Staff Picks – Week of 16/08/2017

Demon Vol.3
Jason Shiga
First Second Books

Thomas says: Jason Shiga is insane. The callous, cold blooded nature of the main character and his enemy is astounding. Life is cheap and disposable and . . . i’m fine with that. I love it.

This is the third volume of Shiga’s Eisner award winning, four volume Demon series and, as with the previous volumes, it ratchets up the bloodletting even further than before and in even more creative and sick ways. The darkness of the humour is astounding and awe inspiring in it’s fearlessness and leaves you no time to worry about any complicit guilt you may have for laughing out loud. And you will laugh out, i can promise you that.

This series is far from graphic though choosing to be as matter of fact in it’s depiction of wholesale mass slaughter as the character’s themselves illustrating any and all gore as briefly as their fleeting lives and is all the funnier for it. Shiga’s art is deceptively simple, opting for a more ‘childish’, cartoon style that just serves to highlight the viciousness on display throughout and is an absolute joy to look at as you barrel along to the end.
And his cliffhangers . . .

Back Issue #99
TwoMorrows Publishing

Ryan says: Few names ring in the ear of both comic fans and animation enthusiasts quite like Bruce Timm. To many he is credited for the revival of American animation, bringing a more mature, film noir edge he brought to the world he created in Batman: The Animated Series. Drawing inspiration from titans of both comic and animation industries (in particular the incredible Alex Toth) Timm introduced the classic aesthetic and tone of gritty detective stories and high-flying adventure to a receptive young audience. In doing so, Timm inspired a whole new generation of artists (myself included) and has permanently left his unmistakable stamp on modern pop culture. Back Issue regularly covers the works of various iconic artists and writers, but a Bruce Timm themed issue stood out on this week’s shelves as a must-have item. Pick up your copy while you still can.

Spy Seal #1
Rich Tommaso
Image Comics

Will says: Set in Cold War-era London, in a world of anthropomorphic animals, Spy Seal follows jobless Malcolm as he attends an art show to witness an assassination attempt by a Russian secret agent. From there, Malcolm finds himself invited into the secretive and exciting world of spies, as Spy Seal.

Rich Tommaso is one of those creators I trust wholeheartedly to produce one excellent comic after another. So I went into Spy Seal in blind faith, ready to enjoy the ride. One of the first things that I noticed was it’s uncanny resemblance to Tintin. I knew immediately that I was going to love Spy Seal.

Tommaso really shows his versatility here, Spy Sea is very different from his previous works but still clearly very much in his own distinct style and voice. The colours are phenomenal, very vivid and striking, really complimenting the absurdity of this comic. Because it is absurd. In the greatest way. Seeing these very evocative and animated animal characters talking about politics, art and espionage make reading this an absolute pleasure from start to finish, never dropping a beat. Spy Seal is thoroughly entertaining and absolutely delightful.

Plum Crazy! Vol.1
Natsumi Hoshino (w/a)
Seven Seas Entertainment

Camila says: Cat lovers, rejoice! Plum Crazy, a manga series all about an insanely adorable cat, is now available in English.

Plum’s new family member, a tiny naughty kitten called Snowball is super cute; her human family, Taku and his mum, are pretty sweet; and Plum herself is just the cutest thing ever, so you get the idea – the whole book is just pretty damn cute! And if you have ever lived with cats, it’s pretty relatable too. <3

Good News Bible
Shaky Kane
Breakdown Press

Karl says: This huge volume collects the complete Shaky Kane strips from Deadline magazine, and boy, has this been worth the wait! Each page vibrates with crunchy cosmic comics, quasi mystical mindf*ckery and Kirby Consciousness ( Shaky’s own terminology ). It is very refreshing to revisit all these strange characters again, the A-Men, Black Elvis, Skyclad Youth.

Also, it’s great that the numerous one-page pieces Shaky created are reprinted here, I remember a few of them decorating the walls of various squats I visited back when Deadline was alive. Absolutely fantastic work by the good people at Breakdown Press for painstakingly putting this comprehensive tome together.

We have an exhibition of Shaky Kane artwork currently in the Orbital Gallery. ” Return To Godhead” runs until the end of the month.

Silver Surfer #13
Dan Slott (w), Mike Allred (a)
Marvel Comics

Joe says: I may have picked Silver Surfer a number of times and with it being the penultimate issue (and assuming that these picks are, in some way, supposed to convince some of you to buy these titles) it may not make the most sense to pick it again now… but in this case, this is an issue that I truly believe does deserve singling out as the best release of the week.

What Slott and Allred have crafted here is a majestic tale, culminating in a heartbreaking but endearing conclusion, not sad in the “dark” or “depressing” sense but in the most beautiful way. I hear the odd complaint about “not my Silver Surfer” and I (fortunately or un-fortunately) come with the ignorance of not having read any other Surfer titles, but as a stand-alone epic, I believe Slott and Allred’s two volume run on the character is one that will be looked back on as a modern classic. It doesn’t rely on retelling origins or past stories, but is instead a love story, with all the realism or turbulent relationships set against a cosmic backdrop.

Whilst it’s always a shame when something you love ends, I’m happy when it’s on it’s own terms, I’m very excited for the final issue and even if it’s only half as strong as this issue, it will be an ending worth reading!

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