Category: Comics

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 3/27/2024

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 3/27/2024

Welcome to the New Number Ones!

Each week we bring you the list of new series and special editions coming this week. We are highlighting what you need to put in your cart at the comic shop or digital marketplace.

We have an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from the publishers of some of the cool new comics that are coming out this week. Check below for our PCS NOTES to find out what we just have to tell you about the new comics in question.

This is a list of great books that we have been talking about for a while. We have books on this week’s list from: DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics, Drawn & Quarterly, Fantagraphic Books, Mad Cave Studios, and Boom! Studios.

We will bring you reviews 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.

New Series
New One-Shots and Special Editions


New Series This Week 


Batman: Dark Age #1
DC Comics
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Michael Allred & Laura Allred
Letters by Dave Sharpe
Cover Art by Allred & Allred

THE EISNER-NOMINATED SUPERMAN: SPACE AGE TEAM, MARK RUSSELL AND MIKE ALLRED, TAKE ON THE DARK KNIGHT!

Meet Bruce Wayne, Gotham’s favorite delinquent son. In an origin story like no other, witness the boy become a dark knight shaped by a city in turmoil as it marches towards its prophesied doom. Set against the backdrop of actual historical events, Gotham comes alive, filled with the iconic characters who’ve loved and hated Batman over the years like you’ve never seen them before. Spinning out of the Eisner-nominated Superman: Space Age, Mark Russell and Mike Allred return to give audiences a look at Batman as a figure in American history fighting for justice in a world gone mad.

Release Date: March 26, 2024

PCS NOTES: We are super excited for this series. We thoroughly enjoyed the Superman: Space Age series and are hopeful of that excellent storytelling will continue in this series. You can check out our SquadCast Episode with Mark Russell talking about this series and more, here.


Feral #1
Image Comics
Written by Tony Fleecs
Art by Trish Forstner, Tone Rodriguez, & Brad Simpson
Cover Art by Fleecs & Forstner

SERIES PREMIERE

A NEW HORROR FROM THE CREATORS OF STRAY DOGS!

Meet Elsie, Lord Fluffy Britches, and Patch, three indoor cats lost in the not-so-great outdoors during a nightmarish rabies outbreak.

Without their humans to protect them, the cats rush to find their way home before they’re eaten by the forest full of rabid beasts on their tails.

Don’t get bit.

Don’t get scratched.

Don’t become…FERAL.

Release Date: March 27, 2024

PCS NOTES: This is the NEW NUMBER ONE OF THE WEEK! We spoke to Tony Fleecs about this book last month on the SquadCast and have been excited for the public to get their hands on it. Check out the interview, here. Continue reading “New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 3/27/2024”

Brainiac On Banjo: Wanna Buy A Duck?

Brainiac On Banjo: Wanna Buy A Duck?

“It paints you with indifference, like a lady paints with rouge, and the worst of the worst, the most hated and cursed, is the one that we call Scrooge. Unkind as any, and the wrath of many, this is Ebenezer Scrooge.” – Scrooge, written by Paul Williams.

O.K. I’ll admit it. When I first saw a cover to Uncle Scrooge and The Infinity Dime, I thought it was a variant for one of the Avengers titles. Obviously, I was mistaken. It was one of 13 different covers — you tell me which is not the variant — of Marvel’s first-ever (kinda) produced Disney legacy characters comic book.

I doubt I would have guessed Jason Arron would be the writer. Not that I have a bad opinion of his work; quite the contrary. It just didn’t occur to be that a Punisher writer, not to mention Superman, The (various) Avengers, Batman, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — among a treasure trove of others — would be the person to waddle in the palmate footpath of Carl Barks and Don Rosa.

Back when I first entered the friendly confines of organized comic book fandom, and I use the word “organized” advisedly, it seemed as though there were four things “everybody” was collecting: Will Eisner’s The Spirit, EC Comics, All-Star Comics (the Justice Society of America, although no one would pass up those first two issues), and Carl Barks. Well, mostly Barks’ duck stories, although, again, nobody would pass up his Porky Pig. Barks’ nickname was “the good duck artist” because it took a while for us to learn the names of the rest of Disney’s flock of talent. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: Wanna Buy A Duck?”

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 3/20/24

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 3/20/24

Welcome to the New Number Ones!

Each week we bring you the list of new series and special editions coming this week. We are highlighting what you need to put in your cart at the comic shop or digital marketplace.

We have an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from the publishers of some of the cool new comics that are coming out this week. Check below for our PCS NOTES to find out what we just have to tell you about the new comics in question.

While there is not a huge amount of new series this week, there are some very interesting ones on this list. We have books on this week’s list from: DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, Humanoids, Inc., and Boom! Studios.

We will bring you reviews 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.

New Series
New One-Shots and Special Editions


New Series This Week 


Dawnrunner #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Ram V
Art by Evan Cagle & Dave Stewart
Letters by Aditiya Bidikar
Cover Art by Cagle

A century ago a portal opened over Central America and the Tetza that came through changed our world. Now the world bends all its effort to making the Iron Kings-great mechs that must battle the Tetza for humanity’s continued survival in gladiatorial combat. Anita Marr is the greatest of the pilots and is chosen to pilot a new prototype that could change the tide in humanity’s favor. An all-ages sci-fi epic from rising stars Ram V and Evan Cagle.

Release Date: March 20, 2024

PCS NOTES: This solicitation, cover, and title have me excited.


Dune: House Corrino #1
Boom! Studios
Written by Kevin J. Anderson & Brian Herbert
Art by Simone Ragozzone & Dan Jackson
Letters by Ed Dukeshire
Cover Art by Raymond Swanland

House Corrino, once the deadliest House in the known universe as the Imperial family, set up the final pieces leading into the events of Dune and the fall of House Atreides.

While conflicts escalate between the Fremen and House Harkonnen on Arrakis, the Bene Gesserit keep a close eye on Jessica’s pregnancy, and House Atreides takes part in the plan to seal Ix’s fate…

Release Date: March 20, 2024 Continue reading “New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 3/20/24”

Brainiac On Banjo: Rare Praise Indeed!

Brainiac On Banjo: Rare Praise Indeed!

“The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s how the smart money bets.” ― Damon Runyon

My all-time favorite writer — I’m volunteering because you didn’t ask — is Damon Runyon. He’s the author of about a million brilliant short stories largely concerning the mobsters and the Guys and Dolls of Broadway, inventing a whole New York City that never existed, but should have, to the point where many New Yorkers think his Manhattan leaked verisimilitude. Sadly, it was entirely created by a master craftsman who invented his own American dialect to delineate those stories.

He wrote a column for the Hearst newspaper chain and wire services during the first half of the last century, which meant his words were presented to an audience in the tens of millions. His stories have been adapted to stage and to screen — for example, the aforementioned Guys and Dolls. He has written passages that have taken away my breath.

Including the one I’m about to offer. It’s about another astonishingly gifted man, master cartoonist George Herriman, creator of the deservedly legendary daily and Sunday Krazy Kat newspaper comic strip, which also ran for decades in the Hearst newspapers and elsewhere.

That effort of Runyon’s, my friends, is rare praise indeed.

As published in the Arizona Gazette on August 13, 1921, and in dozens and dozens of other newspapers on or around that date, here is “Father of Krazy Kat Admired As Mild-Mannered Genius,” by Damon Runyon.

Charley Van Loan – peace to his ashes! – used to tell me about “The Greek.”

George Herriman and Employee

“Funny guy, the Greek.” said Charley. “You’ll have to meet him.”

It so happened that the meeting never took place until one day out in Los Angeles. I was visiting at Charley’s house, and Charley answered a ring at the door bell.

Presently I heard him whooping, and in a moment he returned dragging with what seemed to me outrageous violence, a mild-looking gentleman in impeccable attire who was plaintively submissive to Charley’s handling.

“‘This is ‘The Greek!’” roared Charley; “meet ‘The Greek.'”

So I met “The Greek.” who is not a Greek at all, but who looked like a Greek to Van Loan’s fanciful eyes. I met George Herriman, the cartoonist who draws “Krazy Kat,” and one of the sweetest, gentlest and one of the souls I have ever known.

It is my opinion that fate originally intended George Herriman to write another “Alice in Wonderland,” or some new fairy tales for the children, but inadvertently it gave him great facility for drawing pictures.

Having arrived in an era when drawing pictures was productive of more immediate returns than writing stories, Herriman began drawing. In drawing, however, he also began telling his fairy stories, probably in a ruder form than his gentile artistic sense dictates, but none the less stories. “Krazy Kat” is the quaintest conceit in what I might call cartooning history. George has invented dozens of more or less famous pen and ink characters., including “Dingbat,” and “Baron Bean,’ but none of them ever compared with “Krazy Kat” in humor.

Only Herriman could have thought of reversing the real relation of the cat and the mouse, making the cat the victim of torment by the mouse, but always enjoying the inevitable brick bouncing off its feline head. And only Herriman could write the lines that accompany the pictures. lines, It is in these pictures, I think, that he attains a higher degree of humor than even in his pictures.

Take one of Herriman’s “Krazy Kat” strips and study it well. Note the amazing character delineation in the funny little birds and animals he draws. What could be more appropriate than having the “Mock Duck” a Chinese character, the coyote a Spaniard, the doctor a stork and the cop a bull pup?

James Montgomery Flagg, Ellis Parker Butler, Charles M. Schwab, Neysa MeMein, Enrico Caruso and Percival Grenville Wodehouse are among those who have praised Herriman’s work, but I imagine, knowing George, that the finest praise to him must be the praise of his brother cartoonists.

I don’t know whether he is aware of it or not, but he is the cartoonists’ cartoonist. By that I mean he is their favorite. I have talked with many of them in my time, and I have yet to find one that did not immediately declare that George the greatest that of them all in point of humor, originality and execution.

Now cartoonists, more than any professional other men, are quick to praise a contemporary if he is doing good work.

Personally. Herriman is so modest and self-effacing that he is almost annoying. He talks very little, and then in a soft, low tone. He is full of sentiment and it leaks out through his pen.

One of these days George may take it into his head to do some writing, and when that time comes I predict that we will have a new master of tales for children such as we have not had within the memory of the present generation.

If getting a guest contributor is supposed to save the writer time and energy, I failed miserably. But to dig up and share the opinions of one of our greatest writers about one of our greatest cartoonists — well, that’s a rare privilege indeed.

George Herriman and Damon Runyon. Two creators who deepened our understanding of genius.

 

With Further Ado #289: SXSW – X: “South By” + The X-Men (From the Ashes)

With Further Ado #289: SXSW – X: “South By” + The X-Men (From the Ashes)

The annual South by Southwest Festival is usually written as SXSW and folk typically refer to it as ‘South By”. I tend to describe it to industry friends as “San Diego Comic-Con without the comics”, but that doesn’t really capture the essence of this sprawling and wonderfully bloated event. It’s more like the answer to a riddle along the lines of “What if a business conference, with a focus on technology, media and start-ups had a baby with a Music Festival?”

Last year there was only one comic industry panel. Vault Comics made some cool announcements and leveraged a celebrity collaboration they had just inked.

This year, Marvel Comics (not Marvel Studios) was at the main convention hall (there are SXSW events and panels all over Austin, TX) with a panel that pulled back the curtain on a new X-Men initiatives and talked about a collab with new technology startup.

The panel was initially led by Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief, C.B. Cebulski. Also onstage were Executive Editor Tom Breevort and writers Gail Simone and Jed MacKay. Continue reading “With Further Ado #289: SXSW – X: “South By” + The X-Men (From the Ashes)”

Preview Reviews for the Week of 3/13/2024: Helen of Windhorn, I Heart Skull-Crusher, Napalm Lullaby, and Wrong Earth: Dead Ringers

Preview Reviews for the Week of 3/13/2024: Helen of Windhorn, I Heart Skull-Crusher, Napalm Lullaby, and Wrong Earth: Dead Ringers

There are four New Number Ones that debut today that we want to tell you about. Typically, in this column, we bring you advanced reviews of comics that are coming out this week.

This week, we have comics from four different publishers, which is something that we love to see. The ironic thing about this group is that three of the books are examples of creative teams from previous series reuniting for these new comics. We have Helen of Windhorn #1 from Dark Horse Comics, I Heart Skull-Crusher #1 from Boom! Studios, Napalm Lullaby #1 from Image ComicsWrong Earth: Dead Ringers #1 from Ahoy Comics.

You can find these books at your LCS or wherever you buy books today March 13, 2024.

Also the rest of the #NewNumberOnes for the week are here.


Helen of Windhorn #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Tom King
Art by Bilquis Evely
Colors by Matheus Lopes
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Evely & Lopes

Original Solicitation:

From the Eisner award-winning and bestselling creative team of Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow comes this Gothic sword and sorcery epic that’s “Conan the Barbarian meets The Wizard of Oz.” Following the tragic death of her late father C.K. Cole, the esteemed pulp writer and creator of the popular warrior character Othan; Helen Cole is called back to her Grandfather’s enormous and elustrious estate: Wyndhorn House. Scarred by Cole’s untimely passing and lost in a new, strange world, Helen wreaks drunken havoc upon her arrival; however, her chaotic ways begin to soften as she discovers a lifetime of secrets hiding within the myriad rooms and hallways of the expansive manor. For outside its walls, within the woods, dwell the legendary adventures that once were locked away within her father’s stories.

PCS Review:

This series has been mentioned as a spiritual successor to Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, and that is an easy comparison. That entire team is back for this creator-owned book, and they have strong independent leading women. However, I feel that comparison does a disservice to Helen. This book is amazing as is Supergirl, but readers should take each story on its own.

Tom King and Bilquis Evely craft a fantastic world in the pages of this book that are tinged with despondence and tragedy. The narrative is expertly crafted and King’s use of a hostile narrator adds a level of uncomfortability to the reading experience that requires that the reader not to turn away.

The characters, particularly the title character, are compelling and expertly crafted. The visual tapestry that Evely and Matheus Lopes weave is stunning and intoxicating. Clayton Cowles is one of the best letterers in the business and brings his “A” game to this book.

When I finished reading this book, I was disappointed because I didn’t want it to end. And now I can’t wait for issue two. Continue reading “Preview Reviews for the Week of 3/13/2024: Helen of Windhorn, I Heart Skull-Crusher, Napalm Lullaby, and Wrong Earth: Dead Ringers”

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 3/13/24

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 3/13/24

Welcome to the New Number Ones!

Each week we bring you the list of new series and special editions coming this week. We are highlighting what you need to put in your cart at the comic shop or digital marketplace.

We have an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from the publishers of some of the cool new comics that are coming out this week. Check below for our PCS NOTES to find out what we just have to tell you about the new comics in question.

March has hit the ground running with some great new books and the future look bright as well. Some highly anticipated books are on this week’s list. We have books on this week’s list from: DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, Fantagraphics Books, AWA Studios, Boom! Studios, and Image Comics.

We will bring you reviews 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.

New Series
New One-Shots and Special Editions


New Series This Week 


Batman / Dylan Dog #1
DC Comics
Written by Roberto Recchioni
Art by Werther Dell’Edera & Gigi Cavenago
Cover Art by Cavenago

DC’S WORLD’S GREATEST DETECTIVE AND SERGIO BONELLI’S NIGHTMARE INVESTIGATOR UNITE! See how the fates of Batman and Dylan Dog intertwined in the past through their lethal nemeses: The Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime of Gotham City, and Professor Xabaras, a mad genius with a taste for bringing the dead back to life! Joker is in London to seal a hellish pact with Dylan Dog’s nemesis, the Mephistophelian Xabaras! The doorbell of Craven Road No. 7 screams, and beyond the doorway Bruce Wayne appears. For the Nightmare Investigator, an incredible adventure begins side by side with the Dark Knight. They’ll have to forge an uneasy alliance, putting aside their differences in order to successfully confront and defeat an evil that comes from the past…

Release Date: March 13, 2024

PCS NOTES: A Batman book that is reaching out to Europe. Stuff like this is encouraging because it exposes Batman fans to other genres and different types of comic characters. We are hopeful for a good story.


Batman and Robin and Howard #1
DC Comics
Written by Jeffrey Brown
Art by Brown
Cover Art by Brown

To Damian Wayne, there is nothing more important than protecting the streets of Gotham City as Robin. But when he makes a critical mistake while out on patrol, Damian finds himself benched, on top of transferring to a new school. When his new classmate Howard offers to show him the ropes, Damian finds himself in a challenge he never expected…

Release Date: March 13, 2024

PCS NOTES: Like the above book, we are getting another Batman related comic that is reaching out to other audiences than the usual denizens of Gotham fandom.


Black Widow & Hawkeye #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Stephanie Philips
Art by Paolo Villanelli & Mattia Iacono
Cover Art by Stephen Segovia & Jesus Aburtov

THE EYES OF A HAWK AND THE VENOM OF A WIDOW! Even when Black Widow and Hawkeye had no one to trust, they still had each other—even though their paths sometimes diverged. So when Clint Barton is accused of a rogue assassination attempt that puts the U.S. and Madripoor at odds, a symbiote-equipped Natasha Romanoff thinks nothing of coming to his aid. But as echoes of their past ripple into the present, it will take all their faith in each other—and the lessons learned along the way—to protect their futures. Join fan-favorite creators Stephanie Phillips (ROGUE & GAMBIT, CAPWOLF & THE HOWLING COMMANDOS) and Paolo Villanelli (CAPTAIN MARVEL: DARK TEMPEST, STAR WARS: BOUNTY HUNTERS) as they celebrate sixty years of Black Widow and Hawkeye with this new chapter IN the pair’s storied legacy!

Release Date: March 13, 2024

PCS NOTES: This looks like a cool new story for fans of these storied characters. Continue reading “New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 3/13/24”

Brainiac On Banjo: Superman Kills!?!

Brainiac On Banjo: Superman Kills!?!

“People say that life is good, but I just piss and moan. I got one foot on a banana peel, the other in the Twilight Zone.” Life Sucks And Then You Die, written by Mike Girard, Doug Forman and Rich Bartlett

It is well-known that the Man of Steel does not kill. However, that has not always been the case.

I just started rereading the first year of the Superman newspaper comic strip. It began publication near the beginning of 1939, five months prior to the release of the first Superman #1. Its circulation was mammoth, quickly appearing in virtually all major American cities and headlined by The New York Mirror, which ultimately had a daily circulation that was about the same as all three printings of Superman #1 combined. It is fair to say that, in these earliest days, the strip did quite a lot to maximize the Man of Steel’s popularity. The Adventures of Superman radio show, equally successful in widening the audience, didn’t start until a full year later.

Initially, the strip was produced by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s studio in Cleveland. Joe’s eyesight was pretty much shot by 1939, but he inked — at the very least — the character faces. The rest of the artwork was handled by Wayne Boring and Paul Cassidy. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: Superman Kills!?!”

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 3/6/2024

New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 3/6/2024

Welcome to the New Number Ones!

Each week we bring you the list of new series and special editions coming this week. We are highlighting what you need to put in your cart at the comic shop or digital marketplace.

We have an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from the publishers of some of the cool new comics that are coming out this week. Check below for our PCS NOTES to find out what we just have to tell you about the new comics in question.

March has brought us an abundance of New Number Ones. The quality of OGNs in the One-Shots and Specials section is especially impressive. We have books on this week’s list from: DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, Oni Press, Fantagraphics Books, Massive Comics, Ablaze Comics, and Image Comics.

We will bring you reviews 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.

New Series
New One-Shots and Special Editions


New Series This Week 


Aliens: What If…? #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Paul Reiser, Leon Reiser, Adam F. Goldberg, Hans Rodianoff, & Brian Volk-Weiss
Art by Guiu Vilanova
Cover Art by Phil Noto

WHAT IF… CARTER BURKE HAD LIVED? For years, fans of James Cameron’s legendary Aliens questioned whether Carter Burke, a company man more hateable than the Xenos themselves, had actually survived the traumatic events on the terraforming colony Hadley’s Hope. Now the actor behind the beloved villain, Paul Reiser, joins his son Leon and the star-studded team of writers and producers Adam F. Goldberg, Brian Volk-Weiss and Hans Rodionoff for a journey back to Hadley’s Hope and the twisted escape of a man who should have died.

Release Date: March 6, 2024

PCS NOTES: I am interested in seeing Paul Reiser’s take on the character he played in the classic Aliens.


The Bat-Man: First Knight #1
DC Comics
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Mike Perkins & Mike Spicer
Letters by Simon Bowland
Cover Art by Perkins

WITNESS THE EARLIEST DAYS OF THE DARK KNIGHT! LEGENDARY WRITER DAN JURGENS AND SUPERSTAR ARTIST MIKE PERKINS TEAM TO RETELL ONE OF BATMAN’S MOST INFAMOUS CASES THROUGH AN ACUTELY MODERN LENS!

The year is 1939. The world, still reeling from the horrors of the First World War, is on the brink of tipping into an even more gruesome conflict, as fascism is on the march—and gathering strength in America’s darkest corners. Against this backdrop, a series of violent murders has begun in Gotham, and the recent emergence of the mysterious vigilante known as The Bat-Man has the power brokers of the city living in fear of institutional collapse. All of the evidence in the murder investigation defies logic: the perpetrators are all men who died in the electric chair. But when the Bat- Man comes face to face with one of these sickening anomalies, he barely escapes with his life—throwing into question his ability to survive in a world that is brutally evolving around him! Legendary writer Dan Jurgens and superstar artist Mike Perkins return to the earliest days of the Dark Knight, retelling one of his most infamous cases through an acutely modern lens, depicting a world paralyzed by anxiety and a desperate populace crying out for release!

Release Date: March 5, 2024

PCS NOTES: This is a new Batman book that we are excited to see from a creative team we trust to  deliver high quality storytelling. Continue reading “New Number Ones: New Comics Series and Specials Coming the Week of 3/6/2024”

With Further Ado #287: ComicsPRO – A Comic Convention with the Fans

With Further Ado #287: ComicsPRO – A Comic Convention with the Fans

I just spent several days with a couple hundred entrepreneurial retailers and industry professionals fighting the good fight in the comics biz. This was at ComicsPRO, the industry trade association’s annual tradeshow/convention designed to help retailers develop best practices, better understand the year’s new releases, and generally recharge everyone’s batteries for an engaging year.

Maybe you haven’t heard of ComicsPRO? There’s no shame in that. It is not really a consumer- facing organization. Here’s some background from their site:

WHAT IS COMICSPRO?

ComicsPRO is a trade association for comic book retailers. We are a volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to improving the comic book specialty market. The power and strength of ComicsPRO comes from its members.

The goals of ComicsPRO spell CAPE:

COMMUNICATE: (Forums, Feeds, ComicsPROgress.com, Digital Newsletters)
ADVOCATE: (Lobby Industry Partners)
PROMOTE: (Industry Days, Industry Awards)
EDUCATE: (Annual Meeting, Online Education, Seminars at Conventions) Continue reading “With Further Ado #287: ComicsPRO – A Comic Convention with the Fans”