Staff Picks – Week of 25/06/2014

How I Made The World
Liz Plourde (w), Randy Michaels (a)
Self-Published

Chris says: How I Made The World was my antidote this week. As I scanned the shelves to see what was new, I let out an audible sigh … Yet more event tie-ins, an infinite cascade of event fall-out, soft-porn masquerading as fairy tales – it can all get a little overwhelming sometimes … Then I spotted How I Made The World. At first it looked a little like Diary Of A Wimpy Kid (which isn’t a bad thing, since Jeff Kinney’s books are great), but there was something different – it proudly wore the badge of the Xeric Foundation. For those who aren’t familiar with the Xeric Foundation, it was founded in 1992 by Peter Laird (co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as a way to give back to the comics community. For 20 years they awarded grants to independent comic makers, including notable creators such as Jason Lutes, Adrian Tomine, Gene Luen Yang, Farel Dalrymple, Anders Nilsen, and Jeff Lemire – and now they’ve helped to bring us this. How I Made The World is a charming, thoughtful, and insightful comic that will have you asking as many questions of yourself as the protagonist does. It’s semi-autobiographical without being twee, and it delivers fully formed characters in a world you can recognise. At only $2.95 (or £2.20) it’s a real bargain, so this is the kind of thing you can afford to take a chance on. Right now it’s kind of a one-shot, but it’s also issue 1 and there are subsequent issues planned. I’m so glad I gave it a chance because it was just what I needed this week! Read more about HIMTW at howimadetheworld.com.

Amazing Spider-Man #3 (All-New Marvel Now)
Dan Slott (w), Humberto Ramos (a)
Marvel Comics

Ryan says: You’re not reading the latest Spidey comics? Shame on you! Not only is Spider-man a fan favourite with kids and adults alike, but this title is arguably the best thing that Marvel are putting on our humble shelves. Dan Slott has written some of the most exciting stories for our web-headed superhero, and Humberto Ramos has defined his modern look. The aftermath of Doc Ock’s stint as the Superior Spider-man is still catching up with poor ol’ Peter Parker, not just on a personal level, but it’s affected his love life, his business, and given his rogues gallery a new reason to hate him. I’ve never been more engaged or excited by a Marvel title, and highly recommend jumping on board now, while issues are still available. Go web go!!

Andre the Giant
Box Brown (w/a)
First Second

Joe says: I’m not familiar with Box Brown, although I’ve been told I should be. I’m also not as familiar with Andre the Giant as I’d like to be. Seeing this book on the shelves gave me the perfect chance to kill two birds with one stone and I’m very happy I did. I’ve been aware of Andre the Giant for some time with ‘The Princess Bride’ being one of my favourite films but I had never delved in to his history, least of all his wrestling career which has never interested me (sorry Adam!). Not knowing anything about the subject made the book informative and insightful, although I’m not sure if I would feel the same way if I’d read up on his Wikipedia before picking this up. It’s a very quick but fun read, compiled of anecdotes, interviews and television appearances. The sequential art is great with some wonderful cartooning but the structure of the narrative feels a bit disjointed. Humorous at times, heartbreaking at others I’d recommend this to anyone interested in knowing a little more about Andre the Giant but I sense that if you’re already a fan, you’ll find little new here.

Superman #32
Geoff Johns (w), Doug Mahnke (a)
DC Comics

Liz says: The first issue of Geoff Johns’ and John Romita Jr.’s Superman has hit the shelf, and it lives up to the hype! This mighty creative team each bring their A-game to the table, resulting in a Superman story that promises to be big, bright and still unfailingly character-driven. Johns is an old pro at writing Superman, and his easy familiarity with the characters makes it easy as a reader to step into their lives. Of course the real sensation is JRJR hopping the fence to DC, and he steps up to the challenge to deliver his best work in years. It’s going to be truly exciting to see what he does in his new sandbox, especially as he and Johns complement each other so well. So, whether you’re hankering for some quality Superman or just want to geek out over JRJR’s DC debut, this is the one to pick up. I’d bet money that this is going to the best take on the Man of Steel that the New 52 has offered up yet. Don’t miss it!

Escapo
Paul Pope
Z2 Comics

Camila says: New hardcover edition of a long out-of-print Paul Pope story. If you’re a Pope fan, that line should suffice. If you’re not, it’s time you did something about that, and read this book, or any of his other works. ASAP.

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