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Waldo visits Fanfare for July

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Fanfare is once again participating in Kalamazoo’s Where’s Waldo event, hosted by Bookbug? Your favorite bespectacled, stripey cartoon character will be hiding in twenty-five different local businesses, including Fanfare, for the month of July. Bookbug will have prizes for those who spot him around the town.

“Find Waldo Local in Kalamazoo!” passports list off the businesses where Waldo is hiding. You can get yours at Fanfare or any other participationg location. The first 125 Waldo seekers to get their passports stamped or signed at ten or more sites can bring their passports back to Bookbug to collect prizes. Collecting store stamps or signatures at twenty or more businesses will entitle diligent seekers to entry in a grand prize drawing on July 29th, with the top prize being a 6-volume deluxe set of Waldo books. For more information about hunting for Waldo in Kalamazoo, call Bookbug at 269-385-2847.

May & June 2016 Previews: Carman’s Picks

BlackHammer

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?

 

KillOrBeKilled

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.

Panini 2015 NFL Player of the Day

  Panini 2015 NFL Player of the Day Promotion

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We are happy to be a participating store in Panini’s NFL Player of the Day Promotion. What is the Player of the Day Promotion? Well, it is your chance to win special promotional packs of Panini brand football cards and a chance for you to win our store’s grand prize, an autographed card of Ameer Abdullah (pictured below)!

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How to Play

Step 1 – You can enter by purchasing a pack of 2015 Panini brand NFL Cards. This includes popular brands  such as Score, Donruss, Clear Vision, Prestige and others. There is a no-purchase-necessary option as well (ask us to see the official rules for details).

Step 2 – To win, you must open a pack you have purchased in front of a store employee. If you “pull” the highlighted Panini NFL Player of the Day or either of the Wild Cards (Andrew Luck or Dez Bryant) you win two promotional packs on the spot. For each win you also will earn one raffle entry to be that week’s weekly prize winner. You may win once a day and up to seven days a week.

Step 3 – Four times during the promotion we will randomly select one of the daily winners as a weekly prize winner and award a prize package from a prize kit provided by Panini. Weekly winners will then be put into a raffle to win the store’s grand prize, an autographed Ameer Abdullah card.

Step 4 – At the conclusion of the 32-day promotion, we will randomly select one of the four weekly winners as the Panini NFL Player of the Month winner. The winner will be awarded the grand prize (an autographed Ameer Abdullah card) and additional prizes from the kit.

Step 5 – The grand prize winner will also be entered into the national sweepstakes with a chance to spend a day with an NFL player!

 

Join the Battle for Zendikar

Battle for Zendikar Banner

The Battle for Zendikar begins this month.  Attend our events and either aid the forces led by Gideon and Nissa or aid the unknowable Eldrazi as they consume all.

Pre-Release events are on the weekend of September 25th – 27th.  The first will be at Midnight on Friday, September 25th.  The second will be at 10:00 am on Saturday, September 26th.  The third will be at 10:00 am on Sunday, September 27th.  All of these events have limited seating and registration is recommended (details about how our new calendar handles registration click here).  Starting with Battle for Zendikar we will be using a new prizing format for our Midnight and Sunday events.  These events will last for 4 rounds.  Each player will win one Battle for Zendikar pack for each round they score a match win.  Even if you win no matches, you will win one pack.  Our Saturday event will prize out as before, based on attendance and with first place winning a Sealed Box of Battle for Zendikar.

The next Battle for Zendikar events will be the two Friday Night Magic events at 5:00 pm on Friday, October 2nd.  We will hold both a Standard Constructed event and a Booster Draft event (each player receiving 3 packs of Origins with which to build a 40 card deck).  These events do not require registration.

Our third type of event will be a Sealed Deck, Two-Headed Giant tournament at Noon on Saturday, October 3rd.  Registration is recommended for this event.

The final events for Battle for Zendikar will be the Standard Constructed Game Days, held on Saturday, October 24th and Sunday October 25th.  Both events will begin at 10am.

We look forward to seeing you!

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.

On Your Radar: 7/21/2015

Hey, there! Thanks for checking out the first installment of our new series On Your Radar, a write-up of new comic series we’ve enjoyed that you may have missed.

STK674330
8house #1 Arclight

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Brandon Graham (A/CA) Marian Churchland A lady of the blood house has had her mind trapped in a strange alien root-body. She’s hiding on the outskirts of her kingdom until she learns that the alien monster pretending to be her has returned.The first issue of a shared fantasy universe. Sharp genderqueer knights, blood magic, music, dancing, and a goose.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge Brandon Graham fan. His take on the Prophet series has been some of the best science fiction I have ever read and the tonal similarities in 8house: Arclight are felt right from page one, all while creating an entirely new fantasy universe. The setting is a large part of what makes 8house so special in that it will be a shared fantasy universe that will be shaped by several different comics creators telling stories for several different characters. Each issue of 8house is subtitled with the character name it will follow. Issues one and two feature Graham and Churchland’s Arclight character, while the solicitations for issues three through five follow two new characters (Kiem and Yorris), led by different creative teams doing their own story arcs.
 
This shared universe is an ambitious one and I am all on board. Churchland has done a beautiful job on the first issue and the bits of lore she and her husband Graham sprinkle in create an intriguing world begging to be explored.
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We Stand on Guard #1
Publisher: Image Comics
 
(W) Brian K. Vaughan (A/CA) Steve Skroce
SAGA writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN teams with artistic legend and MATRIX storyboard artist STEVE SKROCE for an action-packed military thriller that will have everyone talking. 100 years from now, a heroic band of Canadian civilians must defend their homeland from invasion…by the United States of America! The hyper-detailed combat between badass freedom fighters and giant f***ing robots begins with a spectacular 40-PAGE FIRST ISSUE for the regular price of just $2.99!
With a writer like Brian K. Vaughan, this one may have been a bit harder to miss. Vaughan’s brilliant work on books like Saga and Y: The Last Man have earned him an immediate purchase for me. I’ll admit, I had some reservations about the book after reading the solicitation. It felt almost a little too silly and over the top. I’m glad I was wrong. The first issue of We Stand on Guard is solid. Vaughan and Skroce have created a very interesting near-future that’s fantastic while remaining grounded in reality. I can’t wait for the next issue. Also, giant robots.STK670270
 Providence #1 (of 12)
Publisher: Avatar Press Inc.
 
(W) Alan Moore (A/CA) Jacen Burrows
You may have noticed that I’ve omitted the solicitation here. That’s because it’s long. Very long (though you can read it here). In fact, the solicitation initially made me unsure of whether I wanted to try the book — opening with the line “The most important work of 2015 begins here” and later ” this is a sequential masterpiece that will serve as important a call to the next generation of comic book writers as Watchmen did 30 years ago:  this is a definitive demonstration of just how good a comic book can be.” However, what little I knew about the actual story intrigued me; taking place in 1919, Providence is a deconstruction piece on the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Being a fan of Lovecraft and a sucker for a good horror comic, I decided to check out the book, and I’m really glad I did. The book follows a journalist investigating a claim of a book that drives its readers insane. Providence is a slow burn, but in its first two issues has managed to create that cosmic horror feeling of something sinister going on behind the scenes. The first issue even had a moment near the end (no spoilers) that made me go back and reread several sections. I am really enjoying the book and am looking forward to seeing where it goes.STK671621
Material #1
Publisher: Image Comics
 
(W) Ales Kot (A) Will Tempest (CA) Tom Muller 

A man comes home from Guantanamo Bay, irrevocably changed.
An actress receives an offer that can revive her career.
A boy survives a riot and becomes embedded within a revolutionary movement.
A philosopher is contacted by a being that dismantles his beliefs. Look around you.
Everything is material.
Ales Kot is weird. The kind of weird that I like. His series Zero has been one of my favorites in the past year or so, and he’s a writer I’ve been keeping my eye on. Material tackles prominent social issues including racism, illegal detention, torture, and police brutality. It’s a great example of how comic books don’t have to be capes, cowls, and stories of the fantastic. Comics are a medium of art just as capable as any other to tackle the problems of our world today.Archie1-FionaStaplesRegCover
Archie #1
Publisher: Archie Comics Publications

(W) Mark Waid (A) Fiona Staples

Comic superstars Mark Waid and Fiona Staples reimagine an icon! Change is coming to Riverdale in this can’t-miss kick-off to Archie’s new ongoing series! Familiar faces return in new and unexpected ways in this must-have #1 issue! As the new school year approaches, you’d think Archie Andrews would be looking forward to classes and fun – but nothing is as it seems in the little town of Riverdale. But is this a one-off or a sign of bigger changes awaiting for America’s favorite teens – and the entire town? Find out in this exciting and remarkable first issue!
Full disclosure, this is the first Archie comic book I’ve ever read. I know some names. There’s Archie, Betty, Veronica, and the guy who likes hamburgers is Jughead, right? I’ve never had much of an interest in the classic character, but Archie Comic Publications has been making some interesting changes in their lineup and it seems to be culminating in this relaunch. The creative team of Mark Waid and Fiona Staples is 100% the reason why I decided to check this book out.What does Archie look like in 2015? It looks like fun. With the team attached to this book right now, I can’t say that I’m surprised I enjoyed it. Taking the classic feel of Archie and the gang into the modern area invoked a feeling of nostalgia that was somewhere in between American Graffiti and a John Hughes film. If you’ve never read an Archie comic, now is a great time to jump on.STK677323
Island #1

Publisher: Image Comics
(W/A) Brandon Graham & Various (CA) Brandon Graham
 
PRETTY DEADLY artist EMMA RIOS and KING CITY, PROPHET, and MULTIPLE WARHEADS writer/artist BRANDON GRAHAM bring you a new ONGOING COMICS MAGAZINE. Each issue holds three issue-length chapters of new work from various creators around the globe. PRINTED OVERSIZED WITH NO ADS!
Island is a new comics anthology curated by Emma Rios and Brandon Graham (yep, he makes the list twice). The aim of the anthology is to showcase creators from around the world and give them the freedom to make whatever they want. Each issue will feature one story that continues from the previous one (for the first issue, we get a new installment of Graham’s Multiple Warheads), while also introducing a new series that will continue on in the next issue. Island #1 features comics by Emma Rios, Brandon Graham, and Ludroe as well as art by Marian Churchland and an essay by Kelly Sue DeConnick. I love what Rios and Graham are going for in this ongoing anthology and I really enjoyed everything in this first issue. I’m really looking to discovering creators I may have never heard of.