New Comics – Week of 22/04/2015

Click here to view a full list of this week’s comics.

The Orbiting Pod Episode 176

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Hello, and welcome to Episode 176 of The Orbiting Pod!

This week, we give the devil his due, and look at the first 6 episodes of the Netflix Daredevil series, but not for too long, as we have books to talk about!

- Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 – is the curse real, or will we curse for reading it?
- Convergence #1 – It looks like a Battle. Of many Worlds. (Wait, what do you mean “wrong event”?)
- Rebels #1 – Historically based fiction; is it worth fighting for, or does it belong in the past?
- Kaijumax #1 – The beasts are big, but is the impact?
- The Dead and The Dying #2 – Is there life left in it or does it need put to pasture?

We talk about these books and more!

You can follow Robin, Adam, Michael & Owen & The Podcast on Twitter, be our Facebook friend, and subscribe on iTunes!

 

Orbital in Conversation Episode 126 – Remembering My Friend, Herb Trimpe!

With Herb Trimpe & Dave Gibbons …
 
After last week’s meeting of Chip Zdarsky and The Real/Fake Geeks (which you can still listen to here), this time I’m back with the sad but honorable task of paying tribute to my good friend Herb Trimpe (Hulk, Shogun Warriors, G.I. Joe & so much more) who sadly passed away on Monday, April 13 2015.
 
It gets a bit emotional (and I’ve chosen not to edit that) as I share my knowledge of Herb’s work growing up, what it was like when we first met, and some of my memories of him since then. I also present the panel Herb & I did together at Malta Comic Con with Dave Gibbons in 2012.
 
And never fear, you can still enjoy the Pop Culture Hound back-catalogue right here, as we continue to put out the same quality interviews and discussion with Orbital in Conversation going forward. It’s only gonna get better, folks!
 
To get in touch, send feedback or submit projects for consideration, please email chris@orbitalcomics.com. And if you missed last week’s episode (or any others) you can find them right here or subscribe via iTunes. You can also support the Orbital in Conversation podcast by clicking here to make a donation or pressing the DONATE button below. Your contributions are greatly appreciated and will help us maintain the site, get new equipment, and encourage us to keep going on those cold lonely nights.





 
Chris Thompson’s Twitter: @popculturehound
Chris Thompson’s website: popculturehound.com
 
Orbital Comics’ Twitter: @orbitalcomics
Orbital Comics’ website: www.orbitalcomics.com
 
Dave Gibbons’ Twitter: @davegibbons90

Staff Picks – Week of 15/04/2015

Archie Comics & Robert Hack
Archie/Dark Horse Comics

Chris says: Call it a cheat, but Archie Comics – and especially Robert Hack – totally owned this week. First up, there was Betty & Veronica #275 with its beautiful Adam Hughes cover and Dan Parent interiors. Then there was the long (and I mean looooonnnnng) awaited Sabrina #2 featuring the stunning art of Robert Hack. I’ve got to ask: where did this guy come from, and how did he get so good? I’m loving this new Archie Horror line and the creative choices they’re making. Finally, there was the too-good-to-be-true Archie vs. Predator #1, which does exactly what it says on the tin (and then some). I’d been looking forward to this since I first heard about it months ago – and I was not disappointed. Best of all it has a short back-up with Sabrina meeting Hellboy, featuring even more Robert Hack goodness! How can we go so many months without any Sabrina and then get two things the same week? I don’t know, but I’ll take it. Basically, if you haven’t clued in to the fact that Archie Comics are going places then you’re either stubborn or had your head buried in the sand. Jump on board Sabrina now – there’s only two issues available and it hardly ever comes out, so it’s like spending nothing at all!

What if? – Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hyphothetical Questions
Randall Munroe
John Murray

Camila says: Not exactly brand new, but newly arrived at Orbital, and not really a comic, but filled with illustrative drawings and graphics,’What if?’ is the new book by the creator of XKCD, Randall Munroe, and easily one of the best reads I’ve had in a long, long time.

The title pretty much describes the contents of the book, and if you have ever read XKCD or Randall Munroe’s blog, you know what an amazing and funny compeller the man is, so you get why I love this book so much. If you’re not familiar with the extraordinary world of Munroe’s mind, please go experience some of it now!

Fade Out #5
Ed Brubaker (w), Sean Philips (a)
Image Comics

Will says: In my opinion we had a pretty disappointing week in comics. Consequently, Fade Out gets my pick by default. After being on a little break, its’ return sets the bar for the rest of the new releases and shows us just how good comics should be. It’s good to have you back. Continuing the story of mystery and suspense, this issue picks up from the end of the first trade. It hasn’t all been a total disaster this week though with the release of Archie vs. Predator. Already the pick by two of our staff, I will have to remain happy giving it just an honourable mention, but it was globbing awesome.

D4VE #3
Ryan Ferrier (w), Valentin Ramon (a)
IDW

Paul says: I have to agree with Will in saying it was painfully slow week in comics. With D.C.’s really quite terrible ‘Convergence’ (It’s just a retread of the original Secret Wars, folks!) I was feeling a little deflated. Then along comes D4VE to brighten up my week. Hell, as far as pure entertainment goes, this book has been the highlight every month it’s out. Ferrier’s premise of robot overlords who killed us off and took our jobs still manages to resonate with a human voice thanks to his smart, snarky writing and a nifty piece of back-story that has the robots emulating human language to better fit in and then wipe us out. What keeps this post-mankind tale working is, strangely, it’s everyman quality. Any of us who’ve ever been stuck in a dead-end 9-5, who feel our wives just don’t ‘get’ us or husbands are just fantasists, or feel our kids are just technology obsessed little bastards (they don’t just have to be your own kids, either. Any teenager can apply for that role) will relate to D4VE, the ex-defense robot turned disenfranchised office drone. This week: D4VE gets the chance to impress his spoiled-brat adopted son and punch his boss in the face as an alien invasion begins under the guise of a diplomatic mission. Yep! It really is that flimsy. But when you’re having this much fun, who cares? Not picking this book up every month? You need to auto-correct that now, son!

Cerebus High Society Audio Digital Experience DVD
IDW Publishing

Thomas says: Although there was plenty to choose from this week, at least for me, there was never any doubt in my mind what my pick would be. I’m a huge fan of Cerebus and was really excited about this DVD when I saw it in Previews. For the past three years Sim and Company have been meticulously rescanning all of the original art for Cerebus releasing cleaned, pristine collections with the High Society volume (released this week) timed for the 30th Anniversary of it’s original release with said scans being used to create this unusual digital experience. This is no hit and miss motion comic as the camera moves across the pages zooming in and out with Sim as he reads/performs the story enhanced with music and sound effects allowing you to see the frankly gorgeous art in all of it’s glory. Sim isn’t the best vocal performer but he gives it his all and it works. Each issue also comes with a reading of the notes from the editor and letters page, which is a great touch since the letters page was such an important part of the Cerebus experience when it was being published on a monthly basis.

Darth Vader and Friends
Jeffrey Brown (w, a)
Chronicle Books

Liz says: Another installment of Jeffrey Brown’s Darth Vader series is always a delight, especially so when the second teaser trailer for ‘The Force Awakens’ has just come out and the mood calls for some Star Wars-related humor. In the same vein as ‘Vader and Son’ and ‘Vader’s Little Princess’, ‘Darth Vader and Friends’ is a sweet, all-ages story depicting Darth Vader as a hands-on Dad to pint-sized Luke and Leia and as the title suggests, this time around we get even more of the extended cast. From Han and Chewie and the Droids to Admiral Ozzel and the Emperor, the gang is all here and the jokes are spot on. So if you’re fresh off the teaser trailer and craving some Star Wars, grab your lightsaber and pick up a copy of ‘Darth Vader and Friends’ for a read that will put a smile on your face and make you laugh like Salacious B. Crumb in Jabba’s palace. May the Force be with you!

Stumptown vol. 3
Greg Rucka (w), Justin Greenwood (a)
Oni Press

Adam says: Stumptown is a series of individual cases for Private Investigator Dex Parios set in Portland, Oregon (or Portlandia, if you prefer). This book collects her third outing, but happens to be the first volume without original artist Matthew Southworth. While there’s always a small sense of loss when a distinctive creative team changes on an independent project with such a strong sense of identity, Greenwood’s turned in a body of work that is in keeping with the previous installments whilst also moving the series into new directions. Fans of Wasteland or The Fuse ought to have a look at this, just to see him render a more grounded, everyday world.
Anyhow, Stumptown is awesome because Rucka can write detective stories with painstakingly real characters and while the first two volumes are brilliant, the cases are isolated, so there’s absolutely no reason not to jump right into ‘The Case of the King of Clubs’, a tale which sees Parios investigating a brutal assault of a friend and fellow soccer [FOOTBALL] fan after a Portland Timbers game.
ITEM: Dex sharing a passion for football (including playing Sunday League herself) almost puts her on a par with Thomas Magnum liking short shorts and very open shirts, in terms of personal resonance with me.

Run Love Kill #1
Jon Tsuei and Eric Canete (w), Eric Canete (a), Leonardo Olea (c)
Image Comics

Ryan says: Be prepared for Image to do what they do best, present us with fresh talent and phenomenal work. Run Love Kill tells the story of Rain Oshiro, a renegade assassin whose violent past catches up with her in a sprawling chase across a grungy, urban, futuristic landscape. The title also boasts the returning team of Tsuei and Canete, who have together created a story that exceeds expectations, and with his rich history in animation, Canete brings a powerful visual style to his storytelling which falls somewhere between Sylvain Chomet (Belleville Rendezvous) and Takeshi Koike (Animatrix – World Record). All this encased in a gorgeous complimentary cover by CG artist Manu Fernandez suggests an 8-issue series you won’t want to miss.

Orbital in Conversation Episode 125 – The Real/Fake Geeks Meet Chip Zdarsky!

With Chip Zdarsky & Maria Norris …
 
After last week’s episode with John Allison (which you can still listen to here), this time I’m back with Maria for another instalment of The Real/Fake Geeks – wherein we introduce Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals, Howard The Duck) to the wonder of Garkfunkel’s a.k.a. the UK version of Applebee’s!
 
The three of us chat about Chip’s early years in comics, what he did after that (and what brought him back), how he deals with the legions of new and diverse fans, and what he has planned for Howard The Duck going forward. It’s a fun and candid interview with the usual Zdarsky twist!
 
And never fear, you can still enjoy the Pop Culture Hound back-catalogue right here, as we continue to put out the same quality interviews and discussion with Orbital in Conversation going forward. It’s only gonna get better, folks!
 
To get in touch, send feedback or submit projects for consideration, please email chris@orbitalcomics.com. And if you missed last week’s episode (or any others) you can find them right here or subscribe via iTunes. You can also support the Orbital in Conversation podcast by clicking here to make a donation or pressing the DONATE button below. Your contributions are greatly appreciated and will help us maintain the site, get new equipment, and encourage us to keep going on those cold lonely nights.





 
Chris Thompson’s Twitter: @popculturehound
Chris Thompson’s website: popculturehound.com
 
Maria Norris’ Twitter: @MariaWNorris
 
Orbital Comics’ Twitter: @orbitalcomics
Orbital Comics’ website: www.orbitalcomics.com
 
Chip Zdarsky’s Twitter: @zdarsky
Chip Zdarsky’s Tumblr: zdarsky.tumblr.com

New Comics – Week of 15/04/2015

Click here to view a full list of this week’s comics.

Staff Picks – Week of 08/04/2015

Astro City: Family Album
Kurt Busiek (w), Bret Anderson (a), Alex Ross (Designs/Covers)
Vertigo

Thomas says: This is the most recent re-release of Busiek’s amazing Astro City and is a reminder, at least to me, that the series has always had an edge of melancholy to a significant number of it’s disparate tales. This isn’t a bad thing though it did surprise me upon revisiting the original work as I had been feeling that the almost dour tone of the more recent volumes had been something new to the series but of course wasn’t. The memory is a funny thing; I remembered these stories as if it were yesterday and yet they were so different and surprising to me. Great writing changes with you, as you change and grow so too does the best work and Astro City is among the best there is.

Howard The Duck #2
Chip Zdarsky (w), Joe Quinones (a), Rico Renzi (c)
Marvel Comics

Chris says: After a strong first outing, Chip & friends follow up with another great issue that serves as a neat entry-point for those who only know Howard from the end credits of Guardians. Before launching into his (presumably) more Earth-bound adventures, we see Howard thrust across the galaxy – right into The Collector’s hands. There he meets Rocket Raccoon and the two plan a spectacular jailbreak/heist … As I said, it’s the perfect introduction to Howard post-Guardians, without just pandering to the movie-going public. All of Howard’s trademark humour and angst is there, but it’s packaged in a way new readers can understand. While Howard without Gerber just feels kinda wrong, it’s in the safest of hands with Chip Zdarsky and for that reason I’m happy. If you’ve been enjoying Sex Criminals and Chip’s amazing Twitter/Tumblr antics, then I think you’ll really dig this book. Speaking of Sex Criminals, we have signed copies of Volumes 1 & 2 in the shop after yesterday’s mega-signing – as well as Just The Tips and Big Hard Sex Criminals. If you’ve been thinking about jumping on board this epic series then that would make this the perfect time to do so. You can hear more about Chip’s plans for Howard The Duck & Sex Criminals on this week’s Orbital in Conversation podcast!

Sinergy TPB
Michael Avon Oeming and Taki Soma
Image Comics

Will says: Sinergy sees our protagonist on her path of growing up, having to deal with the usual stuff: first love, rebelling against her parents and, of course, kicking monster butt. Oh, did I forget to mention her father (Louis CK in a beanie) is a seer who hunts monsters on earth. Taking his daughter under his belt, Jess continues the family business with her good ol’ demon-talking dog. This is what comics are meant to be: electrifying eccentric fun. Oeming’s art is always a pleasure to look at, but Soma’s colours absolutely blow me away. You can see large variation from one panel to the next allowing the colours to be an integral tool in the story telling. Buy this if you want to have fun, you boring reader you.

Convergence: Nightwing and Oracle #1
Gail Simone (w), Jan Duursema (a)
DC Comics

Liz says: Having this week launched no less than eleven titles, DC’s Convergence has taken over the shelves, throwing readers headlong into a maelstrom of innumerable worlds and timelines. There’s a lot going on in these books, and unless you’ve read every DC series ever written you’re likely to find at least some of it a tad confusing. But if you’re willing to take it all with a grain of salt and go along for the ride, there’s something here for everyone.
For me, it’s Nightwing and Oracle. I miss Barbara Gordon as Oracle, I miss the relationship between her and Dick Grayson, and for the first time in a good few years there’s more where that came from. It’s not much but I’ll take it! I am sure that every DC fan out there has their character or team or Elseworld that makes you feel this way, and that’s what Convergence is all about. Embrace the mayhem!

Nameless # 3
Grant Morrison (w), Chris Burnham(a)
Image

Paul says: So, 3 months in to Morrison’s latest trip (and trip is the operative word) outside the DC mainstream and to be honest I’m still none the wiser. To say I don’t fully grasp what’s happening would be an understatement. Space Voyage. Ancient Asteroid. Evil. Magic. Runes. Madness. Seriously, though, he’s become my favourite big-name comic writer of the last decade. He creates a world for you from panel one and decompresses the shit out his storylines. For this particular book, this has the pleasing effect of actually making you afraid of what’s behind the cellar door. He’s not giving you shock-twists or manufactured suspense. He’s allowing the story to organically move to whatever dimension it needs to occupy at that moment in time.
Largely, Morrison now seems content to be writing for himself and the handful of people reading the book who’ve done quantum magic whilst tripping their tits off on LSD. I’m not among such hallowed company, but it’s nice to be invited. We’re now in an age where our everyday science (bled into our lives via the web and smart-phones that could probably out-think and frequently out-fox their owners) seems like everyday magic. The book blends those two polar opposites pleasingly. Yeah, it’s confusing in a way. Yeah, it’s probably best read in trade form just so we can ‘get it’. But it doesn’t matter. It plays like something some secret cabal are cooking up in a gentlemen’s club in mayfair right now. Burnham’s art is suitably fungal and alive, coming from the Frank Quitely school of very detailed lips and teeth. You can feel the darkness creeping in from outside the edges of the page.
Some of the best comics offer us ideas so simple and effective that you find yourself bemoaning the fact you didn’t come up with them and cash the cheque yourself. Morrison doesn’t offer us simple ideas and expects you to find yourself. Or the mushrooms. Read and despair of your inevitable future.

The Orbiting Pod Daredevil Special

dd special

Welcome to our latest special episode, all about Daredevil!

With the launch of the new Netflix series, the first in a line of limited series exploring the street level characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we thought it was time to turn our attention to ol’ hornhead himself.

As with all our specials, we’ve decided to look at 4 tales from the catalogue of Hell’s Kitchen’s guardian:

We begin by looking at Ann Noncenti & John Romita Jr’s run on the book, and the introduction of Typhoid Mary, Daredevil in the context of other costumed heroes, and the socio-politcal landscape at the time.

Next up, we take it back to the beginning, and look at Frank Miller & John Romita Jr’s take on the origin of Matt Murdock, and his path towards becoming The Man Without Fear.

We have a look at the ever changing balance between the ongoing Kingpin/Daredevil battle, and what happens when one side decides to cross the line in Bendis & Maleev’s Hardcore.

Finally, we lighten the mood, with the swashbuckling tone of Mark Waid & Chris Samnee’s Ikari storyline, the culmination of their first major arc.

 

Orbital in Conversation Episode 124 – with John Allison & #Furious7!

With John Allison & Furious 7 …
 
After last week’s debut of The Real/Fake Geeks segment with Maria Norris (which you can still listen to here), this time I’m back with creator John Allison (Bad Machinery, Scary Go Round, Bobbins) to discuss the ‘return’ of Giant Days from Boom! Studios under their Boom! Box imprint.
 
John & I discuss how he first started out, the early days of webcomics when Geocities was still a thing, how people can become so invested in a set of characters, and what he’s planning to do going forward.
 
Then as an added bonus, we debut another new voice, Chad Armstrong, to discuss the brand new Fast & Furious 7 film. Chad & I chat about what we enjoyed most, how they handled the sad passing of star Paul Walker, and what people can look forward to if they’re on the fence about seeing it.
 
And never fear, you can still enjoy the Pop Culture Hound back-catalogue right here, as we continue to put out the same quality interviews and discussion with Orbital in Conversation going forward. It’s only gonna get better, folks!
 
To get in touch, send feedback or submit projects for consideration, please email chris@orbitalcomics.com. And if you missed last week’s episode (or any others) you can find them right here or subscribe via iTunes. You can also support the Orbital in Conversation podcast by clicking here to make a donation or pressing the DONATE button below. Your contributions are greatly appreciated and will help us maintain the site, get new equipment, and encourage us to keep going on those cold lonely nights.





 
Chris Thompson’s Twitter: @popculturehound
Chris Thompson’s website: popculturehound.com
 
Chad Armstrong’s Twitter: @ChadLDN
 
Orbital Comics’ Twitter: @orbitalcomics
Orbital Comics’ website: www.orbitalcomics.com
 
John Allison’s Twitter: @badmachinery
John Allison’s website: scarygoround.com
 
Fast & Furious 7 is out nationwide from April 3, 2015.

The Orbiting Pod Presents: A Conversation with Owen Michael Johnson

photo(3)

We are thrilled to announce that after a short break to work on Beast Wagon, Owen is back in casa de Orbiting Pod!

 

What better way to catch up than with a conversation about movies & Owen’s other work Reel Love?

 

Robin & Owen popped along to the BFI to watch The Marx Brothers classic Duck Soup, and chat about first film experiences, the cinema as church, the potential devaluing of Netflix, and of course, Reel Love itself!