Monday, June 20, 2016

ALL STAR RECOMMENDS FOR APRIL 21ST


Fans of weird movies and bandes dessinees rejoice!

Released last week in France was the first album in the brand new Les Fils d’El Topo series. The comics sequel to Alejandro Jodrowsky’s classic 1970 film El Topo, Les Fils d’El Topo (or, The Sons of El Topo) sees writer Jodorowsky returning to the character he wrote, directed and played on screen, creating the original “Midnight Movie” in the process. Gorgeously illustrated by Jose Ladronn, who has come a very long way since his Kirby-goes-Moebius stint on Cable back in the day (which I dug immensely) this is a much-anticipated project and a welcome return by Jodo to arguably his most iconic creation. Take a look at the images below and place your bets on which publisher will bring this project to English. Given the quality of Titan’s recent French reprints, I’d be pretty happy if it was them but whoever ends up publishing the translation it can’t surely come soon enough.



COMIC OF THE WEEK : UNFOLLOW VOL 1: 140 CHARACTERS
By Rob Williams, Matt Dowling, R.M. Guera, Quinton Winter & Giulia Brusco
Published By Vertigo

Billionaire Larry Ferrell, the creator of wildly successful social media platform, Headspace, is dying rapidly and cruelly from an aggressive cancer. Ending his days on a private island in the Bahamas with Dr Zhu, the finest oncologist money can buy, and his mentally-unhinged Mr Fixit, Rubenstein, Ferrell decides to conduct a grand social experiment with his passing by bequeathing an equal share of his billions to 140 Headspace users selected at “random” by a computer program. The winners are whisked away to his island for a few days of celebration where they also informed that not only are they now filthy rich, they stand to get even richer. If a member of the 140 dies, the deceased’s wealth will be equally distributed amongst the remaining survivors meaning that, potentially, the last living member of the 140 stands to earn 18.4 billion dollars. 

And so the deaths begin.

Packing the kind of delicious high concept that Vertigo, the professed “HBO of comics,” found too delicious to resist, co-creators Rob Williams and Matt Dowling have mentioned Jack London’s The Call of the Wild and comedian Louis C.K’s bit about humans escaping the food chain as influences on their work, as well as the obvious notions of the narcissism and cruelty inherent in internet and celebrity culture. What surprises me, however, is that there seems to be no mention of H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau, for if anything Unfollow reads like a 21st century rewriting of that particular classic. Ferrell seems an obvious Moreau analogue, using the technology of the internet rather than surgical procedure to turn his “beasts” into something more transcendent, only to have the animalistic tendencies of his “creations” tear it all back down. “For everyone the want is bad,” says one of Moreau’s creatures, struggling against his animalistic instincts, “some want to go tearing with teeth and hands into the root of things…it is bad.” That’s a pretty perfect summation of Unfollow to me.

Complicating things is Ferrell’s actual motive. He’s well aware of what he’s potentially unleashing but, at least by the conclusion of volume one, his true motive remains unclear. Tears well up as, addressing his 140 characters, he says, “Every human seeks meaning in life. And in death. I want my legacy to be proof of who we truly are.” Whether Ferrell wants his “creations” to rise above the greed inherent in human nature or murderously succumb to it is actually unclear, even if Williams shades him as something of an evil, rich mastermind.

Of the selected 140, Ferrell is presented with something of an opposite in Akira, a famous Japanese author and activist, whose novel, The Humans, inspired Ferrell’s social experiment in the first place. Akira is convinced Ferrell’s experiment is to the detriment of mankind and leaves for the island determined to show the world “hope.” The dynamic between the two characters is intriguing - the dying, emaciated billionaire and the strikingly handsome author with his twin prosthetic legs and fondness for wearing wedding gowns seems too rich a relationship (and too obvious a bad guy-good guy dynamic) to not explore and twist as the series progresses. 

The series does get off to a slightly awkward start, however. The first two issues spend unnecessary time, particularly considering the current climate of brutal monthly comics attrition, fleshing core characters out. The creators would perhaps have been better served dropping readers off at the island with the 140 assembled from the get-go and unspooling character depth from there, potential comparisons to Lost be damned. The last issue collected here (the first six are included) is a stand-alone featuring the character of Deacon, a religious loon and gun nut, and would seem to back this structural quibble up as, already hooked into the story, readers move back and forth in time with Deacon in between major ongoing plot beats and we learn there’s a lot more to him than just stereotype and caricature. Scalped’s R.M. Guerra fills in artistically for this particular chapter, bringing his traditional grit to this particular tale of wonderful psycho noir. 

Obviously, the volume ends strongly but thankfully it’s from issue three that Unfollow hits its stride and clicks terrifically, ramping up both the paranoia and tension built into its premise as well as the thrills promised by its high concept. Overall, it’s smartly scripted by Williams and Dowling’s artwork, a mix of Arthur Ranson and Alex Maleev, brings perfectly fitting realism and gravitas to the story and he’s also capable of injecting in traditional beats of Vertigo weirdness; spirit animals, visions, death masks, all of which help skew reality for character and reader both.

Already optioned by network (boo) television in the States, Unfollow is off to a really solid start. It’s a title that, hopefully shakes off the stank of the Vertigo cancellation curse (although I believe it’s not looking good). Strikingly drawn and filled with distinctive and well-defined characters, Unfollow oozes with potential. I’ve not even mentioned it’s skewering of internet culture, Twitter as a survival-of-the-fittest ideological battleground, fame for fame’s sake, the number of “followers” dropping with each demise, as there’s so much more to the title than all that. If books like Unfollow do not succeed, if association with the brand is that toxic to readers, then Vertigo should probably just shut its doors. It’s been sad to see the imprint’s struggles, creatively and editorially, over the last few yearsand if there’s no reader support anymore, just end it and let books like Unfollow find an audience elsewhere – I can’t help but think that if it was an Image title, it would be all anyone would be talking about.


WEBCOMIC OF THE WEEK : THE COMMON DANDELION
By Claire Connelly

One more from the prolific and versatile Claire Connelly, “The Common Dandelion,” which she apparently drew on a lunch break.

It has probably the shortest reading time of any webcomic I’ve included in the history of this column, but will likely resonate with the most. Created quickly, it’s the perfect example of just how simply and cleverly comics can convey emotional weight and reflect back at us, in good times or bad, something essentially human. Lovely work.



COMICS VIDEO OF THE WEEK : DAN CLOWES/EZRA EDELMAN – WTF PODCAST WITH MARK MARON #714

Dan Clowes sits down in Marc Maron’s garage and chats about his life, his comics and his process. Informative and engrossing, Maron is his typically easy-going self and Clowes proves a fascinating and forthcoming interviewee. Process nerds will love it. Come for Clowes, but don’t fast forward past documentary maker Ezra Edelman, who’s on first to discuss his surprisingly complex seven-hour documentary series, OJ Simpson: Made In America, which filters the birth of modern tabloid journalism, fame, wealth, race relations and narcissism through its subject. A perfect subject for a week in which we feature Unfollow.



See you next week. Love your comics.


Cameron Ashley spends a lot of time writing comics and other things you'll likely never read. He's the chief editor and co-publisher of Crime Factory (www.thecrimefactory.com). You can reach him @cjamesashley on Twitter.



Sunday, June 19, 2016

New Comics For Wednesday 22nd of June



Anyone watching that new Voltron series on Netflix?! WOO! It's great! Anyway...

Another great week of books, plus the All Star Women's Comic Book Club June Meet Up from 5pm Saturday, June 25th. This month the group is discussing the award winning, This One Summer among other comic relate subjects, crafts and comic swaps! Even if you haven't read this month's book or it's your first time coming along, you are more than welcome because all you need is a keen interest in talking or just listening in about comics.

So here is what's on the menu this week!

The new Civil War is far reaching in that everyone in the Marvel Universe has an opinion on the moral issue at the heart of it, CIVIL WAR II CHOOSING SIDES #1 following smaller stories with characters dealing with the heavy decision making at hand. DEADPOOL VS GAMBIT #1 is clearly bringing sexy back. How will these lovers and fighters get along? Hard to say but it should be worth the look to find out.

Six months since the film hit the big screen and a few months after the Blu-ray release, you can now relive your favourite new Star Wars moments in comic form in STAR WARS FORCE AWAKENS ADAPTATION #1

Selling out almost as soon as they hits the shelves, the next round of DC Rebirth issue 1's see release. Dream like the new series from Image SHE WOLF #1 is a coming of age tale with a surreal horror twist. Get the original appearance of the All New Wolverine back when she was still X-23 in the new printing of NYX COMPLETE COLLECTION TP.  

The wonderful story of a little girl that feels like and outsider being befriended by a red T-Rex displaced out of time is collected in MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR TP VOL 01 BFF. If you even remotely liked 80's classic sci-fi like The Last Starfighter, you should absolutely be checking out LEGENDARY STAR-LORD TP VOL 03 FIRST FLIGHT. 

The DC Rebirth juggernaut rolls on with the next batch of #1's AQUAMAN #1, FLASH #1 and WONDER WOMAN #1. Demon hunting takes a new shape in the from of the Sons Of Anarchy creator, Kurt Sutter new series LUCAS STAND #1 from BOOM! 

ID GN from Emma Rios plays with the theme of identity in this new graphic novel. Warren Ellis delivers a new and exciting take of one of the world's favorite spies in JAMES BOND HC VOL 01 VARGR

If the title NEIL GAIMANS HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES HC isn't already enough to get you interested, along with the inclusion of Gaiman, you also have art from brothers Gabriel Ba and Fábio Moon and a story that could be the female switch of Earth Girls are Easy, sign up now! 

Any other titles that take catch you interest, definitely let us know before Wednesday, so we can do our best to secure you a copy. As you'll notice this week a couple of the new DC Rebirth titles are either already sold out or close too due to late orders. If you are interested in picking up any of the new Rebirth titles it is definitely best to let us know ahead of time to make sure you don't miss out!

MARVEL
CAPTAIN AMERICA SAM WILSON #10 CW2
CARNAGE #9
CIVIL WAR II CHOOSING SIDES #1 (OF 6)
DARTH VADER #21
DEADPOOL VS GAMBIT #1 (OF 5)
DOCTOR STRANGE #9
DRAX #8
GUIDE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE AGENTS SHIELD SEASON ONE
GWENPOOL #3
MARVEL UNIVERSE ULT SPIDER-MAN CONTEST CHAMPIONS #4
MIGHTY THOR #8
MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #8
MS MARVEL #8 CW2
NIGHTHAWK #2
POWER MAN AND IRON FIST #5
ROCKET RACCOON AND GROOT #6
SCARLET WITCH #7
STAR WARS FORCE AWAKENS ADAPTATION #1 (OF 5)
TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #7 CW2
ULTIMATES #8 CW2
UNCANNY AVENGERS #10
WEB WARRIORS #8

DC COMICS
ACTION COMICS #958 (ALREADY SOLD OUT DUE TO LATE ORDERS)
ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL #4
AQUAMAN #1 VAR ED
CYBORG #12
DEATHSTROKE #19
DETECTIVE COMICS #935 (ALREADY SOLD OUT DUE TO LATE ORDERS)
FLASH #1 VAR ED (EXTREMELY LOW STOCK)
HARLEY QUINN #29 VAR ED
JUSTICE LEAGUE #52
ROBIN SON OF BATMAN #13
SUICIDE SQUAD MOST WANTED DEADSHOT KATANA #6 (OF 6)
TEEN TITANS #21
WONDER WOMAN #1 VAR ED 

VERTIGO
RED THORN #8

BOOM
ADVENTURE TIME ICE KING #3
ADVENTURE TIME ICE KING #5
ADVENTURE TIME ICE KING #6
LUCAS STAND #1
MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #4
MUNCHKIN #18
STEVEN UNIVERSE & CRYSTAL GEMS #3

DARK HORSE
BTVS SEASON 10 #28
DEPT H #3
PLANTS VS ZOMBIES ONGOING #12 BOOM BOOM MUSHROOM
TOMB RAIDER 2016 #5
USAGI YOJIMBO #155

DYNAMITE
GRUMPY CAT & POKEY #5 (OF 6)
JAMES BOND #7

IDW
ACTION MAN #1
BACK TO THE FUTURE #9
GODZILLA OBLIVION #4 (OF 5)
MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDS FOREVER #29
TMNT BEBOP & ROCKSTEADY DESTROY EVERYTHING #4
TRANSFORMERS MORE THAN MEETS EYE #54
X-FILES (2016) #3

IMAGE
ALOHA HAWAIIAN DICK #3 (OF 5)
AUTUMNLANDS TOOTH & CLAW #11
BITCH PLANET #8
BLACK ROAD #3
CRY HAVOC #6
DRIFTER #12
FASTER THAN LIGHT #7
PRETTY DEADLY #10
RUMBLE #11
SHE WOLF #1
SNOWFALL #5
THIEF OF THIEVES #32

ONI
HEARTTHROB #3

VALIANT
DIVINITY II #3 (OF 4)
RAI #14 CVR A MACK (4001 AD)

MISC
ALL NEW CLASSIC CAPTAIN CANUCK #2
AMERICA #1
ARCHIE #9
B & V FRIENDS COMICS DOUBLE DIGEST #248
LIFE DEATH AND SORCERY #1
PRINCELESS RAVEN PIRATE PRINCESS #9
PUSS IN BOOTS #3 (OF 4)
SECRET VOICE #1
SECRET VOICE #3
STREET FIGHTER UNLIMITED #7

MAGAZINES
IMAGE PLUS EXTRAS #3 (WALKING DEAD HERES NEGAN)

TRADES
ACTIONVERSE TP
ART OF DOUG SNEYD TP
BATMAN ARKHAM KILLER CROC TP
BLOOD FEUD TP
COLONUS TP
COMPASS SOUTH GN
CRIMSON HC VOL 02
DARK CORRIDOR TP VOL 01
DC THE NEW FRONTIER TP
DEADPOOL DRACULAS GAUNTLET TP
DISNEY PIXAR FINDING DORY CINESTORY TP
ELEPHANTMEN 2260 TP BOOK 04 ALL COMING EVIL
ELF CAT IN LOVE GN
GANGSTA GN VOL 02
GOD IS DEAD TP VOL 08
GRANT MORRISONS 18 DAYS TP VOL 02 HEROES AND LEGEN
HARLEY QUINN HC VOL 04 A CALL TO ARMS
HARLEY QUINN TP VOL 03 KISS KISS BANG STAB
ID GN
INFINITY WATCH TP VOL 02
IRENE GN VOL 06
JAMES BOND HC VOL 01 VARGR
LARA CROFT AND THE FROZEN OMEN TP
LEGENDARY STAR-LORD TP VOL 03 FIRST FLIGHT
MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR TP VOL 01 BFF
MYTHIC TP VOL 01
NEIL GAIMANS HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES HC
NORTHLANDERS TP BOOK 01 THE ANGLO SAXON SAGA (MR)
NYX COMPLETE COLLECTION TP
POSTAL TP VOL 03
POWER UP TP
RED WOLF TP MAN OUT OF TIME
REGULAR SHOW TP VOL 06
SIMPSONS COMICS COLOSSAL COMPENDIUM TP VOL 04
SPAWN THE SATAN WARS TP
STAR TREK COUNTDOWN COLL TP VOL 01
STAR TREK COUNTDOWN COLL TP VOL 02
STAR TREK MANIFEST DESTINY TP
STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION TP VOL 01 REBELLION
SUPERMAN PANIC IN THE SKY TP NEW ED
TOBINS SPIRIT GUIDE OFF GHOSTBUSTERS ED HC
WELCOME TO SHOWSIDE TP VOL 01

MERCH
POP MARVEL DEADPOOL THUMBS UP VINYL FIG

BACK IN STOCK
FUTURE QUEST #1 2ND PTG
GWENPOOL #2 LEE 2ND PTG VAR

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

ALL STAR RECOMMENDS FOR JUNE 14TH


Hi there,

I’m back to ramble at you once more. Comics are great aren’t they? Here’s some to keep you busy.


COMIC OF THE WEEK: GOODNIGHT PUNPUN VOLS 1&2
By Inio Asano
Published By Viz

After multiple attempts, I’ve realised that there is no way to succinctly describe Inio Asano’s Goodnight Punpun. First published in Japan between 2007-2013 as Oyasumi Punpun, Goodnight Punpun is a coming of age story. It’s a teen drama. It’s the banality of modern Japanese life gone dirty realist. It’s surreal, psychedelic, funny, perverse, awkward, grotesque, voyeuristic, sweet, sad and, despite the fact that its protagonist is scrawled out by Asano as a cartoon bird, incredibly realistic. 

In Goodnight Punpun, Everyday life is revealed in all its banality but commonplace events and encounters are given disturbing twists and turns, revealing, ultimately (well, by the end of the two volumes published so far in English), a sickness at the heart of adulthood. Teen adventure and romantic entanglements are given a sinister spin thanks to grown-ups, such as when a porn video found on the street by the book’s randy teen boys reveals a pre-recorded murder confession, or when a certain illicit relationship reveals a tortured family history, a “shameful” abortion and actual forced imprisonment of a minor. Adult role models, such as teachers and parents, are neurotic, disturbed wrecks all in need of some serious psychoanalytic help and are in no way fit to guide the youths they mentor or parent into adulthood. In this week’s video, an interview with Asano, the author says, “The older we become, the more we try to hide or forget about aspects [of ourselves that we do not like]. I, however, explicitly try to depict them in my manga.” This statement is crucial in understanding the world the manga’s youthful characters find themselves in.

Another attempt at definition: Goodnight Punpun is like every high school TV show turned into a Lynchian nightmare. No, that’s not quite right either – it has too much exuberance, too many moments of true sweetness for that description to stick. At the heart of it (whatever it actually is) is Punpun Punyama, a real boy in a real Japan who just so happens to be drawn in the style of something you might doodle whilst on the phone. Punpun’s mother, his father and his uncle are all drawn similarly, but everyone else is drawn in Asano’s typically slick, seductive blend of exaggerated manga and absolute realism. Punpun and family’s appearance is made even stranger through Asano’s use of photographic reference in composing most of his backgrounds and the result is that the family literally appears as though torn from some child’s art book and pasted into another world. Initially discombobulating the reader even further is the fact that every other character perceives Punpun to be human and that Punpun and family are given such striking depth and dimension that they read (and very quickly feel) just as real, if not more so, than anyone else populating the story. Strangely, and see this week’s video again for this, Asano’s own editor, in discussing the battle Asano had with both her and the publisher in getting Punpun approved, describes Punpun as a “faceless protagonist” showing a fairly baffling lack of understanding and appearing astonishingly dismissive of both Asano’s immense talent and just how expressive sketchy little Punpun actually is.

You only really need to look at the work of Kitaro creator Shigeru Mizuki (or, to a lesser extent, that of Astro Boy’s Osamu Tezuka) to know just how long manga has been blending the real with the cartoon. Mizuki worked similarly, giving his backgrounds an astounding amount of realistic detail but his characters a cartoonish bounce. Asano, an admitted admirer of Mizuki’s, takes this technique and completely updates it, inserting it into a kind of hallucinogenic Japanese Degrassi Junior High (Again: not quite right). Yet despite how seamlessly Goodnight Punpun works, the hesitation on the publishing side to pull the trigger on the project is understandable from a commercial viewpoint – it remains a strikingly odd choice for an artist capable of such beautifully human characters, coming off a mega-hit with the poppy dramatics of Solanin, to turn arguably his most human creation into a squiggle-blob with stick limbs and a beak (and later a triangle). How does Punpun “really” look? That’s totally up to you and me. He is briefly described as being handsome at one point, but aside from that throwaway moment he is exactly as the reader chooses to envision him. Imagine him tall, short, fat, Indian, whatever. As a protagonist – he is yours to make. Being quite anthropomorphically inclined, I’m personally quite happy to take him at face value, pun intended

Despite how he’s drawn, Punpun’s really just an average boy in school. Sure, he sees God in the form of a perpetually grinning, afro-wearing, bespectacled Japanese man who says some pretty intense and disturbing things to him, but he’s ultimately just another kid, sweet and meek and awkward. Punpun’s shy, he has good friends that he struggled to make, his hormones are raging, he’s in love with a girl named Aiko and he has an extremely troubled family life. His father is abusive towards his mother and his uncle Yoichi is forced to move in with him and his mother (Yoichi’s sister). Punpun’s mother shows her young boy no love or even much affection. Again: adulthood is a horrible thing in Goodnight Pupun, a world filled with mental illness, closeted horrors, violence, failure, uselessness and intimacy turned sour, all personified in the forms of Asano’s clammy, leering, twitching grown-ups existing a state of extreme repression.

Reader sympathy naturally will gravitate toward the kids in the book, travelling inevitably into unfortunate maturity that will be explored as volumes continue, and will likely extend to shiftless Uncle Yoichi who, in his early thirties, may be the “cool uncle” but struggles with becoming a fully-functional adult, works part time in a video shop, suffers through a loveless relationship and is haunted by a past affair of a sordid, distressing and destructive nature (detailed in possibly the most compelling hundred-odd pages of comics I’ve read this year in volume two). Ironically, it’s probably Yoichi’s lack of maturity that makes him both relatable and sympathetic – in resisting the trappings of adulthood, he’s avoided the craziness it seems to create. 

Goodnight Punpun is not a static work with a status quo, as found in many a project with quirky anthropomorphic families up front and centre. In Asano’s world, people grow and change on the page as they do in real life and the cruel inevitability of Punpun’s (and by extension our own) eventual arrival into adulthood lends the comic an extra cloud of sadness. At various points, things get personal to the point of reader discomfort – you will feel incredibly intrusive about halfway through volume two, I guarantee it. The need to step away and let the characters impossibly maintain some kind of private dignity on the page is quite acute but I was, guiltily, too engrossed to stop reading, voyeuristically peeping in on the events of these lives.

Asano has built his reputation in works such as Solanin and A Girl on the Shore on the heartbreak and inter-personal relationships of his young characters. Even the psychological horror of his Nijigahara Holograph put its characters at the forefront of the story. Yet Punpun, a character that he may well have first drawn with his eyes closed, is as expressive and fleshed out as any of them. Famed for his “pretty” art and visually emotive characters, Asano has stripped it away with Goodnight Punpun, bravely, crazily, brilliantly proving that comics can do literally anything. I can’t imagine Goodnight Punpun translated into another medium with any real success – it’s the flexibility of comics and the fluency of its readers familiar with the medium that allows it to succeed.

Having a look at Goodnight Punpun’s Wikipedia entry, it appears as though Asano himself was unhappy with attempts to categorise the work as either “surreal” or an example of utsumanga (“depressing manga”) because those descriptions do nothing but “pigeonhole.” The experimental willingness to take on seemingly every single available genre (with the story even becoming something of a “road movie” in forthcoming volumes) and mash them into a comic about a teenage boy growing up takes remarkable confidence from its creator. It’s unsurprising Asano resents attempts to pin it down – I once again admit my failure to do so meaningfully. It’s an overused expression, but there is nothing, *nothing* else like Goodnight Punpun. It’s a Frankenstein melange of a story that just should not work, let alone be as genuinely riveting in every aspect as it is, from its drama, to its horror, to its romance, to its surrealism, to its heartbreak, to even its badminton matches. My only complaint is that the wait between these Viz two-in-one volumes is far, far too long, even as with each subsequent volume arriving, poor Punpun grows, ages, changes and eventually and probably tragically, becomes a man.



WEBCOMIC OF THE WEEK:YOUR WILD CITY: STORM CLOUDS ARE BAD DANCERS
By Maris Wicks & Rosemary Mosco

At the intersection of the animal world, the plant world, the meteorological world and your very own house sits Your Wild City a wonderfully fun and informative webcomic by past ASC Recommends-highlighted creators Maris Wicks and Rosemary Mosco. Taking in everything from cloud formations, to bird songs, to various trees and seasonal change, Your Wild City is perfect for young readers and will also give old dummies like yours truly a bit of a biological learnin.’

Picking one to highlight is a difficult choice, but I’m going with “Storm Clouds Are Bad Dancers,” adorably explaining how lightning occurs. So cute!




COMICS VIDEO OF THE WEEK: INIO ASANO INTERVIEW

A couple of months back, I included a pretty amazing video featuring Master Keaton’s Naoki Urasawa chatting with Goodnight Punupun’s Inio Asano about manga, craft and working digitally. If you never saw that, YouTube pulled the video (boo), but here’s another upload of it for you (yay). Watch it if you have the time and the inclination, it’s fascinating stuff.

This week, however, we go back a few years from the filming of Urasawa’s manga documentary series to an interview with a far shaggier, exhausted-looking Asano who was at the time knees deep in the construction of Goodnight Punpun. Opening with something of a retrospective of his work to that point (it’s staggering to think that a work as special as Nijigahara Holograph caused his career major damage), the interview shifts to Punpun, breaks awkwardly but thankfully briefly in the middle for some bilingual chat by the original TV show host in studio, and then returns for another look at Asano at work. Frank in a quintessentially Japanese way, Asano gives honest and fairly succinct answers to questions presented providing a uniquely objective look at his work and what he perceives to be his strengths and weaknesses. Great stuff.



See you next week. Love your comics.



Cameron Ashley spends a lot of time writing comics and other things you'll likely never read. He's the chief editor and co-publisher of Crime Factory (www.thecrimefactory.com). You can reach him @cjamesashley on Twitter.





Sunday, June 12, 2016

New Comics For Wednesday 15th of June


Another convention comes and goes but it's left you wanting MORE comics. Well we can help you out.

Reeling after the issue 1's final pages CIVIL WAR II #2 should no doubt pack more than a few punches. The scruffiest of nerf herders takes center stage for the latest SW mini series, STAR WARS HAN SOLO #1

Politicians for the most part are pretty evil, never revealing their true intentions until they are in power. At least with VOTE LOKI #1, we know exactly who we are getting involved with from the get go and best thing is, he embraces it!  PATSY WALKER AKA HELLCAT TP VOL 01 HOOKED ON FELINE collects the insanely cute and fun new series, that basically reads like "what if one of the female Archie cast was a superhero".

Rebirth continues with TITANS REBIRTH #1 this week along with the first round of first issues from the Rebirth titles from two weeks ago. DARK KNIGHT RETURNS THE LAST CRUSADE #1 acts as a break issue for the DKIII story, filling in some of the gaps of the untold stories from the Dark Knight Universe. Paul Dini has been responsible for some of the greatest Batman tales told, but what happens when the writer loses faith in his characters? DARK NIGHT A TRUE BATMAN STORY HC tells of a personal life changing event in Dini's life and how he came to deal with it.

WEIRD DETECTIVE #1 from Dark Horse proves the old saying "sometimes it takes a monster to catch a monster", when crimes so unimaginable start to be committed, something from the edges of madness might be our only hope. The superstar team behind the incredible Locke & Key series, Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez return to IDW , sticking with horror but this time in a anthology format with TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE #1

SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATRE TP BOOK 01 sees the long awaited reprinting of the modern stories of the Golden Age hero available again for the first time in years. Find the theatrics surrounding food culture a little hard to swallow? Then indie release this week, HOT DOG TASTE TEST HC which pokes a little fun at the whole scene might be perfect for you. 

A great double header for all age reads this week with story book release NOBODY LIKES A GOBLIN HC PICTURE BOOK , along with Matt Kindt and Sixth Gun's Brian Hurtt teaming up for POPPY AND THE LOST LAGOON HC

Then for more mature readers there is also a awesome two-fer release with the next installments of SEX CRIMINALS TP VOL 03 THREE THE HARD WAY and the recently turned into a TV show, OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA TP VOL 03 LITTLE LIGHT.

A big old week there for you and plenty to pick from. If you are after anything else be sure to let us know before close on Tuesday to make sure you don't miss out!


MARVEL
ALL NEW INHUMANS #8
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #14
ASTONISHING ANT-MAN #9
BLACK WIDOW #4
CIVIL WAR II #2 (OF 7)
CIVIL WAR II X-MEN #1 (OF 4)
DEADPOOL #14 CW2
GUARDIANS OF INFINITY #7
INTERNATIONAL IRON MAN #4
NOVA #8 CW2
PATSY WALKER AKA HELLCAT #7
SCARLET #10
SPIDER-GWEN #9
SPIDEY #7
SQUADRON SUPREME #8
STAR WARS #20
STAR WARS HAN SOLO #1 (OF 5)
UNCANNY INHUMANS #10
UNCANNY X-MEN #8 AW
VOTE LOKI #1
YEAR OF MARVELS INCREDIBLE #1

DC COMICS
BATMAN #1 VAR ED
DARK KNIGHT RETURNS THE LAST CRUSADE #1
GREEN ARROW #1 VAR ED
GREEN LANTERNS #1 VAR ED
INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US YEAR FIVE #12
JUSTICE LEAGUE #51
NEW SUICIDE SQUAD #21
POISON IVY CYCLE OF LIFE AND DEATH #6 (OF 6)
SCOOBY APOCALYPSE #2
SUPERMAN #1 VAR ED
SWAMP THING #6 (OF 6)
TITANS REBIRTH #1 VAR ED

VERTIGO
ASTRO CITY #36
CLEAN ROOM #9
LUCIFER #7

BOOM
ADVENTURE TIME #53
JOYNERS #1
JOYRIDE #3 (OF 4)
KLAUS #6
LUMBERJANES #27
PAKNADEL & TRAKHANOV TURNCOAT #4
SPIRE #8 (OF 8)

DARK HORSE
BPRD HELL ON EARTH #142
DARK HORSE PRESENTS 2014 #23
TOMORROWS #6 (OF 6)
WEIRD DETECTIVE #1 (OF 5)

DYNAMITE
DEVOLUTION #5 (OF 5)

IDW
BACK TO THE FUTURE CITIZEN BROWN #2 (OF 5)
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS (2016) #2
GODZILLA TREASURY ED
MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #43
OCTOBER FACTION #17
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE #3
TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE #1
TMNT BEBOP & ROCKSTEADY DESTROY EVERYTHING #3
TMNT ONGOING #59
TRANSFORMERS #54
TRANSFORMERS TILL ALL ARE ONE #1
UNCLE SCROOGE #15
WALT DISNEY COMICS & STORIES #732

IMAGE
BEAUTY #8
CIRCUIT BREAKER #3 (OF 5)
DESCENDER #12
I HATE FAIRYLAND #6
INVINCIBLE #129
LAZARUS #22
LOW #14
MANIFEST DESTINY #20
PENCIL HEAD #5 (OF 5)

ONI
INVADER ZIM #10
MIGHTY ZODIAC #3 (OF 6)
SIXTH GUN #50
SPACE BATTLE LUNCHTIME #2 (OF 8)

VALIANT
A&A #4
WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR #8

MISC
AETHER AND EMPIRE #3
BLACK EYED KIDS #3
DOCTOR WHO 10TH YEAR TWO #11
HIP HOP FAMILY TREE #10
JUGHEAD #7
NORMAN #1 (OF 5)
PRINCELESS MAKE YOURSELF #3 (OF 5)
SECRET VOICE #2
SIMPSONS COMICS #230
SPONGEBOB COMICS ANNUAL GIANT SWIMTACULAR #4
SUN BAKERY #2
TANK GIRL 2 GIRLS 1 TANK #2 (OF 4)
VIKINGS #2

TRADES
52 TP BOOK 01
ABE SAPIEN TP VOL 07 SECRET FIRE 
ALL STAR SECTION 8 TP
AMAZING WORLD GUMBALL ORIGINAL GN VOL 02 CHEAT COD
ART OPS TP VOL 01 
BATMAN EARTH ONE TP VOL 02
CARBON GREY OMNIBUS TP
CLEAN ROOM TP VOL 01 IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 
DARK NIGHT A TRUE BATMAN STORY HC 
DAY OF THE MAGICIANS GN 
FLASH THE SILVER AGE TP VOL 01
FRITZ LEIBERS FAFHRD & GRAY MOUSER CLOUD OF HATE TP 
GHOSTBUSTERS WHO YA GONNA CALL TP
HAWKEYE TP VOL 06 HAWKEYES
HOT DOG TASTE TEST HC
INDEPENDENCE DAY TP
JUDGE DREDD MEGA-CITY ZERO TP VOL 01
LUNA THE VAMPIRE TP VOL 01 GRUMPY SPACE
MICKEY MOUSE HC VOL 01 TIMELESS TALES
MINIONS DIGEST TP VOL 02
MY LITTLE PONY OMNIBUS TP VOL 03
NOBODY LIKES A GOBLIN HC PICTURE BOOK
OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA TP VOL 03 LITTLE LIGH
PATSY WALKER AKA HELLCAT TP VOL 01 HOOKED ON FELINE
POPPY AND THE LOST LAGOON HC 
SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATRE TP BOOK 01 
SEX CRIMINALS TP VOL 03 THREE THE HARD WAY
SHOWMAN KILLER HC VOL 02 (OF 3) GOLDEN CHILD
SQUADRON SUPREME TP VOL 01 BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY
X-FILES SEASON 11 HC VOL 02

MERCH
BATMAN V SUPERMAN DOJ SUPERMAN STATUE
DC ICONS AQUAMAN AF
DC ICONS HARLEY QUINN AF
DC ICONS SUPERMAN AF

BACK IN STOCK
GWENPOOL #1 GURIHIRU 2ND PTG VAR
PUNISHER #1 SHALVEY 2ND PTG VAR
TIMELY COMICS MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #1

Sunday, June 5, 2016

New Comics For Wednesday 8th of June


Wow, Winter, it 's really setting in. Thankfully rugging up with a handful of comics to read somewhere warm is one of the better ways to spend these rather chilly days. And here happens to be the list of books you can partner up with this week!

Civil War II's reach is so far and wide it even covers gods and arachnids, starting in this week's  CIVIL WAR II AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 and CIVIL WAR II GODS OF WAR #1.

REBIRTH week three rolls on with a large number of releases, ACTION COMICS #957, AQUAMAN REBIRTH #1, DETECTIVE COMICS #934, FLASH REBIRTH #1, WONDER WOMAN REBIRTH #1.

Hanna Barbera meets Mad Max in DC's new WACKY RACELAND #1. Howard Chaykin returns to Image with his new and no doubt saucy series, MIDNIGHT OF THE SOUL #1.

Finally the time has come, sharpen those Derwent pencils and get ready to colour your hearts out with the release of COLOR YOUR OWN YOUNG MARVEL BY SKOTTIE YOUNG TP. Few cross over/team up books have ever been this perfect, LUMBERJANES GOTHAM ACADEMY #1 has the teens from both universes making new friends to help solve their combined mysteries!

The wait between battles is long but finally it's time of the next installment of the wonderfully barbaric, HEAD LOPPER #4. A bold new take on the legend of the men of Sherwood Forest, on the run from the law because of their sexual preferences, MERRY MEN #1 promises to be a Robin Hood we most likely haven't met before.

Time to turn back the clock and revisit some classic Bat-tales in the new printing of BATMAN SHADOW OF THE BAT TP VOL 01. With the help of director David Fincher, BOOM is releasing a graphic novel telling of James Ellroy's classic noir, BLACK DAHLIA HC.

Handsome, powerful, brave but bit of a lout and kind of full of himself, Marvel's HERCULES TP VOL 01 STILL GOING STRONG is all about the new adventures of everyone's favourite demi-god, from the mind of Dan Abnett. Terry Moore puts his series about the undead to rest in RACHEL RISING TP VOL 07 DUST TO DUST. Serving as a prequel for the major film release next week, WARCRAFT BONDS OF BROTHERHOOD OGN sets the scene for what is to come in the new movie-verse.

Spot something else you need, just be sure to let us know before Wednesday morning so we can get it added for you in time!



MARVEL
AGENTS OF SHIELD #6
ALL NEW X-MEN #10 AW
CIVIL WAR II AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 (OF 4)
CIVIL WAR II GODS OF WAR #1 (OF 4)
DAREDEVIL #8
DARK TOWER DRAWING OF THREE BITTER MEDICINE #3 (OF 5)
DARTH VADER #21
DEADPOOL MERCS FOR MONEY #5 (OF 5)
EMPRESS #3 (OF 7)
GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #9
HOWARD THE DUCK #8
MARVEL UNIVERSE GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #9
NEW AVENGERS #12 CW2
STAR WARS POE DAMERON #3
THUNDERBOLTS #2
VENOM SPACE KNIGHT #8
VISION #8

DC COMICS
ACTION COMICS #957 VAR ED
ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL #3
AQUAMAN REBIRTH #1 VAR ED
BLACK CANARY #12
CONSTANTINE THE HELLBLAZER #13
DEATHSTROKE #18
DETECTIVE COMICS #934 VAR ED
EARTH 2 SOCIETY #13
FLASH REBIRTH #1 VAR ED
GREEN LANTERN CORPS EDGE OF OBLIVION #6 (OF 6)
HARLEY QUINN AND HER GANG OF HARLEYS #3 (OF 6)
LEGENDS OF TOMORROW #4
RED HOOD ARSENAL #13
WACKY RACELAND #1
WONDER WOMAN REBIRTH #1 VAR ED

VERTIGO
DARK AND BLOODY #5 (OF 6)
SHERIFF OF BABYLON #7 (OF 12)

BOOM
BAKER STREET PECULIARS #4
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA #25
GOLDIE VANCE #3 (OF 4)
LUMBERJANES GOTHAM ACADEMY #1
REGULAR SHOW #36
WEAVERS #2

DARK HORSE
ABE SAPIEN #34
HARROW COUNTY #13
HOUSE OF PENANCE #3 (OF 6)
PROMETHEUS LIFE AND DEATH #1

DYNAMITE
KINGS QUEST #2 (OF 5)
TRAIN CALLED LOVE #9 (OF 10)
VAMPIRELLA VOL 3 #4
XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS #3

IDW
BRUTAL NATURE #2 (OF 4)
DONALD DUCK #14
MICKEY MOUSE #13
MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDS FOREVER #29
STAR TREK MANIFEST DESTINY #4 (OF 4)
STAR TREK ONGOING #58
TMNT BEBOP & ROCKSTEADY DESTROY EVERYTHING #2

IMAGE
BIRTHRIGHT #16
FASTER THAN LIGHT #7
FIX #3
GRIZZLY SHARK #3 (OF 3) GRIZZLY SHARK VS SEA BEAR
HEAD LOPPER #4
INJECTION #10
INVISIBLE REPUBLIC #10
ISLAND #8
MIDNIGHT OF THE SOUL #1 (OF 5)
RENATO JONES ONE PERCENT #2
REVIVAL #40
ROCHE LIMIT MONADIC #3 (OF 4)
SHUTTER #22
THINK TANK CREATIVE DESTRUCTION #3
WICKED & DIVINE #20
WOLF #8

ONI
KAIJUMAX SEASON 2 #2
MERRY MEN #1 (OF 5)

VALIANT
4001 AD BLOODSHOT #1
NINJAK #16

MISC
DOCTOR WHO 11TH YEAR TWO #10
DREAMWORKS SHREK #1
DREDD DUST #1 (OF 2)
HENCHGIRL #8
PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR ELITEST OF ELITE #4 (OF 4)
SECOND SIGHT #5
SHERLOCK A STUDY IN PINK #1 (OF 6)

TRADES
ACTIONVERSE TP
BATMAN SHADOW OF THE BAT TP VOL 01
BLACK DAHLIA HC
BLACK KNIGHT TP FALL OF DANE WHITMAN
BLOODTHIRSTY TP
CAPTAIN MARVEL EARTHS MIGHTIEST HERO TP VOL 01
CLASSIC ILLUSTRATED TP ALICE IN WONDERLAND
CLASSIC ILLUSTRATED TP HAMLET
CLASSIC ILLUSTRATED TP JUNGLE BOOK
CLASSIC ILLUSTRATED TP MAN IN IRON MASK
CLASSIC ILLUSTRATED TP WUTHERING HEIGHTS
COLOR YOUR OWN YOUNG MARVEL BY SKOTTIE YOUNG TP
DEADBEAT GN
DEADPOOL CLASSIC TP VOL 16 KILLOGY
DEADPOOL WORLDS GREATEST TP VOL 02 END OF ERROR
FLINCH TP BOOK 02 (MR)
HERCULES TP VOL 01 STILL GOING STRONG
HEROES VENGEANCE TP
HILO GN VOL 02 SAVING THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD
INDEH STORY OF THE APACHE WARS GN
INCREDIBLE HULK EPIC COLLECTION TP MAN OR MONSTER
INFINITY WATCH TP VOL 02
JULIAS HOUSE FOR LOST CREATURES HC
LAST NIGHT A SUPERHERO SAVED MY LIFE HC
LOVE HC VOL 03 THE LION
NEW LONE WOLF AND CUB TP VOL 09
NO MERCY TP VOL 02
NOVA HUMAN ROCKET TP VOL 01 BURN OUT
PLANTS VS ZOMBIES GROWN SWEET HOME HC
PRINCELESS RAVEN PIRATE PRINCESS TP VOL 02 FREE WO
RACHEL RISING TP VOL 07 DUST TO DUST
SUPERMAN WONDER WOMAN HC VOL 04 DARK TRUTH
SUPERMAN WONDER WOMAN TP VOL 03 CASUALTIES OF WAR
TALK DIRTY TO ME GN
WARCRAFT BONDS OF BROTHERHOOD OGN
X-O MANOWAR TP VOL 11 KILL LIST
YOTSUBA & ! GN VOL 13