Tag Archives: graphic novel

Preview: Gross Exaggerations: The Meshuga Comic Strops of Milt Gross

Gross Exaggerations: The Meshuga Comic Strops of Milt Gross

(W) Milt Gross (A/CA) Milt Gross
In Shops: Dec 02, 2020
SRP: $85.00

Presenting a comprehensive collection of the major comic strips from Milt Gross; Nize Baby, Count Screwloose, and Dave’s Delicatessen, along with other comic strips and offerings from books and magazines.

The king of screwball comic strips, Milt Gross, had a varied career in movies and animation, humorous poetry and illustrated novels, and most prolifically, comic strips. Beginning in the 1920s, his comics were born of the Yiddish humor in vaudeville and expanded to lampooning all the foibles and fallacies of American life. Filled with bizarre characters and frenzied, slapstick action, Gross’s newspaper comics entertained readers for decades.

Most of the classics seen here have never been reprinted before!

Gross Exaggerations: The Meshuga Comic Strops of Milt Gross

Review: Kill a Man

Kill a Man

I’ve been a fan of MMA for quite some time. While my enthusiasm has waned in recent years, I still enjoy turning on the tv and catching the occasional fight. The sport, much like comics, has had a rocky relationship with the “outside” world. Both have been seen as juvenile and corrupting at various times. Both have also been accepted to become drivers in entertainment (ironically, also dominated by a few brands). Kill a Man is the latest comic to bring the world of MMA to the page. Unlike previous attempts, the focus isn’t so much about the punches and grappling but the fighters themselves. It delivers depth in character we haven’t really seen up to this point.

Written by Steve Orlando and Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Kill a Man takes us through a new generation of fighter, James Bellyi, impacted by the in-ring death of his father. James is also gay and not out. In a world of machismo, sexuality is still a touchy subject and when James is outed, his world is turned upside down.

Orlando and Johnson deliver the takedowns and knee kicks but they also focus on James’ journey of being outed and the rejection it brings. Bellyi’s father was killed in the ring as payback for homophobic slurs directed at his opponent. James himself is deeply repressed. He has hidden his sexuality from those closest to him. That’s partially due to the world of MMA that he has trained for his entire life. It’s also due to the homophobic views of his mother who blames a “gay man” for killing her husband.

The two creators have delivered a fantastic graphic novel. As the story progresses they make sure to add layers to James’ character. We get a brutal tale in both the fighting but also James’ world. As his upbringing is revealed, we’re given hints as to why he’s hidden his sexuality beyond what happened to his father.

Orlando and Kennedy don’t dive too much into the foreign language of holds and moves of the MMA world. There is more than enough for those who enjoy the matchups. There’s enough detail and focus on moves or even how to fighters compare that there’s an authenticity to it. It’s still accessible for that are not familiar or lacking depth. I don’t need to know what an armbar is. I might understand taking someone to the ground. That’s a difference between being for a wide audience and the MMA diehards.

The art by Al Morgan and lettering by Jim Campbell are fantastic. There’s a gritty dirtiness to it all that fits James’ brutal life. It’s not just the fighting, it’s his upbringing and the world around him. There’s the punch but there’s also the sex which is more carnal than about connection. That aspect of James’ life delivers visuals that make it feel as cold as the fights in the ring about the physical dance than a connection otherwise. There’s a rawness in the fighting and in James’ personal life that the visuals emphasize.

Kill a Man is amazing with aspects of what I liked about the flow of films like Rocky or Creed. Yes, there’s some formula to it but there’s a focus on James as a person that’s missing from so many other stories. It’s a graphic novel with honesty and truthfulness about James’ experience you don’t see too often. There’s a rawness to it all both in and out of the ring with emotion flowing through it all.

Story: Steve Orlando, Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art: Al Morgan Letterer: Jim Campbell

Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

AfterShock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus Comics

Preview: COVID Chronicles

COVID Chronicles

(W) Ethan Sacks (A) Talajic Dalibor, Lee Loughridge (CA) Dalibor Talajic
In Shops: Dec 02, 2020
SRP: $9.99

An illustrated feature chronicling ten personal accounts of life and death from the frontlines of COVID-19. These true stories from journalist Ethan Sacks (Old Man Hawkeye) are brought to vivid life by Dalibor Talajic (Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, Hotell). Originally distributed online by NBC News, these tales of hope amidst devastation are now available in print for the first time, fully colored, with behind-the scenes features. From a man stuck in Wuhan during the initial days of the outbreak to an ICU nurse in the thick of one of the busiest hospitals in the country to an Italian opera singer who goes viral while trying to bring hope to his devastated neighborhood, this series takes you where news cameras couldn’t go.

COVID Chronicles

Review: Generasian Comics Volume I (formerly known as This Asian American Life)

Generasian Comics Volume I

In our current climate, and hopefully, we’ll soon see its repudiation, being a minority seems as though your life is not safe. It’s almost incomprehensible that the safety of our children is what’s at stake. Before the election results, our worry was only amplified because of the hate propelled by the current President. During the previous Obama administration, the diversity the nation held was a source of our strength and not our weakness.

What really happened over these past four years is not that the current president suddenly created all this hate but he only made these groups bolder to be out in the open. Our newly elected administration looks to mend those ties. What ties those hyphens in our identity is what makes us unique and beautiful. In the first volume of the brilliant Katie Quan’s Generasian Comics Volume I, she eloquently shows the joys and struggles of everyday Asian Americans.

We open up on Katie’s journey in high school, as in the sobering “Labels”, she shows how insecurities when it comes to race, has a powerful psychiatric effect. In “Modern Courtship”, she navigates the always murky waters of getting to know someone and the insistent need to define. In “A (Great) Wall”, she points out the absurdity of the subject movie and the fact that Matt Damon was in it. In “ This Asian American Life”, she points out all the stupid questions Asian Americans have to deal with at some point from someone not Asian. In “Popo”, she tells the tale of one woman going through TSA, and how minorities get unfairly targeted no matter how long they lived in the US. In “(Un ) Sensitivity”, Katie and her friends have some unmitigated fun with a census worker. In “Six Degrees of Seperasian”, she points out how small a world it really is especially if you are Asian. In “The Same, The Sane”, she fangirls over Supernatural, and just how riveting is, and it doesn’t hurt it has eye candy in its protagonists. In “Chink’, her brother gets a racial slur targeted at him and she finds herself not being able to help him but only able to give him solace. In “American Born Chinese”, she gets into the absurdity of Asian branded foods. In “Aloha”, she gets into why the casting of Emma Stone as an Asian shows just how backward Hollywood is. In “Time”, she ponders on if she was born I the wrong time but upon discovering the Angry Asian Man blog realizes that she is not alone. In the final strip“Resilence”, se exposes the hate Asian Americans are exposed to. By the book’s end, she entails the struggles of the Asian American in both a relatable and poignant fashion.

Overall, an excellent showcase of Quan’s eloquence as a storyteller which instantly has made me a fan of hers. The stories by Quan are timely, funny, and moving. The art by Quan is simply gorgeous. Altogether, Generasian Comics Volume I is an important part of America’s canon that deserves more attention and will have me coming back week after week.

Story: Katie Quan Art: Katie Quan
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Ever: The Way Out

Ever is seventeen, about to turn, 18, when she meets Timothy, a charming individual who reveals she’s about to fulfill an ancient prophecy on her birthday.

Ever: The Way Out is an original graphic novel from the talented Terry Moore.

Story: Terry Moore
Art: Terry Moore

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Abstract Studio
Zeus Comics

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Z2’s True War Stories Comes to Bookstores in March 2021

True War Stories

Z2 has announced that True War Stories will be available in bookstores in March 2021, after its Local Comic Shop Day debut. This unique project, assembled by the multiple-Eisner nominated writer/editor, Alex de Campi and co-edited by Iraq War veteran Khai Kumbaar is an entertaining and moving work of graphic nonfiction, pairing members of the US military with the biggest names in comics to share real war stories told by those who lived them.

A sniper in Haiti faces the repercussions of the shot he never took. A team of SEALs help rescue a kidnapped girl in the Philippines. Army interpreters in Iraq battle their toughest foe: the rats of Saddam’s palace. A soldier on a late-night run surprises a motorpool saboteur. A young cavalry lieutenant, fresh off the Battle of Kamdesh, meets the Marine half-brother he’s never known. A Navy ship reacts to an unexpected man overboard. And if you’ve ever wondered what Christmas was like in a war zone, you’re about to find out.

Artists include Peter Krause, Ryan Howe, Skylar Patridge (drawing her own father’s Vietnam story), Eoin Marron, Tish Doolin (a former Army medic), Dave Acosta, A. D’Amico, Drew Moss, Josh Hood, PJ Holden, Chris Peterson, Sam Hart, Jeff McComsey, and Paul Williams. Colors are by Dee Cunniffe, Matt Soffe, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Tarsis Cruz, and Aladdin Collar. All lettering is done by de Campi herself.

True War Stories is a 260-page full color graphic novel anthology containing fifteen true tales of American service members overseas. Nearly every branch of the military is represented in this collection of stories that are heartwarming, heroic, harrowing, and even at times, hilarious, spanning the globe. 
As previously announced, True War Stories is currently available exclusively for stores to order directly from the publisher now under the following terms:

  • Direct orders to be packed and shipped by Z2’s fulfillment center at a 50% discount. Retailers may order any of Z2’s existing backlist titles at this same discount at the time of their order.
  • Orders will be shipped on consignment with payment for all books sold due 90 days from their ship date to give retailers flexibility to take advantage of holiday sales beyond the event. 
  • Retailers will be responsible for shipping costs to and from their stores, which will be billed upon receipt of saleable goods back from stores.

True War Stories will be published by Z2 Comics in conjunction with Local Comic Shop Day, and then in the wider market in March 2021, with all profits from this $19.99 retail release donated to military-related charities chosen by our contributors as personally meaningful to them: Objective Zero Foundation, Air Force Assistance Fund, the USO, Armed Services Arts Partnership, and Special Operations Warrior Foundation. 

In addition, the title is available for direct order from the Z2 website, in celebration of Veterans Day!

Swordsfall Studios Takes You Into an Afropunk Scf-Fi Fantasy Universe

Drift of Dreams

Drift of Dreams is the first-ever Graphic Novel from the Swordsfall Universe! It’s a 187-page graphic novel featuring art from ten amazing artists of color. The graphic novel is an emotional journey into the heart of what dreams mean to us.

When humans on Tikor fall asleep, they just doing dream in solitude. The human mind drifts to a dimension called the Tapestry. It’s a realm where only humans can enter, protected from outside interference. Or least, that’s how it once was. The lurking dark god, Xavian the Withering King, has found a way to invade it, corrupt it.

The human protectors of the Tapestry, Dreamweavers, have assembled to repel the tide, but how did the dark god break their defenses? With their back against the wall, they call in a Dreamweaver who has explored deeper into the dreamworld than anyone alive, the Seeker. Can the Seeker stop the corruption before it’s too late?

The graphic novel is aimed at young adults and adults looking for a diverse story that features fantasy characters of color as well as LGBTQA+. The world of Swordsfall puts diverse characters in amazing stories where they usually aren’t featured. Drift of Dreams is by Tanni “Queen Beanie” Brown, Kameron White, Morgan Madeline, Omotola Oyefodunrin, Wayne C. Spencer, Sonya Henar, Bre Indigo, Bex Glendining, Joshua Small, and Mariá “Raposa Branca” Scárdua. It’s available now on Amazon and the Swordsfall Store for $34.99.

Preview: Love and Capes: Family Way

Love and Capes: Family Way

(W) Thom Zahler (A/CA) Thom Zahler
In Shops: Nov 25, 2020
SRP: $19.99

You demanded it, and now comicdom’s favorite super couple is back in this graphic novel romcom! A few years have passed, and Mark and Abby are now the proud parents of two children: James and his sister Hayley. Now they’re navigating the world of play dates, diapers, and field trips, while also running an art gallery and saving the world. Meanwhile, Darkblade and Amazonia have broken up, and Charlotte’s worried about dying alone. Also, Hayley has started glowing. But that’s totally normal, right?

The more things change, the more they stay the same, so return to the sweetness and humor of the world of Love and Capes, from Harvey-nominated creator Thom Zahler (Warning Label, My Little Pony) and fall in love all over again.

Love and Capes: Family Way

Preview: Firefly: Watch How I Soar

Firefly: Watch How I Soar

(W) Various (A) Various (CA) Miguel Mercado
In Shops: Nov 25, 2020
SRP: $19.99

Return to the critically-acclaimed world of Joss Whedon’s Firefly and Serenity, in an all new graphic novel spotlighting Hoban “Wash” Washburne, pilot of the spaceship Serenity… who has just realized he’s about to die.

As Wash’s life flashes before him, he revisits untold moments in his life, from growing up on a planet ravaged by pollution, to meeting the woman of his dreams in Zoe.

And in those final moments, Wash will reach out to connect with a surprising someone he never thought possible to meet…proving that some bonds transcend our mortal coils.

With five original short stories from superstar creative teams, learn the untold past, present, and maybe even future of the best pilot in the ‘Verse – Hoban “Wash” Washburne.

Firefly: Watch How I Soar

Preview: Juliet Takes a Breath

Juliet Takes a Breath

(W) Gabby Rivera (A/CA) Celia Moscote
In Shops: Nov 25, 2020
SRP: $14.99

For fans of Bloom and Spinning, critically-acclaimed writer Gabby Rivera (Marvel’s America) adapts her bestselling novel alongside artist Celia Moscote in an unforgettable queer coming-of-age story exploring race, identity and what it means to be true to your amazing self. Even when the rest of the world doesn’t understand.

Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan to figure out what it means to be Puerto Rican, lesbian and out. And that starts with the perfect mentor – Harlowe Brisbane, a feminist author who will surely help Juliet find her best self.

There’s just one problem – Harlowe’s white, not from the Bronx and doesn’t have the answers. Okay, maybe that’s more than one problem, but Juliet never said it was a perfect plan…

Juliet Takes a Breath
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