Wednesday, new comic book day and also the day for the inaugural episode of Geeks n’ Booze. Tonight (27th Sept) 9pm GMT over at https://twitch.tv/comicblackbook. You will find myself and fellow Comic Black Book members discussing comics, plus giving our recommendations on what to read and watch. At the same time having a good ole drink. Those who practise teetotalism are also welcome.
The previous week’s picks
Dark Ark by Cullen Bunn and Juan Doe on Aftershock comics, go out and get a copy asap. Exceptional artwork and exceptional writing. A comic that has taken the story of Noah’s Ark and given it an engrossing and horrifying twist. Definitely, one not to be missed. Gasolina by Sean Mackiewicz and Niko Walter felt rushed for a first issue, with a little too much going on for my liking. Thinking I’ll wait till this hits a trade, as it has the workings of a great supernatural thriller.
This week’s picks
Fu Jitsu (Aftershock Comics)
Story: Jai Nitz, Art: Wes St. Claire
Aftershock Comics are really starting to make a name for themselves, especially with me. This year alone I have picked up Animosity, Eleanor and the Egret, Babyteeth and only last week the outstanding Dark Ark. Each one of those comics is money well spent and I insist you try at least one of them out.
Aftershock is wanting to stay small in the world of creator-owned comics but if they continue to publish high-quality content, they may see their stake in the world of comics grow substantially.
Their latest release titled Fu Jitsu is from Dream Thief (Dark Horse Comics) writer Jai Nitz and artist Wes St. Claire (Teen Titans Annual). Anyone who has read my previous posts will by now know that I have a huge love of East Asia, its culture, its food, its movies, basically anything. So as soon as I saw the title Fu Jitsu I was fully invested. For all I know this comic may have nothing relating to East Asia at all but my obsession is that bad.
The synopsis below is a fantastically wild concept and one that Jai Nitz was reported as saying “It’s a comic book for comic book readers and not a pitch for a movie or TV show”. So in all fairness, we should all be picking this one up.
Fu Jitsu is the world’s smartest boy and has been for the last hundred years. Wait, what? Fu is an un-ageing genius and has had adventures around the globe and around the galaxy. From Einstein and the Wright brothers to Gandhi and Johnny Unitas, Fu has met everyone in history while protecting Earth from Robert Wadlow, the world’s tallest man, and his dangerous magi-science.
Fu exiles himself to Antarctica to try and forget the painful breakup with his ex-girlfriend, Rachel. Meanwhile, Wadlow returns from the far-flung future and sends James Dean, his ultimate assassin, to kill Fu at the South Pole. And you thought your teenage years were tough?
Having such high praise for the previous releases on Aftershock, I am making Fu Jitsu my top pick of the new #1 comics this week.
Gravetrancers (Black Mask Studios)
Story: Mark L. Miller, Art: James Whynot
Black Mask Studios are yet another indie publisher who is on the up. Since their opening slate in 2013, they’ve had creators like Grant Morrison, Mags Visaggio, Fabian Rangel Jr and Matthew Rosenberg all release on Black Mask. With titles like Space Riders, 4 Kids Walk into a Bank, Kim & Kim and The Dregs having numerous Comic Black Book members throwing huge amounts of praise their way.
Their latest series is Gravetrancers from Mark L. Miller, James Whynot and Dee Cunniffe. Look at that cover, it looks like the worst acid induced trip you’ve ever seen. Or an early 80’s VHS Horror/Grindhouse cover.
Mark L. Miller is not to be confused with Mark Millar (Kick-Ass, Wolverine: Old Man Logan) or Mark A. Miller (The Next Testament). Because it totally confused me! There are too many Mark Miller/Millar’s in the comic book world!
This Mark Miller really wants to disturb us with the premise of “smoking” the bodies of the dead. Which leads to addictive and psychedelic effects. If you don’t see that as disturbing, then there is something quite plainly wrong with you.
On a journey to track down the grave of their estranged father, Maribel and Anthony find their way to the Malort Cemetery, a strange, seemingly abandoned field of mostly unmarked tombs. There they encounter an eccentric clan of grave-robbers who’ve devised a highly-addictive drug made from human remains–and the fresher the corpse, the stronger the dose. What started out as an attempt to reconnect with the past becomes a descent into a psychedelic, neon-coloured nightmare, will Maribel and Anthony find their way through the hallucinogens or will they become the next hit?
One thing to note is that conflicting sites are stating this is either released today (27th September) or at the end of October. Mark L. Miller’s own personal site is stating September, as is Previews World. Black Mask’s official site is drawing a complete blank. Therefore its anyone’s guess if we’ll get to read Gravetrancers this week or not.
That’s all for this weeks selection. Let me know in the comments below what you picked up. Also, don’t forget tonight is the first show of Geeks n Booze, 9pm GMT. Come chat and have a drink with us over at https://twitch.tv/comicblackbook.
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