Staff Picks – Week of 04/05/2016

Beasts of Burden : What the cat dragged in
Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer (w) ; Jill Thompson (a)
Dark Horse

Karl says: Jill Thompson and Evan Dorkin return us to Burden Hill with this creepy one shot. The main protagonists in this are Orphan and the feline members of the gang of animal detectives who keep the strange occurences in the woods around the hill observed and under control. And boy, are there some wild goings on in this, as always, beautifully illustrated tale concerning cats, raccoons and a demon who has been summoned by a very naughty cat witch named Dymphna.
While it sounds like this could be an all ages book, the subject matter is pretty grisly, and Jill’s gory portrayal of some of the animal deaths might be a bit much for younger readers. However I thoroughly enjoyed it, and you might too.

Renato Jones: The One% #1
Kaare Kyle Andrews (w/a, etc.)
Image Comics

Chris says: Kaare Andrews’ Iron Fist was one of my favourite takes on the character. His long-form approach to storytelling took his work to the next level, and provided a view of Danny Rand that was completely faithful to his past yet very much of the now. I’m pleased to see that approach has carried over into his new series Renato Jones, which is a story with its own mythology that’s taking place in the here and now. This is not your usual tale of billionaire vigilantes who feel entitled to dispense their own brand of justice – this is … something else. There’s no way of separating the art from the writing – it’s all storytelling – and that’s where Kaare excels. Freed from the stifling 20-page monthly format, this first issue features 36 pages of story with a plentiful helping of supplementary back matter. There are no ads (per se) and no-filler, which for $3.99 is excellent value. With the extra pages at his disposal, Kaare brings his cinematic experience to the fore, creating a comic that benefits from his wider talents and provides an enhanced reading experience. If you enjoyed the visual stylings and experimentation of Iron Fist, then you’ll really enjoy what he’s doing here. I had the pleasure of interviewing Kaare about the series recently, and found his enthusiasm infectious. Suffice to say issue 1 gives you everything you need to start and, I think, enough of a reason for you to want to come back. It’s been a while since I went out of my way to recommend a new Image book like this, but this week I’m behind it 100%. You can listen to my interview with Kaare Andrews here.

Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade TP
Landry Walker (w), Eric Jones (a)
DC Comics

Thomas says: Originally published back in 2009 as part of their Johnny DC line this six issue run of Supergirl was aimed at younger readers particulary young girls and is absolutely fantastic. This is a fun little title and it’s a shame that it never lasted longer. This volume follows the adventures of a newly arrived on Earth Kara El and her trials and tribulations as she tries to navigate a new world and a new school as an alien to both. Struggling to fit in with her classmates and juggling the expectations of a young hero thanks to her famous cousin the newly disguised Linda Lee falls foul of the Kryptonite induced Superior Girl but finds comfort in her new best friend Lena Thorul (Lex Luthor’s little sister) with Streaky and Comet making appearances Walker’s writing is simple but not condescending, balancing the universal struggle to fit in with the joy and responsibility of having powers while Jones’ art is wonderfully light and expressive complimenting the stories effortlessly. This book is perfect for all ages.

Space Battle Lunchtime
Natalie Riess (w) (a)
Oni Press

Rosie says: I love Space Battle Lunchtime, firstly because the name sounds like my dream cute pastel goth riot girl band moniker. More importantly because it’s really really amazing! Peony is an aspiring baker from Earth, when a mysterious frog walks into her bakery one quiet morning her life changes forever!! With beautiful, vibrant art and exciting story from Natalie Riess, this book takes you on a truly delicious intergalactic journey, with sassy aliens, bossy TV execs and delectable baked goods! A real standout from this years new titles, pick it up! Before it gets gobbled up!