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Preview: Godzilla: World of Monsters

Godzilla: World of Monsters

(W) John Layman, Cullen Bunn, Joshua Hale Fialkov (A) Alberto Ponticelli, Dave Wachter, Brian Churilla (CA) James Stokoe
In Shops: Sep 29, 2021
SRP: $29.99

The King of Monsters reigns supreme, no matter the timeline or world, in this compendium collecting three graphic novels-Gangsters & Goliaths by John Layman and Alberto Ponticelli, Cataclysm by Cullen Bunn and Dave Wachter, and Oblivion by Joshua Fialkov and Brian Churilla!

First, in Gangsters & Goliaths, monster recognizes monster, which quickly becomes obvious when Godzilla collides head on with the Yakuza-dominated Tokyo underworld. In Cataclysm, does any hope remain for humanity in an apocalyptic future devastated by never-ending kaiju attacks? And, when a reckless scientist opens a portal to an alternate dimension ruled by Godzilla and his brethren, a single baby kaiju stowaway could spell disaster for our monster-free world, in Oblivion.

Godzilla: World of Monsters

Preview: Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood #5

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF BLOOD #5

(W) Paul Cornell, Kek-w
(A) Greg Scott, Alberto Ponticelli
(C) Alan Robinson
February 24, 2021
$4.99

Sherlock Holmes returns to investigate murders from two Poe stories, but things get confusing in “The Adventure of the Three Narrators” by Paul Cornell (Doctor Who) and Greg Scott (HIGH HEAVEN). Plus! A sea calamity yields absurd surprises in Poe’s “Ms Found in a Bottle” by Kek-w (2000 AD) and Alberto Ponticelli (BRONZE AGE BOOGIE)!

Plus the usual AHOY illustrated prose stories.

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF BLOOD #5

Exclusive Preview: Bronze Age Boogie #5

BRONZE AGE BOOGIE #5

(W) Stuart Moore
(A) Alberto Ponticelli, Shawn Crystal
(C) Alberto Ponticelli
August 21, 2019
$3.99

AHOY’s grindhouse sensation puts the pedal to the metal and speeds toward a shocking climax! Barbarians vs. Martians! Father vs. son! Ape vs. certain death! All this plus a lurking horror from beneath the sea! Also, in a special back-feature with art by Shawn Crystal (Deadpool): Can you figure out WHO IS THE MOON-THING? And the customary AHOY prose stories.

Preview: Bronze Age Boogie #1

BRONZE AGE BOOGIE #1

(W) Stuart Moore, Tyrone Finch
(A) Alberto Ponticelli, Mauricet
(C) Alberto Ponticelli
$3.99

AHOY Wave Two begins! What do you get when you combine all the best-loved comics genres of the 1970s: apes, monsters, Kung Fu, sword-and-sorcery, and cosmic adventure? You get BRONZE AGE BOOGIE, an intense, character-based action-fest with plenty of style! In this collector’s item first issue, young barbarian princess Brita Constantina finds herself battling a Martian invasion—in 1975 AD and BC! Back-feature: Meet MAJOR URSA, the first bear in space. But will he be a hero or a villain? Plus the usual assortment of AHOY extra text stories!

BRONZE AGE BOOGIE #1

Review: Goodnight Paradise

VENICE BEACH, CALIFORNIA
SUN. SURF. SEX. MONEY. MURDER.

After finding the body of a murdered teenage runaway, a homeless man vows to bring her killer to justice.

Writer: Joshua Dysart (Unknown Soldier, B.P.R.D.)
Artist: Alberto Ponticelli (The Dark Knight, Unknown Soldier)
Color Artist: Giulia Brusco (Django Unchained, Scalped)
Letterer: Steve Wands (Batman, Descender)

Order yours now!

Check Out AHOY Comics’ Second Wave in May Plus an Early Preview of Hashtag: Danger #1

HASHTAG: DANGER #1

(W) Tom Peyer, Paul Constant
(A) Chris Giarrusso, Fred Harper
(C) Richard Williams

Exploding from the pages of High Heaven, three scientific adventurers face strange creatures, lost civilizations, and supernatural threats–when they’re not too busy being complete jerks to each other. PLUS! Follow the depressing misadventures of Snelson, an over-the-hill comedian who peaked in the 90s. EXTRA! Pics, prose, and possibly poems!

Painted cover by Richard Williams (MAD, Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror)

May 1, 2019
$3.99

HASHTAG: DANGER #1

DRAGONFLY AND DRAGONFLYMAN #1

(Free Comic Book Day title)
(W) Tom Peyer, Stuart Moore, Hunt Emerson
(A) Russ Braun, June Brigman, Roy Richardson, Hunt Emerson
(C) Jamal Igle

All new! From the hit series THE WRONG EARTH: On gritty Earth-Omega, Dragonfly prowls the darkness for his evil prey; on sun-splashed Earth-Alpha, Dragonflyman protects the status quo! PLUS! A tale of space hero CAPTAIN GINGER when he was a kitten! AND! Edgar Allan Poe battles the Black Cat!

May 4, 2019
FREE

DRAGONFLY AND DRAGONFLYMAN #1

BRONZE AGE BOOGIE #2

(W) Stuart Moore, Tyrone Finch
(A) Alberto Ponticelli, Mauricet
(C) Alberto Ponticelli

AHOY’s 1970s genre mashup slams into high gear! Teenage barbarian Brita finds herself transported to 1975 A.D., right in the middle of a second Martian invasion. Can her new friends—Lynda Darrk and martial arts master Jackson Li—save two Bronze Ages? Back feature: the frightening evolution of Major Ursa, the first bear in space! Plus the usual illustrated text features!

May 8, 2019
$3.99

BRONZE AGE BOOGIE #2

PLANET OF THE NERDS #2

(W) Paul Constant
(A) Alan Robinson, Randy Elliott
(C) David Nakayama

After the thawed-out 1980s jocks start a riot at a comic convention, they learn to their horror that everyone in 2019 uses computers like a bunch of poindexters. PLUS! An untold tale of teen jock Drew from the pastel world of the 1980s. EXTRA! A selection of AHOY text stories, beautifully illustrated.

May 15, 2019
$3.99

PLANET OF THE NERDS #2

Review: Hungry Ghosts #1

Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai (The 100 Candles) is a Japanese storytelling game. During the Edo period samurai warriors would occasionally gather for a feast and afterwards they would tell stories of the various ghosts, demons and spirits that inhabit the supernatural landscape of Japan. After each tale the samurai would enter an adjoining room lit by a hundred candles. He would blow one out and stare into a mirror to verify that he had not been possessed before returning to the company of his fellows for another round. As the room grew darker so did the stories. Few of these games, if any, reached completion. Even samurai weren’t that brave.

A modern version of kaidan forms the backbone of Hungry Ghosts, the latest comic by world class chef and world travelling journalist Anthony Bourdain. It’s also the first offering from Berger Books, the new Dark Horse imprint headed by Karen Berger. You may remember her as the visionary editor who oversaw the creation of Vertigo and helped to make some of the best comics ever created (including Neil Gaiman’s Sandman) even better.

Here samurai are replaced by chefs and their stories, derived from Japanese originals, all involve food in some way. The framing device, in which they are gathered under the auspices of a mysterious Russian billionaire, lends weight and a sense of continuity to what would otherwise be simple nightmare-like visions of greed, lust and gluttony: disturbing as they are experienced but apt to vanish like bad dreams when confronted by sunshine.

I won’t discuss the stories themselves as it’s impossible to do so without spoiling them. Needless to say both of the two tales contained in this first issue recall both the Japanese tradition to which they belong and such legendary pre-code horror anthologies as Tales From the Crypt. In any project with more than one writer it’s hard for a reviewer to assess who did what. It is Bourdain’s tastes and concerns that inform the stories culinary focus and the strong threads of social justice that run throughout but, if I understand the back matter correctly, much of the credit for the heavy lifting of transforming his ideas into a viable script for comics is due to co-writer Joel Rose, who also collaborated with Bourdain on his previous graphic novel Get Jiro. Between their combined efforts the legends of Japan are transfigured to reflect the individual cultures of the storytellers themselves (the crew of chefs include French, Hispanic and American cooks as well as Japanese) and the universality of human terror. Of course this opens the book up to charges of cultural appropriation and that’s a fair criticism for anyone who cares to make it. It never felt to me like a crass attempt to exploit Asian traditions by pasting a white mask over a Japanese face solely for the purpose of mass commercial appeal. Your mileage may vary.

As in any good anthology multiple artists are represented. The cover, which you can see at the top of this page, is a stunning and unnerving piece by the masterful Paul Pope. Pope’s work is hit or miss for me but this is certainly one of his better efforts. Alberto Ponticelli and Vanessa Del Rey illustrate the stories themselves, with Ponticelli doing double duty by drawing the framing story as well. Both are a good fit for the material.

Ponticelli has really improved since I first encountered his stuff on Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. His lines seem to be finer and more confident here and there is so much detail packed into the opening splash page of a demon’s boudoir that I will be returning to it many times to explore all the nooks and crannies for hidden treasures. He’s more suited to flat out horror than he is to horror tinged superheroics and I hope he continues to find a work in this vein.

Vanessa Del Rey is a name with which I’m not familiar but she too does an excellent job. Her style reminds me a lot of Becky Cloonan’s, capable of shifting from the voluptuous to the disturbing with surprising ease. It’s similar enough to Ponticelli’s to not be jarring in the transition between the two but different enough that you would never mistake the one for the other.

Sound is a crucial feature in any horror story and one that is hard to approximate in a silent medium like comics. Letterer Sal Cipriano does a great job of jumping this particular hurdle. His captions and balloons are serviceable throughout the first twelve pages, conveying their point without distracting from the art or calling attention to themselves. It’s not until the sound effects begin on page thirteen that he really gets to strut his stuff, varying the size and shape of the same five letters again and again while adding the occasional flourish to illustrate the increasing desperation of the protagonist as something terrible gets closer and closer. The colors by Jose Villaruba (another returning member of Bourdain’s Get Jiro team) tie everything together, painting all the scenes in the same shades and providing a sense of unity that they might otherwise lack.

Hungry Ghosts is  a really fine comic but its not for everyone. As I mentioned above, many readers may take exception to American creators dipping so heavily into the well of Japanese culture. There is also a strong element of sexual violence in the second story that may be distasteful or distressful to some readers. Beyond these concerns the stories themselves are part of an ancient oral tradition that has been translated into the much younger form of comics. While its handled well there are many things that we’ve come to expect in a traditional thirty page comic that are missing from this one. There’s little in the way of character development and the plots are simple constructs that exist to set up a gruesome twist that’s not really a surprise on the final page.

If you’re looking for the kind of rich, character driven horror delivered by books like Hellblazer or Swamp Thing, look elsewhere. If you want a comic that approximates sitting around the campfire on a dark summer night with a bag of marshmallows and a few good friends, trying to scare each other stupid, then I recommend giving Hungry Ghosts a taste.

Story: Anthony Bourdain & Joel Rose Art: Alberto Ponticelli & Vanessa Del Rey
Cover Art: Paul Pope
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Advance Review: Hungry Ghosts #1

Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai (The 100 Candles) is a Japanese storytelling game. During the Edo period samurai warriors would occasionally gather for a feast and afterwards they would tell stories of the various ghosts, demons and spirits that inhabit the supernatural landscape of Japan. After each tale the samurai would enter an adjoining room lit by a hundred candles. He would blow one out and stare into a mirror to verify that he had not been possessed before returning to the company of his fellows for another round. As the room grew darker so did the stories. Few of these games, if any, reached completion. Even samurai weren’t that brave.

A modern version of kaidan forms the backbone of Hungry Ghosts, the latest comic by world class chef and world travelling journalist Anthony Bourdain. It’s also the first offering from Berger Books, the new Dark Horse imprint headed by Karen Berger. You may remember her as the visionary editor who oversaw the creation of Vertigo and helped to make some of the best comics ever created (including Neil Gaiman’s Sandman) even better.

Here samurai are replaced by chefs and their stories, derived from Japanese originals, all involve food in some way. The framing device, in which they are gathered under the auspices of a mysterious Russian billionaire, lends weight and a sense of continuity to what would otherwise be simple nightmare-like visions of greed, lust and gluttony: disturbing as they are experienced but apt to vanish like bad dreams when confronted by sunshine.

I won’t discuss the stories themselves as it’s impossible to do so without spoiling them. Needless to say both of the two tales contained in this first issue recall both the Japanese tradition to which they belong and such legendary pre-code horror anthologies as Tales From the Crypt. In any project with more than one writer it’s hard for a reviewer to assess who did what. It is Bourdain’s tastes and concerns that inform the stories culinary focus and the strong threads of social justice that run throughout but, if I understand the back matter correctly, much of the credit for the heavy lifting of transforming his ideas into a viable script for comics is due to co-writer Joel Rose, who also collaborated with Bourdain on his previous graphic novel Get Jiro. Between their combined efforts the legends of Japan are transfigured to reflect the individual cultures of the storytellers themselves (the crew of chefs include French, Hispanic and American cooks as well as Japanese) and the universality of human terror. Of course this opens the book up to charges of cultural appropriation and that’s a fair criticism for anyone who cares to make it. It never felt to me like a crass attempt to exploit Asian traditions by pasting a white mask over a Japanese face solely for the purpose of mass commercial appeal. Your mileage may vary.

As in any good anthology multiple artists are represented. The cover, which you can see at the top of this page, is a stunning and unnerving piece by the masterful Paul Pope. Pope’s work is hit or miss for me but this is certainly one of his better efforts. Alberto Ponticelli and Vanessa Del Rey illustrate the stories themselves, with Ponticelli doing double duty by drawing the framing story as well. Both are a good fit for the material.

Ponticelli has really improved since I first encountered his stuff on Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. His lines seem to be finer and more confident here and there is so much detail packed into the opening splash page of a demon’s boudoir that I will be returning to it many times to explore all the nooks and crannies for hidden treasures. He’s more suited to flat out horror than he is to horror tinged superheroics and I hope he continues to find a work in this vein.

Vanessa Del Rey is a name with which I’m not familiar but she too does an excellent job. Her style reminds me a lot of Becky Cloonan’s, capable of shifting from the voluptuous to the disturbing with surprising ease. It’s similar enough to Ponticelli’s to not be jarring in the transition between the two but different enough that you would never mistake the one for the other.

Sound is a crucial feature in any horror story and one that is hard to approximate in a silent medium like comics. Letterer Sal Cipriano does a great job of jumping this particular hurdle. His captions and balloons are serviceable throughout the first twelve pages, conveying their point without distracting from the art or calling attention to themselves. It’s not until the sound effects begin on page thirteen that he really gets to strut his stuff, varying the size and shape of the same five letters again and again while adding the occasional flourish to illustrate the increasing desperation of the protagonist as something terrible gets closer and closer. The colors by Jose Villaruba (another returning member of Bourdain’s Get Jiro team) tie everything together, painting all the scenes in the same shades and providing a sense of unity that they might otherwise lack.

Hungry Ghosts is  a really fine comic but its not for everyone. As I mentioned above, many readers may take exception to American creators dipping so heavily into the well of Japanese culture. There is also a strong element of sexual violence in the second story that may be distasteful or distressful to some readers. Beyond these concerns the stories themselves are part of an ancient oral tradition that has been translated into the much younger form of comics. While its handled well there are many things that we’ve come to expect in a traditional thirty page comic that are missing from this one. There’s little in the way of character development and the plots are simple constructs that exist to set up a gruesome twist that’s not really a surprise on the final page.

If you’re looking for the kind of rich, character driven horror delivered by books like Hellblazer or Swamp Thing, look elsewhere. If you want a comic that approximates sitting around the campfire on a dark summer night with a bag of marshmallows and a few good friends, trying to scare each other stupid, then I recommend giving Hungry Ghosts a taste.

Story: Anthony Bourdain & Joel Rose Art: Alberto Ponticelli & Vanessa Del Rey
Cover Art: Paul Pope
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Zero #13

Zero #13

Story By: Ales Kot
Art By: Alberto Ponticelli
Art By: Jordie Bellaire
Cover By: Alberto Ponticelli
Cover By: Tom Muller
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: OCT140780
Published: December 17, 2014

A team of professionals goes after Zero and the entire Agency. It all points back to the Beit Hanoun incident.

Zero13_Cover

Almost American
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