Tag: BILLIONAIRE ISLAND

Preview Reviews for the Week of 11/9/2022: Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs #1, Specs #1, and Two Graves #1

Preview Reviews for the Week of 11/9/2022: Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs #1, Specs #1, and Two Graves #1

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.

This week we have a three terrific books for you. The first is Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs #1 from Ahoy Comics, and the second is Specs #1 which is from Boom! Studios. Finally, there is Two Graves #1 from Image Comics.

You can find these books at your LCS or wherever you buy books on November 9, 2022.

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


Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs #1
Ahoy Comics
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Steve Pugh
Colors by Chris Chuckry
Letters by Rob Steen
Cover Art by Steve Pugh

Original Solicitation:

The long-awaited return of the “series that’s simultaneously infuriating and hysterically funny in its indictment of not just the 1%, but of the people-and the economic system-that enable them” (Comics Beat). The year is 2046, two years after Billionaire Island fell-taking the world’s economy with it. Only one man-er, dog-can save us now. But where is Business Dog?

PCS Review:

Reading a political socio-economic commentary by Mark Russell on election day just feels right. This next volume in the world of Billionaire Island is off to an excellent start. The brilliance of Russell’s writing is that while it is loaded with social commentary and satire, the story is usually compelling and interesting. That is certainly the case with this book.

The story picks up two years after the first volume ends and does an excellent job of laying out the environment while ramping up a new conflict. The character development and pacing of the book are well executed.

Steve Pugh does a fantastic job with the visual narrative. His character expressions are important to the success of the story, and they stand out so exquisitely because of the brilliant panel designs and page layouts. Chris Chukry’s bright color work blends perfectly into the tone of the book, and Rob Steen continues to be the unheralded star of Ahoy comics with his excellent lettering.

This is an entertaining book that makes you think and invites you to come back for issue #2. Also the homicidal golf cart steals the second half of the issue. Continue reading “Preview Reviews for the Week of 11/9/2022: Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs #1, Specs #1, and Two Graves #1”

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comic Writer Mark Russell

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comic Writer Mark Russell

In this episode of the Pop Culture SquadCast we spoke with writer Mark Russell. It’s been about seven years since Mark burst on the scene with his breakthrough book The Flintstones from DC comics.

Since that time, he has delivered a string of smart, thought provoking stories in the medium including Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, Second Coming with Ahoy Comics, Red Sonja from Dynamite Entertainment, Billionaire Island, Not All Robots from AWA Studios, and so much more.

We spent some time in this conversation talking about his two upcoming series which are Superman: Space Age on which he is work with legendary artist Mike Allred. And The Incal: Psychoverse that he is doing with Yanick Paquette.

If you are a fan of Mark Russell’s work at all, you know that we had to touch on some current events and nature of human society. It was a lot of fun.

We transcribed some of the interview below but also listen to the SquadCast to hear the whole conversation. We hope you enjoy it.


PopCultureSquad: You’ve written Superman before in Wonder Twins and One Star Squadron. How does this new story differ for you? Is it the same version of Superman?

Mark Russell: I wanted to write him as like sort of a wise old stoic, you know, sort of like Marcus Aurelius or Suetonius or something, but he doesn’t start out that way. And I think what is different about this story is it tells Superman from his beginnings to becoming that. So, it is much more about trial and error. It is much more about the process of him becoming Superman, about him absorbing the wisdom of the Kents and Lois lane, and synthesizing all of the influences that they have on his life and becoming what you would recognize as my Superman. He is an unflappable, wise character who realizes that he has to be the voice of reason, that he has to be the most generous soul in the room, because anything less than that would be a nightmare for the human race.

PCS: Right. And it’s interesting because the Superman that you have written is very different from Sunstar from Second Coming. Superman that you’ve written has that heavy gravitas to him. And you can tell that everyone who’s talking to him, or stuck talking to him, knows that they are talking to the most powerful person on the planet, and he is not acting like it.

MR: So. Yeah. When I had originally pitched the Second Coming story, I wanted it to be Superman, but, Dan Didio at DC said, “I get death threats when Superman fails to say the Pledge of Allegiance. You are not going to involve me in your blasphemy here.” So, luckily he said no to Superman, but he said, “You can write it as a creator own character, and I’ll approve it.” So, that’s when I created Sunstar. and it really turned out to be a good move, because Sunstar, I think makes a much better paring for Jesus Christ than Superman.

If it was Superman, then you just have two nice guys, two really wise guys bouncing off each other, and no one wants to read that. There is just really nowhere to go with that. Whereas, Sunstar is not that wise. He’s a guy who’s kind of spoiled, someone who’s leaned into his privilege, and Christ has to sort of dial him back a little. Continue reading “Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comic Writer Mark Russell”

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.

 

 

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

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in March 2020

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in March 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 bunch of new series of interest starting in March. Some very familiar titles are coming back, and there are a lot of new series from some of our favorite creators, by a diverse set of publishers. We are very excited to see what they have in store for us.

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.

Continue reading “New Number Ones: Comics Coming in March 2020”