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Best of 7 | The best in comics from the last seven days

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Dark Horse announces they will publish Grip

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Gilbert Hernandez has had a pretty stellar year in terms of output, what with the release of Marble Season, Maria M, Children of Palomar and Julio’s Day, to say nothing of various Love and Rockets collections. So it seems fitting somehow that 2013 should end with the news that Dark Horse will be collecting one of the only (indeed, by my meager recollection [and if you don’t count Birds of Prey] the only) works by to have fallen by the wayside, Grip.

True, this series, originally serialized by Vertigo, doesn’t have the breadth or depth of Hernandez’s Palomar stories or the tight, surreal groove of some of his more recent noir pieces, but it’s chock full of strange and delightful characters, intriguing plot devices (what if you could become someone else by literally wearing their skin?) and general zaniness. And the good news is it all holds up really well. For those who missed out the first time around, this release will be like another brand-new Gilbert Hernandez story for the coming year. Nothing wrong with that. (Chris Mautner)

John Byrne treks to Strange New Worlds

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Since 2011, IDW’s Star Trek series has charted the voyages of the starship Enterprise as seen through the flaring lenses of J.J. Abrams and company. However, this week’s Star Trek Annual 2013 went retro in more ways than one. Writer/artist John Byrne crafted a sequel to “Where No Man Has Gone Before” — the episode which introduced James T. Kirk — entirely out of screenshots from the classic series. Part experiment, part homage to the pre-videotape “Fotonovels” of the 1970s, its photorealism captured the feel of a Star Trek whose seventy-nine episodes depended on the kindnesses of syndicated TV schedules and dedicated fans. Naturally, seeing Byrne’s dialogue coming from William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, and guest star Gary Lockwood helped Byrne’s efforts, but considering that he’s consistently done good Trek work for IDW, that’s not surprising. (Tom Bondurant)

Emily Carroll heads Through the Woods and into print

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Ever since Sean T. Collins first posted about “His Face All Red” back in 2010, I’ve been keeping my eye out for new stuff from cartoonist Emily Carroll. And she certainly hasn’t disappointed.

This week brought news on her print collection, which now has a title and release date — Through the Woods, published by McElderry Books in July of 2014. The collection will feature “His Face All Red” as well as four other stories that will no doubt haunt you long after reading them. (JK Parkin)

Slayground by Darwyn Cooke hits the streets

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I haven’t had a chance to read Darwyn Cooke’s latest adaptation of one of Richard Stark/Donald Westlake’s Parker books, but based on his last two adaptations and this preview, I’m guessing it will be one of the best books of the year. Cooke has a perfect ability to mimic the look and feel of magazine and advertising art of the Parker era (1963 or so), and he layers on that a sophisticated storytelling sensibility that makes these graphic novels really crackle with life. (Brigid Alverson)

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