2.14.2015

2.18.15 [#PicksOfTheWeek]

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This week is very representative of the kind of material I want to be consuming, cramming so many of my current favorite books and creators into one place. Nearly every week at the LCS, I’ll get the question as a prompt and make the case for this book being the single best series Image Comics is currently publishing, and it’s Lazarus #15 by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark. This issue promises the conclusion of the Conclave arc, which has been a great look at the other families, and like Tyrion Lannister at The Eyrie, it appears we’ll be getting trial by combat in the denouement.

Image Comics also has Manifest Destiny #13 out, by the team of Chris Dingess, Matthew Roberts, and Owen Gieni, another great series which easily made my Best of 2014 list for its blending of speculative historical fiction (Lewis & Clark’s fabled expedition to chart a waterway to the Pacific Ocean) and good ol’ fashioned monster mayhem (imagine the real reason we got such a deal from the French is because the Louisiana Purchase was inhabited by supernatural creatures!). In an age when colorist recognition is on the rise with stars like Dave Stewart, Dean White, and Jordie Bellaire, I’d love to see Owen Gieni getting some of that well-deserved praise.

Don’t stop there with your support of The House of Creator Owned! Image Comics will also bring you Rick Remender and Wes Craig’s Deadly Class #11, Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein’s Drifter #4, along with The Fuse #10, and The Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw #4. There really is something for every taste, a foray into every genre, and so many diverse creators you should support. I’m most excited for this installment of The Fuse (with Antony Johnston’s well thought out sci-fi world-building and Justin Greenwood’s storytelling ability growing in every issue) and Kurt Busiek and Benjamin Dewey’s gorgeous and poignant work in The Autumnlands. I usually call it “Kamandi meets Game of Thrones.”

Dark Horse Comics is featuring EI8HT #1, a new mini-series by Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson, a time-displaced sci-fi adventure that has me very curious about Albuquerque’s writing ability. Over at Oni Press, we have Charles Soule’s Letter 44 #14, this time with art by Drew Moss in a special flashback issue. There’s also the final issue of Brian Wood and Greg Smallwood’s Marc Spector arc in Moon Knight #12. I’ll be very sad to see this go, as Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, Brian Wood, Greg Smallwood, and Jordie Bellaire all did very special things with this series that renewed interest in the character while telling visceral tales with instantly distinct approaches to the art.

On the collected edition front, we have Umbral Volume 2: The Dark Path, collecting issues 7 through 12 of this superb fantasy piece by Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten. DC/Vertigo is also putting out the first hardcover installment of one of their greatest series ever with Scalped Book One: The Deluxe Edition. For me, this is still the best thing Jason Aaron has written, rich with social secrets and seedy crime and larger notes around the crumbling subculture of the Native American diaspora, and it’s an absolute crime that his chief collaborator R.M. Guera hasn’t since been picked up for plying that rich inky style on an ongoing series. 

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