Staff Picks – Week of 15/11/2017

Cougar and Cub
Nick Marino (w), Daniel Arruda Massa (a), Rosie Knight (w)
Action Lab/Danger Zone

Thomas says: This book came out last week but I’ve been off so sue me. As a fan of the previous two books by Marino and Arruda Massa, I was very much looking forward to this series. Although Action Lab put out the first issue they decided that the rest of the mini would play out via digital download so, as someone who cannot abide reading comics on a computer screen, I am so happy that they’ve released the complete series in trade format.

If you’ve read Holy F*ck and Holy F*cked you know how funny Nick’s writing and how great Daniel’s art is so it will come as no surprise that this book, a fun little dig at the Batman ’66 aesthetic, is a belly laugh and a half. It has the same ‘bucking the norm’ rebelliousness as the previous series’ but feels a great deal more mature oddly given the characters and situations but that doesn’t stop it from being funny as hell.

The writing and character design is gleefully absurd but a fun extra are the back up strips written by ex-Orbitalee Rosie Knight who, with Daniel adapting chameleon-like, takes through the ‘history’ of Cougar and Cub comics, from the golden age to the underground comics of the sixties and the grim ‘n’ grit of the eighties.

I love these people so I’m biased when I tell you just how great their work is but I’m pretty sure you will agree with me when you pick up any of their books.

Fearless Colors
Samplerman
kuš!

Joe says: Samplerman offers up an intense visual feast in this collection of psychedelic short narratives. Pushing the medium of comics to it’s very limit and redefining collage – this is a treat that must be savoured. My brain is melting.

To Your Eternity
Yoshitoki Oima
Kodansha Comics

Clair says: After being told we had a new manga in from the writer of A Silent Voice (a coming of age story that deals with bullying and being deaf) there was no choice but to read it immediately. To Your Eternity made my very short list of books worth writing about, this surreal story telling of an unknown entity being cast to earth, learning and physically evolving to find a companion to share a bleak and depressing journey. The second half of the book is ultimately more upbeat and doesn’t leave the reader too heartbroken (just a little bit).

With Christmas approaching and the need for a story to fall in love with, Omia has a way with making the reader see the beautiful parts of disaster. A much needed and surreal way to end 2017.

Doctor Strange #381
Donny Cates (w), Gabriel Hernandez Walta (a)
Marvel Comics

Liz says: We don’t know why, and we only sort of know how, but Loki is now the Sorcerer Supreme. After losing a tournament, Doctor Stephen Strange has hung up his Cloak of Levitation and passed his home, his title and his responsibilities to the God of Mischief. What Loki will choose to do with his newfound role remains to be seen…

If that premise wasn’t enough to get you interested, consider the creative talents behind it. Writer Donny Cates is quickly making a name for himself as one of the most exciting new voices in comics, for good reason. Paired with the incomparable talents of artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta, this series is practically bursting at the seams with potential. Laden with mystery, razor-sharp characterization and humour, Legacy issue #381 was a brilliant introduction to a highly intriguing setup; I cannot wait to see what happens next!

The Smell of Starving Boys
Loo Hui Phang (w), Frederik Peeters (a)
Self Made Hero

Will says: Self Made Hero celebrated their 10th birthday this year and what better way to round the year off than with this phenomenal Western hardback. The Small of Starving Boys explores colonialism and the discord between cultures of old and new. Set in Texas in the late 19th century; a photographer, a geologist and their assistant explore new territories to the West. Conflicts ensue, relationships emerge and challenges arise.

As a big fan of Frederik Peeters, whose previous works include personal favourites of mine Koma and Aama, I knew I would be in for something special. Peeters has created some absolutely breathtaking landscapes, every page an absolute treat to look at. Loo Hui Phang and Peeters have told a beautiful and compelling tale from start to finish.