My Ainsel #1 marks the beginning of the second arc in the American Gods series adapted from Neil Gaiman’s classic novel. We jump right in to Shadow and Wednesday continuing their travels across America. In this issue, they begin in a snow-covered Wisconsin. The pace of the main action in this issue moves rather slowly, but that gives us time to appreciate all of the other stories that contribute to our understanding of this world.

Issue number 4 of the Valderramas’ Giants leaps a year into the future. Usually, time jumps like this so early on (or near the end of a story) are bold moves to take, but, logistically, it’s a smart one for the story, which is... The above world has been covered in snow and kaiju (For the uninitiated, think giant monsters like Godzilla or Pacific Rim.) These kaiju fight territorial fights. Meanwhile, in underground cities, violent gangs fight for control over what little territory there actually is to live in. Two ambitious lads, Zedo and Gogi, wanted nothing more than to join one of these gangs, so they were sent above ground to gather some ambernoir, which is a bit like Unobtanium from Avatar, just with a better name. It’s a rocky substance that’s incredibly volatile but creates energy needed for life and growth. Above ground, the two brothers were separated when a kaiju attacked. Thinking the other dead, Zedo went back underground, and Gogi met a peaceful group of people who were managing to survive above ground. Cut to a year later and wheeling back around.

Same small town, even bigger secret.

In many readers’ minds, the term “gothic” likely evokes literary references to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula – elements of romance, the supernatural, and dark, foreboding tones permeate such timeless stories. During the 1960s and 1970s, such elements reappeared in the sequential art medium, being stimulated by the diminishing control of the Comics Code Authority in 1971. Jacque Nodell (Sequential Crush), in the book’s foreword, explains that gothic romance comics “were short lived, merely a blip on the radar of the mainstream comic book industry.”

Colin’s Godson is a Scottish power pop band from Glasgow who take their music to a transmedia level. Aside from releasing their particular brand of power pop/Britpop/punk-pop via digital, cassette, CD, and vinyl means, they also flirt with the comic book medium. The physical releases of their music, such as Colin’s Godson in Space and The Timely Demise of Colin’s Godson, all have comic books, starring the band in outlandish adventures, as part of their packaging. The Colin’s Godson Annual collects these comic adventures into one 84-page omnibus. As with the physical releases of their albums and EPs, the Colin’s Godson Annual was produced in an extremely limited quantity (20 copies in this instance). The collection includes the comics Colin’s Godson in Space, Colin’s Godson in Time, Colin’s Godson Comic No 2, Colin’s Godson at the Speed of Sound, The Timely Demise of Colin’s Godson, and Colin’s Godson in Silicon Heaven with parody adverts and games peppered throughout.

Just how far does the rabbit hole go?

Angels ain't just there for the singing.

So it comes. With the release of this issue, we begin what is dubbed as the final year of this series. That likely means with two more arcs, along with a few specials, this series will be officially wrapped up. This is bittersweet, since this has been a great series, but now we finally get the answers we've been waiting a long time for. There's been a lot of speculation about how this series is going to play out, and to finally be on the precipice of reading it is very exciting.

Comic book creator/writer Andre Owens and his publishing company, Hiro Unlimited, have recently released a new title called The Bovine League #0, a delightful combination of the Justice League, the Avengers, and Chick-fil-A's cow-centric advertising campaignNoted as the introductory issue of an ongoing series, The Bovine League introduces readers to a team of genetically altered superheroes - who just so happen to be cows - as they protect Earth and the galaxies beyond from threats large and small.  Geared towards younger readers, the 14-page mini-comic gleefully follows the superheroes as they endeavor not only to defend their charges from evil monsters, but to bring together humans and genetically altered beings into a joined community of peace and understanding.

Jeff Lemire is an endless source of intriguing and complex stories. Reading Gideon Falls #1, his newest book from Image Comics, I couldn’t help but feel he and I have been inspired by many of the same things. We both have a penchant to dive immediately into the biggest questions that we all face as humans. In this first issue, we see religion, order, chaos, and madness all wrapped into what appears to be a dark, subversive mystery that seems to revolve around a place that may or may not exist. Gideon Falls inhabit that esoteric place that David Lynch finds himself.

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