Tag Archives: 21 pulp

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.

Alex

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.

 

Paul

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.

 

Brett

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. 

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 17/01/2016

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for. These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


Alex

FaithNo1

Batman: Europa #1 (DC Comics)* – Yeah, I’m three months behind here, but after dropping the lackluster Detective Comics during the last crossover, I needed some Batman this week. I was not disappointed here. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Batman/Teenage Mutant  Ninja Turtles #2  (DC/IDW)* – There is nothing wrong with this second chapter. Nothing. It’s exactly the fun comic I wanted, and I love it. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Cage Hero #3 (Dynamite) – I don’t know if this has become a  guilty pleasure for me, but I’m enjoying this series. I can’t tell if it is being deliberately tongue in cheek,or if it’s just that cheesy, but either way it’s fun. Is it worth reading? Honestly, I don’t know – the review copy is entertaining, but I wouldn’t rush out to buy it. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Faith #1 of 4 (Valiant) – My reservations on picking this comic up were utterly groundless (that of a character spun out of Harbinger – a book I’ve never read), and I should have known that before going in because it’s a Valiant comic. The first of four issues is brilliantly illustrated, with some fantastic moments within the story where Faith does what we’ve all done once or twice and imagines…. what if? This issue is fantastic, and is exactly why you need to have Valiant on your pull list. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Huck_03Holy F*cked! TPB (Action Lab) – Satan is pregnant with Jesus’ baby. But will the skate boarding son of God make it to the hospital in time, when an immortal is out to stop him? Holy F*cked! is as brilliantly wrong as it sounds, but it’s such a great collection that you can’t help but love it. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Huck #3 (Image) – Y’know I could talk about the emotional power in the largely silent opening pages, or the genuine warmth you feel when reading this, but why don’t you just buy the series so far and find out why I love this so much? Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

The Precinct #2 (Dynamite) – There’s a lot here that, in theory, I should love. Unfortunately, despite the fact that there’s a lot of boxes checked off in my “like” column this comic just didn’t do it for me. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it, but I felt it fell a bit short of the first issue. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

The Troop #2 (Titan) – Despite the promise shown in the first issue, I couldn’t help but feel that this comic felt familiar. The concept of a man (with a secret!) building a team of superheroes has been done before, and in enough cases it’s been done better. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Rebels #10 (Dark Horse) – Is, as far as I can tell, a standalone story. It’s also the first issue I had read, and I was impressed. Rebels is a solid offering that stands alone this week in terms of it’s setting, so if you’re looking for a comic that takes place during the Revolutionary War, then this is for you. If you’re not? Think about this anyway. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

 

Brett

Birthright13_coverAbe Sapien #30 (Dark Horse) – Beautiful art plus a new villain (at least I think he’s new), this is an issue that can be a standalone, but I’m sure will have some big impact. The Mignolaverse is one of the best out there, and this issue shows off why. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Batman ’66 Meets the Man From U.N.C.L.E. #2 (DC Comics) – The comic is campy goofy fun, capturing the two series it mashes together. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 (DC Comics/IDW Publishing) – I still go back and forth with the coloring but this series has no right being as good as it is. Didn’t think it’d work, totally does. Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Birthright #13 (Image Comics) – The comic still continues to be entertaining, and there’s some solid twists and turns that have kept me on my toes. A fun fantasy comic set in the real world. Overall: 7.9 Recommendation: Read

Citizen Jack #3 (Image Comics) – Can’t say I saw that twist coming, or is that realistic at all, but the sniveling campaign staff is spot on. Fun political satire. Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

descender09_CoverArtDescender #9 (Image Comics) – One of the best comics out there continues on doing so. Amazing read. Amazing art. Nuff said. Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Extraordinary X-Men #5 (Marvel)* – The series is growing on me, but it’s still missing something that makes it really stand out. I’m still interested in seeing where it goes though. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Hero Hourly #2 (21 Pulp) – How aren’t more people talking about this series. The biggest surprise of 2015 also is one of the best of 2016. Holy crap is it good. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Huck #3 (Image Comics) – When I think I have Mark Millar pegged, he does a series like this. Still waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me, but so far an amazing comic. Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Illuminati #3 (Marvel) – Turn your brain off fun. The comic is giving us some interesting villains and great banter. A fun comic that definitely entertains. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis #1 (Dark Horse) – I hated the first volume of Leaving Megaloppolis, and was a Kickstarter backer. The rather incomplete, abrupt ending irked me. This new volume has been so long in the making I forgot much of the series, and this new issue doesn’t give me much to care going forward. A lot feels like we’ve seen it before and little is new. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

The Massive Ninth Wave #2The Massive: Ninth Wave #2 (Dark Horse) – I’m loving this new volume of the series which shows Ninth Wave’s actions before the crash. A great comic which makes environmentalism entertaining. Plus they’re self-contained stories, even better! Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Robin War #2 (DC Comics) – The ending isn’t too shocking, especially the twist. Still, this event was entertaining and should shake things up nicely in the Bat universe. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

The Sheriff of Babylon #2 (Vertigo)* – Great police procedural comic set in Iraq’s Greenzone. I’m hooked. Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Spirited Leaves #1 (Chapter House Comics) – It reminded me of a Miyazaki animted film in many ways. A very pretty, almost poetic story. This feels like a fairy tale you might tell your child. Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Squadron Supreme #3 (Marvel)* – The first issue had promise, these past two, not so much. The series is very paint by numbers in its set up after a great start. So far, one of the biggest let downs. Overall: 6.8 Recommendation: Pass

The Violent #2 (Image Comics) – Holy crap is this good. We have comic of the year material here. Just heartbreaking in so many ways. Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Weirdworld #3 (Marvel)* – Could be Marvel’s best All-New, All-Different comic. Great art and a real fun story. Just fantastic writing with a great look. Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

 

Elana

Catwoman 48Catwoman #48 (DC)* It’s a good Catwoman story. It posits that NYC is a place that Gotham’s rogues steer clear of because NYC but the NYPD is just that dirty and violent (I take it the creative team’s been reading the local news). The streetscapes in this comic ring true though the grand scale of NYC’s Selina’s safe house is far too large for anyone who’s last name isn’t Wayne. The art is inky and sleek and colorist Eva De La Cruz knocks it out of the ballpark. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Princeless: Save Yourself #0. Princess Adrienne has been flying across the land on her dragon, saving other princesses and she hasn’t had much time to save herself from social norms that still weigh on her mind. This is a wonderful exploration of a girl freeing herself from beauty standards. When she chopped her hair off I absolutely cheered! Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Red Sonja #1 (Dark Horse) This is a Sonja I’ve been waiting for! Marguerite Bennett shows her in and out of her element in a great introduction. She’ll be wrestling with some interesting politics in her homeland with her fists and her brains. She’s also scoring with ladies (whoop!). Looks beginner friendly too. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy!

 

Ryan C

code pru 1Code Pru #1 (Avatar) *: Garth Ennis is back at his tasteless best here, and without the editorial constraints that hindered him from going quite as far as you know he wanted to with All-Star Section Eight (although, hey, bless him for trying, and he did manage to at least get a rapping Phantom Stranger in there). Raulo Caceres’ B&W art is superb, with richly-detailed linework and lush expressions. Not sure how the two competing/corresponding plotlines to which we’re introduced — one involving our college-age heroine, Pru, and her various roommates doing some occult dabbling and some boozing (more of the latter, of course) and the other involving an extra-dimensional Cthulhu-esque entity playing checkers and trading barbs with his captor —will come together as the series progresses, but it’ll be fun to find out. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Snow Blind #1 & #2 (BOOM! Studios)**: Ollie Masters, last seen cooking up a pretty tasty crime story with Vertigo’s The Kitchen, hops aboard the “rural noir” bandwagon that’s been growing in the wake of “Revival” with this intriguing little four-parter about a teenage kid in BF Alaska named Teddy who accidentally exposes his family to danger when posting a picture on social media leads a killer to come after them — and to the revelation that his folks have been in witness protection since before he was even born, and never bothered to mention that pesky little fact to him, even once he was old enough to understand what it meant. The first issue’s a bit of an overly-deliberate table-setter, but such is often the case with short-run books like this; in #2, the mystery really heats up and events move into a decidedly faster and more dangerous gear. The loose, sketchy art style of Tyler(“Peter Panzerfaust”) Jenkins may be an acquired taste that not everyone acquires, but I dig it and think it suits the material just fine. Overall: 6.5 (5 for issue one, 8 for issue two) Recommendation: Buy

 

Shean

manchette_fatale_coverManchette’s Fatale TPB (Titan): I am moon big sucker for Crime Noir novels and Fatale is right up that alley. The Reader is introduced to the alluring character of Melane on her many adventures throughout Europe by way of train meeting individuals of different shades of integrity. Story feels very much like a cross between a Long Kiss Goodnight and A Rage Up In Harlem. By story’s end, you not only feel for Melane but you are rooting for her to fight on for another day. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: The Interconnectedness of All Kings TPB: Supernatural detectives are everywhere in pop culture most noticeably John Constantine Jim Dresden and the greenest one, Antoine Wolfe. Dirk Gently is quite different from all these characters, as he does not take himself as seriously as he comes off as a British Lupin the 3rd. We join Dirk and his cronies as they solve a very odd case dealing with Egyptian Pharoahs. By story’s end, the reader has gone on a whirlwind trip around the world, as he realizes the world needs his skills.


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write.

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Review: Hero Hourly #2

hero-hourly-preview-page-01I came across an interesting quote via my twitter feed the other day from @existentialcoms:

“A good novel distracts you from how shitty life is.

A great novel makes you realize that life is shitty in ways you never even thought of.”

I’m going to add/paraphrase a third refrain: “a great comic book makes you realize that life is shitty in ways you never even dared to think of.” Hero Hourly #2 is such a great book. If you haven’t picked this one up, rush out and buy it, and if you can find issue #1 pick that one up too (even if you have to pay a premium).

I connect to this one at all levels. It’s a funny fast page-turner that leaves you wanting more. I haven’t laughed this hard reading a comic book in a very long time.

It’s for all of us whom have had our dreams stepped on, but yet persevere to live our lives with dignity, in spite of it all. It’s a humanistic existential, but profane, action comedy with heart. Saul is the hero we all want to be: the gal or guy who goes to work everyday in and out looking for a little recognition, a small display of appreciation from their corporate overlords– and if we don’t get it today, maybe tomorrow. The art can be a bit cartoony, but it meshes well with the comedic story.

I’m going to have to reach out to the editors at Graphic Policy to add a new rating for this one. It’s not a BUY; it’s a BUY2. Get two copies; they might appreciate enough in value one day to be able to sell them to pay off your mortgage to avoid The Foreclosure.

Story & Art: James Patrick Letters: Carlos Trigo
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Hero Hourly #2

hero-hourly-preview-page-01The most enjoyable book of the year. Yes, I’m calling it already.

Hero Hourly is easily the funniest book in years. Constant, inappropriate and laugh-out loud humor waits on every page.

In a corporate ruled by middle management, defined by rules that make no sense and plagued by the laziest co-workers imaginable, even superheroes aren’t immune. In this world, wearing a mask and matching underwear outside your one-piece suit is the same thing as wearing a green apron. Of course, being an hourly employee at a company that specializes in super heroics has its own drawbacks. Imagine instead of dealing with a pain-in-the-ass customer you had to deal with Godzilla.

The book features Saul, our modest narrator trying to get ahead in the world. Armed with a brightly colored suit and a great attitude, he’s taking on the dangers and frustrations life throws his way.

Something that should be made very is clear is that this is not a book that stars a funny protagonist. Every person in this book has great lines, the kind that get you stuck re-reading individual panels out of amusement. This book is an authentic work of comedy from start to finish. While comics like Spider-Man know their character should be funny and struggle to somehow make it work, Hero Hourly shows the web-slinger how it’s done. Reminiscent of books like the original Tick and Quantum & Woody, the title captures the nostalgia of when reading comics was purely fun. It reminded me of when I was a boy reading Wizard Magazine back when it was funny and… still a thing.

Certainly not an all-ages read, Hero Hourly doesn’t shy away from adult language or themes. However, when paired with the cartoonish stylings of Carlos Trigo, this makes for a very disarming feel, rather than a crass grab at toilet-humor. Trigo’s work also helps capture the absurdity of modern life. Yes, everything in this book is surprisingly relatable to the working class, even as its main characters are forced to undergo sexual harassment sensitivity training for a mishandled rescue.

The book isn’t easy to find so make sure you start calling your local book stores now to see who will be carrying the second issue this Wednesday. The first issue is listed for an average of ten dollars on eBay.com but truth be told it’s probably best to go directly to the publisher to order the first issue. This three-issue miniseries from 21 Pulp will be what you’re loaning to your friends and insisting they read years from now.

Story: James Patrick Art: Carlos Trigo
Story: 10 Art: 8 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

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