The idea existed in my mind to start this column with something along the lines of “inexplicably/unbelievably, it’s September.” I decided against doing so because it would imply that I’m so out of touch with things that I can’t be bothered to look at a calendar. Nothing could be further from the truth since I’m painfully aware of the passage of time.
Each month I go to the Kittens 2019 calendar in my kitchen, remove the thumbtack that secures it to my wall and flip the page to the new month. September is a pair of sassy looking kittens (one tabby, one black) in a wooden crate, clearly planning their next move. My aunt gets me one every Christmas and I honestly look forward to getting a new one each year.
We’re a few weeks away from the official start of autumn and even though it’s still 79 degrees as I write this, I have lit the ceremonial Yankee Candle for the season. This year’s scent is “Haunted Hayride.”
A brief glimpse into my “creative” process: I get the advance PDFs from a myriad of publishers, read the synopsis, and jump into the book. Every now and then I revert to my baser instincts and pick a book based on the cover art alone. It’s how the majority of comic book readers did it for decades and decades and sometimes your gut reaction to a cover is the best way to go.
Such is the case with Everything, out today from the Dark Horse Berger Books imprint. Something about Culbard’s cover, perhaps the hypnotic eye, drew me in and caused me to skip reading the synopsis in favour of getting into the book as quickly as possible. It’s extremely rare these days to go into something completely cold and Everything proved to me it can still be a rewarding experience.
There are few things I know better than Michigan in the 1980s since it’s A) where I live and 2) when I grew up. The book takes place IN Holland, Michigan (a town I’ve been to!), DURING November! I am a perennial sucker for regional references and I will clap and acknowledge them whenever given the opportunity. “I know Holland! We learned a song about it in grade school!”
Twin Peaks is often the shorthand for “peculiar town with a dark secret” and as much as I’m loathed to draw connective lines between two independent works of fiction, I got a very positive Twin Peaks vibe from Everything #1. There’s an excellent chance this could go in a completely different direction (no one’s wrapped in plastic, no FBI agents, no damn fine coffee) and given how much I enjoyed Cantwell’s previous outing She Could Fly, I expect nothing less.
So if mysterious mega department stores and psychic disturbances in a small Rust Belt town in the 1980’s sounds like something you’d be interested in Everything has, well, everything you could want.
Going To The Chapel #1
David Pepose (W)
Gavin Guidry (A)
Action Lab: Danger Zone
One of the pitfalls of writing a weekly column for me means that new releases often blend together. Case in point, I wrote about David Pepose’s super cool Spencer & Locke just two weeks ago but it seems like an eternity. However, it was a pleasant surprise to see something new from him that’s out TODAY!
Going To The Chapel, for me, is establishing Pepose as one of the best voices in stylish crime thriller books out there right now. I cover A LOT of first issues here and it’s always great to see issues that leave an impression, especially when they’re able to do it in just 24 pages. There’s just so much packed into a single issue with this one it demands a couple of read-throughs to make sure you’re getting everything you can out of it.
In brief, the book follows a somewhat reluctant bride, her groom-to-be, a set of expensive jewels, and some masked robbers. All their paths intersect at the titular chapel and there’s an amazing final page for this book that has me anxious for the next issue.
Doomsday Clock #11
I don’t really have anything to say about this since I haven’t read the issue yet except that it’s been two years this November since Doomsday Clock started. Given the scope of the book and how magnificent Gary Frank’s pencils are I can understand some kind of production delay but…