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Comics Deserve Better Episode 20: Klaus by Grant Morrison, Dan Mora, and Ed Dukeshire

It’s the Comics Deserve Better Season 2 finale, the last episode of 2020, and Logan’s last episode as co-host/editor. Brian, Darci, and Logan get into the spirit of the holiday season and discuss Grant Morrison, Dan Mora, and Ed Dukeshire‘s “Santa Claus Year One” story, Klaus, its magical art, mythological themes, and how it fits into Morrison’s body of work. They also chat about various news items, including a couple of indie comics Humble Bundles you can support, Fantagraphics publishing its first translated-from-Polish comic, a new BOOM! series from Grant Morrison that isn’t Klaus, and Vault teasing their 2021 slate of creative teams. Other comics mentioned on the show are Overwatch-Tracer: London Calling, The Way of the House Husband, Barbalien: Red Planet, Gideon Falls, BL Metamorphosis, and Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood. Have a great holiday, and we’ll see you in 2021! (Episode art by Dan Mora)

It’s an Image Horror Sale with 213 Comics at 50% Off!

Halloween is almost upon us and now’s your opportunity to get into the spooky spirit with the “Image Horror Sale” at comiXology.

The sale features 213 collections. Save 50% on series like The Walking Dead, Gideon Falls, Coyotes, Kill or be Killed, Hack/Slash, Revival, and more!

The sale ends on Sunday, November 1, 2020.

Image Comics Horror Sale

This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Comics Deserve Better Episode 6: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

In a jam packed episode of Comics Deserve Better, Brian, Darci, and Logan discuss the latest indie comics news, including Valiant’s move to L.A., Peter Milligan’s new comic for Ahoy, and comics used as tools of democratic activism in Thailand. But the main topic of the podcast is the YA LGBTQ+ comic masterpiece Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, and some of us get a little personal in chatting about this beautiful story of friendship, romance, growing up, and toxic relationships. Other comics mentioned on the show include Gideon Falls, Adler, and Mega Man: Fully Charged as well as the Source Point Press titles Bug Bites and Burning Tree.

(Episode art by Rosemary Valero O’Connell)

Gideon Falls Will Keep Readers Guessing Until December with an 80-page Finale

Gideon Falls #27

The Eisner Award winning Gideon Falls by New York Times bestselling writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino (the creative team behind Green Arrow and Old Man Logan), with the talents of Eisner Award winning colorist Dave Stewart, will come to its show-stopping conclusion with an extra-length, shelf-busting issue #27. This final, mind-bending issue will clock in at 80 pages and release from Image Comics this December.

The horror/mystery series became an overnight success and critical darling when it launched in March 2018. It went on to take home the 2019 Eisner Award for Best New Series and become one of the top selling, reordered series at Image Comics with multiple reprints.

Gideon Falls explores the lives of a reclusive young man obsessed with a conspiracy in the city’s trash, and a washed up Catholic Priest arriving in a small town full of dark secrets. At the heart of the town’s secrets is intertwined the mysterious legend of The Black Barn, a otherworldly building that is alleged to have appeared in both the city and the small town, throughout history, bringing death and madness in its wake.

Fans won’t want to miss the satisfaction of this finale. Gideon Falls #27 will be the final issue in the series and will be available at local comic book shops in December.

James Wan’s Atomic Monster Boards Hivemind’s Gideon Falls

Gideon Falls

Hivemind has announced that it is joining forces with James Wan and his Atomic Monster production company for Gideon Falls – Hivemind’s upcoming television adaptation of the best-selling Image Comics series from acclaimed creators Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino.

Fresh off of Gideon Falls‘ high-profile win for “Best New Series” at the 2019 Eisner Awards, Wan will executive produce the hour-long horror drama alongside Atomic Monster’s Michael Clear, Hivemind’s Jason BrownSean DanielKathy Lingg and Dinesh Shamdasani, and original series creators Lemire and Sorrentino. Rob Hackett will oversee for Atomic Monster.

An atmospheric thriller colliding rural mystery and urban horror, the series follows an ensemble cast of seemingly random strangers — a washed-up Catholic priest, an uncompromising female sheriff, and a young recluse obsessed with unraveling a conspiracy buried in his city’s trash — as they become drawn into a mystery connected to a long-forgotten local legend.

NYCC 2019: Hivemind Dishes on Bloodshot, The Witcher, The Expanse, Gideon Falls, Weird Fantasy, Final Fantasy, and more

Hivemind

Hivemind – the production company behind Sony Pictures’ upcoming Bloodshot feature film starring Vin Diesel, Netflix’s hugely anticipated The Witcher series starring Henry Cavill, and Amazon’s acclaimed science-fiction series The Expanse – has announced that it will be hosting an in-depth panel discussion covering its current and upcoming projects at New York Comic Con 2019 (NYCC).

Beginning on Thursday, October 3rd at 1:30 pm ET in Room 1B03, members of the public and media are invited to attend “Hivemind Presents: Adapting Comics, Games & Sci-Fi for the Screen” – a roundtable panel discussion moderated by ComicBook.com Executive Editor Jim Viscardi that will detail the behind-the-scenes secrets of bringing the most beloved characters and properties in fandom to life.

Additionally, Hivemind’s panelists – including Co-Founders/Partners Dinesh Shamdasani and Jason F. BrownVP Brand & Content Strategy Hunter Gorinson, and VP Film & Television Amanda Kruse – will also cover the company’s slate of current and upcoming projects, including:

  • BLOODSHOT, the upcoming Sony Pictures feature film based on the Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated comic book series starring Vin Diesel, Guy Pearce, and Eiza Gonzalez; written by Academy Award nominee Eric Heisserer; and directed by Dave Wilson
  • THE WITCHER, the upcoming Netflix series starring Henry Cavill and based on the iconic, internationally beloved fantasy novels that inspired the best-selling video game franchise
  • THE EXPANSE, the acclaimed Amazon Studios science-fiction series recently renewed for a fifth season in advance of the fourth’s debut on Prime Video
  • SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK, the summer’s highest grossing horror film, from director André Øvredal and co-writer/co-producer Guillermo del Toro
  • GIDEON FALLS, the recently announced television adaptation of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s Eisner Award-winning Image Comics series
  • WEIRD FANTASY, a new television series based on the subversive and internationally renowned science-fiction stories of EC Comics
  • FINAL FANTASY, the first live-action adaptation of the multibillion-dollar video game franchise, produced in partnership with Square Enix and Sony Pictures Television

Logan’s Favorite Comics of 2018

Without further ado, these are my favorite comics of 2018. This was the year I fell back on series that I had been checking out for years and found some new faves in the worlds of newspaper comics, symbiotes, gamma irradiated beasts, and maybe even a choose your own adventure game. Marvel seriously did a 180 this year, and I went from picking zero of their comics on my last year end list to three so well done on their part, and Donny Cates and Al Ewing should receive hefty bonus checks. But, honestly, this list should show you that visual humor, character driven narratives, and weirdness are my things, and I can’t wait to read more comics in that vein in 2019.

Honorable Mentions: Sex Death Revolution (Black Mask), Runaways (Marvel), Assassinistas (IDW/Black Crown), Punks Not Dead (IDW/Black Crown), That one really good issue of Peter Parker, Spider-Man that Chip Zdarsky wrote and drew (Marvel), Gideon Falls (Image)

10.Modern Fantasy  (Dark Horse)

Modern Fantasy is a miniseries about a data entry worker named Sage of the Riverlands, who secretly wants to epic hero or maybe just a curator at a cool museum, and has a penchant for smooching handsome elves. Did Rafer Roberts and Kristen Gudsnuk have access to my most secret thoughts while writing this book? In all seriousness, this comic marries millennial angst and struggles (Dead end jobs, mooching friends, annoying co-workers) with all kinds of fantasy tropes, including urban, high, and good ol’ Lovecraftian. Gudsnuk’s art is both humorous and touching and filled with background details and jokes that reward a close reading. But what makes Modern Fantasy a great comic is the awkward friend group dynamic that Roberts and Gudsnuk craft filled with drama, jokes, a touch of romance, and a final showdown with a fire demon.

9.The Wicked + the Divine (Image)

Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson’s story of young gods and fandom hit some dark bits in 2018 and had plenty of surprises to go with the formalism and “glimpse behind the curtain” of the “Mothering Invention” arc. However, at its best, WicDiv is the story of the girl, who thought she wanted something, and then painfully realized that she didn’t really want it. That girl, of course, is Persephone whose personal journey along with McKelvie’s amazing facial expressions, Gillen’s clever quips, and Wilson’s majestic color palette keeps me returning to this series as it is about to hit its fifth year. Also, the specials were spectacularly glorious in 2018 from the illustrated prose story/murder mystery in 1923 to 1373’s dark piety. Then, there was the absolute bonkers nature of The Funnies  where we find out the origin of Laura’s cracked phone and the Pantheon gets to solve a Scooby Doo mystery courtesy of Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris.

8.  Nancy (Go Comics)

I’ve been doing year end comics lists for five years, and this is the first time I’ve put a newspaper strip on one. However, Olivia Jaimes’ work on Nancy is one of the most hilarious things to come out of 2018. There are her “millennial” gags (Even though Nancy and Sluggo are definitely Generation Z.) about Nancy’s overuse of the Internet or swapping streaming service passwords with Sluggo, who is also “lit”. But she also has a firm grasp on meta-gags and the uniqueness of the comics medium like playing with panel layouts, lettering styles, reusing panels, and then having Nancy make a joke about it. Nancy is truly a ray of sunshine in a dark landscape while still being sarcastic and self-deprecating as hell and shows that even the proverbial old dog of the newspaper comic can learn some new tricks.

7.  “Milk Wars” (DC Comics/Young Animal)

“Milk Wars” really brought the best of DC Rebirth and Young Animal together and was the only Big Two crossover I kept up with in 2018. The series brings together the Doom Patrol, Mother Panic, Shade the Changing Girl, and Cave Carson to fight warped versions of DC Comics heroes, who are under the control of the Retconn corporation. The story is a literal metaphor for how corporations sanitize characters and go for the retread instead of taking risks with iconic characters as Wonder Woman becomes a submissive housewife in her tie-in story from Cecil Castelluci and Mirka Andolfo. “Milk Wars” shows that it’s okay to be a little weird as milk goes bad if it’s left in the bridge past its expiration day. It also features some gorgeous layouts from Aco in the crossover’s first chapter, which was co-written by Gerard Way and Steve Orlando, and he and the artists did an excellent job of melding an indie and mainstream sensibility throughout “Milk Wars”. Also, the story had a real effect on Mother Panic, Cave Carson, and Shade in their solo titles and introduced Magdalene Visaggio and Sonny Liew’s wonderful, yet depressed Eternity Girl character.

6.Venom (Marvel)

Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman, and Iban Coello’s Venom ongoing series is filled with all the fun excesses of the 1990s (Especially in the Venom Annual where James Stokoe shows him going toe to toe with Juggernaut.) and none of its toxicity. The first arc of the series is about Eddie Brock and his symbiote going to war against Knull, god of the symbiotes and a symbiote dragon. This has a terrible effect on him, and Cates carefully uses the symbiote as a metaphor for PTSD while freeing Stegman to draw unhinged heavy metal battles. And this series wasn’t just a one arc wonder as Cates, Coello, and Stegman explore the after effects of the battle with Knull on Eddie’s symbiote and have him confront his father. Plus one of the most underrated Marvel villains, Ultimate Reed Richards aka the Maker pops up for a little bit. This series work because it explores the psychological effects of the symbiote as well as the oozy, shoot-y violent bits.

5.Crowded (Image)

Crowded is a wicked bit of satire with a side of mismatched buddy adventure from the beautiful minds of Christopher Sebela, Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, and Triona Farrell. It is about an obnoxious woman named Charlie, who has a $2 million price on her head on an app called Reapr that is basically crowdfunded murder. Luckily, there’s an app called Defendr where Charlie hires a badass, meticulous, and noble woman named Vita to protect her. Stein and Brandt fill each page with oodles of panels, but you are able to follow every action scene, conversation, or Charlie ending up at the club or a bachelorette party even if she has a price on her head. The bounty hunting drives the plot while Sebela uses the quieter moments to develop the personality and relationships of Charlie and Vita as well as some of the “professionals” hunting them. Crowded is a thrill ride, but also looks at the dark, not so altruistic side of human nature through the Internet and constant connectivity.

4. You Are Deadpool (Marvel)

Al Ewing and Salva Espin’s You Are Deadpool was some of the most fun I had reading a comic book in 2018 beginning with Kieron Gillen showing up in the “tutorial” brandishing a sandwich as a weapon. It’s a combination spoof of different eras of Marvel Comics along with a pretty damn fun and addictive Choose Your Own Adventure Game. In some cases, you don’t even read the issues in order. Ewing and Espin also take cues from some not so table top RPGs and have the moral choices that Deadpool makes effect your reading and playing experience. Having Deadpool interact with both heroes and innocent passerbies during the Silver Age, horror/kung fu/blaxploitation, the edgy 80s, and of course, the good ol’ 90s is hilarious and shows Espin’s versatility as a cartoonist.

3. Archival Quality (Oni)

Archival Quality is a spooky graphic novel by Ivy Noelle Weir and Steenz about a young woman named Cel, who gets a job as an archivist at a medical museum. The comic tenderly explores Cel’s anxiety and depression and unexpected connection with a woman named Celine, who was a patient at the sanatorium that preceded the museum. It isn’t caught up in a fast paced thriller plot, but slowly unveils the mystery while focusing on Cel’s interactions with her boss Abayomi, super rad co-worker Holly, and her declining relationship with her boyfriend Kyle. Archival Quality has real atmosphere, and Steenz creates some fantastic spaces as Cel begins to explore her workplace with its skulls and lack of cellphone service. It is a fantastic story about mental health and relationships through the mystery genre.

2. Giant Days (BOOM! Studios) 

Giant Days continues to be one of life’s true blessings thanks to John Allison, Max Sarin, Liz Fleming, Julia Madrigal, and Whitney Cogar. At this point, we know the characters and their quirks are on fully display, especially when Sarin draws the title because she is a real pro at expressive eyes and touches of surrealism to break up the slice of life. 2018 was full of drama to go with the Giant Days’ comedy as Daisy broke up with her a little too footloose and fancy free girlfriend Ingrid, and Esther missed her shot at being in a relationship with Ed when he begins a romance with Nina, a girl he met while recuperating from a pub related injury. Nina being Australian is the subject of this year holiday’s special, which was a special treat drawn and written by Allison as Ed fends for himself Down Under. Giant Days shows that it’s one of the pre-eminent slice of life comics as it enters its fourth year, and Esther, Daisy, and Susan’s relationships continue to ebb and flow.

1. Immortal Hulk  (Marvel)

I will preface this by saying that the Hulk is one of my least favorite Marvel characters because he’s often used as a simplistic Jekyll/Hyde metaphor. Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, Ruy Jose, Lee Garbett, Martin Simmonds, and Paul Mounts blow that up in Immortal Hulk, which resembles an intelligent horror story rather than a superhero beat ’em up. It’s a road story with Bruce Banner on the run from the monster that comes out, wrecks, and kills when the sun goes down before morphing into a government conspiracy thriller and something more malevolent towards the end. Through cutting narration, Ewing reveals exactly what is going through Banner’s head while Bennett’s art shows the often gruesome effects of his rages. I also like how Ewing humanizes the supporting players from Walter Langkowski, who is struggling with his own monstrous nature to honest reporter Jackie McGee and even his opponent the Absorbing Man.

Immortal Hulk is the best comic of 2018 because it has a compelling plot, is a searing character study of an American pop culture icon, and is an homage to Jack Kirby and Bernie Wrightson while breaking new ground. (See issue 10’s final page.)

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors 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 Wednesday.

Joe

Top Pick: Gideon Falls Volume 1 (Image Comics) – Lemire and Sorrentino is a match made in comic heaven, and this is a series that doesn’t disappoint. It’s creepy, dark, and it’s perfect for Halloween!

Black Badge #3 (BOOM! Studios) – Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins resume their awesome work from Grass Kings, and now tell the tale of North Korea, Boy Scouts, and Spies. It’s wild, and one of the most original and fun books I’ve read in awhile.

Runaways #14 (Marvel Comics) – Consistently one of Marvel’s best books every single month. Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka give such a touching and fun book, and something different from the usual superhero books.

Venom Annual #1 (Marvel Comics) – I usually don’t love annuals, and their $4.99 price tag, but this has Cates still on the book, and will serve as a great jumping on point for one of Marvel’s best.

Justice League #10 (DC Comics) – Scott Snyder and Francis Manupul is another great pair for comics this week. The series has had its pedal to the medal like usual Snyder stories and I don’t expect it to let up. This will also start the ”Drowned Earth” storyline that will be Aquaman focused, and that cover art alone has me hyped.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Shuri #1 (Marvel) – She was the break out star of Black Panther and Marvel recognizing that is giving her her own series. With T’Challa missing, she must choose between herself and her country. Can’t wait to see another perspective of Wakanda.

Archie 1941 #2 (Archie Comics) – What if Archie took place in the lead up to World War II? The first issue was really good with a good mix of history and we’re expecting more of that with this one.

Captain Ginger #1 (AHOY Comics) – AHOY has been damn near perfect with their three releases so far and we’re expecting no less from this one.

East of West #39 (Image Comics) – This weird west apocalyptic story has delivered with every issue and this far in, we want to see where it goes.

Low Road West #2 (BOOM! Studios) – The first issue started off as a apocalyptic type story and then veered into fantasy. We’re intrigued. We’re very intrigued.

Superman Isn’t Jewish (But I Am Kinda) (Life Drawn/Humanoids) – An interesting exploration of Jewish identity in modern times.

Transformers: Optimus Prime #24 (IDW Publishing) – IDW’s current run on Transformers is winding down with everything coming together and we’re glued to the pages of every release.

The Unstoppable Wasp #1 (Marvel) – Writer Jeremy Whitley is back and so is Nadia! The first volume was beyond fantastic with a mix of fun, action, science, and girl power! We’re expecting no less and are so excited.

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone getting? What are you all excited for? Sound off in the comments below! While you wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

CBLDF – 66 Pounds of Hentai Confiscated by Swiss Customs – Wow, that’s a lot of Hentai.

CBR – Doom Patrol Casts The Mummy’s Brendan Fraser in Lead Role – This is some good casting.

IGN – Marvel Needs to Give Spider-Man Miles Morales a New Home – We’re expecting something in December.

The Comics Journal – Rape, Sexual Harassment Allegations Prompt Defamation Suit from Small-Press Comics Publisher Cody Pickrodt – Well that’s one way to get the word out about allegations, a lawsuit for folks to cover.

 

Reviews

Comic Attack – Coda #4

Newsarama – Cold Spots #1

Talking Comics – Crowded #1

The Beat – Coyote Doggirl

Talking Comics – Gideon Galls #6

Almost American
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