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Preview: Happy Hour #2

HAPPY HOUR #2

(W) Peter Milligan
(A/C) Michael Montenat
December 2, 2020
$3.99

Electric Funny Sticks! Bloodsucking Joy Leeches! The cuddly horrors of Puppy Treatment! These and other state-enforced “remedies” for unhappiness drive Jerry and Kim to escape the Readjustment Center in the world’s most depressing clown car! Plus extra prose stories and illustrations.

HAPPY HOUR #2

Review: Happy Hour #1

“I bet everyone here is fake happy too.”-Paramore

Happy Hour #1

Writer Peter Milligan, artist Michael Montenat, and colorist Felipe Sobreiro create a high concept dystopian comic in Happy Hour #1. The book’s premise is that being unhappy is a crime and gets you thrown in A Clockwork Orange-style re-education camps (But with better food) where you’re basically tortured into having a Joker smile even when you feel pain, discomfort, or in a state of emotional distress or grief. For example, one of the main characters, Jerry, is thrown into a re-education camp by the Joy Police because he’s sad that his sister has passed away while his mind-screwed mom and the doctor are laughing and making jokes about her looks. This is bad, but one of his fellow inmates at the camp, a bit of a wildcard named Hamm, keeps talking about Landor Cohen, who has a “paradise” in Mexico where anyone can be as miserable as they want. However, in keeping with Happy Hour‘s cynical tone and Milligan’s self-aware writing style, this isn’t as it seems.

Michael Montenat’s mixture of caricature and photorealistic art a la Michael Gaydos (Alias, Pearl) is well-suited for the terrifying supporters of the Joy Police and the status quo with their rictus grins and laughs that look like those infamous stock photos of women laughing at salad instead of genuine merriment. Colorist Sobreiro adds a little juice to the line work during any of the torture or indoctrination scenes from regular electric shocks to a truly traumatizing treatment that is enacted on Hamm towards the end of the issue as the guards grow tired of him jabbering about Landor Cohen. He turns on the reds and then returns to skin tone and then reds again as Milligan and Montenat drop the issue ending cliffhanger.

Plotwise, Peter Milligan has really dug a hole for the characters we meet in Happy Hour #1, and I’m eager to see them try to dig out of it (Or get brainwashed while trying.) over this six issue miniseries. With the exception of Kim, who was an Olympic level athlete, he doesn’t endow Happy Hour‘s leads with a lot of practical smarts or skills to either pull off a prison break, much less any kind of revolution. Montenat draws Hamm like a chiseled, grizzled anti-hero, but he’s no Daredevil in a bar fight, and despite his charisma and machismo, he ends succumbing to the Joy Police easily. He talks a big game, but can’t perform when the chips are down.

Bouncing off this, the protagonists of Happy Hour are truly underdogs instead of badasses Hollywood-coded as underdogs. They’re self-described “miserable bastards”, who just want to rock a resting bitch face occasionally, feel a little pissed about getting a bronze medal, or in Jerry’s case, actually feel honest emotions about the loss of a loved one instead of being forced to smile and conform to a false reality. In the flashback sequences, Milligan and Montenat get in some quick satire about the American opioid and mental health crisis even though there seems to be a bit of a distance and reliance on well worn tropes instead of engaging with Americans’ complex relationship with pharmaceuticals and the pharmaceutical industry. They fare much better in the crafting of the main characters from the entertaining, yet very Philosophy 101 introduction to their shared experiences in the reeducation camp ranging from their dedication to being miserable to their begrudging acceptance of the gourmet meals provided.

With a genuinely rag tag group of characters, a touch of intellectual wit and real emotional honesty from Peter Milligan’s script, and some downright unsettling art from Michael Montenat, Happy Hour #1 is the perfect comic for folks who want to feel their feelings instead of embrace Stoic philosophy like the rest of the fake happy influencer crowd.

Story: Peter Milligan Art: Michael Montenat
Colors: Felipe Sobreiro Letters: Rob Steen

Story: 7.9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Ahoy provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyZeus Comics

Preview: Happy Hour #1

HAPPY HOUR #1

(W) Peter Milligan
(A/C) Michael Montenat
November 4, 2020
$3.99

First issue! In future America, being happy isn’t just a right—it’s the law. While the Joy Police brutally enforce the cheery code, two young people go on the run, searching for a haven of melancholy where they can safely bask in the blues. A timely tale by superstar writer Peter Milligan (X-Statix, The Prisoner) and artist Michael Montenat (Dominion, Hellraiser Annual).

All AHOY titles feature extras: prose, pictures, and, perhaps, poems!

HAPPY HOUR #1

AHOY Comics Announces New Comics and more Second Coming and Wrong Earth

AHOY Comics has announced its fifth wave of new titles to be published this fall and winter. The jam-packed line-up builds on AHOY’s tendency to tackle serious topics with their signature off-kilter humor. Readers will recoil from the brutal “Joy Police” in the brand new dystopian work Happy Hour from Peter Milligan and Michael Montenat; return to the world of Second Coming as Jesus and his roomie Sunstar deal with science denial and mass extinction; and pity Penultiman, the highly anticipated superhero title by Tom Peyer and Alan Robinson that questions what exactly humanity is evolving towards. Rounding out the list is a second season of smash hit The Wrong Earth, where sunny Dragonflyman and his dark reflection Dragonfly finally meet face to face, and a fresh season of boozy literary parodies under an all-new name—Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood—which will now feature a different cover artist each month, starting with the legendary Jill Thompson.

AHOY’s Wave 5 includes:

PENULTIMAN #1

Ship date: 7 October 2020
Author(s): Tom Peyer  
Artist(s): Alan Robinson
Cover Artist(s): Alan Robinson, Jamal Igle

Back from the future—again! Penultiman, The Next-To-Last-Stage In Human Evolution, is the greatest, best-looking, and most admired super-hero in the world! So how can he stop hating himself? His android understudy, Antepenultiman, thinks he knows the answer! Created by Tom Peyer (THE WRONG EARTH) and Alan Robinson (PLANET OF THE NERDS). Featuring a variant cover by Jamal Igle (THE WRONG EARTH, Black). Resolicited from the Plague Times – all previous orders have been cancelled.

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF BLOOD #1

Ship Date: 21 October 2020
Authors: Paul Cornell, Dean Motter
Artists: Russ Braun, Dean Motter
Cover Artist: Jill Thompson

The SNIFTER OF TERROR returns with an all-star snark-fest under a bloody new title! Paul Cornell (Doctor Who) and Russell Braun (The Boys) reimagine Poe’s “Black Cat”––as a dog! In “Atlas Shrugged” (no relation), Mr. X creator Dean Motter settles science vs. religion once and for all! Plus: prose, pix, and a cover by Scary Godmother’s Jill Thompson!

EDGAR ALLAN POE'S SNIFTER OF BLOOD #1

HAPPY HOUR #1

Ship date: 4 November 2020
Author: Peter Milligan 
Artist: Michael Montenat
Cover Artist: Michael Montenat

In future America, being happy isn’t just a right—it’s the law. While the Joy Police brutally enforce the cheery code, two young people go on the run, searching for a haven of melancholy where they can safely bask in the blues.  

HAPPY HOUR #1

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #1

Ship date: 16 December 2020
Author: Mark Russell
Artists: Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk
Cover artist: Richard Pace

The savior and the superhero return for a new round of shared adventures­­––but first we turn back time to witness the interplanetary origin of Sunstar! Warning: portrays science denial, mass extinction, and real estate sales!

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #1

THE WRONG EARTH: NIGHT & DAY #1

Ship date: 6 January 2021
Author(s): Tom Peyer  
Artist(s): Jamal Igle, Juan Castro
Cover Artist(s): Jamal Igle

The stars of THE WRONG EARTH and DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN return! Racing to prevent identical catastrophes that threaten the separate earths they inhabit, gritty Dragonfly and his campy doppelganger Dragonflyman follow the clues to a third earth, where they at last come face-to-face!

THE WRONG EARTH: NIGHT & DAY #1

Preview: Twelve Devils Dancing #2

TWELVE DEVILS DANCING #2

Writer(s): Erica Schultz
Artist Name(s): Dave Acosta (Pencils), Andrew Covalt (Colors)
Cover Artist(s): Natasha Alterici, INTERIOR COVERS CH 05: Michael Montenat, CH 06: Kevin Maher 
64 pgs./ M / FC
$5.99 

The conclusion to Twelve Devils Dancing! With the body count growing, Callum and Aisha’s road trip takes them to the location on the cipher. They have a plan, but Callum’s health may sideline him, leaving it up to Aisha to put the pieces together and get the evidence to arrest the Crypto-Killer. Meanwhile, Callum’s evidence tampering in the original case comes back to bite those still in his FBI unit back home. And Brian has a fan who’s interested in more than just his paintings. The past and present are resolved in the conclusion of Twelve Devils Dancing.

Review: Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises

As a longtime cinephile, I have been enamored with Kung Fu movies. I remember as a kid watching Kung Fu Theatre, every Saturday afternoon, with my cousins in our house in New York. These stories with their badly paced English dubbing, usually had everything else going for it. The action, the stars, the special effects, and the story. I never really knew who any of the actors were until one of my uncles introduced us to Bruce Lee.

The very first movie, we saw of this venerable legend, was the impressive Way Of The Dragon, a slow burner at first, but as soon as Lee enters the film, his presence was magnetic. The man commanded every scene he was in and the way he beat a then unknown Chuck Norris, was a scene all of us cheered on. Of course, we went on to see the rest of his movies, and to this day, in some form or another, have some piece of his memorabilia in our houses. As much as those movies still stand up, one can only imagine what else he could have created, if he only lived a little bit longer. In Shannon Lee’s Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises, fans get to live a fantasy where he still lives.

We find Lee in a government facility where he has been asleep for forty years, as he wakes up to a world, much different than what he knew as he teaches an abusive Sensei, who favors Chuck Norris the correct way to treat his students. Soon the same shadowy organization lead by a mysterious woman known as Katya, is looking for him and a friend from the past and two kids just so happens to find hm as well, who helps him get acclimated to present day.  This leads to Lee finding out what the organization is up to and to find the father of the two kids. By book’s end, they find the kids’ father but leaves Katya even more powerful than ever.

Overall, an entertaining story that gets the reader to know who Bruce Lee the person is, in this rather fun plot. The story is relatable, funny, and fantastical. The art is striking and vivid. Altogether, a great story which will have readers looking for their old VHS copy of The Chinese Connection.

Story: Shannon Lee, Jeff Kline and Adam Beechen
Art: Brandon McKinney, Michael Montenat, Zac Atkinson, Troy Peteri, Steve Blackwell and Bernard Chang
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Jay Faerber and Michael Montenat’s Glacier City is Pay What You Want on Panel Syndicate

Panel Syndicate has debuted a new series, Glacier City! The new comic series is written by Jay Faerber with art by Michael Montenat.

Police Chief Wes Cutter is the only law enforcement in a secluded Alaskan town where everyone has a secret and his closest backup is hours away. There are two kinds of people who live in Alaska. Those born there, and those that are running away from something. And Wes wasn’t born there.

Faerber is the creator behind series such as Copperhead, Elsewhere, and Dynamo 5, as well as television shows like Star-Crossed and Zoo. Montenat has worked for IDW Publishing, Legendary, BOOM! Studios, Top Cow Productions, Zac Brown Band, and Universal Studios Japan.

You can find the series on Panel Syndicate where it’s “pay what you want.”

Erica Schultz Shows Us Twelve Devils Dancing this July

American comic book writer and editor Erica Schultz, best known for her work on the Charmed comic series from Dynamite Entertainment and as the co-creator of M3, released the 20 page first issue of her newest graphic mini-series, Twelve Devils Dancing, at last year’s New York Comic Con. Now you can get the first issue in your hands from Action Lab: Danger Zone this July, which collects the first three issues (with 64 pages of material).

Twelve Devils Dancing hits all the right notes of a frightening and entertaining cat-and-mouse thriller. When Agent Cooper retired from the FBI with a terminal condition, he was hailed as a hero for his role in solving the gruesome “Crypto Killer” murders. But when the real Crypto Killer emerges from the shadows to taunt him years later, Cooper must confront his past with new clues to solve the case in the little time he has left. The only complication? He has to protect Aisha Miller, a potential target for the Crypto Killer. Aisha is the smartest person (and smartest mouth) in any room. It’s Breaking Bad meets The Following as Cooper and Miller race against the clock to finally bring the real serial murderer to justice.

Working with Schultz on Twelve Devils Dancing is artist Dave Acosta and colorist Andrew Covalt. Cover artists include Kelly Williams, Maria Laura Sanapo, and Adriana Melo for the first volume, and Natasha Alterici, Michael Montenat, and Kevin Maher for volume two. Lastly, the trade paperback will have a cover by the legendary Bill Sienkiewicz!

You can order Twelve Devils Dancing #1 with the Diamond item code MAY181255. The first issue hits comic book stands on July 11th, 2018.

Preview: Clive Barker’s Hellraiser Omnibus Vol. 1 SC

Clive Barker’s Hellraiser Omnibus Vol. 1 SC

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Clive Barker with Mark Miller, Christopher Monfette, Robb Humphreys, Anthony Diblasi, and Brandon Seifert
Artist: Leonardo Manco, Jesús Hervás, Stephen Thompson, Janusz Odon, Michael Montenat, Ibrahim Roberson, André Stahl Schmidt, Giovanni P. Timpano, Marcio Henrique, Tom Garcia
Cover Artist: Tim Bradstreet
Price: $39.99

Clive Barker returns to tell a new chapter in the official continuity—a trajectory that will forever change the Cenobites… and Pinhead!

Preview: The Fallen #4

The Fallen #4

Writer: Alex De-Gruchy
Artist: Michael Montenat
Colorist: Ron Riley
Letterer: Dave Acosta
Price: $0.99
Pages: 17
Rating: 17+

Very few places have managed to actually thrive since the early post-Pulse years, but Marston is one of them. When Sam, Liz and Ray arrive in the town, it represents an opportunity to rest and reenergise before quickly moving on once again… but that’s not enough anymore for one of them. And internal division isn’t the only threat facing the three survivors, because as Marston has grown, so have the dangers it contains.

Fallen_04-1

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