Author Archives: Carman Goodrich

May & June 2017 Previews: Carman’s Picks

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Generation Gone #1

(W) Ales Kot, Andre Araujo (A/CA) Andre Araujo, Chris O’Halloran

Publisher: Image Comics

America, 2020. Three young hackers with nothing to lose. A secretive scientist with a plan. One final job. 
What happens when you’re poor, angry, and get superpowers you never asked for? Skins + Unbreakable = GENERATION GONE, sort of- if you also include multiple trips to the sun, weird black goo, a breakup fight inside a nuclear factory, love, hate, anger, loss…and survival. GENERATION GONE is for every kid struggling out there. It’s about what it means to be young in the USA, 2017.

Okay, the time is right. I’m ready for a new Ales Kot book. His work has always had a lot to say about current social issues (just check out the last two sentences in the solicit) so not having a book from him for a while has felt like something was missing. Very much looking forward to this one.

 

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Bottled TP

(W/A/CA) Chris Gooch

Publisher: IDW – Top Shelf

Jane is sick of her dead-end life in the suburbs, and desperate for a change. Her old friend Natalie made it out, living in Japan as a fashion model. Now, as Natalie comes back to town on business, Jane sees a way for her friend to do her a favor… whether she likes it or not.

Can’t say I know much outside of the solicit on this one, but the preview of the art looks fantastic. I will definitely be giving this a shot.

 

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Redlands #1

(W/A) Jordie Bellaire (W/A/CA) Vanesa Del Rey

Publisher: Image Comics

A brand-new horror book from the minds of Eisner Award-winner JORDIE BELLAIRE (PRETTY DEADLY, Vision, Batman) and critically acclaimed artist VANESA R. DEL REY (ZERO, Scarlet
Witch, Constantine) brings you to the sleepy, sunny town of Redlands, Florida. The police are failing to maintain control of their old-fashioned town, and a coven of killer witches plan to take everything from them. This summer, hide your bibles.

New creator-owned horror! That’s usually enough for me to give something a chance, but on top of this one sounding like the right kind of creepy for me, we’ve also got Jordie Bellaire jumping into writing. Her coloring work is excellent and I look forward to seeing her work more with another medium.

 

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Savage Town OGN

(W) Declan Shalvey, Philip Barrett (A/CA) Philip Barrett, Jordie Bellaire

Publisher: Image Comics

In Limerick City, Jimmy “Hardy” Savage is a gangster on the rise, facing trouble from all sides. With the local cops, rival gangs, his best mate, and his mammy all out to stick a knife in him, will the bollocks live long enough to get to the top? More importantly, will he pay me back for that fiver I gave him last week?
  
From the savage minds of DECLAN SHALVEY (All-Star Batman, INJECTION), PHILIP BARRETT, and JORDIE BELLAIRE (Vision, THEY’RE NOT LIKE US) comes an original Irish graphic crime novel that’ll leave you gaspin’…for a pint!

Speaking of Jordie Bellaire and branching out, here we’ve got an original graphic novel with Jordie Bellaire on colors and husband Declan Shalvey on the writing team. You may know Shalvey from his artwork on great books such as Injection and Moon Knight. Great to see him doing some writing, as well!

 

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Ghost Money #1

(W) Thierry Smolderen (A/CA) Dominique Bertail

Publisher: Lion Forge Comics

At the end of the year 2020, a team of military veterans are out to uncover a secret fortune built from the ashes of 9/11 so vast that it could disrupt the entire global economy. Their primary target is a beautiful young billionaire who crosses time zones with disconcerting ease.

The premise here sounds like it could make for a good political thriller. I’m digging the art for this cover and especially the cover for issue two. Looking up the creative team, it seems that Smolderen is an essayist and Bertail is a concept artist. That could be just the right mix for a book like this.

 

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Astro City #47

(W) Kurt Busiek (A) Mike Norton (CA) Alex Ross

Publisher: DC Comics

Meet G-Dog, possibly ASTRO CITY’s most unusual superhero ever. Half man, half dog – but who’s running the show? The answers will change a life, reveal another hero’s deepest secrets, and possibly, just possibly, save the world. Oh, who are we kidding… they’ll definitely change the world. Do you see that handsome face? Also featuring Honor Guard, with guest art by Mike Norton (Revival, Battlepug).

Look at that Ross cover. If you’re not already reading one of the greatest superhero books going, now is the time to jump on. Quick note — this is solicited as #47 even though the artwork says #46.

Feb/March/April 2017 Previews: Carman’s Picks

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Roughneck

Publisher: Gallery 13

(W/A/CA) Jeff Lemire

From the New York Times-bestselling author and award-winning creator of Essex County, Descender, and The Underwater Welder comes an original graphic novel about a brother and sister who must come together after years apart to face the disturbing history that has cursed their family. Derek Ouellette’s glory days are behind him. His hockey career ended a decade earlier in a violent incident on ice, and since then he’s been living off his reputation in the remote northern community where he grew up, drinking too much and fighting anyone who crosses him. When his long-lost sister Beth shows up, on the run from an abusive boyfriend, the two escape to a secluded hunting camp in the woods. There, living off the land, they reconnect with each other, the painful secrets of their past, and their Cree heritage…and start to heal. But Beth’s ex-boyfriend is hunting them. As he circles closer, he threatens to shatter this newfound peace and pull both Derek and Beth back into the world of self-destruction they’ve fought so hard to leave behind. Touching and harrowing, this is a deeply moving and beautifully illustrated story about family, heritage, and breaking the cycle of violence.

Somewhere in the middle of writing (and sometimes drawing) several stellar ongoing series, Jeff Lemire has found time to also produce this original graphic novel for Simon and Schuster’s new imprint, Gallery 13. I will always check out all things Lemire, but the description here has me sold. Lemire really knows how to capture the nuances of nuclear family and I can’t wait to see how that takes shape here.

 

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Black Monday Murders #5 and The Dying & The Dead #4

The books highlighted in these articles are almost always series premieres, but Jonathon Hickman gets a special pass. The Dying and the Dead has been on hiatus for a little over a year and a half and it’s so good to see it regularly solicited again. On top of that, we also see the second arc kick off for Black Monday Murders, a comic that may very well be my #1 of 2016. If you haven’t been reading either one of these books, jump on them now.

 

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Victor LaValle’s Destroyer #1

Publisher: Boom! Studios

(W) Victor LaValle (A) Dietrich Smith (CA) Micaela Dawn

When the last descendant of the Frankenstein family loses her only son to a police shooting, she turns to science for her own justice…putting her on a crash course with her family’s original monster and his quest to eliminate humanity. An intense, unflinching story exploring the legacies of love, loss, and vengeance placed firmly in the tense atmosphere and current events of the modern-day United States.

A story amalgamated from classic horror and modern headlines will take serious craft to pull off. I wasn’t actually familiar with Victor LaValle before hearing about Destroyer, but after looking into his work a bit, I’m definitely interested to see the direction the creators take it in.

 

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Eternal Empire #1

Publisher: Image Comics

(W/A/CA) Sarah Vaughn, Jonathon Luna

JONATHAN LUNA (ALEX + ADA, THE SWORD, Spider-Woman: Origin) and SARAH VAUGHN (ALEX + ADA, Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love, Ruined) return with ETERNAL EMPIRE, a fantasy epic!

The Eternal Empress has waged war against the countries of Saia for over one hundred years and now her sights are set on the last country standing. Within the brutal Empire’s workforce, a young woman receives strange visions that give her the courage to escape her fate…or run straight toward it.

I still haven’t read Alex + Ada, but it’s been recommended to me several times since it first published. While I’m keeping that on my reading list, I’m going to jump on Eternal Empire from the beginning this time.

 

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Bug: The Adventures of Forager #1

Publisher: DC Comics

(W) Lee Allred (A/CA) Michael Allred

An all-new Young Animal miniseries begins! Forager is just one of the Hive before he breaks out of his cocoon and finds himself in a mysterious house in an unknown realm. There he meets all kinds of strange creatures: a ghostly girl, a talking teddy bear and otherworldly weirdos that have literally jumped out of his worst nightmares. But these interdimensional oddballs are nothing compared to the evil General Electric, who is on the hunt for a reality-bending metal that could alter the fabric of life itself. To stay one step ahead of him and preserve the multiverse, Forager must travel through alternate dimensions to seek the metal and, hopefully, catch up with that cagey stuffed bear. If he does it, will he finally be able to distinguish himself as a New God?
DC’s Young Animal celebrates Jack Kirby’s centenary with this new six-issue miniseries-and who better to tackle this task than the Eisner Award-winning Allred clan! Featuring scripts by Lee Allred (BATMAN ’66), art by Michael Allred (Silver Surfer) and colors by Laura Allred (Lady Killer), BUG! is truly a family affair.
MATURE READERS

More craziness from DC’s Young Animal. I have really enjoyed the likes of Doom Patrol, Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye, and Shade the Changing Girl. Here’s hoping that Young Animal keeps that momentum for their fifth book in the lineup. Granted I’m not too worried about that because MIKE ALLRED IS DOING THE ART. If you’ve never read anything of his, go grab that X-Statix omnibus right now.

 

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Winnebago Graveyard #1

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Steve Niles (A/CA) Alison Sampson, Stéphane Paitreau, Jordie Bellaire, Aditya Bidikar

SERIES PREMIERE
An American family traveling on vacation finds themselves stranded in a small town with a sinister secret.

There’s not a whole lot to go on beyond the short solicit and cover art, but I’m in. Maybe it’s having just seen Get Out and binge-listening to most of S-Town, but there’s enough here to have me intrigued.

 

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Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man #1

Publisher: Marvel Comics

(W) Chip Zdarsky (A/CA) Adam Kubert

SPIDER-MAN RETURNS TO THE FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD!
The webslinging, wallcrawling wonder returns to New York City in the all-new PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN. A companion series to the best-selling Amazing Spider-Man series, Peter Parker is going back-to-basics for big heroics in the Big Apple. Featuring adversaries old and new, be there as Spider-Man returns to his friendly neighborhood for his never ending battle against crime and the dreaed “Parker Luck”.
Rated T

I’ll say it. I’m not a big Spider-Man fan. I don’t dislike him or anything, but I’ve just never been overly interested. In the past few years, the main Peter Parker related things that really grabbed my attention were Spencer and Lieber’s Superior Foes of Spider-Man and Chip Zdarsky’s portrayal of Spider-Man in his Howard the Duck. Well, well. It looks like Applebee’s greatest friend is now getting his very own Spider-Man book. I guess it’s time to see what this spider guy is all about.

 

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Unsound #1

Publisher: Boom! Studios

(W) Cullen Bunn (A/CA) Jack Cole

Ashli’s first day as a nurse at Wiermont Psychiatric Hospital turns into a nightmare as a bloody riot sends her fleeing into the bowels of the hospital. Her descent takes her to a hellish world populated by lunatics and monsters, cloaked in a secret history of black magic and heinous scientific experiments.

I’m always on the lookout for a good horror book. I may be too chicken for horror games and a lot of horror movies, but books are different. Maybe it’s having more control over the material or the less immediate stimulus, but horror books hit the right spot for me. Also, the line “secret history of black magic” makes me think of Black Monday Murders which we’ve established is a very good thing.

 

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Secret Weapons #1

Publisher: Valiant Comics

(W) Eric Heisserer (A/CA) Raul Allen

Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Eric Heisserer (Arrival) joins Harvey Award-nominated artist Raúl Allén (Wrath of the Eternal Warrior) for Valiant’s next prestige format limited series, starring Livewire and an extraordinary new team of heroes! The government has dispatched Amanda McKee – the technopath codenamed Livewire – to investigate the ruins of a secret facility formerly run by Toyo Harada, the most powerful telepath on Earth and her former mentor. In his quest for world betterment at any cost, Harada sought out and activated many potential psiots like himself. Those who survived, but whose powers he deemed to have no value to his cause, were hidden away at this installation. But Livewire, having studied Harada’s greatest strengths and learned his deepest weaknesses, senses opportunity where he once saw failure. A young girl who can talk to birds… A boy who can make inanimate objects gently glow… To others, these are expensive failures. But, to Livewire, they are secret weapons…in need of a leader. Now, as a mechanized killer called Rexo seeks to draw them out, Livewire and her new team of cadets will be forced to put their powers into action…in ways they never could have imagined…

I’m still relatively new to the Valiant universe, but I’ve been really impressed with pretty much everything I’ve read. One of the biggest highlights for me was The Valiant, another event of theirs. Valiant has such a way with portraying the modern superhero, and the fact that the screenwriter for Arrival is on board certainly seals the deal for me. I’m very much looking forward to adding this one to my Valiant collection.

January 2017 Previews: Carman’s Picks

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Grass Kings #1

Publisher: Boom! Studios

(W/A/CA) Matt Kindt (A/CA) Tyler Jenkins

From The New York Times bestselling writer Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT) and Peter Panzerfaust artist Tyler Jenkins comes a rural mystery series chronicling the tragic lives of the Grass Kings, three brothers and rulers of a trailer park kingdom, a fiefdom of the hopeless and lost, of the desperate poor seeking a promised land.

Eldest brother Robert leads a grief-stricken life, having lost his daughter to a tragic accident, followed by his wife disappearing one morning never to return.
When an enigmatic young woman named Maria flees to their community in search of safe haven, Robert takes her in. Will his decision lead to ruin and retribution dooming the Kingdom?
Perfect for fans of True Detective Season One or Scalped.

Oversized, prestige format first issue featuring 30 pages of story!

The panels shown for Grass Kings in the new Previews look great. I’ll always give a Kindt book a shot, but there is a lot to be excited for, here. I’ve not read Peter Panzerfaust, but Tyler Jenkins’ art seems like it will fit the tone of this book really well. It’s not uncommon for solicits to recommend books for “fans of ______” to draw people in, even if it can be a stretch. However, from the little I’ve seen of Grass Kings, I’ve got faith that Kindt and Jenkins can evoke that feeling of eerie, rural depravity as seen in the like of True Detective season one (how great is it that they have to specify that it’s just season one of True Detective?). Also, as much as I love the artistic work of Matt and Sharon Kindt, it will be neat to see someone else do watercolors for one of their books. 

 

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Royal City #1

Publisher: Image Comics

(W/A/CA) Jeff Lemire

DOUBLE-SIZED DEBUT ISSUE! NEW ONGOING SERIES written and illustrated by JEFF LEMIRE (DESCENDER, A.D., Sweet Tooth). ROYAL CITY charts the lives, loves, and losses of a troubled family and a vanishing town across three decades. Patrick Pike, a fading literary star who reluctantly returns to the once-thriving factory town where he grew up, is quickly drawn back into the dramas of his two adult siblings, his overbearing mother, and his brow-beaten father, all of whom are still haunted by different versions of his youngest brother, Tommy, who drowned decades ago. ROYAL CITY is a return to the literary and thematic territory of LEMIRE’s breakthrough graphic novel Essex County and is his most ambitious, and most personal, project to date.

Admittedly, the often melancholy themes of Jeff Lemire books like Essex County and Underwater Welder are not for everyone. Some folks turn to comics for a fantastical escape from reality, and that’s totally fine. Others don’t mind steeping themselves in the sometimes depressing, slice of life books that can remind us both of how grim reality can be, as well as how comics can be such a cathartic medium. While I enjoy lots of different books, I definitely fit into that latter group and I’m very much looking forward to what Lemire has in store with Royal City.

 

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The Wild Storm #1

Publisher: DC Comics

(W) Warren Ellis (A/CA) Jon Davis-Hunt

A troubled woman, barred by her employer from continuing her research, walks miserably through New York City. It takes her a moment to notice that everybody else is looking up. A man has been thrown from the upper floor of the Halo skyscraper.

And that woman-Angela Spica, sick from the transhuman implants she’s buried in her own body-is the only person who can save him.

What she doesn’t know is that the act of saving that one man will tip over a vast and secret house of cards that encloses the entire world, if not the inner solar system. This is how the Wild Storm begins, and it may destroy covert power structures, secret space programs and even all of human history.

New York Times best-selling writer Warren Ellis (TRANSMETROPOLITAN, RED, PLANETARY) returns to DC to curate Jim Lee’s WildStorm world, with this debut issue resetting the WildStorm universe with new iterations of Grifter, Voodoo, the Engineer, Jenny Sparks and others.

“I couldn’t be more excited to see these characters that are so near and dear to me reintroduced under the guiding hand of Warren Ellis. WildStorm represents an incredibly fun and exciting period in my career, and I can’t wait to see what Warren and Jon have in store for fans in February.”-Jim Lee, DC Comics Co-Publisher
RATED T+

This is cheating a little bit as it’s actually The Wild Storm #2 that’s in the newest issue of Previews, but I missed the first one last month. I’ve been really impressed with the recent launch of DC’s Young Animal imprint, and with Warren Ellis at the helm, I’m on board for The Wild Storm (the reboot of 90s imprint Wildstorm). Plus, now I’ve got extra motivation to finish that copy of The Planetary Omnibus sitting on my shelf!

 

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American Gods: Shadows #1

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Neil Gaiman (A) P. Craig Russell (CA) Glenn Fabry

NEIL GAIMAN! P. CRAIG RUSSELL! SCOTT HAMPTON! Shadow Moon just got out of jail, only to discover his wife is dead. Defeated, broke, and uncertain as to where to go from here, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, who employs him to serve as his bodyguard – thrusting Shadow into a deadly world of the supernatural, where ghosts of the past come back from the dead, and a brewing war between old and new gods hits a boiling point. The Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy, and Nebula award-winning novel and upcoming Starz television series by Neil Gaiman is adapted as a comic series for the first time!

Here’s another literary universe I’ve been neglecting for too long. Yes, I’ve been recommended American Gods a good handful of times, and I think this is the kick in the butt I need to finally read that book. Call me a bad comics reader, but I have to confess that I’ve yet to read any Neil Gaiman. Yeah, yeah I know. I’ll read Sandman one day.

 

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Underwinter #1

Publisher: Image Comics

(W/A/CA) Ray Fawkes

SERIES PREMIERE! “SYMPHONY,” Part One-Critically acclaimed creator RAY FAWKES launches his new monthly horror series: UNDERWINTER, twisted portraits of our dark world, beginning with the perverse, topical SYMPHONY – a beautifully painted tale of music and cruelty in the modern age.

There’s not much to go on from the solicitation, but I enjoyed Gotham by Midnight – a DC horror book also written by Ray Fawkes. This one is perfect for fans of Se7en and Mozart in the Jungle season two!

That’s a callback joke, y’all.

 

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Afar TP

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Leila Del Duca (A/CA) Kit Seaton

In a fantastical post-industrial desert, fifteen-year-old Boetema suddenly develops the ability to astral project to other planets while she sleeps. When she accidentally gets a young man hurt on a planet light-years away, she must figure out a way to project back to save him. On her own world, Boetema’s two parents have temporarily left her and her thirteen-year-old brother, Inotu, to make a living as salt shepherds. Left to their own devices, the two siblings must flee across a dangerous desert when Inotu gets into trouble with a threatening cyborg bodyguard. As Boetema visits amazing planets and encounters vibrant cultures, she must confront her mistakes and learn to trust in Inotu as she navigates her newfound abilities.

You could probably make a book from each sentence in this solicitation, but I’m interested to see it all thrown together in one volume. Plus, I’ve got trust in the team behind Shutter to make some strange and compelling science fiction. 

September & October 2016 Previews: Carman’s Picks

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Locke & Key: Small World

Publisher: IDW Publishing

(W) Joe Hill (A) Jay Fotos (A/CA) Gabriel Rodriguez

Three years after wrapping up their award-winning, best-selling Locke & Key saga, the team that built Keyhouse returns to Lovecraft, Massachusetts with a new tale of terror and suspense! An impossible birthday gift for two little girls unexpectedly throws open a door to a monster on eight legs!
•   You never thought it’d happen but… the Eisner-winning series returns to unlock a special tale from Keyhouse’s sordid past!
•   All-new 24-page story by series creators Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, and Jay Fotos!
•   Variant cover by “Behind You” creator Brian Coldrick, Mouse Guard’s David Petersen, Wraith’s Charles Paul Wilson III, and an incentive Small World Key photo cover from Skelton Crew Studios, too!

Locke & Key is one of my all time favorite series, and I can’t wait to revisit the world that Hill and Rodriguez created together. If you’ve got any interest in a horror/fantasy-tinged tale of loss and coming of age (and written by Stephen King’s son, to boot), definitely check out Locke & Key

 

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A.D. After Death: Book One

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Scott Snyder (A/CA) Jeff Lemire

What if we found a cure for death?
Two of comics’ most acclaimed creators, SCOTT SNYDER (WYTCHES, Batman, American Vampire) and JEFF LEMIRE (DESCENDER, Moon Knight, Sweet Tooth) unite to create a three-part epic like no other, set in a future where a genetic cure for death has been found. Years after the discovery, one man starts to question everything, leading him on a mind-bending journey that will bring him face-to-face with his past and his own mortality. A unique combination of comics, prose, and illustration, A.D.: AFTER DEATH will be serialized monthly as three oversized prestige format books written by SNYDER and fully painted by LEMIRE.

What an exciting team up! Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a time Jeff Lemire did the art for a story that he didn’t write himself, aside from covers and panels here and there. The mix of mediums for this sounds like it could do some really cools things, as well. I’m a fan of both of these creators and I can’t wait to see what they can do together.

 

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Ether #1

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Matt Kindt (A/CA) David Rubin

A science-minded adventurer gets mixed up in the mysteries of a fantasy world in this charming new adventure from an award-winning creative team. Boone Dias is an interdimensional explorer, a scientist from Earth who has stumbled into great responsibility. He’s got an explanation for everything, so of course the Ether’s magical residents turn to him to solve their toughest crimes. But maybe keeping the real and the abstract separate is too big a job for just one man.

This is a book by Matt Kindt that has the adjective “interdimensional” in the description. Of course that’s going to get me to buy it. If you’ve not read Kindt before, pick up his current ongoing deep sea murder mystery Dept. H or a volume of the cerebral MIND MGMT.

 

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Frontier #1

Publisher: Image Comics

(W/A/CA) Jonathon Hickman

SERIES PREMIERE

“TRANQUILITY”
Double-sized first issue!
The planets have aligned, and the prodigal son has returned! For the first time in eight years, JONATHAN HICKMAN (EAST OF WEST, BLACK MONDAY MURDERS, Secret Wars, Avengers) is both writing and drawing a new comic series: FRONTIER.

It’s like Star Trek, but super depressing.

Seriously. Not a joke. The final frontier…is a total bummer.

Each issue contains galaxy-expanding bonus content like star maps, breakdowns of alien races, interstellar factions, and detailed spaceship schematics. FRONTIER is a brand new science fiction story about utopia lost, and how we might just gain it back.

This edition of Previews has been heavy on creators that are an automatic buy for me, and Jonathon Hickman is certainly one of them. I’ve been a fan of his writing for quite some time and now I’m excited to see some of his art, as well. Nightly News is an earlier work of his that was both written and drawn by him, and I think it’s time I check that one off of the backlog. Also, I’m not sure how many of us there are out there, but you can count me among the group of people who would get excited for a book described as “like Star Trek, but super depressing.”

May & June 2016 Previews: Carman’s Picks

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Black Hammer #1

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Dean Ormston

A new story from the prodigious brain of Jeff Lemire (Descender), amazingly realized by Dean Ormston (The Sandman) and Dave Stewart (Hellboy)!
Once they were heroes, but that age has long since passed. Banished from existence by a multiversal crisis, the old champions of Spiral City-Abraham Slam, Golden Gail, Colonel Weird, Madame Dragonfly, and Barbalien-now lead simple lives in a timeless farming town. Even as they try to find their way home, trouble has a unique way of finding heroes wherever they are!

I’m so glad to see this book finally coming out. It was announced in April of last year that Black Hammer would be delayed after artist Dean Ormstom suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. In a recent interview from Comic Book Resources, Jeff Lemire reported that Ormston is “doing really well”. The art looks fantastic, and after reading Plutona, I’m very much in for another offbeat superhero story from Lemire.

 

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Briggs Land #1

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Brian Wood (A) Mack Chater (CA) Brian Wood, Mack Chater

Briggs Land, nearly a hundred square miles of rural wilderness, contains the largest antigovernment secessionist movement in the United States. When matriarch Grace Briggs wrests control of the operation from her incarcerated husband, she sparks a war within the community-and her immediate family-that threatens to bring the full power of the federal government down on their heads.

o Perfect for fans of Sons of Anarchy and Justified!

o In development for an AMC television show!

I haven’t caught up with Brian Wood’s most recent works, but I enjoyed The Massive and Mara quite a bit. The premise of this one sounds intriguing and somewhat apropos given the political turbulence of this election year. I’m curious if advanced copies sparked the interest of a television show (not unlike how Descender was optioned for a movie before its first issue hit the shelves) or if the comic has been developed with the show simultaneously.

 

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Black Monday Murders #1

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Jonathon Hickman (A/CA) Tomm Coker

“MAMMON”
ALL HAIL GOD MONEY! From JONATHAN HICKMAN (EAST OF WEST, Secret Wars, Avengers) and TOMM COKER (UNDYING LOVE) comes a new crypto-noir series about the power of dirty, filthy money… and exactly what kind of people you can buy with it. THE BLACK MONDAY MURDERS is classic occultism where the various schools of magic are actually clandestine banking cartels who control all of society: a secret world where vampire Russian oligarchs, Black popes, enchanted American aristocrats, and hitmen from the International Monetary Fund work together to keep ALL OF US in our proper place.

With how consistently amazing East of West has been, I would be down for anything creator-owned that Jonathon Hickman is doing. The description in the solicitation for this is enough to sell me, regardless. Bring on the plutocratic weirdness. What even is crypto-noir? Is that a thing? While we’re at it, can we get some more The Dying and the Dead too, Mr. Hickman?

 

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Kill or Be Killed #1

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Ed Brubaker (A) Sean Phillips, Elizabeth Breitweiser (CA) Sean Phillips

The bestselling team of ED BRUBAKER and SEAN PHILLIPS (THE FADE OUT, CRIMINAL, FATALE) launch their new monthly series: KILL OR BE KILLED, the twisted story of a young man who is forced to kill bad people, and how he struggles to keep his secret as it slowly ruins his life and the lives of his friends and loved ones. Both a thriller and a deconstruction of vigilantism, KILL OR BE KILLED is unlike anything BRUBAKER & PHILLIPS have ever done.

Speaking of consistently great work, here’s a new book by Brubaker, Phillips, and Breitweiser. Fatale and The Fade Out have both been great so I’ve got no reason not to expect anything less from this book. Also, I’d just like to give some extra credit to Elizabeth Breitweiser. Her coloring on recent books like The Fade Out and Outcast has been stellar, and I can’t wait to see how this one looks.

 

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The World of Edena HC

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W/A/CA) Moebius

Working closely with Moebius Production in France, Dark Horse puts the work of a master storyteller back in print-with some material in English for the first time! Stel and Atan are interstellar repairmen trying to find a lost space station and its crew. What they discover about the universe and themselves on the mythical paradise planet Edena, though, changes their lives forever. Moebius’s long-out-of-print World of Edena story arc gets a deluxe hardcover treatment, with its five main chapters-Upon a Star, Gardens of Edena, The Goddess, Stel, and Sra-collected here!

Getting into Moebius is long overdue for me. His work has been recommended to me over the past several years and this looks to be as good a starting point as any. As he’s been a significant influence on some of my favorite comics creators, I have a strong feeling that I’m going to like this one. I might have to track down some of the work he did with Jodorowsky when I’m finished.

 

January & February 2016 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Hey, hey! After a bit of a hiatus, I’m back to share with you some books I’m excited for! The following titles are scheduled (at the time of this writing) for April and May 2016 releases.

 

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Dept. H #1

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W/A/CA) Matt Kindt

From New York Times best-selling MIND MGMT creator Matt Kindt comes an exciting new undersea sci-fi mystery.
    
Mia is a special investigator hired to uncover possible sabotage taking place at a deep-sea research station. What she finds is a mind-blowing crime scene filled with suspects with terrible secrets, strange deep-sea creatures, and an impending flood!

Here’s a book written and drawn by Matt Kindt with the words “terrible secrets” in the solicit. What else does one need, really? If you’ve got a MIND MGMT-sized hole in your heart, I have a strong feeling that this book will be the closest thing to filling it. Bring on those watercolors.

 

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The Fix #1

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Nick Spencer (A/CA) Steve Lieber

A story of the crooked cops, scheming mobsters, and corrupt politicians that run things-and the sex toy that can bring them all down. Oh, and the hero is a drug-sniffing beagle named Pretzels. Bad people do bad things to each other in this frenetic, outrageous, sometimes off-putting new caper! If you liked classic crime comics like CRIMINAL and 100 Bullets we apologize in advance for letting you down!

Superior Foes of Spider-Man was some of the most fun I’ve had with a book in the past couple of years. I’m really excited to see the same creative team start their own creator-owned book. Judging by the solicit, it sounds like this book will keep up with the craziness that Spencer and Lieber cultivated so well in Superior Foes and I’m looking forward to see where they go with it.

 

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Black Panther #1

Publisher: Marvel Comics

(W) Ta-Nehisi Coates (A/CA) Brian Stelfreeze

A new era for the Black Panther starts here!
Written by MacArthur Genius and National Book Award winner TA-NEHISI COATES (Between the World and Me) and illustrated by living legend BRIAN STELFREEZE, “A Nation Under Our Feet” is a story about dramatic upheaval in Wakanda and the Black Panther’s struggle to do right by his people as their ruler. The indomitable will of Wakanda — the famed African nation known for its vast wealth, advanced technology and warrior traditions — has long been reflected in the will of its monarchs, the Black Panthers. But now the current Black Panther, T’Challa, finds that will tested by a superhuman terrorist group called The People that has sparked a violent uprising among the citizens of Wakanda. T’Challa knows the country must change to survive — the question is, will the Black Panther survive the change?
Rated T+

Renowned writer Ta-Nehisi Coates is making his comic debut with this new Black Panther title. I was glad to hear Black Panther was getting his own book again, but having Coats involved makes it truly exciting. Here’s hoping for another new Marvel book that breaks the mold.

 

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House of Penance #1 (of 6)

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Peter J. Tomasi (A/CA) Ian Bertram

The Winchester House-famous for its original owner’s bizarre compulsion to incorporate a multitude of architectural curiosities. But as the bereaved Sarah Winchester’s workers toil on stairways to nothing and doors to nowhere, a mysterious stranger arrives . . . and he could make Sarah’s demons all too real.

I’m always on the lookout for an interesting horror book, especially since Nameless finished up and Wytches is still on hiatus. The description for House of Penance reminds me of Danielewski’s House of Leaves, and that’s enough to get me interested. If only the letterer makes the word “house” blue.

 

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Wonder Woman Earth One HC Vol. 1

Publisher: DC Comics

(W) Grant Morrison (A/CA) Yanick Paquette

In this new installment of the New York Times best-selling Earth One original graphic novel line, Grant Morrison (THE MULTIVERSITY) joins with Yanick Paquette (SWAMP THING, BATMAN, INC.) to reimagine Wonder Woman for a new era. Encompassing the vision of her original creator, William Moulton Marston, Morrison presents a Diana who yearns to break free from her mother and the utopian society on Paradise Island to learn about the forbidden outside world. Her dreams may come true when Air Force pilot Steve Trevor crashes on their shores, and she must defy the laws of the Amazons to return him to Man’s World.
Is she ready for the culture shock that awaits her in America? And is the world ready for this Wonder Woman?

I was under the impression that The Multiversity was Grant Morrison’s final work in the DC universe, but I’m glad to be proven wrong. With the freedom that comes along with the standalone nature of the Earth One moniker, Morrison will have a lot of room to get creative with Wonder Woman, and I can’t wait to see what he does.

 

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Island #7

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Matt DeForge & Various (A) Matt DeForge & Various (CA) Matt Sheean, Malachi Ward

BRANDON GRAHAM’s award-winning anthology returns! This issue introduces the first Image work by the amazing indy cartoonist MICHAEL DeFORGE (Ant Colony, Lose) along with the third chapter of MATT SHEEAN & MALACHI WARD’s “ANCESTOR.”

No surprise here. Island has been an incredible anthology magazine, and I find myself looking forward to the new artists and writers I discover in every issue. Island #7 will have part three of Malachi Ward and Matt Sheean’s Ancestor, which has been one of my favorite new comics in the past year.

November 2015 Previews: Carman’s Picks

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Prophet Earth War #1 (of 6)

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Brandon Graham, Simon Roy (A) Ron Ackins (CA) Simon Roy

THE EPIC CONCLUSION TO PROPHET BEGINS HERE!
A clone general goes against his Brain-Mother overlords to gain control of an alien egg.

IT HAS RETURNED. Graham and company’s run on Prophet has been some of the best science fiction in comics, and Earth War will be the six part conclusion to the series. After the last arc of Prophet ended in July of 2014, there was some confusion as to when Earth War would be published, or if we would see it at all. Alas, dear readers, this series is finally coming to your local comic shop. If you like weird sci-fi, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

 

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Nowhere Men #7

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Eric Stephenson (A) Jordie Bellaire & Various (CA) Fonographiks, Dave Taylor

NEW STORY ARC
ERIC STEPHENSON, JORDIE BELLAIRE, and FONOGRAFIKS welcome new artists DAVE TAYLOR and EMI LENOX as the Eisner-nominated series returns with the first of six all-new issues. Featuring thirty-two pages of story and no ads for $2.99, the second story arc picks up right where the volume one trade paperback left off and will ship monthly through May 2016.

Speaking of a book being on hiatus,the last issue of Nowhere Men was published on October 16th, 2013. After over two years of waiting, the return of this riveting series is on the horizon. Although I am excited to see what the new creative team brings (nice to see Emi Lenox of Plutona will be working on the book), I am still saddened by the indefinite departure of Nowhere Men’s original artist, Nate Bellegarde. During the book’s hiatus, Bellegarde wrote a candid blog post on why the book was in limbo, attributing it largely to his personal struggles with anxiety and depression (you can read his post here). In that respect, the return of Nowhere Men is bittersweet for me, but I am hoping for the best for the series, the new creative team, and for Bellegarde.

 

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Doom Patrol TP Vol 1 & Nameless HC

I couldn’t decided on which Grant Morrison collected edition I wanted to include here, so I decided to choose both! Doom Patrol is a book I’ve wanted to read for a while now, so I am excited to have a new printing that I can jump into easily. I’ve enjoyed the weird sci-fi horror of Nameless, and I’m looking forward to see how it wraps up (one issue left!). It looks like I may be picking up this hardcover edition of all six issues, as well.

 

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A Heap of Video Game Stuff

Browsing through this month’s issue of Previews, I noticed there’s a ton of cool video game-related stuff coming out soon. Although I’ve never played World of Warcraft myself, Blizzard Interactive is known for populating their games with interesting lore, and this World of Warcraft Chronicle Hardcover Volume 1 looks to be a really nice way to explore some of that stuff (fans of Hearthstone will probably enjoy it, too!). Along those lines, we’ll also be seeing hardcover art books being released for upcoming video games like Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, as well as Bethesda’s Fallout 4. Speaking of Bethesda, Funko will be releasing action figures for both The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4 that are looking pretty cool. Not to mention this awesome model kit for MGS V: The Phantom Pain’s Metal Gear Sahelanthropus.

 

Shh, no words. Just Furbacca.

October 2015 Previews: Carman’s Picks

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Private Eye – Deluxe Edition HC

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Brian K. Vaughan (A) Marcos Martin, Muntsa Vicente (CA) Marcos Martin

THE EISNER AWARD-WINNING “BEST DIGITAL COMIC” IS FINALLY AVAILABLE IN PRINT!

Because retailers, readers, and ROBERT KIRKMAN demanded it, the online sensation from PanelSyndicate.com’s BRIAN K. VAUGHAN (SAGA, PAPER GIRLS) and MARCOS MARTIN (The Amazing Spider-Man, Doctor Strange: The Oath) is finally coming to print with this gorgeous deluxe hardcover edition, presented in the story’s original widescreen format!

Years after the digital cloud “bursts” and exposes all of our worst secrets, THE PRIVATE EYE is set in an inevitable future where everyone has a secret identity. Following an unlicensed P.I. who is thrust into the most important case of his life, this sci-fi mystery explores the nature of privacy with frightening prescience.

Collects THE PRIVATE EYE #1-10

Private Eye is a book that I’ve been meaning to read since its first issue. Strangely, even with the appeal of cyber-dystopian noir and a writer like Brian K. Vaughan attached to it, I’ve yet to get around to reading it. Now that the previously digital-only book is being printed in its entirety, I’ve got no excuse. I can’t wait to finally read this one and see how the “widescreen” 12″ x 8″ format translates on the page.

 

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Black Jack Ketchum #1 (of 4)

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Brian Schimer (A) Claudia Balboni (CA) Jeremy Saliba

In a dreamlike version of the Old West, Tom Ketchum struggles to clear his name-and stay alive-when he’s mistaken for wanton outlaw “Black Jack” Ketchum. With the aid of his talking sidearm, a secretive gambler, and a mute girl with a Winchester, Tom evades the mysterious Union and its supernatural enforcers, the faceless Dusters, as he’s forced to question his identity, his sanity, and his very existence.

I love the idea of a surreal take on the American Old West. Imagine if Luis Buñuel made a cowboy movie. I would absolutely watch that. I was interested in the concept of this book, but the panels shown in this month’s Previews are what sold me. One image in particular shows two characters that are humanoid in shape, but their bodies are made up of an outer-space landscape (reminiscent of DC’s New Starman, but without a face). Also, they were wearing dusters. Yep. I’m definitely interested to check out this four-part miniseries.

 

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The Massive: Ninth Wave #1

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Brian Wood (A) Garry Brown (CA) John Paul Leon

In the pages of The Massive, Ninth Wave was struggling to repair a broken world. But before that, they were the preeminent global environmental-rescue unit, taking on criminals, polluters, politicians, and rogue states. The Massive: Ninth Wave tells these stories in a stylish, high-action, done-in-one format, reuniting the entire creative team from the original series.  

I’ve only read the first trade of The Massive, but I really enjoyed what I read. It’s a character-driven, slow burn of a book, with a vision of the future that’s grounded in reality. Ninth Wave gives me more incentive to finally catch up with The Massive and see what the crew were up to before the events of the main series.

 

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New Romancer #1 (of 12)

Publisher: DC Comics

(W) Peter Milligan (A/CA) Brett Parson

Fired from a cushy job in Silicon Valley, Lexy becomes a coder for New Romancer, an Internet-dating app that’s seen better days. To create fake profiles, she plunders characteristics from history’s most notorious lovers. Using little-known writings by Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, Lexy pushes the boundaries of coding and accidentally unleashes history’s greatest lover: Lord Byron. Online dating meets courtly love in this paranormal rom-com by Vertigo veteran writer Peter Milligan and rising art-star Brett Parson (Tank Girl).

With an amalgamation of computer programming, online dating, and 19th-century Romantic literature, New Romancer sounds like a crazy book. Although I do think that the premise is pretty interesting, Peter Milligan writing it is what has me most excited about the book. I’m currently finishing up reading the omnibus for Milligan and Allred’s X-Statix run, and I’ve been loving it. I’m very curious to check this one out.

September 2015 Previews: Carman’s Picks

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Thought Bubble Anthology 2015

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Clark Burscough & Various (A) Boo Cook & Various (CA) Babs Tarr

A collection of new short stories by some of the best in the business, plus many more names to be announced. This anthology is part of the United Kingdom’s Thought Bubble Festival which takes place in Leeds, Northern England from November 2015. All profits from this comic go to Barnardo’s, one of the largest children’s charities in the UK.

As stated on their website, Thought Bubble is “the UK’s largest annual event which celebrates sequential art in all its forms, including everything from superheroes to independent and small press comics.” Concurrent to the festival, Thought Bubble releases a printed anthology featuring several artists from around the world. Last year’s installment was my first experience with the publication, having been drawn in by names on the cover like Emily Carroll and Ales Kot. This year, I’m looking forward to discovering more new artists as well as what some of my favorites (Tula Lotay, Jeff Lemire, and Farel Dalrymple) have in store.

 

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8house #6: Mirror (Part 1 of 4)

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Hwei Lim, Emma Ríos (A/CA) Hwei Lim

What is worthy of being human? EMMA RÍOS (PRETTY DEADLY, ISLAND) and HWEI LIM (LALAGE, HERO) team up to tell a new story within the 8HOUSE universe. MIRROR follows a terrorist talking dog, an idealist mage and a heroic lab rat on their quest for acceptance.

I’ve been pretty vocal about my love for 8house around these parts. So far, we’ve only seen one creative team (Graham and Churchland) and one subseries (Arclight) in this shared universe, and I’m excited to see how a new team will further define it. Also, after her excellent writing and artwork on the miniseries ID (published in issue one and two of Image’s new anthology Island), I will check out any new work from Emma Ríos.

 

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James Bond #1

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

(W) Warren Ellis (A) Jason Masters (CA) Dom Reardon

Beginning “VARGR”, the first story in the ongoing James Bond comic series by best-selling writer Warren Ellis! James Bond returns to London after a mission of vengeance in Helsinki, to take up the workload of a fallen 00 Section agent. But something evil is moving through the back streets of the city, and sinister plans are being laid for Bond in Berlin…

In Stores November 4th in advance of the block buster movie on November 6th! Dynamite Entertainment is proud to launch the first James Bond comic book series in 20 years! “Ian Fleming’s James Bond is an icon, and it’s a delight to tell visual narratives with the original, brutal, damaged Bond of the books.” – Warren Ellis

Typically, a new James Bond comic isn’t something that would get me immediately fired up. This one is written by Warren Ellis. Congratulations, Dynamite. I’m on board.

 

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Klaus #1

Publisher: Boom Comics

(W) Grant Morrison (A/CA) Dan Mora

Set in a dark fantastic past of myth and magic, Klaus tells the story of how Santa Claus really came to be. Where did he begin? What was he like when he was young? Why does he do what he does? How does he do what he does? And what happens when he faces his greatest challenge? Drawing on Santa Claus’ wilder roots in Viking lore and Siberian shamanism-taking in the creepier side of Christmas, and characters like the sinister Krampus-Klaus is a “Santa Claus: Year One.”

Hey. Grant Morrison is writing a dark, Norse-like Santa Claus origin story. Does that sound crazy? Definitely. Am I going to read it? Absolutely. Other writers might have been tempted to take this in the direction of a silly Christmastime romp, but with a mind like Morrison’s, this serious take on Santa might turn out to be something really special.

 

August 2015 Previews: Carman’s Picks

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Paper Girls #1

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Brian K. Vaughan (A/CA) Cliff Chiang

SAGA writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN launches a brand-new ONGOING SERIES with superstar Wonder Woman artist CLIFF CHIANG! In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Stand By Me meets War of the Worlds in this mysterious young adult adventure, starting with a spectacular DOUBLE-SIZED FIRST ISSUE for the regular price of just $2.99!

As I mentioned in a previous blog post regarding the new series We Stand On Guard, I have enough faith in Brian K. Vaughan to try out any book he’s involved with. Cliff Chiang’s art in the preview pages looks great, and I love the premise/setting for this one (and the comparison to Stand By Me in the solicitation makes me think of Jeff Lemire’s upcoming Plutona that was featured in my last Previews picks). If that weren’t enough, I’m also a sucker for Halloween stuff, particularly movie and TV specials from my childhood. Given the time period, I think this book will fit right into that.

 

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Black Magick #1

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Greg Rucka (A/CA) Nicola Scott

The hammer falls this Halloween! From New York Times bestselling and Eisner Award-winning writer GREG RUCKA (LAZARUS, Stumptown, Gotham Central) and superstar artist NICOLA SCOTT (Birds of Prey, Secret Six, Earth 2)! Detective Rowan Black works robbery/homicide for the Portsmouth PD, but her greatest mystery is the  truth about herself…both who she has been, and who she will become. Yet there are others in Rowan’s world with very long memories, and the power that one person holds, another will always covet. PLUS, each issue also features an all-new work of original fiction by GREG RUCKA! A new gothic-noir ongoing series about legacy,  destiny, redemption…and the price of magic.

I think that the first season of True Detective may be responsible for kindling my love for these paranormal crime stories. I’ve been enjoying books along those lines like Image’s newly released Wolf, and DC’s Gotham by Midnight. By the looks of the preview pages, Black Magick seems like a welcome addition to the genre. Having Greg Rucka on board is a bonus, as his work on Gotham Central shows that he knows his way around detective stories.

 

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Karnak #1

Publisher: Marvel Comics

(W) Warren Ellis (A) Gerardo Zaffino (CA) David Aja

THE FLAW IN ALL THINGS
“My curse is that I see the flaw in all things. Systems. Philosophies. Structures. People. Everything. Never forget who I am. I am Karnak of the Inhumans.” You may not know who Karnak is now, but you will when Warren Ellis (MOON KNIGHT, Planetary) and Gerardo Zaffino are done with you. Phil Coulson goes to Karnak to help with a SHIELD case with Inhuman implications and what he’s going to find will terrify you.

It’s Warren Ellis. That’s enough for me. Regardless of having a stellar writer attached to this book, it seems like an interesting departure from Marvel’s typical fare, and it’s always nice to see either one of the Big Two taking chances. Just like the solicit implied, I don’t know much about Karnak (though I admit to hitting up Wikipedia as soon as I saw the announcement), but I’m really looking forward to seeing where this one goes.

 

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Survivor’s Club #1

Publisher: DC Comics

(W) Lauren Beukes, David Halvorson (A) Ryan Kelly (CA) Bill Sienkiewicz

One was possessed by a poltergeist. Another was trapped in a haunted house. A third had a killer doll. Ever wonder what happened to these children of the 1980s? Find out in SURVIVORS CLUB, a new series cowritten by renowned horror novelist Lauren Beukes and videogame journalist Dave Halverson, with art by Ryan Kelly (NORTHLANDERS).
Having found each other over the internet, six grown-up survivors are drawn together by the horrors they experienced in 1987 when a rash of occult events occurred around the world-with fatal results. Now, there are indications that it may be happening all over again. Is it possible that these six aren’t just survivors-but were chosen for their fates?

Most of the books in this issue of Previews are slated to come out in October and that means that I’ve got to have at least one straight-up horror book. Although the solicitation for Suvivor’s Club evokes some vibes reminiscent of Cabin in the Woods, I’m hoping for something that’s a bit less silly than that. I don’t really know what to expect with this one, but it’s got me interested enough to give it a shot.