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Hot Comics Picks of the Week (March 4, 2015 edition)

It’s not really fair to call it a preview if it comes out after the comics hit the shelves, so let’s call them “Hot Picks” for this week. Once again, you can thank the mighty men at Dragon’s Lair in Omaha for the picks this week.

As for me, I’m still trying to catch up on Kelly Sue DeConnick’s pretty takedown of the patriarchy in Bitch Planet #2 and 3, so I’m glad CJ sent me some hot comics to spotlight this week.

Princess Leia #1

Princess Leai #1. Writer: Mark Waid Art: Terry Dodson Cover: Terry Dodson . Marvel Comics.

Now that Marvel and Star Wars have been conquered and absorbed into the magic kingdom, things are consolidating faster than I expected. The last thing I need to see is another prequel to TOS, but if CJ says it’s worth checking out, I’ll go with it.

So what’s it all about?

When Princess Leia Organa was captured by the Empire as a Rebel spy, she never betrayed her convictions, even in the face of the complete destruction of her home world, Alderaan. When her rescue came, she grabbed a blaster and joined the fight, escaping back to the Rebel Alliance and helping strike the biggest blow against the Empire-the destruction of the Death Star. But in the aftermath of that victory, the question remains…what is a princess without a world?

Guardians Team-up #1

Guardians Tean-Up #1. Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Arthur Adams Cover: Arthur Adams . Marvel Comics.

Such a gorgeous cover. I’m skeptical that every character appearing on that cover can possibly appear in the pages of this book, but it’s worth a look. I haven’t yet found a Guardians title that I like. Ever. However, since the movie was so awesome, I’ll give this one a try, too.

Day Men #6

Day Men #6. Writer: Matt Gagnon Art: Brian Stelfreeze Cover: Brian Stelfreeze. Boom Studios.

This is where the disconnect between a professional comics guy and a Casual Comics Guy becomes clear. I love the recommendations I get from CJ and the Lair professionals. I’m sure this is a great book. Here’s the solicit:

Kellen’s gambit is over: the Virgos’ last ditch attempt to find proof of the Scourge has failed, and Azalea will be subject to Justice by Day. But before that ultimate battle between Day Men occurs, David must race up to Vermont to save his mentor Blackwill from his betrayer, Lera.

This is probably an awesome story and a great title, but that whole thing means nothing to me. So, I’ll probably do the Casual Comics thing and wait for the trade paperback, hope that they carry it at Barnes and Noble, and then read it on a Saturday at the store while I drink a coffee (Venti decaf Americano, splash of soy, please…)

Even living on my own in Ohio, waiting for my family to move out here with me, I’ve barely got enough time to keep up on the comics. So, let’s look at the list of new comics and find a Casual Comics Pick of the Week.

Aaaaand, I found it.

Alex + Ada TPB Volume 2

Alex + Ada vol. 2 TPB. By Jonathan Luna and Sara Vaughan. Image Comics.

Alex + Ada vol. 2 TPB. By Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughan. Image Comics.

This is the most magical, delightful series I’ve read in ages. I’ve got a very short list of series that I would classify as “must owns” – books that inform the human condition while also telling an entertaining story with visuals that delight without overwhelming. Miracleman and Watchmen completed the 80s and 90s. If you want to be in on a series as important as those are, you should be reading this.

I don’t read many (read any) comics every month. I was reading this every single month… This was the comic that inspired me to create a pull list for the first time ever. Since I moved to Ohio, though, I lost track of which issues I’ve bought and which I need.

It’s time for me to just give in and get caught up on this magnificent series, even if I’m buying some issues for a second time.

I love me some Alex + Ada, and that’s why Alex + Ada TPB vol. 2 is my Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week.

I’ll be heading to Laughing Ogre comics in Columbus this weekend to get it. I hope you’ll also support you local comic book shop.

Cheers!

– CCG

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Alex PLUS Ada or Alex AND Ada – Jonathan Luna Provides an Answer

So, yesterday I posted that yet again Alex + Ada is the comic book pick of the week. Jonathan Luna and Sara Vaughn are really knocking it out of the park with this series.

A thought-provoking story with heart and magnificent artwork.

I’ve always wondered, though, whether I should be asking the local comic shop for “Alex AND Ada” or “Alex PLUS Ada”. I always favored the latter…

Fortunately, Mr. Luna is quite active on Twitter and is very responsive to fans. I asked, and he answered.

Screenshot 2014-10-03 18

Dang it… I was wrong. Guess I’ll console myself with the latest issue of Alex AND Ada…

Cheers!

– CCG

Casual Comics Hot Comic Book Picks of the Week – October 1, 2014

October is upon us. It’s finally spooky season. Let’s tremble together as we try and figure out what comic publishers are up to this week. I’m so out of it, comics-wise, that this is going to be scary.

Sing No Evil: Graphic Novel

Sing No Evil. By: JP Ahonen, KP Alare. Abrams Comicarts.

This is listed in the promotional materials under “Horror”. The cover isn’t particularly spooky. Let’s see what the solicit says:

“Twenty-something guitarist Aksel stutters when he sings, and the latest reviews say he has the voice of a crow with throat plague. That’s not a compliment, even for the avant-garde music his band Perkeros plays. Aksel is having a hard time keeping the band together, stopping his girlfriend from kicking him out, and not getting eaten by his drummer (who happens to be a cranky brown bear). There are also the rival bands that Perkeros find themselves in battle with to save the city from supernatural forces set loose by ancient music. The key to it all could be in the music Aksel hears in his dreams – if it doesn’t drive him mad first.”

Hmmm… I might just go ahead and watch “Rock and Rule” again instead of reading this one.

Rock and Rule is awesome….

Critical Hit #1

Critical Hit #1. By: Matt Miner, Jonathan Brandon Sawyer. Black Mask Comics

This seems a bit more like a horror comic I can get on board with.

“Matt Miner rallies a brand new art team and launches Liberator fan-favorites Jeanette and Sarah in a bold new direction with their own gritty mission to stop a rogue gang of hunters – but the girls learn to their horror that these hunters have developed a new hobby: hunting people… and suddenly the rescuers become the prey.”

OK – So I don’t know who Jeanette and Sarah are, but they’re apparently on a “gritty” mission. I’ll give the comic props for having both of the female leads wearing sensible clothing while fighting evil. Don’t know why there’s a cat on the cover, but I guess I’ll find out. Hopefully I’m not too far behind on continuity, because this one sounds good.

Garfield #30

 

Garfield #30. By: Mark Evanier, Andy Hirsch. Boom! Studios.

Mark Evanier is writing Garfield now?!? This is less horror than existential dread.

Gotham Academy #1

Gotham Academy #1. By: Becky Cloonan, Karl Kerschl. DC Comics.

It’s been a long while (since the debut of Batman ’66, in fact) since I’ve been interested in any DC Comics offerings. This one has promise, though. I already love it – simply based on the cover. Let’s see if this one can live up to the promise:

“WELCOME TO GOTHAM ACADEMY! Gotham City’s most prestigious prep school is a very weird place. It’s got a spooky campus, oddball teachers, and rich benefactors always dropping by…like that weirdo Bruce Wayne. But nothing is as strange is the students!

Like, what’s up with Olive Silverlock? Is she crazy or what? Where did she go last summer? And what’s the deal with her creepy mom? And how come that Freshman MAPS is always following her around? And is she still going out with Kyle? P.S. Did you hear the rumor about the ghost in the North Hall?!

GOTHAM ACADEMY is a new, monthly teen drama set in the shadow of Batman and the craziness of Gotham City, with new characters and old plus a secret tie to Gotham’s past…”

Seems like the folks at DC have finally realized that their actual heroes are a little tired and they’re OK putting them on the sidelines while someone tells actual stories. Good for you, DC!

Alex  + Ada #9

 

Alex + Ada #9. By: Jonathan Luna. Image Comics.

I don’t care that (because of my move to Ohio) I’ve missed issues 7 and 8. This is the best series I’ve read in a looooooong time. Seeing issue #9 just reminds me that I’ve got to get out and get 7 and 8 ASAP.

As always, when there’s an issue of Alex + Ada out, it’s obviously The Official Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week.

I just wish Jonathan Luna would tell me if it’s “Alex and Ada” or “Alex Plus Ada”. (I prefer the latter). Think he’ll tell me if I hit him up on Twitter? Let’s find out – shall we?

Tweet

While you’re waiting, you can watch the finale from “Rock and Rule”. Enjoy!

And, as always – support your local Comic Book Shop!

Cheers!

– CCG

PS – I’ll let you know what Mr. Luna says about the title of his book…

 

 

Hot Comics of the Week (Courtesy Dragon’s Lair): Week of June 18, 2014

The doldrums of early summer are officially setting in. It’s time to venture out to the local comic shop (virtually) to check out the new comics (virtually) and see what’s hot. Although, with the humidity kicking it up a notch, maybe we can find something cool instead.

Let’s see what CJ, Craig, and the Lair crew recommend this week.

I’ll start with what’s NOT on their list.

Original Sin #4

Original Sin #4. By: Jason Aaron, Mike Deodato, Julian Totino Tedesco. Marvel Comics

 

I’m pretty psyched about this series, but I’ve only read the first two issues. I hope that it’s not petering out. Some Marvel events sustain the momentum all the way through (Civil War) or peter out and die a slow death (World War Hulk). Here’s hoping Original Sin is in the former category.

Guaranteed that The Watcher doesn’t stay dead, but it’s been fun so far anyway.

What IS on the list?

Uncanny X-Men #22

Uncanny X-Men #22. By: Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Bachalo. Marvel Comics.

I feel like I just wrote about the Uncanny X-Men last week. Maybe I’m losing it with all these titles. Take a look and let me know, will you?

I have to say, I like Cyclops’ new mask, but I have a feeling it’s going to get old, quick. It just seems impractical. (Not like the normal ruby-quartz visor with a trigger implanted in the thumb of his glove, as I recall from the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe).

That one… right there.

 

Velvet TPB Vol. 01 Before The Living End

Velvet TPB Vol. 01 Before The Living End. By: Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting. Image Comics.

Now I know I’ve written about this one before. And, already here’s a trade paperback. Boy, time flies… Super fun art, and Ed Brubaker can usually deliver a potboiler like no one’s business. If you liked the last Captain America movie, you’re already a Brubaker fan, even if you don’t know it.

 

Winterworld #1

Winterworld #1. By: Chuck Dixon, Butch Guice. IDW Publishing.

What the heck is this? That guy looks like Kurt Russel from The Thing. I could only hope this book is that sweet. Let’s learn a little more about this one:

Winter is coming early! All new stories based on the Chuck Dixon/Jorge Zaffino classic! The apocalyptic international comics sensation of an Earth turned to an icy hell is back with Dixon returning to script and Butch Guice doing some of the best work of his illustrious artistic career as they take on the bleak and frozen future. Follow Scully and Wynn from their icy home of Wintersea into a killing wasteland where the coldest place is the human heart.

Well, I can’t say that I’m in favor of a bleak and frozen future. Why is it so cold? Were all the scientists really that wrong about global warming? Out of all apocalyptical futures (robotic, giant insect, volcanic, nuclear, zombie, etc…), I think “ice age” is way down on my list.

Still, if the Lair guys like it, it’s probably worth a peek.

Star Trek City on the Edge Of Forever #1 (of 5)

Star Trek City on the Edge Of Forever #1. By: Harlan Ellison, J. K. Woodward, Juan Ortiz. IDW Publishing.

Now this one, I gotta see. Like any teenage boy/nerd worth his salt, I loved Ellison’s short stories when I was “of a certain age”. That cover art, in the words of a certain Doctor is “Fantastic”! I can’t explain the nerd appeal of this book any better than the solicit:

For the first time ever, a visual presentation of the much-discussed, unrevised, unadulterated version of Harlan Ellison’s award-winning Star Trek teleplay script, ‘The City on the Edge of Forever!’ This Hugo- and Writer’s Guild of America Award-winning teleplay has been much discussed for decades but only here can you see the story as Mr. Ellison originally intended! 

C’mon, now. Mr. Ellison? Really? When did we get so formal?

That said, this book is a must have. That’s why Star Trek City on the Edge Of Forever #1 is the official Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week

Thank you again to the crew at Dragon’s Lair for all the help. You guys are the best.

Support your local comics shop, people. Cheers!

– CCG

PS – Alex + Ada #7 is also out this week. That’s the best comic out right now, but I gotta mix in some other titles, otherwise where’s the suspense in these lists?

Alex + Ada. Read it. Post-haste…