17 Nov 2011

Ten Forward: January 2012

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 November issue of Previews which includes comics scheduled to ship in January 2012.

Writer: Aneurin Wright
Art: Aneurin Wright
Myriad Editions £19.99

Stewart R: I had the pleasure of stumbling across Nye Wright’s stall at this year’s Bristol Comic Expo and was convinced by the man’s enthusiasm and obvious drawing talent to pick up the two self-published preview chapters of TTDIARHTP. They admittedly sat in a pile of other reading material brought back from that weekend for a couple of months but I recently dug them out and I am now waiting with baited breath for January to arrive. A semi-autobiographical story which has taken Nye 8 years to write and illustrate, it focuses on a young man’s relationship with his dying father and the life lessons that he’s slowly coming to grips with. There’s love, loss, the breaking and rebuilding of bridges and an emotional rollercoaster that I can’t wait to dive into. It’s all wrapped up in Nye’s captivating artistic style and I’m really looking forward to seeing this lengthy project capped off in published form.

Writer: Ande Parks
Art: Esteve Polls
Dynamite Entertainment $3.99

Simon M: I was very disappointed when Dynamite Entertainment brought an end to a very enjoyable Lone Ranger series a couple of years ago, although they did have the decency to bring out a miniseries with Zorro and a couple of Lone Ranger & Tonto one-shots to lessen the pain. Needless to say I was very pleased to see that a new series was being solicited. What makes this news even better is that the team that brought us the mini Lone Ranger: The Death Of Zorro are in charge. The Death Of Zorro was an excellent read and held all of the components of a solid Western story. The first arc of the new series is a six-part story entitled ‘Hard Country’. Dynamite are saying this is the perfect jumping on point for new fans, but also carries on from the end of the last series so readers of that will not have what happened previously wiped away. This is where Dynamite Entertainment show their strengths, taking these old beloved pulp characters, breathing new life into them and delivering them to a new audience.

Writer: Ted McKeever
Art: Ted McKeever
Image $4.99

Rob N: It's fair to say Ted McKeever's style of art is never going to achieve mainstream appeal. He occupies the same kind of niche in comic books that William Burroughs' cut up technique novels do in literature. Disturbing, surreal and grotesque are just some of the descriptions I've seen appended to McKeever's artwork. It wasn't that long ago that he was assigned to art duties for what would have been an altogether radical interpretation of the first John Carter Of Mars novel. That was scrapped, probably because the powers that be realised I'd be one of the only customers. But now we have Mondo, printed for some reason in the Golden Age format (slightly bigger than the standard US Marvel or DC books, and designed to frustrate fans of bags and boards everywhere!) that stars a typical McKeever 'freak' and (I'm quoting here) a weapon-toting chick called Kitten Kaboodle, a gang of tattooed babies and an enormous beach monster. Pretty much what you'd expect from a Ted McKeever comic really.

Writer: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
Art: Tonci Zonjic & Dave Stewart
Dark Horse $3.50

James R: How can you possibly not be impressed by a man whose catchprase is "Beware my claw, for I've come to inflict justice!" I love me some Hellboy, and I have a particular affection for Hellboy's childhood hero, Lobster Johnson. Part urban legend, part ghostly avenger (in the modern day at least) I always pick up any Lobster-centered tales, so you can bet I'm on board for this miniseries, which comes with the added bonus eye-catching art from Tonci Zonjic, whose work we last saw in the excellent Who Is Jake Ellis? Expect the usual horror-flavoured hi-jinx, and a liberal helping of justice being meted out by the Lobster's claw. Huzzah!

Writer: Fred Perry & Joe Wright
Art: Fred Perry & Joe Wright
Antarctic Press $3.50

Andy H: What to read? Got superheroes, got sci-fi, got horror. Need something a little different. Hello, what's this? A nasty ass honey badger, what the..? So it appears there’s this clip on the internet of a honey badger (it's not really a badger) with a spoof voice over. Back in a bit, gotta check this out.... Ha! Very funny. The honey badger is a real hardcase but most importantly he don't give a shit! This animal will take on all comers and win! So the guys over at Antarctic Press have decided to take the idea to the next level and give the honey badger his own one-shot. In the wild he'll take on birds, snakes and more. In the comic he aims for bigger targets including velociraptors and, according to the cover, ninjas! This sounds like a bit of fun (and I'm all for that) and a nice distraction from my regular 'to read' pile.

Writer: Brian Wood
Art: Mark Brooks & Roland Boschi
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: I recently said I was done with Marvel miniseries following the premature cancellation of All-Winners Squad, bar some exceptions. Once of those exceptions was the Victor Von Doom mini from Nick Spencer and Becky Cloonan that I flagged in an earlier Ten Forward. And then Marvel went and pulled the plug on that before the first issue even reached the stands! So I’m now even more dubious about buying any further minis from the House Of Ideas because who knows if they’ll ever arrive in stores? But I’m making another exception for this basically based on Brian Wood’s name alone. You should already know who this guy is, and if I you don't then I’m pointing you in the direction of the likes of DMZ and Northlanders (amongst others). He’s basically an ‘indie guy’ and the only time he dabbled in the Marvel Universe was a rather impressive short run on Generation X as part of Warren Ellis’ 'Counter-X' initiative over a decade ago. So while this kind of thing wouldn’t normally find its way onto my pull list I’m very curious and slightly excited to see what Wood’s got planned here. Assuming it sees the light of day!

Writer: David Lapham
Art: Gabriel Andrade
Avatar Press $3.99

Simon M: Avatar Press have been having success with their horror stories of late, particularly the Crossed series of books. Well, now the writer of Crossed: Psychopath and Caligula, David Lapham, is bringing out a new ongoing series for them called Ferals. Gabriel Andrade of Lady Death and Die Hard: Year One fame, is on the art duties. The cover would suggest this is a standard werewolf story, but Lapham is quick to clear any misconceptions that this is a traditional monster story. The plot centres around a lawman in a small town where civilians are being slaughtered. This is being plugged by some as a "supernatural crime horror" and I think it will be interesting to see where he goes with it.

Writer: Karl Stephan
Art: Karl Stephan
Slave Labor Graphics $14.95

Stewart R: Having looked at the 'Paradox Oscars' categories recently, it dawned on me that I really haven’t been keeping a close eye on graphic novels this year and that’s something I may need to address in 2012. Step up then Sparko, a book written and illustrated by Karl Stephen and set in London’s underbelly. It follows the story of Norman, a drug pusher and former rock musician, who attempts to remain as sedated and chemically enhanced as possible to hide from his troubles but ends up involved in a religious and political plot because of his substance-abused state. It sounds brilliantly madcap and a cursory look over the preview art has me spotting a vague similarity to Rob Guillory’s style on Chew. This one is definitely on my radar for January!

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Art: Sean Phillips & Dave Stewart
Image $3.50

James R: This title is a no-brainer, an instant-buy comic. Over the last few years Messers Brubaker and Phillips have built up a fine body of work that revels in the underbelly of society. Starting with the immaculate superhero noir of Sleeper, through the various Criminal miniseries, and most recently the pulp/noir mash-up of Incognito, these two (along with the instantly recognisable palette of Val Staples) have produced some peerless comics. I'm thrilled to see that with Fatale they're playing with the noir concept again - mixing in horror and monster tales with the inevitable story of an irresistible scarlet woman. The preview pages look like the usual A-grade standard from this team, and it looks like being our first nomination for best miniseries of 2012.

Writer: Joshua Luna
Art: Joshua Luna
Image $2.99

Rob N: Not so much a Luna Brothers comic as a Luna comic since Joshua Luna is going solo on this one. Remarkably the absence of his brother has made the art look a bit more realistic, which makes you wonder what the other Luna brother brought to the mix in the past. It centres around a protagonist who is able to do that classic Doctor Strange/Deadman trick of leaving his body in astral form, and to a certain extent manipulate and control people. You can imagine what Garth Ennis might do with that kind of concept, but in the hands of one of the Luna brothers it's probably going to be a bit more tasteful. I've not been disappointed before by any of their projects, so Whispers should deliver the usual high quality storytelling I expect from either of these guys.

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