Monday, July 27, 2015

Dead-wood Dispatch July 29 2015

It's time again as another Wednesday approaches to post about my upcoming pull list. Around twenty dollars is my average weekly comics budget, sure I do break it at times but I am trying to do better lately so my list is an actual representation of what I'm spending money on and what I think is worthy of keeping in my pile.... I start the list with the book I can not pass over and I mostly close the list with a collection of pick up if that was my main form of collecting. This is an odd week as this month has five shipping weeks...

Jem and the Holograms #5

I've been petty open about my enjoyment of Kellt Thompson and Sophie Campbell's re-visioning of the old rock and roll hero show from the eighties. This is a book that seems more down to earth then many of the flashier titles I read; like Giant Days the stakes in this story are very personal and real world relateable as are their worries and fears. This books range and variety of characters push the envelope for the comics market these days and it's honestly great to see that. Issue four ended with a more comic norm given it was a cliffhanger and we know there will be a backlash in this issue. Really what I'm coming back for are the growing relationships, one in particular as a couple of the characters have quickly become a one my favorites. This is a book I would miss sorely if it didn't continue as romance is something a bit sidelined in many comics these days and honestly I didn't realize it's what kept me involved in them. $3.99

Wayward #10

The second arc of Jim Zub and Steve Cummmings' Wayward has spent several issues exploring the nature of the secondary characters around Raine and introducing both a new heroine -, whom I quite like, and bringing in the spiders who seem to have their own agenda in this growingly complex story. I expect some significant reveals in this issue as it finishes this current arc and apparently reveals some bits about the future. As I have rediscovered how much I love all things Japanese as I did as a kid and a young adult and Hexed is coming to an end it's likely this will be my new go to urban Fantasy series. Wayward's back up feature about the mythological stories and folklore of Japan make the individual issues almost a must as these extras are not in the initial collection. This may not be the right issue to start with as its the climax of the tale and confusion would be unavoidable but I've joined stories in process and really enjoyed them. Steven Cummings effectively captures the feel of stage setting in his art and his characters are evocative of the stereotypical heroic types they represent. $3.50


1602 Angela #2

Issue one effectively set the tone for this Shakespeareian superhero tale that seems to involve corruption of many forms and the hunters that attempt to purge it in the form of Angela and her partner Serah. Kieran Gillen's final Angela story for Marvel was one of the better all around Secret Wars tie ins in the first round as it manages to be its own thing as well as touch on the story innAngela's own book a bit. This issue brings in Angela's first friends at Marvel and he old Guardians look appropriately styled for the times at least on the cover; with the tone of the book drifting between serious and sarcastic I think this should be a very entertaining ride of a story as they begin to pursue the Enchantress who appears to be in heavy in this one. Though not credited on the cover Marguerite Bennett is cowriting this and if anything their collaboration on this is better then the original series. Methinks that with the change of the status quo upcoming perhaps this may hint as to the changes or not but I'm real interested in seeing where this alternate story and setting is taking us. $3.99


Casanova #3

When I read the description oft his series by Matt Fraction and the. Brothers Moon I was hooked at the point it mentioned the influence of Michael Moorcocks Jerry Cornealius and multidimensional spy stories. The art by Fabio Moon is crazy and idiosyncratic and may not be everyone's thing but weird fiction is that way no matter if it's in prose or sequential format. This fourth story in the Casanova tale started with amnesic super spy wandering into supposedly our Los Angeles and becoming the security expert for yet another enigmatic man of mystery. There are layers within layers of multi- dimensional spying and intrigue going on in this story, assassins masked agents and occult events seem to abound in this one. The art cry Fabio Moon is to me somehow reminiscent of Kevin Oniell but with a softer edge. I've not read all the past stories and it does not seem problematic but i suspect I'd have more a clue if I went back and did so. $3.99



Batgirl #42

Cameron, Stewart and Babbs Tarr have made this title their own so it's numbering I sometimes get really wrong as I thought this was issue #43. That aside this issue introduces Live Wire in a full story to the New 52 and as she is more a superman level villain I'm curious as to where this story will take things. Last issue brought the new Batman to Burnside and restablished the persuit between Jim Gordon now Batman and Batgirl begun in Gail Simone's run on the book. Though there is no longer a Birds of Prey in DC between this title and the supporting cast around Barbara and Black Canary and her band to me it kind of seems we have two great female lead teams in the New DC, and that is not counting Gotham Academy... $2.99


So that brings me to $17.46 for the week I may opt to get the $4.99 Batgirl Annual with its multiple stories, writing and art teams and the prospect of Dick Grayson appearing but I am waiting to peruse it.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Comics July 26 2015

So welcome to my comics review column of the week celebrating the old tradition of the newspaper Sunday Comics page. My usual policy when it comes to review is that I only write about books I have enjoyed and if I have something negative to say it has to be something glaringly bad. That said on with the show...

that I have been so squeefully looking forward too for months quite literally...

Power Up #1

I will preface this by the fact that I like Japanese manga, animation a lot and am a fan of Kate Leth who is one of the creators behind this magical girl influenced book from Boom. This is the book I have been practically squeezing about for oh about the last week or two after its early releases around SDCC. So was it worth all my anticipation, well I think. It was. I certainly enjoyed the introduction to the unlikely cast of chosen heroes, the art was bright and characterful with just enough plot and character moments to make me want the next issue. Amie is very relatable in an oddly Big Lewbowski Dudeish kind of way given how the story opens and though we see little of the other characters what we get leaves me wanting more. I think this book will appeal to superhero fans with an open mind, readers of books like Lumberjanes. Squirrel Girl and Howard the Duck as this book although serious has a tongue in cheek kind of approach to things. I had high expectations and though it's not what I though I loved what it is. Recommended but it may not be for everyone. (Still, ...squee)

Wait what's this ... Well I just had to post the cover I most wanted... The one that Babs Tarr did... Guess I may have to wait till Rose City Comic Con and hope....

Weirdworld #2

This issue Aaron and Del Mundo delivered on the promises made in the solicitation about the crystal warrior inprisioned next to Arkonbut not in the way I thought and the pay offs of that are actually pretty funny in an odd way in this issue. They maintain the humorous tone for this jail break issue was well as the parts of the book that deal with the captured dragon, the trolls and Morgan le Faye who is the Baroness of Weirdworld. The painted art isn't this issue full on make up for the fact the series is running late and I think that even if readers are unfamiliar with the old Crystar book from the eighties the heavy use of that mythology won't suffer as the jailbreak and caper attempt that is the focus of this book and its aforementioned glorious art make it worth the price of admission. It's nice to have another fun yet serious fantasy title to read alongside Rat Queens and I'd reccomended this to readers of that great book as well as Skullkickers and perhaps Conan but again be prepared for levity... Kind of kitch as I said but still reccomended.

Cyborg #1

Though I was a big fan of the New Teen Titans back in the Wolfman and Perez era and Vic, Cyborg, was among my favorite characters at the time. In the new 52 I think he's kind of been a c or d list character even as a founding JLA membe and I'm happy to see him getting a series. David F Walker is kind of the reason I tried this out as he's said he intends to delve into more real world issues that Victor as well as build up stories that are really just his finally. Ivan Reis, man I'm sorry but I forgot just how great an artist you've become; this book captures the feeling of the old Perez Teen Titans but without getting lost in nostalgia of just aping the style. They do spend some time with set up and a bit of originy pages but I get the feeling that they both have some things to say in this book; more then just here's another superhero let's watch him fight. The book also introduces the idea that Victor Stone is developing into something different then intended as well as coming into himself. It's all in all a solid debut and has some heart and pithy statements to make. Is say it's pretty cool and if you have ever liked the character it's something to grab and give a honest go.


The last of the books I have to get to for this week is Wolf by Ales Kot but I have yet to read it... Check back in a day or two as I'm drawing again and I don't know if I'll get to it today.... Go check out any of these if you skipped em.....


Monday, July 20, 2015

Dead-wood Dispatch Comics pull list July 22 2015

Welcome to my weekly commentary on the comic I'll be plunking down my hard earned cash on to support the books I believe in. Here are the rules I try to live by when it comes to my hobby and which I usually fail to restrain myself from breaking; I try to keep myself to a weekly average of twenty dollars for my comics some weeks this is harder then others but this isn't one of those. I start my list with the one book I absolutely have to get and finish up with a collection or original graphic novel as I know some collectors prefer that and sometimes I do buy those too... And here we go...


Power Up #1

It's hard for me not to just squee about this as I've been highly jazzed about this book since listening to Kate Leth's interview with Paulina Ganucheau about Zodiac Starforce on Less the Live (link here) where she talked about her own Japanese magical girl genre inspired comic. What started as a comic within a comic in CrystalCadets this group of uncommon recipients gain magical girl hero themed abilities and "costumes". The story sounds like it will be one of self discovery in the light of being a "chosen one" and hearing Kate's love of the Genre dripping from her gleeful discussion it seems a labor of love for Kate and Matt Cummings who is doing the art. As a life long fan of Japanese animation manga and live action hero shows the premise for this is just too appealing to not give it a go and I simply must signal boost for it. Uncommon heroes challenging stereotypes breaking molds and expectations as well as alien threats. $3.99

So yeah squee must have (and I'll be doing this again next month for Zodiac Starforce....)


Weirdworld #2

Jason Aaron and Mike Del Mundo are doing this very cool things with a barbarian king who is not Conan; its full on painted artwork is deeply detailed and the story is actually pretty damned funny underneath all the violence. Marvel comics over time has included and attempted to do sword and sorcery style fantasy on and off and with this I think they are trying out the idea to see if it sticks. I very much enjoyed the serious yet still cheeky presentation of the first issue and the hints that here is another favorite marvel fantasy character coming back in this issue... someone made of crystal. The art on the cover is an actual representation of the interior and I so much want this to be more then just a four issue romp that I have to try to get the word out that it's good, even if your not reading Secret Wars I think it's good fantasy because it's playing with reconizeable archetypes and taking itself just serious enough. More for the old Elric or Grey Mouser crowd then the GoT kind of fantasy readers but definite reccomended here. $3.99


Wolf #1

So with Hexed coming to an end this month the harder edged side of my love of urban fantasy will have an open spot and this book by the every inventive Ales Kot looks to really got that bill. Set in Southern California with a mystically until label protagonist apparently this is a book that has all the promise of being very noir in tone and given Ales' often drifting into weird fiction inspired stories I think this will be right up my alley crime fiction so to speak. I know little more then that about the book other then image plans to make it a larger then usual add free experience and given how excellent Island was this week not having to see add copy, even good add copy, I'm looking forward quite egerly to seeing this. $3.50


And that is the core of my list this week making it a cheap week at $11.48... But there are some other books that may tempt me...



Cyborg #1

David Walker who brought Shaft to comics this year and Ivan Reis who's a pretty amazing artist that doesn't get near enough press are doing a book about one of my teenage heroes, Victor Stone Cyborg. I was often more of a New Teen Titans fan back in the eighties, though I loved the Xmen Marv Wolfman and Geroge Perez were the men. David F Walker in interviews has talked about how he wants to update Victor in many ways but the aspect that got me to pretty much decide I have to support this is the fact he intends to deal with real issues of life as a black man in modern society. The first three issues are solicited so far and looks like we'll be getting some new characters to interact with as a person as well as a hero, introduce some villains unique to him and feature the Metal Men another group of favorites from my youth. I have hopes for the book and I really want to be challenged by the stories David tells. $2.99


And now for a trade inspired by Island #1


Multiple Warheads Complete Collection

Part of last weeks Island was a continuation of Brandon Graham's Multiple Warheads story that he's written a four issue limited series and a special or two since 2004 and I really enjoyed this totally art immersive with a totally weird story about a ex-organ smuggler and her were-wolf boyfriend in an alternate universe future weird science fiction fantasy Russia. It's one of those stories where so so much of the story is told in the art and where the art is so oddly a mix of spacious and intricate. Makes me think an adult Adventure Time that predates Adventure Time... It's $14.99 and was printed just last year.... Check out Island too is this is a small week for you as it's pretty choice.





Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Comics July 19 2015

I don't think I ever stated what this column was intended to be. I don't get to read my books till well after Wednesday so I'm lat to hype books for release day so I'm looking back and telling you about the books I loved from my pull, why I loved them and why you might want to take a second look at them.

Island #1

This high priced book might not be everyone's bag but given the creative talent drawn to Brandon Graham's book I had to give it one issue; two of my favorite creators in comics, Kelly Sue Seconnick and Emma Rios, contributed to this marvelous anthology. This oversized square bound volume is less expensive then collections of similar size and the gonzo offbeat and challenging attitude starts with the contexts which is funny and full of character to begin with. The stories in this anthology are longer then it's long running comic cousin some complete in this issue some with promised continuation in issues to come. It would be hard to pick the best of the issue is the but illustrated prose by Kelly Sue Deconnick stands out for its openness but everything in this stands out in some way so if anything I'd compare reading this to getting one of the better monthly anthologies from Japan as each is its own thing with its own character but all still seeming to gel with each other. Like Prophet before it Isalnd has a French comic European vibe to it with a bit of manga feel too its hard to pin down but it's well worth the money even though it's more expensive it's certainly value for comic money. Recommended highly ....


Captain Marvel and the Carol Corp #2

So knowing that this is the last of Kelly Sue's Carol Danvers stories im trying to savor these last couple issues and the reimagining of her first story arc where Helen became such a big part of Carol's story. I may be reading stories into this but I think that Kelly and Kelly Sue have backgrounds and stories for all the characters in this story Lopez' facial expressions imply interior lives for the women who populate this story even if we have seen little of them. Lead by Captain Marvel the pilots of this unit plan to explore the skies as the world around them has started to make less and less logial sense starting with the apparent lies about an Ultron ship that they destroyed that has a man onboard... a man who is someone longtime marvel fans will know and readers of the last Captain Marvel series will know about his relationship to Carol. I don't know if this book would resonate with new readers but it is something interesting for fans to read as a sort of what if. Reccomended for Kelly Sue fans and Captain Marvel readers ....


Black Canary #2

Fletcher, Wu and Loughbridge took a book that could have been a spin off of Batgirl with the same sort of feel and broke out of that mold completely. Black Canary 1 set the tone for this book that is well outside the norm for a superhero book much like Hawkeye was under the pen of Matt Fraction. Issue 2 we get to know the girls in the band a bit better and particularly well dome was the so called pull out poster of the band tour poster and interviews that so beautifully grace the middle of the issue. Between training montagey elements with Diane (DD) drilling both gunplay and martial arts into her new mates. There are certainly hints as to there being some mysterious things in the background in this story. It's sure to appeal to anyone who wants more real life stakes to their spandex narratives and the colours in this book are so so damn good Lee Loughbridge's name is sure to spend money for me in the future. Recommended pretty much without reservation. What a lovely book.

Giant Days #5

Rounding out the books from this weeks lot that I have read and think are well worth the time to plug is this college life drama tale about three women and the trials of their first year. The are severL moments in this issue that brought out honest emotion in the form of smiles a laugh and an actual gasp. Over the course of the three issues I read having missed issue one the girls have dealt with sickness, Internet shaming and the trials of uncomfortable and I satisfying social situations; they are are fully realized and rounded characters and the art is fully charming in an bit of an alternative comic animated look that I find very appealing. The book feels genuine, heartfelt and charming with a continuing story that well has been extended to twelve issues from. Its initial six. I think this would appeal to people who enjoy books like Strangers in Paradise, Love and Rockets, maybe a bit of Lumberjanes and the like. Full on charming and reccomended for a bit of a change of pace...


Monday, July 13, 2015

Dead-wood Dispatch Comics Pull List July 15 2015

What a cool weekend for people who went to SDCC and some pretty great new coming from many companies including the return of the Milestone universe to DC, a new Blade series from Marvel as well as news that Squirrel Girl will pick up again after Secret Wars.... So here we are and I'm posting up my pull list for the week... I try to keep to a budget of twenty bucks and this week will so break that most like... I start my list with my must buy and follow it up with some collection suggestions.... And due to watching Gatchaman Crowds this weekend "Bird ... Go"


Island #1

Image and the creator Brandon Graham and a changing crew of artists and writers feature in this monthly anthology book. This magazine will be printed oversized with three 20 to 30 page stories with at the moment no adds. Ok that's a pretty interesting concept in that most anthologies don't feature full stories very often but this one will have a story by nine other then the amazing Kelly Sue Deconnick so I'm there for this for sure. The preview pages are pretty amazing from what I have seen and well DHP is something I have been a fan of in the past and well if this sounds your kind of thing too get this this issue features Emma Rios too. Ok here's the thins its $7.99 it's on my list but it's a big commitment. (Near half budget killed....)


Black Canary #2

So one of my music centric titles is missing this week but this one will kind of make up for my having to wait for Jem for a couple weeks. Brenden Fletcher and Annie Wu full on won me over with issue one that pulled a big bait and switch with my expectations and I love that. The colours in this book are prett gerorgeous so credit has to go to Lee Loughridge too as the pastels worked so nice on Annie's pencils and the heavy inks. Diane's interactions with her band mates are very entertaining and I'm looking forward to how this developes in coming issues as well as how her friendship with Batgirl developes in the months to come. This is one of the better books DC is doing and well I just wish there was some music to go with it....$2.99



Giant Days #5

This is a wonderful gem of a book about a group of college students and the crises that plague everyday life rather then the my usual comics fare of cosmic disasters and existential drama. John Allison and Lissa Treiman's series that was scheduled to be six issues and has become twelve due to its enthusiastic reception is on that between the appealing animationey style and the insightfull and brilliantly human prose is a very enjoyable read. It's sure to appeal to people looking for more a numerous slice of life drama older readers of Lumberjanes and Squirrel Girl should take a look at this if it slipped by the first couple issues....$3.99 (the cover art is actually indicative of the interior as Lissa does the work on both)





Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #2

As an fan of Kelly Sue I now know I need to savor these last Carol Danvers stories from her but given she's writing with another favorite of mine Kelly Thompson I know we are in for a good old ride till the end here. The first issue did a good job of setting up the struggles for this one and across the Secret Wars Battleworld the stakes pretty much are very high where it comes to breaking the rules and that is where the girls appear to be going. This is a book about characters taking charge of their lives and looking for things to be better. The cast they created for this look back to the first story Kelly Sue told through a differing lens is diverse and interesting so I'm hoping to get to know the,ma bit before the end of the event. Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps is a book that is kinda for the long time fans of Kelly Sue's run but anyone up for an adventure with a bit different a cast then usual will be pretty happy with this. $3.99

Adventure Time Fiona and Cake Card Wars #1

In the FCBD book from Boom we got a bit of a peek at this limited series that follows the "fan fiction" alternative to Finn and Jake and it seems this will be a Card Wars tournament in that Ice King created setting. I'm a recent fan of the Adventure Time show and I have to say Fiona and Cake are pretty much my favorites unless it Marceline the Vampire Queen then all bets are off. I have been enjoying the odd innocence in the Adventure Time series and the references they put in there for older fans are pretty choice. Card Game fanatics will probably rankle at the treatment given their hobby but it's obvious that there is love behind all the ribbing these creators focus at our fannish foibles. These books are totally math to quote Finn. A bit of childlike attitude to life is a good thing and I appreciate the wonder books like this remind me are all around and the wild imagination we all used to have. $3.99 is a small price to pay for this reminder.

That brings my list this week to just over twent one dollars there are more books that a call me but ill try to keep it to these.


Given I went with Shutter vol 2 last week I had to pass over this glorious book from the mind of Warren Ellis and drawn by Tula Lotay and that I have been waiting patiently for since I decided to wait for the series to be collected. Supreme is the version of Superman created by Rob Leifield back in the nineties when he was a thing and was still doing books himself regularlike. Alan Moore came along to the book and made it something worth reading just for its wild serious and satirical look, at superheroes. This take on it grows out of the history established by both of them and everyone else that gave it a go. Warren looked to be playing at writing something a bit complex and deep so here I am hoping and knowing I'm getting this for more then just Tula's lovely and experimental art and layouts. $14.99.

Given this is my birthday month I'm likely to splurge and get the trade as well as regular books this week...


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Dead-wood Dispatch Comics Pull List July 8 2015

For those of you just joining me I post up a weekly version of my pull list for coming comics that represents what I'm actually putting down money on. I they to keep myself to twenty or so dollars and I top off the list will a collection I think is worth weighing down your shelf with. I start off my list with the book I consider a much have as comics are so expensive these days....

Shutter #13

This is the book of the week Joe Keating and Leila Del Duca with Gwen Gieri and John Workman put together a book that is one that is hard to pigeon hole as its not just a portal fantasy take on Indiana Jones as it goes deeper then that. Shutter is populated dreams and nightmares of children's fiction and mystery abounds as to what is really going on behind the curtain. Its a joy to read something that has so much effort put into its production. Joe Keating is not a writer being talked about and I think its time he should be known by more comics readers....$3.50


Injection #3

Though may not the most user friendly book around at the moment it certainly is one of the best looking and engaging if you are as big a fan of weird fiction as am. Warren's set up includes some yet unrevealed singularity development that is the cause of an impending extinction event. In recommending this series I'd use writerly names like China Mieville, Jeff Vandermeer, Charley Stross and Catherynne M Valente but the name most comics readers would recognize is Morrison as Grant pulls from some of the same ideas; existential issues abound in weird fiction. Oh and then there is the marvelous art by Declan Shavley who seems a really nice guy from the interview I heard. Go and check this one as its really worth a bit of confusion...$2.99

Saga #30

So most of the time I don't mention Saga as it gets a lot of attention and as I pretty much always buy a copy I usually signal boost for books with less exposure, but.... For a book tha regularly kills the characters I love the most and still manages to be among my favorites I must mention it here. Last issue Brian and Fiona did it to me again "chomp aghhhhh no...." How do people not compare this book to a certain George RR Martin with its mounting pile of corpses and wounded and yet well I still really love this book. Fiona Staples art this week will also have me buying a series I've never thought ant in the past so that is obviously another of the draws here but Brian is so so good at endearing characters to me. I fear who may be next to go... $2.99



Catwoman #42

I don't write much about DC books as I have found up till recently they have not done much for me but in the last six months that has been changing with books like Batgirl, Gotham Academy, Midnighter, Black Canary, Omega Men and this crime noir take of Selina Kyle by Geniveve Valentine. This is a book less about her being the best thief in Gotham and more about her relationships in the criminal organization she inherited, and for me the inclusion of Kevin Wada as cover artist doesn't hurt. I terms of story and feel I'd compare this one to the crime series The Wire as Geniveve is building an ensamble cast around Selina; I'm wondering how Spoiler is going to fit into this story but its is for sure an interesting choice. $2.99

Descender #4

As I'm an issue behind on this series I even find that it is one that falls under the radar a bit and that is sad given I love science fiction books and it may have been overshadowed by a event last month or something. Jeff Lemire seems to have his name on a bevy of books these days and that is worrying sometimes as burnout happens even when doing something you love but well he seems to be doing great so far with this one among others. Descender is a book that to me is reminiscent of Tetsuwan Atom and as I'm missing some Japanese comics in my life something like this is welcome. Oh and the painted art by Dustin Nguyen is a pure joy to look at. $2.99

Gotham Academy #8

So though this book may be one of the new DC books people are talking up it could not hurt to mention it here as this week is affordable enough that I can include it in my budget. Becky Cloonan is a name that has joins the list of creators that I follow and trust to produce great comics; she's the writer and cover artist of the weird Scifi horror Southern Cross and is no slouch as an artist as she does the glorious covers for that and other books. This book is stylish approachable relateable and above all things a fun book to read and well that is one of the things I hope for when comics cost as much as they do now. Gotham Academy doesn't look like anything else out there given their choice of artist and though I have not seen it talked about much the cast is pretty damned diverse; the book also subversively covering some issues that done get talked about much and haven't Killer Crock looking out for its main character Olive raises some interesting questions as to the background of more then just her... There is a lot going on under the hood of this book. $'2.99


That brings me to just less then nineteen dollars and well there are a couple other books I'll likely pick up like Ghost Racers as I like the book and the writer Filipe Smith, Starfire as I have to give support to an mostly woman creative team at DC and well though I not and Archie fan I'm a sucker for Fiona Stapes so well that's money spent if my FLCS More Fun Comcis has extra copies on Thursday.... Anyway now what trade to get if that's your thing....


Shutter Vol 2 here's another instance that Joe Kearing and Liela Del Duca's book makes a double appearance on my list and well I guess you can call me a fan of this one. This volume reveals answers to the questions raised by the events of a volume one as we find out who was after Kate and the whys behind their pursuit. This story brings into question a lot of the things we thought we knew about Kate and her family and explores a great amount to weird and wonderfully strange history and territory. Also this book will bring you right up to the issue that comes out today so hint hint take a look at this one....$14.99 (sadly the letters pages are not included and this is one of the books where that I think like Saga and Wicked and Divine are a reason to get the individual issues but its still a glorious book.