Outpost Zero #2 immediately picks up where the events of the double-sized introductory issue left off. In our first issue, we get a fantastic sense of the environment our characters get to play in. There is a wonderful magnitude to the dystopia of this particular future tale, and the characters are written in a carefully balanced way. Now that the stage has been set for our story, issue #2 begins to unravel the mysterious death of a main character while illustrating what Outpost Zero will ultimately be about.

Hey, Wonder Peeps! When Wonder Woman “Rebirth” rolled around, I was more than excited that Liam Sharp had been announced as the artist. I was a fan of Sharp’s since way back when he did work on The Hulk, Death’s Head, and his “adaption” of Frazetta’s Death Dealer with Glen Danzig.  After that, I thought that he left comics for greener pastures as many artists are wont to do. He was actually busy starting his own digital comics platform, Madefire.

In the indie comic series known as Scruffy Puppies (written and illustrated by creator Brent J. Trembath), a team of mutant, anthropomorphic canines have became a well-trained, heroic team of combatants who patrol the post-apocalyptic wasteland they call home. Feeling like a cross between Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Expendables, Scruffy Puppies feels like one of those special (and weirdly fun) finds discovered while wandering Artist Alley.

Comic book publisher Oni Press will soon release an all-new color edition of the beloved all-ages fantasy/humor book, Banana Sunday, to be released on October 24. Writer Paul Tobin and artist Colleen Coover have teamed up with colorist Rian Sygh to bring this collection to vibrant life with a brand-new introduction by Tobin and previously uncollected art from Coover! The publisher has been very generous to the Fanbase Press staff, as we are now able to share an advance preview!

The action pieces in Sword Daughter are so profoundly good that you almost forget it is the subtle details of this story that make it such a masterpiece. Brian Wood continues to surprise me with his ability to craft an ornate tapestry of complicated emotion told in such a concise way. Not a moment is wasted, and every panel counts. This is a grand reminder that a simple story can be just as affecting, if not more, than a complicated one.

She Could Fly is hypnotic, emotionally eloquent, and completely jarring. It lulls you and shakes you. Christopher Cantwell chooses his words specifically, Martin Morazzo catches a rhythm in the paneling and an emotion in the artwork that Miroslav Mrva heightens in the coloring, and Clem Robbins . . . lettering doesn’t get a lot of press, but the placement and texture of the words create that staccato rhythm, that poetic feeling, that anxiety, that calm, that internal battle. In my review of issue one, I stated that She Could Fly taps into a feeling, and in issue two that feeling becomes more profound. You are living in someone else’s psychosis, specifically Luna’s psychosis. And what makes it so profound is that this creative team has tapped into an anxiety that could very well be universal, because it’s grounded in a lack of self-worth.

Changing gears from their recent Eisner Award-nominated collaboration on Grass Kings, Matt Kindt and Tyler and Hilary Jenkins bring us Black Badge. The Black Badge is a group of elite boy scouts that are sent into places the military can’t go, places that not even adults can get without looking suspicious. It’s a pretty straight-forward premise with a lot of room for adventure, plus a hefty amount of morals and ethics. It’s hard to say which direction the book is going to go as this first issue mostly sets up this premise, as our four Black Badges - three veteran kids and one newbie - have to trek into North Korea to accomplish a very specific mission. As kids, they are easily trained and they easily obey, and this first issue rattles their perception a little, pointing us down a possible path for future issues.

Gothic imagery and Lovecraftian nightmares are at the heart of the graphic novel, Hopeless, Maine. It is a story about isolation and loss, magic and demons, and how the two are inexorably intertwined. Originally a webcomic, Hopeless, Maine is now available in print.

Save the date!  Geek Girls Forever will be hosting their monthly Graphic Novel Meetup on Thursday, August 16, from 7:30-9:30 p.m., and this month's feature is Fanbase Press' bilingual comic book series, Quince!  To make the meetup even more exciting, the entire Quince creative team (Sebastian Kadlecik, Kit Steinkellner, Emma Steinkellner) will be in attendance to discuss their creative process and answer questions from the audience!  All are invited to attend (including children 8+ when accompanied by a parent/guardian) this night of celebrating comics!

Announced a year ago, August 14 will see the release of Idle Days from publisher First Second Books. The brainchild of writer Thomas Desaulniers-Brousseau and artist Simon LeClerc, the story is about a young Canadian man, Jerome, who refused to serve his country in combat during World War II. Staying out of sight, he takes up residence with his none-too-talkative grandfather in a forest house with a dubious past. The cover conveys tension as all eyes – Jerome, cat, dog, house and skull – are staring at the reader. The cover is not short on symbolism, as each item derives its meaning as the story unfolds.  

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