Staff Picks – Week of 08/10/2014

Wytches #1
Scott Snyder (w), Jock (a)
Image Comics

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!

Blacksad Amarillo
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.

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