In this week’s Comic Deserve Better, Brian, Darci, and Logan discuss Fábio Moon, Gabriel Bá‘, and Dave Stewart‘s life and death masterpiece, Daytripper, and get emotional and occasionally personal while breaking down the craft of this great title. They also chat about a plethora of recent indie releases ranging from Singaporean newspaper comics about Covid-19 and self-published comics about going to movie theaters (Remember those!) to Vault Comics‘ Finger Guns, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips‘ Pulp, and the manga, Yona of the Dawn. There’s something for everyone in this episode! (Episode art by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá.)
As a follow up to their popular Spaceboy Maquette, Dark Horse Direct has teamed up once again with Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá to bring: The Séance Maquette!
As if pulled directly from the comic book pages, Séance, aka Klaus or Number 4, is expertly sculpted and painted. Standing at approximately 11” tall, the barefoot hero is ready to channel spirits!
Included with the maquette is an exclusive enamel pin of Séance in his iconic Hawaiian shirt as seen in The Umbrella Academy Volume 2: Dallas! Get your Ouija boards ready to save the world and possessthe next member of The Umbrella Academy!
The Séance Maquette is limited to a run of 300 and will begin to ship early 2021. Fans of The Umbrella Academy can pick this up for $149.99.
The Umbrella Academy returns to Netflix on July 31. Today, Netflix has released a trailer as well as a recap of the first season. The second season looks to be based on the volume of the series The Umbrella Academy: Dallas which revolves around a plot to kill JFK.
The Umbrella Academy is based on the comic by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá and published by Dark Horse.
Before it was a smash hit Netflix show, The Umbrella Academywas an acclaimed comic series featuring everyone’s favorite dysfunctional family. To celebrate the series, Dark Horse Direct presents their latest offering in fine art prints, featuring Yoshitaka Amano’s masterfully artistic interpretation of The Umbrella Academy comic series, originally created by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá! Limited to just 500 available, don’t miss the opportunity to add this unique 24”x32” fine art print to your collection, filled with all of your favorite Umbrella Academy characters!
While searching for inspiration for this particular piece, Amano was on a veranda rooftop at his home in Japan one evening this last September 2019. There happened to be a beautiful Harvest Moon in the sky, that also coincided with the Japanese “Fifteen nights”, the phase of the moon’s path through the sky where the celestial body was perfectly full. It was in this moment, Amano imagined Spaceboy, and the rest of The Umbrella Academy, bursting out of the blinding moon falling upon their unsuspecting target.
Limited to a run of 500, these Giclée prints are hand numbered, with a foiled Yoshitaka Amano signature and will be sold for $99.99. The Umbrella Academy Fine Art Print by Yoshitaka Amano, “Harvest Moon” is available for pre-order exclusively on direct.darkhorse.com and is expected to start shipping March 18, 2020.
Dark Horse Comics has revealed the first Umbrella Academy spin-off series: You Look Like Death! Written by series co-creator Gerard Way with Shaun Simon, illustrated by I.N.J. Culbard, lettered by Nate Piekos, You Look Like Death explores the trials and tribulations of a young Séance as he navigates the world by himself.
Roughly ten years before the events of Apocalypse Suite, 18-year-old Séance gets himself kicked out of the Umbrella Academy. With his allowance discontinued by Hargreeves, he takes to a place where his ghoulish talents will be appreciated––Hollywood. After a magical high on a vampire-drug-lord’s stash, Klaus needs help, and doesn’t have his siblings there to save him.
You Look Like Death #1 (of six) goes on sale June 17, 2020. Each issue features covers by Gabriel Bá, I.N.J. Culbard, and a third cover by guest artists including Leo Romero, Jenny Frison, and more.
With a new Netflix show and a third comics series, the dysfunctional family of superheroes returned with a vengeance in 2019. Now Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s acclaimed series, Hotel Oblivion, gets the hardcover treatment twice!
First is the Deluxe Edition, packaged in a slip-case hardcover featuring the Umbrella icon with the neon “hotel” treatment, and new slipcase art by Gabriel Bá, to match the Deluxe Editions of volumes 1 & 2! The Umbrella Academy Volume 3: Hotel Oblivion Deluxe Edition also includes the complete 7-issue story, plus a greatly expanded sketchbook section. This special edition also features a brand-new portfolio and print by series co-creator Gabriel Bá. This 240-page tome retails for $79.99.
The Umbrella Academy Volume 3: Hotel Oblivion Library Edition is an oversized hardcover collects issues #1-#7 of The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion and includes an expanded sketchbook with commentary from the creators. This 240-page edition will retail for $39.99.
The Umbrella Academy Volume 3: Hotel Oblivion Deluxe Edition and The Umbrella Academy Volume 3: Hotel Oblivion Library Editionboth go on sale September 29, 2020.
Dark Horse, Netflix, and Universal Content Productions present The Making of The Umbrella Academy! Based on the award-winning comics series by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, The Umbrella Academy on Netflix reached 45 million households in the first four weeks after its release with a second season set for a 2020 release.
The Making of The Umbrella Academy is a vividly designed hardcover volume exposing the idiosyncratic wit and dysfunctional dynamism of Netflix’s family of superheroic savants. Whether you’re a diehard alumnus of the comics or a freshman to the Netflix series, this fantastic tome is one that will not want to miss!
Dive into the development and production of the Netflix original series, The Umbrella Academy, with a collection that features hundreds of behind-the-scenes images in The Making of The Umbrella Academy. Discover how Netflix’s live-action adaptation, from showrunner and executive producer Steve Blackman, successfully translated Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s original vision for their comic to the small screen.
The Making of The Umbrella Academy goes on sale July 7, 2020. This 200-page tome retails for $39.99.
2019 was an interesting year for me comics-wise as I did not get to read as widely or deeply as I liked because of a variety of factors, including my final two semesters of graduate school, working two library jobs (Where ordering and promoting comics were part of my duties.), and an impending move. Also, I decided to catch up on some “classic” comics like Miracleman, Ghost in the Shell, Junji Ito‘sTomie, and most of Brian Michael Bendis‘ and Michael Oeming‘s Powers, and Gail Simone‘s run on Secret Six.
However, I did have the opportunity to read some fantastic comics in 2019 as two of my favorite series of all time reached their conclusion. I also branched out a little bit, and this is the first time my year-end list has featured books from Ahoy and Harper Collins as well as a self-published comic.
10. Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion (Dark Horse)
Gerard Way, Gabriel Bá, and Nick Filardi‘s Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion is as wild and anarchic as the Netflix show was tame and Muggle-friendly. Hotel Oblivion is a love letter to Silver Age supervillains while actually taking time to deal with the relationships between the Hargreaves siblings. Bá and Filardi’s visuals are a chaos magic-shaped bullet to the head and especially sings in the world and city-rending set pieces towards the end of the miniseries that I read in trade paperback format.
Ned Barnett‘s self-published graphic memoir-meets-historical biography Dreamers of the Day is one of the most unique comics I’ve read in recent years. It chronicles the author’s trip to England as he conducts research on a graphic biography about T.E. Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia and is educational while being emotionally compelling. If there’s one word to describe this comic, it is “enthusiastic” as Barnett’s passion for making art, studying history, and making it relevant to contemporary readers shines through in his iconic, Herge-esque art style and accessible prose.
8. Winter Soldier#2-5(Marvel)
Kyle Higgins and Rod Reis create a redemptive narrative for the sidekick-turned assassin-turned superhero and occasional black ops agent, Bucky Barnes in their Winter Soldier miniseries. The comic’s beating heart is the flawed relationship between Bucky and RJ, a child assassin, that Bucky sees a lot of himself in. There is both humor and tragedy in their interactions. Reis’ lush pencils to color art style works for both the emotional breakdowns and action beatdowns.
7. Steeple #1-4 (Dark Horse)
The fantastic John Allison (Giant Days) both writes and draws this miniseries about an Anglican priest in training named Billie, who is assigned to a parish in the kooky village of Tredregyn, Cornwall. Steeple has an “anything but the kitchen sink” tone as its plots include fights against sea monsters, a charismatic Christian cult connected to windmills, and an ongoing conflict against the Church of Satan. (Billie also strikes up an unlikely friendship with the Satanic priestess, Maggie.) Allison mines a lot of humor out of the idiosyncrasies of different religions and small town life as well as the melodrama of good versus evil, and his art is expressive as always with the help of colorist Sarah Stern.
6. Second Coming #1-5 (Ahoy)
Speaking of religious satire, Mark Russell, Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk, and Andy Troy do an excellent job of showing how the historical figure Jesus would be received in the modern world with the twist of having an “edgy” superhero named Sunstar as a roommate. Beginning with a retelling of the creation of the world, Russell and Pace walk a tightrope between reverence and irreverence touching on a variety of issues, including megachurches, homophobia, and Pauline theology. Another enjoyable part of Second Coming is Leonard Kirk’s inking when the story decides to be a traditional superhero comic for a second, or there’s a flashback to Satan tempting Jesus as he plays a complex role in the narrative.
I knew Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora, and Tamra Bonvillain‘s Once and Future would be my cup of tea when it featured Arthurian legends and the town of Bath where I studied abroad in summer 2014 as plot points as well as having a complicated relationship between a grandmother and grandson at its core. Once and Future is action-packed read steeped in Arthurian lore with dynamic art from Mora and a mystical color palette from Bonvillain. It’s a straightforward adventure/dysfunctional family/romance comic that also plays with the symbols (Excalibur, Holy Grail etc.) and tropes of these kinds of stories, and I’m glad that it’s an ongoing and not just a mini.
4. Giant Days #46-54, As Time Goes By (BOOM! Studios)
Esther, Daisy, and Susan finally go their separate ways in the final issues of John Allison, Max Sarin, and Whitney Cogar‘s Giant Days plus a reunion one-shot where Daisy and Susan tag-team and rescue Esther from the clutches of Type A London publishing types. The final year of Giant Days had a lot of pathos to go with its usual comedy with several issues focusing on the strained relationship between Susan’s boyfriend McGraw and his father and his reaction to his sudden death. There is also all the usual college shenanigans with moments of reflection to show that these women have come a long way from randomly sharing a room back in far off 2015.
3. House of X #1-6, Powers of X #1-6 (Marvel)
In their ambitious twelve-issue House of X/Powers of X “event”, Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva, and Pepe Larraz made the X-Men relevant again thanks to a heavy dose of speculative fiction, geopolitics, and good old fashioned superhero soap opera. Hickman gave B-list characters like Goldballs, Doug Ramsey, and of course, Moira MacTaggert and the sentient island of Krakoa pivotal roles in his story of a rise of a mutant nation as well as the usual suspects like Magneto, Professor X, the Summers family, Jean Grey, and Emma Frost. He created a fantastic sandbox for these fan-favorite characters to play in as well as leaving some intrigue open for the spinoff stories. (The whole Moira X thing, Kitty Pryde being unable to enter Krakoa, Apocalypse and Sinister’s intentions.) I haven’t been this excited to read the X-Books as a line since Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen were writing Wolverine and the X-Men and Uncanny X-Men respectively. Plus the Hickman designed diagrams add great depth to the story and area visual treat.
2. New Kid (HarperCollins)
New Kid is a middle-grade graphic novel by cartoonist Jerry Craft that was recommended to me by my supervisor at the public library I worked at. Itis about an African-American teenager named Jordan, who transfers from a diverse public middle school to a less diverse private one. Over the course of the book, Craft fleshes out Jordan and his relationships with his old friends from his neighborhood to his new ones at the private school as he navigates playing soccer, racial microaggressions, crushes, and bonding over art and video games. The comic deftly navigates race and class issues while being an enjoyable slice of life story with Craft adding some fun visual flourishes like making the title page of each chapter a pop culture homage. New Kid‘s clear storytelling and a relatable storyline about not fitting in at a new school make it a book that I would recommend to kids and adults, comics and non-comics readers.
1. The Wicked + the Divine #41-45 (Image)
Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson really stuck the landing in the final arc of The Wicked + the Divine, which was titled “Okay” and followed the surviving Pantheon members as they gave up divinity and lived normal lives. Basically, they grew up, and so did I. The last issues of WicDiv are peppered with powerful moments as Gillen and McKelvie connect flashbacks of the millennia past to the Pantheon’s reality and let Ananke/Minerva be a manipulator, Luci be wicked, Baal be a protector, and Laura be human one last time. The final issue is an epilogue set in the future and filled with love and emotion with McKelvie and Wilson nailing the look of the elderly, former Pantheon members. It’s sad to see WicDiv go, but it had a beautiful ending and was my favorite comic, both of 2019 and of the decade as a whole.
Everyone’s favorite time-traveling assassins are back in the first The Umbrella Academy spin-off comic! Dark Horse Direct is proud to bring on the one and only The Umbrella Academy co-creator, Gabriel Bá, to enliven our exclusive variant comic and a 11×14 giclée fine art print with the spirit of Christmas (and a few broken bones)!
Hazel and Cha Cha–the bizarre assassins who first appear in The Umbrella Academy: Dallas and blew audiences away in the Netflix series–track down a rogue time agent and cross paths with a plot to discredit Christmas! Written by Gerard Way and Scott Allie, with art and colors by Tommy Lee Edwards, this one-shot is a great gift for fans of Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s award-winning creation.
The Hazel and Cha Cha Save Christmas: Tales from the Umbrella Academy One-shot Exclusive Variant Bundle retails for $49.99 and is available for purchase now. Only 500, hand-numbered copies are available. Visit direct.darkhorse.com to order your copy today!
Noir: A Collection of Crime Comics gets the Dark Horse hardcover treatment! Murder, passion, and criminal enterprise are reprinted in their darkest form in this new edition, directly from the most talented writers and artists in crime comics! In these eleven pitch-black noir stories, you’ll find deadly conmen and embittered detectives converging on femme fatales and accidental murderers, all presented in sharp black and white by masters of the craft.
Featuring stories by Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and many more of crime comics’ top talent! With artists such as Joëlle Jones, Gabriel Bá, Fábio Moon, Paul Grist, and more bringing these gritty, smoke filled stories to life.
Noir: A Collection of Crime Comics goes on sale July 22, 2020. This 120-page hardcover collection will retail for $24.99.