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Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

BeQuest #1

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) 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

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

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

Bequest #1 (AfterShock) – Magical items from the world of Tangea are being traded on the black Market in Chicago.

Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade #1 (Marvel) – Black Knight is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe so we’re always interested in seeing how the comics reflect that.

Count (Humanoids) – A sci-fi take on the classic The Count of Monte Cristo.

Hero Hourly (21 Pulp) – Working as a superhero isn’t easy. The critically-acclaimed hit is collected! If you missed it, here’s your chance to catch up.

Muhammad Ali: Kinshasa 1974 (Titan Comics) – The graphic novel is a mix of fantastic art and photography. We have some glowing reviews here and here.

Orphan & the Five Beasts #1 (Dark Horse) – James Stokoe delivers a kung-fu epic featuring an adopted warrior having to kill their masters’ former disciples who are now corrupted.

Radiant Black #2 (Image Comics/Skybound) – The first issue showed off a lot of potential and was a fun read. We want to see where it all goes and this issue will be key to see how much longer we stick with the series.

Red Atlantis #5 (AfterShock) – We want to see where this action/political thriller goes. There’s so much to cover and so many different ways it can go.

Savage #2 (Valiant) – Savage has been captured. What’s the plan? The first volume of the series was great and the first issue caught us off-guard in a good way.

Science Comics: Digestive System (First Second) – These graphic novels have been educational and we want to learn about the digestive system!

Superman: Red & Blue #1 (DC Comics) – Publishers continue their “color” anthology kick, this time Superman is up! We always want to see what various creators do with the same character.

The Trials of Ultraman #1 (Marvel) – The first volume was solid. And we’re excited to see how this classic character evolves in the hands of Marvel.

Ultramega #1 (Image Comics/Skybound) – People are turning into kaiju and only three people with incredible powers can stop them! The final reckoning is coming but is this a way they can even win? Kaiju have been popular recently so we’re interested in seeing how this series differs from the pack.

The stunning graphic novel Bianca arrives in March from 21 Pulp and Italian publisher Shockdom!

Publisher 21 Pulp will bring Italian comic publisher Shockdom’s stunning and acclaimed graphic novel Bianca to comic shops in March! 

Bianca is the story of an Earth where humans are long gone and the only rule left is that the strong survive. Otherwise, the Flesh-Eaters will devour you! But Bianca has chosen to fight and seek revenge instead! 

This marks the second incredible graphic novel of Shockom which has been brought to the US after the beautiful Francis, and it marks another step in bringing the wonderful Italian flavor of comics to a bigger audience. Bianca is by writer Paolo Margiotta and artist Francesca Perrone.

Bianca is currently available in the January Previews catalog for March release. You can preorder from your local comic shop using order code JAN211611. 


21 Pulp is Bringing Italian Publisher Shockdom Books to the United States

Comic book publisher 21 Pulp has announced they are partnering with Italian comic publisher Shockdom to bring some of Shockdom’s library of titles to the United States. 

This will include books such as Francis, by breakout artist and creator Loputyn. Francis is an acclaimed graphic novel about a witch who likes to have fun and is coming to age but avoids some of her responsibilities as the most important test of career as a witch approaches. It has spectacularly charming art which has captivated fans overseas, and has been a hit for both Shockdom and Loputyn. 

Other books include Bianca, by Paolo Margiotta and young artist Francesca Perrone. Bianca is a story about a time when humans are long gone, the Earth went on without them, and it is believed that is inevitable that the Flesh-Eaters will devour people. Except for Bianca, who chooses to stand up and fight. 

Some of the other popular books from Shockdom are Cotton Tales, Noumeno, Prudhomme, Blue, Sio’s comics, and the superheroes series Timed.

Francis is currently available in the November Previews catalog for January release. You can preorder from your local comic shop using order code NOV201580. 

Help 21 Pulp Make More Great Comics via Kickstarter

Planet of the Dinosaurs21 Pulp is one of our favorite new publishers and their comics Hero Hourly and Imposter have entertained us with each issue released. That’s why I was happy to help promote the publisher’s Kickstarter to help them make more great books.

Today the publisher has launched a Kickstarter to help publish two new comics, Planet of the Dinosaurs and Campisi.

Ray guns, rocket ships, and dinosaurs – Planet of the Dinosaurs is a sci-fi retro tale with a modern twist and fully-painted art! When space travelers become stranded on the deadliest planet in the galaxy – a planet that was only supposed to be a legend – they learn they’re just the latest in a suspiciously long line of doomed ships. To stay alive and escape, they’ll have to figure out the deadly secret the planet is hiding. The book includes the talents of the amazing Christopher Steininger and the astounding Debby Gonzalez.

a76879fe39842f48233b6248bb975cf8_originalCampisi is Goodfellas and Get Shorty meets everything from Exorcist, Lord of the Rings, and Dracula. You get three killer mob tales of terror and the supernatural drawn, painted, and presented like you’ve never seen from multiple artists. Campisi is a professional who likes to lay low and fix problems as simply as possible in his hometown neighborhood of Green Village. Beat your wife, he’ll bust your kneecap. Make bad on a bet, he’ll break a finger. But the neighborhood and the problems are changing. Dragons are wanting a piece of the turf. Vampires are entering the “family.” And Campisi? Well, he misses his old problems. Campisi includes the talents of the stunning team of Jay Brindley and JM Ringuet, part of the creators responsible for books like Death Comes to Dillinger and Image’s Transhuman.

The Kickstarter has incentives like comics, prints, t-shirts, original art, and more. And if these comics are like what 21 Pulp has already put out, they’re well worth it. Support them today!

Review: Imposter #1

port_imposter_coverOne of the most exciting publishers to have emerged over the past months is 21 Pulp. Their first miniseries, Hero Hourly is effortlessly funny, and is well worth tracking the eventual trade when it’s released.

Now before we go any further, this review will not be entirely spoiler free. I’ll do my best not to ruin the first issue, but if you want a completely spoiler free review, then you can check out the advanced review here. Or you can buy the book; it’s brilliant, and I’m going to tell you now that you’re going to want to add Imposter to your pull list.

I said in the advance review that the back of the comic says;

The Centipede is Black City’s crime vigilante. Captain Apex is Earth’s cosmic defender. Dr. Oculus is a sorcerer who fights demons from other realms. And Jungle Jack is the hero of the Wild Lands. All four of them are connected by a dangerous secret that could destroy the world, and Hale Barker just learned what it is.

And oh boy, what a secret! While I won’t tell you what it is (even in a slightly spoiler filled review, I still can’t bring myself to reveal what it is. The secret is revealed – or at least strongly hinted at – on the publisher’s website, however), what I will say is that the reveal is both incredibly well handled, and the secret itself is actually remarkably original. At least, as far as I’m aware; read the book, and if I’m wrong let me know in the comments below.

Imposter #1 is a very well written, brilliantly illustrated comic with a central plot point that I want to talk about that I want to discuss in at least a small amount of detail, but that’ll be in another review. To get a feeling of this series, the opening issue has an almost Batman like feel with an added dash of the pulp vigilantes from the 30’s, and yet the comic transcends that comparison in so many ways.

Having read the first issue of this series more than a month ago, I can honestly say that I was excited to open the digital file again for this review (and I’m really looking forward to getting two print versions on Wednesday – one for myself and one for a friend), only to find that the comic was as good as I remember it being. I especially  enjoyed the teaser of Jetpack Jump in the back of the issue, too, and it’s nice to see the first few pages of what looks to be an interesting comic.

This first issue of Imposter is every bit as good as 21 Pulp‘s other series Hero Hourly, which I have a LOT of love for. Despite being written by the same man, the only things that Imposter has in common with Hero Hourly is that they’re both bloody brilliant.

Story: James Patrick Pencils and Inks: Martin Szymanski Colors: Omscaro Valladao 
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Although 21 Pulp provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review, I’m buying it anyway.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

port_imposter_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.


Top Pick: Imposter #1 (21 Pulp) – Whenever 21 Pulp put a comic out, it’s worth paying attention. They are one of, if not the most exciting new publisher around. I was lucky enough to do an advance review of this book earlier this year, and I’m so excited to get my print copy on Wednesday (my shop actually ordered in two copies because I know my friend will love it). Cannot wait to read this again in print.

Bloodshot Reborn #11 (Valiant) – The best Bloodshot story I’ve read in a while, this arc is absolutely worth your time. The art is stunning, and Jeff Lemire is on fire here. Read this; you’ll not regret it.

The Goddamned #3 (Image) – Were it not for Imposter this would be my runaway top pick this week. I’m really enjoying the pre-apocalyptic story, and Jason Aaron’s take on the biblical stories. It’s brutal, bloody, and so so good.

Judge Dredd #3 (IDW Publishing) – Judge Dredd is so far out of his element in this series, that I just can’t get enough of him trying to enforce the law in a completely lawless land. The first two issues were fantastic, so I have high hopes for  this issue.



Top Pick: All-New X-Men #5 (Marvel) – I wasn’t sure about this title when it was first introduced, but damn am I enjoying the ride!  I have to say I’m over Warren and his moody worrying over Laura  every issue; dude, she’s Wolverine!  She can go running into a fight and come out of it…get over it Dawson.  And I would also like it if we saw more from Evan and Idie, other then just a panel here or there, or some background action.  BUT, this is definitely one road trip I’m on board with and look forward to this title.

All-New, All-Different Avengers #6 (Marvel) – I have been less then impressed with this title, but I stick with it…not exactly sure why.  Maybe hoping something good comes out of it?  This issue promises that; we finally find out why Vision has been acting like a tool and who the mystery bad guy is pulling his strings.  I just hope the reveal delivers the goods, or I think it’s time to give up this title.

All-New Inhumans #4 (Marvel) – Another great title I’m always looking forward to.  I love this whole world outreach program for Inhumans/Nuhumans; the cast of characters is great (loving Crystal in this leadership role) and this story arc especially feels very secret agent/spy like and I’m totally digging it.

Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #3 (Marvel) – I remember reading issue 1 and I was thinking “Hellcat? More like Hello Kitty”  This was so cutesy and cartoony and totally not what I usually read…but here I am putting it on my top pick list.  I like the humour in it and seeing the everyday struggle for Patsy working towards her goal.  And sure she gets some superhero time but that doesn’t drive this title, and I’m ok with that.



Top Pick: Snowpiercer Vol. 3 Terminus (Titan Comics) – I’m a huge fan of the Snowpiercer comic series having read the first two volumes multiple times (one of the few comics I’ve done so). This third volume is a bit of a mystery to me, and were it goes I think will be interesting. Not knowing much about it has me excited and anticipating its release.

Imposter #1 (21 Pulp) – This first issue is choppy, but really fascinating. I don’t want to reveal the twist, but it’s a superhero series and something I don’t think I’ve seen before. To put out an original idea in a flooded market is impressive on its own. 21 Pulp is a publisher that should be on everyone’s radar.

Last Man Vol 4 Chase (First Second) – I love this graphic novel series and this latest volume is as much fun as the previous three. Great read for both adults and kids alike.

Street Fighter x G.I. Joe #1 (IDW Publishing) – The concept sounds goofy, but something also gets me to smile and think fun. I’m interested in seeing where this one goes and if it kicks up nostalgia like I think it will.

Transformers #50 (IDW Publishing) – I love IDW’s various Transformers series and this one is at the top of the pile for me. The last issue ended with a bang and this one sets off in a new direction as Earth is declared under the protection of Optimus Prime. But is it benevolence or a take over? Depends which side you’re on!

James Patrick Talks To Us About 21 Pulp’s Exciting New Line Of Comics

HERO HOURLY COVERDo you know who one of the best new publishers, and pound for pound one of the best around period, are? If you guessed 21 Pulp, you’d be absolutely right. While I admit that with only two comics published as of the end of January (although I was able to read the first issue of Imposter – it’s great), that may seem like an overly inflated hyperbolic statement, but you tell me if you think I’m wrong after you’ve read the two issues of Hero Hourly that are out right now.

Alex had the opportunity to talk with the man behind 21 Pulp, and the writer of the publisher’s first two comics, James Patrick, about where things stood, and how things have progressed since we last checked in back in September.

Graphic Policy: It’s been a few months since we last spoke; how have things over at 21 Pulp been?

James Patrick: Really good. I guess that’s how to best sum it up. There are good things, and there are things we’re trying to improve as a company.

The good has been reaction to our books. The people who’ve read them genuinely seem to be enjoying them or are ecstatic about them. Hero Hourly‘s reaction, the pre-release reaction to Imposter by the few who’ve read it, and people who are anticipating our other books like Planet of the Dinosaurs.

If I were to say there’s been a disappointment it’s that the quantity of reaction. And that may just be us being impatient. We only have a few books out, we’re slowly getting traction, and that comes with time. Especially when you’re not coming out of the gate with names like Warren Ellis or Jim Lee. When you’re building on the hooks of your products and what we feel is the quality. It’s a mountain to climb. It’s also why we’re not releasing a whole bunch of books at once. We want everyone to read our books whether they’ll love or hate them, though – to give them a shot.

A good example of this has been reviews, which have been stellar, but which there haven’t been a ton of. There’s just so much product out there competing, new companies popping up all the time, and everyone wants to run reviews of books that will get them hits, recognized books, and they honestly don’t trust us yet.

But I’ll also say that when those books get into people’s hands, we see results. In other areas other than just readers.
Like how we’ve seen success with distribution avenues outside of Diamond, how retailers have responded, how our numbers keep growing – it’s all been very fascinating. Every single one of our books has been in one or multiple subscription boxes. We feel like that’s because of their quality and their shelf/box appeal.

So yeah, good things in certain places, improvement needed in others.

GP: How different was funding and publishing the first issue of Hero Hourly through Kickstarter compared with the first issue of Imposter?

JP: Very, since Hero Hourly was successful and Imposter wasn’t. Heh.

Firstly, funding isn’t necessarily the goal of our Kickstarters, and I’m only saying this so I can give the most accurate answer as possible. We see Kickstarters as a way to do some market research, general marketing, a unique way to provide extras for fans with the books, and, yes, partly revenue. And the reason I’m saying this is because if you look at Imposter it wasn’t funded, but it’s still being published. So we don’t rely on the Kickstarters, but they offer a piece to the puzzle, so to speak – and if we can learn to do it effectively, then it’s a great bonus to what we’re doing.

But the two were vastly different from start to finish. Imposter actually went on Kickstarter before Hero Hourly, and we learned from that that we weren’t marketing it properly. We also learned a way not to approach a Kickstarter. Our approach with Imposter turned out to be confusing, not marketing savvy, and was insight maybe to which books work on Kickstarter and which don’t – at least for us.

Now, either we took what we learned from Imposter, or Hero Hourly was just a better candidate for Kickstarter, or a combination of those two things, and we went out and did very well with a Hero Hourly Kickstarter. We had a great hook and we explained it simply and in a way people could relate. The difference was success. None of the means Hero Hourly is a better book, just that different books may have different audiences and different ways to be presented.

HERO HOURLY PREVIEW PAGE 01GP: With two issues of Hero Hourly published, the third on the way, how has the reaction been for the comic?

JP: Stellar, with the disclaimer of what I said above. We hear a lot of “this is what the industry is missing” and “this is the funniest book out.” People are relating to it, too. Connecting with Saul’s trouble, the situations he finds at work, which are basically any job.

The few criticisms are it’s too raunchy, but we understood when you put a book that foul-mouthed out there that’s one of the risks.

New reviews pop up frequently and people are just glad to have discovered it. We really do want to build enough word-of-mouth and momentum to do a sequel, but time will tell.

GP: So what you’re saying is that even though 21 Pulp isn’t focusing on a long running series yet, that doesn’t mean we won’t revisit the world of Hero Hourly for some new stories down the road?

JP: Correct. I’m ready to go if we feel Hero Hourly justifies a sequel. Saul‘s story is done, though – for now. It would be a different character or character with a new story in that world, at that employer.

Imposter has the option to go long-form as well. It all works as both. But Imposter is made so that the long-form continues a more natural arc, if need be.

GP: Yeah, the buzz for Hero Hourly that I’ve seen both online and heard in my local comic shop has been phenomenal. I understand that both issues have sold out at Diamond; are there any plans to do a second printing, or collect the series in a trade paperback down the road?

JP: The trade follows the singles, yes. It’s already been solicited and will come out after Issue 3 sometime, about a month later.

We don’t feel the need to go to second printings yet – partially because there’s a trade coming.

imposter_cover.jpgGP: You have Imposter debuting in a couple of weeks [February 10th]; I was fortunate enough to read an advance copy, and I really enjoyed it. What can you tell us about the comic without verging onto spoiler territory?

JP: Wow. That’s hard. There’s so much I can say about Imposter. The easiest way to describe it is that there a bunch of different archetype characters – a crime vigilante like Batman or the Spirit, a sc-fi character like Buck Rogers, a Dr. Strange-like character, and a jungle adventurer – and they’re all connected by a secret.

I guess I’ll just say that what makes it unique is that it crosses into so many genres. Each issue can be a different genre and story that supports the overall story, or it can seamlessly cut between the genres. That and that it’s a dense story told on a huge canvas – all while being about one thing. How lies can erode a person and the people around them. The consequences of having to tell lies to make the world a safer place.

If you want a crime, sci-fi, sorcery, and jungle adventure all in one, I guess it’s the perfect book for people. Ha.

jetpackjump_cover GP: Jetpack Jump is the next book your releasing, and from the sneak peak we saw in the back of Imposter, it looks like it’s an entirely different setting for the story than the two series released already. I know you said the last time we spoke that you goal was to release excellent comics (and that’s certainly been the case so far), are you also aiming to publish stories in multiple genres as well, or is that a happy coincidence?

JP: We have a brand that we’re inching towards perfecting, but I’m not going to completely reveal what that is yet. All I’ll say for now is that that brand isn’t necessarily a genre or a style. And if you look at Jetpack Jump, it’s a lot of fun and different in tone from Imposter or Hero Hourly. It’s like a suped up Saturday morning cartoon. It’s all out action and high-octane. Right now we’re making the best books we can and chiseling into what we want to be.

Sorry to be so cryptic :) but we really are just about making the best books and building who we are with the parts that add up to it, rather than saying, we are this or that. At least not yet.

GP: There’s actually a lot I want to ask you about Imposter, but I’ll hold off on that so folks can get a chance to read an issue or two… so moving before I slip up and do that; with Imposter #1 hitting the racks on February 10th, and Hero Hourly #3 later that month, when can we expect the debut issues of Jetpack Jump and Planet of the Dinosaurs to hit the physical and digital racks?

JP: Jetpack Jump Issue 1 will be available online when Imposter #1 hits shelves. So by Feb 10th. It’s four issues, It’s a bit of an experiment as the previews in the back of Imposter and Hero Hourly #3 throw back to it. Planet of the Dinosaurs is penciled in to follow Imposter.

We had a far more aggressive approach to publishing, but we’re learning to let people get to know us first rather than releasing books too soon and before we have the potential exposure of our brand.

It’s always an evolving thing as we learn more each day.

GP: The last time we spoke, when given the choice of pirates, ninjas, cowboys and aliens, you went for Frank Miller ninjas. What if vikings replaced ninjas?

JP: Cowboys. Aren’t enough freakin’ cowboys in comics.

GP: I really appreciate your time James, thank you!

Imposter #1 is due to hit shelves February 10th. Do you have your copy reserved?

Early Review: Imposter #1

imposter_coverThis early review will be entirely spoiler free; so if you don’t want to read it, just go and ask your retailer to order it in for you. If you’ve been paying attention to Graphic Policy lately, you’ll have noticed that we’re big fans of 21 Pulp‘s inaugural comic book miniseries, Hero HourlyThat book is one that you need to track down, and as Patrick said in his review, it may be best to go directly to the publisher.

I’m going to tell you now that you’re going to want to add Imposter to your pull list. It’s brilliant.

I’ll level with you, now. I’m a Valiant man, and I have been for a year or so because the comics they put out are some of the best in the industry. For my money, the only publisher giving them a run for their money these days is 21 PulpHero Hourly is without question the best action comedy series around (and easily one of the best comics), and Imposter is just as good.

But what’s the comic about, I could probably hear you ask if we were talking face to face? Well, dear reader, the back of the comic says that;

The Centipede is Black City’s crime vigilante. Captain Apex is Earth’s cosmic defender. Dr. Oculus is a sorcerer who fights demons from other realms. And Jungle Jack is the hero of the Wild Lands. All four of them are connected by a dangerous secret that could destroy the world, and Hale Barker just learned what it is.

Although the review itself is entirely spoiler free, the secret is revealed – or at least strongly hinted at – on the publisher’s website. Do not go looking for it. It’s so much better if you don’t know what it is when you open the book.

Imposter is a very well written, brilliantly illustrated comic with a central plot point that I want to talk about that I want to discuss in at least a small amount of detail, but that’ll be in another review. To get a feeling of this series, the opening issue has an almost Batman mixed with one of the pulp vigilantes sort of flavour, and yet the comic transcends that comparison in so many ways.

Get your retailer to add this to you pull list, and find out why 21 Pulp is putting out some of the best comics around. You won’t regret it.

Imposter #1  is out February 10th.

Story: James Patrick Pencils and Inks: Martin Szymanski Colours: Omscaro Valladao 
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

21 Pulp provided a FREE copy for review, but I had already asked my retailer to order a copy in for me. 

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