October 09, 2013 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks heather_staff_picksHEATHER’S PICK :: COFFIN HILL #1: The weather’s getting cooler and a chill is setting in that will soon be welcoming Halloween and all manner of spirits into the season. ¬†Jump into the mood with a wonderfully creepy tale from Caitlin Kittredge and Inaki Miranda. ¬†Coffin Hill is the story of Eve and her transplanted from Salem family of witches. ¬†Eve has tried to escape her wicked past, but a workplace injury sends her back home. ¬†With dark magic and haunted woods, this new series from Vertigo is sure to be a scary good time.



February 20, 2013 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Interviews

If you’re familiar with the work of Matt Kindt, you know he’s one of the hardest working creators in comics. Over the past several years he’s received critical acclaim for his graphic novels Super Spy, 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man, Revolver, and Pistolwhip.¬† More recently, you’ve probably seen his work on Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. and in Mind Mgmt, the monthly¬†Dark Horse¬†title he writes, illustrates and designs.¬† Kindt’s previous graphic novels suggest he possesses one of the more original voices in comics.¬† Now¬†with¬†Mind Mgmt, not only do you have further support for his originality, but you’re getting monthly examples of it.¬† For a deeper look at Mind Mgmt, check out my review of issues 1-5 HERE.¬† In the meantime, enjoy the interview.

Seth Peagler (SP): Mind Mgmt is your first big monthly book, but it’s also one where you’re writing, illustrating and directing the design of every aspect of it. What were some things that contributed to your decision to tackle something of this scale at this point in your career?

Matt Kindt (MK): Well, to be honest, I feel like graphic novels were getting too easy from a creative stand point. I was getting a little bored. And I was tired of disappearing for a year to finish a book and then launching a book and disappearing again. Now I get to launch a new issue every month and get a little more interaction with readers. I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever go back to a GN format. I’m having way too much fun doing a monthly series. (more…)



November 05, 2012 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

The Sandman by Neil Gaiman is one of the most influential series in the history of comics. In my opinion, its most important influence is the way it has been produced and distributed. Sandman was one of the first (if not the first) on-going comic series to be collected and published in trade paperback form while the series was still running. Today, that is the publishing norm and I believe we have the quality (and quantity) of Sandman to thank for it. It remains in print to this very day. In fact, there are two Sandman related titles in this week’s New Releases. The one I recommend is:

Sandman Volume 10–The Wake– the final volume of the regular series. It collects Sandman issues 70-75 and it is my absolute favorite story arc concerning Lord Morpheus, the Master of Dreams and his family–the Endless. The jaw-dropping art is by Michael Zulli, John Jay Muth and Charles Vess–sort of a Consequential Art Murderer’s Row. Yes, The Wake is an certainly an ending; but it is also a beginning and then ol’ Will Shakespeare guest stars in one of the most unique and satisfying codas in comic history. So until Wesley Dodds stops eating Pork & Beans and is able to ditch the WWI Mask, Make Mine Morpheus




October 01, 2012 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

HEATHER’S PICK :: FAIREST #8: Rapunzel takes the lead in this female driven Fables spin-off and brings along lots of baggage as she travels from New York to Tokyo in an attempt to put a mystery from her less than pristine past to rest.  With another gorgeous cover from Adam Hughes, this latest arc is an excellent point to start this series if you have not been reading from the start with the Tokyo storyline promising ghosts, talking cats, and scorned lovers!





August 17, 2012 By: Heroes Online Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

BRENT’S PICK :: UNWRITTEN #40: Unwritten has been my favorite series on the racks since it debuted. Easy to pigeonhole as a “Harry Potter” spoof, this thoughtful book left that (admittedly great) jumping off point 30 issues ago. Carey and Gross are crafting a compelling and thoughtful work examining concepts of reality, fiction, history, zeitgeist, and belief. This issue concludes an arc that has seen much of the status quo change for our protagonists. Anything could happen next….!





August 13, 2012 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Where Do I Start?

Welcome to the very first installment of Where Do I Start?.¬†There are a lot of great, long-running comic book series that didn’t start out so great–good enough to catch on, but not enough to catch fire. ¬†Off the top of my head,¬†Hellboy, Hellblazer,¬†Love & Rockets and yes, even (gasp!)¬†Sandman are good examples of series which needed to produce a few story arcs before it really reached their potential. ¬†We¬†could¬†spend all day arguing about each individual series I mentioned, but space is limited, so let’s just concede that I am always right and move on (See, wasn’t that easy??)
To me the ultimate example of this¬†slow-start-to-a-great-series¬†phenomenon is Bill Willingham’s Fables. ¬†A lot of folks tried the first few issues of¬†Fables¬†10 years ago and were a bit disappointed by the Vertigo-proclaimed¬†heir apparent to¬†Sandman. ¬†But a lot more folks got hooked and continued to read it to this very day. ¬†Currently the series is celebrating it’s 10th Anniversary with 118 issues published collected into 16 trades. ¬†There have been two spin-off series,¬†Jack of Fables and now Fairest, plus a stand alone short story collection¬†1001 Nights of Snowfall¬†and even a prose novel¬†Peter and Max.
After all of that material, I still get excited every single month to read Fables.  I would like you to enjoy this series that tells the on-going saga of the famous characters from Legend and Fairy-tale (Snow White, The Big Bad Wolf,  The North Wind, Pinocchio, Ozma and countless others) existing in our Mundane (Mundy) world. The problem for hesitant readers has been the first two story lines collected in Legends in Exile and Animal Farm.  These two stories told in the cliche ridden forms of a murder mystery and a Spy thriller do not work as well as one might hope.
So, I am suggesting you set aside your strong completest sense (all of us comic readers have it) and pick up the Third Fables trade Storybook Love.¬†¬†It was these issues that hooked me for life and I believe it will do the the same to you. ¬†The storytelling, art and characterization are confident. ¬†The story literally jumps off the page. ¬†the world of Willingham’s creation becomes fully formed and believable. ¬†From that point on, he was off to the races with no end in sight.
So do yourself a favor, break with tradition and read the third trade¬†Storybook Love first. ¬†You will continue to read on and on and I am confident that Fables will become one of your monthly must-reads. Remember: you can always go back and read the first two once you’ve gotten involved.
Note: Although i really enjoy the current storyline, I do not recommend Fairest as an optimal starting point for new readers. The tone of this first story is humorous and a bit self-reverential–much like the wise-guy first person narration in Jack of Fables. ¬†This conceit works well for the story Willingham is telling within Fairest’s pages, but I do not think this tone works well as a proper introduction to a series like¬†Fables that successfully tells many different tales in many different ways.
Try¬†Storybook Love— it is really enjoyable and you will be chomping on the bit for more.

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