March 26, 2014 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks rico_staff_picksRICO’S PICK :: EMPOWERED SPECIAL #06 INTERNAL MEDICINE: Only Brandon Graham could give Adam Warren a run for his money with puns visual and otherwise. Empowered #6 will be a battle to the death by these to manga influenced American creators! No one is the loser here but the winners will be fans of wacky, beautifully drawn superhero action.


STAFF PICKS :: 47 RONIN HC :: MARCH 12, 2014

March 07, 2014 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: 47 RONIN HC: No, this isn’t a movie adaptation; rather, it’s yet another variation on Japan’s “national legend”, which has actual, historical basis. Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson – who has a healthy, long-running fascination with the Land of the Rising Sun and its culture – pens this particular take, with the art deftly handled by Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai.

Currently the Comic Art Professional Society auctioning some great art donated by many industry giants and friends of Stan to help offset health care costs for his ailing wife Sharon. Stan is well-respected in the industry for his dedication to and consistency of craft (he also letters Groo; if that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is). If you’ve never picked up an Usagi book, well, there’s one solid recommendation. 47 Ronin is another. Help a brother out.




February 17, 2014 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks rico_staff_picksRICO’S PICK :: THE WHITE SUITS: Who are The White Suits? Sharp-dressed killers taking on the New York underworld?  Is there more to them than that? From the looks of things, Frank J. Barbiere and Toby Cypress are set to deliver a great looking crime series packed with action and mystery. Check out a quick preview of series here, I’m hooked!




November 19, 2013 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks rico_staff_picksRICO’S PICK :: THE FIFTH BEATLE: THE BRIAN EPSTEIN STORY: This is a book that has been in the making for quite some time and I can’t wait to hold a copy in my hands. It’s written by Vivek J. Tiwary with the majority of the art handled by Andrew Robinson and a small sequence by Kyle Baker. Honestly, Andrew Robinson’s artwork is the draw for me on this project. From what I’ve seen in previews he has unloaded his entire bag of tricks on this project, from stylized cartooned likenesses of people everyone is bound to recognize to fully painted realism to trippy psychedelia and much more, it’s all here on display in the Fifth Beatle. For anyone who has ever dipped a brush in watercolor paint, you understand the reflection of Epstein in the panel below is pure witchcraft.


Fair warning, this isn’t a light-hearted bio comic, Epstein was dealing with some heavy stuff and it’s addressed here. This is his story after all.  We’ll have 2 versions of this book, both hardcover. The collector’s edition features a unique, textured cover and a section of bonus materials including unique Beatles and Brian Epstein memorabilia, artist sketches, and alternate covers.




November 11, 2013 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: SABERTOOTH SWORDSMAN HC : Maybe I belabor the point a bit too much, but comics’ real strength as a medium is that it can embrace concepts that other mediums simply can’t. This is evident in the fact that filmic special effects took thirty years to catch up with what Jack Kirby was laying down with a piece of graphite in the 1960s. But that, now, makes for some stiff competition. So, books like Dark Horse’s Sabertooth Swordsman are vital and welcome entries into any library. Morphing and bending genre conventions into a mutant whole, this is a dash of Avatar the Last Airbender, a little Chronicles of Narnia, undercut with the tried and true sidescroller formula. A humble farmer is called upon to rescue his wife and his village from the machinations of the malevolent Mastodon Mathematician. By the power of the Cloud God of Sasquatch Mountain, the farmer is imbued with the power of the Sabertooth Swordsman, and embarks on his sacred quest. Aaron Conley’s art is dynamic and stylized, tastefully shaded, with clear storytelling. Conceptually, writer Damon Gentry has conjured a premise that is at once original and familiar, and I look forward to experiencing the pair’s effort. Along with Tobin & Coover’s Bandette, this is a good week for artful action/adventure.



HEROES DISCUSSION GROUP :: HELLBOY/B.P.R.D. :: Saturday, November 2nd

October 17, 2013 By: Andy Mansell Category: Discussion Group, EVENTS


Well, the Heroes’ Discussion Group reunited with a bang.  We talked about Saga on and off for three hours and spent the rest of the time talking comics with legendary penciller Steve Bissette who stopped by with our friend Craig Fischer on a lark!  It was a tremendous afternoon—I was less a moderator and more of a plate-spinner with an itch between the shoulders.  We had a blast.  Thanks to all of you who attended.

Now we turn our sights onto Halloween.  In the past we’ve done Walking Dead and From Hell.  This year it is time we jumped feet first into the Mike Mignola-verse and talk about Hellboy and B.P.R.D.  The amount of consistent quality pages delivered by Mignola and team centering on everyone’s favorite earth-bound demon and his fellow bureau agents of Paranormal research and defense is legion.  So, we asked all of our Mignolaphiles which books we should tackle.  Based on a consensus over-seen by our own Seth Peagler (thanks Seth!) we have decided on the following trade paperbacks:

  • Hellboy: Wake the Devil—an early complete Hellboy story arc
  • Hellboy: The Chained Coffin—a really solid collections of shorter Hellboy pieces
  • B.P.R.D.—The Dead—one of the best of the early B.P.R.D. extended stories.

Topics will include:

  • The art by Mignola (Hellboy) and Guy Davis (BPRD) and how their different styles affect the storytelling
  • The supporting cast (certainly one of the largest and most interesting around)
  • The way Hellboy/BPRD is published—can new readers jump in anywhere?
  • The use of comedy relief
  • The consistency of the series
  • And for any who are already well-versed with Mignola’s work: What should the new readers pick up next?
  • And a whole lot more!  If you’ve been putting these series off—this is a perfect time to give it a try!

We hope you will join us for a belated Halloween on Saturday November 2nd at 1:00pm.  As usual we will meet at the store and repair to either the Tavern or Bakery across the way.

As usual, Heroes is offering the 10% Discussion Discount on these three books.  But as a special incentive–if you purchase all three we are offering a 20% savings.  That’s 3 Trades for only 45.00.  Just remember to remind the clerk of the discount when you check out.  (The overwhelming and ever-present smell of Mylar is starting to get to us.)

Hope you’ll join us and Happy Halloween!



October 15, 2013 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: BUZZKILL #2 : This is a concept that, in incapable hands, could be dreadfully rote: a guy derives superpowers from drug and alcohol abuse. Not necessarily a wholly original premise, but the creative team’s approach elevates the proceedings beyond the mundane. Donny Cates’ characterization of the main character is sympathetic and believable, without making a sappy sob story out of it (truth be told, he’s kind of a jerk, but a likable jerk). Geoff Shaw’s art inhabits a comfortable space somewhere between the likes of Tradd Moore and Matteo Scalera, with Lauren Affe punching things up quite beautifully in the color department. Issue one ended on an ingenious cliffhanger; I’m clamoring for issue two. If you missed this Dark Horse offering in the shuffle, pick #1 up along with #2, and save yourself the agony of turnaround.




October 01, 2013 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks


JUSTIN’S PICK :: GRINDHOUSE: DOORS OPEN AT MIDNIGHT #1: Comics have a long-standing tradition of tastelessness, for better or worse. For better, EC Comics churned out some of the medium’s high watermarks in the 50s; for worse, see some of the small press books released in the 90s. But objectively, that freedom is what makes comics such an attractive creative endeavor. Alex de Campi‘s new Dark Horse series doesn’t sound very illuminating (first up: Bee Vixens from Mars, drawn by Chris Peterson, pitting a one-eyed sheriff’s deputy against a horde of alien seductresses!), but certainly – and more importantly – it will be entertaining. In a critical climate of mounting pretension, a book so pure in its mission is a welcome respite.

grindhouse coop



March 29, 2013 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

SETH’S PICK :: ABE SAPIEN: DARK AND TERRIBLE #1: If you’re at all familiar with the Mignola-verse of characters, you know Abe Sapien’s story is as intriguing as Hellboy’s.  And while you could say that Abe has been largely about a creature trying to hold onto his humanity, in recent years Mignola and company have further mutated the fish-man.  Now he looks less like a man with gills, and more like a relative of the Creature from the Black Lagoon.  Fitting, since the Earth has literally gone to hell over in B.P.R.D.  Now, courtesy of Dark Horse, Mignola, Scott Allie, Sebastian Fiumara and colorist extraordinaire Dave Stewart, we get an all new ongoing series featuring Abe.  It’s a fish-man fighting monsters, travelling the ruined Earth, and trying to make sense of what he was and is.  They had me at fish-man.



March 11, 2013 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

SETH’S PICK :: SLEDGEHAMMER 44 #1: I had a long, detailed paragraph prepared as to why I think you should spend your hard earned money on this comic. . .and then it disappeared from my computer.  Instead, I’ll just keep it short and simple.  1) There aren’t many war stories set in the Mignola-verse.  2) This one features an Iron Man archetype fighting Nazis, but is just as much about the normal soldiers on the ground as it is the armor.  3)  Though it was written (by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi) for genius John Severin to draw, when he passed away it was given to Jason Latour, who excels at the kind of detail-oriented research this story requires, and understands the importance of balancing that research with a focus on the characters themselves.  4)  In a week where I could easily write about the Hawkeye vol. 1 TPB, Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror #2, or Ben Katchor’s Hand Drying in America, this is the book I’m most excited about seeing and reading. 


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