential. weirdworld1

Fortunately for us, the creators bringing this story to life are Jason Aaron and Mike Del Mundo. Aaron remains one of the most reliable writers in comics, regardless of whether he’s writing his own creator owned Image books, or a Marvel series. Mike Del Mundo’s gorgeous art continues to impress, and is broadened here to include this series’ necessary fantasy elements. The creators also pull in lots of classic cult characters in this series, so if you’re a fan of Morgan le Fey, Man-Thing, the Lava Men, or Skull the Slayer, there’s even more to enjoy here. weirdworld2

This may be just another Marvel event miniseries, but it’s one of the most enjoyable I’ve read this year. Issue #1 hit shelves just a week or two before HeroesCon, and I read it early one morning after a late night of processing comics for the show. It was the perfect little slice of stand alone, easily accessible comics that we rarely see amid these large publishing events. If you skipped Weirdworld because you assumed that it isn’t worth your time, reconsider that decision and pick up the first two issues this week. Sometimes simple fantasy miniseries can be the most rewarding reads.

 

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STAFF PICKS :: HAWKEYE 22 :: WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2015

July 10, 2015 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: HAWKEYE 22: Okay…this looks bad. I’m not entirely sure why Marvel supposedly held up the publication of the Matt Fraction/David Aja finale, or why they decided to start a new (or rather, All New) Hawkeye series before the acclaimed previous run finished. Whatever the reasons, this week we finally get the opportunity to celebrate the work of Fraction and Aja on this the last issue of their impressive series.

Heroes customers and readers of this blog know well that I’ve long championed Hawkeye. Until the Fraction/Aja run, the character was mostly a laughable everyman with seemingly little narrative or aesthetic value. For the past three years, that assumption has been proven wrong time and time again. Both creators exhibited a range of narrative and visual deft. Fraction wove non-linear plot lines, callbacks and deep character studies through Aja’s Mazzuchellian visual motifs and panel layouts. The pair took a fairly bland archetypal concept and elevated it to high comic art. They reminded us of the potential of comics, superhero or otherwise. hawkcvrs

I could write endlessly about why this series is so impressive, but this is, after all, simply a Staff Pick. If you want to enjoy a thorough and critical reading of this series, I’d encourage you to link HERE to the brilliant article on The Comics Journal by our friend and HeroesCon panelist, Craig Fischer. Craig digs into close detail about the many highs and occasional lows of this epic series, and will give you an even greater appreciation for just how unique a work it has been. Thanks, Matt and David, for a remarkable series. Hopefully we’ll see the two of you team up again before too long.

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STAFF PICKS :: Classic Comics Cavalcade :: WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 2015

July 08, 2015 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICKS: Notify the Vatican and make certain all household clocks are synchronized to incorporate the Market-threatening, potentially Apocalyptic LEAP SECOND [TM] because the Classic Comics Cavalcade returns…..

BACCHUS OMNIBUS ED GN VOL 01| $39.99
Have you read From Hell and the autobiographical Alec: The Years Have Pants? Of course you have because I’ve repeatedly told you all to do so and when it comes to the works of the great Eddie Campbell, you don’t want to cross me. Compared to the two epics mentioned above, Bacchus is a less important yet thoroughly entertaining work about the Greek God of Wine and Revelry as he tries to sit quietly and drink his way through modern times. Unfortunately, the are a score of Mythical figures who have their own plans for old Bacchus. And wait ’til you meet the Eyeball Kid face to face.
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CREEPY PRESENTS ALEX TOTH HC| $19.99
Keep it simple and spot those blacks and the page will explode with storytelling potential. Alex Toth is one of the giants of comic art and he worked especially well with writers like the great Archie Goodwin who tailored his comic scripts to exploit the assigned artist’s strengths. The result? How about a dozen or so of the best Horror stories published by Warren in the mid to late sixties. And it’s only 20 bucks. Toth rules!

WILL EISNERS THE SPIRIT A CELEBRATION OF 75 YEARS HC| $39.99
Yet another DC ANNIVERSARY HC edition. Have you always wondered about Eisner and wanted to sample his classic Spirit stories but were put off by the sheer amount of material and the enormous cost? I can’t blame you ( but I can -and do blame Frank Miller, but that is, as they say, a different kettle of stories) But this handsome volume looks like it will an ideal sampler of the master cartoonist at his best.

IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME SWANNS WAY GN| $26.95
Attention Monty Python fans
Sing along with me and The Bolton Choral Society as they attempt to summarize Swann’s Way in 15 seconds…Proust in his first book, wrote about, wrote about, Proust in his first book wrote about….GONG!!! Anyhooo
Were you assigned to read Proust in English Lit? ME TOO!
Did you read the entire first book Swann’s Way? ME NEITHER!
This comic adaptation from French illustrator Stephane Heuet should prove to be more insightful than Sparks Notes and a hell of a lot more fun to read.
Now if they can only figure out a way to adapt Infinite Jest into comic form then I will no longer have to avoid the more persnickety members of my local book club.

BONUS PICK: A FUTURE CLASSIC
CRICKETS #04| $8.00
Sammy Harkham returns and just in time. Mr. H is one of the major comics talents of this young century and you owe it to yourself to pick up all 4 volumes of his solo comic Crickets. Sensational storytelling with unique and rather distinct art and if you aren’t careful you just might learn a bit about what it was like to work on early ’70s Horror films. Always a plus!
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Staff Picks :: Runaways #2 :: Wednesday, July 7, 2015

July 07, 2015 By: Heather Peagler Category: Staff Picks

staff_picks heather_staff_picksHEATHER’S PICK :: RUNAWAYS #2: I missed out on picking Runaways #1 since it came out the week of HeroesCon and things were just a little bit busy around here. I didn’t even have a chance to glance at the issue until the Monday after HeroesCon. I did have a chance for an all too brief chat with artist, Sanford Greene and was a little dismayed to learn that Molly Hayes was the only original Runaway to be appearing in the new series. I didn’t exclaim out loud what I was thinking which was “No Arsenic and Old Lace?!?”. (Seriously find a way to work Old Lace into the new story and I will love you forever.)

After reading the dinosaur free first issue, I found myself intrigued and I would be entirely remiss not to pick the second issue.  The premise of the Battleworld Runaways is a school for the “gifted” set up by Dr. Doom.  Joining Molly are some familiar (to me) faces, Jubilee, Pixie, Cloak and Dagger, and even Bucky Barnes as a hall monitor! Issue two’s final exam for the freshmen class seems to be setting up the rebellion against authority that features in the original series.  Written by Noelle Stevenson (of Lumberjanes-have you read Lumberjanes, yet?!?) and drawn by the aforementioned Greene, this is one Battleworld story that will be on my pull list!

Psssssss: if you love Old Lace as much as I do, be sure to pick up Runaways The Complete Collection Volume 4 that came out last week.runaways

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STAFF PICKS :: HE-MAN: THE ETERNITY WAR #7 :: JULY 1, 2015

June 30, 2015 By: Karla Marsh Category: Reviews, Spotlight on New Releases, Staff Picks

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karla_staff_picksKARLA’S PICK :: HE-MAN: THE ETERNITY WAR #7: Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know, BIG SURPRISE! My pick for the week is He-Man: The Eternity War #7. That’s almost like me saying, “Hey guys, you know what I REALLY like? BREATHING!! Breathing is AWESOME!!” All obviousness aside, however, I AM picking this issue for a reason other than my true and undying love of all things Masters of the Universe. Issue #7 picks up with a new creative team. Rob David and Dan Abnett take the story-crafting reigns for this arc while Edgar Salazar’s pencils bring a slightly edgier look to the Masters. The changes in artistic style are bold, but not detrimental as the story picks up with Skeletor, She-Ra and Skeletor’s minions trying to find a way to best Hordak now that Evil-Lyn has betrayed them. The story is solid and offers more insight into the current incarnation of Skeletor! There’s also some good moments with Shadow Weaver which made me happy! (I want more Princess of Power characters in my Master’s of the Universe!) The cover by Jonboy Meyers is also worth mentioning because, if you look closely, you can see twisted versions of classic She-Ra characters Madame Razz, Kowl and Glimmer in the mix!

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STAFF PICKS :: THE SPIRE #1 :: JULY 1, 2015

June 29, 2015 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: THE SPIRE #1: Start July on a good note this week with the latest collaboration between Si Spurrier and Jeff Stokely. You may remember their post apocalyptic sci-fi western Six Gun Gorilla from a few years ago. That book won a lot of deserved critical acclaim, and I enjoyed it immensely. The Spire features a similar apocalyptic scenario, but trades the western motifs for fantasy this time around. It also adds a murder mystery into the mix, and a protagonist who must solve the crimes as she navigates a racist and xenophobic society. Spurrier telling a fantasy story with plenty of modern societal parallels, plus an array of monsters, strange machines and characters rendered as only Stokely can? That’s enough to sell me (and you) on this new series. spire1

Bonus Pick: Autumnlands vol. 1 TP: Tooth and Claw: This affordable debut collection (just $9.99) by Kurt Busiek and Benjamin Dewey features some of my favorite anthropomorphic fantasy storytelling in years. Dewey’s depictions of endless humanoid animal creatures is remarkable, and Busiek does a fine job of building an accessible narrative for a new world in this excellent first volume.

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STAFF PICKS :: A-FORCE #1 :: WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2015

May 19, 2015 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks heather_staff_picksHEATHER’S PICK :: A-FORCE #1: So Secret Wars, things blow up, worlds collide, Heroes had a really cool variant cover.  You now have the sum total of my knowledge of the wars of secrets.  That’s my comics confession, I rarely do the big events.

In spite of that, I can’t wait to pick up A-Force #1. Marvel’s got my number on this one.  A comic loaded with female superheroes written by one of my personal favorites, G. Willow Wilson. (Side note: Are you reading Ms. Marvel?  If no, then why the *$@! not?!? Pick up a trade or two when you’re in this week for singles.)

Written by Wilson and Marguerite Bennett with gorgeous art by Jorge Molina and Craig Yeung as well as colors by Laura Martin and Matt Milla, out of Secret Wars (I think) comes Battleworld, part of which is protected by a team of lady Avengers.  Based on the cover and previews of interior pages, the team includes some of my favorite Marvel characters: She-Hulk,  Medusa,  Hellcat, Jubilee,  and SpiderGwen.   There are a ton of other great characters in case our favorites don’t coincide.  This looks like a good one to pick up, especially while so many titles hit pause for the summer.
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STAFF PICKS :: THE BEST AVIAN SIDEKICK? 4 ROBINS OR 3 JR. WOODCHUCKS :: MAY 13, 2015

May 13, 2015 By: Andy Mansell Category: Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICKS :: ROBIN THE BOY WONDER A CELEBRATION OF 75 YEARS HC

(W) Bill Finger & Various (A) Bob Kane & Various (CA) Jim Lee, Scott Williams
Happy Birthday Dick/Jason/Damien and according to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, there are some who call him…..Tim? Regardless he still looks great…nice gams! And you have to tip your hat to the enduring concept of the Super-hero kid side-kicks. Again, I know nothing about the contents, but these DC Diamond Jubilee editions have been consistently good. And I’d be willing to bet $.15 (Sterling!) that a whole lot of Teen Titans can be found somewhere between these hard covers.
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Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: The Pixilated Parrot (The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 9)

(W/A) Carl Barks
Two hundred pages of comics by the greatest of the great Carl Barks. You get Donald Duck, his Uncle Scrooge and his nephews Huey, Dewey & Louie, great gags, break-neck pacing, exhilarating adventure that ads up to comic storytelling at its best. What more do you need? How about brief, insightful essays on every story from a number of knowledgable critics, authors and academics. Buy this volume or any volume. Buy some Barks NOW!
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STAFF PICKS :: WEDNESDAY, MAY 06, 2015

May 06, 2015 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksrico_staff_picksRICO’S PICK(S) :: SECRET WARS #1: Secret Wars was the crossover that captured the imaginations of the kids I went to school with in the 80’s and started the Marvel summer crossover trend. I can’t tell yet if Marvel is letting Hickman burn everything to the ground to start things over for real, for real but a lot of the books coming out of this book seem interesting at least! This book has a ton of covers for fans to choose from including our HeroesCon variant featuring a fresh take on Zeck and Beatty’s classic Secret Wars #8 (colored by me!).
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BONUS PICKS: Since I’m plugging things I’ve colored, why not pick up Spider-Gwen #4 and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #5 today too. The second Southern Bastards trade is out today too if you need to catch up on that amazing story by Jasons Aaron and Latour.
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andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICKS
:: SUPERMAN VS DARKSEID TP
Publisher: DC COMICS
(W/A) John Byrne & Various (CA) Adam Kubert
Mayweather v Pacquiao was a dance contest compared to these two heavy-weights. And the best part is this pay-per-view is only 20.00! And once in your library, you can enjoy it more than once! But please, no wagering…Collecting SUPERMAN #3 (1987), ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #426, ACTION COMICS #586, SUPERMAN VS. DARKSEID: APOKOLIPS NOW!, SUPERMAN/BATMAN #12-13, COUNTDOWN #3-2, DEATH OF THE NEW GODS #8 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #23.1!
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SCOOBY DOO TEAM UP #10
Publisher: DC COMICS
(W) Sholly Fisch (A/CA) Dario Brizuela
Wow, the two greatest Saturday Morning Cartoons of all time join forces. With Johnny and Hajji added to Mystery Inc, the term meddling kids is no longer a misnomer. Plus, this should prove once and for all who wins in a no holds barred junkyard dog fight between Scooby Doo and Bandit. The victor advances to the quarter finals of the Laff-Olympics to take on the winner of the Muttley/Dino-mutt grudge match.
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