Welcome to the Part-Time Fanboy picks of the week for November 26, 2014! Each week some of the crew at PTF will pick their most anticipated books for that Wednesday’s releases 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.
Genre: Comedy/Science Fiction
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Now this book looks to be my cup of tea. A comic book series that plays as an homage to ’80’s action movies? Hell yeah, I’m there. Vandroid looks to be a graphic novel that’s going to give us a finely tailored dose of 1980’s movie violence without the budget or effects limitations that many of those films had. The art by Dan McDaid looks to be dynamic and professional and if the fact that the creators of the book have actually crafted an honest to gosh soundtrack for the book doesn’t grab you attention then I don’t know what would. This comic looks like a love letter to great movies like the original Terminator and horrible efforts such as, well, just about every Chuck Norris movie of the time. Hopefully through the magic of comics Vandroid will be able to parse out all of the clunky elements of the bad stuff and just maintain what it is so many of us loved about adventure movies and TV shows from that era. All I know is that this looks so tailored to my own personal tastes that it may have to be something that I walk into an actual comic shop to buy when it comes out this week. Hell, while I’m at it, I’ll probably download the soundtrack too.
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Anyone who’s ever read any one of these Oz books by Shanower and Young knows how wonderful they are. The Shanower/Young team have created a faithful and lovable adaptation of Frank L. Baum’s incredible series of children’s books with this comic and it’s terrific to see them still churning out new editions. Skottie Young’s star continues to rise at Marvel and I was worried that with the volume of work that comes from added exposure his dedication to this series might fade away. I’m more than thrilled to see that he’s still working on these Oz books and that there’s a new chapter in this adorable Oz universe for kids (and the adults who read to or with them) to enjoy. These books have been favorites around my house and any parent with a young child should snag these up for their children. Life doesn’t offer many guarantees but I feel pretty secure is stating that if you give a kid one of these books it’s a pretty solid bet that they will love it…and the little kid inside of you will love it as well.
By: Ben Dunn
Genre: Comedy/Science Fiction
Publisher: Antarctic Press
Ninja High School is an American manga that has been running since the late 1980s. Initially meant to be a mini-series, it proved very popular and is one of the longest running indie-comics. Characters have grown up, had families, and the series has shifted tones and changed many times over the years.
This collection contains the first 25 issues, which were all written and illustrated by the series creator Ben Dunn. It follows the misadventures of Jeremy Feeple, a 16 year old student at Quagmire High School in the town of Quagmire. Jeremy is one of the points of a romantic triangle that includes Ichi, a ninja from Japan who is trying to marry Jeremy to become leader of her ninja clan, and Princess Asrial, an extraterrestrial disguised as a human.
The series drops all kinds of pop culture reference to American and Japanese culture. It’s also seen a number of other creators playing in the Ninja High School universe and the story lines have become pretty convoluted. If you want to start at the beginning, though: this is the place to start. It’s a pretty hefty volume and it’s pricy, but if you want to see where American-style manga began, it may be worth a look.
By: Kevin Van Hook
Publisher: Caliber Entertainment
I’m including this pick because it’s just so STRANGE. Illustrated and adapted by Kevin VanHook in the 1970’s Marvel style, this oddity from 1990 is collected in a deluxe edition that includes song lyrics and a short biography of RHPS creator Richard O’Brien.
Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of the true cult films, legendary for the rowdy midnight screenings that encouraged audience participation. The hugely influential ode to B-movie science fiction and horror is the longest running theatrical release in movie history.
It would seem to be totally counter-intuitive to adapt this film into a comic, but it’s largely successful due to VanHook’s layouts and coloring. Yes, Dr. Frank N. Furter looks more like Lou Reed than Tim Curry at times, but overall it really works. It carries over the punk/glam feel of the movie, but reads just fine as a comic.