Welcome to the Part-Time Fanboy picks of week for July 30, 2014! Each week some of the crew at PTF will pick their most anticipated books for that Wednesday’s release based on their own individual tastes. Hopefully this list will help give you, the discerning comic book reader, some ideas on what to pick up at the comic shop during that particular week.
Publisher: Dark Horse
I loves me some EC comics. As a publishing house, EC probably put out some of the most diverse and entertaining line of comics of the 20th century. Not to mention some of the best illustrated. With art from legends such as Wally Wood, Jack Davis and Harvey Kurtzman these EC collections are a bit of a master class in comic book art. I had thought that these full color reproductions of the classic EC library had stopped being reissued. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to be wrong about something in my whole life! Two-Fisted Tales, in particular, were some of my favorite EC collections of all time. For hardcore action mixed-in with subtle messages about the toil of war on people and society…you cannot go wrong with these comics. Two-Fisted tales represents some of the most powerful and mature subject matter that EC ever put out and many of these books have been an inspiration to many of today’s best comic book creators. I actually can’t believe that two previous color editions of Two-Fisted Tales had been released without me knowing about them! Looks like these are some books that are about to put a fist sized dent in my wallet!
By: Charles Soule and Alberto Alburquerque
Publisher: Oni Press
In all honesty, I’d never really heard of this comic before but just reading the summary of what this book is about has me really intrigued. A new President is elected and discovers that the previous administration has known about an alien incursion in our Solar System but chose to keep the information about it from the public at large. That’s a concept that sounds like it has legs and if the artwork that I’ve seen online for this book is any indication of the book’s quality then this thing looks right up my alley. Plus, Oni Press puts out some great comic books so if you take a publisher with a solid publication history and a concept that gets my juices flowing as soon as I read about it…well that sounds like a winning combination. The first issue of the title is available to read right here and I have to say, it seems impressive. This looks like something that could please fans of political intrigue and science-fiction. I really look forward to checking this out.
Publisher: Caliber Entertainment
Owlgirls follow the adventures of three sisters who are private investigators in 1940s New York. They’re gutsy, brave, and have owl heads. They are, in fact, Furies: physical manifestations of vengeance. They live above a mortuary and take cases that involve folklore and the supernatural.This book began as a successful Kickstarter campaign (which can be viewed here) and is now available as a book. It’s a heady mix of the supernatural, film noir, and sibling drama that is one of the more offbeat titles that I’ve come across. Rachele Aragno is an Italian artist who manages to get amazing expressivity out of the bird faced sisters. This one is simply too strange to pass up.
This book’s facebook page summarizes the book as “A haunted former police detective goes in search of a missing girl, and finds Hell instead.” What grabbed me about this title is the setting in the Scottish Orkney Islands. The theme and setting immediately reminded me of The Wicker Man, which is one of my favorite horror movies. No, not the Nicholas Cage one. The black and white art from Iain Laurie is spare and twisted. The layouts frequently fragment and fall apart reflecting the main character’s state of mind. This looks like a terrifically creepy little book.
By: Naoki Urasawa
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: VIZ Media
Even a manga noob like myself knows that Naoki Urasawa is a big deal. He is one of the modern masters, most well-known for the gripping sci-fi mystery epic 20th Century Boys, which he produced for 7 years. Monster immediately preceded it, ran for just as long, and is just as acclaimed, if not more so. The brilliant doctor Kenzo Tenma becomes entangled in the life of one of his patients – the young boy whose life he saved grows up to be a serial killer… and only he can stop him. Renowned as a masterful suspense thriller, Naoki Urasawa’s Monster has won awards and breathless reviews in the east and west. The North American imports of these stories went out of print several years ago, so VIZ Media is now reissuing them in their quality 2-in-1 omnibus editions, which include high end paper, larger size and bonus color pages. I’ve been recommended this story tons of times, so it’s awfully convenient that VIZ chose now to represent Monster in this new prestigious format. If even a fraction of what I’ve heard about Monster is true, I have no hesitation in saying this is a required titles for your personal library.
By: Carol Swain
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
This looks to be a beautiful book. A meditative, quiet journey of an amateur bird watcher who tries to solve the mystery of a bird that committed suicide. From there, things get increasingly odd, with talking dogs and featherless birds but the young girl’s appreciation of nature never diminishes. It’s hard to say too much without having read it, but the pages I’ve seen have that quiet confidence and control of a craftsman and an understated emotional depth of a virtuoso. These are the kinds of books that make me fall in love with comics all over again.