Tag Archives: the humans

Review: The Humans Vol. 2

HumansVol2_CoverGrowing up watching CHIPS on TV, I remember thinking that those cops were cool, just because they were on motorbikes. Just like any American boy, even today, motorbikes, seems like an extension of our masculinity, and for some who do ride them, they are. I also remember growing up in New York, I used to see biker gangs in my neighborhood, such as Latin Soul Brothers and the Flying Dragons, and all of a sudden I saw that these motorcycles were more than that. Of course, the world now knows the crazy implications of the Sons of Anarchy, and the world will never be the same.

Sons of Anarchy shows us a world where men and women are more than what is on the surface, as they more than just a biker gang, but a kingdom whose royal court was filled with a king, a queen, the true heir to the throne and  an artillery of knights. It was Macbeth and Henry the VIII, but with a touch of Easy Rider and Sopranos, and truly much more than the amalgam of those elements, as it was a paradigm shift of epic proportions. The Planet of the Apes, movie series and TV show, were a paradigm shift in the science fiction realm, as it questioned evolution, racism and treatment of animals all in a dystopian setting. In The Humans, Tom Neely and Keenan Marshall Keller, are definitely fans of Sons of Anarchy and Planet of the Apes, but understand the need to tell a different story, one with nostalgia and genre defying attitudes, which makes this book, one of the best books from Image.

The series has tackled Vietnam, hippies, humans as animals, and just about everything I love about the 60s and exploitation movies, as their characters, stories and settings are so good it almost feels like a dirty movie. In this second volume, they fight off rival gangs; tackle PTSD and a plot to take out the head of the Humans, Bobby Moore. Johnny ends up becoming the new leader, while an old girlfriend, tries to convince him the gang life is not for him any longer, while they take out the Skabbs gang and find out who wants them gone. By the end of volume 2, they find betrayal from one of their members, but what seems to be a rather sad end to the lives of some of the favorites.

Overall, a great volume to a series that gets better with every issue. The story by Keller, grabs the readers and never let’s go until the bloody end. Neely, is a godsend, as his illustrations, are like giclee film prints, and are a joy to watch. Altogether, a beautiful and fun book that is truly changing the game by remembering that comic books should also be fun.

Story: Keenan Marshall Keller Art: Tom Neely
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: BUY NOW

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

The Humans Ride Out in Honor of Volume 2 Release

The Humans West Coast TourWriter Keenan Marshall Keller and artist Tom Neely will appear at comic book stores, events, and conventions this March and April to celebrate the release of the second volume in their runaway hit series: The Humans, Volume 2: Humans Til Deth.

The Humans, Volume 2: Humans Til Deth follows the gang as they rampage through drug runs with road pirates, strip club freak-outs and beatdowns, passionate sex in cheap motel rooms, and multiple bloody barroom massacres—all of which snowballs towards a brutal ending of bloody vengeance and death! It’s the feel-good hit of the year!

The Humans, Volume 2: Humans Til Deth (ISBN 978-1-63215-765-2) hits comic book stores Wednesday, March 16th and bookstores Tuesday, March 22nd and will be available for $15.99. It can be ordered by retailers with Diamond code JAN160667.

Keenan Marshall Keller and Tom Neely will be signing at these locations: 

March 11th – SHQ Vol.2 Launch Party & Art Show!!!
March 18th – Nuclear Comics, Laguna Hills CA
March 19th – Shop Called Quest Claremont, CA
March 25th thru 27th – WONDERCON, Los Angeles CA (Artist Alley B-25)
April 1st – Dr Comics Mr Games, Oakland CA
April 2nd – Mission Comics, S.F. CA
April 5th – Floating World, Portland OR
April 7th – Arcane Comics Party!!!, Seattle WA
April 7th thru 10th – Emerald City, Seattle WA
April 23rd – 8th Annual Hippy Killer Hoedown – Perris, CA

For more information, visit:

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

JR2_CoverB_VariantWednesdays 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.


Top Pick: Howard the Duck #1 (Marvel) – Chip Zdarsky is putting out one of the most entertaining Marvel comics around with Howard the Duck. My top pick was a tough decision between this and Johnny Red #2, and that’s honestly a good problem to have.

Bigfoot: Sword Of The Earthman #1 (Action Lab Entertainment) – This looks like a mix of John Carter, Gladiator and Bigfoot. Which sounds amazing.

Extraordinary X-Men #3 (Marvel) – I actually never read issue #2 due a slight snafu with Diamond not delivering it to my LCS, so I’ll be getting two issues to read on Wednesday, and based on the buzz I’ve heard about #2, I’m excited for #3 as well.

Johnny Red #2 (Titan Comics) – This Garth Ennis penned series came out of nowhere last month to be one of the best comics I ended up reading with it’s tale of a Second World War British fighter pilot facing off against the Nazi’s in Russia. I can’t wait to get my hands on this issue.

Seduction Of The Innocent #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) – looks like an old school crime comic with some modern flair. My fancy is tickled.



Top Pick: Spidey #1 (Marvel) – As a huge Spider-Man fan I am always excited and interested in new titles, and this is no different. A fresh take on a young web-head…well it has been done before (Ultimate Spider-Man anyone?) but you know I am really excited by this new take. It promises to be fun, action packed and completely modern (#Spidey?). The artwork is bold, bright and as fresh as the plotline promises to be. For any true-believers out there, this is an issue not to be missed!



Top Pick: The Private Eye Deluxe Edition (Image Comics) – It’s actually a tough week for choices and I could easily do a top twenty myself, but I have to go with the Private Eye as my top pick. First, there’s a good chance you missed this when it was first released as a digital comic. Second, it’s by Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin. Third, it’s fantastic. Fourth, this series was launched as a pay what you want directly from Vaughan, and is a solid example of disrupting the system successfully, so much so it’s in print. So, pick this up in print, or go and grab it digitally. Just make sure to read it.

Carver: A Paris Story #1 (Z2 Comics) – Z2 has been putting out solid books regularly and this new series has a nice throwback to 70s European action films. There’s lots of cliches, but that’s partially what makes it all really fun. This should be creator Chris Hunt’s break out series. Do yourself a favor and give it a look.

Johnny Red #2 (Titan Comics) – Did you read the first issue? If so, that should be reason enough as to why this is on the list. Writer Garth Ennis is taking on the classic character and doing so in a brilliant way. Just completely caught me off guard int he quality, because holy crap it’s good.

Sheriff of Babylon #1 (Vertigo) – I did an early review of the issue and it’s not what I thought it’d be. At its heart, Sheriff of Babylon is a crime comic set in a warzone. What’s really impressive and fascinating is writer Tom King’s use of his real life experiences.

X’Ed #1 (Black Mask Studios) – It’d be easy to just call this Inception the comic, but there’s much more going on here than a trippy dive in to someone’s mind. The comic has some really interesting twists and turns in the first issue that kept me on my toes, and that ending is rather intriguing. Black Mask Studios has had a string of hits and I expect this to be their next.



Cyborg #5 (DC Comics) – Writer David F Walker is doing something significant in sci-fi with this comic. It’s a superhero series about race. I’m a huge supporter of where he’s going with this. Listen to our interview with him a few weeks back.

Gotham Academy #12 (DC Comics) – This is one of my favorite comics and I feel like its been going under the radar. Amazingly written, a diverse group of kids, art that can be both adorable and haunting as needed. I don’t even catch all of the easter eggs and references to Batman lore from ages past but that doesn’t matter.  The school is haunted both literally and metaphorically and it’s impossible to not be invested in these stories. This is the last issue of a wonderful arc.

The Humans #10 / Image Firsts The Humans #1 (Image Comics) – If you’ve been reading this kickass 1970-biker-apesploitation series then you need issue 10, the culmination of the first miniseries. This month Image Comics is also reissuing number 1 so tell the fresh meat there’s something they need to buy for good times and cheap thrills. This comic feels like an ultra-violent 1970s underground comic, it comes with it’s own online soundtrack and the art is freaking flawless. Still not convinced? Here’s my review of the first part of the series.

Papergirls #3 (Image Comics) –  This is the new Saga: very friendly to non-comics readers, totally enchanting, breathlessly exciting and full of amazing female characters. Read J9s review of issue 2. Boy, that was a “heart in your throat” cliff hanger at the end of the last issue!

Space Riders TP Vol. 1 (Black Mask Studios) – It feels like 70’s Jack Kirby filtered through many levels of Heavy Metal Magazine (think Moebius, Druillet). Only more underground and loose. A bit of a space western with a Jodorowsky-ish flying skull ship! A more Red Sonja-ish Gamora. Christy Karacas (creator of the cartoon Super Jail) levels of choas and scribble. If my description makes sense to you then you’ll probably like this. If my description doesn’t make sense to you, and you are ok with that, you may like it too. “I like my coffee like I like my space: black and infinite”- Capitan Peligro.



Top Pick: Robin War #1 (DC Comics) – Perfectly timed for the winter season, DC Comics is running a small event that crosses over the various Robin titles, bookended by these one-shots. Previews and solicits make this event look like it could be a lot of fun, so it’s a definite must-read!

All-New X-Men #1 (Marvel) – Continuing Marvel’s All-New All-Different launches, this gives Dennis Hopeless the chance to write young superheroes once again. The All-New X-Men – minus Jean Grey, but with Kid Apocalypse and Idie added to their ranks – are headed for a road-trip to decide their role in the future of the Marvel Universe. All-New X-Men may not be set to headline the X-Men range as it did under Brian Bendis, but it still looks set to be one of the most fun comics out there.

Exit Generation #3 (ComixTribe) – Sam Read and Caio Oliveira have been producing an unusual but fantastic series, steeped in sci-fi and with an admirable sense of style. Independent comics don’t often get the attention they deserve, and this series is one that deserves a lot of attention!

Invincible Iron Man #4 (Marvel) – One of the strangest shifts in All-New All-Different Marvel is a change in Mary-Jane Watson’s status quo. She’s going from a member of Spider-Man’s supporting cast to a member of Iron Man’s supporting cast, and this is the issue that kicks that off. It’s going to be fascinating to see how (not to mention why) Brian Bendis pulls this off…

Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted Trade Paperback (Marvel) – The first Spider-Gwen series (shorted to a miniseries due to Secret Wars) was tremendously popular, and this is the chance to collect it as a trade paperback! Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez pull off a tremendously fun story with energy and verve, and this book is sure to impress anyone who didn’t pick up the original issues.

Mini Reviews

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.


Hercules_1_CoverDead Vengeance #2, is set during the 1940’s and reads, in the very best of ways, as if it was a Golden Age comic that has been produced today. The concept of a reanimated corpse who may have been murdered solving their own murder is strangely compelling, and is presented here with a fresh take and enough humour to make it worth adding to your pull list. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Buy

We Stand On Guard #5. The lines continue to blur in the thought provoking miniseries that asks some tough questions about the nature of war. Overall Rating: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Hercules #1* – There’s something really fun about this comic, with Hercules trying to move past his drunken reputation and revive the heroic reputation he used to have, by using less conventional mythological means. The comic is fun, and I’m a fan of the direction ol’ Herc is headed in. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation Buy

Extraordinary X-Men #1* was …okay. The entire issue felt like a giant prologue for the rest of the trade, so based on this comic I’d probably wait for that. Or pick it up next month depending on how the second issue rates. Art is great, though. Overall Rating: 6.75 Recommendation: Wait To Read


Atomic Robo and the Ring of Fire #3 – It feels a bit like Pacific Rim for kids, but that’s not a bad thing as I’m still having fun reading the series. Giant robots and giant monsters + Atomic Robo! What’s not to love. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Read

Axcend #2 – On the surface the comic might seem like a goofy video games and comic mashup, but it’s JohnnyRed1really an examination of gamer stereotypes and personalities. It’s getting interesting. Overall Rating: 7.25 Recommendation: Read

Black Science #17 – I just love this series and it’s many realities and complete crazy ideas. This issue kicks off a newish arc and could be a good starting point and it’s ideas somehow get even more out there. And that ending! Overall Rating: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Deadpool # 1 – I didn’t enjoy last volume, and I didn’t enjoy this first issue of this volume either. The story doesn’t interest me. The humor doesn’t get me to laugh. And the character feels like he’s beyond over saturated. No thanks! Overall Rating: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Exit Generation #2 – The series is shaping up to be a fun read. Just one of those comics you can pick up and have fun. I’m liking how the characters are shaping out, including a female Han Solo-ish character this issue. Fun is the key word. Overall Rating: 7 Recommendation: Read

Johnny Red #1 – I went in not expecting a whole lot, but writer Garth Ennis does do some solid war comics. I was blown away by this first issue which not only has a great story (and way to tell it), but also solid art too. A fantastic surprise. Overall Rating: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Klaus #1 – I’m not the biggest Morrison fan, but this series’ first issue surprised me. It’s a combination of Conan with a bit of holiday magic. But the art by Dan Mora really stands out, outshining the story. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Read

Lazarus #20 – The comic continues the political and military maneuvering as it’s all out war. The series is never disappointing. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Read

Nailbiter #17 – I seriously love this serious about serial killers all from a small town. This issue kicks off a new story arc which isn’t quite new reader friendly, but a good starting point. One of the first comics I read each time I get ahold of it. Overall Rating: 8.25 Recommendation: Read

Rasputin #10 – We’re given lots of insight in how Rasputin is still alive and working as an American political adviser. While I wish the mystery was played out a bit more, it’s all very interesting and somewhat what I expected. A series that’s such a great idea, and really entertaining. Overall Rating: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #46 – What always surprises me about IDW’s Transformers is how it gives so much depth to the characters that’s lacked at times elsewhere. This issue is all about confronting stereotypes post war and if a Decepticon can change his stripe. Overall Rating: 8.40 Recommendation: Read

Velvet #12 – Fuck Bond, give me Velvet. Overall Rating: 9 Recommendation: Buy


PaperGirls02_CoverPaper Girls #2 – Top notch creative team has a huge hit on their hands. Issue 1 was super accessible but issue 2 is super emotionally charged. I love the realistic female characters and dialogue . The strong sense of time and place as a Cleveland suburb in 1988 is outstanding. It’s one of the most solidly rooted pieces of fiction around. This cliff hanger though has got me on edge and I genuinely don’t know what’s next. Overall Rating: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Monstress #1: It’s beautiful & terrifying & a necessary fantasy book. In terms of unique world building and feminist sensibility plus accessibility to non comics readers I think Image has a new Saga sized hit on their hands. Overall Rating: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

The Humans #9 – The series has been getting more nihilist as things go downhill for our protagonist biker-chimp-Vietnam-vet. He cannot leave his ghosts behind and immersing himself in a world of greater violence sure ain’t helping. It gets hard to read at times but it’s true to the character and the world he inhabits. The art is tight as ever. A few particularly haunting panels this issue.

I did enjoy getting to watch Queenie , Cha Cha, Snacks and the other biker chicks (but really mostly Queenie) throw down and fight and beat up the fuzz. Overall Rating: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Fight Club 2 # 6 – This is a great comic that lives up to its premise: an examination of the modern construct of masculinity. Smart, twisty with extremely brutal humor. It’s utterly fearless and a lot of fun. If you liked the book or the movie you need to drop everything and pick this up. Overall Rating: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Mr. H

Amazing Spider-Man #3* – This run just keeps getting more fun and we are treated to the best issue yet. Anytime you get Spidey and Johnny Storm under the same roof it’s high tide hijinx. Slott really nails the dynamic between these two. He understands their brotherly bond quite well. It was cool to see the new home of Parker Industries is the former Baxter Building. Watching Spidey and Torch argue and fight throughout the issue was very entertaining and the art by Giuseppe Camuncoli was stellar. Really liked the touching scene at the end as well as a great cliffhanger. Another W for this title. Overall Rating: 9 Recommendation: Buy

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

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

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Klaus_001_A_MainWednesdays 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.


Top Pick: We Stand On Guard #5 (Image Comics) – The six issue series is heading to it’s conclusion, and it’s been one hell of ride so far. I’ve had this on my top picks ever since it  debuted back in July.

Extraordinary X-Men #1 (Marvel) – It’s been a LONG time since I read an X-Men book, and I really enjoyed seeing Old Man Logan interact with the characters during his Secret Wars mini series.

Hercules #1 (Marvel) – The whole idea that Hercules is trying to remind people who he is seems so very meta to me, as I think that’s what Marvel are doing, too.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns up in the MCU at some point.

Howard The Duck # 1 (Marvel) – This was one of my favourite comics before Secret Wars launched, the off beat humour was right up my alley, and I can’t wait to see where Mr. T Duck ends up now.

Johnny Red #1 (Titan Comics) – I was fortunate enough to have already read and reviewed this comic, but what I’m most looking forward too is getting my hands on this comic and seeing those double page spreads.

Klaus #1 (BOOM! Studios) – Grant Morrison reinvents Santa Claus. ’nuff said.



Top Pick: Citizen Jack #1 (Image Comics) – Wow is there a lot of great comics this week. This horror-comedy for anyone who hates politics! This Presidential candidate worships the devil. Hopefully this is as smart satire as it can be.

James Bond #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) – I’m a huge James Bond fan and so excited for this new series.

Klaus #1 (BOOM! Studios) – A new take on Santa Claus which is a bit more Conan, and the art is amazing. Such a great first issue.

Monstress #1 (Image Comics) – Marjorie Liu’s new series that’s a beautiful fantasy series and a fantastic story.

Unfollow #1 (Vertigo) – A new series from Vertigo? That alone will get me to check out the series.



Top Pick: Papergirls #2 (Image Comics) – Stand By Me meet’s Repo Man to paraphrase J9’s review of issue 1 which see also described as “an admirable pack of sharp young women who are actively trying to integrate their school smarts with street smarts.” Issue 1 was incredibly good. a compelling cast of girls standing up to bullies like cops, and teenagers, and aliens (?!). The art and dialog both nail the 80s setting.

Top Pick: Monstress #1 (Image Comics) – Marjorie Liu’s new creator owned fantasy series is “a dark fantastic adventure set in an alternate 1900s Asia.” This is a series concept that is all new and much needed from an excellent writer (her Black Widow series was The Best) and the art looks pitch perfect and stunning.

Howard the Duck #1 (Marvel) – The relaunch looks funny (it’s by one of the funniest writers in the business) and Howard’s scene with Doctor Strange in the park seems oddly touching. Give the new series a shot!

The Humans #9 (Image Comics) – EVERYBODY DIES! I mean, clearly, from the stakes established in the last issue of the world’s best apesploitation-biker-gang-historical-fiction comic, that is on the table.

Niobe #1 (Stranger Comics) – The actress who played Rue in The Hunger Games and who did a masterful takedown on cultural appropriation in her web video is cowriting a new fantasy series with a black elf girl in the lead. It looks good!

Velvet #12 (Image Comics) – Brubaker writes the best noir mystery thrillers. period. This one has an awesome older woman in the lead and you need it.

Top Pick: Klaus #1 (BOOM! Studios) – I had no idea I ever wanted to know Santa Claus’ origin until I saw this comic. The fact its based on ideas of Viking lore also speaks to the inner history buff in me. Oh, and Grant Morrison. I cannot wait to read this just to see how strange it gets.

Drax #1 (Marvel) – Honestly, this pick is more out of curiosity than pure excitement. Former WWE wrestler CM Punk makes his big debut at Marvel with my favorite character from the Guardians of the Galaxy. This could be a fun action packed adventure or pure disappointment. Either way, I have to know how it turns out.

Uncanny X-Men #600 (Marvel) – I’m a sucker for milestone issues. I’ve been a fan of Brian Michael Bendis for a long time too. So, anytime one of his great runs ends, I am always excited to check it out.


Mr. H

Amazing Spider-Man #3 (Marvel Comics) – Seeing Peter Parker take his friendly neighborhood crusade on a grand scale has been an absolute joy to watch. I didn’t think Slott and Co. could go higher after Superior Spider-Man but they did. It’s a new and exciting take on Peter Parker and having Hobie Brown and his cast join Parker Industries has been awesome. Plus how can you not be excited about Spidey and the Human Torch meeting again! One of the longstanding great on again off again friendships in comics, gets another chapter. No doubt things will be heated. Flame on!

Green Lantern #46 (DC Comics) – Hal teaming with the Black Hand? Color me interested. A must see for me for sure!

Justice League Darkseid War: Superman #1 (DC Comics) – I absolutely enjoyed the Batman tie in last week and I’m anxious to see what they can pull off with Big Blue. The design looks great and anytime Lex Luthor is the voice of reason, you get a fun tale out of it. Hopefully the momentum continues here.



Top Pick: Extraordinary X-Men #1 (Marvel) – I am excited that the X-Men are back!  I am excited for this team line up (Colossus and Magik together?  Yes please!)  However, I am not excited with the prospect of the mutants facing yet another extinction level threat.  Haven’t they been through enough?  Just when the world was seeing new mutants again, a new threat wants to wipe them out; and now they will be pitted against the Inhumans.  Very curious to see how this plays out..but a little leary about another extinction looming over our merry mutants.

Uncanny X-Men #600 (Marvel) – This series started out with such an interesting premise….Cyclops, leading a revolution for mutants, ushering in a new era.  To be honest, we haven’t seen that pan out…all the fanfare, but nothing to show for it.  Nor have I been a huge fan of Bendis’ work on this book *coughresearchyourcharacterscough*.  I have liked the new mutants assembled at Cyclops’ school; Emma Frost is always reason enough for me to read a book she’s in and there have been a few bright points in this book that kept me coming back (Eva Bell and Dazzler especially).  So yes, I will include this as a ‘top pick’…at least to see how it concludes..and hope Bendis doesn’t muck it up.



Uncanny X-Men #600 (Marvel) – Well we’ve gotten a tributary re-numbering, marking the end of an era. Whether you loved or hated Bendis’ run on the core x-titles this issue is bound to be essential reading for any X-Fan moving forward. For myself personally I am itching to see how the transition to the new status quo for the X-Men is undertaken, and I am really dying to see the final verdict on Scott Summers “Revolution” It will also be nice to see Hank McCoy held to account for his actions as well.

Unfollow #1 (DC Comics) – When I first read the plot for this story, it sounded to me like an experiment put together by Arcade from Marvel, with Phillip Zimbardo and Stanley Milgram.  I really enjoy a good social commentary and what better social commentary than our Faustian addiction to social media? This dark and hunger games-esque story detailing what happens when a network of random strangers must kill each other to procure a cash prize is sure to be water-cooler talk for some time. I’m here for it.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

PaperGirls01_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.


Top Pick: Old Man Logan #5 (Marvel) – I loved the first Old Man Logan, it remains to this day one of the best Wolverine stories told in the last fifteen years. This sequel doesn’t quiet measure up to those lofty heights, but I never expected it too. This story is a fun exploration of a character that has been missing from our comics for a long time, and I’m enjoying every page.

Detective Comics #45 (DC Comics) – Honestly, if it wasn’t for the possibility of more Harvey Bullock, this comic wouln’t be on my list at all. Who doesn’t love Harvey Bullock?



Top Pick: Drawn Onward (Big Planet Comics/Retrofit) – I picked up a copy of this small press indie book a while ago, and seriously it’s one of the best comics I’ve read this year. A comic that looks at a relationship from two perspectives, you need to read the comic front to back, and then back to front to get the full experience. Absolutely brilliant. You can read my review here.

Captain Canuck #4 (Chapterhouse Comics) – Remember when superheroes were supposed to be fun? This comic series follows Canada’s champion and is exactly that, fun with lots of action!

Cyborg #3 (DC Comics) – A comic that has parts superhero and part reflection, Cyborg’s solo series has been a breath of fresh air in many ways, especially since its tackled so many issues such as race and disabilities head on.

Jughead #1 (Archie Comics) – Archie’s relaunch of their titles have been amazing so far. Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson are masters at what they do, and the fact they’re on this comic has me beyond excited.

Southern Bastards #11 (Image Comics) – The best ongoing comic being produced hands down, no question.



Top Pick: Paper Girls #1 (Image Comics) – The writer of Saga (aka the comic even my Dad will read) and the artist of Wonder Woman team up for some 1988 newspaper girl badassness.

Top Pick: Jughead #1 (Archie Comics) – I never read Archie till the relaunch and boy does this one look like fun. Zdarsky and Henderson are aces at comedy without being mean spirited. Both are zany and oddball talents, making them the most Jughead-worthy team ever.

8House: Yorris Part 1 (Image Comics) – 8House is always something interesting and new. I’d suggest getting all #1 of the 8House mini imprint if you’re hungry from something unique and strange. This book has a euro-comic feel shared by many of the 8House stories.

Cyborg #3 (DC Comics) – A seriously smart comic about disability and race. It’s also great as pure sci-fi. Because those are things good sci-fi is supposed to do.

Doctor Strange #1 (Marvel) – I’ve wanted a new Doctor Strange book for a long time. Jason Aaron’s pitch is a strong one: “Who do you call when things are coming out of your dreams and trying to kill you? He’s the only person standing between us and the forces of darkness, but has he been paying his tab?” –  The mildly de-aged Doctor sounds like he could be the Marvel version of John Constantine. But I’d prefer if it goes its own way since Constantine is winning at Constantine-ing (boy do I love that comic).

The Humans #8 (Image Comics) – Serious shit went down last issue in my favorite historical-fiction/funny-animal/ape-sploitation comic. Now, the biker gang’s old ladies are on the cover of this month’s issue with semi-automatic weapons pointed. That’s all I’m saying.



Top Pick: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #50 (IDW Publishing) – Shredder vs. the Turtles. 90% of my childhood was built around this rivalry and time has made me no less excited to see these mortal enemies go at it again.

Doctor Strange #1 (Marvel) – I have always had a special place in my heart for comic book characters that are so far on the fringe of their own universe that people with outrageous super powers rarely dare to go into their realm and Doctor Strange personifies this better than almost anyone.

The Omega Men #5 (DC Comics) – After all the push back resulting from DC attempting to end this series at issue 6 I had to check out what all the fuss was about and I have yet to be disappointed.

What If? Infinity – Thanos (Marvel) – Anyone who has ever heard a story has always wondered “What if?”. And I always get a kick out of Marvel trying to answer these questions. Especially, ones I never thought to ask like how Thanos joining the Avengers would turn out.



Top Pick: Siege #4 (Marvel) – This has been a fantastic Secret Wars tie in, and I am very excited for this issue….Thanos has arrived!  Can Abigail and the defenders of The Shield survive?  Can’t wait to find out!

Avengers #0 (Marvel) – A slew of new Avengers titles coming down the line, and this issue #0 gives us a look at the new teams.  Very excited to get inside the teams we’ve only seen teaser pics about; the rosters, their missions…and apparently someone is keeping a close eye on these Avengers.  Can’t wait!

Contest of Champions #1 (Marvel) – Heroes fighting in a cosmic game of chess, to see who can wield incredible power.  Yeah, it’s been done before, but with different versions of heroes and villains to pull from?  Ok, I’m interested.



Top Pick: Doctor Strange #1 (Marvel)Jason Aaron tackles another iconic Marvel property, and I got a feeling, he is about make this legend, even more relevant and exciting than ever!!!

Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Marvel)- any storyline that brings back Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson into the Spiderverse, is one at least finding out why, which is only part of the fun.

Batman and Robin Eternal #1 (DC Comics) – The reintroduction of Dick Grayson into Batman’s world??/ I cannot wait to read this, as Dick revisits a case when he was Robin.

Contest of Champions #1 (Marvel) – a classic showdown between Thanos, Maestro, Venom Gamora, and a host of others battle it out

Paper Girls #1 (Image) I love Brian K.Vaughn’s work , as he truly has the Midas touch when it comes to series, especially when it original series , and this one is right up his alley and he teams up Cliff Chang of Batman fame for this one.

The Humans Hit the Streets for a West Coast Signing Tour

The Humans creators Keenan Marshall Keller and Tom Neely are hitting the blacktop for a West Coast signing tour not to be missed. Making appearances at several comic shops along the way, they’ll be bringing all The Humans comics, posters, patches, t-shirts, and exclusive tour-only Humans merchandise! It all ends in The Humans’ home-town of Bakersfield for a rock-n-roll party at Babylon with Humans Soundtrack bands Zig-Zags and more.


Friday, November 6th Wednesday, November 18th
NUCLEAR Comics & SKATE Shop Mission: Comics & ART
24741 Alicia Pkwy #J 2250 Mission St
Laguna Hills, California San Francisco, California
5-9 p.m. 5-9 p.m.
Nuclear Comics (w/ back cover #3 pin-up artist Skinner!)
Mission: Comics & Art
Wednesday, November 11th
Dr Comics Mr Games Thursday, November 19th
4014 Piedmont Ave Wow Cool®
Oakland, California 21607B Stevens Creek Blvd
3-7 p.m. Cupertino, California
(w/ back cover #3 pin-up artist Skinner!) 5-7 p.m.
Dr Comics Mr Games Wow Cool®
Friday, November 13th Saturday, November 21st
Floating World Comics THE HUMANS Bakersfield Bananza w/live bands at Babylon
400 NW Couch St 817 Sacramento St
Portland, Oregon Bakersfield, California
6-8 p.m. 7 p.m.
Floating World Comics https://www.facebook.com/events/1626048564325250/
Saturday, November 14th THE HUMANS signing and live music:
Arcane Comics Douche Metal
5809 15th Ave NW The Sorority
Seattle, Washington Zig-Zags
4-8 p.m. (as featured on THE HUMANS Soundtrack Volume 1)
(w/ back cover #8 pin-up artist Jen Vaughn!)
Arcane Comics Sunday, November 22nd
Special Guests at Bakersfield Comic-Con
Monday, November 16th Kern County Fairgrounds
Danger Room 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
201 4th Ave W BAKERSFIELD COMIC-CON Comic Book and Fantasy shows
Olympia, Washington
6-8 p.m.
Danger Room

The Humans

The Ape on a Motorcycle: My Big Essay on The Humans Comic

The-Humans-Comic-2I’ve described The Humans comic as bikersploitation meets apesploitation meets 70sploitation. In a world where chimps are men and men are cattle, The Humans are Bakersfield California’s top motorcycle club and the year is 1970.

We had series creators Tom Neely and Keenan Marshall Keller (Tom of Henry & Glenn Forever & Keenan of Galactic Breakdown) on our podcast when their first trade paperback was released. They are fascinating guests and have a great sense of humor. Give the episode a listen.

But I’d been having reviewers block when I tried to write anything deeper then a blurb endorsing the series. After reading issue five I figured out why.

My initial affection for this comic was not an intellectual one, it comes from my guts and from my eyes. It can be hard to explain art you enjoy at that visceral a level but I’ll try.

The following review is spoiler free, except for the end of Easy Rider. I spoil the end of a movie from 1969. So shoot me. Heh.

The Humans is visually stunning and entirely outrageous. Reading it is an act of hedonism. The action is easy to follow and propulsive. It is the best crafted, most addictive, least office appropriate comics reading you’ll find.

I love comics. But most comics art is ugly, sloppy, boring and sexist. In most comics you couldn’t visually tell apart Wonder Woman from Lois Lane if they’re out of costume even though one of them is the strongest woman in the world and the other is a top journalist.

the humans diversityWith a few noted exceptions most characters in mainstream comics have been drawn in the same street clothes as each other and with the same face shapes, the same body types. A woman who fights super villains and a woman who works in an office are drawn to have the same figure.

But then here we have a comic about biker apes and instead, every character is physically distinct with period correct clothes according to their personality. Everyone has their own unique face and facial expressions. Doc’s t-shirts with sayings like “I may not go down in history, but I’ll go down on your sister” are copied from actual t-shirts that were sold in biker magazines in the 70s. And while the female characters may all be shapely they’re not all the same shape.

This book has the time and character building necessary to craft unique individual primates and it pays off. They do it because that’s good world building and they do it because they respect their characters and audience. Yes, even when there are ape blowjobs in a cemetery.

the humans inkingWhen it comes to pure technical chops as a comics artist Neely is in a class of his own. His splash pages are so wild you can find your self sitting and staring at them for a good long while sober. He’s an expert draftsman. He’s the best inker I’ve seen in ages. His hand lettering reminds me of what I’m missing every time I read a computer lettered book. And what we’re missing when we only reach digitally lettered books is quite a lot. By hand lettering Neely has additional design elements at his disposal. His onomatopoeia are Batman worthy. I may need one of them tattooed on my body. Digital lettering always looks cheap to me. It’s aesthetically disappointing to look at a computer lettered or computer colored book after reading this one.

Colorist Kristina Collantes‘s work is instrumental. (She is also an illustrator herself, check out her portfolio, it’s fantastic.) Her color palette makes the comic look like it was filmed on late 60s color film stock and is aging in to lovely orange decay. It is instant atmosphere and nostalgia for people who grew up loving movies of the period. The paper itself is colored to look like cheap newsprint.

World building in The Human‘s extends beyond the printed page. In what I believe to be a first for a comics series, each issue is released with a few songs to stream on SoundCloud— a mini-soundtrack. The genres range from various types of metal and punk to something I can only describe as “John Carpenter Film Music”. I’ve discovered some great bands this way.

The music is more evocative then literal. None of the songs are 70’s pastiches so they don’t sound quite like what the gang would have listened to in 1970. Instead, the songs all sound like what the gang would listen to if they were around today.

It’s an interesting choice. I love music that sounds straight out of the past. But by choosing to soundtrack their comics with more contemporary but still biker approved music, they are tying the story to the present without taking the listener out of its setting. They are also promoting new music in a way that builds a fan base for everyone involved.

Speaking of nostalgia… I realize that it sounds incongruous for me to talk about my 70s nostalgia when I grew up in the 80s.

the humans 1I first watched Easy Rider in on the Jewish High Holiday of repentance, Yom Kippur when I was but a second grader. I’m guessing my parents were probably too out of it from low blood sugar from fasting all day to realize that most people would’ve considered this underground hippie biker masterpiece an inappropriate movie choice for a little kid. Hey, I turned out ok regardless! What better way to keep a kid distracted until it’s time to break the fast while visiting with friends who own a Betamax video player.

Even before watching the film in 2nd grade I had long been familiar with the Easy Rider soundtrack. We played that record all time time. The official singalong song for starting the family’s VW Dasher was “Born to Be Wild”. So for all I know, watching Easy Rider may have been my idea.

The movie made a huge impression on me. I remember liking the film even then but mostly remembered the visuals over the story until I saw it again as a teen. On a subconscious level I probably still expect to get shot by yahoos driving a pick-up truck if my counter-culture-looking self shows up on the wrong country road. I realize that I’m white so that fear is probably irrational.

The movie impacted my taste in music, fashion and more. My husband looks enough like Peter Fonda did in the film that he’s actually been street harassed for it more then once (“Hey, what’s up Easy Rider!”). Also, one time a highway patrolman at a traffic stop told him to get a haircut. But anyway…

Easy Rider has been ingrained in my head for the vast majority of my life.

From junior high on I devoured Tom Wolfe’s new journalism writing about 60s and 70s counter-culture. I loved the party scenes in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test where the Hells Angels and the Merry Pranksters (the seminal traveling hippie collective) party in unison thumbing their noses at “The Man”. Book writing hippies and motorcycle gangs can get along, right!? Well not so much… But that was a dream of the 60s and my youth.

Then I went on to read Hunter S Thompson’s Hells Angels book which is a must read for folks who enjoy The Humans. Thompson’s conversations with club members after they watch the premier of Kenneth Anger’s seminal queer underground cinema short, Scorpio Rising, is worth the price of admission.

I’ve been predisposed to love this book since I was a kid. Maybe I actually entered the first fan art contest I’ve ever entered because I wanted to draw something inspired by this book (I didn’t win). But you may be predisposed to loving it too. People love motorcycles. People love things that are shocking. People love stories about people— who are monkees.

The gang’s all here: different individual bikers, stoners and dropouts. The creative team announced that we’d be seeing more stories from the female members of the gang in upcoming issues especially Queenie. You know her as the tall, not to be messed with biker babe who’s introduced as Bobby’s Old Lady. We’ll also be seeing more of She-Bitch, the member of the Skaabs with a mean right hook and a B52 hair-do who’s look is actually based on Collantes, their colorist.

I look forward to reading those stories especially since writing women in genres like this is particularly fraught. Art disappoints it’s fans a lot. Art most frequently disappoints fans who are anything other then straight white men. One month I’m writing a glowing review of Airboy and the next we’re calling for it to be pulled for reifying virulent transphobic myths. The Humans is a comic based on an exploitation genre. Every month I was holding my breath to see if this is the issue where the creative team put something in that makes it clear that I am not their intended audience.

But it hasn’t happened. I’m still reading a book that wants me to read it. Issue 8’s particularly explicit monkey sex is outside of most people’s comfort zone but it’s consensual sex and used to hammer home (heh) narrative points. All parties involved are clearly having a good time. Eww. Monkey sex. Which is the point. Art can be outrageous and transgressive without demeaning anyone.

Fridging female characters doesn’t make your art edgy. Repeating stereotypes doesn’t make your art edgy. Consensual rainbow colored monkey orgies makes your art edgy. As are brains that explode into onomatopoeia.

I’m ecstatic to report that moving forward, I can definitely exhale as a female fan reading this comic. I had asked the creative team about whether the body diversity in the series is a product of world building if it is also part of a feminist perspective and their answers went beyond that question:

I think it’s a bit of both. It’s definitely a part of world-building and craft. It does also come from a feminist perspective. But it’s not really “political” so much as just part of me. I don’t discuss politics, I speak with my drawings. The story of The Humans is steeped in biker gang genre so it is a very male-centric plot that doesn’t always give the ladies a large role. And there is the questionable aspect in that genre of the male-dominance in the biker-gang hierarchy that we didn’t really want to be a part of our story, but you will see things like “Property of The Humans” on the mamas. But I wanted them to all be real characters and to develop them through their design and representation. Biker chicks are tuff and put up with a lot of shit. I want the reader to know these are strong women who have full stories behind them as soon as you see them walk in the room… – Tom Neely.

If creators can do that within the exploitation genre period piece I really don’t know what excuse other writers can have for how they handle their female cast members.

We talked about this a bit over the course of making this series. It was something we had to address with the sort of genre we were working in. We didn’t want to focus on a story of demoralizing of young women for kicks, which is rampant in most biker genre fare.

That’s not our style nor is it the sort of stories we’re into telling.

We want to depict real, tuff, bad-ass ladies with their own individual personalities, foibles and quirks and doing that also has the benefit of ensuring a world of depth and vitality. It’s good story telling.

I appreciate you seeing this in our work because I believe it’s there and Tom and I are making purposeful choices on how we represent all the characters, female included. – Keenan Marshall Keller

I’m not going to say the book is perfect. I’m still struggling with how to map out it’s handling of race and nationality in it’s depictions. But the fact that something like this comic exists at this level is really remarkable.

People joke a lot about #AllYourFavesAreProblematic. Somewhere in my feminist upbringing I got it in my head that all those things that men get to have were mine to have too, including the ability to play with being mad, bad and dangerous to know. I grew up singing along to Guns n’ Roses and The Misfits as if anything Axel or Danzig could sing was something I could sing too. I still do. All my faves ARE problematic.

But it means a lot to me that when I read The Humans I get to revel in the exploitation genre without having to play 50 Questions with my own internalized sexism. Another comic book that “gets” this, unsurprisingly, is Alex De Campi’s Grindhouse series for Dark Horse. She’ll be our podcast guest on August 24th.

In our “Best of 2014” podcast episode we gave The Humans our first ever award for “Best Historical Fiction” and “Best Funny Animal Comic”. We also acclaimed it as one of the best new series of the year.

Now be a good ‘mate and join The Humans MC. The Humans 4 Life! Till Deth!

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Midnighter #3 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.


Top Pick: This Damned Band #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – A fun and trippy start of a series that mixes the fun of rock and roll with ghosts. This is Spinal Tap meets Ghostbusters, and it works in an awesome way. By the end of the first issue, you won’t be sure what is supernatural and what is drug induced, and that’s half the fun.

Bower Boys Our Fathers HC (Dark Horse Comics) – The webcomic is collected in print. The series focuses on Tammany Hall and Union busting, but it’s so much more, it’s about the relationships we have with our fathers. The fantastic story is backed up by beautiful artwork.

The Bunker #13 (Oni Press) – The time bending series continues its fantastic ways. In this issue we get some more info on what the deal with Heidi is including where she’s been the last three months, and more importantly who she’s been with.

Midnighter #3 (DC Comics) – Punching corporations! Seriously, this series is violent fun, that shows the struggle of a man designed to hurt attempting to figure out who he is. Steve Orlando is killing it (and a lot of people) in this series.

Nailbiter #15 (Image Comics) – One of my favorite series that has a few folks attempting to discover why a small town has produced so many serial killers. We’re getting closer and closer to finally getting an answer… I think and hope.



Top Pick: The Fox #5 (Archie Comics) – I picked issue #1 up on a whim, and this series has fast become one of my favourites. I love the fun, almost cynically innocent take on the superhero genre, and I cannot wait to get my grubby mitts on the final chapter of the opening arc.

Detective Comics #43 (DC Comics) – I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve been enjoying Mecha-Batman, and while I expect the original to return eventually, I’m enjoying this while it lasts.

We Stand On Guard #2 (Image Comics) – The first issue of this comic took me by surprise when it came out last month. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this as much as I did, and whether it is the underdog nature of the story or the Great White North setting, this is a series I’m looking forward too.



Top Pick: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #5 (Marvel) – This all ages comic has not been on many people’s reading list, bust it proves that some minds at Disney are still interested in creativity.

Morning Glories #47 (Image Comics) – The standout series continues by weaving in new plots to the old. Every answer continues to create five new questions.

Groot #3 (Marvel) – This series has only run two issues thus far but has been unexpectedly amazing. The story is simple enough, but executed flawlessly.

Ms. Marvel #17 (Marvel) – One of Marvel’s stand-out series gets the Secret Wars treatment. It is nearing the end before Marvel relaunches and it remains to be seen how that will affect this series.

Red Skull #2 (Marvel) – It is the Suicide Squad of the Secret Wars as Red Skull takes on the role of Deadshot.



Top Pick: The Humans #7 (Image Comics) – Apesploitstion biker madness continues! I love this series so much I have a lenghthy personal essay about it coming out this week. This month’s issue features even more sex and violence and drugs and rock and roll and vengeance and period accurate hair and the color orange and oh my god the lettering! The lettering!!! All the important things in art, really.

Top Pick: The Wicked + The Divine #13 (Image Comics) – At last an issue about the mysterious goddess Tara jokingly called “goddess of who knows what” because there are so many deities with that name that it’s unclear who she’s supposed to be. I’m not sure which real world pop stars the character was inspired by. Beyoncé?

One thing is for sure, the new art by Tula Lotay is stunning!

Kaptara #4 (Image Comics) – This charming sword and sorcery in space comic won my heart. It’s saturated in lurid colors and riffs on He-Man but it doesn’t get in the way of being a very human story about a scientist who really needs a hug. And a date. Do you know any nice single men for Keith to date? I worry that Manton the warrior may take a while to come around.

Midnighter #3 (DC Comics) – Last issue our hero started to square off with the corporate powers that be. I’m really looking forward to a comic that tackles Monsanto. At least that’s where I think this is heading. Also, Midnighter punched a steak through a killer’s head. A dinner steak.

This Damned Band #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – What if Led Zeppelin really did sell their souls to the devil? It’s a brand new series from the ever funny and inventive and very British Paul Cornell (art by Tony Parker). I simultaneously love over-indulgent boomer rock and I also find it hilarious and worth deflating. This comic seems to be doing the same– both reveling and lovingly mocking the 70s rock pretentious and conventions. But with the actual Devil.


Mr. H

Top Pick: Green Lantern #43 (DC Comics) – I’ve really been enjoying this Hal on the run as a bounty hunter storyline and now that they’ve thrown Black Hand back in the mix, it should only get even better. Proof that he doesn’t need the most powerful weapon in the universe to still be a bad ass, this title is still providing bright days!

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #3 (Marvel Comics) – Back in black and the marriage still intact? Let’s see if the removal of Spidey’s bright colors bring the foot out of the grave on this one. I really want to like this Mr. Slott, don’t disappoint me please. I’ve waited a long time for this.

JLA: Gods and Monsters: Wonder Woman #1 (DC Comics) – Having seen the movie, Wonder Woman was my favorite part. I hope they delve even deeper into her loss and betrayal. I really enjoy the twist on the New Genesis vs. Apokolips War. Should be a good one! Plus that boom tube sword is just epic. DC make a replica now!

TMNT: Color Classics Series 3 #8 (IDW Publishing) – Turtles, Shredder, April, Eastman, Laird. Isn’t that enough right there?



Top Pick: Age of Apocalypse #2 (Marvel) – Fabian Nicieza and Gerardo Sandoval took me right back into the Age of Apocalypse that I remember from so long ago; great story and fantastic art make this one of my favourite Secret Wars books, and I’m looking forward to seeing Magneto give Apocalypse’s forces the smack down!

Civil War #2 (Marvel) – Steve Rogers and Tony Stark; opposing sides in this world of Civil War have been pushed further apart after an assassination attempt has left a proponent for peace dead at their feet. I really enjoyed the first issue of this book, and I’m excited to see if the two sides come together…or tear each other apart.

Siege #2 (Marvel) – I really loved this story of the SHIELD, the wall that separates Battleworld from the zombies and robots that would destroy the planet. Not to mention Abigail Brand is calling the shots, so that alone has me hooked.

Spider-Island #2 (Marvel) – The Spider Queen has turned almost everyone in this area of Battleworld into human/spider hybrids…including the heroes…and they all serve her. Flash Thompson is one of the few not affected, and with his resistance force, has managed to help some former colleagues break from the Spider Queen’s control…but will what he’s turned them into be a help or a hindrance? This was a fun first issue and I’m excited to see how Venom’s newly freed friends help him out.

Preview: The Humans #6

The Humans #6

Story By: Keenan Marshall Keller
Art By: Tom Neely
Art By: Kristina Collantes
Cover By: Tom Neely
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: MAY150471
Published: July 1, 2015

Drinking all day at a strip club leads Johnny to some unwanted attention from the locals. All the while a turn-coat makes a play to rat out The HUMANS.


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