Tag Archives: idw publishing

Funko Comic Book Universe Is Born At IDW

funko-universeGet your FUNKO on this May! The insanely popular Pop! vinyl figures have successfully reshaped the collectibles landscape and are now primed to take comics by storm in a special month-long event from IDW Publishing. FUNKO and IDW are combining forces to bring fans FUNKO-ized versions of some of the most recognizable and beloved characters in all of pop culture.

Funko Universe Month will feature some of the most sought after Pop! vinyl figures coming to life in five off–the-wall one-shots courtesy of IDW’s creative stable: Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The X-Files, Strawberry Shortcake, and Judge Dredd.

The fun of FUNKO UNIVERSE MONTH will also extend beyond the core titles above to include special variant covers for Back to the Future #20, Orphan Black: Deviations #3, Dirk Gently: The Salmon of Doubt #8, Star Trek: Boldly Go #8, The Powerpuff Girls: The Time Tie #1, Donald Duck #20, Mickey Mouse #20, Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories #738, all hitting comic shops this May.

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Preview: Star Trek: Boldly Go #5

Star Trek: Boldly Go #5

Mike Johnson (w) • Tony Shasteen (a) • George Caltsoudas (c)

The hit new ongoing series continues with this special story focusing on Jaylah, the breakout alien heroine from STAR TREK BEYOND! Learn the secrets of Jaylah’s past as she prepares for a bold new future at Starfleet Academy!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

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Top Shelf Announces Home Time: Under the River by Campbell Whyte in June

It’s the last summer before high school, and these six friends are ready for a vacation of sleepovers, video games, and romance. But after tumbling into a river, they emerge in a wild world stranger than any RPG! Australian cartoonist Campbell Whyte makes his jaw-dropping debut with a kaleidoscopic saga  — each chapter drawn in a different visual style — and a love letter to the fantasy worlds of the 80s and 90s, all bound together with whimsy and heart.

Home Time: Under the River is a 228-page graphic novel that will retail for $24.99 and be released in June. Top Shelf has released a seven-page preview which you can check out here.

home-time-under-the-river

Preview: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #67

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #67

Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman (w) • Mateus Santolouco (a & c)

“Desperate Measures” Part 1! The government’s hunt for mutants begins in earnest and their unconventional tactics will see the TMNT hounded like never before! No mutant is safe!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

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Preview: Batman/TMNT Adventures #4 (of 5)

Batman/TMNT Adventures #4 (of 5)

Matthew K. Manning (w) • Jon Sommariva (a & c)

The Turtles must face their worst fears when they confront the deadly Scarecrow! Meanwhile, Batman takes the fight to Shredder and the Joker only to find that the greatest danger has yet to be revealed!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

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Around the Tubes

Monstress01_CoverThe Super Bowl dominated the weekend and featured new spots for a whole bunch of this year’s comic movie adaptations. Which one did you look forward to the most? Sound off in the comments below!

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

Around the Tubes

CBR – Powerless Superhero Sitcom Debuts to Not So Super Ratings – Ooph.

ICv2 – IDW Profits Up – Very interesting.

The Beat – A year of free comics: Two by Rosemary Valelro-O’Connell – Free comics to read!

The Beat – A year of free comics: Sports Manga Essentials, a sampler of sporting action – It’s free, go read it!

The Beat – A year of free comics: get back to nature with Mark Trail – Also free! You’ve got no excuse.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Blood Blister #1

Comic Attack – Monstress Vol. 1: Awakening

Talking Comics – Star Wars: Darth Maul #1

March: Book One – Something Special

I discuss March: Book One which tells the story of the civil rights movement and John Lewis for Black History Month.

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 2/3

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

Blood Blister #1 (Aftershock Comics) Far from what I expected, especially the last few pages, this series has me intrigued to see what’s next. There’s some imagery that’s a little monsters-unleashed-2on the schlock horror side of things, but nothing too horrible. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read.

Monsters Unleashed #2 (Marvel) So… the plot is paper thin, the art isn’t too bad… if you like your heroes actually working together rather than trying to have a punch up with each other for no reason, then you may enjoy this. Just don’t expect a deep story. Or even a shallow one. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read. I suppose.

Moon Knight #11 (Marvel) Jeff Lemire is a great writer, who sometimes writes above my head. I’d like to this this is one of those comics… but the thing is, is that I’m not entirely sure what the hell is going on any more in this series, and there’s only so long that I’m going to keep reading just for the artwork. Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Pass if you’re not already reading it.

Star Wars: Darth Maul #1 (Marvel) This is the first Star Wars comic I’ve read, and honestly it was okay. Nothing great, however, but not bad overall. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read.

The Walking Dead #163 (Image)** It’s a bloody quarter (or 33 cents if you’re Canadian), so it’d have to be pretty damn terrible to pass this up. Thankfully it’s not (and no, I usually don’t read this series, but that wasn’t an issue here). Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Joe

Blood Blister #1 (Aftershock) – This was a good introduction to a dark cautionary tale. Our main character, at least so far, is a crooked rich man who gets rich off the backs of the poor blood-blister-1and uneducated. There are a lot of biblical references, and foreshadowing. There are a few gross scenes, but it helps the overall tale. After all the book is called Blood Blister, so some of that is to be expected. After the crazy ending, I am definitely looking forward to reading the next issue, and seeing where this series is headed. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Star Wars: Darth Maul #1 (Marvel) – It always felt like Darth Maul never had enough screen time. He was such an awesome looking, and overall badass character. Maybe it was because there wasn’t a lot of depth to him besides those things, and that is what this issue feels like it is telling me. Darth Maul is an angry sith (aren’t they all?), but the interesting thing to him is he is tired of waiting and biding his time. He wants to kill Jedi, and so this issue sets up some things that may give us some more Maul vs. Jedi fights. We get some cool looking alien beasts, and Maul taking over a ship of pirates, but not much else. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Bullseye #1 (Marvel) – I am quite familiar with Bullseye. I have enjoyed the character for what he is when it is within the context of Daredevil comics, but not here. You don’t get much depth into what makes Bullseye tick besides he’s a killer and loves it. In one scene he is talking to his “agent” for jobs and is murdering innocent people out of his window with paperclips. I felt like it was trying way too hard to be edgy, and it didn’t leave me with any urge to come back for the next issue. Overall: 4.0 Recommendation: Pass

Monsters Unleashed #2 (Marvel) – Once again, some decent art is the highlight of this issue and event that I found hard to get through. I usually do not have an issue finishing a comic, but I found myself wanting to skip dialogue, and entire pages as the book went on. Perhaps it is a little bit of Marvel event fatigue as well since Civil War II had ended in December, but so far, I have not enjoyed Monsters Unleashed. Sure it seems like it should be the big blockbuster event and dumb popcorn fun, but Justice League vs. Suicide Squad which just finished did a far better job of making me care about it. Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

Patrick

Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York #5 (Boom)** – This one starts out with a neat narrative trick, courtesy Greg Pak and Daniel Bayliss: the story of legendary blues guitarist Blind Apple Mary, as told simultaneously by Mary herself and by Bob Hauk to the killorbekilled_05-1President. So we’re in good comics hands here. Things escalate, and then escalate some more, until David Lo Pan must summon The Greatest Snake Plissken in the Multiverse. Final words from Jack Burton: “C’mon, this is gonna be awesome!” I concur. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Kill or Be Killed #5 (Image)** – The first trade is out and this issue starts a new story, so it’s an excellent time to jump onto an excellent series. Artists Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser continue their outstanding work. Ed Brubaker is getting more confident in our ability to follow vigilante Dylan as his stories ramble around in time, I’d love to see more of this as Dylan becomes more and more isolated in his demonic mission. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #3 (IDW/DC)** – My 5-year-old son is in love with this comic, and I can see why. Writer Mathew K. Manning and artists Jon Sommariva and Sean Parsons have been bringing the fun. Their Batman is the Animated Series version (aka the Best Version IMHO), and it’s a hoot to watch the Bat-Family and the Turtles trade nemeses as the Joker and Harley take over from Shredder and his gang. Also in this issue: Shredder laughs. Delightful and kid-friendly. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy.

The Dregs #1 (Black Mask) – I was visiting a friend in Vancouver and when he told me where to meet him, he also made sure to tell me not to go through the Downtown Eastside. What he said about the area was this: if you turned Canada up with Vancouver at the bottom and gave the country a shake, everyone who couldn’t hold on ended up on Hastings & Main. This is where writers Lonnie Nadler & Zac Thompson and artist Eric Zawadski stake their claim in a murder mystery whose case is taken up by a homeless junkie of a private eye. In the mix is a study of gentrification, crime, and how late capitalism literally feeds on the poor. Tightly written and drawn with graphic verve and an almost-cartoony style that makes humanity out of tragedy, this is definitely a series to watch. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

The Unstoppable Wasp #2 (Marvel)** – You’re either going to love scribe Jeremy Whitley’s perpetually-spunky iteration of the new Wasp or hate it, but for my money the real star of the show here is artist Elsa Charretier — unfortunately, this issue’s script doesn’t give wasp_2_coverher any big, bold, fun stuff that really shows off her wares until the last few pages. Moon Girl fans will be glad to see her make a brief guest appearance, but beyond that, this feels like something of a wasted opportunity. Whitley is teamed with a truly superb illustrator here, and he needs to figure out how to play to her strengths quickly. Overall: 4.0 Recommendation: Pass

The Fall And Rise Of Captain Atom #2 (DC)** – After feeling more than a bit underwhelmed by the first issue of this six-parter, it’s nice to see veteran writer Cary Bates and his co-plotter, Greg Weisman, get a confident grasp on their storyline in short order with this time-travel yarn that does a much better job of laying out the particulars of where this book is headed than did the debut installment. Unfortunately, as we all know, second issues are lucky to garner half the readership of #1s, and it’s not like this was a blockbuster seller out of the gate. It also doesn’t help that artist Will Conrad’s illustrations are fairly standard-issue “New 52”-esque stuff. A welcome early-course correction, sure, but still far from an essential addition to your pull. Overall: 6.5  Recommendation: Read

The Flintstones #8 (DC)** – I was hoping this was where Mark Russell was going with his story, and in this latest issue he finally lays down a scathing critique of civilization itself, and a full-throated defense of hunter-gatherer life, that would make anarchist theorists like John Zerzan proud. A sub-plot involving Wilma’s strained relationship with her mother is admittedly underdeveloped and resolved a bit too quickly, but the main storyline is so solid, and Steve Pugh’s return to the artistic reins so welcome, that I still can’t help but absolutely love this comic, weaknesses and all. Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Batman # 16 (DC)** – Whaddya know? Tom King manages a nearly-flawless script for the first time since taking over DC’s most-prized assignment, with some terrific character “beats” for Bruce, Dick, Jason, Damian, and Alfred (the one member of the cast he’s always had a firm “handle” on), all of which lead up to a heck of a cliffhanger — unfortunately, David Finch is back on art, and when you consider that action sequences are all he’s really good at and the bulk of this issue involves our key players sitting around a table at a “Batburger” fast food joynt, well — let’s just say it doesn’t make for a very visually-involving comic. Still, I can’t help but feel optimistic about “I Am Bane” going forward — but this book has consistently let me down, so I’m very much taking a “wait-and-see” approach for the time being. Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

poagl1Shean

Planet Of The Apes/ Green Lanterns (Boom /DC)– When crossovers are done right , they can be as good as the Cannonball Run movie with Jackie Chan, and this book aims to do the same . We catch up with Cornelius shortly after the events of the last movie, where he is trying to find his friend, but instead stumbles an ancient ring, not from his world. Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner and Kilowog are firefight with some Red Lanterns when his unexpected run-in with Sinestro leaves him in a strange new world. Although, this issue is whole lot of setup , it is so much fun watching these deft explorations of both canons.  Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy


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

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 (**).

Review: Box Office Poison Color #2

boxofficepoisonBox Office Poison Color #2 is all about the retail blues as Alex Robinson narrates a day in the life of our bookstore clerking hero, Sherman. There are a couple pages of most inane customer questions in which Robinson flexes his caricature (and homage) muscles as the main story centers around Sherman hating his job, but not having the guts to quit it and find something that is connected to his sadly useless English degree. The backup story is even better as Robinson tells the backstory of Jane Pekar, Sherman’s cartoonist housemate, and how she fell in love with her boyfriend Stephen, who is a history professor that resembles a sexier Alan Moore.

Robinson chooses to make his protagonist, Sherman, cut a less than a heroic figure from the opening pages featuring his sad dream about his ex, lying on his bed skinny and naked, and clocking into work. He is a man who has chosen to be controlled by his circumstances and just goes with the ebb and flow of his clerk job at Boiling Frog. Like last issue, Box Office Poison Color #2 unfolds at a natural pace showing several customer interactions , some co-worker gossip, and introducing Sherman’s manager “the dragon”, who is just a blonde bobbed middle aged woman. Robinson gets the questions from real customers he had while working at Barnes and Noble, and their fixation on book cover colors is too painful to watch. But, honestly, the part that gave me the worst flashback was the string of inane co-worker gossip strung out by Sherman’s breakroom mate. His disinterested face was me every time a co-worker tried to talk about their boring romantic relationship when all I wanted to do was to read a comic, watch a football game, or play dumb game on my phone in peace.

shermanquit

Robinson uses thought bubbles and frenetically inked panels to show the difference between Sherman’s id and superego in regards to his job. The thought bubbles have every snarky one-liner he wants to direct at a customer, who wants to see a manager even though she knows next to nothing about the book she’s looking for. But Sherman is a consummate professional and doesn’t act on these impulses unlike his buddy James who cusses out their manager and quits in a nine panel grey scale sequence. The interplay of dialogue and speech bubbles are relatable to anyone who has had to put on a special “face” for the general public as Robinson draws Sherman as a monster before he shrinks away and submits to his manager giving him double work for the same pay because James quit. He’s kind of a doormat, but hey, the bills have to be paid somehow.

The second story in Box Office Poison #2 is an unconventional love story featuring Jane and Stephen. Robinson does a good job of showing Jane’s different looks over the year as well as what initially attracted her to Stephen. He throws the romantic comedy tropes in the trashcan and goes full awkward with their first date, which is filled with awkward silences. However, they stick it out as Stephen is super honest about not being great at dating after really only being in one relationship for his whole life, and a bond is forged with Pat Lewis using soft pinks during the more romantic scenes. Jane gets super vulnerable in the story and talks about how she love Stephen, but marriage seems too “adult” for her even though she’s in early 30s. I definitely understand that feeling, which is why I’m entirely skeptical of people in their early 20s getting married while their frontal lobe is still developing. The key to Jane and Stephen’s relationship are that they’re both passionate about their interests, which are comics and history respectively and challenge each other to pursue them. It’s pretty awesome actually.

Alex Robinson continues to round his cast of characters in Box Office Poison #2 showcasing Sherman’s bookstore purgatory along with the kind of amazing relationship between Jane and Stephen. His characters continue to not look like the ideal human form, which fits a story about terrible jobs and falling in love in a less than Garry Marshall way.

Story and Art: Alex Robinson Colors: Pat N. Lewis
Story: 8  Art:8  Overall:8  Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing/Top Shelf provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Around the Tubes

bm66mww77_ch01-d_sfcoverIt’s new comic book day! What is everyone excited for? What do you plan on getting? Sound off in the comments below!

While you wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

The Beat – A year of free comics: Leaving Richard’s Valley by Michael DeForge, a very sinister place indeed – Free comics to read!

MauiTime Weekly – Want to support civil rights and a local Hawaii artist? Buy this print! – This is pretty awesome.

Newsarama – Ben Affleck Won’t Direct The Batman – Not a bad thing.

Nothing But Comics – Ike Perlmutter, Marvel Comics & The Muslim Ban – Thoughts?

The Beat – Help Wanted: IDW is hiring an editor – If you want to get into comics!

The Beat – RIP Dan Spiegle – Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77 #1

Newsarama – Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern #1

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