Tag Archives: berger books

Enigma Gets the Deluxe Treatment from Berger Books

Berger Books has announced the release of a deluxe hardcover edition of Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo‘s radical and acclaimed Vertigo series Enigma. This definitive edition of Enigma, written by legendary and influential writer Peter Milligan, features a lavish new cover by Duncan Fegredo and a treasure trove of never-before-seen development art from one of comics most singular and dramatic artists. Sherilyn Van Valkenburgh provides the lushly painted color.

Enigma is a visceral, thought-provoking post-modern tale of self-discovery and sexual identity told against the backdrop of outrageous superheroes and villains. Michael Smith lives a meaningless life of routine and boredom. But when the weird characters from Enigma – Michael’s favorite childhood comic book hero – seem to come to life, Smith embarks upon an increasingly obsessive crusade to uncover the incredible secret behind their improbable existence. Teaming up with Enigma’s comic creator, Smith encounters an insanity-inducing psychopath, a brain-eating serial killer, a suicide-inciting Truthsayer, and a teleporting one-time model “who really sends you” as his quest uncovers shocking truths about his idol and ultimately Michael himself. 

Enigma will go on sale in fall 2020.

Enigma

NYCC 2019: Peter Milligan and Jesús Hervas Explore a Tomorrow with Only Children

Berger Books has announced an intriguing new story for 2020, Tomorrow– a five-issue comic series by critically acclaimed and legendary writer Peter Milligan, breakout artist Jesús Hervas, and dynamic colorist James Devlin.

When a Russian computer virus jumps the species barrier and wipes out most of the adult population, the world falls precariously into the hands of the next generation.  In the wake of the devastation, musical prodigy Oscar Fuentes is separated from his twin sister Cira. Without the support of each other and stranded on opposite sides of the country, they’re swept into rapidly-evolving networks of gangs. Can Oscar find his way back to Cira… or will they be lost to each other forever, in a dangerous makeshift civilization that is mercilessly replacing the past?

The first issue of Tomorrow goes on sale February 26, 2020.

Tomorrow

See “Everything” this September Courtesy of Cristopher Cantwell, I.N.J. Culbard, and Berger Books

From Christopher Cantwell, acclaimed writer of She Could Fly and co-creator of AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, and celebrated artist I.N.J. Culbard comes a new monthly ongoing series this fall, Everything. The latest addition to Karen Berger’s critically acclaimed Berger Books imprint at Dark Horse Comics, Everything is a truly bizarre story about the most horrifying pursuit of happiness you’ve ever read. 

From wayward teens to lonely housewives and ambitious city officials, most in this otherwise-sleepy Michigan town are thrilled with the arrival of EVERYTHING, a new mega-department store, and its catalog-perfect manager, Shirley. But thrill turns to frenzy, and when bouts of mania, random hellish fires, violent explosions and unshakeable psychic disturbances start to overtake the population, a few—like depressive out-of-towner Lori and a suspicious local named Rick—begin to suspect EVERYTHING might be the cause. 

What twisted power has taken hold of Holland, Michigan and its town-folk? Who—or what—exactly is in charge here… and what insidious plans are in store?

The series is described as if “Twin Peaks and Stranger Things had a baby and Ray Bradbury was the godfather.”

The first issue of Everything goes on sale September 4, 2019.

Everything

Ruby Falls’ River Runs Red Again with Ann Nocenti, Flavia Biondi, and Lee Loughridge

From legendary writer Ann Nocenti, extraordinary new talent Flavia Biondi, and acclaimed colorist Lee Loughridge comes Ruby Falls: a neo-noir tale of love, memory, and murder mysteriously woven through three generations of women, and hinging on their individual, intertwined fights for freedom. Ruby Falls, the new four-issue miniseries, is the latest addition to Karen Berger’s critically acclaimed imprint Berger Books at Dark Horse Comics

Ruby Falls is a sleepy town. But sleep brings nightmares, and 20-something Lana is about to wake up in the middle of her hometown’s biggest secret: the “disappearance” of Betty Gallagher, who was infamous for her progressive ways during the mobster-ruled heyday of this old mining town. The dim details of this cold-case murder are trapped in the mind of Lana’s grandmother Clara, who suffers from dementia. When Clara starts to share these deeply-buried, violent memories with her, Lana is hooked. She becomes obsessed with cracking the case, even if it means snapping the minds of everyone involved, splintering the peaceful town— and putting herself in grave danger. 

Ruby Falls is a new kind of noir—a dazzling and unforgettably modern murder mystery with a feminist edge; a story of risk, adventure, passion and trust… until the Ruby Falls river runs red again. The first issue of Ruby Falls goes on sale October 2, 2019.

Ruby Falls

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Criminal #3

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.

Criminal #3 (Image Comics) – One of the best comics on the market. The current story is a meta look at a certain famous comic convention. How much is true? Well, that’s part of the fun.

Dark Red #1 (AfterShock) – A new series that’s about Vampires in Trump country. The concept sounds really interesting.

Dungeons & Dragons: A Darkened Wish #1 (IDW Publishing) – D&D is the new hotness, and IDW’s series have been fun for those into the game and world. Solid fantasy that’s always worth checking out.

Grumble #5 (Albatross Funnybooks) – A fun and funny series, one we’ll constantly recommend. While not the best place to start, we’re putting the series on your radar so you can catch up and not miss the awesome.

Incursion #2 (Valiant) – Valiant has been knocking it out of the park and this issue is a great example of that. Just a solid mini-series so far that highlights the quality of this publisher.

Invisible Kingdom #1 (Dark Horse Comics/Berger Books) – G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward team up for this Berger Books debut and that’s all we need to know to get excited to check this one out. A sci-fi religious conspiracy concept is icing on the cake of awesome that is the creative team.

Lazarus Risen #1 (Image Comics) – It’s been a while since we read Lazarus so we’ve forgotten a bunch but the series has always been fantastic and amazing and to be able to get more makes us happy. It’s one of the most well thought out series and worlds in comics.

Life and Death of Toyo Harada #1 (Valiant) – Toyo Harada is one of the best characters in comics so we’re excited he’s getting a series. Is he a villain? Is he a hero? Is he somewhere in between? We can’t wait to see where this goes.

Spider-Man: City at War #1 (Marvel) – Based on the popular video game, Marvel launches a new universe in comics and we’re getting flashbacks to the “Ultimate” years and that’s completely ok.

Spider-Man: Life Story #1 (Marvel) – Chip Zdarksy and Mark Bagley are exploring Peter Parker’s life one decade at a time. This kicks off in the 60s just four years after being bitten. Think a condensed version of this is your life.

She Could Fly Soars Into Shops in April 2019 with a Sequel

Dark Horse and Berger Books have revealed art from She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot, the sequel to the acclaimed series She Could Fly, by Christopher Cantwell, co-creator/showrunner of AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire series, and Martín Morazzo! Cantwell and Morazzo are joined by colorist Miroslav Mrva and letterer Clem Robins.

In She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot, Luna has crash-landed back into her life after spending a year in a mental institution… but that might just mean she’s closer to the edge than she’s ever been before. After discovering clues about the Flying Woman’s missing family, Luna’s obsession reignites, threatening to unravel her fragile mind again. Meanwhile, a mysterious guru appears in the sewers of Chicago, a Russian mercenary seeks old secret technology, and the specter of violence begins to loom over everyone once more. Luna starts to wonder… will she even survive long enough to go insane?

She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot #1 goes on sale April 10, 2019. On March 13, 2019, fans can purchase the deluxe trade paperback of the first miniseries, She Could Fly.

She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot #1

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

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.

Border Town #4 (DC Comics/Vertigo) – Each issue has been fantastic giving us a monster story with a look and monsters we rarely see in entertainment and comics. This is a solid update to the Scooby-Doo concept and it works so well.

Dark Ark #12 (AfterShock Comics) – The new spin on classic Bible stories is fantastic bringing a sense of horror that’s beyond entertaining.

Die #1 (Image Comics) – Adults have to deal with the returning horror they barely survived as teenage role-players. Yeah, we’re in.

Doomsday Clock #8 (DC Comics) – We’re this far into this series, we really want to see what’s next and what the hell is going on.

Freeze #1 (Image Comics/Top Cow Productions) – People around the world are frozen and one person can fix that but should he? We’ve seen the concept in manga but we want to see this Western take on the concept.

Killmonger #1 (Marvel) – The breakout character from the Black Panther film gets his own miniseries that adds more to his history.

Laguardia #1 (Dark Horse/Berger Books) – A new series that looks at immigration and discrimination in America.

Martian Manhunter #1 (DC Comics) – The character has been put center of the DC Universe playing a big role with the Justice League and we want to see what this series brings and adds to the character.

Prodigy #1 (Image Comics/Millarworld/Netflix) – A new Mark Millar property and we want to see what this whole deal with Netflix is bringing to the comic market.

Self Made #1 (Image Comics) – A new series that sounds like a fantasy world that’s a bit focused on castes which is interesting enough. An Image #1 issue is something we want to check out.

Shazam #1 (DC Comics) – With a film out soon, it’s not surprising that we’re getting a new series and we want to see where this characters fits in the Rebirth DC Universe.

Snap Flash Hustle #1 (Black Mask Studio) – If it’s Black Mask, we check out the first issue. They tend to be a lot of future stars and interesting concepts.

Winter Soldier #1 (Marvel) – This new spin on the character sounds different enough from what we’ve seen before, a character who’s attempting to find redemption by helping others.

Wizard Beach #1 (BOOM! Studios) – This story about slackers wizards sounds fun and entertaining so we want to check out this debut issue.

The Wrong Earth #4 (AHOY Comics) – One of the best comics on the shelves right now.

X-Men: Exterminated #1 (Marvel) – The event still has one issue to go but this is the aftermath, yay delays! Still, we want to see this sendoff for the classic Cable before kid Cable takes over. Plus, we’re sure there’ll be spoilers for how it all ends.

NYCC 2018: The Girl in the Bay from J.M. DeMatteis, Corin Howell, and Berger Books in February 2019

As revealed on the “Berger Books: The Second Wave” panel at New York Comic ConThe Girl in the Bay is the latest addition to the critically acclaimed Berger Books imprint at Dark Horse Comics. Eisner Award-winning writer J.M. DeMatteis and acclaimed artist Corin Howell unite to tell this haunting coming-of-age tale about misbegotten youth, “what could have been,” and the ultimate sacrifice.

In 1969, seventeen-year-old Kathy Sartori was brutally attacked, her body hurled into Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay. Miraculously, she survives, fights her way back to the surface, only to discover that 50 years have passed, and an eerie doppelganger has lived out an entire life in her place. Kathy soon confronts not just this strange double, but the madman who “murdered” her five decades earlier. Will he, and the dark entity that lives inside him, hold the key to Kathy’s missing years? Or will Kathy become a ghost of herself and be forced to live out what remains of her life on the edge of the world that she desperately wants to be a part of?

The first issue of The Girl in the Bay (of four) goes on sale February 6, 2019.

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 9/15

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.


Ryan C

CemetaryBeach_01-1Wildstorm: Michael Cray #11 (DC/Wildstorm)** – This series has been an up-and-down ride, but with one issue to go, writer Bryan Hill and artist N. Steven Harris (with assists from Nelson Blake II) are ramping up toward what should at least be an interesting conclusion, as the Cthulhu-esque entity that’s been “sharing” protagonist Cray’s mind makes its presence fully felt. The finale will determine whether or not sticking with this one all the way through was a smart move, but for the time being it looks like it may just prove to be. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Cemetery Beach #1 (Image)** – The “Trees” team of Warren Ellis and Jason Howard re-unites for this sci-fi mystery thriller, and while I’m hesitant to get too wrapped up in this series given that their last one was essentially abandoned at the midway point, I have to admit that everything you want in a first issue is here : an inventive premise, strong characterization, crisp and dynamic art, plenty of action, and even some laughs. If they see this one through,who knows? This might just be something special. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

MCMLXXV #1 (Image)** – Blaxploitation meets kung-fu/ninja hijinks in this wildly fun debut from Joe Casey and Ian MacEwan, and while slowing down to think about what’s happening here reveals plenty of holes in the book’s internal logic, the good news is that the fluid, action-packed story — complete with some seriously great fight scenes — doesn’t give you a chance to even catch your breath, much less exercise your gray matter. A fantastic protagonist and an authentic mid-’70s New Tork “vibe” round out this impressive opening shot across the bow from two consistently-interesting creators. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

The Wicked + The Divine #39 (Image)** – I’d been really cool toward this arc in Kieran Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s long-running series, feeling that it marked the point at which style finally overtook substance in the proceedings, but the last two issues — particularly this one — represent a complete 180 as surprises and consequential events aplenty are thrown at us fast and furious. Suddenly, I can’t wait for the final chapter in this saga, and everything going on between the comic’s covers feels new, fresh, and important all over again. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Logan

catwoman_3_5b993db5572f27.31025934.jpgCatwoman #3 (DC)– In Catwoman #3, Joelle Jones and guest flashback artist Fernando Blanco spend a little time on the backstory of the series’ villain, Raina Creel, who runs the town of Villa Hermosa. It’s tragic and filled with sex, lies, and power as Raina is a great counterpoint to Selina using her status as a “trophy wife” to run the town behind her husband’s back. The rest of the comic shows Selina pushing herself to the limit falling through broken glass onto a sports car and then still being able to prance on rooftops to make a mysterious appointment after a quick dip in the tub. Jones’ art continues to be the real draw of the series, and she can convey strength, weakness, or innocence (I think Selina’s host Carlos has a little crush on her.) through a glance, facial line, or body twitch. There’s something about Catwoman and crime thrillers that is just exciting, enjoyable, and a little tragic. Overall: 8.6 Verdict: Buy

Cemetery Beach #1 (Image)– Warren Ellis and Jason Howard’s new series Cemetery Beach is all action and no bullshit as a fast talking, should be faster running pathfinder and his badass assassin companion are on the run from a secret offworld colony’s goons and guards. Howard’s cartooning is splotchy and dynamic, and Ellis lets him cut loose with all kinds of shoot outs, explosions, and vehicular chases. There’s a bit of worldbuilding via witty banter at the beginning, but this is minimalist action storytelling at its most bombastic. Overall: 8 Verdict: Buy

Patrick

Mage: The Hero Denied #12 (Image)** – As the series progresses, I find myself zeroing in on just what it is that isn’t working for me, and it’s this: Kevin Matchstick doesn’t know MageTheHeroDenied_12-1what he wants to fight for. If what he really wanted was to have a quiet life as a family man, he’d completely ignore the Questing Beast and say that a King doesn’t Quest. If what he really wanted was to save his family, he would be tracking down his wife and kid with unstoppable relentlessness, marshalling every iota of power at his command. If he really was a King, he would be moving heaven and earth to save his kingdom and his family and his people. I would hope, after the end of this issue, that the powers that be will smack Matt Wagner upside the head with a copy of The Hero With A Thousand Faces and get this book on some kind of track. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Skip

Proxima Centauri #3 (Image)** – After the last page of last issue, I was ready for Farel Dalrymple to go deep. Alas, I was sorely disappointed with the ease with which Parasol and Sherwood dispatched of the little blue bots. And just when I thought that the kind of slacker vibe of this series was going to take a turn into something more interesting and powerful. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Skip

The Seeds #2 (Dark Horse/Berger Books)** – In this installment of Ann Nocenti & David Aja’s near-future SF noir, intrepid reporter Astra gets over the Wall and into the Zone to where tech isn’t allowed… except for a price. The revelation of this chapter is handled so casually that it actually enhances the creepiness of this book. Every page is like a trigger warning for people suffering from environmental collapse anxiety, and there is a panel on page 27 that almost made me burst into tears on the subway. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Hey Kids| Comics! #2 (Image)** – Howard Chaykin continues to frustrate me with his BD à clef about the American comics industry. On the one hand, as someone who, as a young writer, couldn’t square my love for comics and my disgust for the comics business, I appreciate Chaykin showing how casually and cruelly people got utterly fucked over. On the other hand, Chaykin’s scattershot approach doesn’t get us deep enough into any one character to really make these fuckings-over the kicks to the balls I want them to be. It may be that this betrays my desire for a certain kind of justice, whereas Chaykin may just be able to square (or at least tolerate) his desire for justice with his intimate knowledge of how the businesses of both comics and movies work. Either way, if Chaykin would straight up put out a book about Gil Kane, that’d be swell with me. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Leage of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest #2 (Top Shelf/Knockabout)** – Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill are not playing around. Jimmy B., the new M, hums a certain famous theme song and is everything horrible about the British Empire; Hugo Danner gets headbutted into oblivion on page 3; we get a double-page spread of Nemo’s Lincoln Island; and at the end, another casual holocaust. We are heading for a confrontation between the white supremacy of Bond and the diverse coalition of Nemo, and I can’t help but worry that the former are in the driver’s seat. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy



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 (**).

Review: Seeds #1

On the surface, The Seeds #1 seems like a winner. It’s a story featuring a harried journalist looking for the truth in an age of clickbait, a wall between a technology and non-technology using area, alien sex, and is Hawkeye and Immortal Iron Fist‘s David Aja‘s return to interior art. However, Ann Nocenti’s plotting jumps all over the place from anecdotes about bees and sex and Chairman Mao to interspersed images of crows and finally, the “good part” of the comic, the story of the aforementioned journalist Astra. I like the idea that the world of The Seeds is much like our own and a little bit like Cold War Berlin with a Neo-Luddite twist. But Nocenti’s worldbuilding comes in fits and cryptic starts.

A mystery is a good thing for a first issue of a comic, but the sequences with the gas mask wearing bee-like aliens lack any real emotional connection unlike the ones with Astra. The journalism and tech-free zone stuff is cool, but the aliens are kind of boring. Maybe, that’s Nocenti’s point: that mid-level alien workers are just as boring as their human equivalent. But it doesn’t make for entertaining reading. There’s an overly labored discussion about bees and pollination as some kind of hackneyed metaphor for what the aliens are doing on Earth too that seems like an excuse to drop the book’s title. At least, Aja pulls off some interesting hive-like layouts, and his art and the character of Astra are Seeds‘ sole redeeming factors.

David Aja works in monochrome in Seeds #1 so you can really see the care in his line work and inking. He uses Benday dots when depicting the technology-free zone and little sputters of light that are like a bright fluorescent light shining down into a dirty room. Human civilization is dying, and Aja’s art nails this better than any chatter about harvesting or people taking drugs that supposedly make you see your own death. He also isn’t afraid to get intimate with his character like spending a whole page showing Astra’s post-work routine as she goes from a disappointing meeting with her boss to hitting a bar to write some puff piece about a new drug on the scene. Two pages, eighteen panels, and we get an understanding of this truth driven, sharp witted, and sometimes cynical journalist. She’s a great character, who is unfortunately stuck in a dull comic.

Even though it’s a post-apocalyptic story, Seeds #1 seems like a Cold War/retro story with references to Roswell, the whole wall thing, and even the alien designs when they pop up.  It’s like those old 2000 AD stories that riffed on the American Civil War or Reagan’s presidency, but in the distant future and trying to be smart and serious. The references to click bait pop readers back into contemporary times and then a panel of a tabloid style newspaper kicks it back to the time of the Red Scare. Along with people abandoning technology, it’s an interesting concept, but sadly Ann Nocenti just mentions it and moves onto alien worker bee harvesting or unrelated juxtaposed images of birds in an attempt to make some point about the end of the world cut-up style. (William S. Burroughs did some of his best work in the 1950s and 1960s so it fits with the whole neo-Cold War shtick.) Or it could be the twin ravens of Odin signaling Ragnarok. Theorizing about this comic was more interesting than reading it.

The Seeds #1 has some ideas with potential like the “Neo-Luddite” zone, an intriguing, if a little pompous protagonist, and the skilled storytelling pacing and economic line work of David Aja. But it has long uninteresting stretches, its world is ill-defined, and goes down too many tangents aka I wasn’t hooked to check out issue two.

Story: Ann Nocenti Art/Letters: David Aja 
Story: 5.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 5.4 Recommendation: Pass

Dark Horse/Berger Books provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

« Older Entries