Tuesday, March 21, 2017

GHOST IN THE SHELL PREVIEW DOUBLE PASS GIVEAWAY!


Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, “GHOST IN THE SHELL” follows Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.



Thanks to those tech savvy folks from Paramount Pictures and GHOST IN THE SHELL "In cinemas March 30th", we have 5 Double Passes to a Special Themed Preview Screening at Village Cinemas Crown on Wednesday 29th March, guest arrival at 6:00pm and start at 6:30pm to give away!

To go into the draw for your chance to win all you need to do is tell us, "Even without cybernetic upgrades, _______ is still pretty ace " filling the blank with a tag of the person you think is perfect just the way they are and you will be entered in the draw.


SPECIAL NOTE: 
This screening will be shown in 3D and As this prize is for a specific time and date, please only enter if you can attend the screening. 

Terms and Conditions:
-Only entries made via the comments on the Facebook post will be included in the draw.
-All entries will go into the All Star Barrel and winners will be drawn at random.
-Entries close 6pm Monday the 27th of March and winners will be announced Tuesday the 28th and notified soon after as to how to collect their tickets.

A huge thanks again to Paramount Pictures and GHOST IN THE SHELL in cinemas March 30th.




Monday, March 20, 2017

ALL STAR RECOMMENDS FOR MARCH 21ST


BERNIE WRIGHTSON RIP

Just terrible news to begin with this week, as the legendary horror artist Bernie Wrightson has passed away following a battle with brain cancer. 

In his foreword to Creepy Presents: Bernie Wrightson, writer and frequent Wrightson collaborator Bruce Jones writes: “Bernie Wrightson is one of the best-known comic book artists of the twentieth century”and this is certainly true, blessed as he was with the gift of rendering the macabre with odd grace and beauty. His art is immediately recognisable, with his fine-lined, long-limbed figures emerging from swaths of shadowy black, looking at times as though they were engravings rather than pen and ink. 

Among a litany of achievements, Wrightson co-created Swamp Thing, one of comics most enduring horror icons, with writer Len Wein, in the pages of House of Mystery and his ten-issue run on the original Swamp Thing series which subsequently debuted remains a visual highpoint for the character's long history. He worked on Heavy Metal, providing the strip Captain Sternn, more than holding his own amongst the other legendary artists the magazines published at that time. He provided thrillingly gory illustrations for Stephen King’s Cycle of the Werewolf novella and fifty absolutely stunning illustrations for his own edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. That project took seven years to complete and may in fact be his most famously iconic artwork. He drew Batman: The Cult for DC working with writer Jim Starlin and he spent a number of years over at Warren, illustrating for Creepy and Eerie, during which time he drew the enduring short classic,"Jenifer," scripted by Bruce Jones, which we shall look at next week as part of an all-Wrightson column.

Rest In Peace, Bernie, you were a Titan in your field and like other masters, Kirby, Tezuka, Moebius, Davis among them, your work will live forever.


In less saddening news, I hope you've had a chance to start watching the latest comics-based series to make its way to Netflix this week, a mix of Asian-styled action and quiet character building. 

Yes, I'm talking about Samurai Gourmet! 

Based on the still-ongoing manga series, Nobushi no Gourmet by Masayuki Kusumi and Shigeru Tsuchiyama, Samurai Gourmet follows the gastronomic adventures of retired salaryman Takeshi Kasumi as he decides to enjoy his quiet years by indulging in food and drink. This newfound freedom from corporate life unleashes an "inner persona" within him, that of a hedonistic wandering samurai who loves nothing more than hearty food and booze-based indulgence. 
Yes, it is really, really goofy and also totally food porny, but it's also pretty charming and with episodes coming in at under 20 minutes, I found it a nice palate cleanser from the rather languid pace and formulaic plotting of the first two episodes of that other comic-based Netflix show that debuted Friday night. Give it a shot but be warned: it will make you hungry.


COMIC OF THE WEEK : GIVE ME LIBERTY
By Frank Miller & Dave Gibbons
Published By Dark Horse

"The media is lying to you, my friends. They forged that bullsh--that alleged Executive Order." 

There are moments in Give Me Liberty, such as the above quote from the character of President Nissen, that feel far too politically on the nose to be coming from a comic book published in 1990. For a while, I've been thinking about re-reading the title (which I haven't plucked off the shelf for possibly two decades) as part of a vain but ongoing attempt to find an older comic that's the most searing piece of funnybook clairvoyance imaginable, a comic seemingly beamed from the past like a colourful lost warning. 
In Give Me Liberty, we do indeed have a contender.

Martha Washington is a young black girl living in the hellhole that is the Cabrini Green housing project, an ominous green concrete box of a facility, more prison than apartment block in which its underprivileged black residents are forced to exist, living their lives in tiny square apartments, the youth educated on site largely by teachers equally trapped by their environment and social situation. The President, there are two over the course of the story, is named Rexall. He's an ageing, white-haired white man with the leering grin of the charismatic sociopath and the arrogance to amend the constitution to allow him to be President for as long as he wants the job even as the country fractures and splinters around him. 

Immediately, you'll see the satire is not subtle - underprivileged black people living hand to mouth in a squalid, neglected, crime-ridden urban environment, lorded over by a Caucasian Presidential figure more obsessed with his own popularity than doing anything of real substance. Frank Miller has never been one for subtlety, however, and Give Me Liberty is obviously no exception. Miller's form of satire has always been somewhat Kirbyised - big and bold with its message glaring - culminating, perhaps, in the nauseating Holy Terror from a just over a decade after Give Me Liberty was first published, a stunning and worrying project vile in its anti-Islamic hatred and juvenile in its attempt to function as pulp propaganda. However, when Miller's on, his satire works and there's much of it on display in Give Me Liberty, which we'll come to in a minute along with a notable misstep.

Miller and Gibbons would chart Martha Washington's entire life over a series of books, collected in the soon-to-be-reprinted The Life and Times of Martha Washington in The Twenty-First Century. It's her debut in Give Me Liberty that's the strongest of the material however, particularly early, with Martha escaping Cabrini Green and joining PAX - a militarised "peace corps" sent out to fight the President's wars. With President Nissen replacing the despotic Rexall after a surprising turn of events, the new environmentally-conscious Commander in Chief pulls troops from Central America, Cuba, Israel, Pakistan and Indochina, ending wars that saw America cast from the UN, and puts them into Brazil's Amazon where international Fast Food corporations are decimating the forest. So begins some of the comic's most striking sequences of artwork by the legendary Dave Gibbons as PAX and Big Boy Burger go to war. The Amazonian combat scenes are expertly constructed with the beautiful and lush greenery on display at all times juxtaposed with fairly realistic wartime violence of headshots and parachuting troops blown from the skies. 


Miller, too, skilfully balances the horror of war with the absurdity of his satire. The above images somehow fit perfectly next to scenes of PAX helicopters battling an immense Big Boy Burger mascot firing machine guns from its mouth. The satire is not always this sharp, however. Later in the book comes The Aryan Thrust, a gay Nazi terrorist organisation, in a jokey scene that bombs pretty badly and may even cause some offence in 2017. Thankfully, even later comes some expertly satirised fascism in the form of pneumatic blonde and blue-eyed clones, neatly uniformed and serving at the whim of their dashingly attired but hideously motivated Colonel Moretti as he oversees his own war from his ridiculously phallic space station. Again - it's not subtle, but kind of hilarious.

If you haven't figured it out by now the men, to be clear -- the white men -- in power are weak. Even Nissen, the great white hope of America, succumbs to his demons. The males in charge are given to corruption, megalomania and substance abuse, either abusing the constitution for their own political thirst or given to drunken rage at the threat of scandal or ruthlessly murdering anyone in their way. Against them stands Martha Washington, risen up from the projects and the trauma of her childhood. In her, Miller and Gibbons give us the ultimate "everyman" -- a grounded and very real heroine to hang the outrageousness of their story on. 
The second edition of The Life and Times of Martha Washington in The Twenty-First Century arrives this June, I believe, compiling the character's entire life and her numerous adventures. Whatever Frank Miller has or has not become, the importance of this particular creation cannot be overstated. There were not too many comics in 1990 that featured a young, female, black lead and certainly none of them came with the creative clout and reputation of Martha's makers. Further down the screen, you'll find this week's video featuring Aimee Cox, a black scholar and writer, framing Martha with not just reference to her as part of the "super-hero" world but as a powerful symbol of resistance and empowerment. It's not the dead-on reflection of 2017 I'm searching for in older comics, but in many ways, I wouldn't be surprised if it's a close as we get.




WEBCOMIC OF THE WEEK : PUNK ROCK FLYERS BY LOS BROS HERNANDEZ

What's this? Oh, only an excellent collation of flyers for '80s punk gigs drawn by two of the world's greatest cartoonists, Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez of Love & Rockets fame. 
Thanks, Vice. 




COMICS VIDEO OF THE WEEK : AIMEE COX ON MARTHA WASHINGTON

Here, to round us out and bring us full circle, is a wonderful nine minute video featuring Aimee Cox discussing just how powerful a character Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons' Martha Washington actually is. Cox, a black feminist scholar and author of Shapeshifters, a book about young black women in a Detroit homeless shelter, has quite a bit to say about Martha and all of it good. Embracing Martha's "averageness" as a human is key, Cox suggests, in understanding how inspiring she is. Martha, born poor, raised tough, is frequently thrust into life-threatening situations with little more than her own wits and gumption to get her through. To Cox, Martha represents a "roadmap to the complications of being human" and, ultimately, there's nothing more admirable about Miller and Gibbons' creation than this, particularly, as Cox notes, for any young black people who happen to read her adventures.




See you next week. Love your comics.



Cameron Ashley spends a lot of time writing comics and other things you'll likely never read. He's the chief editor and co-publisher of Crime Factory (www.thecrimefactory.com). You can reach him @cjamesashley on Twitter.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

New Comics For Wednesday 22nd of March



COMICS! New comic day really is something special, isn't it?

DON'T CROSS THE DIMENSIONS! Venkman, Stantz, Zeddemore, and Spengler are going to meet Holtzmann, Yates, Tolan, and Gilbert! Who's the best Ghostbusters? It's doesn't matter because it's going to take both teams to solve this latest puzzle of inter-dimensional cross overs in GHOSTBUSTERS 101 #1.

A future where coffee is ILLEGAL?!?! Why? Whhhhhhhhhhhhy?!?!? Writer Fabian Rangel Jr from Space Riders and artist Warwick Johnson-Cadwell of Tank Girl, go terribly dystopic with a tale of a courier that takes any job if the price is right which lands her right in the middle of a gang war in IDW'sHELENA CRASH #1 (OF 5)

Artist Jerome Opena is a master. Unique character design and rich and lived in worlds are but a couple of his strong point, all of which you'll find showcased in his latest work presented in the SEVEN TO ETERNITY GIANT SIZED ARTISTS PROOF ED

We have something really exciting for fans of Suicide Squad with SUICIDE SQUAD #1 DIRECTORS CUT  See Jim Lee's iconic art in more detail in this pencils only reprinting.

From creator Brian Wood (Demo, DMZ) comes a tale of American Independence and high seas terrorism in 1794 in REBELS THESE FREE & INDEPENDENT STATES #1

A brand new series from Image Comics this week with MAGDALENA #1 Defender of the world The Magdalena has always defended the world from demonic evil empowered with the blood of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene running through her veins. But who will take her place when The Magdelena finds herself gravely wounded?

From acclaimed comic book creator Ray Fawkes comes UNDERWINTER #1 This new horror series promise a symphony of music and dark worlds.  

With the TV series airing just last week it's time to brush up on one of Marvel's best street level heroes with  IRON FIST TP BOOK OF CHANGES. Reunions with arch nemesis, super hero team ups and violent vigilantes. YESH!

And if your budget is a little smaller this week but you still want to get in on the Iron Fist action we have a brand new series starting. The Chi in Danny's fists is wavering as Danny pushes himself to breaking point in IRON FIST #1.

Squirrel Girl decides to take a much needed break in a cabin in Canada. But when boredom starts to strike perhaps wishing for some crime fighting action was not the best idea in UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL TP VOL 05 ONLY SQUIRREL IN WORLD

Finally the age old question of who would win in a fight between Wolverine and Punisher will finally be answered. Claws or guns? Choose your side in WOLVERINE VS PUNISHER TP.

The comic, inspired by the movie inspired by an epic crossover is back with
TRANSFORMERS VS GI JOE MOVIE ADAPTATION. Remember when movies would release novelizations on their movies in the 90s? Well this is better than that because it has pictures.

Dracula has sharp teeth and sharp ideas ruling over Britain for 10 years but on the eve of his Jubilee trouble is on the horizon for our blood sucking friend in the new mini based on the award winning novel series, ANNO DRACULA #1 (OF 5)

What's worse than hiding in the woods from your kingdom? Finding out that an alien pretending to be you has replaced you in the kingdom and you are trapped in some weird living tree like body. Well done. ARCLIGHT TP

Hey! Remember when the writer of Batgirl Hope Larson came to our store to do a signing and Q&A panel? That was a good day. Remember when you were sad because you wanted to wait for a trade so you had nothing for her to sign? Well that has finally paid off as BATGIRL TP VOL 01 BEYOND BURNSIDE (REBIRTH) hits stores this week...well not on the signing part.

From Saga writer Brian K Vaughan comes a collection of stories including Batman Vs Mad Hatter and the adventures of  Bat-guise, Matches Malone in BATMAN BY BRIAN K VAUGHAN TP

Every day someone comes into the store and asks when the next volume of Blame is coming out. Well you can stop asking because this tale of a dystopian future is finally here in BLAME GN VOL 03. Also watch the trailer for the new anime series. WOW!

For fans wanting even more from the creators of East of West we have the stunning deluxe hardcover of EAST OF WEST THE APOCALYPSE YEAR TWO HC.

Flintstones, meet the Flintstones the're a modern stone age family. Everyone's favourite family is given an epic upgrade in FLINTSTONES TP VOL 01. So modern, so existential. Seriously, it was one of last years surprise best books!

Sticks is living happy in isolation after a family scandel. That is until a bunch of pesky forrest animals snow up to annoy her. From master comic creator Michael DeForge comes STICKS ANGELICA FOLK HERO HC.

If you've ever wanted a graphic novel all about that little yes box on your iPhone update then TERMS AND CONDITIONS is for you. A graphic novel adaption of an document? Count me in!

Get in store meow to grab your iconic BATMAN ANIMATED NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES CATWOMAN AF, while you riddle me this, riddle me that. Who is excited for a BATMAN ANIMATED NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES RIDDLER AF? You don't have to answer that.

Got an itch for something on here that isn't already down for you? Just let us know before Wednesday morning and we'll be sure to scratch that for you...in the form of putting said item aside for you.


MARVEL
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN RENEW YOUR VOWS #5
BLACK PANTHER #12
CAPTAIN AMERICA STEVE ROGERS #14
DOCTOR STRANGE PUNISHER MAGIC BULLETS #4 (OF 4)
ELEKTRA #2
EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #20
FOOLKILLER #5
GAMORA #4
HULK #4
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #5
IRON FIST #1
IVX #6 (OF 6)
MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #17
PROWLER #6
ROCKET RACCOON #4
SPIDER-GWEN #18
STAR WARS DARTH MAUL #2 (OF 5)
ULTIMATES 2 #5
UNCANNY INHUMANS #20 IVX
UNWORTHY THOR #5 (OF 5)

DC COMICS
ACTION COMICS #976
BATGIRL #9
BATMAN 66 MEETS WONDER WOMAN 77 #3 (OF 6)
BATMAN BEYOND #6
BLUE BEETLE #7
DEATHSTROKE #15
DETECTIVE COMICS #953
DOOM PATROL #5 
FLASH #19
FUTURE QUEST #11
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #17
HELLBLAZER #8
MOTHER PANIC #5 (MR)
SCOOBY DOO TEAM UP #24
SUICIDE SQUAD #1 DIRECTORS CUT 
SUICIDE SQUAD #14
TEEN TITANS #6
WONDER WOMAN #19

BOOM
ADVENTURE TIME COMICS #9
LUMBERJANES #36
WWE #3

DARK HORSE
BLACK HAMMER #7
BTVS SEASON 11 #5
DEPT H #12
EMPOWERED SOLDIER OF LOVE #2
REBELS THESE FREE & INDEPENDENT STATES #1

DYNAMITE
GREAT DIVIDE #6 (OF 6)
WILL EISNER SPIRIT CORPSE MAKERS #2 (OF 5)

IDW
BATMAN TMNT ADVENTURES #5 (OF 6)
COMIC BOOK HISTORY OF COMICS #4 (OF 6)
DIRK GENTLY SALMON OF DOUBT #6
GHOSTBUSTERS 101 #1
HELENA CRASH #1 (OF 5)
JEM THE MISFITS #3
JUDGE DREDD CRY OF THE WEREWOLF
JUDGE DREDD DEVIATIONS
MICHAEL RECYCLE #1 (OF 4)
MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #52
OPTIMUS PRIME #5
STAR TREK GREEN LANTERN VOL 2 #4
TMNT ONGOING #68 
TRANSFORMERS VS GI JOE MOVIE ADAPTATION
WYNONNA EARP LEGENDS EARP SISTERS #3 (OF 4)

IMAGE
BEAUTY #13
BIRTHRIGHT #23
BLACK ROAD #8
CIRCUIT BREAKER #4 (OF 5)
CURSE WORDS #3
DESCENDER #20
FEW #3
LOOSE ENDS #3 (OF 4)
MAGDALENA #1
NO MERCY #14
REBORN #5
RINGSIDE #9
SHE WOLF #7
SHUTTER #28
SPREAD #20
STRAY BULLETS SUNSHINE & ROSES #22
UNDERWINTER #1
VIOLENT LOVE #5

ONI
LETTER 44 #31

VALIANT
BLOODSHOT REBORN #0
X-O MANOWAR (2017) #1

MISC
ALTERS #5
ANNO DRACULA #1 (OF 5)
DISNEY FROZEN #6
DISNEY PIXAR CARS #2
SIMPSONS COMICS #238
TORCHWOOD 2 #2

MAGAZINES
HEAVY METAL #285

TRADES
ADVENTURE TIME TP VOL 11
ARCLIGHT TP 
BATGIRL TP VOL 01 BEYOND BURNSIDE (REBIRTH)
BATMAN BY BRIAN K VAUGHAN TP
BLAME GN VOL 03
CIVIL WAR II FALLOUT TP
CYBORG TP VOL 01 THE IMITATION OF LIFE (REBIRTH)
DARTH VADER & FAMILY COLORING BOOK
DEADPOOL TOO SOON TP
DEATHSTROKE TP VOL 01 THE PROFESSIONAL (REBIRTH)
DISNEY FROZEN COMICS COLL HEARTS FULL OF SUNSHINE
DMZ TP BOOK 03 
DOCTOR WHO 11TH TP VOL 05 THE ONE 
DONALD & MICKEY PERSISTENCE OF MICKEY TP
DOORMAN TP VOL 01
EAST OF WEST THE APOCALYPSE YEAR TWO HC
EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS PELLUCIDAR AT EARTHS CORE TP
FIRE THE ZORA NEALE HURSTON STORY HC
FLINTSTONES TP VOL 01
GOODNIGHT PUNPUN GN VOL 05
IRON FIST TP BOOK OF CHANGES
LOONEY TUNES GREATEST HITS TP VOL 02 YOURE DESPICABLE
MASTER KEATON GN VOL 10 URASAWA
MONIKA GN VANILLA DOLLS
NIGHT RAVEN FROM MARVEL UK VAULTS TP
OVER GARDEN WALL ONGOING TP VOL 01
SEVEN TO ETERNITY GIANT SIZED ARTISTS PROOF ED
STICKS ANGELICA FOLK HERO HC
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL TP VOL 05 ONLY SQUIRREL IN WORLD
UNCANNY AVENGERS UNITY TP VOL 03 CIVIL WAR II
WOLVERINE VS PUNISHER TP
X-FORCE EPIC COLLECTION TP UNDER GUN

MERCH
BATMAN ANIMATED NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES CATWOMAN AF
BATMAN ANIMATED NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES RIDDLER AF

BACK IN STOCK
DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #2 3RD PTG
DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #3 3RD PTG

SUPER SONS #1 2ND PTG

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

ALL STAR RECOMMENDS FOR MARCH 14TH


Hi again,

Let's get on with the column, which halfway through turned into me remembering just how much I love the work of Jorge Zaffino and just how nice it is to see it living on in the form of Jorge's son Gerardo.


COMIC OF THE WEEK : KARNAK : THE FLAW IN ALL THINGS
By Warren Ellis, Roland Boschi, Gerardo Zaffino and Dan Brown
Published By Marvel

It would appear as though writer Warren Ellis' six-issue stint on Karnak will be his last Marvel work for the foreseeable future. Ellis has popped in and out of The House of Ideas over the years and from online reaction its clear there's some resentment and disappointment over his frequent departures, although a reader can rarely find too much at fault in the comics themselves. In his newsletters, Ellis has mentioned stepping away from comics for a time at the conclusion of his current slate of creator-owned books and his 24-month commitment to relaunching the Wildstorm universe over at DC. If the six issues of Karnak collected in The Flaw In All Things do turn out to be Ellis' Marvel goodbye, it's quite the way to wave farewell. The character of Karnak is admittedly an odd assignment for such a high-profile writer but, as was his job description, Ellis has transformed this odd, obscure little character (one even I'm sure his co-creator, Jack Kirby, could never have imagined would one day star in a solo title) into one of Marvel's most intriguing and dangerous assets. 

Karnak Mander-Azur first appeared alongside his fellow Inhuman characters in 1965 in the pages of Fantastic Four #45, roughly a third of the way through Kirby and Lee's seminal creative run. He was a fairly diminutive figure by Kirby standards, slim and egg-headed, and readers first met him bowing before a giant block of marble before shattering it as The Human Torch says, with "one lightning-swift chop!" Karnak has the fascinating ability to find a single weak point in anything and thus smash it to bits, a power largely used in the service of keeping the comic book action moving but in "The Flaw In All Things," Ellis also puts it to cruel use in cases of problem solving and even ego-shattering philosophical debate.

Reading very much like a Marvelised version of Ellis' own creator-owned Injection, "The Flaw In All Things" finds Karnak being recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D to rescue a teenaged boy named Adam Roderick from the clutches of an A.I.M splinter group. Adam is something of a mystery, exposed to the Terrigen mists that give Inhumans their varied powers, he ended up with what seemed to be little more than cured allergies. Of course, there is much more at play here, with Adam holed up in a church built on the bones of dead gods and possessing actual abilities that are oddly beautiful but frightening in scope -- frightening enough to have Karnak contemplating his ultimate existential terror: the potential flaw in himself.



This incarnation of Karnak is first and foremost a philosopher and if you've ever studied any philosophy at all you'll be well aware that philosophy is not always very nice. Neither is Karnak. Karnak has achieved the title of "Magister," inferring a chief philosopher/priest role, and spends much of his time at his Tower of Wisdom, meditating in front of a perfectly cube-shaped rock and teaching numerous unfortunate disciples grimly bleak but utterly logical philosophical lessons about the nature of the universe. It's rare that a mainstream comic can count its philosophical discussions as equally memorable as its fist-fights, but scenes such as Karnak distinguishing a German waitress' conception of mindfulness from the fact that even a truly aware consciousness matters not to the world along with his reminder to his followers that the stones they are made to contemplate, in their lack of perception of anything at all, are perfect and "matter more to the universe" than they do are as equally striking as artist Gerardo Zaffino's kinetic and hyper-violent action sequences.


Argentinian artist Gerardo Zaffino is the son of the late and legendary artist Jorge Zaffino (see this week's webcomic), who passed way too young at the age of 43 and whose beautiful and unique inkiness found a home in many a Marvel title of the '80s, from The 'Nam to The Punisher to Conan. There is much of his father's gritty, square-jawed scratchiness in the junior Zaffino's work (the mouths are a particular tell) and it's a terrific shame that personal issues forced him to leave the title before even completing the much delayed second issue. Zaffino does go out swinging however, completing before departure a wordless multi-page sequence where Karnak decimates an entire terrorist cell, finding flaw after flaw in all manner of human flesh and bone mechanics. It is possibly the book's standout visual sequence, recalling somewhat Ellis and his Injection collaborator, Declan Shalvey's work in an issue of their equally brief Moon Knight run. Zaffino's close-ups on his protagonist frequently smiling cruelly are also terrific and, as mentioned, are eerily reminiscent of his father's facial expressions. Gamely stepping in to fill the artistic void was Roland Boschi, an artist I like quite a bit, who takes some time to find his feet but makes the book his by its final issue even as he retains Zaffino's use of tones in an attempt to spackle over any artistic seams.

Unfortunately like all things there are flaws in Ellis and co.'s Karnak, in this case being an overly abrupt ending. It's not a fatal narrative flaw, far from it, but it's there, a faint structural crack for sharp readers to chop away at and, as mentioned, the lack of artistic coherency is also a disappointment. Unlike Karnak himself, however, I'm able to look past these flaws and appreciate all other aspects of this unique little experiment in turning a Marvel D-lister into something far greater than he ever was intended to be. Pretty sure you will too, as ultimately what we are left with is what I honestly wish the Big Two gave us more of: something whole and complete and digestible as a single, attractive comic book package, heightened by typically stunning cover work by David Aja (apart from issue six, which does look quite a bit like a phallus topped with a bulbous, screaming Karnak head. Not sure how that one slipped past). It's imperfect, sure, but Karnak: The Flaw In All Things is thrillingly game in its attempts to be both expansive in scope and tone but contained in narrative.


WEBCOMIC OF THE WEEK : PUNISHER BY JORGE ZAFFINO

There is a frustrating and disappointing lack of sequential art by the late, great Jorge Zaffino available to peruse online. Sure, you can pull up numerous gorgeous splash pages and cover art images but even the mighty Bristol Board Tumblr site, from which I regularly pilfer for this space, has bupkiss. I'm a little shocked. After nearly half an hour of searching, I decided that this would be the way to go -- two pages from what I believe belong to the Chuck Dixon-scripted Punisher: Kingdom Gone hardcover from 1990 although I could be wrong about that. It's just two pages, sure, but two impactful, inky and beautiful two pages of what looks like original Zaffino art to remind us all of what a comics powerhouse he actually was.
Enjoy.





COMICS VIDEO OF THE WEEK : QUICK BARBARIAN INKS

Sped up to just one minute thirty seconds, although it looks as though it didn't take much longer to complete in real time, is this video of Karnak artist Gerardo Zaffino picking up his brush and going straight to inks, belting out this Barbarian sketch that would easily stand alongside something his venerable father may have drawn. Gerardo's a ferocious, energetic talent and hopefully he's back with another high profile assignment sooner rather than later.
Enjoy.




See you next week. Love your comics.


Cameron Ashley spends a lot of time writing comics and other things you'll likely never read. He's the chief editor and co-publisher of Crime Factory (www.thecrimefactory.com). You can reach him @cjamesashley on Twitter.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

New Comics For Wednesday 15th of March


March is motoring right along and before you know it, it's time for the next The All Star Womens Comic Book Club! This Saturday, from 5pm the club catches up to talk about BLACK MAGICK TP 01 by Nicola Scott and Greg Rucka, among other comic and popculture chats.

For all the event details just head HERE to find out more and hopefully we'll see you there!


But before then, we got to sort through this week's selection!

The stage is set for Kate Kane's return to her own ongoing series, as she is forced to deal with the bad choices she made while still in military with BATWOMAN #1.

One of the best things to spin out of the status quo changer that was the original Civil War was AVENGERS INITIATIVE COMPLETE COLLECTION TP VOL 01. Showcasing the talents of Dan Slott who features a line up of lesser known heroes defending their homes one State at a time.

An icon of the industry, some of Darwyn Cooke's very best work was his stand alone stories and original graphic novels. Now you can own a deluxe edition of some of these hits in the new print, BATMAN EGO AND OTHER TAILS DLX ED HC.

Bryan Hitch always delivers on the wide screen sense of action on his books. So his return to Justice League ahead of his work on the Rebirth series made all the sense in the world. Grab this run in the new, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA POWER & GLORY HC.

Team ups and job opportunities fill the pages of the new UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL TP VOL 02 HEAD OF MODOK.

Catch the new Logan film yet? It's great but it really is pretty bleak, presenting us with a Wolvie that is almost entirely alone facing off against the world. Perfect timing for the collected issues that make up the WOLVERINE VS MARVEL UNIVERSE TP to get released!

Warren Ellis' new take on DC's Wild Storm characters got off to somewhat of a quiet start but also felt like he was already moving his pieces into place, no doubt for higher stakes in WILD STORM #2.

Also returning to the shelves this week with new arcs is another fantastic Ellis series INJECTION with issue #11 and the monsters and mayhem of Andrew MacLean's HEAD LOPPER in issue #5.

As if it was planned, the latest collection of DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS TP VOL 03 UPRISING dealing with the heroines call to arms to defend their homelands during WWII era. Out in the same week that you can pick up the amazing new Bombshell action figure line with DC DESIGNER SERIES BOMBSHELLS BATWOMAN AFDC DESIGNER SERIES BOMBSHELLS HARLEY QUINN AFDC DESIGNER SERIES BOMBSHELLS POISON IVY AFDC DESIGNER SERIES BOMBSHELLS WONDER WOMAN AF.

Also add to the list of sweet merch items this week is the LEGENDS OF TOMORROW HAWKGIRL AF with her impressive wingspan and the MARVEL ANIMATED STYLE SPIDER-GWEN STATUE in all her Skottie Young cuteness!

Music is hard. Like some of the greats, if you make it big and you could die before you turn 27. Weirdly in COADY & THE CREEPIES #1 from the talents of Liz Prince and Amanda Kirk this doesn't seem to be an issue. After a fatal car accident that has scarred one member, left another in a wheelchair and killed the third, their band is more popular than ever!

Kath Leth brings her sense of humour to one of comics most famous female vampire, in a new series that is looking a little more Buffy than we've seen this character before. It's VAMPIRELLA #1 from Dynamite.

The surviving students after the events of the last arc have had to make a number of deals with the devil to keep one foot out of the grave. With a new class starting in Remender's DEADLY CLASS TP VOL 05 CAROUSEL, will they be able to keep their heads from the school chopping block or will they become broken pawns in the older students power struggles?

Zombie outbreaks and underground crime lords, which is more of a pain? Harley finds out while defending her home at Coney Island in her first Rebirth capers with HARLEY QUINN TP VOL 01 DIE LAUGHING (REBIRTH).

The story of the strongest earthquake in Japan's recorded history told by a nuclear cleanup worker that was there in the aftermath in ICHI F WORKERS GRAPHIC MEMOIR OF FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR.

If you can break yourself away from your new Nintendo Switch and the hours you've been putting in to the latest Zelda, get outside, head to the comic shop and check out either the new collected printing LEGEND OF ZELDA LEGENDARY ED GN VOL 03 or the all new story with LEGEND OF ZELDA TWILIGHT PRINCESS GN VOL 01 before you have to head back inside to read them.

A childlike fantasy about a little girl and her special ability, the power with creativity and imagination and what plays on the fears that grips creative people everywhere in NIGHTLIGHTS HC GN.

Speaking of creative minds, one that never seems to stop is that of Alejandro Jodorowsky. Master of the weird and wonderful sci-fi epics releases his next work with METABARON HC BOOK 02 TECHNO CARDINAL AND TRANSHUMAN.

Alan Moore's ode to Lovecraft has been a big hit with classic horror fans and now head of the release of the second hardcover edition, make sure you check out the final printing of PROVIDENCE ACT 01 HC FINAL PTG.

Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt LOVE the supernatural. Just look at their spook filled western hit Sixth Gun. THE DAMNED GN VOL 01, prohibition era, gangsters and ghouls, check this out this early work of theirs before they return with a new series soon.

Yet another corker! Spot a special something you forgot to order? Just let us know before Wednesday morning and we'll do our best to get it sorted for you!

MARVEL

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25
BLACK PANTHER WORLD OF WAKANDA #5
CAPTAIN AMERICA SAM WILSON #20
DAREDEVIL #18
DEADPOOL THE DUCK #5 (OF 5)
GREAT LAKES AVENGERS #6
GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #18
MARVEL UNIVERSE AVENGERS ULTRON REVOLUTION #9
MIGHTY THOR #17
MONSTERS UNLEASHED #5 (OF 5)
MS MARVEL #16
PATSY WALKER AKA HELLCAT #16
PUNISHER #10
SPIDER-MAN #14
STAR WARS POE DAMERON #12
STAR-LORD #4
TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #17
UNCANNY AVENGERS #21
UNCANNY X-MEN #19
US AVENGERS #4
VENOM #5

DC COMICS
ALL STAR BATMAN #8
AQUAMAN #19
BATMAN #19
BATWOMAN #1
CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE #6
DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS #24
DEATH OF HAWKMAN #6 (OF 6)
GREEN ARROW #19
GREEN LANTERNS #19
HARLEY QUINN #16
HE MAN THUNDERCATS #6 (OF 6)
INJUSTICE GROUND ZERO #8
JUSTICE LEAGUE #17
NIGHTWING #17
ODYSSEY OF THE AMAZONS #3 (OF 6)
SUPER SONS #2
SUPERMAN #18
SUPERMAN #19
TRINITY #7
WILD STORM #2

VERTIGO
LUCIFER #16

BOOM
ADVENTURE TIME #62
COADY & THE CREEPIES #1
DEATH BE DAMNED #2
DEEP #3
KONG OF SKULL ISLAND #9
MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #13

DARK HORSE
ANGEL SEASON 11 #3
DEAD INSIDE #4 (OF 5)
ETHER #5

DYNAMITE
RED SONJA #3
VAMPIRELLA #1
WONDER WOMAN 77 BIONIC WOMAN #3 (OF 6)

IDW
ANGRY BIRDS COMICS GAME PLAY #2
BOX OFFICE POISON COLOR COMICS #3
DARKNESS VISIBLE #2
DONALD QUEST #5 (OF 5)
GI JOE (2016) #3
HIGHLANDER AMERICAN DREAM #2
MASK MOBILE ARMORED STRIKE KOMMAND #3
MASK MOBILE ARMORED STRIKE KOMMAND ANNUAL #1
MICKEY MOUSE #18
MY LITTLE PONY ANNUAL 2017 #1
REVOLUTIONARIES #3
STAR TREK DEVIATIONS
STARSTRUCK OLD PROLDIERS NEVER DIE #2 (OF 6)
UNCLE SCROOGE #24
WALT DISNEY COMICS & STORIES #737

IMAGE
CASANOVA ACEDIA #8
EAST OF WEST #32 CVR B WOMENS HISTORY MONTH CHARIT
ECLIPSE #5
GOD COUNTRY #3
HEAD LOPPER #5
HORIZON #9
I HATE FAIRYLAND #11
INJECTION #11
INVINCIBLE #134
ISLAND #15
KILL OR BE KILLED #7
MANIFEST DESTINY #27
MIRROR #6
NAILBITER #30
PAPER GIRLS #12
ROCKSTARS #4
SEX CRIMINALS #17 XXX GINA WYNBRANDT VAR
SPAWN #271

ONI
ANGEL CITY #6 (OF 6)

VALIANT
DIVINITY III ESCAPE FROM GULAG 396 #1

MISC
ARCHIE #18
DREGS #2
FOREVER WAR #2 (OF 6)
SPOOKHOUSE #3

TRADES
ADVENTURE TIME COMICS TP VOL 01
ASSIGNMENT TP
AVENGERS INITIATIVE COMPLETE COLLECTION TP VOL 01
AVENGERS STEED & MRS PEEL GN VOL 01 DIANA MAG UK 1
BAD MACHINERY GN VOL 01 POCKET ED
BART SIMPSON GN SUCKERPUNCH
BATMAN & SUPERMAN IN WORLDS FINEST TP VOL 01 THE S
BATMAN EGO AND OTHER TAILS DLX ED HC
BEST WE COULD DO ILLUSTRATED MEMOIR
BLOOD STAIN TP VOL 02
BOUNTY TP VOL 01
CHRONICLES OF CONAN TP VOL 34 BETRAYAL IN ZAMORA
CONTROL TP
DEADLY CLASS TP VOL 05 CAROUSEL
DEADPOOL CLASSIC TP VOL 17 HEADCANON
DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS TP VOL 03 UPRISING
DEMONIC TP
DOCTOR WHO T IS FOR TARDIS HC
EXCALIBUR EPIC COLLECTION TP SWORD IS DRAWN
FAIRY TAIL GN VOL 58
HARLEY QUINN TP VOL 01 DIE LAUGHING (REBIRTH)
ICHI F WORKERS GRAPHIC MEMOIR OF FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR
JACK OF FABLES DELUXE HC BOOK 01
JOHN FLOOD TP
JSA THE GOLDEN AGE DELUXE ED HC
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA POWER & GLORY HC
LEGEND OF ZELDA LEGENDARY ED GN VOL 03
LEGEND OF ZELDA TWILIGHT PRINCESS GN VOL 01
MADBALLS HC
MARVEL UNIVERSE AVENGERS ULTRON REVOLUTION DIGEST TP VOL 02
METABARON HC BOOK 02 TECHNO CARDINAL AND TRANSHUMA
MR PUNCH 20TH ANNIVERSARY ED TP
NATHAN HALES ONE TRICK PONY GN
NIGHTLIGHTS HC GN
PETER PANZERFAUST TP VOL 05 ON TIL MORNING
PROVIDENCE ACT 01 HC FINAL PTG
ROBOCOP DEAD OR ALIVE TP VOL 03
SMURFS THE VILLAGE BEHIND THE WALL GN
SNOOPY TO THE RESCUE TP
STREET FIGHTER UNLIMITED HC VOL 02 GATHERING
THE DAMNED GN VOL 01
THE MIGHTY ZODIAC TP VOL 01
UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL TP VOL 02 HEAD OF MODOK
WILL EISNER CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION 1917-2017 HC
WILL EISNERS CONTRACT WITH GOD OTHER TENEMENT STOR
WOLVERINE VS MARVEL UNIVERSE TP
WOMEN OF POWER STANDEE PUNCH OUT BOOK TP
WORLD OF WARCRAFT CHRONICLE HC VOL 02
WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR TP VOL 03 DEAL WITH A

MERCH
DC DESIGNER SERIES BOMBSHELLS BATWOMAN AF
DC DESIGNER SERIES BOMBSHELLS HARLEY QUINN AF
DC DESIGNER SERIES BOMBSHELLS POISON IVY AF
DC DESIGNER SERIES BOMBSHELLS WONDER WOMAN AF
LEGENDS OF TOMORROW HAWKGIRL AF
MARVEL ANIMATED STYLE SPIDER-GWEN STATUE