Tag Archives: the fix

Mini Reviews: Harrow County, The Fix, Grass Kings, and More

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.


Ryan

Harrow County #23 (Dark Horse)* – Cullen Bunn’s storyline takes another interesting, if tentative, lurch forward here as tensions continue to mount between our protagonist and her one-time best friend, but is the real danger to both youg ladies yet to make itself fully known? Tyler Crook’s art remains, as ever, darkly lush and evocative. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Grass Kings #3 (BOOM! Studios)* – The least involving chapter to date in Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins’ still-young narrative is still a damn fine read and provides some explanation about who our “mystery guest” is while hinting at the trouble she’s about to bring down around the heads of everyoe in the so-called “Grass Kingdom.” The gorgeous watercolor art remains the star of the show here, but the whole story-and-art package is a wonderfully seamless affair. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

The Fix #9 (Image Comics)* – I still laugh my ass off at every issue of Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber’s yarn about fuck-up crooked cops, but this chapter continues the trend of far less dense, more “decompressed” storytelling that’s taken hold in recent installments, and while admitting up-front that you’re openly swiping from “L.A. Confidential” is a clever enough way to address the elephant in the room, it doesn’t change the simple fact that derivative stuff is — well, derivative stuff. Lieber’s art is starting to look as rushed as the scripts, too. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Copperhead #13 (Image Comics)* – The intrigue surrounding the sheriff and her new boss/.former subordinate continues to deepen, as does the murder mystery surrounding the former mayor, but last issue’s cliffhanger is revealed to be a whole lot of nothing right off the bat, which feels like more than a bit of a cheat, so I’ve gotta kncok this down a notch for that. On the whole, though, Jay Faerber’s scripts continue to impress and Drew Moss is starting to grow on me (Get it? Moss? Grow? Okay, so it’s not really very funny) in his role as artist, but truth be told, I’ll always miss Scott Godlewski. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

 

 

 

Elana

Bug: The Adventures of Forager #1 (DC Comics) Team Allred doing Jack Kirby’s Fourth World is a match made on New Genesis. They truly inhabit his dynamic visual style that is the most Comics of all. I am excited to see a story that is both written and drawn by this team.

The creative visual metaphors we get are clearly the product of visual storytellers. This story questions social control and the perhaps impossible dream of self determination and freedom. It is rich with references to the full Forth World canon but the visuals are stunning in their own right so newbies will love it. There is so much visual storytelling per page it demands re-reading. I love it. Overall 9.0 Recommendation: Buy it. Frame it.


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

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Image Comics’ April Fools Variants

Image Comics has revealed the first eight of 11 variants planned for April’s 25th anniversary theme month—can you guess the month’s theme? APRIL FOOLS! Image Comics’ creators are unleashed all month long to prank fans with these covers—they’ll make comics readers do a double-take every Wednesday.

Each month of Image’s 25th year will boast a theme for special anniversary variants. The following covers are sure to get comic fans and collectors talking.

Available in stores on Wednesday, April 5th:

  • Rock Candy Mountain #1 by Kyle Starks, cover by Kyle Starks (Diamond Code JAN178689)
  • Sons of the Devil #11 by Brian Buccellato & Toni Infante, cover by Toni Infante (Diamond Code JAN178694)
Available in stores on Wednesday, April 12th:
  • Spawn #272 cover by Todd McFarlane (Diamond Code JAN178693)
Available in stores on Wednesday, April 19th:
  • Black Science #29 by Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera, cover by Rafael Albuquerque (Diamond Code JAN178692)
  • Curse Words #4 by Charles Soule and Ryan Browne, cover by Ryan Browne (Diamond Code JAN178684)
  • East of West #33 by Jonathan Hickman & Nick Dragotta, cover by Nick Dragotta (Diamond Code JAN178691)
  • The Fix #9 by Nick Spencer & Steve Lieber, cover by Steve Lieber (Diamond Code JAN178685)
  • I Hate Fairyland #12 by Skottie Young, cover by Skottie Young (Diamond Code JAN178686)
  • Invincible #135 by Robert Kirkman & Ryan Ottley, cover by Ryan Ottley (Diamond Code JAN178688)
  • Plastic #1 by Doug Wagner, cover by Daniel Hillyard (Diamond Code JAN178687)
Available in stores on Wednesday, April 26th:
  • Savage Dragon #223 by Erik Larsen, cover by Jock (Diamond Code JAN178690)

The Best Comics of 2016 – Brett’s List

It’s the first day of a new year and so that means I’m posting my “best of” listing of the top comic books for 2016. Generally these are comic books that came out in 2016, though some are from earlier times and I got around to reading them, or limited series that continued. Keep in mind, this is what I have read (and does not reflect what other contributors to this site might think, they’ll hopefully have their own lists). If it’s not on here, I just might not have read it.

This was a particularly tough year of choices with some categories easily having their own top ten or twenty-five and some I struggled to even come up with one. 2016 was a year that ongoing, maxi-series, and limited floppies seemed to blend more and more and for me as a reader I found myself shifting away from one publisher to another and as a whole enjoying graphic novels and indie comics a hell of a lot more than I have in the past.

What stood out to me? Check out below what made the cut!

Best Super Hero Comic – The Paybacks

the-paybacks-3A new publisher, but still absolutely amazing. The Paybacks by Donny Cates, Eliot Rahal, Geoff Shaw moved from Dark Horse to Heavy Metal for its second volume, but it didn’t lose any steam in doing so continuing to deliver hilarity and upping the action.

The concept of the comic is that there’s a repo crew who have to deal with all the superheroes who can’t pay back the loans they take for all of their fancy gadgets. To pay off their debts those heroes then join the ragtag team.

A send-up of so many familiar characters and lets face it creators too, the comic has more jokes in each panel than some series have their entire run. It’s funny, action packed, and in this volume actually is somewhat timely with news with a focus on a data breach.

My biggest wish in comics for 2017 is someone is smart enough to invest in this series because I know it’ll pay off in the log run. Everyone who I’ve turned on to it falls in love and whole there were some issues with the second volume, it still is the one “superhero” comic I devoured as soon as possible.

Runners Up:

  • COPRA – There’s some arguments to be made that Michel Fiffe‘s indie series about a group of raftag characters should be the top pick, and there was long thought about if it should, it’s that good. Out of all of the series I read this year, this is one that delivered with every single issue. This is a comic that shows that superheroes aren’t the domain of just two companies anymore, especially due to how many issues have been released. I said this exact same thing in 2015 and it applies here.
  • The Legend of Wonder Woman – An absolutely brilliant max-series that went from digital to print. Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon delivered a Wonder Woman story that stands out in a year of solid Wonder Woman output. Fun to read. Beautiful to look at. Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll just get this one volume.
  • The Omega Men – Writer Tom King took this ragtag group of characters and has given us a maxiseries that explores revolution/terrorism in so many ways. This is one to read once collected and the ruminate on. It began in 2015 but wrapped up in 2016.
  • Tomboy – This series published by Action Lab: Danger Zone and by M. Goodwin is a comic that’s not on enough people’s radar. A mix of manga, Japanese horror, western vigilante stories, it’s a strange, creepy, haunting series featuring a teenage girl out for revenge against the people who killed her friend.

 

Best Non-Super Hero Comic – The Sheriff of Babylon

the-sheriff-of-babylon-12-coverI said above that 2016 was the year of Tom King, and guess who wrote this one! Tom King! The Sheriff of Babylon is another max-series that wrapped up, but we’ll get a second volume some time in 2017.

The comic is based on King’s experiences working for the CIA in Iraq taking place in the Green Zone after the recent Iraq war. The comic is brutally honest showing a world where there’s so little right and so much wrong and it all comes together in a muddied brown and gray.

That dirtiness of it all is helped by Mitch Gerads‘ art and the smart use of colors. The detail, every body movement, the framing of the panels, Gerads’ art adds so much to every issue. That’s saying something considering how amazing King’s scripts are!

This is a comic series that shows comics are political and can question the world we currently live.

Runners Ups:

  • Descender- Jeff Lemire has had a hell of year in general in comics and is one of my favorite writers of the year. This series features the stunning art of Dustin Nguyen. The sci-fi series is so hard to describe revolving around an android that looks like a little boy. Every issue is a treat to read, and Nguyen’s art helps with beautiful visuals. Seriously the art alone is a reason to pick up the series. We didn’t get an issue every month, but what we did get was fantastic.
  • The Fix – Two fuck up cops who are corrupt and get mixed up in a drug smuggling scam. The comic is absolutely hilarious. Written by Nick Spencer with art by Steve Lieber the comic is one of the funniest books on the market.
  • The Flintstones – Written by Mark Russell this series is some of the smartest and subtle political and social commentary in any writing going on today. The comic covers everything from religion to consumerism to the 2016 election. And like his writing in Prez no one is safe, the right and the left are equal fodder. Entertaining, smart, and elevating the classic characters to a whole new level.
  • Invisible Republic – A reporter investigates the truth of an uprising on a planet discovering fact from fiction in a series that bounces back and forth between the past and present. Each issue reminds us about the power of journalism and the need for good reporting. Myth can easily be twisted into fact and lies can replace reality. The comic series seems prescient in so many ways.

 

Best Limited Series or One Shot – 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank

4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK #1 CoverWe got three issues of this series in 2016 and holy crap do I wish we got more. In those three issues we did get some of the best storytelling in any comics. I’m assuming this is a limited series since it is a “crime caper in five parts” but hopefully we get more after this volume wraps up.

The series involves a bunch of kids that find out one of their dads is possibly a criminal and has some buddies who plan to rob a bank. Their idea is to rob the bank before them.

But, it’s not the heist that’s the drawn it’s the kids themselves. Each one feels so real with so many quirks their personalities jump off the page. Everyone is relatable and each feels like real people we knew growing up. It’s absolutely amazing.

The art by Tyler Boss is top notch and the writing is why Matthew Rosenberg is one of the hottest writers in comics right now.

More please!

Runners Up:

  • Black – This series was a Kickstarter phenomenon and the concept is what if only Black people had superpowers? Political. Daring. In your face. The comic is layered and will leave you debating what it’s trying to say.
  • Love is Love – A charity comic to benefit the victims of the Pulse nightclub attack, this comic is a prime example of what the comic industry can do when profits aren’t at the forefront. Bringing together publishers and hundreds of creators it’s a touching tribute.
  • Refugees Book One – A hell of a find at Small Press Expo, the comic is haunting taking us into the world of refugees as they attempt to find a better life. There’s definite issues with the comic as far as some of the writing, but the message is clear and brutally honest.
  • Superman: American Alien – Featuring a bunch of different artists, this maxi-series by writer Max Landis explored a different time in Superman’s life with a different take on the character. It’s a fun and fantastic read and somehow actually gives us something that feels fresh for a character that’s been around for over 75 years.

 

Best Graphic Novel/Trade Paperback – March Book Three

MarchBookThree-CoverThe best thing to be released in 2016 for comics. This is an absolutely amazing finish to the award winning trilogy. The winner of the National Book Award among other things the graphic novel focuses on Congressman John Lewis’ experiences during the Civil Rights movement.

Written by Lewis, Andrew Aydin, with art by Nate Powell this is the crown jewel of comics showing that they’re more than tights and has been adopted by schools to teach about this time in American history.

As I read the graphic novel from cover to cover, I found myself filled with emotions, as Lewis’ life was there in print for those to see and read. The story is a complicated one, but it’s presented in a way that feels honest and open, both good and bad. This is an inside look at one of the most important, and turbulent times in American history from not just someone that was there, but a leader of the movement. And that’s a fascinating part of this third book, is its focus on Lewis’ role as a leader.

This third volume somehow leapfrogs the other two. Whether it’s due to learning or the material within, something about it created an emotional reaction I haven’t felt by any media in quite some time. And most importantly it got me to think about where we as a people and nation have been, where we are, and where we’re going.

Runners Up:

  • The Attack – A man’s wife winds up being a suicide bomber. This story is about his attempt to find out why and discovering he knew so little about the woman he called his wife. A spiral into despair and madness the end will leave you speechless and heartbroken.
  • Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches From Turkey, Syria, and Iraq – By Sarah Glidden this graphic novel is her experiences as she researches potential stories on the effects of the Iraq War on the Middle East, especially refugees. Beautiful to look at, the graphic novel is the second best thing I’ve read this year (behind March).
  • Soviet Daughter – Adapting her great grandmother’s journal Julia Alekseyeva provides an interesting look at someone who lived in Russia from 1910 to emigrating to the US in the 90s. The Revolution, WWII, the Holocaust, it’s all presented as Alekseyeva illustrates what is a diary. Between each chapter, Julia reflects on her own life and her closeness with her great grandmother. It’s an amazing piece examining women finding their place in the world. It’s also a reason you wait until the first of the year for your list, as this came out the last week of the year.
  • Tetris: The Games People PlayBox Brown takes what should be a boring story about the history of the video game Tetris and makes it really interesting! A fun graphic novel published by First Second that makes corporate maneuvering a bad business deals engaging.

 

Best Genre of the Year – Indie Comics/Small Publishers

Is it a “genre”? We can argue about that, but lets face it, 2016 was a year we saw major creators continue to shrug off the big two, instead launching creator-owned series at other publishers, digitally or through Kickstarter. We saw more comics, in more varieties, on more subjects and more ways to consume them, than any time before. It really wasn’t the year of the Big Two, this was a year that we as consumers could continue to find something that would fit our varied tastes.

With more channels for distribution and more ways to produce comics, we’re in a golden age where the old ways of publishing no longer hold back the creativity that abounds.

I named Indie Comics “it” in 2013, 2014, and 2015 and nothing changed in 2016. There’s a massive opening for someone to step in and be a mainstream breakout, maybe 2017 will be the year we see it.

 

Best Surprise of the Year – DC Comics

DC_Logo_RGB_0318162016 was a year that had everyone shaking their head when they heard DC was shaking things up again and “rebooting.” Except, their reboot was anything but.

In “Rebirth” the publisher blended the old with the new bringing back legacy characters and also pushing forward some of the newer ones too. They even moved away from grimm and gritty and gave us a bit of hope and fun in it all!

While Batman has always been strong for the company, Superman, Wonder Woman, and more all all returned to greatness with a new positive energy about them that could be felt.

But even better, sales increased and while they’ve leveled off and dropped quite a bit from the initial launch, the publisher is stronger and in a better position than it has been in a long time.

The company continued to expand upon its digital first program, and has begun to look towards expanding its market with its DC Super Hero Girls line.

They also did this as their movie output was mixed and television output strong. Now to get everything to line-up and the DC brand as a whole could be unstoppable.

The dots are all there, now we’ll see if the company has the vision to connect them all.

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year – Kickstarter

KickstarterLast year’s disappointment continued to be so, as projects were delayed, vapor ware, or not as advertised. Also add in issues on the creator end of folks pledging high amounts and then disputing the charges, at times getting the goods. Add in the platform’s unwillingness to step in to deal with either situation and you get a tech company showing off it’s greed. What was once the toast of the town has shown its cracks which will only get worse.

The crowdfunding platform became a way for creators to raise funds for projects, only to get picked up by publishers, at times delaying projects and leaving bad tastes in the mouths of fans. If all creators were held to the standards of some of the best users of the system, there’d be no issue, but over 90% of the projects I’ve pledged to have been delayed or non-existent only creating angry backers and fans.

These issues have lead this site to rethink what we promote and how we do so, no longer choosing comics to promote, as we feel some responsibility for things gone wrong and your dollars being held hostage.

Kickstarter continues to be tone-deaf, and it’s only a matter of time before someone stands up and challenges the platform with a system that’s fair to creators, and protects those who pledge.

Oh how the mighty continue to fall.

 

Publisher of the Year – None of the Above

This one I’ve thought about the most out of all of the categories on the list. I keep going back and forth between Image, BOOM! Studios, Valiant, Action Lab, IDW, First Second, and so many more. For each strength one brings to the table, they also have major weaknesses. Whether it’s a focus on a genre, pigeonholing themselves with adults, failure in digital, a mix of quality of comics, none of them are at least good everywhere. But, the comic industry has really grown in 2016 with no one breaking out as THE publisher to rival the big two. Partially that’s because so many have stood out with some of what they’ve done, but none have stood out for their whole.

Of the big two Marvel has stumbled… a lot. Entire articles can be written in that department, but the company is not the juggernaut its been in quite some time and I’d expect their to be some big shake-ups in 2017.

DC on the other hand came really close to being named for this. They’ve done some amazing stuff in the year with Rebirth being a smash hit. There’s still something slightly off, but out of every publisher, they’ve gotten most improved.

Image has become of the home of amazing indie comics by big name creators, but they generally lack a kids line that gets the next generation of readers and the sales just aren’t their in floppies. BOOM! has had a great mix of comics, but they’re missing that ongoing series that goes on for 30 to 50 issues. Valiant is quality all around and have tried some interesting market tactics, but you have to like superhero comics, Action Lab is a solid up and comer with good consistent releases. IDW has shown its possible to do great licensed comics, while First Second has fantastic graphic novels of all sorts. Aftershock has quality and so has Black Mak Studios.

Out of all of that, where’s the standout above everyone else? They’re all good in their own ways, but each have some flaws, with some of those flaws being pretty big. After a lot of deliberation, I couldn’t decide on one, so I chose none.

Each publisher is close to going huge, it’s just taking someone to connect those dots. Or maybe no one will, and it’ll be up to the individual creators to fill up the gap.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

all-star-batman-3Wednesdays 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

It was stupidly difficult to choose a top pick this week, between both Valiant books, All-Star Batman and Kill Or Be Killed. Any one of these books could have easily found themselves atop the list; the only reason behind the the top pick is because it was the last one I wrote…

Top Pick: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #12 (Valiant) – I heard a rumour that I haven’t verified yet that this series will be ending soon. That’s an incredible shame, because the past eleven issues have combined to form one of the best consecutive runs from any publisher over the past year. If this is the last, or second to last issue, then I’ll be sad to see this go. If not, then my favourite ongoing comic will continue and I’ll be happy.

All-Star Batman #3 (DC Comics) – This has been such a brilliant series so far (yes, I know we’re only two issues in), and getting to watch how Scott Snyder is treating two face is fantastic. I’ve never been happier to see Batman be this resourceful before. It’s a brilliant dose of the Dark Knight out of his element: the countryside in the day.

Britannia #2 (Valiant) – Valiant’s prestige style miniseries are often printed on a higher quality paper, which gives the pages a nice glossy feeling, which is in total juxtaposition to the story itself. Britannia is a bloody, no holds barred tale set in a violent time in Rome, and Britain’s, history. Peter Milligan and Juan Jose Ryp gave us a brilliant first issue, so I’m looking forward to the second quite a bit.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #6 (DC Comics) – Both Green Lantern titles have been excellent since Rebirth, but it’s this one that’s taken me by surprise most of all: normally stories set in space aren’t my forte, but for some reason I can’t get enough of this story.

Howard The Duck #11 (Marvel) – The final issue in the current run may (or may not) be bigger than a normal issue, and may (or may not) have a guest appearance from Spider-Man. It’ll be a shame to see this series go, but the ride was a fantastic one while it lasted. Here’s hoping it goes out with a bang.

Kill Or Be Killed #3 (Image Comics) – Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips reunite for this story about a man who must kill bad people, or his life will take a drastic turn for the worse. It’s a gripping story, and one that delves deeper than the typical superhero/vigilante fare. Highly recommended.

Honourable mentions: Action Comics #965, Old Man Logan #12, Red Hood and the Outlaws #3, and Revolution #3

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: All-Star Batman # 3 (DC Comics) – I have enjoyed this title far beyond what I thought I would. The mix of Grindhouse and Gotham story telling has me on the edge of my seat. I think JR JR is turning in some of his best work in a high octane environment. Scott Snyder has officially taking the top of the mountain as the all time greatest Batman scribe. No only is the main story a joy but the back up tale by Snyder and Shevley is a thrill as well. I’m loving the development of Duke Thomas. This title can do no wrong in my eyes.

The Clone Conspiracy # 1 (Marvel Comics) – Well though this subject matter could be an absolute disaster I have more than enough faith that Dan Slott can make this a must see comic. I’m loving the rebirth of The Jackal under this Annubis motif and he’s not coming across truly evil. (Well not yet) Spidey has been so fun the past couple years and I don’t expect the party to stop here.

 

Shay

Top Pick: The Lost Boys #1 (DC Comics) – The hunt for Star is on as her “sisters” the Blood Belles search for her and the Frog Brothers & the Emerson Brothers try and keep the blood suckers at bay. I like throwbacks and a good horror comic and , it can’t be any worse than those gawd awful sequels.

Black Monday Murders #1, #2 & #3 (Image Comics) – This week you can get all caught up with the series thanks to the reprinting. Who doens’t like a tale of dirty money, corporate badies & the rebels who try and keep them at bay?

Belladonna #1 (Boundless) – A woman leading a troop of Warrior women. Sounds like all the girl power and I want to dig right in!

Batgirl & The Birls of Prey #3 (DC Comics) – The new Oracle is a superior bad ass and Gothams normal badies aren’t up to the task of running defense. in this next installment of the “Who is Oracle” the ladies face off against some of the most dangerous villains yet.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Sheriff of Babylon #11 (Vertigo) – Seriously, this is one of, if not THE, best comic on the market right now. It’s absolutely gripping and there’s one more issue to go in this story arc. We’re about to figure out all of the dirt in what is a murder mystery full of terrorists, crooked US operatives, and taking place in the Iraqi Green Zone.

Mosaic #1 (Marvel) – I’m intrigued, not going to lie. I want to see what Marvel does with this new character and to see how it all plays out.

Solarman #2 (Scout Comics) – The first issue was solid and I can’t wait to sit down and read the second. The classic character has been updated for modern times and it’s something that’s needed more of in comics.

Warhammer 40,000: Will of Iron #1 (Titan Comics) – I’ve been a Games Workshop and 40K fan for over 20 years at this point. So, a new comic having me excited is not a shock.

Warlords of Appalachia #1 (BOOM! Studios) – I’ve read the first issue and it’s solid with a solid premise, great art, and enough of a hook that I want to see what happens next. I think what impressed me most was that the first issue is a well thought out world with tons of small details including actual music you can play.

 

Anthony

Top Pick: Monstress #7 (Image Comics) – Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s Monstress is a stunningly gorgeous series, rich in both art (with an aesthetic that combines traditional Japanese woodblock prints and a art-deco style) and the world being created. This new arc follows a violent clash with Maika’s captors as she and her companions Kippa and Master Ren, continue their journey to discover the true nature of the discovery that Maika’s mother made in the distant past.

The Fix #6 (Image Comics) – Roy and Mac are just two awful individuals living in a world surrounded by debauchery, lies and mindless violence. There is something about The Fix that makes it one of the best titles out there, combining this anti-hero dynamic with buckets of laughter each and every issue. With every new push in the story and characters introduced, it feels like the creative team still has plenty of potential ideas to work with, which is definitely a very, very good thing.

The Fade Out Deluxe Hardcover (Image Comics) – Collected here in one large tome is the excellent, Golden Age of Hollywood, alcohol infused, Eisner award winning noir series from the same team of Kill or Be Killed, Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser. If you missed the series, this looks to be the best bet collection wise as it contains all the back matter from the single issues and a ton of extra material.

Glitterbomb #2 (Image Comics) – Speaking of Hollywood, the first issue of Glitterbomb introduced us to Farrah and the harsh reality she faces trying to make a living as an actress in the sleazy, male-ego driven world. Jim Zub’s scripts are consistently packed with surprises, introducing a supernatural twist to Farrah. Djibirl Morisette-Phan and K. Michael Russell bring the scripts to life through some confident line work and dreamy use of colours, enhancing the emotion and dread especially when there aren’t any words on the page.

Kill or Be Killed #3 (Image Comics) – Dylan has just killed the first person he has deemed justifiable in the act. Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser have been crafting a fantastic tale, challenging the notions of morality, how our past shapes who we are and whether we can truly change as time passes by.

Sell-Outs and New Printings

Check out some of this week’s announced sell-outs and printings from various comic publishers.

Dynamite

Released last week to widespread critical acclaim, the debut work of graphic fiction, White Sand, by author Brandon Sanderson arrives on the New York Times Graphic Bestseller List in the number two spot! The first volume has sold out at the distributor level, with an incredible amount of backorders and a second printing in the works.

Sanderson’s previously unpublished story is adapted by Rik Hoskin, with art by Julius Gopez and colors by Ross Campbell.

JG_WhiteSand01DJ-CImage Comics

As many in the comics industry lament the slow news week and lack of major conventions, news items, and industry gossip during this month, Image Comics is pleased to alleviate this dry spell with an announcement of yet another bevy of re-printings for The Fix by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber. The Fix #4 is slated for its second printing already and The Fix #1 is going into its fifth printing in order to keep up with ever-increasing demand for the hot new series. Retailers reading this will immediately realize the potential for a little extra beer mon—er, customer base growth potential—and increase their orders.

The Fix #1, 5th printing and The Fix #4, 2nd printing will arrive in stores on Wednesday, August 10th.

The Fix #1 5th Printing The Fix #4 2nd PrintingMarvel

Comic fans met her earlier this year, but last week the world at large was introduced to Riri Williams – and people everywhere are buzzing! Marvel has announced that remaining copies of her first appearances have immediately sold out at the distributor level!

Be sure to catch up on all her current appearances in the pages of Invincible Iron Man #7, #8, #9, #10 & #11 when they all return to comic shops next month!

Invincible_Iron_Man_7_Third_Printing_Cover Invincible_Iron_Man_8_Second_Printing_Cover Invincible_Iron_Man_9_Second_Printing_Cover Invincible_Iron_Man_10_Second_Printing_Cover Invincible_Iron_Man_11_Second_Printing_Cover

Review: The Fix #4

thefix_04-1If you like depraved idiots trying to escape certain death, nineties fashion, and dogs, Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber’s crime comic The Fix has you covered. If you’re not caught up on the escapades of two scheming cops and their beagle nemesis, the first three issues are already on their fourth, third, and second printings, available in stores with The Fix #4.

If the previous issue was Mac-light, the latest issue focuses on giving Mac a little more depth of character. Mac Brundo is a romantic at heart. So far, Roy has been the brains (phrase used loosely) of the operation while Mac plays the Hawaiian shirt clad sidekick. The Fix #4 unravels some of Mac’s past while edging the plot toward conflict…and maybe a few twists Roy and Mac didn’t bargain for.

Despite the presence of two main characters and a number of important side characters in the story, the comic never lists too heavily toward one specific aspect. The issue’s focus on Mac doesn’t take away from the larger plot, but allows readers to get a glimpse of what Mac has been up to while Roy is framing coworkers and bodyguarding starlets. While the story is well-crafted and the recurrence of the kombucha guzzling, kale loving Josh is a constant reminder that failure isn’t an option for Roy and Mac, it’s at times difficult to remember what the end goal is. 

As always, one of the series’ main strengths is the interplay between writing and art. It’s obvious that Spencer and Lieber understand each other, and the level of humor they’re able to achieve on the page is often laugh-out-loud funny. The hilarity of the series hasn’t waned in four issues thanks to superb timing and well thought out visual puns and jokes.

Lieber’s art is consistent but never boring. Minute details like enlarged details within individual panels, the characters’ fashion, and the…items they regurgitate…ensure that the art is never monotonous. Ryan Hill’s coloring follows a more neutral palette this issue, with pops of color that, combined with Nic J. Shaw’s lettering, add vibrancy to an already punchy comic.

Together, these elements form a well-constructed comic well worth reading for its story, humor, and art.

Story: Nick Spencer Art: Steve Lieber
Story: 9.2 Art: 10 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

PaperGirls07_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: 4001 A.D.: Shadowman #1 (Valiant Entertainment) – 4001 A.D. has been a pretty great event so far, and while it isn’t the best miniseries Valiant are putting out right now (Divinity holds that title), it’s still better than most other . As with the Bloodshot tie-in comic, this one looks like it can be read independently of the main series; so if you’re not reading the main series, you can sill pick this up no problem.

Batman #2 (DC Comics) – I really enjoyed the first issue – much more than I expected I would – and so naturally I’m looking forward to this. Tom King’s take on Batman  has been solid, but at only an issue in it’s probably too early to pass fair judgement on that, eh? Plus, there’s David Finch on pencils, and as I’m a big fan of his work, it’s hard not to jump on this book.

Moon Knight #4 (Marvel) – Honestly, this series hasn’t been as good as the 2014 series, but we’re also only four issues in. I’ll give it a couple more before I do cancel it, because it feels like there is potential here for a great story… but we haven’t really seen that yet. That said, the artists’ are probably the best part of this book.

Vote Loki #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was brilliant fun. Is it particularly faithful to the Presidential election process? I honestly don’t know, but I absolutely loved it nonetheless. It’s a fun comic that doesn’t take itself too seriously at all, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need.

 

Anthony

Top Pick: Roche Limit Monadic #4 (Image Comics) – Roche Limi has been a great, cerebral, neo-noir, sci-fi ride right from the beginning. This is the final chapter of the trilogy that will feature the philosophical, thoughtful words of Michael Moreci, Kyle Charles’s expressive, flowing illustrations, and Matt Battaglia’s moody colours.

The Fix #4 (Image Comics) – Last issue ended with a literal bang that could potentially swing this series into an even darker direction. Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber and Ryan Hill have been crafting quite the hilarious and poignant series so far. It will be interesting to see what arises before this series takes a little break and check in on Mac (and Pretzels?!) since last issue focused more on Donovan.

Paper Girls #7 (Image Comics) – Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang and Matt Wilson continue to present an inventive, fun and entertaining ride and are introducing a whole new set of unexpected directions after the last issue. With its colourful aesthetic, imaginative images and grounded characters, this has been a monthly treat.

Tokyo Ghost #8 (Image Comics) – Rick Remender is one of the most exciting creators out there right now whose Image titles are all stellar in their own right. Working alongside the incredibly detailed line work of Sean Gordon Murphy and one of the best colourists in Matt Hollingsworth make Tokyo Ghost one of those titles that is firing on all its creative cylinders. This is also one of the most relevant titles on the stands poking at the multiple distracting vices that surround us, even though this is a futuristic setting. Now that the character of the Tokyo Ghost has been revealed, it appears that Constable Dent will have his hands full.

Moon Knight #4 (Marvel) – The best Marvel titles are the ones not directly under the sway of events and Moon Knight stands tall amongst the bunch. Jeff Lemire, Greg Smallwood and Jordie Bellaire continue the push/pull of whether Marc Spector is insane in the membrane but either way, this continues to be one of the more entertaining and visually spectacular series Marvel is releasing.

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: Batman #2 (DC Comics) – King and Finch had such a great and unique opening installment, so naturally I am back. Like Snyder did on his run, King seems to be focused on putting the Man back in the Bat. We had a whopper of a cliffhanger last time and I am so curious to see what Gotham and Gotham Girl (Sounds like she should be on the CW) are up to. Are they run of the mill Superpowers? Or something more. Really enjoyed Finch’s pencil’s last time too. Well rounded issue that I’m looking forward to seeing more.

The Amazing Spider-Man # 15 (Marvel Comics) – While I hate the whole Regent character. I thought we were done with him back in Amazing Spider-Man: Renew your Vows, this issue looks to have MJ all front and center. Anytime a writer uses her right is a treat for me. Let’s hope that’s what Slott has on his mind here.

Green Lanterns # 2 (DC Comics) – Buddy cop drama with other worldly ramifications? Yup. I’m on board. Plus I am digging this Red Dawn plot line. Eager to see where it goes.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Sheriff of Babylon #8 (Vertigo) – Easily one of the best comics on the market right now. This murder mystery set in the Green Zone in Iraq is a fascinating behind the curtain look at life in the war zone in 2014 and each issue is a master class in character study and how to use imagery to enhance the spoken word.

Civil War II: Kingpin #1 (Marvel) – What’s the Kingpin been up to? We find this out with this Civil War II tie-in, my most anticipated one. The talented Matthew Rosenberg is at the helm which has me really excited to see what Marvel’s king of crime is up to.

The Flintstones #1 (DC Comics) – The recent reworking of Hanna-Barbera characters has been interesting, and this latest one tackles the classic cartoon characters. I’m not sure at all what to expect but Mark Russell has delivered hilarity in Prez, God is Dissapointed in You, and Apocrypha Now. I expect no less from this.

Kim and Kim #1 (Black Mask Studios) – Kim & Kim are twentysomething besties out to make a name for themselves in the wild world of interdimensional cowboy law enforcement. That’s the description and it sounds awesome. The artwork looks fantastic too.

Solarman #1 (Scout Comics) – Joseph Illidge, Brendan Deneen, and N. Steven Harris bring back the classic character and gives him a modern facelift. I’ve read the first issue and it’s a must get.

 

Paul

Top Pick: Civil War II X-Men #2 (Marvel) – Magneto is ready to go to war against Inhuman and mutant alike to ensure the future seeing Inhuman, Ulysses, doesn’t jeopardize the future for mutants.  This is typical Magneto, doing what he thinks is right to ensure the survival of mutants; nothing really ground breaking, but I did enjoy the first issue and it’s always fun seeing Magneto take matters into his own hands.

Batman #2 (DC Comics) – Not being an avid DC reader, I really enjoyed the start of this Rebirth title.  I’m curious to learn more about this new Gotham hero and to see how Batman reacts to him; because Batman always plays well with others.

Green Arrow #2 (DC Comics) – Yup, another DC title on my list.  The first issues were fun, and I’m really enjoying seeing Ollie and Dinah together again.  This new iteration of Dinah is going to take some getting used to though (rock singer chick).  And the ending from issue #1!  Damn, gotta see what happens with that.

Justice League: Rebirth #1 (DC Comics) – Yup, this is the third DC title on my list (Marvel is having a quiet week) and I’m a sucker for a team book.  Going in not knowing anything about these characters post New 52 but I am intrigued by the synopsis; a ‘new’ Superman that Batman and Wonder Woman are suspicious of?  Interesting.  And a couple new Green Lanterns I see.  Well, here’s hoping!

The Fix Gets a Whole Bunch of New Printings

Are there really still respectable comic book fans out there not reading The Fix? How is that possible? This series is brought to you by creative superteam Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber and will have readers rolling on the floor in fits of laughter from page one. In order to keep the chuckles flowing, Image Comics will be sending The Fix #1, The Fix #2, and even the The Fix #3, which just hit stores today, back to print. Retailer PSA! It is time to increase your orders in favor of keeping pace with the growing customer interest in the series.

If you’re still not convinced, The Fix is a story of the crooked cops, scheming mobsters, and corrupt politicians that run things—and the sex toy that can bring them all down. Oh, and the hero is a drug-sniffing beagle named Pretzels. Bad people do bad things to each other in this frenetic, outrageous, sometimes off-putting new caper.

In The Fix #2, Mac is injured in the line of duty and Roy seeks the help of another detective with a tough case.

In The Fix #3, Roy moonlights as private security for a superstar actress. Who is Roy? Who is this superstar actress? These are questions that you wouldn’t have if you were just reading this series consistently. Get on the bandwagon and add The Fix to your pull-list already!

The Fix #1, fourth printing (Diamond Code APR168861), The Fix #2, third printing (Diamond Code APR168862), and The Fix #3, second printing (Diamond Code APR168863) will arrive in stores on Wednesday, July 6th.

Review: ‘The Fix’ #3 Goes Down a Darker Rabbit Hole

fix3.2Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber continue to outdo the debauchery and hilarity of The Fix in issue #3. Roy takes centre stage in this issue as film producer and pervert extraordinaire Donovan returns to set Roy on a task to get former child star Elaine (whom Roy is also body guarding) on a film project. Mayhem ensues around a night that is sure to set up quite the storyline for the following issue.

Amongst the energetic, quick-witted script of Nick Spencer, the terrified and exuberant expressions of Roy and Elaina respectively, drawn by Steve Lieber, and the glows of oranges and pinks that filter behind the pills and booze-filled evening by colourist Ryan Hill exists a timely (perhaps timeless) examination of the perils of being famous while young.

Every generation has spawned an array of child stars. Whether it is in the form of a studio concocted singer, individually and/or as a group, or a television sitcom actor/actress, some break out and endure popularity over a longer stretch of time, even breaking away from the innocent, catchphrase television roles or bubblegum radio hits, and some just don’t. Elaina is an example of how obsessed people as fans can get with the celebrity moniker and how this spotlight often shines too bright, too fast. It can be hard to blame these young celebrities for acting out when put into comparison with most people and the kind of things one does as a teenager. Sure, the finger of judgement can be pointed towards parents, guardians and the surroundings these young kids find themselves in but in actuality, a mirror towards the fans and media becomes a more appropriate area to share the blame.

Elaina’s monologue towards the middle of the issue hits it right on the nose, just as the story takes a bit of a darker turn. Just like recent films Amy and Montage of Heck, they are more of a cautionary tale than purely the loss of talent that is put on display (and a bit too much of a dive into the privacy of their lives). There is something inevitable, as Spencer writes, to cause a break down to occur. The non-stop barrage of beckoning these artists to perform and the backlash when requests aren’t made or when fandom’s purity is provoked (relevant) becomes an easier process with the closeness exhibited through the digital age. As much as The Fix is a bit more on the comedic side – with plenty of unexpected, well-placed laugh out loud moments, especially through Lieber’s brilliant comedic timing – this issue taps into something more.

Story: Nick Spencer Artist: Steve Lieber
Colours: Ryan Hill Lettering and Design: Nic J. Shaw
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Review: The Fix #3

The Fix #3Spoiler alert: Roy and Mac have been Hydra all along.

Kidding. Too soon.

Regardless of what’s happening on the Big Two side of life, The Fix #3 provides more of the same snarky humor present in the first two issues. Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber depart from the world of Josh’s Joy Division bluegrass cover group to follow Roy as he carries out his new security detail plan. While the issue is Mac-light, it does provide some unexpected paths for the plot to follow in the coming issues.

So far, each issue has been a direct continuation of the next, making for a cohesive story with a pretty clear goal for the characters. The humor is easily one of the best aspects of the story, due in equal parts to Roy and Mac being their morally bankrupt selves and to the details Lieber sneaks into the art. What sets the story apart from others like it, however, is its political awareness. Roy may act like an idiot much of the time, but he also provides an interesting and insightful social commentary as he goes about his goal of outsmarting a beagle.

As usual, Lieber’s art enhances the wit of the story. The characters’ facial expressions are hilariously expressive and something that readers can instantly relate to. The writing and art mesh seamlessly, playing off of the strengths of the other. Nic J. Shaw‘s lettering and design also helps to ensure that the humor hits with maximum impact. Ryan Hill’s colors are spectacular, and set the tone of the story with a rainbow array of vibrant hues.

The Fix #3 ends with something of a cliffhanger that suggests Roy and Mac may be in over their heads, and while this isn’t a new concept, it also suggests that their problems might be bigger than expected. Spencer and Lieber are a talented team (as indicated by the comic going into second and third reprintings) and The Fix continues to earn its spot as a regular read.

If you can’t get enough of The Fix, be sure to check out Graphic Policy contributor Anthony Spataro’s interview with artist Steve Lieber!

Story: Nick Spencer Art: Steve Lieber Colors: Ryan Hill Design/Lettering: Nic J. Shaw
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

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