Tag Archives: Dark Horse Comics

Neil Gaiman’s Only the End of the World Again in January

Dark Horse will release a new deluxe hardcover edition of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed Lovecraftian tale, Only the End of the World Again. The graphic novel blends the worlds of H.P. Lovecraft and Roger Zelazny.

The book follows a claims adjuster who sets up shop in Innsmouth, Massachusetts only to discover that the world may be ending and that the instrument of destruction is a werewolf… which he also happens to be.

Based on a short story written by Gaiman, the new edition is adapted by P. Craig Russell, illustrated by Troy Nixey, and colored for the collection by Matthew Hollingsworth. Russell is no stranger to creating faithful adaptations of Gaiman’s work as he’s also adapting his American Gods.

This new hardcover edition features a brand new cover by Troy Nixey and Matthew Hollingsworth with bonus material including high resolution scans of the inks and layouts. This is the another offering from the expanding Neil Gaiman Library at Dark Horse, which also includes Forbidden Brides, Troll Bridge, and How to Talk to Girls at Parties (soon to be a motion picture).

Only the End of the World Again is available January 24, 2018.

Preview: B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know #1

B.P.R.D.: THE DEVIL YOU KNOW #1

Writer: Mike Mignola, Scott Allie
Artist: Laurence Campbell
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Duncan Fegredo
Genre: Horror
Publication Date: July 26, 2017

Before they were vanquished by the BPRD, Lovecraftian monsters created a Hell on Earth. Now Liz Sherman leads a crew through monster-infested ruins on the most important rescue mission of her life. As society tries to rebuild, strange cults vie for influence, and a demon emerges to lead the way . .

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: Kill or Be Killed Vol. 2 TP (Image) – The fantastic crime thriller with a demon (yeah that’s right) keeps getting better. This is the second collected volume of the second arc that follows Dylan’s path into darkness.

Action Comics #984 (DC Comics) – You get a Superman! And you get a Supergirl! And you get a Super… Lex? This arc has been a blast. Take all of Supes’ big bad and put them against his super friends. It’s going down!

Black Hammer #11 (Dark Horse) – Lemire has been a writing machine as of late, and the quality hasn’t dipped. This is probably his best work, but that’s tough to say since he’s doing great work on a few series now.

Saga #45 (Image) – The best in the business keeps it interesting. Whether you read this book in single issue or trade, you’re always left on the edge of your seat. This is a truly special piece of art we are getting, and it’s going to go down as a classic.

Infamous Iron Man #10 (Marvel) – I was skeptical with this book for awhile, and have gone back and forth, but either way, I’ve still enjoyed almost every issue and loved Maleev’s beautiful art as well as the mystery Bendis is building with momma Doom.

 

Alex

Top Pick: X-O Manowar #5 (Valiant) – Without question the best looking comic right now, these issues never feel long enough – which for me is a good sign. If you’re even remotely curious as to Valiant’s comics, then this is a great place to start. Especially if you’re into what is essentially Conan mixed with Old Man Logan set in Star Wars.

Faith and the Future Force #1 (Valiant) – This is a bit of a cheat because I’ve already read this awesome issue. Time travel, a hero that loves comics and a brilliant blend of philosophically aware humour add up to a must (re)read for me on Wednesday.

Adam Wreck #2, Amazing Age #2, Croak #2, Lillith Dark #2 (Alterna) – So four entries in one? Because all four are a part of Alterna’s newsprint line and cost $1.50, and they’re all well worth every penny. Depending on what you’re looking for, there will be something for you among these issues – whether you pick one or all of them up, for the price the’re going for? You honestly can’t go wrong.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Tomboy #12 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – The mix of horror, manga, and teenage angst wraps up and if you haven’t read an issue you need to go back to the beginning. One of the best comics that’s under the radar.

All-Star Batman #12 (DC Comics) – This series has been knocking it out of the park and this latest arc which dives deeper into Alfred’s history has been an interesting one showing how you can layer on something new even with a series that has that much history.

Captain Canuck 2017 #1 (Chapterhouse Comics) – A reboot of the recently launched character. How it’ll differ? No idea, but I’m intrigued to see.

Heavenly Blues #1 (Scout Comics) – A really interesting concept involving the afterlife that had me entertained with the first issue and looking forward to the second. Basically, it’s a heist comic involving angels and demons.

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #10 (Marvel) – This series has been knocking it out of the park with each issue and the fact that it revolves around a brand new character is even better. A prime example of how to expand the Star Wars universe and deliver something new.

Review: Ether Vol. 1 TP

20170718_170845706_iOS

MINOR SPOILERS BELOW

Ether Vol. 1: Death of the Last Golden Blaze is the first collected volume of a fantastic comic book from Dark Horse. The book is penned by the multi-talented writer/artist, Matt Kindt whom you may know from MIND MGMT, Dept. H, or so much more, and pencilled by David Rubin who draws the hell out of this book, balancing the feeling of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? with Steamboat Willie.

The world of Ether is fun, weird, vibrant, and sometimes scary. It is full of rich characters like the primate guide, Glum, the evil creepy old man, Ubel, as well as a large cast of oddities like a bird who sings that will make you sick, screaming bullets, giant metal golems, and so much more. Their world is not like our own. A minute in their world is a lot longer in ours, so the longer you stay there as an Earthling, the older you get in a short time. We learn that by following the goofy, yet brilliant, Boone Dias who visits the Ether in search of who killed The Golden Blaze. The plot unfolds over time, and while we learn things as Boone does, we also get glimpses into his and other characters pasts that explain the world, and the context of everything much better.

About halfway through this book, or maybe a bit more, we get to see more of Hazel, Boone’s former lover and partner. Here is where the story turns on its axis a bit, and delivers us a lot more information about the world, Boone, and their relationship. We see Boone as a loner, aside from his working with Glum in Ether, but here we can see a man so obsessed with this world and it’s secrets, it changes him in the process. Kindt does an excellent job at storytelling through flashbacks, as well as bits dropped by some of the other characters about what happened in the past.

20170718_171118031_iOSRubin really shines on the artwork, and gives this book so much personality. From Glum, the fairies, Ubel, Hazel, Boone, and the other ridiculous things we see, everything looks like stills from a cartoon. Now I know that sounds like any comic book can be, but I can’t help but imagine this book in motion, and wanting it immediately. Give me an Ether animated film, and I will be a happy man. Either way, this book is enough of that to make me smile with each page turn. I tip my hat to Rubin, especially when Kindt is such a good artist himself. That shows the confidence in Rubin that Kindt has. I mean it, this book is absolutely beautiful.

20160705_155406000_iOSI read the comics as they came out each month, but I would highly recommend this book in this collected volume. This is an exciting page-turner that is truly so much fun. It’s light hearted, but can also be touching at times when you least expect it. The creators have crafted a rich deep world with interesting characters, and mysteries. I always want to read more Matt Kindt, and now I want to see more David Rubin, and honestly, I want to see more of them on this book. Sometimes, it is best to leave something when it is good, and not deliver too much of a product, but I think the world of the Ether still has a few stories left to tell.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: David Rubin

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Demo-Graphics: The State of Indie/Small Press Comics

Earlier this week I brought you demographic reports based off of Facebook data for Marvel, and DC. Up next is independent/small press comics! Basically, everyone not the “big two.”

For this report I looked at comic book publisher likes that are not the big two or part of the big two. For this report, Vertigo, Zuda, Icon, are not included though they share similar comics as to other in this report. For this report, terms like IDW Publishing, BOOM! Studios, Fantagraphics were included. Manga was left out of this as well.

You can check out the stats for 2014 as well as those for 2015, and 2016.

Facebook Population: Over 4,200,000 in the United States

The indie/small press population has dropped about 2.6 million individuals. The previous year gained 2.4 million. With explosive growth for both DC and Marvel it’s interesting to see this drop and especially drop that much.

In 2014 and 2015 Spanish speakers accounted for 12.50%. In 2016 the percentage increased to 16.18%. 2017 sees the percent drop to 14.76%.

Gender and Age

In 2014 men accounted for 57.50% of the population and women 40.63%. A year later, that shifted with men accounting for 59.09% and women 40.91%. 2016 saw women account for 51.47% and men 48.53%.

It looks like women have mainly dropped interest accounting for 40.48% in 2017 while men increased to 59.52%. Men decreased about 800,000 while women decreased 1.8 million.

With men being a majority again things have shifted once again. Women are a majority age 17 and under but it looks like the 20s and 30s is where there’s the greatest loss in women.

Relationship Status

With a smaller populate, every demographic took a dive, though there’s a larger percentage that are “unspecified,” a trend we’ve seen elsewhere. “Single” also saw an increase in percentage.

Education

With such a change in gender breakdowns, there’s absolutely shifts here.

Gender Interest

“Men interested in men” and “men interested in men and women” both remained steady since last year as far as percentage. Women is where things dropped but that’s expected due to the overall population decrease.

Ethnicity

Compared to last year all ethnicities decreased in overall population but precentage is mixed. African Americans and Asian Americans both increased as a percentage while Hispanics dropped. Interestingly, English-dominant Hispanics increased slightly in percentage.

Generation

And not shockingly populations dropped here too. Generation X and Millennials saw a slight increase in percentage while Baby Boomers saw a loss.

Join us tomorrow when we look at comicdom as a whole!

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: Ether Vol 1 Trade Paperback (Dark Horse) – The very funny and out there story that is part Doctor Strange and part detective whodunit story has collected the first arc. The world in Ether reminds me of Roger Rabbit, while the art style channels a style long forgotten like Steamboat Willie. I highly recommend this, and I think most everyone will find something to enjoy, smile, and laugh at.

Curse Words Vol 1 Trade Paperback (Image) – This book is a collected volume of the hilarious first arc of the adventures of a Wizard named Wizord who was sent to do something terrible, is trying to do something good, but also keeps doing something terrible. He becomes a hipster and realizes he loves our planet. You also have a talking koala sidekick, and so much more.

Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man #2 (Marvel) – This book penned by the jokester writer/artist extraordinaire Chip Zdarsky is a return to the down on his luck Spidey we all knew and loved. It’s a sister book to ASM, and will focus on the comedic side of things, and a more lighthearted jumping on point for old and new readers.

Aquaman #26 (DC Comics) – This has been a great run, but #25 cranked the volume (unintentional water reference) up to 11! The art is some of the best you will find in a comic, and the story is setting up something massively epic.

Batman #27 (DC Comics) – We return to Batman’s past again for the War of Jokes and Riddles. King has crafted an interesting (if somewhat polarizing) run that I’ve enjoyed. I cannot wait to see where this goes, as it’s been a blast so far.

 

Alex

Top Pick: Secret Weapons #2 (Valiant) – A team made up of people with useless powers? Check. A writer who is incredibly talented? Check. An artist whose layouts are beautifully simple yet packed full of details? Check. A genuinely exciting comic? Oh yeah.

Rapture #3 (Valiant) – What do you get when a man who refuses to believe in magic has to travel to a land where magic is incredibly prevalent? You get Ninjak in Rapture, and reading his fish out of water among the other, more comfortable, characters. The story is another example of Valiant delivering a solid miniseries that reads very well as an introduction to their characters and the universe as a whole.

Berger Books Details Revealed

In early 2017, Dark Horse announced Berger Books, a new line of creator-owned comic books and graphic novels, from Karen Berger, the legendary, award-winning comic book editor and founder of DC Comics’ influential imprint Vertigo. Today, Dark Horse has revealed the new imprint’s premiere titles. Berger Books will release four new comics series, each to be later collected as a graphic novel: Hungry Ghosts by Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose; Incognegro: Renaissance by Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece; Mata Hari by Emma Beeby and Ariela Kristantina, and The Seeds by Ann Nocenti and David Aja. Berger Books will also publish a tenth-anniversary edition of Incognegro: A Graphic Mystery by Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece and The Originals: The Essential Edition by Dave Gibbons.

Author, chef and Emmy award-winning television star Anthony Bourdain and acclaimed writer Joel Rose tell haunting tales of terror, irritable spirits, and horribly strange beings in Hungry Ghosts, a four-issue anthology series including art by Vanesa Del Rey, Leo Manco, Alberto Ponticelli, Paul Pope, and Mateus Santolouco. Inspired by the Japanese Edo Period game Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai or 100 Candles, played by samurai warriors to test their courage, Hungry Ghosts reimagines this classic game of dread and terror as a circle of international chefs invoke modern tales of horror, terrifying yokai, yorei, and obake, all with the common thread of food. Hungry Ghosts #1 goes on sale January 31, 2018.

Acclaimed novelist Mat Johnson  and veteran artist Warren Pleece reunite for Incognegro: Renaissance, a new prequel series that follows cub reporter Zane Pinchback through the glittering nightlife of the Harlem Renaissance as he goes undercover, passing as white, for the first time. The first issue (of five) goes on sale February 7, 2018. This new series is a perfect companion to the tenth-anniversary edition of the 2008 Vertigo graphic novel, Incognegro: A Graphic Mystery. Incognegro: A Graphic Mystery features enhanced toned art, an afterword by Mat Johnson, character sketches, and other additional material. Incognegro: A Graphic Mystery finds Zane Pinchback, a reporter for the New York-based New Holland Herald, sent to investigate the arrest of his own brother, charged with the brutal murder of a white woman in Mississippi. With a lynch mob already swarming, Zane must stay “incognegro” long enough to uncover the truth behind the murder in order to save his brother—and himself. Incognegro: A Graphic Mystery goes on sale February 6, 2018, and is available for preorder on Amazon, Penguin Random House, and at your local comic shop.

Breakout talent, writer Emma Beeby and artist Ariela Kristantina join together for a new five-issue series based on the controversial and historical figure, Mata Hari. Mata Hari is notorious as the original “stripper-spy”: exotic dancer, convicted double agent, and femme fatale. Executed by a French firing squad in 1917, many have since questioned the conviction. A century after her death, Mata Hari tells her story through fictional diary excerpts, drawn from biographies of the real woman whose past has been shrouded in mystery by both the lies of her accusers and the outlandish stories she told about herself. The first issue of Mata Hari goes on sale February 21, 2018.

Award-winning artist David Aja and filmmaker, journalist and writer Ann Nocenti team up for The Seeds, a new four-issue series. In an imminent America where fact-based reporting is gasping its last breath, an idealistic journalist stumbles into the story of a lifetime, only to realize that she can’t report it. Instead, she has to pitch the biggest myth of her career. An eco-fiction tech-thriller where flora and fauna have begun to mutate, The Seeds is also a story of love beyond race and gender, and of the resilience of both human and animal kind. The first issue of The Seeds goes on sale March 28, 2018.

The Originals: The Essential Edition is an oversized new edition of Vertigo’s 2004 Eisner award-winning graphic novel from comics legend, Dave Gibbons. In a retro-futuristic city of industrial gray where hover scooters, music, and drugs rule the street, The Originals are the toughest, most stylish gang around. For two childhood friends, nothing is more important than being one of them, but being part of the crowd will bring its own deadly consequences. This new edition includes 32 pages of never-before-seen development art, process pieces, and behind the scenes extras—all annotated by Gibbons. The Originals: The Essential Edition goes on sale April 18, 2018.

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 7/15

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.

Alex

SpiderMenII-Turner-aSpider-Men II #1 (Marvel) When the first Spider-Men came out I was reading a lot of Spider-Man comics, but I have since dropped off from the series (a couple years ago, actually). Still, I wanted to see whether we’d finally find out who the Marvel 616 version of Miles Morales is, so I picked this issue up  –  and I’m glad I did. This comic was entertaining, enjoyable, and almost without any real substance. I loved it in the way you like a movie you can turn your brain off and not have to think too hard. Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

X-Men Blue #7 (Marvel) You know sometimes you read a comic, kinda enjoy it, but then you kinda don’t because you don’t give a shit about the event it’s tying into? That’s exactly how I felt about this comic. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

George

DDCAST_Cv1_ds V3Dark Days: The Casting #1 (DC) I was really impressed with the the first part of this storyline, so naturally I was a bit let down with this one just being more of the same plot advancements that could have been put into the first issue. The artwork is still solid and there are a nice couple of bits but DC really just stretched this for another 4.99. I would get it for the art but story wise nothing that wasn’t really covered in the first part.

Christopher

Dept H #16 (Dark Horse) Writer and Artist: Matt Kindt Dark Horse Mia’s early life and her relationship with her father. How she learned more about him through interviews and journals than by spending time with him. Along with revealing how Roger and Mia’s father met in the process. Which does leave one to wonder given how complicated Mia’s relationship with her seems, why is she so intent on catching the killer. Is it to get justice, or to thank them for freeing her from her father’s shadow? Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

dept h 16Grass Kings #5 (Boom! Studios)** – The shit begins to hit the fan in the fifth issue of Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins’ family drama set in a breakaway, “off-the-grid” community, and while it’s certainly exciting and visually interesting, a poorly-timed composite flashback/present-day “mash-up” scenario at the end that features actions that don’t quite line up with each other dulls the impact somewhat and places this installment just a notch below the previous four. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Briggs Land: Lone Wolves #2 (Dark Horse)** – Speaking of “off-the-grid,” the second issue of the second arc in Brian Wood and Mack Chater’s long-form series sees the walls begin to close in around the separatist Briggs clan as a de facto hostage situation turns into a lot more than anyone bargained for once the feds get involved. Chater’s art is a bit more generic in its appearance this time out, but it’s still more than solid, as is Wood’s pacy, dynamic script. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

World Reader #4 (Aftershock)** – Jeff Loveness’ script gets out of the way and lets Juan Doe’s amazing, borderline-psychedelic art do the bulk of the storytelling in this issue, as we finally meet a “psychic survivor” of sorts from the genocidal intergalactic force that’s been wiping out all life on one planet after another. The book takes all of about five minutes to read, but it’s worth going back and looking at time and time again to fully absorb the gorgeous images. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

The Divided States Of Hysteria #2 (Image)** – Howard Chaykin’s been getting more Briggs_Land_Lone_Wolves_2Apublicity than at any point since the early days of “American Flagg!” with this one, and while most of it has been understandably negative (that sickening, since-pulled cover was the very definition of “not a good idea”), it’s also beginning to look like both “camps” in the controversy surrounding this series are wrong. There was no gang-rape of a transgender woman last issue — in fact, she killed everybody trying to abuse her before they could — while at the same time, the right-wingers who were bitching about the cover to the first issue, which featured a Muslim woman in a red-white-and-blue burqa, were eager to defend the aforementioned no-longer-forthcoming cover to issue four, which featured a lynched Pakistani man with his balls cut off.

So, ya know, these fuckheads are pretty much as racist as we always knew they were.

In any case, at the end of the day, it seems that Chaykin played both sides like a fiddle in a move that would make “B-movie” huckster William Castle proud. This time out we finally get to see the ties that bind our disgraced former CIA operative and the various serial/spree killers together, as Chaykin sets up his ultra-violent, non-super-powered “Suicide Squad” premise more fully. The art is noisy, cluttered, and ugly — as it’s supposed to be — but all my fellow leftists who walked away from this comic after last month (assuming they ever read it at all) are missing out on a pointed critique of the privatized, for-profit prison system, the mercenary-for-hire industry exemplified by the likes of Erik Prince’s notorious Blackwater, and the racism and Islamophobia that Trump rode all the way to the White House. This book’s politics are worn openly and proudly on its sleeve, and I have to admit I get a chuckle imagining all the “alt-righters” who have flocked to Chaykin in recent days and weeks having their blood pressure raised when they actually sit down to read his story. There’s some sort of method to all this madness, and while it hasn’t revealed itself fully yet, it’s fascinating to watch it all unfold. And Ken Bruzenak is just plain killing it and earning every dime (and then some) with his awesomely garish lettering and effects.

world reader 4.jpegI can sympathize with those who were offended by that cover that was probably never going to come out anyway (although I do have to wonder what these outraged individuals would make of the work of Johnny Ryan, S. Clay Wilson, Mike Diana, and even Crumb — seriously, people, read some undergrounds, it’ll broaden your horizons!), but there’s a “sweet spot” that’s being hit here for what few left-leaning readers of this comic remain : this is confrontational, in-your-face, unflinching stuff that effectively rebukes every single politically conservative position it takes aim at. In vintage Chaykin style, he’s managed to piss off all his allies and fleece all his true foes. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say that I admire that by any means, but his willingness to stand alone takes some guts, that’s for sure. Overall: 8. Recommendation: Buy.

Shean

The Defenders #3 ( Marvel) – We catch up with the gang shortly after an attempt by Diamondback to kill Luke Cage, whose confrontation was disturbed by Punisher. They slowly look for answers on the Punisher’s motivation while Diamondback questions Black Cat’s reason for saving Luke.They soon catch up with the Punisher, who gets close but are stopped by the Defenders. By issues end, Iron Fist gets into a fight with Diamondback and finds a supreme opponent. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

defenders3Black Panther and the Crew #4 (Marvel) – In this issue, we get a flashback and a catch up for readers. In the flashback, the OG Crew, deals with some unsavory characters in Mississippi, as they say struggle with having Northern sensibilities in Jim Crow South. In the present day story, Luke Cage and Misty Knight look for answers about the mysterious corporation who runs Americops and where their true interests lie. By issue’s end, both generations of the Crew meet, and what could happen next probably will be the game changer. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Patrick

Kill or Be Killed #10 (Image)** – Following hard on last issue’s massive cock-up, we find out from Ed Brubaker in one simple phrase how Dylan keeps getting away with murder: “They were too busy trying to be super-cops.” What’s fascinating to me about this series is how the noose keeps getting slowly tighter even as the actions of the cast of characters get looser, and good intentions are continually translated into really bad ideas. Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser give us a rainy, grey cemetery of an issue on the art right until the explosion of hellfire-framed-in-white on the last page. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Cinema Purgatorio #11 (Avatar)** – Moore & O’Neill give us a movie musical version of the Black Dahlia murder (and very few comics writers do musical comics as well as Alan Moore). I could go for more of this, as I start to wonder what if Fox had made musicals of its films noir (as, despite the “My Fair Dahlia” title, this is not MGM). In “Code Pru”, we get a good look at the boss, who is even more monstrous than any of Pru’s patients. There’s a mystery brewing as to the circumstances and purposes of Pru’s job, but she seems to be too pissed off at her situation to see it… And over in cinema 3 of this multiplex, “Modded” goes shopping, but Fringe is more chosen than choosing. And just what is chainsaw rhythm reggae action? “… the daemonatrix lingo is more about exciting nouns than actual descriptive content.” But I’ll take exciting nouns over boring adverbs any day. (As usual, I skipped “A More Perfect Union” – if these guys would give me a straight history of the Civil War, I’d be interested – and “The Vast”, which is about boring adverbs in comics form). Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Mage: The Hero Denied #0 (Image)** – Matt Wagner returns to the adventures of Kevin Matchstick for one last series. This is a fun preview (featuring oh-so-90’s skateboarding warrior “The Steeze” – who Matchstick winkingly refers to as “youngblood” before sending him home). I have a weakness for heroes who can just do what they do without a lot of posing and wasted energy (must be my own middle age showing), and if Kevin does have better things to do with his time than fight stone-ogres, I’m very curious to know what they are. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

kajumax s3 1Kaijumax Season 3 #1 (Oni Press)** – Zander Cannon continues to amaze with a heartfelt, humorous, horrible monster story that starts with a cabin in the woods, takes what appears to be a long detour through the story of a poor, put-upon giant goat, gets lost near a mysterious lake in Minnesota and then – oh my Goj – comes together and sets up the rest of the story in a great twist. Get on this. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy


 

Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Rasputin, Krampus, and Koshchei the Deathless Expand the Mignolaverse this Winter

From Baba Yaga and Hecate, to the Black Flame and the Queen of Blood, Mike Mignola’s legendary Hellboy and the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense have battled some of the most dangerous and despicable demons and villains in all of comics. In advance of San Diego Comic Con 2017, Dark Horse Comics has revealed three new titles for the strange, shared Mignolaverse of comic books and graphic novels comprised of Hellboy & the BPRD, Abe Sapien, BPRD, Lobster Johnson and Witchfinder, with all three new titles focusing on villains. With stories by Eisner award-winning artist Adam Hughes—who is illustrating his first ever Mignolaverse story, iZOMBIE co-creator Chris Roberson, and acclaimed Mignolaverse artists Christopher Mitten and Ben Stenbeck, the three new titles will explore the secret origins of two classic villains, Koshchei the Deathless and Rasputin, and introduce the Krampus into Hellboy’s odd world of fantasy and folklore.

The three new titles are:

Rasputin: Voice of the Dragon

Mike Mignola (W/Variant Cover), Chris Roberson (W), Christopher Mitten (A), Dave Stewart (C), Mike Huddleston (Cover)

A conspiracy involving the Third Reich and a dead member of a sinister secret society sets Professor Bruttenholm on his first mission—to find the man who’d soon bring Hellboy to earth. The mad Russian sorcerer Rasputin had been thought dead since 1916, when a group of noblemen sought to end his influence over the tsar. Now Rasputin works with the most twisted members of Hitler’s inner circle, and he’s about to cross paths with the man who’ll go on to found the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.

Rasputin: Voice of the Dragon‘s first issue (of five) goes on sale November 29, 2017.

Hellboy: Krampusnacht One-Shot

Mike Mignola (W/Variant Cover), Adam Hughes (A/C/Cover/Incentive Variant)
The only thing more exciting than pitting Hellboy against this Satanic spin on Santa is the team-up of Mike Mignola and Adam Hughes.

Hellboy: Krampusnacht One-Shot goes on sale December 20, 2017.

Koshchei The Deathless

Mike Mignola (W/cover), Ben Stenbeck (A), Dave Stewart (C)

Sent to kill Hellboy by the Baba Yaga in Darkness Calls, Koshchei the Deathless hinted at a long and tragic life before being enslaved to the Russian witch. Now Koshchei relives every horrible act on his road to immortality and beyond, with none other than Hellboy himself—in Hell. Mignola returns to Hell and to the bizarre folklore that’s filled some of his greatest books, reuniting with one of his favorite collaborators, Ben Stenbeck (Frankenstein Underground, Witchfinder: In The Service of Angels, Baltimore).

The first issue of Koshchei The Deathless (of six) goes on sale January 10, 2018.

Diamond Announces Both Marvel AND DC Comics Gain Ground in June

Diamond Comic Distributors have released the results for June sales and it’s an interesting month that saw both dollars and units down but both Marvel and DC Comics gaining some ground when it comes to unit and dollar shares.

Marvel Comics was June’s top publisher with a 38.54% dollar share (an increase of 0.49) and a 42.82% unit share (an increase of 2.91). DC Entertainment was second in June with a 30.61% dollar share (an increase of 2.68) and a 31.76% unit share (an increase of 0.88). In third was Image Comics with an 8.86% dollar share (down 1.39) and a 9.00% unit share (down 2.83). In fourth was IDW Publishing with a 4.24% dollar share (down 0.41) and a 3.18% unit share (down 0.60), followed by Dark Horse Comics with a 3.46% dollar share (up 0.41) and a 2.47% unit share (up 0.26).

Marvel Comics had five titles among the top ten. Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man was the top selling comic of the month. DC Entertainment had four titles in the top ten led by Dark Days: The Forge Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s The Walking Dead #168 from Image Comics rounded out the top ten at #10. Also from the premier publishers, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: Shadows #4 was Dark Horse Comics’ top book for the month at #98, and IDW Publishing’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #80 was their top book for June at #173.

Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s The Wicked and The Divine Volume 5: Imperial Phase Part 1 from Image Comics was June’s best-selling graphic novel. Image Comics had four titles in the top ten. DC Entertainment also had four titles in the top ten with DC Super Hero Girls Volume 3: Summer Olympus at #2. Marvel Comics rounded out the top ten with two titles.

Sanctum Publishing’s The Shadow Double Novel Volume 118 was June’s best-selling book. Dynamite Entertainment’s Art of Atari Poster Collection ranked #2. BOOM! Studios’ An Apple and An Adventure ranked #3. IDW Publishing’s Toybox Time Machine ranked #9.

DC Collectibles’ DC Designer Series: The Joker by Brian Bolland Statue, based on Bolland’s artwork from the best-selling graphic novel The Killing Joke, was June’s best-selling toy product. Also in the top ten for DC Collectibles were the Batman Black & White: Nightwing by Jim Lee Statue at #2 and the Supergirl TV: Supergirl Statue at #6. Diamond Select Toys had two products in the top ten: the Marvel Gallery: Old Man Logan PVC Statue at #7 and the Marvel Gallery: Classic Iron Man PVC Statue at #10.

WizKids/NECA celebrated the 15th-anniversary of their HeroClix miniatures game with a special release, the Marvel HeroClix 15th-Anniversary What If? Booster Brick, which was June’s best-selling game product. Their Marvel HeroClix 15th-Anniversary What If? Starter Set ranked #4. IDW Games had two products in the top ten as well: the perennial selling Machi Koro Card Game ranked #3 and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past Board Game ranked #9.

Overall the month saw 71 fewer titles/comics shipped compared to the previous month and didn’t quite have the juice of anticipated titles like the launch of Marvel’s Secret Empire and DC’s “The Button” storyline. Things are also very down compared to last year which also saw an event, Civil War II, and Rebirth driving sales. I wouldn’t read a lot into month to month or year to year sales for the month.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS 38.54% 42.82%
DC ENTERTAINMENT 30.61% 31.76%
IMAGE COMICS 8.86% 9.00%
IDW PUBLISHING 4.24% 3.18%
DARK HORSE COMICS 3.46% 2.47%
BOOM! STUDIOS 1.83% 1.61%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 1.79% 2.07%
TITAN COMICS 1.02% 0.76%
VIZ MEDIA 1.01% 0.36%
ONI PRESS INC. 0.79% 0.59%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 7.84% 5.37%

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

  DOLLARS UNITS
JUNE 2017 VS. MAY 2017
COMICS -0.43% -5.91%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -13.01% -8.00%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -4.31% -6.08%
TOYS -18.49% -38.75%
JUNE 2017 VS. JUNE 2016
COMICS -18.38% -20.16%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -28.04% -30.14%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -21.34% -21.06%
TOYS -20.11% -37.01%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2017 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2016
COMICS -3.84% 2.56%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -12.99% -13.50%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -6.77% 1.15%
TOYS -2.84% -6.29%
SECOND QUARTER 2017 VS. FIRST QUARTER 2017
COMICS 8.21% 1.37%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 6.99% 17.06%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 7.84% 2.47%
TOYS -12.46% -6.82%
SECOND QUARTER 2017 VS. SECOND QUARTER 2016
COMICS -7.68% -4.64%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -15.03% -13.50%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -10.01% -5.41%
TOYS -3.19% -11.96%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER COMICS SHIPPED GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED MAGAZINES SHIPPED TOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS 101 39 0 140
DC ENTERTAINMENT 84 36 1 121
IMAGE COMICS 55 15 1 71
IDW PUBLISHING 51 17 0 68
DARK HORSE COMICS 22 20 0 42
BOOM ENTERTAINMENT 23 9 0 32
TITAN COMICS 15 14 2 31
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 23 2 0 25
VIZ MEDIA 0 22 0 22
ONI PRESS INC. 12 6 0 18
OTHER NON-TOP 10 116 142 19 277

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1 $4.99 APR170970-M MAR
2 DARK DAYS: THE FORGE #1 $4.99 APR170259-M DC
3 STAR WARS: DARTH VADER #1 $4.99 APR171101-M MAR
4 BATMAN #24 $2.99 APR170279-M DC
5 DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE #9 $5.99 MAR170359-M DC
6 BATMAN #25 $3.99 APR170281-M DC
7 EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #1 $3.99 APR170962-M MAR
8 SECRET EMPIRE #4 $3.99 APR170922-M MAR
9 SECRET EMPIRE #5 $3.99 APR170928-M MAR
10 THE WALKING DEAD #168 (MR) $2.99 APR170902-M IMA

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 THE WICKED & THE DIVINE VOL. 5: IMPERIAL PHASE I TP $16.99 APR170909 IMA
2 DC SUPER HERO GIRLS VOL. 3: SUMMER OLYMPUS TP $9.99 MAR170353 DC
3 MOTOR CRUSH VOLUME 1 TP $9.99 MAR170820-M IMA
4 DESCENDER VOLUME 4: ORBITAL MECHANICS TP $16.99 APR170785 IMA
5 SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL VOLUME 2: SIDE PIECES TP $16.99 MAR171162 MAR
6 TEEN TITANS VOL. 1: DAMIAN KNOWS BEST TP $16.99 MAR170410 DC
7 HARLEY QUINN VOL. 2: THE JOKER LOVES HARLEY TP $16.99 MAR170404 DC
8 STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA VOLUME 1: APHRA TP $17.99 MAR171129 MAR
9 A.D.: AFTER DEATH HC $24.99 FEB170689-M IMA
10 NIGHTWING VOL. 2: BACK TO BLUDHAVEN TP $16.99 MAR170406 DC

TOP 10 BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 118 SC $14.95 MAR172353 SAN
2 ART OF ATARI POSTER COLLECTION SC $24.99 APR171557 DYN
3 APPLE AND AN ADVENTURE HC $14.99 FEB171299 BOO
4 BLOODBORNE OFFICIAL ARTWORKS SC $44.99 MAR172148 UDO
5 EVIL DEAD 2 ADULT COLORING ACTIVITY BOOK TP $14.99 APR171958 SPA
6 FAMILY GUY COLORING BOOK $14.95 MAR172109 RAN
7 MANGA IN THEORY & PRACTICE HC $19.99 APR172155 VIZ
8 TOYBOX TIME MACHINE HC $29.99 FEB170491 IDW
9 5 MINUTE SPIDER-MAN STORIES HC $12.99 APR172266 HAC
10 NEIL GAIMAN’S AMERICAN GODS OFFICIAL COLORING BOOK $16.99 JAN178881 HAR

TOP 10 TOYS

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 DC DESIGNER SERIES: THE JOKER BY BRIAN BOLLAND STATUE JAN170427 DC
2 BATMAN BLACK & WHITE STATUE: NIGHTWING BY JIM LEE DEC160417 DC
3 DRAGONBALL SUPER DRAGON STARS ACTION FIGURES DEC168377 BAN
4 DC UNIVERSE: HARLEY QUINN ARTFX+ STATUE NOV162698 KOT
5 LEGEND OF ZELDA: TWILIGHT PRINCESS: LINK FIGMA DX AUG168804 GOO
6 SUPERGIRL TV: SUPERGIRL STATUE OCT160339 DC
7 MARVEL GALLERY: OLD MAN LOGAN PVC FIGURE OCT160011 DST
8 FINAL FANTASY VII PLAY ARTS KAI: CLOUD STRIFE REMAKE FIGURE NOV168102 SQU
9 X-MEN LEGENDS 6-INCH ACTION FIGURES FEB178702 HAS
10 MARVEL GALLERY: CLASSIC IRON MAN PVC FIGURE JAN172648 DST

TOP 10 GAMES

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 MARVEL HEROCLIX 15TH-ANNIVERSARY WHAT IF BOOSTER BRICK MAR173399 NEC
2 MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: KALADESH BOOSTER PACKS AUG163175 WIZ
3 MACHI KORO CARD GAME MAY142831 IDW
4 MARVEL HEROCLIX 15TH-ANNIVERSARY WHAT IF STARTER SET MAR173400 NEC
5 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 MONOPOLY MAY173213 USA
6 YU-GI-OH! MAXIMUM CRISIS SPECIAL EDITION APR173279 KON
7 DC DICE MASTERS: BATMAN SEP168742 NEC
8 CHEMISTRY FLUXX CARD GAME MAR173363 LOO
9 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: SHADOWS OF THE PAST BOARD GAME APR160482 IDW
10 YU-GI-OH! PENDULUM EVOLUTION BOOSTER PACKS APR173278 KON
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