Monday, August 31, 2015

New Comics For Wednesday 2nd of September




So...anyone else excited to meet BECKY CLOONAN is weekend!?!? If you are anything like us, you can barely contain yourselves. For those of you have yet to hear, comic creator supreme, Becky Cloonan will be joining us in store for a Signing and Q and A session this Saturday 5th of September, 12pm to 4pm for the signing, then 4:15pm until 5pm for the Q and A. This is massive and we could not be more excited and honoured to have Becky here.

But until then, we need to calm down and address to immediate task ahead of us...this week's comics!

Celebrating 50 years of Marvel most secret, not secret peace keeping and spy agency starts this week with MOCKINGBIRD SHIELD 50TH ANNIVERSARY #1. Jeff Lemire's Stand By Me/superhero mash up starts up with PLUTONA #1. Long out of print of reasons unknown, you got to check out Mignola on Aliens with the ALIENS SALVATION HC. The runaway hit that will appeal to Long Kiss Goodnight fans, LADY KILLER TP hits the target this week. The continuing mystery of the serial killer hometown USA, NAILBITER TP VOL 03 BLOOD IN THE WATER stirs up more creepy stories. DEADPOOL VS THANOS #1, huh? ALIENS VAMPIRELLA #1, ehh, what? The three fates of the Bard's Macbeth take centre stage in this tale of sibling rivalry with TOIL & TROUBLE #1. Seen that movie Argo? Well in the real story the production art of the fake movie that was a CIA operation was drawn by JACK KIRBY, rarely seen before now reprinted in HEAVY METAL #276. Before Netflix make her a internet hit, check out the tales the new show will be based on in Bendis' JESSICA JONES TP VOL 01 ALIAS. The team behind Image's LOW, Remender and Tocchini get an new collection of their original new age crime noir tale out with LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME HC. Hit at the cinema, sell out comics, now a trade collection for MAD MAX FURY ROAD TP.

Plenty to keep us all busy until we meet Becky on Saturday. AnythingelseyouneedjustletusknowokbyeWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  
MARVEL
AGE OF APOCALYPSE #3 SWA
AGE OF ULTRON VS MARVEL ZOMBIES #4 SWA
DAREDEVIL #18
DARK TOWER DRAWING OF THREE LADY OF SHADOWS #1 (OF 5)
DEADPOOL VS THANOS #1 (OF 4)
FIGMENT 2 #1 (OF 5)
FUTURE IMPERFECT #5 SWA
GROOT #4
HAIL HYDRA #2 SWA
HOUSE OF M #2 SWA
MIRACLEMAN BY GAIMAN AND BUCKINGHAM #1
MOCKINGBIRD SHIELD 50TH ANNIVERSARY #1
SILK #7 SWA
SILVER SURFER #14 SWA
SPIDER-ISLAND #3 (OF 5) SWA
SQUADRON SINISTER #3 SWA
STAR-LORD AND KITTY PRYDE #3 SWA
THORS #3 SWA

DC COMICS
BAT MITE #4 (OF 6)
BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT #8
BATMAN BEYOND #4 GREEN LANTERN 75 VAR ED
DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS #2
DETECTIVE COMICS #44 GREEN LANTERN 75 VAR ED
FLASH SEASON ZERO #12
GREEN ARROW #44 GREEN LANTERN 75 VAR ED
GREEN LANTERN #44 GREEN LANTERN 75 VAR ED
INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US YEAR FOUR #9
LOBO #10
MAD MAGAZINE #535
MIDNIGHTER #4
MORTAL KOMBAT X #10
OMEGA MEN #4

VERTIGO
FBP FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS #24

BOOM
ADVENTURE TIME #43
BROKEN WORLD #4 (OF 4)
CLUSTER #7
JOHN FLOOD #2
OVER THE GARDEN WALL #1
TOIL & TROUBLE #1 (OF 6)
WOODS #16

DARK HORSE
ADAM.3 #2 (OF 5)
AGE OF REPTILES ANCIENT EGYPTIANS #4 (OF 4)
ANGEL AND FAITH SEASON 10 #18
BALTIMORE CULT OF THE RED KING #5 (OF 5)
BARB WIRE #3
NEGATIVE SPACE #1 (OF 4)
THIS DAMNED BAND #2 (OF 6)
ZODIAC STARFORCE #1

DYNAMITE
ALIENS VAMPIRELLA #1 (OF 6)
BOBS BURGERS ONGOING #3

IDW
DANGER GIRL RENEGADE #1 (OF 4)
JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS #6
TRANSFORMERS MORE THAN MEETS EYE #44

IMAGE
8HOUSE #3 KIEM PART ONE
BEYOND BELIEF #2
CASANOVA ACEDIA #4
DARK CORRIDOR #2
DYING AND THE DEAD #3
EMPTY #6
JUPITERS CIRCLE #6
LAZARUS #19
MATERIAL #4
MINIMUM WAGE SO MANY BAD DECISIONS #5 (OF 6)
PLUTONA #1
POSEIDON IX ONE SHOT
WE STAND ON GUARD #3

MISC
ANNE BONNIE #5
DOCTOR WHO 10TH #15
DOCTOR WHO 2015 FOUR DOCTORS #4 (OF 5)
EVIL DEAD 2 #2 (OF 3) BEYOND DEAD BY DAWN
EVIL DEAD 2 TALES OF THE EXMORTIS #1
FUTURAMA COMICS #76
GRANT MORRISONS 18 DAYS #3
IMPERIUM #8
INVADER ZIM #2
JIMBO JONES #1 (ONE SHOT)
PROVIDENCE #4 (OF 12)
RACHEL RISING #36
WAR STORIES #12
X-O MANOWAR #40

MAGAZINES
HEAVY METAL #276

TRADES
ALIENS SALVATION HC
ALL NEW X-MEN HC VOL 02
AQUAMAN SUB DIEGO TP
AVENGERS BY JONATHAN HICKMAN HC VOL 02
CHICAGO HC
CONAN HC VOL 18 DAMNED HORDE
DC SUPER HEROES ORIGAMI 46 FOLDING PROJECTS SC
DISNEY ROSA DUCK LIBRARY HC VOL 03 TREASURE UNDER
DRAGONS RIDERS OF BERK GN VOL 06 UNDERWORLD
FAMILY PETS GN
FLASH TP VOL 05 HISTORY LESSONS (N52)
GIGANT HC
GROO FRIENDS AND FOES TP VOL 01
HOME TP VOL 01 (OF 2)
JESSICA JONES TP VOL 01 ALIAS
JIM BUTCHER DRESDEN FILES OMNIBUS TP VOL 01
LADY KILLER TP
LARP TP VOL 01 (C: 0-1-2)
LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME HC
LEGEND KORRA ART ANIMATED SERIES HC BOOK 04 BALANCE
MAD MAX FURY ROAD TP
MARCH GRAND PRIX COMP GN FAST & FURRIEST
NAILBITER TP VOL 03 BLOOD IN THE WATER
NEW 52 FUTURES END TP VOL 03
POKEMON XY GN VOL 04
SACRED HEART GN
SAMURAI JACK TP VOL 04 WARRIOR KING
SKYLANDERS RIFT INTO OVERDRIVE HC
SUICIDE SQUAD TP VOL 01 TRIAL BY FIRE NEW ED
SWEET TOOTH DELUXE ED HC BOOK 01
WONDER WOMAN HC VOL 07 WAR TORN
WONDER WOMAN TP VOL 06 BONES (N52)
Z WORD HC

MERCH
BATMAN BLACK & WHITE DICK GRAYSON BY JOCK 2ND ED STATUE
FLASH TV STATUE
LUMBERJANES HOLY KITTEN PLUSH
SUPERMAN MAN OF STEEL STATUE BY CULLY HAMNER

BACK IN STOCK
CIVIL WAR #1 SWA
CIVIL WAR #2 SWA
GUARDIANS OF KNOWHERE #3 SWA
INVADER ZIM #1 2ND PTG
RICK & MORTY #1 3RD PTG
SECRET WARS 2099 #3 (OF 5) SWA

Thursday, August 27, 2015

PIXELS PREVIEW SCREENING DOUBLE PASS GIVEAWAY!


In Pixels, when intergalactic aliens misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them, they attack the Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults. President Will Cooper (James) has to call on his childhood best friend, ’80s video game champion Sam Brenner (Sandler), now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school arcaders (Dinklage and Gad) to defeat the aliens and save the planet. Joining them is Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten (Monaghan) a specialist supplying the arcaders with unique weapons to fight the aliens.

Thanks to those arcade wizards at Sony Pictures and Pixels, in cinemas September 10th, we have 10 Double Pass to the Preview Screening of Pixels at Hoyts Melbourne Central on Sunday 6th September at 11am.

To go into the draw for your chance to win all you need to do is tell us, "If you had to play one classic 80's/90's video game for the survival of the human race which game would you have the best chance of "clocking", hence defending the earth?"

SPECIAL NOTE: 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 Tuesday the 1st of September and winners will be announced Wednesday the 2nd.
Tickets will be available to pick up from the store and with valid ID.


Again thanks to Sony Pictures and Pixels. Only at the Movies! September 10.

www.PixelsMovie.com.au
PIXELS © 2015 CTMG. Other IP TM & © 2015 of applicable property owners. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

ALL STAR RECOMMENDS FOR AUGUST 25TH



Hi there,

Lots of things to get through this week, so onward as I steal the format from old Marvel Bullpen Bulletins!

ITEM! As I’m sure you’re sadly aware, TVs Batgirl, Yvonne Craig, died last week at the age of 78. While I always found Catwoman (whomever was playing her) more appealing than Batgirl (calling Dr Freud!), Yvonne Craig’s effervescent presence on the show was always more than welcomed. As noted by news sources everywhere, she also tried to kill Kirk in Star Trek and kissed Elvis in movies, so I think we can all consider that a life pretty much full of triumph. Rest in peace, Ms Craig, thank you for your hard work and ever-enthusiastic portrayal of our beloved Babs Gordon. See this week’s Comics Video for a wee treat with Ms Craig in full Feminist Icon Batgirl mode acting in a clip you may not have ever seen…

ITEM! In honour of the mighty Becky Cloonan visiting our shores, our state and, yes, our favourite shop on September 4th and 5th, next week this particularly long-serving Cloonanite will present an all-Cloonan column. How many more times can I write “Cloonan?” We’ll all find out next week, but I’m wagering my Cloonan collection that it will be a lot. Bust out your Shiraz and get ready to go deep, brothers and sisters, into the work of this high priestess of the four-colour form…

ITEM! Your help desperately needed! Did anyone else out there read Vertigo’s collection of The Names by Peter Milligan and Leandro Fernandez last week? If so, please, please leave a comment or tweet me or write me a letter and drop it off in-store, or come over to my house with scotch and cookies and a suave therapist’s chaise lounge because I have been unable to stop thinking about it for days now. Just what the hell is this thing? Is it brilliant? Is it terrible? I honestly have no idea.

Vertigo has been described many times as the HBO of comics. Yet The Names, with its forced expository dialogue, bewildering structure, ludicrous character interactions, baffling sequences, but yet genuinely compelling cliffhangers, recalls instead the thoroughly cheeseball efforts of American network television, like The Following or 24 or CSI: Whatever. I became so convinced of Milligan’s intent to bring this cornball TV aesthetic to comics that I started Googling and actually found this interview with the writer, in which he says, “I wanted [The Names] to feel like one of those fast-moving, complex TV shows.” Indeed, even as I sat there reading it and shaking my head at how silly it was, I found myself reaching for a non-existent box of popcorn and flipping the pages ever faster, constantly unsure of which end of the good-bad spectrum this comic fell under…a state in which I tragically remain.

Fernandez is, as ever, brilliant and really carries the load here. If you were to flip through the book without reading any of it, it would probably be an instant buy for anyone who likes their comics shadowy, their characters stylised, their layouts imaginative.

Cantered around Katya Walker, a young widow obsessed with finding out the truth behind her rich husband’s alleged “suicide,” The Names sees Katya spiralling into a complex and paranoid plot featuring a group of stock market manipulators called The Names which is filled with assassins, in-fighting and transparently evil one-percenters. This would all be complex enough, but throw in the fact that the algorithms used by The Names to manipulate the markets are becoming not only sentient, but also able to infect flesh and blood humans and the comic becomes stuffed full of more “High Concept” than a two hour pitching session at Writers Victoria.

The Names is either a brilliant satire of high concept action TV shows and financial thrillers or it’s a surprisingly schlocky and amateurish work by a hugely accomplished writer. I really, truly have no idea. Either way, make no mistake, it’s totally recommended. You’ll likely either love it, or find it as bizarrely compelling as something like Neal Adams’ bonkers, so-bad-it’s-amazing Batman: Odyssey or the hilariously terrible Dexter: Down Under.

ITEM! Last week’s promised discussion of Savers-bought Diabolik fumetti is delayed due to brain poisoning by Peter Milligan and Leandro Fernandez. Come back in two weeks for discussion of that.

Spoiler – this sums up my general feelings towards said Diabolik comics:





COMIC OF THE WEEK : MOX NOX
By Juan Cornella
Published By Fantagraphics

Looking like a Little Golden Book designed by Satan, with a spine of explosions and guns and blood in place of cute Disneyfied animals and flora, the print collection of Joan Cornella’s Mox Nox arrived in store last week. 56 pages long, Mox Nox features grotesque six panel gag strips that are so hideously, hilariously wrong Mrs Ashley actually said, “Stop showing me this stuff!” even as she laughed guiltily and pretended not to be interested when I ran back up to her and shoved another page under her poor eyeballs.

Cornella’s work proves that there is no limit to human stupidity, cruelty and dysfunction, but his gift is to render all this with such undeniable humour that you’ll find yourself giggling along with the unending parade of psychopaths -- many of whom clearly believe they are doing the right thing -- populating his surreal strips and are presented with such colourfully warped glee.

The cover is a perfect example of the comics within – a cute brown bear peels its face off as if a mask, revealing a pink-skinned cartoony approximation of a bear underneath, its anthropomorphism warped, perverted, re-imagined with a madman’s off-kilter sense of what relatable adorableness actually looks like. The pages within are filled with similarly grotesque and grinning humans, animals and things in-between engaging in all manner of taboo-smashing awfulness (take that, Crossed!). Murder, maiming, death, aberrant and deviant sexuality, it’s all here, presented with absolute relish and a genuine gift for comedic timing by the author.

It’s the characters’ bizarre sense of heroism that creates the best of Cornella’s punchlines. The strips are arguably at their most potent when clean cut white men rush to the aid of someone in distress only to amplify the horror of the situation and yet still walk away, blank-eyed and grinning, with self-satisfaction at a job well done.

At once wonderfully clever and supremely gross, Mox Nox comes highly recommended for the reader who likes their comics strange and their humour with a lot of bite. 



WEBCOMIC OF THE WEEK : PHANTOM HARVEST
By Claire Connelly

Halloween comes early as we welcome Claire Connolly back to this column. Her latest, Phantom Harvest, sees a bewildered hobo out late at night encountering an agriculturalist of unusual and supernatural origin…

Silent, colourful and quirky, Phantom Harvest is short and as such is tough to talk about without spoiling. It’s good fun, however, with the whiff of lost folklore about it – one can easily imagine the startled transient character endlessly telling everyone he meets riding the rails from city to city about the apparition he once sighted in a field out in Hicksville.

Rich colours, attractive character designs and terrific shot choice highlight this little comic and a splash page of the tale’s mystery farmer, standing shovel in hand, ominously backlit by a blood red moon above, is a terrific and somehow cute nod to a million backwoods horror movies. I’m fast becoming a big fan of Claire’s work and really look forward to seeing what she’s up to next.




COUNTDOWN TO MOZ METAL: HEAVY METAL SEPTEMBER 1977

Oh, this letters column! Packed with as much sass as Yvonne Craig in this week’s video! Between the responses to the stoned-to-the-gills missives received and jaw-droppingly crafted editorials (no, really, this issue’s is incredible), I wonder if I should just stop talking about the comics this magazine printed and type these text pieces out whole and unabridged…

One baffled but eager reader, S. Gredler, complains, “Some boxes did not flow i.e. pertaining to action. Some artwork could be more intricate. Some boxes could be smaller to allow more action…”

“You got us there, S.,” comes the snarky reply from editorial. You can almost hear the guffawing from the office as this letter was passed around along with the bong, echoing through the pages almost forty years later.

Anyway, on with the show.

“Quiet. I fear some beast prowls the catacombs.” Ulp. Yes, Corben’s “Den” continues as he and his ridiculous appendage traverse landscapes composed of orange and indigo and end up on the run from subterranean beasties. A quick digression – I read most of Grant Morrison and Frazer Irving’s Annihilator today and I’m struck by how if anyone is the likely inheritor of Corben, it’s Irving. On the surface, it’s likely a weird comparison to make, as the two artists are fairly dissimilar at first, second and likely third glance. Irving has no time for the hyper-masculine men and ultra-pneumatic women that litter Corben’s terrifying, bad trip weird fiction worlds, but both artists are possessed of singular visions, similar gift with hue and a seeming ease with the utter strangeness of their work. More on this when I visit Annihilator some time shortly. But back to HM! It’s September ’77 after all and this was a real ad:


Sergio Macedo’s wonderfully rad Psychorock stories conclude with “Orcyb” in which our rockers-turned naked space hippies traverse from their utopian, Garden of Eden space station, listening to a device which turns cosmic radiation into music, to battling Orcyb—our protagonist’s “shadow in the cosmos”—in unarmed combat, to the death. The denouement has the unfortunate whiff of Buck Rogers finale about it, with the whole battle being a “dream” caused by these far-out tunes man, but despite this, Psychorock still stands tall as a pretty happening piece of ‘70s cosmic comic books.

Also of note: “Polonius” by Picaret and Tardo continues, a short story by the legendary fantasist Roger Zelazny (If you are a fan of this kind of HM craziness and have not read Lord of Light, it’s highly recommended you do so), “Is There A Demon Lover in The House?” which sees Jack The Ripper visiting a movie theatre playing a snuff film, and a double-dose of Moebius, with the full colour “It’s a Small Universe,” and the lengthy. Black and white, “Major Fatal,” which introduces the character of Major Grubert one of the stars of possibly Moebius’ most enduring solo work, The Airtight Garage, which begins in earnest next issue. It is a given that both of these pieces are dreamy, stunningly illustrated and deserving of serious re-reading. The iconic image of Grubert, having apparently trophy hunted some monstrous reptile, adorns the back cover and this alone could be pored over for hours.




COMICS VIDEO OF THE WEEK : AS BATGIRL, YVONNE CRAIG FOUGHT FOR EQUAL PAY

By 1973, the Batman TV show was long gone and well on its way to being both somehow simultaneously derided and acting as a gateway drug for the next generation of comics readers (of which I absolutely was a part). I was born a year after this amazing advertisement, made by the U.S. Department of Labour (Wage and Hour Division), aired which makes me feel really quite old. In this 30-second video, a disgruntled, fired up Batgirl rescues a tied up Batman and Robin, stops a ticking time bomb and complains about her working conditions and wages. There’s some serious sass in Craig’s voice as she delivers the line, “Same job, same employer means equal pay for men AANNDD women.”

Amazing.

Thank you again, Yvonne Craig.



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.

Monday, August 24, 2015

New Comics For Wednesday 26th of August




Another big week filled to the brim with comic goodness. The first stop is making sure you are down for our next local comic launch, THE SWEET COMICS LAUNCH! The launch is happening this Saturday the 29th from 1PM-4PM will see the release of 6 different books. Truly there is something for everyone in this lot and well worth your time to check out!

The second stop. The following Saturday 5th of September, with special thanks to Sugar City Con, we'll be doing our best not to lose our minds over presenting Becky Cloonan for a instore signing and Q and A session. Ah, so good!

Third stop...well Comics! So here's the list!

Finally after what seems a loooong wait in limbo, HELLBOY IN HELL #7 sees Big Red returns to the shelves! ZODIAC STARFORCE #1 is like a smash up derby of the style of JEM and with the friendship Lumberjanes, well worth the look in! Can DRIVE #1 based on the novel that inspired that incredible film be as cool as either versions that came before it? We are willing to find out. STRINGERS #1 gives us the gritty side behind newsreporting and getting framed. Finally back in print, Ellis and Immonen's classic tale of the NQR hero squad, NEXTWAVE AGENTS OF HATE COMPLETE COLLECTION TP is here to mess up your day. Revolutions never come easy and most times there is a bloody backstory to those who pursue them as we find out in INVISIBLE REPUBLIC TP VOL 01. It must be the gloomy time of year when we all put ourselves through the heartache of Rick's survival in WALKING DEAD TP VOL 24 LIFE AND DEATH. Risque and honest, the next collection of the hit SUNSTONE OGN VOL 03 is out. Acclaimed graphic novelist, Craig Thompson takes a rest on moving slice of life work and turns in a kids tales in SPACE DUMPLINS GN VOL 01

The latest Previews is also in with the store copy available at the ground floor counter to look through. Anything else we need to put aside for you, just let us know! 


MARVEL
ANT-MAN LAST DAYS #1 SWA
CAPTAIN MARVEL AND CAROL CORPS #3 SWA
CIVIL WAR #3 SWA
DEADPOOLS SECRET SECRET WARS #4 (OF 4) SWA
E IS FOR EXTINCTION #3 SWA
HANK JOHNSON AGENT OF HYDRA #1 SWA
MAGNETO #21 SWA
MARVEL UNIVERSE ULT SPIDER-MAN WEB WARRIORS #10
MARVEL ZOMBIES #3 SWA
MODOK ASSASSIN #4 (OF 5) SWA
OLD MAN LOGAN #4 SWA
SHIELD #9
SPIDER-WOMAN #10 SWA
STAR WARS LANDO #3 (OF 5)
WHERE MONSTERS DWELL #4 (OF 5) SWA
X-MEN 92 #3 SWA

DC COMICS
AQUAMAN #43 BOMBSHELLS VAR ED
BATGIRL #43
BATMAN 66 #26
BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT GENESIS #1 (OF 6)
CYBORG #2
DEATHSTROKE #9 BOMBSHELLS VAR ED
FLASH #43 BOMBSHELLS VAR ED
GOTHAM BY MIDNIGHT #8
GRAYSON #11 BOMBSHELLS VAR ED
HARLEY QUINN #19 BOMBSHELLS VAR ED
HE MAN THE ETERNITY WAR #9
JLA GODS AND MONSTERS #3 (OF 3)
JUSTICE LEAGUE 3001 #3
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #3 BOMBSHELLS VAR ED
PREZ #3 (OF 6)
SINESTRO #14 BOMBSHELLS VAR ED
SUPERMAN #43 BOMBSHELLS VAR ED
TEEN TITANS #11 BOMBSHELLS VAR ED
WE ARE ROBIN #3

BOOM
ADVENTURE TIME FIONNA & CAKE CARD WARS #2 (OF 6)
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA #15
HACKTIVIST VOL 2 #2 (OF 6)
LUMBERJANES #17
MUNCHKIN #8
SONS OF ANARCHY #24

DARK HORSE
CONAN THE AVENGER #17
FIGHT CLUB 2 #4
GRINDHOUSE DRIVE IN BLEED OUT #8 (A)
HALO ESCALATION #21 
MULAN REVELATIONS #3 (OF 4)
NEW MGMT #1
PASTAWAYS #6
TOMORROWS #2 (OF 6)
ZODIAC STARFORCE #1

DYNAMITE
SWORDS OF SORROW SONJA JUNGLE #2 (OF 3)

IDW
DIRK GENTLYS HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY #3 (OF 5)
DRIVE #1 (OF 4)
GHOSTBUSTERS GET REAL #3 (OF 4)
GODZILLA IN HELL #2 (OF 5)
MAXX MAXXIMIZED #22
MICKEY MOUSE #3
RAGNAROK #6
SHERLOCK HOLMES 7 PER-CENT SOLUTION #1 (OF 5)
SKYLANDERS #12
TMNT CASEY & APRIL #3 (OF 4)
TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DISGUISE ANIMATED #2
TRANSFORMERS MORE THAN MEETS EYE #44
WALT DISNEY COMICS & STORIES #722

IMAGE
COVENANT #3
EAST OF WEST #20
ISLAND #2
LOW #9
RASPUTIN #8
ROCHE LIMIT CLANDESTINY #4
RUMBLE #6
SONS OF THE DEVIL #4
SPAWN #255
SPREAD #9
THEYRE NOT LIKE US #7
THIEF OF THIEVES #30
VALHALLA MAD #4

MISC
BOOK OF DEATH FALL OF NINJAK #1
DEAD DROP #4 (OF 4)
DOCTOR WHO 2015 FOUR DOCTORS #3 (OF 5)
LADY MECHANIKA #0 (OF 5)
NINJAK #6
PRINCELESS BE YOURSELF #3 (OF 4)
RICK & MORTY #5
SIXTH GUN VALLEY OF DEATH #3 (OF 3)
STRINGERS #1 (OF 5)
WE CAN NEVER GO HOME #4 (OF 5)

MAGAZINES
MARVEL PREVIEWS SEPTEMBER 2015
PREVIEWS #324 SEPTEMBER 2015

TRADES
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN TP VOL 04 GRAVEYARD SHIFT
ANGRY BIRDS COMICS HC VOL 03 SKY HIGH
ARMY OF DARKNESS ASH IN SPACE TP
ART OF SATOSHI KON HC
BLOOD & HONOR FOREWORLD SAGA GN VOL 01
COWL TP VOL 02 THE GREATER GOOD
CRIMSON HC VOL 01
DO-GOODERS HC
EFFIGY TP VOL 01 IDLE WORSHIP
FIVE GHOSTS TP VOL 03 MONSTERS & MEN
GI ZOMBIE A STAR SPANGLED WAR STORY TP
HERO CATS TP VOL 02
IMAGE GIANT SIZED ARTISTS PROOF ED WALKING DEAD #1
INHUMANS BY PAUL JENKINS AND JAE LEE TP NEW PTG
INVISIBLE REPUBLIC TP VOL 01
IRON FIST LIVING WEAPON TP VOL 02 REDEMPTION
IXTH GENERATION TP VOL 01
JENNIFER BLOOD BORN AGAIN TP
JOE FRANKENSTEIN HC
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK TP VOL 06 LOST IN FOREVER
LEGENDS OF ZITA THE SPACEGIRL GN
MARVEL UNIVERSE ALL NEW AVENGERS ASSEMBLE DIGEST TP VOL 02
MY LITTLE PONY PAGEANTS & PONIES TP
NEXTWAVE AGENTS OF HATE COMPLETE COLLECTION TP NEW PTG
NURSERY RHYME COMICS 50 TIMELESS RHYMES HC
POWERPUFF GIRLS SUPER SMASH-UP TP VOL 01
PRIEST & BRIGHTS QUANTUM & WOODY TP VOL 01 KLANG
RETURN OF LIVING DEADPOOL TP
RUNLOVEKILL TP VOL 01
SCALPED HC BOOK 02 DELUXE EDITION
SPACE DUMPLINS GN VOL 01
STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION RISE OF SITH TP VOL 01
SUNDOWNERS TP VOL 02
SUNNY SIDE UP GN
SUNSTONE OGN VOL 03
TITHE TP VOL 01
TUROK DINOSAUR HUNTER TP VOL 03 RAPTOR FOREST
UNCANNY AVENGERS TP VOL 01 COUNTER EVOLUTIONARY
USAGI JANE AND THE SKULLBUNNIES GN VOL 01
USAGI YOJIMBO SAGA TP VOL 04
WALKING DEAD TP VOL 24 LIFE AND DEATH
WAYWARD TP VOL 02
WOLVERINES TP VOL 04 DESTINY
X-O MANOWAR TP VOL 09 DEAD HAND
ZOMBILLENIUM HC VOL 03 CONTROL FREAKS

MERCH
BATMAN BLACK & WHITE STATUE DARWYN COOKE 2ND ED
CHEW CASES OF THE FDA CARD GAME
DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS LOIS LANE STATUE
LOZ WIND WAKER LINK NENDOROID

BECKY CLOONAN BACK IN STOCK MENU
CHANNEL ZERO TP COMPLETE COLLECTION
CONAN TP VOL 13 QUEEN O/T BLACK COAST
DEMO TP
GOTHAM ACADEMY TP VOL 01 (N52)
TRUE LIVES OF FABULOUS KILLJOYS LTD ED HC
TRUE LIVES OF FABULOUS KILLJOYS TP

BACK IN STOCK

DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS #1

Sunday, August 23, 2015

ATTACK ON TITAN DOUBLE PASS GIVEAWAY!


Japan, present day. The sudden arrival of the Titans—mysterious, gigantic humanoid creatures who devour human beings one after the other—brings mankind to the brink of extinction. Fast-forward more than 100 years later. What remains of the human population now live in relative peace behind massive walls that were erected to defend themselves against the Titans. Yet once again, that peace is shattered when a Titan measuring over 50 meters tall smashes through the wall, allowing a horde of other Titans to enter.

Our hero, Eren, had been resigned to a life confined behind these walls. “Nothing I do would make a difference”, he ponders. But when he joins the ‘Outer Wall Restoration Team’ set up to fight against the Titans, he is reunited with Mikasa, a childhood friend and someone he had long regretted not being able to save. The new recruits embark on a mission to obtain explosives, which had become rare and precious, before getting past the waves of Titans to plug the gaping hole in the wall, with humanity’s survival on the line. Will there be a future for Eren and Mikasa, and for mankind itself?


Thanks to those massively awesome folks from the Cinema Nova and Attack On Titan, starting a limited release season from 27th of August, we have 5 Double Passes to the Thursday, 27 August, 8:40pm session at Cinema Nova to give away.

To go into the draw for your chance to win all you need to do is tell us, "there are a few different classes of Titans, some with unique abilities, all of them creepy. What type of Titan would you be?" Feel free to create your own class and type of Titan.

SPECIAL NOTE: 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 Tuesday the 25th of August and winners will be announced Wednesday the 26th.
Winners will be notified via Facebook message as to how to collect their tickets.

Being a limited release season, click HERE if you want to check for other session times.

Again a HUGE thanks to Cinema Nova and Attack On Titan, starting a limited release from 27th of August.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

ALL STAR RECOMMENDS FOR AUGUST 18TH

    

Pop Quiz:

You’re at Savers. You have twelve dollars in hand and so can afford to choose exactly four from a selection of forty or so issues of Italian comic Diabolik published in the last decade that your friend Andrew told you about. You cannot read a word of said comics and they aren’t even the most attractive things ever – I mean they’re quite nice, like Vertigo mid-00s nice when Will Dennis started recruiting all those Euro guys, but it’s not like instant-buy Katsuya Terada art books or something. Still, your blindingly obsessive need to have some of said comics leads you to choose. How do you do it? If you’re anything like me, you would judge these fumetti (as in Italian comics not photo comics) by their covers. I hope you’ll agree I think I did okay.

Created in 1962 by the Giussani sisters – yes *sisters* -- Angela and Lucianaand continuing to this very day, Master thief Diabolik steals from criminals, drives a cool ‘60s Jaguar (“but the engines are terrible!” my car loving friends scream, “It is not a functional getaway car!” Shut up. It looks amazing) and wears a bunch of lifelike masks like a Scooby-Doo bad guy. He does not know his real name, was raised on an island by a criminal organisation and took the moniker “Diabolik” from a panther (thanks to Wikipedia for a bunch of that – I am no expert).

Probably best known to Western audiences from master giallo filmmaker Mario Bava’s 1968 film Danger: Diabolik (see this week’s video), I’ll go through these four digest-sized books over the coming week and report back with my impressions. Spoiler Alert: Le Tracce Del Lupo unfortunately does not feature an actual werewolf. 


COMIC OF THE WEEK : MASTER KEATON
By Naoki Urasawa, Hokusei Katsushika &Takashi Nagasaki
Published By Viz Media

Because I am an old man with a sketchy, faltering memory, I have a tendency to binge read my manga. Sprawling, complex storylines filled with dozens and dozens of characters and their convoluted motivations does not make for the most seamless of reads, I find, particularly when published in installments several months apart. The immense body of work by legendary, multiple award-winning manga-ka Naoki Urasawa is no exception to this rule of mine. I had a dozen issues (half) of his epic 20th Century Boys before I dipped into that world, all eight volumes of Pluto (his reworking of the famous Astro Boy story) before I read it start to finish and with Monster being re-published in quarterly omnibus editions currently, it probably will be the end of the year before I start ploughing into that.

It was also supposed to be this way with Master Keaton, an earlier Urasawa work created with writers Katsushika and Nagasaki and originally published from 1998-1994. Curiosity got the better of me, however, and three volumes into the new English translations by Viz here we are, all of them ripped through. It’s a good thing I did too as broken into largely stand-alone adventures, Master Keaton could conceivably be picked up at any point, requiring little to no backstory or expository material to follow along.

Taichi Hiraga Keaton is half-Japanese and half-English. His Japanese father is a retired zoologist, his English mother a somewhat mysterious “noblewoman.” He himself is an archaeologist by passion, an insurance investigator by trade and an ex-SAS Sergeant by a fortune need for self-discipline. I’m aware of how ridiculous this sounds as Keaton could easily be the character of a series of terribly titled thriller novels and the first volume does spend much of its time finding both its feet and its balance between Keaton’s battles with assassins and drug-dealers, his love of pre-European history and his relationship with his father, Teihei, and his daughter, Yuriko.

Yet, for all its info-dumping tendencies and occasionally ludicrous suspense scenarios, once the balance between the personal and professional is found, Master Keaton’s immense popularity in Japan becomes not only understandable but totally shared, for it is at heart a character piece.

Completely unpredictable in setting, Keaton bounces around Europe and Japan from one tale to the next, diffusing IRA bombs with chocolate like some sort of MacGuyver gone academic, or chasing after ice cream trucks with reputedly incredible artisanal rum and raisin on bicycle and, in the process, realising that his divorce forced him to grow up even more than the army did. Possessed with a boyish joy for life but tempered with a melancholic streak underscored by his desire to give up his insurance work and do nothing but study ancient European civilisations, Keaton’s wonderfully rounded and surprisingly deep for a character that seems to have the solution to any and every problem on the tip of his tongue. He’s frequently faced with violence, yet always manages to find the least violent solution to the conflict and always finds time for a quick drink or a fine meal, making him the distinguished gentlemen of action-adventure. Honestly, Tintin kicks more ass than Keaton does but Keaton would easily drink him under the table. You pick your side.

The family dynamic is especially good and we’ve yet to even meet Keaton’s mother. Keaton’s parents divorced when he was five, Keaton himself divorced when daughter Yuriko was five. Both he and his father (despite the old man’s womanising tendencies) still love their wives and think of them nearly constantly. The creative team early on realise that they have something here, that Teihei Hiraka, with his soft face, droopy moustache and collection of dogs (most notably Tasuke, a poor, battered mutt with the super sense of smell) deserves not only further exploration but his own adventures. An absolute highlight of the three volumes so far published is the story “Flowers for Everyone,” where Teihei and ugly-cute pooch Tasuke help a childhood friend of Keaton’s, now not so co-incidentally a beautiful woman, track down her missing dog and in the process re-unite long separated lovers. In an example typical of the series’ eclecticism, this story is immediately followed by “Black Forest,” where Keaton is hunted through Germany’s Black Forest by gun-wielding racists and must not only survive but disarm and disable his neo-Nazi foes. The reader literally has no idea what’s coming next even as the series constantly returns to themes of family and the new destroying the old and the greedy and capitalistic putting wealth before history and tradition.

The bottom line, I suppose, is that Master Keaton is the perfect demonstration of both manga’s flexibility and its sheer breadth of scope. This is a comic where what is ostensibly an action hero can disappear to a holiday home in the countryside with his father to ponder how they both can repair their broken marriages and yet end up obsessively recreating the their respective ex-spouses tastiest recipes for almost thirty sequential pages. And it’s pretty riveting in the process.

Ultimately, Master Keaton is a family drama masquerading as espionage-action. It’s also quite likely the first time I’ve ever been disappointed when the action ramps up in a comic and the intricacies of inter-generational relationships stops. This is not a knock on the bulk of the action-adventure stories, for many of them are taut and gripping and allow Urasawa to flex his chops at easily, beautifully drawing *everything* on the planet. Keaton’s stalked by an army trained dog, left to die in a desert, caught up in a tense hostage negotiation and all of these stories and more are highly readable and thoroughly enjoyable. It’s a testament to the strength of the core characters, however, that I find myself hoping for the unlikely scenario that Keaton retires in volume 4 and we get eight more volumes of him knocking back dangerous job offers from Lloyds of London and instead going for long walks with his daughter and father, shopping for the finest pastries he can find and having uneventful drinks with old colleagues he hasn’t seen in a decade.

  

WEBCOMIC OF THE WEEK : THE GROOM
By Emily Carroll

Yes, yes. More Emily Carroll. I realise you must drink now according to the rules of this column, sorry about that.

“The Groom” is Carroll’s latest short, another wonderful little slice of creepiness unfolding over seven scrolling pages. Two girls find an ornate diorama of a wedding scene, only the groom is missing. Making up intricate stories for the missing husband-to-be, they create a replacement out of pipe cleaners and insert him into the scene with quite chilling results. I’ve hurled enough superlatives at Emily Carroll over the course of this column, so suffice it to say she does not disappoint yet again even as she continues her preoccupations with dark family secrets and spectral visitations. Amazing to think I’ve yet to see her take a creative misstep with work of such calibre. Have you?




COUNTDOWN TO MOZ METAL: HEAVY METAL AUGUST 1977

Man, I love these HM editorials. The August ’77 issue, sporting a cover by Bernie Wrightson, opens with “…Thus…,” a brief little chat from editor to audience about mail received and why the magazine is titled what it is. It’s like a transmission from a comics-obsessed William Burroughs – forget the occasional charm of 2000 AD’s Tharg, the anonymous, seemingly doped-up beatnik from the future who wrote these pieces needs a firm pat on the back and a free top-up of Mowie Wowie for these efforts. He/she/it concludes, “…Heavy Metal is for those who grasp the gravity of the situation.”

Indeed.

For all the praise I’ve heaped on Philippe Druillet thus far in these ramblings, here is where I shall sadly cease – “The Black Queen” (this issue’s first narrative cab off the rank) is a hastily, roughly rendered story by this comics master, as if done solely out of obligation to its writer, Marcel Gorlib. Druillet also contributes “Hamilton Potemkine,” which I also find largely forgettable.

Moving on.

Richard Corben goes all-action in this issue’s chapter of “Den” with our hero’s beloved Kath kidnapped by stunningly drawn “insect warriors” soaring into a stunningly drawn sky that resembles something like a beautiful oil slick. Remarkable stuff. But not as remarkable as this:

“Heavy Metal is fantastic! It’s better than being stoned. Almost,” says -- no joke – a reader’s quote that tops a subscription information page. Amazing. This is an outfit that clearly knew how to appeal to its readership.

“Roger” by Loquet and Souchu, last seen in May’s issue, returns to sadly conclude its fumetti (as in photo comics not Italian comics) action figure existentialism in full sparkler-lit force (no seriously, sparklers are used to simulate the effects of teleportation). In order to escape Roger’s rule, action figure Jim must find Zoe (Barbie to his Ken, if you will) and construct their own reality. “Guided by a visceral necessity to rediscover his real universe, he decided to sink more profoundly into his own fantasies,” reads a particular caption, right before Jim emerges from Zoe’s head into this new reality – a desert for him to presumably populate with ideas and creations as he sees fit.

It’s amazing.

Also tucked away in this issue is “Package For You Missus Jones,” a short by Alesc about a woman sent a package of horny ectoplasmic goop, and the opening chapter of “Polonius” by Jacques Tardi and Picaret, the tale of an escaped slave who seeks to “scour the corruption” from a city. It’s a near fantasy take on ancient Rome and showcases yet another side to the versatile Tardi. Also here worth mentioning is “The Green Hand” by Zha and artist Nicole Claveloux is a striking short in a popping rainbow palette that revolves around the bizarre three way relationship between a woman and the jealousy her giant flightless bird feels for her new sentient plant. I’ve skipped over 1996 by Chantal Montellier constantly, for space issues rather than quality, but this issue’s one-pager featuring a pack of monosyllabic flak-jacketed hunters shooting woman in the streets whilst screaming things like “Hey! Idza FEMALE!” seems like it was a comment made by a current webcomics creator plunging particularly sharp and bent satirical acupuncture needles into the year 2015. Both weird and sad that it still stings with relevance.

But don’t switch off yet! The main event is here! Part Two of Moebius and Dan O’Bannon’s “The Long Tomorrow!” Featuring at least two virtually breathtaking pages by Moebius, “The Long Tomorrow” wraps up playfully, mocking noir tropes in such a successful way I’m struggling to recall why Part One left me a little cold from a story-perspective (I believe it felt to wacky for merely the sake of it). Dangling plot threads be damned! I’m all turned around on this one.

Ending with a Pioneer receiver ad that literally brags that it’s *heavier* than its competition, August 1977 proved to be another amazing month for Americanised Euro-comix.


COMICS VIDEO OF THE WEEK : DANGER: DIABOLIK!

Do you love ‘60s TV Batman? Then steel yourself for some next level stuff. Imagine the world of Batman ’66 where there is no Batman and Frank Gorshin is dashing, handsome, toned, sexually active and just flat out robbed folks without the riddles and you’ve scratched the surface of this nutty piece of cinema.

Armed with a swinging soundtrack by the ubiquitous Lalo Schifrin, this 1968 feature film adapted from the digest-sized fumetti, directed by Mario Bava (Bay of Blood, Black Sunday) and starring John Phillips Law as Diabolik and Marisa Mell as Eva Kant, this film rightfully stands as a cult classic from a time when everyone sexy was all hair and eyes and everything else was all curves, steel and glass. Come for the cars, the heists, the songs, the babes, the ridiculously crazy sets and the police incompetency and stay for how utterly terrifying Law looks as Diabolik in real life. Sumptuous, lush and oh so camp, with any luck you’ll have Diabolik-dreams, where everything is crystalline and sexy and life is but a romp on a ridiculous bed covered in millions of dollars you’ve successfully heisted.

Sigh.


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.

Monday, August 17, 2015

New Comics For Wednesday 19th of August




This Saturday, the 22nd of August from 2PM to 4PM at the 1000 Pound Bend Cafe, sees the first year anniversary of the All Star Women's Comic Book Club. It needs to be noted and applauded the amazing work that Cazz, Naja and Soph have done to bring a growing group of female comic readers together, wanting nothing more than to expand the community and to create an opportunity for people to make new friends with common interests. Congrats to all involved for making such an incredible group!

Also this week we have a big announcement to make about a upcoming in store appearance and we'll be doing it first as part of our ALL STAR EXPRESS Weekly Mailing List, going out tomorrow. If you aren't already down for the ALL STAR EXPRESS, you need to get yourself in store and sign up at either one of the counters as soon as possible. As for that announcement, well you'll just have to wait!

What we won't make you wait for is this week's New Comics List! 


Role reversal stories are a dime a dozen but reading Howard the Duck as a human in a world of animals makes HOWARD THE HUMAN #1 sound well worth the pick up. The Marvel world that gave us "NO MORE MUTANTS" gives revisited in HOUSE OF M #1. Who said romance is dead? You can find it right in SECRET WARS SECRET LOVE #1. More BOMBSHELLS covers for DC. BOOM Studios continue to launch great new series, this week it's WELCOME BACK #1 and reincarnation and murder!  The runaway hit from Riverdale is back with ARCHIE #2. Following up on last week's trade release, Ed Piskor doesn't waste time in introducing us to the new ongoing, HIP HOP FAMILY TREE #1. Indy Morrison work gets a nice hardcover treatment in ANNIHILATOR HC VOL 01. CAPTAIN MARVEL TP VOL 03 ALIS VOLAT PROPRIIS continues Carol's exciting space adventures. Old time, scary art Ben Templesmith has his first supernatural Bat-verse tale collected in GOTHAM BY MIDNIGHT TP VOL 01 WE DO NOT SLEEP. The incredibly funny but brutally dark humored comic strips of genius, Joan Cornell√† is collected in MOX NOX HC. Pretty deluxe edition of fave new character MS MARVEL HC VOL 01 is out. Which is backed up with the first trade of super cute, funny and down right powerful UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL TP VOL 01 SQUIRREL POWER. Just how heartbreaking can the latest new printing of classic painfully bleak, STRAY BULLETS TP VOL 03 OTHER PEOPLE be? All your favourite non turtle mutants team up for TMNT MUTANIMALS TP

Forgot to pre-order something from this list? Just let us know and we'll get it sorted for you!

MARVEL
1872 #2 SWA
AGE OF ULTRON VS MARVEL ZOMBIES #3 SWA
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN RENEW YOUR VOWS #4 SWA
ARMOR WARS #4 SWA
CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MIGHTY DEFENDERS #2 (OF 2) SWA
GEORGE ROMEROS EMPIRE OF DEAD ACT THREE #4 (OF 5)
GUARDIANS OF KNOWHERE #3 SWA
GUARDIANS TEAM-UP #10
HOUSE OF M #1 SWA
HOWARD THE HUMAN #1 SWA
INFERNO #4 SWA
KANAN #5
LOKI AGENT OF ASGARD #17 SWA
RUNAWAYS #3 SWA
SECRET WARS JOURNAL #4 (OF 5) SWA
SECRET WARS SECRET LOVE #1 SWA
SILK #6
SPIDER-VERSE #4 SWA
STAR WARS #8
WEIRDWORLD #3 SWA
X-TINCTION AGENDA #3 SWA

DC COMICS
BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT #7
BIZARRO #3 (OF 6)
BLACK CANARY #3
DOCTOR FATE #3
DOOMED #3
GREEN LANTERN THE LOST ARMY #3
HARLEY QUINN & POWER GIRL #3 (OF 6)
INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US YEAR FOUR #8
JLA GODS AND MONSTERS #2 (OF 3)
JUSTICE LEAGUE #43 BOMBSHELLS VAR ED
MARTIAN MANHUNTER #3
ROBIN SON OF BATMAN #3
SECRET SIX #5 BOMBSHELLS VAR ED
SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #13
SUPERMAN WONDER WOMAN #20 BOMBSHELLS VAR ED
TEEN TITANS GO #11
WONDER WOMAN #43 BOMBSHELLS VAR ED

VERTIGO
ASTRO CITY #26

BOOM
BURNING FIELDS #7 (OF 8)
CLARENCE #3
ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK #9
FICTION #3 (OF 4)
GIANT DAYS #6 (OF 12)
HEXED #12
OH KILLSTRIKE #4 (OF 4)
POWER UP #2 (OF 6)
REGULAR SHOW #26
UFOLOGY #4 (OF 6)
WELCOME BACK #1

DARK HORSE
BPRD HELL ON EARTH #134
BTVS SEASON 10 #18
DARK HORSE PRESENTS 2014 #13
DEATH HEAD #2 (OF 6)
GROO FRIENDS AND FOES #8
MIDNIGHT SOCIETY THE BLACK LAKE #2 (OF 4)
PLANTS VS ZOMBIES #3 BULLY FOR YOU
STRAIN NIGHT ETERNAL #12

DYNAMITE
SWORDS OF SORROW VAMPIRELLA JENNIFER BLOOD #4

IDW
DONALD DUCK #4
INFINITE LOOP #5 (OF 6)
MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #33
TMNT AMAZING ADVENTURES #1
TMNT ONGOING #49
TRANSFORMERS WINDBLADE #6

IMAGE
BIRTHRIGHT #10
EMPTY ZONE #3
INVINCIBLE #122
ISLAND #2
MANIFEST DESTINY #16
MANTLE #4
ODDLY NORMAL #9
POSTAL #6
RAT QUEENS #11
REVIVAL #32
STRAY BULLETS SUNSHINE & ROSES #7
TREES #12
WOLF #2

MISC
ARCHIE #2
BOOK OF DEATH #2 (OF 4)
DISCIPLES #3
DOCTOR WHO 2015 FOUR DOCTORS #2 (OF 5)
FEDOR ONE SHOT
HELLBREAK #6
HIP HOP FAMILY TREE #1
IVAR TIMEWALKER #8
MEGA MAN #52
POET ANDERSON DREAM WALKER #3 (OF 3)
PRINCELESS RAVEN PIRATE PRINCESS #2
RAI #9
SIMPSONS COMICS #223
YANKEE #1
YOUNG TERRORISTS #1

TRADES
ANNIHILATOR HC VOL 01
AVENGERS WORLD TP VOL 04 BEFORE TIME RUNS OUT
BATMAN YOU CHOOSE YR STORIES SUPER VILLAIN SMACKDO
BATMAN YOU CHOOSE YR STORIES TERRIBLE TRIO
BRAVEST WARRIORS TP VOL 05
CAPTAIN AMERICA TP VOL 05 TOMORROW SOLDIER
CAPTAIN MARVEL TP VOL 03 ALIS VOLAT PROPRIIS
CONSTANTINE TP VOL 04 THE APOCALYPSE ROAD TP
DAREDEVIL EPIC COLLECTION TP WIDOWS KISS
EMPOWERED TP VOL 09
FAIREST TP VOL 05 THE CLAMOR FOR GLAMOUR
GOTHAM BY MIDNIGHT TP VOL 01 WE DO NOT SLEEP
GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS TP VOL 06 STORMING THE GATES
GUARDIANS OF GALAXY BEST STORY EVER TP
GUNNERKRIGG COURT HC VOL 05 REFINE
JASON IF YOU STEAL HC
MEGA MAN TP VOL 08 REDEMPTION
MOX NOX HC
MS MARVEL HC VOL 01
MU ULT SPIDER-MAN WEB WARRIORS DIGEST TP VOL 02
NAMES TP
NANJING THE BURNING CITY HC
OEMNIBUS TP
POKEMON BLACK & WHITE GN VOL 08
POWERS OMNIBUS HC VOL 01
PRINCESS UGG TP VOL 02
REGULAR SHOW ORIGINAL GN VOL 02 NOIR MEANS NOIR BU
RESURRECTIONISTS TP VOL 01 NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCED
ROBYN HOOD ONGOING TP VOL 02 MONSTERS IN THE DARK
ROGUE TP COMPLETE COLLECTION
SHADOW MIDNIGHT IN MOSCOW TP
STRAY BULLETS TP VOL 03 OTHER PEOPLE
SUPERMAN HC VOL 06 THE MEN OF TOMORROW
THE LAST BROADCAST HC
TMNT MUTANIMALS TP
TOWER CHRONICLES DREADSTALKER TP VOL 02
UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL TP VOL 01 SQUIRREL POWER
VAMPIRELLA FEARY TALES TP
WONDERSTRUCK HC
X-MEN AGE OF APOCALYPSE TP VOL 01 ALPHA
X-MEN AVENGERS ONSLAUGHT OMNIBUS HC

MERCH
BEE & PUPPYCAT PUPPYCAT TALKING PLUSH
BRAVEST WARRIORS CATBUG PLUSH
DC COMICS DESIGNER JAE LEE SER 1 BATMAN AF
DC COMICS DESIGNER JAE LEE SER 1 CATWOMAN AF
DC COMICS DESIGNER JAE LEE SER 1 SUPERMAN AF
DC COMICS DESIGNER JAE LEE SER 1 WONDER WOMAN AF

BACK IN STOCK
PROVIDENCE #3 (OF 12)

STAR WARS LANDO #1 (OF 5) 2ND PTG

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

ALL STAR RECOMMENDS FOR AUGUST 11TH


Urrghhh…the flu has struck down my household like some biblical plague, making reading strange comics stranger which would be nice if I didn’t constantly sneeze all over them.

Still, I have a replacement laptop (Codename: Oscar) and if you need a cheapie that goes like the clappers, I heartily endorse the HP Stream in manly gradients of blue…



COMIC OF THE WEEK : DENGUE
By Rodolfo Santullo & Matias Bergara
Published by Humanoids

Oh, Humanoids. I’m sorry I’ve neglected your fine boutique Euro wares in this column, it’s just that there’s too much to say. Yes, I have columns planned on The Incal and Son of the Gun and Swords of Glass and many more, but I’m slightly intimated by what I know will end up being overly long pieces that bang on about existentialism and psychedelia and, really, we’ve all had about enough of that from me, I’m sure. Thankfully, however, there is the recently released Dengue to talk about, which at 96 pages is a book I can recommend promptly and earnestly without a word count blow-out and a rant about the heart of the universe.

“We get in out airtight suits and cars, with our stinking bug spray and we only go out when absolutely necessary. Yet we carry on regardless,” says main character Sergeant Pronzini and this is likely as good a summary of Dengue as you’ll find.

Thanks to Global Warming, Dengue fever is spreading and with it, the rise of the mosquito as the dominant lifeform on Montevideo, Uruguay. Humans are forced to either live sealed up tight in their homes or venture through the ruined city only in hazmat suits or risk becoming infected. There are piles of dead bodies and general apocalyptic ruin to prove this. Sergeant Pronzini is a grizzled, chain-smoking homicide cop who resembles a badly hungover Robert De Niro. The discovery of the naked, murdered body of a famous scientist working for the company that seeks a cure to the disease sees Pronzini thrust into a deep conspiracy, exposing corruption, greed and lies at the highest levels. Despite the heaviness of that synopsis, Dengue is, oddly enough, “Cli-Fi” (can you believe that’s a genre now?) at its most fun.

Thousands are dead or infected and the latest scientific discovery reveals that with three mosquito bites, the infected can mutate into something neither quite human nor insect. This development could be treated as something like The Fly, yet the satirical streak that runs through Santullo’s script, broken up into easily digestible chapters that at first seem loosely connected at best, makes Dengue an unexpectedly fun ride. From its mosquito monsters to its corporate irresponsibility to its haggard yet brave protagonist and his dogged truth-seeking reporter partner, Valeria Bonilla, Dengue packs a lot into its relatively brief page count, becoming quite the political page-turner in the process.

Bergara’sunique art will likely not blow you away at first glance. Far from the intricate, highly-detailed work we’re accustomed to from this publisher, Bergara is more of a caricaturist, with thick lines and big chins recalling the legendary Carlos Ezquerra somewhat. It’s likely this off-kilter sense of characterisation that creates much of Dengue’s mood, however, as imagining the pages with a more traditionally elegant and “beautiful” Euro comics look is a difficult task once the covers are closed. Bergara’s not the flashiest, but his pages flow wonderfully, his human characters are consistent and unique in appearance, particularly the dogged, slumped Pronzini, and his mosquito men are hulking, monstrous things like Un-Men from Swamp Thing.Both creators live in Montevideo (which I did not know going in) and this may also contribute to the seamlessness of their collaboration and the uniformity of their creative vision.

Brisk and compelling, Dengue is playful in tone, serious in subtext and, beginning as procedural and ending as the story of the uprising of a brand new underclass, is surprisingly epic for such a slender book. Part of me wanted more middle to the story, more outward growth from the crime solving that opens the book so strongly, but this is ultimately a minor complaint. Santullo and Bergara successfully deliver an offbeat, humorous and compelling take on an end of the world full of bugs, body horror and climate change, which is a far more difficult task than it probably sounds. 


WEBCOMIC OF THE WEEK : THE TUNNEL 
By Ryan Andrews 

A man takes a relaxing bath and, in the process, discovers a tunnel that leads from his bathroom into the catacombs where thousands of creepy-crawlies nest. Strange, short and silent, this a cracking little webcomic for those with a few minutes to spare. In related news: I feel a lot like the guy in this comic right now. Urghhhhhhh.




COUNTDOWN TO MOZ METAL: HEAVY METAL JULY 1977

“Scour the countryside with your goons Skoor-Neg! We must find the girl KEETH-REN!”

But wait, the pulse-pounding excitement of Richard Corben’s lusty “Den” has me getting ahead of myself, for any magazine that opens with an advertisement for Supertramp is alright with me. In honour of that, let’s all pump up The Logical Song and get into Heavy Metal July 1977!

“Arzak concludes this issue,” says the editorial (the consistently cheeky tone of which is fast becoming quite endearing), “as does Sunspot. So you won’t have Vaughn Bode to kick around anymore.” That’s actually a relief as it was getting difficult to avoid talking about it.

As enraptured by the pyrotechnic adolescent fantasies of “Den” as I am, this issue of HM totally belongs to Moebius. There’s a bunch of Arzach here, along with a wraparound cover and collaboration with Philippe Druillet, “Approaching Centauri,” and part one of the now legendary “The Long Tomorrow” with Dan O’Bannon, writer of among many other things, Alien.

But back to “Den.” “HE, HE, HE, HE! What a lovely scene of coupling worms,” says Gel, a kind of….errr…albino boar-man-thing upon discovering manly Den and womanly Catherine having at it in a field of flowers like a pair of hippies gone depilated steroid abuser. This chapter really injects the weird into Den, the strain of fiction that Corben would make the backbone of much of his later work, transforming the strip from horny bald John Carter into horny bald John Carter meets House on the Borderland. On acid. This reviewer heartily approves.

However, stoner boob objectification turns dull, stupid and eye-rollinglyunfunny in “Nep Simo” by Alain Voss, a kind of hippy Little Annie Fanny that clearly did not do much for me. More “Conquering Armies,” however, is greeted with a thumbs up and a reminder to self that I need to buy the hardback, full colour edition Humanoids released a couple of years back before it disappears forever, but it’s really the back end of this issue that’s supercharged, with the aforementioned “The Long Tomorrow,” “Crossroads of the Universe” by Enki Bilal and the final slice of “Arzak.”

“Crossroads…” sees Goran VIII, Galactic High Priest “trapped…on a pagan world” and tasked by his god (or, rather his superiors in god’s name) to slay a demon who continues to rematerialize and is in fact in the form of his own naked body. Bilal’s artwork is at it’s stunning, cross-hatchiest best in this strip, with its dark, rocky alien landscape and multiple moons stealing the spotlight from its conflicted, beardy,priestly protagonist.

But enough of this, all we really care about is “The Long Tomorrow,” right? Hatched after the failed attempt by director Alejandro Jodorowsky to bring Dune to the bring screen (as detailed in the marvellous Jodorowsky’s Dune), Jodo’s collaborators on that particular project, O’Bannon and Moebius didn’t let the film’s failure get them down for too long. An SF/noir/spy mash-up, “…Tomorrow” features hardboiled PI, Pete Club who’s hired by upper class “dame” Dolly Van de Katterbar to retrieve a mysterious package from a sub-station locker. Of course, Dolly winds up dead, Pete is shot at and a plot involving a stolen brain is kicked off.

Totally bonkers and, honestly, not terribly memorable in terms of story, it goes without saying that Moebius produces pages worth lingering over.


COMICS VIDEO OF THE WEEK : JEAN GIRAUD (MOEBIUS) & HUGO PRATT – TAC AU TAC (1972)

Art jams.

Ain’t they the best? Do they happen anymore with any regularity? If not, it’s likely because everyone’s seen this 12 minute video in which Moebius and Hugo Pratt throw down on a gigantic sheet of paper with little more than thick black markers and make such magic that few these days dare follow.

In any event, perhaps it’s the cold I’m afflicted with as I type this, but this is an utterly hypnotic piece of film, featuring two of the all-time greats having fun and creating some absolute magic. Watch and remember: somewhere out there, someone owns this piece of paper with both Corto Maltese and Blueberry as drawn by their respective creators. I’ll do my best not to flood this section of the column with more Tac au Tac videos from this period, but really would you blame me if I did?



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.