Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dead-Wood comics dispatch April 1 2015

No Mercy #1

Alex De Campi' s book and shorts at Dark Horse have been very entertaining in that B movie horror sort of way and its great to see more work from her and what looks to be an all woman creative team from Image. The promise of this title to put vacationing high schoolers from the US into a very untenable and dangerous place in a very real world sort of way sounds very interesting and is likely to garner lots of interesting conversation if people get it. I'm looking forward to the book for her writing alone given the subject matter I'm now even more intrigued. On top of it its $2.99



The Dying and the Dead #2

Jonathan Hickman is one man that seems obsessed with death and the end of things given the direction and characters of his recent work and given my existential problems he's kind of the right writer for me to read. The first issue of this book introduced us to our hero who's love is facing the end of her days and he's offered a bit of hope from a slightly obscure angle. This issue promises that he will be bringing the band back together to go on the missin that will lead to his miracle cure and the band will be the friends and companions still around from his youth and WW 2. The art is brillantly stark and the story has lots of promise given all the hints and secrets thrown around in the opening extra sized issue. As will all Hickman work I caution that it reads better in big stacks so waiting for the collection may be in order but if there is a back up feature or a letters page here I think the individuals may be of interest besides the book itself....$3.50


Guardians Team-Up #4

This is a series I think it will be fun to check out now and again and this is the issue that has my attention. It is written by John Layman who writes good pugilistic action which this issue will likely have in spades given the two green skinned women it stars but the big draw for me is the promise of the new artist Otto Schmidt from Germany. Seems he has been doing some excellent work on the continent and as someone who has been accused of being euro trash I'm looking forward to seeing what Europe has to offer as new talent. I don't expect the issue to hook me for the series but I'm pretty intrigued to pick up the one at least. $3.99


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Comics Notes March 28th 2015


Jem and the Holograms

Is it the best of the books I read this week, that is up to personal opinion really, but Jem and the Holograms by Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell is one of the prettiest and thought a bit origin-y it was a solidly good story and has lots of story potential. Kelly and Sophie reintroduce the heroines of the eighties pop music driven animation from just short three decades ago and sparklingly passes Bechtold and Sexy Lamps tests. Its character designs include various body types and though highly stylized the characters diversity is pretty evident. I have every hope that this book will be an all ages mirror to the challengingly written Bitch Planet. Certainly not ment for the oft assumed audience for the four color world and makes me kind of wishing I had a daughter to share it with (still very happy to have decided to not have children though. Looking forward to more and to the Misfits.... Not typically my sort of thing but kinda totally love it, I am a trained makeup artist just sad I look pretty horrible in drag.

4 out of five if the are is your kind of thing

Past Aways 1

Matt Kindt and Scott Kolins first full issue of their time lost heroes stuck in the distant vaguely rememberd past, the now, delivers a massive book for the money. Following the Image of giving a longer issue for the same money up front certainly put this to the top of my reading list right after the above glittery gem and it give more then just quantity. Continuing from the introduction in DHP the group of past explorers continue their lives stuck in the barbaric past and learn they may not be quite as stuck or alone as they thought. There is a lot of fun and sciencey adventure in this book that includes a journal entry for its future followers and a Mind Mgmt with art and story by Matt Kindt that may or may not entice you into reading that too. This is another winner for me in the realm do modern SF comics... its a genre that is kind of getting lots of good going on for people of many tastes be they serious or fanciful. This feels kind of fun, rollicking and pulpy and well its a lot of comic for the money today.

4 out of five pretty solidly and with a headquarters map on the back..

Secret Avengers 14

Penultimate issue of Ales Kot's MODOK opus and my replacement for the much abscent Hawkeye. All the various pieces are pretty much together in here including the philosophical bomb, the multiple furies, the spiders and hill and the archer and agents and oh yeah much and many weirdness. With a story that could have been a Lovecraftian version of Doctor Strangelove by way of the old Marvel Bullpen. Its not at all the best place to start but this is one of the books I will sorely miss come the end next month.

5 stars but it may just be me...

All New Ghost Rider 12

The end of the first story arc has arrived and Filile Smith with the aid of the ever amazing Kris Anka and bring back the feeling I had so early on and makes me hope for more of Robbie Reyes on the other side of Secret Wars as long as my Smith is riding along. This very different spirit of vengeance to me promises to be a marvel version of one manga favorite of mine Devilman. Seems Robbie is fully and ever stuck bonded to the dead psychopathic spirit Eli and makes a necessary deal in the end that begs more and possibly very dark stories. I've loved the book through all the art changes its had for the kinetic pages of Traad Moore, through Damien Scott's graffiti style, to the manga stylings of Filipe himself and Kris in this issue. Again not a great place to start it actually couple be a good first issue...

5 out of 5 and I will miss this one...


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dead-Wood Dispatch March 25th 2015

Starting now as I do with my if I could only get one suggestion...

Rumble #4

John Arcudi and Jmes Harran's trip to an alternate demon and sword and sorcery god infested Detroit has been so damn enjoyable I'd be silly to pass it up. Lovecraftian horror tinged slapstick absurdity may not be your thing but it seem to be mine. There are other great titles I am looking forward to so this would not be an easy choice but I would make as issue of this crazy crazy horror fun fest mine this week. Eventually there will be a collected edition of this too but well can't wait that long and want to support books that so entertain me. Its violent, hell bloody violent, and Harran's art may not appeal to you, on first flip through I almost passed but am so glas I picked it up for this quirk art style is something that grows on you, well it did on me. $3.50


All-new Ghost Rider #12

So this title also of a horror bent gets second billing and it does so for many reasons but beware its the last issue of this much unappreciated series. Filipe Smith has introduced a new kind of spirit of Vengence with Robby Reyes and his brother Gabe; he brilliantly inverted the Peter Parker cliches including Gwen Stacy in a very odd way. This last issue boats three artists including Kris Anka who's character designs I love seeing and seemingly the name Staples.... hmmm. Well with the pre Dawn of Secret Wars which will see a title called Ghost Racers by this self same creator Smith it at least will not be missing in my pull list for long. $3.99 ...


Wayward #6

Setting an urban fantasy in Japan makes so much sense as the Japanese have a such long tradition of ghost and demon stories that I'm surprised it took so long to get a series like this. The first story arc finished up in issue five managed to endear its cast to me, a cast that are characters inspired to some extant by the heroes of manga supernatural heroes. There appears to be a bit of a big conspiracy going on behind the scenes of the initial story arc and I am very interested in seeing where all the various hints are leading. Wayward is also a comic that seems to know the setting and mythology its toying around with down to the cityscape its drawn against; I have not been to Japan but as a life long manga fan and the feeling of the book seems right. I've been missin Ayane lots since the end of issue 5 so hers hoping she's in part of this returning issue. $3.50


Secret Avengers #14

Who would have thunk that a giant head with a mini body attached could be so....um cute and herioc...but looking above at Wayward reminds me of super deforms and hello Kitty so maybe MODOK the hero was a forgone conclusion. Ales Kot has been writing what I think of as the most readable Avengers title recently given its degrees of separation from current Secret continuity. Starring Hawkeye, Spiderwoman, Black Widow and Agents Colson and Fury not to forget the star of the story MODOK it is an unlikely favorite but I've every liked the off beat. Sadly the title is winding down towards its finale but its a great mix of spy romp and multiple buddy comedy worthy of John Carpernter. Ales has pulled ideas from as far afield as the Marvel UK Caprtain Britian ... I will so miss this book. $3.99



Jem and the Holograms #1

Though I'm not much for licensed books these days I have to add this though I have others on my pull list this week. Never a big fan of the show back in the day though I did watch sometimes I love the artwork of Sophie Campbell and am like to grab a copy for that alone. Kelly Thompson I'm a bit familiar with so this is a bit of a chance buy on my part but knowing she will be cowriting Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps in moths to come I'm interested for that also. Will I keep up with this is the question I have to ask I'll have to see if its for me but it is oh so pretty. $3.99

And in a feature I'm going to try to keep up is my collection recommendation because sometime collections are more what I want.

Wayward vol 1 String Theory

Though not Hexed Wayward tickles my fancy for Eastern Urban Fantasy and its a very appealing mix of characters and ideas that Jim Zub and crew have mixed together in this book. String Theory introduce our half Irish half Japanese heroine and her odd collection of friends and see them into their first big confrontation. At an affordable $9.99 this is a great choice for someone looking for something new this week. (Hitting the same week as issue 6 doesn't hurt but that seems to be the plan at Image...)


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Dead-Wood Comics Dispatch Mar 18 2015

As with last week I'm starting with the book I would get if I could only get one book this week...

Bucky Barnes The Winter Soldier #6

This may be the predictable choice for me but given the re-read value I have gotten from Ales Kot's super spy story this is probably the one I would choose. The art chores are split between two varieties of pop art Rudy's painted panels and Foss' thin line psychedelics which make a strange but appealing mix. Bucky's new title is not much like anything else from Marvel, sure its got fights and macho/macha posturing and a jingoistic subtex but Ales Kot has subverted that into something else and explores character much more then he seems to at first read. Maybe its me reading all that into the cool art and such but its my 4 clams I'm putting down for this and I'm really enjoying this a ticket ride. $3.99.

Giant Days #1

Having a limited budget means sometimes missing out by choosing one over another and I'm not sure what I chose over Lumberjanes when it started but its ine of those books I wish I'd picked up on. Giant Days is created by John Allison who is a respected webcartoonist and the title seems to be one of those may be great fun books. Now as I love Hexed from Boom comics I'm always pretty open to checking their offerings out if they seem like they might be up my alley. I'm still waiting for the next one that will hook me and this college comedy title may just be that thing mentioning Monty Python in the solicitation doesn't hurt... $3.99


Chrononauts #1

There are comics writers that I'm either hot or cold on and Mark Miller is one of them; along with notably Grant Morrison I think they have terrifically engaging ideas, plots and characters but somewhere it falls apart for me. So why am I signal boosting for a Millar book you may ask, well I'll tell you I enjoy Mark' s ironic sense of humor which since this is a buddy comedy should be well on display but the big draw for me is the art by Sean Murphy. Along with Dan Mora of Hexed and Traad Moore of Ghost Rider I love the way manga has influenced their work and inspire me to draw again. Here's hoping my radar is correct with this one but I think it shall be a hoot. $3.50

Dark Horse Presents #8

I don't talk much about the things from Dark Horse that I'm currently enjoying and the new volume of Dark Horse Presents with its near 5 dollar price is an overlooked gem sometimes. Last issue with the Hellboy short story may have gotten some attention but its the ongoing tales I'm interested in. This issue promises a new Fred Van Lente weird noir tale that seems right up my alley and the Alex de Campi Semiautomagic is something that is keeping my happy in the absence of Grindhouse. It services my desire for offbeat kind of twilight zone-y stories and well its not as pricy as the last volume which I wanted but couldn't really make enough room for. Take a look mayhaps it will get its hooks into you too... $4.99


Secret Identites #2

Did Secret Identies #1 blow my socks of, well no not really not right away but its a book I've been going back to since reading it and there is a whole lot of substance there that I find I want a whole lot more of. Its very much a modern take on the old Judas Contract story and I say that because of all the non Crosswind story parts of the book; its pretty obvious there is a lot going on with all of the various members of this ad hoc supergroup and its going to take a while to explore all of it. Joines and Faerber I think have a nice little story bible they are working from and I really can't wait to see more of all those pesky secrets slowly unveiled. $3.50 (reading this reminded me of the novel I just finished by VE Schwab called Vicious which every superhero fan should really go and get right now....)


So those just top my twenty dollar budget but given there are some other books that are of interest this week...


Nightworld collected edition

I knew I was interested in this book if for nothing else the homage to Jack Kirby who is pretty much my favorite of the silver and golden age artists and was the kind of storyteller I'd aspire to be. From what I recall of the issues I looked through the creators Adam and Paolo also have that kind of gonzo wild storytelling ethic of Kirby where something sparks the imagination and then storytelling wise ta off to the races. Collects the four issues that made up what I hope is the first of several series. $12.99


Nixon's Pals

This is an original hard cover graphic novel from Image by Joe Casey and Chris Burnham and I'm glad I work in a bookshop and may be able to order this at my employee discount. Joe Casey was the creative mind behind Catalyst Comics which was one of my favortie superhero projects in the last few years. I know next to naught about this other then it looks pretty gonzo itself. It would suck up all my budget at $19.99 but I expect it would be woth it given Joe Casey's creative crazy.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dead wood comics dispatch Mar 11 2015

The object of this pull list post is to put up what I am actually buying assuming I have a twenty dollar budget... To be honest I break it pretty much every week these days but twenty is what I'm shooting for.

I also would like to do a weekly if I could only buy one comic post since I think that is though really hard could be something I may someday have to do so....

Hexed #8

This week is a hard one to choose just one given the next one on my much have list but I I had to Hexed by Michael Nelson and Dan Mora delivers pretty much every month and checks most of my likes boxes. Hexed has great characters, conflicted heroes, can be a breakneck paced adventure with more then just hints of Lovecraftian cosmic horror. There seems to be a lot of mythology that Michael has created as background for this book and the hints that slip through keep me coming back for just a bit more every month. Art wise Dan Mora has just enough an action manga bent to his style to satisfy the manga void left in my life since moving to southern oregon and it is really hard for me to say that there is a better looking book out there since this ranks up there with some of my favorites artisticly. Well worth my $3.99 monthly and seems to top my suggestions even week it comes out....



Shutter #10

This is the book that makes my choice so hard this week because I could easily say this would be my if I could only get one book book. Joe Keating is a multi talented writer and I think has lots of backstory for this portal fantasy Indiana Jones adventure drama. Shutter is charming and creepy in almost equal measure and has been plenty surprising where the story has gone in just the almost dozen issues so far. Leila Del Duca has such an appealing and unique art style its not quite like anyone I can think of. Shutter is the grown up version of Oz, or Narnia and gives all of its players agency regardless of sex or species. It is also the comic these days that packs in story from cover to cover and that is something you hardly see. $3.50



Southern Cross #1

This is one of the two number ones that is on my pull list this week both of them are by creators I have come to enjoy of late and I'm very glad to have picked up Gotham Academy and Becky Cloonan. Now I may have picked up Southern Cross anyway since Image is having such a good track record with Science Fiction books of late but knowing I like one of the creators dosent hurt. There are two other things that have hooked me the first being is that ther are hints at Lovcraftian cosmic horror about this book and the other is the price... $2.99. Oh and just look at that cover.


the surface #1

This is the other number one I'm going to mention this week though a certain Duck might make the cut when it comes to the cash register. Ales Kot has been a name I have given much praise in my comics columns of late given my love of Secret Avengers, Zero and Bucky Barnes. The surface sounds to be the kind of subversive science fiction story along the lines of a Philip K Dick or a Charlie Stross novel and mentions the movie District 9 in the ad copy. I'm willing to try this out on the strength of Kot storytelling alone but the addition of Langdon Foss who did a great Bucky Barnes fill in issue cliches it. $3.50




Copperhead vol 1

So I have all the individual issues in this collection but I'm tempted to grab it again. Copperhead is a mix of story elements from science fiction, westerns and police procedurals and billed itself as Deadwood in space prior to the series and it lived up to that high goal quite well. If anything this book to me is a mature take on the animated series Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers from back in the day and makes me recall the good things about the old sci if series Alien Legion. A new sheriff comes to the world of Copperhead and she doesn't seem well wanted by her new partner nor is her tough and practical manner well recieved by the local wealthy criminal element. Jay Faerber set himself a high goal and succeded quite well in my opinion with this book so far. $9.99 (it world well break my budget but I wanted to give it a signal boost in case you may have missed out and it sound your kind of thing. )