Staff Picks – Week of 01/06/2016

Hellboy in Hell #10
Mike Mignola (w/a), Dave Stewart (c)
Dark Horse Comics

Ryan says: In the comic book industry, 23 years is a damn long time for a franchise to last without any sort of reboot or new talent taking over, so the fact that this creator-owned series has stood strong for so long is no small feat, and it’s success is owed in no small part to the visionary imagination of writer/artist Mike Mignola. His unique eye for beauty in simplistic form, his passion for occult horror, and talent for bold storytelling, were a major part of what got me reading comics instead of just admiring the art. Hellboy’s short-story format, twinned with his larger looming destiny, makes the series digestible yet hard to put down. All of which makes this issue so hard to accept as what it is… the end.

With issue #10 of Hellboy in Hell, Mignola retires his run on his landmark character, to enjoy a very much-deserved 12-month break. It’s quite simply a beautifully crafted issue, and a fitting finale to this masterpiece series. But trust that you won’t be left in the dark, with other Hellboy Universe titles like Abe Sapien, B.P.R.D, and Lobster Johnson continuing their series. Not to mention the fact that, with Dark Horse celebrating 30 years of comic publication, there will be plenty of great books here at Orbital to help fill the void.

Wallace Wood Presents: Shattuck
Wally Wood & Nicola Cuti (w), Syd Shores, Howard Chaykin, Dave Cockrum (a)
Fantagraphics

Chris says: I’d never heard of Shattuck, but the moment I saw it I knew it was a key element missing from my classic comics library. Featuring the work of two particular favourites – Wally Wood & Howard Chaykin – Shattuck also featured legendary Golden Age artist Syd Shores and the late great Dave Cockrum. This rare ‘sexy Western’ strip appeared in the Overseas Weekly military newspaper back in 1972 and hasn’t been reprinted since. Presented in its original landscape format, it replicates IDW’s popular Artist’s Edition line, reprinting the original line art and boards in full colour. You can see all the smudges, white-out, pen marks, and other blemishes which lend a very raw and pure character to the art. It’s most definitely a product of a different time, and needs to be viewed as such, but you simply don’t see this kind of artwork anymore. If you enjoy Westerns, and especially if you’re a fan of the incredible Wally Wood, then there’s a lot to love here.

The Goon Library Edition Volume 3
Eric Powell (w)
Dark Horse Comics

Thomas says: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s the third volume of Dark Horse’s excellent Library series and as hefty and occasionally unwieldy as they may be they are definitely worth the reasonable price. If you’ve read the Goon before (if you haven’t you really need to fix that despicable aspect of your clearly tragic and pathetic life) then you don’t need me to go on and on and on about how great Eric Powell is but Eric Powell is absolutely amazing as both a writer and as an artist, and is probably a fantastic human being ta boot too so you should definitely lay down some sheckles for this tome or you’ll get a knife to the eye.

Limbo Volume 1 TPB
Dan Watters (w), Caspar Wijngaard (a)
Image Comics

Liz says: Set in the shadowy, neon-lit city streets and the swamps where things with teeth lurk under the water’s surface and above it, ‘Limbo’ is a heady gumbo of supernatural Noir loaded with mystery and dangerous, dark magic. A private detective with no memory of anything beyond the past nine months is ‘wasting time solving little mysteries while the big ones loom’. He takes on a case that might have more to it when a beautiful lounge singer witnesses a bizarre incident involving the local crime boss. The imagery of sugar skulls, bayous and sleazy nightclubs reminds me of the horror stories I’ve read set in a nightmarish New Orleans, where Voodoo curses the living and makes the dead rise. This is great genre fiction that sucks you in and keeps you there, desperate to know what will happen next. Really good stuff.

‘Comics in the Kitchen’ Exhibition
At the Orbital Gallery

Camila says: Oh, isn’t it the best when two things you love come together? Our new exhibition certainly does that for me – comics, food, recipes!

From pancakes to tofu burgers, and gaspacho to catfish pie, these illustrated recipes are sure to leave you feeling hungry, and if you like cooking, make you wanna rush back home to try making one or two of these delights.

The show runs until the end of the month, and all the prints are for sale, so if you like comics and food, make sure to come check it all out!