Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: “What Fresh Hell Is This?” 9 Levels of Studio Hell!

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: “What Fresh Hell Is This?” 9 Levels of Studio Hell!

Hey folks. It’s that time again. We search the current Kickstarter campaigns, and when we find one we feels needs a little boost, we let you know about it.

This week we are spotlighting What Fresh Hell Is This!. It is a comic anthology collection that will be published in digital and traditional print formats.

Continue reading “Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: “What Fresh Hell Is This?” 9 Levels of Studio Hell!”

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: DEATH TRAP (Interview with Matt Miner AND Laura Palmer)

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: DEATH TRAP (Interview with Matt Miner AND Laura Palmer)

This is a special edition of our Kickstarter boost posts. We were able to speak with the writer of the latest campaign and the musician behind the video theme. This is the perfect combination of what we are about here at Pop Culture Squad.

This week we are spotlighting Death Trap. It is a comic story that will be released digitally in four individual issues and then printed in a collected edition.

What is Death Trap?

According to the Kickstarter campaign page:

Death Trap is the story of a young woman named Ollie who grew up in the Strongin Circus crime family, surrounded by sideshow freaks and weird clowns and a huge albino dancing bear named Wojtek.  Her Dad’s killed by a rival crime family at Davenport Amusements, and ends up haunting his old Mercury Cougar muscle car.  So Ollie and her dad’s ghost team up for some sweet, sweet, revenge.

It sounds super cool and the various reward tiers are full of excellent material. We are stoked to see this project get funded.  At three days into the campaign, they are at about 20% of their goal.

Continue reading “Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: DEATH TRAP (Interview with Matt Miner AND Laura Palmer)”

Spotlight Interview with Dean Haspiel

Spotlight Interview with Dean Haspiel

One of the earlier interviews that we had in this series on Pop Culture Squad was with cartoonist and auteur Dean Haspiel. He was talking last year about his collected edition of The Red Hook for Image Comics. This year his second volume in that universe, War Cry, is about to hit stores October 9th.

War Cry is the continuing adventures of Sam Brosia and the characters created in The Red Hook. We have seen the story on Line Webtoon, but we have also seen a preview of the collected print edition, and it is fabulous.

We were able to have a conversation with Dean, and, as usual, it went far afield into storytelling techniques, comic making process, the anatomy of a sentient city, and his mom.

Below is a transcript of the majority of our interview.

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Spotlight Interview with Comics Writer Frank Gogol

Spotlight Interview with Comics Writer Frank Gogol

Frank Gogol is a budding comic writer who has produced some impressive work in his short career so far. He is an alumnus of the Comic Experience program, and has displayed a lot of maturity in his writing. We met Frank last year on the con circuit and were immediately impressed.

His collection of short stories, Grief,  was printed by Source Point Press last year and has recently been nominated in the Best Anthology category for the 2018 Ringo Awards. Voting for industry professionals is still open.

Frank’s latest work is Dead End Kids. It is a three issue mini-series on which he is working with Nenad Cvitcanin and Sean Rinehart. It is also being published by Source Point Press. Issue #2 came out last week, and issue #3 is due on September 25th.

We spoke to Frank earlier this summer and below is the result of that conversation. Before we got started in the question and answer portion of this discussion, Frank and I were talking about the Final Order Cutoff, or FOC for those in the trade, for issue #1. He stated that people would still be able to order the issue past the FOC until the print run was gone. Low and behold, since we spoke the first issue sold out at the distributor. So, it is good.

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Preview Reviews for the week of 9/4/2019: Battlepug #1 and Going to the Chapel #1

Preview Reviews for the week of 9/4/2019: Battlepug #1 and Going to the Chapel #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.

A reminder for you. Here at PopCultureSquad, 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 TWO preview comics. The first is the debut of Battlepug by Mike Norton and Allen Passalaqua, published by Image Comics. The second book is the premiere issue of Going to the Chapel by David Pepose and Gavin Guidry from Action Lab. Both of these books have been eagerly anticipated and are featured in our New Number Ones column for September.

You can find Battlepug and Going to the Chapel at your LCS on August 28, 2019. Continue reading “Preview Reviews for the week of 9/4/2019: Battlepug #1 and Going to the Chapel #1”

Everything We Read Special: Marvel Comics #1000

Everything We Read Special: Marvel Comics #1000

MAIN COVER BY ALEX ROSS

Normally we use this space to do quick spoiler-free reviews of all the comics we read for the current week. Today we are bringing you a special review of just one book. It is the 80-page giant publication of Marvel Comics #1000.

I know what you are thinking. There haven’t been one thousand issues of Marvel Comics. Yeah. You are right. In an effort to celebrate the eightieth anniversary of Marvel Comics, Marvel has put together a special book. The folks at Marvel did not even try to engage in the creative accounting that their counterparts at DC Comics did in terms of getting to the number that they did with Action Comics #1000 and Detective Comics #1000. They have said that the number is merely “symbolic”.

The narrative idea behind the book, which is the brainchild of writer Al Ewing, is interesting. The book is a collection of one-page stories. Each story is produced by a different creative team and is meant to highlight or recall a particular event from Marvel Comics history for a particular year in the past eighty. While there are plenty of interesting one offs in the homages, what really makes the book interesting is a narrative thread that Ewing ties through several pages to explore the history of the Marvel Universe. Continue reading “Everything We Read Special: Marvel Comics #1000”

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in September 2019

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in September 2019

Welcome back to New Number Ones!!

Here, we give our readers a preview of the new comic book series that we are looking forward to each month. We have compiled an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from PREVIEWSworld. Look for our PCS NOTES below where we just have to tell you some more about the new comic in question.

There are a ton of new series of interest starting in September. We pared down the list that we are most interested in to just over twenty. Most of these are creator-owned new series which make them extra special. There is a good mix of both existing and new characters featured in these book. Below you will find a slate of new books from a wide variety of publishers. Some of our favorite comic book talents are bringing us some of these new series.

Watch out for the first week. There are about eight great new series hitting stores on September 4th.

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.

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Keystone Comic Con Review and Cosplay Pics

Keystone Comic Con Review and Cosplay Pics

This past weekend of August 23 – 25, 2019, PopCultureSquad attended the Keystone Comic Con at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA.  It was an entertaining convention. There were high level celebrity guests and a good collection of comic professionals. Tom Holland was the big celebrity draw.

The “Artist Alley” set up was very well laid out, and even on a surprisingly busy Sunday, getting through the aisles was easily manageable. The amount of incredible creativity on display and produced was amazing. Unfortunately, we were made aware of some behind the scenes drama among the guests, which was not very pleasant. The show was not interrupted by any personal issues.

This show was definitely designed for all types of fans of pop culture. There were two types of gaming areas; tabletop and video. There was also a wrestling ring on the show floor for fans of the grappling arts.

The vendor areas flowed nicely around the guests and had a good variety of crafts, bargain comics, and high-end comic resellers. The food vending area had an interesting array of menu items and was appropriately sized for the population of the show.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable late summer show. We would be interested in going back. We would hope that the show would grow to the point that there would be a larger selection of comic pros, but that is what we hope from every show. Also, this relatively new show contended with FanExpo Canada in Toronto, and Wizard World in Chicago on the same weekend.

In parting, let us leave you with some excellent cosplay that we saw. Continue reading “Keystone Comic Con Review and Cosplay Pics”

Preview Reviews for the week of 8/28/2019: Doctor Mirage #1 and Mountainhead #1

Preview Reviews for the week of 8/28/2019: Doctor Mirage #1 and Mountainhead #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.

A reminder for you. Here at PopCultureSquad, 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 TWO preview comics. The first is the debut of Doctor Mirage by Magdalene Visaggio and Nick Robles, published by Valiant Entertainment. The second book is the premiere issue of Mountainhead by John Lees and Ryan Lee from IDW. Both of these books have been eagerly anticipated and are featured in our New Number Ones column for August.

You can find Doctor Mirage and Mountainhead at your LCS on August 28, 2019.


Doctor Mirage #1
Valiant Entertainment
Written by Magdalene Visaggio
Art by Nick Robles
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Letters by Dave Sharpe
Cover art by Philip Tan

Original Solicitation:

How do you solve the case of your own death? Paranormal expert Doctor Shan Fong Mirage was born with the ability to see and speak to the dead-an ability that has mysteriously stopped working. Have her powers failed or is something far more sinister at work? Will she figure out her fate and the fate of the one she loves the most? Valiant’s gripping supernatural mystery starts here!

PCS Review:

Valiant’s decision to bring back and refresh older characters in their control has been full of bright spots, and this is another one. Magdalene Visaggio delivers a head spinning narrative that explores the sense of self and purpose that the lead character possesses, and she introduces a new character that immediately commands your attention. The plot of this story unfolds into a supernatural mystery that begins the audience on a journey of recovery, or maybe we just think that.

This book is lovely. The combination of Nick Robles’ line art and Jordie Bellaire’s color work is a treat to behold. Bellaire’s colors create a pervasive feeling of the supernatural and chaos simultaneously. The creative panel layouts that Robles uses in this book add to the interesting read of this mysterious plot. Dave Sharpe’s work in this issue is some high level stuff. The letters are clean and the word art is organic and thoughtfully placed.

We will definitely be looking forward to the next issue of this limited series.


Mountainhead #1
IDW Entertainment
Written by John Lees
Art by Ryan Lee
Colors by Doug Garbark
Letters by Shawn Lee
Cover art by Lee

Original Solicitation:

Abraham Stubbs and his father Noah roam America in a nomadic existence. Convinced they are being pursued by sinister government forces, Noah has them living off the grid, burgling houses to survive. Elsewhere, on Mount Rector, the lone survivor of a climbing expedition staggers homeward, covered in blood. Both are on an inevitable collision course with the picturesque Canadian resort town of Braeriach. From writer John Lees and artist Ryan Lee, featuring colors from Doug Garbark and letters from Shawn Lee.

An exciting psychological thriller and horror story, all in one!

PCS Review:

The story that John Lees weaves in this initial issue to Mountainhead is compelling and heartbreaking. It would be safe to say that Abraham is the most easily sympathetic new character that I have read this year. Holy crap does that kid need a hug. Sorry. No more spoilers. This is an interesting story and the pace of the book leads the audience to the idea that there is lots more we will find out in the coming issues.

The art team really knocked it out of the park in this issue. There are stylistic choices made for the visual presentation of the story that really work well. The color work is outstanding and really does a lot of heavy lifting in setting the tone of each page. This book is a worthwhile read with an intriguing story that is just getting underway. Give it a shot.

FlameCon 2019 – Thoughts and Cosplay Pics

FlameCon 2019 – Thoughts and Cosplay Pics

Flame Con 2019 was held this past weekend August 17-18, 2019 at the Sheraton Times Square in New York City. We were lucky to be in attendance and had a terrific time.

Flame Con is “the world’s largest queer comic con”, and this was its fifth year. The event features comics, arts and other entertainment, while hosting creators and special guests from all corners of the LGBTQ fandom.

There was a fantastic array of creators from corporate publishers and small, independent, often self, publishers. The atmosphere was intensely joyous. While the show floor was a little tightly packed, the visitors made their way through the aisles with little complaint. The placement of featured guests was spread out around the show floor which was an inspired decision.

Continue reading “FlameCon 2019 – Thoughts and Cosplay Pics”