Blackwood by Evan Dorkin (writer) and Veronica Fish (artist) is like H.P. Lovecraft as written by J.K. Rowling or Harry Potter as written by H.P. Lovecraft – you get it. A group of wayward, early twenty-somethings have been accepted into a very selective private college in the middle of nowhere that seems to deal in dark lore, religion, and other such things. Events quickly begin to go awry for our heroes.
Son of an American diplomat, Ronald "Rocket" Robinson had more luggage stickers from around the world on his worn suitcase then his 12 years alive. The year was 1933, and the train Rocket and his dad were on was bound for Cairo. After finding a note written in hieroglyphs, Rocket finds himself being pursued by Otto von Stürm and his two henchmen as part of a covert plan to find an ancient Egyptian treasure buried for over four millennia in the Great Pyramid. Fortunately, our young hero is not alone; his pet monkey Screech and his newfound friend, Nuri (a homeless gypsy with access to the city’s tunnels), are by his side as he seeks to solve a series of puzzles.
At its core, Snotgirl is still a book that heavily reads as being about imposter syndrome; while it’s practically the context the whole book makes itself work out of, with Lottie’s literal and figurative delusions, there’s still the greater mystery of some of the people in her life, and what exactly is going on.
In his introductory note, David Petersen describes Mouse Guard: The Black Axe as a creator’s quest, a text that challenged him to produce more detailed characters and worlds alongside a standard quest narrative. Two mice, Em and Celanwe, discover that they are distantly related and the last living members of their bloodline, and they go in search of the Black Axe - a prized family artifact. Their quest takes them to distant lands and into the kingdom of dangerous enemies, and it is well balanced with character development and worldbuilding.
I reviewed the original two issues of Joe Golem: Occult Detective - The Outer Dark when they first were released and was pleasantly surprised by how startled the horror elements made me and how uncomfortable I felt. I was left a little lukewarm with some of the other elements, but reading through the issues again as a collection, seeing the arc of this chapter play out to the end, it was like reheating a good dish of pasta and allowing all of those savory flavors to mix and meld, turning it into a great dish. I want seconds!
Issue #2 of Black Hammer: Age of Doom filled me with unadulterated joy. Part of that reason is that I’m starting to feel like I’m a part of this dysfunctional family of ex-superheroes trapped on this strange farm. Over the last 14 issues, Jeff Lemire has done such a solid job of bringing each and every one of them to life that I know them, I understand them, I’m with them. That’s really difficult to do with an ensemble cast. He does it by not focusing on how the characters fight during action scenes, but by studying with a scalpel each of the character's intents and reactions to this place, where they may end up dying…having no idea why - like the first half hour of Oldboy.
The title, Bubba Ho-Tep, probably conjurers images of Bruce Campbell as Elvis who switches places with an Elvis-impersonator named Sebastian Haff and hits the road impersonating Sebastian impersonating himself. He falls and ends up in a rundown retirement home, where he meets Jack (Ossie Davis), a man of color who says he is President John F. Kennedy. The pair encounter an Egyptian mummy in western wear (complete with a shiny belt buckle!) who is sucking the souls of residents via their anuses. If you are not familiar with the cult film from 2002 directed by Don Coscarelli (and based on a 1994 novella of the same name written by renown horror writer Joe R. Lansdale), then definitely check out the film (and my Fanbase Press essay as part of the "Thankful For" series last November). The new IDW Publishing comic book, Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers, is a prequel story to the film and novella.
This may be the second volume in a larger story, but it’s important to note that Infinite Loop: Nothing But the Truth is mostly standalone. If you haven’t read the first volume, you won’t be lost trying to keep up. Most of the important information is explained quickly and clearly in the first few pages. Though, of course, the first volume is very good, too, and I highly recommend you check it out, as well.
To say that this comic is a modern retelling of the Greek myth of Persephone doesn’t really do it justice. That’s what it is at its core, but the story ends up being so much more than that. With this comic, writer Loïc Locatelli Kournwsky has created an entire world, rooted in Greek myths, but also very much its own entity—and fascinating to read.