1 Sep 2015

On The Pull 02/09/2015

New comics are due to hit the shelves on Wednesday so here’s a look ahead at some of the books we’ll be picking up this week.

Matt C: Inexplicably, autumn is almost upon us (did we even have a summer?!) and for the first Wednesday in September there's one new title I think most of the PCG will want to cast their eye over. Plutona #1 sees Jeff Lemire in creator-owned mode at Image once more, and when you consider this guy's previous creator-owned output includes the highly treasured Sweet Tooth and the current sci-fi gem, Descender, then you might get an inkling of why we're excited. His co-creator here is "amazing newcomer" Emi Lennox, who - from the looks of the preview art - appears to be employing a simplified art style with an emphasis on expressive emotion i.e. someone who probably has similar artistic sensibilities to Lemire. The story involves a group of kids discovering the dead body of the world's greatest superhero, the eponymous Plutona, and while this isn't exactly a new idea, viewing things from a much younger perspective - and getting into the hero worship angle - should provide plenty of mileage for the creators. A fairly quiet week elsewhere, with the other noteworthy book probably being Daredevil #18. I read somewhere that Mark Waid has now had the longest continuous run on the title, and while I'd say the quality has dropped off since the relaunch, it's still been a good read overall, so I'll be sad to see Waid and artist Chris Samnee leave. That said, the post-Secret Wars Daredevil from Charles Soule and Ron Garney is a book I'm fairly excited about, so it's not all bad news!

30 Aug 2015

Mini Reviews - One Week Break

A break from review-writing this week as our reviewers are enjoying a well-earned rest after overindulging this weekend at Melksham Comic Con (a report on that is due shortly). That, and they haven't had the chance to read this week's releases!

Normal service will be resumed next weekend.

27 Aug 2015

The Road To Melksham Comic Con 2015

Matt C: Has it really been a year?! Apparently so! 12 months after we waxed enthusiastic about last year's Melksham Comic Con - where the PCG managed to wangle a starring role - we're back for the freshest, friendliest comic con on the calendar, and yes, once again we've managed to get involved. So it's a sure bet that we'll be bigging this year's convention up!

Eagle-eyed readers may have spotted something strange about our decision to depart to Wiltshire over the Bank Holiday weekend, leaving our stomping ground of Bournemouth at the moment when the town gets its first ever comic convention, the Bournemouth Film and Comic Con. Well, we made enquires, we were met with indifference, and then we looked over the guest list to discover that the event was far more skewed towards film, TV and sports celebrities, with barely anyone from the realm of comics getting a look in. Another of those all-too-frequent cases where trading on the 'brand name' and public awareness of San Diego Comic Con is considered the best route to getting people through the door, regardless of whether or not there's any major comic book presence involved. And to be honest, we had our hearts set on the Melksham con anywhere, because if you're looking for a place with a lot of heart where comic fans can gather, this is it.

25 Aug 2015

On The Pull 26/08/2015

New comics are due to hit the shelves on Wednesday so here’s a look ahead at some of the books we’ll be picking up this week.

Tom P: Without a doubt my most anticipated book this week is from Mike Mignola and his fine artwork in Hellboy On Hell #7. When I last heard from him, Hellboy was still stuck in Hell, striking up a cigarette and asking where he could get a drink... classic Hellboy! I'm not a fan of this new Jim Gordon Batman so I found that the last two Batgirl issues dragged a bit, so let's hope they overcome what felt like a forced editorial detour and return to form as I have loved the book and it fresh direction. If you like a flying magic bus (it's true!) then Superman #43 is out this week as Clark starts to struggle with his over-reliance - and, I think, more intriguing - addiction to his newfound solar flare super power. East Of West #20 will no doubt continue its staggering world-building, and last but not least, Old Man Logan #4 should finish stuff off nicely as we join an O.A.P Wolverine and his tour of Battleworld in search of the God known as Doom.

23 Aug 2015

Mini Reviews 23/08/2015

We may not have time to review every book on our pull-lists but we do aim to provide a snapshot of what's been released over the past week, encompassing the good, the bad, and those that lie somewhere in between.

STAR WARS #8
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Stuart Immonen & Wade Von Grawbadger
Marvel $3.99

James R: After last issue’s excellent Obi-Wan flashback, we're back to the main narrative in Star Wars. Normally in my reviews I know I'm guilty of primarily focusing on writers, so I want to put this right by talking about Stuart Immonen's fantastic artwork - it's tough drawing comics that are based on actual people as either it can be jarring for the readership if the representations look nothing like the them, or at the other extreme, it's too 'photoreal' and therefore doesn't feel natural. Immonen avoids these pitfalls with aplomb, illustrating pages which are unmistakably Star Wars. It's a tough gig following John Cassaday, but as amazing as his work was on the book, I have to say I like Immonen's more. The plot is, as we've come to expect from Jason Aaron, well-paced and neatly sets up the rest of the arc. This is now the longest I've ever read a Star Wars book for, and with this creative team I can see me being on board for the duration. 7/10

20 Aug 2015

Ten Forward: October 2015

Every month we spend an evening scouring the pages of the latest issue of Previews and pick the ten titles we are looking forward to the most. This month it's the August issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in October 2015.

PAPER GIRLS #1
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Cliff Chiang & Matt Wilson
Image $2.99

Rob N: If you're a highly respected writer with a devoted following then you have the luxury of launching a new ongoing series without going into much detail of what it's about. You can simply say, for example, “This is my new comic book and it's about a group of paper girls having adventures!” and leave it at that because your devoted following will then say, “Wow, it's a new Brian K. Vaughan series, so it's obviously going to be good. We must buy it!” It helps then if your name does happen to be Brian K. Vaughan, which in the case of Paper Girls, it is. 'Paper Girls', if you're not familiar with the term, is a somewhat outdated concept in the modern world (now that we all get our news from the internet) which may still exist in quiet rural villages in Dorset where small children on bicycles deliver newspapers for three shillings and sixpence an hour and a handful of Werther's Original Toffees as a tip at Christmas. If they have adventures it usually involves thwarting dastardly foreigners who are almost certainly Communists or Germans or working class, or all three. They wear shorts or pleated skirts and say “Golly Gosh!” a lot. This may not, however, be an accurate prediction for the tone of a new Brian K. Vaughan series called Paper Girls.

18 Aug 2015

On The Pull 19/08/2015

New comics are due to hit the shelves on Wednesday so here’s a look ahead at some of the books we’ll be picking up this week.

Andy H: The pull-list is a bit quieter this week but still a few good titles to look forward to. You can't keep a good slayer down and I have to say I've really enjoyed the Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 10. Over the past few issues most of the Scoobies have slowly been drawn together and now Angel has joined the fray. Friction can't be far away with Spike in the mix. Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs have caught the 'voices' of the characters perfectly and as a fan of the TV series this has been a great way for the gang to live on. BOOM! Studios have had some decent hits on their hands over the years and Hexed is one of them. It possibly slipped under the radar for most but its been a great series. Hexed #12 is the final issue and what started, for me, as a supernatural heist title has evolved into so much more, so all praise to Michael Alan Nelson for his top notch writing. Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows has been a hit for me. Peter, Mary-Jane and daughter Annie have had to keep a low profile and avoid the attentions of Regent. Obviously that hasn't happened and now the Sinister Six are on their trail. Will Pete be able to protect his family and will Annie join the fight? Issue #4 will hopefully have the answers courtesy of Dan Slott and Adam Kubert. From Image I'll be grabbing the all equally excellent Birthright #10, Manifest Destiny #16 and Trees #12 and to top it all off, there's the wonderful Giant Days #6 also from BOOM! Studios.

17 Aug 2015

Mini Reviews 16/08/2015

We may not have time to review every book on our pull-lists but we do aim to provide a snapshot of what's been released over the past week, encompassing the good, the bad, and those that lie somewhere in between.

PROVIDENCE #3
Writer: Alan Moore
Art: Jacen Burrows & Juan Rodriguez
Avatar $4.99

James R: It might seem strange to heartily recommend a book which I can best describe as 'unsettling', but after yet another remarkable issue, it's clear than Alan Moore is in a rich vein of form with Providence, and whereas it might not fulfil everyone's definition of horror, this is a title that lingers long in the imagination. With this issue, Moore captures the lucid and bizarre logic of a dream perfectly. Robert Black has made his way to Salem, and in keeping with the tone of the series so far, his journey is filled with a sense of unease that's palpable. So far, Moore has drawn parallels between the unconscious with the hidden depths that are the home to the 'Elder Gods', and in this issue, he goes one step further, filling Black's dreams with motifs of the Holocaust. Even though the world of Providence is an alternative reality, and our story is set in the 1920s, Moore explores the notion that our worst ideas exist as Jungian archetypes within our subconscious. Even when Black awakes, the comic continues at an utterly absorbing pace, and the creeping sense of impending doom makes this a remarkable read. Once again, Jacen Burrows is a perfect fit for Moore's Lovecraftian tales - both his panel compositions, and his depictions of the strange residents of Salem, are utterly creepy. As if this wasn't enough, Moore's attention to detail with the issue's backmatter is further evidence that his gift for narration and world-building remains undiminished. Given how this book was marketed in Previews, I am amazed at how far it differs from what was hinted at - and long may it continue! It's great to see the master is still at work. 9/10

13 Aug 2015

Cover Story: TOP TEN DOCTOR DOOM COVERS

Matt C: To the wider world, Victor Von Doom is a negligible presence, a character that hasn’t translated into the mainstream thanks to some decidedly ropey, misjudged interpretations in the three officially released Fantastic Four movies. Those with more familiarity of the superhero genre on the printed page know better though: Doctor Doom is, arguably, Marvel’s greatest villain, and perhaps the greatest supervillain in comics. The son of Romani gypsies, Doom discovered his late mother’s arcane secrets during his youth and when enrolled in Empire State University attempted to combine science and magic to free her from Mephisto’s realm (basically Marvel’s version of Hell). Although fellow student Reed Richards tried to bring incorrect calculations to his attention, Victor ignored them, and the resulting accident put him on the path to becoming both the armour-clad dictator of the fictional Eastern European country, Latveria, and the Fantastic Four’s most dangerous and ingenious nemesis. Many of the covers he’s adorned over the last five decades have been limited in the poses displayed – more often than not a choice between arms folded or firing power bolts from his gauntlets – but there are still plenty of images to compile a set of ten covers that show Doom at his finest.

11 Aug 2015

On The Pull 12/08/2015

New comics are due to hit the shelves on Wednesday so here’s a look ahead at some of the books we’ll be picking up this week.

Andy H: Aha! Now this looks like a healthier looking pull-list this week. Some newbies to check out plus some favourites make it on to my pile. First and always eagerly awaited is Velvet #11. A beautiful looking book thanks to Steve Epting and Elizabeth Breitweiser bringing the story by Ed Brubaker to stunning life. This is the start of the third story arc - 'The Man Who Stole The World' - and after reading the first two arcs I'm excited to see Velvet Templeton back in action. This is spy fiction at it's best. New from Image this week is Beauty #1 which looks at the darker side of beauty. What if you could be beautiful but at a terrible price? The art looks nice and the concept has me intrigued so it makes the list. Over at BOOM! Studios is Americatown #1. In a twist to the norm it's America that has suffered an economic collapse and its citizens are sneaking across international borders to find work. Written by successful screenwriters Bradford Winters and Larry Cohen I think this should be a pretty hard-hitting series that I can hopefully get my teeth into! Squarriors #3 finally hits the shelves but when you see the art you can forgive a little lateness. The disparate tribes of squirrels (hey, don't look at me like that!) continue their struggle for survival. This is a beautifully painted book by Ashley Witter and well worth a look. I picked up Eltingville Club #1 some time ago and #2 is finally here. It's a parody of fans of all things geeky. Some parts we will see aspects of ourselves in, others writer Evan Dorkin takes to the Nth degree, generally to great effect, and it will be fun to see where the four main characters end up. This Wednesday we see the start of a weekly Doctor Who series... well, for five weeks anyway. Featuring the most current incarnations of the Timelord, Four Doctors is written by Paul Cornell, who knows his way round the Tardis, so something to look forward to for us Who fans. Adding Secret Wars #5, Lantern City #4 and Harrow County #4, it all makes for some great reading this week.