OTIS FRAMPTON’S ‘ODDLY NORMAL’ TAKES PRE-TEEN AWKWARDNESS TO ANOTHER LEVEL [PREVIEW]
Otis Frampton’s all-ages comic Oddly Normal has been around for a decade now, starting in 2004 as a webcomic, then a four-issue miniseries, a graphic novel, a Kickstarter-funded book in 2012, and now a brand new Image Comics series.
At its core, Oddly Normal is about a 10-year-old girl who wished her parents away. Now Frampton intends to dig into the origins of Oddly, his half-witch protagonist. The new series examines what it’s like to be different and how mean kids can be, and explores how the drastic measures kids take when they’re fed up with that cruelty can lead to… unintended consequences.
BRUTAL AND HORRIFYING: AN ADVANCE REVIEW OF SCOTT SNYDER AND JOCK’S ‘WYTCHES’ #1
By Chris Sims
If you asked me who my favorite writers were in comics today, Scott Snyder‘s name would be right up there at the top of the list, but I’ll be honest with you: That’s entirely because of his work on Batman. There’s very little of his work outside of my favorite superhero that I’ve read, including American Vampire – and that alone is pretty weird when you consider that it’s got Dracula in it, and he’s a solid #2 on my personal list of the best bat-themed characters in fiction. As a result, I’ve ben looking forward to checking out some of his other work for a while, and Wytches, the new book coming out from Image, felt like a pretty good place to start trying.
It is, after all written by Snyder and drawn by his Batman: The Black Mirror collaborator Jock, and if there are two creators that I like enough to give a new book a try sight unseen, it’s them. Having read the first issue, though, I can tell you that it is very good, but very, very dark.
REVIEW: ‘GIANT-SIZE KUNG FU BIBLE STORIES’ LIES TO YOUR FACE, IS STILL GREAT
By Chris Sims
If there’s a Hall of Fame for comic book titles, then Giant-Size Kung Fu Bible Stories deserves its own wing. You put those words in that order on the cover of a comic book, and I’m going to buy it, no questions asked, and I’m pretty sure I’m not exactly alone in that way of thinking. To be honest, though, I will admit to being just a little bit disappointed that it’s not an accurate description of the contents. I mean, is there anyone who wouldn’t want to read a treasury-sized extravaganza about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego busting out forbidden martial arts techniques in order to fight their way out of the oven? I would.
That said, what we actually have — an extra-sized $20 tome edited by Bruce Timm and Erik Larsen — is still pretty amazing; an anthology of stories from fantastic creators that accomplishes that rare feat of being an anthology book where every single story is highly entertaining, even if they’re not about Esau mastering poison styles to take his ultimate revenge on Jacob.
#ZDARSCON: LIVE (PRE-RECORDED) AT CHIP ZDARSKY’S ONE-MAN TORONTO CONVENTION [INTERVIEW]
Chip Zdarsky is clearly his own man. While other comic creators took their places behind their tables at Toronto’s Fan Expo comic convention this past weekend, the co-creator of Sex Criminals set up his own independent ‘Zdarscon’ in a park across the street — in the shadow of the CN Tower and a short distance from the Blue Jays baseball game at the Rogers Centre. Even his co-author Matt Fraction wasn’t invited.
The day started with torrential rain, followed by blazing heat, but Zdarsky was attended at all times by Alex Hoffman, the life model who provides the likeness for his Sex Criminal character Jon. ComicsAlliance found Zdarsky seated on a sun-baked armchair on a wheeled platform, with his recently won Eisner Award bolted to a table. We grabbed five minutes with the writer/artist to ask… why, Chip? Why?
IMAGE’S COLLECTION OF WES CRAIG’S PRETTY/WEIRD ‘BLACKHAND COMICS’ BRINGS THE FREAKSHOW TO THE PRINTED PAGE
Originally published as a set of odd, ominous webcomic stories, cartoonist Wes Craig’s Blackhand Comics will see print in October as a graphic novel collection from Image.
Three stories make up the volume: “The Gravedigger’s Union,” “Circus Day,” and “The Seed.” From the looks of them, they’re going to be great additions to any horror lover’s spooky comics collection, and excellent Halloween reads.
STEEL YOURSELF FOR MATT FRACTION & CHRISTIAN WARD’S ‘ODY-C’ WITH THIS PROLOGUE THAT WILL NOT BE IN THE COMIC
When it was announced back in January, we knew three things about ODY-C, the new Image series by writer Matt Fraction and artist Christian Ward: It was a retelling of The Odyssey, would take place in space, and the characters would all be gender-swapped.
What wasn’t as clear was just how trippy and brutal it would be, but if the five-page prologue Ward posted to his Tumblr last week is indicative of what the whole series will be like, those are the words to describe it.
Ward was sure to note that these pages won’t appear in the first issue of ODY-C, so get a good look at the prologue — with its positively luminous color palette, sometimes unorthodox panel layouts, and one big scene of someone getting sliced in two with a sword — now.
BRUBAKER & PHILLIPS’ HOLLYWOOD NOIR ‘THE FADE OUT’ IS THEIR MOST AMBITIOUS COLLABORATION YET [REVIEW]
By John Parker
We can all agree that Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips form one of the most successful comics collaborations of all time, right? Over the last fifteen years the pair have routinely produced some of the best comics of the present age – Sleeper, Incognito, about a thousand pages of Criminal, and the just-completed Fatale. They’re the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby of smart, stylish, noir-tinged genre comics. Whenever their names appear together on a cover, it’s practically a guarantee of excellence.
Now, after years of telling stories influenced by classic film noir, Brubaker and Phillips head directly to the source with The Fade Out, a dark and enthralling mystery about the dark truths behind the myth of old Hollywood.
SINA GRACE & MICHAEL STOCK & HOPE LARSON REIMAGINE PANDORA MYTH AS ALL-AGES FANTASY SERIES ‘PENNY DORA & THE WISHING BOX’
By Chris Sims
When I was reading Burn the Orphanage, the one thought that kept running through my head was “Hey, this violent tribute to games like Streets of Rage is great and all, but what I’d really like to see is an all-ages fantasy story about a young girl and a magic box that grants wishes drawn by the same person!”
Okay, no, that’s actually a lie — but the only reason I didn’t think that is because I didn’t know how bad I wanted it until I saw that exact thing. Written by Michael Stock and drawn by Burn the Orphanage artist Sina Grace, Penny Dora and the Wishing Box is a modern re-telling of the Pandora myth inspired by a story written by Stock’s eight year-old daughter, Nico.
“The first issue is basically an expansion of her original story,” Stock said in an Image press release. “Since then the story has grown through talks we had in the car on the way to school in the mornings via a playful papa/daughter back and forth game of ‘what if.’ The cat in the book, Iggy, is based on our cat (also named Iggy, and also a great lover of ham).”
Featuring cover art and lettering by Eisner-winning cartoonist Hope Larson (A Wrinkle in Time, Who is AC?), Penny Dora and the Wishing Box launches in November with a special 28-page first issue.
REDISCOVERING THE BEST VERSION OF MARK MILLER IN ‘STARLIGHT’ WITH GORAN PARLOV
By John Parker
When Mark Millar and Goran Parlov‘s Starlight was announced, I had mixed feelings. Goran Parlov may be one of the five best comics artists living today, and it sounded like a good idea: a retired hero in the mold of John Carter returns to the planet he once saved, decades after his prime, to be a hero once again.
But often it seems that no matter how good an idea is, Mark Millar can’t help but screw it up. His love of sensationalism and his need to be controversial have sapped the power out of many of his strongest ideas, and I wasn’t that surprised when our own Kevin Church ripped the first issue to shreds. I read it anyway, because Goran Parlov exists, and life is much better for it.
I was a little surprised to find out that I totally disagreed with Church’s review. And I was shocked that the Mark Millar that I like actually decided to turn up.
GET READY TO WANDER THROUGH A MYSTICAL (AND DANGEROUS) TOKYO WITH ‘WAYWARD’ #1 [PREVIEW]
By Chris Sims
Here at ComicsAlliance, we’re already pretty excited about Jim Zub and Steve Cummings’ Wayward. The story of a girl who moves from Ireland to Japan after her parents divorce, only to find herself in a world that’s not only culturally different, but also full of supernatural monsters that want to murder her right there on the streets of Tokyo hits that perfect combination of adolescent metaphors and comic book action that I’ll always love as a reader.
If, however, you still need convincing before the book’s Final Order Cutoff date on Monday, then have a look below for a five-page preview that provides a gorgeous showcase of Cummings’ art as Rory arrives in Tokyo. And maybe, if you’re good, I might throw something else in for good measure.