25 Sep 2016

Mini Reviews 25/09/2016

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.

SEVEN TO ETERNITY #1
Writer: Rick Remender
Art: Jerome Opena & Matt Hollingsworth
Image $3.99

James R: This was a title that looked a must-buy from the off. Any new project from Remender and Opena will always be something special, and the first issue of Seven To Eternity certainly aims for the epic and the spectacular. Set on Zahl, a world where magic is real, Seven To Eternity focuses on Adam Osidis, a man whose family have always resisted the overtures of the powerful Mud King but now finds he is forced to listen to the offer following the death of his father. Firstly, it is absolutely beautiful - Opena is a remarkable artist, and every page of this first issue looks spectacular. Remender repeats the technique he used in the debut issue of Low, immersing us into a fully-realised world but holding back from full explication as to the mechanics of it all. I have to hold up my hand and say that I am not the biggest fan of fantasy or 'magic'-based stories, so this wasn't the instant hit that Black Science was for me on its debut. I will definitely give the second issue a go as the creative team are so good, but this was an interesting rather than a spectacular start. 7/10

22 Sep 2016

Ten Forward: November 2016

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 September issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in November 2016.

A.D.: AFTER DEATH BOOK 1
Writer: Scott Snyder
Art: Jeff Lemire
Image $5.99

James R: One of things I am most proud of in contributing to the PCG has been championing both Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder over the years. From Snyder's run on American Vampire and Lemire's Sweet Tooth, the pair have won my 'Book of the Week' more times than I care to mention. They've crafted some of the best comics of the decade in that time, and it's been brilliant to watch their continuing ascents to the very top of the industry. Pick of the month for me will therefore come as no surprise - the two men joining forces on an Image title = GOLD. The story revolves around a future in which humanity has found a cure for death, but to be honest, I don't care what the plot is - they could be creating a book about assembling flat-pack furniture, and I'd want to read it. I can't see this being anything less than spectacular, and one of the highlights of the year.

20 Sep 2016

On The Pull 21/09/2016

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: Quite a list of comics to choose from this week. I think top of a lot of peoples' pull, including mine, will be Seven To Eternity #1. Just the creative team alone will have many fans panting with excitement. Writer Rick Remender is joined by his Uncanny X-Force collaborator, artist Jerome Opena, and colourist extraordinaire Matt Hollingsworth. Can a dying knight save his world from an evil god? Or will he give in to temptation and bend his knee to the God of Whispers and have everything his heart desires? On past and present form, I have real high hopes for this title. Ooh look: new stuff from DC! Batman And Superman as a comic series is no more but now there is Trinity #1 which adds Wonder Woman to the old boys club. We've seen DC's big three together before but after Rebirth there is a new Superman in town. How will this affect the core dynamic? Francis Manapul is both writer and artist on the new look Trinity. Breaking out of Teen Titans, Raven #1, is the start of a six part miniseries. Legendary writer Marv Wolfman helps Raven explore her human side as she goes to high school. Batman #7 is the start of a crossover, so be prepared. Tom King is joined by co-writer Steve Orlando, who has a hand in all the crossover titles, including this week's Nightwing #5. 'Night Of The Monster Men' pitches Batman and friends against monsters rampaging through Gotham. Over at Marvel, the delayed Civil War II #5 reaches the shelves. This issue reveals the truth about Ulysses' visions of the future and of course that will probably mean more hero vs hero action. Add to that Kingsway West #2, Manifest Destiny #23 and I Hate Fairyland #9, and that's some pretty good reading to look forward to.

18 Sep 2016

Mini Reviews 18/09/2016

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.

HADRIAN’S WALL #1
Writers: Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel
Art: Rod Reis
Image $3.99

James R: They're back! They're back! Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel and Rod Reis were responsible for one of my favourite series this decade, the too-short lived C.O.W.L. (which, if you haven't read, I implore you to do so immediately) and so their return with a new series - and an SF tale to boot - is a huge cause for celebration for me. I'm doubly pleased as I've longed for a space-based book to really get on board with over the last few years (I've tried - and failed - with Copperhead, Faster Than Light, Southern Cross, Invisible Republic and Drifter). Hadrian's Wall was an immediate 'yes' for me as not only is the premise a great one - a murder-mystery aboard a spaceship - but the aesthetic of the book is based on visions of the future as seen through the prism of ‘80s science fiction. As an ageing geek, the ‘80s was the time I was first exposed to tales of space and the endless universe, so opening this book felt like coming home. The brilliant Rod Reis channels two iconic visual futurists here: Blade Runner's Syd Mead and legendary artist Chris Foss. The result is a strangely familiar yet unique look that I immediately warmed to. Higgins and Siegel’s script wastes no time in setting up the world of Hardian's Wall, while smartly grounding it in very human and relatable themes of heartbreak and loss. Higgins, Siegel & Reis are an excellent team, and it's a joy to have them back - I'm hoping this book fulfils its stellar promise. 8/10

13 Sep 2016

On The Pull 14/09/2016

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: There are a few books on the list this week, and I could take this opportunity to gab on about the latest issue of Wonder Woman or perhaps the sophomore instalment of Black Monday Murders, but this time around I'm going to shine the spotlight on a new series that I feel really deserves your attention: Hadrian's Wall. Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel and Rod Reis last worked together on the criminally underrated C.O.W.L., the 1950s set tale that mixed superheroics with political corruption to thrilling effect - we trumpeted its brilliance here but sadly it didn't generate a sizeable enough audience to ensure its continuation. It was a major bummer when it disappeared but I'm enormously pleased to see their collaborative storytelling well hasn't dried up and they have much more to offer. This series, described as an 'intergalactic noir', is finite, with eight issues planned, so it does guarantee we're not left with any plot threads dangling. Take a look at some of the preview art here if you need further convincing as it kind of makes the case for adding it to your pull-list itself. If you missed out on C.O.W.L. then make sure you don't miss out on this. And who knows, if it does well enough perhaps Higgins, Siegel and Reis may head back to the world of C.O.W.L. for further adventures?

12 Sep 2016

Kickstarted: AFTERLIFE INC. VOLUME 4: MAN MADE GOD

In our Kickstarted feature, we take a look at those comics-related projects on the crowd-funding site Kickstarter that we feel warrant extra attention...
Matt C: So, full disclosure: Jon Lock, creator of Afterlife Inc. and founding member of Big Punch Studios is a friend, and of course we like to support our friends in their creative endeavours. But you may have noticed a lack of articles under the 'Kickstarted' heading and that's probably because after a brief infatuation with Kickstarter a couple of years ago I've become an awful lot more picky when it comes to projects I'm willing to get behind. If you've been down the Kickstarter road more than a few times then chances are you've found a few gems along the way but also quite possibly projects that were far less than your expectations lead you to believe, and maybe you've also been burnt seeing money pledged disappear into the void when creators go AWOL. 

11 Sep 2016

Mini Reviews: A Week's Break

Due to the annual holiday requirements of Paradox Comics' esteemed proprietor Andy H, we purchased no comics this week and as such are unable to deliver any reviews. Rest assured normal service will be resumed next week!

6 Sep 2016

On The Pull 07/09/2016

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: Another quiet week for me, or is it quiet because I've become more discerning with my purchases? Money and time are limited resources so when it gets to the point where you're reading something on a monthly basis and you're reaction to each issue is, "Well, that was okay I suppose" then it's probably wise to invest your money and time elsewhere. This has happened to me a few times over the last few months, and I guess the post-Brexit price bump in the UK has caused me to use the "Maybe it will get better next issue" excuse less frequently than I have in the past. I need to consume great art, not passable art!! One title that won't see itself trimmed from my pull-list for simply being okay is Kill Or Be Killed, the latest collaboration between Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser. The first issue displayed their trademark storytelling brilliance but had a twist that should take them in directions they may not have explored before. After the magnificence of The Fade Out they have a tough act to follow, but if anyone's going to do it, it's this trio of creatives. That's my top pick from Image and over at Marvel I'll select Moon Knight #6 as the book I'll take a look at first. I may have mentioned this a few times here (*ahem*) but I do believe Jeff Lemire is on fire at the moment, and his Marvel work has been, for the most part, well, a marvel. (Sorry!) Old Man Logan may be edging ahead as a personal favourite at the moment but Moon Knight is easily one of the most inventive books the House of Ideas is currently publishing.

4 Sep 2016

Mini Reviews 04/09/2016

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.

JIM THOMPSON’S THE KILLER INSIDE ME #1
Writer: Devin Faraci
Art: Vic Malhotra & Jason Millet
IDW $3.99

Matt C: Admitting that I haven’t read Jim Thompson’s famed crime novel may lose me credibility at this stage but I came to this as a fan of the genre rather than the source. Knowing Faraci from his film criticism, I was curious but optimistic about his first comic writing gig and to be fair he does a pretty decent job. The lurid tone is nicely captured and Malhotra brings a kind of neon-noir vibe to the proceedings – a sense of danger seeps through every page promising violence but delivering it sparingly. What stops this debut making a significant impact is the way the flow of the narrative seems to get interrupted, as though chunks have been exorcised, meaning it stutters instead of moving smoothly towards it destination. Additionally, the central character of Lou Ford isn’t quite the presence he should be, his sociopathic nature not carrying the requisite consistency. Possibly Faraci has set his sights too high adapting this as his initial foray into penning comic books, and while there’s undeniably potential here, the price point marks this one as more of a possible trade-wait rather than an essential monthly purchase (although I imagine I should look to the original novel as a first port of call). 6/10

1 Sep 2016

Melksham Comic Con 2016: The Voyage Home

Now we've had a chance to settle back into reality following our fourth visit to Melksham Comic Con, here are some thoughts on last weekend's events...
James R: Every year I think Melksham Comic Con can't get any better, then every year it does. Now firmly established as our annual convention highlight, this year it was an absolute honour to be more involved than ever before.