We can all agree that Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips form one of the most successful comics collaborations of all time, right? Over the last fifteen years the pair have routinely produced some of the best comics of the present age -- Sleeper, Incognito, about a thousand pages of Criminal, and the just-completed Fatale. They're the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby of smart, stylish, noir-tinged genre comics. Whenever their names appear together on a cover, it's practically a guarantee of excellence.
Now, after years of telling stories influenced by classic film noir, Brubaker and Phillips head directly to the source with The Fade Out, a dark and enthralling mystery about the dark truths behind the myth of old Hollywood.
When I was reading Burn the Orphanage, the one thought that kept running through my head was "Hey, this violent tribute to games like Streets of Rage is great and all, but what I'd really like to see is an all-ages fantasy story about a young girl and a magic box that grants wishes drawn by the same person!"
Okay, no, that's actually a lie -- but the only reason I didn't think that is because I didn't know how bad I wanted it until I saw that exact thing. Written by Michael Stock and drawn by Burn the Orphanage artist Sina Grace, Penny Dora and the Wishing Box is a modern re-telling of the Pandora myth inspired by a story written by Stock's eight year-old daughter, Nico.
When Mark Millar and Goran Parlov's Starlight was announced, I had mixed feelings. Goran Parlov may be one of the five best comics artists living today, and it sounded like a good idea: a retired hero in the mold of John Carter returns to the planet he once saved, decades after his prime, to be a hero once again.
But often it seems that no matter how good an idea is, Mark Millar can't help but screw it up. His love of sensationalism and his need to be controversial have sapped the power out of many of his strongest ideas, and I wasn't that surprised when our own Kevin Church ripped the first issue to shreds. I read it anyway, because Goran Parlov exists, and life is much better for it.
I was a little surprised to find out that I totally disagreed with Church's review. And I was shocked that the Mark Millar that I like actually decided to turn up.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you, the discerning ComicsAlliance reader, like to get good comics without paying a lot of money for them. That's a pretty safe bet, right? I mean, who doesn't like getting comics on the cheap, especially when they're critically acclaimed titles -- specifically, titles that have been critically acclaimed by us, America's Most Beloved Comics Reviewers?
That's why we're keeping an eye on the sales over at Comixology to help you find the best comics that you can grab on the cheap, and spend your weekend with some great stories. This week: Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Fatale and IDW's line of Judge Dredd titles!
I can't think of a more appropriate title for the fourth episode of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead video game's second season than "Amid the Ruins."
After an unyieldingly intense end to the previous episode, there were few places this new episode could go in terms of upping the ante. So it doesn't even try. Instead, the game's writers and developers offer a chapter about people trying to dig out from the debris left behind by a major disaster, and forging ahead with their lives.
If you tell me that there's a new comic out from Kurt Busiek, Ben Dewey, and Jordie Bellaire, then you have my attention, but if you follow that up by telling me that it could be accurately described as "Conan meets Kamandi," that's when I start just throwing money in random directions hoping that it hits someone who can hand me this book. It's a bad strategy for buying things, but it's just too hard to wait for November and the release of Tooth and Claw #1.
Set in a brutal world of violence and magic, Busiek and Dewey's Tooth and Claw was announced at Image Expo during San Diego Comic-Con. The book is billed as a "world-building fantasy" focused on a society of animal people that's coming apart at the seams, and as you can see from the new pages Image released this week, it is absolutely beautiful.
Each week, ComicsAlliance’s Chris Sims and Matt Wilson host the War Rocket Ajax podcast, their online audio venue for interviews with comics creators, reviews of the books of the week, and whatever else they want to talk about. ComicsAlliance is offering clips of the comics-specific segments of the show several days before the full podcast goes up at WarRocketAjax.com on Mondays.
This week, Chris and Matt start off by gushing about Grayson #2 by Tim Seeley, Tom King, and Mikel Janin. Then, they do pretty much the opposite to Genius #1 by Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman and Afua Richardson. Then, it's back to gushing about Moon Knight #6 by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire!
Here at ComicsAlliance, we're already pretty excited about Jim Zub and Steve Cummings' Wayward. The story of a girl who moves from Ireland to Japan after her parents divorce, only to find herself in a world that's not only culturally different, but also full of supernatural monsters that want to murder her right there on the streets of Tokyo hits that perfect combination of adolescent metaphors and comic book action that I'll always love as a reader.
If, however, you still need convincing before the book's Final Order Cutoff date on Monday, then have a look below for a five-page preview that provides a gorgeous showcase of Cummings' art as Rory arrives in Tokyo. And maybe, if you're good, I might throw something else in for good measure.
COWL is an Image Comics series which stylishly depicts an alternate history Chicago of the pre-”swinging” 1960s, when the (in)famously political city experienced all manner of socioeconomic upheaval — including the dissolution of the Chicago Organized Workers League. Also known as COWL, it’s a union for costumed superheroes, and its days are numbered.
Besides the very cool and original artwork of Rod Reis, we like COWL because it avoids some traps into which most non-Marvel and non-DC cape comics fall. Crucially, despite its “real-world” premise and period setting, COWL is not a Watchmen cover version, offering a decidedly less dour tone and honest-to-god superhero adventure blended deftly with its dramatic take on city politics. Sometimes it’s even really funny. The book also bucks the origin fetish of the superhero genre by introducing us to its intriguing cast not at the start of their sagas, but at what might be the end.
Last week at Comic-Con International in San Diego, we had a chance to talk to COWL co-writers Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel about their series.
When discussing the oeuvre of David Lapham, the comic that comes up again and again is obviously Stray Bullets. As great as Stray Bullets is, though, it tends to overshadow the rest of Lapham's body of work rather unfairly in some cases. Despite the several very good comics that Lapham has produced besides his most famous title – including the incomplete Young Liars, the raucous Juice Squeezers, and of course WWF Battlemania – none can match the near-mythic level of quality and reputation of Stray Bullets, and tend to just get left out of the conversation.
The new trade paperback collection of Murder Me Dead, available July 23 from Image Comics, could help change that trend. A dark, stirring, and emotionally manipulative noir about self-destruction, lies, and guilt, it may be the best “other” Lapham comic in his catalog.
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