The ideas behind Jeff Lemire’s (All New Hawkeye, Descender, Old Man Logan) much anticipated new title, Black Hammer, are intriguing, but Issue #1 has yet to show the potential for how compelling the premise can be. That isn’t necessarily a problem. A lot of this is simply due to the fact that the story hasn’t really started. This is mostly exposition - Issue #0 kind of stuff. This is your pilot episode.
Cullen Bunn (Harrow County) brings his swift and poetic cadence to the violent world of Conan and makes it feel and sound like something just short of Old English poetry. The juxtaposition of heightened prose against this violent world is a really fun counterbalance.
Originally written by Neil Gaiman and adapted by the incredible Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá, How to Talk to Girls at Parties is hypnotic and bittersweet.
If Matt Kindt were a pitcher in a baseball game, he would have floored me with his ability to throw amazing curve balls. At the end of issue two of Dept.H, we were left with a giant, squid-like thing having attacked Mia and her brother, Raj. Five pages into the third issue, we veer left (and a few times into WTF territory) and never return to where we started, leaving more questions in our wake.
This month I take the reins of writing reviews for IndyStash from Fanbase Press Contributor Erik Cheski, and I take this quite seriously. There are a lot of indie comic creators looking to get their feet in the door, to get noticed. IndyStash is doing a great service to get their names and titles out there, but I also understand that new creators need as much feedback as possible to better themselves and their craft. I will be diligent in finding that balance between helping spread the good word and pushing indie creators to put out their best work through constructive critiques.
Let’s begin, shall we…
I’ve been sitting on the edge of my seat every week waiting for the final chapter in Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokley’s Eisner-nominated series, The Spire, to come out and was disappointed when it hadn’t been released. Now that it has, I can report that it is every bit as potent as I was hoping it would be. What a finish.
As Grant Morrison wraps around third base and begins his sprint towards home plate with Klaus, the series becomes highly enjoyable with all of its parts coming together. Also helpful is a sprinkling on top of the esoteric that Morrison is oft known for. This sends us charging forward to the final issue wondering what exactly is going to happen.
I had the absolute pleasure, being an Angelino, to find myself at a premiere screening of the first two episodes of Robert Kirkman’s (The Walking Dead) new series, Outcast. Based on his Image comic series of the same name, created by Kirkman and Paul Azaceta, and having premiered on Cinemax on June 3rd, the show was projected on the wall of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery for a crowd of excited fans. For those who know nothing about the comic series, it’s a show about exorcism, but not in the way you think. Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit) has lived a troubled life, one surrounded by demon possession in his family members. Not a great mix. It’s created a debilitating sense of guilt and self-loathing in him. He also has an inherent power, one that somehow can fight the possession. He just doesn’t know how it works exactly or how he got this supernatural power or what that makes him.
There’s a poetry to Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook’s Harrow County. A poetry of words, images, and ideas - a sense of place and time like in no other comic today. There is a feeling that stays with you that a place like Harrow County could actually exist out there. That’s the nature of myth, and Bunn and Crook have tapped into that myth-making paradigm. I don’t think it’s something any creator specifically sets out thinking they are going to accomplish; it just sort of happens as you’re going, but it is something that they have achieved nevertheless.
Have you ever entered someone else’s nightmare? Probably not. That’s what it is to read Peter Tomasi and Ian Bertram’s House of Penance. It’s like that feeling you get when you’re falling asleep that something is crawling on you, so you reach down to scratch but nothing is there. It’s eerie and - while stuck within two-dimensional frames on a page - feels alive in so many different ways. There’s a synchronicity of vision happening here that breaks the boundaries of your typical collaborations.