Staff Picks – Week of January 2

Mars Attacks Popeye #1
By Martin Powell (w) Terry Beatty (a)
IDW Publishing

Chris says: This shouldn’t work. I mean, it REALLY shouldn’t work … But you know what? It does. And sometimes it’s okay for comics to just be fun – after all, isn’t that how it started for most of us? In this one-shot written by Martin Powell and with everything else by the incomparable Terry Beatty, we see Popeye and his land-lubbing support cast under attack from the dreaded Martians. The main cast are all served well, but it’s particularly nice to see bit-players like Alice the Goon, Eugene the Jeep and the Sea Hag have some great moments as well. Craig Yoe and Clizia Gussoni have done a great job of overseeing the Popeye brand since it came to IDW and this one-shot is (thankfully) no exception. I don’t know if the rest of the tie-ins can maintain this level of quality, but it doesn’t matter – this is one great issue you can read and enjoy on its own. Highly recommended.

12 Gauge Comics Presents The Original Country Ass-Whuppin’ #1
A Tornado Relief Anthology
12 Gauge Comics

Taylor says: This is a Tornado Relief anthology, so if you buy it you are guaran-damn-teed to be infused with righteous giving vibes and the knowledge you have reached out the helping hand to your fellow man. But the first story alone, particularly if you like sports or Jason Aaron (large enough catchment area?) is worth the price of admission. The other stories cover genuine local heroes, coming of age, and learning the costs of standing up for yourself, all on lush cardstock paper and in an outsized format. It’s a fun package from new creators, and a nice counterweight to some of 12 Gauge’s more misogynous offerings, showcasing the best of Deep South pride, without the preaching.

Even the giants
By Jesse Jacobs
Adhouse Books

Camila says: I completely missed Evan the Giants when it first came out, and it wasn’t until a couple of months ago that I discovered Jesse Jacobs in the pages of The Best American Comics 2012, so I was thrilled to see the book back on the shelves this week.

Jacob’s beautiful artwork reminds me of quite a few cartoonists I really like (Theo Ellsworth, Marc Bell and Michael Deforge for a start), but definitely has its own identity. The completely silent narrative is far from straightforward, but works beautifully with the tone of the story.
All in all, a fine little book and definitely an artist to watch out for.

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