Tag Archives: pawn shop

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 11/22

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

Huck01_CoverAHuck #1 is fantastic. This is an innocent tale of hope and the inherent goodness of one man; that it comes from the man behind Kick-Ass surprises me greatly. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

The Saga Of The Jack Of Spades is the first issue in a successfully funded Indiegogo project aimed toward a young adult audience. Featuring a story that’s centered around four kingdoms based of the four suits in a deck of cards. It’s a unique concept that is executed fairly well, but fell a little short when it came to really drawing me into the comic. Maybe the next issue will do that, though. You can find a bit more information about the comic here, and it’s worth checking out when you’ve got a chance.
Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

 

Brett

Action Comics #46: Just so bad. I know there’s a big picture here, but something is so off with this Superman series, and Superman as a whole. Overall Rating: 6 Recommendation: Pass

BPRD Hell on Earth #137: Consistently entertaining, this series really ups the action and intrigue as the BPRD makes a move against New York with the US Navy. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Read

Codename Baboushka #2: A fun spy comic with lots of action. The art is a little off at times, but the story is fun as all hell. If you like your Bond light and full of action, this kick-ass woman will fit your needs. Overall Rating: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Descender #7: The latest issue sets this series in a bit of a new direction by introducing some new characters. It also has a moment that actually caught me off-guard. And the art! Absolutely beautiful to look at. Each issue delivers and one of the best series on the market. Overall Rating: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: I just know the movie, so compared to that, this is a great adaptation. The art captures the manic and over the top events. For fans of Thompson, this is a must get. Overall Rating: 9 Recommendation: Buy

I Hate Fairyland #2: Just so twisted. And so much fun. Foulmouthed pint sized twisted fun. Overall Rating: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

Jughead #2: The second issue continues to deliver mixing “real world” high school life with Jughead’s fantasies. Just a great blend and interesting type of storytelling. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Read

Pawn Shop: A series of interconnecting stories that’s heart touching and a fantastic read for those who like a slice of life story. This is one of the few comics I’ve read multiple times, and I feel like I catch something new each time. Overall Rating: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

The Paybacks #3: One of the funniest comics out there and such a great series. Mixes action, laughs, and superheroes perfectly. Overall Rating: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Star Wars: Kanan #8: The best Star Wars comic out there right now. Based on Star Wars: Rebels, it’s giving us some great history before Episode III and between Episode III and IV. Overall Rating: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #47: What should Optimus do next? This issue is laying the groundwork for that, and it’s interesting. Overall Rating: 8.1 Recommendation: Read

 

Elana

Constantine #6*: Consistently one of the best comics from DC or Marvel. Issue 6 is a perfect jumping on point for anyone who missed the earlier series. John takes his exorcism skills on tour through the 5 boroughs of NYC serving a realistic range of customers including party demons in Bushwick (lord knows, I’ve been there). The episode is funny with a dark foreboding at its core. Some force seems to want John to connect with that nice, hot, normal restaurant owner/chef he flirted with. John knows that everyone who gets close to him gets hurt. But being alone hurts too. Overall Rating: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Jughead #2: Tons of fun. I’m totally new to this series and I’m enjoying it immensely. Expressive, funny art from Erica Henderson is a perfect fit for Zdarsky’s jokes. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Pretty Deadly #6: A whole new chapter of the story starts here. Still poetic and atmospheric the setting is shifting to the battlefields of World War 1. Rios’ art is moody and creative. It looks like no other comic on the stands and is the reason I’m giving this an Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Spider-Woman #1 CoverSpider-Woman #1*. I’m all for stories about pregnant superheros and super-heroes who become parents. The Danny Rand/ Misty Knight love story in Secret Wars Secret Loves was the best thing in the whole mega-event. But I don’t know why Spider-Woman is having a baby. It’s a character who has specifically said she didn’t want kids in the past. I’m not saying that pronouncements are set in stone. But I need the comic to do a better job of selling me on this. Right now it still feels like a violation of her spirit.

If Roger (aka Porcupine) is the dad I’m going to punch a wall. Heck, even if Ben Urich is (and he’s a great character who I’ve enjoyed for years) I’ll also be pissed. To be honest, I hope we never know. I like her independent dammit! Jessica Drew is one of my favorite super heroes. I never identified with her or anything, I just appreciated how shameless she was about loving her powers.

At least her clothes are realistic clothes for a grown woman. Sad that drawing that still feels like an achievement.

Overall Rating: 3 but I’m willing to be convinced later. Maybe.

 

Mr H

Batman and Robin Eternal #7*: Continuing off last weeks strong showing, this issue jumps Team Robin back in the drivers seat following trails of breadcrumbs to Prague. We get a little more insight to Mother and a scene where Bruce Wayne tries to set up a meeting with her. We also get a fun interrogation team up with Jason and Tim and a fun cliffhanger. Story moved well and art was fluid. Another good showing this week.  Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Extraordinary X-Men #2*: Seeing the X-Men use a reconstituted Sentinel as Cerebra is pretty cool. I enjoyed the issue quite a bit. Yes it feels like business as usual with the X-Men still hated and M-Pox seems like a retread of the Legacy Virus, but this time it seems more dire. Jean throwing away a “normal” life to do the right thing only to be unappreciated was a nice touch. I am enjoying Old Man Logan’s inclusion too. So while it doesn’t feel completely “All-New” it was new enough. Ramos and Lemire are a great team. I hope they stay on the title for a while. Plus bearded Colosus is awesome. Overall Rating: 8.5  Recommendation: Buy

 


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 (**).

Exclusive Preview: Pawn Shop

PAWN SHOP

Written by: Joey Esposito
Art by: Sean Von Gorman
Release: November 7th
Z2 Comics

PAWN SHOP presents the story of four people, in a city of eight million, whose lives unknowingly intersect through a Manhattan pawn shop. A widower. A nurse. A punk. A Long Island Railroad employee. New York City is an ecosystem where everybody is connected, if only by the streets they walk on. PAWN SHOP explores the big things that separate us and the little moments that inexplicably unite us.

Z2 Comics Announces Fall Graphic Novels including Ashes, Pawn Shop, The Abaddon, and Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland

ASHESZ2 Comics announced today their fall 2015 graphic novel slate, including a reprint of one of Harvey Pekar’s final graphic novels and three graphic novels. The biggest surprise of the bunch is a new printing of Pekar’s Cleveland, one of his last graphic novels, and a love letter to his home town. It was originally published by Top Shelf in April 2012.

Check out below for the full slate of graphic novels being released.

Ashes: A Firefighter’s Tale written by Mario Candelaria with art by Karl Slominski.

(September 22, 2015; $19.99; 120 pages; black and white)

Matt always had an easygoing life. Girls liked him, his friends were more like family, and being a firefighter came naturally. Then the accident happened. Now, after the loss of his leg, Matt struggles to cope with his new handicap as he attempts to rebuild his shattered family and once budding career. A riveting tale about perseverance, hard work, and overcoming the odds, Ashes is a gripping tale told in stunning black and white.

PAWN SHOPPawn Shop written by Joey Esposito with art by Sean Von Gorman

(September 22, 2015; $19.99; 120 pages; full color)

A widower. A nurse. A punk. A Long Island Railroad employee. New York City is an ecosystem where everybody is connected, if only by the streets they walk on. This original graphic novel is the story of four people, in a city of eight million, whose lives unknowingly intersect through a Manhattan pawn shop.

Written by Joey Esposito (Footprints) and illustrated with a gorgeous mixture of watercolor and digital elements by Sean Von Gorman (Toe Tag Riot), Pawn Shop explores the big things that separate us and the little moments that inexplicably unite us.

The Abaddon written and illustrated by Koren Shadmi

(November 10, 2015; $24.99; 240 pages; full color)

cover_updatedLoosely based on Jean-Paul Sartre’s play No Exit, The Abaddon is the story of a young man who finds himself trapped in a bizarre apartment with a group of ill-matched roommates. He discovers that his new home doesn’t adhere to any rational laws of nature and comes to realize that everyone living in the apartment is missing crucial parts of their memories and identities.

Cleveland by Harvey Pekar and Joseph Remnant

(November DATE TK; Price TK; 128; black and white)

A lifelong resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Harvey Pekar (1939-2010) pioneered autobiographical comics, mining the mundane for magic since 1976 in his critically acclaimed series American Splendor. Legendary comic book writer Harvey Pekar’s collaboration with artist Joseph Remnant, titled Cleveland, was originally published by Top Shelf Shelf Comics and Zip Comics in 2012 and includes an introduction by Alan Moore. The book presents key moments and characters from the city’s history, intertwined with Harvey’s own ups and downs, as relayed to us by Our Man and meticulously researched and rendered by artist Joseph Remnant. At once a history of Cleveland and a portrait of Harvey, it’s a tribute to the ordinary greatness of both.

Esposito Keeps Writing Comics Through Adversity

When Joey Esposito receives a rejection from a publisher after pitching a comic, he’ll re-write and try again, with a multitude of publishers on the table. He acknowledges his flaws, laughs off the unpleasant feelings, and resolves to get better. For him, it’s another day on the job of writing comics.

Ex-IGN Comics Editor Joey Esposito spends his days doing what he loves: creating all sorts of comic books through amiable relationships with artists and other creators.

“I love spending my days writing… but it’s hard,” said Esposito via Skype interview.

joey1After spending a few years at IGN doing reporting and criticism of almost entirely comic books, Esposito delved into comic book writing, dropping his former career completely in October of 2013. Before leaving IGN, Joey had already made a bit of a name for himself in the realm of comic book creation with work like the first volume of Footprints, a detective comic starring Big Foot along with other cryptozoology creatures, and Captain Ultimate, an ongoing all-ages superhero comic.

He is happy with this decision and has experienced nothing but total support from friends and family, he said.

“[My father] will pitch my books to anyone who will listen!” he said, laughing.

Those comics are primed to receive continuations. Footprints: Bad Luck Charm is a double-sized one-shot that features two stories, one a prequel and the other a sequel to the first volume. This comic was successively funded on Kickstarter, receiving $7,410 by June 1.

The book is in color, as opposed to the black and white presentation of past Footprints work; this is because Esposito couldn’t imagine the setting of Las Vegas being portrayed without color, he said. He was prepared when asked what excited him most about working on more of Footprints.

“I just love these characters,” said Esposito, referring to creations such as a seductive Loch Ness Monster and a sleuthing Big Foot.

Multiple new issues of Captain Ultimate are completely done, but the creative team is waiting for the right moment to release them, said Esposito.

Boy Akkerman, the artist for the series, finds Esposito a joy to work with, he said via Skype interview. “He doesn’t detail every part of the page,” which “gives a lot of leeway.” Large armies and groups of people are especially enjoyable for Akkerman to draw, which he says there are a lot of within coming issues.

Issue #1 of this series, which is published digitally from publisher Monkeybrain on ComiXology for $0.99, released in July of 2013, followed by #2 in September, #3 and #4 in October, #5 in March of 2014 and #6 in August, representing an odd release schedule. This was identified as a problem when I spoke with Esposito, who explained a new strategy to get the book on track.

joey2

Although the creative team has “some issues in the can,” their primary focus at the moment is getting the first six collected into a physical copy, said Esposito. Once that is taken care of, the team plans to put out issues digitally on a regular schedule, get those published physically, and so on and so forth.

“I think it’s important to get it in front of kids at book stores,” said Esposito.

It hasn’t been easy for Esposito to find a publisher; in fact, the pitching process is one of his biggest struggles as a creator, he said. He has pitched work to all sorts of publishers, all of which want their pitches done a certain, unique way, he explained.

Two upcoming projects he is writing pitches for are Ends of Olympus and Speakeasy. The first is a superhero comic inspired by Superman and his friend Jimmy Olson, predicated on the following scenario: What if Olson abused his friendship with Superman and became a greedy reality star obsessed with fame? An official description as well as a black-and-white preview is available here.

“This is the mature, gritty side of superheroes I love,” said Esposito,

The artist on the book, Drew Zucker, had nothing but good things to say about the project and Esposito.

“Joey pretty much gives me the freedom to do what I need to do visually,” said Zucker via Skype interview.

Joe Badon, the artist who does Speakeasy, said the same kind of stuff as the other artists.

“He’s a very agreeable guy and he likes to collaborate,” said Badon via Skype interview.

Speakeasy is something Esposito has only teased publicly as “Bladerunner meets Cheers,” along with the occasional panel. He is tightlipped on details despite two issues already being completely finished, because he doesn’t want to excite people for a book that doesn’t yet have a publisher, he explained.

He did provide me with these completed issues and, for what it’s worth, I found them to be very, very good. Esposito is playing with tried-and-true archetypes and clichés, but has put enough of a spin on things to make for a warm, easy read. I was initially concerned that Badon’s art wouldn’t work as sequentials, because the images Esposito teased on his Twitter seemed like the kind of well-produced, static images one usually finds on a cover. Thankfully, I found the finished work to be stupendous; the quality of art work is something I’d expect out of something from Image Comics.

Badon doesn’t like when he opens a comic to find art that looks much worse than the cover, he explained.

“I’ve always tried to make interior art as beautiful as I can,” he said.

Esposito allowed me to run some pages as a preview, which can be viewed at the bottom of this piece.

Thus far, neither book has found a publisher. These failings can frustrate Esposito, but he keeps positive.

“I think I’m gejoey4tting better. I’m working on it!” he said with a laugh.

After all, it’s not all bad. Esposito told me that his 2014 comic Pawn Shop has found a publisher, which will allow it to be sold physically in stores. This is a “slice-of-life” comic that tells the tale of four city-dwellers, all indirectly connected by a little pawn shop.

Pawn Shop is Esposito’s favorite work of his so far, even though “it’s definitely the black sheep,” he said. “It’s the kind of story that made me want to tell stories in the first place.”

Esposito seems to keep his head up and look forward. When I asked him what he’d ideally love to do, whether it be creator-owned projects or books for large publishers about established properties, he told me he “wants to do it all.”

Check out Matt’s online portfolio here

***

Exclusive Speakeasy Preview: 

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SE1_06

SE1_07

SE1_08

 

Preview: Pawn Shop #4

PAWN SHOP #4

Written by Joey Esposito
Pencils, Inks, and Cover by Sean Von Gorman
Colors by Jonathan Moore
Letters by Adam O. Pruett
Price: 99 cents

A city worker tries to balance mounting bills and the hunt for happiness while caring for her sick brother.

PawnShop4_Cover

Preview: Pawn Shop #3

PAWN SHOP #3

Written by Joey Esposito
Pencils, Inks, and Cover by Sean Von Gorman
Colors by Jonathan Moore
Letters by Adam O. Pruett
Price: .99 cents

A punk tries to claw her way out of the trenches, avoiding small mistakes only to make even bigger ones.

PawnShop3_Cover

Preview: Pawn Shop #2

PAWN SHOP #2

Written by Joey Esposito
Pencils, Inks, and Cover by Sean Von Gorman
Colors by Jonathan Moore
Letters by Adam O. Pruett
Price: .99 cents

A nurse longs for the past, can’t wait for the future, and struggles to figure out the present.

PawnShop2_Cover

Preview: Pawn Shop #1

PAWN SHOP #1

Written by Joey Esposito
Art and Cover by Sean Von Gorman
Lettered by Adam O. Pruett
Price: .99 cents

A widower walks the streets of Manhattan searching for pieces of the life he led before.

PawnShop1-1

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Wow, was that a bad Super Bowl last night. But the half-time show was solid at least. Here’s some news and reviews you might have missed while you were bored watching the game.

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Deadspin – CBS Broadcasts Wi-Fi Password For Secret Super Bowl Security Center – Not comic related but hand, head, smack.

 

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