Consider this a public service announcement.  Go out and support your local comic book shop.  If you’re in the vicinity of Berkeley, give Fantastic Comics a try.  They’ve been my local shop for several years now and they do a great job.

While super hero movies have been all the rage, instability at Marvel Comics is causing ripples throughout the industry putting comic shops at a disadvantage.  So while you’re at your LCS, consider picking up an extra issue or two if you can.  There’s lots of great books out there to try.

Here’s the haul I brought back from my last trip to the shop which just happened to fall on Free Comic Book Day:

  • Action Comics #1000 – First comic to reach 1000 thanks to legacy renumbering.
  • Astro City #51 – I’ve loved every incarnation of this book by Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson. Worth it monthly for the Alex Ross covers alone. I’ll keep buying this book as long as they keep putting it out.
  • Black Magic – Bimonthly so no issue this month, but oh boy has this title been smoking hot.  I had to mention it because issue #11 left me dying for the next.
  • Bloodshot Salvation #8 – Jeff Lemire taking the 90s Valiant hero to new heights.
  • Captain America #701 – Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s run has been a delight.  I’m looking forward to seeing what Ben Tahenisi-Cotes does with the character.  But seriously Marvel, you’re relaunching another titles after legacy renumbering.  Are ye daft?
  • DC Nation #0 – Can’t argue with 25 cent comics.
  • Descender #29 – Astute readers will notice the preponderance of Jeff Lemire on my pull list.  The guy just tells solid story no matter the genre.  This artist pairing is perfect with Dustin Nguyen lending this lil space opera a unique look and feel.
  • Doomsday Clock #4 – Scott Snyder and Gary Frank. Saving these to read all at once.
  • Lazarus #27 – This is *the* book on my list right now, written by none other than Greg Rucka.  Michael Lark returns with this issue after a creative breather. Thankfully we’ve had a Lazarus fix while Lark was off.  The mini-series Lazarus X+66 did not miss a beat.  The last issue, which focused on the Vassalovka Lazarus the Dragon, was crazy good.
  • Mister Miracle #8 – Tom King and Mitch Gerads with a mind fuck of a maxi-series featuring the New Gods.
  • Monstress #13 – Sana Takeda’s art is exquisite.  Just take my money.
  • Oblivion Song #2 – The latest series from Robert Kirkman takes place partially in the lost city of Philadelphia which has been displaced across a dimensional rift. Nathan Cole traverses the rift continuing to look for survivors even years later.  As usual, Kirkman spins off a great concept.  Lorenzo De Felici deftly fleshes out the alien world.
  • Rat Queens #8 – Kurtis Wiebe’s gonzo take on fantasy.
  • Saga #51 – One of the most important books of the modern era.  You could say that, of course, about a lot of Brian K Vaughan’s work.  But not all of his books have Fiona Staples on art.  She was nominated for a Best Artist Hugo for a reason.  Big happenings this issue.
  • Sex Criminals #24 – One of the funniest, quirkiest, perkiest comics by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky.
  • Spider-Man #240 – Bendis’ swan song leaves the book…canceled. After reading this ish, I was scrambling to figure out what Marvel was doing with Miles next…and I still don’t know!
  • Sword of Ages #3 – Gabe Rodriguez art, again just take my money.
  • Walking Dead #179 – All Out War was not kind to the TV show (did not translate well) but it was a great arc for the comic.  The show continues to creep closer to where readers are at now in New World Order, and I have to say the comic is still killing it.
  • Wonder Woman #44-45 (dropped) – I couldn’t be more disappointed with James Robinson following a great run by Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp, and Nicola Scott.  I remember Robinson fondly from the 90s on Starman and Leave It to Chance, but clearly this is not a book he should be writing.  Odd Boys vs Furies?  C’mon.  I love Emanuela Luppachino’s artwork and David Yardin’s covers though.  Maybe DC will follow with a better writer…

Pull List Changes

Some upcoming books that I’m looking forward to (not missing) and one I’m flat out done with:

  • Barrier – Brian K Vaughan and Marcos Martin released this limited series online via Panel Syndicate and the first two issues are coming in May.  Loved what they did on their Walking Dead one-shot The Alien. I keep meaning to grab Private eye.  BKV is just gold.
  • Gideon Falls – I don’t even know what this book is yet after reading the first issue. I’m thinking something in the realm of Outcast. Jeff Lemire provides some interesting history on the route it took to print in the back matter.
  • Isola – Gorgeous art convinced me to pick up the first issue.  Was intrigued enough by the story to add it to my pull list when I’d usually sample the first few issues before committing.
  • Justice League: No Justice (mini-series) – DCs mega crossover Dark Nights Metal was…interesting.  I’m intrigued by the aftermath. What’s on the other side of the Source Wall?
  • Man of Steel (mini-series) – Brian Michael Bendis leaving Marvel sent shock waves through my pull list.  Will this mini-series be the big deal DC is making it out to be?