Staff Picks – Week of 04/03/2015

The Sculptor
Scott McCloud (w/a)
Self Made Hero

Chris says: I first read The Sculptor just before my discussion with Scott McCloud at last year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival. I read it all in one sitting – not because I had limited time, but because the book demanded it – which is something I hadn’t experienced since Craig Thompson’s Blankets many moons ago. McCloud tackles the subjects of creativity and mortality against the backdrop of a budding relationship and all the drama that brings. Despite some fantastical elements which serve more as allegory than escapism, The Sculptor is a very human story with recognisably grounded characters … I felt their joy and their pain, and by the end I was emotionally drained. Seeing the beauty of this Self Made Hero edition has only enhanced my appreciation, and I can’t wait to share it with more people. We were fortunate enough to have Scott signing this weekend, along with a Q&A looking into the origins of the book. Right now we still have signed copies available, along with a special bookplate, so it’s the perfect time to take the plunge and pick one up! You can listen to my previous discussion with Scott at the Lakes Festival here, and keep an eye on our new Orbital In Conversation podcast for a recording of last night’s impromptu Q&A. In the meantime, feel free to explore our back-catalogue and let us know what you think.

Big Man Plans
Eric Powell (w/a), Tim Wiesch (w)
Image Comics

Will says: Eric Powell said recently Once Upon a Hard Time “may be the last story entitled The Goon I ever do”. While nothing is ever set in stone and certainly the mythology of his legendary series will continue, this is still upsetting news to those who have ever read an issue of The Goon. However, Powell’s superb skills are not put to waste and this issue of Big Man Plans is the proof.
With the humour and style of The Goon, Powell and Wiesch bring you a dark, melodramatic revenge story. How dark? It’s dark, very dark. The pages boast violence and gore. Powell is not afraid to show us his top quality artwork put to a grim use. The first issue of this four part series presents the origin story of our protagonist. A tragic past and a life filled with violence, we see him stripped of all humanity and left only with rage. I highly recommend this…if you can stomach it.

Prophecy Vol 2
Tetsuya Tsutsui
Vertical

Elektra says: For the fans of Death Note-like intellectual crime games. Prophecy follows threads discernible in a few things coming out of Japan at the moment, such as the potential of social media to be used as a weapon, manipulating group mentality towards terrorism and examining ideas of accountability by shifting focus to the criminality of corporations and governments. Very reminiscent of the recent Terror in Resonance, this is a short adage which concludes in 3 volumes and an interesting read for fans of various scenarios of social justice and control.

Guardians Team-Up #1
Brian M. Bendis (w), Art Adams (a)
Marvel Comics

Ryan says: Those who know me, know that I’m a total comic art junkie, and in my opinion very few offer character art better than Arthur “Art” Adams. To have Adams drawing interiors again is a real treat, and having him draw such a plentiful group of iconic Marvel heroes is just icing on the cake! Marvel’s writing goliath, Brian Michael Bendis, also does a brilliant job of bringing the two super-groups together, as well as contributing the level of humour we have come to expect of the motley Guardians of the Galaxy crew. I know the chances of this all-star creative team staying aboard the title is low (a man can dream), but as a brand new ongoing series, it should be great fun to read this current storyline, as well as seeing who else the Guardians will be teaming up with in future. The potential for “Guardians Team-Up” is exciting, and being excited to pick up these books is what comics are all about!

Rat God #2Richard Corben
Dark Horse

Adam says: With masterfully and painfully ugly artwork, Rat God continues to be the most effective and demanding horror book on the shelves. Corben is a supreme craftsman and while his Poe adaptations have been gruesome literary treats, there’s really nothing quite like a wholly new story from this revered pioneer. Helmed as ever by his interventionist and judgemental narrator, Mag the Hag, the plot is more than a little tricky to summarise, with an especially challenging first issue, but every moment here, real or imagined, is worth devouring over and over. Small towns, isolation, linguistic and physical violence, and of course…the uncanny.

The Spectators
Victor Hussenot ( w / a )
Nobrow

Camila says: If there’s one thing all books published by Nobrow have in common have in common is that they always look beautiful. I am yet to find another publisher whose every single release looks, smells and feels so good on my hands as theirs! Victor Hussenot’s first book in English, The Spectators, is of course, no exception, and boy! does this book look pretty! But there’s so much more to it too. In several brief snapshots, Victor Hussenot analyses how one’s perception is constantly reshaped by others, by their own memories, by time, by light, and everything that surrounds us. This book is truly a thing of beauty. Highly recommended.

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