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Preview: Scoop: Buried Leads

Scoop: Buried Leads

(W) Richard A. Hamilton (A) Pablo Andres
In Shops: Feb 17, 2021
SRP: $17.99

There is more to Miami teenager Sophie Cooper’s second major case as a teenage investigator/journalist than meets the eye. Sophie’s newfound fame as an investigative reporter leads to her next case as a famous local chef is charged with the murder of his ex-wife. Despite overwhelming evidence, the hometown hero maintains his innocence and wants Sophie’s help in finding the real killer. Can she pull it off, considering that she has to deal with her hectic internship at WMIA 7, planning her upcoming quinceñera, and the overwhelming drama of high school?

Scoop: Buried Leads

Review: Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, Moonage Daydreams

Michael Allred, Steve Horton, and Laura Allred’s graphic biography Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams is a love letter to musical legend and bisexual chameleon, David Bowie. The book mainly focuses on his Ziggy Stardust period with the Allreds beautifully illustrating a montage of live shows as Bowie’s creation and the Spiders from Mars come to vivid life in Europe, North America, and Asia. Horton and Allred use the Spiders’ final gig at London’s Hammersmith Odeon as a framing narrative. Because Bowie had a six-decade recording career, this narrative strategy is effective and also turns the comic into a history of a certain period of pop music when peace beads and flower headdresses were replaced with elaborate makeup, big guitars, and all things glam.

Although the ever-shifting image of David Bowie himself is always at the center of Bowie, Horton and Allred tell their story in what is basically a series of montages. There will be a beautiful dream sequence with a trippy color palette from Laura Allred that visually shows the inspiration of hit songs like “Space Oddity”, “Life on Mars”, or “Rock n Roll Suicide” to name a few, and then we’ll get a list of various celebrities at a Ziggy Stardust show or a check-in on what’s happening with his contemporaries like T. Rex’s Marc Bolan or Lou Reed.

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

For the most part, Horton uses minimal captions and lets Mike Allred’s art and Laura Allred’s tell the story. But when the comic calls for it, he can inject moments of humor like Bowie’s reaction to his son Zowie (Now director Duncan Jones) destroying his record collection or poignancy when Bowie reflects on his family’s history of mental illness or begins to articulate the idea of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars to his band. Horton and Allred draw parallels between both Ziggy and Bowie’s hubris as he turns a blind eye when his corrupt lawyer is paying long term band members three times less than relatively new keyboard player, Mike Garson. Although they’re iconic images, there is an air of ego to Bowie’s famous Aladdin Sane photo shoot with Allred’s use of negative space crowding the Spiders from Mars out of the frame even though guitarist Mick Ronson was a vital part of his music and helped keep him focus when he was too busy flirting with his lover-turned-wife, Angie.

However, what will stay with me most from Bowie are the Allreds’ ability to capture the energy of live music while still doing spot-on likenesses of historical figures performing. When Mick Ronson and Bowie harmonize on “Starman” or (controversially) embrace on a Top of the Pops performance, there is a camaraderie and almost sexual chemistry between the two men that makes the later “breakup” scene emotionally resonant. Although Allred mainly puts Bowie at the center of the frame, he makes sure to cut to the audience and their hands as they are inspired and reaffirmed that it’s okay to be a little strange or non-heterosexual by this benevolent, iconic alien before them. The Allreds add some flourishes like Kirby Krackle every time Bowie does something that is especially extraterrestrial like floating in space in an early film that was a companion to “Space Oddity”.

Underneath the heavily researched and striking fashions and celebrity cameos, Bowie is about creating an identity out of the things one is passionate about. For example, Bowie and his band mates saw A Clockwork Orange when it was first release, and it immediately impacted the costuming, visual design, and even the intro of the Ziggy Stardust live show. Basically, he was a huge nerd for pop and folk music, high fashion, literature, and film, and it shown out in both his art and the way he approached the world. Bowie is filled with moments where Horton and Allred (And by extension, David Bowie) respects their fellow artists like a full page splash homage to Bob Dylan and Elvis, bringing up Lou Reed on stage, running around Detroit with Iggy Pop, and inspiring the young Morrissey and Bruce Springsteen during his concerts. It shows that art can lead to friendship, lifelong influences, and sometimes tragedy like the aforementioned tension between Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, and Moonage Daydreams is a highly stylized, yet infinitely human look at an important period in David Bowie’s career from Mike Allred, Steve Horton, and Laura Allred. The graphic biography captures the feeling of the music of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane through dreamlike visuals as well as adding historical context to these songs and albums and personal anecdotes that add both vulnerable and mystique to Bowie’s story. Its epilogue also kind of made me want a sequel featuring the Thin White Duke and some of Bowie’s later personas. This book truly feels like a passion project and transported me to a bittersweet day six years when a closeted, sad teenager listened to the CD of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stars and the Spiders from Mars and felt “not alone”. It’s a must read for any Bowie fan, especially those who love his early-1970s work the best.

Story: Steve Horton and Michael Allred
Art: Michael Allred Colors: Laura Allred
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Insight Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: Amazon (Regular Edition)Zeus Comics

Talking Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams Graphic Novel with Steve Horton

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams is a graphic novel from legendary artist Mike Allred and writer Steve Horton. It chronicles the rise of David Bowie’s career from obscurity to fame; paralleled by the rise and fall of his alter ego Ziggy Stardust. As the Spiders from Mars slowly implode, Bowie wrestles with his Ziggy persona. The outcome of this internal conflict will change not only David Bowie, but also, the world.

I’m joined by the book’s writer Steve Horton to talk about the making of the graphic novel and our shared love of Bowie (and shared love of artist Mike Allred’s work). Whether you’re an “Absolute Beginer” on Bowie or already deeply “Loving the Alien” you will get something out of this tremendous book– and hopefully out of this episode too.

Share your thoughts with me and maybe I’ll show you my Bowie tattoo.

Review: Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, Moonage Daydreams

Michael Allred, Steve Horton, and Laura Allred’s graphic biography Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams is a love letter to musical legend and bisexual chameleon, David Bowie. The book mainly focuses on his Ziggy Stardust period with the Allreds beautifully illustrating a montage of live shows as Bowie’s creation and the Spiders from Mars come to vivid life in Europe, North America, and Asia. Horton and Allred use the Spiders’ final gig at London’s Hammersmith Odeon as a framing narrative. Because Bowie had a six-decade recording career, this narrative strategy is effective and also turns the comic into a history of a certain period of pop music when peace beads and flower headdresses were replaced with elaborate makeup, big guitars, and all things glam.

Although the ever-shifting image of David Bowie himself is always at the center of Bowie, Horton and Allred tell their story in what is basically a series of montages. There will be a beautiful dream sequence with a trippy color palette from Laura Allred that visually shows the inspiration of hit songs like “Space Oddity”, “Life on Mars”, or “Rock n Roll Suicide” to name a few, and then we’ll get a list of various celebrities at a Ziggy Stardust show or a check-in on what’s happening with his contemporaries like T. Rex’s Marc Bolan or Lou Reed.

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

For the most part, Horton uses minimal captions and lets Mike Allred’s art and Laura Allred’s tell the story. But when the comic calls for it, he can inject moments of humor like Bowie’s reaction to his son Zowie (Now director Duncan Jones) destroying his record collection or poignancy when Bowie reflects on his family’s history of mental illness or begins to articulate the idea of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars to his band. Horton and Allred draw parallels between both Ziggy and Bowie’s hubris as he turns a blind eye when his corrupt lawyer is paying long term band members three times less than relatively new keyboard player, Mike Garson. Although they’re iconic images, there is an air of ego to Bowie’s famous Aladdin Sane photo shoot with Allred’s use of negative space crowding the Spiders from Mars out of the frame even though guitarist Mick Ronson was a vital part of his music and helped keep him focus when he was too busy flirting with his lover-turned-wife, Angie.

However, what will stay with me most from Bowie are the Allreds’ ability to capture the energy of live music while still doing spot-on likenesses of historical figures performing. When Mick Ronson and Bowie harmonize on “Starman” or (controversially) embrace on a Top of the Pops performance, there is a camaraderie and almost sexual chemistry between the two men that makes the later “breakup” scene emotionally resonant. Although Allred mainly puts Bowie at the center of the frame, he makes sure to cut to the audience and their hands as they are inspired and reaffirmed that it’s okay to be a little strange or non-heterosexual by this benevolent, iconic alien before them. The Allreds add some flourishes like Kirby Krackle every time Bowie does something that is especially extraterrestrial like floating in space in an early film that was a companion to “Space Oddity”.

Underneath the heavily researched and striking fashions and celebrity cameos, Bowie is about creating an identity out of the things one is passionate about. For example, Bowie and his band mates saw A Clockwork Orange when it was first release, and it immediately impacted the costuming, visual design, and even the intro of the Ziggy Stardust live show. Basically, he was a huge nerd for pop and folk music, high fashion, literature, and film, and it shown out in both his art and the way he approached the world. Bowie is filled with moments where Horton and Allred (And by extension, David Bowie) respects their fellow artists like a full page splash homage to Bob Dylan and Elvis, bringing up Lou Reed on stage, running around Detroit with Iggy Pop, and inspiring the young Morrissey and Bruce Springsteen during his concerts. It shows that art can lead to friendship, lifelong influences, and sometimes tragedy like the aforementioned tension between Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, and Moonage Daydreams is a highly stylized, yet infinitely human look at an important period in David Bowie’s career from Mike Allred, Steve Horton, and Laura Allred. The graphic biography captures the feeling of the music of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane through dreamlike visuals as well as adding historical context to these songs and albums and personal anecdotes that add both vulnerable and mystique to Bowie’s story. Its epilogue also kind of made me want a sequel featuring the Thin White Duke and some of Bowie’s later personas. This book truly feels like a passion project and transported me to a bittersweet day six years when a closeted, sad teenager listened to the CD of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stars and the Spiders from Mars and felt “not alone”. It’s a must read for any Bowie fan, especially those who love his early-1970s work the best.

Story: Steve Horton and Michael Allred
Art: Michael Allred Colors: Laura Allred
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Insight Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #101

Wednesdays 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 Wednesday.

Batman #86 (DC Comics) – James Tynion IV takes over the writing duties after Tom King’s epic run.

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams (Insight Comics) – We’re fans of Bowie so have been excited to be able to check out this graphic novel about the iconic musician.

Clock #1 (Image Comics/Top Cow Productions) – A new debut from Top Cow is always interesting to check out. This series focuses on a viral outbreak that causes an aggressive cancer and could lead to World War III. An interesting take and twist.

Daphne Byrne #1 (DC Comics/Hill House Comics/DC Black Label) – Hill House has been delivering some solid horror comics so we’re interested in seeing what’s next for this imprint.

Dragonfly & Dragonflyman #3 (AHOY Comics) – AHOY consistently knocks it out of the park and this series has been a fantastic exploration of comic eras.

Go With the Flow (First Second) – High School girls fight for their rights in this coming of age story about feminine hygiene and taking matters into your own hands.

Marvels X #1 (Marvel) – A prequel to Earth X that has us excited to return to this take on the Marvel Universe.

Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 (BOOM! Studios/IDW Publishing) – Pure fun for fans of the properties.

Star #1 (Marvel) – If you want to know more about Marvel’s plans for the Infinity Stones, this is a must.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #101 (IDW Publishing) – After an epic story arc the series launches into the next era of TMNT! A good starting point for readers.

Preview: Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

(W) Steve Horton (A) Michael Allred
In Shops: Jan 08, 2020
SRP: $39.99

Inspired by the one and only superhero, extraterrestrial, and rock and roll deity in history, BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams is the original graphic memoir of the great Ziggy Stardust!

In life, David Bowie was one of the most magnetic icons of modern pop culture, seducing generations of fans with both his music and his counterculture persona. In death, the cult of Bowie has only intensified. As a musician alone, Bowie’s legacy is remarkable, but his place in the popular imagination is due to so much more than his music. As a visual performer, he defied classification with his psychedelic aesthetics, his larger-than-life image, and his way of hovering on the border of the surreal.

BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams chronicles the rise of Bowie’s career from obscurity to fame; and paralleled by the rise and fall of his alter ego as well as the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust. As the Spiders from Mars slowly implode, Bowie wrestles with his Ziggy persona. The outcome of this internal conflict will change not only David Bowie, but also, the world.

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

Early Preview: Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

(W) Steve Horton (A) Michael Allred
In Shops: Jan 08, 2020
SRP: $39.99

Inspired by the one and only superhero, extraterrestrial, and rock and roll deity in history, BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams is the original graphic memoir of the great Ziggy Stardust!

In life, David Bowie was one of the most magnetic icons of modern pop culture, seducing generations of fans with both his music and his counterculture persona. In death, the cult of Bowie has only intensified. As a musician alone, Bowie’s legacy is remarkable, but his place in the popular imagination is due to so much more than his music. As a visual performer, he defied classification with his psychedelic aesthetics, his larger-than-life image, and his way of hovering on the border of the surreal.

BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams chronicles the rise of Bowie’s career from obscurity to fame; and paralleled by the rise and fall of his alter ego as well as the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust. As the Spiders from Mars slowly implode, Bowie wrestles with his Ziggy persona. The outcome of this internal conflict will change not only David Bowie, but also, the world.

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

NYCC 2019: Insight Comics Brings New Releases, Signings, and More!

October 3rd – 6th, Insight Comics – and Insight Comics Executive Editor, Mark Irwin – hit The Big Apple for New York Comic Con 2019! Join us at the Insight Editions booth #1946 for new releases, signings and more!

New to the world of Insight Comics? They publish original, stimulating content that you’ll want to keep reading again and again, including their latest release by New York Times Best-selling Author Micky Neilson and Emmy award-nominee for The Mountain Runners, Todd WargerThe Invisible Empire: Madge Oberholtzer and the Unmasking of the Ku Klux Klan, with illustrations by Marc Borstel, and a foreword by Columbia University comics scholar emeritus, Karen Green.

Additionally, they will have the deluxe omnibus edition of Gypsy by Thierry Smolderen and Enrico Marini available! Enrico Marini will also be signing at the booth Saturday, October 5th, from 11-11:30am.

Set in the not-too-distant future, the world of Gypsy has it all: planetary highways, the coronation of a young Russian Tsar, the resurrection of a Mongol army on the trail of Gengis Khan, an all-powerful multinational corporation that controls all earthly transport — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! In the middle of all this, we have a Gypsy truck driver who, fortunately, knows how to look after himself. A must-have for any comics reader!

Review: A Million Ways to Die Hard

A Million Ways to Die Hard

As a child who grew up in the 1980s, I often watched television as a means of escape. I would have my Saturday morning cartoons,which provided me, my sister, and my cousins enough fodder to keep us entertained. As I grew older my interest became more grown-up, eventually watching some of the same shows that my parents did. One of those shows was Moonlighting, which was about a private detective agency which solved some interesting cases and starred a then unknown Bruce Willis.

The show was probably one of the most entertaining shows I’ve ever watched and it doubled down on the “opposites attract” plot device that has permeated in so many tv shows. I , like many people never took Willis seriously. That changed when I watched him as John McClane in Die Hard. The movie made him a star and introduced a character which would become iconic. As the movie hits a major milestone, Frank Tieri and Mark Texeira, give us a new story with A Million Ways to Die Hard.

We are taken back to Nakatomi Plaza, 30 years after the fateful events of that first movie for a commemoration of that night and of the re-dedication of the building. Our hero is noticeably absent.  His absence is short lived, as a masked terrorist has taken over the building, promising to kill hostages, giving McClane no choice but to spring into action.

Overall, the graphic novel is a serviceable story which continues the series. It’s one which could be a little longer and could use stronger story development. The story by Tieri is action packed and funny but at times tries too hard to be both. The art by Texeira and Adrian Crossa is rich and elegant. Altogether, it’s a story very much in the spirit of the original but ultimately falls short of what it could have been.

Story: Frank Tieri Art: Mark Texeira and Adrian Crossa
Story: 6.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Thierry Smolderen and Enrico Marini’s Gypsy Gets an Omnibus Edition

In the not-so-distant future, the ozone layer’s devastation has led to a halt in aviation and caused the Arctic to freeze over. In this dystopian landscape, ravaged by climate change and corporate greed, an impulsive yet charming Roma truck driver must fight for his survival.

Insight Comics will release Gypsy Omnibus (December 4, 2018 / $60.00), revisiting the action-packed adventures of Gypsy in a one-of-a-kind omnibus edition.

The world of Gypsy has it all: planetary highways, the coronation of a young Russian tsar, the resurrection of a Mongol army on the trail of Genghis Khan, an all-powerful multinational corporation that controls all earthly transport—and so much more unexpected spectacle and tumult. In the middle of all this, there is a Gypsy truck driver who, fortunately, knows how to look after himself.

Now, for the first time ever, all six original volumes by award-winning creators Thierry Smolderen and Enrico Marini are collected in this deluxe Gypsy Omnibus edition. Complete with a stylistic slipcase featuring exclusive new art from Enrico Marini, this collection breathes new life into the world of Gypsy—it’s a must-have for any comic reader!

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