"Star Wars" Minor Players Reflect on a Galaxy Not So Far Away in "Elstree 1976"
It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. We’ve each picked the five comics we’re most anticipating in order to create a list of the best new stuff coming out two months from now.
As usual, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell us what we missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.
Comic Book Creator #1 (TwoMorrows, $8.95): I still fondly remember the now-defunct Comic Book Artist magazine from years ago, and now the creator of that magazine, Jon Cooke returns with a new 80-page offering to take its place. With a first issue filled with Jack Kirby, Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross, this is a must-read for me.
Mark Waid’s The Green Hornet #1 (Dynamite, $3.99): Waid has been having a career renaissance, in terms of recognition at least, and that led to getting his name on the title of this new revamp of Dynamite’s Green Hornet line (art is by Daniel Indero). I dig the creator, I dig the character, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when the two collide.
The Secret History of Marvel Comics HC (Fantagraphics, $35.00): I’ve been looking forward to this one since I first heard about it. Blake Bell looks at the non-comics material being published by the company that would one day become Marvel Comics, including pulp and girlie mag work by Jack Kirby, Bill Everett and Dan DeCarlo. It’s like the perfect companion for Sean Howe’s Marvel Comics: The Untold Story!
Star Wars: Legacy — Prisoner of the Floating World #1 (Dark Horse, $2.99): As if the Brian Wood series wasn’t enough to get me back into Star Wars comics, now we get a new series from the Planet of the Apes team of Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman? If these are the final days of Dark Horse’s Star Wars license as many are rumoring, then they’re definitely going out with a bang.
Wake Up, Percy Gloom HC (Fantagraphics, $24.99): I fell madly in love with Cathy Malkasian’s beautiful Percy Gloom graphic novel a few years back, which was as beautiful as it was unexpected, so there is little to no way that I am not eagerly anticipating this follow-up. For those who like gorgeously-illustrated, melancholy and touching books: This is for you.
Helheim #1: Cullen Bunn doing another series for Oni (who publish the awesome Sixth Gun by Bunn and Brian Hurtt) would be enough to get my attention, but adding Joelle Jones as the artist seals the deal. Jones shows her versatility yet again. She’s drawn everything from crime (You Have Killed Me) to witchy teen dramas (Spellcheckers) to superheroes (Ultimate Spider-Man), and now she can add decapitating viking horror to her resume.
Wake Up, Percy Gloom HC: I usually try not to repeat what my colleagues have already listed here, but screw that. Cathy Malkasian’s back with another Percy Gloom book, which is great news. Here’s a commercial for what will likely be one of my favorite books of the year.
Five Ghosts #1: I spoke with the creators of this for our big anniversary and also had the chance to read the first issue; although it’s new to Image, Frank J. Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham self-published the first issue last year after a successful Kickstarter campaign. And it’s off to a great start, as it introduces the high-concept idea (a treasure hunter can access the powers and abilities of five ghosts based on literary characters like Dracula and Merlin), spotlights the benefits and problems those ghosts bring to the main character, and whisks the reader around the world on a high-stakes adventure. It’s fun stuff: pulpy with a modern sensibility, adventure comics with a supernatural twist, and some really nicely done pages by Mooneyham.
Wolverine #1: I’m pretty stoked to see that Paul Cornell is returning to Marvel to team with Alan Davis on the adventures of Wolverine. Davis’ art harks back to many classic X-Men stories, most notably Excalibur, while Cornell of course is known for his Captain Britain stories. Waitaminute, Marvel, what are you trying to pull? Why aren’t these guys doing a new Excalibur series? In all seriousness, you can read more about their take on Wolverine here.
Barry’s Best Buddy (Toon Books): In addition to doing books like Micrographica and H Day, which showcase her haunting, fine-grained pencil art, Renee French has done a couple of kids’ books under a pen name. My kid turns 1 year old this week, and already he’s inherited my love for books, so this goes on my wishlist for him.
Domovoi (Dark Horse): I was going to say that it’s been a long time since we’ve seen anything from Peter Bergting, but it’s my own fault for not keeping up. I remember him from his gorgeous 2006 miniseries The Portent, but he’s been busy since then, most recently doing Dungeons & Dragons, Crysis, and H.P. Lovecraft comics for IDW. I’m glad to see him back on his own stuff though, especially when it’s an urban fantasy series inspired by European folklore and set in Bergting’s native Stockholm.
Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray #1 (Image): Unlike J.K., I haven’t had the pleasure of an early introduction to this series, but I cannot wait to catch up. The concept is sort of like SHAZAM with literary characters instead of mythological ones, which is one of those “why has no one thought of this before?” ideas. Good on Frank J. Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham for coming up with it.
East of West #1 (Image): I’ve somehow managed not to have read a lot of Jonathan Hickman so far, but that’s about to change. I love the scifi Western concept and Nick Dragotta’s art on this in awe-inspiring. If the story lives up to those preview pages, East of West will make an excellent companion to Saga.
Olympians, Vol. 5: Posedion — Earth Shaker (First Second): I’m running out of ways to talk about how excited I am for the Poseidon volume of George O’Connor’s Olympians series. So I’ll just point you to the preview we ran recently and hope that makes you excited too.
Lost Vegas (Image): When I first heard that Jim McCann and Janet Lee were teaming up for another comic, I was thrilled, but I wondered how much I’d enjoy that style outside of the whimsical, steampunk world they created in Return of the Dapper Men. They were marvelous on that book, but on a story about a high-stakes gambler pulling a heist on a spaceship-casino? “Whimsical” doesn’t seem right for that, so I was skeptical. And then I saw the first glimpses at what Lee’s doing on it. Her work is as imaginative and expressive as ever, but she’s completely changed her style to something clean, sophisticated, and entirely perfect for Ocean’s Eleven meets Star Wars. Forget what I said about two, great scifi comics from Image. Looks like we have three.