Welcome to Graphic Breakdown, the Friday edition!
Here are some great books to start your weekend!
American Gods: Shadows #1
Written by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell
Illustrated by P. Craig Russell and Scott Hampton
Published by Dark Horse Comics
2017 is the year of American Gods.
Later in the year there is a television series coming out and now there is a new Dark Horse comic book.
Sure this is an adaption of the novel, but man, is it a hell of an adaption. I enjoyed it and I’ve never read the novel so I’m coming to this late.
The story involves Shadow Moon who just got out of jail. He’s broke, lost, and not sure where to go in this life. That’s when he meets Mr. Wednesday who employs Shadow as his bodyguard.
This leads Shadow into a crazy world of the supernatural. And then it gets nuts.
The writing is great. Imaginative, creative and endlessly inventive, this story lives up to the hype. Scott Hampton is an artist I’ve always loved (working off Russell’s layouts) and the whole thing just feels right.
Thumbs up to this, and I look forward to reading the whole series.
Heroines #1 and #2
Written and Illustrated by Ted Naifeh
Published by Space Goat Publishing
Ted Naifeh is an artist who I have lost track of.
Yet, here he has resurfaced for me at Space Goat Publishing with this funny book. It’s pretty good too and worth tracking down if you are so inclined.
The story focuses on Marcy Madison who is a fresh faced college graduate. She is a superhero who immediately gets rejected by New York’s best super team. Undaunted, she decided to put a Craigslist ad up and put together a team of female superheroes.
This title is funny and strange. I only know Naifeh from his art (which is good) but his writing is really good here as well. The characters are great and I was involved the entire time. Well done!
Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #1
Written by Anthony Del Col
Illustrated by Werner Dell’Edera
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
This is a nice surprise. I thought for sure I would hate this book. Yet, it’s a well written and well drawn mini masterpiece. I can’t believe I liked this so much. I’m almost ashamed of myself.
Frank and Joe Hardy are in a pinch. They are both accused of killing their father. To clear their name, they must team up with Nancy Drew. And that’s when the suspense really hits. I was pretty much at the edge of my seat the entire issue.
The story is pretty damn good and the art is spectacular. I never heard of either of these creators but they are both awesome. And they have a future. This is a great start to what’s going for be a great series.
Get in on the ground floor now!
The Dregs #1 and #2
Written by Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson
Illustrated by Eric Zawadzki
Published by Black Mask Studios
This is the comic book that you should be reading right now.
It’s an underrated gem. I read the first two issues and I was floored by how good this is.
Seriously, if you don’t pick this up, you’re missing out.
The story is about a restaurant that is in a strange world that serves expensive dishes of human flesh. But the question is, where is this delicious food coming from? That’s when a homeless man named Arnold Tim starts to notice his friends going missing. The problem is he is hooked on drugs and has problems with anyone believing a word he says.
Again, this is a case where the writers and he artist have a real future in the world of comics. The storytelling is just phenomenal. Pick this up. You’ll thank me. This is just comic books at their best.
Young Terrorists #1 and #2
Written by Matt Pizzolo
Illustrated by Amancay Nahuelpan
Published by Black Mask Studios
Here is another great book by those fine folks at Black Mask!
The story is very deep and really involved. There are a lot of details and I am fascinated by this. Some comics just grab you by the jugular and don’t let go. This is one of those comics.
The story involves a daughter of a dead political figure breaking out of prison and gathers a group of miscreants to fight against the powers that be. And it’s brutal, bloody, and the way comic books should be all the time.
The writing is super strong and the art is full of expression and emotion. It’s a charged up comic book and I couldn’t look away. You won’t be able to either. Pick it up and join the fun.
Bad Machinery: The Case of The Team Spirit
Written and Illustrated by John Allison
Published by Oni Press
John Allison is quite a talent. I haven’t heard about him until I read this book. Now I’m a fan and want to find everything he has done. This is a great comic book graphic novel.
This comic is a mystery comic starring teens. Allison has a great handle on the teen characters in the book.
A strange event leads the town to believe the local football team is haunted. Six students become detectives while trying to focus on their studies. It’s a good time.
This was a web comic that is serialized here. This book proves just how many great titles there are out there, and so much talents working outside the big three. Expand your horizons. Give this a shot. You may surprise yourself.
Written by John Layman
Illustrated by Sam Kieth
Published by Aftershock Comics
For me, this was a nice out of nowhere surprise. I had no idea this was even coming out. John Layman and Sam Kieth are awesome on anything they are working on, but if you put them together like this? The results are just damn explosive.
The scene is Paris. The most famous art thief has struck again leaving the police baffled! A beleaguered detective is assigned the case to track this thief down. He only has one clue which is a single white feather.
He begins to follow the clues…and then the story gets even stranger.
And strange it is! It’s also absolutely wonderful. Layman is a writer who specializes in the strange (see Chew). He has an excellent flair for this world. And Kieth is a hell of an artist and creates that world perfectly. I am impressed by this debut.
Pick it up. It’s gonna be a hell of a series.