New Comics Wednesday: December 9th Edition
Welcome back to Wednesday, people!
There are THREE DAYS left to support Barrens, our second release on Project-Nerd Publishing. We’ve surpassed our goal (thank you!), but more backing means more comics, and that’s what we all want, isn’t it?
Not much time to chat today, so here are this week’s picks:
Harrow County #8 (Dark Horse)
written by Cullen Bunn; art and lettering by Tyler Crook; backup story by Tyler Crook and Simon Roy
Satisfying—that is the only word that can be used to describe this issue of Harrow County, which concludes the most recent story arc with a hell of a battle between twin sisters Emma and Kammi. That’s a hard thing to do, satisfying a reader with the end of an 8-issue arc that’s seen a lot of activity. It’s so well delivered, in fact, that I have no idea where the story goes after this, because in Harrow County, literally anything is possible.
Bunn and Crook are redefining the horror genre here with something dark yet accessible—I can see this book becoming a movie or TV show at some point. Would I call it all ages, like a Harry Potter or something? I don’t know… I’d definitely say it’s in the neighborhood, but it’s not for the faint of heart—Harrow County is terrifying.
Worth noting: Tyler Crook’s art is particularly stunning in this issue. His knack for character acting really shines, especially when Emma and Kammi (identical twins) are sharing page time.
If you’re not reading this, you’re messing up.
G.I. Joe: Real American Hero #221 (IDW)
written by Larry Hama; art by S L Gallant; inked by Brian Shearer; colors by J. Brown
I didn’t get it before, but I get this book now, and it’s hysterical. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on at the moment, but it appears that Cobra Commander is making a power grab, and striking out at anyone who might want to challenge his authoritah—including Destro and Zartan, two of his highest ranking officers. That’s pretty paint-by-numbers G.I. Joe stuff for sure, but what makes it great is that it’s set against the hilarious backdrop of a bunch of Cobra Commander lieutenants hiding out in the back room of a psychic’s storefront somewhere in New Jersey, eating donuts and drinking grape soda while they figure out how to handle the situation. Hama’s dialogue is hilarious (“A preemptive strike by a combined force of Red Shadows, Night Vipers, Blue Ninjas, and a Heat Viper was summarily preempted.”) and there’s an implication of COBRA not just as a global terror organization, but also as an employer that, despite the frequent disenfranchisement of its employees, provides a level of financial stability and a sweet health benefits package to its employees. It’s over the top, pretty brilliant, worth a read if you can remember to keep a sense of humor about it.
Snow Blind #1 (Boom! Studios)
written by Ollie Masters; illustrated by Tyler Jenkins; letters by Colin Bell
Set against the backdrop of a crime noir tale, this comic illustrates the implicit trust that we as children place in our parents’ judgement, how easily damaged that is, and how humanly fallible our parents—these beings that often occupy a very superhuman space in our lives—really are. I was kid who moved around a ton while growing up, and Teddy’s bitterness towards being forced to move to Alaska is relatable. As kids, we don’t really have any control over that sort of thing, and it can be really tough to navigate. Even more so, I imagine, when you discover your parents have a sordid past that I won’t go into because I don’t want to spoil an excellent comic for you. Thumbs up all around on this one—a great script by Ollie Masters and beautifully watercolored pages from Tyler Jenkins mean that I’ll be waiting for next month’s issue for sure.
Giant Days #9 (Boom! Box)
created and written by John Allison; illustrated by Max Sarin; colors by Whitney Cogar
Poor Ed Gemmel. The guy can’t catch a break romantically. Hung up on Esther since the beginning of school, he’s recently become infatuated with Amanda, the editor of the college newspaper. Thwarted by a lack of experience—she’s a third year student, mind you, and he’s a lowly first year—he’s forced into an awkward walk of shame. But he also uncovers a pretty crazy conspiracy involving the student government and becomes the school hero for a minute, which is kind of a win, right?
I love this book, and some of the best news I got was a few weeks ago when John Allison corrected me on Twitter to let me know that this is indeed an on-going rather than a mini-series. It’s really hard, when you write a weekly column, to stay away from “broken record” territory when you find a bunch of books that you consistently enjoy, but I love how accurately Allison has captured the awkward growth spurt that is the college experience. You’re young—you’re always ready to buck the man and stand up to the most insignificant infractions of injustice, but on the inside, you’re terrified of what people will think of you. Not to mention, when you’re in controlled environment (like, say, college), word travels fast—especially when it’s embarrassing.
Rebels #9 (Dark Horse)
written by Brian Wood; art by Andrea Mutti; colors by Jordie Bellaire
“And soon this whole continent will be consumed, with all involved in a constant state of fear.” –Stone Hoof
This issue of Rebels does an excellent job illustrating the very isolated and discarded position of Native Americans during the French and Indian war through the eyes of Stone Hoof, a Shawnee boy who forms a bond with a British general only to have his tribe ally with the French, throwing him into direct conflict with a man he once called a friend. It’s a reminder that soldiers, though viewed simply as mindless cannon fodder, are individuals, and that everyone’s got a story. It’s also an unflinching depiction of how expendable and disposable, yet completely depended upon for victory, the Native American population was during the Revolution.
This book makes me think of what A Peoples History of the United States would be like if it was in comic form. Woods is doing an excellent job here, and I’d love for the book to continue beyond the American Revolution. Individualizing history through stories told from a specific perspective isn’t only genius, it’s engaging and compelling as hell. Excellent work.
Also available this week:
Dark Horse — Abe Sapien #29, Alabaster: The Good, The Bad, and the Bird #1, Eerie Comics #8, LCSD 2015: Call of Duty Black Ops III #1, The Massive: Ninth Wave, Mirror’s Edge Exordium #4
Dynamite Entertainment — Alice Cooper Vs. Chaos #4, Bob’s Burgers #6, Doc Savage: Spider’s Web #1, Grumpy Cat #3, Path Finder: Hollow Mountain #2, Precinct #1, The Shadow #5
Boom! Studios — Adventure Time #47, Lantern City #8, Munchkin: Deck the Dungeon #1
IDW — Back to the Future #3, Brooklyn Animal Control One-Shot, Eighth Seal #1, My Little Pony Holiday Special, Sherlock Holmes: The Seven-Per-Cent Mystery, Star Trek #52, Star Trek/Green Lantern #6, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Amazing Adventures #5, X-Files Season 11 #5
Project-Nerd is a press partner of BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, and IDW Publishing. If you would like to see your studios’ content included in our weekly release article, please contact our editors.