Tag Archives: oni press

Preview: Elk’s Run #2

Elk’s Run #2

Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Artist: Noel Tuazon with Scott Keating

DIGITAL RELEASE – COMIXOLOGY (9/1/15)

The small town of Elk’s Ridge was founded as a closed haven, dreamt up by Vietnam veterans looking to create a utopia: a home without violence, chaos, or corruption. And in the beginning, it seemed like it might actually work. However, years later, the town has become a powder keg. When a desperate bid for freedom results in the accidental death of a child, the town must decide what terrible acts they are willing to commit in order to preserve their way of life. And the youth of the sleepy town—those who never chose to live that life—must forsake all they know in order to stand up for what is right.

A vividly and viscerally illustrated tale of small town horror, Elk’s Run takes its place among the most chilling and affecting works of graphic fiction. The debut collaboration of Eisner, Harvey, and Emmy nominated writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and Harvey and Eisner nominated artist Noel Tuazon is back a decade later and even more relevant.

ELKS RUN CH2_Page_01

Preview: Letter 44 #20

Letter 44 #20

Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque with Dan Jackson

DARK MATTER Part 6 – Third Arc Finale. President Blades’ back is against the wall, and he’s considering truly desperate options. The Clarke astronauts try to wrest control of the planet-killing Chandelier away from the alien Builders. A great city is destroyed. A sacrifice is made. Deep truths are revealed. It’s the end of the world, and the latest game-changing chapter in the Letter 44 saga.

LETTER44 #20 - 4x6 COMP FNL WEB

Preview: The Bunker #14

The Bunker #14

Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Artist: Joe Infurnari

Someone besides Heidi finally pays Billy a visit… but things don’t go exactly as planned. Meanwhile, Heidi makes a decision that could alter the fate of the Bunker–and the world–forever.

BUNKER #14 - 4x6 COVER FNL WEB

Review: Stringers #1

STRINGERS #1 4x6 COMP SOLICIT B WEBPaul and Nick are the guys who shoot the news. Filming car chases, fires, and shootouts in their busted-up rig, they put their (uninsured, unsalaried) lives on the line every night so that the good citizens of Los Angeles can get their daily update. But when a firefight between the LAPD and the MS-13 goes wrong, Paul and Nick find themselves on the run.

Written by Marc Guggenheim with art by Justin Greenwood, Stringers reminds of the show Cops, if it was shot from the journalists’ perspective who followed cops around. The world itself has this crime-noir feel to it. Mix that with high-octane story, and it blends surprising well with the atmosphere the book attempts to create.

The first panel, I will admit does have some reading difficulty, due to layered text. Outside of that minor hurdle, it flows much better after that. While the story starts off a little slow, it soon picks up the pace as the chase begins. Outside of the beginning there is not much slow down after that.

The art work suits the story well. It creates the proper atmosphere for this noir world. While the color choices are properly made to be dark. There is still a slight underpinning of vibrancy and life, buried under the darkness.

If you enjoy crime-noir comics, I would recommend you pick this up.

Story: Marc Guggenheim Art: Justin Greenwood
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Elk’s Run #1

Elk’s Run #1

Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Artist: Noel Tuazon with Scott Keating

DIGITAL RELEASE – COMIXOLOGY (8/25/15)

The small town of Elk’s Ridge was founded as a closed haven, dreamt up by Vietnam veterans looking to create a utopia: a home without violence, chaos, or corruption. And in the beginning, it seemed like it might actually work. However, years later, the town has become a powder keg. When a desperate bid for freedom results in the accidental death of a child, the town must decide what terrible acts they are willing to commit in order to preserve their way of life. And the youth of the sleepy town—those who never chose to live that life—must forsake all they know in order to stand up for what is right.

A vividly and viscerally illustrated tale of small town horror, Elk’s Run takes its place among the most chilling and affecting works of graphic fiction. The debut collaboration of Eisner, Harvey, and Emmy nominated writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and Harvey and Eisner nominated artist Noel Tuazon is back a decade later and even more relevant.

Complete hardcover edition (Contains Chapters #1-8) available in stores: 11/11/15

ELKS RUN CH1_Page_01

Review: Invader ZIM #2

You were expecting a point-and-click adventure game?Invader ZIM is a franchise with a long history. Rehashing it here would take up a lot of time, and has been done by better writers than me, so the short version is this: Jhonen Vasquez tried to write a science-fiction cartoon for Nickelodeon, who didn’t realize when they hired him that he was responsible for adult-oriented comics like Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. Creative differences abounded, Jhonen was pretty honest about how difficult working with Nick could be, and all the ZIM fans watched helplessly as the struggles with the network turned into cancellation. The fans subsisted upon brief glimmers of hope when Zim and GIR occasionally showed up in Nicktoon-themed games or when finished-but-unreleased episodes of the show turned up on DVD box sets.

Then, there was silence.

But then came the usual rumors that ZIM was coming back, that our junior high and high school daydreams were finally coming true! This repeated numerous times between 2003 and July of 2015, but at very very long last, putting to an end both the rumors and my own recap I said I wouldn’t do and then ended up doing anyway, Invader ZIM finally returned.

As a comic book.

It makes sense, really. Comics as a medium have always had different creative constraints than television or film. You can tell entirely different stories. Comics are the medium, after all, where a character can go missing after being shot with a time-traveling bullet and have adventures with cavemen, pirates, cowboys, and the witches of Salem before making it back to the present and resuming his traditional superheroics. It’s the perfect medium for a comic like ZIM, which was often hamstrung by the financial limitations the studio placed on the animators or the inexplicable censorship decisions. (One of the very first episodes of ZIM to air was the one where Zim steals the internal organs of numerous children at School in order to appear more human. That got permitted where things like implied character death – a mainstay of cartoons when writing characters out – were vetoed. I’ll never understand that.)

So, how does Invader ZIM fare as a comic compared to a television show? Issue one had a “We’re getting the band back together” feel, where we were reminded who the characters were and what the plot was about, and then as the new storyline kicked off the comic was over. It was a good first issue for introducing new readers to the premise and congratulating all the die-hard fans for not having given up over a decade later, but it was easy to see that it was merely the warmup act. Now we’re looking at issue #2, which is where things truly begin.EVERYONE'S BACK! AND EVERYONE'S SHOUTING. AAAAAAZim as a character, and Invader ZIM as a franchise, have very specific voices. The Zim character is myopic in his pursuit of global domination and completely obsessed with his own genius and talent. To hear Zim tell it, he’s the most intelligent and capable member of his race, an intellect beyond the ken of any human – especially his mortal enemy, Dib. In the television show, Zim and Dib were voice acted by Richard Horvitz and Andy Berman, who I imagine blew out their vocal cords every recording session based on all the screaming they did on the show. We don’t have the benefit of their voice acting during the comic, but if you’ve seen the show then every line of dialogue sounds like one of these as you read it. If you know how Dib talks, the way Zim screeches one second and then pauses for “eh? uh, oh! aha!” sounds every few minutes, or the modulations in GIR’s voice as he malfunctions and causes problems, all those familiar sounds are here. You know these characters and you know what they ought to sound like – and they sound just like they’re supposed to. With Jhonen Vasquez and Eric Trueheart writing again (Eric also wrote for the show, and Jhonen is responsible for this whole mess) the characters and narrative voices are just like they used to be.

To a newcomer, it may take time to acclimate to the fast-paced nature of the ZIM plot lines and dialogue. If someone isn’t screaming, they’re about to, and when they aren’t gesturing madly as they outline their greatest invention ever they’re usually recovering from an explosion or a should-be-fatal injury.

I wonder what reading these comics is like from the perspective of someone who wasn’t a fan of the show when it aired, or maybe hasn’t heard of the show at all. I’m used to the story beats – Zim’s leaders are still alternately disgusted by his existence and shocked he’s managed to live this long, Dib is the lone sane human on a planet full of unobservant civilians, Zim himself will stop at nothing to take over the earth on behalf of his species – but they might take a while for the uninitiated to get used to.

Characters don't have to throw up offscreen anymore! FREEDOM AT LAST!The story itself is an intergalactic chase, which I always appreciate. Episodes of the show where characters went into space were woefully uncommon, probably due to budgetary concerns, but they were always my favorites. While issue #2 doesn’t reach the same heights as Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars, which is still my favorite episode, there’s a lot of good stuff here. Dib pursues Zim in the ship he salvaged when Invader Tak, the fan favorite and subject of way too much fanfiction I don’t want to know about, crashed on Earth during the original series run. The art is a strong point here too: the aliens are suitably gross-looking when they need to be, the artists experiment with panels and layouts in ways I’m sure the show’s animators wished they could have, and the colors and shading are top-notch. I was going to say “this looks just like an episode of the show, only condensed into pages and panels” but that’s exactly what a comic book is.

I for one am glad to have Invader ZIM back. The comic book medium feels like a great fit for the franchise, the writing and art are just as good as fans of the show have come to expect, and the story never has time to get boring. The fact that the writing and plot are so fast-paced means issue #2 feels like it ends too soon, and makes me curious about how the subsequent issues will be paced: issue one and two are a complete story to themselves, almost an episode of the show, and I wonder if the series as a whole will be episodic or if there will be some kind of overarching plot. I know from interviews there were things Jhonen wanted to do with the story he never got to pursue, some of which were storylines involving new characters and world building ideas. Now is his chance to try them out, I’d assume, and maybe he will! Maybe he’ll go in an entirely different direction.

Ten years is a long time for both creator and fan to wait, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see something never even hinted at come out of this series. There’s endless possibilities for a series like ZIM, which has always played a little fast and loose with its canon and internal logic. It’s a sign of good writing that after what feels like a very short comic, my thought is “Where do we go next?” instead of “what, that’s it?” It makes me excited to see more of ZIM in the future and hopeful that the next issues keep up the momentum issue two builds up. I’m definitely going to be along for the ride.

The pacing is a little fast, and both the plot and narrative voice may take some time for newcomers to acclimate to, but this is a very good second issue. Invader ZIM was sorely missed, and I’m hoping for great things from the franchise now that it’s back in action and making its move right for the nostalgia center of my brain. Bring me more! Er, please.

Story: Jhonen Vasquez and Eric Trueheart Art: Aaron Alexovitch
Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall
: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a free review copy of Invader ZIM #2. I totally forgot about that and bought my own. Whoops.

Preview: Do-Gooders

Do-Gooders

Writer: J. Torres
Artist: Justin Wagner with Warren Wucinich

From J. Torres and Justin Wagner comes a fun and imaginative board comic for kids.

Two siblings learn what it really means to be a hero. It doesn’t take bravery and strength, it takes teamwork and friendship. The perfect comic for parents and their budding superhero!

Debuts 8/26 and readers can pre-order now at their local comic shop with code MAR151455

DOGOOD - 4x6 COMP FNL WEB

Preview: Stringers #1

Stringers #1

Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Artist: Justin Greenwood with Ryan Hill

From Marc Guggenheim (Arrow co-showrunner) and Justin Greenwood (Stumptown, The Fuse) comes an action-packed new miniseries about crime, corruption, and the perfect shot.

Paul and Nick are the guys who shoot the news. Filming car chases, fires, and shootouts in their busted-up rig, they put their (uninsured, unsalaried) lives on the line every night so that the good citizens of Los Angeles can get their daily update. But when a firefight between the LAPD and the MS-13 goes wrong, Paul and Nick find themselves on the run.

Issue #1 debuts 8/26 and readers can pre-order now at their local comic shop with code JUN151440

STRINGERS #1 4x6 COMP SOLICIT A WEB

Preview: Mermin Vol. 4: Into Atlantis

Mermin Vol. 4: Into Atlantis

Writer/Artist: Joey Weiser

IN STORES (9/23/15) – PRE-ORDER DIAMOND CODE: MAY151477

It’s all-out war between Mer and Atlantis! At least that’s what Mermin’s father, King Merus, declares after Pete is taken by Atlanteans. And that’s not all—Mermin will be fighting side-by-side with his father, so it’s time for some intense training! Meanwhile, deep in the Kingdom of Atlantis, Pete meets other children without homes who, of course, cannot fathom that he is from the surface. His stories of Mer attract the attention of another child, who offers to introduce Pete to her “friends”—who he never expected to see in Atlantis!

MERMINV4 - 4x6 COVER FNL WEB

Preview: The Sixth Gun: Valley of Death #3

The Sixth Gun: Valley of Death #3

Writer: Brian Hurtt
Artist: A.C. Zamudio with Ryan Hill

In the House of Death, the young Princes have found a new plaything. Meanwhile, their Disciples stalk Buzzard Wife and what remains of the Hunting Party through the inhospitable realm. With their escape from the Spirit World growing tantalizingly near for the band of warriors, new threats reveal themselves as darkness settles over the nightmare realm… and something emerges from the House of Death.

The Sixth Gun Valley of Death #3

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