Tag Archives: hip hop family tree

Review: Hip Hop Family Tree Volume 4

I remember the first time I heard Eric B & Rakim, his voice was not like anything else in hip-hop at the time. The first song from the duo that captivated my ears, was “Let the Rhythm Hit Em”, a sonic tour de force that would have been pedestrian in lesser hands. In Rakim’s calming baritone and, and elusive wordplay, it became juggernaut, which in my mind, made rhyming, a skill. Rakim, was the one emcee, who became the standard for all other rappers to compare themselves to, and although the music’s standards have changed, he is still a revered figure.

I remember my friends talking about rappers Like Schooly D and Doug E Fresh. This was when rappers had to be clever and have a message.  In this fourth volume of Hip Hop Family Tree, it delves into those two epic years, 1984-1985. The reader finds out How not only Rakim but Biz Markie became superstars and changed the musical landscape forever.

The reader is introduced to Egyptian Lover at the height of the infamous “pause tapes”. Creator Ed Piskor also gets into the influence of funk music had on early Hip Hop especially the Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown. The reader is also taken to the West Coast, where a local LA radio station, KDAY, becomes the first of its kind, a radio station to play hip hop 24/7/365. Lastly, the reader is introduced to epic battle between the rappers from the Bronx i.e. KRS One and BDP and the rappers from Queens i.e. MC Shan.

Overall, an excellent volume in this epic series, which is to say the very least, magnificent. The story by Piskor, always well researched and contains as much as any soap opera. The art by Piskor, gives the reader, more than serves the subject matter. Altogether, a superior installment

Story: Ed Piskor Art: Ed Piskor
Story:10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Hip Hop Family Tree Volume 3

I remember the first time I heard of the Fat Boys, it was not actually through their music. As I remembered it, I thought they were more of a gimmick versus an actual Hip Hop group. When I found out who they were, was through the movie, the Disorderlies. That is what drew to me to their music, as I saw in the movie they were actual rappers.

I was the ripe ae of 8, and just came back from Trinidad and Tobago, as the music was still shaping itself before it grew into any type of standard. This was when it really went from Rap to Hip Hop and become its own self-contained culture. In this third volume of Hip Hop Family Tree, it delves into those two epic years, 1983-1984. The reader finds out How the Beastie Boys went form a Rap Cover band to an actual hip hop group.

The reader is introduced to Crazy Legs and Frosty Freeze and the invention of breakdancing. Ed Piskor also gets into what makes the evolution of hip hop on the West Coast different from how Hip Hop evolves in New York. The reader is also introduced to The Fat Boys, ad educates the reader, just ho integral they are to the history of the culture. Lastly, the reader is also introduced to LL Cool J, and how he met Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons.

Overall, a strong volume in this epic series, which only gets better with each installment. The story by Piskor always well researched and contains his love for the culture throughout. The art by Piskor gives the reader that flashback quality that is required by the subject matter. Altogether, if you love reading about music history, this is a must read.

Story: Ed Piskor Art: Ed Piskor
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Hip-Hop Family Tree Volume 2

Hip Hop has come to be more than form of music, it is a movement. Most people don’t realize just how powerful, rap music has always been, as it has been used as a mirror to the world’s societal ills. Hip Hop has not been the first and it will not be the last music platform to do this. Anyone can listen to Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit today and can still feel the chill of her “black bodies swinging” line.

In my humble opinion, this is when not only hip hop but music is at its best, as very much, the political is very personal for any artist. This can be heard in Public Enemy’s “By the Time I get to Arizona”, which dealt with the fact Arizona, at the time, did not celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. This also can be heard in 2Pac’s “Trapped”, which talked about the prison industrial system. This also can be heard in Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five’s powerful “The Message” which talked about the impact of crack cocaine.

In this second volume of Hip Hop Family Tree, Ed Piskor introduces us to some of the most important records labels of that era, such as Profile Records and Def Jam Records. The reader finds out about the birth of beatboxing, as it started out as just another way to make a beat. They not only delve into the music scene of New York but also how Hip Hop affected the West Coast giving birth to what some call “Gangster Rap”. The volume ends, with RUN-DMC performing and giving the spark to what Dr. Dre and DJ Yella came to create.

Overall, an excellent second volume, which captures those artists we now know as “rap Pioneers” but the origins of the soundscapes that they made this music on The story by Ed Piskor, is again meticulously researched and gives these artists their just due.  The art by Piskor is simply gorgeous. Altogether, an excellent installment of this important book.

Story: Ed Piskor Art: Ed Piskor
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 1

Hip Hop and comics are one of those crossroads that usually go only one way. Often, it is usually spoken about as more background music than a lifestyle or a culture. One can make the argument music and comics have never been a good match, but I will always bring up the example of the KISS comics, which had a pretty long run and has had a recent incarnation. There have been instances where hip hop has been documented but not as much as one would think.

The very first instance I can remember is the single issue of the story of NWA and Ice Cube. The other instance, and what has been my favorite, is Sentences: The Life of MF Grimm, which was a brilliant graphic memoir. Since then, other than the various members of the Wu-Tang Clan, writing and starring in their own comics, rarely has this road been traversed. Which brings me to Ed Piskor’s superior Hip Hop Family Tree, telling the history of this global culture.

In this very first volume, Piskor introduces us to the birth of Hip-Hop in the Bronx, where Kool Herc, is spinning records on the “wheel of steel”, which gives birth to the “emcee”. The reader goes on tour of how embroiled the culture was in drugs and gangs and how it could not let go of the ills surrounding it. It also shows how it caught the mainstream media’s ear with Blondie’s Rapture record, and gave rise to entrepreneurs like Russell Simmons and Sylvia Robinson. The volume ends, with Jocko Henderson, a 1960 DJ, revealing the mainstream media opinion of hip hop, which has since been disproved, that anyone can rap.

Overall, a strong first volume, which accurately tells the origins of the culture, in a way that had not been done before. The story by Ed Piskor is meticulously researched and truthfully portrayed. The art by Piskor is beautiful and vibrant. Altogether, an excellent chronicle of the era that not only captured its history but its spirit.

Story: Ed Piskor Art: Ed Piskor
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 13/2/2016

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for. These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


Alex

Bigfoot_SOTE_03_coverBigfoot: Sword Of The Earthman  #3 (Action Lab) There’s a very interesting aspect to this comic; Bigfoot hasn’t said a word in three issues, and his silence is perfectly negated by the narration of his companion who’s name escapes me right now. This has been a solid series so far, with Bigfoot being stranded on Mars, this feels like a brilliant mix of Starship Troopers, John Carter: Warlord Of Mars and Conan all wrapped up in a glossy comic book story. It’s actually pretty damn good. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Batman #49 (DC Comics)* Holy fucking shit. If, like me, you’ve not been a fan of the Robot Bunny Batman, then this issue will have you pumping the ceiling with joy. It’s a brilliantly well done comic that doesn’t feel like Bruce becoming Batman again is a dues ex machina. There’s been a legitimate build up for this moment for bloody months, that came together for me with this issue in an almost montage like moment. Mr H eloquently captures what I love about the characterization in this issue below, and Batman #49 is the issue that cements Scott Snyder as one of the best Batman writers of the past decade, giving us a 50 odd issue run that we’ll be talking about for years. Overall: 9.75 Recommendation: Buy

 

Brett

Captain Canuck #6Captain Canuck #6 (Chapter House Comics) – Wrapping up the first story arc, the comic is an ok ending that wraps up the action nicely and sets us up for what’s to come. As a piece of the arc it’s a solid comic, but on it’s own it’s a bit weaker than previous comics. Still, lots of fun to read. Overall: 7.4 Recommendation: Read

Dark & Bloody #1 (Vertigo) – An interesting start to what seems like a horror comic. Not quite sure where it’s going, if it’s just a weird horror story or a southern gothic story, we’ll see. But, it has me wanting to check out the next issue. It definitely has the creepy vibe down. Overall: 7.6 Recommendation: Read

Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion #2 (DC Comics) – The second issue continues what feels like a giant action sci-fi film. So far, I’m digging it, and though there’s a lot of action here, it also moves the bigger story along introducing you to this new alien world. Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read

Legend of Wonder Woman #2 (DC Comics) – Hells yes. This is the Wonder Woman comic I’ve been waiting for. This is so good. Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #49 (IDW Publishing) – A good finale to the current arc. I’d have liked it all to have been a straight up horror story, but it does some solid work on the various characters. Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Black Science #20 (Image Comics) – Just fun science fiction. Turn your brain off and go with the ride. Never disappointing. Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read

descender10_CoverArtDescender #10 (Image Comics) – One of the best science fiction comics on the market. Amazing story, even more amazing art. Beautiful to look at and fun to read. Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Deus Ex #1 (Titan Comics) – A good first issue that from what I remember catches the world from the video game series pretty well. It’s not deep but sets up a cyberpunk-ish comic that should fill a nice niche. Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Interceptor #2 (Heavy Metal Magazine) – The first issue caught me off guard and the second issue continues the excellence. Funny, fun, it’s a solid mix of the Heavy Metal vibe along with “western” comics. Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

James Bond #4 (Dynamite Entertainment) – The individual issues aren’t bad, but I feel like this’ll be a better read as a trade. Overall: 7.1 Recommendation: Read

Letter 44 #23 (Oni Press) – I seriously have no idea where this series is going and I can’t wait to find out. Overall: 7.9 Recommendation: Read

Second Sight #1 (Aftershock Comics)* – The first issue is good, but doesn’t blow me away. My issue is I feel like we’ve seen this story before as well as its protagonist. Maybe it’ll set itself apart down the road. Overall: 7.3 Recommendation: Read

Street Fighter Unlimited #3 (Udon Entertainment) – The comic is a lot of fun. I’m not the biggest Street Fighter fan, but these comics capture the video game series really well and give us some awesome action. A must get if you’re a fan of the video game. Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Read

 

Mr H

Batman #49 CoverBatman #49 (DC Comics)*: The moment we’ve all been waiting for. We knew Bruce was coming back to the cowl it was never a matter of it, it was always when. Snyder has another win this issue, as I think it’s his absolute best one yet. It delves into the Batman legacy as well as probable futures. What really stands out for me is how well Snyder gets the relationship between Alfred and Bruce. He’s not Bruce’s butler, he’s his father. Alfred doesn’t want to lose his son again. Bruce has finally got the peaceful life he’s always wanted but for Gotham to survive, he must allow Batman to return. Now I won’t spoil here as its too good, but the return method is well thought out and true to the character. Julie Madison even plays a big part. With 50 around the corner Snyder has his day numbered on the title but his impact may have crafted the best Batman run EVER. No Capullo this issue but it doesn’t suffer one bit. Yannick Paquette does a terrific job on the art chores. I cannot find any fault with this issue at all. Overall: 10/10 Recommendation: Buy this book.

 

Ryan C

Hip-Hop Family Tree #7 (Fantagraphics)*: Ed Piskor’s cultural history/odyssey finally takes a look at the nascent hip-hop scene on the West Coast, while out east the Beastie Boys, among other future luminaries, enter the fray with their first stumbling steps out of the gate. As always, truth is stranger — and better — than fiction, I’m not even a hip-hop fan but I wouldn’t dream of missing an issue of this fantastically-written, superbly-illustrated series. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy.

Shaft-Imitation-of-Life-1Shaft: Imitation Of Life #1 (Image)**: David F. Walker returns to the character he rejuvenated — and to the street of New York — with the first of four sure-to-be-spectacular parts. John Shaft wraps up one particularly brutal case, takes some much-needed time off, and the jumps back in to handle a missing persons case that nobody else would have the balls to touch. And he picks up a gay Latino sidekick by the end? As always , Walker adds new depth and dimension to the character without compromising an ounce of bad-ass, while new artist Dietrich Smith picks up admirably from Bilquis Evely. Overall: 9/10. Recommendation: Buy.

Low #11 (Image)** : Good to see Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini dive back into things — literally — after a bit of a break between issues/arcs, but the “keep hope alive” message is starting to veer into tiresome mantra territory, and echoes the “newfound optimism” philosophical outlook of “Black Science” a bit too closely at this point. Story and art are still good, but decidedly less spectacular than the ultra-high standard we’ve become used to on this series. Intrigued to see how he plans to rotate issues between Stel and her kids, and next issue promises some spectacular stuff as we finally see the surface of , well, Waterworld, so let’s hope this just represents a temporary lull before the visual and verbal fireworks show commences in full swing. Overall: 6. Recommendation: Read.

Injection #7 (Image)**: Continuing with the arc begun last issue, our new inhumanly-smart (or maybe that’s just inhuman) private eye protagonist follows the supply chain of the “long pig” he was nearly serves last issue and nonchalantly antagonizes the police while he’s at it. Warren Elli’s script is razor-sharp and Declan Shalvey’s art is enough to make a grown-up cry with its understated precision and elegance. This is a book that doesn’t see to know how not to keep getting better and better every month. Overall: 8. Recommendation: Buy.

 

Shean

House of Montresor#1 (Red Stylo): Jang and Strutz have written the captivating sequel to Edgar Allen Poe’s Cask of Amontillado , dad wonders into some seriously interesting territory.Imagine that one episode of Twilight Zone where the heirs are fighting over inheritance commingled with Crimson Peak. The script by Enrica Jang, is moody , mysterious, gothic and all types of creepy. The art By Jasob Strutz is beautiful.Overall, strong execution by two masters.Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

cyrus perkins tpbCyrus Perkins and the Haunted Taxi Cab TPB (Action Lab): I always wondered what would happen if the Michael Mann masterpiece ” Collateral “, was a TV show, as this book answers that but with a supernatural twist. The Reader joins Cyrus as he navigates his personal life , avoids thugs , run ins with supernatural creatures were trying find peace for his haunted rider. In what would be a normally dark story ,there are a great many funny scenes.The story by David Dwonch proves an interesting twist to both slice of life genre and the supernatural genre. The art by Anna Lencioni, is vibrant and full of heart.Overall, fun when you least expect it.  Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Read

 


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write.

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Monstress03_coverWednesdays 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!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Alex

Top Pick: Old Man Logan #1 (Marvel) – To say I’m looking forward to this book would be like saying Thanos isn’t a nice person. Aside from All-New Wolverine #1, which was a great first issue (although the series quickly lost my interest after that) it’s been a long time since I’ve picked up a comic featuring one of my all time favourite characters. I’m excited to see what’s in store for the old coot now that Secret Wars has brought him back around (although I’m still not convinced we won’t see the younger version back sooner or later), and I have been counting down the days until this debut issue is going to be released. Can. Not. Bloody. Wait.

Bloodshot Reborn #10 (Valiant) – Thirty years from now, something apocalyptic has happened, and water is a precious commodity. The beginning of  new arc is always touted by Valiant as a new jumping on point, and they’re not wrong here. If you’ve ever been curious about the nanite infested super soldier, this is as good a place as any to jump onto the ongoing series.

Faith #1 (Valiant) – If you had superpowers you’d enjoy them, right? Faith does. She’s a brilliant, fun character that originated in another Valiant series (that I haven’t read yet), and despite her backstory you don’t need to know it all. Valiant are extremely good about giving you only what you need to know to get to know the character and nothing more (so when you read that other series it won’t be spoiled for you). A superb comic. Why isn’t it on your pull list?

Negative Space #3 (Dark Horse) – This series has been on my radar since I got the first issue in a Comic Block some months ago. It’s a beautifully crushing look into the effects of depression, and a very compelling story. You NEED to read this book – honestly in any other week this would be my top pick, but my inner Wolverine fanboy wouldn’t shut up.

 

Benjamin

Top Pick: Prophet Earth War #1 (Image Comics) – From Brandon Graham and his crew,  loved the relaunch of prophet when it started and still do. This book makes me feel like singing Sinead O’Connor, Nothing  compares 2 U, when prophet is on a hiatus, or Brandon is doing other projects i count the days it is missing. The harmony between writers and artists is such a relief, they all on the same page with this and it’s fantastic.

Hip Hop Family Tree #6 (Fantagraphics) – Ed Piskor has basically perfected his style here, the fact that this resonates with the individuals portrayed is testament to its greatness. Do you really need more reason to pick up the best hip hop inspired comic on the stands?

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #3 (Marvel) – I really want this book to succeed and then DD take over the marvel cinematic universe. Also my kids love dinosaurs, as they should.

Old Man Logan #1 (Marvel) – I can’t follow why this version of Wolverine is now in the main universe and Jeff Lemire can be hit or miss but with Andrea Sorrentino art? Gotta check it out and see what the story is.

Saga #33 (Image Comics) – I’m not a regular reader, just love looking at Fiona Staples artwork from time to time, but I don’t care for her Archie comics thing at all.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Faith #1 (Valiant) – This first issue is fantastic as Valiant’s breakout star gets her own ongoing series. Faith as a character is positive and finding her place in the world, and that’s on top of the fact she’s not the skinny unrealistic shape of so many other comic characters. Relateable in so many ways, Faith is going to be huge in 2016.

Dreaming Eagles #2 (Aftershock Comics) – Garth Ennis’ latest war comic just caught me by total surprise. It’s was so high quality, and really looking forward to seeing what the second issue is like.

Old Man Logan #1 (Marvel) – I loved the original “Old Man Logan” storyline. The return was kind of meh. Now, this older version of Wolverine gets his own series. His inclusion in the new Marvel U doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but the character itself captures the broken down western hero that fits the character so well.

Southern Bastards #13 (Image Comics) – The best comic on the stands, hands down.

Superman: Lois and Clark #4 (DC Comics) – If you want the look and feel of a more classic Superman, here you go. This comic has delivered with every issue and it’s one of the comics I look forward to the most each month from DC.

 

Elana

Top Pick: Monstress #3 (Image Comics) – Few comics have made a major artistic statement as quickly as Monstress has. Dense, lush, beautiful, terrifying and bloody– it is the best fantasy comic of the year. In it, a young woman wrestles with both the monster within her and the monstrous society she faces. Hear our interview with writer Marjorie Liu.

Angela Queen of Hel #4 (Marvel) – One of Marvel’s best. Painted art by Stephanie Hans is the most beautiful on the stands. Our narrator Sera is worldly, funny, fourth-wall breaking but not at all in the Deadpool way we’ve grown bored of and she’s a trans woman of color and in love with Angela. Sera is the best new Marvel character since Kamala Khan.

Black Magick #4 (Image Comics) – They call it a Witch Noir. Rucka is an ace writer of complex female detectives. The art is Nicola Scott’s best and the story stands very well on its own as an interesting mystery. Here’s what I said about issue 1.

Cry Havoc #1 (Image Comics) – I’m not usually in to war comics. But lesbian werewolf musician war comics?! That’s at least worth a first issue.

Ryan Kelly is a really accomplished comics artist and the kids seem to like Simon Spurrier too. The buzz has been strong.

Faith #1 (Valiant) – Meet the first plus-sized super-heroine to star in her own comic! And it’s a lot of fun! Even if you’ve never read a Valiant comic book before this is a welcoming read. This mini-series works great on it’s own and stars a comics geek. Fantasy sequences drawn by Marguerite Sauvage are especially beautiful. It’s great to see a character who is drawn as big and beautiful. Listen to our interview with writer Jody Houser.

 

Jason

Island #6 (Image Comics) – Even with the ever so slightly reduced page count, you can still count on Island to be the greatest anthology out there in terms of casting its net far and wide to bring attention to new and unheard of comics talent on a monthly basis. The highlight this month is the story “Badge of Pride” featuring a group of young anthropomorphic guys as they navigate the social minefield of their local Pride event. Having followed his work on and off for years now it’s thrilling to see Onta’s work shown to a more mainstream audience and I was fortunate enough that he had time to answer a few of my questions last week about his new, more personal and story driven outing for Island.

This month also presents work from Gael B as well as a recolored, reprinted sci-fi classic in the form of Fil Barlow’s Zooniverse.

Saga #33 (Image Comics) – Thirty Three issues in and Vaughan and Staples sci-fi epic shows no signs of slowing down as it continues to shock, thrill and delight in equal measures. Staples beautiful cover shows that the adorable journalistic couple Upsher and Doff are back after being warned off reporting on the story of Marko and Alana way back in the books second arc. While only briefly touched upon I look forward to seeing how Vaughan develops the relationship between the pair as they become embroiled deeper in conflict and conspiracy. It’s been briefly hinted that the pairs society doesn’t look kindly on same sex couples and it will be fascinating to see what the writer has to say on the subject in a series that really pulls no punches with its social commentary.

 

Javier

Top Pick: Southern Bastards #13 (Image Comics) – I love southern fried chicken, so it’s no surprise I’ve taken a liking to Jason Aaron’s and Jason Latour’s complex, bleak, and brutal self proclaimed “Southern Fried Comic.”  The writers are taking their sweet tea time fleshing out each installment.

Cry Havoc #1 (Image Comics) – With a tagline that reads … “this is not the tale of a lesbian werewolf who goes to war. Except it kind of is” … you have to check out what it’s about.

Deadly Class #18 (Image Comics)– It’s finals week at Kings Dominion School for the Deadly Arts. Rick Remender’s dark depressive writing pulls you in deep into the violence.

Six #3 (451 Media) – In the last issue we took a step back to get the background story on Sarah’s coffee business, so I’m excited to hopefully see the team in action in this issue. The tension is building up slowly.

Wild’s End: Enemy Within #5 (BOOM! Studios) – I really hope they make this into an animated sci-fi feature. It’s H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds in a Watership Down bucolic setting, with a wide cast of animal characters.

 

Madison

Top Pick: Monstress #3 (Image Comics) – If you, like me, are trying to diversify your reading this year, Monstress would be a great start. Image’s website describes it as “steampunk meets kaiju,” and both the story and the art are absolutely beautiful.

Black Canary #7 (DC Comics) – I absolutely adore Annie Wu’s art, and I’m always here for kick-butt lady characters. Black Canary is always one of the first comics I read on Wednesdays.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4 (Marvel) – I love Unbeatable Squirrel Girl partially because her narrative voice is very similar to how I speak in real life. I also love Unbeatable Squirrel Girl because it’s adorable (I mean have you seen Erica Henderson’s art? Have you seen it.), upbeat, and hilarious.

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: Superman: Lois and Clark #4 (DC Comics) – Out of all the post Convergence titles, this one has been the sleeper for me. An in continuity tale with the REAL Superman. Good to see the marriage in tact and not magically wished away to a demon. I like the idea of Clark working from the shadows but can’t wait till he meets the New 52 Kal-El at some point. For now a very fun book that has long time fans buzzing.

Old Man Logan #1 (Marvel Comics) – The old (literally now) Canucklehead gets his own series. He’s trying to write the wrongs of his past. It’s Logan channeling Clint Eastwood. Ummm count me in!

Superman #48 (DC Comics) – The journey for Superman to get his powers back continues. This time he resorts to.. kryptonite? Ok I’ll bite but Vandalia Savage has been the highlight here so far. Guess I need to see where it’s going. So it’s time to up up and glow?

 

Paul

Top Pick: Extraordinary X-Men #6 (Marvel) – Been loving this title from issue #1; great team, great art and a great ride so far.  This issue has the team responding to a distress call from Weirdworld….sure ok.  I only know of this Weirdworld from seeing solicits for the book, so this will be an interesting read.

All-New Inhumans #3 (Marvel) – I am liking this title; a ship of volunteers traveling the world offering inhumanitarian aid (clever, I know) to those affected by the terrigen cloud released by Black Bolt.  The current storyline is a rehash; government taking advantage of the situation and using inhumans as weapons for their cause, but it works for this new climate.  And I am really enjoying Crystal in this leadership role. I always thought she could be more bad ass, and she’s really showing it here, but also showing some of it is a front and she needs her family.

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here! What’s everyone doing as the summer begins to wind down?

While you decide on that, here’s some news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

AV Club – Wonder Woman will officiate a same-sex wedding in an upcoming comic  – Pretty cool news!

CBR – ABC Orders Mockingbird-Centric Pilot Starring Adrianne Palicki – This show is the Coulson of television shows. It’s alive, then dead, and alive again.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Batman #43

CBR – Hip Hop Family Tree #1

Comic Vine – I Hate Fairyland #1

CBR – Justice League #43

CBR – King #1

CBR – Star Wars #8

CBR – Weirdworld #3

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone excited for?

While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

The Outhousers – Marvel Unveils New Female Hero on The Mary Sue; Declares Diversity Issues Solved – Bwahahahahahaha

ICv2 – Ed Piskor’s ‘Hip Hop Family Tree’ in Development – Well this could be interesting.

KSL – Utah youths create comic books in after-school program – Fantastic to see this type of thing.

Mashable – The Dark Knight satisfies your hunger at DC Comics cafes in Malaysia – How long do we see these types of things in the US?

Kotaku – Arkham Knight PC Mod Lets You Play as the Joker in His Prime – This is pretty cool.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

ICv2 – Sunny Side Up

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Justice League #43Wednesdays 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!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Brett

Nanjing: The Burning City HC (Dark Horse) – This is one of those weeks where I could have easily chosen 20 different comics to put on my picks. Narrowing it down to five was very difficult, but this book is absolutely on top. A graphic novel taking place in Nanjing during the Chinese occupation/attack during the second Chinese/Japanese war. The atrocities committed are staggering, and this graphic novel is a nice introduction that will hopefully get people more interested in this genocide and destruction.

Hip Hop Family Tree #1 (Fantagraphics) – If you missed it, the praised Fantagraphics graphic novel series is being released as monthly comics with extra material, so perfect for new readers and old readers like. The series is an amazing recounting of the rise of hip hop music.

Oxymoron: The Loveliest Nightmare #1 (Comix Tribe) – I love Comix Tribe’s releases, though their release schedule can be a bit spotty at times. This new series, spinning out of The Red Ten, which is being released a week early, focuses on the supervillain the Oxymoron. Comix Tribe is a publisher that absolutely deserves more eyes on their releases.

Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess #2 (Action Lab Entertainment) – Jeremy Whitley’s Princeless has been both entertaining and destroying comic tropes and stereotypes at the same time. This new series, which spun out of the last volume, focuses on Raven as she builds a pirate crew to take on her brothers. This issue is amazing, and there’s one sequence in particular that’ll get you laughing and thinking.

Young Terrorists #1 (Black Mask Studios) – A fascinating read that I’m still digesting. It gets Black Mask Studios back to its political roots, taking on corporations, governments, really, society as a whole.

 

Edward

Top Pick: Justice League #43 (DC Comics) – The ending to the previous issue, with Batman taking on the role of Metron, is one of the big type of developments that Geoff Johns loves in his storytelling.  Where this story arc goes from here is anyone’s guess, but it is going to be something big.

Manifest Destiny #16 (Image Comics) – This series continues with the unexplained mysteries of America’s interior, as was seen by a different Lewis and Clark.  The revelations of the previous issue seem like they will have a big impact going forward.

Secret Wars: Secret Love #1 (Marvel) – Romance comics are an important part of the history of the medium of comics.  It is nice to see a romance inspired tie-in to Secret Wars, though it will be interesting to see exactly where they take it.

Silk #6 (Marvel) – There are still a few Marvel monthlies that are moving along somewhat unbothered by Secret Wars, and Silk is one of them.  This fun series never got a good chance to gain a decent fan base but continues to impress.

Van Helsing Vs. Dracula #1 (Zenescope) – Dracula is probably the most widely used villain in comics, not in terms of appearances, but in terms of how many companies have published stories with him.  Liesel Van Helsing is a steampunk heroine that has never made the connection with readers.  Putting the two together seems like it might work though.

 

Elana

Top Pick: Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess #2 (Action Lab Entertainment) –  Everyone loves Princeless, the feminist, funny, exciting all-ages fantasy comic staring women of color and a dragon. Raven the Pirate Princess is not just a spin-off series, it is the next step of maturation for the adventure/fantasy world Jeremy Whitley is building. While both series are all-ages this one is aimed at slightly older kids. It very effectively lampoons real world sexism in ways that I want to put on freaking flyers and hand out at conferences.

Just as important, it features young women flirting with each other. So you get pirate ships and also ‘shipping in one family-friendly, queer positive, comic book featuring mostly people of color.

Marvel, DC, take note.

Which brings us to….

Top Pick: Secret Wars: Secret Loves #1 (Marvel) – Jeremy Whitley, creator of the feminist all-ages fantasy comic dynamo that is Princeless is finally writing something for Marvel. It’s a romance story featuring Danny Rand and Misty Knight! If that wasn’t enough in this comic we get Kamalah Kahn and Robbie Reyes together. Marvel should probably publish a full time romance series again. Other then X-Men.

Black Canary #3 (DC Comics) – Last issue ended on a cliff hanger. Who’s Dinah’s ex in the covert-ops suit? And how does that mysterious kid play guitar like that? And when will someone buy me an Annie Wu commission? Her art here is killer.

Island #2 (Image Comics) – Bored of comics? Want something new? Buy this. All of the art is unlike any of the other comics art you have. Unless you read a lot of Brandon Graham stuff in which case the Brandon Graham stuff will be familiar. And by familiar I mean awesome.

Power-Up #2 (BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios) – Magical girls for everyone! Magical girls for construction workers with beards! For Mom’s in station wagons with irritable teenagers! For tiny gold fish! And for under-employed retail workers. Cute and heartfelt. Read the review I wrote for issue 1.

Secret Six #5 (DC Comics) – Gail Simone’s original run on Secret Six is one of my favorite comics of all time. It’s taken a while to get this new volume up and running properly. But the last issue marked a major upswing in the series. It’s harkening back to the twisted humor, over the top violence and drama between members of a found family of fucked-up people that made readers fall in love with the original series.

Wolf #2 (Image Comics) – Urban fantasy is a dime a dozen right now but Ales Kott’s new series Wolf stands out. The story is completely unpredictable. This series has a David Lynchian vibe I haven’t felt in anything else I read. It’s reminiscent in tone Mulholland Drive in particular. The series is genuinely creepy and a little confusing. But I love Mulholland Drive for those very reasons. So consider that praise for this book too.

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: Justice League #43 (DC Comics) – Forget Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, this has been the cinematic adventure of the year for me! I love how Johns has taken the old cliché of “Bat-God” and turned it literal. Awesome stuff. His reinterpretation of Darkseid and his Apokolips horde is fantastic.  I don’t see it slowing down. Waiting at the bus stop for the next Boom Tube!

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #4 (Marvel Comics) – Peter finally gets his daughter back and she fights by his side. I don’t think anything more needs to be said. Thwip this one up quick Webheads!

House of M #1 (Marvel Comics) – What’s better than one rule under Doom? Try Magneto. I am very glad they are revisiting this story. Was great when it was originally published. However what could Wanda wish away this time? How about hoping she utters the words “No More Reboots.”

Superman/ Wonder Woman #20 (DC Comics) – Continuing the Truth story, I’m eager to see what became of Lana Lang but if this month doesn’t turn it around, this might be it for me on this title. Big fan of Mahnke but not sure his art can save me on this. Hope I’m wrong.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #49 (IDW Publishing) – One more issue till the big one. This is where it hits the fan! Turtles, Shredder, Splinter, Bebop, Rocksteady, Metalhead, Karai. I am eagerly awaiting the showdown. Rumor is one of the Turtles may not survive..

Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree to Drop Monthly

Hip Hop Family Tree #1Hip Hop Family Tree is making its debut as a monthly comic book with new covers, splash pages, and a “director’s commentary.” The series by Ed Piskor traces the creator’s motivations, processes, and research involved in making this masterpiece-plus other surprises! The first two volumes wound up on numerous “best of” lists with each of their releases.

Hip Hop Family Tree is the first monthly comic in Fantagraphics‘ 39-year history. The first issue traces the very beginning of hip-hop: it spotlights the breakdancers, graffiti artists, DJs, and MCs who formed hip-hop culture in the tenement rec rooms of the south Bronx in the 1970s. Readers will discover who invented the term “Hip-Hop,” and cultural pioneers like Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa will make appearances…every month!

Hip Hop Family Tree is the history of hip-hop as told through comics. Piskor can’t stop, won’t stop until the entire story is told. Painstakingly researched, Ed Piskor is delivering the most thorough account of the who, what, where, and when of the most infamous music genre the world has ever seen.

Hip Hop Family Tree FCBDThis collectible re-release will be available exclusively through Diamond Comics Distributors and on the remastered Fantagraphics website.

The change in release was sparked partially by the Free Comic Book Day release, which became sought after. While Fantagraphics has strong sales through the book trade, this will strengthen their outreach with the direct comic shop reader.

The series will also mark another first for Fantagraphics: exclusive variant cover editions by Piskor produced for retail partners ordering 1000 copies. This will include the Eh! Variant edition, featuring a Slick Rick cover that will be available exclusively from Gotham Central Comics and Collectibles in Mississauga, Ontario.

Likewise, the Third Eye variant, featuring Eazy E on the cover, will be available for purchase this summer at Third Eye Comics locations and online. Piskor will be making an appearance at Third Eye Comics in Annapolis, Maryland to sign the variant at a date in August t.b.a.

Each variant cover by Piskor riffs on the beloved Marvel 25th Anniversary cover promotion from 1986 and spotlights a different figure from the history of Hip Hop. Fantagraphics and Piskor will also be producing a convention exclusive variant available only from Fantagraphics or Piskor himself.

Hip Hop Family Tree #1 will be solicited in the Previews for items shipping in August. August will also see the release of Hip Hop Family Tree Book 3: 1983-1984, the latest volume of the best-selling book series, which spotlights The Beastie Boys, Run DMC, The Fat Boys, and many more.

Retailers interested in partnering on their own exclusive variant should contact Eric Reynolds at Fantagraphics Books.

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