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Casual Comics Preview – Week of March 15, 2017

I’m excited to announce (well, tease more than announce) that we’ve got some big things coming over at the Casual Comics Cast. In the meantime, here are some new comics this week for your consideration.

We’ve had some real bummer weeks in the recent past, so hopefully, by the time I get to the end of this, I’ll have a pick for the Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week.

Cadmus #1

Nice. Right off the bat, we’ve got a terrific comic.

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Cadmus #1 – Writer: Samantha Beck, Art: Samantha Beck, Publisher: Antarctic Press

“Antarctic Press presents a true tale for the ages, a gorgeous retelling of a classic Greek myth. When his sister Europa is kidnapped from his home of Phoenicia, Cadmus is sent by his father to retrieve her. Unable to find her yet forbidden to return without her, his fortunes seem to turn when an oracle reveals how he shall sow the first seeds of a mighty city of his own!” 

This is the kind of comic I could really get on board with. I have not heard of Samantha Beck, but she’s really killing it with dynamic art and a can’t miss story. I haven’t read Ovid’s Metamorphoses since college, and I’m really looking forward to revisiting it in this comic.

Death Be Damned #2

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Writer:  Ben Acker, Art: Hannah Christenson, Publisher: Boom Studios!

This is another book with brilliant art. I wish that the solicit were a little more explicit about the story author Ben Acker is delivering.  Read the rest of this entry

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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

Hot Comics of the Week – Snowed-in edition (Week of February 18, 2015)

This week, I decided to call in the big guns for the weekly picks. Once again, the guys at Dragon’s Lair in Omaha, NE have personally curated your selection of comics for this week.

I sent a message to CJ early in the week asking him if he could send over picks, and he graciously agreed. Then, he let me know mid-week that the comics were late arriving due to the weather, and so his picks would also be arriving later. I asked if he could just give me a list of the hot books before the shipment came in, to which he replied, “Tough to tell what’s gonna be good without actually seeing them.”

Reading the books before making the picks? I guess I learn something new every day.

So, this week, you get the insights of someone who has actually read the books being recommended here.

Silk#1

Silk #1. Writer: Robbie Thompson Art: Stacey Lee Cover: Dave Johnson . Marvel Comics.

Last week, I talked about my plans to catch up with the Spider Verse story arc. Based on the solicit for this book, I fear I may be too far behind for it to ever make sense.

Cindy Moon exploded out of her bunker and into the Marvel Universe when we first learned that she had been bitten by that same radioactive spider in the first arc of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. She then went on to save Peter Parker’s life (more than once!) and traverse the Spider-verse alongside Spider-Woman. Now, as SILK, Cindy is on her own in New York City, searching for her past, defining her own future, and webbing up wrong-doers along the way! Robbie Thompson (writer from TV’s Supernatural) fills this new ongoing series with his unique blend of antics and feels. Featuring stunning covers by Eisner Award winner Dave Johnson and interiors by future superstar Stacey Lee.

This sounds more complicated than the dreaded Clone Saga, but is far more widely acclaimed. Between Silk and Spider Gwen, I guess I have some catching up to do.

Legendary Star Lord #9

 

Legendary Star Lord #9. Writer: Sam Humphries Art: Paco Medina Cover: Paco Medina. Marvel Comics.

I’m glad CJ read this one, because this might win the award for “Worst Comic Cover of the Month”. Let’s count down the individual elements that add up to an awful comic book cover.

Whatever that artifact is that dominates the center of the cover looks ridiculous – something like an Oscar trophy modeled after Luke Cage and Deadmaus’ love-child.

  • Star-Lord’s ludicrous Firestorm hairdo.
  • Cyclops is not just a boring dud, but also appears to be a dumb mouth-breather here.
  • I have no idea who that space pirate behind Cyclops is. He sure seems happy, though.
  • Is Kitty Pryde preparing to fight or to give Storm a scalp massage? Read this thrilling issue to find out.
  • Just to the left of the space trophy… Is that Booster Gold? How did he get here?
  • Jean Grey looks like she’s ready to wash that man right out of her hair…
  • And, finally, the most egregious offense of this cover – The ridiculous pose in the lower right corner.

 

So, there you have it. Just two picks this time.  And they’re delivered late, to boot. But, at least this time they were carefully curated by someone who actually read the books before I recommended them. More to come once the Midwest thaws out…

 

Cheers!

– CCG

 

 

Hot Comic Preview of the Week (December 17, 2014)

You might be asking why I’m previewing a comic so far in advance. But then, you’ll feast your eyes on the below image, and you’ll completely get it.

 

Sooo dreamy….

 

This gorgeous image popped up online and I was completely blown away. Just the cover image makes me want to pick up the back issues of the Tenth Doctor comic series. But wait, there’s more…

GABBY IS DYING FOR HER ART!

With the Doctor half the man he should be, under the draining influence of an alien tourist trap, Gabriella is left to shoulder the burden of saving him, the planet, and the future of art in our galaxy – and all on her first off-world trip, no less!

Trapped in a terrifying creative retreat, where what was once beautiful has been rendered corrupt and horrifying, is Gabby strong enough to reverse whatever has been done to the Doctor and save an intergalactic artistic community from itself? You’d better hope so!

And who, or what, are the deadly Consultants… and what plans do they have for the Doctor?!

Who is Gabby? Well, she’s obviously a companion for the Tenth Doctor we’ve not met on the TV series. I’m so jazzed for this issue, I just had to interrupt my regular, irregular, comic picks to pre-emptively name The Tenth Doctor #5 as the Official Hot Comic Pick of the Week two weeks in advance of its release.

Cheers!

CCG

 

Casual Comics Guy Hot Picks of the Week: Thanksgiving Edition! (November 26, 2014)

Happy Turkey Day, everyone. Hope you’ll all be with family and friends this week, enjoying a wonderful holiday meal. If you can throw some comics into the mix, that’s even better.

I’ll be weighing in next week with the beginning of my 2014 comic book holiday gift guide. And, If I find any cool Black Friday sales, I’ll post them as well, so stay tuned.

Let’s thumb through the weekly new comic releases and see what’s cooking.

Crypt Of Horror TPB Vol. 23

Crypt of Horror TPB #23. By: France Herron, Mort Lawrence, Basil Wolverton. AC Comics.

With the plethora of horror/zombie comics nowadays, it’s hard to find something different. The Walking Dead just won’t die. Afterlife with Archie had a quality first story arc. But, at this point, it might be best to look backwards to find something new. I always loved the old EC Comics, and now AC Comics (probably not meant to mislead buyers into thinking it’s EC reprints) is collecting old horror tales from Fawcett, St. John, Superior, Avon, Ajax, and “other forgotten publishers from the 1950s”. If it’s good, the first 22 compilations might hit the Official Casual Comics Holiday Buying Guide.

Planet Gigantic #1

Planet Gigantic #1. Writer: Eric Grissom Art: David Halvorson Cover: David Halvorson . Action Lab Entertainment.

 

Hang on…

OK, just finished bracing my mind for Planetfall, as per the cover’s instructions.

This book just plain looks gorgeous. When the girl riding the winged lion is the “Also in this issue” feature, the main feature better be action-packed. Fingers crossed that this one can live up to its own cover.

Django Zorro #1

Django Zorro #1. Writer: Quentin Tarantino Art: Esteve Polls Cover: Jae Lee . Dynamite Entertainment.

It’s the crossover no one knew they wanted – until now. And while I’m still not sure I want it, it sounds like Tarantino actually wrote the story, and Matt Wagner – a talented guy in his own right – collaborated, so it’s worth checking out. The description is a little long, but I guess you’ve got to try and explain it somehow.

Set several years after the events of Django Unchained, Django/Zorro #1 finds Django again pursuing the evil that men do in his role as a bounty hunter. Since there’s a warrant on his head back east, he’s mainly been plying his trade in the western states. After safely settling his wife, Broomhilda, near Chicago, he’s again taken to the road, sending her funds whenever he completes a job. It’s by sheer chance that he encounters the aged and sophisticated Diego de la Vega – the famed Zorro – and soon finds himself fascinated by this unusual character, the first wealthy white man he’s ever met who seems totally unconcerned with the color of Django’s skin… and who can hold his own in a fight. He hires on as Diego’s “bodyguard” for one adventure and is soon drawn into a fight to free the local indigenous people from a brutal servitude, discovering that slavery isn’t exclusive to black folks. In the course of this adventure, he learns much from the older man (much like King Schultz) and, on several occasions, even dons the mask and the whip… of The Fox!

Tarantino says this book is “canon” for Django, which I can’t see mattering for now. Feel free to correct me in 10 years when internet flame wars are breaking out during the Inglourious Basterds / Sgt. Fury and his Howlin’ Commandos crossover multi-media event.

Django/Zorro has GOT to be the weirdest crossover I’ve even seen.

Angry Birds / Transformers #1

Angry Birds Transformers #1. Writer: John Barber Art: Marcelo Ferreira Cover: Marcelo Ferreira . IDW.

So, as I was saying… Django/Zorro has GOT to be the second weirdest crossover I’ve even seen.

He Man And The Masters Of The Universe #19

 

He Man And The Masters Of The Universe #19. By: Rob David, Joelle Jones, Stjepan Sejic. DC Comics

This is one of those small pleasures that comes from being a casual comics fan. Oh, He Man And The Masters Of The Universe #19… Here are all the reasons you’re magnificent. 

  • I had no idea that there was a He-Man comic book. Even though it’s on issue #19, it’s news to me, and it warms my heart.
  • Because I haven’t read it, I can imagine that it features all my favorite Masters of the Universe characters (aka – the ones my brother had action figures of): Stinkor, Tri-clops, the guy covered in moss (Moss Man?), and the blue-skinned He-Man. The only thing better would be if He-Man had a dragon backpack that squirted water.
  • I get a chuckle from the cover. He-Man does not seem to require a dark and gritty cover image. I’m going to have to check the interior pages and see if they just go back to the same old four-color cheese I loved from He-Man.

Nope… Dang it. This looks more like bad 90s art than bad 80s art.

Here are the most wonderfully crafted four sentences I’ve read in a long time:

The secrets of the House of Grayskull are revealed! Flash back to Prince Adam’s childhood, when rebellion struck King Randor’s throne. What does this moment in time mean for the future war in Eternia? Find out in this prelude to MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: THE ETERNITY WAR #1!

Four sentences. One statement, one question, and two exclamations! Dark secrets abound in the land of Eternia. AND there’s apparently a special mini-series coming.

This gives me great hope that I can convince Marvel to resurrect the greatest comic of all time. Joe Quesada, I’m begging you… FREE CRYSTAR!

For all these reasons, He Man And The Masters Of The Universe #19 is the Official Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week. Give thanks, y’all for the wonderful weirdness you find trawling the wild world of comics.

And I’m thankful this week for all of you readers. I’m still in transit to Ohio, so thanks for sticking with the sporadic updates. You’re the BEST!

For now, let’s take a peek at my favorite comic duo of all time at their Thanksgiving gathering.

And just like that – no matter how awkward your Thanksgiving gets, at least you won’t have a wet guy with drawn on eyebrows and wearing a Speedo shooting daggers at your dad with his eyes. Scarlet Witch, I don’t know how you do it, but kudos to you on one heck of a spread for the holiday.

This week, be thankful for your local comic shop and support them by buying something!

Cheers!

– CCG

Casual Comics Guy Hot Picks of the Week (October 22, 2014)

Still spooky time here in the Casual Comics Corner of the universe. I’m on the prowl for scary, weird, or otherwise holiday-themed books. I’m sure I won’t find anything this brilliant…

Why are his pants ripped? His calves aren’t THAT big…

Memetic #1 (of 3)

Memetic #1. Boom! Studios: October 22, 2014 Writer: James TynionIV Art: Eryk Donovan Cover: Eryk Donovan

Bingo! I love getting in on the ground floor of a limited series. No crazy continuity to try and follow. And, I should be able to read it through to the end without too much trouble. Especially since it’s coming out as three super-size (48 page) issues instead of six regular sized monthly books.

Why it’s spooky: Just read the solicit…

” Meme is an idea that starts with an individual, and then spreads throughout multiple persons and potentially entire societies. Richard Dawkins suggests a meme’s success comes from its effectiveness to the host. But history shows that destructive memes can spread just as rapidly through society. MEMETIC shows the progression of a weaponized meme that leads to the utter annihilation of the human race within 72 hours. The root of this apocalypse is a single image on the internet, a ‘meme’ in the popular sense. A meme that changes everything.”

 

Arkham Manor #1

Arkham Manor #1. DC Comics: October 22, 2014 Writer: Gerry Duggan Art: Shawn Crystal Cover: Shawn Crystal

What? Wayne Manor getting overrun by some of the scariest Batman villains of all time. And apparently, they’re vandalizing Bruce’s property.

Why it’s spooky: Just look at the cover. It’s got all the weirdest members of Batman’s rogues gallery. There’s Scarecrow…Mad Hatter… Guy who draws on his own face that looks like he’s just seen The Silence from Doctor Who. Actually, if The Silence are in this book, it rockets to number one on the must-read list. It’s much more likely that it’s just some other dude I don’t know because I haven”t read a Batman comic in ages.

 

Last Unicorn TPB

 

 

Last Unicorn TPB. By: Peter S. Beagle, Renae De Liz

I love this movie. I had no idea that they were releasing a trade paperback and then – like magic – I just ran across a copy of the hardback at Barnes and Noble tonight. And, if you’ve never seen it, you should definitely watch it. It used to be streaming online for free, but now I think you’re going to have to pay to stream it on Amazon.

Why it’s spooky: The Red Bull in the story still gives me nightmares.

She-Hulk #9

She-hulk #9. By: Charles Soule, Javier Pulido, Kevin Wada

She-Hulk is such a great book.  Charles Soule is knocking it out of the park. Some people aren’t a big fan of Javier Pulido’s idiosyncratic art, but I’ve always found it endearing. I’m glad that the title doesn’t have the hyper-detailed art that most Marvel titles employ. Getting something a little more abstract reminds one that you don’t need a She-Hulk you can ogle, so much as you need one with heart (and brains).

A welcome relief from the normal overly-sexualized heroine we get in the books.

And for those of you who don’t like Pulido… at least Ron Wimberly isn’t drawing the book any more.

AHHHHHHH!!!! MY EYES!!!!!

Why it’s spooky: Because even though this is probably one of the best titles Marvel is publishing right now, I just found out they’re pulling the plug after issue #12. Boooo!

 

In almost any other week, She-Hulk would easily nail down the top spot. But… guess what I just found!

Borderland’s: Fall of Fyrestone #3

Borderlands Fall Of Fyrestone #3. By: Mike Neumann, Agustin Padilla.

A Borderlands comic? I know IDW licences a bunch of properties, but this is one of the few where I think it’s a GREAT idea.

Borderlands has to be the funniest, most surreal games I’ve ever played. If Neumann can bring half the humor to this book from the game series, this will be well worth checking out.

Why it’s spooky: This issue features one of my favorite bad guys from the first Borderlands – Nine Toes. (That’s not the only appendage he’s got an odd number of)

Between the comic and the release of the new video game, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, it’s a Vault Hunter’s life for me. That’s why  Borderland’s: Fall of Fyrestone #3 is my Official Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week.

Until next time, support your local comic book shop.

Cheers!

CCG

 

Casual Comics Guy – Hot Comic Picks (Week of October 8, 2014)

It’s finally October. Well, I guess last week was technically October, too, but it’s finally cooling off and starting to feel like fall. I’m starting to feel the urge for scary movies and moody comics. Let’s see what this week holds for us.

The October Faction #1

The October Faction #1. Idw Publishing: October 22, 2014 Writer: Steve Niles Art: Damien Worm Cover: Damien Worm .

So, Steve Niles. That guy is pretty well respected. I mean, 30 Days of Night had a great story. Even though the art was unbearably terrible, it was still worth reading just for the cool concept. So what does Niles have in store for us this time:

“The creative team behind Monster & Madman would like to introduce you to the ongoing adventures of retired monster-hunter Frederick Allan and his family? which include a thrill-killer, a witch, and a warlock. Because sometimes crazy is the glue that binds a family together.”

All right… I’ll check it out. The art can’t be worse than 30 Days of Night….

 

 

Doctor Who 10th #3

Doctor Who 10th #3. By: Nick Abadzis, Elena Casagrande, Verity Glass. Titan.

The Doctor is back.

The Tenth Doctor is back.

To paraphrase “The Man”… “I’ve said enough.”

Also, I’d love to frame this cover and hang it on the wall.

Bad Dreams #5 (of 5)

Bad Dreams #5 (of 5). By: Gary Winnick. Red 5 Comics.

This is an unbearably beautiful cover for a very interesting book. I featured the first issue in a previous “Hot Picks of the Week” column. Now that the mini-series is winding down, I feel compelled to pick them all up. You can be ceratain that you’ll see the trade paperback (best friend of casual comics fans everywhere) featured soon.

 “Using an enchanted potion Mary frees her companions from the Dream Queen’s spell. But time is running out for them, they must find the talisman they’ve been searching for to release Mother Night and discover their true nature.

As an all out assault on the palace ensues, their final confrontation between light and dark will ultimately reveal all. “

Well, if it’s the last issue, I’d certainly hope they would “ultimately reveal all”. Thanks for nothing lazy solicitation writer…

 Worst Comic of the Week:

Mighty Titan #3

Mighty Titan #3. By: Joe Martino, Luca Cicchitti, Steve Lightle. Rare Bird Books.

This may or may not be a new category. I honestly can’t recall. It’s late. I’m on Eastern Time now. And I’ve been browsing more than my recommended daily allowance of comics.

One thing is for sure. This is the WORST comic of the week. It’s trying so hard to be “hot” that it’s the complete opposite. Let’s set aside the horrifyingly non-functional costume on the woman here. Let’s set aside the terrifyingly poor costume design on the guy. They both look like far too stiff action figures, And, I think she’s supposed to look seductive, but instead she looks like she’s going to plunge her claws into his chest Mola Ram-style.

Then there’s the hilariously bad cyclops behind them. Everything about the cover to this issue amplifies the argument that comics are for stunted pre-teens whose brains are damaged by heavy metal music.

But let’s be fair and find out what the plot of this comic is:

“The Mighty Titan is now aware of his cancer diagnosis. A surprise meeting with a super-powered woman, Caress, sends him reeling into a sea of anger and doubt. Joe Martino’s The Mighty Titan wraps his experiences as a cancer survivor in a super-hero shell.”

Actual real-time reaction?

*groan*… Caress? *sigh* cancer again..stop already… super-hero shell… *groooooaaaaan*

This is the worst thing I’ve seen in a long time. And I just saw a skunk run over on the highway a few weeks back.

Miracleman #12

Miracleman #12. By: The Original Writer, John Totleben, Adam Hughes. Marvel Comics.

I still count it as a miracle that Marvel is finally reprinting this classic series. For those of you who don’t know, issues 11-15 are the hardest back issues to find. Which is weird, because they are the climax of this first story arc. Reading the apex of this story arc changed my view of comics forever.

As you can see, Alan Moore still continues to be a jack-hole about the credits to the comic. But, if you want to see the best work Alan Moore ever did, you’ll be reading (or re-reading) this classic series. The continuing revelation of the true source of Mike Moran’s powers, plus the introduction to Miraclewoman would normally be enough. But, this issue also slips in the re-introduction to the super-evil Kid Miracelman. It might sound silly, but that’s the point. Moore creates one of the best, most tragic story arcs in all of comics and this is smack in the middle of it.

That’s why Miracleman #12  is the Official Casual Comics Hot Comic Book of the Week.

(Also, be prepared for #13-15 to be the hot picks, regardless of what else comes out those weeks…) In the meantime, support your local comic book shop.

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 New Comic Picks of the Week (June 25, 2014)

It looks like it’s going to be interesting for new comics this week. We’re getting back to the usual routine – expert picks from the experts at Dragon’s Lair and amateur commentary from the casual guy. Let’s see what they’ve got for us this week.

Savage Hulk #1

Savage Hulk #1. By Alan Davis, Mark Farmer, and Matt Hollingsworth. Marvel Comics.

Not the Incredible Hulk. Not the Indestructible Hulk. I was hoping this was a She-Hulk title, since she used to be the Savage She-Hulk. She-Hulk is a tremendous book that everyone should be reading.

But, it looks like it’s old purple-pants back in action in an all new title. Wanna hear some more about it? Here goes:

“AN ALL-NEW SERIES!!! Alan Davis writes and draws a blockbuster story pitting the HULK against… the X-MEN!?!?! Learn the startling secret of Professor Xavier’s connection to Bruce Banner! Guest starring the Leader and the Abomination!”

For those of you scoring at home, that description contains:

  • 4 sentences
  • 3 periods
  • 2 question marks
  • 8 exclamation marks

It’s gotta be exciting based on those numbers alone.

Outcast #1

Outcast #1. By: Robert Kirkman, Paul Azaceta. Image Comics.

Again, I was hoping that this was something else – a comic starring Big Boi and Andre 3000 is exactly what this world needs right now. So, it’s not that… what is it?

“NEW HORROR SERIES FROM THE WALKING DEAD CREATOR ROBERT KIRKMAN! Kyle Barnes has been plagued by demonic possession all his life and now he needs answers. Unfortunately, what he uncovers along the way could bring about the end of life on Earth as we know it. ”

Man. All caps? You know that’s a good comic. Walking Dead is getting a little tired, so hopefully this one will be good.

Goon One for the Road (One Shot)

Goon One for the Road. By Eric Powell. Dark Horse Comics.

Goon seems like a comic I should be into, but one where I missed a good jumping on point. This is a one-shot, so you know it’s got my interest right away. One-shots can either be the best friend or the worst bane of a casual comics fan. This is one I’ll actually buy. Thanks for the recommendation, CJ.

Amazing Spider-Man #3

Amazing Spider-Man #3. By: Dan Slott, Humberto Ramos. Marvel Comics.

Spider-Man is once again Peter Parker, and is once again Amazing. All seems right with the world. Let’s see what Petey’s up to this month.

“• Because of her last encounter with Spider-Man, Felicia Hardy lost everything. Now the Black Cat is back, and she doesn’t want any apologies or excuses… just REVENGE. • Plus: Spidey teams up with a real hero, fireman Pedro Olivera… who just happens to be the current boyfriend to one Mary Jane Watson. • And… more on you-know-who from the opening scene back in ASM #1. You know who we’re talking about. Yeah, that’s right. You better not miss this one! ”

That seems like a lot to be going on in one issue. However, I’ve always had a soft spot for Felicia Hardy, so I’ll definitely check in on this one as well. Maybe I should go back and pick up #1…

Before Watchmen Ozymandias and Crimson Corsair TPBK

Before Watchmen Ozymandias Crimson Corsair TPB. By: Len Wein, Jae Lee. DC Comics.

Ever wondered just what happened before the Watchmen series started (that wasn’t already covered by the flashbacks in that book)? Then Before Watchmen might be the title for you.

I kid… I’ve heard it’s pretty good, and a trade paperback is casual comic fan friendly, so I’ll give it a rest on the kidding about the probable necessity of this entire series.

C.O.W.L. #2

C.O.W.L. #2. By: Kyle Higgins, Rod Reis, Trevor McCarthy. Image Comics.

Now, I did like the first issue of this. Well done, gritty urban adventure. I’m very excited to see if they can keep up the momentum. How long will I stick on board with this title? You’ll have to tune in to a future installment. I think I’ll cover this one in depth along with another title in an upcoming Double Down post.

There’s no Hot Comic of the Week in the new comics section. That’s because I’m still distracted by the Savage Hulk comic. So, here’s the deal. This week’s Official Hot Comic Pick of the Week is Savage She-Hulk #1. My site, my rules, people.

Savage She-Hulk #1. By Stan Lee and John Buscema. Marvel Comics. February 1980.

 

I’m going to scour the local comic book shops this weekend for a copy and see if it’s as good as I remember.

Thanks, and Cheers!

– CCG

 

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…