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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HEROESCON 2015 :: STAR WARS PANEL VIDEO

July 17, 2015 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, HeroesCon

We’ve just posted our Star Wars panel from HeroesCon 2015 featuring Stuart Immonen, Jason Aaron, Wade von Grawbadger, Justin Ponsor and moderated by Rich Barrett of Mental Floss! This is the first video on our freshly minted Heroes YouTube page so subscribe because more video from Heroes events is on the way!

It’s a great talk and features a peek at some never-before-seen art from the book.

Big thanks to Matt Tyndall for putting this together for us!

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STAFF PICKS :: SOUTHERN BASTARDS VOL 1: HERE WAS A MAN :: OCTOBER 01, 2014

September 30, 2014 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks rico_staff_picksRICO’S PICK :: SOUTHERN BASTARDS VOL 1: HERE WAS A MAN: If you haven’t been following Jason Latour and Jason Aaron’s incredible Image Comics series, here’s your chance to catch up.  “Welcome to Craw County, Alabama, home of Boss BBQ, the state champion Runnin’ Rebs football team…and more bastards than you’ve ever seen. When you’re an angry old man like Earl Tubb, the only way to survive a place like this…is to carry a really big stick. COLLECTS SOUTHERN BASTARDS #1-4”

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Southern Bastards :: Thanks and Photos

September 24, 2014 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, EVENTS, Store Signings

IMG_5000smlThanks for coming out for our Southern Bastards event with Jason Aaron and Jason Latour! It was a great day and a fun time was had by all! We’ve posted a bunch of photos to show you all the fun you missed if you were unable to attend. Follow us on social media and check back here for news and updates about all the events we organize!

Boss BBQ, Sugah Jug Shirts and more are in our webstore now!
http://heroesonline.bigcartel.com/
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Photos my Matthew Knapik and Rico Renzi — at Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find.

 

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STAFF PICKS :: SOUTHERN BASTARDS #4 :: SEPTEMBER 3, 2014

August 29, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: SOUTHERN BASTARDS #4: When each new issue of Southern Bastards is released, I find myself doing the same thing I did with Jason Aaron’s Scalped: re-reading each issue of that particular story line before enjoying the final chapter. While both books have strong elements of crime fiction within them, the greater similarity is that hold up to multiple readings and remain impressive. Aaron’s reliability as a storyteller is part of Southern Bastards‘ success, but just as key is the quality of the art.

Jason Latour is finally receiving the attention he’s been due as a unique cartoonist in an ever-expanding field of comic book pin up artists. I’ve particularly been impressed with Latour’s ability to convey the mindsets of characters through their facial and body language.  This sounds simple, I know, but how many times have you looked at a comic in recent years and every character’s face looks exactly the same? You don’t have that monochromatic wave of expressions in Southern Bastards. In fact, I would argue that you could infer the story’s meaning by simply reading the pictures without the script. Again, that seems like a fairly obvious role of comic book art, but how often do comics actually succeed on that front?

Southern Bastards exemplifies strong literary and visual storytelling, and if you haven’t yet realized what so many of us already have, make sure to pick up the first three issues or the upcoming trade paperback. Oh, and in this issue Earl Tubb fights Coach Boss. It’s set in the South, you see.SB4

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STAFF PICKS :: SOUTHERN BASTARDS #2 :: MAY 28 2014

May 28, 2014 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: SOUTHERN BASTARDS #2: When I see the word “southern” in anything, I am immediately skeptical. I’m all too accustomed to our region and citizenry being unfairly pigeonholed as a bunch of unthinking bigot morons. Thankfully, Jasons Aaron and Latour sidestep all that, and craft a tale that’s somewhere between pulp and spiritual. I’m sure nearly every one of you read #1; this is a gentle reminder that #2 needs your attention, as well. Aaron is working the spaces between genres like he did in his acclaimed Vertigo series Scalped, and Latour’s art is a blend of darkness and whimsy in the grand EC tradition (don’t let those colors fool you, I see Kurtzman and Davis both lurking in that line work).

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STAFF PICKS :: BLACK SCIENCE TP VOL. 1 :: May 28, 2014

May 27, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: BLACK SCIENCE TP VOL. 1: There are several reasons to pick up this first volume of the acclaimed series Black Science. Firstly, it’s an energetic sci-fi tour de force from Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera. There’s a reason these single issues sold out quickly, and if you missed any of them, here’s the perfect opportunity to see what we’ve all been talking about. Secondly, and of equal importance, this collection is only $9.99! Image Comics has been using this price point for the first volumes of their new series’ trade paperback collections, and it’s a smart publishing initiative. In fact, you could pick up this volume and the first collections of Manifest Destiny and Pretty Deadly for just over $30 plus tax. That’s a lot of good comics for not a lot of money. BlackScience_v1

Bonus Pick: Southern Bastards #2: This is yet another sold out Image series, and my favorite new title of the year. Jason Aaron and Jason Latour’s southern crime story employs finely tuned writing and meticulous art to brilliant effect. Their cinematic use of tension and release remind us of how comics can still be used to tell unique stories in unique ways.

Bonus Pick #2: Devil Dinosaur by Jack Kirby TP: This is not the King’s greatest comic work, no, not by a long shot. But it is a series where he draws all kinds of dinosaurs and monsters, and that’s enough for me. Plus, this is the first time the whole series is available in a single trade paperback.

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HEROES REVIEW :: SOUTHERN BASTARDS #1

April 29, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS

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I arrived at Southern Bastards #1 with plenty of high hopes. Jason Aaron has long been one of my favorite writers, with his creator-owned Scalped being one of our great modern crime epics, and his mainstream Marvel work on Wolverine and Wolverine and the X-men being of reliable entertainment and quality. Jason Latour is an artist/neighbor whose work I’ve had a chance to see develop and flourish over the past 8 years. He’s proven himself as an accomplished writer on the creator owned Loose Ends and Marvel’s Winter Soldier, and as an artist on everything from B.P.R.D. to Captain America. Needless to say, I had a lot of expectations riding on this book. sb1

Upon my first reading of Southern Bastards, I quickly realized it was hitting close to home. I’ve lived in Charlotte my entire life. There aren’t many of us who can say that anymore. North Carolina isn’t the South of Southern Bastards’ Craw County, Alabama, but my Dad hails from Jackson, Mississippi, so I’ve got some deep south in my blood. Southern Bastards pulled up some of my memories of Mississippi and made me angry and wistful at the same time. The Mississippi of my memory is quiet and spacious, and seemingly hot all the time.  There’s all kinds of beauty surrounding you, but it’s not always easy to see it, because there’s plenty there to offend and infuriate. It’s an odd juxtaposition, the vast expanse of natural beauty and the racism and violence that occurs within it. It’s all part of what modern southern songwriter Patterson Hood refers to as “The Duality of the Southern Thing,” and it’s always there. Southern Bastards does a better job of encapsulating this duality that just about any comic I’ve ever read. sb2

Aaron and Latour wisely don’t acknowledge this equal parts blessing and curse with a slap-you-in-the-face, didactic approach.  Instead, they use open space and quiet moments to intended effect.  These are storytellers seasoned in Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, William Faulkner, and Flannery O’Conner. They know a little can go a long way. They also know that the South is full of spiritual things that can be as unsettling as they are revelatory. Southern Bastards’ protagonist Earl Tubb sees this all too well in the first issue when he sees a giant tree growing right out of his father’s grave. Earl surmises that it sprouted from the legendary stick that his daddy used to clean up Craw County. It’s quite a sight, but for all the mystery it represents, it’s not necessarily something Earl wants to see. Earl comes back to Craw County for the first time in forty years, and you see in his face that home can be a place full of memories and still somewhere you don’t want to go. It’s like North Carolina writer Thomas Wolfe said: “You can’t go home again.” sb3

When we first meet Earl, he’s been in the big city (Birmingham) for years now, and he quickly realizes why he left his hometown. For all the good memories, there are plenty of things difficult and terrible about Craw County. While the series will surely tell us more about all of these things, it strikes me that it’s not an accident that Aaron and Latour chose Alabama as the locale for their story. Aside from the obvious fact that Aaron hails from the state, it’s worth remembering that Alabama is notable for several things other than football. On the cultural front, Muscle Shoals’ Fame Studios was a place where black and white musicians came together to make some of the most enduring American records, even in the midst of the unrest around them. And then you have Birmingham itself, where the violence of the Civil Rights struggles came to a head in 1963. Southern Bastards seems to be very conscious of so much that makes the South a wonderful and troubling place.

There’s a phrase applied to music that says “always serve the song.” It refers to the idea of pushing your ego out of the way in a performance and letting the song’s inherent soul be revealed to the audience. Though a different medium entirely, Aaron and Latour clearly serve the song in Southern Bastards, and it’s one that will get stuck in your head if you let it. This is a comic of deft storytelling and uncommon soul. I, for one, can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

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STAFF PICKS :: AMAZING X-MEN #1 :: NOVEMBER 06, 2013

November 05, 2013 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks heather_staff_picksHEATHER’S PICK :: AMAZING X-MEN #1:  Jason Aaron has jumped up to my favorite writer in comics and has filled my reserve bag with X-Men titles.  Wolverine and the X-Men was my gateway to all things mutant. Given how much I loved the bamfs in his stories, I cannot wait to see how those little critters help lead to the return of fan favorite, Nightcrawler.  If that wasn’t enough, it appears from previews of #1, there is a pirate story line! I’m really looking forward to reading how Nightcrawler makes the return from heaven to earth in this new series.  amazingxmen_1_cover

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LOOKING AHEAD :: NOVEMBER PREVIEWS

September 18, 2013 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Looking Ahead

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seth_smlSeth Peagler (SP): It’s been a few months since we featured our “Looking Ahead” column.  Between HeroesCon, warehouse sales, and traveling to other cons, we’ve all had our hands full.  It’s back now, though, and this time a Heroes married couple will be perusing Previews for your benefit.  Orders are due very soon, so make sure to get yours in this week!  With that, Heather, where do you think we should start?

heather_smlHeather Peagler (HP): Instead of just calling this “Looking Ahead” this month, I think we should call it “Looking Ahead to Heather’s Birthday.”  Clearly Marvel and DC knew that I had a birthday in November since they are choosing that month to give me an awesome Nightcrawler return and a Harley Quinn that feels like old times.  There’s so much fun stuff to choose from!  Just consider all my picks to be a nice birthday list and everyone get to shopping!

SP: We all know that comic characters never stay dead.  It’s probably no surprise that Marvel is bringing Nightcrawler back now.  This resurrection in particular looks promising.

HP: BAMF! BAMF! BAMF! the appearance of a familiar blue visage at the end of Wolverine and the X-Men could only lead to the awesomeness of a pirate Nightcrawler.  Jason Aaron should get a huge cookie basket from Marvel for making X-Men so very amazing.  Speaking of being amazing, make sure Amazing X-Men #1 by Aaron and artist Ed McGuinness is on your pull list for November!

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SP: Aaron and McGuinness are a perfect fit to herald Nightcrawler back from the beyond.  I’m excited for this as well, but am equally excited that Marvel is collecting the earliest of Captain America’s Golden Age adventures into an omnibus. It’s Joe Simon and Jack Kirby pitting Cap and Bucky against Hitler and the Nazis!  You all know how nearly impossible it is to dig up single issues or reprints of these books, so this is an opportune way to finally get these stories if you’re interested in a nice slice of comics history. Along with Golden Age Cap, Marvel is finally bringing their Silver Age Ant-Man stories back into print, via a brand new trade paperback in the Masterworks series.  This collection has long been out of print, so here’s your chance to brush up on Ant-Man knowledge before the upcoming Marvel film adaptation.

HP: Speaking of issues that are hard to find, Marvel must have gotten my subliminal messages about Chris Giarusso’s Mini Marvels as they have assembled a complete collection for my reading pleasure! It even includes a complete run of Mini Marvel comic strips! This is a great collection for kids and adults alike.  Marvel also has a collection that’s the opposite of kid-friendly coming soon with volume 1 hardcover is the latest Deadpool series.  The first twelve issues of this hilarious series by writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn are collected within.

SP: Another new Marvel collection I’m looking forward to is the Avengers: The Enemy Within TP by Kelly Sue DeConnick.  I’ve enjoyed her take on Captain Marvel, and this collection should please all members of the Carol Corps, official and honorary.

HP: Perhaps it is Halloween coming that has me in the spirit for reading the new ongoing series of Ghost by the writing team Kelly Sue DeConnick and Chris Sebela and interiors by Ryan Sook! I really enjoyed the last mini-series and am looking forward to reading more.

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SP:  Along with Ghost, we can’t ignore Dark Horse’s newest horrorific Black Beetle series.  Black Beetle: Necrologue #2 continues the pulpy goodness wrought by Francesco Francavilla, the busiest artist in comics, and features more horror elements than the last mini series.  And though it isn’t overtly a horror title, there’s plenty of gruesome genius on display in Geof Darrow‘s Shaolin Cowboy #2.  I’m thrilled that Darrow found time to bring Shaolin Cowboy back to the masses, and this series’ inclusion of zombies makes it a perfect accompaniment to Dark Horse’s other ghoulish November titles.

HP:  Over at DC there’s Harley Quinn! I absolutely adore Harley Quinn, or the early version of her anyway.  I yearn for the days of Mad Love Harley and do so miss her looniness.  I have great hope for Harley Quinn #0 to return to old school Harley and give readers back that cute and quirky homicidal maniac missing from the current pages of DC.  The creative team lends itself to the fun of Harley with artists like Darwyn Cooke, Walter Simonson and Art Baltazar all contributing.  If you share my love of Harley be sure to check out all the new t-shirt offerings on page 421 of Previews! I want at least three of them!

SP: Trust me, folks, she’s not kidding about wanting that many Harley shirts.  I think fans of all ages DC stories should enjoy the new Scooby Doo Team Up series.  Issue #1 features Batman and Robin, so if you have a young reader in the house, or are yourself a young-at-heart reader, don’t forget this one.

HP: That Scooby Doo Team Up series reminds me of the old cartoon when everyone from the Harlem Globetrotters to Sonny and Cher to Jonathan Winters would show up and take part in the hi-jinx! If it wasn’t for those meddling kids!! Speaking of kids, is it ever too early for love to be in the air? Especially when that love is expressed as A Very Vader Valentine’s Day? With art by Katie Cook, the adorable book with 36 valentine card is sure to be loved by both the kids and Star Wars fans in your life.

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SP: November definitely looks to be an especially kid-friendly publishing month.  Along with the new Scooby Doo title, there are debut issues of Ben 10 and Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and a new stand alone graphic novel in Adventure Time vol. 2: Pixel Princesses.

But if I was forced to pick a book of the month, I’d have to go with Image’s Black Science #1.  Not only does it mark Rick Remender‘s return to Image, but re-teams him with talented collaborator Matteo Scalera.  You can ascertain that the series focuses on dark science fiction, but I have a feeling this is going to be not only a big seller, but a critically acclaimed book.  That means that like Saga, the first several issues of this series might move quickly.  Get in on the ground floor with the first issue in November.  Remember to let Justin ([email protected]) or any of the store staff know what you’d like from Previews, and we’ll make sure you get your books!

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