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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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Casual Comics Hot Comic Book Picks of the Week – September 3, 2014 AND September 10, 2014

How far behind is it possible for me to be on comic books? But, my new-found lack of time is a both good and bad for this blog.

The bad? I’m way behind on weekly picks and just updating here in general. The good? That was kind of the purpose of this blog in the first place – trying to give people a peek at the world of comics from someone who is just a “casual” fan. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say that this is the best thing that could have happened to the Casual Comics Guy. 

So, while I sit at Buffalo Wild Wings, watching the Buccaneers lose a painful football game, I’m going to look through the comics from next week and last week to tell you what I’ll be looking for if I finally manage to get to a comic shop this coming week.

Last week

I’m kind of cheating and only including last week for one thing – my retroactive OFFICIAL Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week.

Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #0 (of 4)

Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #0 (of 4)

A limited series is always just what the doctor ordered for a casual comic book fan. The fact that this one features Hawkeye (whose current book I love) and Deadpool (who is usually good for a laugh) makes this the only book from last week I’d dig through a back issue bin to find. 

One question – if this is #0 (of 4) will the last issue be #3 or #4. If the answer is that there will be five books (0, 1, 2, 3, and 4), it should be “of 5”. But then you would think they would say “of 5”, which would make you think the last issue was #5. 

They kind of painted themselves into a corner, logic-wise, with the numbering. 

I should also probably mention Original Sin #8, but I stopped caring about that title at #6. Actually, that’s not true. I stopped caring at #2, but Marvel got $16 more bucks out of me before I stopped buying with issue #6.

The last time I was this disappointed was… well about 10 minutes ago when I saw Logan Mankins hurt himself in the Bucs game. See… I CAN multi-task.

Original Sin #8. By: Jason Aaron, Mike Deodato, Julian Totino Tedesco. Marvel Comics. Sure to be terrible.

This Week

Dicks End Of Time #4

Dicks End Of Time #4. By: Garth Ennis, John McCrea. Avatar Press.

Last I checked in with Warren Ellis was Rover Red Charliewhich I really liked. I even thought he nailed the ending of that book. It might have been my favorite mini-series of the last two years. 

So, find me a comic with Ellis’ name on it and the following description, and I’ll even go out looking for the back issues:

“The Boys from Belfast continue their trip through the annals of history as they romp through time screwing up the world for just about everyone. Garth Ennis and John McCrea leave no insult unslung as they attempt to offend every comics reader one page at a time. Don’t miss this latest wallowing in the gutter with Dougie and Ivor, the Dicks.

Available with Regular, Offensive, and Classic Moment Incentive covers by McCrea”

Teen Dog #1 

Teen Dog #1. By: Jake Lawerence. BOOM Studios.

Odds of this being the worst purchase I’ll make? Extremely likely. But how can I resist this solicit: 

Teen Dog is John Hughes meets ’90s Nickelodeon cartoons, two of our absolute favorite things. It’s a totally awesome adventure that stars the canine that spun out of Jake Lawrence’s web comic Time Cowboy and kickflipped his way into our hearts.

How was your high school experience? Teen Dog is high school if it didn’t totally blow, and instead totally ruled the most. Teen angst and whimsical adventures collide in this new series reminiscent of Doug, Saved By the Bell, and Kim Possible.

Admittedly, that’s a lot of name-checking, but they’er pretty good names to check.

Six Million Dollar Man Season 6 #6

Six Million Dollar Man Season 6 #6. By: James Kuhoric, Juan Antonio Ramirez, Alex Ross. Dynamite Entertainment.

Wow… Good for you. You made it six issues! Looks like Jamie and Oscar are in this issue, too! Nostalgia!!

 Fantastic Four #10

Fantastic Four #10. By: James Robinson, Derliz Santacruz, Leonard Kirk. Marvel Comics.

This is another recent favorite of mine. I think the current run of FF is one of my favorite for Marvel’s first family in a looooooong time. I gotta get some of these back issues, too. I still love the red outfits. Hope the story is still good. 

 

Showcase Captain Carrot And His Amazing Zoo Crew TPB

Showcase Captain Carrot And His Amazing Zoo Crew TPB. By: Roy Thomas, Scott Shaw. DC Comics.

For once in the history of Casual Comics Picks DC Comics finally nails down the Official Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week – even if they had to dig into the vaults to do it.

Captain Carrot is one of my favorite DC characters of all time. i might have some of these issues in a longbox or pile of comics somewhere, but most of my run of Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew is likely to be missing.  Thank you, DC Comics, for finally compiling an old series that actually deserves to be seen again.

Filled with terrible puns, great comic action, and even more terrible puns, I can’t wait to revisit the world of Captain Carrot in Gnu York (get it..? Gnu York…) And, for a book filled with awful jokes and cartoon animal superheroes, this excerpt from the Wikipedia entry reminds my why, in general, I can’t take DC Comics:

The various members of the Zoo Crew lived on a parallel Earth that, during DC’s pre-Crisis multiverse system, was named “Earth-C.” Earth-C consisted of a world where various anthropomorphized talking animals existed; the series featured many animal-themed pun names for real-world aspects.

Did they really have to try and figure out how this figured into normal DC continuity? I mean, DC also publishes Scooby Doo, Where Are You? Did they try and squeeze that into the “multi-verse” somewhere?

OK, that’s enough bitterness. Let’s see if I can find an old page from Captain Carrot to end this post on a high note.

 

 Have a great week, all. Don’t forget to visit your local comic book shop. 

 

Cheers!

– CCG

 

Hot Comics of the Week – Transition Edition (Week of 08/20)

Holy Cow, has it been a crazy month. I know even less about new comics today than I did two months ago, believe it or not. Aside from the sweet Kickstarter for Into the Void, my first comic book, I’m transitioning to a new city. Soon, you’ll be able to read about all the best comic shops in Ohio, right here on this very blog.

But, while I’m on the road and have a few minutes, I thought I’d look over the new comic list and see what’s interesting. Join me, will you, on this flight of fancy (and confusion) as I once again attempt to figure out what the heck is going on in comic book culture today.

Fables #143

Fables #143. By Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Nimit Malavia. DC Comics.

Even if I don’t read a book anymore, sometimes I gotta give it a nod just based on longevity. Back when I was getting my MBA, I would do my homework at Border’s. Yes… this was a long time ago. And, yet, when I took a break from homework, I’d catch up on trade paperbacks of Fables. Border’s is a distant memory, but Fables soldiers on.

Infinite Crisis Fight For The Multiverse #2

Infinite Crisis Fight For The Multiverse #2. By: Dan Abnett, Tom Raney, Dan Panosian. DC Comics.

The most confusing title of the week goes to DC Comics. I’m not sure what to make of An infinitiely large crisis that is also a fight for the universe. How does something like that come about? And why is The Joker so fat?

This might also be the ugliest cover I’ve seen in recent memory. I’d say it was the ugliest comic art, but the recent issues of She-Hulk almost made me quit the title forever.

Seriously.. what is this?

 Apparently, this title is based on a recent video game. Because we all know how well the major publishers do translating video games to the page. 

Curse you Scott Adams! And not the Dilbert one. (Although come to think of it, I’m not that happy with him, either)

DC! You’re failing so hard with this title, you’re making me nostalgic for Questprobe. Please, stop monkeying around with new universes.

Multiversity #1

Multiversity #1. By: Grant Morrison, Ivan Reis. DC Comics.

………..SIGH…….

I’m not even going to read the description. Please tell me you’re not trying for a gritty reboot of Captain Carrot. Seeing this cover makes me want to go back in time and prevent myself from ever reading a DC title. If you’re messing with Captain Carrot, you’ve totally lost your marbles.

I need to find a way to calm my nerves after seeing this one.

Oh, no. I accidentally just looked at the solicit for this one. I’m not copying a pasting it here. It’s a TRAIN WRECK. If you want to see it, go ahead. But what you see cannot ever be unseen!

I don’t think I can dislike the current state of comics any more than I do this week. If the industry so bereft of ideas that every title makes my inner comics geek die a little more?

 

Steampunk Battlestar Galactica 1880 #1 (of 4). By: Tony Lee, Aneke, Ardian Syaf. Dynamite Entertainment.

This makes every molecule of my heart sad. I could write a whole post of what’s wrong with this book. And I still might… But I’m shell-shocked by the awfulness of this week’s titles right now.

Since I started this blog, over a year ago, this week has made me more sad then ever about where comics are. Maybe that says something about me. Perhaps I need a professional guide, like the Dragon’s Lair crew, before I venture into the wild world of comics. 

I promise I’ll try harder next week. Until then, I suppose I should pick at least one GOOD comic of the week. And, appropos of this week, I’m picking this one:

Ms Marvel #1 (6th Printing)

Ms. Marvel #1. By: G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Sara Pichelli. Marvel Comics.

In a weak week for comics, I’m going to just give a shout out to Ms. Marvel.

You know why this book is in its SIXTH printing? (I’m not going to get into the pricing dynamics and Marvel’s complex schema for maximizing profits). No. A sixth printing is still pretty rare. If you haven’t jumped on board with Ms. Marvel, you should. The success of this title just shows you how starved REAL comics fans are for something unique and different. The new Ms. Marvel is a revelation – calling back to the original uniqueness of Spider-man. Dealing with real teen issues in relatable ways, this is a book where you’ll care about the characters as much as the action. 

That’s why the SIXTH PRINTING of Ms. Marvel #1 is still the official Hot Comic Pick of the Week

I’m going to be doing these more regularly now that my schedule is settling down, and I’m getting used to the rarified air of Ohio. Let this be a warning to you comics. Step it up…

– CCG

 

 

 

Hot New Comic Picks of the Week (July 2, 2014): Powered by Dragon’s Lair

July brings the dead heat of Summer, combined with loud explosions overhead that keep me from falling asleep at a reasonable hour. So, running on no sleep – with my ADHD at an all time high – let’s see what the folks at Dragon’s Lair recommend for those long tired evenings.

Also, the new WordPress interface is giving me fits, so forgive me for the sloppy layout on this post. Once I figure out where everything on the old toolbar went, it’ll be back to business as usual.

On a side note, I know my updates have been more infrequent lately, but that’s because there’s some big news coming. Into the Void, issue #1 is almost ready for prime time. Stay tuned for details.

Black Widow #8

Come on, now. Am I supposed to celebrate the birth of our nation with a story about a Russian spy? Read the rest of this entry