Staff Picks – Week of 19/11/2011

Axis #6
Rick Remender (w), Terry Dodson (a)
Marvel

Liz says: It took me a few issues to get into Axis, but now that I’m hooked, it’s found it’s way to the top of my reading stack. What looked at first glance like an overcomplicated plot turned out to be an incredibly simple one, and a lot of fun to boot. I love when event books are good and this one has been, more and more so with each passing week. I’ll be excitedly tuning in to see the rest of it unfold and ripple out into the tie-ins. Great stuff!

Multiversity #4
Grant Morrison (w), Frank Quitely (a), Nathan Fairbairn (c)
DC Comics

Thomas says: Multiversity is one of the only decent comics being published by DC at the moment. To grossly over simplify this issue, its Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely doing Watchmen. With the actual Charlton stable of characters. Check it out if you haven’t already.

Invincible #115
Robert Kirkman (w), Ryan Ottley (a), Jean-Francois Beaulieu (c)
Image Comics

Ryan says: November has been a big month for Invincible fans. Volume 20 of the graphic novel series was released just last week, and followed this week with a brand new issue. Admittedly, yes, it’s long overdue, but with artist Ryan Ottley having suffered a back injury, and fan-favourite colourist John Rauch stepping off the title to focus on other projects, you can kinda see why it took so long to put 20 pages together. And in this issue premieres the work of new colourist, Jean-Francois Beaulieu, who has done a brilliant job of adding subtle dimension to Ottley’s lineart, while working faithfully with the muted palette we’re used to seeing from an Invincible title. Just as Ottley took the mantle from Cory Walker, Beaulieu’s work takes what Rauch brought to this series and continues the story without any jarring stylistic changes. As for the story itself, we see two of the Invincible universe’s most aggressive combatants pitted against each other, Thragg and Battle Beast, in a deadly brawl that can only result in bloodshed.

Saga Deluxe Edition Volume 1 HC
Brian K. Vaughan (w), Fiona Staples (a)
Image comics

Will says: If you need to be convinced to read Saga, then you’re doing something wrong with your life. I could spend a good few hours talking about how great Saga is, but the truth is you probably already know. In fact, one common complaint I hear about saga is that it reads too quickly each month. This special edition hardcover collects the first 18 issues of the groundbreaking series, so you have over 500 pages to sink your teeth into. Christmas is coming up, so if you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone then this is the obvious choice for new-readers and fan enthusiasts alike. The book becomes an essential buy with some brilliant extras and stunning new cover art by Staples.

Complete Zap Comix
By R. Crumb, Rick Griffin, Paul Mavrides, Victor Moscoso, Spain Rodriguez, Gilbert Shelton, Robert Williams, and S. Clay Wilson
Fantagraphics

Karl says: I have been waiting a while for this extravagant boxset comprising all 16 issues and a brand new 17th grand finale. This slice of comics history changed the world as much as the Marvel explosion across the tracks. It comes in 4 thick volumes book-ended by an in-depth history and biographies, and a glorious set of exclusive giclée prints featuring the covers. It ain’t cheap, but if you really love this stuff, it’s Christmas.

Southern Bastards Directors’ Commentary with Jason Aaron & Jason Latour
Live at Orbital Comics

Chris says: This week we debuted a brand new type of event at Orbital with the Southern Bastards Directors’ Commentary by Jason Aaron & Jason Latour. No one knew quite what to expect from the night (us and them included!) but what followed was a fascinating insight into the mindset and creative process of those involved. We learned more about the South, college football, Coach Boss, and just what that dog crapping by the side of the road was up to. It was an amazing night and, I’m pleased to report, the first of many! Next up we have the sensational Becky Cloonan giving us a commentary on the first three issues of Gotham Academy, so keep your eyes on the website for further details … You won’t want to miss this!

ALL the Small Press

Camila says: Thought Bubble last weekend marked the end of the comics festival season in the UK, preceded by the amazing Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Cumbria and lots of smaller independent shows like CECAF and The Alternative Press POP-UP in London. And with all these amazing events, also comes the release of TONS of new books, zines and independent comics.

It’d be impossible to list of my personal highlights, but just to name a few: Jack Fallows‘ Axolotl #2, the new issue of Tiny Pencil, a brand new title (Cob the Conqueror) by Timothy Winchester, a glorious collected edition of Dan White’s Cindy & biscuit and a new hardcover of Howard Hardiman‘s Badger series, and a bunch of new titles from the awesome folks at Breakdown Press and Avery Hill Publishing. Check them out!

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