good this week

the fade out volume #1 : old time hollywood in the hands of CRIMINAL masterminds ed brubaker and sean phillips. this is about as good as noir gets, folks.

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sex criminals volume #2 : what would you do if you could stop time when you orgasm? give this a read, it’ll help you figure it out.

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abigail and the snow man #3 : is anyone better at this kind of innocently sophisticated cartooning as roger langridge? parents and the young at heart, start here and go to SNARKED and the wonderful MUPPET books roger did.

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spider-gwen #1 : this book brings a lot of heat on the heels of the over-the-top fun SPIDER-VERSE storyline. there was a lot of talk about the batgirl costume redo from a few months back, and that was cool, but gwen’s webbed hoodie is one of the best new character designs i can remember in a long time.

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ody-c #3 : whoah. this sci-fi gender-bent retelling of THE ODYSSEY is pure comics.

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the manara library volume 6 : the final volume in dark horse’s fantastic collection of italian master milo manara’s singular work takes off on its own sci-fi flight of fancy. yes, it’s sexy.

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curb stomp #1 : we’ve got the makings of the baddest girl gang since the lizzie’s here…

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django/zorro #4 : matt wagner just flat out knows how to handle these characters, and an improbable pairing becomes a cracking good yarn in his hands.

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–chris

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The Locust Moon Top 40: August 2014

40. FABLES vol. 20

Willingham & Buckingham’s seemingly-endless saga wends towards its conclusion, out of the darkness of its previous volume and back towards its heroic roots.

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39. REMAINDER by Farel Dalrymple

The tour-de-force cartooning in this WRENCHIES side story would make Moebius proud.

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38. KILL MY MOTHER

Jules Feiffer is one of the true architects of the comics medium — here, in his smoke-wreathed noir debut graphic novel, he shows that he’s still on top of his game.

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37. This D&D Audiobook

Let Ice-T and Dan Harmon (sadly, not doing his impression of Ice-T) and friends read Dungeons and Dragons to you. It’s…something special.

36. MEGAHEX

Simon Hanselmann’s weirdly sociopathic stoner gag strip MEGG, MOGG & OWL, collected here by Fantagraphics, is a stealth delivery system for some terrifyingly dark character studies.

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35. MULTIVERSITY #1

Bucking the shitty MOR trends of DC, shamanic comics mastermind Grant Morrison delivers a brain-blasting metacomic, with gorgeously detailed universes drawn by Ivan Reis. Surprising that the suits are letting the iconoclastic Morrison have this much fun with their precious continuity.

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good this week

moon knight #1 : warren ellis steps in with a fresh take on a difficult character, and declan shalvey takes his game to a new level with killer pacing, characterizations, and design. and a swanky new look for our crazy hero.

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turok #2 : this is an inventive new spin on a classic character, with sensitive, imaginative writing from greg pak and fine art from mirko colak.

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batman/superman annual #1 : a straight forward superhero romp graced by the exquisite art of jae lee and june chung.

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uncanny x-men #18 : marco rudy, fresh off a bang up stint on marvel knights spider-man, weaves and winds through this issue with some of the most interesting layouts in a long time.

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afterlife with archie #4 : a powerful issue that hits you with a punch. this book is just getting better, somehow.

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jupiter’s legacy #4 : the best issue of this series so far, with some enjoyable character moments and peak frank quitely art.

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she hulk #2 : the first issue was no fluke. charles soule and javier pulido (and THE PRIVATE EYE’s muntsa vicente!) are on to something special here.

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starlight #1 : i hope this is the breakout book goran parlov so richly deserves. this is a gorgeous comic with impeccable design and storytelling on parlov’s part, and mark millar has a fun concept lined up.

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wolverine and the x-men #1 : summer school kicks off at the jean grey school, and the kids are in good hands with jason latour, who slides right into jason aaron’s place with enough of his own voice to make things feel fresh, and mahmud asrar, who’s come a long way from his digital webbing days.

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velvet #4 : top-notch spy thriller from brubaker and epting. this series is really finding its groove.

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trillium #7 : we’re nearing the end of this fantastic mini series.

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–chris stevens

good this week

alex + ada #1 : on the surface this book could easily fall flat on its face; a wallflowerish dude in a high-tech future can’t get the girl, so his rich grandmother surprises him with a top of the line female android to tend to his needs. but, like everything else, it’s all in the execution. there’s nothing salacious or dorky-guy fantasy fullfillment here; in fact, there’s a real tenderness at play that is underscored by the clean, controlled-yet-warm art from jonathan luna. looking forward to seeing what develops here.

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satellite sam #5 : a nasty piece of work in all the right ways.

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parker: slayground : more virtuoso cartooning from darwyn cooke, throwing it down in the dark, cruel world of crime fiction giant richard parker. this series of books represents some of the finest comics of the last decade.

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rai vol. #1 : the much-loved early 90’s publisher VALIANT put out a tight line of books that fans of that era still pine over. rai was one of the best. a spiritual, robot-smashing 40th century japan classic. the only bad thing i can say about this collection is they left out the #0 issue, which had one of the most iconic covers of the time…

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the immortal iron fist complete collection : a complete renovation of a once marginal character, matt fraction and ed brubaker bring myth and mystery, and some bad ass kung fu movie action courtesy of the hugely gifted artist david aja, to the marvel universe. fans of the current HAWKEYE series take note.

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this book is cool enough someone took the time to make these action figures of the seven deadly weapons…

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rage of poseidon : anders nilsen breaks out an accordion-style exploration of a wisconsin-bound poseidon wherein greek myth and christian allegory are updated with insight and wit.

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–chris stevens

good this week

mouse guard legends of the guard #4 : david petersen’s anthology series wraps up with a rare bill willingham-illustrated tale, a painted story from jackson sze, and an illustrated ballad based on traditional mouse lyrics. i’ll be looking forward to the next series. this is a delightful package.

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the fox #2 : dean, you baffled me here, out MADMAN-ing MADMAN at times. but damn if you don’t look good doing it. and the added bonus of that killer paul pope cover is a cherry on top of a good old fashioned sundae someone slipped a micky into.

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elephantmen #52 : did you know that every copy sold of this series helps clothe & feed a baby elephant? well, it does. so don’t be cruel. buy some. the elephants will be better for it. you will be better for it.

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trillium #5 : things get topsy turvy in this standout sci fi adventure from jeff lemire.

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