Tag: Thor

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”

Everything We Read This Week – 3/11/2020

Everything We Read This Week – 3/11/2020

Welcome back to Everything We Read This Week. This is the place that we make our weekly trip through this week’s pull-list. It features mostly spoiler-free brief analysis and commentary of each book.

This week we read a bunch great comics. The storytelling  was impressive.  We encourage you to go out and find the comics you like, and remember, Read More Comics!!

We reviewed books from DC Comics, Marvel Comics, AfterShock Comics, and Image Comics this week. As always, we hope you might find what we say interesting enough to try some of these comics. Don’t forget we welcome comments on these and any other comics that you read. Feel free to leave a comment and get the conversation moving.

Also, Don’t forget to check our hotlist of new books debuting this month over here.  There are a couple on this list.

And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:

Continue reading “Everything We Read This Week – 3/11/2020”

Everything We Read This Week – 2/12/2020

Everything We Read This Week – 2/12/2020

Welcome back to Everything We Read This Week. This is the place that we make our weekly trip through this week’s pull-list. It features mostly spoiler-free brief analysis and commentary of each book.

This week we read a so many great comics. There was a nice cross section of comic storytelling that we came across this week. We tackled multiple genres and each of these offerings were superb. We encourage you to go out and find the comics you like, and remember, Read More Comics!!

We reviewed books from DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Ahoy Comics, Boom! Studios, Image Comics, and Dynamite Entertainment this week. As always, we hope you might find what we say interesting enough to try some of these comics. Don’t forget we welcome comments on these and any other comics that you read. Feel free to leave a comment and get the conversation moving.

Also, Don’t forget to check our hotlist of new books debuting this month over here. We didn’t have any new series come out this week on our pull list, but next week will be a different story.

And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:

Continue reading “Everything We Read This Week – 2/12/2020”

New Number Ones For the Week of 1/1/2020

New Number Ones For the Week of 1/1/2020

Hey There Folks!! This column is designed to bring you reviews of new comic book series that came out this week. We will try to focus on independent and original series for the most part. Despite that intent, this first week is light on new series and we have three Marvel Comics series for you along with a new book from IDW Publishing.

You will usually find the books that we review in this space on our month list of New Number Ones. You might want to check over there to see what you can expect for the rest of the month.

This week we will bring you our thoughts on four books: Hawkeye: Freefall #1, I Can Sell You a Body #1, Star Wars #1, and Thor #1

Check out the reviews below in alphabetical order: Continue reading “New Number Ones For the Week of 1/1/2020”

Brainiac On Banjo #059: Four-Color Audio!

Brainiac On Banjo #059: Four-Color Audio!

In certain circles, I am known as a radio drama fanatic… and, of course, in certain pentagrams as well. Not just the old stuff whose echoes faded as television became a thing, but the new efforts as well. Even more so.

Full-cast audio means exactly what it’s labelled. Gather up a bunch of perfectly-selected actors, give them a well-written script, an awesome array of appropriate sound effects, a digital recording facility with more computing power than the Mars Rover, a director to beat the band and a producer whose pen ever runs out of ink, and together they tell fantastic stories into the microphones.

The listener provides the visuals. As such, the crew is ripping your sense of wonder out of your very soul and encouraging you to paint all those pictures within the comfort of your very own brainpan. As such, this is a perfect medium in which to grow heroic fantasy. Here, all the work percolates in your head and you become such a vital part of the production team that, really, you should ask for royalties. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #059: Four-Color Audio!”

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.

Continue reading “New Number Ones: Comics Coming in September 2019”

Beat JENeration 33: Avengers: Endgame, Let’s Get Spoil-y

Beat JENeration 33: Avengers: Endgame, Let’s Get Spoil-y

As promised, I have a few thoughts.

Now, if this column’s title didn’t give you pause, let me reiterate that I’m not holding back. Onward ho to Spoiler City we go!

But also, c’mon, if you haven’t seen Avengers: Endgame by now, I have to wonder if you even care about spoilers.
Continue reading “Beat JENeration 33: Avengers: Endgame, Let’s Get Spoil-y”

Beat JENeration #032: Avengers: Endgame (No Spoilers)

Beat JENeration #032: Avengers: Endgame (No Spoilers)

Well, shit.

Um.

It’s currently 11:42pm Thursday night, PDT and I know the internet is full of all kinds of spoilers (because I already looked up some pressing issues), but it doesn’t feel right to say anything yet.

Even though I haven’t seen a theatre that crowded ever. Well, maybe in the 1980’s, on a holiday weekend. It was crazy. And I loved every second of it.

I think it’s safe to also note that I got a bucket of popcorn and a large drink and didn’t finish either for the first time in I can’t even tell you. I just got too caught up in the movie. That probably has never happened before.

I liked it very much. I will see it again tomorrow. Probably also another time within the next week.

It just doesn’t feel right to say anything else. Except maybe that I wish for you all to see it spoiler free.  Continue reading “Beat JENeration #032: Avengers: Endgame (No Spoilers)”

Don’t Let’s Start #003: The Comic I’ve Had The Longest

Don’t Let’s Start #003: The Comic I’ve Had The Longest

Contributor Bob Harrison posed the question in his first column here at Pop Culture Squad. Not what is the oldest comic in your collection, but rather what comic have you held onto the longest. I immediately knew my answer, and that it was 3 comics I had bought at the same time when I was in 3rd grade.

Now I don’t remember the actual date (I was 8 years old) but it was a snow day during the 1983/84 school year. Being raised by a single mother, snow days often meant I went to work with her when I was too young to stay home all day alone. At some point that day I walked from my mom’s office to the newstand around the corner and bought myself some books off the spinner rack. Zyn’s News & Cigars is still in the same spot on Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich Connecticut today.

I was a voracious reader even then and a rather precocious child. I say that not to toot my own horn, it’s a thing I heard adults say about me and it often didn’t seem like they meant it as a compliment; I say it because the books I bought were not exactly the Archies that society seemingly wanted me, a little girl, to be reading.

As I look back at the 3 books that are the subject of this column I see so much of the foundation of my fandom laid out in these issues. Wonder Woman. Black Canary. The Huntress. Deadshot. Alfred Pennyworth. Doctor Strange.  Continue reading “Don’t Let’s Start #003: The Comic I’ve Had The Longest”

Continued After the Next Page #004: When Thor Rode the Bus

Continued After the Next Page #004: When Thor Rode the Bus

Comic books today are made in vastly different ways than the were in years past. Scripts are emailed; pencils are done on tablets and then emailed or shared again across the internet; colors and letters are handled digitally. Of course, I am generalizing, but the point is that, in the world we live in, the creators of comic books have evolved to take advantage of the technology available to them. In this column, I want to remind us of the interesting events that surrounded the physical creation of the comics we read in the past.

I had the great opportunity to meet legendary artist/writer/letterer John Workman at a convention last year. He shared an amazing story with me, and recently we spoke again about it and many other comic and non-comic topics. In the coming weeks, here on Pop Culture Squad, I will be sharing the interview as a whole, but today, I would like to share with you a few humorous and fascinating stories related to the methods that John employed in getting the art, words, and color on the Bristol board pages that made the comics of old.

John Workman has been a frequent collaborator with the great Walter Simonson throughout the years. John was the letterer on the entirety of Walt’s remarkable run on Thor in the 80’s (1983-1987). They are still working together on the creator-owned Ragnarok, for which John is nominated for both Eisner and Ringo Awards this year. I asked John to recount the tale of how he and Walt would pass the comic pages back and forth back in the day:

Thor Rode the Bus Continue reading “Continued After the Next Page #004: When Thor Rode the Bus”