Tag Archives: big planet comics

Review: The Winner

Retrofit Comics is known for publishing some amazing indie comics and I got a chance to read one of the entries from their latest Kickstarter to publish their 2018 lineup. The Winner is by Karl Stevens and only one word can describe it… amazing.

The Winner is a series of short comics, with a few longer ones, by Stevens that blends high and low art and explores the world of that in comics. Early on Stevens questions his place as an artist and from there explores the world with his life as well as creates fantastical worlds. There’s fantasy. There’s science fiction. And there’s slice of life. The 104 page graphic novel is a blending of topics that all have a theme laid out in the beginning, where does Stevens fit in comics and art?

Stevens wears his doubt in his sleeve. Though he received a Xeric Foundation grant, has been nominated for awards, where his style fits in the two worlds is an interesting one.

For the most part, Stevens delivers a painted style which looks absolutely gorgeous. With his wife as his muse the stories vary in topics but the style is pretty consistent and it just looks amazing. We’re talking art gallery worthy comic art. Beyond the short thoughts, Stevens delivers some longer form comics all of which evoke a trippy narrative that evokes Kirby and Starlin.

The package is award worthy material and shows the impeccable taste of Retrofit Comics. I constantly say when you see their name on a comic you know you’re in for quality and this graphic novel is a prime example of it. There’s some amazing shorts which took my breath away and others that had me laughing. No matter what, the material is easy to relate to and a style you’ll linger on.

It’s an absolute must get.

Story: Karl Stevens Art: Karl Stevens
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Retrofit Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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 are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Barrier #4 (Image Comics/Panel Syndicate) – The digital series is now in print and it’s even better physically in our hands. Absolutely amazing and timely as the series explores barriers in geography, culture, genders, language, and more.

Black Panther #1 (Marvel) – A new direction for Black Panther and it’s VERY different for the character and series. So many unanswered questions.

The Flash #47 (DC Comics) – “Flash War” kicks off!

Hunt for Wolverine: Mystery in Madripoor #1 (Marvel) – A mini-event in a way with numerous mini-series. They’ve shockingly been good so far.

Justice League: No Justice #3 (DC Comics) – It’s a turn off your brain popcorn event that’s a lot of fun to see the villains and heroes interacting. Some great moments in this one.

Lumberjanes #50 (BOOM! Studios) – It’s rare a comic makes it to fifty issues, even rarer for a smallish press comic to do so. Celebrate with this issue!

Skyward #2 (Image Comics) – Beyond creative and entertaining the story touches upon so many things like class struggle with a cool concept of a world where gravity is near gone.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – Through the Mirror #4 (IDW Publishing) – The Mirror Universe comes into the Prime Universe and the story has been really entertaining. If you like the Mirror Universe Trek stories, you’ll love this.

Star Wars #48 (Marvel) – Well into an arc, we’ve been seeing the battle to liberate Mon Cala which is actually been pretty good and a solid addition to the Star Wars universe.

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #20 (Marvel) – Basically the Star Wars version of Indiana Jones and boy does the series work. Just lots of fun and pure entertainment.

The Winner (Retrofit/Big Planet Comics) – Karl Stevens’ amazing graphic novel that’s beyond beautiful to read and look at. An amazing small press/indie comics that’s a must get.

X-O Manowar (2017) #15 (Valiant) – Epic is the only way to describe the story that writer Matt Kindt has been weaving with a series of artists. This issue marks a new jumping on point “Barbarians” that leads directly into Valiant’s next big event Harbinger Wars 2!

Review: The Winner

Retrofit Comics is known for publishing some amazing indie comics. I got a chance to read one of their newest releases early. The Winner is by Karl Stevens and only one word can describe it… amazing.

Check out my full review of this graphic novel that’s a must get.

You can order it now!

Review: The Winner

Retrofit Comics is known for publishing some amazing indie comics and with a Kickstarter currently running, I got a chance to read one of the entries for their latest early. The Winner is by Karl Stevens and only one word can describe it… amazing.

The Winner is a series of short comics, with a few longer ones, by Stevens that blends high and low art and explores the world of that in comics. Early on Stevens questions his place as an artist and from there explores the world with his life as well as creates fantastical worlds. There’s fantasy. There’s science fiction. And there’s slice of life. The 104 page graphic novel is a blending of topics that all have a theme laid out in the beginning, where does Stevens fit in comics and art?

Stevens wears his doubt in his sleeve. Though he received a Xeric Foundation grant, has been nominated for awards, where his style fits in the two worlds is an interesting one.

For the most part, Stevens delivers a painted style which looks absolutely gorgeous. With his wife as his muse the stories vary in topics but the style is pretty consistent and it just looks amazing. We’re talking art gallery worthy comic art. Beyond the short thoughts, Stevens delivers some longer form comics all of which evoke a trippy narrative that evokes Kirby and Starlin.

The package is award worthy material and shows the impeccable taste of Retrofit Comics. I constantly say when you see their name on a comic you know you’re in for quality and this graphic novel is a prime example of it. There’s some amazing shorts which took my breath away and others that had me laughing. No matter what, the material is easy to relate to and a style you’ll linger on. It’s an absolute must get.

You can back Retrofit Comics’ Kickstarter now and get The Winner when it’s published in May.

Story: Karl Stevens Art: Karl Stevens
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Retrofit Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Retrofit Comics 2018 Includes 12 new Graphic Novels. Now on Kickstarter

Retrofit Comics is one of the best kept secrets in comics publishing some of the best indie comic work out there. They comic company has a new Kickstarter which runs until April 27 where you can get their 2018 releases (and more).

If you get all 12 comics/graphic novels, you get them at over 50% off, and if that’s still too much, you can pick and choose what you want.

What’s on tap for 2018?

  • All the Sad Songs – Summer Pierre – a 104 page black and white softcover graphic memoir.
  • Fashion Forecasts – Yumi Sakugawa – 72 color pages and explores fashion in a not-so-distant future.
  • I Love You – Sara Lautman – 72 color pages, collects stories and strips from 2017.
  • John, Dear – Laura Lannes – This 48 page comic is about a bad relationship.
  • Our Wretched Town Hall – Eric Kostiuk Williams – 64 color pages, explores a whole bunch of trippy subjects.
  • The Prince – Liam Cobb – 120 two color pages, this softcover graphic novel is a take on the Frog Prince fairytale.
  • Survive 300 Million 1 – Pat Aulisio – this 76 color paged comic traverses the post-man ruinscape of the future.
  • Survive 300 Million 2: Serpentine Captives – Pat Aulisio – is a 92 page color graphic novel and the second of the series.
  • The Troublemakers – Baron Yoshimoto – a 248 black and white graphic novel is a collection of some of the best stories of Yoshimoto.
  • TRUMPTRUMP vol. 2: Modern Day Presidential – Warren Craghead III – 208 black and white pages of grotesque portraits of Donald Trump and his minions.
  • Understanding – Becca Tobin – 100 color pages of short stories about going to parties, spending money on stuff, voyeurism and ritual.
  • The Winner – Karl Stevens – 104 color pages hat dissects the line between the worlds of high and low art.

You can find out more about each project including preview art. Go back it now, you won’t be disappointed.

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 are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Alex

Top Pick: Bloodshot Salvation #8 (Valiant) – After the ambitious issue told from Bloodshot’s point of view where you saw what he saw (only he was blind s we got a black comic with the only art on the pages being in the form of the panel borders), I’m really interested to see how Lemire follows that up. While I have no doubt this will be a really good comic, there is precedence after all, I’m curious to see how it stands up after #7 – a comic that I feel is incredible.

Ninja-K #6 (Valiant) – In any other week this would be on top of my Most Wanted list. In fact there’s such a gulf between this and the next that I didn’t bother to write it down. Why bother, really?

 

Joe

Top Pick: Oblivion Song #2 (Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment) – A new series is always exciting, and when Kirkman creates a new universe, it’s even more exciting. After a set up issue, it will be great to see what this world has in store. This is a solid pick for fans of sci-fi dystopian tales.

Gideon Falls #2 (Image Comics) – Another new series from a great writer, Lemire. I enjoyed the tone of the first issue, even if it did make me a little anxious. This is one freaky little town. Great for fans of horror.

The Avengers #688 (Marvel) – This train keeps rolling! The elders are coming to their endgame and each week this book juggles so many characters and does it effectively. This could become a classic Avengers tale.

X-Men Red #3 (Marvel) – Jean Grey has returned and with her comes a new team. This book deals with old school X-book themes like racism and mutants, and how they fit into the world of humanity. The first two issues have been good.

Captain America #700 (Marvel) – Waid’s time on the book is coming to a close, and Coates is beginning his run soon. This is a landmark issue and the end of a time travel arc that has been fun. It’s classic Captain America and the end of a run that acts as a palate cleanser to Hydra-Cap.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Dodge City #2 (BOOM! Studios) – This is a week with lots of solid new releases and fantastic comics coming out so to narrow them down to five is a tough one. That being said, this is a comic that’s on the top of my pile to read. The first issue was cute, entertaining, just a lot of fun. A comic about dodge ball? Yeah, I’m sold.

Big Planet Comics Red (Big Planet/Retrofit Comics) – An anthology featuring 15 artists from the DMV (Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia). This publisher consistently puts out amazing indie comics.

Crude #1 (Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment) – I read this first issue and it’s a gut punch of a story. Boiled down, it’s a revenge story, but the details, the setting, it’s just a raw and gritty comic that’s so good.

Domino #1 (Marvel) – Gail Simone writing Domino. Nuff said.

Exiles #1 (Marvel) – While I haven’t been a fan of this series in the past, the fact writer Saladin Ahmed is handling this volume has me excited.

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!

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.

Joe

Top Pick: Grass Kings #1 (BOOM! Studios) – Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins are delivering a series that looks like it would come from Image or Dark Horse, but instead it comes from BOOM! The publisher has had multiple great series, but this looks like the start of something new from them, and boy did they get a hell of a creative team behind this book. Kindt is one of my favorite creators, and with Jenkins on art, this series looks fantastic.

Man-Thing #1 (Marvel) – RL Stine writing a Marvel comic about that other Swamp Thing dude?! Hell yeah! It’s about time Ted aka Man-Thing got his due with a good updated comic, and Stine may just be the perfect voice for that. Let’s hope he writes more Marvel stories!

Low #16 (Image) – Remender’s had some amazing series lately, and this is another one. I cannot wait to see what the heck is going to happen since this book left on a pretty crazy cliffhanger. Time to see if what I think happened actually happened. Knowing Remender, it did.

Action Comics #975 (DC Comics) – That last Superman issue was wild. What a way to kick start the “Superman Reborn” arc. I won’t give much away, but Fake Clark Kent is something else. I mean that kind of literally. This dude doesn’t seem to be human, and just made more questions than answers.

Old Man Logan #19 (Marvel) – Lemire is leaving the series after #24, and that makes me sad. Brisson has massive shoes to fill, and I can’t wait to see how Lemire ends this with the “Past Lives” arc, but we are not quite there yet. I am always excited for Logan, especially anything from Lemire on this run. It’s so good!

 

Brett

Top Pick: Secret Coders Vol. 3: Secrets & Sequences (First Second) – Gene Luen Yang and Mike Homes returns with the third volume of his kids focused graphic novel series. What’s wonderful about the series is that it not only entertains but also teaches how to code. Even as an adult I find myself learning more and more with each volume. Yang has a knack for teaching complicated (and at times boring) material in an engaging and fun way.

California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before the Mamas & the Papas (First Second) – This graphic novel is a biography of Mama Cass and the 1960s New York Folk scene. A fantastic graphic novel from Pénélope Bagieu taking a look at a music icon.

Grass Kings #1 (BOOM! Studios) – A new series by Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins. Those two creators alone have gotten me to take notice. The concept of ” three brothers and rulers of a trailer park kingdom, a fiefdom of the hopeless and lost, of the desperate poor seeking a promised land” just makes it all the more awesome.

I Thought You Hated Me (Retrofit Comics/Big Planet Comics) – Retrofit/Big Planet puts out fantastic indie comic series and this one by MariNaomi is a great read that focuses on friendship through the years. This should be your small press buy this week.

Man-Thing #1 (Marvel) – RL Stine brings his brand of horror to this classic character and Marvel. This has been a comic I’ve been fascinated by and can’t wait for. I have no doubt it’ll be fantastic.

 

Paul

Top Pick: Inhumans vs. X-Men #6 (Marvel) – This is the end!  The X-Men and Inhumans face off to end the war between them and when the dust settles, both sides will be left affected whether good or bad.  This has been an action packed event and I can’t wait to see the outcome!

Jessica Jones #6 (Marvel) – We now know how and why Jessica’s life has been turned upside down, and we know the big bad and their motives.  Now we have to see how Jessica will get through it all.  I’ve really enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to see how this all comes around and if Jessica can get back to some level of normalcy…at least as normal as a super heroes life can be.

Old Man Logan #19 (Marvel) – This title has consistently delivered and I’m looking forward to this new story.  The solicit tells of Logan righting a wrong and getting some help from an unlikely ally – given what we’ve seen from this book, that could be anyone!

 

Shay

Pick of the Week: Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys #1 – (Dynamite Entertainment) – It’s like the books we used to read when we were little, all grown up. Nancy Drew plays the femme fatale detective on a mission to prove that the Hardin boys, Frank and Joe, didn’t Menendez their dad.

Guardians of the Galaxy #1.MU (Marvel) – Groot has been kidnapped and the team reunites to get our fave monosyllabic nature man back from the bad guys.

Motor Crush #4 (Image) -An injured Domino might not be able to race and the origin of Crush is revealed.

Suicide Squad #13 (DC Comics) – Deadshot is getting out of the squad and the death of one of someone on the team is his way out.

Jessica Jones #6 (Marvel) – The new, improved bad guy is revealed and Jessica has got a lot of explaining to do.

 

Alex

Top Pick: Old Man Logan #19 (Marvel) – So…. I thought this was out last week… and it wasn’t. Anyway, having seen Logan twice now, I’m super excited to get my hands on this issue for the simple fact that Lemire has been writing so really good stories featuring one of my favourite characters.

Man-Thing #1 (Marvel) – I know nothing about this other than it’s a five issue miniseries on a character that’s always interested me.

Redline #1 (Oni Press) – Based on the preview text, this looks like it’ll right up my alley – which is strange since I normally don’t like much sci-fi.

Wednesday Comic Rally: Libby’s Dad

libbys_20dad_20cover_20small_originalPublished by Retrofit Comics, the comic is a beautifully drawn and colored indie comic that’s engrossing and entertaining exploring youth and how rumors can spin out of control and shape reality.

The story is basically a few girls at a pool party who begin to discuss why one of their friends aren’t there. It’s best to not reveal too much and see for yourself to see where the story goes. You never know exactly where that is.

Davis does an amazing job building the story throughout the comic and gets it to a point that you’re not sure what to believe until you get to the ending… and it’s a hell of a twist that had me gasping. It’s masterful storytelling at a great pace that captures the essences of sleepovers and kids chattering.

This is a perfect example of a comic where the less said the better because part of my enjoyment was not knowing what the comic was about and feeling the tension build as I didn’t know where things were going. Is this a simple story of kids playing telephone? Is this going to be a bloodbath? Is this a story about abuse? It’s wonderful storytelling.

The art too is fantastic with a style that’s hard to describe. The color choice is almost like crayons, it’s unique and absolutely fantastic adding to the childlike aspect of the story.

Libby’s Dad is an amazing example of indie comics and one folks should check out. Retrofit Comics puts out amazing comics and this is a fine release to show off how some of the best comics are being produced by indie and small publishers. Another home run for Retrofit and a fantastic comic by Davis.

You can by the comic now through Retrofit Comics’ website in print or as a PDF, from Things From Another World, or from Amazon.

 

 

 

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Review: Summerland

summerlandSummerland is the story of Santana and her cousin Gwen who work on a play with Chucho while all three are vacationing, created by the animator Paloma Dawkins, who works in a riotous color palette.

Paloma Dawkins has created a comic that’s visually a stunner in Summerland, published by Retrofit Comics. The story is pretty simple taking us through some of the life of Santana and Gwen, but it’s the visuals that draw the reader in.

The colors especially jump from the page in a trippy colorfest that reminds me of my childhood watching 3..2..1… Contact. There’s this weird retro-art thing going on. It’s unique, and really stands out.

I’d say the colors visually assault you, and that may sound like a bad thing, but I don’t mean it that way. The colors are bright in a technicolor rainbow that changes as the comic progresses through the story. From yellow and green to blue to purples to red to orange and back again the colors are as cyclical in what they’re saying as the story is. It’s just amazing to look at and no review will do it justice the visuals matter that much. If you look at the cover you’ll get an idea as to what to expect.

What strikes me about Summerland is that the colors that Dawkins chooses to use say as much about the story as anything else. Where each color is placed, what hue to use, it’s all worth examining and you’ll want to.

Summerland is a visual treat and if you’re into indie comics or love a colorful visual, it’s a comic well worth checking out.

Story: Paloma Dawkins Art: Paloma Dawkins
Story: 7.5 Art: 10 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Our Mother

our_20mother_20cover_20small_originalOur Mother is a comedy about growing up with a parent who has an anxiety disorder. Luke Howard mixes genres to tell an utterly open personal reflection about his childhood and his relationship with his mother. Jumping between noir, giant robots, fantasy adventure, and even scientific animal research, Luke brings a very intimate story to life with humor and cartooning experimentation.

Our Mother begins with what feels like a bunch of sets of short stories, vignettes that don’t have much to do with each other though may share a theme. As the comic progresses, Howard impressively brings everything together in a world of weird, and rather humorous events.

It’s hard to describe the comic as a whole except take the choppy storytelling made famous by Tarantino, but mix that with an experimental tale. Things such as depression, being trapped in a loop, and more are touched upon in the 40 pages. It’s an interesting reflection on relationships that comes together with humor and an honesty that unveils itself as the story progresses.

The art by Howard is great with a style that is hard to describe. It’s so clean and looks great. Howard seems to have a knack at focusing on the details needed per panel framing each scene in a way that enhances the storytelling. What’s interesting is even with the change in genres and settings, it all, the story, the art, seems very personal. Yes, giant robots somehow feel personal.

Retrofit again shows off that they’re a leader of indie comics and continue to impress with each release. This is a publisher that deserves your attention as their releases rarely disappoint and almost always entertain. If you’re new to the world of indie comics, seek out Retrofit and expand your mind and reading pile.

Story: Luke Howard Art: Luke Howard
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

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