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REVIEW: Deadbox #2

Deadbox #2

Mark Russell is one of the most important satirists working in fiction today and Deadbox continues to be proof of this. In Deadbox #2, Russell takes on the idea of the American Dream and how it manifests itself in small town settings, the places where Americans go to keep their national myths alive. Also, monkeys are learning how to behave around bananas in this chapter’s Deadbox movie, titled “Can I Have a Banana Now?”

Deadbox #2 follows a man and wife that visit a fair filled with that very conservative Southern charm, Confederate flags waving and such. The man comes across a cheap pair of purplish/pale pink pants that he says look like the ones he used to wear in college. He buys them, puts them on, and is immediately labeled as queer, much to the horror of the Southern man. Cue the public outrage, the shunning, and the Christian judgement stares.

As is the case with the first issue, the movie that accompanies the main story reflects on the problems faced by its characters. This one’s about how monkeys take to punishment and rewards to better control the simian population. You can piece together rest yourself. It’s an amazingly rewarding process.

Keeping with the anthology format is paying off for the book, allowing it to wade into deeper waters with different characters while also making sure the story feels interconnected, if only by a panel or two showing an already established character from before. The movies are the connecting agents that bind everyone together.

Deadbox #2

The script’s genius comes in how it addresses preconceived notions of what’s acceptable and American and what isn’t through comically frightening situations that put readers in places they are painfully familiar with. It’s exaggerated and even ridiculous, but never that far from reality.

Benjamin Tiesma’s art continues to hold its part of the storytelling quite well. The character work in particular shines as Tiesma prefers to portray people with just the right amount of caricature to keep them from being mere punchlines. They feel like real people despite the funnier aspects of their looks and they all radiate a humorous energy that’s both impossible to look away from but also hard to watch.

I could go on and on about Deadbox and how it gets progressively funnier the scarier it gets, but the beauty’s in the discovery, in decoding the satire. Bottom line is, you need to read this book. Comics shelves become smarter when it’s on display.

Story: Mark Russell Art: Benjamin Tiesma Colors: Vladimir Popov
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10
Recommendation: Buy, read, and laugh all the way through to keep from screaming incessantly.

Vault Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Mazebook #2

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.

Batman: The Imposter #1 (DC Comics) – It’s early on in Batman’s career and there’s a second Batman on the rooftops and this one has no problem with murdering criminals.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #9 (Archie Comics/Archie Horror) – We still can’t believe this is finally out and we have a review copy. It feels like forever.

Deadbox #2 (Vault Comics) – Mark Russell is a brilliant satirist and this series is no exception.

I Am Batman #2 (DC Comics) – Jace Fox has been an interesting new Batman and write John Ridley has focused on delivering motivation and depth to the character along with a style of crime fighting that makes the character stand out.

Kang the Conqueror #3 (Marvel) – This is your life Kang! The series has been putting together the rather complicated history of Kang and giving us some interesting new insight into the character.

Mazebook #2 (Dark Horse Comics) – A heavy read focused on a father who has lost his daughter. The first issue was a punch to the gut and we’re expecting much of the same.

No One Left to Fight II #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – Kung-fu over-the-top action.

Science Comics: Whales (First Second) – Always fun. Always education. Great for parents and kids alike!

Star Trek: Mirror War #1 (IDW Publishing) – We’re always up for a trip into Star Trek’s Mirror Universe.

Telepaths #2 (AWA Studios) – The first issue was a nice setup of a world where a large portion gains telepathic powers. What that means for the world seems to be the exploration of the series and we’re intrigued by the concept.

Review: Deadbox #1

Deadbox #1

We are the stories we tell ourselves, no matter how stupid they are. This is but one of the sentiments that orbit the satire at the heart of Vault’s latest comic book series, Deadbox. Accompanying that brutally accurate idea is the thought these stories we collectively decide to support can also be cursed. Author Mark Russell and illustrator Benjamin Tiesma tap into the core stupidities of our national narrative, both foundational and current, and come up with a story that’s as funny as it is worrying.

Deadbox follows a woman called Penny who owns a convenience store in a dead-end town called Lost Turkey, a town that also worships freedom as if it were its own god. The town and its people poke fun at Libertarian ideals and conservative thought to create an environment that’s contradictory in every social facet of life. Lost Turkey’s only source of entertainment, as the book says, is a DVD machine that looks like one of those Redbox vending machines where people could rent movies and video games from.

Problem is, the movies in the machine are haunted. Some can only be found in that Lost Turkey’s rental machine and nowhere else. Russell and Tiesma hang on to this detail to create a kind of ‘story within a story’ dynamic where the movie becomes a reflection of the things that are happening in the town, or that are happening to it.

Russell has built quiet a body of work on his own brand of satire. His stories are aware of the commentary he’s putting forth, subtlety be damned in some cases. It makes his comics come off as meta a lot of the times and he’s largely successful at it. Deadbox is another notch on that belt in this regard.

As the story develops, we learn that Penny’s dad is seriously ill and that her choice to rent a movie from the machine will foretell some of the things that ail and will end up ailing the character. This is where Russell’s skill with creating parables and metaphors shines, turning the movie’s sci-fi story of humanity making first contact with an alien civilization into a contemplation on a people’s dreams of progress, what old age means, and how entitled we can come off as while settling in new places.

Lost Turkey itself is a combination of elements that make it a kind of conservative utopia guided by contradictions that celebrate unfettered freedoms regardless of consequence. Gun lovers, safety-defying bikers, and small town political leaders with delusions of grandeur populate this place and each one offers a chance to think about the backwardness of our political culture.

Deadbox #1

Tiesma’s art makes sure the script’s satire never skips a beat by leaning into caricature in his portrayal of the townspeople and the characters that appear in the story’s movie segments. Body language and panel transitions are imbued with a theatrical flair that rewards careful observation and close reading. The humor’s in the details in this one and Tiasma capitalizes on every chance he gets to dial it up.

Deadbox is an incredibly smart comic that finds a lot to be scared of in stupidity, but also a lot to laugh at. The first issue of the series stands on the strength of its sharp wit and its visual comedy. There’s a lot of stupid in the world right now and Deadbox is here to make fun of it.

Story: Mark Russell Art: Benjamin Tiesma,
Colors: Vladimir Popov, Letterer: Andworld Design
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Read and try not to do stupid things.

Vault provided Graphic Policy with a free copy of the comic for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Deadbox #1

Deadbox #1

Writer: Mark Russell 
Artist: Benjamin Tiesma
Colorist: Vladimir Popov
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Designer: Tim Daniel
Cover BBenjamin Tiesma
Cover B: Corin Howell
On Sale: 9/8/2021

You are what you watch.

Welcome to the town of Lost Turkey, where the main source of entertainment is a cursed DVD machine that seems to know more about the fate of its citizens than they do.

Deadbox #1

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Artie and the Wolf Man

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.

Artie and the Wolf Moon (Graphic Universe) – Artie sneaks out at night to discover their mother is a werewolf!

Avengers Tech-On #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was a lot of fun as a powered up Red Skull strips the world’s heroes of their powers.

Bad Sister (First Second Books) – A middle grade graphic memoir following a young girl who undergoes a crisis of conscience, realizing that she is a “bad sister.”

Batman #112 (DC Comics) – “Fear State” kicks off as the Scarecrow’s plan for Gotham unfolds.

Bountiful Garden #1 (Mad Cave Studios) – In the year 2200, a team of teenage scientists are sent on a terraforming mission to a distant planet. When they are awakened abruptly, ten years early, halted above a strange planet, the teens are tasked with trying to figure out why they’re stalled – or what stalled them.

Deadbox #1 (Vault Comics) We have an early review and praise this debut.

Glamorella’s Daughter #2 (Literati Press) – The debut issue was fantastic introducing us to a new hero and her daughter who’d rather read books than punch bad guys.

Ka-Zar: Lord of the Savage Land #1 (Marvel) – Ka-Zar is back! We always want to see what’s done with this character that never quite catches on.

Last Flight Out #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – Humanity has chosen to evacuate Earth as a father attempts to make amends with his daughter during the end of the world.

Mazebook #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – Jeff Lemire. Nuff said.

The Nice House on the Lake #4 (DC Comics/DC Black Label) – This series has been amazing with a great mix of horror, mystery, and a focus on the characters. This one delivers some twists that have a major impact.

Nine Stones #1 (Behemoth Comics) – Disturbing dreams shake Alistair “Allie” Jacobi’s nights. But his daytime life is not much better.

Not All Robots #2 (AWA Studios) – In the year of 2056, robots have replaced human beings in the workforce. Mark Russell and Mike Deodato deliver more brilliant commentary.

Savage Circus #6 (Heavy Metal Entertainment) – Strange creators on the loose and a group of thieves. The series has been a lot of fund mashing up genres.

Search for Hu #1 (AfterShock) – A son must protect his parents who a feud breaks out between the two sides of his family.

Snelson #2 (AHOY Comics) – The first issue was interesting looking at “cancel culture”. It didn’t quite deliver the commentary we hoped for but it was enough that we want to see what the second issue has to say.

Star Trek: Mirror War #0 (IDW Publishing) – Star Trek and the Mirror Universe are two things together that always have us interested.

Whistle: A New Gotham Hero (DC Comics) – When Willow discovers that her “uncle” Edward and his friends are actually some of Gotham’s most corrupt criminals, she must make a choice: remain loyal to the man who kept her family together, or use her new powers to be a voice for her community.

Preview: Deadbox #1

Deadbox #1

Writer: Mark Russell 
Artist: Benjamin Tiesma
Colorist: Vladimir Popov
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Designer: Tim Daniel
Cover BBenjamin Tiesma
Cover B: Corin Howell
On Sale: 9/8/2021

You are what you watch.

Welcome to the town of Lost Turkey, where the main source of entertainment is a cursed DVD machine that seems to know more about the fate of its citizens than they do.

Deadbox #1

Earl Review: Deadbox #1

Deadbox #1

We are the stories we tell ourselves, no matter how stupid they are. This is but one of the sentiments that orbit the satire at the heart of Vault’s latest comic book series, Deadbox. Accompanying that brutally accurate idea is the thought these stories we collectively decide to support can also be cursed. Author Mark Russell and illustrator Benjamin Tiesma tap into the core stupidities of our national narrative, both foundational and current, and come up with a story that’s as funny as it is worrying.

Deadbox follows a woman called Penny who owns a convenience store in a dead-end town called Lost Turkey, a town that also worships freedom as if it were its own god. The town and its people poke fun at Libertarian ideals and conservative thought to create an environment that’s contradictory in every social facet of life. Lost Turkey’s only source of entertainment, as the book says, is a DVD machine that looks like one of those Redbox vending machines where people could rent movies and video games from.

Problem is, the movies in the machine are haunted. Some can only be found in that Lost Turkey’s rental machine and nowhere else. Russell and Tiesma hang on to this detail to create a kind of ‘story within a story’ dynamic where the movie becomes a reflection of the things that are happening in the town, or that are happening to it.

Russell has built quiet a body of work on his own brand of satire. His stories are aware of the commentary he’s putting forth, subtlety be damned in some cases. It makes his comics come off as meta a lot of the times and he’s largely successful at it. Deadbox is another notch on that belt in this regard.

As the story develops, we learn that Penny’s dad is seriously ill and that her choice to rent a movie from the machine will foretell some of the things that ail and will end up ailing the character. This is where Russell’s skill with creating parables and metaphors shines, turning the movie’s sci-fi story of humanity making first contact with an alien civilization into a contemplation on a people’s dreams of progress, what old age means, and how entitled we can come off as while settling in new places.

Lost Turkey itself is a combination of elements that make it a kind of conservative utopia guided by contradictions that celebrate unfettered freedoms regardless of consequence. Gun lovers, safety-defying bikers, and small town political leaders with delusions of grandeur populate this place and each one offers a chance to think about the backwardness of our political culture.

Deadbox #1

Tiesma’s art makes sure the script’s satire never skips a beat by leaning into caricature in his portrayal of the townspeople and the characters that appear in the story’s movie segments. Body language and panel transitions are imbued with a theatrical flair that rewards careful observation and close reading. The humor’s in the details in this one and Tiasma capitalizes on every chance he gets to dial it up.

Deadbox is an incredibly smart comic that finds a lot to be scared of in stupidity, but also a lot to laugh at. The first issue of the series stands on the strength of its sharp wit and its visual comedy. There’s a lot of stupid in the world right now and Deadbox is here to make fun of it.

Story: Mark Russell Art: Benjamin Tiesma,
Colors: Vladimir Popov, Letterer: Andworld Design
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Read and try not to do stupid things.

Vault provided Graphic Policy with a free copy of the comic for review


Pre-Order: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Vault Comics Announces Deadbox, a Horror Series by Mark Russell, Benjamin Tiesma, and Vladimir Popov

Vault Comics is thrilled to announce Deadbox, a terrifying new horror series from writer Mark Russell, artist Bejnamin Tiesma, colorist Vladimir Popov, and designer Tim Daniel.

Deadbox is a horror story set in the town of Lost Turkey, where the main source of entertainment is a cursed DVD machine that seems to know more about the fate of its citizens than they do.

Deadbox #1 will hit store shelves in August 2021. The entire series will feature a line of variant covers from Vault Cover-Artist-in-Residence, Corin Howell.

Almost American