Tag Archives: art ops

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

The Paybacks #2Wednesdays 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: The Paybacks #2 (Heavy Metal) – If you read nothing else this week, read The Paybacks. It’s a brilliantly written series that should be on your pull list.

4001 A.D. #4 (Valiant) – Valiant’s summer event comes to a close with this issue, and having already read it, it’s a very satisfying conclusion. Every bit as good as I wanted it to be.

Bloodshot Reborn #16 (Valiant) – This is one of the best-looking comics around right now, and is worth reading just for the art. Fortunately, Jeff Lemire’s Groundhog Days meets Survivor story is violently captivating.

Howard The Duck #10 (Marvel)  – It’s a shame this series is coming to an end, and while I’m not sure when that’ll happen exactly, I’m going to enjoy each issue we get until the series is no more. Howard the Duck has been a brilliant read each month partly because of Chip Zdarsky’s jab at almost everybody, and partly because of the way the comic pokes fun at itself.

Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens #2 (Dark Horse) – A concept that’s as jaw dropping as having peanut butter on a hamburger – and just as delicious. No, don’t eat the comic. Read the comic, eat the peanut butter burger, love both.

 

Jason

Top Pick: Art Ops #11 (Vertigo) – Guest artist Rob Davis pits the Art Ops team against a centuries old monster, from a legendary artist rumoured to have painted deaths very essence into a painting in “The Boy Who Painted Death”.

My interest in Vertigo’s Art Ops waned for a few issues when Mike Allred’s art was restricted to him contributing covers, and this month’s inclusion of Warhol’s Silver Clouds means two of my favourite pop artists in one. This might not be a problem for everyone, but I’m a sucker for Allred’s insane pop art style so the change was slightly jarring at first. Even with Brundage taking over full-time art duties, bringing a much rougher hewn style to the page, Art Ops continues to be inventive both in its storytelling and visuals to bring us a true sleeper hit.

Howard The Duck #10 (Marvel) – The penultimate issue before we have to say goodbye again to the avian detective and Zdarksy’s hilarious run before he heads off to more cosmic affairs with Star Lord later this year. Last issue saw Howard deep in full meta commentary territory, with ratings chaser Mojo addressing his sporadic appearances in the Marvel Universe over the years. Issue ten promises the reveal of the mastermind behind the ducks most recent series of misadventures. A series that’s continued to be both hilarious and subversive, so let’s hope we aren’t waiting as long for another writer to realise Howard’s potential.

All-New Wolverine Annual #1 (Marvel) – In the wake of Logan’s death  readers saw Laura Kinney, formerly X-23 taking on the mantle of Wolverine, seeking out clones of herself and aiming to help them whenever possible. An exciting series from the start, Marvel have cemented her as the new Wolverine by embedding her deep into the post Secret Wars landscape with Laura joined by a number of allies this year from Doctor Strange, The Wasp and even Old Man Logan as she unravels the mystery behind her “sisters”. The first Wolverine Annual is no exception, with fan favourite Spider-Gwen swinging in for an all new story with the character find of the year, Jonathan: Actual Wolverine.

 

Anthony

Tokyo Ghost #10 (Image Comics) – It’s bittersweet that this will be the final issue of Tokyo Ghost for the foreseeable future. This series has done a great job at tackling and questioning a lot of present day problems, even with the futuristic setting. The creative team have been showing us a very terrifying and perhaps more overtly technologically hypnotized society that still parallels in many ways to the present day. The drama is greatly balanced with comedic moments and a truly emotional relationship between Debbie and Led.

Saga #37 (Image Comics)Saga is back! The gorgeous wraparound cover by Fiona Staples just elevates the hype for this arc in what sounds like will be an even more escalated situation after Hazel was finally reunited with her parents.

Afterlife with Archie #10 (Archie Comics/Archie Horror) – It’s always a good week when there is a new issue of Afterlife with Archie. Afterlife appeals to both fans and non-fans of Archie with its more dramatic, darker tone that is filled with surprises each and every issue. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has been scripting some great character pieces that heighten the relationships between each of the teens and adults of Riverdale unlike ever before. It’s also pretty hard to say no to Francesco Francavilla’s art that is just perfect in the horror setting. This issue looks to focus on the origin story of Josie and Pussycats.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Secret Coders Vol. 2: Paths & Portals (First Second) – Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes’ graphic novel series that teaches people to code while being entertained returns! The second volume is just as fantastic as the first, upping the mystery but more importantly it also includes multiple instances where it teaches you to code. Yes, even my 30 something self learned some skills! A perfect blend of entertainment and education.

Rough Riders #5 (Aftershock Comics) – The series that blends history and weirdness continues in its fun ways and I can’t wait. The comic is really entertaining and this issue has Teddy Roosevelt fighting the infamous Battle of San Juan Hill, but there’s also Thomas Edison, Annie Oakley, Harry Houdini, and Jack Johnson, all on their secret mission.

The Paybacks #2 (Heavy Metal Comics) – One of my favorite comics of the last year. The first volume was hillarious and this second volume looks to be just as good. This is superhero comedy at its best.

Skip to the End #1 (Heavy Metal Comics) – Jonny Wells desperately wants to relive his grunge rock royalty past. As bassist of Samsara, he craved the Rock’n’Roll lifestyle that eventually claimed the life of the band’s visionary lead singer and his best friend. Now a VH1 cautionary tale of drug addiction and self-loathing, Wells trades his smack for an old battered guitar, and discovers that returning to his former glory days are only a few chords away. Literally.

Tomboy #7 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – This series is under the radar unfortunately and people need to find out about it! It’s a mix of superhero/manga/Japanese horror with a teenage girl at the center of it all as a vigilante out for revenge to kill the people who killed her friend.

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 3/1/16

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


dead vengeance 4
 Dead Vengeance #4  Was a fitting conclusion to the miniseries. As a whole the series was a great, but as an individual issue this doesn’t stand up to being read out of sequence, but seeing as how the miniseries is worth reading, that’s not a big deal. Overall 7 Recommendation: Read now, or Read the trade later.

Extraordinary X-Men #4* There’s a chance you may have heard about this issue already (and if you haven’t don’t look it up, just go read it). The thing is, beyond That Which Will Not Be Named, this is actually a very entertaining comic. The dynamic between Old Man Logan and the others is handled with just the right amount of disbelief and humour, which is one of the reasons I’ll be picking issue #5 up in the next couple of weeks. Overall Rating: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Lobster Johnson: A Glass Mantis (Dark Horse) Is a fun one shot comic that gives a slightly modern flavour to the stories told in the early days of comics. There’s nothing groundbreaking or original here but what is done is done well enough  that merits you checking it out. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read.

The Rocketeer At War #1 (IDW) is, frankly, fun. If you’ve ever seen (and enjoyed) the movie, then there’s a great chance you’ll enjoy this comic. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy if you’re a fan, Read if you’re curious.

 

Elana

Art Ops #3 (DC)“Art is real” and it’s getting kidnapped out of its picture frames or running wild in the streets of NYC. If you’re into comics about the NYC of years past, fine art and especially the excellent Pop Art infused work of this comic’s team, Matt Brundage and the great Mike Allred then you’ll need this fun and anarchic title. It’s definitely unique and unpredictable. The version of contemporary downtown Manhattan in this comic feels exactly like my Manhattan way back in the year 2000 but that’s cool and there are fun flashbacks to SoHo in the 80’s. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

 

Mr H

Justice League #47 (DC Comics)* Good to have the band back together so to speak, as the last few issues felt like they were spinning their wheels. This issue was not filler and had some good moments, especially with Hal and God Bruce. I like how Johns hasn’t forgot that Bruce knows the Joker’s true identity and is keeping it to himself (very Batman thing to do) the scene with incarcerated Ultraman and Superwoman was good. You definitely get the sense that the big battle is near and all the pieces are in place. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy.

Spawn #259 (Image Comics) So the skinny is Al is back in Hell and he’s battling Satan for Wanda’s soul. We’ve seen the bait and switch before but this time it’s the real deal. This is the first Spawn comic I’ve picked up in years. Having Todd McFarlane and Erik Larson on the book helped. It was a quick read and there was a scene with Spawn acting like a hellish Moses, parting a sea of demons, which was cool. The issue ends with Al making a choice for Wanda’s fate that I did not see coming. I enjoyed Erik Larson’s art and moved along nicely. Don’t know if I will continue to get the book but was pleased I picked it up. Nothing groundbreaking but the Satan Wars commence! Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read


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 (**).

Around the Tubes

It’s Thanksgiving Day! For folks celebrating, we hope you have a wonderful day and for those that aren’t we’ll have a normal day here at GP!

While you await the Turkey to be ready, here’s some comic book news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

ArtsBeat – ‘The Walking Dead Experience’ Is Coming to New Jersey – This sounds cool.

Kotaku – Arkham Knight’s New Catwoman And Robin DLC Is A Drag – This game just doesn’t get much love.

Elle – What It’s Like to Be a Woman of Color in Privileged White Spaces – If you read one thing in this list.

Panels – Unconventional Romance Comics! – If you need any suggestions.

 

Around the Tubes

Comic Vine – All-New Wolverine #2

CBR – Archie #4

Comic Vine – Art Ops #2

The Rainbow Hub – Fight Club 2 #7

CBR – Jacked #1

Comics Alliance – Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #1

CBR – Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #1

CBR – Oyster War

The Rainbow Hub – Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #4

The Rainbow Hub – Ringside #1

Comics Alliance – Silk #1

Comic Vine – Silk #1

CBR – Silk #1

Comic Vine – Star Wars: Darth Vader #13

Comic Vine – Venom: Space Knight #1

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Moon_Girl_And_Devil_Dinosaur_1_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: X-O Manowar #42 (Valiant) – The comic brings the conclusion to a four part story arc that has the potential to be world changing within Valiant’s Universe. I can’t wait to get this in my hands.

All-New Wolverine #2 (Marvel) – I really enjoyed the first issue’s introduction to Laura Kinney as Wolverine, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the story carries on.

Ivar, Timewalker #11 (Valiant) – It’s a comic by Valiant, so I’m already excited for it, but Ivar has been one of the most entertaining comics each month. Well worth adding to your pull list.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 (Marvel) – The comic has an intelligent Tyrannosaurus Rex. That sold me on the comic right there, but on top of that there looks to be a lot of soul here that I’m excited for.

 

Ash

Top Pick: Silk #1 (Marvel) – As a Silk fan from the moment we met her in the bunker, Silk #1 has got to be my top pick for this week.  Featuring everyone’s favourite feline, The Black Cat, this first issue promises to be packed with turmoil as we see Silk taking a turn for the sinister.  The artwork is bursting with colour that really strikes, and Silk is looking seriously stunning.

But will she go too far on her new found path? Only one way to find out…

Carnage #2 (Marvel) – Carnage brings chaos, destruction and devastation with him wherever he goes (this issue promises to be no different) so it is really little wonder that the FBI are tracking down this serial Killer with sonic technology, supported by former astronaut John Jameson and a newly reformed Eddie Brock. With a faultless (?) plan to trap Carnage in an abandoned mine, what could possibly go wrong?

 

Brett

Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 (DC Comics) – The comic has been hyped for quite a while and lets face it, Frank Miller’s previous two volumes are classics and important works (even if you dislike them). The third volume of Miller’s Batman tale hits shelves this week and he’s got the help of Brian Azzarello for writing. I love Azzarello’s work, so his inclusion only makes this more anticipated. Add on top of that, art by Klaus Janson and Andy Kubert.

Archie #4 (Archie Comics) – Archie has been killing it this year, and especially in recent months with their relaunch of their Archie line of comics. This one finally reveals the “Lipstick Incident,” and I know Mark Waid and Annie Wu will knock it out of the park.

Captain Canuck #5/Captain Canuck: Unholy War (Chapter House Publishing) – Are you reading Captain Canuck? Well, you should. The series is a superhero comic in its purest form without the dark and gritty negativity so many others have. This week also has a double dose with a brand new issue, plus a collection of a limited series from 2004 reprinted as a trade. This week is a double dose of Captain Canuck awesomeness!

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 (Marvel) – The comic looks and sounds beyond cute and awesome. It’s one of the most intriguing new series from Marvel.

Ringside #1 (Image Comics) – I loved wrestling growing up in the 80s. While it’s been a long time since I was a regular viewer, this new series by Joe Keatinge and Nick Barber sounds awesome with interconnected stories exploring the relationship between art and industry from the view of the wrestlers.

 

Elana

All-New Wolverine #2 (Marvel) – This is the best Wolverine comic in a generation. Marvel’s most exciting post Secret Wars title so far. Check these reviews out to see why.

Art Ops #2 (Vertigo) – If you see Mike Allred’s art on this comic and it speaks to you (and it’s trademark Allred pop-art enthusiasm certainly speaks to me) then it’s certainly worth picking up issue #2 to see where it goes.

Black Magic #2 (Image Comics) –  A “witch noir” from one of the top creative teams in comics. I gave the first issue a 9 out of 10 score in my review. This is a brand new series from creators I trust to write fascinating female protagonists in interesting worlds with beautiful art.

The Fade Out #11 (Image Comics) – The best noir comic. Fascinating female characters. Beautiful, era evocative art.

Kaptara #5 (Image Comics) – The funniest and most outlandish fantasy series on the shelves. It’s actually Chip Zdarsky’s best work if you ask me. That’s saying something since I think he’s currently working on 100 different titles, all of which are of some renown.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 (Marvel) – One of Marvel’s most anticipated debut issues. A black girl genius and her dinosaur. I know this is going to be a hit and I know you’ll be buying it for all the kids in your life and for yourself.

 

Paul

Top Pick: Guardians of the Galaxy #2 (Marvel) – Kitty “Star-Lord” Pryde and her Guardians, who now include The Thing, have come to Spartax..but is Emperor Peter happy to see them?  The first issue of this relaunch was fun and brought me right back to the Guardians we left before Secret Wars (though now The Thing is a member…which is fantastic!…see what I did there?) and I am looking forward to more space fun with this crew and to see if Quill has let power go to his head.

All-New Wolverine #2 (Marvel) – This title was a pleasant surprise for me.  I was worried we’d get a typical hack and slash Wolverine book, but issue 1 definitely set Laura up as her own heroine and now she’s facing a problem that looks exactly like her…and she needs to know how and why this is happening; and I will be right there with you.

Mini Reviews

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.


CageHero01_Cover-COLORSAlex

Cage Hero #1 is a surprisingly enjoyable mix of superpowers and mixed martial artists. A fun comic that has an amusingly unique take on the superhero origin story (even if the high school setting is somewhat familiar). Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read.

One of the more interesting takes on the vigilante heroes lately has come in the form of The Black Hood. Issue #6 is a standalone tale that focuses on the title character’s battle with an addiction to prescription  pain killers while he continues to go beyond the law in administering justice. The art is crisp and the colours entice you into the brutally honest world within these pages. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Mono is a superbly envisioned collection about a secret agent with a prehensile tale that is, frankly, visually stunning. This was a collection that captivated me from start to finish with it’s mix of pulpy goodness and pseudo history, it was a joy to read. Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Brett

Art Ops #1 – A fascinating new Vertigo series I’m still trying to wrap my head around. It’s basic idea is that art is real, and there’s this agency that protects the beings within the pictures. At least that’s my understanding of it. It’s pretty out there. Not sure if I’m totally sold, but it’s absolutely original. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

ARTOPS-Cv1-96f41The Black Hood #6 – A one-shot that seems like it’ll lead into the next story arc. Howard Chaykin joins on art, and while I figured out the twist a bit before it was revealed, the comic is still really entertaining. If you’re looking for a comic about a cop/junkie/vigilante, then look no further! Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Chew #51 – The series is coming to its finale and this is our first look after its major confrontation and battle. We get to see where some characters are in their lives and what the world is like. There’s still some big questions to be answered, but this comic continues the over the top humor that consistently gets me to laugh. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

The Hangman #1 – This first issue is fascinating. It doesn’t quite get us to what I think is where the series goes next, but we learn about the boogeyman that is the Hangman in the mob. The comic is absolutely adult, and really puts the “dark” in Dark Circle. It definitely piqued my interest. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Revival #34 – What brought all the folks back to life? We still don’t know what’s behind Revivers, but this issue has some impressive revelations that started to make the puzzle clearer. It’s also a hell of a confrontation between Dana and her father. It’s an issue full of emotion and catharsis, a great jumping on point. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Daphne

The final issue of the A-Force miniseries was awesome. Ending it with an all-out war that showcased dozens of Marvel Comics ladies was a great decision, and makes me super excited for the full series to come out. The series itself wasn’t as strong in the middle as its beginning, but it ended with a great climax and I can’t wait to see more. Overall Score: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Ms. Marvel ended on a high note in time for the big company-wide relaunch initiative. With Kamala’s world ending we finally get some plot points wrapped up in really satisfying ways, and the story ends in a really optimistic and emotional that is totally worthy of the Miss Marvel name. This was probably the best “Last Days” story to come out of Secret Wars, and I love that it left us with both closure and a great setup for things to come. I can’t wait to see what happens with the relaunch. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Elana

Catwoman-45This has been a banner month for Catwoman, Constantine and Gotham Academy. Each has just printed it’s best issue yet. Each of these comics reaches a pinnacle of a completely compelling storyline here and delivers and delivers and delivers. These are among the best comics today. Buy. Buy. Buy.

Over the Garden Wall issues 1 and 2 are lovely contributions to the world of the animated show. I rewatched the cartoon after reading them and they fill in the blanks in the series so well that I would strongly suggest anyone who likes the cartoon pick up these comics immediately. They are charming and wistful like the series. They even contain a page of sheet music in the back! Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Heathen from comixology submit: promising fantasy/folklore story from a promising new creative talent Natasha Alterici. Compelling queer female lead. Evocative painted art. You can shiver it it looks so cold. I hope she continues the series! I’ll give it an 8 if she can keep this up! Recommendation: Buy.

Revenger from comixology submit: this is an angry comic. The art evokes Benjamin Marra (his art is also angry). If you are in the mood for angry, revenge violence with a very raw nerve core then give this a go. It’s got that ugly but compelling look to the art. Badass black butch female lead who reminds me of a cross between Grace Jones and The Man with No Name. Feels pretty punk rock. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Concrete Park Volume 2 this is a radical scifi book with politics on it’s sleeve. Striking character design. Impeccable world building. Check out those maps! The world they invent is completely unique. An urban dystopia in space. Strong critique of the prison-industrial system and sexism. It deserves a full length review. This was the best thing I got at New York Comic Con. I love it so much! And I’ve only read the 2nd volume. Definitely going to buy the first one but I think it speaks to how well written the 2nd volume is that I was able to get totally involved in it without any of the earlier information. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Kenny

Colder: Toss the Bones #2 continues its trend of being creepy as hell. Nimble Jack’s relentless tormenting of Declan plays on the idea of that feeling that someone is watching you. The story toys with that psychological idea to great effect. It is uncomfortable seeing Declan unknowingly having his life manipulated by Jack. Each of Jack’s action are so dark and uncomplicated by morality, that he has become a menacing figure who seems unstoppable at this point. This comic is still proving to be one of the best horror comics out and one that needs your attention. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is moving in a completely new and exciting direction after the epic conclusion of TMNT #50. Issue #51 sets the stage for a Turtles’ arc as they try and navigate their new position as, well, I won’t spoil it for you. Find out for yourself and see the one of the most interesting premises for a Turtles story I’ve seen in a long time. Overall 8.5 Recommendation: Buy


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

SDCC 2015: Vertigo’s Impressive Line-Up of New Series for Fall

DC Entertainment’s creator-driven imprint, Vertigo, kicked off San Diego Comic-Con with an impressive Fall slate consisting of 12 new #1s set to release over 12 consecutive weeks beginning in October. The announcement came on their panel Thursday evening when comic book and literary heavyweights joined the ranks including Darwyn Cooke, Gilbert Hernandez, Michael Allred, Holly Black, Lauren Beukes and Gail Simone, among others.

Vertigo, best known for its bold storytelling, will continue to push the boundaries of genre fiction – horror, fantasy, crime thriller, scifi – with these new releases.

OCTOBER
THE TWILIGHT CHILDREN #1 (Gilbert Hernandez, Darwyn Cooke)
SURVIVORS’ CLUB #1 (Lauren Beukes, Dale Halvorsen, Ryan Kelly)
CLEAN ROOM #1 (Gail Simone, Jon Davis-Hunt)
ART OPS #1 (Shaun Simon, Michael Allred)

NOVEMBER
UNFOLLOW #1 (Rob Williams, Mike Dowling)
SLASH & BURN #1 (Si Spencer, Max Dunbar, Ande Parks)
RED THORN #1 (David Baillie, Meghan Hetrick)
JACKED #1 (Eric Kripke, John Higgins)

DECEMBER
SHERIFF OF BAGHDAD #1 (Tom King, Mitch Gerads)
NEW ROMANCER #1 (Peter Milligan, Brett Parson)
LUCIFER #1 (Holly Black, Lee Garbett)
LAST GANG IN TOWN #1 (Simon Oliver, Rufus Dayglo)

The Fall slate will also be comprised of continuing series American Vampire, Astro City and Suiciders.

The panel also included Vertigo veterans Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, and Lee Bermejo, along with a special farewell video from Bill Willingham!