Staff Picks – Week of 05/10/2016

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe
Ryan North (w), Erica Henderson (a)
Marvel Comics

Joe says: For some time, I’ve known what my pick for OGN of the year is going to be and even though I’ve been very excited for this release (ever since it was first teased) I didn’t think it would surpass how much I loved my established pick. That has all now been thrown into question; not only is this book a fantastic issue of Squirrel Girl, it’s a tail (get it?) truly deserving of the format. There’s no padding to be found – it’s clear that this story was written to be a full graphic novel, one that is wonderfully paced and effortlessly hilarious. Accessible for readers both old and new, and with it being the same creative team as the ongoing title ensures a level of quality. The art is obviously fantastic and from reading this you might even learn a thing or two. This was everything I hoped it would be and so much more!

Angel City #1
Janet Harvey (w), Megan Levens (a)
Oni Comics

Thomas says: Thirties Hollywood. Sunshine, movies, crooked cops and murder. Gruesome murder; the kind of murder that keeps you up at night praying to a God you know can’t exist but you pray anyway. Dolores Dare, beautiful blonde and steel fisted enforcer for the Valente family thrives in this world, at least until he darkens her poolside reverie. An unwanted face from the past drops a bombshell on her that hardens that dark shard of ice in her chest and sets her on a path that will rain down upon her friend and foe alike.

Written with a lightness that nicely suggests the sunshine and glitz of Hollywood Harvey’s story is as black and bloody as any crime noir and deftly balances both. It helps that Levens’ art is so clean and bright giving you that thirties film sensibility and I wonder how this would have looked in greyscale as much of the ‘staging’ of the panels suggest a classic movie feeling. A strong first issue I’m curious to see how this plays out.

Green Valley #1
Max Landis (w), Giuseppe Camuncoli (a)
Image Comics

Ryan says: Fantasy, humour, action and heartbreak. These are the words I’d use to define one of the latest additions to the Image Comics catalogue of addictive titles. Green Valley follows a small troop of knights, all amazingly skilled and convincingly human characters, who successfully fend off a horde of barbarians from attacking their home of Kelodia. But when night falls and the heroes feel at their safest, a brutal fury descends upon the helpless city, decimating everything in its path. Simultaneously one of the most entertaining and intense titles out this week, Green Valley is a no-brainer to recommend to those looking to try something new and different, and I can’t wait for the next issue to come out!

Tetris: The Games People Play
Box Brown
Self Made Hero

Will says: Whether you play games or not, it is highly likely you’ve come across Tetris at some point in your life. And if you’re anything like me, there’s been a time (or few times! Ok… many) where hours have vanished rotating tetrominos. But these are not wasted hours! Tetris is a magical game that still captivates us more than 30 years after it’s inception. But maybe many of us, including me, aren’t aware of the history. Award-winning cartoonist, Box Brown, takes us through this journey, the impact Tetris had on the world and the importance of gaming as an art form. Brown tells an insightful and fascinating story which is as gripping as the game itself.

Shade, The Changing Girl #1
Cecil Castellucci (w), Marley Zarcone (a)
DC Comics

Liz says: This book totally knocked my socks off. In keeping with my high expectations for DC’s Young Animal imprint, I’d been expecting to enjoy Shade the Changing Girl as much as I enjoyed the first issue of Doom Patrol. Think the first season of Veronica Mars on psychedelic drugs starring the meanest girl in school and you’re getting there. In a bumper week of comics, this is the must-read of the week.