Michele Brittany, Fanbase Press Contributor

Michele Brittany, Fanbase Press Contributor

Spiral is a crime noir that follows two adults – one cop and the other criminal – who have long been denied the opportunity to step into the family mantle and step out of the long shadow cast by their respective fathers. Olivia is a rebellious, hotheaded cop who regularly pushes legal boundaries while Michael, who finally gets to take over a part of the family business, is anxious to prove that he can manage the business better than his father; both ignore parental advice. As each spirals out of control, they are on a collision course trajectory into each other's worlds – the streets of London. Thus begins the first of this four-part series.

Love is in the air at Fanboy Comics! In this magical month of romance and enchantment, the FBC Staff and Contributors decided to stop and smell the roses. In the days leading up to Valentine's Day, a few members of the Fanboy Comics crew will be sharing their personal love letters to the areas of geekdom they adore the most.

Master Geralt, my dear friend,

With an imposing stature, unusually pale complexion marked by angry scars, shoulder-length hair drained of its color, and piercing cat-like eyes, your quiet demeanor is unsettling and formidable. Folk who have spent their entire lives farming their small plots of land or living in one of the small hamlets dotting the lands are a simple people. When you pass by, they often respond to your physical attributes with derogatory remarks – from the disparaging toned “witcher” to pointing out your “strange eyes” and to the extreme “Don't eat my children!” All the deprecating statements fade in the wind as you remain unprovoked; you are aware they are narrow-minded from their lack of knowledge that would otherwise be learned from travel and exposure to other cultures and practices. You shake off the ignorance; once more people have judged the book's cover without ever trying to peek inside.

It was a drizzling Saturday morning as I joined the line standing the length of Dave & Buster's at The Outlets of Orange on January 23rd. While the weather may have been uncooperative, it was, however, an auspicious start marking my first comic book convention of 2016. Organized by local comic book store Phat Collectibles and Toys, it was my third time attending this annual free one-day event.

Victorie City is a new, four-issue comic book series from the collaborative partnership of IDW and 44Flood. Filmmaker turned writer Keith Carmack and member of 44Flood has written a dark noir psychological crime thriller of a good cop investigating a missing girl case while navigating the precarious waters of a saturated corrupt police force. On the flip side, readers also see inside the mind of an intelligent and articulate serial killer. Carmack is joined by artist Vincent Nappi (who also completed the subscription cover), letterer/designer Jessi Adrignola, and editor Carlos Guzman. The regular cover, a fantastic wrap-around brilliantly capturing the dark, gritty tone of the story, was created by guest cover artist and one of the founding members of 44Flood, Ben Templesmith.

Historically challenged “dimension-hopping ambassadors of rock” Bill S. Preston, Esquire, and Ted “Theodore” Logan, hailing all the way from sunny San Dimas, California, are back! BOOM! Studios has just released a huge hardbound edition of Bill & Ted's Excellent Comic Book Archive which collects between its covers the single 72-page issue of Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991) and the Eisner Award-nominated, 11-issue comic book series Bill & Ted's Excellent Comic Book (1991-1992), both published by Marvel Comics. Remastered and in full, bright color that any '80s enthusiast would call bodacious, this release features both comic book titles plus a foreword and timeline from Evan Dorkin who wrote the screenplay adaptation and script, as well completing the pencils. In addition, there are several behind-the-scenes artist galleries, as well as the original letters' column. The dudes got the royal treatment with this release, and it was a “most triumphant” blast from the past.

Jonathan Maberry is back as editor and co-author of V-Wars: Night Terrors (IDW), the third installment of vampire and werewolf stories that began with V-Wars: A Chronicle of the Vampire Wars in 2013. In the original volume, Maberry commenced with the premise that a dormant bacteria was unleashed with global ramifications. And, as with the first and second volumes, Maberry is joined again by leading authors of horror and science fiction, creating an ongoing and ever-expanding tapestry of stories about the Beats (humans) and Bloods (vampires). 

Battlecats is a new digital comic book series from Mark London and Carl Bevan, founders of Mad Cave Studios. This series follows the tale of a squad of warrior cats whose king requests they find and bring back the head of the kingdom's archenemy. London wrote the script with Bevan heading up creative direction. From their studio, Andy King completed illustrations/pencils and Michael Camelo completed colors/lettering. Colorist Alejandro Giraldo and graphic/cover designer Miguel Angel Zapata rounded out the creative team.

BOOM! Studios knows how to start the new year off with a BANG! Out this week in local comic book stores is the new, four-issue series, The Last Contract, about a geriatric hitman who is forced out of retirement when a mysterious person threatens to go public with a list on contracted hits. Writer Ed Brisson and artist Lisandro Estherren created the story with Niko Guardia on colors and Brisson completing the lettering. Artist Vanesa R. Del Rey was tapped for an incentive cover which resonates the comic's dark themes.

This month Dark Horse Comics is releasing the Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians trade paperback, which collects the four-part comic book series published last summer by artist Ricardo Delgado with Ryan Hill as the color artist. This is the fourth installment of the Age of Reptiles series that commenced with Age of Reptiles: Tribal Warfare (1993) and was followed up by the Eisner Award-winning Age of Reptiles: The Hunt (1997) and Age of Reptiles: The Journey (2003). In this installment, a spinosaurus, one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs to have lived, is the featured protagonist.

To be honest, information literary does not scream excitement for most people. It's a dry topic and will likely give sleep-deprived students the opportunity to catch a quick nap during the professor's lecture on this subject.  For students and researchers who missed that discussion or are looking for a refresher course, then Information Now: A Graphic Guide to Student Research (2015, University of Chicago Press), co-written by Matt Upson, C. Michael Hall, and Kevin Cannon, might just be what the professor ordered.

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