STAFF PICKS :: AMERICAN BARBARIAN COMPLETE SERIES :: AUGUST 5, 2015

August 04, 2015 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: AMERICAN BARBARIAN: Tom Scioli has long held¬†the reputation for being an artist who expertly¬†pays¬†homage to the canon of Jack Kirby. One of the things I most respect about Scioli, though, is how he not only captures and distills Kirby’s work in his own, but also channels¬†other interests and influences. Case in point with¬†this week’s long awaited complete collection of American Barbarian. Sure there are nods to Kirby, especially the excellent Kamandi comics, but there’s also a plethora of other monsters, robots and beings that¬†could only jump from Scioli’s fertile imagination.¬†ambar1

As with Scioli’s must read Transformers vs. G.I. Joe series, American Barbarian is full of unabashed love for all things sci fi, fantasy, film, comics and pop culture. It takes concepts that have at times¬†been stereotyped as low, and raised them to high comics art. Thanks to IDW, American Barbarian is finally¬†receiving a nice new complete hardcover collection. It’s unlike any other new book you’ll see on the stands this week, and I hope you’ll take the time to relish this work in all its glory.¬†ambar4

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STAFF PICKS :: LITTLE NEMO: RETURN TO SLUMBERLAND #1 :: AUGUST 20, 2014

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

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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

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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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STAFF PICKS :: GENIUS ANIMATED: CARTOON ART OF ALEX TOTH :: MAY 21, 2014

May 21, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICK :: GENIUS ANIMATED: CARTOON ART OF ALEX TOTH:¬†When we were growing up in the 1960s, cartoons were –as Charles Barkley might say,¬†‚Äúturrible‚ÄĚ
Thanks to the success of the Flintstones, cheap limited animation was all the rage. so we were stuck watching things like Breezily Bruin and Klondike Kat. But on Saturday morning, thanks to the success of the live action Batman TV show, Super-hero adventure was prospering. The animation was still¬†‚Äėturrible‚Äô and the family¬† friendly ratio– for each hero there had to be an adorable dog/monkey or precocious child- but the¬†characters looked great. these were iconic designs that made the image of the characters last far longer than the cartoons themselves. The reason for this enormous bump in visual quality was that the¬†designer for many of these shows was comics legend Alex Toth. In the span of a few years, he created Space Ghost (along with two precocious teens and¬†a damn masked monkey), the Herculoids, Birdman, The Blue Falcon and later the good FF cartoon,¬†Super Friends¬†(two more precocious teens and a damn dog in a cape)and The Legion of DOOM!!!. Those designs live on to this very day. IDW celebrates Toth’s TV work with GENIUS ANIMATED CARTOON ART OF ALEX TOTH HC VOL 03 the¬†final volume of¬†IDW’s comprehensive over-view of Toth‚Äôs marvelous career.¬† There are hundreds of character design pages within these covers.You don‚Äôt want to miss this massive explosion of creativity (plus monkeys!)
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STAFF PICKS :: TMNT UTROM EMPIRE #1 :: JANUARY 22, 2014

January 16, 2014 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES UTROM EMPIRE #1: I’m a Turtles guy, and this three issue miniseries fleshes out the plans of warlord Krang and his assistant Baxter Stockman to complete their Technodrome and devastate the Earth. There are enough reference points in that sentence to perk the ears of any Turtles fan, but the real, true reason I’m blathering about this comic book can be boiled down to a single name: Andy Kuhn. This guy is one of the most criminally underrated artists working today. His clean, high contrast style adapts incredibly well to anything he chooses to work on (see his creator-owned Firebreather with Phil Hester, or issue #33 of Secret Avengers he did with Rick Remender to see what I mean). Any time Andy lays pen-to-paper, I’m there; that he’s back on the Turtles only sweetens the deal.

TMNT UTROM

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STAFF PICKS :: BLACK DYNAMITE #1 & SAVAGE DRAGON ARCHIVES VOL 3 :: JANUARY 15, 2014

January 13, 2014 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN‚ÄôS PICK :: BLACK DYNAMITE #1: Black Dynamite has gotten staggering mileage for a cult-spoof introduced a half-decade ago. Some things ‚Äď pomade, French fries, Blaxploitation ‚Äď just never go out of style. Writer Brian Ash penned the wonderful (and now evidently rare) Slave Island one shot for Ape Entertainment in 2011; now, IDW is serving up the funky fury, with Ash aided and abetted by Ron Wimberly¬†(!) and Sal Buscema (!!!). This is the first of a four issue series, so sharpen your ninja stars, break out the Nag Champa, and settle in for some quality funnybook entertainment.

BLACK DYNAMITE SHARK

BONUS PICK :: SAVAGE DRAGON ARCHIVES TP VOL 3: Plagued by delays, volume three of Erik Larsen‚Äôs Savage Dragon Archives finally hits the stands. This bargain collection ‚Äď in the format of Marvel‚Äôs Essential and DC‚Äôs Showcase trades ‚Äď is the easiest and most affordable way to catch up on Image‚Äôs most underrated ongoing. This volume really drives home how daring Larsen is as a creator; for example, Dragon‚Äôs not even the star at the outset! It‚Äôs the sensational She-Dragon at that point! This third volume of Archives ramps up the crazy, culminating in the series-shattering issue 75, where everything changed forever. If you‚Äôre sick of the spurious changes and relentless retcons of most mainstream superhero mags, Savage Dragon is your safety haven.

SD ARCHIVES VOL 3

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STAFF PICKS :: RICHARD STARK’S PARKER SLAYGROUND HC :: DECEMBER 11, 2013

December 05, 2013 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICK :: RICHARD STARK’S PARKER SLAYGROUND:¬†Fans of Darwyn Cooke rejoice! ¬†A new Parker book has arrived just in time to be added to our Christmas Wish List (hint) This is a no-brainer for anyone who picked up the first three books in this hard-boiled, beautifully rendered Crime fiction adaptations. ¬†This is a true marriage of an author’s prose novel and a talented cartoonist determined to adapt these stories to a new medium, but keep the tone and the spirit of the work intact. ¬†The plot: Parker– a career criminal (and not the nicest guy in the comics)- breaks into an abandoned Amusement Park in order to escape capture after a heist goes wrong. ¬†But someone observes Parker trespassing and that’s when things get really scary for all involved (just look at that amazing cover!). ¬†Darwyn Cooke is an artist who deserves all the praise that has been heaped upon him. ¬†This Parker series belongs in everyone’s hands. ¬†It is as good as you’ve heard.

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STAFF PICKS :: TMNT VILLAINS MICRO-SERIES #7 :: OCTOBER 30, 2013

October 28, 2013 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES VILLAINS MICRO-SERIES #7: IDW’s Turtles ongoing has been a commendable mix of old and new, blending elements of the Mirage books with the 80s animated series, all while adding its own twists and flavors. Now, this supplemental series does something no Turtles book has dared to do before: introducing Bebop and Rocksteady to mainstream continuity. Despite being fan favorites for those of us who grew up with the show, B & R remain a sharp reminder of the commodification of a beloved indie success story. Regardless, such politics are moot in the presence of quality entertainment, and I, for one, am super-excited to see these mutant marauders brought into the stapled fold.

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STAFF PICKS :: SAMURAI JACK #1 :: OCTOBER 23, 2013

October 21, 2013 By: Seth Peagler Category: Staff Picks

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seth_smlSETH’S PICK :: SAMURAI JACK #1: I’m not often drawn to comics based on animated shows, but I felt obliged to write about Samurai Jack this week. ¬†It might be one of those cult classics, but even if you’re not all that familiar with the show, you’ll find the subject matter easily accessible. ¬†There’s something to be said for the simplicity of a story centering on a samurai lost in a world ruled by a demon. ¬†Cheers to IDW for translating a popular animated property into what very well could be a successful comic book. ¬†Additional cheers to them for enlisting creators like writer¬†Jim Zub (Skullkickers) and artist¬†Andy Suriano (who happened to work on the animated show) to bring the character to a new medium. ¬†Wednesdays are supposed to be fun for comic readers, and books like this epitomize that potential.¬†samjack

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STAFF PICKS :: HALF PAST DANGER #3 :: JULY 17, 2013

July 16, 2013 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

SETH’S PICK :: HALF PAST DANGER #3: ¬†There are several interesting titles out this week (Batman ’66 #1, Paul Pope’s Death of Haggard West, The Love and Rockets Companion, Seagle and Kristiansen’s Genius, Brandon Graham’s Walrus), but I’m opting to bring Half Past Danger to your attention. ¬†This action adventure series from IDW is pretty straightforward, but very much a breath of fresh air. ¬†It’s essentially an adventure series, but in the first two issues has already delivered on its promise of Dames, Dinosaurs and Danger. ¬†It features all of those elements (and ninjas!) set against the backdrop of World War II. ¬†More than that, it’s executed wonderfully by writer/artist Stephen Mooney and colorist Jordie Bellaire, who is quickly becoming to colorists what Francesco Francavilla is to cover artists. ¬†This series feels like it was produced by people who love old action and adventure comics and films, and doesn’t shy away from displaying its exuberance. ¬†Best of all, this is the perfect kind of comic to offer you a break from the big, shiny summer events of ¬†super hero books. halfpast

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