Zanadu Comics proudly presents the inaugural edition of 'Everything is Horrible and Nothing is Beautiful' featuring weekly reviews by the comic cat mistress herself, Anna Pederson. Writer, comic clerk and all around lover of four color nonsense, Anna will hopefully add a bit of class to our usual recommendations of violence and psychedelic gradients, but c'mon, it's not like there's anything else you look for in a comic... Anyway, we hope you all enjoy and feel free to drop us a line on what you guys think!
David Goyer is writing a (possible) television version of Constantine for NBC. That is all. Actually, that’s not all. Hellblazer is one of my favorite series of all time, and David Goyer has written some truly terrible films. I know it’s the new thing to capitalize on small-screen spots for comic book slots, but if this show happens and it’s terrible, or features a non-British John Constantine, I’ll…I don’t know, be upset for a little while, because it’s just television and it really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
What’s more important is that a tattoo parlor in Seattle called The Artful Dodger has a section for comics that has grown from a couple spinner racks to one of the best kept comic secrets in town. My comic compadre and I found single issues of Adam Warren’s “Dirty Pair”, Jim Lee “Uncanny X-men”, the original “Black Orchid” books, and the issue of “Master of Kung-Fu” that David Mazzucchelli did.
I’m only telling you about this place because you supposedly live in New York, and I want you to be supremely jealous of my finds without going there yourself and buying them; I’m being comic greedy.
Here are some comics that generations in the future will find in floating city tattoo shops and nerd out over for two hours:
CATALYST COMIX #4(W) Joe Casey (A) Various
There isn’t much that Catalyst Comix doesn’t have; a post-apocalyptic story set in the near past, superheroes, space councils, three amazing artists, and one amazing Joe Casey. If you’re not familiar with the alternative format of this story I’ll catch you up. There are three main components, each drawn by a different artist, that follow larger than life characters who are traversing different aspects of an Earth that has fallen victim to the popularly espoused 12-12-12 apocalypse date. Joe Casey narrates, plots, and dialogues each section with a unique voice that applies to whomever he’s speaking for, which keeps each component from sounding redundant or boring. But I really just want to talk about the art. Holy crap, the art. Dan McDaid (Doctor Who) handles the Superman-esque character Frank Wells, and artistically balances the hero with passionate haste, and engaging details. Paul Maybury (Aqua Leung) breathes beauty into space with his Otomo influenced work. Maybury + Brad Simpson (colorist) = pictures I can stare at for hours. It seems his work chameleons itself for the various content he works on, and I for one am not complaining. The third artist is my new personal favorite, and someone that you’ll be hearing about for years to come; Ulises Farinas (Gamma). His super saturated art makes your eyes bleed with happy, because there is simply so much detail to look at. “Neo-Moebius” is a phrase that’s being thrown around a lot, and Farinas is definitely one that is deserving of that title. This book is slipping under the radar, when it should be the one blowing the radar up and saying, “Get a new radar!”
(W) Ian Edington (A) Francesco Trifogli
Vertigo has undergone some huge changes in the past year in the form of long time (and well loved) Editor-in-Chief Karen Berger stepping down, long time editor, Shelly Bond, had to make her mark as new Executive Editor. Their new “defy” Vertigo branding has led to the creation of a slew of new books on the back end of this year. “The Wake”, “Brother Lono”, “FBP” and “Trillium” have already made their premiere to a solid amount of fan and critical acclaim, and the latest edition to the Vertigo family, “Hinterkind” is set to do just as well. When humans have destroyed their ability to live on the Earth and start dying off, nature does what it does best when human presence rescinds, take back what’s hers. A menagerie of beasts that had been driven to the corners of the planet now roam the urban jungles that used to be their homes, in search of revenge against the remaining humans that had tried to destroy their kind. Written by Ian Edginton and illustrated by Francesco Trifogli, Hinterkind hints at environmental issues and the possible reality of Earth’s future, but doesn’t leave adventure or the fantastical out of the picture.
CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL #3
Hey! It’s the new CBLDF Annual! You know what’s almost more fun than buying comics? Buying comics that support good causes that directly relate to helping keep your fave comics on shelves and in your homes! The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund do exactly what it sounds like they do; fundraise money from readers, retailers, creators and publishers, to help fight free speech and your first amendment rights to read and write said comics. They are also supporters of Banned Book Week, and transitioning a lot of their energy into building school and librarian relationships to help students and administrators navigate challenges to books or schools. Why do I know so much about the CBLDF? Because I used to intern there! And the tiny, but meticulously organized office that is run entirely by two people need, nay, deserve, your help. With amazing comics by Tim Seeley, Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon, Richard Corben, and more, they bring you stories of censorship, civil liberties, and what our world might look like without the continued work of the CBLDF. Going 27 years strong, help them make it another meaningful 27!
CAPTAIN AMERICA: LIVING LEGEND #1(W) Andy Diggle (A) Adi Granov
Doesn’t Putin look so smug sitting half naked on a horse all the way over in mother-Russia? Don’t you wish you could bring back the good ol’ days of soviet-hating Tom Clancy stories? Andy Diggle aims to fulfill your longing for a good James Bond-esque tale of spies, aliens, blowing stuff up, and getting down with the ladies. I’m not 100% sure on the last part but if I know classic plot lines (and I clearly do since I’m a recent English Lit graduate), then I can only assume it’ll happen sooner or later. It’s refreshing to see a new Marvel title out that isn’t a tie-in to the Infinity event, so you can read new stories featuring favorite characters without feeling like you’re missing some huge picture related to other stories you may or may not reading. To that end, this story isn’t technically all that new. It was first solicited in 2010 under the title Astonishing Captain America, still with the same plot and creative team, but was put on hold while artist Adi Granov got tapped to work on the Avengers film. So if you’ve been sitting on your hands for the past 3 years waiting for the story of how Cap is caught on the brink of war after a space-station drops out of the sky, and what it has to do with a mysterious Russian solider last seen during WWII, then you are in luck! Diggle has had some time to tweak and perfect this story, and he’s packed it with so much detailed information about this world Rodgers is fighting in, it’s impossible to imagine that this is only slated for four issues. It’s short, sweet, and more entertaining than those crazy Russian videos on the Internet.
GRINDHOUSE: DOORS OPEN AT MIDNIGHT #1(W) Alex De Campi (A) Chris Peterson
You don’t have to wait in line at the drive-in anymore to feast your eyeballs on some wonderful, wonderful gore. Dark Horse and Grindhouse are bringing four, 2-issue tales of babes, bees, and burrrder. (It’s really cold in Seattle right now so I’m letting that stretch slide). This first segment is ripped from a classic B-horror film aptly titled “Invasion of the Bee Girls” (1973), in which some luscious ladies from outer space are trying their damndist to lay eggs within Earth’s male population. It’s up to a badass Latina cop to standoff with the insidious insects, and save men from having baby bees rip from their bodies. She also has an eye-patch. Important. Important and awesome. Alex Di Campi is spearheading this project, and future arcs will feature art from Simon Fraser, Gary Erskine, Fredrica Manfredi, and Chris Peterson. This is perfect pre-Halloween horror to put you in the mood for all your horror film watching and reading needs.