Tag Archives: Comics

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 3/14

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.

Shean

Star Wars Bounty Hunters #1 (Marvel)– In an in between story of the original trilogy, we find Boba on a protection job. As we find out that his personal history with the two other Bounty Hunters would conflict. As someone else from Bob’s past resurfaces, we find fan favorite Doctor Aphra looking for a high prized Bounty that puts her in a collision course with Boba. By issue’s end, Boba carrying some precious cargo himself decides to diverge his course, in hopes of meeting this person from his past. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Logan

Cable #1 (Marvel) Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto give Cable #1 a really fun, swashbuckling tone beginning with single arena combat between Cable and Wolverine. This young Cable really has a lust for life and marvels at his ability to use weapons, telekinesis, telepathy, and also dating Armor and Pixie at the same time. He’s a classic “superbrat” hero, but Duggan and Noto introduce responsibility into his life with a couple, basically teasers for this storyline and maybe even X of Swords. They’re cool, and Noto uses both a thinner and a more painterly style for the pair of teases. However, they feel a little disjointed to the main story like ending a movie with a trailer for the next one. All in all, Cable #1 has an enjoyable tone, fantastic art and colors from Phil Noto, and introduces a couple of big time threats for the old, grumpy time traveler turned douchey (with a heart of gold) whipper snapper. Overall: 8.2 Verdict: Buy

X-Men #8 (Marvel)– X-Men #8 feels like a continuation of Jonathan Hickman’s New Mutants in space arc with art from Mahmud Asrar and guest appearances from the Summers brothers and one of my all time favorite X-supporting characters, the lovable, loquacious Broo. Broo appears in this comic because the mythical Egg King has appeared in Krakoa courtesy of the New Mutants’ space jaunt and has attracted wave after wave of Brood hoard to find it. This leads to the egg getting thrown into space, but not after Asrar ably combines horror and action storytelling in big, damn fight scene as Cyclops and Magik fight off the Brood in Krakoa. Also, there’s a lot of intergalactic politics, but the thread is more difficult to follow compared to New Mutants, and I guess I need to read “War of Kings”. However, it’s nice to see a New Mutants story metastasize into an X-Men story, and Hickman flex those Avengers instead of X-Men muscles. Overall: 7.6 Verdict: Read

Adler #2 (Titan)– Lavie Tidhar’s plot starts to unfold in Adler #2 as Irene Adler and Jane Eyre begin their cat and mouse game against Ayesha (From H. Rider Haggard’s She) and Carmilla. Tidhar and Paul McCaffrey go beyond a drawing room and turn this into a sprawling Victorian crime saga, which is its strength as Ayesha takes over Professor Moriarty’s criminal empire while Adler and Eyre search for his murderer. This comic’s weakness is the MacGuffin of “papers”, which appear at the beginning and the end of the book without any real connective tissue to what’s going on in the middle. There’s no suspense because there’s no reason to care about them other than as an opportunity to trot out cameos from Little Orphan Annie (Captured in McCaffrey’s realist style.) and Madame Curie. Overall: 7.4 Verdict: Read

Aggretsuko #2 (Oni Press)– Jarrett Williams plays on one of the strengths of licensed comics and uses it to explore a character pairing that hasn’t showed up in the Aggretsuko TV show, Retsuko and her vapid deer co-worker, Tsunoda. Tsunoda is still a shallow character, but Williams teases out some of her backstory about how she always wanted to be fashionable, glamorous, and doesn’t mind maxing out credit cards to do so. Sarah Stern uses a pastel palette, including plenty of pinks, to make the flashback scenes pop. All in all, Aggretsuko #2 is a great satire of influencer and consumer culture where philanthropic events aren’t there to help people, but to gain followers and “clout”. Plus it has some high energy death metal growl scenes in the Aggretsuko tradition. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy

Decorum #1 (Image)– The new creator-owned SF comic from Jonathan Hickman and Mike Huddleston has god-tier visuals from a painted, silent prologue basically doing conquistadors in space to a fight scene using a painted diamond as a projectile weapon. Huddleston can go from scratchy inks to full color painted visuals at the drop of the hat while Hickman’s data pages range from the macro (Factions, planets, all-important backstories) to the micro (The makeup of noodle dish the protagonist is consuming). Like most Hickman works, there’s a lot to process in Decorum #1, but he and Huddleston keep things entertaining by having plenty of cool assassins, gangsters, and space shit to go with the granular worldbuilding. Overall: 9.0 Verdict: Buy

SFSX #7 (Image)– SFSX’s first arc comes to a close with Tina Horn and Jen Hickman showing the surviving sex workers at Dirty Mind fighting the patriarchy and not winning any kind of permanent victory, but doing a kind of shot across the bow. Oppression and normalcy might still be the ruling party, but there is still room for kink and queerness out there. Hickman’s art and colors continue to match the high energy of Horn’s thriller plot, but there’s also a sadness to her work too. SFSX #7 is a strong end to the first storyline and leaves you wanting a little more. Overall: 8.3 Verdict: Buy

Hawkeye Freefall #4 (Marvel)– Matthew Rosenberg and Otto Schmidt’s Hawkeye Freefall #4 really has it all: dynamic cartooning (The Hawkeye/Spider-Man hand to hand fight is a highlight), body swap hijinks, vigilante action, and awkward interpersonal dynamics. Clint’s motivation to don the Ronin costume shines clearer in this issue as he knows that the Kingpin runs the city so instead of taking him out or the Hood, he’s going to funnel the Hood’s money into a drug treatment center. He’s trying to get to the heart of the problem instead of punching things. There is quite a lot of punching as Daredevil rustles up a task force featuring such varied characters as D-Man, US Agent, Mockingbird, Falcon, and Winter Soldier, but they mostly end up getting duped by an LMD and a Skrull that Hawkeye found breakdancing awkwardly on the subway. Hawkeye Freefall expertly juggles action, comedy, and social conscience, and is easily one of my favorite Marvel releases of 2020 so far. Overall: 9.2 Verdict: 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 (**).

Oni Press Launches an Online Pop Up Shop Due to Emerald City Comic Con Cancellation

Oni Press has launched an exclusive online pop up shop offering all planned exclusives for Emerald City Comic Con, and books from all creators previously scheduled to sign!

In the announcement, Oni Press publisher James Lucas Jones said:

While the decision not to attend was difficult for many reasons, one of our first considerations was supporting the creators and books we had planned to promote there. We realize many of our creators depend on convention income, and want to do our part to help where we can through sales of their books and merchandise. Additionally, we want to bring as much of the convention experience to fans as possible, despite our lack of a presence on the show floor.

Oni Press unveils multiple exclusive items available now in limited quantities, exclusively through the Oni Press #ECCC2020 Pop Up Store, including the first items in an all-new merchandise partnership with Achewood creator Chris Onstad. 

Oni will ship all items at no charge, just as if you picked them up at the con, and is offering 10% off all items featured in this special storefront.

Oni Announces Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters from Chris Samnee, Laura Samnee, Matthew Wilson, and Crank!

Chris Samnee teams with co-writer Laura Samnee and colorist Matthew Wilson for an ongoing middle reader adventure series, Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters in June.

Exploring the drive and boundaries of rebuilding a family after disaster strikes, Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters follows a tag-team of brawn and brains as two sisters, Rainbow and Jonna, strike out into the unknown on a hunt for their missing father, who was taken a year before. 

Battling treacherous territory as the planet around them mysteriously dries up, Rainbow and Jonna will have to combat monsters as they struggle to rediscover their trust and sisterly bond after a year of separation, they struggle to find people in this new world they can trust to help them along the way.

Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters is an ongoing series for ages 8 years and above, available in comic shops everywhere in June.

Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters
Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters

Aggretsuko #1 Sells Out and Goes Back to Print

Oni Press has found success with a day-one sellout of the debut issue of Sanrio’s Aggretsuko!

Aggretsuko #1 reunites Daniel Barnes and D.J. Kirkland, the team behind the widely acclaimed graphic novel, The Black Mage. bringing Kirkland’s colorful anime-influenced style to Aggretsuko, the hit Netflix show in production for season three. Aggretsuko stars Retsuko the Red Panda, a young office worker stuck in a thankless job, whose only stress release is singing heavy metal at the local karaoke joint. With the help of her friends, can she ever find the job satisfaction she craves – – not to mention adventure, the approval of her mother, and even… love?! These comics explore all these issues and more, with each issue brought to life by a revolving team of today’s top talent!

Oni Press is going back to print with a brand-new cover by D.J. Kirkland, available for order now to arrive in stores alongside the second issue on March 11. Orders are due from retailers on both the #1 reprint on Monday February 17.

Aggretsuko #1

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Dark Agnes #1

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.

Adler #1 (Titan Comics) – Sherlock’s love Irene Adler is on a mission to take down Moriarty!

Backtrack #1 (Oni Press) – A cross history car race allows the winner to erase one mistake from their life.

Conan: Battle for the Serpent Crown #1 (Marvel) – Conan’s in the modern world and heads to Vegas. The story itself is a typical fantasy adventure but the setting and characters makes it stand out.

Dark Agnes #1 (Marvel) – Robert E. Howard’s creation comes to comics and it’s a really fun debut with lots of action and great pacing and dialogue.

Doctor Doom #5 (Marvel) – One of Marvel’s best comics out right now. Each issue has been fantastic as conspiracy reigns.

Going to the Chapel #4 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – The off the rails wedding wraps up and how it ends, we have no idea! A fantastic comic series that we hope to see on the big screen.

The Man Who F’ed Up Time #1 (AfterShock) – A lab worked decides to take advantage of the prototype time machine at work. The title pretty much says how that goes.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 (BOOM! Studios/IDW Publishing) – Just a fun series taking the two properties and bringing them together. If you’re a 90s kid, this is a must.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #1 (Marvel) – While the main Star Wars series shows the events post Empire Strikes Back from the Rebels’ perspective, this companion series shows it from Vader’s.

X-Men/Fantastic Four #1 (Marvel) – The clash between the teams has been foreshadowed for a while but what the ramifications will be is what the real draw here.

Oni Announces Cullen Bunn, Andy MacDonald, and Nick Filardi’s Rogue Planet

Cullen Bunn debuted some of his earliest work with Oni Press and this April he launches Rogue Planet with Andy MacDonald and Nick Filardi.

Salvage vessel Cortes tracks the Lonely Orphan, a planet with no star system to call its own. Somewhere on this hostile rock is a payload fit for a king. To attain it, though, the crew of the Cortes must brave razor rock, poisonous vapors, treacherous footing, and… the most mind-numbing horrors imaginable. Something nightmarish is at work on Lonely Orphan. Something cruel. Something hungry. 

Rogue Planet #1 arrives in finer comic shops everywhere on April 1, 2020, and is currently available for order in the February dated Diamond PREVIEWS catalog. Reserve your copy with your local retailer now.

Rogue Planet

Detective Comics #1000 is the Top-Selling Comic of 2019 while Marvel Takes Top Publisher

DC the 80th anniversary of Batman‘s debut in Detective Comics #27 with its publication of Detective Comics #1000, the best-selling comic book published in 2019, based on total unit sales to comic book specialty retailers, according to Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of comics, graphic novels, and pop-culture merchandise.

Featuring stories and artwork from creators such as Brian Michael Bendis, Geoff Johns, Paul Dini, Denny O’Neil, Scott Snyder, Neal Adams, Greg Capullo, and more, this oversized issue presented the best in Batman stories, spanning past, present, and future.

Annual comic book sales in the comic book specialty market increased in 2019 by nearly 4% over 2018 while graphic novel sales declined by 2%, for an overall increase in print over the previous year by 2.23%.

Marvel Comics was 2019’s top publisher in the comic book specialty market, with a 40.20% dollar market share and a 44.72% unit share. Marvel Comics’ top comic book for the year, Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu’s X-Men #1, ranked #3. Overall, Marvel had seven titles in the top ten comics of the year, including Black Cat #1 at #4; Absolute Carnage #1, the first issue of Marvel Comics’ winter event, at #6; Marvel Comics #1000, a special issue celebrating the 80th anniversary of the publication of Marvel Comics #1 in 1939, at #7; Hickman and Pepe Larraz’s House of X #1, beginning Marvel’s X-Men relaunch, at #8; Powers of X #1 at #9; and War of the Realms #1 at #10.

DC was the comic book specialty market’s number two publisher in 2019 with a 29.29% dollar market share and a 30.74% unit market share. DC had two of the year’s top ten comics; in addition to Detective Comics #1000, DCeased #1 ranked #5 for the year. On the graphic novels chart, DC charted five titles; thanks to interest from HBO’s acclaimed adaptation, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen returned the top of the year’s sales charts. Also among the top graphic novels were Tom King and Mitch Gerards’ award-winning Mister Miracle at #5, Sean Gordon Murphy’s Batman: White Knight at #7, Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s Batman: The Killing Joke at #9, and Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo’s Black Label title Batman: Damned at #10.

Image Comics was the year’s third largest comic book publisher with an 8.04% dollar market share and a 7.69% unit market share. Todd McFarlane’s Spawn #300, featuring contributions from Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jason Shawn Alexander, J. Scott Campbell, and Jerome Opeña, was the year’s #2 comic book. Image Comics had four of the year’s top ten best-selling graphic novels, led by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga Volume 1 at #2, followed by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s Monstress Volume 1 at #4, Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans’ Die Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker at #6 and Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead Volume 31, the final volume of the series, at #7.

IDW Publishing was the year’s fourth largest publisher with a dollar market share of 3.55% and 3.29%. Their top ranked comic book for the year was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #100 which ranked #66 for the year.

With a dollar market share of 3.19% and a unit share of 2.33%, Dark Horse Comics was the year’s fifth ranked publisher. Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s Umbrella Academy Volume 1: The Apocalypse Suite, adapted to television by Netflix in 2019, was their best-selling graphic novel at #3.

BOOM! Studios was the sixth ranked publisher at 2.56%, and Dynamite Entertainment was seventh at 2.16%. Viz Media, Oni Press, and Titan Comics rounded out the top ten comic book publishers for 2019.

2019 TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHERDOLLARSHAREUNITSHARE
MARVEL COMICS40.20%44.72%
DC29.29%30.74%
IMAGE COMICS8.04%7.69%
IDW PUBLISHING3.55%3.29%
DARK HORSE COMICS3.19%2.33%
BOOM! STUDIOS2.56%2.42%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT2.16%1.88%
VIZ MEDIA1.45%0.55%
ONI PRESS0.61%0.43%
TITAN COMICS0.60%0.49%
OTHER NON-TOP 108.34%5.47%

2019 TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

QTYRANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1DETECTIVE COMICS #1000$9.99JAN190542-MDC
2SPAWN #300$7.99JUN190014-MIMAGE COMICS
3X-MEN #1$4.99AUG190845-MMARVEL COMICS
4BLACK CAT #1$4.99APR190773-MMARVEL COMICS
5DCEASED #1$3.99MAR190464-MDC
6ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #1$7.99JUN190761-MMARVEL COMICS
7MARVEL COMICS #1000$9.99JUN190842-MMARVEL COMICS
8HOUSE OF X #1$5.99MAY190690-MMARVEL COMICS
9POWERS OF X #1$5.99MAY190703-MMARVEL COMICS
10WAR OF REALMS #1$5.99JAN190870-MMARVEL COMICS

2019 TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

QTYRANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1WATCHMEN TP$24.99JUN190614-MDC
2SAGA VOLUME 1 TP (MR)$9.99AUG120491IMAGE COMICS
3UMBRELLA ACADEMY VOL. 1: APOCALYPSE SUITE TP$17.99SEP108136DARK HORSE COMICS
4MONSTRESS VOLUME 1 TP (MR)$9.99APR160803-MIMAGE COMICS
5MISTER MIRACLE TP (MR)$24.99OCT180598DC
6DIE VOL. 1: FANTASY HEARTBREAKER TP (MR)$9.99MAR190080-MIMAGE COMICS
7BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT TP$19.99JUL180733DC
8THE WALKING DEAD VOL. 31 TP (MR)$16.99JAN190186IMAGE COMICS
9BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE HC$17.99JUN190574DC
10BATMAN: DAMNED HC (MR)$29.99MAR190571DC

CannyLads Lands Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari’s The Bunker

The Bunker
Cover by Joe Infurnari

Deadline broke the news that Julie Anne Robinson has launched five projects through her CannyLads production company. One of which is The Bunker based on the comic series by Joshua Hale Fialkov.

The project is coming from Universal Television which is a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios. Robinson has a first-look deal with them.

Fialkov will exec produce The Bunker which he co-created with Joe Infurnari.

The story is about a group of friends who discover a bunker in the woods that shows proof that in the future the friends are responsible for a global apocalypse. From there, they must decide if they can change the future and how they will suffer for it. There’s of course so many more twists and turns, we’re not spoiling the surprise.

The series published by Oni Press is one of the many series that have been a shock they haven’t been snatched up already for development.

Fialkov is no stranger to television. Beyond comics, he’s written episodes for Alibi, The Code, Young Justice, Skylanders, Chicago Med, Ultimate Spider-Man, and so many more. He is also the co-producer on the 2019 television series The Code.

Kurtis Wiebe and Justin Osterling Launch Dryad in March 2020

Best-selling writer Kurtis Wiebe, newcomer artist Justin Osterling, and Oni Press have announced the launch of a new ongoing fantasy series, Dryad. The first issue will be available on March 4, 2020. 

Dryad

An elf and a human find solace in the sleepy forest settlement of Frostbrook where they plant their roots. But thirteen years later, their twins, Griffon and Rana are inexplicably drawn to an ancient door and discover more than they bargained for, inadvertently turning their world upside down. Now, they’ll have to answer for their parents’ mistakes and find that the past has a way of finding you, no matter where you hide.

NYCC 2019: Lion Forge and Oni Reveal Signings and Panels

Ahead of the opening of the exhibit hall at New York Comic Con 2019, Lion Forge and Oni have revealed a full slate of signings, giveaways, and programming at this year’s convention.

Fans will get multiple chances to meet some of their favorite creators throughout the show, with days and times outlined below:

Thursday, October 3
12:00–1:00 p.m.: Daniel Barnes and D.J. Kirkland (Black Mage)
1:00–2:00 p.m.: Emily Whitten and Michelle Nguyen (The Underfoot)
3:00–4:00 p.m.: Gail Simone (Catalyst Prime: Seven Days)
4:00–5:00 p.m.: Sarah Graley and Stef Purenins (Our Super Adventure)
5:00–6:00 p.m.: Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu (Mooncakes)

Friday, October 4
10:00–11:00 a.m.: Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu (Mooncakes)
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.: Jim Zub (Rick & Morty Vs. D&D)
12:00–1:00 p.m.: Mags Visaggio (Morning in America)
1:00–2:00 p.m.: Gail Simone (Catalyst Prime: Seven Days)
2:30–3:30 p.m.: Daniel Barnes and D.J. Kirkland (Black Mage)
4:00–5:00 p.m.: Sarah Graley and Stef Purenins (Our Super Adventure)
5:00–6:00 p.m.: Kristofer Anka, D.J. Kirkland, Josh Trujillo, and Wendy Xu (Dream Daddy)

Saturday, October 5
10:00–11:00 a.m.: Andrew MacLean (Rick & Morty)
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.: Jim Zub (Rick & Morty Vs. D&D)
12:00–1:00 p.m.: Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu (Mooncakes)
1:30–2:30 p.m.: Daniel Barnes and D.J. Kirkland (Black Mage)
3:00–4:00 p.m.: Gail Simone (Catalyst Prime: Seven Days)
4:00–5:00 p.m.: Sarah Graley and Stef Purenins (Our Super Adventure)
5:00–6:00 p.m.: Tess Stone (Not Drunk Enough), Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota (Johnny Wander)

Sunday, October 6
10:30–11:30 a.m.: Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu (Mooncakes)
12:00–1:00 p.m.: Sarah Graley and Stef Purenins (Our Super Adventure)
1:30–2:30 p.m.: Daniel Barnes and D.J. Kirkland (Black Mage)

Lion Forge and Oni-related programming details can be found below.

Thursday October 3
Time: 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
Location: Room 1B03

Uh Oh, It’s Magic: Supernatural Creator-Owned Comics 

Oni and Lion Forge present a panel of some of the year’s most anticipated creator-owned comics and graphic novels just in time for the Season of the Witch! Join editor-in-chief Sarah Gaydos, senior editor Jasmine Amiri, along with Daniel Barnes and D.J. Kirkland (Black Mage), Sarah Graley (Kim Reaper), and Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu (Mooncakes), for a “spirited discussion” on “the craft” of creating some of the most magical comics for teens and adults alike!

Friday October 4
Time: 7:45 PM – 9:15 PM
Location: Room 1C03 

Rick and Morty VS Dungeons & Dragons LIVE PLAY!
5th edition D&D meets Rick and Morty dimension-crashing sass! Dungeon Master Jim Zub (co-writer of Rick and Morty VS D&D) will run a panel of foolhardy gaming and comic guests through an encounter torn from the pages of the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons VS Rick and Morty official RPG adventure. You’ll laugh, you’ll wince, you might even win some prizes – don’t miss it!

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