STAFF PICKS :: HOWARD THE DUCK #1 :: MARCH 11, 2015

March 09, 2015 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: HOWARD THE DUCK #1: I’m a big fan of Howard. The guy’s on my business card, and indelibly inked onto me corporeally. Also, he’s in my heart and soul. A childhood love for that foul (see what I did there?) movie lead to a rekindled personal interest in the funnypapers. A lot of that had to do with the late, great Steve Gerber, the Duck’s creator and chronicler, and how his work provided a hitherto nonexistent intersection of comics and “comix”. Howard was the consummate outsider, but also a staunch everyman and rugged individualist. Personalities like that usually end up the most incisive of social critics. And that was Steve Gerber’s tack: Howard was his mouthpiece, his means of satirizing not only the insular culture of comics, but the pop culture abroad as well (even post Y2K, Gerbs was savaging his psychic surroundings…see Howard’s brilliant and underrated six issue MAX series if you don’t believe me). Howard WAS Gerber, and in other writers’ hands, well, he’s never been quite right.

Therefore, I do not envy Chip Zdarsky. Granted, people like me – fanatical Duck fans – aren’t a flock large enough to generate a blip on the radar (these duck puns are making me very ashamed of myself), but like Ty Templeton before him, Zdarsky is using high concept as his entry point, i.e. Howard the Duck PI. That’s fine, I’ll give him a fair shake; he’s demonstrated a singular enough sense of humor. He could do worse for collaborators: Joe Quinones may be drawing Howard with four fingers, but otherwise, he is a stellar artist, whose work is both elegant and entertaining, technically proficient without sacrificing storytelling. And our man Rico Renzi will certainly punch things up with his usual panache. Me? I approach the book with a strange mix of enthusiasm and trepidation. A lot of people saw that movie, and a lot of them sat through those credits. Will they all understand that there is soul behind the smartassery? That satire is the essence of what Howard is, or should be? Or do they just want a cuddly ducky with a cranky attitude to placate them for a few months, ‘til the next fad pops up?

htd1

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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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