A praised journalist and author.
A genre-defying and ground-breaking editor.
A host of luminously talented and beloved illustrators.
The launch of a new book publishing imprint.
Food, candles, samurai… and classic ghost stories.
That’s what’s on the menu today at local comic book shops everywhere today. It’s an event whose literary courses are sure to fill any reader’s appetite – from wonderful art to historical learning to spooky stories that keep you up at night.
Hungry Ghosts, co-written by Parts Unknown celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain and novelist Joel Rose (The Blackest Bird, Kill Kill Faster Faster) is the first release from new publisher, Berger Books.
And it’s much anticipated. This is the book to dine on, with the (candle) light turned low!
Fifty years ago.
That’s when Strange Adventures #205 hit newsstands across North America.
It was DC Comics’ first science fiction monthly comic book and it told tales featuring all sorts of weird and arcane…well, adventures, starring some of DC’s more obscure characters (as well as their more famous ones). It was a place for readers to see their heroes in unfamiliar settings as well as a proving ground for new characters. Captain Comet first appeared here. As did Star Hawkins, the Atomic Knights, Enchantress and Animal Man. You may know their names.
And then there was Deadman, created by comic book luminaries, Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino and later written and drawn by the legendary Neal Adams, who honed his pencil and ink chops on the character.
Biff Bam Pop! has featured the character of Deadman in a number of articles over the years. We begged for a film series here. We pleaded for a television series starring the beloved character here. And we featured him in this very column here and here among other pieces.
So, what is it that makes Deadman, the crime-fighting, supernatural ghost, who inhabits the bodies of the living so appealing?
Look no further than today’s risen-from-the-grave release of Deadman #1!
31 Days Of Horror: The Wednesday Run Goes Criminal With “Sherlock Frankenstein & The Legion Of Evil #1”
Here is the tale of Spiral City’s greatest heroes, condemned to an idyllic farmland existence in rural America, a prison from which they can never escape!
That series, Black Hammer, published by Dark Horse Comics, has been a favorite of this particular reader since it began. Biff Bam Pop! has written about it both here and here and its following in the comic book community has only grown with each passing month.
The Black Hammer universe has developed exponentially, it seems, as Lemire and Ormston have been busy world-building by laying storytelling foundations of important, historic events in and around the main characters in each and every issue. It’s actually reminiscent of Mike Mignola’s work on Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. in its early days. Not only has this creative expenditure ripened the main Black Hammer story, but it’s provided colourful jumping-off points, for other, ancillary stories set in the same universe.
Today sees the first fruit of that endeavour with the publication of the first issue of the first Black Hammer spin-off series: Sherlock Frankenstein & The Legion of Evil!
I was about to sit down with a cup of coffee and make my list of hot, cool, new Wednesday Run comic books to pick up at my local shop!
Let’s see, there’s Black Magick #8 on my list – that’s a great series! Witchcraft and cop procedural has never been so fun! And the art is dynamite!
There’s Saga #47 – the best sci-fi/fantasy series out there right now! What heart!
I’ve got the Kamandi Challenge #9 on my list. It skewers a little younger, I know, but I love Kamandi and all that Kirby 1970’s stuff. Plus, it’s serialized by different artists and writers each month, and I love that creative idea.
What’s that you’ve got there, Marvel? A new comic book?
Well, to be honest, I’ve been a little out of the Marvel Comics loop lately. I feel you’ve left my interests in your tried and true Marvel philosophy, your Marvel legacy, willfully behind over the last few years. I don’t know if I…what’s that? You promise a return to everything I used to adore about Marvel Comics? With this one book everything about our relationship is gonna change?
I dunno. I’ve heard it before. And there’s only so much money to go around nowadays. Oh, you insist, do you?
Ok. Ok. Ok. Take it easy!
Here. Let me have a look at your Marvel Legacy #1.
Noah placed animals two by two into his giant ark in order to save the world’s indigenous animal population from the impending doom.
Gorillas, lizards, tigers, bears and mice. The wily raccoons that make a mess of your garbage cans. And even the ornery Canada Geese that make a mess of your local park with their poop.
Yep. Noah saved them all.
Except the unicorns, who somehow didn’t get “flood” memo.
But what of the more unnatural creatures of the world? Who would save them?
Out today, Dark Ark #1 begins to tell their tale!
This month, the “King”, Jack Kirby, would have been 100 years old. His world-renowned comic book creations (Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Fourth World characters, etc.), however, are ever young. They remain in print, re-reprint, reimagined and returned to the Kirby greatness that originally saw their inspiration.
Throughout the summer, the writers of Biff Bam Pop! have been celebrating #Kirby100 with a series of articles which you can find right here.
Throughout the month of August, DC Comics has been celebrating Jack Kirby with various comic book one-shots and series, aimed at drawing attention to the multitude of DC heroes and villains that the “King” had created. One also gets the sense that the publisher is setting them up for a renewed pop-culture push, putting them front and center in the DC Universe.
Today sees the release of the first issue of the highly anticipated Mister Miracle!
Oh, those marvelous Tuscan hills, ochre-tinted and rolling against a clear blue sky – how I want to stay again!
Oh, the endless panorama of the Barossa Valley – may the image be forever in my sight!
Oh, the cool and calming climate of the Valle de Casablanca – may I dream of you once more!
The connection to these four locales? It’s evident isn’t it?
Wine. Nectar of the capital “G” Gods. And if you’re anything like me, a good glass of wine makes for an enjoyable time.
Be it Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Syrah or a Blanc, every glass of wine takes you to its place of origin, enlightening you to its landscape, its people and its history.
And that’s the premise to today’s release of the absolutely lovely and tasty Time & Vine #1!
It’s July 12th and that means that it’s my birthday! Yes! Thank you for all the birthday wishes…twenty-nine years young forever, I say, although it’s been “forever” for a number of years already.
But that’s one of the great things about being interested in, a fan of, and a part of, the pop culture community: you never really do grow old. With the comic books, movies, television programs, board and card games, toys, music, cartoons, and video games, you always seem to find a way to stay youthful.
At heart, at least.
And if you were to subtract twenty nine years from today’s date, and then subtract a few more, and then a few more for added measure, you’d have one of the greatest years of my youth – as well as many of you out there!
It’s the early 1980’s.
And you’re hanging out at the local arcade.
And your hair is long.
And it’s on purpose.
And you’re playing Centipede.
And it’s awesome!
Relive that youthful glory with today’s comic book-styled modern release of Centipede #1!
Inside the living room or outside on the backyard patio, single games of Monopoly would last for days, The Game of Life would last for hours, and games of Connect Four would be quick and energetic fancies in-between (although we sometimes turned them into larger, multiple-win tournaments).
But the game that would stay with me though my childhood days and nights, the game that would morph into mysterious DIY role-playing games, and cross boundaries and technology into VCR-led playing, movies, books and video games, was the murder-mystery game of Clue.
And for the first time ever, that Hasbro-published classic is making the jump into comic books!
As comic book lovers, now we can sleuth the sequential art mystery, beginning in today’s release of Clue #1!
The bombs bursting in air!
OK. We’re talking about comic books, not the star-spangles banner of the United States of America – although the two, seemingly disparate elements, intermingle today.
We’ve all talked about his before: one of the great things about comic books is that they are ever-malleable in terms of art, design and story. Regardless of distribution method, or frequency, or shape, or size (all great aspects inherent to comics) there’s also no effects budget to hinder the artistic look of an individual issue. There’s no defined wall, no genre that a writer can’t hurdle a story over – or gloriously crash one through!
There’s proof through the night (and day) of this belief every time we pick up and read a comic book.
Today is Wednesday. It’s new comic book arrival day, a day all comic book readers eagerly look forward to. Let’s celebrate the first issue of a new volume of stories set in America’s nascent past that proves this point – again.
Let’s celebrate Rebels: These Free And Independent States #1