The Strain, the first in a trilogy of vampire wonder, has generated a continuous stream of content since its release in 2009. The originators of this tale, Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, have seen their story adapted to many different platforms.

Bandette does not disappoint. It is phenomenal, “no?” This rhetorically wit-laden genius of a character proves that Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover can make storytelling and artwork seem easily accomplished. Bandette is the best thief in the world, and the simple fact she narrates her own action sequences shows the reader how endearing she is from the beginning.

I hesitate to say that Sherlock Holmes, the famously brilliant and proficient detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, has ever fallen out of popularity, but we are certainly living in a time of heightened interest in Holmes when it comes to the pop culture scene. Between television programs like the BBC’s Sherlock and CBS’ Elementary, feature films like Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes (and its sequels), and graphic novels like Image Comics’ Moriarty, there’s no drought of exciting content to devour for fans of the world-famous detective and his various capers. Now, I, Holmes (written by Michael Lent and illustrated by Dan Parsons) can be added to the list of comic book options for Sherlock fans searching for their next fix, offering a modern-day, gender-swapped version of the detective from 221B Baker Street.

Crack open The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, and you will find comic strips, essays, memories, observations, self-help tutorials, and, most of all, very personal confessions.  In short, Secret Loves is a massive collection of individual voices of the geek and the girl varieties.  Every story has one thing in common, though…raw and honest accounts of geeks searching to understand themselves and their connections with others.

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear, is fear of the unknown. ~ H.P. Lovecraft

Last year marked the 125th anniversary of H.P. Lovecraft, and, as a result, there has been a renewed interest in the horror writer who explored the strange and horrific world of slimy, tentacled monsters that inhabited a world he created through his Cthulhu Mythos stories. He also created the Dreamlands (or Dream Cycle) world that sometimes intersected with his mythos tales via a character’s dreams. During the celebratory year, a number of retrospectives analyzed Lovecraft’s stories, and creators ranging from Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Joe Lansdale, and Joe Jill created adaptations of the original source material or were inspired to spin their own Lovecraftian yarn. There have also been mash-up stories that brought together unexpected licenses such as Mike Mignola’s Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham or the less-surprising teaming of Army of Darkness vs. Re-Animator from James Kuhoric, Sanford Greene, and Nick Bradshaw.

With Hockey Karma, the third and final book in the “Forever Friend’s” trilogy, author Howard Shapiro weaves a tale touching on the themes of the struggle of growing older, passing on your knowledge to the next generation, and the necessity of leaving behind a better world for those who will come after you. While readers of The Stereotypical Freaks and The Hockey Saint (Read my reviews of those books here and here.) will be eager to see where life has led Tom Leonard, much like his previous tales, Shapiro is not content to merely provide a soap opera-like dramatic detailing the trials and tribulations of his lead character as he tackles true adulthood. Instead, he offers a tale with a far deeper and more important message for the turbulent and divisive times we currently live in.

“I prefer not to know what it’s like to not be in awe of the stars.”

I love that Dark Horse has been collecting Eric Powell’s Goon trades into these library volumes.  It’s a great way to see how his work evolves over time and really be able to appreciate the man as an artist with a longer perspective than just in the trades or single issues.  This volume picks up right after the Chinatown storyline, and you can see the heavy influence of the story on our hero as well as the gravitas on Powell’s work.  The result?  First, we get a return to the crude humor and sensational horror that we’ve been used to, but we also get to see Powell open up more ideas, allowing himself more creative license within the framework to tell unique stories that continue the tradition of Chinatown’s growth, while still acknowledging the roots of the series as a whole, and turning it into something far greater than one may have expected from its humble knife-in-the-eye beginnings.

Kurtis Wiebe, creator of Rat Queens, collaborates with Mindy Lee and Leonardo Olea to bring a space adventure to Dark Horse Comics. Bounty has a futuristic Robin-Hood-in-space kind of thing going on, along with some bright neon colors and one extremely funny robot, giving it an overall fun feel.

Has anyone else noticed that when franchises become too big, the creators only make them…bigger!!!

Well, that’s what’s happening in a specific dimension of New York City, and the timeline I’m referring to contains mutants and teenagers and pizza-loving ninjas.  Oh my!

If you’re interested in finding a comic book that combines humor with the strong will of three college friends, then Giant Days by BOOM! Studios is perfect. The cover, created by Lissa Treiman, tells you exactly what you’re in for when you open up these fun pages. Three friends, Daisy, Esther, and Susan, are lying in the grass with trash and red plastic cups scattered nearby.

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