Staff Picks – Week of 04/06/2014

Lobster Johnson: Get the Lobster! #4 of 5
Mike Mignola/John Arcudi (w), Tonci Zonjic (a), Dave Stewart (C)
Dark Horse Comics

Thomas says: I’ve loved Lobster Johnson ever since he first appeared in the pages of Hellboy. The pulp fiction/crime noir aspect of the character has been a great source of entertainment for me. One of the great aspects of the character is the mystery that surrounds him, a mystery that has been carefully kept in the background of the series until now. Get the Lobster not only refers to the intent of his enemies but also to who the character is dropping possible hints to a long history that may or may not be relevant or even true. As much as I would dearly love to know who and what the Lobster is I think that most people prefer the mystery and Mignola and Arcudi understand this tempting us with far more questions than answers. It’s this sense of ‘something’ that has made this current storyline one of the best so far.

Nailbiter #2
Joshua Williamson (w), Mike Henderson (a)
Image Comics

Chris says: It’s gonna be short, but sweet this week. I really enjoyed Nailbiter #1 … a lot. Ultimately it got ‘pipped at the post’ by something else the week it came out, but I was glad to see issue 2 was available to pick this time around. The world Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson have created in Buckaroo, Oregon is a fascinating one – populated by a vast array of interesting characters. I don’t know where they’re planning to take the series, but I think it’s gonna be a fun ride. If you’re not on board with this book already, then I highly recommend giving it a try. You can hear Joshua talking more about Nailbiter and his other work in our recent interview.

Madame Frankenstein #2
Jamie S. Rich (w), Megan Levens (a)
Image Comics

Ryan says: Am I late to the party on this one? Maybe. But I don’t feel like it takes away from picking up this second issue and starting my journey here. Besides, knowing Image’s reputation for reprints, we’re bound to get a second printing sooner or later. Regardless, I was pleasantly surprised when reading Madame Frankenstein! It’s a wonderfully refreshing take on the classic man-made-monster story, and provides some method to the madness behind the actions of our daring doctor. In this issue, Dr. Vincent Krall will debate ethics with his peers, teach his creation to speak, and learn how far he’s willing to go to keep her from harm. This promises to be a wonderfully fresh interpretation of Shelley’s timeless tale. Major kudos to the creators for trying to tackle this story from a new perspective, I’m very much looking forward to seeing how this title progresses.

Punisher MAX Omnibus
Jason Aaron (w), Steve Dillon (a)
Marvel Comics

Adam says: Sometimes it’s nice to have everything in one place, isn’t it? Especially if it’s something gruesome, gritty, dirty and utterly enthralling. Aaron and Dillon’s run was a disturbing but consistently compelling read as it emerged monthly in single issues and there was, amongst some, a degree of outcry when the announcement came that the series would wrap. Easily the best work on Punisher for years, it was an honest shame to lose this MAX book and see a regular, tame in-continuity replacement in its stead*. On reflection though, this was clearly a complete story and one which bears repeating. In short, the creative team produces a fresh interpretation of the rise of Wilson Fisk, ‘Kingpin of Crime’. With a supporting cast including a stunningly-written Elektra and the ever depraved Bullseye, our Frank finds himself in a devastatingly personal war. The ultimate success of this run was that its juxtaposition of coldness and emotional investment made for an understated yet unsettling, moving experience. This hardcover collects the full run of twenty-two issues and the Christmas Special.
*The book, written by Rucka, was obviously decent and tonally interesting. Sadly, it lacked grit and was unable to soften the blow of losing the world Aaron and Dillon had conjured.

Cat Person
Seo Kim (w / a)
Koyama Press

Camila says: And yet another great book on Koyama Press! Cat Person is a collection of strips and short stories by the Seo Kim. I love her work, so it’s a real treat to be able to see it in print, and to get to read a whole lot of it in one go. I read the book twice yesterday, then spent the rest of the day smiling (and sometimes actually laughing out loud) whenever one of the strips popped back into my head. Seo Kim’s clever observations and anecdotes are adorably funny, and her gorgeous art fits the tone perfectly.

As the name and cover implies, there’s plenty of cat stuff in there (and I have to admit I’m a sucker for comics about cats), but that’s just a little part of the stuff that makes up Seo Kim’s world, and whether you’re a cat person yourself, I dare you not to relate to at least some of the stuff in the book.

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