Check out our opening hours over the festive season:
Dec 24 – Christmas Eve – New Comics out (as usual) – 10:30 to 17:00
Dec 25 – Christmas Day – CLOSED
Dec 26 – Boxing Day – CLOSED
Dec 27 – 10:30 – 19:00
Dec 28 – 11:30 – 17:00
Dec 29 – 10:30 – 19:00
Dec 30 – 10:30 – 19:00
Dec 31 – New Year’s Eve – New Comics out (as usual) – 10:30 to 17:00
Jan 01 – New Year’s Day – CLOSED
Jan 02 – Back to our regular opening hours
Drifter #1 (Second Printing)
Ivan Brandon (w), Nic Klein (a)
Adam says: Having missed the chance to pick Drifter on its original release in mid-November, the second print offers a valuable opportunity to outline quite how good this new sci-fi book is. In short, this looks like a western set on a foreign planet with a freshly crash-landed protagonist as our compass. Those familiar with the work of Ivan Brandon will know he is never short of challenging ideas both grand and subtle and this is no exception. With little exposition and even less framing, it is magnificently apparent that this is a project of considerable word-building, and narrative, scope and the creative harmony on this front is stunningly good. Nic Klein, at this very moment, is quite possibly incomparable. All his recent work has been thoroughly stellar and consistently moving (see his Winter Soldier with Jason Latour, please see his Winter Soldier with Jason Latour). More alarmingly, however, and despite his increased profile, Klein refuses to be a static force. His stylistic evolution is deliberate and persistent, setting him apart from everybody else in the same game right now. His colouring in this first issue is also devastating.
PS – Drifter is another book whose design is handled by Tom Muller (Zero), so each single issue is a well-constructed treat.
Southern Bastards #6
Jason Aaron (w), Jason Latour (a)
Liz says: Another issue of Southern Bastards, another literary punch in the gut. This week’s issue resumes with the backstory of Euless “Coach” Boss, and it definitely packs a wallop. If you’ve ever read ‘Scalped’, you’ll know that one of Jason Aaron’s masterful skills is to take thoroughly loathsome characters and give you no other choice but to empathise with them. Coach Boss, who looks to be the villain of our story, is just such a character. In just a few short pages my feelings toward him have transformed from complete disgust to pity and yes, empathy. There’s no shortage of the tension, violence and blood red colour palette that have rattled my nerves and gotten under my skin throughout the series so far and made it what it is. Excellent work from two top-notch creators, and another notch in the belt of what promises to be one of the best ongoing series today.
Michael Avon Oeming (w/a), Taki Soma (w/a)
Will says: Sinergy is not a perfect comic by any means. Nothing stands out as a completely original idea and the story is patchy in areas. Nevertheless, Sinergy has been an amazing read. It has a lot of great things going for it. The colouring for one is absolutely vibrant. Taki Soma uses different colour filters across each plot point which communicates the tone and emotion of each scene very effectively. Combined with Oeming’s simplistic but beautiful art, this seems like a very fitting creative team. This alone makes it worth reading Sinergy. There is room to improve with the story, but the potential is there for it become a very exciting book. I highly recommend reading this.
Camila says: A incredible extension of the iconic and influential 6-page comic Richard McGuire did for Raw back in 1989, now in full colour and over 300 pages long, each depicting a moment in time in one corner of a room, over hundreds of years. An unconventional and very successful experiment in story telling.
Shutter #1 Image First
Joe Keatinge , Leila Del Duca, Owen Gieni
Clementine says: This is an awesome issue, and the beginning of a very interesting story. We are following an explorer’s daughter in their 30s, living alone with a very cute speaking cat-alarm clock.
In this issue the gorgeous artwork is making us travel from the moon to a futurist very cool New York City. The artwork is making most of the fantastic of the comics with incredible representations of the characters.
Overall it is a great 70 pence investment if you have missed the beginning of Shutter.
There’s no time like the present HC
Paul B. Rainey
Camila says: There’s no time like the present was originally serialised and self-published by Paul Rainey years ago and it used to be one of my top recommendations for people looking for good independent comics when I first started working at Orbital. Now, finally back in print, and available in a collected edition for the first time, it’s already an indie classic.
Expect incredibly clever sci-fi mixed in with every day life, very endearing characters and huge doses of Britishism and witty sense of humour.
The official book launch will take place here at Orbital this coming Thursday, with a signing followed by a talk and Q+A with Paul Rainey.
Escape From New York #1
Christopher Sebela (w), Diego Barreto (a)
Thomas says: Escape From New York was one of those films I found by accident when I was a wee bairn in the eighties. I was already a huge fan of the then much more recent Big Trouble in Little China so I was very excited to find another film by the same people. Escape From New York the comic starts directly on from the film rushing through a number of action sequences and on into a story that could easily become a ham fisted attempt at an Escape From L.A. style of story. I really want to like this book, the art is good enough while a little too bright in both the pencils and the colouring it does at least try to convey the madness of this world. The writing is a possible problem as has always been the case with previous attempts at bringing Snake Plisken into the four-colour world. Sebela is in far too much of a hurry, rushing through scene after scene and not in an exciting, breathtaking manner either. Sebela is also trying desperately to be cool which never works out. I’ll be picking it up next issue.
Hellboy And The B.P.R.D. 1952 #1
Mike Mignola and John Arcudi (w), Alex Maleev (a)
Ryan says: What’s that you say? You’ve never read a Hellboy comic?! Allow me to mask my oh-so-subtle face of judgment and recommend the latest addition to Mike Mignola’s comic universe to ignite your interest. This title is the Hellboy equivalent of “Batman: Year One”, taking us right back to the humble beginnings of young HB’s career as the ultimate paranormal investigator in the early 1950’s. Arcudi’s veteran experience as a B.P.R.D. writer makes the book both accessible to new readers as well as its loyal fans, and Maleev (who did a great one-shot issue of Hellboy: Weird Tales a decade ago) delivers incredible artwork, bringing a dark and grim atmosphere for our unlikely hero to overcome. I highly recommend grabbing a copy while they last, and if it tickles your fancy, try picking up the first volume of Hellboy in paperback to see where the whole series began. You won’t regret it.
Young Avengers Omnibus Hardcover
Kieron Gillen (w), Jamie McKelvie (a)
Will says: It’s been a little while now since I last read this series, but I still remember it being one of the few superhero books released at the time that really stood out. It wasn’t doing the same old conventional and dry ideas. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it’s short but satisfying run. This hardcover collects the full set of 15 issues that follow the teenage superhero team ridden with angst and emotion as they find themselves fighting alone in a battle far beyond their imagination. Oh, there’s also an awesome variant cover for the omnibus by Scott Pilgrim’s Brian Lee O’Malley. This is a perfect Christmas present for your teenage sibling, nibling or child.
Fight Like A Girl #1
David Pinckney (w), Soo Lee (a)
Ross says: Good old Action Lab, keeping life tolerable with their punchy story lines and aversion to misogyny with impressive female powerhouse titles like Molly Danger and the phenomenal Princeless. They’re doing it again with Fight Like A Girl, a beautifully illustrated comic about a woman enduring nine trials, all for the chance to win a wish from the gods to save her terminally ill brother. Our main character, Amarosa, is incredibly easy to route for, a sweet older sister looking out for her brother all the while swinging a baseball bat with intent to maim. A truly gorgeous comic thanks to Soo Lee, with more than enough bite in it to get you hooked for the next issue, Fight Like A Girl already has the looks of becoming another Action Lab victory, continuing their dedication to three-dimensional, strong, multiracial characters and cheeky story telling. I really enjoyed reading this issue, I most certainly enjoyed looking at its art and would recommend you look (and ogle) at it as well.
Fairy Quest: Outcasts #2
Paul Jenkins (w) Humberto Ramos (a)
Julia says: In the lastest issue of this series we continue with the adventures of Red and Mr. Wold in their attempt to scape from the borders of Fablewood and get into the Real World.
I’ve found the script so far very interesting as it seems to have several resemblances to the Orwell’s novel 1984. I give my thumbs up for Jenkins on this one. Rearding to the art, Ramos does a “back to the roots” with his drawing style after his works for the Amazing Spiderman series, using a more “cartoon” desing for the characters that we haven’t seen on his art for a while. The visual narrative of the pages is brilliant and the color work of Leonardo Olea fits perfectly with the story tone.
Having a 34% of British creativity and 66% of Mexican artwork, this series are a 100% enjoyable for the lovers of fairytales adaptations.
Cerebus Archive Number One
Dave Sim (w/a)
Thomas says: Despite the man or maybe even because of the man I am a huge Cerebus fan and a fan of Mr Sim’s art so I was really, really, really excited when this artist’s edition was announced (in Previews, the whole Kickstarter thing is intentionally beyond me) so even though there is a huge difference in quantity between the IDW produced Artist’s Editions and this production the quality is so good that it’s just a minor quibble over something that is absolutely gorgeous. If you’re a fan of Dave Sim’s you’ll love this as much as I do.
Bad Blood TPB
Jonathan Maberry (w), Tyler Crook (a)
Liz says: It’s no easy feat to find a good modern vampire story these days. I love vampire mythology, but (apart from all things Whedon-related) the recent glut of teen-oriented novels, films and television series seem to have, ahem, sucked all the freshness out of the genre. That’s why I almost didn’t pick up on this series, and that would have been a shame. It goes to show that in the hands of a good storyteller, there’s always a new spin to put on an old tale. Jonathan Maberry, an award-winning novelist, is a damn good storyteller, and so is artist Tyler Crook.
‘Bad Blood’ is the story of Trick, a young man coming to terms with the fact that he has terminal cancer. As if that wasn’t bad enough he is attacked by a vampire who murders his best friend but leaves Trick alive, poisoned by his diseased blood. With the knowledge that his blood is so toxic to vampires, Trick seeks revenge against them. He has nothing left to lose… until he meets Lolly, a troubled, vampire-obsessed Goth girl who quickly gets in over her head in Trick’s crusade. Maberry’s characters are instantly worth caring about, and he balances out tragedy with plenty of humour in their razor-sharp dialogue. ‘Bad Blood’ is a vampire story that will engage and surprise you, challenge the tropes of the genre and leave an impression; to my mind, that’s pretty exceptional.
Madman In Your Face 3D Special
Mike Allred (w/a) plus others
Will says: Fraction’s new sci-fi opened with a crazy 8 page spread with some of Ward’s colourful artwork on one side and a gigantic map on the other. This was awesome, but the gimmick that won me over this week was the Madman made entirely in 3D. And I love maps in books.
The 80 page Madman special really was special for two reasons. I’ve always been a fan of Allred’s work and he is on top form in this issue. Seeing the red/cyan 3D glasses brought back a fond memory of a Christmas where I got a 3D Green Lantern comic in my stocking filler. To this date, that was the first and only comic I read in 3D (it was probably terrible), but I remember thoroughly enjoying the experience. This issue of Madman is a replication of that. You will have nothing but fun when reading through this. The 3D works surprisingly well and Allred manages to cook up some great panels to utilize the 3D very effectively. Enjoy this mind bending, fourth wall breaking, smile inducing, and page exploding adventure. Oh, and it has a 3D cube you can cut out and make yourself! Sold.
Alex Greciam (w) Riley Rossmo (a)
Julia says: I consider myself a great fan of history and series like this, based on historical events, sure call my attention. The story on this issue in my opinion was not as intense as the previous one, still it will leave you longing for more.
Regarding the art, this issue does noes let me down. The narrative seems brilliant since it basically relays on the art rather than in the text, something I really appreciate, leaving just enough word bubbles scattered though the pages to keep the story going on. Rossmo’s art captivates me and the colors by Plascencia just seem to flow perfectly with his characteristic style. The fresh inks and the cold pastel tones successfully transports us into the Tsarist period of the Russian empire.
Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream
Locust Moon Comics
Camila says: Just a few days after the release of Taschen’s amazingly gorgeous edition of Little Nemo, collecting every single one of the stories McCay did, here’s another gigantic treat for Nemo fans – a newspaper-sized hardcover with contributions of over 100 cartoonists paying tribute to the strip and to McCay himself.
The book was put together and published by Locust Moon, a comic shop, gallery and publisher in Philadelphia, who are, very clearly, incredibly passionate about comics and huge Winsor McCay fans; and that shows in every little bit of this book – it is a gorgeous edition, one of those that looks good, feels good and smells good, you know? But above all, the cartoonists invited to take part and the stuff they came up with is just splendid.
I don’t know exactly how many of these they printed, but I’m pretty sure it’s a limited edition, so grab it while you can!
Rick Remender (w), Terry Dodson (a)
Liz says: It took me a few issues to get into Axis, but now that I’m hooked, it’s found it’s way to the top of my reading stack. What looked at first glance like an overcomplicated plot turned out to be an incredibly simple one, and a lot of fun to boot. I love when event books are good and this one has been, more and more so with each passing week. I’ll be excitedly tuning in to see the rest of it unfold and ripple out into the tie-ins. Great stuff!
Grant Morrison (w), Frank Quitely (a), Nathan Fairbairn (c)
Thomas says: Multiversity is one of the only decent comics being published by DC at the moment. To grossly over simplify this issue, its Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely doing Watchmen. With the actual Charlton stable of characters. Check it out if you haven’t already.
Robert Kirkman (w), Ryan Ottley (a), Jean-Francois Beaulieu (c)
Ryan says: November has been a big month for Invincible fans. Volume 20 of the graphic novel series was released just last week, and followed this week with a brand new issue. Admittedly, yes, it’s long overdue, but with artist Ryan Ottley having suffered a back injury, and fan-favourite colourist John Rauch stepping off the title to focus on other projects, you can kinda see why it took so long to put 20 pages together. And in this issue premieres the work of new colourist, Jean-Francois Beaulieu, who has done a brilliant job of adding subtle dimension to Ottley’s lineart, while working faithfully with the muted palette we’re used to seeing from an Invincible title. Just as Ottley took the mantle from Cory Walker, Beaulieu’s work takes what Rauch brought to this series and continues the story without any jarring stylistic changes. As for the story itself, we see two of the Invincible universe’s most aggressive combatants pitted against each other, Thragg and Battle Beast, in a deadly brawl that can only result in bloodshed.
Saga Deluxe Edition Volume 1 HC
Brian K. Vaughan (w), Fiona Staples (a)
Will says: If you need to be convinced to read Saga, then you’re doing something wrong with your life. I could spend a good few hours talking about how great Saga is, but the truth is you probably already know. In fact, one common complaint I hear about saga is that it reads too quickly each month. This special edition hardcover collects the first 18 issues of the groundbreaking series, so you have over 500 pages to sink your teeth into. Christmas is coming up, so if you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone then this is the obvious choice for new-readers and fan enthusiasts alike. The book becomes an essential buy with some brilliant extras and stunning new cover art by Staples.
Complete Zap Comix
By R. Crumb, Rick Griffin, Paul Mavrides, Victor Moscoso, Spain Rodriguez, Gilbert Shelton, Robert Williams, and S. Clay Wilson
Karl says: I have been waiting a while for this extravagant boxset comprising all 16 issues and a brand new 17th grand finale. This slice of comics history changed the world as much as the Marvel explosion across the tracks. It comes in 4 thick volumes book-ended by an in-depth history and biographies, and a glorious set of exclusive giclée prints featuring the covers. It ain’t cheap, but if you really love this stuff, it’s Christmas.
Southern Bastards Directors’ Commentary with Jason Aaron & Jason Latour
Live at Orbital Comics
Chris says: This week we debuted a brand new type of event at Orbital with the Southern Bastards Directors’ Commentary by Jason Aaron & Jason Latour. No one knew quite what to expect from the night (us and them included!) but what followed was a fascinating insight into the mindset and creative process of those involved. We learned more about the South, college football, Coach Boss, and just what that dog crapping by the side of the road was up to. It was an amazing night and, I’m pleased to report, the first of many! Next up we have the sensational Becky Cloonan giving us a commentary on the first three issues of Gotham Academy, so keep your eyes on the website for further details … You won’t want to miss this!
ALL the Small Press
Camila says: Thought Bubble last weekend marked the end of the comics festival season in the UK, preceded by the amazing Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Cumbria and lots of smaller independent shows like CECAF and The Alternative Press POP-UP in London. And with all these amazing events, also comes the release of TONS of new books, zines and independent comics.
It’d be impossible to list of my personal highlights, but just to name a few: Jack Fallows‘ Axolotl #2, the new issue of Tiny Pencil, a brand new title (Cob the Conqueror) by Timothy Winchester, a glorious collected edition of Dan White’s Cindy & biscuit and a new hardcover of Howard Hardiman‘s Badger series, and a bunch of new titles from the awesome folks at Breakdown Press and Avery Hill Publishing. Check them out!