Tag Archives: the homeland directive

10 Comic Suggestions for Furloughed Government Workers

Government shutdown getting you down? While we wait to for our elected officials to do their job and act like adults, hundreds of thousands of individuals are sitting at home. Here’s our suggestions of ten comics, series, or graphic novels to pick up and read through while you await your return to working for the American people.

If you have suggestions, sound off in the comments with them and why you suggest them!

  • The Authority  After witnessing the demise of most of her StormWatch teammates, Jenny Sparks wants to create a new super hero team dedicated to protecting Earth against threats of a global scale. Joined by former StormWatch members Jack Hawksmoor and Shen Li-Min, Jenny recruits four new members, the Doctor, the Engineer, Apollo, and the Midnighter forming the ultra-powerful Authority. The praised series features many of the top creators over the years. A mix of heroes and politics, this is a modern classic.


  • DMZIt’s the second American Civil War that follows a journalist as he’s dropped in the middle of New York City, now a DMZ that separates the two warring sides. Initially starting as commentary about the Bush presidency the series quickly pivoted to comment on the hope and change that was promised with the election of Obama.


  • Ex MachinaSet in our modern-day real world, Ex Machina tells the story of civil engineer Mitchell Hundred, who becomes America’s first living, breathing superhero after a strange accident gives him amazing powers. Eventually tiring of risking his life merely to help maintain the status quo, Mitchell retires from masked crime-fighting and runs for Mayor of New York City, winning by a landslide! But Mayor Hundred has to worry about more than just budget problems and an antagonistic governor.



  • The Homeland Directive– As head of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, Dr. Laura Regan is one of the world’s foremost authorities on viral and bacteriological study. Having dedicated her career to halting the spread of infectious disease, she has always considered herself one of the good guys. But when her research partner is murdered and Laura is blamed for the crime, she finds herself at the heart of a vast and deadly conspiracy. Aided by three rogue federal agents who believe the government is behind the frame-up, Laura must evade law enforcement, mercenaries, and a team of cyber-detectives who know more about her life than she does – all while trying to expose a sinister plot that will impact the lives of every American. Set in the Orwellian present, The Homeland Directive is a modern-day political/medical thriller.


  • The Nightly News– As an act of violence spirals out of control to encompass the entirety of the news media, a cult has emerged from the errors and retractions that have ruined careers, marriages and even lives. Under direction from his cult master, The Hand leads an army of followers committed to revolution, willing to die for their cause.


  • Occupy Comics #1-3 – Occupy Comics brings together more than 50 comics pros to discuss and document the themes, goals, and ideals of the Occupy movement while also raising funds to support it. With a roster spanning from legends like Alan Moore and David Lloyd (V For Vendetta) to rising stars like Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead) to icons like Art Spiegelman (Maus), Occupy Comics is a once-in-a-lifetime coalition of intelligent creatives using sequential art to record history as it’s being made.


  • Scarlet– Scarlet is the story of a woman pushed to the edge by all that is wrong with the world…A woman who will not back down…A woman who discovers within herself the power to start a modern American revolution!!


  • Transmetropolitan– After years of selfimposed exile from a civilization rife with degradation and indecency, cynical journalist Spider Jerusalem is forced to return to a job he hates and a city he loathes. Working as an investigative reporter for the newspaper The Word, Spider attacks the injustices of his surreal 23rd century surroundings.


  • V for Vendetta– A powerful story about loss of freedom and individuality, V For Vendetta takes place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet. In a world without political freedom, personal freedom and precious little faith in anything comes a mysterious man in a white porcelain mask who fights political oppressors through terrorism and seemingly absurd acts. It’s a gripping tale of the blurred lines between ideological good and evil.


Top Shelf Products Top Shelf Cyber Monday

Top Shelf is getting into the Cyber Monday bonanza with 30% your order online. Just enter the code CYBERTSP at checkout to get 30% off your entire order. The sale ends Monday night.


For those who love furious action and incredible artwork: Infinite Kung Fu by Kagan McLeod, and The Homeland Directive by Robert Venditti & Mike Huddleston

“The great strength of [Infinite Kung Fu] is its originality, but equally impressive are McLeod’s extraordinary illustrations and compelling narrative… one of the 10 best graphic novels of the year.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The Homeland Directive: an addictive page-turner that feels like an edge-of-your-seat theater experience.” — MTV Splash Page

For moms who still know how to have a good time: Underwire by Jennifer Hayden

“Hayden’s cheerful profanity and scratchy lines give the work a homey, intimate feel… Hayden’s stories are like comfortable, lived-in jeans–not the most stylish or flattering, but the ones you want to spend time wearing.” — Publishers Weekly

For small-town folks, family members, or hockey fans: Essex County by Jeff Lemire

“A rich tapestry … Mr. Lemire infuses his characters with vivid details that make them burst to life.” — The New York Times

For fantasy fans & animal lovers: Owly by Andy Runton & Korgi (including the new Book 3) by Christian Slade

“The art, storytelling, pacing, and world [Christian] Slade has created is fantastic and you don’t have to be a kid to appreciate it.” — About.com

For 20-30somethings with mixed feelings about growing up: Any Empire by Nate Powell

“Powell’s exceptional visual-storytelling gift transforms a potentially obvious antiwar parable into a ravishingly beautiful, emotionally resonant, thoughtful, and provocative work of art.” — Booklist (starred review)

For middle schoolers (and middle-schoolers at heart): Pirate Penguin vs Ninja Chicken by Ray Friesen

Pirate Penguin: Each panel is punctuated with so many quips and jokes that they don’t work to form a narrative so much as they collectively embody an extended Abbot and Costello routine.” — Graphic Novel Reporter

For early readers, or kids who love to hear books read out loud: Johnny Boo & Dragon Puncher by James Kochalka

“Just the right blend of sarcasm, silliness, and action to appeal to both child readers and to adults reading this with their kids.” — School Library Journal’s Good Comics For Kids

For young lovers and those who remember young love: Blankets (deluxe hardcover edition) by Craig Thompson, and Lucille by Ludovic Debeurme

“Reading Blankets is like reliving your youth as you wander through the artist’s personal trials of fundamentalist religion and teenage heart-break in small-town America… The Best Graphic Novel of the Decade.” — Paste Magazine

“Debeurme gets underneath what makes these young lovers tick, and is realistic enough to realize that they’re too inexperienced and impulsive to fix each other. Still, the love affair in Lucille burns bright, illuminating two lives.” — The AV Club

For savvy hippies and pop-culture vultures: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century and Alan Moore’s Dodgem Logic (full set)

“Fans won’t be let down by the latest instalment of this clever, lurid saga.” — The Guardian

Around the Tubes

It’s Wednesday, and that means new comics!  What’s everyone picking up this week?  While you think about that, here’s the news you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

Michele Lee – Dear DC Comics, – A must read about one girl’s reaction to reading Starfire.

Con Coverage:

Bleeding Cool – Warren Ellis Captured Ghosts To Screen During NYCC

IGN – Mega Man & Sonic NYCC Exclusive Covers

Around the Tubes Reviews:

Seattle PI – Blue Estate: Preserves

MTV Geek – Codename Sailor V, vol. 1

MTV Geek – The Homeland Directive

Geeks of Doom – Insurrection V3.6 #1

CBR – Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #2

Bleeding Cool – Voodoo #1

Comics Alliance – ComicsAlliance Reviews Every Comic in DC’s New 52: Week 3

Review – The Homeland Directive

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The Homeland DirectiveThe Homeland Directive published by Top Shelf Productions is a fantastic graphic novel that takes a look at security and information in modern times.  The graphic novel, written by Robert Venditti, is a thriller that focuses on some shady government bureaucrats after a scientist as an outbreak of an unknown disease occurs.  Really, the comic is about personal data and the abuses that can come with data farming.  Can personal privacy exist in the modern era of national security?

As a leading researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Laura Regan is one of the world’s foremost authorities on viral and bacteriological study. Having dedicated her career to halting the spread of infectious disease, she has always considered herself one of the good guys. But when her research partner is murdered and Laura is blamed for the crime, she finds herself at the heart of a vast and deadly conspiracy. Aided by three rogue federal agents who believe the government is behind the frame-up, Laura must evade law enforcement, mercenaries, and a team of cyber-detectives who know more about her life than she does—all while trying to expose a sinister plot that will impact the lives of every American.

Set in the Orwellian present, The Homeland Directive confronts one of the vital questions of our time: In an era when technology can either doom or save us, is it possible for personal privacy and national security to coexist?

The story is great weaving in a techno-thriller and a chase story.  The two combined makes you question every little move and every use of technology.  The fact the plot is realistic is also fantastic.  Much like The Big Lie, which was reviewed earlier, this questions the government and it’s role.  Unlike that comic the allegory here works and it weaves conspiracy and reality together.

The art by Mike Huddleston adds to Venditti’s writing style focusing on what I’d expect from a noir/thriller and a pulp sense of writing.  This is up there as one of the best graphic novels of the year as it pulls of an entertaining story along with a politically relevant story.  Beyond solid and a highly recommended read.

Story: 9.25 Art: 9.25 Overall: 9.25 Recommendation: Buy

Story: Robert Venditti Art: Mike Huddleston

Publisher: Top Shelf Productions Cost: $14.95 Release Date: July

Top Shelf Productions provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.

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The weekend is almost here, and there’s no comic book movie opening up, what will you do?!  Since we’re at the end of the summer movie season, what were your highlights?  While you think about that, here’s the news you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

The Atlantic – Comic Books as Journalism: 10 Masterpieces of Graphic NonfictionA very good list of comics and graphic novels to read.

Splashpage – ‘DMZ’ Television Series Was A ‘Near Miss,’ Says CreatorDammit!

CBR – New Details Emerge On Darabont’s “Walking Dead” ExitCBR has the breakdown of the rumors.

Kotaku – A Whole Lot of Mega Man and 8 Million new Spider-People Headline a Big Week in New Comics – Kotaku has their picks of comics to check out this week.

Con Coverage:

Comics Nexus – Wednesday Comments – My Baltimore Comic Con Shopping List

Around the Tubes Reviews:

CBR – REVIEWS: “American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest,” “Detective Comics”

Blog Critics – Graphic Novel Review: The Homeland Directiveby Robert Venditti and Mike Huddleston

MTV Geek – Image Reviews: The Red Wing #2, Morning Glories #11, and Reed Gunther #3

New Blankets, Kung Fu, Any Empire, Homeland, & League 1969 — Top Shelf’s Comic-Con is HUGE

Official Press Release

New BLANKETS, KUNG FU, ANY EMPIRE, HOMELAND, & LEAGUE Top Shelf Products1969 — Top Shelf’s Comic-Con is HUGE!

We always make a splash at San Diego Comic-Con — it’s the biggest show of the year — but honestly, with so many incredible artists and such important new books debuting, PLUS our first books launching on the iPad, this year might be our most jam-packed convention ever! We hope you’ll come to see us, July 20-24, at the Top Shelf Booth (#1721) — and everybody can check out our digital books through Comics+!

Signings & Hot Debuts @ Booth #1721!

For five exhilarating days, we’ll be cramming together more talent than you’d think could fit in one room, let alone one convention booth! Get ready to meet over a dozen of our greatest authors:

— Craig Thompson (Blankets deluxe edition)
— Kagan McLeod (Infinite Kung Fu)
— Nate Powell (Any Empire)
— Robert Venditti (The Homeland Directive)
— Ray Friesen (Pirate Penguin vs Ninja Chicken)
— Andy Runton (Owly)
— James Kochalka (Johnny Boo) and family!
— Jeffrey Brown (Incredible Change Bots Two)
— Jeff Lemire (Essex County)
— JD Arnold & Rich Koslowski (BB Wolf & the 3 LPs)
— Eric Skillman (Liar’s Kiss)
— Matt Kindt (Super Spy)
— plus your crew: Chris Staros, Leigh Walton, and our new ebook expert, Chris Ross!





Comic-Con’s Top Shelf Panel and Infinite Kung Fu video!

Don’t forget to come by the official Top Shelf panel at Comic-Con, Saturday July 23 at 4:30 in room 8! We’ll have Q&A with the Top Shelf family of authors, plus tons of sneak peeks at what’s coming next from us!

And in case you missed it last week, check out the incredible video that’s been blowing up the internet: this animated trailer for Kagan McLeod’s Infinite Kung Fu!

A Very Kochalka Comic-Con!

James Kochalka is a living legend: indie comics hero, diary comic pioneer, webcomics maestro, musical superstar, and more. His work (including American Elf, Johnny Boo, Dragon Puncher , and more) even earned him the title of Cartoonist Laureate of the state of Vermont! But did you know that his whole family are superstars? Now’s your chance to find out, because they’re all coming to San Diego!
Come by the booth (#1721) to meet the whole Kochalka family — James, Amy, Eli, and Oliver! They’re the stars of American Elf and Dragon Puncher, plus the kids are precocious young cartoonists themselves. The family will be signing a special print created by James just for this show!

Top Shelf’s Award-Winning Catalog Debuts in Comics+ from iVerse at SDCC

Top Shelf Productions joins iVerse Media for digital product launch.

San Diego, CA-18 July 2011 – One of the most diverse and highly-regarded publishers in the world of comics, Top Shelf Productions, is expanding into the digital market. iVerse Media is proud to announce the release of 70+ digital graphic novels from Top Shelf, available today for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch through the Comics+ app.

The first wave of titles includes work from top-selling and award-winning creators such as Andy Runton, Robert Venditti, Nate Powell, Jeff Lemire, Jeffrey Brown, James Kochalka, Renee French, Alex Robinson, Matt Kindt, and many more.

“We are incredibly proud to be releasing this first wave of Top Shelf titles at Comic-Con this year,” said iVerse Media CEO Michael Murphey. “Top Shelf really showcases the art of comics, and we’re excited to be the first to take this journey with them into the digital space.”

The launch titles from Top Shelf include such hits as Owly, The Homeland Directive, Any Empire, Swallow Me Whole, Essex County, Incredible Change-Bots, Johnny Boo, and Too Cool to Be Forgotten. With books spanning every age group and every genre (comedy, drama, action, memoir, fantasy, science fiction, even art books), there’s sure to be something for every reader. Following this initial wave, many more titles from Top Shelf’s rich catalog will be released over the coming weeks and months.

“At Top Shelf, we’re dedicated to telling stories that people connect with; reader-friendly comics with subtext and heart, each presented with a distinctive visual style,” explained Top Shelf publisher Chris Staros. “Now with the iVerse digital launch, it’ll be easier than ever to discover the amazing work our authors are doing, and maybe even find yourself a new favorite.”

Top Shelf and iVerse are breaking new ground — of the major English-language literary/art-comics publishers, Top Shelf is the first to offer its graphic novels for the iOS platform. And with prices ranging from $0.99 to $14.99, they hope to welcome plenty of new readers.

Titles are available now in the Comics+ Application for iOS.

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It’s the latter part of the week and one day closer to San Diego Comic-Con 2011.  You might have noticed we’ve kicked it into overtime with the posts (yes there’s that many we had to).  Is the increased coverage better?  Worse?  Let us know!  While you ponder that, here’s the news you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

Kotaku – Week in Comics: A Green Lantern Finale, an X-Men Split, The Old Republic and More New Comics Recommendations – Each week Kotaku brings their highlights of the week’s releases with a focus on video game related comics.

Con Coverage:

Graphic Novel Reporter – San Diego Comic-Con Programming for Librarians and Educators

The Beat – SDCC11: ICv2 conference adds new speakers

The Beat – SDCC11: Geppi launches Fandom Advisory Network

MTV Geek – 10 Off-Beat San Diego Panels You Have To See To Believe

DC The Source – DC Entertainment’s Road to SDCC: Jim Lee Designs Official San Diego Comic-Con Souvenir Book and T-Shirt

CBLDF – CBLDF at Comic-Con: The Panels

The Beat – San Diego Comic-Con changes 2012 preregistration procedure

Around the Tubes Reviews:

IGN – The Homeland Directive

The Daily Blam – The Homeland Directive

Bleeding Cool – The Red Wing #1 and Captain America #1

IGN – X-Men: Schism #1

Complex – Is The Relaunch Of “Captain America” Worth The Hype?

“Homeland Directive” in Stores Today – Plus Killer “Infinite Kung Fu” Video

Official Press Release

Top Shelf Products


What a week! As we prepare for a giant San Diego Comic-Con next week, one of our most-anticipated graphic novels reaches stores TODAY! Meanwhile, another one of our big summer books drops an awesome video trailer! Check out both pulse-pounding books, and stay tuned for more Comic-Con news!


From Robert Venditti, the writer of the New York Times bestselling series The Surrogates, comes a brand-new graphic novel with jaw-dropping artwork from Mike Huddleston. THE HOMELAND DIRECTIVE is a relentless thriller about privacy, national security, and technology’s dark potential — starring a researcher who, framed for murder and on the run from the government, discovers more than she ever imagined.

by Robert Venditti & Mike Huddleston

— $14.95 (US)
— 144-page full-color softcover gn
— ISBN 978-1-60309-024-7
— Diamond: MAR11-1271

Here’s what critics are saying about The Homeland Directive already:

“Venditti’s cat-mouse thriller demands edge-of-your-seat attention while raising serious questions about terrorism, personal privacy, and government responsibility … excellent writing and plotting, and dead suitable art.” — Library Journal

“An addictive page-turner that feels like an edge-of-your-seat theater experience.” — MTV Splash Page

“The conspiracy at the heart of this superbly paced thriller makes the Illuminati and the New World Order look like rank amateurs.” — Paste Magazine

‎”It’s unlikely you’ll find a book that looks as good as The Homeland Directive this year.” — Robot 6

Kagan McLeod’s INFINITE KUNG FU comes alive in animated video!

One of our most anticipated launches at next week’s Comic-Con is Kagan McLeod’s martial magnum opus, INFINITE KUNG FU. It’s an epic saga over 10 years in the making, from one of the most talented illustrators of his generation. Now, to help spread the word of this monster book, Kagan and his brother Sean have created the coolest “book trailer” video we’ve ever seen! Click here to watch it (stay for the amazing ending), and please embed & share it with friends!


And don’t forget, you can read the first half of Infinite Kung Fu for free on our web site, here:


by Kagan McLeod
— $24.95 (US)
— 464-page deluxe flexi-bound graphic novel
— ISBN 978-1-891830-83-9
— Diamond: MAY11-1197

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Thankfully I didn’t go see the midnight showing of Transformers 3, instead choosing the 9pm.  I’m thankful because that means I didn’t lose sleep along with my $15.  This has to be one of the worst films of the summer so far, and that says a lot in the summer of disappointments.  Our full review later.

Around the Blogs:

ICv2 – Spidey Musical Playing to Packed HousesI see this one sticking around for a bit, but not ever being profitable.

ICv2 – The Top Ten Box Office Duds of 2011 So FarYou can add Transformers 3 to this (I hope).

Around the Tubes Reviews:

Good Comic Books – G.I. Joe: Cobra Civil War #1

Geekweek – The Homeland Directive

Graphic Novel Reviews – Pride and Prejudice