I’ve never been huge on vintage tales riddled with warriors and religious types, but Image Comics, and more specifically, writer Brian Wood and artist Garry Brown have got me questioning my previous opinion. Black Road Volume 1 is nothing short of amazing.
The Vulturions aren’t exactly marquee menaces in Spider-Man’s world. They’re actually two-bit hooligans who joined forces to claim power and riches after their eventual leader, Honcho duped an imprisoned Adrian Toomes (better known as The Vulture) into spilling the technical secrets of his by-now infamous wings. When Honcho gets out of the slammer, he does so fully prepared to assemble four pair of wings, one for he and the thugs in his crew.
Stan Silas has a pint-sized hit on his hands. Norman is one of those weird, left field arrivals that blows the reader away. It’s comic genius from a guy who clearly has a firm grasp on good characters and dark humor. While Titan may not be neck-and-neck in the comic race, they’re excellent publishers with an assortment of fan favorites. Norman is fast becoming one of those favorites. Silas’ book is as good, if not better than anything you’ll find on the shelf today.
Little Mikey is just playing ball with his old man. It’s a slick way to keep the boy distracted while mom stayed back at home and prepared his big birthday bash. But it doesn’t look as though Mikey’s going to be enjoying that party… as he’s gone – poof – completely missing. So begins a tale of adventure, mystery, terror and familial love.
In my personal opinion, it’s important to take risks with comics and graphic novels. There are a great deal of brilliant works out there that go underrated or entirely unheralded when in truth, they may just be impressive enough to earn a place on your personal favorites list. I understand that the average consumer probably can’t afford to grab every book to hit stands or digital outlets on a weekly basis, but I also understand that we’re a little predisposed to the idea that sticking with our established favorites is the safest route to travel when contemplating where to invest our hard-earned bucks. A book like Angel Catbird calls that approach into question, and then some.
Brian Wood, Danijel Zezelj and Dave Stewart join forces to do a few things I can’t recall seeing done in the past. First, they’ve got an abstract book that they’ve turned into a true hit. Second, that abstract book is about the culinary profession as well as economic and social chaos. Third, it deposits a homosexual, self-exiled chef in the leading role of the story. It’s all quite bold and it’s extremely successful.
A massive sociopolitical statement with layers of different messages, Starve isn’t just inventive, it’s fearless. This is the kind of content that may have many scratching their heads, but it’s certainly going to have a whole hell of a lot of us tipping the cap in complete respect. The fact that Brian Wood capitalizes on the current popularity of reality TV and the culinary arts just speaks to his understanding of society and trending topics. It also exhibits a passion for food, which earns this stud even more respect for me, as I’m a hardcore foodie with a love for the kitchen. This guy’s more than okay in my book!
I love the look of Starve. I love the pace of Starve. I love the risks taken here, and I hope that the gang behind this masterful work realize just how effective it truly is.
If the atypical is what you seek, and strong stories take precedence over any other aspect of the graphic novel, then you’ve got to get your hands on this riveting and wildly original book. Starve represents the creative mind in brilliant fashion, repeatedly working against the grain to immense success. It’s a wild read, and while I’m disappointed in myself for having gone oblivious to its existence for so long, I’m grateful to have it today. Easily one of the finest books I’ve discovered in recent years, and most certainly a new Image favorite for me!
Order volume one right here, you’ll be doing yourself a greater favor than you may realize.
Over the years we’ve seen a surprising number of Batman story arcs that are drenched in horror. We’re talking books that are flat out gruesome, unforgiving and often frightening. Those books aren’t superhero books. They’re not aimed at young teens. These are brutal works of fiction, designed to appeal the much older crowd, eager to peel the superhero’s layers away to see something much deeper and darker. And that works for guys like myself, deep into my 30s with kids of my own. I know when to appreciate a book for myself and when to recommend a piece to my offspring. Batman: Joker’s Daughter is certainly a book that belongs far from the grasp of the kiddies.
Marguerite Bennett crafts a compelling tale that brings a new villain, with the genetic code of a classic rogue to the masses. The Joker’s Daughter is as schizophrenic as her daddy, and in this book she makes a complete transition from head case wannabe to murdering nemesis of the Bat. She’s morbid. She’s savage. She’s got jokes. She’s everything the Joker is and has been. She’s not watered down, or softened up to appeal to children. No. In this book, this little lady is deeply disconcerting and worthy of Batman’s time and attention. Even if he is a step ahead.
I won’t rush to break the story down. It’s a short book. It introduces one legendary figure to what could one day also be a legendary figure of the comic world. They tangle. Batman does what he does, and this woman does what Joker does, with conviction.
When it comes to DC, Batman has always been a runaway favorite for me. Always. There’s something magnetic about the Dark Knight. The mystery that always surrounds him inspires awe. Even in the somewhat rare, or less popular books, like Batman: Joker’s Daughter, a brilliant piece that has eluded me for some time.
I’m glad I picked this one up. Bennett is an excellent writer. Meghan Hetrick, who illustrates, is also razor sharp. Together they’re a special duo who could do huge things with this character. We’ll see where the future leads us.
Welcome to Eden, Wyoming. It’s a quiet community of just over 2,000. It looks comfortable. It looks welcoming. It looks safe. Looks can be deceiving.
Mark is the local mailman, afflicted with Asperger’s Syndrome, in love with a waitress named Maggie, and curious. Too curious. See, Mark is determined to learn the secrets of his town, and when a strange young lady surfaces, dead as John Denver (God rest the man’s soul), Mark’s life takes a sudden and terrifying turn.
The identity of the deceased is eventually learned, as Mark, as dedicated as he’s ever been, follows the breadcrumbs until he’s standing at the door to another existence. It’s an existence that will change his every perception of life, and an existence that will bring his unknown past to the surface.
But does Mark truly want to learn of who is? Of who his mother, the shady Mayor, is? Or how about his father, mysteriously absent from his life, does he really want to know the fate of his father, and what will it do to his already fragile mind, learning the truth?
I’m working hard to avoid spoilers, as this is such a magnetic and engrossing read that spoiling the details of the story feels criminal. I can’t bring myself to do it, but I can tell you this: From the moment Mark solemnly speaks the words “I’m used to the way you hurt me, mom,” you realize that Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill are brilliant talents, capable of turning a graphic novel into an emotional experience.
There are few books as impressive as Postal on the market today. Isaac Goodhart is another piece of this awe inspiring puzzle, as his artwork is a refreshing and enlightening element of the book that deserves a wealth of respect. He gives us the kind of visuals that empower a narrative, and this particular narrative is already so powerful that it needs no assistance. Needless to say, with Goodhart involved, Postal ascends from the ranks of an excellent book to the ranks of a beautiful masterpiece.
This mysterious thriller will have you tearing through the pages (figuratively speaking, of course), frantic to uncover answers. Fortunately for fans of darker, mystery driven comics, Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill are nurturing this story with the utmost care. We’ll have our answers, but we’ll be guided through much more chaos before we reach our destination. This is a ride I’d like to take forever.
Order Postal Volume 1 right here.
You want a relatable book with heart, laughs and conundrums around each and every corner… er, page? You want Oddly Normal, Otis Frampton’s light-hearted, witchy coming of age tale. It’s a quick read, designed for all ages and it’s absolutely stuffed full of charm. Regardless of what you look for in your graphic novels, Oddly Normal will certainly leave you impressed and entertained in equal measure.
The story follows the titular character (yes, Oddly Normal is a name) as she fumbles her way through, first earth, and second, Fignation, the supernatural realm in which her witch of a mother comes from. Her father’s your average human, leaving our little lady a “mixed breed”, incapable of getting along on earth and just as out of place in Fignation.
After a failed birthday party (Oddly isn’t exactly a popular young lady) Oddly loses her temper and wishes her parents would disappear. Her wish comes true, which essentially leaves this awkward 10-year old with no home and no supervision.
Thank the heavens for Grandma, who shows up in the nick of time, ushering Oddly off to Fignation, a world in which – at her mother’s insistence – she would never see, let alone know. While staying with her Grandmother, Oddly is forced through the same routine she so desperately hoped to escape: She’s the new kid in a school full of nasty little boogers who don’t take kindly to strangers.
How will Oddly fair in this brave new world? Well, that’s what the book is truly about. And, that’s what we won’t be spoiling for you!
To call Oddly Normal brilliant is to undersell Frampton’s work – to call it brilliantly addictive and profoundly endearing may be serving a dish more befitting of the man’s accomplishment, as this is one charismatic piece of work. Frampton’s humor is sharp, but not overly complex. He delivers characters we can invest in, and he caps it all off with stunning artwork (just wait until Oddly ends up in Fignation – the book really comes to life).
I’ve spent the last year catching up on my Image titles, and Oddly Normal rests quit high on my favorites list. This book is a little bit horror, a little bit adventure and completely lovable. Every last page,
Order Volume 1 right here.