Now that Starburns Press has begun their much-anticipated launch, one of the first titles the new publisher announced is almost here for all to enjoy. Spawned from a conversation between acclaimed comic book writer Eric Esquivel and television mega-creator Dan Harmon, Gregory Graves takes a decades-old rivalry and turns it on its head. Originally pitched as a Lex Luthor/Superman story for DC Comics, Graves focuses on the titular character and his adversary, Luminary. Luminary, a nearly perfect specimen who hails from another planet, has been on Earth for some time, saving the world and being the perfect savior. Everyone from around the globe has taken to the handsome hero, with the exception of Graves, who sees Luminary as he truly is: a cosmic being who has taken this planet as its new home, but who doesn't truly serve the people, only their own egos.
The team of Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, Dave Stewart, and Steve Wands are doing something I didn’t think could be done through comic book form. They are freaking the hell out of me. No book exists without all of the creators behind it, but there’s something about how all of the different elements in this book are working together, how the creators are conversing through their artforms, building off the last things said that is creating a truly visceral, unsettling experience. They are managing this with very little gore, very little violence, but more about what’s suggested – the abstract.
Boone Dias and his team - a fairy, a talking gorilla creature, and a sort of Minotaur mage - set out to destroy the Copper Golems that are creating breaches between the Ether and the reality Earth lives in. It’s an exciting issue that’s visually arresting. Boone Dias is a scientist that has found a way into the Ether, an alternate reality that brings to life all our creativity, and Dias has been working as a sort of adventuring detective. Solving mysteries using science to show that, even behind the most magical of notions, there’s truly no such thing as magic. We’ve found that time moves slower in the Ether, and Dias can’t eat food there which drives him back and forth between each realm.
Things are getting pretty complicated for Wizord in the third volume of the wonderfully entertaining Curse Words. With Platy-Margaret in captivity and Wizord doing his best to maintain his reign as the most awesome wizard in this realm, the stakes continue to rise and more complications arise. Hole World, the evil realm lead by the villain Sizzajee, is alive and well, and while the numbers in his cabal are dwindling, the master of that world shows off a few tricks that he still has up his sleeve.
Farmhand comes from the mind of Rob Guillory who completed a 60+-issue run of the Eisner Award-winning Chew with writer John Layman in 2016. Guillory is the head creative force on this title, painting the first issue of a comic that's filled with promise, beautifully gruesome spreads, and a familiar snarky sense of humor that on an otherwise morbid story. Farmhand is a story that begins completely in medias res, with the status quo being firmly set as soon as we begin the story. In the future, stem cell research has advanced due to a miracle discovery that has allowed the development and use of completely artificial organs.
Archaia brings to its catalogue another fantastical and heartfelt vision, this time from creators K.I. Zachopoulos and Vincenzo Balzano. Run Wild is a beautiful dreamscape of images and ideas. It’s a vision of an apocalypse like I haven’t seen before. It is a journey of a young girl and her even younger brother who have been left alone by their mother and are led by a large, talking fox through deserted landscapes while a group of dangerous predatory animals, eyes aglow with red, give chase to stop them from reaching “Papa.”