Tag Archives: thomas mauer

North Bend Comes to Scout Comics

Scout Comics has announced that North Bend is coming to the publisher. The series is written by Ryan Ellsworth with artwork by Pablo De Bonis and colorist Paul Little and lettering by Thomas Mauer.

North Bend is inspired by the true events of project MK ULTRA — a secret CIA program that took place during the Cold War, where experimental drugs and mind control methods were tested on people without their knowledge. With the country on the verge of economic collapse and political revolution, the CIA recruits Seattle DEA Agent Brendan Kruge to test an experimental mind control drug on unwitting citizens.

North Bend
North Bend

Review: Dead Kings #1

Sasha never saw his younger brother…until the secret police made him disappear. Sasha Vasnetsov left Thrice-Nine-the dirty folklore world that limps along in the wreckage of a Technomagic War-thirty years ago and never looked back. But word that the secret police have sent his brother Gena to a work camp for the socially degenerate drags him back, with a promise to free Gena and return him to their mother before her fiftieth birthday. The only problem? Sasha isn’t a fraction of the tough guy he tries to be, so if he’s going to break back into Thrice-Nine…he’ll need help. Sasha’s only hope is Maria Kamenaya, a former Technomagic Warrior with hundreds of enemy kills to her name, betrayed by the country that made her when her honor conflicted with their agenda.

Thrice-Nine took Sasha’s brother, and it took Maria’s heart. This quest is how they get both of those things back, in the steaming, lawless land of decapitated states…the land of DEAD KINGS.

Worldbuilding is what the first issue of Dead Kings is all about. And, for good and for bad, we’re dropped into the center of it all. Rus, Thrice-Nine, it’s all just thrown out there by writer Steve Orlando and we the reader have to work our way through it all. Like a fleshed out roleplaying game, we put the pieces together as the issue progresses figuring what was and what is out as we move along.

The story itself is one we’ve seen before, someone wants to liberate someone special from captivity and needs help to do so. But, where it’s interesting is the world Orlando weaves, of giant robots and what feels like a bit of mysticism in there as well.

All of that is helped by the art of Matthew Dow Smith, colorist Lauren Affe, and letterer Thomas Mauer who create an atmosphere about it all that feels like the fallout of a massive war. One where giants battled and a bit of a Eastern European coldness to it all. Smith’s style along with Affe’s colors create a dirty and gritty feel, one that feels appropriate for a rusted out environment of cold steel robots. It’s what us Westerners imagined life behind the Steel Curtain was like with a bit of Robot Jox/Mad Max twist to it all. Each page, each panel, provide details that help flesh out the world crafted telling the story as much as the dialogue.

This is one were I want to know as much about what happened in the past as the current story presented. This feels like so many concepts I love put together into what’s basically a Western. There’s gangs harassing individuals and the loner has to stand up to them. But, it’s done with such style that it feels new and interesting and a world I want to explore and find out more about.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Matthew Dow Smith
Color: Lauren Affe Letterer: Thomas Mauer
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

AfterShock Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

AfterShock Announces The Dead Kings from Steve Orlando and Matthew Dow Smith

Thrice-Nine took Sasha’s brother, and it took Maria’s heart.

Plagued by the ramifications of a techno-magic world now thirty years gone, Thrice-Nine is a dirty folklore world that limps along, degenerating into a place filled with paranoia and poison. Sasha Vasnetsov thought he’d escaped all that, but when news comes that his younger brother has been kidnapped by the secret police, he finds himself dragged back into the madness with a simple goal—to find his brother.

But Sasha is going to need help to do this, and he enlists Maria Kamenaya, a former warrior with hundreds of enemy kills to her name, who was betrayed by the very country she served. This quest is how they get both of those things back, in the lawless land of decapitated states…the land of DEAD KINGS.

Written by Steve Orlando and drawn by Matthew Dow SmithDead Kings is an in-depth exploration of retribution, in all its dark, complex forms.

Dead Kings #1 comes to shelves October 24th featuring colors by Lauren Affe, lettering by Thomas Mauer, and covers by Matthew Dow Smith and Michael Gaydos.

Review: Crude #3

Steve Orlando, Garry Brown, and Lee Loughridge‘s saga of oil rigs, Russian gangs, and revenge takes a turn for the violent as in various guises, Piotr tries to find the person responsible for ordering the hit on his son, Kiril, who went to the dangerous city of Blackstone to start a new life and find a place where he would be free to be a bisexual man even if it’s dangerous. Crude #3 is peppered with flashbacks as Piotr wishes he would be a father, and every twelve hour shift, punch thrown, and bone broken is in service of finding some kind of closure. Except, by the time the issue ends, this mission of vengeance is much more complicated.

Brown and Loughridge’s visuals in Crude #3 run the gamut from explosive to mundane. There’s a twelve, nearly silent panel page showing Piotr’s life as an oil rig worker for evil conglomerate PetroPinnacle, and then several pages later, there’s a huge, orange explosion when rival gang Meshe Adam suicide bombs where he works. These two scenes encapsulate what Piotr’s co-worker Mikhail says the reason why many people go to Blackstone: to make lots of money and experience danger that is the opposite of the rocking chair and watching biathlon on TV life that Piotr settled into back in Crude #1. While still following the throughline of Piotr’s vengeance quest, Orlando and Brown dive face first into the lurid, vile world of Blackstone, including strip clubs, back alleys, rooftops, and bath houses because nothing trips up toxic masculinity like some straight up homoeroticism.

Like almost all of the comics he works on, Lee Loughridge and his color choices set the tone and are the unsung heroes of Crude #3 as well complementing Garry Brown’s combination of scratchy and minimalist inking styles. A sequence featuring the skyscraper HQ of PetroPinnacle has a rancid color palette as sickly, Industrial Revolution-seeming smoke billows surround the tower and instantly signal corruption before a word is spoken or an action is carried out. Later, in the book, Loughridge goes for pure sex with a dark pink palette as Piotr tries to be one of the guys and goes to a strip club after work. Finally, there are the harsh blacks to go with close-ups of pockmarked faces that reminded me of Frank Miller’s work in Sin City when Piotr’s motivation is at his purest: killing the scumbags who murdered his son. Loughridge is a true palette maestro.

Three issues in, and Steve Orlando and Garry Brown have barely scratched the surface of the criminal underworld that runs the oil town of Blackstone, such as PetroPinnacle, the less corporate and more anarchist Meshe Adam, and not super well defined Prava plus the ordinary dock workers and small shop and stand owners that Piotr has sort of become a folk hero to. However, because of its singular focus on Piotr, Crude #3 isn’t bogged down by this “lore” and instead of exposition, we get earthy conversations, street fights, and light stalking of big wigs, who spout corporate, motivational bullshit to workers that experience things on a daily basis that they would never dream of. Piotr is like the protagonist of a good, open world video game: he’s competent at the whole violent thing, agreeable in day to day interactions, and has deep, emotional pain that keeps him sympathetic. Plus he has a whole dark streak from his days as an assassin that could easily come to the forefront thanks to the concluding incidents of this issue and also pops up later on when he starts wrecking a man’s apartment and putting heads through walls just to get a clue for her son’s demise. Brown’s rough speed lines help accentuate the violence in these situations.

Crude #3 has plenty of knock your teeth out and kick mud in your face action, dangerous situations, and emotional turmoil as Steve Orlando, Garry Brown, and Lee Loughridge place Piotr on a hopeless quest for vengeance. For fans of Orlando’s previous work, Crude is more Virgil than JLA and has an added layer of moral uncertainty to go with Loughridge’s fiery, hazy, and ever shifting color palette.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Garry Brown
Colors: Lee Loughridge Letters: Thomas Mauer
Story: 8.8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.9  Recommendation: Buy 

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Crude #1

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got a new series from Steve Orlando and Skybound Entertainment!

Crude #1 is by Steve Orlando, Garry Brown, Lee Loughridge, Thomas Mauer, Arielle Basich, and Jon Moisan.

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology

 

 

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The Realm, Vol. 1 hits stores alongside Me Like Bees EP this March

Co-creators Seth M. Peck and Jeremy Haun, with colorist Nick Filardi and letterer Thomas Mauer, will release The Realm, Vol. 1—which collects issues #1-5 of the ongoing dark fantasy series—this March from Image Comics. Musical group Me Like Bees will simultaneously release their companion EP, “The River Divides,” comprised of five tracks inspired by the series.

Fifteen years ago, our world was overrun.

Creatures of myth—orcs, dragons, and other nameless horrors—threw the entire planet into total chaos. Among the wreckage of society, the survivors scrape and struggle to survive. Now, a powerful sorcerer marshals his forces, and a group of warriors must embark on a journey to reclaim our world from the growing darkness.

The Realm, Vol. 1 (Diamond code: JAN180692, ISBN: 978-1-5343-0501-4) hits comic book stores Wednesday, March 28th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, February 12th.

The Realm, Vol. 1 arrives in bookstores Tuesday, April 3rd.

Preview: 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank TPB

4 Kids Walk Into a Bank TPB

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg (We Can Never Go Home / Punisher / Phoenix)
Arter: Tyler Boss (Lazurus / Vice Magazine / Calexit)
Letterist: Thomas Mauer (The Realm / The Disciples / Copperhead)
SRP- $14.99. 208 pages
Genre: Crime/Comedy
In Comic Shops: November 8th
In Bookstores: November 21st

4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK is the darkly comedic story of four burgeoning child criminals and their elaborate plans.

When a group of bumbling criminals shows up in her father’s life looking to pull one last job, young Paige has two choices – let her father get caught up in their criminal hijinks or enlist her three best friends to do the job first. Paige picks the bad one.

180ish pages of full color comic-booking about friendship, family, growing up, and grand larceny from rising star writer Matthew Rosenberg (WE CAN NEVER GO HOME, PUNISHER, PHOENIX RESURRECTION) and equally rising star artist Tyler Boss (LAZARUS, CALEXIT, Vice Magazine).

The Realm #2 Goes Back to Print

Image Comics has announced that the second issue of The Realm, from Seth M. Peck, Jeremy Haun, Nick Filardi, and Thomas Mauer, is being rushed back to print in order to keep up with customer demand.

In The Realm, our world has been overrun by creatures of myth: orcs, dragons, and countless other horrors. The remaining humans survive in an uneasy equilibrium, fighting tooth and nail to keep hold of what they have left.

The Realm #2, 2nd printing (Diamond code: SEP178185), as well as The Realm #3, Cover A by series artists Haun and Filardi (Diamond code: SEP170760) and Cover B by Kelley Jones and Michelle Madsen (Diamond code: SEP170761), will arrive in comic book shops Wednesday, November 15th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, October 23rd.

Review: The Realm #1

Fifteen years ago, our world was overrun by creatures of myth; orcs, dragons, and other nameless horrors threw the entire planet into total chaos. Today, the shattered remnants of civilization must fight just to survive in a deadly new era of violence and mayhem. While a powerful sorcerer marshals his forces, a group of warriors embark on a journey to reclaim our world from the growing darkness.

A post-apocalyptic fantasy, western, is probably the simplest way to summarise The Realm the new series co-created by Seth M. Peck and Jeremy Haun. After some sort of apocalypse, humanity has returned to a medieval like society in order to survive. Enter Will Nolan, an escort/bounty hunter/bodyguard who seems to thrive in this new world. I’m curious to see where this story manages to go forward, and how they explore this strange world which is a mix of fantasy and zombie apocalypse.

The Realm‘s artwork manages to balance violence, action, and a dark atmosphere well. There’s a good amount of flowing action scenes throughout and the issue keeps readers on their toes. We’re also briefly introduced to two mysterious unnamed characters, a sorcerer, and a barbarian warrior, each with a real world vibe to them but at the same time mixing in fantasy tropes. The world is an interesting landscape with art that’s full of details giving us hints about this world and telling it’s own story.

The first issue is a solid start of what is sure to be the next hit that everyone will want. A great beginning and a great mix of genres.

Story: Seth M. Peck Art: Jeremy Haun
Color: Nick Filardi Letters: Thomas Mauer
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

The Realm Heads Back to Print

Co-creators Seth M. Peck and Jeremy Haun, with colorist Nick Filardi and letterer Thomas Mauer, have launched a smash hit in The Realm. Image Comics has announced that The Realm #1 is being rushed back to print on the same day as its release in order to keep up with overwhelming customer demand.

Welcome to the treacherous world of The Realm. Fifteen years ago, we were overrun by creatures of myth. The shadows hide nameless terrors—but not for long.

The Realm #1, 2nd printing (Diamond code: AUG178150), along with The Realm #2 Cover A from Haun and Filardi (Diamond code: AUG170708) and Cover B from Jeff Lemire (Diamond code: AUG170709) will be available Wednesday, October 18th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, September 25th.

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