UPDATE: following the success of CULT, we’re pleased to announce the exhibition has been extended until April 30. Don’t miss your chance to see the work of these talented young creators!
Seven young friends
Art from below
An unholy union
An underground event hosted by a collection of the UK’s most promising emerging comic creators:
Owen Michael Johnson
P M Buchan
The CULT exhibition, which is being hosted by the GHOSTS comic art collective, begins at Orbital Comics on Monday 14th April. This is the first time that you will be able to view our collection of CULT-inspired artwork, as well as buy specially designed prints and original art from the members of GHOSTS. Many of these creations will only be available at the CULT exhibition or have very limited print runs that will be made available to attendees of CULT exclusively during the show.
We would like to invite you to celebrate this occasion with us. Every member of GHOSTS will be signing at Orbital on Saturday 19th April, from 2-5pm. Additionally, we’ll be hosting a lock-in party at Orbital on the same night, where you can join us for drinks and occult conversation. The party will also feature a one-night-only live music performance by cosmic punk band, Raygun Roads & The Kittelbach Pirates. Entry is free with a purchase of GHOSTS exhibition material, and space is limited, so to avoid disappointment please arrive at Orbital no later than 6:30pm.
A huge thank you from every member of GHOSTS for your support so far. We look forward to unveiling our eclectic collection of deranged artwork.
Okay, everybody, I hope you’re having a great Easter Monday, and that your week-end was good, because we have a couple serious things to talk about today. This well-argued criticism of a proposed DC launch cover, from critic Janelle Asselin, generated a response that began as defensive, and developed into full-blown misogyny. It’s easy to shrug and say “trolls gonna troll”, but perhaps this incident is closer to a tipping point, as suggested by the wealth of commentary it’s generated, from Ulises Farinas (in two parts), from Comics Alliance (whose advice is pretty on the nose: don’t be a fake geek guy), and numerous other sources excellently gathered by The Comics Reporter. So last week there was a lot of talk. Let’s hope this week is about thought, and maybe every week after can be about people taking positive personal actions. Just not this one.
Alright, on the sunnier side of gender relations and parity in comics, there’s insight over at Wired (hot week for them) on the importance of the Carol Corps, courtesy of Rachel Edidin, while Laura Hudson gave Sex Criminals the attention it deserves. And a positive, go anywhere, do anything comic to put the sparkle in your smile? Well, look no further than Natalie Nourigat’s travelogue! It’s awesome.
Comics Oscars time! The Eisner nominations were announced, leading to accusations of neglect, the predictable CBR puff-piece, and a typically balanced Multiversity take. If you think the Eisners run on a Usual Suspects-type process, then check out the Inkwell awards. Small world, comics, apparently. It could leave you at your wit’s end, but to save you, here’s a generous peek at Witzend, coming soon (but not soon enough!) from Fantagraphics.
WonderCon happened again, and the CBR directory of coverage is here, with the announcement of even more Artist’s Editions to come. There’s something here about how arcs/titles people don’t normally speak of often become special, coveted even, when they’re available in this format, almost as if this was the only way people could really appreciate the art. Is the rise of the artist’s edition a parallel to the fall of the marquee artist? Do they say something about the mainstream/superhero comics market’s fetishisation of visual art in contrast to its commoditisation of writing comics? Either way, for our money, Linework sounds like the place to be this time next year! After all, it’s co-founded by Study Group’s own Zack Soto, and by the way, have you heard the word about Study Group 3D? The word is GOOD.
Talking alt-comix for a minute, Oily’s Spring season looks slick, while the FP blog shares a sweet preview of how awesome the new Owen Johnson comic is (you know, that guy who was part of our latest exhibition?), and Zainab wants you to know that NoBrow #9 should be in your stack if you like pictures, art, paper, or colours.
Does this remind anyone else of Black Science #1, but with less eye-boggling art, and more fun? While questions are flying, this “Multiversity” thing that bald Scotsman is rabbiting about… will it actually ship? And have you ever encountered the Brothers of Blood?
We end with proof, if it were needed, that Bendis’s best work is his Tumblr.
Nathan Edmondson (w), Alison Sampson (a)(a)
Chris says: I’m not usually a fan of the graphic novella. Although I’ve enjoyed many of them, that enjoyment only makes me regret the fact they’re so short – fleeting vignettes of greatness that are finished too soon. It’s quite fitting then to read something like Genesis, which in its own way addresses some of these concerns while exploring several others – especially when you consider the fact the word ‘genesis’ indicates a tale of beginnings. In this beginning we meet Adam, a young preacher who is world-weary and doubting his ability to change the world. In reaching for the ultimate solution, he discovers things about himself, including a newfound power to really affect change. As in so many allegories, power corrupts – not just Adam, but those around him – and the answers he thought he’d find become more elusive than ever. This is the best thing Nathan Edmondson has written, and perhaps it’s because he was so inspired by the beautiful art of Alison Sampson and color palette of Jason Wordie. The world the two of them create is grounded at first, then slowly becomes more fantastical with each turning page. Unlike life, where we start out wide-eyed with wonder and slowly become more jaded, Genesis does things the other way around – making each new page more of a ‘revelation’ than the one before. I may be over-selling it here, but Genesis is a well-deserved pick of the week – and at $6.99 easily worth taking a chance on.
B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: Lake of Fire
Mike Mignola/John Arcudi (w) Tyler Crook (a), Dave Stewart (c)
Thomas says: This is volume 8 in the continuing Hell On Earth series and it’s a testament to the team that they’re still able to maintain the tension and horror of the ever worsening state of the world as the monsters, demons and great old ones continue to flourish. The B.P.R.D. are understandably strained and it’s this attention to the characters situation that sells the horror so ably. Tyler Cook seems to take delight in depicting the weariness of these people who are clearly losing the war but fight on regardless while Arcudi’s dialogue between the main characters enhances the sense of misery and resilience of their stand. Although the story spends some time with Fenix and her past the main body of the story focuses on the return of Liz Sherman and her new found resolve and control as she actively embraces her powers while trying to save her fellow patients. B.P.R.D. is a consistently well-produced series and Dave Stewart is awesome but you already knew that.
The Superior Spider-Man #31
Dan Slott (w), Giusppe Camuncoli (a)
Liz says: Man, am I gonna miss this book.
I loved The Superior Spider-Man; I sing it’s praises all the time. For thirty-one issues it kept me riveted to the page, forever surprising me with new facets of the idea to explore. It was always one of the first books I’d grab off the shelf and devour, and to be able to do that for the last time this week is bittersweet. But thankfully, the ending did it justice.
From the outset Superior was the kind of story that could have been an unforgivable disaster in the wrong hands, but instead was relentlessly excellent thanks to the skill of a fantastic creative team. A lot of Spidey fans had their hackles raised at the idea of Doc Ock taking over Peter Parker’s body and life, but point for point, Dan Slott addressed all misgivings intelligently, with gusto and a great sense of humor. Otto’s tenure as Spider-man brought up interesting points about heroism, villainy and the area in between that bear a great deal of relevance not only to superhero comics but also to real life situations. Through our misguided, morally dubious hero we experienced equal measures of good and bad, love and tragedy, treachery and redemption. That’s the kind of story I want to read.
Thanks, Mr. Slott, for one most fun, thoughtful and thought-provoking tales in Spider-man history. It’s been a pleasure.
Phase Seven Comics
Camila says: What a joy to come back from a couple of weeks away to find tons of lovely books on the ‘new releases’ shelf! The highlights include Katie Skelly’s Operation Margarine, I. N. J. Culbard’s Celeste and Taiyo Matsumoto’s Sunny Vol.3, all of which are excellent, but my weekly pick goest to Alec Longstreth’s Basewood.
I had been looking forward to it for a while now, since seeing the french version at the Angouleme comics festival back in January, and couldn’t wait to sit down and read the whole thing. This much anticipation can be a bad thing, it makes you raise your expectations too much and risk getting disappointed, but this is far from being the case here – Alec Longstreth’s debut graphic novel was absolutely worth the wait!
The book starts with our protagonist waking up in a forest, with no memory of who he is, how he ended up there, or what he should expect to find in such place. And just like him, we, readers, slowly start making sense and putting together the different threads of this absorbing, heart-warming, and gorgeously-drawn story. Highly recommended.
Raygun Roads (Pulp Edition)
Owen Johnson (w), Indio (a)
Karl says: Ok, so this isn’t exactly new, but this is a new edition, and the raygunners have conjured up a bad-ass version to coincide with the deadly CULT exhibition currently rocking the Orbital Gallery. And it’s glorious, with a brand new cover which homages / blatantly rips off Jack Kirby’s Forever People, I was always going to love this.
The clever cats at Changeling Studios have also reduced the book down to classic bronze age comic size and printed it on pulpy paper so it really looks and feels like a lost psychedelic chapter from the Fourth World.
Shaky Kane has often referred to “Kirby Consciousness” and Raygun Roads is undeniably a strand in that awesome tapestry. The book has been reviewed in lots of places, so I am not going to heap more praise on it here. Suffice to say, it is a rollicking, mind-blowing romp through Pop Culture, if Brendan McCarthy dipped one of Jack’s brushes in mescaline, and Shaky made the suggestion that the write a punk rock space opera on some sheets of blotter paper, then distributed it to the audience at the first Pistols show, you get the picture.
Last night to kick off the CULT exhibition (featuring original art by Raygun Roads writer Owen Johnson) the Kettleback Pirate, who are the main protagonists of the book, manifested in this dimension and blew the audience away with their shocking performance (if you missed it, we will be posting footage soon). This morning I feel like I died and have been reborn with superpowers. Visit the show and buy this book.
Welcome to Episode 148 of The Orbiting Pod!
This week, we punch in with Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #1, ride the gamma waves with Silver Surfer #1, hack it with Lumberjanes #1, pop up with Detective Comics #30, buckle up for Flash Gordon #1, focus in on Shutter #1, slip between the cracks with Doop #1 and much more!
Follow us on Twitter:
The Podcast – @theorbitingpod
Robin – @rjharman
Chris – @popculturehound
Adam – @thsheridans
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…and remember to subscribe on iTunes!
Planning to pay us a visit over Easter? Check out our opening hours throughout the bank holiday.
We’ll be open our regular hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and slightly reduced hours on Monday:
April 18 Good Friday: 10:30 – 19:00
April 19 Saturday: 10:30 – 19:00
April 20 Easter Sunday: 11:30 – 17:00
April 21 Easter Monday: 12:00 – 18:00
Please note that due to the bank holidays, new comics will be released a day later next week, on Thursday, April 24th.
Before we begin, We’re all pretty pumped at Orbital for our new exhibition, CULT, and here’s some coveragethat may tip you that way too. Come on down and see it, it rocks!
Bruce Timm returned for Batman’s 75th, which is a darn sight more than any of these heroes will get for their anniversaries. Honestly, some of us found the short underwhelming (and here’s a handy chart to explain that), but the interview is pretty solid, and you can catch both here. However, good news for Big Blue, who’s getting the Rude treatment in DC’s best Superman title. Go check it out, unless you mind giving money to Amazon, the new owners of Comixology; and if you’re not sure whether to mind (or care), here are the 6 thoughts worth mulling about this news.
Awards time in LA, and Ulli Lust gave a masterclass in the micro-genre of “Acceptance Speech Comics“. Meanwhile, Glyph nominations were announced, GLAAD tidings for Young Avengers (and kudos to Kieron Gillen for finding time amid the glad-handing to recommend British comics on Tumblr), and a reminder that hosting awards is expensive, and your help can make them extra-specially awesome.
There are many good comics incoming, like the return of Greg Smallwood’s delicious stylings on Dream Thief, what might well turn out to be your first Transformers comic (even James approves!), more from Mary Talbot (this time addressing suffragettes!), and a bunch of amateurs. The Amateurs. And Charles Burns is almost done with his trilogy! It has a cover!
Fiction and Real Life are different. But Death stalks both realms, and sometimes it’s worse than Death, it’s… Superdeath. Which is what’s happening to Archie sometime soon, right? Oh well, at least ROM’s getting a new lease of life, and helping Bill Mantlo in the process; and while we wait for new Prophet, Omni magazine are bringing the alien worlds eye candy we need. Although if you like your alien worlds a little stranger, Superworld should cover you. That art is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S.
1 For $1 Emily And Strangers #1
BPRD Hell On Earth #118
Dark Horse Presents #35
Star Wars #7 Lucas Draft
Star Wars Darth Vader & Cry Of Shadows #5
White Suits #3
American Vampire Second Cycle #2
Batman #30 (Zero Year)
Batman #30 Combo Pack (Zero Year)
Batman And Wonder Woman #30
Batman Eternal #2
Birds Of Prey #30
Green Lantern New Guardians #30
Harley Quinn #5
Justice League #29 (Evil)
Justice League #29 Combo Pack (Evil)
Red Hood And The Outlaws #30
Smallville Season 11 Lantern #1
Trinity Of Sin Pandora #10
Unwritten Vol 2 Apocalypse #4
Wonder Woman #30
Crow Pestilence #2
Frankenstein Alive Alive #3
Frankenstein Alive Alive Reanimated Ed
Haunted Horror #10
Star Mage #1
Transformers Windblade #1 Dawn O/T Autobots
X-Files Annual 2014
A Voice In The Dark #6
Five Weapons #8
Mercenary Sea #3
Minimum Wage #4
Morning Glories #38
Shotgun Wedding #3
Stray Bullets The Killers #2
Tales Of Honor #1 2nd Ptg
Amazing X-Men #6
Deadpool Vs Carnage #2
Hulk #1 ANMN
Magneto #1 2nd Ptg Rivera Var ANMN
Moon Knight #1 2nd Ptg Shalvey Var ANMN
Ms Marvel #3 ANMN
New Warriors #1 2nd Ptg To Var ANMN
Punisher #3 2nd Ptg Gerads Var ANMN
She-Hulk #2 2nd Ptg Wada Var ANMN
Superior Spider-Man #31 ANMN
Thor God Of Thunder #21 ANMN
Ultimate FF #1
Uncanny X-Men #20 ANMN
What If Age Of Ultron #3
Winter Soldier Bitter March #3 ANMN
Wolverine And X-Men #3 ANMN
X-Force #3 ANMN
2000 AD Prog #1877
Adventure Time #27
All New Executive Assistant Iris #4
All New Fathom #6
Archie Funhouse Double Digest #4
Bad Ass #4
Capt Action Cat #1
Gearhearts Steampunk Glamor Revue #10
GFT Godstorm Hercules Payne #1
GFT Inferno Age Of Darkness
GFT Neverland Age Of Darkness #2
Ghost Wolf #1
God Is Dead #11
Judge Dredd Megazine #347
Mega Man #35
Phoenix Comic #117
Rover Red Charlie #5
Simpsons Comics #211
Six Million Dollar Man Season 6 #2
Solar Man O/T Atom #1
Sonic Universe #62
Time Lincoln Continental One Shot
Warlord Of Mars #100
X-O Manowar #24 (Ah)
Alter Ego #124
Back Issue #72
Bleeding Cool Magazine #10
Juxtapoz #160 May 2014
Marvel Chess Fig Coll Mag #8 Thor
Marvel GN Coll Vol 61 Ghost Rider Road To Damnation
Graphic Novels and Collected Editions
24 Omnibus TP
Adventures Of Superman TP Vol 01
Art Of Disney Golden Books HC
Art Of Millarworld HC
Basil & Victoria London Guttersnipes HC
BPRD Hell On Earth TP Vol 08
Brain Boy TP Vol 01 Psy Vs Psy
Chronicles Of Conan TP Vol 26 Legion O/T Dead
Crime Does Not Pay Archives HC Vol 07
Daredevil By Mark Waid Prem HC Vol 07
Daytripper Deluxe Ed HC
Final Crisis TP New Edition
Gaijin American Prisoner Of War GN
GFT Tales From Oz TP Vol 01
Ghost Omnibus TP Vol 05
Ghostbusters Ongoing TP Vol 07 Happy Horror Days
Godzilla History’s Greatest Monster TP
Godzilla Rulers Of Earth TP Vol 02
Itty Bitty Hellboy TP
Joker Death Of The Family TP (N52)
Justice League Of America Omnibus HC Vol 01
Kurt Cobain When I Was An Alien GN
Milan K HC Part 01 Teenage Years
Operation Margarine GN
Rachel Rising TP Vol 04 Winter Graves
Sex Criminals TP Vol 01
Spider-Man Newspaper Strips TP Vol 01
Superior Spider-Man TP Vol 05 Superior Venom
Superman Silver Age Newspaper Dailies HC Vol 02 1961-1963
Thor Epic Collection TP Kingdom Lost
Transformers Dark Cybertron TP Vol 01
Trekker Train To Avalon Bay TP
Uncanny X-Men Omnibus HC Vol 02
Afterschool Charisma GN Vol 09
Dorohedoro GN Vol 12
Fairy Tail Vol 37
Haganai I Have No Friends GN Vol 05
Haganai I Have No Friends GN Vol 06
Hobby Japan Mar 2014
Knights Of Sidonia Vol 08
No. 6 Vol 06
Ranma ½ 2-In-1 Edition Vol 01
Senran Kagura Skirting Shadows GN Vol 02
Sunny HC Vol 03
Wolfsmund Vol 04
Evangelion Eva Unit 02 Plastic Mdl Kit
Scribblenauts Unmasked Mini Figures Ser 2
Punisher Pixel Punisher Logo Px Blk T/S
Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis (w) & Brooke Allen (a)
Adam says: Simply put, this comic book is now, it is hip, it is convincing and it is a brilliant dose of genuine, youthful fun. This book centers on the adventures of a band of girls spending their summer at Miss Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The banter is chucklesome and the characters are identifiable, engaging and each with a distinct voice. Room has already been carved out in this first issue for tidy and meaningful future character arcs. Lumberjanes is truly a positive, all-ages romp, imbued with contemporary sensibilities and values. BOOM! are a progressive and innovative force in the industry at present and this latest title exemplifies their spirit wonderfully. Without reservation, this is a book which is defiantly inoffensive and yet has potentially wide appeal. Sounds obvious, sure, but it remains depressingly rare in mainstream comics. For anybody familiar with Nimona, there may be an initial sense of sadness in discovering that although she provides a perfect cover, Stevenson is not the interior artist here. In combination with the balanced vivid and measured colouring of Maarta Laiho, however, Allen does not disappoint. “Now, I’m not gonna lie to you girls, you’re gonna see some stuff this summer.”
Joe Keatinge (w), Leila Del Duca (a)
Chris says: I’ve long been a fan of Joe Keatinge … Not only is he a talented and imaginative writer, but he’s also smart enough to surround himself with equally talented collaborators. This time around he brings together the seamless line-up of Leila Del Duca on art duties, Owen Gieni on colors, and (equally impressive writer) Ed Brisson on letters. It’s a stellar team from the get-go, so I guess it’s only fitting the book opens on the surface of the moon. Shutter tells the story of Kate Kristopher, an explorer who seems to have metaphorically lost her way. We’re not quite sure why – there’s definitely a mystery at play here – and Joe explores it through a mixture of the familiar American comicbook style with the Franco-Belgian & European comics he loves so much. It’s an interesting blend that I can’t make sense of just yet, but it leaves me wanting more. If you’ve enjoyed Joe’s past work on Hell Yeah and Glory, then this one’s a no-brainer – and for those of you who aren’t familiar with him, it’s a great place to start. I have a feeling we’ll be following the adventures of Kate Kristopher for some time to come!
Fear Agent v.1
Rick Remender (w), Tony Moore (a)
Dark Horse Comics
Liz says: Got a taste for far-out sci-fi action/adventure stories, a la Indiana Jones meets Star Wars? So does Rick Remender, and Fear Agent is Remender at his best. This highly underrated gem of a series follows disgraced alien exterminator Heath Huston, who must pull himself out of a drunken depression when he discovers a genocidal plot against humanity. He is the last Fear Agent. Fear Agent debuted back in the mid-noughties before Remender was a Big Name writer, and it’s been out of print until the recent oversized hardcovers. Now at last it’s being released in simple trade paperbacks, all the better for me to foist upon customers looking for a good, inexpensive recommendation! Speaking of which, if you happen to be looking for a good, inexpensive recommendation, look no further than Fear Agent volume one, out this week for less than a tenner! I promise you’ll be glad that you did.
Dash Shaw (w/a)
Taylor says: Cosplay gets a bad rap, from what I can see. Along with hipsters, authority figures, and celebrities, cosplayers seem to permanently populate the list of contemptibles, and in general discourse are often casually disdained. I think its kind of cool they’re making something, and pursuing a passion, even though I loathe dressing up. Dash Shaw sees something interesting in cosplay, and uses his sophisticatedly crude style to investigate it, furnishing us with several short instalments in the lives of two cosplayers. For anyone seeking something off the beaten track, this is a great intro to the publisher Fantagraphics (whose single issues come out too infrequently and sell too few for my liking), and to Shaw’s, whose New School was one of last year’s major graphic novel releases. He uses bold, almost childishly bold lines and an appropriately vibrant palette to make his pages appear more primitive than they actually are, all the while sketching character and plot with elegance, and simplicity. I’m always a sucker for unconventional romances, and for stories about people crossing lines to make things in the real world, even if making them only serves to show them another path. So, Cosplayers. Try it on for size.
Jonah Hex: Shadows West
Joe R. Lansdale (w), Timothy Truman (a)
Thomas says: Thomas says: YES!!!! While not the best era of Hex, the Vertigo years were damned close to it. I was pretty excited by the reprinting of the Shadows West mini but when I realized that it was all three mini-series in the one volume? Well . . . I cried . . . I’m not ashamed to admit it, I cried. I wept tears of joy as I re-read the stories for the first time in about seven or eight months (the awful NuSh**ty-two has forced me to re-read DC’s best. What. A. Chore.) Joe R. Lansdale is a great writer whose work has been a great source of joy for me for years and it was his work on these books that lead me to seeking out his huge body of work while Truman’s art was dirty, raw and dangerous and utterly perfect for a Jonah Hex series all of which was enhanced by the wonderfully ‘muddy’ colours of Sam Glanzman whose pallet looks as if he hasn’t washed it in months if not years. Joe R. Lansdale and his teaming with Tim Truman and Sam Glanzman was not just a good idea but was meant to be, to remind us all how good comics could be. Buy it and be entertained.
With the new movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier in cinemas worldwide, we’ve decided to spotlight some of Steve Rogers greatest stories from across the decades.
We kick things off with Captain America: Marvel Masterworks 3, looking at Jack Kirby’s return to the character he co-created with Joe Simon over 20 years prior, and the short run by the iconic Jim Steranko.
Next, we skip forward to that dark time that was the 90′s, and Mark Waid’s first run on the character with Ron Garney in Operation Rebirth.
Getting a bit more current, we look back at the beginning of Ed Brubaker & Steve Epting’s landmark run with the Winter Soldier storyline.
Finally, we investigate Jason Latour & Nic Klein’s short run on Bucky’s own book, with Winter Soldier: The Electric Ghost.