Sure, his layouts brought a cinematic quality to the genre. Yeah, his seminal work, A Contract With God, stands as a watermark of art and story in a period where the two didn’t often blend well. Of course, he helped to define the comics industry, both on the page and off, setting professional standards that are still being reached for today.
But, did you also know he did how-to manuals for the Army in World War II?
“August Fenwick, one of the city’s wealthiest men, hides a secret life of adventure behind his gad-about-town reputation. In reality, he stalks the streets and alleys of the city that he loves to defend those who cannot defend themselves. Only his trusty driver KIT BAXTER, who joins him in his quest, knows who wears the . . . Mask of the Red Panda!”
Fresh from the airwaves of Decider Ring Theatre, every page dripping with chewy pulp goodness, Monkeybrain Comics has brought the adventures of the masked crimefighter to the printed (or rather digital) page. Based on the long-running internet audio drama, The Red Panda (www.decoderringtheatre.com) has everything a fan of vintage period storytelling could want. And now, Gregg Taylor has moved his intrepid hero into the realm of comic books in this three-issue arc.
Pulled from the pages of Caitlin Kiernan’s award-winning fiction, Dancy Flammarion makes the leap from prose to graphic novel in one chilling movement, now captured in Dark Horse’s new trade, Alabaster: Wolves.
Guided by her guardian angel, Dancy travels the backroads of the haunted deep South, fighting evil where she comes across it. But, before you think this is some pale, Buffy the Vampire Slayer pastiche, Dancy is nobody’s innocent poppet. A slender, albino waif of a girl, under a brooding South Carolina sky, Dancy makes hard, desperate choices as she makes her way through a cursed, southern town and is forced to live with the circumstances, even if death is the easier alternative.
In 1689, while seeking to regain the throne of England, ousted monarch James II lands in Northern Ireland to seeking to take over a stronghold in the walled city of (London)derry. But, a group of apprentice boys see James’ forces approaching and race to the city, closing the gates and barring him entrance, and for the next 105 days, the city withstands the siege and holds off the invaders, choosing starvation over surrender.
Over 400 years later, Derry is under siege again, this time by the living dead in Uproar Comics' uneven but intriguing ongoing series, Zombie Hi. But, as history shows, prejudice, hatred, and sectarian mistrust are also among the survivors holed up in this city fortress. And, in doing so, up-and-comers Uproar Comics have set an ambitious task for themselves, especially in the shadow of zombie juggernaut The Walking Dead, to which this will invariably draw comparisons.
“At that time Existence had succumbed to Ku Chaos - drowning in anger, sadness and evil.”
“The very arms of the Milky Way above had been inverted - now dark matter, a vast coiling, black spiral. And it moved with a will, for these numberless antistars were no blind objects, but a legion, advancing to battle strength.”
“It was then that the guardian deity of light, Lady Mariu, rise up. Under her were twelve generals, given commands at the points of the zodian. In answer to the Dark Corps, they raised an army of light.”
If the name Yoshitaka Amano isn’t familiar to you, you probably aren’t a fan of his work. You might not have read Vampire Hunter D . . . or played any of the Final Fantasy series . . . or read Neil Gaiman’s brilliant follow-up to his Sandman series, the Hugo Award-nominated work called The Dream Hunters . . . or even watched Speed Racer while growing up. Yes, that Speed Racer.
“ . . . when you gaze into the abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
- Friedrich Nietzsche
Following up on Dark Horse’s summer release of the first volume, Grendel Omnibus – Volume 2: The Legacy picks up where that one ended and continues to examine the implications of that statement in 550 chilling, moody, and often brilliant pages.
Part of the pleasure of reading any great work is talking about it with your friends, sharing your discoveries, birthing crackpot theories, and shooting them down just as quickly.
Based on that, Marc N. Kleinhenz is having a ball. As editor of the new collection of essays Tower of the Hand: A Flight of Sorrows (Blue Buddha Press), Kleinhenz and his collaborators delve deep into the world of Westeros and draw out some amazing analyses of Martin’s epic series, A Song of Ice and Fire.
A video game journalist and regular contributor to the TowerOfTheHand.com website, Kleinhenz has gathered a set of essays that go far beyond the realm of typical “fan” sites, instead studying the literary aspects of the series thus far. Wisely, with its divergence from the source material, he and his associates only obliquely reference the hit HBO series, choosing rather to go in-depth on the original source material.
There’s no getting around it: Zombies are big business now. Sure, they've been part of the mainstream since George Romero redefined the genre in the late '60s, but the new millennium has seen a critical mass in terms of zombie entertainment. Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead is shattering viewing records on AMC. A separate admission event at the San Diego Comic-Con this past summer drew thousands of screaming participants, eager to test their mettle against the undead in a pell-mell dash to safety through a zombie-infested Petco Park.
And now, a new anthology out of the UK is throwing their weight around. Get ready for Dead Roots.
After making a big splash in Hollywood, Legendary is making a lateral move into the comics industry under their new Legendary Comics imprint, and they’re bankrolling some big comics industry names to add to the roster. But, with this transition, they’re bringing both their filmmaking strengths and weaknesses to the process.
The Tower Chronicles: Geisthawk tells the story of John Tower, a freelance bounty hunter of the dead and undead. Called upon by desperate people in dire circumstances, he serves as a last chance for those without hope. Or as Legendary founder Thomas Tull puts it, “. . . a man with a dark and mysterious past, who hunts down ghosts, ghouls and demons… for a price. And, his name is John Tower.”
To bring this idea to fruition, Tull enlisted editor Bob Shreck who brought in Matt Wagner (Grendel, Mage, Sandman Mystery Theatre) to give the tale the scope and humanity needed for a story of this type, and if anyone can deliver those two things, it’s Matt Wagner!
Dark Horse captures Issues #19-21 of Carla Speed McNeil’s Eisner-winning self-published work, Finder, in this slim but intriguing volume.
Crossing from hard sci-fi to urban fantasy, Finder tells the interlocking stories of a vastly depopulated earth where tribes of nomads and hunter-gatherers live, surrounding domed city states run by various clans and families. Into this mix, McNeil has added an almost Aboriginal perspective on the events taking place in this media-saturated world, where our time is but a distant memory, uncovered only in nostalgic souvenirs.