Tag Archives: Comics

Preview: Kaijumax, Season Three #2

KAIJUMAX, SEASON THREE #2

(W/A/C/CA) Zander Cannon
In Stores: 8/16/17
Age Rating: Mature Themes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Comedy
Price: $3.99
Page Count: 32

Kaijumax’s last good drug connect has been gone for a while, and the kaiju inmates are fiending for uranium; enter Zonn, Terror of Nagoya and the doctor he’s got in his… er, pocket to bring the good stuff from a new operation on the moon. Meanwhile, Whoofy, the young mob boss picking up the pieces after his father’s death starts to learn what tough rules must be followed — and whose appendages must be broken — to stay in power on the inside. Also: Bullying flashbacks! Terrifying moon bunnies! And… astro-kiestering?

Preview: Rick and Morty: Pocket Like You Stole It #2

RICK AND MORTY: POCKET LIKE YOU STOLE IT #2

(W) Tini Howard
(A) Marc Ellerby
(C) Katy Farina
(CA) (Cover A) Marc Ellerby with Katy Farina (Cover B) D.J. Kirkland
In Stores: 8/16/17
Age Rating: Young Adult Audiences
Genre: Sci-Fi/Humor
Price: $3.99
Page Count: 32

Morty thinks he’s hit the jackpot when he stumbles upon a secret Morty haven, run by Crazy Cat Rick. All the food and cozy body pillows he could want! But he soon discovers that there’s a dastardly reason that the Mortys are so docile, and stumbles upon the grand secret of Morty battling.

Plus: more Pocket Mortys cards in the back of every issue!

Review: Night’s Dominion: Season 2 #1

The Cult of Uhlume is no more, and the city of Umber nurses its wounds, as do the reluctant heroes who saved it. Trauma and tragedy have left their mark on Emerane, the lowly barmaid. But when Asps target the city’s Alderman, as well as its champion, the Furie, she finds herself donning the mantle of the Night once again, and coming to their defense — whether she’s ready or not.

In Night’s Dominion: Season 2 #1 we finally see the aftermath of the events of the first story arc. Yet, the city of Umber wants to turn a blind eye to what truly happened. This forces the heroes of the previous story arc to return to their normal lives. That does not seem to last long as the streets become a hunting ground for assassins. It’s an exciting beginning, as Ted Naifeh weaves a tale of fantasy and heroism once more.

The art continues to impress. It showcases a lot of contrast and color palettes as environments shift. Even doing some decent close-up show of familiar faces, and new alike. Yet, a decent of amount of quick action continues to steal the show. We also get a possible peek at what may happen next.

Story: Ted Naifeh Art: Ted Naifeh
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Kyle Starks and Gabo Talk Oni Press’ Dead of Winter Comic

From the tabletop smash hit comes this new series starring beloved characters from Plaid Hat GamesDead of Winter, written by Kyle Starks, and illustrated by GABO.

In the pantheon of heroes, none are more lovable and loyal than everyone’s beloved good ol’ dog, Sparky. Surviving in the wintery apocalypse of the undead, this former TV star turned zombie killing machine just wants to make friends and be a good boy. As his fellow survivors scavenge for supplies in the frigid wasteland, will Sparky be able to protect his companions from threats both undead and not yet undead?

I got a chance to talk to Kyle and Gabo about the series, board games, and a certain dog.

Graphic Policy: Dead of Winter is based on the hit board game, are either of you board game fans? Had you played the game before coming on to the comic?

Kyle Starks: Almost exactly a year ago, Oni Press invited me to Gen Con to promote my work on Rick and Morty and to sort of underhandedly pitch me on this book. Gen Con was my introduction to modern board games, in fact, no joke – the first board game I played was Dead of Winter: The Long Night and I was blown away. I’m way down with board games.

Gabo: WHO ISN’T A FAN OF BOARD GAMES? I mean, we grew up on this stuff right? There’s so many games out there now that are brilliant, but I’m always glued to my desk drawing, so honestly I didn’t get a chance to play Dead of Winter until shortly after I started the project, and it was damn amazing. I’d played a few games here n there with roomates, but I feel this one is so much deeper than anything I’ve seen. SO MUCH SNEAKIER.

GP: How’d you both come on to the comic?

KS: I’m pretty sure we’re the team, along with Brian Hurtt on covers, that Oni wanted out of the gate. I know, for me, Oni wanted someone who had a unique vision, someone who would bring something besides Another Run Of The Mill Zombie book. And I think the same can be said for Gabo. This isn’t another been there-seen that zombie story – Sparky is a Superstar – and you need the right people for that.

Gabo: Okay I love drawing funny dogs doing silly crap. Charlie knew this. So naturally he hopped on the phone and woke my ass up to tell me about this project. HOW COULD I SAY NO? TO A DOG? FIGHTING ZOMBIES? And Kyle is writing it? AND HURTT IS ON COVERS? I’d be insane to say no.

GP: With it being a board game, it has a theme and look, but the focus is the interaction and mechanics really. As creators how do you go about adapting that as opposed to a book, movie, or television show?

KS: I think first and foremost the most important thing with any fiction is the story, so that definitely came first, but if you know the game, you’ll see over the four issues, it definitely plays out in a sequence that homages the game. The way the characters act, where they go, what they do – all comes from the game. I legitimately love the Dead of Winter franchise. I love the play mechanics, the characters, the locations – so getting the chance to bring that to life was a dream. AND we put a ton of Easter Eggs in there.  It’s a love letter to the game.

Gabo: I think Kyle has done a remarkable job taking his love for the game and written scripts that echo that. I’m not as familiar with the game but I’ve been studying its visual aspects, really trying to immerse myself in the universe these people might be in. I’m just hoping the Easter Eggs we tossed here n there aren’t too obscure for people!

GP: The game itself has a look as far as art which the comic differs from. When it came to the look of the comic itself, how was that decided?

KS: You’d probably need to talk to editorial about that – I know our editor, Charlie Chu, wanted Gabo from the beginning. And it’s different from game artist Fernanda Suarez sure, but for comics you need a sequential artist who can build a world and Gabo not only brings that to the table, he breaks that table with it.

Gabo: It was a bit of a struggle trying to figure out the right balance at first, Fernanda Suarez’s work is gorgeous and beautifully rendered, so I had basically break that beauty down to a very basic level. Lord knows I would have loved to of painted the entire book, but that would have taken months per issue! We decided on a very simple look, but still managed to capture the essence of all the characters, and even brought to life some new ones that I think fit beautifully into the world. For those familiar with the game, I think you’ll love the guest appearances! KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED!

GP: The game has locations but beyond that the world is really in the mind of those playing, when it came to fleshing out the look of the world, what were some of your inspirations?

KS: I think Gabo will agree – the locations depicted in the game are the hugest of inspirations. The game has an entire fleshed out world that makes it easy to play in. I alluded to it earlier, but the for the purposes of writing the book, for me, “going places to get things” is a huge repeated plot device in the book the same as it is for the game.

Gabo: The locations in this project have some art already designed for them in the game, but the insides of these places we had to rummage around our noggins and try to figure out what you might actually find inside them. A lot of my inspiration just came from personal experience and a lot of photo reference haha.

GP: One of the big things of the game is that each player has their own win objective and that may not be in the best interest of the rest of the players. Is that something you thought about when developing the series?

KS: What’s great about Dead of Winter is that it does these narrative things without having a ton of in game narrative. Aside from the Crossroad Cards it’s a lot of implied narrative – but those objectives are just characters motivations for story purpose. All of my characters are doing what they do for their own reasons and I think you’ll find they line up with those cards you’ve had in your hand. The Fireman, Gabriel Diaz just wants to save people. Annaleigh Chan, The Lawyer, has a curious mind that needs fulfilling. So on and so forth. Is there a Betrayer this game? Well, you’ll have to wait until the end of the game, right?

GP: Sparky is a big part of the comic and game and have a dog be the star in many ways makes the series stand out. When writing Sparky, how difficult is it to write for a dog. It’s not like there’s dialogue where you can convey things. Are there challenges to that as an artist?

KS: It’s a challenge for sure, but a thrilling one. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I just though, what if John McCain was a dog and off to the races. Sparky is the Most Heroic character I’ve ever written. The purest, the bravest, the most indomitable. So it was a treat. It was great.

GP: Was there anything that surprised you two in adapting a board game?

KS: I was shocked they wanted me to create new characters since the world they have is already inhabited by such great full ones – but, also, like, I’m going to jump  on the opportunity to make something that could end up being a playable character – and it happened which is literally just mindblowing to me. The Ruckus promo card is going to exist, albeit in very small quantities, but still being able to add to the GAME too? Amazing.

Gabo: Holy hell yes, creating new characters for the series! That was a curve ball and I think we might have a grand slam on our hands. Kyle has written some pretty great new characters that I think will most definitely make the game that much better– that’s if you can get your hands on a Ruckus promo card heheh.

GP: There’s obviously a lot of zombie comics out there, how much discussion was there to make this unique in story, characters, and look?

KS: I don’t remember if at that initial meeting the discussion was, right out the gate, to include Sparky, but I’m almost positive it was, so I think the moment someone thought, “Let’s do a zombie book but with a dog as the hero” it checks all those boxes. I know, for my part, I knew we were going to do an action-comedy zombie movie with a canine lead and so it’s going to be different, it’s going to be unique. And Oni put together a team with Gabo and I that by nature is going to be different than everyone else’s take.

Gabo: I’m just thrilled that this book isn’t going to be nearly as drab and depressing as most of the zombie books on the shelves. I understand the situation all those people are in when this stuff goes down – but man, can we get some dark comedy in here for once? WELL YOU GOT IT. AND HERE’S A DOG FOR GOOD MEASURE. HE’S A GOOD BOY.

GP: What else do you all have coming out that fans should check out?

KS: Oh man, I’m a busy boy, so a ton. I write Rick and Morty for Oni Press every month, and draw it every fifth issue or so. I have my current series with Image Comics that I write and draw with colors from Chris Schweizer called Rock Candy Mountain who’s first trade comes out at the end of September. Also at the end of September, Oni is printing my original graphic novel Kill Them All which is like Die Hard and Moonlighting smushed together with a huge John Woo influence. Lots of good stuff. Everyone tell your local comic store you want it!

Gabo: I’m losing my mind over here with the truck load of stuff I have coming out of and through me right now. The fourth and final volume of THE LIFE AFTER just came out, it’s illustrated by me and written by Joshua Hale Fialkov- published of course by Oni Press! I also illustrate an all ages  webcomic that has received Harvey nominations in 2015 and 2016 for best webseries, AlbertTheAlien.com. Beyond that, I’m working on growing my Patreon, so if you’d like to support my work please check that out. AND, if you’d like to catch a sneak peak of new pages I’m working on for Dead of Winter, I stream Wednesday’s starting around 4pm CST!

GP: Thanks so much for chatting!

Read our review of Dead of Winter #1 now!

Preview: Night’s Dominion Season 2 #1

Night’s Dominion Season 2 #1

(W/A/C/CA) Ted Naifeh
In Stores: 8/9/17
Age Rating: Mature Themes
Genre: Fantasy
Price: $3.99
Page Count: 32

The Cult of Uhlume is no more, and the city of Umber nurses its wounds, as do the reluctant heroes who saved it. Trauma and tragedy have left their mark on Emerane, the lowly barmaid. But when Asps target the city’s Alderman, as well as its champion, the Furie, she finds herself donning the mantle of the Night once again, and coming to their defense—whether she’s ready or not.

Review: Dead of Winter #1

In the pantheon of heroes, none are more lovable and loyal than everyone’s beloved good ol’ dog, Sparky. Surviving in the wintery apocalypse of the undead, this former TV star turned zombie killing machine just wants to make friends and be a good boy. As his fellow survivors scavenge for supplies in the frigid wasteland, will Sparky be able to protect his companions from threats both undead and not yet undead?

The smash-hit board game Dead of Winter by Plaid Hat Games comes to comics courtesy of writer Kyle Starks and artist Gabo. For those who don’t know, Dead of Winter is a tabletop cooperative board game where teams of individuals have to work together with a twist, each has their own agenda, and that agenda might not be the best for the group.

I myself haven’t played the game but have circled it enough times to get a general sense of what’s going on without the fine detail (and this is one I eventually do want to get… but the pile of games already!).

This first issue dives into the world with the various personalities from the game including its break out star Sparky and translates the game itself really well. Starks does a solid job of capturing things from the game in a way that players will appreciate it and new readers will just enjoy it (searching the police station and grocery store are examples). The comic is decent creating a new addition to the saturated zombie market and doing just enough to create a unique view of it all.

The comic achieves that uniqueness by focusing on translating the game. In the game you’re limited to actions such as scavenging, attacking, clearing trash, moving between locations, etc. and this comic has each of those moments making it feel like decisions are being made in a game. What also works is that each character introduced has their own personality in a way that it feels like a group of people sitting around the game table tackling a scenario. Its translation of the game experience creates a bonus in many ways. Whether more mechanics, like secret win conditions, will be introduced and if they are how. Those secret win conditions are simply enough motivations for each character and how closely the comic will adheare to that is unknown.

There’s also the focus on Sparky who plays a big role in the comic and gives you a loveable dog to cheer for. There’s been a few “animal” focused comics lately but here we see man’s best friend front and center and kicking lots of ass.

Gabo’s art is the interesting aspect of it all. There’s obviously many other zombie focused comics out there and this one takes a different turn with a more cartoon aspect to it. Not only is the grittiness diminished due to that, but it also deviates from the board game’s art. I’m a little torn about it actually as the cartoon(ish) look takes away some of the tension but if the comic mimicked the game art, it’d just look like every other zombie comic out there. Instead we get something that feels like a cross between Walking Dead and Plants vs Zombies. By the end I didn’t notice it but towards the beginning it stood out.

The first issue does a good job of capturing the game and gives more than enough nods to it so that long time fans will be satisfied and it’s done in a way that’s not overwhelming for new readers. The comic has a grasp of what makes the game special in many ways and overall the success of the series will rest in how it translates all of that as the series goes on. So far though, it’s really getting me to want to finally dive in and play this game that I’ve heard such amazing things about, watched play, but never had a chance to play myself (Gen Con here I come!).

Story: Kyle Starks Art: Gabo
Story: 8.05 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Read

Oni Press 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.

Mr. H

Top Pick: Superman #28 (DC Comics) – As part two of what has been one of my favorite comic tales for all of 2017 so far, to say I am amped up for “Road Trip” part 2 is quite the understatement. I enjoyed the first half so much that I can’t wait for a further look into the Kents impromptu jaunt across the good ole USA. Many touching scenes and cool moments we aren’t usually treated to in the comic books of these days and I want to be fed more that please!

Batman #28 (DC Comics) – This story has been back and forth in terms of good/ bad and coming off of a stellar interlude issue with the origin of Kite Man once again my interest has peaked. The homerun team of Grayson (King/ Janin) has a .500 average right now, I’m hoping they can break the spell and drill this one out of the park. It certainly has a lot of potential and I for one don’t want to leave the game early.

TMNT Dimension X #1 (IDW Publishing) – After the Free Comic Book Day special was such a blast, I am looking very forward to the Turtles returning to Dimension X. This title has been amazing since it’s become an IDW property and I see no signs of it slowing down. The road to issue 100 is going to be a fun one. Cowabunga!

X-Men Gold #9 (Marvel Comics) – Just like the title states, gold is what this has been since the relaunch. In fact it’s one of the only readable Marvel comics in the entire pantheon these days. Plus who doesn’t like them some Peter and Kitty? Nuff said.

 

Paul

Top Pick: Champions #11 (Marvel) – I just love this title; the action is good, love the characters and the team line up and I really like that between the super heroics, this title deals with issues that we see in our world every day, making it relevant and connecting with its readers. You’re missing out if you’re not reading this title.

Jessica Jones #11 (Marvel) – This has been an interesting title, and I am really liking the current story with Jessica getting stuck in the middle of Maria Hill, her secrets and the consequences of those secrets catching up with her. It’s a good read and one of my favorite characters.

X-Men Gold #9 (Marvel) – This has been a solid title from the beginning and one that I look forward to reading. I’m looking forward to this, as I always like to see Kitty and Colossus team up…and I know it’s corny, but I still get excited for the ‘will they or won’t they’ vibe I get when they’re teamed up, facing a threat together.

 

Joe

God Country TP (Image) – I love this book. This is a brilliant take on characters like Thor, with a senile old man who remembers his life when he holds a living sword that talks. So damn good!

Seven to Eternity #8 (Image) – Remender’s fantasy epic has been dark (like most of his work), unpredictable and exciting. I always am excited for more of his work.

Low #19 (Image) – Speaking of Remender, I wish this underwater (mostly) book came out faster, because it has been incredible so far.

All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #7 (Marvel) – Duggan is turning into a powerhouse at Marvel. I’ve loved him on Deadpool and he fits perfectly with this team.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Mech Cadet Yu #1 (BOOM! Studios) – I love giant robots and this series seems to scratch that itch with a story that seems like it’s geared towards all-ages with some art that has caught my eye. Since its announcement, this is one I’ve been excited to read and now I finally have the chance.

Catalyst Prime: Noble #4 (Lion Forge Comics) – Lion Forge is doing something special here putting together a world that’s diverse in every sense. Characters, creators, locations, concepts, it’s a prime example of how to do it right.

Dead of Winter #1 (Oni Press) – The popular board game comes to comics and I’m really excited to see how it all translates.

Generations: Banner Hulk & Totally Awesome Hulk (Marvel) – I’m intrigued, I have to admit. I’m not sure what to expect from these comics that bring together classic characters with their more modern version.

Stained #4 (451 Media) – The previous three issues have been amazing in this cyberpunk/noir mashup that has such an air of cool about it all. Kind of hard to jump in on the fourth issue, but well worth grabbing if you can get all of the back issues too.

 

Shay

Top Pick: DC Comics Bombshells #32 (DC Comics) – Marguerite Bennett wrote this issue and it’s all about bad ass ladies kicking ass, heroes, antiheroes and those who inhabit the area in between. Multifaceted female comic book characters with levels? This is everything we’ve been waiting for.

Top Pick: Harley’s Little Black Book HC (DC Comics) – I am wildly, madly in love with Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti portrayal of the complex Quinn. Now almost everything I love about their take on the character is in one place! Harley Quinn getting her love and hate on, in sexy hard cover format. What’s not to love about Harley going toe to toe with heroes and villains and everyone else? I’ve got a space for this one , right next to Fight Club 2!

Ghost Station Zero #1 (Image) – I’m intrigued by the concept. I love a bad ass lady with a blade.

Preview: Dead of Winter #1

Dead of Winter #1

(W) Kyle Starks
(A/C) Gabo
(CA) Brian Hurtt with Bill Crabtree (Cover A), Erica Henderson (Cover B)
In Stores: 8/2/17
Age Rating: Mature
Genre: Horror/Comedy
Price: $3.99
Page Count: 32

From the tabletop smash hit comes this new series starring beloved characters from Plaid Hat Games’ Dead of Winter, written by Kyle Starks (Sexcastle), and illustrated by GABO (The Life After). In the pantheon of heroes, none are more lovable and loyal than everyone’s beloved good ol’ dog, Sparky. Surviving in the wintery apocalypse of the undead, this former TV star turned zombie killing machine just wants to make friends and be a good boy. As his fellow survivors scavenge for supplies in the frigid wasteland, will Sparky be able to protect his companions from threats both undead and not yet undead?

Preview: The Damned #3

THE DAMNED #3

(W) Cullen Bunn
(A/CA) Brian Hurtt
(C/CA) Bill Crabtree
In Stores: 7/26/17
Age Rating: Mature
Genre: Crime/Fantasy
Price: $3.99
Page Count: 32

Sketchy gambler Pauly Bones has slithered into Eddie’s life with an offer – together they can turn the tables on the demon crime families and finally get what they deserve. Eddie and Pauly can’t trust each other, though, and it’s only a matter of time before one double crosses the other. But with a new hired killer in town, they might both be dead before they can make their treacherous plays.

Preview: Rick and Morty #28

RICK AND MORTY #28

(W) Kyle Starks
(A) Kyle Starks and Andy Hirsch
(C) Rian Sygh
(A/C) Marc Ellerby
(CA) CJ Cannon with Katy Farina (Cover A), Jenn St-Onge (Cover B)
In Stores: 7/26/17
Age Rating: Teen, 16+
Genre: Sci-Fi/Humor
Price: $3.99
Page Count: 32

OH MY GOD IT’S INTERDIMENSIONAL CABLE TIME! In this issue, Rick and Morty are wanted fugitives in an alien dimension, so until the heat dies down, there’s not much to do but watch interdimensional cable! Can you even believe it? A special one-shot issue drawn by writer Kyle Starks (with a special cameo by Andy Hirsch)! Meanwhile, Jerry learns a painful lesson in film history in this issue’s back-up comic drawn by Marc Ellerby!

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