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Preview: Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood #2

Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood #2

(W) Mark Russell, Devin Grayson
(A) Peter Snejbjerg, Chris Giarrusso, Richard Williams
(C) Ryan Kelly
November 18, 2020
$4.99

Writer Mark Russell (SECOND COMING) and artist Peter Snejberg contribute another in their popular original Cereal Monster series: A magical leprechaun invades the castle of a breakfast-obsessed vampire and his undead bride. PLUS! Poe attempts to explain his classic “Cask of Amontillado” to a group of famous writers who aren’t impressed, in a story by Devin Grayson with art by Chris Giarrusso and Richard Williams.

Edgar Allan Poe's Snifter of Blood #2

Preview: Billionaire Island

Billionaire Island

(W) Mark Russell
(A/C) Steve Pugh
November 11, 2020 – bookstore November 24, 2020
144 pp
$16.99 US

Collecting the savage satire reuniting the critically acclaimed team behind DC’s The Flintstones—writer Mark Russell (SECOND COMING) and Eisner-nominated artist Steve Pugh (Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass)—in a new graphic novel. Welcome to Billionaire Island, where anything goes…if you can afford it. But the island’s ultra-rich inhabitants are about to learn that their ill-gotten gains come at a VERY high price.

Billionaire Island

Review: Happy Hour #1

“I bet everyone here is fake happy too.”-Paramore

Happy Hour #1

Writer Peter Milligan, artist Michael Montenat, and colorist Felipe Sobreiro create a high concept dystopian comic in Happy Hour #1. The book’s premise is that being unhappy is a crime and gets you thrown in A Clockwork Orange-style re-education camps (But with better food) where you’re basically tortured into having a Joker smile even when you feel pain, discomfort, or in a state of emotional distress or grief. For example, one of the main characters, Jerry, is thrown into a re-education camp by the Joy Police because he’s sad that his sister has passed away while his mind-screwed mom and the doctor are laughing and making jokes about her looks. This is bad, but one of his fellow inmates at the camp, a bit of a wildcard named Hamm, keeps talking about Landor Cohen, who has a “paradise” in Mexico where anyone can be as miserable as they want. However, in keeping with Happy Hour‘s cynical tone and Milligan’s self-aware writing style, this isn’t as it seems.

Michael Montenat’s mixture of caricature and photorealistic art a la Michael Gaydos (Alias, Pearl) is well-suited for the terrifying supporters of the Joy Police and the status quo with their rictus grins and laughs that look like those infamous stock photos of women laughing at salad instead of genuine merriment. Colorist Sobreiro adds a little juice to the line work during any of the torture or indoctrination scenes from regular electric shocks to a truly traumatizing treatment that is enacted on Hamm towards the end of the issue as the guards grow tired of him jabbering about Landor Cohen. He turns on the reds and then returns to skin tone and then reds again as Milligan and Montenat drop the issue ending cliffhanger.

Plotwise, Peter Milligan has really dug a hole for the characters we meet in Happy Hour #1, and I’m eager to see them try to dig out of it (Or get brainwashed while trying.) over this six issue miniseries. With the exception of Kim, who was an Olympic level athlete, he doesn’t endow Happy Hour‘s leads with a lot of practical smarts or skills to either pull off a prison break, much less any kind of revolution. Montenat draws Hamm like a chiseled, grizzled anti-hero, but he’s no Daredevil in a bar fight, and despite his charisma and machismo, he ends succumbing to the Joy Police easily. He talks a big game, but can’t perform when the chips are down.

Bouncing off this, the protagonists of Happy Hour are truly underdogs instead of badasses Hollywood-coded as underdogs. They’re self-described “miserable bastards”, who just want to rock a resting bitch face occasionally, feel a little pissed about getting a bronze medal, or in Jerry’s case, actually feel honest emotions about the loss of a loved one instead of being forced to smile and conform to a false reality. In the flashback sequences, Milligan and Montenat get in some quick satire about the American opioid and mental health crisis even though there seems to be a bit of a distance and reliance on well worn tropes instead of engaging with Americans’ complex relationship with pharmaceuticals and the pharmaceutical industry. They fare much better in the crafting of the main characters from the entertaining, yet very Philosophy 101 introduction to their shared experiences in the reeducation camp ranging from their dedication to being miserable to their begrudging acceptance of the gourmet meals provided.

With a genuinely rag tag group of characters, a touch of intellectual wit and real emotional honesty from Peter Milligan’s script, and some downright unsettling art from Michael Montenat, Happy Hour #1 is the perfect comic for folks who want to feel their feelings instead of embrace Stoic philosophy like the rest of the fake happy influencer crowd.

Story: Peter Milligan Art: Michael Montenat
Colors: Felipe Sobreiro Letters: Rob Steen

Story: 7.9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Ahoy provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyZeus Comics

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

U.S.Agent #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.

Black Widow #3 (Marvel) – The first two issues have been fantastic and we’re expecting more as we figure out what exactly is going on with a now domestic and married Black Widow.

Crossover #1 (Image Comics) – We’ve read the first issue and it lives up to the hype. Comic characters have crossed over into the real world and caused a seismic shift in everything. Read our review then make sure to get this comic this week.

Happy Hour #1 (AHOY Comics) – It’s a future America where everyone has to be happy… it’s the law. The concept is intriguing and unique. We’ve read the first issue and it definitely stands out as something different from everything else on the shelf.

La Diabla #1 (Albatross Funnybooks) – It’s Eric Powell… that alone has us wanting to check this out. Who’s La Diabla? She’s a “fuel injected Latina suicide machine sent to strike down the unroadworthy!” Yeah… sold.

Mighty Morphin #1 (BOOM! Studios) – It’s a whole new era for the Power Rangers… Unlimited Power! Who’s the new Green Ranger? Find out!

Origins #1 (BOOM! Studios) – It’s a thousand years since artificial intelligence killed humans but they’ve brought back to life the person who created the technology that destroyed humanity. Can he restore humanity and stop the AI overlords he created?

Pantomime #1 (Mad Cave Studios) – Kids committing crimes seems to be a popular theme for comics lately and this latest entry has some unique aspects to it, like it taking place at a school for deaf children, has us wanting to check it out.

Red Atlantis #1 (AfterShock) – It’s election day and violence has popped up in various locations across the United States. What’s behind this mystery? Is it the Russians!? The first issue has a very X-Files vibe about it.

Savage Circus #1 (Heavy Metal Magazine) – A gang of criminals descends into a town on Christmas Eve but in their escape, they let loose dangerous circle animals who now terrorize a town!

Sweet Tooth: The Return #1 (DC Comics/DC Black Label) – Jeff Lemire’s beloved series is back with a whole new volume! It’s a fresh start for new readers and of course long time fans can dive in and return to the characters they love.

Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Hush #1 (DC Comics) – These “what if” stories have been great so far and in this one, Bruce goes to live with his friend Tommy Elliot instead of being taken care of by Alfred.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika II #1 (IDW Publishing) – Jennika has been a hit character and the breakout character is getting a second miniseries. The first was a solid read and we’re expecting much of the same for this.

U.S.Agent #1 (Marvel) – Christopher Priest is writing with Georges Jeanty art in this miniseries that has John Walker now operating as an independent contractor. Priest writing this makes it a must-read and buy for us.

Victor and Nora: A Gotham Love Story (DC Comics) – A new graphic novel about a young Victor Fries meeting Nora Kumar. It’s a tragic tale about living life to the fullest and what it truly means to love…and to let go. These graphic novels from DC have been amazing so far and this one has us really excited to read it.

The Walking Dead Deluxe #2 (Image Comics/Skybound)The Walking Dead is back and now in color with extras but it’s reading this series in the age of COVID that’s the most intriguing thing about it right now.

Wolverine: Black, White, & Red #1 (Marvel) – We’ve read the first issue of this anthology and it’s a fantastic start. It’s definitely mature and full of action but each story is a top-notch read. Well worth picking up and a solid comic you can just read and enjoy and not have to read anything else. Check out our review.

Preview: Happy Hour #1

HAPPY HOUR #1

(W) Peter Milligan
(A/C) Michael Montenat
November 4, 2020
$3.99

First issue! In future America, being happy isn’t just a right—it’s the law. While the Joy Police brutally enforce the cheery code, two young people go on the run, searching for a haven of melancholy where they can safely bask in the blues. A timely tale by superstar writer Peter Milligan (X-Statix, The Prisoner) and artist Michael Montenat (Dominion, Hellraiser Annual).

All AHOY titles feature extras: prose, pictures, and, perhaps, poems!

HAPPY HOUR #1

Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 10/24

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. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Logan

X-Men #13 (Marvel)– With Apocalypse on the verge of death, Jonathan Hickman and Mahmud Asrar go deep into his past and look into his familial connection with Arakko. It’s a lot of table-setting, magical, fantasy backstory stuff from Hickman, but it’s nice to see Apocalypse vulnerable for once, both in the past and present. It all builds to a nearly-cinematic sequence of him picking up his old, very huge blade in an Egyptian pyramid and ruminating about survival of the fittest. Having one of the X-Men’s greatest foes taking lead against their new enemy adds a general factor to both this issue and the first couple chapters of X of Swords. However, I’ll admit my eyes glazed over a little bit during the flashback sequences as X-Men #13 rounds out a middling week for X of Swords. The characters look cool and have badass names, but I don’t have an emotional connection to them yet. Overall: 6 Verdict: Pass

Tales from the Umbrella Academy: You Look Like Death #2 (Dark Horse)– Even though it features emotionally heart-rending flashbacks, the specters of Hollywood stars past, and hard drug use, You Look Like Death #2 is a bit of a comedown from the first installment of the Klaus Hargreeves solo series. Writers Gerard Way and Shaun Simon and artist INJ Culbard go down lots of rabbit holes in this issue and spend almost as much time on the chimpanzee vampire Shivers taking over the Hollywood vampire underworld as on Klaus hitting the town. There’s a kind of flat, unreality to Culbard’s art that works for a world that is a little bit, well, off. His best work comes in flashbacks of Reginald Hargreeves traumatizing Klaus to unleash his great potential, and Way and Simon find a throughline between this trauma and his current con-man ways and substance abuse. You Look Like Death #2 doesn’t have the high-wire energy of the first issue of the series, but Way, Simon, and Culbard start to develop the character who would be the most charismatic member of the Umbrella Academy cast even if the Shivers sequences aren’t as exciting. Overall: 7.9 Verdict: Buy

King Tank Girl #1 (Albatross)**- Tank Girl’s move to Albatross Funnybooks (Home of Eric Powell’s Goon) has writer Alan Martin and artist Brett Parson channeling her Deadline days with a series of funny pop culture riff stories. The lead story, which has Booga looking for a rare, treasured action figure (Based on the Kenner Boba Fett) and Tank Girl accidentally being King of England, is the best of the bunch with lots of visual and verbal humor. Another favorite is a one-off story about a shoe sale, and Martin and Parson also make fun of surf culture turning a straightforward action story into something utterly absurd. Filled with silly puns, faces, and even some explosions, King Tank Girl #1 is just a general good time. Overall: 8.5 Verdict: Buy

Iron Man #2 (Marvel)– Christopher Cantwell and Cafu really seem to be having a good time putting retro-suit wearing Tony Stark through the wringer in Iron Man #2 while giving a glimpse at the legit Big Bad behind the scenes. Tony’s death wish is on display this whole comic as he lets Arcade capture him so he can get his ass kicked by Absorbing Man and then breaks almost every bone in his body rescuing some Stark Unlimited employees. Cafu’s art is slick and fluid, especially during the action sequences, but he also nails how out of sorts Tony is and the total snark and contempt that Hellcat has for him. Her calling out Tony’s behavior and the lack of any romantic element in their relationship is definitely the best part of Cantwell and Cafu’s Iron Man so far. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy

Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood #1 (Ahoy)– Ahoy’s all-star horror anthology with an inebriated American author host is back with Paul Cornell and Russ Braun doing an adaptation of Poe’s “Black Cat” (But with a dog). There’s also Dean Motter spinning a yarn about Poe’s fictional paleontologist buddy Atlas that turns into a battle between science and faith, truth and con artistry, and eventually, good versus evil. Thankfully, a hammered Poe is there to break the tension between stories, but “Black Dog” is fairly traumatizing thanks to Cornell telling the story from the dog’s POV and Braun’s straightforward, even-keeled art. “Atlas Shrugged” is a little more complex, but Motter’s eye for design and ability to draw shifty figures suits a story with a cast of characters that includes luminaries like Poe and PT Barnum as well earnest scientists and overbearing fire and brimstone preaching. Motter letters the story too and adds to the accusatory tone of some of the cast with intense use of fonts. In addition to these two comics, there are also some interesting illustrated prose stories to make this worth your purchase, especially during the Halloween season. Overall: 8.5 Verdict: Buy

Brett

Werewolf By Night #1 (Marvel) – I’d had some high hopes for this debut and direction for the classic series/character. The overall concept has some good ideas but the end overall product falls short. The comic feels like a forgettable release from the 90s. It’s not bad but also doesn’t excite. It’d be a comic I’d have read in 15 minutes, shrugged my shoulders then moved on to the next comic in the pile. The interesting aspect is the tie-in to the Outlawed storyline but the dialogue is a bit cheesy at moments and some art makes little sense. There’s a lot of potential with the direction of the series to start but the end result feels like a story we’ve seen too many times before and doesn’t take advantage of the potentially interesting perspective and views of the writers and artists. Lots of potential not taken advantage of. Overall Rating: 6.5 Recommendation: Read


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

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 (**).

Those Two Geeks Episode Eighty Seven: Captain Ginger and I Was The Cat

Alex is without Joe this week and talks to himself about Captain Ginger and I Was The Cat, two cat themed comics that he read this week from 2018 and 2015 respectively.

As always, Alex and Joe can be found on twitter respectively @karcossa and @jcb_smark if you feel the need to tell them they’re wrong individually, or @those2geeks if you want to yell at them together on twitter, or by email at ItsThose2Geeks@gmail.com.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Batman #101

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.

Batman #101 (DC Comics) – The first two arcs of James Tynion IV’s run are over and now we’re getting to the meat of his vision and direction for the character. This is the fresh starting point for new readers as Batman lays out his vision of where things should go and faces new challenges in how to do it.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Presents: Madam Satan #1 (Archie Comics/Archie Horror) – Archie gets into the Halloween season with this one-shot comic where the Queen of Hell wants to prove herself to be the most powerful being in the Underworld!

Dark Nights: Death Metal Robin King #1 (DC Comics) – The issue is a lot of fun showing us more about Robin King and continuing the streak that the Death Metal one-shots are more entertaining than the event itself.

Dead Day #4 (AfterShock) – The series has been amazing so far not just telling a story but really creating a whole world for readers to think about and explore the impact of the concept. This issue continues the series’ excellent run really bringing the action and plot points together. And there’s a reveal we were not expecting.

Dune: House Atreides #1 (BOOM! Studios) – With the movie delayed, fans of Dune will just have this prequel comic series to enjoy for a while. We have an early review that loved the story and chess game of the characters.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood #1 (AHOY Comics) – It’s more snarky tales of terror with a whole new title from the folks at AHOY! Add some laughs to your Halloween horrors!

Electric Black Presents #1 (Scout Comics/Black Caravan) – Two chilling tales of cosmic horror, madness, and wartime revenge as Scout launches their Black Caravan imprint!

Fantastic Four #25 (Marvel) – This is setting the Fantastic Four up for their next adventure! If you’re looking for a spot to start reading Marvel’s First Family, this is it.

History Comics: Challenger Disaster (First Second) – The first releases for the “History Comics” line-up were fantastic. They’re both entertaining and educational, perfect for young kids who want to learn and adults who want to brush up on history.

Juggernaut #2 (Marvel) – We didn’t know we needed this series. The first issue was fantastic and the second is just as solid. This is not what we thought it’d be and a story of redemption and reflection like this is just a gripping and touching read.

King Tank Girl #1 (Albatross Funnybooks) – Tank Girl moves to Albatross and we’re expecting the usual fun insanity the character and series bring.

Phantom Starkiller #1 (Scout Comics/Black Caravan) – Sci-fi trippy action that has a Kirby vibe about it. We really want to check this out after only really seeing the cover for the series. A very 70s vibe about it, we really want to find out more about one of the launch titles from Scout’s Black Caravan imprint.

Phantom of the Opera (A Wave Blue World) – An adaptation of the classic story. The visuals are amazing. Check out our review and make sure to pick it up!

The Scumbag #1 (Image Comics) – A new series from Rick Remender is always something to check out. With a rotating line of amazing artists, this is a series to check out and is intriguing. We have an early review to check out and decide if it’s for you!

Stillwater by Zdarsky & Perez #2 (Image Comics) – A mystery with horror tinge, the first issue was a solid slow build with one hell of an ending. We’re excited to see where this series goes. The idea is familiar but we’re expecting it to take us in a new and exciting direction.

Werewolf By Night #1 (Marvel) – While the first issue doesn’t hook us as much as we’d hope, there’s a lot here to like and it’s something new and different. It’s sort of tied to the “Outlawed” event impacting Marvel’s younger heroes and has a nice throwback aspect to it in many ways. There’s a lot of potential in this series.

Preview: Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood #1

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF BLOOD #1

(W) Paul Cornell, Dean Motter
(A) Russ Braun, Dean Motter
(C) Jill Thompson
October 21, 2020
$4.99

The SNIFTER OF TERROR returns with an all-star snark-fest under a bloody new title! Paul Cornell (Doctor Who) and Russell Braun (The Boys) reimagine Poe’s “Black Cat”––as a dog! In “Atlas Shrugged” (no relation), Mr. X creator Dean Motter settles the science vs. religion debate once and for all! Plus: prose, pix, and a jaunty cover by Scary Godmother’s Jill Thompson!

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF BLOOD #1
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