It’s nearly Wednesday, and you know what that means: a fresh load of comics and graphic novels! With so many publications hitting your local comics store, comics events or digital storefront, the BF team are here to lead you through the woods with our weekly staff picks. Satisfaction guaranteed!
Don’t forget that if it’s Thought Bubble debuting books you’re interested in then we have an extensive ongoing series of reviews and previews here.
Comic of the Week
Thought Bubble Anthology 2017
Firstly, it provides a showcase of a wide range of approaches to the form that places the work of some of the hottest current names on the scene (Cecil Castellucci, Brandon Graham, Emi Lenox, Jason Aaron, Marley Zarcone) alongside new and upcoming talents from the Thought Bubble Comic Art Competition (our own Broken Frontier 2017 ‘Six to Watch‘ artist Peony Gent steals the show with her story this time around!). And, secondly, it’s a charity project with proceeds going to Barnardo’s.
Published by Image Comics, this year’s edition catches up with two years worth of that Comic Art Competition. For many, reading this collection is a commuting-to-Leeds tradition pre-festival. An always inspiring celebration of comics from talented folk just learning their craft through to Big Two players!
Anthology – Various creators • Image Comics, $3.99
– Andy Oliver
For those who like real world drama mixed with a bit of supernatural horror, this is a series for you. Amalia and Randy are newlyweds trying to make ends meet by working on a farm in Veracruz, Mexico where their biggest challenges range from saving crops from infestation to choosing who to pay off, the police or the drug lords.
But when a new cartel emerges with occult-like powers and the ability to unleash monstrous new weapons, Amalia and Randy must become unlikely heroes in an attempt to save their family, the farm and their employees from getting caught in the crossfire between these otherworldly forces.
Sean Mackiewicz (W), Niko Walter (A), Mat Lopes (C) • Image Comics, $3.99
– Tyler Chin-Tanner
The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror #23
The annual Halloween edition of the Bongo Comics series mirrors the television show’s seasonal terror-fest and over the years has provided some experimental and unlikely indie takes on our fave animated sitcom family, as well as more tradition Simpsons fare.
This year includes contributions from Bongo regulars Ian Boothby, Carol Lay and Dean Rankine and features a clown-themed It parody, Comic Book Guy dealing with a supernatural curse and Marge facing an outer space fungal invasion! Halloween may still be some way off but this fun fear-fest is well worth grabbing now and saving for a dark autumn night…
Anthology -Various creators • Bongo Comics, $4.99
– Andy Oliver
Fred the Clown in The Iron Duchess
This is a book making its second appearance as a “Staff Pick” but it absolutely deserves the double selection in this feature. Originally self-published by that cartooning genius Roger Langridge, Fred the Clown in The Iron Duchess is brought to a wider audience this week by Fantagraphics Books.
A hybrid of silent film tribute and an underground comics vibe, this latest Fred the Clown offering combines Buster Keaton overtones, violent slapstick, unrequited love and brilliant visual gags. You can read a full review of the original version on Broken Frontier here. If you didn’t pick it up the first time make sure you don’t miss out on the new edition!
Roger Langridge (W/A) • Fantagraphics Books, $19.99
– Andy Oliver
With humankind no more, the planet is inhabited only by the modified animals it left behind and its culture has degenerated into half-remembered traditions among their number. In this world of quantum alley cats and techno-dolphins Qora, a young winged monkey, wants nothing more than to explore but finds she’s expected to embrace a more domestic life…
Featuring a collaboration between one of the hottest writers in serial comics and one of its rising star artists, Angelic looks set to be one of the hit monthlies of 2017. Simon Spurrier’s oft intriguing use of language and Caspar Wijngaard’s ever inventive visuals ensure that this is one debut series that even the trade-waiters will be grabbing in single issue form.
Simon Spurrier (W), Caspar Wijngaard (A) • Image Comics, $3.99
– Andy Oliver