Tag: aftershock comics

With Further Ado #129: “Scout’s Honor” Earns AfterShock A Merit Badge

With Further Ado #129: “Scout’s Honor” Earns AfterShock A Merit Badge

I was never a Boy Scout. But from the outside looking in, it seemed like a pretty neat club: secret rituals and goals and uniforms and badges.  And they have that “Knights of the Round Table” mindset: to do some good in the world.

Way back when I was a kid, the only Boy Scout rule I ever knew was “As a Boy Scout I promise to do my best and the help the girl scouts get undressed.” And you know what? I don’t think that was a real rule. (I can’t believe the things we used to say back then.)

Fast forward to my professional adult life. When I worked at Nabisco on cookies like OREO and Chips Ahoy!, we really did plan around the inevitable sales dip for when Girl Scout Cookies went on sale. They were a force to be reckoned with.

When I worked at an agency in midtown Manhattan (in the original, beautiful Tiffany’s building, in fact) the National Headquarters of the Girl Scouts was right around the corner. They had a nice open area with benches in front of the main entrance where you could sit and have a sandwich during lunchtime.  I was always surprised that nobody ever tried to sell me a cookie.

I’m thinking about the Scouts because AfterShock Comics has just come out with an innovative new series called Scout’s Honor. The premise is clever. In a dystopian future, the ragtag survivors use the Scout Handbook (they are called Ranger Scouts in this reality) as their “instructional manual” for survival. Continue reading “With Further Ado #129: “Scout’s Honor” Earns AfterShock A Merit Badge”

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in January 2021

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in January 2021

This month we give our readers a list of the exciting new comic book series debuting in January. 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 about the new comics in question.

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 1/6/21
Week of 1/13/21
Week of 1/20/21
Week of 1/27/21

 


Week of January 6th


Eternals #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Esad Ribić
Cover Art by Ribić

NEVER DIE. NEVER WIN. ETERNALS. What’s the point of an eternal battle? For millions of years, one hundred Eternals have roamed the Earth, secret protectors of humanity. Without them, we’d be smears between the teeth of the demon-like Deviants. Their war has waged for all time, echoing in our myths and nightmares. But today, Eternals face something new: change. Can they—or anyone on Earth—survive their discovery? From the thought provoking minds of Kieron Gillen and Esad Ribić comes a new vision of the classic Marvel mythology!

Release Date: January 6, 2021

PCS NOTES: I have always enjoyed the Eternals storylines, and I can’t wait to see what Kieron Gillen does with it.


The Last Witch #1
Boom! Studios
Written by Conor McCreery
Art by V.V. Glass
Cover Art by Glass

It’s the one time of the year when the witch known as Cailleach hunts the children of the village – so Saoirse, a brave and reckless young girl, decides this is the perfect opportunity to defy her father and discover the secrets of the witch’s tower!

But when the Cailleach captures Saoirse and her brother Brahm, their lives are forever changed in ways they never expected.
Now, Saoirse will have to save everyone she loves by discovering the truth about the mysterious mark on her shoulder – and embracing her secret magical powers!

Release Date: January 6, 2021


Scouts Honor #1
AfterShock Comics
Written by David Pepose
Art by Luca Casalanguida
Cover Art by Andy Clarke

Years after a nuclear apocalypse, a new society has risen from the ashes…and their bible is an old Ranger Scout manual.

A young Ranger Scout named Kit has endured the harsh survivalist upbringing needed to conquer the irradiated Colorado Badlands. But after discovering a terrible secret once lost to history, Kit must risk everything on a dangerous quest to uncover the truth behind the Ranger Scouts’ doctrine.

From multiple Ringo Award-nominated writer David Pepose and artist Luca Casalanguida comes a post-apocalyptic coming-of-age tale that proves when all you know is a lie, a Scout’s Honor is the only way to move forward.

Release Date: January 6, 2021

PCS NOTES: We are big fans of writer David Pepose and have been waiting to get our hands on this book for a while.

Continue reading “New Number Ones: Comics Coming in January 2021”

YEAR IN REVIEW: Best New Comics of 2020

YEAR IN REVIEW: Best New Comics of 2020

We have made it to the end of 2020. Congratulations, it has not been an easy task. While I doubt many can say that it was a great year in general, there were some seriously good comic related things that happened.

The world has struggled with the catastrophic economic and health related consequences of pandemic not seen in a century. Despite that and a nearly two month pause in comic book distribution, the industry has survived and moved forward. When preparing for this column, I was looking for new books that came out in late spring and had forgotten that there were no new books in April and May. This year has felt like it has taken forever to get through.

In the year of almost no comic conventions, and massive layoffs and shakeups at major publishers, there managed to be some amazing comics produced. The big two delivered a couple of line wide crossover events, and the independent publishers continued to cultivate quality storytelling in a wide variety of genres.

The list you will find below is a selection of some of the best new series that I read this year. Some are limited series and some are new ongoing titles. This list is by no means exclusive of all the good comic books of the year. It is the books that I read and liked a lot.

In a normal year, I would have read more, but this year hit all of us in unexpected ways. You will find excellent story telling and art in books below. As always, we encourage you to find what you like and support it.

The list below is in alphabetical order. I added some notes to let you know why each book is on the list. Let us know what you think.


Alienated
Boom! Studios
Written by Simon Spurrier
Art by Chris Wildgoose
Colors by Andre May
Letters by Jim Campbell

Issue #1 released 2/12/20

PCS Notes: We were instantly smitten with this expertly crafted series. The technical maneuvers that were implemented to tell this cohesive story from multiple perspectives are fantastic.


Billionaire Island
Ahoy Comics
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Steve Pugh
Colors by Chris Chuckry
Letters by Rob Steen

Issue #1 Released 3/4/20

PCS Notes: Mark Russell is a master of satire in comic form, and with Steve Pugh they lampoon the capitalist economic structure of the elites with an entertaining front story. Continue reading “YEAR IN REVIEW: Best New Comics of 2020”

With Further Ado #123: Holiday Gift Guide 2020

With Further Ado #123: Holiday Gift Guide 2020

It’s been rough year for most of us, but in Geek Culture there’s been plenty of bright spots. In the spirit of trumpeting some of the good stuff, here’s my Annual Holiday Gift Guide.


HOLLY JOLLY: CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS PAST IN POP CULTURE
Written by Mark Voger
TwoMorrows Publishing

Every year, I make room on my nightstand for The Battle For Christmas by Stephen Nissenbaum. For me, it’s the “alpha book”  in analyzing and explaining our Christmas traditions that have shaped the way we celebrate the holiday.

But this December, I think I will have to make room on that night stand for TwoMorrows Publishing’s newest book. Holly Jolly by Mark Voger looks to be the definitive pop-culture counterpart to Nissenbaum’s tome.  I always enjoy Mark Voger’s writing, and I just loved his Groovy: When Flower Power Bloomed in Pop Culture (also published by TwoMorrows) a few years back.

“I can’t think of a single topic that has generated more art and culture,” says author Mark Voger of why he decided to do a Christmas book. “From music to movies, TV, cartoons, food and decor, everybody seems to have a favorite Christmas ‘something’ — a delicacy or a song or an animated special. I tried to cram everything in Holly Jolly.”

$43.95 192 pp. • Hardcover, Full Color  • ISBN: 1605490970

Available everywhere books are sold, and from the publisher TwoMorrows.


THE FANTASTIC PAINTINGS OF FRAZETTA
by J. David Spurlock 
Vanguard Publishing

Despite the calamitous nature of 2020, my wife and I were able to visit the Frank Frazetta Museum last summer. It was a wonderful trip, and I am still in awe of all the amazing paintings there.  Reading this oversized coffee table book is like a V.I.P. guided tour in that museum.  Spurlock provides just enough background and reference so that anyone can appreciate Frazetta’s talent and creativity. In fact, I wrote about this book earlier this year, and you can read that here.

My Highest Recommendation

$39.95 120 pp. • paperback  • ISBN-10: 1934331813

Available at bookstores, comic shops, the Frazetta Museum, and directly from Vanguard, the publisher.


FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES

CAT & CAT: GIRL MEETS CAT
by Christoph Cazenove, Herve Richez & Yrgane Ramon
Papercutz

Yrgane Ramon sure can draw funny cats. But the thing I like most about this artist’s work is the panels she creates. While eschewing the traditional panel grid/border, Ramon still creates a sense of storytelling urgency.

There’s a lovely element where the heroine, Cat, is from a strong single parent family. It’s not a hit-you-over-the-head type of thing, but just another sweet element of a very sweet book.

$9.99 96 pp. • Paperback  • ISBN-10 : 1545804281

Available at bookstores. comic shops and directly from the publisher, Papercutz.


ATTACK OF THE STUFF
by Jim Benton
Papercutz

If you gift this book to a fourth grader, you’ll be thrilled by how much they laugh out loud and how cool they think you are. But if you read this book with your spouse, as I did, you’ll also be laughing out loud. And maybe you’ll be thinking, “I shouldn’t have given that book away as a gift – I should’a kept it!”

The main character has a gift to hear the thoughts of all inanimate objects. The only problem is – everything whines. It’s a hilarious concept and I can’t wait for the next book in this series.  Publisher Jim Salicrup shepherds so many brilliant books, that it shouldn’t be a surprise what a winner Attack of the Stuff is. But it is a winner and that’s a wonderful surprise.

Caution: Don’t drink milk while reading this because you’ll snort it out your nose from laughing so much.

$9.99 96 pp. • Paperback  • ISBN-10 : 1545804990

Available at bookstores. comic shops and directly from the publisher, Papercutz.


EDISON BEAKER, CREATURE SEEKER: THE NIGHT DOOR
by Frank Cammuso
Viking, an imprint of Random House

What’s fun, and goofy and feels like that exact time of day when school lets out? That’s easy! The answer is any book by Frank Cammuso. His latest Edison Beaker adventure is no exception. This is an engaging one to read or to gift!

$16.99 120 pp. • Hardcover  • ISBN-10: 1949028445

Available at books stores & comic shops everywhere and online

 


GILLBERT VOLUME 3: THE FLAMING CARATS EVOLUTION
By Art Baltazar
Papercutz

Many folks think that a creator like Art Baltazar can do no wrong. I’m one of those guys!  Once again, Art takes readers on a journey of fun and silliness, peppered with a hefty dose of natural, wide-eyed fun and awe.  A wonderful read for all ages!

$14.99 80 pp. • hardcover & paperback  • ISBN 978-1-5458-0488-9 (hc)

Available at comic shops, fine bookstores and directly from Papercutz.


COLLECTED COMICS

UNDONE BY BLOOD or SHADOW OF A WANTED MAN
by Lonnie Nadler, Zac Thompson and Sami Kivelä
AfterShock Comics

I like this book so much that I assigned it as homework in one of my classes. An unconventional western with more than one twists to shake up the genre and keep every reader on her or his toes.  This clever story is brought to life with strong art from Kivelä.

$15.99 160 pp. • Paperback  • ISBN-10: 0425291936

Available at bookstores & comic shops everywhere and online here.


BILLIONAIRE ISLAND
by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh
Ahoy Comics

Last week I skimmed an article in the New York Times about how billionaires have made so many Trillion (with a “T”) dollars more during the pandemic. It was, I will admit, a little debilitating.

But this hilarious series from Ahoy Comics helped me laugh away any depressing thoughts.  Satirist Mark Russell sets his sights on the ultra-wealthy in this recent series, just collected as a trade paperback.  It’s hard to imagine that he wrote it all before the recent headlines.  Steve Pugh, a longtime favorite (I still miss his detective-exorcist series, Alice Hotwire) delivers a gorgeous story, all the while making it look so easy.

<This is the kind of book that a guy like fellow columnist Mike Gold would love.>

$16.99 144 pp. • paperback  • ISBN-10: 1952090024

Available at comic shops and fine bookstores everywhere and at the online store of NYC’s Midtown Comics.  


THE MAN WHO F#%&ED UP TIME
by John Layman and Karl Mostert
Aftershock Comics

I like time travel stories, and I bet you do too. In fact, in my comic collection I have a box devoted to time travel comics.  You know, stuff like Aztec Ace, Rip Hunter, Chronos, Timespirits and Chrononauts. This new series from Aftershock, The Man Who Fu#%&ed Time, fits right in. It’s funny, irreverent and thoughtful. But not so thoughtful that your head hurts. This one moves along at a brisk pace and the reader almost wishes it unfolded more slowly. Ah well, tempus fugit, as they say.

$15.99 160 pp. • Paperback  • ISBN-10: 1949028453

Available at bookstores & all the best comic shops.


GET SMART

CITY OF PLEASURE
By Alexandre Dupouy
Korero Press

You know how you think that your parents’ or grandparents’ generation was all prim and proper, and that you, and your friends, were the first to discover how much fun it is to be bad? Well, a book like this one will quickly cure you of that naïve hubris.

Dupouy’s book celebrates Paris during the time of madness, between the wars, and the new lifestyles embraced, all with a lust for excess.  This book definitely puts the growl back in to the roaring twenties.

$30.39 176 pp. • hardcover  • ISBN 1912740052

 Available at comic shops, fine bookstores and directly from Korero.


THE CONSCIOUS MARKETER : Inspiring a Deeper and More Conscious Brand Experience
By Jim Joseph
Mascot Books

If you can’t get enough of marketing expert Jim Joseph through his daily blog, I’d heartily suggest you give his latest marketing book a try. It’s insightful, brisk to read and leaves you feeling energized and just a little bit smarter.

$24.95 216 pp. • hardcover     • ISBN 978-1-68401-871-0

Available at bookstores and directly from the publisher, Mascot.

 

 

* * *

Have a wonderful Yuletide…and to all a Good Night!

New Number Ones – Comics Coming in December 2020

New Number Ones – Comics Coming in December 2020

This month we give our readers a list of the exciting new comic book series debuting in December. 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 about the new comics in question.

December is a relatively slow month for new series, and 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 12/2/20
Week of 12/9/20
Week of 12/16/20
Week of 12/23/20

Continue reading “New Number Ones – Comics Coming in December 2020”

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”

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”

New Number Ones – Comics Coming in October 2020

New Number Ones – Comics Coming in October 2020

Welcome back to new month of New Number Ones!!

This is where we give our readers a preview of the exciting new comic book series debuting each month. 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.

There are a lot of excellent new series of interest starting in October. 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 are very excited for this list of books.

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. We hope that will help if you come back to check this list of books weekly.

Week of 10/7/20
Week of 10/14/20
Week of 10/21/20
Week of 10/28/20


 

Week of October 7th


American Ronin #1 (OF 5)
AWA / Upshot Studios
Written by Peter Milligan
Art by Aco
Cover Art by Aco

War is over, democracy an illusion, real power now lies not with nation states but huge corporations engaged in a silent war for global domination. Their number one weapon: highly-skilled, technologically-enhanced operatives trained since childhood to pledge their allegiance to the corporate flag. But what happens when one such operative breaks free of his mental chains and decides to bring the whole system down? Can one “Ronin” make a difference?

Release Date: 10/7/20

PCS NOTES: Yeah.. Peter Milligan … I am in. Continue reading “New Number Ones – Comics Coming in October 2020”

With Further Ado #111: Let This Be Your Guide

With Further Ado #111: Let This Be Your Guide

Just like with sports or politics, there are many anticipated milestones throughout the year in Geek Culture.  As kid in the late ’60s and ’70s, I knew that summer meant over-sized Annuals and the Justice League & Justice Society of America team-up.

Before Covid-19 interrupted every aspect of business and culture, there was a rhythm to the convention season, kicking off in spring with shows like Emerald City Comic Con and C2E2, reaching a summertime crescendo with Comic-Con International in San Diego, and then celebrating one last burst with New York Comic Con in the fall before a handful of smaller regional conventions.

One highly anticipated tradition that’s been around for fifty years is the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.  Ostensibly, the place to turn for authoritative price documentation on comics, it’s morphed into a scholarly celebration of all domestic comics, an exploration of retailing trends, the last word in listings, a showcase for top artists and a validation for nerds everywhere.

Defying Covid’s grasp, the Overstreet Guide has delivered again.

Got it Covered

Each year, the Guide invites a top artist to contribute illustrations.  Back when I was a kid, we were enthralled with 1976’s Overstreet #4 with the Justice Society heroes on a cover. (All-Star Comics, home of the JSA, was revered in those days). We also loved the Joe Kubert Tarzan cover and the Will Eisner Spirit of ‘76 cover.  I remember laughing with our local comic shop owner, Kim Draheim, how Overstreet #7, spotlighting Porky Pig, missed the mark.  And Bill Ward’s Torchy cover on Overstreet #8 forced that year’s volume into the hide-it-from-your-mother category.

This year again offers top artists contributing cool covers featuring big properties.  This year fans can choose from:

 

  1. Spider-Man and Spawn sharing a cover by Todd McFarlane
  2. The Valiant heroes by John K. Snyder III
  3. Wynonna Earp by Chris Evanhuis
  4. The Defenders by one of my favorite artists, Kevin Nowlan

Continue reading “With Further Ado #111: Let This Be Your Guide”

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in September 2020

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in September 2020

Welcome back to new month of New Number Ones!!

This is where we give our readers a preview of the exciting new comic book series debuting each month. 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.

There are a lot of excellent new series of interest starting in August. 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 are very excited for this list of books.

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. We hope that will help if you come back to check this list of books weekly.

 


Week of September 2nd

 


BLACK WIDOW #1
MARVEL COMICS
Written by Kelly Thompson
Art by Elena Casagrande & Jordie Bellaire
Cover Art by Adam Hughes

Best-selling, Eisner-nominated writer Kelly Thompson and rising star artist Elena Casagrande launch a new BLACK WIDOW series that changes everything! Natasha Romanoff has been a spy almost as long as she’s been alive. And she’s never stopped running, whether she was working for the good guys…or the bad. But Natasha’s world is about to be upended. Beyond San Francisco’s Golden Gate lies a mystery that only the Marvel Universe’s greatest spy can solve. Don’t miss the heartbreaking thrill ride of 2020!

Release Date: 9/2/20

PCS NOTES: This book was a casualty of the Diamond shutdown and has finally been resolicited and makes its debut. Fans of the character should be excited to see what Kelly Thompson and Elena Casagrande have in store for Nat. Continue reading “New Number Ones: Comics Coming in September 2020”