But how did everyone in this show get so attractive?!...
From beautiful visuals, to incredible effects, to brilliant casting with dynamic portrayals, this is one of those adaptations we'll be talking about for a LONG time. Hey, HBOMax, if you need some advice... maybe you should be chatting up Netflix?
What a good widdle slaughtering pupper!
Love Everlasting #1 (w: Tom King, a: Elsa Charretier)
Publisher: Image Comics
Love is a many splendored time loop...
This is a dream team of comics creators. Words by Tom King, art from Elsa Charretier, colors from Matt Hollingsworth and letters by Clayton Cowles. This comic is like that sundae that you make for yourself at home so it has exactly all your favorite ingredients and exactly the right proportions. It's a masterclass in comic creation, tbh, from top to bottom dripping with an understanding of the medium that only comes from a super group of creators. To be fair, I could be a bit biased since I've been in love with Elsa Charretier's work for years (Infinite Loop is still in my top 5 books of all time). That said, this book knocked my socks off.
I think what I liked most about it is the choice to keep the pace incredibly slow. This book is mysterious and slow feeds the greater plot at foot. In the beginning we are presented with a basic romance comic to the tune of books from the 50's & 60's with titles like "Modern Love" or "Teen-Age Romance" or "Betty and Veronica Do Dallas." Joan is our femme principale, and we experience her blossoming romance with her boss George. Then marry and the story ends. We then move on to tale of tail (heh) number 2, wherein we find main character Joan (huh?) as she falls in love with a musician named Kit. Finally, we are yee-hawed our way back to the wild, wild west where Joan (hm...) is being courted by both the sheriff's son and the new ranch hand her father hired, and it's up to Joan to decide which one get-alongs her lil' doggies. Joan, Joan, and more Joan. Different tales, different loves, all Joan. What force has pulled her into this time twister? Who is it that seems to have trapped her here? Why does the Clay Mann cover make my nose bleed so much? This and many, many more questions leave the reader head over heals by the time they reach the back cover.
This is an incredibly genre aware, super charming, and painfully well-constructed book that could only be created from the minds, hands and hearts of true masters of the medium. I love this book now, I love it in the 60s, and I'm sure I'll love it whenever I'm a cowboy. I hope you do, too.
Samurai Doggy #1 (w: Chris Tex, a: Santtos)
Publisher: Aftershock Comics
much ronin. so vengeance. wow.
Winning the award for best use of [what to me looks like] a shiba since memes and crypto, Samurai Doggy is definitely trying to dine on some turtle soup. In the sense of earning the respect of the TMNT and sharing a nice bowl of soup at their house, maybe also some finger foods. It will be a nice evening, y'know, maybe they'll invite Usagi Yojimbo. Not in the sense of him eating the turtles. We don't promote creator beefs here.
I say this because too often "anthro animal becomes a warrior of vengeance" stories just kind of bore me and feel too TMNT inspired or adjacent to really grab my attention. This one, however, felt fresh. I like the world and the characters being constructed here. While I am jealous that he has a much more rootin' tottin' name than mine, Chris Tex does an absolutely amazing job creating a solidly paced ronin story in with a decent enough hook to keep me wanting more. Mixed with Santos's somehow simultaneously bright and gritty art, it's a refreshing take on both the cyberpunk and revenge stories that seem all too popular these days and dreadfully nocturnal. Is it too much to ask for my broody swordplay to happen during the magic hour?
Is it necessarily the MOST unique story out there? No, and that's a fair criticism. Revenge stories, especially those taking place in some sort of cyber/industrial collapsing society are fairly common on the shelves these days. I honestly don't know how to explain it, but I just find myself really drawn to this one. The character seems much more approachable than the ultra-walled off broodsters we often get. They take the time to chow down on a steamed bun, go out of their way to help a kid ride a Ferris Wheel (granted, in exchange for info, but still) and are also a cute one-eyed puppy floofster. It's cool action, a fun if familiar story, and some wicked neat art all in a T H I C C first issue. It just works for me.
Honorable Mention Highlights: July 2022
There's Something Wrong with Patrick Todd #1
A kid down on his luck using his supernatural mind control powers to pay for his mom's medical care. Also, there's mysterious men in masks, a noble detective trying to fit together a mystery, and a guy named Zeus beheading people. It's the Neo-Noir "Life is Strange" you never knew you needed.
Above Snakes #1
A by the books Western revenger story with a teensy bit of added supernatural flavor. Following the saga of a wringed man out for revenge with his talking, blood-drinking vulture, this book doesn't bog itself down with trying to be unique in a familiar genre but instead tells the story it wants to tell while letting the reader fill in the necessary beats. It's not necessarily groundbreaking, but that's where it finds its charm.
She Bites #1
A little girl needs a babysitter. Well, mainly she needs someone who can help her buy cigarettes. Because she's 134 years old.... and a vampire. It's a silly, fun premise with two interesting characters both with plenty of room for some heavy discussions. I think if Hale really takes their time, they can make sure this series DEFINITELY doesn't bite.
Brother of All Men #1
Strong Wicker Man vibes set in 1920s Canada. A Private Eye named Guy is looking for a missing woman, utilizing a reference photo to ask for her whereabouts. Also featured in the photo, Guy's brother Bastien. Problem is, Bastien has been dead for years. The mysteries get even more stacked up when Guy discovers both his brother and the missing woman are tied to a cult run by an enigmatic man named Brother XII.
Dark Spaces: Wildfire #1
A heist set during a chaotic California wildfire. Granted, this may hit too close to home for some people, but the slow-drip character development and the general "tear down the rich" theme of this book has me hooked. Sherman has a CRAZY way of laying out the panels too, which i absolutely dig and totally fits the tone if trying to keep all the chaos of a wildfire in line.
Flavor Girls #1
There are some concepts that tickle that delightful nostalgia bone and this title is absolutely one of them. A Sailor Moon-esque story where aliens invade and four girls are turned into sceptor-wielding fruit-themed superheros is basically the best sounding plot I could never have come up with. It's adorable and fun - just go get it.
Is it a cult? Is it a society from another dimension? Is it aliens? Is it time travelers? None of those questions are answered in the first issue of Blink, but watching our main protag try to figure out where she comes from and why she can remember something that never should have been, I definitely want to find out.
High school is hard enough without multiple personalities, amiright?
The Sacrament #1 (w: Peter Milligan, a: Marcelo Frusin)
Publisher: AWA Studios
It's like 40K with less Space Orcs and more pea-soup vomit.
Sacrament takes place in a dark future where mankind has abandoned earth and made to the stars. Knee-deep in the depressing voidness of it all is Father Vass, a womanizing priest suffering from a serious crisis of faith who has gathered notoriety for participating in a particularly grisly exorcism. Vass and his compatriot, Novice Rais, bounce from planet to planet holding mass and blessing people with an iPod Touch, all the while running from a law enforcement organization that does an incredibly terrible job at catching two people wearing heavy cloaks and not trying to hide their occupation in the slightest. However, Vass's whole steez gets turned upside-down when said law enforcement approach him with a proposition.
This book is sold as "Alien meets Exorcist" but honestly I get more Warhammer 40k meets Event Horizon meets the Last Exorcism. Marcelo Frusin's art does an incredible job capturing the cold bleakness of the universe as Milligan's story weaves us through Vass's doubt and fear. It's dark, it's harsh and it's exciting. A really cool book for people who dig absolutely ghastly sci-fi.
Elle(s) #1 (w: Kid Toussaint, a: Aveline Stokart)
Pub: ABLAZE Publishing
Listen, High School is hard. Even harder with multiple versions of yourself fighting for control. Big oof, am I right, kids? Sheeeeeeeeesh, ha, right?.... I'm so painfully old...
Elle is the new girl in school, and honestly she's handling it pretty well. She makes friends quick, stands up to the mean girls. Life is going pretty well. However, below the surface, there is a war brewing. A mysterious, dark version of Elle is out to make mischief. Once Elle finds herself in enough strain to drop her guard, Dark Elle strikes, replacing Elle with a different version of herself, while even more versions wait in the wings for their turn at the helm.
This is a really unique YA story that kicks off by instantly letting you know that it is going to be different. All the typical "new kid" tropes are immediately dashed. No mean teachers or communication issues. Elle is not a shy girl or even really that quirky. She makes friends quick, shoves away the bullying quickly. We are given a "new kid is doing pretty well" story, and honestly it's super refreshing. It leaves room for the story to focus more on an analysis of what it means to try and find identity as a young girl. How do teens define themselves and how do they allow outside factors to define them? How do teens change as time goes by and what happens to the friendships they made along the way? This book is absolutely enthralling and adorable. The art is perfect, the characters are fun, and I am sold 100% of the way.
Survival Street #1 (w: James Asmus, a: Jim Festante)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Bigots are gonna pay
On my way to pick up more R-P-G's
Can you tell me how to get
How to get to Survival Streeeeeeeeeet
Look at the cover of this comic and tell me you don't want it. Do it. Lie to my face like that, you monster. The absolutely diabolical geniuses of James Asmus and Jim Festante apparently decided that the world needs a hardcore, gritty Sesame Street story and holy fluff were they right. This book takes place in a world where the US government has officially been seized by corporations and turned into a capitalistic dictatorship. It also happens to take place in a world where puppets are actual creatures that live and breathe, and some of them are on TV teaching people the power of fairness and stuff.
Our cast of Felt Americans were abruptly thrown to the curb when their edutainment show was cancelled by the New Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or N.I.C.E. In response to the loss of their livelihood and the general sweeping mistreatment of their brethren, the cast has rebranded themselves as a gang of revolutionaries, sticking it to mans of all kinds and teaching the powers that be the meaning of the word "fairness," as well as the meaning of the words "vengeance" "caliber" and "High-Yield Explosives." Festante's playful use of the page and high-octane style keeps the action screaming forward from cover to cover as if the book was brought to you by the letters B & A. It's a no holds barred felt flingin', ice cream munchin', system dismantlin' heck of a good time, and I am absolutely hungry for more.
My favorite thing about this book is how well integrated the puppet aspect is. The narrative never loses the puppet angle, but also doesn't spend a ton of energy dragging the pacing down while making jokes about it. Shockingly, the puppet characters come out feeling shockingly real, almost more flesh and blood than the politicians and corporate shills they're fighting against. As an avid Muppets/puppetry fan, this book appeals to me on so many levels, and I will definitely be recommending this book to people for years to come. I would absolutely LOVE to see this come to a screen of some kind.
It's time to change things up!
This may not be the episode you were expecting, but we promise only good will come of it! We're changing things up with a format change, added blogs to our website, and even more content to our socials. It's an exciting time for Cover B!
Cover B Podcast
Chris & Tee host this weekly comic-focused show, providing insight on new comics, entertainment news and more.