Friday, September 30, 2011

Comics-and-More Podcast: The New 52, Week Four

Patrick Markfort and I take a look at the final week of DC Comics' New 52. This podcast is divided into six videos, with the comics reviewed listed with each.  The final video offers our final thoughts on The New 52.

Reviewed:






Part One:


Aquaman #1
Geoff Johns & Ivan Reis

Part Two:


The Flash #1
Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato

Part Three:


I, Vampire #1
Joshua Hale Fialkov & Andrea Sorrentino

Justice League Dark #1
Peter Milligan & Mikel Janin

Part Four:


The Savage Hawkman #1
Tony S. Daniel & Philip Tan

Part Five:


Voodoo #1
Ron Marz & Sami Basri

Part Six:


For further reading:
All-Star Western #1
Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti & Moritat

Batman: The Dark Knight #1
David Finch

Blackhawks #1
Mike Costa & Ken Lashley

Fury of Firestorm, the Nuclear Man #1
Ethan Van Sciver, Gail Simone & Yildiray Cinar

Green Lantern: The New Guardians #1
Tony Bedard, Tyler Kirkham & Batt

Superman #1
George Perez & Jesus Merino

Teen Titans #1
Scott Lobdell, Brett Booth & Norm Rapmund

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pick of the Week 9/28

Here is the book you should be paying attention to, in comic shops tomorrow...


Habibi GN - It's been eight years since Craig Thompson released the highly successful graphic novel Blankets, so this is obviously a very exciting release, one of the biggest graphic novel releases of the year.  This will also be the subject of the Comics-and-More Podcast following this week's final DC Comics: The New 52 podcast.

Other Noteworthy Releases
1-800 Mice HC
All Star Western #1
Alpha Flight Classic (Volume 2) TP
Annihilators: Earthfall #1 (of 4)
Aquaman #1
Batman: The Dark Knight #1
Blackhawks #1
Brilliant #1
Captain Britian (Volume 2): Siege of Camelot HC
Castle: Richard Castle's Deadly Storm HC
Codename Sailor V (Volume 1)
Daybreak HC
Dorothy and the Wizard In Oz #1 (of 8)
Emma HC
Feeding Ground HC
FF Fifty Fantasy Years #1
The Finder Library (Volume 2) TP
Flash #1
Fury of Firestorm, the Nuclear Man #1
Grave Doug Freshly GN
Green Lantern: New Guardians #1
Holy Terror HC
I Vampire #1
Justice League Dark #1
Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth Omibus (Volume 1) HC
Love and Rockets: New Stories (Volume 4) TP
Pure Pajamas HC
Sailor Moon (Volume 1)
Savage Hawkman #1
Sigil: Out of Time TP
Spell Checkers (Volume 2): Sons of Preacher Man GN
Superman #1
Teen Titans #1
Voodoo #1

Monday, September 26, 2011

Manga Monday: Psyren

Psyren (Volume 1)
Toshiaki Iwashiro

Psyren begins as an intriguing mystery, but soon turns into something much more as the book plays out.  The story follows Ageha Yoshina, who picks up a phone when a random pay phone begins to ring.  No one answers, but he is left with a phone card with the words "psyren" printed on it.  When Ageha inquires into what this could mean, he discovers that people are disappearing with no explanation and some sort of "psyren cult" is allegedly to blame.  There are also some powerful men who will pay dearly for one of the unused "psyren" phone cards, and there is a substantial reward out there for whoever can solve the mystery behind it.  When one of Ageha's classmates becomes one of the latest disappearances, Ageha decides to use the card, and is magically transported to a desolate wasteland, where creatures called "Taboo" hunt the humans chosen to play this deadly game of "psyren."  After tracking down his classmate, Ageha finds himself fighting for his life as he tries to make it to the gateway that will end this level of the game and send him back home.  Meanwhile, it seems his classmate knows a little about what's going on, as she offers up several cryptic clues, and points the way a few times.  Overall, Psyren is a pretty entertaining action manga, illustrated competently with clear action sequences.  I like the game aspect of the book that comes out of the initial mystery, and it seems like there's a lot of potential for some great stories in later volumes of this series as well, as this volume seems like just the tip of the iceberg as far as the game goes.  Ageha is a little more well-rounded than you often see in shonen manga, with conflicting feelings and hardships in his life, and his ability to fight well makes him a prime candidate for the game.  The game itself is pretty creepy and really cool, as are the monsters who populate the levels.  The "surprises" that come along in this volume are pretty predictable, especially that last panel, but overall, Iwashiro knows how to create a suspenseful, engaging read.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Comics-and-More Podcast: The New 52, Week Three

Patrick Markfort and I take a look at week three of DC Comics' New 52. This podcast is divided into three videos, with the comics reviewed listed with each.

Reviewed:




Part One:


Birds of Prey #1
Duane Swierczynski & Jesus Saiz

Part Two:


Catwoman #1
Judd Winick & Guillem March

DC Universe Presents #1 (featuring Deadman)
Paul Jenkins & Bernard Chang

Part Three:


Wonder Woman #1
Brian Azzarello & Cliff Chiang

For further reading:
Batman #1
Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo

Blue Beetle #1
Tony Bedard & Ig Guara

Captain Atom #1
J.T. Krul & Freddie Williams II

Green Lantern Corps #1
Peter Tomasi, Fernando Pasarin & Scott Hanna

Legion of Super Heroes #1
Paul Levitz & Francis Portela

Nightwing #1
Kyle Higgins & Eddy Barrows

Red Hood and the Outlaws #1
Scott Lobdell & Kenneth Rocafort

Supergirl #1
Michael Green, Mike Johnson & Mahmud Asrar

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bonnie Lass #1 (of 4)

Michael Mayne & Tyler Fluharty

Bonnie Lass is a happy-go-lucky outlaw pirate who, along with two goofy sidekicks, is notorious for kicking butt and causing trouble.  After delivering a statue to a client, who tries to trick her into delivering a valuable scroll, she demands compensation, and when she doesn't receive it, she keeps the scroll and continues on her way, this time with a crew of cutthroat thugs on her tail.  But with some creative nautical maneuvering and some upgrades to her ship, Bonnie leaves her pursuers in the dust, happily on her way toward more adventure and (hopefully) treasure.  This story is full of action and competently introduces a fun set of characters, however there's nothing here that we haven't really seen before, and the art is the kind you'd more likely see in a webcomic than on the printed page.  It just looks messy despite the nice cartoony expressions of the characters.  I actually like how every so often a panel will sort of look like a stained glass window, nicely laid-out and kind of pretty, like that cover, but those panels are few and far between, leaving the rougher, clumsier art to illustrate the rest of the tale.  This book is obviously very influenced by manga, from the rubbery faces of the characters, to the over-the-top personalities, to the super-deformed scary Bonnie seen in one panel.  While Bonnie Lass is sort of charming in a way, it's just not unique enough to set itself apart from other pirate comics, with inconsistent art and a generic quest that just makes you wish you were reading something better in this vein of story, like One Piece or Cursed Pirate Girl.  Yeah, you should just read those instead.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pick of the Week 9/21

Here is the book you should be paying attention to, in comic shops tomorrow...


A Zoo In Winter HC - Jiro Taniguchi's latest US release features a glimpse of the artist as he recalls the time he spent in Tokyo as a youth in the 60's, including his beginnings in manga.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Archie Christmas Classics (Volume 1) TP
Archie's Joke Book (Volume 1): Bob Montana HC
The Art of Joe Kubert HC
The Armed Garden & Other Stories HC
Batman #1
Birds of Prey #1
Blue Beetle #1
Captain Atom #1
Catwoman #1
DC Universe Presents #1
Creepy Archives (Volume 11) HC
Game of Thrones #1
Green Lantern Corps #1
Hellboy (Volume 11): Bride of Hell & Others TP
Legion of Super Heroes #1
The Man Who Grew His Beard GN
Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010 HC
Marvel Ghost Stories TP
Mnemovore HC
Morning Glories (Volume 2) TP
Nightwing #1
Prison Pit (Book 3) GN
Red Hood and the Outlaws #1
Ruse: The Victorian Guide To Murder TP
Showcase Presents: All Star Comics (Volume 1) TP
Star Trek Ongoing #1
Supergirl #1
Ultimate Comics: X-Men #1
Witch & Wizard Manga (Volume 1)
Wonder Woman #1

Friday, September 16, 2011

Previews HYPE: November '11

Here are the highlights of books that I'm excited about, or think may get overlooked, in Previews Catologue for November...


The Sigh HC - Marjane Satrapi of Persepolis fame returns with a new graphic novel, published by Archaia.

Mudman #1 - A new superhero from Jack Staff's Paul Grist.

Guns and Dinos #1 (of 3) - A military base sent back in time.  It's Frank Cho drawing dinosaurs, guys.

Peanuts #0 - From Kaboom! comes new Peanuts comics!  This #0 launches a new monthly comic featuring the old gang.

New Avengers #18 - Norman Osborne's new team of Dark Avengers makes its debut!

Essential Sgt. Fury (Volume 1) TP - Finally, the noticeable gap in the Marvel Essential series is being collected.  Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers, and a bunch of howling commandoes.

Fantastic Four #600 - Fantastic Four returns as an ongoing series in addition to FF, also boasting Jonathan Hickman as writer.

Northanger Abby #1 - They just keep rolling these out.  Not my favorite Jane Austen novel, but since I love Austen, I'm happy to see they're successful enough to keep adapting to graphic novels.  The cover to this one looks a little darker and less cutesy than previous Austen adaptations, which is appropriate for a story about a girl obsessed with Gothic literature and the mysteries of castles.

The Rocketeer Jetpack Treasury Edition - The first release in IDW's new line of retro treasury editions.  Also available this month, the anthology Rocketeer Adventures (Volume 1) HC, featuring the talent of artists like Mike Allred, John Cassaday, Darwyn Cooke, Ryan Sook, Mark Waid and Kurt Busiek.
 
Avengers Omnibus (Volume 1) HC - This was inevitable with next Summer's movie, collecting plenty of 60's Lee and Kirby (30 issues).

Hawkman by Geoff Johns Omnibus (Volume 1) HC - Also inevitable was this collection of superstar Geoff Johns' run on Hawkman.

House of Night #1 - A lot of the adaptations of young adult paranormal romances lately look pretty lame, especially the ugly Twlight graphic novels.  But this one looks like something I actually want to pick up.  P.C Cast and Kristin Cast's House of Night looks cool as a comic.

Walt & Skeezix (Volume 5): 1929-1930 HC - Skeezix is looking pretty old already!
 
X-Men: Age of Apocalypse HC - Want the entire Age of Apocalypse epic, including all of the little spin-off series, under one cover?  Well, here you go.

Brothers of the Spear Archives (Volume 1) HC - Russ Manning and Jesse Marsh illustrate this comic that I've never heard of from The Golden Age, a story by Gaylord DuBois.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1 - A lot of people like this DC series, which is restarting with a number one issue, like all of the DC Universe title.  Nick Spencer writes.
 
Elektra: Assassin HC - Back in print, in a deserving hardcover edition.

Batman: Through the Looking Glass HC - An original Batman graphic novel from Bruce Jones, with art by Sam Keith.

Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives (Volume 1) HC - A nice companion to Fantagraphics' Fire and Water, edited by Blake Bell.

Naughty and Nice: The Good Girl Art of Bruce Timm - A nice art book showcasing the talent of Bruce Timm.
 
Uncanny X-Men #1 - The X-Men title relaunches this month in wake of Schism.

Spirit World HC - Collecting hard-to-find content from Spirit World magazine, which Jack Kirby worked on, along with names like Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier.
 
Spider-Man: Marvel Team-Up by Claremont & Byrne TP - From the Marvel Team-Up series, comes this collection of John Byrne comics, written by Chris Claremont and Ralph Macchio.

Chuck Jones: The Dream That Never Was HC - A little-known comic strip from legendary animator Chuck Jones.

Mr. Twee Deedle: Raggedy Ann's Sprightly Cousin - The Forgotten Fantasy Masterpieces of Johnny Gruelle HC - Another rediscovered masterpiece, this one contains an introduction by Tony Millionaire.

Shaky Kane's Monster Truck - It's Shaky Kane craziness.

The Extraordinary Adeventures of Adele Blanc-Sec (Volume 2): The Mad Scientist/Mummies on Parade HC - Finally, a second volume of the Jacques Tardi series is being released!
 
Six Guns #1 - Classic Marvel Western characters team up and get a modern makeover in this new title.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Comics-and-More Podcast: The New 52, Week Two

Patrick Markfort and I take a look at week two of DC Comics' New 52.  The podcast is divided into four videos, with the comics reviewed listed with each.  Sorry about the first few minutes of Batwoman sounding a little soft, but please enjoy!

Reviewed:






Part One:


Batwoman #1
J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman

Part Two:


Demon Knights #1
Paul Cornell & Diogenes Neves

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1
Jeff Lemire & Alberto Ponticelli

Part Three:


Green Lantern #1
Geoff Johns & Doug Mahnke

Red Lanterns #1
Peter Milligan & Ed Benes

Part Four:


Resurrection Man #1
Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning & Fernando Dagnino

For further reading:
Batman and Robin #1
Peter Tomasi & Patrick Gleason

Deathstroke #1
Kyle Higgins, Joe Bennett & Art Thibert

Grifter #1
Nathan Edmonson, CAFU & BIT

Legion Lost #1
Fabian Nicieza & Pete Woods

Mister Terrific #1
Eric Wallace & Roger Robinson

Suicide Squad #1
Adam Glass & Marco Rudy

Superboy #1
Scott Lobdell, R.B. Silva & Rob Lean

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pick of the Week 9/14

Here is the book you should be paying attention to, in comics shops tomorrow!


Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Nine #1 - Joss Whedon brings a new season of the slayer to fans in the form of another Dark Horse comic book series.  It all starts here, with part one of "Freefall."

Other Noteworthy Releases
Amulet (Volume 4): Last Council SC
Archie: The Married Life (Volume 1) TP
Archie Archives (Volume 2) HC
Astonishing Thor HC
Barks' Bear Book HC
Batman and Robin #1
Batwoman #1
Bonnie Lass #1 (of 4)
Captain America by Dan Jurgens (Volume 2) TP
Deathstroke #1
Demon Knights #1
Evolutionary War Omnibus HC
Fantastic Four: Overthrow of Doom HC
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1
Green Lantern #1
Grifter #1
John Carter: A Princess of Mars #1 (of 5)
Korgi (Volume 3): A Hollow Beginning GN
Legion Lost #1
Mister Terrific #1
Optic Nerve #12
Red Lanterns #1
Resurrection Man #1
Sugar and Spike Archives (Volume 1) HC
Suicide Squad #1
Superboy #1
Three Thieves (Volume 2): Sign of the Black Rock GN
Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #1
Wonderstruck HC

Monday, September 12, 2011

Manga Monday, Bloody Monday

Bloody Monday (Volume 1)
Ryou Ryumon & Kouji Megumi

Bloody Monday, a new offering from Kodansha Comics, features a young prodigy, Takagi Fujimaru.  From the outside, he seems like an average high school student, but he's really Falcon, a brilliant hacker able to do amazing things with a computer.  And he's not a malicious hacker, but works for the good of others, as is seen with the first threat that Falcon goes up against, a teacher who tries to sabotage students' academic careers by abusing a demerit system, ultimately leading to the attempted suicide of a teenage girl.  The teacher is a very one-dimensional villain who lusts after his female students, and Falcon is easily able to expose him, for the overall good of the school.  Falcon's father works for a super secret government cell, and when he is framed for murder, Falcon vows to track down the real killer and restore his father's reputation.  But it's not quite that simple, as the events that lead to his father's status as an outlaw have to do with a much bigger threat, that of a virus able to kill a mass population quickly, to horrifying results.  All around Falcon are agents trying to trip him up or outright kill him, but Falcon has a group of friends at school who help him during this trying time, and together with his hacking skills, they just may be able to save the day. 

Bloody Monday is a flashy spy thriller, but beyond those action elements, it's pretty meager storytelling.  The characters are flat and one-note, leading to little investment from the audience, especially in characters like Falcon's sick sister, who the creators use shamelessly to try to create empathy.  The gore and fan service is also ridiculously over-the-top.  The inappropriately oversexualized teacher-spy (Maya Orihara) who takes over for one of Falcon's classes is especially silly when she interacts with the class, the male students lusting over her, unable to control themselves, and the females arguing with her, in a world where a teacher can insinuate that the girls' bodies need to mature to be competition, without repercussions (although the teacher that she replaced was fired for his oversexual behavior, so it seems to be a double-standard here that if the teacher is attractive, it's okay).  The creators go just too far to cater to the male adolescent reader here, neglecting to base the story in any semblance of reality, and with little regard for the characters of the story.  The surface spy elements can be fun, but this is one book that you forget the moment you put it down.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Comics-and-More Podcast: The New 52, Week One

For the next four weeks on the Comics-and-More Podcast, we will be taking a look at the DC Comics' New 52.  In this first week, we review Justice League #1 and a sampling of titles launched this week during this exciting overhaul of the DC Universe line.  The five videos below are separated by title, for your convenience, but we hope you watch them all!

Reviewed:






Part One:


Justice League #1
Geoff Johns & Jim Lee

Part Two:


Animal Man #1
Jeff Lemire & Travel Foreman

Part Three:


Action Comics #1
Grant Morrison & Rags Morales

Part Four:


Batgirl #1
Gail Simone & Ardian Syaf

Part Five:


Hawk & Dove #1
Sterling Gates & Rob Liefeld

For further reading:
Batwing #1
Judd Winick & Ben Oliver

Detective Comics #1
Tony S. Daniel

Flash Point #6 (of 6)
Geoff Johns & Andy Kubert

Green Arrow #1
J.T. Krul & Dan Jurgens

Justice League International #1
Dan Jurgens & Aaron Lopresti

Men of War #1
Ivan Brandon & Tom Derenick

OMAC #1
Dan Didio & Keith Giffin

Static Shock #1
Scott McDaniel & John Rozum

Stormwatch #1
Paul Cornell & Miguel Sepulveda

Swamp Thing #1
Scott Snyder & Yanick Paquette

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Pick of the Week 9/7

It's a big week this week, as DC's first wave of all new number ones launches.  Watch for our podcast later in the week, discussing several of the new titles, if you want to know which ones are worth checking out.  Here is the book you should be paying attention to, in comic shops on Wednesday...


The Hidden HC - I'm a big Richard Sala fan, so, of course, I'm excited for a new graphic novel from him, sure to feature creepy, dark imagery.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Action Comics #1
Animal Man #1
Animal Land (Volume 1)
Atomic Robo: Ghost of Station X #1 (of 6)
Awakening Omnibus SC
Bake Sale GN
Batgirl #1
Batwing #1
Bloody Monday (Volume 1)
Brightest Day (Volume 3) HC
Cage of Eden (Volume 1)
Casanova: Avaritia #1 (of 4)
Detective Comics #1
Green Arrow #1
Hawk and Dove #1
Justice League International #1
Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot HC
Little Lulu Giant Size (Volume 4) TP
Men of War #1
Mome (Volume 22): Spring 2011
New Avengers Annual #1
OMAC #1
Ozma of Oz HC
Static Shock #1
Stormwatch #1
Swamp Thing #1
True Blood: French Quarter #1 (of 6)
Until the Full Moon (Volume 1)
Velveteen & Mandala GN

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Comics-and-More Podcast: Gunnerkrigg Court

On this week's Comics-and-More Podcast, Patrick Markfort and I discuss the latest volume of Thomas Siddell's fantasy series Gunnerkrigg Court (as well as the first two volumes).  Sorry about the audio being a little soft in the first three-ish minutes of the podcast.


Reviewed:
Gunnerkrigg Court (Volume 3): Reason
Thomas Siddell

Part One:


Part Two:


Part Three:


For further reading:
Gunnerkrigg Court (Volume 1): Orientation
Thomas Siddell

Gunnerkrigg Court (Volume 2): Research
Thomas Siddell

Read the webcomic.