Tuesday, May 24, 2016

ALL STAR RECOMMENDS FOR MAY 24TH

Afternoon!

Determined to cram this column full of as much global comics goodness as possible, over the next few weeks I’ll be featuring some fairly extensive reviews. 

A look the jaw-dropping Die Wergelder, (Hiroaki Samura’s follow-up to Blade of the Immortal) and its immensely clever updating of a particularly Japanese film genre (Pinky Violence) is on the way because I am both utterly besotted and thoroughly obsessed with this manga. I’ll be pairing it with a look at Sarah Horrocks’ “Crepax goes giallo” webcomic, The Leopard, for maximum oddness and maximum beauty. 

A detailed look at two very different comics both set in art galleries (Guardians of The Louvre and Hubert) is in the works and a journey through the surreal, nightmarish masterwork Peplum by Blutch is also forthcoming. 

Don McGregor’s 1970s run scripting Black Panther in Jungle Action (available in Essential Black Panther vol.1) is the subject of yet another piece on the way, I will finally be getting around to yammering on about Enki Bilal’s Nikopol Trilogy and with the arrival of the third volume of my beloved Marquis of Anaon series imminent, you can expect the reviews of that series to continue. And with even more, more, moooore planned, I’ve totally got your back for the foreseeable. 

Next week? Well, to celebrate the creation of The All Star Comics’ Kid’s Club, it will be an All Ages Comics fiesta with a total bounty of classic kids material both old and new. There will be no comics about drugs, violence, depressing philosophical theory, political satire or the potentially detrimental effect of urban sprawl on man’s psychological state. I know, I can’t believe it either. 

This week, however, it’s a freshly translated piece of underground bandes dessinee, so let’s hop to it.


COMIC OF THE WEEK : BLACKBIRD
By Pierre Maurel
Published By Conundrum International


"…you can either make the best comics you can or you can be a good boy for your editors." – Darwyn Cooke to Ed Piskor (as quoted at The Comics Reporter)

In the spirit of the above quote from the late, great(est) Darwyn Cooke comes Pierre Maurel’s Blackbird, originally published in French, disseminated in minicomics form, and now collected and translated by those purveyors of comics excellence, Canada’s Conundrum International.

Far removed from the usual lushly illustrative French existential cosmic madness I usually bang on about here, Blackbird sees a collective of anarchic, skateboarding, zine-making troublemakers finding themselves at the wrong end of a newly passed law that prevents self-publishing. What this means is that “legitimate” publishers are given full control over what is and is not available for public reading consumption and that their own hand-made, hand-distributed work is now highly illegal.

It’s a concept that works on multiple levels – the repulsiveness and greed of corporate publishing and the arrogance of “tastemakers” in judging what is allowed both in content and format immediately come to mind (I am reminded of a particularly well-known Australian novelist who, when judging a genre award a couple of years back, reacted to the question, “Should we consider ebooks?”with an elitist, “Fuck that!”). Deeper than this, however, Blackbird gives us the birth of a dystopia where corporate interest and mandated censorship collide. Enforcement officers crack down harshly on any who break this “offence,” a law that stifles creativity and free thought and puts artistic expression firmly in the hands of the wealthy clinging to old models of business and the lawmakers keen to control expression and suffocate The Arts.

Conundrum has done an excellent job formatting and designing this book, giving the volume a thick, brown cardboard cover that brings to mind the “de-enhanced” cover Grant Morrison had on an issue of The Invisibles way back in the day. This book literally looks and feels like a collection of subversive minicomics, perfect for the style, tone and aesthetic of the work.

Artistically, Maurel’s work is a little Charles Forsman, a little Josh Simmons, perfectly cartoonish and low-fi and urgent. His fluid skateboarding sequences are a particular visual highlight, as is the body language of his characters and the determination and seriousness of their expressions as they create their art. None of Maurel’s characters are named, but each member of this collective is distinctive as they work away on their forbidden zine-turned-manifesto and navigate the suddenly-dangerous waters of print and distribution, which now sees them, in the eyes of the law, as acting with a new-century terrorist intent. The gang launches attacks on the lawmakers and politicians, coating them with heavy splashes of ink, displaying their distain for their authority non-violently (with one unfortunate exception) and symbolically. With one of the group even scoring a “legitimate” publishing deal, a moral and artistic quandary is also explored – the concept of “selling out” is more potent than ever in this new world of government regulated publishing as is the irony of “true art” being plucked from in the now-banned underground and legitimised by the system. Oh and editorial interference, let’s not forget about that, there’s a good dash of that tossed in as well.

There is also more subtlety here than you may expect. Blackbird has no interest in bludgeoning you with its punk rock ethos, its rallying cry against the corporate appropriation of the word and the image. It’s so good it doesn’t need to. However, with the recent massive cuts to The Arts in this particular country and the proposed changes to copyright law threatening to cripple Australian Literature, local Arts-loving readers may feel the sting of the book and hopefully heed its angry rallying cry of, fuck ‘em, just make it anyway all the more potently.

It’s worth noting that despite the pessimism of both Blackbird’s world and this review (sorry!) that the comic’s most excellent publisher, Conundrum International, receives grants from the Canadian Government, a government that also just announced a 1.9 billion dollar investment in its Arts culture. The germ of dystopia that rapidly grows through Blackbird won’t be found anywhere near our Commonwealth brethren and their snowy climes, at least in the next half decade, so take heart and make sure you attend a TCAF to experience a kind of comics utopia. Also, pick up Blackbird. Read it. Play some punk records and go make some art. The only thing stopping you, ultimately, is you.


WEBCOMIC OF THE WEEK : SUB-MARINER: DYING IN PARADISE
By Don McGregor, Jim Lee, Chris Ivy & Marsha McGregor

Yes, Jim Lee makes his way into this column for the first (and probably last) time! From Marvel Comics Presents #83 (1989) comes a typically political piece of comics scripting from Don McGregor, a writer famed for his voluminous dialogue on stints writing Black Panther and Killraven (among many other titles), who goes completely silent in this short story featuring Namor, The Sub-Mariner. I, for one, would love to see Namor get back to being a pro-environment badass and this terrific (if artistically-dated) short is a reminder of exactly that particular characterisation. Pop on over to the indispensible Bristol Board site as this story does quite a lot in a very short space.



COMICS VIDEO OF THE WEEK : HANGING WITH AL JAFFEE, MAD MAGAZINE’S 95-YEAR-OLD JOURNEYMAN CARTOONIST

“I’m not going to retire. They are going to have to suffer the ignominy of firing a 95-year-old man, “ says Al Jaffee with a twinkle in his eye and a sly grin on his face at the end of this touching little profile. A legend and a gentleman, Jaffee, with astonishing clarity and recall for a man of his years, takes viewers through the birth of the Mad-fold in. Really sweet, gracious and modest stuff from a man whose innovation has him earmarked for cartooning immortality.



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, May 22, 2016

New Comics For Wednesday 25th of May


So we blinked and May is nearly over! Still another week passing means for another week of great reads and here are but a few from this week to get excited about!

Steve Rogers returns to his roid rage finest, with Nick Spencer's new CAPTAIN AMERICA STEVE ROGERS #1. What would Batman be like in the Marvel Universe? NIGHTHAWK #1 should help give us an idea.

DC's new direction is nearly upon us with a whole new line up of #1's but what exactly IS the new status quo? DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH #1 will hopefully answer all our questions! Solving mysteries and busting ghosts, fake or otherwise has been given an update thanks to Jim Lee and now it's time for one of your favourite Saturday morning cartoons to get an upgrade in SCOOBY APOCALYPSE #1.

The wait between issues is over and now it's time to dive eyes first into some more amazing artwork from Tristan Jones on the latest, ALIENS DEFIANCE #2. No one does the little guy crime little David Lapham. So getting a tale of street level woe in his DAREDEVIL VS PUNISHER MEANS AND ENDS TP should be a real treat!

Because absolutely no one demanded it, JUSTICE LEAGUE #50 reveals the Joker's identity!!! After far to a long a wait the living dead return to Riverdale in the latest, AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #9.

In BLACK SCIENCE TP VOL 04 GODWORLD, the next chapter of Remender's dimension hoping series, we are firmly grounded in one spot for a while...the inside of Grant's mind. What is it with Cullen Bunn and horror tales set on farms?! DEATH FOLLOWS TP is his next creepy as hell rural spookfest!

Either get up to date with one of Marvel's funniest series or maybe find out what you've been missing out on in UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL TP VOL 03 SQUIRREL REALLY GOT ME NO. And a new PREVIEWS for JUNE means the next Previews Album won't be far off either!

Anything else you think we can help with, just let us know before Wednesday.



MARVEL
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1.5
CAPTAIN AMERICA STEVE ROGERS #1
CAPTAIN MARVEL #5
CARNAGE #8
DAREDEVIL #7
DEADPOOL #12
DOCTOR STRANGE #8
DRAX #7
EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #10 AW
GUIDE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIV CA WINTER SOLDIER ANT-MAN
HYPERION #3
MARVEL UNIVERSE GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #8
MARVEL UNIVERSE ULT SPIDER-MAN CONTEST CHAMPIONS #3
MIGHTY THOR #7
MOCKINGBIRD #3
MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #7
MS MARVEL #7 RCW2
NIGHTHAWK #1
OBI-WAN AND ANAKIN #5 (OF 5)
PATSY WALKER AKA HELLCAT #6
RED WOLF #6
SPIDER-MAN DEADPOOL #5
STAR WARS #19
STARBRAND AND NIGHTMASK #6
TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #6
UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #8
UNCANNY INHUMANS #9
WEIRDWORLD #6
X-MEN WORST X-MAN EVER #4 (OF 5)

DC COMICS
ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL #2
BATGIRL #52 VAR ED
BATMAN 66 MEETS THE MAN FROM UNCLE #6 (OF 6)
CYBORG #11
DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS #13
DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH #1
DEATHSTROKE #18
FLASH #52 VAR ED
GRAYSON #20
JUSTICE LEAGUE #50 ROMITA VAR ED
JUSTICE LEAGUE 3001 #12
OMEGA MEN #12
SCOOBY APOCALYPSE #1
SECRET SIX #14
SUICIDE SQUAD MOST WANTED DEADSHOT KATANA #5 (OF 6)
SUPERMAN #52 (FINAL DAYS)
SUPERMAN LOIS AND CLARK #8
TEEN TITANS #20
WE ARE ROBIN #12

VERTIGO
ART OPS #8
SUICIDERS KING OF HELLA #3 (OF 6)

BOOM
ADVENTURE TIME #52
BILL & TED GO TO HELL #4
JONESY #4
JOYRIDE #2 (OF 4)
MUNCHKIN #17
WELCOME BACK #8

DARK HORSE
ALIENS DEFIANCE #2
LOBSTER JOHNSON METAL MONSTERS OF MIDTOWN #1 (OF 3)

IDW
BACK TO THE FUTURE #8
DIRK GENTLY A SPOON TOO SHORT #4 (OF 5)
DISNEY MAGIC KINGDOM COMICS #1 (OF 2)
FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS #1
GHOSTBUSTERS INTERNATIONAL #5
JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS #15
JUDGE DREDD (ONGOING) #6
ORPHAN BLACK HELSINKI #5 (OF 5)
STREET FIGHTER X GI JOE #4 (OF 6)
TMNT AMAZING ADVENTURES #10
TMNT AMAZING ADVENTURES CARMELO ANTHONY SPEC
TRANSFORMERS #53
TRANSFORMERS MORE THAN MEETS EYE #53
X-FILES (2016) #2

IMAGE
ALOHA HAWAIIAN DICK #2 (OF 5)
CRY HAVOC #5
DREAM POLICE #10
EAST OF WEST #26
EMPTY ZONE #8
LEGACY OF LUTHER STRODE #6 (OF 6)
MONSTRESS #6
SEX #28
STARVE #9
TOKYO GHOST #7

ONI
ANOTHER CASTLE #3 (OF 5)
HEARTTHROB #2
LETTER 44 #25

VALIANT
BLOODSHOT REBORN #13
DIVINITY II #2 (OF 4)
IMPERIUM #16

MISC
AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #9
DISNEY DARKWING DUCK #2
DOCTOR WHO 10TH YEAR TWO #10
DOCTOR WHO 12TH YEAR TWO #6
DOCTOR WHO 9TH #2
DREAMING EAGLES #5
JOHNNY RED #7 (OF 8)
PRINCELESS RAVEN PIRATE PRINCESS #8
RACHEL RISING #42
ROCK & ROLL BIOGRAPHIES IRON MAIDEN
SQUARRIORS VOL 02 SUMMER #1 (OF 4)
STRAYER #4

MAGAZINES
IMAGE PLUS EXTRAS #2 : WALKING DEAD HERES NEGAN
MARVEL PREVIEWS #11 JUNE 2016
PREVIEWS #333 JUNE 2016

TRADES
ASSASSINS CREED TP VOL 01 TRIAL BY FIRE
BLACK SCIENCE TP VOL 04 GODWORLD
CROSSED TP VOL 16
DAREDEVIL VS PUNISHER MEANS AND ENDS TP NEW PTG
DAY MEN TP VOL 02
DEATH FOLLOWS TP
DEVILERS TP
DISQUIET GN
DRAX TP VOL 01 GALAXYS BEST DETECTIVE
FROM NOW ON GN
GARFIELD TP VOL 08
GREEN LANTERN NEW GODS GODHEAD TP
GROO FRIENDS AND FOES TP VOL 03
HERO COMICS HERO INITIATIVE BENEFIT BOOK TP
HOWLING COMMANDOS OF SHIELD TP MONSTER SQUAD
INCOMPLETE WORKS GN
JOHN CARTER WARLORD TP VOL 02 MAN MADE MONSTER
KING COLLECTION TP
KLAW GN
LONE SLOANE GN VOL 01 (OF 3) 6 VOYAGES
MARQUIS OF ANAON GN VOL 03 PROVIDENC
MASKS TP VOL 02
MAX RIDE ULTIMATE FLIGHT HC
MUNCHKIN TP VOL 02
NINJAK TP VOL 03 OPERATION DEADSIDE
OCTOPUS PIE TP VOL 04
ROOK TP
SKYLANDERS SECRET AGENT SECRETS HC
SMALLVILLE SEASON 11 TP VOL 08 CHAOS
SPIDER-MAN TP VOL 01 TOMBSTONE
STAR WARS EPISODE I PHANTOM MENACE HC
STRAIN HC VOL 03 NIGHT ETERNAL
SUPERMAN ADVENTURES TP VOL 02
SYMMETRY TP VOL 01
TECH JACKET TP VOL 04 ALL FALLS DOWN
THEYRE NOT LIKE US TP VOL 02
TEEN TITANS GO HEROES ON PATROL TP NEW ED
UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL TP VOL 03 SQUIRREL REALLY GOT ME NO
WAYWARD TP VOL 03 OUT FROM THE SHADOWS


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

WARCRAFT IMAX PREVIEW SCREENING DOUBLE PASS GIVEAWAY!


From Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures comes Warcraft, an epic adventure of world-colliding conflict based on Blizzard Entertainment’s global phenomenon. 

The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home. 

So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.


Thanks to those mythical folks from Universal Pictures and Warcraft in cinemas June 16th, we are giving you the chance to win one of ten double passes to the special preview screening, happening on Tuesday 7th June from 6:30pm at IMAX Melbourne.

To go into the draw for your chance to win all you need to do is tell us, "Which character of Warcraft lore, Knight or Orc do you identify with most and why?"

SPECIAL NOTE: As these prizes are for a specific time and date, please only enter if you can attend the screening on the listed date. 

Terms and Conditions:

-Only entries made via the comments on the Facebook post will be included in the draw.
-All entries will go into the All Star Barrel and winners will be drawn at random.
-Entries close 6pm Monday the 23rd of May and winners will be announced Tuesday the 24th.
-Winners will be notified how to collect their tickets shortly after the draw.
.

Thanks again to Universal Pictures and Warcraft In Cinemas June 16th
For more info head to:

Monday, May 16, 2016

ALL STAR RECOMMENDS FOR MAY 17TH


I woke up this morning (Sunday) to give this column a quick edit and send it to Mitch but then I heard that Darwyn Cooke had passed.

I was fortunate enough to spend time with Darwyn over the TCAF weekend of 2014, as I was tapped to moderate a noir night featuring both he and Ed Brubaker. I could go on for hours about the experience. It was…unique…but this is not about me, it’s about Darwyn so instead I’ll just share a little moment that I now think about whenever I see his work.

At the conclusion of a signing session, Darwyn stood, took his lovely wife Marsha by the hand, spun her around and ever so briefly danced with her, right there in the middle of the Toronto Reference Library as Festival goers came and went around them. He didn’t see me. He didn’t see anybody. All he saw was Marsha. This was not a performance. It was not a showy moment designed to grab onlooker attention. It was a private moment that happened to play out publically (I’m not even sure anybody else even noticed) and it was the happiest I had maybe ever seen…anyone. Now, whenever I look at his pages, that’s what I see: this Titan of his chosen field, a man who drew with such style, beauty, perfectionism and incomparable coolness, sweeping his wife off her feet in the middle of a comics convention for nobody’s benefit but their own. 

Darwyn Cooke re-wrote the DC myths of the Silver Age. He brought sass and power back to Catwoman. He gave crime comics a facelift with a potent reminder that the swagger and sharpness of ‘60s neo-noir was unmatchable. His lively figures moved on the page in their fully realised worlds of seedy neon signs or cosmic, intergalactic swirls. He could do it all. Beyond all this, however, I’m happy to report that he was a really lovely, sweet man who truly, deeply loved his wife as much as the worlds he spent most of his time creating. 

Thank you, Darwyn. You were the best of the best. My sincerest, most heartfelt condolences to Marsha and family.

On with our regularly scheduled programming. Forgive me for not polishing it as intended. I’m a bit too sad for that.


***


I was lucky enough to be gifted a promotional edition of the first book in Drawn & Quarterly’s new series of Kitaro translations, The Birth of Kitaro, by the late, great Shigeru Mizuki. Regular readers may recall my fumbling attempt at a eulogy for Mizuki last December and it’s such a wonderful thing to see his most famous creation in English once more from D&Q – complete with part one of an ongoing essay by translator Zack Davisson, a definition of yokai (the ghost/demon/spirit creatures that Kitaro both battles and is relation to), a “yokai knowledge challenge,” puzzles and more supplementing the manga. It’s such a fun, joyful package, strikingly designed and including seven spooky stories created between 1967-68 and I can’t help but imagine that its super sweet, junk food-loving, titan of a creator – one of the most versatile comics creators ever – would be nothing less than thrilled with its existence. Due at the end of the month, fans of classic manga, Scooby Doo-style thrills, Japanese mythology and beautifully crafted comics should put an order in.



COMIC OF THE WEEK : HEAVY METAL #280
By Various
Published By Heavy Metal Media

Well, well. Look who decided to finally show up. You made me look like a fool, Moz Metal, counting down to your arrival, having the actual date pushed further and further back as I burned through your periodical’s classic years at the clip of one issue a week. I had other anthology suitors come a‘knocking, oh yes. Both Island and Cinema Purgatorio vied and still vie for my attention and patronage with their blend of top-flight talent creatively let loose so why, now, should I still care?

Enki Bilal, you say. Massimiliano Frezzato, you say. Ryan Ferrier, you say. Benjamin Marra, you say. Grant Morrison, you say.

Sigh. Moz Metal. I can’t stay mad at you…

Okay. Let’s get this out of the way. This much-anticipated arrival is a mixed bag. A really mixed bag. You would think that with such a high-profile editor in chief in Morrison debuting and subsequent interest at a high not seen for some probable decades, that the slate would be wiped and this would be treated as if not a reboot, at least a restart. 2000AD is excellent at this, so let’s use them as an example.

When 2000AD tells you that a particular issue is a perfect jumping on point for new readers, it is exactly that. All new stories beginning from their beginning, with no stragglers allowed on-board their hyper-violent, super-satirical vessel. This, the 280th issue of Heavy Metal is not that. It comes saddled with two ongoing and pre-existing serials and as a result feels a little sloppy both editorially and creatively. It’s a missed opportunity. Morrison, in his otherwise wonderfully loopy, completely Morrisonian debut editorial, even has the temerity to say, “…don’t expect me to fill you in on what’s been happening. We have the internet now.” Gee, thanks, Grant.

This is a bittersweet complaint, mind you, as one of these features is illustrated by bande dessinee legend and virtual cornerstone of the publication, Enki Bilal with part seven (!) of his “Julia & Roem.” It seems crazy – even to me – to complain about Bilal’s inclusion in anything. If there’s a Mount Rushmore of HM, he’s on it. Yet here we are…part seven.

The other ongoing feature, “49th Key” by Erika Lewis and J.K. Woodward, hits part eight (sigh). Coming in cold, the new reader will likely find this as forgettable and unappealing as I did, in both story and overly posed, overly-photo-referenced (Hi, Don Cheadle!) and frequently ugly painted art.

Okay – Phew, I got that out of the way. On to why you really should actually read this thing. The unlikely pairing of Morrison and Benjamin Marra kick the issue off with “Beachhead,” a story of slug-like alien would-be conquerors that actually seems like an updating of Philippe Druillet’s most irreverent material for the magazine way, way back in the day. Morrison may not take advantage of Marra’s gift of crystallising 1980s sleaze into an actual, legit aesthetic, but it’s a fun, loose way to kick things off.

Anna Laurine Kornum’s “A Mind Bomb” reads like horror legend Richard Matheson via indie comics hero Ted McKeever and it’s a perfectly creepy little self-contained short that I was not expecting to appreciate quite as much as I did. However, Ryan Ferrier and artist Hugo Petris may well steal the show with “Goddess,” a story too good to spoil set during the Dark Ages in an Irish village populated by people who are anything but kind to their animals and wildlife. Petrus’ art may look a little stiff and his poses forced on a quick flip through, but upon reading you’ll just fall into his cleverly laid out and open pages, rich in both detail and expression. I really loved this.

The aforementioned Bilal’s “Julia & Roem” is, reasonable complaints about its ongoing status aside, typically beautiful work by its creator. Bilal’s pages are both murky yet lovely in their gloaming greyness. The tragedy here is that you and I, new reader, do not get to sample this story from the start. I’ve long promised a look at Bilal’s The Nikopol Trilogy (re-released in English by Titan last year) in this column and “Julia & Roem” is firm reminder that I need to get to that…

A profile of pop-surrealist artist Mimi Scholtz is next, filling the next few pages with weird, dreamy images of redheaded women with lemurs and cyclopean lambs as well as dense eye-popping collages and a brief but informative interview with the artist whose work is eminently suited to inclusion in this mag. Her black and white art is the stuff I gravitated the most to, however, exuding a Coop-esque cool and an alt-manga sensibility. There’s plenty to feast your eyes on here.

Frezzato’s short “The Key” is a smart inclusion, given the legacy this fantasy artist has with the many, many readers fond of the lively animated characters that populate his opulently designed “The Keepers of The Maser” series of graphic albums which send fans of this artist’s artist into frothing revelry. Unfolding with surreal, dreamy logic, “The Key” sees a young woman and a man firing arrows at each other from across the divide of their miniscule, individual mountain peak homes. Perhaps the closest we get to old-school HM this issue, I loved this for its oddness and its lush, gorgeous illustration – which is what HM is all about at its best: comics for your brain to tumble into, sober or otherwise.

A look at Century Guild’s Art Nouveau and Symbolist collection is also included, featuring some jaw-droppingly grim and beautiful work from the early 1900s as well as a glimpse at some pieces by Gail Potocki from earlier this century, included as part of her upcoming exhibition. Excellent. Mark the museum on your things to do in California list.

There’s much more here, but Mozchops’ “Salsa Invertebraxa” rounds out my own personal highlights from the issue. Part one of this strange six-part tale sees the battle in nature between insects and arachnids. Portrayed realistically, Mozchops (real name Paul Phippen) is fond of the worm’s-eye shot, lending his creatures a titanic, kaiju-esque quality. His spiders are monstrous and hairy things, his grub-grabbing dragonflies beasts of the air, and all of this warfare plays out as a strange but cheeky rhyming narration is laid over the top of the action. We personally may “sing the joys of spring” but there’s a horrorshow playing out beneath our feet and surrounding us in our plants as we welcome the end of winter. A unique and intriguing end to an issue that has its problems but is well worth the price of admission and, hopefully, the first step in an incremental process that returns Heavy Metal to can’t-miss status.



WEBCOMIC OF THE WEEK : SHIELD
By Zoe Coughlin

Be warned: harrowing stuff this week from Zoe Coughlin, whose Shield (created in 2013) packs a lot of emotional weight behind its climactic gut-punch. A tale of bullying, harassment, lies and fractured friendship, this is mightily accomplished stuff from Coughlin, who depicts the torment her young protagonist goes through expertly as it manifests itself outwards from her psyche. Disarmingly cartoonish at first, Shield begins as a teen drama but morphs into an almost Junji Ito-esque nightmare of body horror and psychological destruction by its end. Absolutely terrific.







COMIC VIDEO OF THE WEEK : BLACK PANTHER: A NATION UNDER OUR FEET

Smart stuff by Marvel here, as they debut what’s reported to be an ongoing series of monthly videos featuring writer Ta-Nehisi Coates breaking down his new and already highly successful run on Black Panther.

Coates, a writer for The Atlantic among other venues, is the perfect choice to relaunch Black Panther – a series where his ongoing pieces on the intersection of politics, social issues and African-Americans can be filtered and explored through the bright afro-futurism of King T’Challa’s country of Wakanda. Coates is a fan, and a long-term one at that, and brings a great deal of care and respect to a character he grew up reading. It’s the perfect time for Panther to return to its political roots as a title (I’m planning a column on the classic Don McGregor-scripted run of Jungle Action soon for further exploration of this) and Coates and illustrator Brian Stelfreeze seem poised to do just that. Stirring stuff from the writer here, exhibiting a solid grip on his protagonist and a strong desire to portray a powerful, unique and prideful nation of Wakanda.



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, May 15, 2016

New Comics For Wednesday 18th of May


Lots coming up around the store over the next few weeks. The next All Star Women's Comic Book Club Meet Up is this Saturday the 21st from 5pm. Keen to talk comics with like minded female fans? Then you definitely need to make it along. The group is covering Unbeatable Squirrel Girl TP Volume 1 this time around but even if you haven't read it, you are most welcomed to attend!


Also keep an eye out for more details concerning the launch of the All Star Comics Kids Club!

Of course there is always this week's comics to look out for too!

CIVIL WAR II #0 crashing into the Marvel Universe, tearing friendships apart, while making our favourite heroes question their very moral fibre. The start of DC re-vamp of the Hanna Barbara's biggest characters launches with a Super Team book with a difference from the king of Saturday cartoon writing, Jeff Parker in FUTURE QUEST #1.

Looking for something a little fantasy adventure? Gene Ha gives us a new writer/artist creation, MAE #1. Think of it as what if Dorothy spent extended time growing up in a far more dangerous Land of OZ and returned to her family after year's as a trained defender from creatures of dark fantasy realms but upon her return, she might have brought something back with her!

Aussie writer, Ryan Lindsay's beach side crime caper CHUM #1 will definitely make you scared to go back in to the water. Vertigo touches on a thriller for the social media generation in the first collection of UNFOLLOW TP VOL 01.

Some of the best adventures told from the Clone Wars period continues with the next collection of STAR WARS KANAN TP VOL 02 FIRST BLOOD. Like a crack of thunder right to the chest, the first hardcover for the latest Mighty Thor series MIGHTY THOR PREM HC THUNDER IN HER VEINS VOL 01 kick starts your heart with all it's godly action adventure.

New Flash trades can not get released quick enough at the moment for new fans, so FLASH BY GEOFF JOHNS TP BOOK 02 could not come at a better time! The truly epic expanded Hellboy-verse series delivers another chapter of overwhelming odds and woe with BPRD HELL ON EARTH TP VOL 13 END OF DAYS. And just before the next X-Men film starts, get caught up on the Big A's origin story in X-MEN TP RISE OF APOCALYPSE.

Nice solid week, this one. Anything extra you need, just let us know before Wednesday to get it sorted!

MARVEL
ALL NEW WOLVERINE #8 RCW2
ASTONISHING ANT-MAN #8
CIVIL WAR II #0 RCW2
DEADPOOL LAST DAYS OF MAGIC #1
DEADPOOL MERCS FOR MONEY #4 (OF 5)
HAUNTED MANSION #3 (OF 5)
INTERNATIONAL IRON MAN #3
KARNAK #4
OLD MAN LOGAN #6
POWER MAN AND IRON FIST #4
SCARLET #9
SILVER SURFER #4
SPIDER-MAN #4
SPIDER-WOMAN #7 SWO
SPIDEY #6
SQUADRON SUPREME #7
STAR-LORD #7
UNCANNY AVENGERS #9 ASO

DC COMICS
AQUAMAN #52 VAR ED
DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #4 (OF 8) COLLECTORS ED
DOCTOR FATE #12
FUTURE QUEST #1
HARLEY QUINN #28 VAR ED
INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US YEAR FIVE #10
LEGEND OF WONDER WOMAN #6 (OF 9)
MARTIAN MANHUNTER #12
POISON IVY CYCLE OF LIFE AND DEATH #5 (OF 6)
ROBIN SON OF BATMAN #12
SINESTRO #23
SUPERMAN AMERICAN ALIEN #7 (OF 7)
SUPERMAN WONDER WOMAN #29 (FINAL DAYS)
TITANS HUNT #8 (OF 8)
WONDER WOMAN #52 VAR ED

VERTIGO
ASTRO CITY #35
CLEAN ROOM #8
LUCIFER #6
RED THORN #7 (MR)

BOOM
GOLDIE VANCE #2 (OF 4)
LUMBERJANES #26
LUMBERJANES SPECIAL MAKIN GHOST 2016 #1
PAKNADEL & TRAKHANOV TURNCOAT #3
REGULAR SHOW #35

DARK HORSE
BPRD HELL ON EARTH #141
BTVS SEASON 10 #27
DARK HORSE PRESENTS 2014 #22
DEPT H #2
MAE #1
SHADOW GLASS #3 (OF 6)
TOMB RAIDER 2016 #4
USAGI YOJIMBO #154

DYNAMITE
GRUMPY CAT & POKEY #4 (OF 6)
XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS #2

IDW
ARCHANGEL #1
BRUTAL NATURE #1 (OF 4)
JUDGE DREDD (ONGOING) #5
MARS ATTACKS OCCUPATION #3 (OF 5)
MICRONAUTS #2
OCTOBER FACTION #16
STAR TREK MANIFEST DESTINY #3 (OF 4)
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE #2

IMAGE
BEAUTY #7
BLACK ROAD #2
CITIZEN JACK #6
DRIFTER #11
INVINCIBLE #128
MANIFEST DESTINY #19
MIRROR #4
SNOWFALL #4
SPAWN #263

ONI
MIGHTY ZODIAC #2 (OF 6)
SIXTH GUN #49

VALIANT
RAI #13 (4001 A.D.)
WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR #7
X-O MANOWAR ANNUAL 2016 #1

MISC
AETHER AND EMPIRE #2
BLACK EYED KIDS #2
CHUM #1 (OF 3)
CROSSED PLUS 100 #16
DOCTOR WHO 11TH YEAR TWO #9
FRONTLINES REQUIEM #1 (OF 4)
FUTURAMA COMICS #79
INDEPENDENCE DAY #3 (OF 5)
JUGHEAD #6
PRINCELESS MAKE YOURSELF #2 (OF 5)
SABRINA #5
SECOND SIGHT #4
SIMPSONS COMICS #229
STREET FIGHTER UNLIMITED #6
TANK GIRL 2 GIRLS 1 TANK #1 (OF 4)

TRADES
20 X 20 TWENTY YEARS OF CONUNDRUM PRESS GN
ADVENTURE TIME FIONNA CAKE CARD WARS TP
ADVENTURE TIME ORIGINAL GN VOL 07 FOUR CASTLES
ALL NEW INHUMANS TP VOL 01 GLOBAL OUTREACH
APOCRYPHA NOW HC
ART OF ZOOTOPIA HC
AVENGERS K TP BOOK 01 AVENGERS VS ULTRON
BATMAN DARK KNIGHT RETURNS GALLERY ED HC
BATMAN WAR GAMES TP VOL 02
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA TP VOL 03
BIRD BOY TP VOL 01 SWORD OF MALI MANI
BOYS CLUB GN
BPRD HELL ON EARTH TP VOL 13 END OF DAYS
CLARENCE ORIGINAL GN VOL 01 CHICKEN PHANTOM
DEAD VENGEANCE HC
DEATH DEFYING DOCTOR MIRAGE TP VOL 02 SECOND LIVES
DOCTOR WHO 10TH ARCHIVES OMNIBUS TP VOL 02
DOCTOR WHO 8TH HC VOL 01 MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH
DONALD DUCK HC VOL 01 TIMELESS TALES
EVE VALKYRIE HC
FABLES DELUXE EDITION HC VOL 12
FAKE EMPIRE TP
FLASH BY GEOFF JOHNS TP BOOK 02
GOTHAM CENTRAL OMNIBUS HC
GUERILLAS TP VOL 03
HIGHBONE THEATER HC
HIPPOPOTAMISTER HC GN
HOWARD THE DUCK TP VOL 01 DUCK HUNT
ITTY BITTY HELLBOY SEARCH FOR THE WERE JAGUAR TP
JEKYLL ISLAND CHRONICLES GN BOOK 01
JOKER ENDGAME TP
LAZARUS HC VOL 02
MARVEL UNIVERSE ALL NEW AVENGERS ASSEMBLE DIGEST TP VOL 04
MIGHTY THOR PREM HC THUNDER IN HER VEINS VOL 01
MY LITTLE PONY ADVENTURES IN FRIENDSHIP HC VOL 05
ODYC TP VOL 02 SONS OF THE WOLF
PEPLUM GN
SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN TP VOL 22
SILK TP VOL 01 SINISTER
STAR BRAND TP VOL 01 NEW UNIVERSE
STAR TREK NEW ADVENTURES TP VOL 03
STAR WARS KANAN TP VOL 02 FIRST BLOOD
STRAY BULLETS TP VOL 05 HI-JINKS & DERRING-DO
UNFOLLOW TP VOL 01
WALLY WOOD GALAXY ART AND BEYOND HC
WE STAND ON GUARD DLX HC
WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD GN VOL 01
WONDER WOMAN HC VOL 08 TWIST OF FATE
WONDER WOMAN TP VOL 07 WAR TORN
X-MEN TP RISE OF APOCALYPSE
ZODIAC STARFORCE TP

MERCH
ORPHAN BLACK CARD GAME

BACK IN STOCK
HARLEY QUINN & SUICIDE SQUAD APRIL FOOLS SPEC #1
MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #3
STAR WARS SPECIAL C-3PO #1