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Anyone who follows my reviews on Fanboy Comics knows by now that I’m a HUGE fan of Smart Pop Books. Featuring a number of brilliant and highly enjoyable essay anthologies focusing on popular culture subjects like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Hunger Games, Veronica Mars, and many, many more, Smart Pop Books has established itself a long time ago as the go-to publisher for the intelligent and introspective geek.

Eric Powell and Kyle Hotz’s The Authentic Accounts of Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities imagines that William Henry McCarthy — a.k.a. Billy the Kid — was not gunned down by Pat Garrett in 1881. Rather, the outlaw took to the rails and went into hiding. The story begins with a fateful encounter between McCarthy and Fineas Sproule, the purveyor of Sproule’s Biological Curiosities, a traveling “freak show.” Promising McCarthy a life of purpose with some limited security, Sproule, who has four hands (two where his feet should be), convinces McCarthy to join his enterprise. Over the next several hundred pages, they embark on a series of grim adventures featuring a mashup of literary and cinematic fiends that bring to mind the Universal Pictures’ creature features of the 1930s and '40s.

SPOILERS BELOW

Fifteen-year-old Rosie Sinclair has run out of opportunities in her drab, poor hometown of Doli, AZ. Fortunately, her skill as an amateur filmmaker grabs her enrollment in the elite Forge School, the premier arts school in the country, but there’s a catch. Everything at the school is broadcast on a reality series called The Forge Show, and Rosie must make the top fifty most popular first-year students to stay. At the same time she chafes against the sleeping pills mandated by the school’s strange twelve hours of sleep policy and during the night hours begins to uncover signs that Forge School may not be the creative mecca everyone believes.

“That day . . . we began our long journey through an insidious and profane realm.  Innocence dissolved quickly after we stepped into . . . the cave.”
“The cave changed us.  Made us.”
“The cave cost us . . . ”
“We weren’t supposed to go in there.  We never should have entered the shadows . . . ”
“Something left a back door open.”


Okay, true confession time here.  I’ve just read Farel Dalrymple’s graphic novel, The Wrenchies, and I have to admit, I’m not sure what I just read . . .

. . . but I’m damn impressed with it.

Comic book publisher BOOM! Studios will soon be releasing The Last Broadcast #5 on Wednesday, September 17th, written by André Sirangelo and illustrated by Gabriel Iumazark. The publisher has been very generous to the Fanboy Comics staff, as we are now able to share an exclusive advance preview of Issue #5!

Madefire knows how to kick off the weekend right!  As of today and for every Friday moving forward, the digital studio will be giving away one free new title from popular publishers to include IDW, Valiant, iTV, BOOM! Studios, as well as Madefire Originals, indie books, and much more.  Going into effect each week at 11:59 p.m./PST on Thursday and ending at midnight/PST on Friday, the Madefire Motion Books and Comics app on iOS and Android (along with web partner deviantART) will host each specific weekly feature on their respective storefront without the price tag.

For more information regarding the announcement, please see Madefire's official press release below.  Be sure to start your weekend with free comics!

A Steampunk fantasy from Harper Voyager, The Clockwork Dagger is Beth Cato’s first novel in what will be a series in this universe. I was a little wary when I noticed that it was not only Ms. Cato’s first novel, but was 354 pages long. (Sorry, but all sorts of red flags go up in my head when I see long page counts on first books.)  Fortunately, Ms. Cato knows what she’s doing, as I quickly got caught up in the very rich and descriptive world she has created.

1968 was a great year for zombies, as zombie fanatics have learned with every series installment in Image Comics’ run of ’68 comics. ’68: Homefront #1 is no exception and only continues to raise the bar on great zombie fare.

The release of Angel & Faith: Season 10 #6 this month brings the former rogue slayer Faith back into the spotlight and sees our girl “going commando” in the South Americans jungles in writer Victor Gischler‘s latest script. Artist Will Conrad has returned from his absence last month and is also packin‘ heat with some of his best work in the series yet. Slayers, vamps, jungles, and machine guns . . . All that’s missing is Jesse Ventura and Ol‘ Painless . . .

SPOILERS BELOW

I began my review of Terms of Enlistment, the first installment in the Frontlines series by Marko Kloos, by stating it took me a little while to get hooked into the story.  The sequel, Lines of Departure, suffers from no such acceleration delay.  We jump immediately ahead five years into Andrew Grayson’s military career, and then we are [literally] shot into almost incessant action for the remainder of the story.

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