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Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Red Room #1

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

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

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

Fantastic Four: Life Story #1 (Marvel) – A new take on the Fantastic Four looking at their lives in real time across the years.

Home #2 (Image Comics) – The series takes a hard look at immigration. The first issue delivered a finale that took the series in a fantastical direction and we’re intrigued as to where it goes from there.

Nottingham #3 (Mad Cave Studios) – A fresh take on the Robin Hood mythology.

Phantom on the Scan #2 (AfterShock) – The first issue had a solid X-Files vibe to it and we want to learn more about these characters, their powers, and why they’re dying.

Rangers of the Divide #1 (Dark Horse) – A new series following a Commander who stumbles upon a team of cadets after the nation’s peace keepers disappear.

Red Room #1 (Fantagraphics) – Ed Piskor’s new monthly comic series kicks off with a double-sized issue. Red Room is cyberpunk, outlaw, splatterpunk, entertainment.

Shang-Chi #1 (Marvel) – The previous miniseries was fantastic and we’re expecting no less when it comes to this new series.

Stray Dogs #4 (Image Comics) – We really don’t know if murders actually took place. But, we’re sucked into this series that’s kept us guessing what’s going on with every issue.

Way of X #2 (Marvel) – Nightcrawler explores the world of Krakoa and that includes the bad that lies underneath. The first issue was a solid exploration of the new world of the X-Men from a different perspective.

We Live Vol. 1 (AfterShock) – If you missed the individual issues, you have no excuse now. This is an emotional journey and one hell of a debut.

White Lily #3 (Red 5 Comics) – Based on real history, the story focuses on a Russian female fighter pilot during World War II, one of the best ever.

Wonder Girl #1 (DC Comics) – The new Wonder Girl starts off here! From what we know from Future State, this is going to be a major character in the DC Universe for years to come!

Review: Home #1

Home #1

I had no idea what Home #1 was about when I opened the review pdf just after midnight on Wednesday. Absolutely none – and while that experience was incredible, it’s going to be hard to talk about the comic without talking about the content of the book, so if you want the same experience then stop reading this review now, because frankly this comic is one that you should read.

Still with me?

Fair enough.

So what’s the comic about? Home #1 is the story of a mother and son who have given up everything to come to the United States, by seeking asylum at the border between the USA and Mexico. Given that this comic is set at some point in the last four years, and given the news that has emerged about the Trump Administration’s policy of separating parents and children, you can probably imagine what happens next. But even knowing that, doesn’t make it any easier to read.

Written by Julio Anta with art by Anna Wieszczyk, colours by Bryan Valenza and lettering by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, the comic takes an unfiltered look at what life had been like for asylum seekers during the last four years (am I being too optimistic in thinking that things have changed? I hope not, but I also know that this isn’t an area that I’m an expert in). Anta’s dialogue will tear at your heart, the hope his characters have turning to uncertainty and fear is heartbreaking, and it hits so much harder because of the art work. There’s a distinct shift from warm colours toward cold and clinical greys and blues as Mercedes and Juan Gomez are faced with the reality of their situation.

Home #1 is not easy to read, but I think it’s a story that needs to be read; just because it’s a fictional story, doesn’t make the emotions within the comic any less vivid. The creative team really knows how to punch you in the gut. There’s a slight drop in the art toward the end of the book as things feel a little looser than before, but after reading the book a few times, I’m inclined to think that the looseness is a choice based on the events on the pages themselves.

But there’s still optimism in the story – well, apparently there will quite a lot based on Anta’s afterward, but I don’t know what to think of that at the moment, but there’s definitely signs of a brighter future… maybe. I don’t know. Obviously I believe the writer of the comic, but I’m not seeing anything like that right now.

All I really know about this book is that you need to read this comic.

Story: Julio Anta Artist: Anna Wieszcyk
Colourist: Bryan Valenza Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided a FREE copy for review, but I also purchased the comic


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – TFAW

Home #1 Has Sold Out and Gone Back to Print

Julio Anta and Anna Wieszczyk’s series Home sold out at the distributor level yesterday immediately, on the day of release. Image Comics has greenlit a reprint of the debut in order to keep up with growing demand for the popular new series.

The new super-powered series Home explores the real-world implications of a migrant who is suddenly imbued with extraordinary powers. Home follows a young boy who is torn away from his mother while seeking asylum at the U.S. border—just as something begins to change in him. He doesn’t know it yet, but it’s the onset of superhuman abilities that will alter the course of his life forever. 

Home #1, second printing (Diamond Code MAR218115) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, May 12.

Home #1, second printing

Around the Tubes

Peanuts: Scotland Bound, Charlie Bound

The weekend is almost here! What geeky things will you all be doing? Sound off in the comments below. While you wait for the weekday to end and the weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: GREAT GATSBY: AMONG THE ASH HEAPS AND MILLIONAIRES – Free comics!

Smash Pages – Nominees announced for the 2021 Doug Wright Awards – Congrats to all of the nominees!

The Beat – Announcing the winners of the 2021 Cartoonist Studio Prize Award – Congrats to all of the winners!

Reviews

CBR – Home #1
CBR – Peanuts: Scotland Bound, Charlie Brown

Around the Tubes

Batman: The Detective #1

It was new comic book day yesterday! What did you all get? What’d you like? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below. While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

The Beat – Ed Brubaker gets more residuals from his WINTER SOLDIER cameo than from creating the character – That’s not acceptable.

Japan Today – There has been a shift in sales from comic magazines to comic books, but there is a further shift toward digital comics at an increasing pace. – Interesting…

Reviews

CBR – Batman: The Detective #1
ICv2 – Beast Complex Vol. 1
ICv2 – Call of the Night Vol. 1
Collected Editions – Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey: The Hunt for Harley
The Beat – Home #1
Talking Comics – Magic #1

Review: Home #1

Home #1

Fuck our immigration system. Fuck taking kids from their parents. Our system is broken and needs vast reform. This is where I’m coming from going in to reading Home #1, the new comic series published by Image Comics. Home follows a young boy who is torn away from his mother while seeking asylum at the U.S. border. The trauma unleashes something within him, causing him to gain superhuman abilities. Yes, that latter part of the concept might sound familiar but it’s the raw and heartbreaking setting within which it happens that is different, though a reality that’s not new.

Written by Julio Anta, Home #1 opens with a riff on real words from former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The address was delivered in 2018. The comic follows a mother and her son as they flee their home of Guatemala in hopes of seeking asylum in the United States. What they don’t know is that policy changed while they were making their journey morphing into the horrible policies under former President Donald Trump. Anta doesn’t name Trump or Sessions but the words used, the hate inflicted, the cages, it’s all clear that the administration is the inspiration for this story.

Anta delivers a heartbreaking story. While we’re given only a bit of the details of why these two, Mercedes and Juan Gomez, are fleeing their country, it’s no less difficult to read. The comic gives an overview of the difficult journey of the two but what’s presented is nowhere near the brutal reality many face. And what’s presented is still difficult to read. We’re also taken through the immigration system with guards and bureaucrats whose racism and hate flows from their mouths at ease. The comic reminds us that due to the election of Trump, far too many in the nation felt it was ok to look at others as less than human. That compassion was something that wasn’t deserved. The hate is present.

Anna Wiesczyk‘s art is really nice to look at. With color by Bryan Valenza and lettering by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou the art emphasizes the emotion of its two travelers. It’s heart is in the looks of fear, sadness, and anger. There’s a dip towards the end of the comic where it dips into a bit of a cartoon look that reminded me of Don Bluth but the visuals overall will stick with you. The big thing that stands out though is things are a bit too “clean”.

There’s a worn-down grittiness that’s missing in the art style which stood out to me. But, depending on where the series goes, that style might not work. We’ll see. If anything, the “lighter” style of the art doesn’t quite match the tone and subject for me. It’s good though and if anything lightens up what would be a very dark and emotionally straining comic otherwise.

Home #1 isn’t perfect and has some bumps in its narrative but it’s an important read. The end of the comic is a bit rocky and doesn’t match the quality of everything up to that point. Some dialogue feels a bit comical in its delivery, an unfortunate distraction. But, the majority of the comic is heartbreaking. Home is attempting to address a wrong that persists and it’s doing so through the long tradition of using entertainment as its messenger.

Story: Julio Anta Art: Anna Wiesczyk
Color: Bryan Valenza Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.45 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonTFAW

Home Will Feature Variant Covers by Jacoby Salcedo

The upcoming series Home by writer Julio Anta and artist Anna Wieszczyk will boast a special, collectible series of variant covers featuring artwork by the lauded Jacoby Salcedo.

Salcedo is a longtime collaborator with Anta. They’ve previously worked together on “The Price of Freedom,” “Between Two Worlds,” and “Balseros,” mini-comics which were published in anthologies like COVID Chronicles and magazines like Panel X Panel. The pair have a forthcoming graphic novel together, Frontera, slated for 2023 with HarperAlley.

There will be a Salcedo variant available for each issue of the five-issue miniseries in stores this April. 

The new series Home explores the real-world implications of a migrant with extraordinary powers, and will launch from Image Comics in April.

Home follows a young boy who is torn away from his mother while seeking asylum at the U.S. border, just as something begins to change in him. He doesn’t know it yet, but it’s the onset of superhuman abilities that will change his life forever. 

Home #1 Cover A by Sterle (Diamond Code FEB210032), Home #1 Cover B by Salcedo (Diamond Code DEC209048) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, April 14.

Home #1 Cover B by Jacoby Salcedo

Chapterhouse becomes Comic House under Lev Gleason Publications

Silver Streak Season 1 Issue 1

More than a half-century after Lev Gleason Publications closed its doors, Lev Gleason Incorporated has launched with four new imprints inspired by the legendary publisher: Comic House, Comic House Archives, Lev Gleason Library, and New Friday. Distribution is managed through Diamond Comics, Diamond Books, and Ingram Content Group

The renewed effort began in 2020 with American Daredevil‘s release, the first-ever full-length biography of Lev Gleason published by Chapterhouse Publishing. Brett Dakin, Gleason’s great-nephew, opened up the family archives—and the FBI’s files—to take the reader on a journey through the publisher’s life and career. Released to great acclaim, American Daredevil revealed the truth about Gleason’s rapid rise to the top of comics and unapologetic progressive activism.

In a nod to one of Lev Gleason’s first ventures, Comic House has launched, which will see five years of existing Chapterhouse superhero properties integrated with reboots of beloved Lev Gleason characters like Silver Streak, Crimebuster, and Daredevil. At the center of Comic House will be a monthly 80-page anthology title—Lev Gleason Presents, a home for the entire universe. The first issue of the series will feature Silver Streak Issue One along with continuing Captain Canuck and Freelance stories and be available on comic store shelves worldwide in April 2021.

As well as the ongoing effort of restoring and publishing the complete catalog of Richard Comely‘s Captain Canuck and other universe properties, the new Comic House Archives is dedicated to collecting and restoring for print publication the entirety of the Lev Gleason line of books, beginning with its superhero archives. While this long-term project will take considerable time, they are committed to providing the digitally restored collections available for free on their website.

Inspired by Lev Gleason’s imprint of the same name, the Lev Gleason Library is a new home for works of prose. Death Takes Centre Stage featuring Daredevil by D.K. Latta will launch the imprint in April 2021.

Finally, as an homage to another of Lev Gleason’s early companies, we have launched New Friday, a home for creator-owned books. This independently curated imprint will kick off with the Michaud BrothersHΩME Volume 1, available now; upcoming titles include Minerva’s Map by Stefan Tosheff, Celery Stalks Volume 1 by Pat Rooks, the complete Scratcher by John Ward, and Frogboy by John Burgin.

Julio Anta and Anna Wieszczyk Explore US Immigration Policy and Border Patrol in Home

Debut creators Julio Anta and Anna Wieszczyk weave a deeply grounded and heartfelt story in the forthcoming comic book Home. This five-issue miniseries will explore the real-world implications of a migrant with extraordinary powers, and will launch from Image Comics in April.

Home follows a young boy who is torn away from his mother while seeking asylum at the U.S. border, just as something begins to change in him. He doesn’t know it yet, but it’s the onset of superhuman abilities that will change his life forever.

Home #1 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, April 14.

Home #1

Read some Free Comics from Double Take

Double Take LogoWant to read some free comics? Double Take announced that starting today all 1st and 2nd issues of their 10 inter-connected stories based upon the 1968 cult classic film Night of the Living Dead will be offered free of charge via their website.

3rd issues will be available in stores starting 2/24 both individually and through their very popular Super Pack which allows the reader to collect all 10 titles for $20.

Yes, you can get comics for just $2.

In their release, Double Take General Manager Bill Jemas said:

In my days at Marvel we sampled over 6 million physical copies of Ultimate Spider-Man, today, the most efficient and effective way of promoting a new comic book is through digital sampling. Online readership is largely complementary to physical readership. We are so proud of our upcoming 3rd issues, that we wanted to share the rest of our work in anticipation of their release.

Don’t know where to start? Here’s the 10 Titles to choose from!

Z-Men: Dead and/or alive. LBJ orders the Secret Service to bring him back a Zombie. This should be easy…

Spring: Hot sun, hot babes, and the cold decaying flesh of the zombie horde.

Home: A happy family, a lovely spring evening, and zombies. The family that faces zombies together stays together.

Dedication: Thanks to some hungry customers, the closing shift at George’s Market has turned into a graveyard shift.

Remote: As ghouls surround her station, KBRF Radio ace DJ Samantha stays on the air all night. Will Rock & Roll save her soul?

Honor: Protect. Serve. Beat. Burn. Rinse. Repeat. If you get pulled over by these cops, get ready to hand over your license, registration, and death certificate.

Soul: The posse shoots to kill, but Ben survives. Too bad it’s all downhill from here. As the tale unwinds, Chief McClelland and the posse suspect that Ben may not be telling them the whole truth.

Rise: They’re coming to get you Barbara. An old story with a new end and a new beginning.

Medic: Doctors, and nurses, and zombies, oh my! These patients just won’t die!

Slab: Even a Brain a-day can’t keep this doctor away.

 

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