Tag Archives: red thorn

DC Weekly Graphic Novel Review: Future Quest, Red Thorn, and Action Comics

It’s Wednesday which means new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. We’ve got three more volumes from DC Comics covering a wide range of genres.

Red Thorn Vol. 2: Mad Gods and Scotsmen collecting issues #8-13 by David Baille and Meghan Hetrick.

Future Quest Vol. 1 collecting issues #1-6 by Jeff Parker, Evan Shaner, and Steve Rude.

Action Comics Vol. 1: Path of Doom collecting issues #957-962 by Dan Jurgens, Patrick Zircher, Tyler Kirkham, Stephen Segovia, and Art Thibert.

Find out what each trade has in store and whether you should grab yourself a copy. You can find both in comic stores February 15 and bookstores February 21.

Get your copies now. To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Red Thorn Vol. 2: Mad Gods and Scotsmen
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

Future Quest Vol. 1
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

Action Comics Vol. 1
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

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Best Comics of 2016 – Alex’s List

Now that 2016 is in the history books (thank the fucking gods), it’s time to have a look back at some of the comics and events that really stood out for me, personally. These comics were all released this year, and in the case of a limited series if had at least two issues released this year (if a mini-series began late this year, then expect to find it on next year’s list – if it’s any good). Remember that this is all based on what I’ve read, and if your favourite comic isn’t here, it may be because I may not have read it, not because I didn’t like it.

First up there’ll be your standard Best Of categories of Ongoing Series, Mini/One Shot, Single Issue, Writer, Artist, and Colourist, then we’ll move on to a few other things I wanted to talk about.

Best Ongoing Comic

Last year I had a hell of a time with this one, so thankfully this year was much easier. Although I could have made a case for almost any of the comics listed below  (and, like last year I’m still wishing I had decided on a “top five” for this category without an overall winner), at the end of the day there really was only one comic that would end up here.

WRATH_003_COVER-A_LAFUENTEWrath Of The Eternal Warrior (Valiant) – The final issue came out in December, so technically this isn’t an ongoing anymore, and while I’ll miss the shit out of it in 2017, it sits in the top spot for 2016 (because it was an ongoing in 2016).  This was THE book of the year for me without question; although the first issue felt a lot slower than I expected, this quickly morphed into the one series I couldn’t wait to read. Robert Venditti has crafted fourteen of the most exciting, and compelling, issues about Valiant‘s immortal soldier I have ever read as he finds a way to have Gilad deal with death – and failure – in a way I haven’t seen anywhere before.

Venditti also built this series in layers as he dropped lines of dialogue and exposition in one comic that you’d be forgiven for missing, but once the inevitable pay off happened it was something special. For an action comic, Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior made you think quite a bit, and I loved every fucking moment (even the first issue after a reread six months later).

Honourable Mentions:

  • Faith (Ongoing) (Valiant) Narrowly missing the top spot, Faith has had a fantastic cast of artists joining Jody Houser all year, with each one bringing something wonderful to the table. This is a series that every comic fan should check out.
  • All-Star Batman (DC) Scott Snyder proves once more why he’s my favourite living Batman writer, and I actually enjoyed John Romita Jr’s art for the first time in a while.
  • X-O Manowar (Valiant) Another Venditti penned series, this had arguably the best concluding arc of any long running series I’ve read in a long time.

Best Limited Series or One Shot 

Voracious_02-1Voracious (Action Lab) I could tell you so many reasons why you should read this emotional tale about a time traveling chef who hunts dinosaurs, whether it’s Markisan Naso’s fantastic dialogue (and his recipes) or the wonderful artwork by Jason Muhr and colourist Andrei Tabacaru. I could tell you that comics like this are the reason you should pay attention to indie comics publishers, because if you don’t you’ll be missing out on some of the best stories  the year. But I won’t; instead I’ll tell you tell you all the reasons why you shouldn’t  read this:

Honourable Mentions:

  • Klaus (BOOM!But not The Witch Of Winter. That was fucking awful, and it’s better if you pretend it didn’t exist.
  • Divinity II (Valiant) 
  • Faith: Hollywood and Vine (Valiant) 
  • Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (DC/IDW) All my childhood dreams came true with this six issue miniseries that I  was expecting to suck. It didn’t! It was actually really good.

Best Single Issue

FAITH_003_COVER-A_DJURDJEVICThere’s no honourable mentions because there was nothing remotely close to Faith #3:  (Valiant) for me this year. That’s #3 from the Hollywood And Vine  miniseries, not the currently ongoing series

There was never a question of this comic not being the best single issue of 2016, and its almost entirely down to the scene where Faith literally bursts from a closet. Everything about that sequence, from her internal monologue to the character’s reactions were just perfect. I still think about that moment nearly a year later, and it still sends chills down my spine.

Best Writer

Robert Venditti (Flash, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior, X-O Manowar)

I didn’t read a bad comic written by this man all year. Obviously, some were better than others, and I didn’t read everything that Venditti put out, but what I did read was always fantastic – and you’ve probably already noticed my love for Venditti earlier on this list.

Best Artist

faith_005_cover-b_hetrickMeghan Hetrick (Red Thorn, Faith)

In a year with some truly amazing artists putting out some beautiful work, from Juan Jose Ryp, Doug Braithwaite and Robert Gill for Valiant, to David Finch, Rafa Sandoval and Patrick Gleason for DC, it was relative newcomer Meghan Hetrick who made my jaw drop with every issue and cover that she drew. Her work on Faith is what sealed her in as my top artist of the year, although her cover to the 4001 A.D. Shadowman tie in is also superb, not to mention Red Thorn. There are few artists whose work I’ll buy regardless of the writer, but Meghan Hetrick is one.

Best Colourist

Jordie Bellaire (Pretty Much Everything)

If you read more than one comic a month this year then you have probably read a comic with Jordie Bellaire’s work. She is one of the most prolific colourists around, and yet her versatility shines with each and every comic. When Jordie Bellaire’s name is on a comic, then you know it’s going to look awesome – regardless of who drew it.

Most Depressingly Canceled Comic

Red Thorn (Vertigo)

Every year comics are canceled prematurely, but Red Thorn The series was great, but sadly the sales figures just weren’t there. Treat yourself when you have a chance and go check this out. You’ll find a wonderfully illustrated tale steeped in Scottish mythology quite unlike almost anything you’ll read this year.

The Comic I Wanted To Read But Never Did

The Vision (Marvel)
I have heard nothing but great things about the twelve or so issues of Vision, and yet for some reason, I haven’t picked it up even though I’ve heard it said that this is Tom King’s finest work from 2016. but it was never on my radar because of the characters and setting involved. Maybe I’ll check out the trades at some point.

Biggest Surprises

I) Ben Affleck Was A Fantastic Batman

I hoped going into the movie that Affleck would be decent, and I suspected he would be, but I never expected him to turn in a performance that went right into my top three Batman performances – that took me completely by surprise. The theatrical cut of Batman v Superman wasn’t quite as good as Affleck’s Batman, but because of his acting (and Gal Gadot) I left the theater feeling I’d got my money’s worth.

bruce waye affleck

II) Marvel Actually Finished Civil War II

After the amount of delays this series suffered, I wouldn’t have been surprised had Marvel just quietly shuffled the final issue or two off their publishing schedule. When the next event (and it’s prequel) Inhumans Vs X-Men unintentionally start before your Big Summer Event is over, you have to ask yourself whether anybody still cares about said summer even .

III) DC Rebirth Wasn’t A Stonking Pile Of Manure

I honestly had no faith the DC’s latest reboot would be anything other than a quick cash grab with at best mediocre titles. Thankfully, i was very wrong. While there were some average titles, good comics that weren’t for me and the occasional miss, for the most part I’ve enjoyed every comic under the “Rebirth” banner (and I’ve read them all for Graphic Policy’s Rebirth Review feature). In fact, the standouts for me came from characters I previously had no time for; Aquaman, Superman, Wonder Woman  and the Green Lantern Corp

The Moments That Had Me Grinning Ear To Ear

I) Bill Finger’s Byline

This was the single greatest thing to happen in the comics industry this year in my eyes; Bill Finger was finally acknowledged officially as having something to do with Batman’s creation, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Marc Tyler Nobleman.

moviescreen-grab

Regardless of my thoughts on the movie, seeing Bill Finger’s name here was fantastic.

II) Interviewing Marc Tyler Nobleman

I don’t know what I expected when I reached out to the man who inspired me to write about comics, but talking to him about Bill Finger was an absolute joy.

III) Having My Reviews Quoted On Comics

This year was the first time I saw one of my reviews quoted on the cover of a comic, and it was a moment that I won’t forget anytime soon (the comic was Red Thorn #3 if you wondered). Since then I’ve seen my reviews quoted on several Valiant comics, as well. It makes me grin every time.

 



 

Well there we have it; a look back at some of the best comics that I read over the year. Agree, or disagree? Let me know!

Preview: Red Thorn #13

Red Thorn #13

(W) David Baillie (A) Meghan Hetrick, Ryan Kelly (CA) Choong Yoon
In Shops: Dec 14, 2016
SRP: $3.99

Cadros and Thorn face each other for the last time, as Isla’s new powers grow explosively and Tarek is forced to make the most important decision of his life. Join us as our story of Pagan Gods, Demigods and Red Caps comes to a close. Who lives, who dies and…will our world survive?

rthorn_cv13

Preview: Red Thorn #12

Red Thorn #12

Written by: David Baillie
Art by: Ryan Kelly, Meghan Hetrick
Cover by: Choong Yoon

Thorn travels to the Otherworld and does not like what he finds there. Tarek takes on a villain, but not the one you’re expecting. Amaka tells us how she managed to survive a threat that would have killed anyone else on Earth…and Ness prepares to do something she’d sworn she never would. The twelfth chapter of Red Thorn answers almost all the questions you’ve been asking all year. Almost.

rthorn_cv12

Exclusive Preview: Red Thorn #9

Red Thorn #9

Written by: David Baillie
Art by: Meghan Hetrick
Cover by: Choong Yoon

There have been many secrets and many questions since Thorn broke free from his prison beneath the Earth nine months ago—but all of that is about to change. There is a woman stalking the streets of Glasgow who won’t rest until she has the answers she seeks. And what she discovers will alter the fates of two worlds forever. Join us on this epic journey as Lura Investigations gets to the bottom of what makes this dark Celtic fantasy tick.

RTHORN_Cv9

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

DIVINITY2_003_VARIANT_PEPOYWednesdays 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!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

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

Alex

Top Pick: Divinity II #3 (Valiant) – Quite frankly, this is one of the best miniseries you’ll read all year. And I’m saying that having only read half of it.

Rai #14 (Valiant) – Another tie-in to Valiant’s summer 4001 A.D.event, and this one is sure to she some light on the recent(ish) past of New Japan. It should be fun.

Red Thorn #8 (Vertigo) – A new arc? Oh, twist my rubber arm, why don’t you? I took this off my pull list five issues ago, but yet I just can’t stop buying it…

 

Anthony

Top Pick: Bitch Planet #8 (Image Comics) – Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro have been proving, issue by issue, that Bitch Planet is one of the most important titles on the comic stands. It continues to jab and stab at the patriarchy with an exploitative, 1970s aesthetic to De Landro’s art style, heightened by Kelly Fitzpatrick’s nuanced colours. The comic alone is worthy of the price tag so it is a bonus, and a great treat at that, in which every issue includes a back essay analyzing particular issues from a feminist approach. How could you not pick up the next part to the arc entitled ‘President Bitch’?

Autumnlands Tooth and Claw #11 (Image Comics) – The recent issues of Autumnlands has done a solid job at exploring more parts of the world, encountering a wider variety of anthropomorphic groups and the towns/lands they belong to. Kurt Busiek is one of the best in the business at world-building, making those slower-paced issues hit their mark instead of feeling like an unnecessary breather. Benjamin Dewey has been doing a beautiful job at capturing the variety of environments and characters in this fantasy series. Dewey’s visuals naturally pop through another wonderful creator in Jordie Bellaire and her colours. Not only is the world of Autumnlands being further explored, more knowledge is being provided on the mysterious past history as well.

I.D. (GN) (Image Comics) – Originally printed in the Island anthology magazine from Image, I.D. tells the story of three people whom are in the midst of a transformation into another body, maintaining their mental selves upon the transition. Emma Rios poetically questions ideas of identity and how comfortable or uncomfortable we are in the bodies we are born in and thus grow up in. The visual style is unique in that it focuses on a glowing red within the detailed panels. Rios crafts a beautiful, thought provoking tale that points at the dilemmas of gender and identity conformity.

Divinity II #3 (Valiant Entertainment) – Though Valiant has been releasing a steady flow of great, entertaining titles for years now, the Divinity titles easily stand out. Divinity II has picked up right where the last series left us, in terms of quality of storytelling through Matt Kindt’s flowing scripts, Trevor Hairsine’s striking, emotional pencils with Ryan Winn’s inks, and David Baron’s purposeful colour palette. Taking the perspective of Valentina, this title is taking a different direction from the one guided by Abram Adams. Judging by the jaw-dropping last few pages of the last issue, including a little time travel, it will be really interesting to see the journey this creative team has in store for Valentina and her Stalinism values.

 

Javier

Top Pick: Lucas Stand #1 (BOOM! Studios) – Kurt Sutter, that guy behind Shield and Sons of Anarchy, makes his comic book writing debut.

Divinity II #3 (Valiant Entertainment) – This book took me by surprise with the introduction of the Russian cosmonaut Myshka, who battles with Divinity for control of the Valiant Universe.

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: Action Comics #958 (DC Comics) – The twice monthly epic continues! I am really enjoying this story so far. Everything from Luthor trying to be the new Man of Steel, to the return of Doomsday and finally the apparent return of a de-powered, possibly amnesia Clark Kent. Everything seems to be really hitting on all cylinders and I am  just so glad the Real Superman is back.

Detective Comics #935 (DC Comics) – The Bat-Family cometh. In a new way though. I like the boot camp style of sidekick training that Batman and Batwoman are putting the young heroes through. The only odd mud ball out for me is Clayface, which hasn’t sold me yet. Bringing the Wayne and Kane heritage back into the title is gold though. Team Batman could just be it’s best yet.

The Flash #1 (DC Comics) – The introduction of a new villainous speedster : Godspeed. I want a front row seat to this race. Probably standing room only.

Justice League #52 (DC Comics) – Aftermath of the “Darkseid War.” After one of the most incredible tales in League’s history and all the bombshells dropped, where do they go from here? I have to find out.

 

Paul

Top Pick – Ultimates #8 (Marvel) – I’m hoping this book shows us what happened between the Ultimates and Thanos that cost the team dearly, and set Iron Man into motion to choose his side in the Civil War.  Also hoping the tie ins give us more insight, and not just “filler” stories to slog the main story along.

Civil War II: Choosing Sides #1 (Marvel) – This could be interesting.  Sure, we’ll see how the main heroes deal with this new Civil War, but what about the lesser seen players?  Everyone will be affected by this latest skirmish between the heroes, and I’m curious to see the impact on those around them.

Uncanny Avengers #10 (Marvel) – Hank Pym IS Ultron?  Ultron IS Hank Pym?  Curious to see what’s going on with this story.  And excited to see the return of Janet (aka The Wasp).

 

Brett

Top Pick: Lucas Stand #1 (BOOM! Studios) – While Kurt Sutter has had his works turned into comics, the creator of The Shield and Sons of Anarchy makes his comic writing debut in this new series from BOOM!. The concept is a vet who’s recruited by Lucifer to send demons back to hell. I feel like we’ve seen this before, but I’m sure Sutter and co-writer Caitlin Kittredge will make it unique.

Acton Man #1 (IDW Publishing) – The British version of GI Joe is getting a new comic series and for those who read the Free Comic Book Day release, you’ll know why this should be interesting. Action Man is dead, long live Action Man!

Bitch Planet #8 (Image Comics) – It feels like forever since the last issue, but every one of this series has delivered and no matter how long between issues, it’s a warm welcome back.

Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess #9 (Action Lab Entertainment) – Speaking of a series that delivers… this is a female centered kick-ass comic that also delivers with every issue. You want diversity and to break from the comic “norm?” Well, here you go.

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #54 (IDW Publishing) – It’s the Autobots versus the Decepticon Justice Division and I’m expecting a lot of death.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Civil_War_II_0_CoverWednesdays 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!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

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

Alex

Top Pick: Wrath Of the Eternal Warrior #7 (Valiant) – Has become one of my favourite monthly series from any publisher. While I doubt this issue will be as phenomenal as the last two, I have high hopes that it’ll still be one of the best comics released this week.

Haunted Mansion #3 (Marvel) – I enjoyed the first issue, but the reason I’m looking forward to this is because my wife, who typically doesn’t read comics, has found herself a big fan of the series. Anything I can get to encourage her to read more comics is always a good thing, and when she reminded me that this was out on Wednesday? I’ll be bringing it back from the shop for her no questions asked.

Judge Dredd #5 (IDW Publishing) – What’s happened to Mega City One? Why is Dredd in the far future? I have no idea, but I’m loving this series so I’m more than happy to stay along for the ride.

Old Man Logan #6 (Marvel) – After last issues reveal of Lady Deathstrike and her gang of merry misfits getting ready to hunt down Old Man Logan, I’m looking forward to something we haven’t seen in years: a Wolverine without a stupidly powerful healing factor taking on a bunch of savages.

Red Thorn #7 (Vertigo) – The final chapter in the first arc – I think – has me looking forward to what the creative team has in store for us. This isn’t typically the type of comic I’d read, and perhaps because of that I’ve found myself loving every page.

 

Paul

Top Pick: Civil War II #0 (Marvel) – LETS GET READY TO RUUUUMMMMBBLLLEEE!!  The heroes of the Marvel Universe are pitted once again against each other, divided by opinions that could have far reaching consequences.  The original Civil War story line was a great read that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Didn’t they learn from the last time?  I am very excited to see the start of this new story and I will be ringside with my popcorn!

Old Man Logan #6 (Marvel) – Deathstrike and the Reavers are back!  And they are out for Logan, and he doesn’t have a clue.  It’s really cool to see the Reavers again, a great throwback to the 90’s era of X-Men.  This book hasn’t disappointed, so I’m sure this will be a good issue.

Uncanny Avengers #9 (Marvel) – Admittedly, this has not been one of my favored titles.  But I like the idea of Ultron showing up with Hank Pym supposedly controlling him (or pulling the strings…see what I did there?)  Anyway, the idea is interesting so I’ll check it out.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Superman: American Alien #7 (DC Comics) – Max Landis’ miniseries that has explored Superman wraps up with this issue. Each one has been interesting so far and has focused on one aspect of Superman with the issues building upon each other. I’m interesting in seeing how this wraps up and where it goes.

Apocrypha Now (IDW Publishing/Top Shelf) – The follow up to God is Disappointed In You takes on the Midrash, the Apocrypha, Gnostic Gospels, and more! The first book was amazing and had me laughing out loud. I expect this to do the same.

Chum #1 (ComixTribe) – It’s a surf noir where everyone seems corrupt. I love these types of crime stories and this first issue has me interested in seeing where it goes.

Civil War II #0 (Marvel) – Marvel’s big event starts here (other than the Free Comic Book Day release). Should be interesting.

Future Quest #1 (DC Comics) –  DC has been leading up to the relaunch of their line of Hanna-Barbera comics and it starts here. This brings together a bunch of properties that feels like “Crisis with Infinite Hanna-Barbera Cartoons.” The first issue is definitely intriguing.

 

Yes, There are Stoopid Questions and Comments. Ask a Female Creator.

Picture this: you’re at a comic book convention, and you head down to Artists Alley to meet some of your favourite artists, maybe get a signed print or two, or even just ask them to sign a copy of a comic they drew that you absolutely love. When you finally stop at a table, you’re able to ask the artist sitting there a question, and the first words out of your mouth are “did you draw that?”

Well no shit, Sherlock, you’re in Artists Alley, not a retail store – although the artists are there to sell their sketches, the very point is that they’re selling their sketches – what did you expect the answer to that question to be? “No, I’m just keeping the seat warm.” 

Want to put the rest of your leg in your mouth? Why not ask where the artists significant other is? Would you ask John Romita Jr. where his wife is? You wouldn’t, would you? So why do some people think it’s okay to ask those questions to female artists?

Because they’re women.

I came across a picture that s.leady (@fawksylibrarian) tweeted from the South Carolina Comicon. The tweet was a photo, which you can find below, of a sign that was on the phenomenally talented Meghan Hetrick‘s table (Hetrick is currently working on the ongoing title Red Thorn for Vertigo).

Take a moment now, to read the sign.

hetrickWhen I looked at the photo three things happened almost at the same time (but because I have to write them down, I have to use some form of order); I immediately shook my head, as I realized that the sign actually made me somewhat angry, and a little disappointed. Then I had a little chuckle, because that sign is flippin’ awesome, and I’m happy that Meghan Hetrick placed it at her table.

Now what made me shake my head wasn’t the sign itself, but rather that there’s a need for it at all. Women in comics is nothing new; something that Madison Butler’s fantastic Comics Herstory project has done a fantastic job highlighting, and yet for some reason female creators are thought of as an anomaly (you really should look into Comics Herstory when you have time; you’ll learn a lot that you probably had no idea about when it comes to the history of women in comics – click the link back there you’ll see all thirty plus entries in reverse order on Graphic Policy) – because for some inexplicable reason their contributions to sequential art are frequently overlooked.

Female comic book writers and artists may not make up the majority of creators, but that doesn’t make them a near mythological being that you may only rarely see in the wild. Why some people feel the need to ask any of the above questions above that they wouldn’t say to a male artist is beyond me. A great artist is a great artist, and it shouldn’t matter said artist’s gender.

red thorn interior 1

Uncoloured art from the first issue of Red Thorn. Source.

And Meghan Hetrick  is a great artist.

That there was a need for this sign to be placed at her SCCC table is somewhat disappointing; because it shows that in this day and age our treatment of female creators is till unequal to their male counterparts, and if Hetrick gets enough questions and comments such as those featured on the sign to even have the idea for the Stoopid Questions sign, then she’s likely not the only female artist or writer to get these comments.

red thorn interior 2

Issue #2 interiors.

And that is something that needs to change.

If you were one of the people who would ask, or say something a female creator that you would never dream of saying to a male one, maybe upon seeing the sign you realized that you about to come off as an ignorant jackass and you stopped. Maybe you realized that your formally innocuous comment, regardless of if it was meant as a compliment, would make you look like a misogynistic pillock.

Whatever the reason you didn’t ask the question, I hope it stays with you.

I reached out to Meghan to ask her a couple questions about the sign, and her experiences at conventions in general, and she gave me a little bit of her time.

Graphic Policy: Was that the first time you’ve had the jar at your table?

Meghan Hetrick: Yes, that was the first time I’ve had the jar on my table. I’ve had a couple experiences at the last few conventions I’ve been at that basically spurred me into setting this thing up, never mind the Internet at Large.

GP: I almost hate to ask, but I assume those questions and comments must only be the tip of an iceberg, eh?

MH: As for the comments and questions themselves, yeah, those were just a small spattering of some of the better ones (space limitations, heh).  More than anything, the jar acts almost as a deterrent, and a very effective one at that.  Even still, though, some folks are just jackasses enough to ask some extremely lewd and lascivious things.  I’m sure almost every single female artist out there that has even a modicum of “fame” has been asked some of these ridiculous things.

GP: I agree with you completely, and I’m pretty confident that I can say the same for Graphic Policy’s entire staff, too. It shouldn’t matter a persons gender; you’re an artist and shouldn’t be treated any differently because of your gender. Unfortunately I don’t doubt that every female artist has had to deal with jackasses, and it genuinely disappoints me that people still entertain the notion that those types of things are okay to say. 

 

red thorn interior 3

Issue #4 interior.

How has the reaction been, online and off, to the sign? Do you think you’ll put back up next time you’re at a con?

 

MH: I think the nature of what and how I draw tends to bring out a bit more… I dunno.  People just think it’s okay to be explicit with me at times, because I draw beautiful and/or sexy women (and men! But the women get more focus).

I will definitely be setting it up at another con. It did very well to act as a deterrent, and opened up a point of conversation for some people (though there was one who viewed it as a challenge, I think).  It’s a bit of dark humor at my table :)

GP: Also, entirely for my own curiosity, which cons can we expect to see you at this year? And will your boyfriend be there ;)?

MH: Next con I’m at is Comicpalooza, which Might be my last for the year, if Baltimore doesn’t pan out. Hope to see you at one!

And Joe will be at one or both ;)

GP: Haha! That’s brilliant, thank you very much. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me today.

MH: Anytime!

 


Next time you’re at a con and you’re about to ask a female creator a question, ask yourself if you’d ask Greg Capullo, John Romita Jr. or Juan Jose Ryp the same question. Because if you wouldn’t ask them what you’re about to ask the female creator in front of you (unless, of course, the question is specific to Capullo, Romita Jr. or Ryp‘s art), then you should probably rethink what you’re about to say before you end up needing to extricate your foot from your mouth.

And by “probably” I mean you should definitely rethink it.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Captain Marvel #1Wednesdays 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!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

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

Alex

Top Pick: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #3 (Valiant) – When a comic is released featuring of one my favourite characters squaring off against the legions of the afterlife alone, how could I not be excited? But beyond that, there is a raw quality to the artwork in this series that lends itself beautifully  to the surprisingly emotional story. Such a great series.

Batman #48 (DC Comics) – The only main Batbook I still read, and that’s entirely because of Scott Snyder. Last issue’s final page has had me counting down the days until #48 was being released. While I’m not a fan of the Robot Bunny Batman suit, I do love where the subplot featuring Bruce is going, and that subplot is the main reason I’m still reading.

Judge Dredd #2 (IDW Publishing) – Dredd was a staple of my childhood growing up in ol’ Blighty, and I’m loving seeing the direction of this new ongoing comic. If you haven’t read the last issue I won’t spoil what’s going on, but it’s not an overly unique idea, but it’s awesome to see it applied to Judge Dredd.

Red Thorn #3 (Vertigo) – This is a superbly illustrated tale about an American girl accidentally wandering into the world of Scottish mythology. Without any preamble, it’s good. Very good, even, and you should read it.

 

Ashley

Top Pick: Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #6 (Image Comics) – It all comes to an end for Emily Aster as well as Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s first series together. Basically everything you love about that team grew out of Phonogram and it will be sad to see the series end it swan song. Will it end in death though? Who knows, but this is Gillen, so probably. There’s also been confirmation that the final B-side story is about David Bowie, who passed away last week.

Batgirl #47 (DC Comics) – More Steph and Babs teamups! The first appearance of Bluebird in a Batgirl comic! Perhaps more resolution on what’s keeping Barbara up at night? Well, those first two are promised at least and I am hype.

Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel) – Even though they are the show runners of the amazing Agent Carter, Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters have big shoes to fill being the first ongoing writers for Captain Marvel after Kelly Sue Deconnick’s iconic three year run on the title. With Carol taking up the role of being Earth’s first line of defense with S.W.O.R.D. and Alpha Flight and art by Kris Anka, it seems like they’re up for the task.

Lumberjanes #22 (BOOM! Studios) – The series has been finding new footing since Kat Leyh joined Shannon Watters as cowriter, but the opening to this arc with a werewolf sea captain vs. selkies was just so darn great that it’s hard to think that Leyh hasn’t gained her sea legs yet.

Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #2 (Marvel) – Kate Leth and Brittney Williams hit it hard out of the gate with the first delightful issue. Now to see if Patsy can survive working in retail to get her business idea up and going.

 

Brett

Top Pick: American Monster #1 (Aftershock Comics) – Brian Azzarello’s new series sounds like a twisted version of Walking Tall. A man with a scarred faced heads to a Midwestern town where he gets rid of the corrupt sheriff and racist arms dealers. But, he’s actually there to take over. Sounds awesome.

Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel) – The Agent Carter team come to comics to take over this top property. I’m intrigued to see what they do.

Carver: A Paris Story #2 (Z2 Comics) – Just a classic revenge tale started because of a misunderstanding. The first issue felt like one of the films from the 70s and 80s I grew up on.

Star Wars #15 (Marvel)Vader Down is over. Now to see what Marvel does next with their line of Star Wars comics. Really looking forward to see what comes next.

Transformers #49 (IDW Publishing) – All sorts of plots come together here as we head in to the big 50th issue next month! IDW’s Transformers line of comics continuously entertains.

 

Elana

Top Pick: Phonogram The Immaterial Girl #6 (Image Comics) – The finale issue of the best comic on the stands. If you are the sort of person who is having a deep emotional response to Bowie’s death then you definitely need this comic. The final back-up story is even about a Bowie song. Go read my essay on why Phonogram is the best thing ever. A comic about fandom, music and growing the fuck up while reconciling your past selves. I cannot over state how much I love this series.

Batgirl #47 (DC Comics) – New Arc! Great creative team. Approachable relatable Babs for the 21st century with art that actually appeals to young people (and also to me because I like things that are pretty)

Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel) – New creative team, the writers on the Agent Carter TV show (yay women in comics) and art by the perfectly matched Chris Anka.

Ms. Marvel #3 (Marvel) – The relaunch has really rejuvenated the already excellent title. The current arc is focusing on issues like gentrification and cooption of your public image as well as what happens when someone you always took for-granted falls for someone else.

Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #2 (Marvel) – One of the most anticipated titles of the year! Kate Leth’s first issue felt like a Marvel comics version of the Archie revamp but through female eyes. Leth’s stories often deal with the indignities of the exploitative retail economy and I’m sensing those themes will continue. The comic is already doing great things on the diversity front. It’s going to be funny and interesting.

 

Jason

Top Pick: Silver Surfer #1 (Marvel) – Anywhere and everywhere, hang on! Slott’s Surfer definitely lives up to this promise in every way as the once lone sentinel of the starways continues his universe panning, reality hopping adventures with Dawn and Toomee. One of the few series to continue throughout Secret Wars, it was surprising how much it tugged in the heart strings last year despite not having a strictly ‘Last Days’ story like most other series. In the past comic fans have talked about Slott’s bold and very divisive Spider-Man writing, but for my money some of his best stories are right here with the Surfer. It continues to deliver everything a reader could want from a space bound adventure series and after the last arcs jaw dropping Mobius strip issue I’m left wondering where Slott and the Allred’s will take the trio next as they begin with a new number one this month.

Patsy Walker aka Hellcat #2 (Marvel) – After hearing her speak about creating fictional worlds at Thought Bubble last year (and then chickening out of speaking to her outside, sigh!) I’d give any series by Leth a chance but was particularly delighted to see her picking up one of the members from Soule’s interesting cast of She Hulk characters, Hellcat! Beyond the recent Soule series I was a little in the dark about Patsy’s history, but Leth effortlessly gets the reader up to speed in the first issue and captures her impulsive and headstrong character. Along with adorable art from Brittney L. Williams the pair are carving out their own unique little queer space in the Marvel Universe, adding more texture and diversity, with Patsy and newcomer Ian’s visit to ‘Burly Books’ in the first issue being one of many wonderful moments with the whole book harking back to the characters roots in romance comics.

Wolf #5 (Image Comics) – Kot’s supernatural noir thriller continues, picking up five years after the last issue and with a previous Zero collaborator Ricardo Lopez Ortiz taking up the art duties from Matt Taylor. Kot’s comics always make or a challenging and intriguing read, and although a little slow to start it finally felt last issue like the pieces were starting to gel together as the writer hits his stride with his newest series. Fans still hurting over the loss of the original John Constantine might find themselves with a new favorite series to fill that Hellblazer shaped hole in their hearts and bookshelves.

 

Javier

Top Pick: Carver: Paris Story #2 (Z2 Comics) – This is my top pick. It’s the comic book Hemingway would write if he was to be resurrected and forced to use his talents to shore up the literary comic book industry.

American Monster #1 (Aftershock Comics) – Lately it seems that Brian Azzarello has been writing with one hand tied behind his back at DC. He’s now partnered with a new indie outfit to produce a series, with art by Juan Doe, about a horrifically scarred, battle hardened soldier, returning home with questionable motives. I’m hopeful Azzarello goes all out with this new project.

I Hate Fairyland #4 (Image Comics) – This is the comic book I don’t share with friends and family. They’ll just think I’ve finally went over the deep end. It’s crude, rude, and funny in a sweet bloody way. And yes, I do buy both covers.

Ted McKeever’s Pencil Head #1 (Image Comics) – We fans sometimes forget that the comic book people who entertain us weekly are human too. This is suppose to be McKeever’s mostly true, semi-autographical, behind the scenes, tell-all of the absurd comic book industry … with a dead stripper. I’ll have fun trying to separate truth from fiction (I’ll bet the stripper is real).

Sunflower #3 (451 Media) – More cults and crime. Not sure why I continually gravitate toward the darkness. Mallouk and Ewington are working overtime to give me nightmares. I’ve been marked.

 

Madison

Top Pick: Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel) – Captain Marvel returns post-Secret Wars as the leader of the Alpha Flight Space Program. Though Kelly Sue DeConnick left some big shoes to fill, Fazekas and Butters are the showrunners behind Marvel’s Agent Carter and I believe Carol is in capable hands.

Ms. Marvel #3 (Marvel) – Ms. Marvel #3 will draw a three part arc to a close, and leaves Kamala to deal with the villainous Hope Yards Development, the company responsible for brainwashing Jersey City. Ms. Marvel is always a joy to read, and has been one of my favorites since the beginning.

Nowhere Men #7 (Image Comics) – Nowhere Men #7 will begin the long-anticipated second arc, after a hiatus that lasted more than two years. The comic follows the story of four scientists whose amazing work has had the cultural impact of The Beatles, which, to me, is a fascinating concept.

Wolf #5 (Image Comics) – Wolf, a story primarily about myths, and Wolf #5 is begins a new story arc. Ricardo Lopez Ortiz is taking over as the artist for this arc, replacing Matt Taylor (a tactic Ales Kot employs in several of his works). Readers were teased with mentions of the apocalypse but, as with most of Kot’s stories, we also got the sense that Wolf Vol. 1 was just the tip of the iceberg.

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: Batman #48 (DC Comics) – The clock is winding down and Bruce is soon to be back in the cowl, but before we get to Gordon and Mr. Bloom, we have the tale of two men on a park bench that will change the world forever.

Dragon Age: Magekiller #2 (Dark Horse Comics) – Greg Rucka’s gamer tale continues with the awesome bounty hunting duo of Tessla and Mathias. Fans of the franchise definitely want to check this out and newcomers will find it very accessible too.

Poison Ivy: Circle of Life and Death #1 (DC Comics) – Finally everyone’s favorite botanical temptress in her own title. Ivy is framed for murder and has to clear her name, or will she find it easier to resort to her wicked ways?

Silver Surfer #1 (Marvel Comics) – Dan Slott, Mike Allred in a trippy interstellar tale that leads us to.. Earth? Come see the book everyone is talking about. Grab your board and catch the wave!

 

Ryan

Top Pick: Pencil Head #1 (Image Comics) – McKeever’s projects are always so individual and idiosyncratic that you literally never know what to expect.

Clean Room #4 (Vertigo) – Each of the next three series have had strong starts with terrific stories, all with their own individualistic art styles.

Red Thorn #3 (Vertigo)

Lucifer #2 (Vertigo)

Review: Red Thorn #1

redthorn

On the rain-soaked streets of Glasgow, a girl whose drawings somehow come to life has just stumbled across her one true love. And thousands of miles below those streets, an ancient demi-god plots his escape from the prison where he’s been held for nearly two thousand years. Evil forces are at play and no one is safe as the legends of Scottish mythology collide with the modern world.

Red Thorn is one of those comics that has something special about it. Whether it’s in the way David Baillie has crafted this issue, Meghan Hetrick‘s art work or the coluring of Steve Oliff, there’s something about this comic that draws you in.

With any comic I read, I always hope it’ll be good, but especially when picking up the first issue of a new series; if the first issue doesn’t grab you in some way then the chances you’ll be willing to pick up the next issue aren’t great. Thankfully, there’s something about Red Thorn that grabs a hold of  you and pulls you through the streets of Glasgow on wild ride that begins to edge onto the mythological history of writer David Baillie‘s native Scotland.

The story here is mostly fluid, with Baillie taking his time about delving too quickly into the mythology side of things that the series will undoubtedly feature strongly across later issues. It’s a smart choice, because by focusing less on the mythology he allows us to become familiar with Isla Mackintosh, the young American in Scotland with an unusual talent that I’m sure Baille will have some fun with as the series goes on.

The art from Meghan Hetrick is brilliant; I’ve never been to Scotland myself, but her scenery has a distinctly Scottish flavour (admittedly I’m basing that statement on the few images, movies and television shows I’ve seen set in and around the country). One of my favourite scenes in the opening issue is when we’re given a glimpse inside Isla‘s sketch book. It’s a jaw dropping double page spread that really highlights Hetrick‘s abilities and, combined with the colours of Steve Oliff, is an excellent window into the kind of person Isla is.

Red Thorn #1 is a brilliant example of the talented creative team working with a synchronicity that you wouldn’t ordinarily expect from the debut issue in a series. I can’t wait to see what else David BaillieMeghan Hetrick and Steve Oliff have up their sleeves.

Story: David Baillie Artist: Meghan Hetrick Colours: Steve Oliff
Story:  8.5 Art: 9 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Also posted on Ramblings Of A Comics Fan.

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