James Robinson's "Squadron Supreme" Takes Lethal, Pre-Emptive Action
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at all the comics and other stuff we’ve been reading lately. Our special guests today are Brendan Tobin and Pedro Delgado, who run the March MODOK Madness site. And with this being March, the madness is in full swing, so head over there to check out a lot of fun art featuring everyone’s favorite big-headed villain.
To see what Brendan, Pedro and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
As an Atlanta native, in terms of pro sports teams, I root for the Braves and Falcons every season. In a similar vein, when something from Top Shelf (partially based out of the Atlanta metro area) is published, much less by a talented Atlanta-based writer like Robert Venditti, I aim to support that project, but only if that support is warranted. I am happy to say that Venditti and artist Mike Huddleston’s The Homeland Directive has more than earned my full and enthusiastic support. Don’t trust my gut? Consider what The Middle Ground columnist Graeme McMillan’s wrote about the 152-page graphic novel: “It’s unlikely you’ll find a book that looks as good as The Homeland Directive this year.” The book, released last month, is best framed by the publisher: “As a leading researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Laura Regan is one of the world’s foremost authorities on viral and bacteriological study. Having dedicated her career to halting the spread of infectious disease, she has always considered herself one of the good guys. But when her research partner is murdered and Laura is blamed for the crime, she finds herself at the heart of a vast and deadly conspiracy. Aided by three rogue federal agents who believe the government is behind the frame-up, Laura must evade law enforcement, mercenaries, and a team of cyber-detectives who know more about her life than she does—all while trying to expose a sinister plot that will impact the lives of every American.” My thanks to Venditti for his time and be sure to visit the Top Shelf website for a six-page preview of the book.
Tim O’Shea: Was there any one factor (influencing your decision more than others) as to why you tapped artist Huddleston for the project?
Robert Venditti: I wrote the book having no idea who the artist was going to be or, for that matter, if it was even going to get published. When I turned in the script to Chris and Brett at Top Shelf, Mike Huddleston was one of the first names they mentioned. I’d never met Mike before, but I was a fan of his work on The Coffin, so I was immediately onboard with the idea. He’s an amazing talent, and he proved himself to be a consummate professional as well. It was an absolute joy to work with him.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item. We’re coming a little late today due to a power outage in my neck of the woods — due to a blackout, not because I spent the money for the electric bill on Flashpoint or Fear Itself tie-ins.
If I had $15, I’d make a mad grab for American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #2 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99); I love what Snyder and Murphy are doing here, and anyone who knows me knows how big a fan I am of Murphy’s work. Next up would be the debut of Jonathan Hickman’s Redwing #1 (Image, $3.50); after seeing Hickman blossom at Marvel, it’s great to see him re-invest in creator-owned comics. Third would be Jason Aaron and Carlos Pacheco’s X-Men Schism #1 (Marvel, $4.99); I have a sense Aaron’s the kind of writer to bring his “A” game when it comes to special stories (he did it recently in Scalped #50), so I’m interested to see what he does here. Last up would be Northlanders #42 (DC, $2.99).
Comic strips | After outsourcing all editorial, production, sales, marketing and distribution functions for its 150 comics and other features to Universal Uclick earlier this year, United Media closed the doors on its Madison Avenue office in New York on Friday. [Comic Riffs]
Comic Books | A copy of Detective Comics #27 owned by multimillionaire hotel heir Ben Novack Jr., who was murdered in 2009, could go up for auction and end up paying to defend his widow Narcy Novack. Narcy is facing charges that she had the comic fan and his mother murdered, plundered his bank accounts, then tried to pin the crimes on her own daughter. Narcy’s daughter, May Abad, has persuaded a Broward County judge to hold off on the auction and give her at least 14 days to find suitable storage and insurance for Novack’s massive collection. [Miami Herald]
For those who thought that Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker was the best-looking superhero comic of the year – and if you didn’t at least consider the possibility, it’s probably because you haven’t picked up a copy yet – I should let you know: Mike Huddleston’s work in the new Top Shelf graphic novel The Homeland Directive is possibly even better.
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