Tag Archives: graphic novels

Lion Forge Unveils a New Logo and Plans for Roar in 2017

With this year’s American Library Association Midwinter Conference in Atlanta on Friday, the self-described publisher of “comics for everyone” begins to roll out news of its upcoming spring lineup!

Lion Forge made headlines late last year with the announcements of its teen and younger readers imprints—Roar and CubHouse—as well as news of the acquisition of boutique publisher Magnetic Press. The publisher “roars” into 2017 with an ambitious and approachable slate of books to make good on the promise of diverse offerings for every reader at every age!

Lion Forge has kicked off a full week of announcements with news of the second volume of Antoine Ozanam and Joël Jurion’s celebrated were-animal epic, KLAW, part of the Magnetic Collection at Lion Forge!

Following the explosive origin events in volume one, young Angel Tomassini travels the globe, fleeing the secret forces that hunt him and the ancient were-tiger spirit he possesses. Things get more complicated as he discovers other new were-warriors with different animal spirits and abilities, many of whom are out to destroy the others in order to become the most powerful being in the world! It is all-out were-war in “The Second Cycle”!

KLAW Volume 2 is the first title to be announced from Lion Forge’s Roar spring season, with more to follow throughout the week, ahead of the ALA Midwinter show.

KLAW Volume 2 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors’ March 2017 Previews catalog for release in May.

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Check out Rep. John Lewis’ March this MLK Day

March Book One CoverThe three-volume graphic novel series March chronicles Rep. John Lewis‘ experiences during the Civil Rights Movement. All three volumes have been released and you can read my review of the first volume and the second volume and third volume. Short version, they’re amazing.

Reception has been so good IDW Publishing and Top Shelf have released a collection of all three volumes in a special slipcase not to mention the numerous awards the graphic novel has received including a history-making National Book Award.

The three-volume graphic novel recounts Lewis’ experiences during the Civil Rights Movement, but it also reminds us to experience freedom we have to be willing to risk everything, including our lives and fight for it.

The graphic novels perfectly bookend history by focusing not just on his experiences in the Civil Rights Movement but reflecting them against his being a Congressman about to witness the inauguration of the country’s first Black President, the graphic novels are history in its raw unflinching form. There’s good. There’s bad. There’s honesty. There’s truth.

And 50 years later Cong. Lewis is still fighting speaking up against our incoming President that he views as illegitimate and who will likely set this country back in too many ways to fully comprehend. It’ll also remind you the reader the need to stand up and fight, especially in these coming trying years.

March is an amazing graphic novel. Not only does it entertain, but it brings real history to life recounting the amazing experiences of Congressman Lewis and everything he fought for. I can’t stress enough how good it is. You can pick up a copy of the first volume here, the second volume here, and third volume.

The Magnetic Collection Announces Two New Original Graphic Novels

rendez-vous-in-phoenixAs the world heads into 2017, and in a time of uncertainty, Lion Forge’s newly acquired boutique imprint Magnetic Collection announces two gorgeous works of graphic fiction told from two wholly unique perspectives.

First, the autobiographical account by the three-time Eisner-nominated writer/artist Tony Sandoval was quietly released last year amidst threats of a border wall between the US and Mexico in the US presidential election. Rendez-vous in Phoenix is an honest, true story that tackles the immigration issue through the eyes of love.

Tony Sandoval was born and raised in northwestern Mexico, where the temptation to cross the border into the US becomes a matter of the heart. Drawn by love, his urge to visit his American girlfriend can’t wait for the lengthy, frustrating visa process standing in the way of their relationship. So he makes the ultimate romantic gesture: smuggling himself across the border, despite the dangers he’ll face from the heat, coyotes, barbed wire, and—most daunting—the US border patrol…

the-sound-of-the-world-by-heartAnother original graphic novel by Panda Likes creator Giacomo Bevilacqua, titled The Sound of the World By Heart, is a touching, vividly illustrated journey of the heart through modern New York City.

An experiment in social isolation turns into a journey of self-discovery as a photojournalist commits to spending sixty days in New York City without talking to a single person. More than just an exercise in observation and self-control, he’s hoping to forget a troubled past and mend a broken heart. But the city has a sneaky way of throwing the best-laid plans and noble efforts to waste, revealing secrets that lie right in front of him. All he has to do is open his eyes…

This beautiful new graphic novel is a unique tale of what it takes to find yourself—and maybe your soul mate—in the middle of a crowded, bustling modern world.

Tony Sandoval’s Rendez-vous in Phoenix is available now at your favorite comic shop or bookstore. Giacomo Bevilacqua’s The Sound of the World By Heart will be released in comic shops and bookstores everywhere on March 29. Both are presented in premium hardcover format, retailing for $19.99 and $24.99 respectively.

Euro Thursday Review: Snow Day

snowday_8362_zoomedAn outsider sheriff struggles to find his place in an isolated, snow-covered town populated by a hard people who are set in their ways and don’t take too kindly to strangers. It’s a place where folks mind their own business — however odd it may be — and do as they please. That is, until the calm, quiet sheriff decides to do his job…

Written by Swedish writer Pierre Wazem, Snow Day is an interesting graphic novel that’s part character study and part crime story. With a similar idea to Walking Tall or every other cop who roots our corruption in a town tale, the story takes place over a day as a sheriff decides how he wants to handle some arrests and the individuals impeeding his decision.

But, what’s solid about Wazem’s story is the use and lack there-of of dialogue. There’s pages without dialogue as we get an idea of the small town and surrounding area. Set upon piles of snow, you can almost hear just the wind and the  hum of a tractor on these pages and there’s strangely something peaceful about it all.

That tranquil, almost relaxing art is by Antoine Aubin whose style is a cross between TinTin and The New Yorker. It’s actually very cool and the detail is just enough to say what’s going on and it enhances the story. There’s a minimalist feel about it all with not too much detail, and just enough to convey what’s going on. The black and white art is a fantastic style you don’t see too often and there’s absolutely a euro influence about it all.

There is some interesting things in that this graphic novel that’s supposed to be occuring in the “heartland” of America, but there’s a slight disconnect that feels like it’s being written by someone who has never been in the heartland. Still, the story by itself is fantastic and is a bit more artsy and philosophical take of a classic story of a sheriff rooting out corruption.

Snow Day is out in February from Humanoids.

Story: Pierre Wazem Art: Antoine Aubin
Story: 8.45 Art: 8.45 Overall: 8.45 Recommendation: Buy

Humanoids provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

If/Then: If You Liked Hidden Figures Then Check Out These Comics!

When it comes to suggesting comics for individuals to check out, it’s often good to start with what they like in other media like television, movies, books, or video games. Enter If/Then, where we’ll throw out suggestions for you to check out! First up, the film Hidden Figures which opens in wide release this coming weekend!

Hidden Figures is the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)-brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.

If you enjoyed the film, or interested by the subject matter, here’s five comics for you to check out and why!


marchMarch – The celebrated and award-winning graphic novel by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell recounts Cong. Lewis’ experiences during the Civil Rights Movement. A first-hand account of pivotal history brought to life through graphic art, the graphic novels consist of three volumes taking you through the turbulent times and delivering an educational and emotional read.

Each volume seems to improve on the next not just taking you through history, but is presented in such a fashion that’ll leave you speechless as you ride through the emotional roller coaster within.

This is a prime example of the power of comics and graphic novels in helping preserve and teach history.

Buy it Now! Digitally Vol. 1 Vol. 2 Vol. 3 | Physical


shechangedcomics-1CBLDF Presents: She Changed Comics – If you want to learn some history about women in comics, check out CBLDF Presents: She Changed Comics which was put together by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

She Changed Comics is the definitive history of the women who changed free expression in comics, with profiles of more than 60 groundbreaking female professionals and interviews with the women who are changing today’s medium, including Raina Telgemeier, Noelle Stevenson, G. Willow Wilson, and more! She Changed Comics also examines the plights of women imprisoned and threatened for making comics and explores the work of women whose work is being banned here in the United States.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has also put together a web page as a resource where you can find out more about women in the comic book history.

Buy it Now! Digitally Digitally | Physical


the_unstoppable_wasp__1The Unstoppable Wasp #1 – A superhero comic might feel like an odd choice for this one, but hear me out as to why. Written by Jeremy Whitley with art by Elsa Charretier, the comic features the newest Wasp, Nadia Pym, as she attempts to find her way in the superhero world.

What makes this comic make the list is the focus on STEM, women in science, and smashing the patriarchy. The comic has Nadia finding her role and throws it out there that until recently the Marvel Universe was dominated by men (and mostly white men) until recently and it’s time to get some women recognized when it comes to the smartest people in the Marvel Universe.

What’s also great is each issue will feature real women who work in STEM fields in real life through a Q&A. The comic not only entertains but also hopefully will encourage more women to enter this world for a career.

Read our review and our ten reasons to get the first issue.

Buy it Now! Digitally Digitally | Physical Physical


cmpursuitcoverCaptain Marvel Vol. 1: In Pursuit of Flight – Ace pilot. Legendary Avenger. One hundred percent pure bad-^&*. Carol Danvers has a new name, a new mission – and all the power she needs to make her own life a living hell. As the new Captain Marvel, Carol is forging from a challenge from her past! It’s a firefight in the sky as the Banshee Squadron debut – but who are the Prowlers, and where has Carol seen them before? And how does secret NASA training program Mercury 13 fit in? Witness Captain Marvel in blazing battlefield action that just may change the course of history! Avengers Time Travel Protocols: engage!

Written by Kelly Sue Deconnick with art by Dexter Soy and Emma Rios, the story is fun action, but also explores the little known history of the women who attempted to join the Apollo program.

Buy it Now! Digitally | Physical


laika_bookcover1Laika – Laika was the abandoned puppy destined to become Earth’s first space traveler. This is her journey.

Nick Abadzis masterfully blends fiction and fact in the intertwined stories of three compelling lives. Along with Laika, there is Korolev, once a political prisoner, now a driven engineer at the top of the Soviet space program, and Yelena, the lab technician responsible for Laika’s health and life. This intense triangle is rendered with the pitch-perfect emotionality of classics like Because of Winn Dixie, Shiloh, and Old Yeller.

Abadzis gives life to a pivotal moment in modern history, casting light on the hidden moments of deep humanity behind history.

While the graphic novel isn’t perfect when it comes to the history it’s a great introduction to this part of history of space flight and great for kids who may be interested in learning about it and being entertained.

Buy it Now! Digitally | Physical


What did we miss in our suggestions? What would you suggest? Add yours in the comments!

 

 

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In Honor of National Bird Day a Preview of Margaret Atwood’s Angel Catbird Vol. 2

In honor of National Bird Day, today January 5, Dark Horse Books has released preview pages from Angel Catbird Volume 2: To Castle Catula by Margaret Atwood, artist Johnnie Christmas, and colorist Tamra Bonvillain. Angel Catbird is being published by Dark Horse Books in tandem with Keep Cats Safe and Save Bird Lives, an initiative led by Nature Canada, the oldest conservation charity in Canada. Angel Catbird is the latest environmentally charged book by Atwood, who was named the recipient of the 2016 PEN Pinter Prize for her political and environmental activism.

In the release Atwood said:

Angel Catbird 2 will be released on Valentine’s Day, named after Saint Valentine. Almost nothing is known about this saint, making the mysterious figure a suitable icon for love of all kinds – people who love birds, people who love cats, people who love both, and, to round it off, Angel Catbirds who love both catfolk and birdfolk. Then there’s Count Catula, who, being a cat/bat/vampire, has many more Wives of Catula than Dracula had Wives of Dracula! If you don’t want to say it with flowers on Valentine’s Day, say it with Catbirds. Your beloved will understand. I hope.

All three volumes of Angel Catbird are 6 x 9 full color hardcovers, priced at $14.99 each. Volume 2 goes on sale on February 14, followed by Volume 3 on July 4, 2017. Angel Catbird Volume 1 has spent more than a dozen weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

angel-catbird-volume-2-to-castle-catula-1

The Best Comics of 2016 – Brett’s List

It’s the first day of a new year and so that means I’m posting my “best of” listing of the top comic books for 2016. Generally these are comic books that came out in 2016, though some are from earlier times and I got around to reading them, or limited series that continued. Keep in mind, this is what I have read (and does not reflect what other contributors to this site might think, they’ll hopefully have their own lists). If it’s not on here, I just might not have read it.

This was a particularly tough year of choices with some categories easily having their own top ten or twenty-five and some I struggled to even come up with one. 2016 was a year that ongoing, maxi-series, and limited floppies seemed to blend more and more and for me as a reader I found myself shifting away from one publisher to another and as a whole enjoying graphic novels and indie comics a hell of a lot more than I have in the past.

What stood out to me? Check out below what made the cut!

Best Super Hero Comic – The Paybacks

the-paybacks-3A new publisher, but still absolutely amazing. The Paybacks by Donny Cates, Eliot Rahal, Geoff Shaw moved from Dark Horse to Heavy Metal for its second volume, but it didn’t lose any steam in doing so continuing to deliver hilarity and upping the action.

The concept of the comic is that there’s a repo crew who have to deal with all the superheroes who can’t pay back the loans they take for all of their fancy gadgets. To pay off their debts those heroes then join the ragtag team.

A send-up of so many familiar characters and lets face it creators too, the comic has more jokes in each panel than some series have their entire run. It’s funny, action packed, and in this volume actually is somewhat timely with news with a focus on a data breach.

My biggest wish in comics for 2017 is someone is smart enough to invest in this series because I know it’ll pay off in the log run. Everyone who I’ve turned on to it falls in love and whole there were some issues with the second volume, it still is the one “superhero” comic I devoured as soon as possible.

Runners Up:

  • COPRA – There’s some arguments to be made that Michel Fiffe‘s indie series about a group of raftag characters should be the top pick, and there was long thought about if it should, it’s that good. Out of all of the series I read this year, this is one that delivered with every single issue. This is a comic that shows that superheroes aren’t the domain of just two companies anymore, especially due to how many issues have been released. I said this exact same thing in 2015 and it applies here.
  • The Legend of Wonder Woman – An absolutely brilliant max-series that went from digital to print. Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon delivered a Wonder Woman story that stands out in a year of solid Wonder Woman output. Fun to read. Beautiful to look at. Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll just get this one volume.
  • The Omega Men – Writer Tom King took this ragtag group of characters and has given us a maxiseries that explores revolution/terrorism in so many ways. This is one to read once collected and the ruminate on. It began in 2015 but wrapped up in 2016.
  • Tomboy – This series published by Action Lab: Danger Zone and by M. Goodwin is a comic that’s not on enough people’s radar. A mix of manga, Japanese horror, western vigilante stories, it’s a strange, creepy, haunting series featuring a teenage girl out for revenge against the people who killed her friend.

 

Best Non-Super Hero Comic – The Sheriff of Babylon

the-sheriff-of-babylon-12-coverI said above that 2016 was the year of Tom King, and guess who wrote this one! Tom King! The Sheriff of Babylon is another max-series that wrapped up, but we’ll get a second volume some time in 2017.

The comic is based on King’s experiences working for the CIA in Iraq taking place in the Green Zone after the recent Iraq war. The comic is brutally honest showing a world where there’s so little right and so much wrong and it all comes together in a muddied brown and gray.

That dirtiness of it all is helped by Mitch Gerads‘ art and the smart use of colors. The detail, every body movement, the framing of the panels, Gerads’ art adds so much to every issue. That’s saying something considering how amazing King’s scripts are!

This is a comic series that shows comics are political and can question the world we currently live.

Runners Ups:

  • Descender- Jeff Lemire has had a hell of year in general in comics and is one of my favorite writers of the year. This series features the stunning art of Dustin Nguyen. The sci-fi series is so hard to describe revolving around an android that looks like a little boy. Every issue is a treat to read, and Nguyen’s art helps with beautiful visuals. Seriously the art alone is a reason to pick up the series. We didn’t get an issue every month, but what we did get was fantastic.
  • The Fix – Two fuck up cops who are corrupt and get mixed up in a drug smuggling scam. The comic is absolutely hilarious. Written by Nick Spencer with art by Steve Lieber the comic is one of the funniest books on the market.
  • The Flintstones – Written by Mark Russell this series is some of the smartest and subtle political and social commentary in any writing going on today. The comic covers everything from religion to consumerism to the 2016 election. And like his writing in Prez no one is safe, the right and the left are equal fodder. Entertaining, smart, and elevating the classic characters to a whole new level.
  • Invisible Republic – A reporter investigates the truth of an uprising on a planet discovering fact from fiction in a series that bounces back and forth between the past and present. Each issue reminds us about the power of journalism and the need for good reporting. Myth can easily be twisted into fact and lies can replace reality. The comic series seems prescient in so many ways.

 

Best Limited Series or One Shot – 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank

4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK #1 CoverWe got three issues of this series in 2016 and holy crap do I wish we got more. In those three issues we did get some of the best storytelling in any comics. I’m assuming this is a limited series since it is a “crime caper in five parts” but hopefully we get more after this volume wraps up.

The series involves a bunch of kids that find out one of their dads is possibly a criminal and has some buddies who plan to rob a bank. Their idea is to rob the bank before them.

But, it’s not the heist that’s the drawn it’s the kids themselves. Each one feels so real with so many quirks their personalities jump off the page. Everyone is relatable and each feels like real people we knew growing up. It’s absolutely amazing.

The art by Tyler Boss is top notch and the writing is why Matthew Rosenberg is one of the hottest writers in comics right now.

More please!

Runners Up:

  • Black – This series was a Kickstarter phenomenon and the concept is what if only Black people had superpowers? Political. Daring. In your face. The comic is layered and will leave you debating what it’s trying to say.
  • Love is Love – A charity comic to benefit the victims of the Pulse nightclub attack, this comic is a prime example of what the comic industry can do when profits aren’t at the forefront. Bringing together publishers and hundreds of creators it’s a touching tribute.
  • Refugees Book One – A hell of a find at Small Press Expo, the comic is haunting taking us into the world of refugees as they attempt to find a better life. There’s definite issues with the comic as far as some of the writing, but the message is clear and brutally honest.
  • Superman: American Alien – Featuring a bunch of different artists, this maxi-series by writer Max Landis explored a different time in Superman’s life with a different take on the character. It’s a fun and fantastic read and somehow actually gives us something that feels fresh for a character that’s been around for over 75 years.

 

Best Graphic Novel/Trade Paperback – March Book Three

MarchBookThree-CoverThe best thing to be released in 2016 for comics. This is an absolutely amazing finish to the award winning trilogy. The winner of the National Book Award among other things the graphic novel focuses on Congressman John Lewis’ experiences during the Civil Rights movement.

Written by Lewis, Andrew Aydin, with art by Nate Powell this is the crown jewel of comics showing that they’re more than tights and has been adopted by schools to teach about this time in American history.

As I read the graphic novel from cover to cover, I found myself filled with emotions, as Lewis’ life was there in print for those to see and read. The story is a complicated one, but it’s presented in a way that feels honest and open, both good and bad. This is an inside look at one of the most important, and turbulent times in American history from not just someone that was there, but a leader of the movement. And that’s a fascinating part of this third book, is its focus on Lewis’ role as a leader.

This third volume somehow leapfrogs the other two. Whether it’s due to learning or the material within, something about it created an emotional reaction I haven’t felt by any media in quite some time. And most importantly it got me to think about where we as a people and nation have been, where we are, and where we’re going.

Runners Up:

  • The Attack – A man’s wife winds up being a suicide bomber. This story is about his attempt to find out why and discovering he knew so little about the woman he called his wife. A spiral into despair and madness the end will leave you speechless and heartbroken.
  • Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches From Turkey, Syria, and Iraq – By Sarah Glidden this graphic novel is her experiences as she researches potential stories on the effects of the Iraq War on the Middle East, especially refugees. Beautiful to look at, the graphic novel is the second best thing I’ve read this year (behind March).
  • Soviet Daughter – Adapting her great grandmother’s journal Julia Alekseyeva provides an interesting look at someone who lived in Russia from 1910 to emigrating to the US in the 90s. The Revolution, WWII, the Holocaust, it’s all presented as Alekseyeva illustrates what is a diary. Between each chapter, Julia reflects on her own life and her closeness with her great grandmother. It’s an amazing piece examining women finding their place in the world. It’s also a reason you wait until the first of the year for your list, as this came out the last week of the year.
  • Tetris: The Games People PlayBox Brown takes what should be a boring story about the history of the video game Tetris and makes it really interesting! A fun graphic novel published by First Second that makes corporate maneuvering a bad business deals engaging.

 

Best Genre of the Year – Indie Comics/Small Publishers

Is it a “genre”? We can argue about that, but lets face it, 2016 was a year we saw major creators continue to shrug off the big two, instead launching creator-owned series at other publishers, digitally or through Kickstarter. We saw more comics, in more varieties, on more subjects and more ways to consume them, than any time before. It really wasn’t the year of the Big Two, this was a year that we as consumers could continue to find something that would fit our varied tastes.

With more channels for distribution and more ways to produce comics, we’re in a golden age where the old ways of publishing no longer hold back the creativity that abounds.

I named Indie Comics “it” in 2013, 2014, and 2015 and nothing changed in 2016. There’s a massive opening for someone to step in and be a mainstream breakout, maybe 2017 will be the year we see it.

 

Best Surprise of the Year – DC Comics

DC_Logo_RGB_0318162016 was a year that had everyone shaking their head when they heard DC was shaking things up again and “rebooting.” Except, their reboot was anything but.

In “Rebirth” the publisher blended the old with the new bringing back legacy characters and also pushing forward some of the newer ones too. They even moved away from grimm and gritty and gave us a bit of hope and fun in it all!

While Batman has always been strong for the company, Superman, Wonder Woman, and more all all returned to greatness with a new positive energy about them that could be felt.

But even better, sales increased and while they’ve leveled off and dropped quite a bit from the initial launch, the publisher is stronger and in a better position than it has been in a long time.

The company continued to expand upon its digital first program, and has begun to look towards expanding its market with its DC Super Hero Girls line.

They also did this as their movie output was mixed and television output strong. Now to get everything to line-up and the DC brand as a whole could be unstoppable.

The dots are all there, now we’ll see if the company has the vision to connect them all.

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year – Kickstarter

KickstarterLast year’s disappointment continued to be so, as projects were delayed, vapor ware, or not as advertised. Also add in issues on the creator end of folks pledging high amounts and then disputing the charges, at times getting the goods. Add in the platform’s unwillingness to step in to deal with either situation and you get a tech company showing off it’s greed. What was once the toast of the town has shown its cracks which will only get worse.

The crowdfunding platform became a way for creators to raise funds for projects, only to get picked up by publishers, at times delaying projects and leaving bad tastes in the mouths of fans. If all creators were held to the standards of some of the best users of the system, there’d be no issue, but over 90% of the projects I’ve pledged to have been delayed or non-existent only creating angry backers and fans.

These issues have lead this site to rethink what we promote and how we do so, no longer choosing comics to promote, as we feel some responsibility for things gone wrong and your dollars being held hostage.

Kickstarter continues to be tone-deaf, and it’s only a matter of time before someone stands up and challenges the platform with a system that’s fair to creators, and protects those who pledge.

Oh how the mighty continue to fall.

 

Publisher of the Year – None of the Above

This one I’ve thought about the most out of all of the categories on the list. I keep going back and forth between Image, BOOM! Studios, Valiant, Action Lab, IDW, First Second, and so many more. For each strength one brings to the table, they also have major weaknesses. Whether it’s a focus on a genre, pigeonholing themselves with adults, failure in digital, a mix of quality of comics, none of them are at least good everywhere. But, the comic industry has really grown in 2016 with no one breaking out as THE publisher to rival the big two. Partially that’s because so many have stood out with some of what they’ve done, but none have stood out for their whole.

Of the big two Marvel has stumbled… a lot. Entire articles can be written in that department, but the company is not the juggernaut its been in quite some time and I’d expect their to be some big shake-ups in 2017.

DC on the other hand came really close to being named for this. They’ve done some amazing stuff in the year with Rebirth being a smash hit. There’s still something slightly off, but out of every publisher, they’ve gotten most improved.

Image has become of the home of amazing indie comics by big name creators, but they generally lack a kids line that gets the next generation of readers and the sales just aren’t their in floppies. BOOM! has had a great mix of comics, but they’re missing that ongoing series that goes on for 30 to 50 issues. Valiant is quality all around and have tried some interesting market tactics, but you have to like superhero comics, Action Lab is a solid up and comer with good consistent releases. IDW has shown its possible to do great licensed comics, while First Second has fantastic graphic novels of all sorts. Aftershock has quality and so has Black Mak Studios.

Out of all of that, where’s the standout above everyone else? They’re all good in their own ways, but each have some flaws, with some of those flaws being pretty big. After a lot of deliberation, I couldn’t decide on one, so I chose none.

Each publisher is close to going huge, it’s just taking someone to connect those dots. Or maybe no one will, and it’ll be up to the individual creators to fill up the gap.

Review: Terminal City Library Edition HC

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Venture back into Dean Motter and Michael Lark’s Terminal City in this oversized library edition!

The city has been in decline since a group of celebrated adventurers were each disgraced or disappeared into obscurity. Now, a series of strange mysteries brings them together again . . . with explosive results!

Memories, murder, revenge seem to travel throughout this book as old friends reunite. Their consequences for their reunion manifest in the form of murder. Motter gives us a solid graphic novel for geared towards fans of noir and crime stories.

The art by Lark is crisp and clean and reminds me of Metropolis in some ways. The graphic novel takes this almost retro-futurism and fully embracing it throughout the book. Even with it’s considerable length Lark’s art is consistent and delivers.

Story: Dean Motter Art: Michael Lark
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Attack

the-attackThe Attack opens with Amin Jaafari, an Israeli surgeon of Palestinian origin, trying to save the casualties of a suicide bombing. A day after the deadly attack, an Israeli police officer informs Jaafari that the suicide bomber was his wife, Sihem. Believing her to be on an overnight trip, he completely refuses to accept the accusation. They were leading an ideal life in Tel Aviv, moving among both Arab and Israeli society with ease, or so Jaafari thought. But then he receives a posthumous message from Sihem confirming the worst. Desperate to understand how he missed even the slightest clue, Jaafari leaves the relative security of Israel and enters the Palestinian territories to find the fanatics who recruited her. In search of the truth, he confronts a reality that he had refused to see.

When reading The Attack what you absorb and take away may differ depending on your views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The story itself doesn’t really take a side other than one of tragedy. Based on the book by Yasmina Khadra and adapted by Loïc Dauvillier the graphic novel isn’t as much about the act as it’s about a husband coming to grips with his wife becoming a suicide bomber. Like Mike’s Place, another graphic novel which dealt with a suicide bombing, the point of the story isn’t so much the cowardly act, but those that still live and are impacted by it.

The focus on the husband makes this a story about grief and the betrayal he feels as he realizes he doesn’t know his wife at all. As he explores her final days and how she was radicalized he goes down a spiral which feels not so much about terrorism as it does dealing with a cult and in a way mob-like group. It doesn’t take much of a stance, but at the same time clearly states the perspective of the suicide bomber/terrorist and what drives them. Right or wrong, that doesn’t matter for the story, it’s about the despair of Jaafari’s search for answers.

The art by Glen Chaprion is at times both beautiful and haunting. The detail is excellent as each area is presented in a way that the visuals tell a story in themselves. You can instantly tell what the socio-economic situation is without words being spoken. The art drives the narrative as much as the words and the detail of the destruction will keep you lingering on each page.

As we go deeper into the mystery more and more questions are raised and many are never answered. That’s part of the tragedy and madness we’re taken into. This is a raw story of grief and humanity and presents no true answers. In doing so, it leaves the reader to reflect and think and when you get to those final pages it’ll leave you haunted and trying to come up with answers of your own.

Original Book: Yasmina Khadra Story: Loïc Dauvillier Art: Glen Chaprion
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Firefly Books provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

New Power Rangers Film Gets a Graphic Novel Sequel

After the new Mighty Morphin Power Rangers film debuts in March, you’ll be able to continue the adventures of this new take on the classic series with a brand new original graphic novel from BOOM! Studios and Saban Brands. On March 29, 2017, Saban’s Power Rangers: Aftershock comes to shelves and picks up where the events in the film leave off to continue the adventures of main characters Jason, Kimberly, Trini, Zack, and Billy.

Written by Ryan Parrott and illustrated by Lucas Werneck, Saban’s Power Rangers: Aftershock original graphic novel  features two different covers: a movie cover that can be pre-ordered and purchased wherever books are sold, and an exclusive illustrated cover by Greg Smallwood that can only be pre-ordered and purchased through comic book shops.

The graphic novel retails for $14.99 featuring 96 pages of Power Ranger action!

sabans-power-rangers-aftershock-illustrated-cover-by-greg-smallwood sabans-power-rangers-aftershock-movie-cover

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