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.
Didn't expect THAT from the top rope...
Weekly Pull Highlights: June 15, 2022
We're working so hard to get back to a normal schedule, but as you can tell from Tee's voice, it's been easier said than done. But this week has a couple excellent new books, both with constant surprises around every page turn. Boom - necromancy out of nowhere! This is why we love comics.
We might be sick, but not too sick for comics.
Weekly Pull Highlights: June 7, 2022
Alright, so we might sound raspy and kind of groggy... but it's only because we are. Despite the illness among us, we're powering through because this week had some excellent comics we didn't want you to miss out on, including TWO whole books from DC worth mentioning!
Horrors... in... SPACE!....
Weekly Pull Highlights: May 24, 2022
Sorry we've been away for a while, off fighting transportation woes and technical difficulties, but we're BACK with an excellent vignette-style anthology of sci-fi, horror-y goodness.
We love some good teen drama, y'all.
Weekly Pull Highlights: April 6, 2022
Look, comics don't HAVE to be bleak and depressing and drab. They can be colorful and playful and feature young people with powers and drama and OKAY, THERE'S ANOTHER VAMPIRE BOOK. SUE US.
What you may have missed in March!
Honorable Mention Highlights: March 2022
What a cute, cheeky little book. Another tale of a spunky girl with a talking robot friend (I'm honestly surprised that's so common nowadays), but it's set up with a fantastical world and very creative mystery building. I'm excited to see just how deep this story goes.
Broken Eye #1
It's like the Dead Zone meets Trainspotting. A blue color dockworker in Liverpool gets embroiled in the workings of a crime lord. Because, y'know... his eye can see the past and stuff. Characters are a little flat, but it seems like it will be a tasty little neo-noir.
We Live Rise of the Palladiums #1
Done in two different issues, Black and White, this premiere issue of the new volume of We Live is told from two different perspectives. We are sent back into the We Live world with new problems and a completely original vibe. Did you miss We Live? No problem, this story does an excellent job standing on its own with all the weird, colorful post-apocalypse-y goodness we're familiar with.
Beyond the Beyond #1
It's a tale as old as time - a rebellious young girl seeks the exciting world outside her walls, and isn't afraid to break the rules and get in trouble to get what she wants. Okay, except this time she steals a spaceship. I mean, at least she didn't grow legs or whatever, right?
Cities of Magick #1
I want to like this book so bad. It seems like a cool concept: a post-apocalyptic world where tech is replaced by magic. There seems to be setup for a later discovery that perhaps the magick isn't as different from tech as we think. I cool concept, interesting thrust and fun representation of magick? Sign me up. My main issue is just the characters feel SUPER flat and lifeless. The dialogue being a bit bland just throws this off for me, but it still deserves a mention for those sold enough on the concept.
Zombies vs Robots Classic #1
Ten years or so ago, ZVR hit the shelves. It's a wild book that sees two different apocalypses go ahead to ahead across time. Just like... such a fun, wholesome concept. ZVC is now back with reprints of early issues that include new stories and art mixed in. Fun stuff and a classic read.
What you may have missed in February!
Honorable Mention Highlights: February 2022
Speed Republic #1
We've had a handful of race-based books in the past couple years, but none nearly as broody as this one. It's a post-capitalist society, where everything is controlled by corporations and we're all manipulated for their amusement... Bezos, please don't read this one. Cool?
Land of the Living Gods #1
A dead world, roving gangs, cybery, shiny ghosts, and a magical plant. This book is unique, charming and generally lovely. I am excited to see where the story goes and who gets wrapped into the mix. However, post-apocalyptic stories are a dime a dozen these days, so it can be a bit exhausting digging through another. I like this book, but I am very close to the end of my interest in the post-apocalypse.
The Killer: State of Affairs #1
An assassin holds down a 9 to 5 office job as a cover while working on a possible maybe coup plot. This book, while not necessarily groundbreaking or ultra exciting, is a pretty approachable action book told by a character whose perspective we don't often get: a more reserved, almost introverted cold-blooded killer.
What you may have missed in January!
Honorable Mention Highlights: January 2022
Bylines in Blood #1
A mystery circling around an independent news source willing to tell the truth. This book has extreme Jessica Jones vibes and presents a painfully relatable tale in a world too close to home for comfort; people record every moment of their lives, the truth has all but vanished as the elite invent facts to serve their purpose, and journalism as a career has effectively been eradicated. It's gritty, it's dark, I like it.
She Hulk #1
Jennifer Walters has been many things. Successful lawyer, savage monster, weird Blonde and Red Russian hit machine, my green-skinned crush for the last 30 years or so. Many hats worn by this lady with a new one being forced onto her head each time we see her. That pattern stays true in this book, which finds Jennifer humbled and having to start over since her stint as the Gamma blasting Hulk of the most recent Avengers team. She is hunble, grounded, and focused more on altruism than heroism. Could be a cool direction for her.
Batman/Catwoman Special #1This book is a fascinating look at Catwoman and Batman's growing relationship over a span of decades. It injects humanity into these bombastic characters much in the way Marvel's Life Story series do, while perfectly displaying just how complex Selena is as a character. It's also a nice memorial for John Paul Leon who tragically passed in May of 2021. Definitely worth a grab for Bat fans.
Honorable Mention Highlights: November 2021
The Dark Knights of Steel #1
Remember when you were a kid playing make-believe and you'd merge together very different IPs to the point where suddenly Optimus Prime is driving Mario to the next castle? This is kind of like that. Suddenly you're in a fantasy setting, but still watching the same DC characters you'd expect in a big crossover. I think is most surprising is how well it works - well done, team, I definitely care about the princes after all.
A Thing Called Truth #1
Relatable, fun characters embroiled in a tale of misogyny and betrayal. This book is delightfully developed and honestly is a story unlike a lot of what's out there. It's realistic and grounded while building to an exciting thrust.
What if Batman was a pervy jerk, got accidentally killed by a random loser, and then replaced by said random loser at the behest of "Alfred" (who absolutely hates Batman to begin with)? If that premise isn't enough to delight you, then just know that this book is incredibly clever and wonderfully cheeky. Sure, it's another "what if popular super hero but different" story, but it's got some fun twists and turns.
My Date with Monsters #1
What a fascinating concept for a book. Bad science leads to real nightmares, and the only way to avoid the apocalypse is for a very single mom to fall in love and build a stable family. Has it already built in some pretty predictable plot points? Yeah, but that doesn't take away from my investment in the very likeable characters. I'm excited to see how it all plays out.
Provenance of Secrets #1
Another day, another noir - but this time, our gumshoe is investigating a theater cult (that as a former theater kid, seems completely believable). Boldly black and white, with a swiftly unraveling mystery, this one has set up to be a very interesting read.
Good Boy #1
If you had told me I would one day read a comic book adaptation of John Wick where the dog lives and the person dies but it still turns into a bullet blasting blood bath, I would have told you to seek help. And yet, here we are. This book shines mainly for the novelty of the concept, but does have some fun art and tongue-in-cheek moments within to earn a mention.
Turkey Day One Shot
The perfect story for the holidays! It's got it all! Community. Family. History. Alien-possessed murder turkeys. If you like B-level horror movies, this book will be a fun ride for you. In the mix is also a nice bit of cheeky commentary on the problematic nature of the Thanksgiving story and the treatment of indigenous people in modern society. Oh, and also gore. Lots of gore.
Cover B Podcast
Chris & Tee host this weekly comic-focused show, providing insight on new comics, entertainment news and more.