Holy F*ck #1
Nick Marino (w), Daniel Arruda Massa (a)
Action Lab: Danger Zone
Thomas says: This comic was clearly created and published by ‘rebellious’ 14 year olds trying to be edgy, irreverent and offensive and I love it for that. There is no depth, no message and no real story beyond the teenage rebellion mentality at play but I think it works on that level. Sometimes stupidity is funny even if you’re laughing at them instead of with them though I must confess to laughing with them as well. It’s cute and I like it.
Fantastic Four #642
James Robinson (w), Leonard Kirk & Karl Kesel (a)
Chris says: With Secret Wars looming, I felt it was time to check back in with the Fantastic Four. As the original heralds of the Marvel Age of Comics, it’s only fitting that the FF should play a major role in things as the series comes to an end (at least for now) … And when you consider all the world-building Jonathan Hickman put into place during his run on the book, there’s a lot for James Robinson to play with. Despite being Part 2 of a storyline, in a book I haven’t read for quite some time, I found it to be remarkably accessible. There’s a lot going on, but this is the Marvel Universe I enjoy – one that feels cohesive – as though all the characters genuinely inhabit the same world. They don’t keep rebooting Coronation Street or Eastenders every year to cater to a new audience – they just trust people to jump on and pick it up as they go along – a trait I’ve always felt was true of comic fans as well. It’s why a lot of kids will still pick up early Marvel Comics first because they’re attracted to the history, and remain undaunted by the numbering, even if it’s in the hundreds. But I digress … This issue captured some of that old-school feel in the modern Marvel manner, and it left me intrigued about what’s coming up next. We see some of the Heroes Reborn characters brought into our world, alongside talk of Franklin’s Dream World which brought them all to life in the first place. The acknowledgement of what’s happened before, alongside the developments of what’s happening right now, has got me excited – and it’s nice to see the Fantastic Four playing a major (if somewhat under-stated) role in things. There’s also a very nice cameo at the end that will hopefully get people trawling back issue bins to learn more!
Brian Michael Bendis (w), Michael Avon Oeming (a)
Marvel Comics’ Icon
Will says: I have to thank Bendis for getting me into modern comics, as I was infatuated with his run of Ultimate Spiderman when I was a growing up. And his stuff was good. In fact, it was great. There was a point once where it felt like Bendis was writing every title on the shelves. Now however, I don’t read any of his stuff and it’s not because it’s gotten any worse. But it hasn’t gotten any better. It hasn’t changed and we’ve seen it all before. Powers was Oeming’s and his masterpiece, which with the upcoming flood of comic based TV shows, is too being adapted into a series. It follows the lives of two investigators of a special homicide division called Powers, dealing specifically with super power related murders. This week of new comics has been pretty damn boring in my opinion, and this issue is nothing special. But I always find it a pleasure to look through Oeming’s art, especially when it’s at the top of his game as it is here. The nostalgia of returning to Bendis is also strangely comforting. Here’s some nice easy reading for your brain with some pretty
Cullen Bunn (w), Gabriel Hernandez Walta (a)
Liz says: I’ve only just gotten caught up with Magneto, having jumped aboard for the Axis tie-ins and consequently realizing how much I’d been missing out by overlooking this series (newsflash: if you’re not reading it, so are you.) This issue sums up what I like best about this series: it goes straight to the heart of the character, emphasizing his internalized drama and rage as equally significant to the action. And what really nails it all together is the art of Gabriel Hernandez Walta, the most interesting, remarkable and tragically underrated artist in mainstream comics. Walta creates a mood like no one else, especially if it’s a dark one. If you don’t care about Magneto (you should. He’s a really interesting character.) read it just to look at the pages. Just try not to drool on them.
Angoulême International Comics Festival
Camila says: The amazing Angoulême comics festival is taking place for the 42nd time next weekend. The festival is, without a doubt, one of the best comics events to ever take place, and an experience I highly recommend to anyone who is even remotely interested in comics as a medium and an art form.
It’s just a week away now, but not to late to book yourself a train ticket and head over to comics heaven.
Faerber (w), Godlewski (a), Riley (c)
Ryan says: I’m quickly falling in love with this series. Seriously. It’s space cops in a gritty mining colony in the far reaches of outer space, with believable environments and well executed characters. Despite being somewhat stylized, everything about the world created for Copperhead feels real, weighted and textured. And besides the fact that, for all intents and purposes, this is a very old-school western detective story, it’s told with a twist that I don’t think we’ve really seen done before. And the artwork by Scott Godlewski, an artist who at least to me was a relative unknown, snaps beautifully somewhere between Manapul (Detective Comics) and Cory Walker (Science Dog). I’m definitely picking this up in trade, even though I have every issue so far, and I think you should too.
Star Wars: Legends Omnibus Vol. 1 Hardcover
Various but Goodwin, INFANTINO and Chaykin are among the amazing talent
Thomas says: Rassin-frassin-whingey-whinge-whinger. So. Harumph. I have never been a huge fan of Disney Comics but I grew up reading their original Star Wars line when I was just a wee bairn and absolutely loved them back then and I loved them when I-Dubs did their own pocket Omnibi collections of this series so when I saw this volume and, more importantly, the quality of the printing I just had to pick it up. If you’ve never read this run before I would highly recommend you check it out as the amount of imagination on the page is astounding compared to [insert usual rant]. It’s a bit pricey and highly unwieldy but I’m loving it.
Will says: Niimura has previously worked on the award winning I Kill Giants with Joe Kelly, and this is his new book where Ken tries to express life in Japan based on his time there during 2013. Henshin, meaning ‘transformation’ in Japanese, is a collection of short stories with ‘change’ at the center of each story. Taking this very basic premise for storytelling, it allows Niimura to excel at what he does best. His art. Which is truly captivating. The stories are diverse enough for him to really let his imagination loose and the book feels like an excuse for Ken to show off his skills in drawing. That’s not to say the stories aren’t worth your time, they are. There’s a bit of everything in this book, leaving you sad, shocked and laughing. Take a trip through Niimura’s strange yet wonderful brain with this read.
Star Wars #1
Jason Aaron (w), John Cassaday (a), Laura Martin (c)
Paul says: First out of the gate for Marvel’s newest cash-cow and it doesn’t disappoint. Filling the gaps between episodes IV and V, this manages to expand the universe, whilst staying cannon. Sure a few JJ Abrams influences creep in, most notably in the dialogue and action beats, but it reads like a lost intro to Empire. Aaron’s witty script and Cassaday’s clean pencils round out a very decent start.
Eric Haven (w/a)
Chris says: I’m not really sure how to describe UR … On the back cover AdHouse Books classify it as Mature/Adventure/Superhero/SciFi/Fantasy/Horror, yet it’s all of that and so much more. Eric Raven has created his own mini-anthology comprised of stories like Man-Cat, Reptilica, Bed Man: Dream-Lord of the Night Sky, and Even An Android Can Dance. He has a wonderful style – reminiscent at times of Charles Burns – which manages to both shock and woo you in equal measure. Ultimately I’m still not sure about what I read, but I know I enjoyed it and (more importantly) it stayed with me long afterwards. Considering that doesn’t happen so often these days, I’d call that a worthy book.
Camila says: Centrala, or ‘Central Europe Comics Art’ is a small, great publisher, originally from Poland and now spread over Europe, with connections in London and Berlin. It’s run by passionate people who longs to share comics they love with others, and they’re doing a great job at that. With an extensive catalogue of books in English, they’re helping us discover the work of a whole lot of very talented artists. We have just received stock of some of their new books, including the astonishing ‘Fertility‘ by Wrocław-based artists Mikołaj Pasiński and Gosia Herba; and ‘Somnambule‘, a completely silent book by German artist Anke Feuchtenberger; autobiographical zines by Anna Kryzton; and lots more.
Guest staff pick
Kris says: Habibi isn’t a new book (being published in 2011) but in my opinion one of the best from Craig Thompson. His art and layout are incredible as always, leading your eye through the story in much more of a creative way than from box to box. The story is dramatic, addictive and at times sad and a bit awkward to read. As a bonus you will learn a bit about the Quran and a bit of Hindu (if you don’t already).
Well, folks – we’re now halfway through the Orbital outlet sale and we’re continuing to reduce prices on a daily basis.
Comics start from as little as 20p each (3 for 50p!), plus there’s a whole range of greatly reduced trades, graphic novels, merchandise, and toys.
If you haven’t seen it yet, then hurry on down … and if you have seen it, then come back to see what new things we’ve added. You’re guaranteed to find something amazing, at a fraction of the regular price.
See you soon!
Feathers #1 of 6
Jorge Corona (w/a), Jen Hickman (c)
Ryan says: It’s rare to see someone who excels at both writing and drawing in the comic book industry, but Jorge Corona certainly does both well. Feathers follows the adventures of Poe, an orphaned child born with feathered skin who, due to his unique condition, has lived in the shadowed slums of his 18th Century city. But all that will change when he encounters Bianca, the adventure-hungry daughter of a privileged upper class family, and Poe is forced to risk exposure to those who may fear his feathers. This 6-issue story combines youthful characters and playful storytelling with art that strikes somewhere between Chew, Nova and Lobster Johnson; and for that alone I’m beginning to fall in love with it.
Pierre Wazem (w), Frederik Peters (a)
Will says: I picked up this book with no prior knowledge about it at all. All I could base my initial attraction to it was from the cover. Yes it looked very nice and I was intrigued, but in order for me to buy a book, it needs to satisfy my two-stage test. The inside artwork must be amazing above all else. So I began flicking through some pages and it was safe to say that this book ticked all the boxes for the first part of my test. What stood out about it were the expressions of the characters, Peters cramming so much emotion into them. The shading and colour palette left a very dark overtone to it. It felt charming yet sinister too.
I began stage two of my test. I started reading. I couldn’t put it down, I was already touched by the character interactions a few pages into reading. It follows the story of Addidas who helps her single parent father clean chimneys, but suffers from a condition causing her to faint regularly. She then meets a monster deep inside a chimney. It’s fantasy driven adventure but with very mature and relevant themes.
I’m not sure if this is a justified statement and I can’t explain why I feel this way, but the book feels very Studio Ghibli/Tintin-esque. Which explains why it appealed to me as much as it did. Read this.
Nick Spencer (w), Ramon Rasanas (a)
Liz says: What a great first issue! Just in time for the movie’s teaser trailer to hit the Internet, here comes the astonishing Ant-Man! Full of Nick Spencer’s trademark wit and snark, it serves as the perfect introduction to this flawed, extremely likeable underdog of a character. Scott Lang, down-and-out former criminal, C-List hero and stressed divorcee, has one great thing in his life: his teenaged daughter, Cassie. In order to be the kind of Dad she needs, he needs to change his life and fast. If that means cheating and basically blundering his way to the top, so be it! One of the best things about Ant-Man #1 is that it stands as a really great one-shot, so if you never pick up another issue of this series, you’ll still get a really full story that tells you what you need to know about Scott Lang. But of course if you do read it, I suspect you’ll have a tough time leaving it at that.
Corto Maltese: Under the Sign of Capricorn
Thomas says: I wanted to pick the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl because I wanted a fun comic but it was garbage (nice art though) so I’m ‘stuck’ picking the most recent reprint of Hugo Pratt’s classic Corto Maltese series. I haven’t had a chance to read this volume yet so I’m not sure if I’ve read this installment before. I first discovered Corot Maltese during the nineties in various book remainder shops where it seemed to be a mainstay for a few years and was struck by how wonderful the art was and, more importantly, how effortlessly engaging the writing was. At a time when comics were dominated by the artistic diarrhea of your Jim Lee’s and Rob Liefelds Corto Maltese was a breath of badly needed fresh air and I for one am happy for these reprints.
Karl says: As always, the quarterly appearance of Hi-Fructose is a welcome sight for me on the shelves. The impeccably curated contemporary art journal features plenty of articles on and interviews artists from all fields. This issue includes a timely Q&A between Long Gone John and Margaret Keane, the subject of Tim Burton’s new biopic. Recent issues have included a smaller pulp insert, the featured artists this time around is the hilarious Gary Taxali, and not for the first time I have been tempted to pick up a couple of copies of an issue, in order to to cut out this little joy and wallpaper my office with it.
Chili com carne
Camila says: This week we received a box filled with treats from Portuguese indie publisher Chili com Carne. It is just a fraction of their impressive catalogue, but boy, are these gorgeous! From magnificent oversized A3 anthologies to super cool self-contained minis, these are definitly comics more people should be reading!
Following the huge success of our post-Christmas sale, we’ve decided to make the Orbital Gallery a temporary ‘outlet store’ for the month of January.
Just as it was during the sale period, you can find hugely discounted graphic novels & trade paperbacks, plus 20p comics (3 for just 50p) and much, much more!
So make sure you come down and check out the Gallery while stocks last!
This week, new Comics are out Wednesday as usual, but please note that we’ll receive our stock on Wednesday morning, so the comics will not be available until later in the morning or early afternoon.
Despite the bank holidays, new Comics will be out on Wednesday as usual this week (hooray!), but please note that we’ll close at 5pm on Wednesday. We will be closed on New Year’s Day, but will be back at our usual times on Friday, January 2nd.