In Real Life
Cory Doctorow (w), Jen Wang (a)
Camila says: I had been anxiously waiting for this book ever since hearing it was in the works, a good couple of years ago. Now it’s here, it’s every bit as great as I expected, AND we have a limited bookplate edition of the book, exclusive to Orbital.
The book is a comic adaptation of one of Cory Doctorow’s short stories, originally published on salon.com, where it can still be read in its entirety; and now also brought to life with Jen Wang’s gorgeous art.
For those unfamiliar with Doctorow’s work, he is an amazing writer, both of sci-fi and non-fiction books; journalist; activist and co-editor of boing boing. He’s also an outstanding public speaker, and we’ll have the pleasure of having him giving a talk here at Orbital in a few weeks time, on November 12th. Click here for more details.
Star Trek: New Visions #3 Cry Vengeance
Thomas says: I’ve picked this series before but feel that it’s just so good that I had to pick it again. I also wish to reiterate my hatred of fumetti as a way of illustrating just how good this series is, that I can overlook such a horrid form of comic. This issue is a sequel to the classic episode “The Doomsday Machine” building on the episode and providing minor backstory for the titular weapon. It’s a great story from a master cartoonist who is also a TOS junkie like me. Give it a try.
Amazing Spider-man Volume 1: The Parker Luck
Dan Slott (w), Humberto Ramos (a)
Ryan says: Peter Parker returns to his body, and classic red and blue garb, after a long absence courtesy of one Doctor Octopus, but things aren’t exactly back to normal for our favourite web-slinger. His friendships have been tested to breaking point, his love life practically dissolved, and a newfound responsibility in managing his own scientific R&D business, Parker Industries! On top of all this, there’s a new spider-themed femme fatale in town, who could make his job a lot easier or a hell of a lot worse. It looks as though Pete’s famous bad luck isn’t running out any time soon. A great and fun read, and perfect jumping on point for those who’ve not read a Spidey coming in a while!
Daredevil Volume 1: Devil at Bay
Mark Waid (w), Chris Samnee (a)
Will says: Daredevil has been one of the very few consistently great superhero titles in recent years. The new series is brought to you by the same creative team that saw out the end of the last one, so its relaunch for “All-New Marvel Now” seems pointless. One of the few changes sees our blind lawyer away from the comfort of Hell’s Kitchen and to his new home in San Francisco. Other than this, Daredevil remains pleasantly the same. Waid’s understanding of the character really shows through Matt Murdock’s amazing inner monologues. The fantastic use of the onomatopoeia and Samnee’s pink panels while simulate Daredevil’s power, really help the audience to experience first-hand Matt’s disability, but also his greatest strength. Another reason that makes this series so alluring is that, for the most part, Daredevil seems to be independent from the rest of the confusing mess that spews out of the Marvel Universe. Great book, and a volume one means it’s a great starting point for those new to Daredevil.
The Memory Collectors
Elektra says: That spiritually inclined, monster fighting fetish models are generally worth one’s time. In the midst of vague theological ruminations you have latex-engulfed bosoms, corsets and 10-inch heels antagonising disembodiments of post-modern angst. Menton3’s fabulous illustration in glossy A3 hardcover. Surely I needn’t go on before you decide you need this in your life.
This week, we hooq up with Batgirl #35, cast a spell with Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1, go down to the woods with Birthright #1, endure hubble, bubble, toil & trouble with Wytches #1, and much more!
Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang’s new book In Real Life is out today, and we have just put our super special, orbital exclusive, limited, signed bookplate edition out on the shelves.
Come get yours now!
Following up on the release of the book, we’ll have the pleasure of receiving Cory Doctorow here at Orbital for a talk on November 12. More details here.
Welcome to Episode 168 of The Orbiting Pod!
This week, we hit the top of the class with Gotham Academy #1, look for worth with Thor #1, put a raygun to our heads with Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #1, experience true grit with Men of Wrath #1, and much more!
Scott Snyder (w), Jock (a)
Chris says: I had the pleasure of reading the script for Wytches #1 a couple of months ago – back when I was interviewing Scott Snyder for Episode 100 of the Pop Culture Hound podcast. Not only was it a treat to actually read one of Scott’s finished scripts, it was amazing to experience comics in a new way … To take what is intended to be a visual medium and then to visualise it myself (alongside certain cues from Scott) was really something else. And that’s how I discovered the true power of Wytches … Whether you’re reading the script, or the comic itself, it’s gonna freak you a out a little. It’s gonna play on the corners of your mind and leave you hoping and praying for more. I know by the end of that script I was all ready to see what Jock would do with it, and he didn’t disappoint. While I’ve always enjoyed Jock’s ability to capture a single image or render a beautiful cover, I’ve had issues at times with his sequentials … Such concerns were unfounded because, alongside colorist Matt Hollingsworth, he really hits this one out of the park. The storytelling is tight, the emotions are taut, and each page drips with the atmosphere necessary to drag you screaming into their world. In the simplest terms, it’s a $2.99 over-sized issue 1 from Image, written by Scott Snyder with art by Jock … If that’s not enough to make you pick it up and take a chance, then I don’t know what is!
Juan Diaz Canales (w), Juanjo Guarnido (a)
Dark Horse Books
Thomas says: I am so happy about this release but upset too since I haven’t yet had a chance to sit down with a nice pint and give this book the time it needs. If you’ve read Blacksad before you know that you’re getting a high quality piece of entertainment but if you haven’t then you need to know that this series is one of the best available today. Canales is at ease with the crime noir genre in a manner that is bereft of the dingy excesses of Frank Miller and others whose sole understanding of said genre is “oo it’s dark and has sexy ladies” which makes for a breath of fresh air when read enhanced by Guarnido’s sublime art, his attention to lighting being my favourite feature of his work which looks to be in full force in this volume with the sun drenched backdrop of this new tale.
Art of “The Book Of Life” (HC)
Jorge R. Gutierrez
Dark Horse Books
Ryan says: So it’s maybe a bit early to tell if the film itself is going to be any good, but the trailers I’ve seen for “The Book Of Life” have been pretty funny and intriguing. It’s hard to judge a book by its cover, but if the cover to THIS book is anything to go by, it should be visually stunning! Paging through this art book for the upcoming animated film, I was blown away by the quality of illustration work, both traditional and digitally assisted. Themed around the Mexican holiday, the Day of the Dead, the art draws a lot of inspiration from traditional Mexican folk art, as well as a healthy amount of 1950’s cartoon sensibility. I think the most daring aspect of all is that every item in this book takes the practices of 2-dimensional art and translates it into 3 dimensions, adding depth to some already eye-catching artwork. Some of my favourite pages depict some of the different architectures between the two worlds explored in the film, using a perfect blend of colour, tone and texture to create deep and beautiful environments for the seemingly handcrafted characters to inhabit. I’d be surprised, with the level of love gone into the art, if the film itself doesn’t receive an equal amount of love in all other aspects of production, and as a result, I’m eager to see this film when it’s released toward the end of the month.
Atomic Robo: The Knights of the Golden Circle #4 of 5
By Brian Clevinger (w), Scott Wegener (a), Anthony Clark (c)
Red 5 Comics
Thomas says: Each week I struggle to find something I can honestly recommend, something that I’m not simply taking the mick out of and increasingly that task is getting harder and harder. This week I have chosen what now feels like my ‘old stand-by’ Atomic Robo. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve chosen this title. I love this creative team and I love the character but I really wish there was something else out there. I would have loved to have chosen Injustice, the only comic from DC that’s both well written and well drawn that isn’t Astro City but this weeks release is a nothing annual with the usual DC faux emotional depth and the same generic heroic misery you see in every other badly written DC book today. Atomic Robo is fun, a rare commodity these days.
Marvel & Image Comics
Chris says: I’m gonna do things a little differently and pick a creator rather than a specific product … I mean, let’s face it – Jason Aaron had an amazing week! First there was the potentially controversial and much-hyped new Thor with rising star Russell Dautermann, which managed to blast through all the noise and introduce a bold new chapter for one of our favourite heroes. Then there was Men Of Wrath with Ron Garney, which although less trumpeted, was no less powerful in its quiet delivery. Finally we had the release of Southern Bastards volume 1 with Jason Latour, featuring the first four issues of this riveting new Image Comics series. Put all those together and you pretty much have the trifecta of the week – with the common element of Jason Aaron throughout. So take a bow, good sir, and thank you for the comics.
The Damnation Of Charlie Wormwood #1
Christina Blanch & Chris Carr (w), Chee (a)
Chris says: Okay, I’m cheating a little this week … Not only did I play with the format of picks, but I also took a second one – sue me. It was a really great week for comics, and I‘m not sorry in the slightest. There were some very obvious picks I could have made (The Fade-Out, Gotham Academy) and some less obvious ones (Last Born, Guardians 3000), but ultimately I wanted to shine a light on a book you may otherwise have missed: The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood #1. This book resides very much in the post-Breaking Bad we all inhabit, yet it’s completely captivating and original in the way it unfolds Charlie’s life for the reader. This is due in no small part to artist Chee, who knows how to lend humanity and depth to his characters, while rendering them beautifully. It’s not so dissimilar to the Francesco Francavilla, which isn’t something that can be said all that often. Of course, it’s also down to the excellent story by Christina (#SuperMOOC) Blanch and Chris Carr; expertly edited by the mighty Mark Waid. When you assemble a team like that you can’t expect anything less than magic, and I wasn’t disappointed. I don’t think you will be either, so give Charlie Wormwood a chance before his damnation is complete.
The Li’l Depressed Boy: Supposed To Be There, Too #1
By S. Steven Struble (w), Sina Grace (a)
Adam says: After a considerable break, the best series in the world has returned, hitting shelves with a brand new first issue. Something of a cheeky ploy, this single issue actually constitutes the seventeenth chapter of the ongoing saga of the trials, tribulations, neuroses and nervousnesses of the curious sack-boy who maybe-possibly-could, LDB. Yes, this book is remorselessly twee and devastatingly hip: niche references to bands you still haven’t heard of (on vinyl, obv.), big square glasses and extreme sideshow circus acts. The Li’l Depressed Boy is also, however, the most emotionally resonant and touching book in the Image Comics line-up. Without wishing to sound so thoroughly corny, this series, with its brilliant human element, is truly a great read for anyone who has kinda-sorta struggled to ‘fit in’.
By James Harvey (w/ a)
Camila says: Masterplasty is the comic everyone’s talking about this week – comic bloggers, reviewers, podcasters, shops and readers in general won’t shut up about it, and with good reason. To start with, it’s gigantic, and impossible to go unnoticed on the shelves; then, it looks amazing with its beautifully designed pages and James Harvey‘s refreshing art style; and finally, it’s a damn good one-shot – the kind that reminds you why you love comics, and that gets you excited for whatever the artist will work on next.
In addition to the main story (which has just been nominated to the Gaiman Award in Japan), you also get a couple of shorts, a Q&A page and a couple of pages of sketches and pin-ups that give you a good idea of what to expect from Harvey’s upcoming projects. A must-have!
Some Comics by Stephen Collins
By Stephen Collins (w/ a)
Will says: This was a no-brainer for pick of the week. Stephen Collins is an illustrator from the UK who had previously released the award winning The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil. His latest book is a collection of his cartoons from a variety of sources. Some of them short and sweet, others are satirical masterpieces, but this book is guaranteed to provide laugh-out-loud moments. Collins sets the tone of the jokes using a great contrast of colours leaving you with some very memorable cartoons, sure to tickle you for hours.
Batman: Death of the Family (Book and Mask set)
By Scott Snyder (w), Greg Capullo (a)
Ryan says: This arguably my favourite of the “New 52” Batman stories, the driving force behind it being the reintroduction of fan-favourite villain, the Joker, as he tears down the walls that hold up the bat-family’s fortress, and does so with a permanent involuntary grin. And to top it off, the folks at DC have included the first piece of your next Halloween costume, the Joker’s gory surgically removed face in the form of a hand-painted latex mask! I bought mine the moment we got it in, it’s now proudly displayed on my shelves at home among my other bat-trophies; and the trade paperback sits on my table as I know at any moment I’ll want to read it again… and again. If you’re a fan of the collectable nature of Batman memorabilia or simply enjoy a strong Joker story, you’ll definitely want to pick this up before they’re all gone.