Tag Archives: archaia

Preview: Toil and Trouble #1 (of 6)

Toil and Trouble #1 (of 6)

Imprint: Archaia
Author: Mairghread Scott
Artist: Kelly & Nichole Matthews

Throw out your textbooks, this is not the Macbeth you remember. Mairghread Scott (Transformers: Windblade) and artists Kelly & Nichole Matthews have reinvented Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, but this time the power is in the hands of the three witches. These ladies aren’t all “double, double, toil and trouble.” They’re the power controlling kings and the fate of Scotland.

The three fates—Riata, Cait, and Smertae—have always been guiding and protecting Scotland unseen, indirectly controlling the line of kings according to the old religion. When there is a disagreement in the sisterhood, Riata and Smertae will use men as pawns, and Smertae will direct Macbeth to a crown he was never meant to have.

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BOOM! Studios in November 2015

KLAUS #1 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Dan Mora
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Dan Mora
Jackpot: Frazer Irving
BOOM! 10 Years Incentive Cover: Brian Stelfreeze
Incentive Cover: Chris Burnham

What’s to Love: Grant Morrison is one of the most prolific and best-selling writers in comics, earning a reputation for his ability to effectively revamp superheroes like Animal Man, Batman, and the X-Men. His creator-owned titles are also highly praised, including The Invisibles, Nameless, We3, and Joe the Barbarian because no one tells mythical stories better than him. In Klaus, Grant reimagines one of the biggest cultural myths in history, and we could not be more excited to pair him with one of our homegrown talents, Dan Mora (Hexed)!

What It Is: Set in a dark fantastic past of myth and magic, Klaus tells the story of how Santa Claus really came to be. Where did he begin? What was he like when he was young? And what happens when he faces his greatest challenge? Drawing on Santa Claus’ wilder roots in Viking lore and Siberian shamanism—taking in the creepier side of Christmas, and characters like the sinister Krampus—Klaus is “Santa Claus: Year One.”

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LAST SONS OF AMERICA #1 (of 4)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Matthew Dow Smith
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Tonci Zonjic
BOOM! 10 Years Incentive Cover: Brian Stelfreeze
Incentive Cover: Matthew Dow Smith

What’s to Love: We were instantly taken with newcomer Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s inventive high concept story and mature characterization. Throw in a crime thriller element and Matthew Dow Smith’s moody art and Last Sons of America can be the perfect answer to the question, “What if Elmore Leonard wrote Children of Men?”

What It Is: When a biological terrorist attack makes it impossible for anyone in America to conceive children, adoption of kids from other counties explodes. Brothers Jackie and Julian are adoption agents based in Nicaragua. They usually do all their options through legal means, but they’re facing increasing competition from straight-up kidnappers. One desperate move from Jackie could put them in the cross-hairs of some very dangerous people.

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SIX-GUN GORILLA: PEN & INK #1

Retail Price: $14.99
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Jeff Stokely
Cover Artist: Jeff Stokely

What’s to Love: Calling all process junkies! If you’re as much a fan of the behind-the-scenes process of illustration as you are of the finished product, you will love this in-depth look at the making of the critically acclaimed Six-Gun Gorilla.

What It Is: This next installment of the Pen & Ink series collects Six-Gun Gorilla issues #1-2 in an oversized, 11” x 17” format that features Jeff Stokely’s inks alongside new commentary and creative insights from Stokely and writer Simon Spurrier.

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PEANUTS: THE SNOOPY SPECIAL #1

Retail Price: $4.99
Author: Charles M. Schulz, Jason Cooper
Artist: Vicki Scott, Charles M. Schulz
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Charles M. Schulz
Incentive Cover: Charles M. Schulz

What’s to Love: With The Peanuts Movie set to debut this month, it’s the perfect time to recognize everyone’s favorite beagle in this Snoopy-centric special, featuring a new, original story.

What It Is: Celebrate the release of the new film with this one-shot Snoopy Special. Follow Snoopy, the World Famous Sergeant-Major of the Foreign Legion, on the mission of a lifetime to save his dear brother Spike, encountering adventure at every which corner of the neighborhood—from Lucy’s Psychiatric Booth to Schroeder’s piano.

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ROWANS RUIN #2 (of 4)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: Mike Perkins
Cover Artist: Mike Perkins

Synopsis: Katie begins to see a mutilated figure in the mirrors of Emily’s home.

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COGNETIC #2 (of 3)

Retail Price: $4.99
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Eryk Donovan
Cover Artist: Eryk Donovan

Synopsis: Annie is back to square one and starts amassing a crew of FBI agents to take out Blue.

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WILD’S END: THE ENEMY WITHIN #3 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: I.N.J. Culbard
Cover Artist: I.N.J. Culbard

Synopsis: Susan and Peter flee to warn the world about the aliens, Fawkes and Alph are working with the military, and Clive is captured by ministry men.

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SLEEPY HOLLOW: PROVIDENCE #4 (of 4)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Eric Carrasco
Artist: Victor Santos
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Victor Santos
Incentive Cover: Robert Sammelin

Synopsis: The battle between The Wild Hunt and the Witnesses rages on, with the entire Hexenmeister community caught in the middle.

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WELCOME BACK #4 (of 4)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Jonathan Brandon Sawyer
Cover Artist: Jonathan Brandon Sawyer

Synopsis: Tessa and Mali come face-to-face in search of something different from when they began.

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JOHN FLOOD #4 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Jorge Coelho
Cover Artist: Jorge Coelho

Synopsis: John’s first encounter with Tate doesn’t exactly end how he’d planned it.

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ARCADIA #7

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Alex Paknadel
Artist: Eric Scott Pfeiffer
Cover Artist: Eric Scott Pfeiffer

Synopsis: Lee Pepper attempts to escape the Boatmen in the real world, and in Arcadia, the Homesteaders discover that Giacomo might have unprecedented control over the simulation.

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ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK #12

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Maxim Simic
Cover Artists:
Main: Jason Copland
Incentive: Ibrahim Moustafa

Synopsis: Snake gets trapped with the former President in a live interview.

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THE WOODS #17

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Michael Dialynas
Cover Artist: Michael Dialynas

Synopsis: New story arc! The results of the election turn the students against their allies, and Karen learns more about the Aboriginal people and their control over the power of the Woods.

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BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA #18

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Dan McDaid
Cover Artists:
Main: Joe Eisma
Incentive: Felipe Smith

Synopsis: To free Margo from mental enslavement, it’s time for Mr. Burton to ante up. In this game of poker, the Jack is wild!

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OVER THE GARDEN WALL #4 (of 4)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Pat McHale
Artist: Jim Campbell
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Jim Campbell
Subscription Cover: Nick Cross
Incentive Cover: Levon Jihanian

Synopsis: Before the woodsman was busy chasing after the beast, he lived in the woods with his daughter. The day she disappeared was when the woodsman’s journey began.

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ADVENTURE TIME WITH FIONNA & CAKE: CARD WARS #5 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Jen Wang
Artist: Britt Wilson
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Jen Wang
Subscription Cover: Jessie Wong
Incentive Cover: Diana Huh

Synopsis: Cake has finally made it to the Floop Master, but will she be able avenge LSP? Can she defeat the Floop Master after neglecting Fionna for so long?

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REGULAR SHOW #29

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Mad Rupert
Artist: Laura Howell
Cover Artists:
Main: Fellipe Martins
Subscription: Christine Larsen

Synopsis: New story arc, and introducing new main series artist Laura Howell! Benson gets wind turbines for the park to save energy, but when Mordecai and Rigby turn them up super-fast to cut corners they send the park into the clouds!

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ADVENTURE TIME #46

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Chris Hastings
Artist: Zachary Sterling
Cover Artists:
Main: Missy Pena
Subscription: Vivi Ng

Synopsis: When one of Joshua’s old spells wears off, Finn and Jake find themselves facing an old childhood friend that neither of them can remember!

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TYSON HESSE’S DIESEL #3 (of 4)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Tyson Hesse
Artist: Tyson Hesse
Cover Artist: Tyson Hesse

Synopsis: Diesel’s powers activate the mysterious flying engine, sending her into the trash-strewn expanse below the clouds known as The Wasteland.

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POWER UP #5 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Matt Cummings
Cover Artist: Matt Cummings

Synopsis: The Corners are four warriors who have been training since birth to receive the powers from the prophecy…the powers that went to Aimee and her woefully unprepared new friends instead!

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GIANT DAYS #8 (of 12)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: John Allison
Artist: Max Sarin
Cover Artist: Lissa Treiman

Synopsis: A brutal winter hits Sheffield, but things heat up when Esther has a fling with a faculty member! Daisy probably has a Friday Night Lights reference for this occasion…

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MUNCHKIN #11

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Tom Siddell
Artist: Ian McGinty
Cover Artist: Bridget Underwood

Synopsis: Spyke and Flower go kicking down doors, exploring dungeons and stealing loot!

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LUMBERJANES #20

Retail Price: $3.99
Writers: Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh
Artist: Carolyn Nowak
Cover Artists:
Main: Carolyn Nowak
Incentive: Shannon May

Synopsis: It’s a mermaid war! April has made a real mess of things by trying to get her mer-pals back together, but can she make things better with the help of her friends?

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TOIL AND TROUBLE #3 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Author: Mairghread Scott
Artist: Kelly & Nichole Matthews
Cover Artist: Kyla Vanderklugt

Synopsis: Lady Macbeth enters stage left.

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AMERICATOWN #4 (of 8)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writers: Bradford Winters & Larry J. Cohen
Artist: Daniel Izirrari
Cover Artist: Michael Choi

Synopsis: Owen and Tonto mobilize towards Derek, but Agent Arroyo is looking for him, too.

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HACKTIVIST VOL. 2 #5 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writers: Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing
Artist: Marcus To
Cover Artist: Marcus To

Synopsis: Nate and Reggie confront some of the hackers on their search for the truth about The Tower.

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LANTERN CITY #7

Retail Price: $3.99
Writers: Matthew Daley & Mairghread Scott
Artist: Carlos Magno
Cover Artist: Benjamin Carré

Synopsis: Rattled by the revelation that Killian is more dangerous than he’d realized, Sander ventures back into the Underground in search of his missing wife.

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DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES TP

Retail Price: $19.99
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Dan McDaid
Cover Artist: Jay Shaw

What’s to Love: Officially set in continuity of the new films, writer Michael Moreci (Burning Fields) and artist Dan McDaid (Mind the Gap) effectively bridge together events between Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, offering additional details and insight into the mindsets of apes Caesar and Koba, and human Malcolm.

What It Is: Two years following the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, humanity has fallen, giving way to the dawn of Caesar’s civilization. While the apes of the world find themselves unable to advance as a species, Caesar and Koba work tirelessly to find a way to unify them to join their cause. On the other side of the country, Malcolm must venture into the decaying Americas with his family to find a cure for the plague slowly killing his wife while world powers shift and civilizations simultaneously collapse and rise. Collects the entire six-issue miniseries.

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DEEP STATE VOL. 2 TP

Retail Price: $14.99
Writer: Justin Jordan
Artists: Ariela Kristantina
Cover Artist: Matt Taylor

Synopsis: At any given time, the U.S. government is running dozens of black-book operations, experiments that aren’t on any official record and are never acknowledged to exist. Control agents handle these operations when things go wrong, and ensure the government’s secrets stay just that—secret. Agents Harrow and Branch’s recent operations have them covering up the truth behind advanced military technology and the assassination of JFK. But while hiding answers from the public, the two partners are forced to confront the secrets they’ve been keeping from each other. Collects issues #5-8.

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ADVENTURE TIME VOL. 6 OGN: MASKED MAYHEM TP

Retail Price: $14.99
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Bridget Underwood
Cover Artist: Drew Green

Synopsis: BMO and Jake are getting ready for the biggest costume party ever, they have invites from everyone! As the party-hop they realize that each party has one thing in common, it has a prankster. Detective BMO is on the case to figure out what is going on with the help of Jake, his sidekick. Join them as they go across Ooo to find who the culprit is, while still enjoying some fun times with friends.

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UNCLE GRANDPA TP

Retail Price: $14.99
Writers: Kevin Burkhalter, David Degrand, Laura Howell, Yehudi Mercado, Scott Roberts, and more
Artists: Kevin Burkhalter, David Degrand, Laura Howell, Yehudi Mercado, Scott Roberts, and more
Cover Artist: Robb Mommaerts

What’s to Love: Adventure Time. Regular Show. The Amazing World of Gumball. Steven Universe. Can you tell we love Cartoon Network’s shows? We’re excited to welcome Uncle Grandpa to KaBOOM! It’s quirky, goofy, and oh-so-fun—a perfect formula for the four-color page. This MAD Magazine-style comic
features all manner of short strips, games, and more goofy things. If you’re a a fan of cartoonists like Don Martin, Gary Larson, and Tex Avery, you’ll enjoy Uncle Grandpa!

What It Is: Prepare yourself for Uncle Grandpa. He is everyone’s magical uncle and grandpa, and he’s here to help kids with their problems in surreal and wacky ways! Explore a collection of zany shorts and games starring Uncle Grandpa, Pizza Steve, Mr. Gus, and all the other crazy characters from the hit Cartoon Network show created by Peter Browngardt. Collects the complete miniseries, issues #1-4.

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THE AMAZING WORLD OF GUMBALL VOL. 1 OGN: FAIRY TALE TROUBLE

Retail Price: $14.99
Writers: Megan Brennan, Jeremy Lawson
Artists: Katy Farina, Jeremy Lawson
Cover Artist: Katy Farina

What’s to Love: The mixed-media look of The Amazing World of Gumball lends itself perfectly to comics, but now, we get to tell a full-length story, much like what it’d be like if you were watching a super-sized episode of the animated series!

What It Is: It’s a beautiful day for a Renaissance Faire, and the Watterson family is having a blast taking in ye olde fun and games…until a magician’s illusion turns into a real spell, and all of Elmore is cast into a fairy-tale world of quests, danger, and magical adventures! Can Wizard Darwin, Knight Anais, and Jester Gumball save Richard from his everlasting, turkey-leg-induced sleep, or will the citizens of Elmore remain trapped in the Middle Ages forever?

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MOUSE GUARD: LEGENDS OF THE GUARD VOL. 3 HC

Retail Price: $19.99
Author: David Petersen, Mark Buckingham, Skottie Young, Dustin Nguyen, Jake Parker, Ramon K. Perez, Becky Cloonan, and many more!
Artist: David Petersen, Mark Buckingham, Skottie Young, Dustin Nguyen, Jake Parker, Ramon K. Perez, Becky Cloonan, and many more!
Cover Artist: David Petersen

Synopsis: The third volume in the New York Times bestselling and Eisner Award-winning series, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Volume Three features tales written and illustrated by a collection of award-winning and critically acclaimed storytellers personally selected by series creator David Petersen. Once again, patrons at the June Alley Inn are challenged to tell the best Mouse Guard tale, with the winner getting their tab cleared!

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CYANIDE AND HAPPINESS: STAB FACTORY TP

Retail Price: $14.99
Writers: Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick
Artists: Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick
Cover Artists: Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick

What’s to Love: Cyanide & Happiness is one of the longest-running, most popular, humor comic strips on the web, easily earning millions of hits per week. With its crudely drawn art and snarky humor, Cyanide & Happiness has touched many a funny bone and is accessible to a legion of fans worldwide.

What It Is: Once again, creators Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, and Dave McElfatrick combine some of their best strips and a host of never-before-seen comics into a new, collected book. In the best, sickest tradition, Cyanide & Happiness’ simply drawn figures and the wildly inappropriate topics they cover—including cannibalism, murder, and incest—is most reminiscent of South Park, but offers a profane sensibility all its own. Includes a foreword by comedian Bo Burnham and Poetry Corner, a collection of demented rhymes.

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LUMBERJANES TO THE MAX EDITION VOL. 1 HC

Retail Price: $39.99
Authors: Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis
Artist: Brooke Allen

What’s to Love: We’re overwhelmed by the love, support, and enthusiasm from Lumberjumbies all over the world for this Eisner Award-winning series! Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson (Nimona), and Brooke Allen (A Home for Mr. Easter) have crafted a heartfelt series built on the power of friendship and positivity, and we’re thrilled to present the original eight-issue story arc in a deluxe hardcover for the first time.

What It Is: At Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams! Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here. Includes Lumberjanes #1-8, a foreword by Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Sisters), the never-before collected Lumberjanes short from BOOM! Box 2014 Mix Tape, all of the Rad Mix Playlists, and more!

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Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Cyborg #2 CoverWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Brett

Top Pick: Cyborg #2 (DC Comics) – The first issue of the series was a fantastic start, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the second. Writer David Walker seems to have addresses a lot of past issues with the character in the first issue, while also setting him on an interesting course too. This is a comic I keep checking the release schedule to see if it’s out, that’s how much I want to read it.

Prez #3 (DC Comics) – The first two issues have had me laughing, and they’re turning out to be really prescient when it comes to the future of politics and elections. Not sure if I should keep laughing or be really scared.

Princeless: Be Yourself #3 (Action Lab Entertainment) – Writer Jeremy Whitley nails it issue after issue, in this series which is so far ahead the rest of the comic industry as far as characters and themes. Girl power!

Snowden (Seven Stories Press) – Ted Rall chronicles the history of Edward Snowden and the NSA leak.

Zodiac Starforce #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – A new girl power comic that feels like a mix of Sailor Moon, Jem, and a lot of other series that are just awesome. This was an indie comic, and got picked up by Dark Horse, so it’s fun to see it also go from a small press comic to a full blown one. The first issue is all set-up and pretty entertaining.

 

Alex

Hank Johnson: Agent Of Hydra #1 (Marvel) – The preview pages j have seen of this comic looks absolutely fantastic. The idea of the behind the scenes look at the regular lives of some of henchmen in the worlds premier villainous organisation is really intriguing, and I’m sure there’ll be some interesting. Guest stars.

Old Man Logan #4 (Marvel) – I hadn’t realized just how much I missed reading about Wolverine until this series came out. Whilst I’m glad he hasn’t been resurrected for no reason, it’s nice to get some more time with one of the more interesting incarnations of Wolverine, too.

 

Edward

Top Pick: Hacktivist Vol 2 #2 (Archaia/BOOM! Studios) – The sequel series opened on a high note, and it looks like it will maintain the same tempo.

Batgirl #43 (DC Comics) – A new story arc for this standout series. Not much seems capable of stopping the momentum of this series.

He-Man: Eternity War #9 (DC Comics) – Every issue leads to a bigger turn of the plot. No idea what is coming this time, but it will be big again.

Mulan Revelations #3 (Dark Horse) – The first two issues have been heavy on style and a bit lighter on substance, but the concept is so cool that it deserves a chance to get settled.

Star Wars: Lando #3 (Marvel) – This series has been non-stop fun, proving that Lando should never have been a secondary character.

 

Elana

Top Pick: NEXT Wave: Collected Edition (Marvel) – The hilarious, highly political superhero team satire series featuring Monica Rambeau (formerly Photon or Capt Marvel) is out in a nice complete collection. The biting commentary and creativity of this series is renowned. From dream team Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen.

Cyborg #2 (DC Comics) – This series is already a standout for having unusually astute analysis of blackness and also about disability. It develops Victor Stone aka Cyborg as a fascinating hero in his own right and as far as I can see it even resolved some of the previously problematic aspects of the character: (read about those problems in Robert Jones Jr’s essential essay “Humanity Not a Included“). I’m ecstatic to have an African-American writer on this title. David Walker’s story is potent scifi that works on metaphorical level and well as on a narrative level. He references Invisible Man– which has needed to happen in a Cyborg story for decades. It’s a can’t-miss series.

Grayson #11 (DC Comics) – In this issue Grayson fights himself. Or someone pretending to be him. I love Huntress in this series acting as his spy master. I totally respect this comic’s dedication to a female and queer male readership that too many series ignore.

Lumberjanes #17 (BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios) – New story arc featuring our favorite feminist summer camp adventurers. Please get your kids reading this book. It’s groundbreaking and fun and fabulous. And read it yourself for swells of nostalgia for a relatable yet fantastical children’s story that I wish I’d had when I was little.

Preview: Hacktivist Vol. 2 #2 (of 6)

Hacktivist Vol. 2 #2 (of 6)

Imprint: Archaia

Writer: Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing
Artist: Marcus To

Get a glimpse into the history of the hackers who stole the .sve_urs3lf handle.

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Preview: The Last Broadcast HC

The Last Broadcast HC

Imprint: Archaia
Author: André Sirangelo
Artist: Gabriel Iumazark

A cunning and dynamic debut from writer André Sirangelo and artist Gabriel Iumazark, The Last Broadcast takes readers into the dark corners of the world where secrets await to be revealed. Iumazark’s Brazilian/Japanese-fusion indie art style brings edgy energy to every dark corner, and fans of Thief of Thieves and the film Now You See Me will find a lot that entices them.

Ever wonder what’s behind that “No Trespassing” sign? Travel into the hidden world of Urban Exploration with the daredevil members of Backbone, the best UrbEx team in San Francisco. When they discover a secret bunker belonging to the long-vanished 1930s stage magician Blackhall the Incredible at the same time a young illusionist receives a mysterious package involving Blackhall’s death in 1934, both groups dive into the mystery, not yet realizing it’s about the change their lives forever.

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Preview: Gunnerkrigg Court Vol. 5: Refine HC

Gunnerkrigg Court Vol. 5: Refine HC

Imprint: Archaia
Author: Thomas Siddell
Artist: Thomas Siddell

Thomas Siddell’s award-winning webcomic series continues to be collected in a new hardcover. Antimony’s new responsibilities thrust her into the heart of the forest, taking Parley and Smitty along for the ride! Meanwhile, Kat is left to deal with the mysterious letter she received, and Renard takes the time to reflect on his past decisions. As the year reaches a close, some friendships will grow stronger and some will have to come to an end.

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Talking Americatown with Bradford Winters and Larry J. Cohen

Americatown_001_C_VariantPart social commentary, part family drama, Americatown asks: What if the American Dream gave way to the American Nightmare?

After an economic collapse and other disasters in the near future, Americans are now the legal and illegal immigrants living abroad. They find work in cities like Buenos Aires, where their very own enclave known as “Americatown” has taken root. Owen, a recent arrival, begins a journey to support and save his splintered family divided between the enclave and home back in the U.S. His struggle is just a small part of the hardships and conflicting agendas in an immigrant community trying to build itself in the shadow of a once great nation.

In their inaugural comic series, screenwriters Bradford Winters and Larry Cohen have put together a series that in its first issue entertains and gets you to  think as well. I got a chance to talk to the two about the comic series, lucking out with the political climate, and what it’s like to write for television versus comics.

Graphic Policy: So where did the idea for Americatown come from?

Bradford Winters: It came from a long gestation on my part, of wanting to do a project about immigration. It began, pre-Americatown with the idea of a series set in contemporary America and looking and looking at immigration telescopically through various viewpoints. But, I realized early on that taking on the subject of immigration in America would be a bit hamstrung by the political liabilities that surround the subject. You know, where on the spectrum would the show fall? Would it be pro-immigration, anti-immigration, is it conservative, is it liberal, all that stuff. So after taking a giant step back, I thought we could treat the subject in a far more interesting way in a future scenario where Americans are now immigrants abroad, and looking at it that way.

GP: You two have tackled pretty politically charged material in the past including Oz, Kings, Borgia, and The Americans. Is there something about that sort of focus that interests you?

BW: I think primarily it’s a family drama more than a political drama. I think the politics of the issue help infuse it with a high degree of stakes for the characters and the family. We certainly didn’t come at it with any sort of political agenda. If anything I think we were trying to subvert the political agendas which fell off and attached themselves to the subject of immigration and trying to sabotage it in an imaginative way by turning Americans into immigrations both documented and undocumented… we might be able to foil the partisan divide.

Larry J. Cohen: Just looking at it outside of the political spectrum and just looking at it as what if it was a immigration story and helping people understand how those systems work. That’s not political. That’s an investigation you’d read in the New York Times or something. Getting those kind of things lined up with what’s happening today, that lined up, definitely something we paid close attention to, to try to tell a story people could connect with and maybe learn something about the immigration experience.

GP: We’ve seen stories where the Non-Americans are show as undocumented coming into America. But I can’t think of too many where Americans are undocumented going elsewhere. Do you think the fact that it’s a white main character impacts how we the reader reacts to the story?

BW: I think that’s the point. Where you’re doing the exact same stuff that matters. The same human experiences. The same dreams. The same desperations. Again, by flipping the paradigm and turning it on its head where it’s now sort of, at least at the center of the show, caucasian Americans who have fallen out of the middle with the economy and middle class who are living abroad, doing the jobs, many of the jobs that are rejected by other members of the city… Americatown isn’t an all-white enclave, because America isn’t an all-white country, but in order to play with the trope, we certainly put people like ourselves at the center of it. Because, people who look like us are driving the debate in the country on both side of the divide, so we felt we/they should be the ones featured at the center of the story.

Americatown_002GP: Immigration is clearly a huge topic this Presidential election season. Was this just good timing? Has that impacted how you’ve handled creating the series at all?

BW: It certainly good timing. The project existed well before the current election, so yeah, we knew going into the comic that this would time nicely with the Presidential election. It’s certainly a sore subject, and a fraught subject, for the country and hopefully it’d make the comic more relevant and reach a wider audience.

LC: Any time you tell a story that you are telling a story that connects with current events, it allows for the audiences mind to connect these characters and stories with things they’re reading every day. And we’re not pulling stories from the headlines but we are influenced by where the debate has been and where the debate is going. We’re not trying to offer answers. We’re trying to at least instigate a conversation about this type of topic. People have a hrd time seeing it beyond their own particular point of view. By questioning that, we hope that people can look at this from many different perspectives and come up with the best solution that way.

GP: I also picked up on the fact that Havana is a point these folks stopped in. There’s such history with immigration from Cuba to the US. The US relationship with Cuba has changed a lot just within the past months. Did you start writing the comic before or after recent events?

BW: That was another case of good timing. We had written the first issue before that turn of events. We keep hoping the political stars keep aligning in our narrative favor.

LC: We feel we want the people so confident as to buy all eight issues to find out what happens next.

GP: I can’t imagine Americans are just going to this country alone. Have you thought about the greater world and where different countries would be and how they may be handling things?

BW: Well we’re certainly narrowed in on this as the first Americatown out there, but not the only. I think the franchise possibilities, imaginatively, it’s impossible to not let one’s brain go to think about what an Americatown would look like in the Far East or the Middle East. We chose Buenos Aries and South America for particular reasons, but, best case scenario this would be just the first of other series and projects to come.

GP: Other than the solicit, there’s very few mentions as to what exactly is going on in the United States that is causing this emigration. How much will we find out about what’s happening in the series 8 issues?

BW: That’s a good question, this isn’t The Wire, as far as the political intricacies of the issue of immigration. We really are trying to tell a family drama. Hopefully it will reflect the realities of the immigration experience. We will not find ourselves in the hallways of DC. We hope to incorporate The Wire political complexities, how the people of Buenos Aries deal with the subject of immigration, or the enclave of Americatown in particular, but it’s not something where we’ll be getting into the legislative complexities of the subject matter. Unless characters bring it up in their own natural ways.

LC: We don’t get too wonky in our handling of the politics of it, but we do get to all of the different parts of the immigration experience in the city. You’re in the enclave. You’re in the detention center where illegals are rounded up. The natives of the city are watching their community change in a way that they’re not certain about. And through all of the different perspectives you get the full story, or as best of a full story we can offer in eight issues. And we’d like to continue that if we’re allowed to. Immigration has tremendous history, and a tremendous future, and we want to be a part of it for as long as possible.

GP: How did Daniel Irizarri join the series as artist?

BW: That was BOOM!’s doing.

LC: We were sent several artists and Daniel was the best of the bunch. From there we were able to start collaborating and creating all of the characters, bringing the enclave to life. We were able to work really closely in creating a vision in how the series would look and feel. Because when you’re creating things out of thin air, like a comic book and especially the future, you want to be careful with the decisions you make. It was an evolving process for us to collaborate in that way, especially coming from television where there’s so many different departments you’re dealing with. This it’s us as the writers and him as the illustrator. It was an experience for us that’s been fun and educational.

GP: The use of it is pretty sparse in the comic. It’s really just blue, white, black, and there’s some reds, oranges, and green, but generally each panel is a color mixed with black and white. Who came up with the idea of that color palette? I can’t help to think there’s some play on the American red, white, and blue.

LC: That was always to design, to invert the flag and make it symbolic as to where America is. But beyond that, the coloring of the issue, we pushed to keep things muted, grounded in something, even though the comic book world might demand something a bit louder. From the get go working with Brad, we worked on the iconography and the colors that make up America and bring new meaning to that.

GP: To you, what’s the difference between writing television scripts and a script for a comic? Do the differences in how they’re presented visually make a difference for how you’d tell the story?

BW: I think on the one hand, as first time comic book writers we’ve been a bit surprised by the compatibility between the two media. On the other hand not so surprised when you think about it, one uses moving pictures and the other uses still pictures. When I think about it, writing a comic book sort of feels like a haiku, where you really need to distill it down to those syllables, for a comic it’s those four or five panels. There’s a real distillation. I find it extremely helpful as a dramatic writer to engage the comic book medium. It makes you zero in on the moments that add up together in a scene.

GP: How are you enjoying writing for comics compared to television?

LC: We love comics, we wish it was a wider reaching medium. That’s what we go back and forth between. With television there’s a built in audience that allows you to do it all year round, and comics is a bit more niche. There’s a lot more freedom in comics, both imaginatively and the subject matters you can tackle. For us, it’d be tough to leave television behind and only live in comics. We want to keep telling stories. And as long as we can do that we’ll be very happy.

Preview: Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock: Journey to the Everspring HC

Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock: Journey to the Everspring HC

Imprint: Archaia
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Jake Myler

When the water supply of Fraggle Rock mysteriously runs dry, Gobo, Red, Mokey, Wembley, and Boober will have to journey deep into the caves of Fraggle Rock to find the fabled Everspring. Along the way, they’ll encounter spooky creatures, discover the Crystal Caves, and meet a never-before-seen colony of Doozers! Collects the complete miniseries, issues #1-4.

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Preview: The Art of Mouse Guard: 2005-2015 HC

The Art of Mouse Guard: 2005-2015 HC

Imprint: Archaia
Writer: David Petersen
Artist: David Petersen

Since its debut in 2005, David Petersen’s Mouse Guard has been a New York Times bestseller, won Eisner and Harvey awards, and has become an influential staple of the comics industry, earning thousands of fans. In honor of the 10-year anniversary of the series’ debut issue, The Art of Mouse Guard: 2005-2015 is a celebration of the beautiful world, memorable characters, and intensive artistic process of David Petersen’s beloved series.

Celebrate the first 10 years of a comics classic from the very first sketch. For the first time since the series debut, David Petersen’s process for creating the world of Mouse Guard and bringing it to life in stunning illustration is documented in exquisite detail. With never-before-seen sketches; 100 pages of full-color, oversized artwork; and commentary from colleagues, collaborators, and Petersen himself, readers and fans get an unprecedented look behind-the-pages at how their favorite characters and adventures were born.

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Review: Americatown #1

Americatown_001_A_MainAfter an economic collapse and other disasters in the near future, Americans are now the legal and illegal immigrants living abroad. They find work in cities like Buenos Aires, where their very own enclave known as “Americatown” has taken root. Owen, a recent arrival, begins a journey to support and save his splintered family divided between the enclave and home back in the U.S. His struggle is just a small part of the hardships and conflicting agendas in an immigrant community trying to build itself in the shadow of a once great nation.

Part social commentary, part family drama, Americatown asks: What if the American Dream gave way to the American Nightmare?

Generally when you think of a story about an undocumented immigrant, you think of someone entering the United States. Their skin is probably brown, and there’s all sorts moral and legal questions. Writer Bradford Winters and Larry Cohen have flipped expectations, making white Americans the undocumented immigrants in this compelling new series.

In Americatown, those attempting to sneak into a country are American, and look pretty white to me. This is an allegory of the plight of undocumented immigrants in a package that folks might not expect, and because of that, one that’s harder to condemn for them. Winters and Cohen are no strangers to politically charged stories, and in their inaugural comic series that stick to what they know.

Artist Daniel Irizarri‘s art is fantastic giving a pseudo rough look that makes it almost feel like an underground documentary following everything. Of note is the coloring choices which are minimal and usually one main color with some black and white. It’s fantastic, and generally the colors are also a reflection of the US’s flag. No idea if I’m reading too much into that, but the use of blues, reds, and whites is interesting.

Just enough information is given for readers to understand what’s going on, and enough information is held back to make you want to find out more as to what’s going on too. The first issue blew me away. I can’t wait to see where the series goes and how it tackles such a heated topic.A brilliant example of social commentary in an entertaining package.

Story: Bradford Winters & Larry J. Cohen Art: Daniel Irizarri
Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Archaia/BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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