Iolanda Zanfardino and Elisa Romboli’sAlice in Leatherlandcontinues its queering of the fairy tale in its third issue as Alice continues to quest for true love (and also write a children’s book) while being employed in a San Francisco sex shop fittingly called Leatherland.Alice in Leatherland #3 dives head-first into the world of online dating with Alice’s new friends coaching her in etiquette, taking boudoir-ready pictures of her, and offering her a safety valve in case things go badly. And, unfortunately, they do with Alice immediately swiping on Robin, her friend and former artistic collaborator, who has kind of ghosted her since moving to San Francisco.
Featuring Romboli’s expressive cartooning and storybook asides that use a children’s book framing device to explore Alice in Leatherland’s themes and its protagonist’s feelings, Alice in Leatherland #3 also hurls Alice headlong into discovering what she wants out of relationships and sex. There’s almost a Goldilocks vibe to the two women that she meets up with in this book with the first one spending her time bragging about her workout routine and occasionally body-shaming Alice before opening a closet of copyright friendly Bad Dragon strap-on’s, and the other one focusing on her own pleasure instead of Alice’s. It’s safe to say that we won’t be seeing them in any future issues, and the situations are relatable to anyone entering the dating world and finding folks, who are mostly decent, but don’t have the energy that matches yours. They also provide a chance for Elisa Romboli to flex her comedy chops capturing Alice’s reactions to the dildos.
That moment is one of many memorable reaction shots drawn by her throughout the issue with Alice’s manager’s face when she tries to organize the porn DVDs into a “happy ending” category after bombing a presentation taking the cake. Zanfardino and Romboli mine a lot of humor out of a wholesome, hopeful woman working at a sex shop that she still sees as an alien planet, but she’s never the butt of the joke. Alice also exhibits a lot of incremental growth in this issue building off Alice in Leatherland #2 where she met some friendly bears at a Pride parade and started to bond and connect with her roommates instead of pining for Robin. The growth this time comes in knowing her own body and what gives her pleasure as she trades in two unsatisfying hook-ups for one of her employer’s wares, and Elisa Romboli nails the literally orgasmic euphoria she feels towards the end of the comic. Alice might not have found a princess in this issue, but she’s definitely increased her self-love.
Alice in Leatherland #3 is another excellent chapter in this stylized romance story that isn’t afraid to get messy and real about relationships while riffing off traditional fairy tale tropes in both the character names and the children’s book that Alice is writing in-story and using to process her feelings. I can definitely start to see the destination, but the fun of this book is watching Alice find herself and community in her new gayborhood as well as seeing the creative synergy of Iolanda Zanfardino and Elisa Romboli evolve through the series.
Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) 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 week.
Alice in Leatherland #3 (Black Mask Studios) – The sex-positive fantasy series has been intriguing so far and we want to read more and see more, of this type of storytelling.
Bunny Mask #1 (AfterShock) – A new horror series about an unnatural killer unleashed on the world after thousands of years of being locked away.
Cherry Blackbird #1 (Scout Comics/Black Caravan) – A rocker must nab demons for the devil or she’s doomed when she turns 27.
Eve #2 (BOOM! Studios) – The first issue was fantastic and we’re excited to see where this apocalytpic story goes.
Far Sector #12 (DC Comics/DC’s Young Animal) – The series wraps up and we seriously have no idea where it’s going to go.
Freak Snow #1 (Behemoth) – A frozen apocalyptic tale and lets face it, we’re suckers for those.
Girl From the Sea (Scholastic Graphix) – The concept sounds like Splash with an LGBT spin for younger readers.
The Good Asian #2 (Image Comics) – The Chinatown noir had an amazing first issue not just delivering a solid detective story but also confronting racism, social issues, and American history head on.
The Joker #4 (DC Comics) – The series has exceeded our expectations with a story not about the Joker but the man he tortured and wants to close that chapter of his life, James Gordon. There’s a Moby Dick vibe to the series that’s intriguing.
Maniac of New York #5 (AfterShock) – We’ve loved this series that brings the slasher concept to comics.
Miles Morales: Shock Waves (Scholastic Graphix) – A middle-grade story about Miles Morales, aka Spider-Man!
Minamata Story (Stone Bridge Press) – The story of “Minamata disease,” a debilitating and sometimes fatal condition caused by the Chisso chemical factory’s careless release of methylmercury into the waters of the coastal community of Minamata in southern Japan. Sounds like fantastic graphic journalism/history.
Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton #1 (Image Comics) – The world’s most unlikable action star has been found dead, and his previous TV sidekicks are looking to solve the mystery. The concepts sounds like a lot of fun to us.
Web of Spider-Man #1 (Marvel) – The description makes the series sound like it’s geared toward younger readers and we’re totally fine, and excited, about that.
Everfrost is described as “sci fi insanity” and that’s not too far off with a debut issue that’s a bit all over the place. Everfrost #1 is an interesting start that jumps around in its focus never quite explaining things enough to really make sense.
Written by Ryan K. Lindsay, the first issue focuses on Van Louise. She’s attempting to get off her planet which is embroiled in war. Well, we think it is. There’s some discussion from her and we’re dropped into a battle in the comic but things are never quite explained as to what’s going on beyond two groups that hate each other. She’s also a bit alone having to deal with the death of her son which is shown in flashbacks. Again, things are hinted at but never quite explained enough.
Everfrost #1 isn’t a bad debut at all. It just feels like it bounces a bit all over, taking the focus off the more interesting aspects. Van Louise is an interesting character. She’s clearly haunted by her past and she’s focused on her mission of getting off the planet. She’s joined by a talking monkey named Eight. That too is just kind of brushed off in a paragraph where Van Louise explains he just appeared and she didn’t really ask too many questions. It’s a microcosm of the weirdness of the comic. A frozen tundra, sea monkey like humans, decapitated rulers coming back. It all just kind of is, celebrating the craziness that can be science fiction.
That craziness is delivered through the art of Sami Kivelä. With color by Lauren Affe and lettering by Jim Campbell, the art is intriguing telling some of the story of the world. At times it feels like a messed up Earth but when you look at the details it’s just ever so off. Much like the concepts within, the art really prides itself on nailing down the all over look of the series. There’s a frozen tundra but also massive cities and shanty towns. The comic’s world feels lived in and organic in some ways. There’s also some art that feels off. The “human sea monkeys” don’t look quite right in their size when a panel zooms in on them but the concept overall is cool and depiction interesting.
Everfrost #1 is an interesting comic. It’d likely have been stronger focused in on Van Louise and her attempt to escape. But, it decides to show us a bit more of the world taking the focus all over. It’s one that has fantastic concepts. Now, if we could get a bit more of each.
Story: Ryan K. Lindsay Art: Sami Kivelä Color: Lauren Affe Letterer: Jim Campbell Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
Black Mask Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
written by Ryan K Lindsay illustrated by Sami Kivelä colored by Lauren Affe lettered by Jim Campbell $3.99 | 32 pages
Van Louise retired to the ice coast so she could quietly find a way off planet from a world on the wrong side of societal collapse.
She biohacks a dead leviathan to orchestrate passage away into the universe, but her plans are about to get chewed up by a mounting war between the Warlords – violent gatekeepers for the global ruling party – and the Bloom – those who risk extinction living out on the water – as well as a family reunion with her son who she hasn’t seen since he died in her arms when he was a child.
Join Ryan K Lindsay, award-winning writer of ETERNAL and NEGATIVE SPACE, as he teams yet again with Sami Kivelä, the artistic juggernaut behind ABBOTT and UNDONE BY BLOOD, alongside Lauren Affe, the colourist of THE WITCHER, STRANGER THINGS, and FIVE GHOSTS as they drop an absolute bomb of sci fi insanity and heartbreaking emotion in the grandest Black Mask tradition.
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. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.
These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.
Robin #1 (DC)– Joshua Williamson and “Big” Gleb Melnikov team up to kick off Damian Wayne’s new solo series as he fights to be a part of the League of Lazarus aka Mortal Kombat (Not vs.) DC Universe edition. Because it’s a tournament arc, there’s a couple expertly choreographed fights from Melnikov, but we also get to see his flaws, arrogance, and how much he misses Alfred and how much the Bat-family cares for him. Williamson and Gleb Melnikov create a new character who cuts through his bullshit and is a real challenge for him, and I’m excited to see more of them going forward. It’s been ages since a proper Robin solo title, and this one is the perfect fusion of Bat-family and shonen manga. (Melnikov even creates an in-universe manga.) Overall: 8.6 Verdict: Buy
Cable #10 (Marvel)– Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto continue to build up the return of old man Cable to help fight Stryfe storyline, but that plot mainly stays on the backburner for some father/son bonding between Kid Cable and Cyclops. The Arrakii mutants have been causing trouble in a London pub, and they break it up in a showcase of cool powers, tender love, and loathing of one’s past self. The Stryfe plotline has gotten a little elongated and timey wimey for its own good (See the one scene with old Cable), but I enjoyed the tension between what Cyclops wants for his son and what Kid Cable wants for basically his future. Overall: 7.4 Verdict: Read
New Mutants #17 (Marvel)– Vita Ayala continues to keep lots of plates spinning plot-wise and explores the nooks and crannies of Krakoa while Rod Reis brings the kick-ass, and in Otherworld’s case trippy visuals in New Mutants #17. Ayala is the master of the check-in as they resolve Mirage and Karma’s journey to Otherworld and see what some of the younger mutants are experimenting with, have Anole talk about not being able to pass as human, and have Wolfsbane confide in Shadow King. (Uh oh) The data pages act as a kind of verbal check-in. Reis goes all out with different textures, palettes, layouts, and even plays with perspective to show the danger, adventure, and magic of Otherworld, and although this storyline seems to have wrapped, I would like to see more of his take on it. New Mutants has a pretty big cast, but Ayala always take time to showcase individuals’ perspectives on the mutant experience and what Krakoa is like, which is why I keep reading it. Overall: 7.9 Verdict: Buy
Destiny, NY #2 (Black Mask Studios)– Destiny, NY #2 is like an emotionally mature and queer as hell continuation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a New York setting from Pat Shand and Manuel Preitano. Preitano brings clean, beautiful lines to his present day art and grey scale fuzziness as our protagonist Logan tells her current fling, Lilith, about how mundane saving the world was. And, of course, Lilith is the ultimate evil in the universe, and there are wheels in motion to take her down. However, what makes Destiny, NY a good read is how attuned Shand and Manuel Preitano are to their characters’ emotions with an extended sequence of Logan being told by her ex that she has narcissistic personality disorder that turns into a giant argument and makes you really feel for this book’s protagonist. Destiny, NY #2 has the right blend of slice of life, supernatural intrigue, and relatable and charismatic characters, and I definitely look forward to future issues at Pat Shand and Preitano are only scratching the surface of this complex, urban fantasy world. Overall: 8.8 Verdict: Buy
Shadowman #1 (Valiant)– Shadowman #1 boasts gruesome, eye-catching art from Jon Davis-Hunt, and that alone makes it worth checking out as he, writer Cullen Bunn, and colorist Jordie Bellaire go deep into a world where the barrier between our world and the supernatural is quite thin. This comic introduces Jack Boniface and his loa-derived powers in an exciting way as he teams up with his frenemy Baron Samedi to investigate an Eyes Wide Shut death cult. Bunn takes a heavy touch with the narration, but he and Davis-Hunt use this first issue to show Shadowman in action rather than going blow by blow about his lore and backstory. They also use the Deadside as a source of monthly monsters and create a little bit of intrigue for upcoming issues while Shadowman banishes blood eating locusts from our plane of existence. As seen on his work on Clean Room, Jon Davis-Hunt is a gifted storyteller who isn’t afraid to gaze into the abyss of human depravity, and these talents make him well-suited for Shadowman #1, which is one of the best looking superhero books of 2021. Hopefully, less of the issue will be covered by frankly repetitive text boxes. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy
Witchblood #2 (Vault)– Witchblood #2 is a big improvement from its previous issue, but I don’t think I’m in love with this fantasy Western as much as the rest of the comics Internet seems to be. I do enjoy Matthew Erman’s southern fried dialogue, Gab Contreras’ candy color palette, and Lisa Sterle’s general aesthetic for the series. It has a sense of humor featuring vampires who have feelings about country music and get into crystals, but I feel like all the reasons I should care about plot developments are happening off panel. Witchblood is a cute, sassy comic, but it hasn’t found its footing yet. Overall: 7.4 Verdict: Read
Teen TItans Academy (DC Comics) – There’s some solid twists and turns in the issue, especially the ending. The series is doing a good job of introducing the students while building a mystery. There’s some drama, and it’s evenly split between the students and teachers. This feels like a nice successor to classic X-Men stories. Overall Rating: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
Black Widow #2 (Marvel) – Fantastic visuals and action-packed story. After a hell of an opening story arc, this issue kicks off the next one and is able to keep up with the high bar and high expectations. There’s a solid setup of a villain for Black Widow to take on but it’s the visuals and fun attitude that really pop in this issue. A great starting point and those already reading will be more than happy. Overall Rating: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Shadowman #1 (Valiant) – The debut issue is fantastic with a solid mix of horror and action and some great visuals. I actually felt bad about a demon! The series is a solid introduction to the character and I think universal praise from the GP team says it all. Overall Rating: 9.0 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 (**).
Black Mask Studios has announced that Alice in Leatherland #1 has sold out at the distributor level! The second printing features a brand new cover by series co-creator Elisa Romboli!
After her fairytale fantasy life is destroyed by her girlfriend’s infidelity, sheltered Alice heads to raucous San Francisco on a journey of sexual awakening, community building, and self-discovery.
Created by real-life couple Iolanda Zanfardino and Elisa Romboli while they were in pandemic lockdown together, Alice in Leatherland is a new comic book mini-series that’s a diverse sex comedy and a very modern romantic comedy all in one, celebrating its diverse ensemble’s joys, kinks, and loves.
In Alice in Leatherland, Alice, a young writer of children’s story books, is hurtled out of her fairytale-like life when she discovers her girlfriend has been cheating on her! Charmingly defiant, she leaves her small forest town and leaps into a new adventure to seek love (and find herself) in the fast life of San Francisco. There, her concept of pure, magical love will be completely overturned–but her biggest challenge won’t be reckoning with other people’s sexual drive, it’ll be getting a grip on her own!
Alice, a young writer of children’s story books, is hurtled out of her fairytale-like life when she discovers her girlfriend has been cheating on her!
Charmingly defiant, she leaves her small forest town and leaps into a new adventure to seek love (and find herself) in the fast life of San Francisco. There, her concept of pure, magical love will be completely overturnedher biggest challenge won’t be reckoning with other people’s sexual drive, it’ll be getting a grip on her own!
From your new favorite writer and artist team of Iolanda Zanfardino and Elisa Romboli, Alice In Leatherland is a comedy about sex and so, inevitably, about every other aspect of life, too.
All scientist-warrior Van Louise wanted was to retire and get off-planet as her society collapsed, but she’s unearthed a mystery involving the death of her son… and she can’t leave without discovering the truth first–even as war brews in her violent and fantastical world.
That’s the situation facing our hero in Everfrost, the comic book series launching in June 2021 from Black Mask Studios.
Together, writer Ryan K Lindsay and artist Sami Kivelä, who previously co-created Black Mask’s 2017 breakout Beautiful Canvas together, now joined by colorist Lauren Affe and letterer Jim Campbell, have created an emotionally resonant tale of sci-fi insanity and heartbreaking emotion.
In Everfrost, Van Louise retired to the ice coast so she could quietly find a way off planet from a world on the wrong side of societal collapse. She biohacks a dead leviathan to orchestrate passage away into the universe, but her plans are about to get chewed up by a mounting war between the Warlords – violent gatekeepers for the global ruling party – and the Bloom – those who risk extinction living out on the water – as well as a family reunion with her son who she hasn’t seen since he died in her arms when he was a child.
Back in 2008, Matteo Pizzolo and artist Anna Wieszczyk envisioned a dark future: after a pandemic and insurrection topple civilization as we know it, a Fascist government known as The Republic rises, and a misfit crew of orphans, sex workers, and pariahs come together to bring it down.
Thirteen years after its debut with Godkiller: Walk Among Us, this tale of caring for one another as the world falls apart around us is as urgent and relevant as ever. And it’s back.
April 2021’s Godkiller: Tomorrow’s Ashes picks up after the events of Walk Among Us, which was originally released as an underground comic in 2008, adapted into an animated film in 2011, and re-released in comics format by Black Mask Studios in 2014.
In Godkiller: Tomorrow’s Ashes, orphan Tommy continues his quest to find a new heart for his dying sister, but he’s been captured by The Republic. Anti-heroine Halfpipe wants to rescue Tommy, but she’ll need help from mysterious bounty hunter Soledad, who’s not exactly in the helping-people business. From Matteo Pizzolo (CALEXIT) and Anna Wieszczyk (INTERESTING DRUG), the comic that Zac Thompson said “pushed me further than I’ve ever been pushed” returns to ratchet up the chaos and roar through the comic market, spitting punk rock fury, thundering into your eyeballs and running roughshod across your brains with its often mindbending, sometimes horrifying, always clever & devious tale of sci-fi magic, apocalyptic sex, and subversive mindbombs.
Godkiller: Tomorrow’s Ashes #1 hits stores on April 21, 2021 with a stunning painted cover by Nen Chang and beautiful variant covers by Anna Wiesczyk and Leila Del Duca.
After her fairytale fantasy life is destroyed by her girlfriend’s infidelity, sheltered Alice heads to raucous San Francisco on a journey of sexual awakening, community building, and self-discovery.
Created by real-life couple Iolanda Zanfardino (writer) and Elisa Romboli (artist) while they were in pandemic lockdown together, Alice in Leatherland is a new comic book mini-series launching in April 2021 from Black Mask Studios.
In Alice in Leatherland, Alice, a young writer of children’s storybooks, is hurtled out of her fairytale-like life when she discovers her girlfriend has been cheating on her! Charmingly defiant, she leaves her small forest town and leaps into a new adventure to seek love (and find herself) in the fast life of San Francisco. There, her concept of pure, magical love will be completely overturned–but her biggest challenge won’t be reckoning with other people’s sexual drive, it’ll be getting a grip on her own! From your new favorite writer and artist team of Iolanda Zanfardino and Elisa Romboli, Alice In Leatherland is a comedy about sex and so, inevitably, about every other aspect of life, too.