Hey there True Believers, I can’t tell if its jacket weather or coat weather from one minute to the next here at the home office in Cobourg, Ontario, but I’m sitting at my desk so it must be time for Heroes and Villains!
This week I got a fresh look at a few Number 1 issues and a trade from Image Comics as well as some from Zenescope. What did I think? Keep reading!
Redlands Volume 1
Writer: Jordie Bellaire; Artists: Vanessa Del Rey and Clayton Cowles
If you took True Blood and threw it into a blender with The Craft, fired all the writers, hired better ones and then turned it into a comic book, you might get something as good as Redlands. Probably not, but it would be worth a try.
Set in the southern US town of Redlands, we meet three ageless woman with mysterious powers that seem to control the town and the people in it.
Having read a single issue from this first volume for a previous column, I was really excited to get my hands on the entire first arc. The art is pitch perfect and the story gives just enough to you that you feel connected, but leaves plenty out there waiting to be discovered.
I would be hard pressed not to recommend you give this a read; there is murder, magic, nudity and plenty of grit. Another fresh take on a tried and true concept by Image that simply begs to be adapted by HBO.
Infidel Issue 1
Story: Pornsak Pichetshote; Art: Aaron Campbell and Jose Villarrubia
Speaking of great comics… woof. Infidel is sure off to a great start. Once again, Image Comics has allowed a creator to take a fairly over-exposed concept—the old haunted death house—and take it to another level with a fresh direction.
In this case, we meet a young Muslim step-mother, living with her boyfriend’s family in a run-down old apartment building that once was home to a serial killer.
I’m ready for issue 2 any time.
The Beef Issue 1
Plot/Script/Letters: Richard Starkings; Plot/Script: Tyler Shainline
Art: Shaky Kane
Well… this one was kinda weird.
When I think of Richard Starkings, I think of his ground-breaking lettering on the X-Men spin-off Generation X from many years ago. I had no idea he was also writing comics about guys that work at slaughter houses in small towns and get transformed into hulking meat men.
Now I do.
This first issue lays some back story, drops some well-written and well-researched exposition panels and sets the table for something very unique in my week’s reading.
The art made me think of a late-night cartoon network series with a style that takes realism to a very unrealistic place.
I don’t know where this series is going, but for the quirkier readers out there it might be worth a pick up.
Grimm Fairy Tales: Tarot Issue 5
Writer: Joe Brusha; Artist: Renato Rei
Zenescope seems to be the line I just can’t get behind with another offering of a comic that doesn’t hit the mark.
I haven’t read the first four issues of this series, but I really don’t feel like I missed much. There are good guys called “The Order of Light” and bad guys called Tarot. There are sword fights, skimpy outfits and open mouths yelling. There is even a 1990s style “Cable” eye on Shimmer, a Dagger clone with a ridiculous white spandex outfit that doesn’t pick up dirt or blood in the midst of a battle.
I dunno, I could probably just not read these books—they clearly aren’t for me—but something keeps drawing me in. It’s not a hate read (that’s way too harsh), but it does feel like a reminder of why the titles I get to review at Image are such great examples of the strength of this medium. And, why comics like Tarot are such a cautionary tale for those that haven’t evolved with it.
Well, that’s what I read this week. So, til next time: see you around the multiverse!