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REVIEW: Deadbox #2

Deadbox #2

Mark Russell is one of the most important satirists working in fiction today and Deadbox continues to be proof of this. In Deadbox #2, Russell takes on the idea of the American Dream and how it manifests itself in small town settings, the places where Americans go to keep their national myths alive. Also, monkeys are learning how to behave around bananas in this chapter’s Deadbox movie, titled “Can I Have a Banana Now?”

Deadbox #2 follows a man and wife that visit a fair filled with that very conservative Southern charm, Confederate flags waving and such. The man comes across a cheap pair of purplish/pale pink pants that he says look like the ones he used to wear in college. He buys them, puts them on, and is immediately labeled as queer, much to the horror of the Southern man. Cue the public outrage, the shunning, and the Christian judgement stares.

As is the case with the first issue, the movie that accompanies the main story reflects on the problems faced by its characters. This one’s about how monkeys take to punishment and rewards to better control the simian population. You can piece together rest yourself. It’s an amazingly rewarding process.

Keeping with the anthology format is paying off for the book, allowing it to wade into deeper waters with different characters while also making sure the story feels interconnected, if only by a panel or two showing an already established character from before. The movies are the connecting agents that bind everyone together.

Deadbox #2

The script’s genius comes in how it addresses preconceived notions of what’s acceptable and American and what isn’t through comically frightening situations that put readers in places they are painfully familiar with. It’s exaggerated and even ridiculous, but never that far from reality.

Benjamin Tiesma’s art continues to hold its part of the storytelling quite well. The character work in particular shines as Tiesma prefers to portray people with just the right amount of caricature to keep them from being mere punchlines. They feel like real people despite the funnier aspects of their looks and they all radiate a humorous energy that’s both impossible to look away from but also hard to watch.

I could go on and on about Deadbox and how it gets progressively funnier the scarier it gets, but the beauty’s in the discovery, in decoding the satire. Bottom line is, you need to read this book. Comics shelves become smarter when it’s on display.

Story: Mark Russell Art: Benjamin Tiesma Colors: Vladimir Popov
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10
Recommendation: Buy, read, and laugh all the way through to keep from screaming incessantly.

Vault Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Review: Deadbox #1

Deadbox #1

We are the stories we tell ourselves, no matter how stupid they are. This is but one of the sentiments that orbit the satire at the heart of Vault’s latest comic book series, Deadbox. Accompanying that brutally accurate idea is the thought these stories we collectively decide to support can also be cursed. Author Mark Russell and illustrator Benjamin Tiesma tap into the core stupidities of our national narrative, both foundational and current, and come up with a story that’s as funny as it is worrying.

Deadbox follows a woman called Penny who owns a convenience store in a dead-end town called Lost Turkey, a town that also worships freedom as if it were its own god. The town and its people poke fun at Libertarian ideals and conservative thought to create an environment that’s contradictory in every social facet of life. Lost Turkey’s only source of entertainment, as the book says, is a DVD machine that looks like one of those Redbox vending machines where people could rent movies and video games from.

Problem is, the movies in the machine are haunted. Some can only be found in that Lost Turkey’s rental machine and nowhere else. Russell and Tiesma hang on to this detail to create a kind of ‘story within a story’ dynamic where the movie becomes a reflection of the things that are happening in the town, or that are happening to it.

Russell has built quiet a body of work on his own brand of satire. His stories are aware of the commentary he’s putting forth, subtlety be damned in some cases. It makes his comics come off as meta a lot of the times and he’s largely successful at it. Deadbox is another notch on that belt in this regard.

As the story develops, we learn that Penny’s dad is seriously ill and that her choice to rent a movie from the machine will foretell some of the things that ail and will end up ailing the character. This is where Russell’s skill with creating parables and metaphors shines, turning the movie’s sci-fi story of humanity making first contact with an alien civilization into a contemplation on a people’s dreams of progress, what old age means, and how entitled we can come off as while settling in new places.

Lost Turkey itself is a combination of elements that make it a kind of conservative utopia guided by contradictions that celebrate unfettered freedoms regardless of consequence. Gun lovers, safety-defying bikers, and small town political leaders with delusions of grandeur populate this place and each one offers a chance to think about the backwardness of our political culture.

Deadbox #1

Tiesma’s art makes sure the script’s satire never skips a beat by leaning into caricature in his portrayal of the townspeople and the characters that appear in the story’s movie segments. Body language and panel transitions are imbued with a theatrical flair that rewards careful observation and close reading. The humor’s in the details in this one and Tiasma capitalizes on every chance he gets to dial it up.

Deadbox is an incredibly smart comic that finds a lot to be scared of in stupidity, but also a lot to laugh at. The first issue of the series stands on the strength of its sharp wit and its visual comedy. There’s a lot of stupid in the world right now and Deadbox is here to make fun of it.

Story: Mark Russell Art: Benjamin Tiesma,
Colors: Vladimir Popov, Letterer: Andworld Design
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Read and try not to do stupid things.

Vault provided Graphic Policy with a free copy of the comic for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Earl Review: Deadbox #1

Deadbox #1

We are the stories we tell ourselves, no matter how stupid they are. This is but one of the sentiments that orbit the satire at the heart of Vault’s latest comic book series, Deadbox. Accompanying that brutally accurate idea is the thought these stories we collectively decide to support can also be cursed. Author Mark Russell and illustrator Benjamin Tiesma tap into the core stupidities of our national narrative, both foundational and current, and come up with a story that’s as funny as it is worrying.

Deadbox follows a woman called Penny who owns a convenience store in a dead-end town called Lost Turkey, a town that also worships freedom as if it were its own god. The town and its people poke fun at Libertarian ideals and conservative thought to create an environment that’s contradictory in every social facet of life. Lost Turkey’s only source of entertainment, as the book says, is a DVD machine that looks like one of those Redbox vending machines where people could rent movies and video games from.

Problem is, the movies in the machine are haunted. Some can only be found in that Lost Turkey’s rental machine and nowhere else. Russell and Tiesma hang on to this detail to create a kind of ‘story within a story’ dynamic where the movie becomes a reflection of the things that are happening in the town, or that are happening to it.

Russell has built quiet a body of work on his own brand of satire. His stories are aware of the commentary he’s putting forth, subtlety be damned in some cases. It makes his comics come off as meta a lot of the times and he’s largely successful at it. Deadbox is another notch on that belt in this regard.

As the story develops, we learn that Penny’s dad is seriously ill and that her choice to rent a movie from the machine will foretell some of the things that ail and will end up ailing the character. This is where Russell’s skill with creating parables and metaphors shines, turning the movie’s sci-fi story of humanity making first contact with an alien civilization into a contemplation on a people’s dreams of progress, what old age means, and how entitled we can come off as while settling in new places.

Lost Turkey itself is a combination of elements that make it a kind of conservative utopia guided by contradictions that celebrate unfettered freedoms regardless of consequence. Gun lovers, safety-defying bikers, and small town political leaders with delusions of grandeur populate this place and each one offers a chance to think about the backwardness of our political culture.

Deadbox #1

Tiesma’s art makes sure the script’s satire never skips a beat by leaning into caricature in his portrayal of the townspeople and the characters that appear in the story’s movie segments. Body language and panel transitions are imbued with a theatrical flair that rewards careful observation and close reading. The humor’s in the details in this one and Tiasma capitalizes on every chance he gets to dial it up.

Deadbox is an incredibly smart comic that finds a lot to be scared of in stupidity, but also a lot to laugh at. The first issue of the series stands on the strength of its sharp wit and its visual comedy. There’s a lot of stupid in the world right now and Deadbox is here to make fun of it.

Story: Mark Russell Art: Benjamin Tiesma,
Colors: Vladimir Popov, Letterer: Andworld Design
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Read and try not to do stupid things.

Vault provided Graphic Policy with a free copy of the comic for review


Pre-Order: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: A Dark Interlude #1

A Dark Interlude #1

Writer: Ryan O’Sullivan
Artist: Andrea Mutti
Colorist: Vladimir Popov
Letterer: Andworld
Designer: Tim Daniel
On Sale: 11/18/2020

After the stunning success of Fearscape, comes A Dark Interlude, the story of-No!

The only offense to literature greater than the loathsome synopsis is the sequel. I will not stand idle while some poor excuse for an editor mangles and confuses my story, which is intact, perfect, and concluded, with this derivative drivel. Mark my words, this nonsense has nothing to do with my tale. I am not in it. I do not condone it. And you, dear reader, should not buy it.
-HH”

A Dark Interlude #1

A Dark Interlude #1 Gets a Cover from Caspar Wijingaard

Vault Comics has announced two new gorgeous Caspar Wijingaard incentive covers for A Dark Interlude #1. Caspar’s cover art will come in two different versions: a regular cover will be available as a 1:15 variant, while a deluxe foil edition printed on thick card stock will be available as a 1:30 variant.

A Dark Interlude is the “not-quite-a-sequel” to Fearscape, co-created by writer Ryan O’Sullivan and artist Andrea Mutti with colors by Vladimir Popov, letters by Andworld, and design by Tim Daniel.

A Dark Interliude marks the return of comics most unreliable narrator and legendary jerk, Henry Henry.

After the stunning success of Fearscape, comes A Dark Interlude, the story of-No! The only offence to literature greater than the loathsome synopsis is the sequel. I will not stand idle while some poor excuse for an editor mangles and confuses my story, which is intact, perfect, and concluded, with this derivative drivel. Mark my words, this nonsense has nothing to do with my tale. I am not in it. I do not condone it. And you, dear reader, should not buy it.

-HH

Cover A (Kristantina): SEP201542
Cover B (Gooden & Daniel): SEP201543
Cover C (Isaacs): SEP201544
Cover D 1:15 (Wijingaard): SEP208238

Cover E 1:30 Foil (Wijingaard): SEP208239

A Dark Interlude #1 hits store shelves on November 11th.

Heavy and Hundred Wolves Get New Release Dates from Vault Comics

Vault Comics announced that two upcoming series, Heavy and Hundred Wolves will now both be released in September 2020. Heavy #1 will now be released on September 9th, 2020, and Hundred Wolves #1 will be released on September 16th, 2020.

Heavy is co-created by writer Max Bemis and Eryk Donovan, with colors by Cris Peter, letters by Taylor Esposito, and design by Tim Daniel. Heavy is a dark, violent comedy about love and the transcendence of toxic masculinity. The story centers on Bill, who, though he may be dead, still has a job to do. Welcome to the Big Wait, where folks who don’t quite make the cut go to work off their debt. Everyone in the Wait’s got a job. Bill is a Heavy, whose job is policing the multiverse, making sure bad eggs get what’s coming to them. He’s on track to earn his Climb and reunite with the woman he loves…until he meets his new partner: the worst dude of all time. Heavy is The Punisher for neurotics; Inception for the impatient; Preacher for…well, it’s a lot like Preacher. Max Bemis and Eryk Donavan bring you a story about the existential purpose of dumb boys with big guns.

Hundred Wolves is co-created by writer Myke Cole and artist Tony Akins, with colors by Vladimir Popov, letters by Jim Campbell, and design by Tim Daniel. The Hundred Wolves are bloody-handed terrors of the steppe. Andrei and Oksana have left the Cossack band to raise their daughter on a farm they hold from the noble Count Ostoja, but the raiding life isn’t done with them. Both the Hundred Wolves and the couple’s new liege lord wish to employ their deadly skills—and neither will take no for an answer. From celebrated author Myke Cole and venerable artist Tony Akins comes a story of war and family, blending historical fiction with a touch of fantasy.

Look for Heavy #1 and Hundred Wolves #1 in the July 2020 Previews catalog.

Vault Has Announced a Local Comic Shop Gift Card Initiative. Buy a Gift Card and Get a Free Advance Comic!

In order to support local comic shop retailers in these trying times, Vault Comics has announced their LCS Gift Card Initiative. It’s simple: readers who purchase gift cards from their local comic shop will receive free, early copies of Heavy #1 by Max Bemis & Eryk Donovan, and HUNDRED WOLVES #1 by Myke Cole and Tony Akins, months ahead of release.

Vault’s LCS Gift Card Initiative has five easy steps: 

  1. Call, email, or reach out via social media to your local comic book retailer.
  2. Purchase a gift card from them for any amount.
  3. Submit any proof of purchase, along with the local comic shop you purchased your gift card, here.
  4. Vault Comics will send participants an email containing free, advanced, digital copies of HEAVY #1 by Max Bemis & Eryk Donovan, and HUNDRED WOLVES #1 by Myke Cole & Tony Akins.
  5. If you like the two issues, add them to your subscription list at your local comic shop.

Vault strongly emphasizes that participants should obey any shelter-in-place mandates that may be active in their areas. They strongly encourage participants to call, email, or reach out to their local retailers via social media to purchase these cards. Do not put anyone’s health at risk.


HEAVY #1

Writer: Max Bemis
Artist: Eryk Donovan
Colorist: Cris Peter
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Designer: Tim Daniel

Bill may be dead, but he’s got a job to do.
Welcome to the Big Wait, where folks who do’t quite make the cut go to work off their debt. Everyone in the Wait’s got a job. Bill is a Heavy, whose job is policing the multiverse, making sure bad eggs get what’s coming to them. He’s on track to earn his Climb and reunite with the woman he loves… until he meets his new partner: the worst dude of all time.
Heavy is The Punisher for neurotics; Inception for the impatient; Preacher for… well, it’s a lot like Preacher. Max Bemis and Eryk Donovan bring you a story about the existential purpose of dumb boys with big guns.

HEAVY #1

HUNDRED WOLVES #1

Writer: Myke Cole
Artist: Tony Akins
Colorist: Vladimir Popov
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Designer: Tim Daniel

The Hundred Wolves are bloody-handed terrors of the steppe. Andrei and Oksana have left the Cossack band to raise their daughter on a farm they hold from the noble Count Ostoja, but the raiding life isn’t done with them. Both the Hundred Wolves and the couple’s new liege lord wish to employ their deadly skills-and neither will take no for an answer. From celebrated author Myke Cole (The Sacred Throne Trilogy, The Shadow Ops Trilogy) and venerable artist Tony Akins (Fables, Hellblazer, Wonder Woman) comes a story of war and family, blending historical fiction with a touch of fantasy.

HUNDRED WOLVES #1

Vault Announces Hundred Wolves by Myke Cole and Tony Akins

Vault Comics has announced Hundred Wolves, a historically inspired fantasy comic series co-created by award-winning novelist Myke Cole and master artist Tony Akins, with colors Vladimir Popov, letters by Jim Campbell, and designed by Tim Daniel.

Hundred Wolves is set during the Siege of Vienna in 1683. Andrei and Oksana have left the Cossack band to raise their daughter on a farm they hold from the noble Count Ostoja, but the raiding life isn’t done with them. Both the Hundred Wolves and the couple’s new liege lord wish to employ their deadly skills—and neither will take no for an answer.

The full synopsis of HUNDRED WOLVES can be found below: 

The Hundred Wolves are bloody-handed terrors of the steppe. Andrei and Oksana have left the Cossack band to raise their daughter on a farm they hold from the noble Count Ostoja, but the raiding life isn’t done with them. Both the Hundred Wolves and the couple’s new liege lord wish to employ their deadly skills—and neither will take no for an answer. From celebrated author Myke Cole (The Sacred Throne Trilogy, The Shadow Ops Trilogy) and venerable artist Tony Akins (Fables, Hellblazer, Wonder Woman) comes a story of war and family, blending historical fiction with a touch of fantasy.

Hundred Wolves #1 will hit store shelves in April 2020. The first issue will drop with a special Pulp & Paint variant cover by Nathan Gooden and Tim Daniel.

Hundred Wolves #1

Starship Down Uncovers the Mystery of an Extraterrestrial Ship in March 2020

Creators Justin Giampaoli, Andrea Mutti, alongside colorist Vladimir Popov, and letterer Sal Cipriano, bring you the new sci-fi miniseries Starship Down.

Starship Down follows cultural anthropologist Jocelyn Young after the earth-shattering discovery of an extraterrestrial ship buried deep under the ice of Siberia.

As she consults with US Naval Intelligence on the investigation, meddling Russians, Vatican officials, media spotlight, and her own insecurities threaten her efforts to keep the fabric of society from crumbling as mankind discovers its startling origin.

Starship Down #1 (of four) arrives March 18, 2020.

Starship Down

Preview: Clive Barker’s Next Testament Omnibus SC

Clive Barker’s Next Testament Omnibus SC

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer:  Clive Barker, Mark Alan Miller
Artist: Haemi Jang
Colorist: Vladimir Popov
Letterer: Steven Wands
Cover Artist: Goñi Montes
Price: $29.99

Finally collected in one complete volume, experience the terrifying madness of Master of Horror’s first original comic book series

Julian Demond is a captain of industry who left behind everything and began a walkabout, believing himself to be on a mission from above. He soon discovers a figure unlike any other, one who calls himself Wick…and claims to be God.

Bestselling author Clive Barker, co-writer Mark Alan Miller (Clive Barker’s Hellraiser), and internationally acclaimed artist Haemi Jang (Clive Barker’s Hellraiser: The Road Below) come together for a thrilling story not of this world, collecting all twelve issues of the Harvey Award-nominated horror epic.

Clive Barker's Next Testament Omnibus SC
Almost American
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