Staff Picks – Week of 04/07/2018

New Lieutenants of Metal #1
Joe Casey (w), Ulises Farinas (a)
Image Comics

Joe says: A new, Image mini-series from one of my favourite writers, ‘New Lieutenants of Metal’ is a fun throwback to the type of comic that launched the publishing company. Whilst full of the over-the-top violence and destruction (though never obscene) that we’d expect, Casey modernises the genre comic with a diverse cast that is easy to love.

Farinas, another creator whose work I’m always excited to see, is working in a slightly different style this time around; pared down without the usual unfathomable detail, almost pictographic. It’s not a style that I feel necessarily reflects the tone of the book and what i believe it’s trying to achieve (and if I’m honest I prefer Farinas’ usual style) but it is exciting to see his work in print regardless… and as if he can’t help himself, there are pages drenched in the the level of detail that I love from this artist. Perhaps there is a case for this new style being a reflection of the typically two-dimensional characters that these types of stories traditionally star, maybe he was just trying something new, either way I am excited for more of Farinas’ work when ‘Gamma’ returns in a few months.

Overall, this was a fun read and well worth the time; it’s a crazy, all-out action book, set in a world that I want to see more of. Even the back-matter was entertaining, a charming essay (which I sincerely hope was only a “part one”) by Casey about his love for the medium, the genre and the comics that helped him establish his name. With this and Fiffe’s current ‘Bloodstryke’ series, the action books of the ’90s are having a fun resurgence, helmed by some of the industries most exciting creators.

Immortal Hulk #2
Al Ewing (w), Joe Bennett (a)
Marvel Comics

Liz says: Bruce Banner finally found a way to die, but the Other Guy won’t let him stay in his grave. The Hulk is alive once more, on the run and off the grid. Not wanting the world to know he’s back, he’s laying low in backwater towns. But it seems that wherever he goes, trouble always seems to follow…

The Immortal Hulk reads like a classic horror comic in the Creepy/Eerie vein. The first two issues have been done-in-one murder mysteries featuring terrifying monsters (Hulk notwithstanding). I love the idea of a horror-themed Hulk book, where the monster and the detective/crime-fighter are one and the same, and writer Al Ewing and artist Joe Bennett seem to be having a great time delivering just that. This is the most excited I’ve been about a Hulk book in ages, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

Small Press Day Stock
Various artists

Camila says: Small Press Day took place once again this Saturday, and for the third year in a row, we got to have some of our favourite small press creators coming over to sign stock, draw comics, and celebrate the amazing scene they are a part of. It was a really lovely day, and we took the opportunity to take plenty of stock by all participating artists, leaving us with a whole extra shelf full of great indepedent comics!

We have some re-stocks, lots of brand new titles, and even some by artists we had never stocked before. There’s a bit of autobio, there’s satire, and there’s fiction. There’s slice of life and there’s sci-fi. There’s thoughtful and lovely, and there’s weird and wonderful. And there’s definitely something new to try.

For an idea of the range, check out the artists’ websites: Olivia Sullivan, Katie Marland, Luke Matthews, Ryan Jenkyns, Sophie Burrows, Will Powers, Clio Isadora, Ed Stockham, Korinna Mei, Laurel Pettitt, Timothy Winchester, Takayo Akiyama, Becky Howard, John Cei Douglas, Laura Collinson and Barry Flynn.

Small Press Day also marked the release of Broken Frontier’s Small Press Yearbook 2018 and I made you a Mixtape, a super cool, brand new anthology put together by Chibi Shibby, with all profits going to Mind. And they are both also out on our shelves now!