Category Archives: Store News

August 2019 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Copra #1
AUG190053
October 2, 2019
Publisher: Image Comics
(W/A/CA) Michel Fiffe

SERIES PREMIERE
  
COPRA returns in the first issue of its all-new ONGOING SERIES! 

Acclaimed comics auteur MICHEL FIFFE picks up where his band of mercenary misfits left off, reintroducing the entire cast of his Suicide Squad-esque revenge machine in a brutal standoff against their own leader. Jump right into the thick of it with the world’s greatest action team in this extra-length debut milestone-36 pages for just $3.99!

In case you missed it, Michel Fiffe’s Copra, previously published by Bergen Street Comics, has found a new home over at Image Comics. This change kicked off with the first five volumes of the series being reprinted through Image. Now we’ve got this announcement of the series relaunching with singles at Image. I’ll note that this is a continuation of the story, not a reprint. Copra is a series that Josh (you know, the shorter one) has been telling me to read for years and this looks to be a great time to jump in.

 

Joker: Killer Smile #1 (of 3)

AUG190446
October 30, 2019
Publisher: DC Comics
(W) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Andrea Sorrentino

Everyone knows The Joker doesn’t have the most promising history with psychotherapists. In fact, no one’s even been able to diagnose him. But that doesn’t matter to the confident, world-beating Dr. Ben Arnell; he’s going to be the one to unravel this unknowable mind. There’s no way The Joker could ever get through the therapeutic walls Ben has built around himself. Right? There’s no way The Joker’s been entering his house at night…right? There’s no way The Joker has stood over his son’s bed, and put that book in his hands, the one with the, the, the…  
The Eisner-nominated creative team of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino (GREEN ARROW, Gideon Falls) reunite for a psychological horror story where nothing is as it seems, your eyes can’t be trusted and Mr. Smiles is waiting behind the basement door. 
Wait, who’s Mr. Smiles?

One of the most exciting announcements out of San Diego Comic Con this year was the news that Jeff Lemire would be writing two new Black Label books for DC — one being a book about The Question and the other Joker: Killer Smile. Lemire joins Green Arrow and Gideon Falls cohort Andrea Sorrentino for Joker which in itself is worth the price of admission. I’m sure this has been said in this blog before but if you’re not reading Gideon Falls yet, go fix that!

 

Strange Skies Over East Berlin #1
AUG191364
October 2, 2019
Publisher: Boom! Studios
(W) Jeff Loveness (A) Lisandro Estherren (CA) Evan Cagle

MANKIND MADE IT TO SPACE. AND NOW SPACE HAS FOLLOWED THEM BACK.
* Herring is a disillusioned American spy stationed on the eastern side of the Berlin Wall, struggling with his role in a Cold War that seems to have no end. But when he’s sent on a mission behind enemy lines to infiltrate East German intelligence, he soon learns the Soviets have a secret weapon that could change the tides of the conflict: an alien monster that they don’t understand, and can’t control.
* The Soviets are about to learn that they’re not in charge of the monster it’s already in their minds and has twisted them to their will. Now now Herring must find a way to understand the impossible before it transforms him into a monster unlike any other.
* Writer Jeff Loveness (Judas) and Lisandro Estherren (Redneck) team up for a story in the spirit of Cold War classics, for fans of period piece science fiction as well as alien action such as Barrier.

Is there a genre for “X group of people from history actually have a secret, otherwordly weapon?” I don’t think it’s played out enough to have its own category but it’s a premise I’m a sucker for and part of what initially drew me into Mike Mignola’s Hellboy universe. So I’m mostly in on this because it sounds rad and I’m diggin’ the True Detective-esque cover.

 

X-Men #1
AUG190845
October 16, 2019
Publisher: Marvel Comics
(W) Jonathon Hickman (A/CA) Leinil Francis Yu

DAWN OF X!
The X-Men find themselves in a whole new world of possibility… and things have never been better! Jonathan Hickman (HOUSE OF X, POWERS OF X, SECRET WARS) and superstar artist Leinil Yu (NEW AVENGERS, CAPTAIN AMERICA) reveal the saga of Cyclops and his hand-picked squad of mutant powerhouses!
Rated T+  

So far, Hickman’s take on X-Men (being his two intertwining mini-series, House of X and Powers of X) is all it’s been chalked up to be. I’m writing this the day before House of X #2 comes out and I can’t wait to read it. That’s saying a lot considering I rarely read books (aside from #1s) right when they come out AND I’ve never really read a proper X-Men book. At this point, I’m on board for whatever Hickman wants to try out here.

 

Batman’s Grave #1 (of 12)
AUG190434
October 9, 2019
Publisher: DC Comics
(W) Warren Ellis (A) Kevin Nowland (A/CA) Bryan Hitch

The World’s Greatest Detective must try to inhabit the mind of a murder victim to solve a case-without filling the empty grave next to those of his parents. Can Batman imagine the life of a corpse with a half-eaten face without dying himself?
Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, one of the most legendary creative partnerships of the modern age, reunite in this maxiseries about life, death and the questions most are too afraid to ask.

Great timing on this one — last week saw the release of The Authority Omnibus and I’m enjoying Ellis and Hitch’s work on it (I’ve not read it before and decided to pick it up so I can work my way through Planetary and Ellis’s new Wildstorm run). It’ll be great to see the two working together on a new Batman book. Here’s hoping for a fight with the Midnighter.

July 2019 Previews: Carman’s Picks

November Vol. 1 (of 3)

JUL190077

November 6, 2019

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Matt Fraction (A/CA) Elsa Charretier

The lives of three women intersect in a dark criminal underground. As fire and violence tears through their city over the course of a single day and night, they find that their lives are bound together by one man-who seems to be the cause of it all. 

One night. One city. Three women. NOVEMBER: the first in a sequence of three graphic novellas by MATT FRACTION (SEX CRIMINALS, Hawkeye) and ELSA CHARRETIER (Star Wars, Infinite Loop), with colors by MATT HOLLINGSWORTH and exquisitely crafted lettering by cartoonist KURT ANKENY.

It’s nice to see more writing from Matt Fraction hitting the shelves (if you haven’t grabbed the first copy of Jimmy Olsen, go get it)! Charretier’s art looks great and even with minimal details in the solicit, I have a feeling this is one we won’t want to miss.

 

Frogcatchers

JUL191945

September 25, 2019

Publisher: Gallery 13

(W/A/CA) Jeff Lemire

Experience a surreal descent into one man’s psychosis in this haunting and chilling graphic novel from Jeff Lemire, the New York Times-bestselling author of Roughneck and Sweet Tooth. A man wakes up alone in a strange room with no recollection of who he is or how he got there. The padlocked doors and barren lobby reinforce the strangeness of this place. This is, as he reads from an old-fashioned keychain beside his bed, the Edgewater Hotel. Even worse, something ominous seems to be lurking in one of the rooms. But when he meets a young companion-the only other soul in this vast, enveloping emptiness-his new friend begs him not to unlock the door. There must be something behind it…but what?

I think some of Lemire’s strongest works are the shorter books/series where he does both the writing and the art. Frogcatchers will be Lemire’s second release on Simon & Schuster’s imprint, Gallery 13, with the first being Roughneck. If you’re a fan of Lemire’s creator-owned work and haven’t gotten to that one yet, now’s the time!

 

Trees: Three Fates #1 (of 5)

JUL190094

September 11, 2019

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Warren Ellis (A/CA) Jason Howard

“A uniquely exciting read.” -IGN

The acclaimed series from WARREN ELLIS and JASON HOWARD-which is currently being adapted for television-returns with a brand-new story of murder and ghosts!

In the remote Russian village of Toska, there’s a dead body by the leg of the Tree that landed eleven years ago. Police sergeant Klara Voranova, still haunted by that day, has no idea how this murder will change everything-nor what awaits her in the Tree’s shadow.

Hey, Trees is back! I know some folks were worried we wouldn’t see more of it after the news that it’s being adapted for TV, but now we know that’s not the case. I feel like this is redundant given my comment on the last book but go catch up in time for this one!

 

Everything #1

JUL190345

September 4, 2019

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Christopher Cantwell, I.N.J. Culbard (A/CA) I.N.J. Culbard

EVERYTHING is a gleaming new mega-department store which arrives to extraordinary thrill-and rapidly escalates to inexplicable mania in the small town of Holland, Michigan.

When random hellish fires and unshakable psychic disturbances start to overtake the community, a few-like depressive out-of-towner Lori and a suspicious local named Rick-begin to suspect EVERYTHING and its catalog-perfect manger, Shirley.

Who-or what-exactly is in charge here . . . and what insidious plans are in store?

From Christopher Cantwell, acclaimed writer of She Could Fly and co-creator of AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, and celebrated artist I.N.J. Culbard (The New Deadwardians, Brink) comes a new monthly ongoing series. Everything: a truly bizarre story about the most horrifying pursuit of happiness you’ve ever read.

Ahh, that ever-so-popular comic book setting of Holland, Michigan. Home of your favorite American tulip festival. Dark Horse’s “Berger Books,” an imprint curated by legendary editor Karen Berger, has already seen some great books and this looks to be a safe bet, too.

 

Inferior Five #1 (of 12)

JUL190524

September 18, 2019

Publisher: DC Comics

(W) Keith Giffen, Jeff Lemire (A) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Keith Giffen, Michelle Delecki

The citizens of Dangerfield, Arizona, are beset by strange goings-on after the “Invasion” that rocked the DC Universe, but only five misfit kids seem to notice them. Can they uncover what’s happening before some sinister force collects them all? Find out in this new miniseries! And in the backup feature with story and art by Jeff Lemire, the Peacemaker is on a top-secret mission from Checkmate and Amanda Waller to find a mysterious weapon before the Russians can.

Yeah yeah, I had to squeeze in one more Lemire-written book in here. I’ve been enjoying this trend of releasing 12-issue “maxi-series” by DC and Marvel and this sounds like some pulpy fun.

June 2019 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Marvel Comics 1000

JUN190842

August 28, 2019

Publisher: Marvel Comics

(W/A/CA) Various

THE GREATEST TALENT EVER ASSEMBLED FOR ONE STORY! 
THIS IS THE BIG ONE! In celebration of Marvel’s 80th Anniversary, we have gathered together the greatest array of talent ever to be assembled between the covers of a single comic book! Names from the past, from the present, and even the future! Every page is filled with all-new work from this cavalcade of comic book luminaries!
There is a mystery that threads throughout the Marvel Universe – one that has its origins in MARVEL COMICS #1 and which unites a disparate array of heroes and villains throughout the decades! What is the Eternity Mask, and who is responsible for the conspiracy to keep it hidden? And what new player will make their startling debut as these secrets are peeled away? 
Featuring the entirety of the Marvel Universe of characters!
Rated T 
PERFECTBOUND FORMAT!

If you follow comics Twitter at all, it would have been hard to miss this announcement last month. A gigantic, all-star group of creators are collaborating on this. Don’t miss it.

 

White Trees #1 (of 2)

JUN190031

August 14, 2o19

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Chip Zdarsky (A/CA) Kris Anka

MINISERIES PREMIERE! Acclaimed Daredevil writer CHIP ZDARSKY teams up with superstar Runaways artists KRIS ANKA and MATT WILSON for this spectacular OVERSIZED TWO-ISSUE MINISERIES! In the fantastical world of Blacksand, peace was hard-won, and three unbending warriors carry the scars to prove it. Now, almost twenty years later, their children are missing and war is on the horizon. Can they put aside their memories of the war-and each other-for one last adventure?

It seems like it’s been a little while since we’ve seen some new, creator-owned work from Chip Zdarsky and that always gets a buy from me. 

 

Berserker Unbound #1

JUN190273

August 7, 2019

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Mike Deodato

A merciless sword and sorcery warrior finds himself blasted through a wormhole to a modern-day metropolis where he must protect those around him from an evil wizard determined to send him to hell. From the Eisner Award-winning team of Jeff Lemire, Mike Deodato Jr., and Frank Martin comes this urban warrior fantasy series! 

The premise of this one sounds like it could have been a low budget action movie from the 80s but with Jeff Lemire writing, you can expect more than just tired tropes. Also, you better believe I ordered the Mike Mignola alternate cover (JUN190274).

 

Once & Future #1

JUN191263

August 7, 2019

Publisher: Boom! Studios

(W) Kieron Gillen (A/CA) Dan Mora

* When a group of Nationalists use an ancient artifact to bring a villain from Arthurian myth back from the dead to gain power, ex-monster hunter Bridgette McGuire escapes her retirement home and pulls her unsuspecting grandson Duncan, a museum curator, into a world of magic and mysticism to defeat a legendary threat.
* Bestselling writer Kieron Gillen (The Wicked + The Divine, Star Wars) and Russ Manning Award-winning artist Dan Mora (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Klaus) explore the mysteries of the past, the complicated truths of our history and the power of family to save the day – especially if that family has secret bunkers of ancient weapons and decades of experience hunting the greatest monsters in Britain ‘s history!

This sounds like some great, Indiana Jones-esque fun and a great fit for Gillen and Mora. Check out a three page preview here.

 

Omni #1

JUN191784

August 14, 2019

Publisher: Humanoids Inc

(W) Devin Grayson (A) Ariela Kristantina (CA) Mike McKone

A young doctor mysteriously acquires superpowers and quickly discovers that she’s not the only one. There are people all over the planet Igniting with powers, but only her power can answer “why”…
Cecelia Cobbina is a gifted doctor. Vibrant, compassionate and praised by both her peers and her patients. But that was before the incident in Africa. Before she was forced to leave her job at Doctors Without Borders behind. Before she gained the ability to think faster than the speed of light. Overwhelmed with the power to answer almost every question, she must now overcome her own fears and tackle the one code she can’t seem to break: the truth behind the Ignited.

I’ll continue checking out Humanoids’ new line of H1 universe books regardless but I think this one has sounded the most interesting, so far. If you’ve got any interest in the world Humanoids just launched, pop by the store for a copy of Ignited #1, the first book in the H1 universe which recently hit the shelves.

April 2019 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Silver Surfer: Black #1

APR190783

June 12, 2019

Publisher: Marvel Comics

(W) Donny Cates (A/CA) Tradd Moore

Spinning out of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1, almost the entire galaxy’s defenders have been blown through a black hole, including the Silver Surfer! But the story doesn’t end there… In order to fight back the oblivion, Surfer will have to fight to save his own soul and not lose himself to the void. Follow the Sentinel of the Spaceways on a journey that will change him forever!
From superstars Donny Cates (VENOM, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) and Tradd Moore (ALL-NEW GHOST RIDER, VENOM)!
Rated T+

The cover alone should be enough to hook you on this one. Having Tradd Moore on a trippy Silver Surfer book is such an excellent choice. I’ve also yet to dip into Donny Cates’ work with Marvel (I know, I know — I’ve heard great things) and this looks to be great one to jump in with.

 

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Beast of Vargu

APR190224 & APR190225 (left and right covers above)

June 19, 2019

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W/CA) Mike Mignola (A) Dave Stewart (A/CA) Duncan Fegredo

Mike Mignola and fan-favorite artist Duncan Fegredo reunite in this all-new one-shot! This first issue in a new era of Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. sees Mignola and Fegredo send Hellboy to Romania for a pair of tales set in a small village with a centuries-old curse and a man-eating monster which culminate in a sinister puppet show and a demigod’s ill-fated dinner.

Hey, Fegredo is drawing Hellboy again with Mike Mignola writing, to boot! With the end of modern day BPRD/Hellboy just around the corner, the announcement of Beast of Vargu is very welcome. Editor Katii O’Brien has been saying there is a lot to look forward to in the Mignolaverse later this year and it looks like Beast of Vargu will be a great book to kick that off.

 

Ignited #1

APR191783

June 5, 2019

Publisher: Humanoids Inc.

(W) Mark Waid, Kwanza Osajyefo (A) Philippe Briones (CA) Mike McKone

Welcome to the H1 Universe and Ignited, Humanoids’ first ever ongoing super-powered series-brought to you by an explosive team: writers Mark Waid (Kingdom Come) and Kwanza Osajyefo (Black AF), and artist Phil Briones (Aquaman), with covers by John Cassaday and Yanick Paquette! It’s the first day back at Phoenix Academy High, but this year there’s no back to school excitement in the air as returning students and faculty are haunted by memories of last year’s horrific attack. So many friends and colleagues were lost, and some of those who survived underwent changes; they Ignited, gaining supernatural abilities they barely understand. Little do they know this is just the beginning!

If you’ve not read it already, I would highly recommend reading this interview with Mark Waid and John Cassaday from this month’s Previews. They go into detail about working on Ignited as well as the direction of their new H1 universe with Humanoids. The concept for this book is certainly ripped from the headlines and I’m optimistic that Waid, Cassaday, and the team will be handling it with appropriate care.

 

Test #1

APR192064

June 26, 2019

Publisher: Vault Comics

(W) Christopher Sebela (A/CA) Jen Hickman

Aleph Null is a lot of things: An orphan, a human guinea pig undergoing medical tests for cash, a bodyhacker, a hardcore future junkie, and a corporate asset. But now, Aleph is on the run from their old life, in search of a mythical, Midwestern town named Laurelwood where they’re test-marketing the future with tech that can’t possibly exist yet, and won’t for decades.

From Eisner-nominated Chris Sebela (Crowded, High Crimes) and Jen Hickman (Moth & Whisper) comes the story of a town out of time, full of mysteries, and populated by guinea pigs in need of liberation by the misfit least likely to be their savior.

I know I hit on this just a couple of months ago, but Vault is continuing to launch books with unique, compelling concepts. Here’s one with a cool idea from a team that seems so well matched for it. It’s also my reminder that I have to read the book Sebela did about his time living in the “Clown Motel.”

 

Marilyn Manor #1

APR190702

June 26, 2019

Publisher: IDW Publishing

(W) Magdalene Visaggio (A/CA) Marley Zarcone

Where were you in ’81? When the White House goes dark for 17 days in August, the president’s spoiled daughter and her best friend Abe-who claims to be possessed by the spirit of Abe Lincoln-throw a rager at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, unearthing long dead historical figures and government secrets that are better off buried. Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll séances, and secret passageways lead to time-bending mystical romps where past and present collide. But at what cost to Marilyn Kelleher, the world at large, and music television?

Uniting the red-hot Eisner-nominated talents of writer Magdalene Visaggio (Eternity Girl, Kim and Kim) and artist Marley Zarcone (Shade, the Changing Girl, Effigy) for the first time, MARILYN MANOR explores identity, classism, appropriation, and friendship. It’s a rollicking, neon party gone out of bounds when we need it most-set just in time for the greatest pop cultural marriage to date: MTV. 
  
“We’ve been trying to capture the feel, the excitement, the energy of the rise of the New Romantics, of the decade that embraced excess and excitement in hugely over-the-top ways, and filled it with chaos and insanity. This is the weirdest thing I’ve ever written in the best way possible, like an apocalypse directed by John Hughes.”

“…like an apocalypse written by John Hughes.” I love it. I’ve been rereading Shade the Changing Girl recently Zarcone’s art is just fantastic. I can’t wait to see what she and Mags have in store for Marilyn Manor.

March 2019 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Batman: Last Knight on Earth #1

MAR190458

May 29, 2019

Publisher: DC Comics

(W) Scott Snyder (A) Jonathon Glapion (A/CA) Greg Capullo

Bruce Wayne wakes up in Arkham Asylum. Young. Sane.
And…he was never Batman.
So begins this sprawling tale of the Dark Knight as he embarks on a quest through a devastated DC landscape featuring a massive cast of familiar faces from the DC Universe. As he tries to piece together the mystery of his past, he must unravel the cause of this terrible future and track down the unspeakable force that destroyed the world as he knew it…
From the powerhouse creative team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo, the team that reinvented Batman from the emotional depths of “Court of Owls” to the bombastic power of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, DC Black Label is proud to present the bimonthly, three-issue miniseries BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH, published at DC’s standard comic trim size.
This could be the last Batman story ever told…

Snyder and Capullo teaming back up on Black Label Batman book. I think we’ve got a safe bet on this one, folks.

 

Midnight Radio

MAR191863

May 22, 2019

Publisher: Lion Forge

(W/A/CA) Iolanda Zanfardino

Four individuals living in San Francisco are released from the frustrations of their everyday lives by a late night radio broadcast suddenly hijacked by someone with a message for the world. The passion and honesty of the message steers these four lives in dramatic new directions . . .  

There’s not a whole from the solicit here, but I recommend checking out the extended look in Previews. Midnight Radio is a book I’ll definitely be picking up.

 

Excellence #1

MAR190016

May 8, 2019

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Brandon Thomas (A/CA) Khary Randolph, Emilio Lopez

Spencer Dales was born into a world of magic. His father belongs to the Aegis, a secret society of black magicians ordered by their unseen masters to better the lives of others-those with greater potential-but never themselves.
Now it’s time for Spencer to follow in his father’s footsteps, but all he sees is a broken system in need of someone with the wand and the will to change it. But in this fight for a better future, who will stand beside him?  
KHARY RANDOLPH (We Are Robin, Noble, Black, TECH JACKET) and BRANDON THOMAS (HORIZON, The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury, Noble, Voltron) ignite a generational war in this action-fantasy series, made entirely by creators of color, and committed to one truth above all others-Excellence is Real.

There are a quite a few books in this month’s Previews that look incredibly interesting and feature creators I’ve never heard of. I love that! Excellence, Midnight Radio, and She Said Destroy all fall under that category for me and I can’t wait to check them out. 

 

She Said Destroy #1

MAR192091

May 29, 2019

Publisher: Vault Comics

(W) Joe Corallo (A/CA) Liana Kangas

Over millennia, Brigid, Goddess of the Sun, has conquered and converted the entire solar system into worshipping her and her alone, save one space colony. The witches of Fey are the last believers of The Morrigan, Goddess of Death, Brigid’s sister and the only other God left. As Brigid’s forces prepare for one final battle, The Morrigan prepares to do what she does best: Destroy!

If the great standard cover and title weren’t enough for you, check out this Saga homage variant for issue number one of She Said Destroy.

 

Copra (Volumes 1-5)

MAR190056

May 1, 2019

Publisher: Image Comics

(W/A/CA) Michel Fiffe

They’re ugly. They’re mean. But up until today, they’ve always been loyal. So when one of their own betrays them, COPRA has no choice but to turn their nightmarish skills back on everyone who ever even looked at them funny. Here it is: the first six issues of MICHEL FIFFE’s critically acclaimed superhero revenge machine. Collects COPRA #1-6.

Copra has been on my “hey, I need to read this” list for too long. Though the singles were offered exclusively though Fiffe’s Etsy shop, trade paper collections were previously released through Bergen Street Press. Starting in May, Copra volumes 1-5 will be reprinted through Image and it sounds like the series will be there to stay. Time for me to jump in!

February 2019 Previews: Carman’s Picks

B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know #15

FEB190276

April 17, 2019

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Mike Mignola, Scott Allie (A) Laurence Campbell (CA) Mike Mignola

After fifteen years of B.P.R.D. comics, the series reaches its explosive conclusion!

No, you’re crying.

 

Ascender #1

FEB190010

April 24, 2019

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Dustin Nguyen

“THE HAUNTED GALAXY,” Part One
Powerhouse creative team JEFF LEMIRE and DUSTIN NGUYEN launch an all-new sequel series to DESCENDER with the launch of ASCENDER!  

Set ten years after the conclusion of DESCENDER’s storyline, magic has taken the place of machinery and the rules are very different indeed… Mila, the daughter of Andy and Effie from DESCENDER, spends her days exploring the lonely wilds of the planet Sampson and trying to stay out of the clutches of the evil disciples of the all-powerful vampire witch known only as Mother. But, like her parents, Mila doesn’t like to play by the rules, and when a certain robot pal of her dad’s shows up, nothing will ever be the same! 

With all the scope and heart of the sci-fi classic DESCENDER, LEMIRE and NGUYEN reunite to take readers on an unforgettable fantasy quest!

Though some long-running series like B.P.R.D. are ending, other series are returning. Sort of, anyway. Ascender is technically a new series but is also a sequel to Lemire and Nguyen’s Descender. If you’ve not read Descender yet, you’ve got some catching up to do on one of the best books to come out in the past few years.

 

Queen of Bad Dreams #1

FEB192076

April 24, 2019

Publisher: Vault Comics

(W) Danny Lore (A/CA) Jordi Perez

When a dream entity known as a figment emerges from a dreamer’s mind, it’s Daher’s job as an IJ to track them down and make the call: reinsert the figment, or grant them agency in our world. After an especially powerful figment escapes the dreams of an even more powerful politician’s son, Daher is pulled headlong into an investigation that traces all the way back to the incident that sent dreams, even nightmares, spilling into our reality.

I keep hearing about Vault Comics knocking it out of the park with their new series and it’s time I jump on the wagon from the beginning. I’ve been hearing some great initial impressions of Queen of Bad Dreams and I’m really looking forward to checking this one out. Plus, look at this variant cover!

 

Little Girls

FEB190018

April 24, 2019

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Nicholas Aflleje (A/CA) Sarah DeLaine, Ashley Lanni

Something hunts people on the outskirts of town…

Sam and Lielet are two new friends living in Ethiopia. They’re dealing with the kind of problems that all kids have: judgmental social cliques, condescending adults, alienation… and a legendary brain-eating monster straight out of folklore. Sure, it’s not going to be easy, but all they have to do is live through it.

Showcasing a quietly unsettling plot and building tension similar to NICK DRNASO’s Sabrina and ADRIAN TOMINE’s Killing and Dying, debut creative team NICHOLAS AFLLEJE and SARAH DeLAINE construct a poignant story of otherness and mystery.

The premise paired with the setting for Little Girls certainly has a promising hook. It doesn’t sound wholly dissimilar from other pitches for new series from Image but namedropping Sabrina and Killing and Dying has me very intrigued on the pacing and tone of this one. 

 

Hot Comb

FEB191682

May 15, 2019

Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly

(W/A/CA) Ebony Flowers

Hot Comb offers a poignant glimpse into Black women’s lives and coming of age stories as seen across a crowded, ammonia-scented hair salon while ladies gossip and bond over the burn. The titular story is about a young girl’s first perm-a doomed ploy to look cool and to stop seeming “too white” in the all-black neighborhood her family has just moved to. Realizations about race, class, and the imperfections of identity swirl through Flowers’ stories, which are by turns sweet, insightful, and heartbreaking.

Drawn & Quarterly is another publisher that I’d like to start reading more regularly and I’m excited to read Hot Comb. I’d not heard of Ebony Flowers but I really enjoyed the preview on her website. Learn more about her here!

Panini’s 2018-19 NBA Player of The Day Promotion Starts March 4th!

The Panini NBA Player of The Day Promotion Runs March 4th – April 2nd!

Starting on Monday, March 4th and running all the way through close on Tuesday, April 2nd you have the chance to open some Panini NBA cards and win cool prizes!

This year’s prizes include 2 promotional Player of the Day card packs per daily win, plus posters, top loaders, and more! The store grand prize card this years is an autographed Luke Kennard card which you can see below!

Plus, this year you can become a Daily Winner twice a day, seven days a week! That means you can win more promotional packs and more entries in the Weekly Winner raffles!

You can check out all of the details below. We hope to see you soon!

How to Play

Step 1 – You can enter by purchasing either eligible packs or boxes of 2018-19 Panini brand NBA Cards. This includes popular brands such as , Hoops, Revolution, Complete and others. There is a no-purchase-necessary option as well (ask us to see the official rules for details).

Step 2 – This year you can become a Daily Winner up to two times a day! There are two ways to become a Daily Winner:

  1. If you buy packs, then all you have to do is open those packs in front of a store employee and pull that day’s highlighted Player of The Day or one of the promotions’ wild card players. If you do, then you will receive 2 promotional POTD packs plus you will get your name on our Daily Winners list where you could win even more prizes. Each pack can only win once even if you pull multiple winning players.
  2. For each eligible sealed box you purchase you will automatically become a Daily Winner. [1 box = 1 Daily winner entry plus 2 POTD packs]

Each time you are a daily winner you earn one raffle entry towards being that week’s Weekly Winner.

Step 3 –  At the end of each week of the promotion (4 times total) we will have a random drawing from that week’s list of Daily Winners to determine our Weekly Winners. Each Weekly Winner will receive special prizes and earn a raffle entry towards becoming the store’s grand prize winner.

Step 4 – At the conclusion of the 30-day promotion, we will randomly select one of the four weekly winners as the store grand prize winner. The store grand prize winner will be awarded the an autographed Luke Kennard card, plus their name will be entered into the Panini national sweepstakes where they have a chance to win a prize package that includes spending a day with an NBA Player plus a $250.00 shopping spree at Fanfare!

Check out this year’s Store Grand Prize card:

Josh’s 2018 List

Welcome to the first annual J-Up Awards! During this year’s ceremony we will be celebrating some of Josh’s favorite comics of 2018. So, let’s crack some envelopes and get to it!

Best New Publisher of 2018: Ahoy Comics

Ahoy Comics entered the world this year and comics is all the richer for it. The publisher’s slogan “Expect More” is exemplified in their comic book magazine format. Their titles (which include High Heaven, Wrong Earth, Captain Ginger, and the sleeper hit Edgar Allen Poe’s Snifter of Terror) feature not only ongoing comic stories, but the books themselves feature material like creative prose short stories, essays, and back-up comics in each and every issue.

Now, all of that wouldn’t mean anything if the stories weren’t good. But here’s the thing, so much of what they have put out is great! Wrong Earth has been telling an excellent story wherein a Batman 66 style superhero finds himself in a grim-dark 90’s universe (and vice versa) with amazing art from Jamal Igle. Grant Morrison’s back-up prose stories have been great throughout the line’s launch. High Heaven, which focuses on a man named David Weathers who is in heaven…but hates it, is equal parts hilarious and sad. Captain Ginger features cats in space! And…well, we sold out of Edgar Allen Poe’s Snifter of Terror so quickly that I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I hear its great.

I hope Ahoy keeps the momentum in 2019 and that more publishers aim to cram as much creativity and energy into their books as Ahoy has managed to do in 2018. They set the bar high.

Best Series Featuring a Green-Themed Hero [Marvel]: The Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett

In this newest iteration of the Hulk, Ewing cleverly revisits the original dynamic between Bruce Banner and his angrier side: night time is the Hulk’s time. That’s right, rather than the Hulk coming out whenever Banner gets angry, the Hulk comes out at night. Oh, and the Hulk cannot die (though Banner can). Oh…and if this sounds like a premise for a horror movie, that is because this series has reinvigorated the Hulk concept by introducing aspects of the horror genre to his story. I cannot say enough about this book, Al Ewing is Marvel’s most underrated writer and the work he is doing with Bennett by his side is incredible.

Best Series Featuring a Green-Themed Hero [DC]: The Green Lantern by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp

Okay, so I am a mark for anything Grant Morrison, but this book really caught me off guard with just how much I am loving it. This book was pitched as being, essentially, Hal Jordan: Space Cop, and it delivers on that front. We get to see some inner workings of the Corps with trappings of a police procedural.  

At the same time this is still an extremely weird and fun superhero book. Liam Sharp’s art is incredibly detailed and fully immerses you in the alien locales the book visits. The alien designs are wild…we’re talking creatures whose heads are erupting volcanoes, we’re talking a Green Lantern who is a sentient flu, and so much more that you need to see. His style almost makes this feel like a 2001 AD story but with enough visual connective tissue to ground it in the DCU. I find it to be a unique and rewarding aesthetic.

Morrison’s scripts have been filled with humor, adventure, and a sinister plot that I cannot wait to see more of in 2019. If you want to get weird with the GL Corps, look no further.

Best Dairy Based Crossover: Milk Wars by a murderer’s row of creators.

This Young Animal/DCU crossover felt like it was custom made for me. Doom Patrol team up with members of the JLA to take down a Superman analog known as Milkman Man who was born of nothing and now threatens the multiverse due to his employment by an evil corporation who are looking to homogenize the multiverse? Yeah. SIGN.ME.UP.

But wait, there’s more! All of the Young Animal books get a chance to crossover. We’re talking Cave Carson teaming up with Swamp Thing to battle evil Funko Pops, Shade the Changing Girl vs. a twisted version of Wonder Woman, and Mother Panic vs. Father Bruce Banner in a fight to free the citizens of Gotham City.  

Oh, and Frank Quitely did the covers. So. So. Good.

This event was bizarre, fun, and creative in the way that only comics can be and that is why I love it so much. The event stands on its own, but if you are a Doom Patrol fan, I would suggest reading all of Vol. 1 and 2 before you dig in as there are some slight spoilers for that series in the pages of Milk Wars. That said, more comics events should be this ambitious and fun in my opinion.

Best Horror Barn Mind Trip Of The Year: Gideon Falls by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino

Jeff Lemire is one of the best writers currently working in contemporary comics. So, when he announced that his project Gideon Falls was a “character-based meditation on obsession, mental-illness, and faith” inspired  by works such as David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, I was already sold on checking out the book.

What he and Andrea Sorrentino have delivered is even better than I could have imagined. The story focuses on two main protagonists: Father Wilfred and Norton. Father Wilfred is a priest who has arrived in the rural town of Gideon Falls to take over their local parish, though his faith may be waning. Norton is a man living in a city who suffers from some undefined mental illness. Their lives are connected, in ways we are still discovering, by The Black Barn, a mysterious building whose appearance leaves in its wake terror, madness, and confusion.

As always, Lemire’s character work here is phenomenal. The emotions of all the characters are realistic and their doubts, motivations, and confusion aren’t merely understandable in a clinical sort of way, but felt by the reader as well.

Sorrentino’s storytelling and art in this series is masterful. Conversations and quieter moments are given weight by his choice of character focus. To illustrate the effects of The Black Barn, Sorrentino employs layouts that twist the reader’s perspective in an effect mirroring the twisted perspective of the story’s characters. This book is a master class on visual storytelling.

Best Diced-Based Debut: Die by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans

I love Kieron Gillen. His knack for examining and deconstructing the pop culture he loves has drawn me in since he and Jamie McKelvie first brought out Phonogram. His most recent book, Die, explores another one of his obsessions, role-playing games. The first issue was excellent and it has me passionately excited to see where this story goes in 2019.

Imagine the old Dungeons and Dragons cartoon: a bunch of kids disappear into the world of D&D and become the characters they played. They have adventures and probably return to the real world unscathed. Well…what if they didn’t?

What if, instead, some horrible things changed while they were in that world. What if they leave scarred, emotionally and ,in some cases, physically? What would that do to a person? What would that do to a person decades later when they are forced to look back at that world and their actions? Welcome to Die.

Stephanie Hans is the artist on this book and she delivers a world that is just as lush and simultaneously drab as you hope for from a book that has famously been pitched as “Goth Jumanji.” Right now there is only 1 issue of this book out, but as they rediscover this fantasy world I cannot wait to see Hans’ imagination on the page.

What really draws me to this book is in part the promissory note that Gillen has given us in both the backmatter of issue #1 and in interviews surrounding its release. He has promised the book will deliver a Planteray-esque examination of the elements that gave birth to the modern conception of fantasy and RPG gaming. Given that Planetary (by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday) is one of my all-time favorite books, due in large part to its examination of  genres found in serialized storytelling, this technique as applied to fantasy and RPGS has me very intrigued.

At its emotional core, Gillen has noted the book is in part a metaphor for an adult looking back at their teenage fantasies and aspirations and realizing they have fallen short, in part or whole, on realizing those dreams. While potentially depressing, this type of emotional exploration in the medium of comics seems powerful in the hands of Gillen and Hans, and I, for one, am along for the ride.  

Best Series Featuring an Escape Artist/God: Mister Miracle by Tom King and Mitch Gerads

This book…what is there to say that hasn’t been said?

King and Gerads really created a masterpiece with this miniseries. While it started in 2017, it was 2018 that saw the resolution of this story that utilized the fantastical world of the New Gods to explore such real world issues as depression, parenthood, and the seemingly eternal work/personal life balance that many of us face.

The story finds Mister Miracle thrust into a war between Apokolips and New Genesis in the world of the New Gods. It also finds him trying to figure out how to rearrange his apartment here on Earth. This juxtaposition between the fantastic and mundane is unlike maybe any other story I have seen in comics, and it works to make the emotional beats hit for me as a reader. Gerads use of the nine-panel grid is a nice formalistic nod to the classic Kirby stories that came before, and his art in general is amazing.

In lesser hands, the story could have easily become grim and dark to the point of morbidity, but King and Gerads find just the right amount of humor to ease the tension found within the plot. Whether it is Scott Free’s seemingly endless superhero T-shirt collection, or the perfectly pictured moments of companionship we see between Scott and Barda, the dark never quite overshadows all of the light within the story.

I know this book has appeared on both Liz and Andrew’s lists, so I don’t feel the need to go on and on about it, but as a fan of the New Gods and a fan of comics aptly tackling real world issues, be they political or, in this case, personal, I really loved this series.

Oops. That music means it is time for me to wrap up these awards! Thanks to everyone for coming out this year. You can find your gift bag under your chair.

Liz’s List: Best of 2018


Hey everyone! I hope 2018 treated you well.  There were a lot of awesome, colorful, inspiring releases this year. So many, in fact, that I can’t possibly put them in any ranked order. Instead, below is an unranked list of comics and board games that brightened my year. If you haven’t given them

Comics:

New World by Ales Kot & Tradd & Heather Moore

A little bit 1984, a little bit Romeo and Juliet, and a lot of dystopian fun, New World follows two lovers from opposite worlds as they learn about each other and the dictatorship overseeing them. Artists Tradd and Heather Moore bring vibrant colors and dynamic, full page spreads to the table, fleshing out writer Ales Kot’s characters beautifully. The Moore team made this book my favorite title of the year. I think their art is just so unique and eye catching. If you’re looking for a feast for your eyes, look no further than New World!

A Walk Through Hell: by Garh Ennis & Goran Sudzuka

I am by no means a Garth Ennis fan. In fact, I can’t name a single book by Ennis that I’ve ever enjoyed, with the exception of A Walk Through Hell. Two haggard cops at the end of their careers are called on to recover some of their teammates from an investigation gone awry. What starts out as a supposedly routine recon mission turns into a never-ending nightmare of inexplicable horror, both mental and physical. The pair witness things that make them question both reality  and each other. Waiting week after week for the next issue of this book to come out was agonizing. Ennis fills the pages with slow-burning dread, and the payoff is worth it. This book was so good that I’m rethinking my opinion of Ennis (tentatively).

Flavor by Joseph Keatinge & Wook Jin Clark

In a world where cooking is a revered skill, ingredients can spark war, and chefs reign supreme, a student unearths a mystery that will change everything she knows. Unlicensed and newly in charge of her parents’ restaurant, Xoo faces immense pressure and responsibility from the world around her to be a top chef. I can’t say more about this story, since it revolves heavily on mystery, but I can’t recommend it enough. The world building is very Miyazaki inspired, and the colors and story mesh together into an epic. Unique to the comic, in the back of every issue is an interview with someone in the culinary industry, showcasing their work and their relationship with food. This book is a unique treasure that I can’t recommend enough!

Die by Kieron Gillen & Stephanie Hans

Kieron Gillen describes his new title as ‘Goth Jumanji.’ If that explanation doesn’t describe to you why this book is fantastic then I can’t help you.

Games:

The Tea Dragon Society Game:

Based off of the book by the same name, the goal of this game is to take care of a dragon, season by season. Each dragon has unique needs, likes and dislikes, and requires special care and companionship to survive the sweltering summertime and chilly winter. This game is comprised of drafting and “buying” cards to take care of your dragon each season for four seasons. I found the game both quick and actually relaxing. It was fun and simple to learn, and is a great game to play while grabbing coffee (or tea!) with a friend.

Azul/Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra

Have you played Azul? No? Why the heck not?? I love this game SO MUCH. In Azul, players take turns drafting colored tiles onto their player board. Once drafting has ended, scoring beings. Players can earn points based on different tile patterns they have created, and how many tiles they have drafted. Wasted tiles can hurt a player’s score. The player with the most points at the end wins. Azul came out in 2017, but Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra was released shortly before Christmas, introducing stained glass pieces and double sided boards. This game is fun and extremely aesthetically pleasing, and I’ll look for any chance or excuse to play it.

Thanks for reading my list of favorites, I hope you have a great 2019!

Fanfare Countdown to Christmas Specials

We are counting down to Christmas with some great specials! All of the specials listed below will be good while supplies last or until we close for the evening on December 24th, whichever comes first. We will be adding new deals daily, so be sure to stay up-to-date as the countdown is happening!

Day 1: Yu-Gi-Oh! Advent Calendar (Regularly $19.99)
Special Price: 40% Off ($11.99)!

Day 2: Pokemon Celestial Storm Booster Boxes & Packs (Regularly $149.99 per box/$4.29 per pack)
Special Price: $99.99 per booster box and $2.99 per pack!

Day 3: Select Graphic Novels [Fantastic Four: Season One, Siege: Embedded, and more]
Special Price: $1.00 each!

Day 4: Magic: The Gathering – Hour of Devastation Booster Packs & Boxes (Regularly $119.99 per box/$3.99 per pack)
Special Price: $89.99 per booster box and $2.99 per booster pack!

Day 5: Final Fantasy TCG Opus II & III Booster Packs & Boxes (Regularly $139.99 per box/$3.99 per pack)
Special Price: $99.99 per booster box and $2.99 per booster pack!

Day 6: Creature Forge and Relic Tokens for Magic: the Gathering (Various prices)
Special Price: 40% Off!

Day 7: Transformers TCG Autobot Starter (Regularly $14.99)
Special Price: $9.99!

Day 8: Teen Titans: Earth One Hardcovers and select Runaways Trade Paperbacks
Special Price: 75% off Regular Price!

Day 9: Star Wars Destiny: Empire At War Booster Packs
Special: Visit the store or call (269)349-8866 for details!

Day 10: Select Pokemon Gift Boxes
Special Price: 40% off! [Selection includes Pin Collection boxes, GX boxes, Premium Collections, and more!]

Day 11: Magic: The Gathering — Signature Spellbook: Jace, Explorers of Ixalan, Gift Box 2017 and Global Series Duel Decks
Special Price: 40% off!

Day 12: Marvel Masterworks & DC Archives Hardcovers
Special Price: 75% off!

Day 13: Yu-Gi-Oh! Legendary Hero Decks 3-Deck Set (Regularly $29.99)
Special Price: $14.99!

Day 14: All Regularly Priced Playmats
Special Price: 30% off!

Day 15: All Dice Masters Products
Special Price: 50% off regular price!

Day 16: Select Magic: The Gathering Commander Decks (Regularly $39.99)
Special Price: – Exquisite Invention (Now $19.99)
                         – Nature’s Vengeance (Now $19.99)

Day 17: Select DC Convergence & Marvel Fear Itself TPBS & HCs
Special Price: 75% off their regular price!

Day 18: HeroClix Fast Forces
Special Price: 40% off!

Day 19: Select Marvelman and Thief of Thieves Paperbacks & Hardcovers
Special Price: 75% off!

Day 20: Marvel Legends Action Figures
Special Price: 50% off! 

Day 21: D&D: Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica Sourcebooks and Playmats
Special Price: 20% off regular price!

Day 22: Select Statues
Special Price: 40% off!

Day 23: All Barbies & Die Cast Cars (including Hot Wheels)
Special Price: 50% off!

Day 24: All New Board Games Regularly Priced at $99.99 or Above
Special Price: 20% Off!

We will be posting new specials daily, so be sure to keep checking back here or on any of our social media pages listed below: