Do you remember the first time you picked up a comic book? The feel of it in your hands, the excitement of having a new story to delve into? The details of the artwork that sprang off the page, waiting to be devoured by an eager mind? Now, when was the last time you felt that excitement?
Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash, GI Joe) and Mike Norton (Battlepug, Queen + Country) have succeeded in bringing us back to our beginnings. A new story, a new twist, a new feel. All that wonder you first felt when you turned the page of that comic book? It’s back. And in a big way.
Welcome to Wausau, Wisconsin, home of snow, cows and a small community of the living dead. They’re not zombies or walkers or anything like that though. They’re simply alive again, back to their jobs and everyday lives. What could possibly cause this you ask? We have no idea. But the local police have organized a special team to figure that out. We follow this team, a reporter and a CDC liaison, as they search to find out why people are “reviving” and if they really are themselves. What could possibly go wrong?
Seeley’s writing succeeds in bringing us a new spin on the horror/mystery genre. With elements of action, mystery, investigation, horror, family, supernatural and drama, Revival is a truly well-rounded tale. Many horror tales have become formulaic and predictable over the years. This book is not one of those stories. With twists and turns and spins, you’ll be glued to the pages, wondering what could possibly happen next to this small, rural town? Jeff Lemire writes in the introduction of the first volume, “It’s equally chilling and fascinating stuff…”
Norton’s art goes hand in hand with Seeley’s writing seamlessly. Each detailed panel gives us another piece to the bigger picture. With realistic characters that have imperfections, and beautiful snowy landscapes, Norton gives us the sense of being in Wisconsin, in the thick of it. Heads above the rest of though is Norton’s hauntingly beautiful character design of one of the more moving, mysterious characters in the book. To say any more would only spoil it.
With sold out multiple printings and rave reviews, I’d follow Jeff Lemire’s advice: “…sit back and enjoy. You can only discover your favorite new comic once, so savor it. I know I did.”
Eisner and Harvey Award Nominated writer Jonathan Hickman is a key player in the Marvel NOW! Universe. Why, you ask? The former Fantastic Four writer is now penning Avengers, a cornerstone in Marvel’s stable. Do yourself a favor and pick up Avengers #1. Hickman has brought his unique style to the fan-favorite book and he does not disappoint. “You owe it to yourself to find a comfy chair and get to know his work.” (Robert Kirkman) When it comes to Hickman, we’ve got you covered!
“The greater sin is doing nothing when you could be giving everything…of dreaming too small. I will be the ONE MAN.” So says the back of the first volume of this amazing series spinning out of Secret Invasion. We follow Nick Fury’s secretly assembled teams tasked with doing what they can no longer trust others to accomplish. Equal parts inspiring, thought provoking and entertaining, Secret Warriors is an excellent addition to any Marvel library.
What if the Manhattan Project was just a cover for more covert government projects? Oppenheimer, Truman, Einstein, Feynman, FDR, and some aliens! What could possibly go wrong? This is currently an ongoing series published by Image with art by Nick Pitarra and I highly recommend it if you like a little weird with your comics.
The Vatican discovers time travel in the near future. What do they do with this? Send a group to destroy the past in order to save the future. With gorgeous, modern artwork, this book is essential to reading Hickman. Matt Fraction says he felt “stunned, surprised and delighted” when he read “this little miracle of a book.”
Image Comics was founded in 1992 as a place for creator-owned comics to flourish and creators to have full rights over their work. The company, now one of the largest comic publishers in North America, currently puts out some of the most interesting, fun, and intellectually stimulating comics in the industry.
Image was originally founded by 8 creators: Erik Larsen, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino. These creators, dissatisfied by the major publishers’ treatment and policies toward writers and artists, broke off from the mainstream to put out the comics that they felt inspired to design and explore. Image’s early titles included McFarlane’s Spawn and Larsen’s Savage Dragon. Later, Robert Kirkman joined the team and co-created one of their flagship titles, The Walking Dead. The little book that could has been hugely successful and adapted for television.
Why should you care about Image Comics? The answer is simple: their titles are solid. With John Layman, Richard Starkings, Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips, Robert Kirkman, Jonathan Hickman, and Brian K Vaughan currently creating monthly titles, ranging from noir, horror, mystery, political commentary, and more, there’s sure to be something that strikes your interest.
This Tuesday evening, July 10 from 7 pm to 1 am, we will be having a midnight release and sale for The Walking Dead’s 100th issue. Hitting this milestone is an achievement for a any title, let alone a creator owned, black and white, mature series. We’d like you to celebrate with us by giving you 25% off Image graphic novels, trade paperbacks, and Image front case books, along with 50% off Image back issues in the back issue bins! What better time to try something new than a sale?
Here’s some of Image’s major titles, along with some shop favorites.
The Walking Dead Nearing it’s 100th issue, The Walking Dead has reached a milestone of success for a comic book. These days, creator owned comics are lucky to reach 20 issues. This Robert Kirkman title follows a group of survivors as they travel through a zombie apocalypse, decapitating the undead and dealing with each other along the way.
Chew from John Layman and Rob Guillory.
Elephantmen from Richard Starkings and Moritat
IKillGiants from Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura.
Morning Glories from Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma
PIGS from Nate Cosby, Ben McCool and Breno Temura
The Activity from Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads
Green Wake from Kurtis J. Wiebe and Riley Rossmo
The Manhattan Projects from Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra and Jordie Bellair
Mind The Gap from Jim McCann, Rodin Esquejo, Sonia Oback and Rodin Esquejo
How many of you read or have read The Walking Dead, raise your hand. Now take that hand and grab your machete and/or shovel. Because what you thought you could only experience (rather vividly, if I might add) in comic books and television is now a reality. Wait, let me rephrase that. You can now escape zombies in reality. Please don’t kill them because that would bring up a whole slew of legal problems that San Diego just doesn’t need. That’s right, folks, step right up for The Walking Dead Escape this year near San Diego Comic Con.
Petco Park is the stage for a zombie infested obstacle course that will make you “climb, crawl, hide and slide” your way to safety. But surviving isn’t the only way to participate in this 3-day event. If you’re more zombie inclined, buy a “walker” ticket and get made up by the pros to look like a zombie and participate in the course. Then of course, if you’d like to just watch these people run around a zombie infested ball park as if it were the pages of the Walking Dead come to life, buy a spectator ticket and watch from a safe distance.
One of the cool parts of participating, besides the fact that you can tell your friends you survived The Walking Dead, is that each Survivor and Walker will receive a special, exclusive edition of the 100th issue of The Walking Dead.
With as popular as this franchise has become, this is the perfect addition to a San Diego Comic Con must-see/do list. Though not officially affiliated with the SDCC, this event will be taking place July 12-14, 2012. The earlier you buy your tickets, the cheaper they’ll be (for Survivors at least, Walker and Spectator prices have yet to be announced.) If you’re in the area, I’d definitely check it out. Who knows, if it’s a success maybe they’ll put one on at the next New York Comic Con.
Becky Cloonan, most recently the artist on Dark Horse’s Conan The Barbarian, is an Italian born girl with a pencil and the talent to use it. With a beautiful style that at times evokes images of Penny Arcade, Mike Mignola, and scratchboard, she’s continuing to dazzle with her self published comics and a consistent quality of art. Working for Dark Horse, Marvel, Image, and Vertigo, her projects include Dracula the Illustrated Novel, American Virgin, The Guild: Zaboo, and Demo Volume II. In the midst of all this publisher work, she manages to put out her own self-published titles. The most notable of those titles is Wolves, which sold out it’s original print run of 1,000 copies in two months, is “beautiful, haunting, and refreshingly mysterious” according to Mike Mignola.
What Cloonan brings to comic book art is a fresh take on things. Check out some of her work and see for yourself.
Conan The Barbarian (Dark Horse)
Wolves (Becky Cloonan self published)
For those who love books, there’s nothing more satisfying than a nicely bound edition. Image has recently put out a hardcover edition of their title Severed. As far as hardback graphic novels go, this one is supreme. Featuring an extremely detailed, creepy image on the cover, Severed catches your attention right off the bat. The title is printed in high gloss, as well as the hand ‘tearing’ through the cover, blood dripping down the front that stands out against the matte imagery. Featuring quotes from IGN and MTV Geek, the front boasts “As good as horror comics get” and “Sheer terror in comic book form.” I must admit, I haven’t actually read the comic yet so I can’t attest to these review.
Part of the charm of this edition is the fact that it doesn’t have a dust cover, a rare thing in hardcover trades these days. It lends a clean, polished look to the seven part title. On the back, you’ll be treated to a high gloss image of the main character, deep in thought under a full moon. The back cover is framed in glossy gold detailing and features more reviews from Fangoria, Comic Book Resources, among others. The quote along the top is sure to draw you in even more: “1916. A man haunts the roads. A man with razor-sharp teeth and a hunger for flesh.”
Once you open the book, you’ll see a sepia and black artwork that promises more creepiness if you were to turn the page. And when you do turn those pages, the beautiful art of Attila Futaki will caress your eyes. Go ahead, ogle a little.
Overall, this hardbound collection is absolutely beautiful and calls to me like a siren from across the shop. In short, this book gives me a library *censored adult content reference*