Tag Archives: albatross funnybooks

Review: Grumble #5

Eddie and Tala have narrowly escaped the forces of good and evil, but now they face the ultimate danger: each other!

Grumble #3 is what far too few comics are lately; fun. And funny, without ever coming off as forced; nor is it the main focus of the comic as Grumble is naturally funny whilst telling a really enjoyable story.” I quote that paragraph because aside from updating the issue number, the same can be said quite perfectly about Grumble #5. Rafer Roberts and Mike Norton have created a comic that is remarkably entertaining and funny without sacrificing the strength of the story.

That probably sounds familiar, right? It should. It’s the opening from my last review of Grumble #4, and the same is just as true now as it was. Roberts and Norton are nothing if not consistent, which is great news for fans of this series.

This issue sees us taking a bit of a look back at the events leading up to the first issue as we learn a little about Tala and her back story – and the revelation in this issue will hit you harder than a freight train. I’m not going to tell you want it is, but you will go back and reread the previous four issues in an entirely new light.

I’m not going to lie to you friends, there’s really not a lot I can talk about here without revealing too much of the comic itself; Roberts does reveal a little more about the world at large, hinting toward a conflict in the recent past and revealing more about the force driving Tala in the series that until now we really haven’t seen or read much of (unless… well, maybe we have and I didn’t notice it initially). Grumble #5 will change your perceptions on the series, and while we now have a bit more light shed on the tale’s direction, we’ve also got a lot of questions that need answers.

No, I won’t ask them here. Spoilers, and all.

I’ve praised the series before, and rightly so, but this issue is a huge payoff for those having read the previous ones. It’s a brilliant comic because of how Roberts and Norton build upon everything in the series so far and present a fully formed story that we’re only now beginning to figure out.

I need the sixth issue now.

Story: Rafer Roberts Art: Mike Norton
 Colours: Marissa Louise Letters: Crank 
Story: 9.4 Art: 8.9 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Albatross Funnybooks provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Advertisements

Review: The Goon #1

The Goon #1

The next era in the legacy of The Goon starts here! This all new series marks The Goon’s return to Albatross Funnybooks and is just in time to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the book. Eric Powell takes the series to its humor-based roots as Goon & Franky return from strange adventures abroad to find a horde of unsavory characters have filled the void left in his absence from Lonely Street.

I won’t pretend to be an expert on the Goon, because I have never read a comic with the character in it before. So with that being said, the question for today’s review is whether this first issue is an easy place for new readers to start with the character (and whether it’s actually any good).

I won’t make you wait for an answer to that, because the comic didn’t leave me feeling utterly lost, which in turn meant I quite enjoyed the supernatural aspect of the story (which came as a bit of a surprise to me, I’ve gotta say).

Written and drawn by Eric Powell, who also contributed to the colouring of the book along with Rachael Cohen, The Goon #1 tells a very atmospheric story in a world that feels as though there’s a rich history – but that never relies on new readers knowing that history. Previous events are referred to in passing which helps in fleshing out the characters relationships, but also serves as a way to recap or give readers an idea to what the Goon has been up to – and for how long he’s been away.

The story is almost a standalone comic, with an almost complete tale being told in the first issue that has a strangely satisfying conclusion as the Goon reestablishes himself in the Town With No Name. It’s darkly funny at times, eliciting genuine chuckles from your humble reviewer at the visual and verbal comedy. But it’s the deeply atmospheric art where the comic shines; or rather doesn’t shine, but excels. Powell and Cohen have produced a comic that feels at once like a visual representation of the depression era (although I don’t know when the tale is set, based on the costumes and colouring I felt it was very likely a depression-era story), with the odd splash of colour temporarily brightening the page, or used to highlight certain things.

I don’t know what I expected when coming into The Goon #1 but it certainly wasn’t this – I loved the supernatural tinged depression era story that never once left me feeling as though I was jumping into a story 20 years in the making with no idea of who the Goon is (although I totally am). The Goon #1 is the kind of comic you can read without any preconceived notions, nor any need to worry about understanding the rules of the universe – it’s fun, entertaining, and offers the reader a great example of good comics.

Writer: Eric Powell Art: Eric Powell
Colours: Rachael Cohen and Eric Powell
Story: 8.1 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Albatross Funnybooks provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Goon #1

The Goon #1

(W) Eric Powell (A/CA) Eric Powell
In Shops: Mar 13, 2019
SRP: $3.99

The next era in the legacy of The Goon starts here! This all new series marks The Goon’s return to Albatross Funnybooks and is just in time to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the book. Eric Powell takes the series to its humor-based roots as Goon & Franky return from strange adventures abroad to find a horde of unsavory characters have filled the void left in his absence from Lonely Street.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Age of Conan: Bêlit #1

Wednesdays 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 Wednesday.

Age of Conan: Bêlit #1 (Marvel) – The she-devil of the sea who would be Queen gets her own series! Follow a teenage Bêlit on her own journey and adventure.

Assassin Nation #1 (Image Comics) – The world’s former greatest hitman hires the 20 best assassins to be his bodyguards to not just protect him but figure out who’s trying to kill him.

Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1 (DC Comics) – The breakout character gets the spotlight! Imagine Batman crossed with the Punisher.

Calamity Kate #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – Kate Strand reboots her destructive life and moves to LA to be the superhero she always wanted to be-Calamity Kate: gun-toting monster killer. Sounds like fun to us.

The Goon #1 (Albatross Funnybooks) – The Goon is back in a brand new series! We’re fans of this character and can’t wait to see where this new series goes.

Iliad (Candlewick Press) – The classic story gets a graphic novel adaptation.

Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 (Marvel) – Ms. Marvel had a hell of a run and we’re expecting the same with a brand new creative team. We’re interested in seeing what the new team will deliver.

Marvel Action: Spider-Man #2 (IDW Publishing) – All-ages Spider-Man fun.

Riverdale Season 3 #1 (Archie Comics) – If you’re in to the CW television show, you want to get this issue which ties directly into the series.

Transformers #1 (IDW Publishing) – A new direction for Transformers comics exploring Cybertron before the war broke out.

Review: Grumble #4

Grumble #4

Eddie and Tala are getting the hell out of Baltimore, but Baltimore isn’t through with them yet! Can our heroes survive a breakneck car chase through the city, pursued by fascist inter-dimensional warlocks, gun-toting maniac mobsters, and a trio of mystical bounty hunters? Buckle up, Grumble fans, and get ready for the most magically destructive ride of your life!

Grumble #3 is what far too few comics are lately; fun. And funny, without ever coming off as forced; nor is it the main focus of the comic as Grumble is naturally funny whilst telling a really enjoyable story.” I quote that paragraph because aside from updating the issue number, the same can be said quite perfectly about Grumble #4. Rafer Roberts and Mike Norton have created a comic that is remarkably entertaining and funny without sacrificing the strength of the story.

At this point I should probably talk a little about the actual contents of the book, but there’s a recap up above that gives you the gist of the book, and unless I start diving too deeply into spoiler territory there’s not much else I want to reveal just now (especially if you haven’t read the first three issues). What I will say, however, is that there’s no forced chemistry between the two leads, nor any illusions about the cowardly and near criminal nature of one; there’s an effortless connection between the two, and Roberts’ dialogue is utterly captivating. The characters are neither overtly good nor evil, but live in the moral grey areas that all great comics tend to touch on every once in awhile. That they are the protagonists means we’re cheering for them, but Roberts has developed the world in such a way that if the focus of the comic were on the mysterious bounty hunter and not her prey, then the two leads could easily be seen as the antagonists.

Hot damn, but do I love this series. The writing and the art combine to give you the perfect blend of Hellblazer and Howard the Duck with a side of the Dresden Files, making Grumble  one of the series to keep your eye on as the year progresses. If your shop didn’t get this series in, then correct that; it’s still available from Diamond (or it was when my LCS ordered a couple copies in), and it’s such a good read.

Story: Rafer Roberts Art: Mike Norton
 Colours: Marissa Louise Letters: Crank 
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Albatross Funnybooks provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Grumble #3

Grumble #3

The cat’s outta the bag… and out for blood! Eddie and Tala are on the verge of escaping Baltimore once and for all, but Simon, the feline hitman, stands in their way. Will our heroes be able to defeat Simon, steal back their car, and skip town in one piece? Or will Eddie do something stupid and get everyone killed? 

Grumble #3 is what far too few comics are lately; fun. And funny, without ever coming off as forced; nor is it the main focus of the comic as Grumble is naturally funny whilst telling a really enjoyable story. It’s easy to see that Rafer Roberts is having a blast writing this book, which makes it an easy sell when talking to people at my local comic shop. Mike Norton‘s visuals are perfectly suited to the style of this comic – of course, one of the characters being a pug is also right up his alley (this is the guy who created Battlepug, after all).

At this point I should probably talk a little about the actual contents of the book, but there’s a recap up above that gives you the gist of the book, and unless I start diving too deeply into spoiler territory there’s not much else I want to reveal just now (especially if you haven’t read the first two issues). What I will say, however, is that there’s no forced chemistry between the two leads, nor any illusions about the cowardly and near criminal nature of one. The characters are neither overtly good nor evil, but live in the moral grey areas that all great comics tend to touch on every once in awhile. That they are the protagonists means we’re cheering for them, but Roberts has developed the world in such a way that if the focus of the comic were on the mysterious bounty hunter and not her prey, then the two leads could easily be seen as the antagonists.

Hot damn, but do I love this series. The writing and the art combine to give you the perfect blend of Hellblazer and Howard the Duck with a side of the Dresden Files, making Grumble  one of the series to keep your eye on as the year progresses. If your shop didn’t get this series in, then correct that; it’s still available from Diamond (or it was when my LCS ordered a couple copies in), and it’s such a good read.

Writer: Rafer Roberts Art: Mike Norton
 Colours: Marissa Louise Letters: Crank 
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Albatross Funny Books provided a FREE copy for review

West End Motel Joins Steve Agee, Brendon Small, Ben Garant, and Eric Powell for the Goon 20th Anniversary Party

The Goon

On March 8, 2019, the Cannery Ballroom One in Nashville, Tennessee will host The Goon 20th Anniversary Party, a star-studded celebration of two decades of award-winning GOON comic books by Nashville native Eric Powell. The event will feature a live recording of Steve Agee’s Uhhh podcast, with host Steve Agee guests Brendon Small, Ben Garant, and The Goon creator Eric Powell, as well as a performance by special musical guest West End Motel, featuring Brent Hinds and Tom Cheshire. Advance tickets can be purchased now.

For almost two decades, the Goon’s whiskey-fueled adventures have thrilled fans, critics, and creators with their bold creativity, classic style, and irreverent humor. The Goon 20th Anniversary Party is timed to Albatross Funnybooks’ highly anticipated publication of The Goon #1, and attendees will be able to purchase an exclusive 20th Anniversary variant edition which will only be available at the party. The new series features the first full length Goon stories to be published since Dark Horse published The Goon: Once Upon a Hard Time comics in 2015. The event kicks off a year-long, 20th Anniversary celebration featuring a national signing tour, Albatross Funnybooks’ collected editions of classic GOON graphic novels, limited edition GOON tiki mugs and more.

The Goon 20th Anniversary Party will be held on on March 8, 2019 at Cannery Ballroom One Cannery Row Nashville, TN 37203. Doors open at 7 pm. Tickets cost $15. The Goon 20th Anniversary Party edition of The Goon # 1 will be sold at the event for $10.00.

The Goon 20th Anniversary Party

Alex’s Best Comics of 2018

Now that 2018 is in the history books, it’s time to have a look back at some of the comics, movies and events that really stood out for me during the year. Remember that this is all based on what I’ve read, and if your favourite comic isn’t here, it may be because I may not have read it, not because I didn’t like it.

Now that 2018 is in the history books, it’s time to have a look back at some of the comics, movies and events that really stood out for me during the year. Remember that this is all based on what I’ve read, and if your favourite comic isn’t here, it may be because I may not have read it, not because I didn’t like it.

In a break from last year, we’re just looking at comics (ongoing or miniseries). Eight of them in fact, that for one reason or another rocked my socks off.

 Eight

Black Badge (Boom) The only reason that this book is number eight and not higher is because I’m trying to be cautious of Recency Bias – that phenomenon where the most recent thing you’ve read swiftly becomes the best thing you’ve read. Although this series is six issues deep, I only started reading after the end of 2018 (which puts this in a grey area anyway, but the majority of the issues out thus far were released in 2018, so I’m counting it). In short, the two things that sold me on this was the short blurb from Brett “boy scouts being trained as assassins” and the fact that Matt Kindt is the writer.

Seven

Grumble (Albatross Funny Books) Although only a relatively new series, Grumble has captured my imagination and numbers highly on my anticipation list each month. Whether it’s the talking pug, the urban magic or the brilliant visual and verbal humour I don’t know. But I do know I can’t get enough of it.

 Six

Ninja-K (Valiant) The easiest way to describe this series is as a blending of James Bond and Batman with a liberal dose of ninja flavouring (which should be obvious by the title). Christos Gage’s run on this series delved into the back story of MI6’s Ninja Programme and exposed the manipulation and programming the agents (Ninjas A through J) had been subject too; often in the most subtle of ways, all to keep them as more effective weapons. Ninja-K, or Ninjak, gets thrown through the emotional gamut, and it’s fascinating reading.

 Five

The Immortal Hulk  (Marvel) I’m not generally a horror fan, nor do I regularly read Hulk comics with any real regularity, but there’s something about this series that struck a chord with me. This is how Hulk should be handled. As a monster barely constrained, ever deadly and with a massive presence.

 Four

X-O Manowar  (Valiant) A series that was really good in 2017, but swiftly became the best thing I was reading. Even with Valiant’s stumble with Harbinger Wars II didn’t affect the series despite the character featuring heavily in the story, and the series returned with a pair of arcs that went from strength to strength as Matt Kindt redefined what it means to be a hero and a superhuman (emphasis on human).

 Three

Old Man Logan (Marvel)  Old Man Logan was never going to live forever, especially not with the younger Wolverine returning at some point in the next year or so. We’ve known for awhile that there wouldn’t be much chance Marvel would keep both around (aside from an interesting interaction or two, I’m hoping there was a lesson learned from bringing the Original Six X-Men to the future), which has meant that the battles Old Man Logan has found himself in have been genuinely tense – a rarity these days in comic books.

 Two

The Highest House (IDW) Were it not for the fact that my top pick also had my favourite issue of the year, then The Highest House would have been much more likely to peak. A book about slavery, and how one’s circumstances don’t have to stay one’s circumstances, this is a hauntingly beautiful book that doesn’t shy away from the darker side of the high middle ages. The collected edition is one of those books that I’ll recommend to people over and over as an example of what comics are capable of, and will in time, I believe, be held in (almost) as high esteem as Maus and Watchmen.

 One

Quantum And Woody (Valiant) When Daniel Kibblesmith was writing this book it was good, but when Eliot Rahal took over with issue 6 it was like the lights had come on. His take on the brothers was funny without ever feeling forced; I have never read a better take on Quantum and Woody. Plus, this series had my absolute favourite issue of the year. Which was also the final one. The series was continually, and consistently, of a high quality in every aspect every issue, but it’s the third that was the high point with a superb interview sequence interspersed with one of the greatest two page spreads of the year, only to culminate in perhaps the most emotional scene in any comic as one character talks to another about  his fears that due to the altered timeline he may forget his wife ever existed. Without the context of the preceding issues, one would expect that the emotional impact of the scene would be lost. I assure you, it isn’t. 

It’s Grumble Vs. The Good for Free Comic Book Day

Award-winning cartoonist Eric Powell’s Albatross Funnybooks will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Goon with its first ever Free Comic Book Day title in 2019. Grumble vs The Goon is a side-splitting, full color one shot co-written by Powell and Rafer Roberts and illustrated by Powell and Battle Pug creator Mike Norton.

Here, for the first time ever, The Goon and his pal Franky will meet Tala and Eddie, from the pages of Grumble, in an interdimensional adventure, chock full of death, mayhem… and dog catching.

In Grumble vs the Goon, Tala and Eddie think it might be a good idea to go dimension hopping when they find death incarnate hot on their heels. Unfortunately, things go from bad to worse when they land in the world of The Goon. And Franky, the newly appointed dog catcher, don’t like talkin’ mutts that give him the sass!

Grumble vs the Goon features a cover by Powell, and will be available at participating comic book stores on Free Comic Book Day, Saturday May 4th, 2019.

The publication of Grumble vs the Goon is part of a year long celebration of The Goon’s 20th anniversary. The anniversary festivities kick off in earnest on March 13th, 2019, when Albatross Funnybooks will publish The Goon issue 1, featuring all new stories. The Goon #1 Standard Edition features an Eric Powell cover and will retail for $3.99. The Goon #1 Special Edition features a cover by legendary artist Kevin Nowlan and will retail for $5.99. In the character’s  debut with Albatross Funnybooks, Powell takes the series to its humor based roots as Goon & Franky return from strange adventures abroad to find a horde of unsavory characters who have filled the void left in their absence from Lonely Street. For this new run of stories, Powell will be joined on Albatross Funnybooks’ The Goon by several acclaimed creators.

Grumble vs The Goon Gree Comic Book Day
The Goon #1
The Goon #1
« Older Entries Recent Entries »