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.

And welcome to Shogun World.  Mata Irasshaimase!  歴史的な詳細のいくつかは間違っているかもしれません。 私たちのホストはあなたを殺すことをうれしく思います。 私はあなたのニーズに応えることを意味します! (All those years of Japanese in college and grad school are finally paying off!)

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.

This week sees the wrap up of Dark Horse Comics' Giles mini-series (written by Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon and Concrete Park's Erika Alexander, with the art of Jon Lam of Gotham Academy: Second Semester), concluding the tale of teenage Rupert's return to high school and his noble attempts to stand against the forces of darkness while having fuzzy feelings for a cute and charismatic vampire. (Sound familiar?) While sharing similarities with its "mother series," the Giles mini-series is very much its own beast, revealing not only another side to the Watcher that fans have followed for over two decades, but also shedding light on an unseen corner of the Buffy-verse filled with new characters, new threats, and new challenges.

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.

Thomas “Awkward” Dante lives a life that very few people would envy. The disgraced fire elemental spends his days drinking alcohol laced with magic and trying to fly under the radar of the mystical powers that be.  A murder covered up with fire at Awkward’s home bar, the Lost and Found, throws him back into the world of supernatural sleuthing, and he’ll have to use every bit of his knowledge of Mystixology (the art of casting spells with booze) to stay out of the clutches of the multiple groups who want to make him person of interest number one.

“What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three in the evening?”

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