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 event or digital storefront, the BF team are here to lead you through the woods with our weekly staff picks. Satisfaction guaranteed!
Comic of the Week
Grunt: Art and Unpublished Comics of James Stokoe
There’s something extremely compelling about how James Stokoe immerses himself into every page that springs from his overcrowded, overwhelming imagination. I had the pleasure of bearing witness to this at TCAF 2019, where Stokoe painstakingly signed every book offered up to him by fans with illustrations that ought to have been published straightaway.
Grunt is the kind of mixed bag that shocks and delights at every turn simply because of the wide range of subjects Stokoe has applied his artful hand to. From the shock and awe of Godzilla in Hell to the cold blue tones he used in Aliens: Dead Orbit (still the only decent book based on the Ridley Scott classic) to the title that made him famous (Orc Stain), it is a chronicle that shows not just how hard Stokoe works, but how good he is at what he does for a living. Thank God he does.
James Stokoe (W/A) • Dark Horse Comics, $39.99
– Lindsay Pereira
She Said Destroy #1
Mixing a bit of Arthurian legend with high-level space drama, this new fantasy series centers around the conflict between the only two remaining gods in the universe and will have you guessing a the true meaning of good vs. evil.
Over a millenia, Brigid, the Goddess of the Sun, has converted the entire solar system into worshipping her alone. That is except for one remaining hold out, the Witches of Fey, who still follow her sister, The Morrigan, Goddess of Death.
Joe Corallo (W), Liana Kangas (A), Rebecca Nalty (C), Melanie Ujimori (L) • Vault Comics, $3.99
– Tyler Chin-Tanner
Star Wars Vol. 1 #108
The smash hit success of Marvel’s original 1970s Star Wars series has been credited in some quarters as single-handedly saving the company at the time. Running 107 issues it gave a very Marvel house style-spin on a galaxy far, far away and had more than its fair share of continuity fudges as it tried to work its way around an evolving film franchise narrative (who can forget Marvel’s version of the then unseen Jabba the Hut for example?).
What it also had in plentiful supply was a colourful, sprawling cast of original characters and this week Matthew Rosenberg, Giuseppe Camuncoli and company return to that particular incarnation of the Star Wars universe with a new “last” issue featuring some of those players. Catch up with Amaiza Foxtrain, Domina Tagge, Valance and giant green humanoid rabbit Jaxxon in this very special one-off project.
Matthew Rosenberg (W), Giuseppe Camuncoli et al. (A) • Marvel Comics, $3.99
– Andy Oliver
Grand Abyss Hotel
Landscape comics are few and far between so it’s great to see a book that not only plays with that format but uses its dimensions to such a skilful degree. Preview pages for Grand Abyss Hotel look amazing and make us question why we don’t see more comics in this format (though we’re not sure stores would agree in terms of shelf space!).
Marcos Prior and David Rubin’s political satire takes a look at ” a world overrun by big business and “fake news” via the social media machine” with a super-hero twist and a deep relevance to the world outside our window. BOOM! Studios’ Archaia imprint can always be relied on for handsomely presented eclectic work and this looks like another fine example of that tradition.
Marcos Prior (W), David Rubin (A) • BOOM! Studios/Archaia, $24.99
– Andy Oliver
Paradox Girl Vol. 1: First Cycle
If you prefer your rules of causality more intelligently, though no less flippantly, explored than they were in End Game, we strongly recommend you nip back in time and support Paradox Girl’s Kickstarters for issues 1-3 and 4-6 respectively. Or if you lack the ability to time travel, or just prefer the way trade paperbacks look on your shelf, you could get this compilation.
Written by Cayti Borquin and with art by Yishan Li, the story of our temporally tempestuous heroine is exactly as silly as you’d expect from the idea of a superhero who has travelled through time and changed things so much that she’s forgotten her own origin story, and seems to spend a large portion of her efforts locating her favourite breakfast pastries that were discontinued in 1987. Also for some reason her super hero outfit is a 90s porn businesswoman, and her crime-fighting partner is called Axiom Man.
Cayti Borquin (W), Yishan Li (A) • Image Comics, $19.99
– Jenny Robins