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Review: Fear Case #1

Fear Case #1
Fear Case #1, cover by Duncan Fegredo

Matt Kindt and Tyler and Hilary Jenkins are tapping into some True Detective vibes with Fear Case, the team’s new fantasy horror book for Dark Horse. To tie it only to that show, though, does a disservice to the range of ideas unleashed on this story. There’s a dark fantasy undercurrent to the plot that looks like it will grab hold as the comic progresses and there’s a Philip K. Dick reference in there that provides a big hint as to what’s coming. What’s certain is that this story has the potential to be among many ‘best of’ lists come year’s end.

Fear Case #1 focus on two Secret Service agents, one a New Age enthusiast with a love for speculative fiction (called Winters) and the other a more old-school agent that’s not keen on entertaining fantasies (called Mitchum). They’re on the last three weeks of a mysterious case assigned to them concerning a strange box that’s been seen in some of the world’s most enigmatic tragedies. It’s a case that’s eluded many other agents, driven some to madness even. It’s because of this that those who get the case have a one-year deadline to solve it, if they withstand it.

The setup is clean, enticing, and beautifully presented without really getting bogged down by insider shop talk, which tends to make reading procedurals and detective stories a bit cumbersome sometimes. Kindt’s dialogue smoothly transitions from light exposition to character development and it does look like one won’t overpower the other, something that tends to hound True Detective.

Tyler and Hilary’s art, an illustrator and colorist combo, keeps the tone dark and heavy but not to the point of making the book feel like a walk through hell to get at its mysteries. Their approach to tone is not meant to oppress the reader rather than to offer a counterbalance to Kindt’s lively and quick dialogue. They play off of each other nicely. It shows how synchronized this creative team is on this book.

Fear Case
Fear Case #1

The mystery behind the fear case has an air of conspiracy theory behind it, making the interaction between Winters and Mitchum unravel as a clash of worldviews. Winters indulges the more mystic elements of the case while Mitchum is willing to go beyond his comfort zone but only within reason. It’s a refreshing state of affairs that thankfully doesn’t result in the two characters sniping at each other from opposite extremes. They prefer the grey area, perhaps alluding to the possibility no clear answer will come from the case and that a lot will be left up to interpretation.

There’s enough in Fear Case’s first issue to justify following the series at a monthly basis. This is the kind of comic one desperately wants to continue reading once an issue is done. It just comes off as a very good pilot episode for a TV series, like the first episodes for Fringe and The X-Files. Much like those shows, Fear Case hooks you in immediately and I doubt you’ll put up much of a struggle given how good it is.

Script: Matt Kindt Art: Tyler Jenkins Color: Hilary Jenkins
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy and brush up on your Philip K. Dick

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Appreciating Digital Comics through Emily Carroll

It took me some time to appreciate digital comics. Not the ones drawn with conventional media and then released digitally, but comics created entirely on a computer. For some reason, I had never had the courage to dive into their world of what I saw as insubstantial pages and immaterial panels. Like many other comic book readers, I used to believe that if you can’t touch them, smell them or pile them up on the shelf then what’s the point of reading them, right?

Wrong. Because someone has convinced me otherwise. This person has shown me that a digital comic book is not a transplanted organ, removed from the paper and absorbed into the screen. There’s no point in missing their touch, smell or piling up capabilities because they were never meant to express that in the first place, even less emulating them. The digital world has its own substance and materiality.

And the person who taught me that is Emily Carroll, Canadian comics author of horror and fantasy-themed webcomics.

From Carroll and her beautifully illustrated panels I’ve learned that digital comics have a life of their own and are totally independent from their printed cousins. With a whole new environment to dwell, we the readers can explore afresh. And that’s exactly what I did. I immersed myself into Carroll’s art and read all of her comics. And by doing that I discovered three things, three features that mix up and rearrange the form (the comic book medium) and the content (the images of horror and fantasy) of her digital landscape.

Let’s check the three features one by one:

1st feature – Digital movement

We read a digital comic like we read all other (western) printed comics: from left to right, from top to bottom. But that’s where the similarities end. In addition to the left-right-top-bottom order, a printed page also needs to be turned. A digital page, on the other hand, may be turned (in a virtual way) but doesn’t have to. It can simply go down, on and on, not like a book but like a scroll.

So what does that mean and how does Carroll work with that? She uses it as a part of the content and makes it work for her. If the reading experience can scroll down indefinitely, then the images must express that movement visually. And that’s why her panels are filled with basements, wells, underfloors, pitfalls, caves, tombs and all kinds of holes in the ground. Her drawings live their own format as images moving toward the depths of their own medium.

In His Face All Red, a young man goes down the pit of the beast in search of his brother.

Emily Carroll - His Face All Red

In The Prince and the Sea, a prince is dragged down to the bottom of a pond by his water nymph lover.

Emily Carroll - The Prince and the Sea

In Out the Door, a young boy contemplates the dark depths of his basement.

Emily Carroll - Out the Door

All this movement toward the unknown, all this diving into the buried things of every-day life, carries with it a strong element of horror.

2nd feature – Digital time

Each page of a printed comic has a time imprint. As we read them and turn them over, we turn over time itself. A page can only exist if the previous one has been set aside, which means they can’t be there all together in time. And again, this isn’t necessarily true for a digital comic. In the digital world, pages can all exist simultaneously, distributed along the deep screen.

Carroll once again uses the format to her own advantage and to spice up the flavor of her content. If everything is already there, time tends to go full circle. Her tales come and go around her drawings, repeating themselves time and time again. Her stories are full of departures and returns, repetitions and swings, comings and goings, cycles and loops.

In Anu-Anulan & Yir’s Daughter, a Goddess comes down to Earth three times, and for three times she is offered the silver curls of a maiden.

Emily Carroll - Anu-Anulan & Yir's Daughter

In Out of Skin, murdered corpses come back to memory and continuously surround the cabin of the woman who had ignored them in life.

Emily Carroll - Out of Skin

In The Three Snake Leaves, we move back and forth from tale to tale as a prince and his deceased wife retell the same adventure under different eyes.

Emily Carroll - The Three Snake Leaves (prince)

Emily Carroll - The Three Snake Leaves (princess)

All this time shifting, all this fairy-tale style of revisiting unusual events, brings with it a powerful element of fantasy.

3rd feature – Digital space

A printed comic book consists of one single frame and is its own physical space. There is nothing beyond the limits of its pages. Now think about digital comics. All of them come with an external screen (the device we use to read it) and many layers of internal screens (windows, bars, tabs, menus, boxes, widgets and icons). The story we read is no more than a fragment of that interface. Beyond the limits of its pages there is everything else that particular device allows us to have. A digital comic is never a world in itself, it’s much more than that.

This is also absorbed and expressed by Carroll. If space is shared, then tales should be shared too. And that’s why her stories usually contain in themselves other stories, tales between tales and settings within settings. There are images of dreams and forecasting, mirrors and light reflections, subplots and secondary voices, sketches and canvases.

In The Groom, a toy model serves as background and parallel story to the mystery surrounding its own existence.

Emily Carroll - The Groom

In The Hole the Fox Did Make, a girl who dreams of being a fox illustrates her different and distinct lives.

Emily Carroll - The Hole the Fox Did Make

In When the Darkness Presses, two friends chronicle and expose their freakiest nightmares.

Emily Carroll - When Darkness Presses

And just like it happens to movement, which falls down toward the horror, and to time, which comes back around the fantasy, the feature of space in Carroll’s work opens up new possibilities to play with form and content.

More than adapting ideas from printed comic books, she comes up with something new, fresh and all hers.

Thank you Emily, for helping me uncover that world.

IDW Publishing in April 2015

Uncle Scrooge #1

Jonathan Gray, Rodolfo Cimino (w) • Romano Scarpa (a) • Giorgio Cavazzano (c)

Wak! Disney’s richest epic hero returns! In “The Wrath of Gigabeagle,” the McDuck Money Bin meets a monster-sized Beagle Boy mech!

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Jonathan Gray, Rodolfo Cimino (w) • Romano Scarpa (a) • Blank Sketch Variant (c)

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My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic

The first My Little Pony mini-series event! This month-long weekly limited series explores the secret origins of the Equestria’s greatest villains!


My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic #1: Sombra

Jeremy Whitley (w) • Brenda Hickey (a) • Amy Mebberson (c)

What caused Sombra to become one of the most feared ponies in Equestria’s history?

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Jeremy Whitley (w) • Brenda Hickey (a) • Sara Richard (c)

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My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic #2: Tirek

Christina Rice (w) • Tony Fleecs (a) • Amy Mebberson (c)

Tirek’s mad quest for power starts here!

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Expected in-store date: 4/8/15



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My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic #3: Sirens

Ted Anderson (w) • Agnes Garbowska (a) • Amy Mebberson (c)

The Sirens from Rainbow Rocks Equestria origin revealed!

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Ted Anderson (w) • Agnes Garbowska (a) • Sara Richard (c)

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My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic #4: Nightmare Moon

Heather Nuhfer (w) • Tony Fleecs (a) • Amy Mebberson (c)

The untold story of what Nightmare Moon did during her time on the moon!

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Heather Nuhfer (w) • Tony Fleecs (a) • Sara Richard (c)

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My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic #5: Queen Chrysalis

Katie Cook (w) • Andy Price (a) • Amy Mebberson (c)

The ponies visit the imprisoned Chrysalis… what secret is she hiding?

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Katie Cook (w) • Andy Price (a) • Sara Richard (c)

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My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic #1 – 5 Complete Box Set

Various (w & a) • Amy Mebberson x 5 (c)

Want to collect all the covers, but don’t have the time to chase them down? Buy the entire series in a deluxe collectible box! Includes all five issues, with covers from Amy Mebberson!

FC • 32 x 5 pages • $19.99

Edward Scissorhands #7: Whole Again Part Two

Kate Leth (w) • Drew Rausch (a) • CP Wilson III (c)

As the town rallies around Edward to try and win him a chance to meet with a famed TV surgeon, Megs has serious misgivings.

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Galaxy Quest: The Journey Continues #4 (of 4)

Erik Burnham (w) • Nacho Arranz (a & c)

The fate of a world hangs in the balance in this explosive finale!

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Erik Burnham (w) • Nacho Arranz (a) • Vincent Riley (c)

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Jem and the Holograms #2

Kelly Thompson (w) • Ross Campbell (a) • Campbell, Amy Mebberson x 4 (c)

Truly outrageous! JERRICA BENTON is JEM—but does she have what it takes to lead her underdog band against the mega-popular MISFITS?

FC • 32 pages • $ 3.99

Jem02_cvrB Jem02_cvrC Jem02_cvrD Jem02_cvrE Jem02_cvr-MOCKONLY

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Kelly Thompson (w) • Ross Campbell (a) • Sarah Richards (c)

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Jem and the Holograms #2 Complete Misfits Holographic Foil Box Set

All of #2’s covers collected in a deluxe rainbow foil & hologram collectible box! Includes all five covers from Ross Campbell and Amy Mebberson!

FC • 32 x 5 pages • $24.99

Littlest Pet Shop: Spring Cleaning! One-shot

Georgia Ball (w) • Nicanor Peña, Antonio Campo (a) • Peña (c)

Back by popular demand! The Littlest Pet Shop gang returns in this all-new spring special!

FC • 48 pages • $7.99


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Littlest Pet Shop HC • FC • $9.99 • ISBN: 978-1-63140-087-2

Angry Birds Comics #10

Paul Tobin & Various (w) • Stefano Intini & Various (a) • Paco Rodriques (c)

The pigs decide to build the “ultimate” fortress but can they muster up enough brainpower to find new ways to stop the Angry Birds?

FC • 32 pages • $3.99



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Paul Tobin & Various (w) • Stefano Intini & Various (a) • Ciro Cangialosi (c)

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Angry Birds Comics, Vol. 2: When Pigs Fly

Paul Tobin, Janne Toriseva, François Corteggiani, Pascal Oost, Anastasia Heinzlo (w) • Thomas Cabellic, Cèsar Ferioli, Giorgio Cavazzano, Audrey Bussi, Isa Python, Paco Rodrigues, Marco Gervasio (a) • Paco Rodriques (c)

The adventures continue in these charming all-ages comics featuring the ANGRY BIRDS! Contains stories from issues #5–8.

HC • FC • $9.99 • 80 pages • 6” x 9” • ISBN: 978-1-63140-248-7




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Samurai Jack #19

Jim Zub (w) • Christine Larsen (a) • Andy Suriano (c)

Jack reunites with the team of dapper archaeological dogs as they search for their canine ancestry, but the secrets they fetch will leave them howling!

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Skylanders #8: Return of the Dragon King Part 2 (of 3)

Ron Marz, David A. Rodriguez (w) • Fico Ossio (a & c)

RETURN OF THE DRAGON KING CONTINUES! CLASSIFIED is back! Only Spryo, Hex, and Cynder have the knowledge needed to defeat this arch-nemesis!

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Powerpuff Girls Super Smash-Up #4

Derek Charm, Ivan Cohen (w) • Charm, Nneka Myers (a) • Charm (c)

The Girls have tracked the mutated Dee Dee to Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends! Too bad it’s right in the middle of Ultimate Hide n Seek!

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Empire: Uprising #1

Mark Waid (w) • Barry Kitson (a & c)

It’s been a year since the events of the original Empire, and much has changed for Golgoth, the first super-villain to conquer the world. Can he hold onto his reign—and does he even want to?

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Mark Waid (w) • Barry Kitson (a & c)

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Empire, Vol. 1

Mark Waid (w) • Barry Kitson (a & c)

Golgoth thinks he controls most of the populated Earth, ruling through military might and fear, but he can’t even trust his own super-powered staff.

TPB • FC • $24.99 • 208 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-305-7


The Infinite Loop #1 (of 6)

Pierrick Colinet (w) • Elsa Charretier (a & c)

A dynamically graphic, science-fictiony, poetical, paradoxical wunderkind of a sexy, time-traveling, adventure-packed comic series begins here!

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Orphan Black #3

John Fawcett, Graeme Manson & Jody Houser (w) • Cat Staggs (a & c)

A scientist with a mysterious illness, Cosima must use every ounce of her her bravery and intellect to save her clone sisters and herself.

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The Fly: Outbreak #2 (of 5)

Brandon Seifert (w) • menton3 (a & c)

A disaster at Bartok Industries threatens to unleash a plague of human/fly hybrids on the world. Will quarantine prevent a full outbreak?

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Garbage Pail Kids: Fables, Fantasy, and Farts

Shannon Wheeler, Various (w & a) • Mark Pingitore (c)

Join the Garbage Pail Kids for a literally breathtaking foray into fantasy worlds, fairytale lands, and flatulent frontiers!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Garbage Pail Kids: Fables, Fantasy, and Farts—Deluxe Edition

Shannon Wheeler, Various (w & a) • Wheeler (c)

A variant cover from Shannon Wheeler, shrink-wrapped with an exclusive official GPK sticker by Brent Engstrom!

FC • 32 pages • $4.99

The X-Files: Season 10 #23

Joe Harris (w) • Matthew Dow Smith (a) • Francesco Francavilla (c)

The Syndicate has returned with familiar faces and a new leader. Their first order of business: shutting down the X-Files for good!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99



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Joe Harris (w) • Matthew Dow Smith (a) • photo (c)

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X-Files: Season 10, Vol. 4

Joe Harris (w) • Colin Lorimer, Matthew Dow Smith, Tom Mandrake (a) • Francesco Francavilla (c)

Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are back investigating the X-Files. Contains issues #16–20 and the stories “Immaculate,” “Monica & John,” and “G-23.”

HC • FC • $24.99 • 124 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-286-9


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Millennium #4 (of 5)

Joe Harris (w) • Colin Lorimer (a) • menton3 (c)

Frank Black thought the Millennium Group was defeated years ago but the organization has resurfaced, with his daughter in its crosshairs!

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Joe Harris (w) • Colin Lorimer (a) • photo (c)

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Star Trek #44—Five-Year Mission

Mike Johnson (w) • Tony Shasteen (a) • Joe Corroney (c)

“Eurydice” Part 2 of 2. The Five Year Mission leading up to 2016’s blockbuster STAR TREK movie continues here, as Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise find themselves in the clutches of the Dark Market Syndicate deep in the Delta Quadrant. Don’t miss this all-new story produced in the association with STAR TREK writer/producer Roberto Orci!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99


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Mike Johnson (w) • Tony Shasteen (a) • Photo Cover (c)

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Star Trek/Planet of the Apes #5 (of 5)

Scott Tipton, David Tipton (w) • Rachael Stott (a & c)

The battle for conquest of the Planet of the Apes comes to a climax! Can Captain Kirk wrest control of the Gorilla army from the Klingons?

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Miami Vice: Remix #2 (of 5)
Joe Casey (w) • Jim Mahfood (a & c)

Someone from Crockett’s past is back and promises that Detective Sonny Crockett will pay for his crimes!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99


Joe Frankenstein #3 (of 4)

Graham Nolan & Chuck Dixon (w) • Graham Nolan (a & c)

Joe and the Monster head for their windmill hideout on the coast of Long Island, where they are besieged by Lord Golgatha and an army of the undead!

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Graham Nolan & Chuck Dixon (w) • Graham Nolan (a & c)

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G.I. Joe #8

Karen Traviss (w) • Steve Kurth (a) • Jeffrey Veregge (c)

The war of intel and secrets reaches dangerous new heights as Scarlet’s G.I. Joe team goes deeper undercover in a country run by Cobra.

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Karen Traviss (w) • Steve Kurth (a) • Dheeraj Verma (c)

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G.I. JOE: Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra #4 (of 5)

Mike Costa (w) • Paolo Villanelli (a & c)

SNAKE EYES’ mission for COBRA has been severely compromised: his target, G.I. JOE and even the Arashikage are now hellbent on stopping the ninja commando… at any cost!

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G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #213—The Death of Snake Eyes: Part 2

Larry Hama (w) • S L Gallant (a & c)

G.I. JOE’s original Ninja Commando confronts old enemies and new threats that may just put an end to Snake Eyes once and for all!

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G.I JOE: The Complete Collection, Vol. 7

Larry Hama (w) • Ron Wagner, Herb Trimpe, Marshall Rogers, William Johnson, Arvell Jones, Todd McFarlane, Tony Salmons (a) • N/A (c)

The full run of original comics in proper reading order. Collects issues #61–67 of A REAL AMERICAN HERO, #6–8 of SPECIAL MISSIONS, SPECIAL #1, and YEARBOOK #4.

HC • FC • $49.99 • 352 pages • 7” x 11” • ISBN: 978-1-63140-280-7


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Transformers vs G.I. JOE #8

Tom Scioli & John Barber (w) • Scioli (a & c)

In the interplanetary war between the TRANSFORMERS and G.I. JOE, anything can happen… and does.

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Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #40

James Roberts (w) • Brendan Cahill (a) • Alex Milne (c)

Having saved the universe—kind of—the Lost Light crew deal with the fallout in a manner befitting the gravity of the situation. Kind of.

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Transformers #40—Combiner Wars

John Barber (w) • Livio Ramondelli (a) • Casey W. Coller (c)

The COMBINERS have arrived! STARSCREAM wrestles for dominance with

OPTIMUS PRIME as surprising reinforcements approach—from the Lost Light!

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Transformers: Windblade—Combiner Wars #2

Mairghread Scott (w) • Livio Ramondelli (a) • Casey W. Coller (c)

PROWL makes his move… and the galaxy will never be the same. Can WINDBLADE stand against the threat of the COMBINERS?

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Transformers, Vol. 7

John Barber (w) • Sarah Stone, Livio Ramondelli, Andrew Griffith (a) • Casey W. Coller (c)

The secret origins of CYBERTRON’s golden age are revealed to OPTIMUS PRIME—and what he learns changes everything about the AUTOBOTS’ mission on Earth. Collects issues #33–38.

TPB • FC • $19.99 • 152 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-285-2



Erik Burnham, Tom Waltz (w) • Dan Schoening (a & c)

Collecting the hit IDW miniseries! When a new invention goes haywire, the Turtles are sent to a whole new type of New York City. One with a whole lot more ghosts… and Ghostbusters!

TPB • FC • $17.99 • 104 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-253-1


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics, Vol. 10

Jim Lawson (w & a & c)

Features the final four issues, #10–13, of TMNT Volume 2, all by longtime Turtles writer/artist Jim Lawson.

TPB • FC • $19.99 • 116 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-284-5


TMNT Color Classics Vol. 3 #4

Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Jim Lawson (w) • Lawson (a) • A.C. Farley (c)

The TMNT Color Classics line continues, presenting another classic Mirage storyline in all-new full color!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #45

Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman (w) • Mateus Santolouco (a) • Santolouco, Eastman (c)

The Turtles return from Burnow Island to find unimaginable tragedy. As the family struggles to cope, an enraged Foot Clan prepares its revenge. It’s all been building to this…the start of the final storyline leading to #50!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutanimals #3 (of 4)

Paul Allor (w) • Andy Kuhn (a & c)

The Mutanimals’ ranks have swelled, and they are ready to rumble! Null has a couple of surprises in store though!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutanimals #3 (of 4)—Subscription Variant

Paul Allor (w) • Andy Kuhn (a) • Ben Bates (c)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #22

Paul Allor (w) • Dario Brizuela, Chad Thomas (a) • Brizuela (c)

“Natural Enemies” Part 2: Stockman-Fly and Spider Bytez have teamed up! Will the Turtles be able to escape this web of villainy?!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #22—Subscription Variant

Paul Allor (w) • Dario Brizuela, Chad Thomas (a) • Meaghan Carter (c)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Jack Kirby’s Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth, Vol. 1: Artist’s Edition HC

Jack Kirby (w & a & c)

Jack Kirby’s most beloved creation is now an extraordinary Artist’s Edition, collecting six complete issues of Kamandi: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 and 9, as well as covers and extras. There is no better way to view the magic of King Kirby than in the one and only Artist’s Edition format—reserve your copy early!

HC • BW • $75.00 net discount item • 160 Pages • 12” x 17” • ISBN: 978-1-63140-344-6


Wally Wood EC Comics Artisan Edition

Al Feldstein, Harvey Kurtzman, and more (w) • Wally Wood (a & c)

Introducing a new format within the Artist’s Edition brand—the Artisan Edition! Softcover format, 8 x 12 inches, but still collecting complete stories that are all painstakingly scanned from the original art. If you have been holding off exploring the wonderful world of Artist’s Edition, this is the perfect place to begin!

TPB • BW • $50.00 • 152 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-328-6


Corto Maltese: Beyond the Windy Isles

Hugo Pratt (w & a & c)

The second of twelve volumes presenting the definitive English-language edition of Hugo Pratt’s masterpiece in the original oversized B&W format!

TPB • BW • $29.99 • 120 pages • 9.25” x 11.75” • ISBN: 978-1-63140-317-0



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Corto Maltese: Under the Sign of Capricorn • BW • $29.99 • ISBN: 978-1-63140-065-0

Winterworld, Vol. 2: The Stranded

Chuck Dixon (w) • Tomas Giorello, Tommy Lee Edwards (a) • Tommy Lee Edwards (c)

The harrowing tale continues as new hardships face Scully, Wynn, and Rah-Rah on their trek across the frozen wastelands. Collects issues #5–8.

TPB • FC • $17.99 • 96 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-256-2


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Winterworld TPB • BW • $17.99 • ISBN: 978-1-60010-914-0

Winterworld, Vol. 1: La Nina • FC • $9.99 • ISBN: 978-1-63140-073-5

Rot & Ruin: Warrior Smart

Jonathan Maberry (w) • Tony Vargas (a) • Alex Ronald (c)

An all-new story continuing the events from the award-winning series of novels. Meet Benny, Nix, Lilah, and Chong as they stay one step ahead of the zombie hordes.

TPB • FC • $19.99 • 120 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-186-2


Ragnarök #5

Walter Simonson (w & a & c)

Thor goes in search of the Well of Mimir, the Well of Knowledge, a quest fraught with danger in the penultimate issue of this first arc!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99



Ragnarök #5—Subscription Variant

Walter Simonson (w & a & c)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99


The October Faction #6

Steve Niles (w) • Damien Worm (a & c)

Fred and the family must confront Robot Face once and for all. Another macabre-action issue!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99



The October Faction #6—Subscription Variant

Steve Niles (w) • Damien Worm (a & c)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

The Maxx: Maxximized #18

Sam Kieth, William Messner-Loebs (w) • Kieth (a & c)

Sara used her time in Jail to ponder weighty issues about her dad, Mr. Gone… while we discover a being trapped alone in a cell with a blind, black Isz!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99



The Maxx: Maxximized #18—Subscription Variant

Sam Kieth, William Messner-Loebs (w) • Kieth (a & c)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99


D4VE #3 (of 5)

Ryan Ferrier (w) • Valentin Ramon (a & c)

The aliens initiate Phase 2 as D4VE’s life unravels from a performance review. Desperate to save 34RTH, D4VE tries to assemble his old crew.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99



D4VE #3 (of 5)—Subscription Variant

Ryan Ferrier (w) • Valentin Ramon (a & c)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99


Zombies vs Robots #4

Chris Ryall, Steve Niles (w) • Anthony Diecidue, Val Mayerik (a) • Ashley Wood (c)

Astronauts on a dead Earth crawling with strange threats like oddly sentient zombies, robots and… Mermen! And more with The Orphan!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99


Zombies vs Robots #4—Subscription Variant

Chris Ryall, Steve Niles (w) • Anthony Diecidue, Val Mayerik (a) • James Stokoe (c)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99



Judge Dredd #29

Duane Swierczynski (w) • Nelson Daniel (a) • Mark Torres (c)

Dredd is back in a clean uniform and hitting the troubled streets under the command of… a kinder, gentler Chief Justice Cal?!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99


Judge Dredd #29—Subscription Variant

Duane Swierczynski (w) • Nelson Daniel (a) • Andres Massa (c)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99


Judge Dredd Classics: The Dark Judges #4 (of 5)

John Wagner, Alan Grant (w) • Brett Ewins (a) • Darick Robertson (c)

Classics tales of Judge Death—and his brothers Fear, Fire, and Mortis—come to life in this remastered and colorized series!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99


Judge Dredd Classics: The Dark Judges #4 (of 5)—Subscription Variant

John Wagner, Alan Grant (w) • Brett Ewins (a) • Sam “Mister-Sam” Shearon (c)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99JudgeDredd-Classics04-cvrSUB_mockOnly


Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #23

Chris Mowry (w) • Matt Frank (a & c)

King Caesar emerges… but will he be in time to help Godzilla stop the swelling Trilopod hive?

FC • 32 pages • $3.99


Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #23—Subscription Variant

Chris Mowry (w) • Matt Frank (a) • Jeff Zornow (c)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99


Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Vol. 5

Chris Mowry (w) • Matt Frank (a) • Jeff Zornow (c)

Government experiments with new forms of energy bring unintended consequences… SpaceGodzilla! Plus Battra and Kumonga! Collects issues #17–20.

TPB • FC • $17.99 • 104 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-281-4


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Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Vol. 1 • FC • $19.99 • ISBN: 978-1-61377-749-7

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Vol. 2 • FC • $17.99 • ISBN: 978-1-61377-933-0

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Vol. 3 • FC • $17.99 • ISBN: 978-1-63140-009-4

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Vol. 4 • FC • $17.99 • ISBN: 978-1-63140-172-5

Robert Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy #3 (of 3)

Robert Lazaro & Eric Gignac (w) • Steve Erwin (a) • Gignac (c)

Just outside our galaxy, the atrocities of slavery thrive, until an orphan finds his destiny in this interstellar action/adventure coming-of-age tale!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

COTG III Page 01

Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldur’s Gate

Jim Zub (w) • Max Dunbar (a) • Sarah Stone (c)

Generations have passed since the original Heroes of Baldur’s Gate saved the city and the Realms. Now a new threat rises. Collects issues #1–5.

TPB • FC • $19.99 • 124 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-250-0


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Locke & Key #1 Hundred Penny Press Ed • FC • $1.00 • JUL130371

Locke & Key: Head Games #1 Hundred Penny Press Ed • FC • $1.00 • MAR140366

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #1 Hundred Penny Press Ed • FC • $1.00 • DEC130437

Star Trek #1 Hundred Penny Press Ed • FC • $1.00 • JUN130409

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 Hundred Penny Press Ed • FC • $1.00 • JUN130375

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #1 Hundred Penny Press Ed • FC • $1.00 • SEP130343

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #1 Hundred Penny Press Ed • FC • $1.00 • SEP130344

X-Files Classics #1 Hundred Penny Press Ed • FC • $1.00 • OCT130417


Ryan K. Lindsay (w) • Eric Zawadzki (a & c)

What if your town were the mental construct of a killer? The inhabitants of Carpenter Cove are about to find out.

TPB • FC • $19.99 • 128 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-303-3


Haunted Horror #16

Various (w & a) • George Roussos (c)

The dead walk, and the living are terrorized in this selection of top never-before-reprinted full-bloody color Pre-Code comics!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99


Popeye Classics #33

Bud Sagendorf (w & a & c)

Five spinach-fueled comics by the hilarious Bud Sagendorf! Strong to the finish! ARF!


FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Popeye_Classic_33 Popeye_Classic_33_VARIANT

Michael Wm. Kaluta: Sketchbook Series, Vol. 5

Michael Wm. Kaluta (a & c)

This fifth installment of the Kaluta sketchbook series offers more beautiful imagery painstakingly scanned from Kaluta’s personal archives!

TPB • BW • $9.99 • 48 pages • 8.5” x 11” • ISBN: 978-1-63140-306-4


Rip Kirby, Vol. 8

Fred Dickenson (w) • John Prentice (a & c)

The suave detective mixes it up with more stunning beauties, sleazy blackmailers, and vicious murderers, drawn in John Prentice’s slick, award-winning photo-realistic style. Containing more than 800 sequential comics from October 10, 1964 to July 8, 1967!

HC • B&W • $49.99 • 288 pages • 11” x 10” • ISBN: 978-1-63140-304-0


Tarzan: The Original Dailies

Hal Foster, Rex Maxon (w & a & c)

LOAC Essentials brings you all of Hal Foster’s first comics work, reproduced from ERB’s syndicate proofs. In addition, this book includes “The Return of Tarzan,” “Beasts of Tarzan,” and “Son of Tarzan,” each drawn by Rex Maxon.

HC • B&W • $29.99 • 320 pages • 11.5” x 4.25” • ISBN: 978-1-63140-261-6


Berkeley Breathed’s Academia Waltz & Other Profound Transgressions

Berkeley Breathed (w & a & c)

A treasure-trove of Berkeley Breathed’s pre-Bloom County archives, artwork, strips, political cartoons, and much more!

HC • BW • $39.99 • 304 pages • 11” x 8.5” • ISBN: 978-1-63140-076-6

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Bloom County Complete Library, Vol. 1 HC • FC • $39.99 • ISBN: 978-1-60010-531-9

Bloom County Complete Library, Vol. 2 HC • FC • $39.99 • ISBN: 978-1-60010-583-8

Bloom County Complete Library, Vol. 3 HC • FC • $39.99 • ISBN: 978-1-60010-755-9

Bloom County Complete Library, Vol. 4 HC • FC • $39.99 • ISBN: 978-1-60010-899-0

Bloom County Complete Library, Vol. 5 HC • FC • $39.99 • ISBN: 978-1-61377-061-0

Opus: Complete Sunday Strips HC • FC • $39.99 • ISBN: 978-1-61377-408-3

Berkeley Breathed’s Outland: Complete HC • FC • $39.99 • ISBN: 978-1-61377-176-1

Bloom County to Mars: Imagination of Berkeley Breathed • FC • $20.00 • ISBN: 978-1-61377-008-5

Berkeleyworks: Bloom County & Beyond • FC • $59.99 • ISBN: 978-1-61377-651-3

Drones #1 (of 5)

Chris Lewis (w) • Bruno Oliveira (a) • Ramon Villalobos (c)

Two former predator drone operators face insurgency and insanity on the Las Vegas Strip in the surreal surroundings of the world’s first terrorism-themed hotel!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

DRONES 01 frontcover

Drones #1 (of 5)—Subscription Variant

Chris Lewis (w) • Bruno Oliveira (a & c)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Drones001_pag00fc f

The 7th Sword

John Raffo (w) • Nelson Blake II, Nur Iman (a) • Andrew Robinson (c)

Science Fiction meets Samurai! The chronicles of Daniel Cray: samurai mercenary. Collects the six-issues series.

TPB • FC • $19.99 • 168 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-247-0


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Indestructible TPB • FC • $14.99 • ISBN: 978-1-61377-977-4

City: The Mind in the Machine TPB • FC • $14.99 • ISBN: 978-1-63140-042-1

Garbage Pail Kids: Micro-Comic Fun Pack

Get ready to get gross! Each Garbage Pail Kids: Micro Comic Fun Pack comes with 24 pages of Garbage Pail Kids comics and extras! Inside each stand-alone pack you’ll find a collection of GPK stories as well as classic card images and comics. Also included in each pack is one of 8 different exclusive sticker cards, collectible posters, and Garbage Pail Kids pop-out standees!

Each pack contains:

  • 1 Garbage Pail Kids comic featuring a special gross-out Scratch N’ Sniff cover
  • 24 pages of Garbage Pail Kids comic shorts and bonus content
  • 1 of 8 collectible posters (4 different characters, each with ‘A’ and ‘B’ versions)
  • 1 of 8 Garbage Pail Kids Exclusive Sticker Cards (4 different characters, each with ‘A’ and ‘B’ versions)
  • 1 of 8 Garbage Pail Kids Pop-Out Standees (4 different characters, each with ‘A’ and ‘B’ versions)
  • UPC 82771400799200111
  • $3.99


Review – Dragon Age: The Silent Grove

The plot of Dragon Age: The Silent Grove follows Alistair, an erstwhile mage-hunter (who you may have slept with if you played Dragon Age: Origins), Varric, a beardless dwarf rogue and raconteur, and Isabella, a pirate captain whose main distinction is that she will sleep with anyone (including you, if you played Dragon Age 2) on their quest to find someone whom everyone else thought was dead. Obstacles in their path include an elite group of assassins known as the Antivan Crows, a powerful sorceress and, of course, a really big dragon.

I was a little worried when I heard that David Gaider would doing the writing for this book. Gaider, the head writer for Bioware‘s Dragon Age video games, does a great job writing games, but his novel, The Stolen Throne was just god awful. Fortunately he is only credited with the story and script writer Alexander Freed  does a fine job of giving the artist the proper cues and capturing the voices of the various characters, so much so that I could almost hear voice actors reading the dialog. Each of the six chapters, which are digital exclusives you can download for 99 cents through the Dark Horse app, feel like fifteen minute episodes of a well made web series, and provide a satisfying experience while making you want to read more. There are revelations and surprises galore and the story feels essential to the Dragon Age canon, a nice change of pace in an age of superfluous tie-ins.

Chad Hardin‘s art feels a little bit rushed at the beginning of the story, but by the end  it really becomes quite good. Even at his roughest, Hardin never fails to capture the Dragon Age aesthetic. The main characters are all on model, and the locations feel like places you might explore in-game. The Antivans (Dragon Age‘s analog for Renaissance Italians) are not a group we’ve seen much of before but their design  fits so well that you have to wonder what the people at Bioware are planning for their next installment.

For all it’s good points, The Silent Grove does have some flaws. The first issue is weak in both art and story, so much so that if it weren’t for the introduction of a single major character I would recommend skipping it and starting with issue 2. Major plot threads are also left unresolved at the end of issue 6. You’re left with the impression that you’ve just read a prelude to something else,  be it the next game in the franchise or another comic book series.

While Dark Horse‘s first effort does feel more like Dragon Age than Orson Scott Card‘s failed IDW title (which the folks at Bioware seem as eager to forget  as I am),  some of the more distinctive elements of the setting are still missing.  There is no discussion of any of the hot button issues that made the original game feel so unique. Race, class, religion, gender and sexuality are all pretty  much ignored. Only two female characters appear and both could have walked right out of the pages of a Robert E. Howard story. It’s not as though Dark Horse is pandering to the morons  that make up the lowest common denominator of the Bioware fan base, but Silent Grove is a very safe book that seems calculated not to offend them. The book really feels like a game of Dungeons and Dragons, that was heavily inspired by the Dragon Age setting. If that’s what you’re after, and you don’t already have a connection to this particular game world, than you’re better off investing in IDW’s superior Dungeons and Dragons series.

Another problem is the way in which the book is laid out. This is a digital exclusive and presumably was designed to be read on an ipad or a comparable tablet, so why are there two page spreads that will only look really good when the book is printed for trade? Mostly it was just annoying but at one point in issue 6, I read the balloons in the wrong order because of the way the panels were laid out. Dark Horse provides reviewers promotional copies in PDF that Dark Horse so I didn’t  have the benefit of a guided view, but I seldom choose to use that feature when it’s available. My preference is to read page by page with my device oriented horizontally to imitate a physical book and it feels a little like I’m being penalized for this. If Dark Horse is serious about these digital exclusives they need to make more of an effort to think about the different ways in which readers like to experience digital entertainment.

In the end what you think of Dragon Age: The Silent Spring will largely depend on whether or not you enjoyed  Dragon Age: Origins and/or Dragon Age 2. For fans of the games it’s a fun book  that raise some intriguing questions to keep the wheels turning during what promises to be a long development cycle of Dragon Age 3 so this is a definite buy. If you didn’t like Dragon Age, than nothing here is going to change your mind.  Those who have never ventured into this universe at all may find themselves adrift  since The Silent Grove largely relies upon a reader’s previous connections to the character’s and the setting, and provides only the barest glimpse of what made the games so much fun. If you’re one of these people I’d recommend buying the first two issues to see how much you like the series, or waiting for one of Dark Horse Digital’s bundle sales.

Writers: David Gaider and Alexander Freed; Art: Chad Hardin

Story: 8   Art: 8   Overall: 8

A free copy of this product was provided to Graphic Policy for review.

Gen Con 2011 – George Strayton talks his new Roleplaying Game The Secret Fire

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I had the opportunity to sit down with George Strayton, the creator of the new role playing game The Secret Fire which made it’s debut at this year’s Gen Con

The game is set in a familiar fantasy world, but the emphasis is on game play and the word “role” in role playing. Strayton wants to bring that back, and that’s his focus in this new game, as opposed to lots of dice rolling.  Through a mechanic that encourages players to do such that Strayton also has worked in a way for gamers to be encouraged to do good in the real world and those good deeds to be recognized in game.

Check out our interview below.

Almost American