Staff Picks – Week of 26/11/2014

Cerebus Archive Number One
Dave Sim (w/a)
Aardvark-Vanaheim

Thomas says: Despite the man or maybe even because of the man I am a huge Cerebus fan and a fan of Mr Sim’s art so I was really, really, really excited when this artist’s edition was announced (in Previews, the whole Kickstarter thing is intentionally beyond me) so even though there is a huge difference in quantity between the IDW produced Artist’s Editions and this production the quality is so good that it’s just a minor quibble over something that is absolutely gorgeous. If you’re a fan of Dave Sim’s you’ll love this as much as I do.

Bad Blood TPB
Jonathan Maberry (w), Tyler Crook (a)
Dark Horse

Liz says: It’s no easy feat to find a good modern vampire story these days. I love vampire mythology, but (apart from all things Whedon-related) the recent glut of teen-oriented novels, films and television series seem to have, ahem, sucked all the freshness out of the genre. That’s why I almost didn’t pick up on this series, and that would have been a shame. It goes to show that in the hands of a good storyteller, there’s always a new spin to put on an old tale. Jonathan Maberry, an award-winning novelist, is a damn good storyteller, and so is artist Tyler Crook.
‘Bad Blood’ is the story of Trick, a young man coming to terms with the fact that he has terminal cancer. As if that wasn’t bad enough he is attacked by a vampire who murders his best friend but leaves Trick alive, poisoned by his diseased blood. With the knowledge that his blood is so toxic to vampires, Trick seeks revenge against them. He has nothing left to lose… until he meets Lolly, a troubled, vampire-obsessed Goth girl who quickly gets in over her head in Trick’s crusade. Maberry’s characters are instantly worth caring about, and he balances out tragedy with plenty of humour in their razor-sharp dialogue. ‘Bad Blood’ is a vampire story that will engage and surprise you, challenge the tropes of the genre and leave an impression; to my mind, that’s pretty exceptional.

Madman In Your Face 3D Special
Mike Allred (w/a) plus others
Image Comics

Will says: Fraction’s new sci-fi opened with a crazy 8 page spread with some of Ward’s colourful artwork on one side and a gigantic map on the other. This was awesome, but the gimmick that won me over this week was the Madman made entirely in 3D. And I love maps in books.
The 80 page Madman special really was special for two reasons. I’ve always been a fan of Allred’s work and he is on top form in this issue. Seeing the red/cyan 3D glasses brought back a fond memory of a Christmas where I got a 3D Green Lantern comic in my stocking filler. To this date, that was the first and only comic I read in 3D (it was probably terrible), but I remember thoroughly enjoying the experience. This issue of Madman is a replication of that. You will have nothing but fun when reading through this. The 3D works surprisingly well and Allred manages to cook up some great panels to utilize the 3D very effectively. Enjoy this mind bending, fourth wall breaking, smile inducing, and page exploding adventure. Oh, and it has a 3D cube you can cut out and make yourself! Sold.

Rasputin #2
Alex Greciam (w) Riley Rossmo (a)
Image Comics

Julia says: I consider myself a great fan of history and series like this, based on historical events, sure call my attention. The story on this issue in my opinion was not as intense as the previous one, still it will leave you longing for more.
Regarding the art, this issue does noes let me down. The narrative seems brilliant since it basically relays on the art rather than in the text, something I really appreciate, leaving just enough word bubbles scattered though the pages to keep the story going on. Rossmo’s art captivates me and the colors by Plascencia just seem to flow perfectly with his characteristic style. The fresh inks and the cold pastel tones successfully transports us into the Tsarist period of the Russian empire.

Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream
Various
Locust Moon Comics

Camila says: Just a few days after the release of Taschen’s amazingly gorgeous edition of Little Nemo, collecting every single one of the stories McCay did, here’s another gigantic treat for Nemo fans – a newspaper-sized hardcover with contributions of over 100 cartoonists paying tribute to the strip and to McCay himself.

The book was put together and published by Locust Moon, a comic shop, gallery and publisher in Philadelphia, who are, very clearly, incredibly passionate about comics and huge Winsor McCay fans; and that shows in every little bit of this book – it is a gorgeous edition, one of those that looks good, feels good and smells good, you know? But above all, the cartoonists invited to take part and the stuff they came up with is just splendid.

I don’t know exactly how many of these they printed, but I’m pretty sure it’s a limited edition, so grab it while you can!

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