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Graphic Breakdown: ‘Bait: Off Color Stories For You To Color’, ‘The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story’, ‘Ether’ #1 & 2 and ‘Grave Lillies’ #1

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

Today we look toward Dark Horse Comics and one from a newer publisher, Z2 Comics, for some of the most amazing comics coming to the stands.

 

3000588-2Bait: Off Color Stories For You To Color

Written by Chuck Palahniuk
Illustrated by Various
Published by Dark Horse Comics

A passenger on the Titanic who finds a surgical solution to the obstacle of “women and children first”. A Hollywood star whose fading brand faces a viral (and scatological) internet campaign. An animal psychic who coaxes a statement from a fish that witnessed a political assassination. Increasingly terrible birthday gifts that place a girl at the center of an extinction-level event.

These are the stories Chuck Palahniuk put into this book. They are all short stories with illustrations by the likes of Lee Bermejo, Joelle Jones and others. The trick here is that you the reader can color the illustrations and you would be a collaborator on this.

The conceit is a blast. Ingenious, in fact. The stories are dark but done well. Palahniuk loves to push the boundaries of his writing to try inventive things. Here it’s no different. My favorite is the Hollywood star storyline.

It was brutal to read. In fact, all the stories here are. But, color away while reading it. See what happens.

Palahniuk likes to involve his readers, and maybe even have them be co-conspirators. I loved this book. It’s smart in a new way that deserves to be recognized. Congratulations once again to Palahniuk for showing us a new way to do things…and to make us involved.

RATING: A

 

28451The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story Expanded Edition TPB

Written by Vivek J. Tiwary
Illustrated by Andrew Robinson and Kyle Baker
Published by Dark Horse Comics

This book was an unexpected WOW.

I am blown away by it. It’s one of the best releases of the year for sure. Pick this up. I’m rereading it again this weekend.

Here’s the description of the book: “The Fifth Beatle is the untold true story of Brian Epstein, the visionary manager who discovered and guided the Beatles—from their gigs in a tiny cellar in Liverpool to unprecedented international stardom. Yet more than merely the story of “The Man Who Made The Beatles,” The Fifth Beatle is an uplifting, tragic, and ultimately inspirational human story about the struggle to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.”

Brian Epstein was homosexual when it was a felony to be so in the United Kingdom, Jewish at a time of anti-Semitism, and from Liverpool when it was considered just a dingy port town. He helped spread the Beatles’ message of love to the entire world, yet died painfully lonely at the young age of thirty-two, consumed by staggering ambition and the endless struggles that came with it.

This is one of the most emotional stories I have read in years. Tiwary as a writer is a genius. Pure genius. The art is something special too. Thank you to Dark Horse Comics for making this available. This is tops.

Buy it and read it. And then thank me.

RATING: A+

 

30559Ether #1 and #2
Written by Matt Kindt
Illustrated David Rubin
Published by Dark Horse Comics

Matt Kindt is a comic book genius.

Everything he does, I sit up and pay attention.

This book has Kindt blending science and magic and it works in a way only Kindt can make work.

Ether follows the adventures of Boone Dias, a science-minded interdimensional explorer from Earth, as he tries to reconcile the existence of magic with his own scientific reality.

Boone is a regular visitor to the Ether, a supernatural realm with magical residents.

The Ether’s residents trust Boone to solve their toughest crimes by combining his background in science with the Ether’s magic.

The writing is sharp and the art blew me away. David Rubin is killer, I love his artwork. It’s beautiful and these two work wonderfully in tandem to make another big hit from Dark Horse. This was awesome.

RATING:A

stl025631Grave Lillies #1

Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by George Kambadais
Published by Z2 Comics

This was an utter delight. I’m not normally a fan of Bunn’s work but this was a blast. The art was pretty awesome too.

This goes to show yet again that there is a lot going on in comics beyond the Big Two.

In the aftermath of a mysterious explosion that tears through a major metropolitan area, five stasis tubes are discovered.

The coffin-like containers are empty, but each is branded with a woman’s name. These women have wandered away from the disaster without a scratch – and with no memory of who they are.

They discover that they each possess a remarkable ability.

The ability to charm the masses, the power to control plant life, the gift of healing, supernatural senses, and unbelievable physical strength. They’ll need these powers, too, because they are pursued by sinister agencies that want to apprehend them before they learn the shocking truth of their origins and the destiny that awaits them.

This book is unique and unbelievably cool.

Pick it up and read it. It was unexpected, and I had a great time and now crave more.

RATING: A

 

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