Author: Bob Harrison

Give Comics Hope Is Still Going Strong

Give Comics Hope Is Still Going Strong

As we head further into the weirdest Thanksgiving week in memory a lot of people are trying for some way to fill their time while frantically scrolling through an unending deluge of Black Friday ads, we are here to point out some great options from Give Comics Hope.

GIVE COMICS HOPE is an charitable initiative that is rallying together our comics community to help local comic book shops. Our own Ed Catto has been involved from the beginning and wrote about it here. There are plenty of eBay auctions going on for some excellent classic comics. The proceeds will go to support local comic shops in coordination with the Book Industry Charitable Donation (BINC).

The auctions are running through eBay from November 11th through December 11th. You can check out the auction pieces here. There are plenty of great books for the comic collector in your life, or maybe you just find the book for yourself that you’ve been looking for for a while. The best part is satisfying that comic book fix while helping out struggling small business owners.

Here are a few current auctions that we wanted to highlight. Give them a click and bid away.

Adventure Comics #346

The Double Life of Private Strong #1

Challengers of the Unknown #1

Justice League of America #3

Continued After the Next Page #016: Roy Harper – Pin Cushion With a Bow

Continued After the Next Page #016: Roy Harper – Pin Cushion With a Bow

One of the interesting things about the extensive list of DC Comics characters is that there are plenty of characters that can be used to advance or deepen the story of lead characters. Since the dawn of stories, storytellers have been using the damage of “lesser” characters to add complexity to the protagonist by having them deal with the tragedy of those they care about.

In the case of Roy Harper, it has become an almost competitive sport to see who could do the most damage to the red-headed step child (literally) originally known as Speedy. The character was created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp as the ward and sidekick of Green Arrow and originally debuted in More Fun Comics #73 in 1941.

The Sordid Comic History of Roy Harper

The character’s torment began in earnest with one of the most famous and important socially aware stories of the seventies. In Green Lantern #85, the issue title “Snowbirds Don’t Fly” written by Denny O’Neil and drawn by Neal Adams, it was revealed that the teen sidekick of Green Arrow had become addicted to heroin. This fact has been retconned to alcohol addiction and back to drugs, but it remained in his history that Roy was an addict. Continue reading “Continued After the Next Page #016: Roy Harper – Pin Cushion With a Bow”

Preview Reviews for the Week of 11/18/20: Sea of Sorrows #1

Preview Reviews for the Week of 11/18/20: Sea of Sorrows #1

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.  This is where we give advanced glimpses at some of the comics that will be coming out this Wednesday.

Here at Pop Culture Squad, we are decidedly Anti-Spoiler.  We feel that ruining someone’s experience with something for the sake of getting a scoop or clicks is the wrong thing to do. Therefore, we have decided to publish this column, as necessary, with mostly spoiler-free reviews of upcoming issues.  Hopefully, the information that we share with you will increase your excitement for this book.

This week we have a new series from Rich Douek and Alex Cormack called Sea of Sorrows from IDW Publishing.

You can find this book at your LCS on November 18, 2020.

Sea of Sorrows #1
IDW Publishing
Written by Rich Douek
Art by Alex Cormack
Colors by Cormack
Letters by Justin Birch
Cover Art by Cormack

Original Solicitation:

Deep sea adventure with a horrific twist! From the creative team behind last year’s hit horror series, ROAD OF BONES, comes an all-new tale of bone-chilling terror!

In the aftermath of the Great War, the North Atlantic is ripe for plunder by independent salvage crews. When a former naval officer hires the SS Vagabond, he leads the ship to a sunken U-boat, and a fortune in gold. Tensions mount as the crew prepares to double cross each other, but the darkness of the ocean floor holds deeper terrors than any of them have bargained for!

Plunge headfirst into the icy waters of dread with another historic tale of terror from writer Rich Douek, and artist Alex Cormack.

PCS Review:

Rich Douek and Alex Cormack are back with the spiritual successor to last year’s horror hit Road of Bones. This book is a gripping first salvo into an abyss of terror. The initial issue sets up several interesting conflicts and an intriguing overall concept. The character development is well done through dialogue without hitting you over the head with it. The tone of this book is best described as eerie.

Cormack follows up with the heavy white thematic visuals of Road of Bones with very heavy black theme for this book. The imagery is subdued and calming while also heightening the feeling of foreboding that permeates the book. The visual storytelling is expertly crafted, and Justin Birch does an excellent job lettering this book.

This book is a must read. There is a growing feeling of anticipation that builds as the pages turn, and when you get to the end, you will immediately be counting the days until you can get your hands on Issue Two.

 


If you are interested in hearing from the creator, we did a SquadCast Interview with Rich Douek earlier this year:

Click Here

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comics Writer Justin Jordan

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comics Writer Justin Jordan

Today, we bring you a new spotlight interview. In this session, we spoke with comics writer Justin Jordan.

Justin has been a professional comic book writer for over a decade now and is the co-creator of fan favorite indie comics The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, which has recently been optioned as film by Allnighter, and Spread among others. He has worked for DC Comics and Valiant Entertainment as well as other licensed properties while developing his creator owned comics.

In collaboration with artist John Amor and letterer Micah Myers, Justin has been publishing the webcomic Urban Animal on Webtoon.com for a couple of years now. He and John are bringing the webcomic to print through a kickstarter campaign in conjunction with Rocketship Entertainment. The campaign has hit its initial funding goal already and there are over 10 days to go before it ends.

We had a great conversation about the origins of Urban Animal, and his career. We talked about how this year has been different for everyone. We transcribed a good portion of the interview below, but there is plenty more in podcast.

You can find the audio recording of our discussion below. We hope you enjoy the conversation.


PopCultureSquad: Let’s talk about the kickstarter for Urban Animal. What are you looking to accomplish and how does that work with Webtoon, who publishes the digital comic on their platform?

Justin Jordan: Well John Amor and I do a series called Urban Animal over at Webtoon.com. It’s about Joe Gomez who thinks he’s an ordinary kid until one day he turns into a sabre toothed tiger and finds out his life gets a whole lot weirder from there. Continue reading “Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comics Writer Justin Jordan”

New Number Ones – Comics Coming in November 2020

New Number Ones – Comics Coming in November 2020

This month we give our readers a preview of the exciting new comic book series debuting in November. We have compiled an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from PREVIEWSworld. Check below for our PCS NOTES to find out what we just have to tell you some more about the new comics in question.

This is a list of just some of the new series coming this month. Check with your LCS or wherever you get comics to make sure you find new things to thrill you. We hope you will take a look and think about giving these a try. We will bring you reviews of most of these debut issues as they come out, and don’t forget to use the comments section to let us know what you think of this list.

You will find the books listed below in the order of when they are released.

Week of 11/4/20
Week of 11/11/20
Week of 11/18/20
Week of 11/25/20


Week of November 4th


Crossover #1
Image Comics
Written by Donny Cates
Art by Geoff Shaw & Dee Cunniffe
Cover Art by Geoff Shaw & Dave Stewart

The creative powerhouses behind the bestselling, critically acclaimed GOD COUNTRY, Thanos Wins, and REDNECK returns for the biggest launch of the year.

Imagine everything you thought was fantasy…was real. And now join us, in a world where reality is dead…and anything is possible…

Release Date: November 4, 2020

PCS NOTES: This is a highly anticipated series that we have high hopes for. Continue reading “New Number Ones – Comics Coming in November 2020”

Preview Reviews for the Week of 10/28/20: Giga #1

Preview Reviews for the Week of 10/28/20: Giga #1

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.  This is where we give advanced glimpses at some of the comics that will be coming out this Wednesday.

Here at Pop Culture Squad, we are decidedly Anti-Spoiler.  We feel that ruining someone’s experience with something for the sake of getting a scoop or clicks is the wrong thing to do. Therefore, we have decided to publish this column, as necessary, with mostly spoiler-free reviews of upcoming issues.  Hopefully, the information that we share with you will increase your excitement for this book.

This week we have a new series from Alex Paknadel and John Lê called Giga from Vault Comics.

You can find this book at your LCS on October 28, 2020.

Giga #1
Vault Comics
Written by Alex Paknadel
Art by John Lê
Colors by Rosh
Letters by Aditya Bidikar
Cover Art by Lê & Rosh

Original Solicitation:

Nobody knows why the skyscraper-sized mechs known as ‘Giga’ fought their bitter, centuries’ long war. All they know is that when the fighting finally stopped, the dormant Giga became humanity’s new habitat and new gods in one. When disgraced engineer Evan Calhoun finds an apparently murdered Giga, his society and the fascistic tech-centered religious order that controls it are rapidly thrown into chaos.

From writer Alex Paknadel and rising star John Lê comes another Vault & White Noise partnership about what happens after the mechs stop fighting.

PCS Review:

Alex Paknadel and John Lê have kicked off this highly anticipated book with a fabulous first issue. They have created a big vibrant would with a complex religious and political society that is easily accessible. The protagonist is sympathetic and engaging. The world of this book, set in the ruins of gigantic mech robots, translates well to the modern world in which we live in multiple ways. The pacing and dialogue are crisp and finely crafted.

The art by Lê and Rosh is dynamic and interesting. The panel layouts are keep the reader engaged in the action of exploring the world as the book moves through different settings. It is a really beautifully designed book that pays homage to sci-fi magazine stories of the early ’80s while firmly establishing a unique feel. Aditya Bidikar is an excellent letterer and uses some fun techniques to add a smoothness to the flow of the story.

This book exceeds the great expectations that I had for it. At the end of this book, I found myself craving more. It was not because I didn’t get enough in the issue, but because I am ready to find out more about this world and its characters. Don’t miss this one.

Comic News Roundup: Comics News for the week of 10/16/2020 -10/23/2020

Comic News Roundup: Comics News for the week of 10/16/2020 -10/23/2020

Welcome back to our new feature Comic News Roundup. Here, we give you a run down of the news from comic book publishers and other pop culture news that was released throughout this week. We have news from Baltimore Comic-Con, AfterShock Comics. DC Comics, Diamond Distributors, Z2 Comics, and Boom! Studios.


Baltimore Comic-Con

This coming weekend is the first virtual running of one of the best comic conventions of the year. Baltimore Comic-Con has engaged the folks at Mainframe Comic Con to help put together one heck of a lineup of live virtual programming.

Baltimore Comic-Con has traditionally been known and praised as a convention that puts comic books first, and this weekend’s programming reflects that theme. There are a bunch of comic creator spotlight panels and themed sessions with creators talking about current and past comic projects.

There are live Q&A panels planned and private creator Meet & Greets available for purchase. There are links to the sites of creators, retailers, and publishers who would have been on the floor of the Baltimore Convention Center in any other year.

The jewel of the weekend for me is the live broadcast of the 2020 Ringo Awards on Saturday at 8:00PM EDT. This year it is hosted by Kevin Smith with a keynote speech by Geoff Johns. You can find a list of the nominees for this year here.

 


AfterShock Comics

This week AfterShock announced I Breathed A Body, a new horror series debuting in January 2021. This book is from writer Zac Thompson and artist Andy MacDonald. Here is the description from AfterShock.

“When the world’s biggest influencer posts something irredeemably horrific online, the world changes in an instant. Now it’s up to his social media manager to fan the flames of outrage and create a sensationalist campaign that rewrites the rules of “banned content.” Thus begins a carnival of lust, revulsion, desire and disgust – all for viral videos.”


DC Comics

Art by Dan Mora

This news is about a week old but DC Comics has announced a two month hiatus from the books that remain in the monthly comic line and having a new event called Future State.

They have lined up a great mix of creative talent to explore near and far future iterations of many of the main characters in their universe. After the January-February event concludes, DC has said that there books will continue the storylines from 2020 and start new arcs for 2021.

DC Executive Editor Marie Javins had this to say:

“The DC Universe has always been fertile ground for new and refreshing takes on our characters, and DC Future State definitely contributes to this legacy. When the event begins in January, some savvy readers will not only pick up on some of the breadcrumbs that have already been tossed out in our current titles, but they will also find new hints and clues of what’s to come in 2021.”

There have been a lot of hard feelings about the business and distribution decisions that DC has made this year, but I have to say that this event promises to be very interesting and the art looks amazing. Continue reading “Comic News Roundup: Comics News for the week of 10/16/2020 -10/23/2020”

Preview Reviews for the Week of 10/21/20: The Scumbag #1

Preview Reviews for the Week of 10/21/20: The Scumbag #1

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.  This is where we give advanced glimpses at some of the comics that will be coming out this Wednesday.

Here at Pop Culture Squad, we are decidedly Anti-Spoiler.  We feel that ruining someone’s experience with something for the sake of getting a scoop or clicks is the wrong thing to do. Therefore, we have decided to publish this column, as necessary, with mostly spoiler-free reviews of upcoming issues.  Hopefully, the information that we share with you will increase your excitement for this book.

This week we have a new series from Rick Remender and Lewis Larosa called The Scumbag from Image Comics.

You can find these books at your LCS on October 21, 2020.

The Scumbag#1
Image Comics
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Lewis Larosa
Colors by Moreno Dinisio
Letters by Rus Wooton
Cover Art by Larosa & Dinisio

Original Solicitation:

NEW ONGOING SERIES from the writer of DEADLY CLASS!
RICK REMENDER launches an all-new comedy espionage series, THE SCUMBAG-the story of Ernie Ray Clementine, a profane, illiterate, drug-addicted biker with a fifth-grade education. He’s the only thing standing between us and total Armageddon because this dummy accidentally received a power-imbuing serum, making him the world’s most powerful super spy.

This new ongoing series will feature a murderers’ row of all-star artistic talent rotating each issue. The first issue showcases the stunning work of LEWIS LaROSA, with subsequent chapters and covers by brilliant talents such as ANDREW ROBINSON, ERIC POWELL, TULA LOTAY, WES CRAIG, ROLAND BOSCHI, SIMONE DI MEO, MARGUERITE SAUVAGE, DUNCAN FEGREDO, YANICK PAQUETTE, MIKE McKONE, DAVE JOHNSON, MORENO DINISIO, and many more!

PCS Review:

The lead character in this book is a complete scumbag. He is damaged and unrepentantly atavistic. There is a tiny glimmer of pity that the reader can feel for this character, but even that empathy comes with heavy dose of guilt. Rick Remender does an excellent job of giving the reader no reason to root for this character other than the fate of the world is in his hands. The series looks to be off to a fast start with the storytelling in this issue.

The art by Lewis Larosa and Moreno Dinisio is incredibly dynamic. There is a Rube Goldberg machine feel to the visual narrative in this book. While most of the book is not filled with action sequences, the reader gets the feel of constant movement, with each panel leading forcefully to the next. The rough edged and over-the-top look to the characters in this issue is a perfect choice for the tone of the book.

While this is billed as a comedy, and there are some ironically humorous moments, it is truly a window into the depths that people will fall and what they will do when they hit rock bottom. This is a well crafted tale with a good hook and definitely leaves you wanting to see what comes next.

Blackout: The Latest Season of the New Brooklyn Saga is on Webtoons

Blackout: The Latest Season of the New Brooklyn Saga is on Webtoons

What do you do when your Psychotic Vigilante Mother gets hold of an Apocalypse Sword?

Comic creator Dean Haspiel has been working on his original metaphysical superhero story The New Brooklyn Saga for a few years now, and the fourth season has just premiered on Webtoons.com.

The latest installment is called Blackout. Here is how Dean describes the new season:

When The Green Point’s apocalypse sword is reactivated by the malice of The Coney, The Red Hook must combat and convince his psychotic, vigilante mother to help finally destroy it, only to accidentally rebirth the wrath of an unexpected villain who threatens to save earth from the hierarchy of humanity by sending New Brooklyn back to the stone age! Does The Red Hook have to break bad in order to restore the goodness of society?

The Red Hook, crook turned reluctant hero, is an engaging character, and the world that he lives in is full of interesting characters. The big ideas that Haspiel explores in this series have always raised the quality of the story to lofty heights. The previous season ended with the sun being reignited by love; so, where do you go from there? Continue reading “Blackout: The Latest Season of the New Brooklyn Saga is on Webtoons”

Preview Reviews for the Week of October 14, 2020: Commanders In Crisis #1

Preview Reviews for the Week of October 14, 2020: Commanders In Crisis #1

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.  This is where we give advanced glimpses at some of the comics that will be coming out this Wednesday.

Here at Pop Culture Squad, we are decidedly Anti-Spoiler.  We feel that ruining someone’s experience with something for the sake of getting a scoop or clicks is the wrong thing to do. Therefore, we have decided to publish this column, as necessary, with mostly spoiler-free reviews of upcoming issues.  Hopefully, the information that we share with you will increase your excitement for these books.

This week we have a new series from Steve Orlando and Davide Tinto callled Commanders In Crisis from Image Comics.

You can find these books at your LCS on October 14, 2020.


Commanders In Crisis #1
Image Comics
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Davide Tinto
Colors by Francesca Carotenuto
Letters by Fabio Amelia
Cover Art by Tinto

Original Solicitation:

The last survivors of the Multiverse live among us under new, superheroic identities, five survivors of doomed worlds…taking a second chance to ensure our world lives on. A new twist on strange superhero comics, with a bleeding-edge eye on the modern moment, COMMANDERS IN CRISIS follows in the footsteps of Doom Patrol and Thunderbolts as five unexpected heroes come together to solve a murder unlike any other. The victim? Compassion itself…This is ideacide!

A new series by acclaimed writer STEVE ORLANDO and artist DAVIDE TINTO, an intense, weird action thriller reminding us about the importance of compassion and hope in the present moment, and putting fists to faces along the way!

PCS Review:

This is a great superhero comic book, but it is also more than that. Steve Orlando is bringing big ideas to this series. I am not often a huge fan of text introductions to comic books. I feel that the story should be told in the narrative, but the introduction by Dan Didio in this book really sets the stage in a meaningful way.

The introduction of the characters in a battle and the follow up sequences are natural,  and Orlando provides easy access to the plot. There is a spark of hope and light that is often missing from other contemporary new superhero universes. I am immediately invested in these characters and their plight.

Davide Tinto and Francesca Carotenuto deliver a bright and vibrant visual narrative, and the plot and art mess in a wonderful way to achieve a completely immersive experience. Fabio Amelia‘s lettering is well crafted to accommodate the necessary introductory information in this debut issue.

There has been a lot of positive buzz about this book, and it is well deserved. Orlando and Tinto are doing big things and we are here to see where they go.

 

Also please check out our SquadCast interview with Steve Orlando to here what he has in store for this series.