Iron Man #1 (2020)

The Armored Avenger Goes Back to Basics in New 'Iron Man' Series This Fall  | Marvel

Iron Man #1 (2020)

“Rest Your Brains”

Writer:  Christopher Cantwell

Artist:  Cafu

Cover Art:  Alex Ross

After the run of Iron Man 2020, I was ready to see Tony Stark’s return to prominence in the Marvel Universe.  I feel as if Tony has been crushed too much and his character was messed up.  That was why I was so pleased with the new Iron Man series from Christopher Cantwell.  It feels like a great new start for the iconic character.

I really enjoyed the new direction and the arrival of Tony Stark.  I also thought the use of Patsy Walker’s Hellcat was an interesting choice.  I guess Tony Stark has to have a redhead hanging around.  It was also intriguing how they ended the Janet Van Dyne/Stark relationship in like two panels.  It made me think about JJ Abrams’ Rise of Skywalker  just wiping out some of the materials from the Last Jedi.  

I found the framing technique of the “Tweets” really funny and engaging. It worked well for me.

The art in here from Cafu was gorgeous. I did not know much about Cafu, though I remember some wonderful work in Jane Foster: Valkyrie. There is a new suit of armor for Iron Man designed by Alex Ross and it is a wonder.

This is a great start and I enjoyed this more than I have for quite a long time.

The Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn #1

Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn (2020) #1 | Comic Issues |  Marvel

The Amazing Spider-Man: The Sins of Norman Osborn #1

 Writer:  Nick Spencer

Artist:  Federico Vicentini

Cover Art:  Ryan Ottley & Nathan Fairbairn

I have to say that I typically dislike this kind of promotion.  There is no reason this issue had to be a number 1.  It could just be part of the Amazing Spider-Man series since it basically takes the storyline of the Sin Eater and continues it.  Marvel does this a lot with their event runs and it is very annoying.  Add to the fact that a lot of these types of issues feel disposable and unimportant to the storyline makes it even worse.

However…

This was just tremendous.

I loved this issue.  There was so much going on and it certainly brings the story to a new level.  The interactions between Spidey and Osborn are amazing and the formation of the group of Spider-people who plan on helping Peter out is special.  

This book continues the build of the Sin Eater (with a mouth dropping moment inside Ravencroft) and the mystery of Kindred.  And Norman Osborn is easily heading back for big things.

The Amazing Spider-Man series has been building this story for awhile now and this book was one of my favorites this week.  Nick Spencer has been knocking it out of the park lately and I am excited to see where this goes from here.

Stillwater #1

Stillwater #1 is a fantastic debut a must for horror fans

Stillwater #1

“Chapter One: I Can’t Protect No One Can”

Writer:  Chip Zdarsky

Artist:  Ramon L. Perez

Cover Art:  Ramon K. Perez

The highly anticipated new series from writer Chip Zdarsky and the collaboration between Image and Skybound was released today and the anticipation was well worth it.

Two men head to a mysterious town called Stillwater to claim a supposed estate left to one of them, Daniel, from a deceased relative. Once they arrived in Stillwater, the locals are not friendly and the weirdness kicked into high gear.

I enjoyed the mysteriousness of the story. You had no idea what was happening and that feel of uncertainty had me turning the pages to see what was going to happen next.

Chip Zdarsky’s recent work on Daredevil has been so stellar that I have become a huge fan. There are a handful of writers these days that I am willing to pick up a non-Marvel title just because of name value, and Zdarsky is one of them. He spends a good chunk of the early part of the book developing Daniel and his friend and it pays off big time in the end.

As a fan of the small town weirdness such as Twin Peaks, Eerie, Indiana and Deery, Maine, Stillwater feels as if it could become as loved as any of these.

Stillwater #1 is a fantastic debut a must for horror fans

Black Widow #1(2020)

Black Widow (2020) #1 | Comic Issues | Marvel

Black Widow #1

Writer: Kelly Thompson

Artist:  Elena Casagrande

Cover Art:  Adam Hughes

We got another Marvel Black Widow series today, a book that apparently was ready to go back in March but got messed with in the COVID-19 quarantine.  Written by Kelly Thompson, this book is unexpected and filled with some great mysterious events.

I really enjoyed this first issue.  This seems to be the week for spy comics and this is another wonderful one. 

The art is so very beautiful and the colors set the mood throughout the entire book.  The story was shocking and entirely unexpected.  I loved the twist about half of the way into the book and the final page was exceptional and extremely welcome.  

I also enjoyed the specific cameos of other Marvel heroes appearing in the book who normally circulate in the Black Widow orbit.  

Kelly Thompson has had some great stories over the last few years and this feels as if it could be really special leading up to the Black Widow MCU movie in November.

Black Widow (2020) #1 | Comic Issues | Marvel

We Only Find Them When They’re Dead#1

REVIEW: We Only Find Them When They're Dead #1 — Comics Bookcase

We Only Find Them When They’re Dead #1

Writer:  Al Ewing

Artist:  Simone Di Meo

Cover Art:  Simone Di Meo

Al Ewing has been on a roll for awhile now.  His work on The Immortal Hulk has been some of the best comic book work for years.  His name alone has drawn me to this book.

I was at my comic book shop months ago and I had them add this comic to my pull list.   I remember them surprised at the length and strangeness of the title.  No one knew about it.  Neither did I.  The only reason I added this title from Boom! Studios was because of Al Ewing.

As I walked in today to my comic shop, the owner was raving about this book and said how lucky I was being one of the few people at the shop that had a copy of this book pulled for them.  He said that he had not read anything this brilliant, had a feeling reading like this since he read Someone is Killing the Children.  That is high praise indeed.

He is right.  This was an amazing book.

We Only Find Them When They’re Dead is really hot and you can see why.  There are few books more beautifully drawn and designed.  The brightness and the color are stunning.  And it features some themes that are unique in the world of comic books.

The sci-fi thriller feels like a massive epic, but also is able to feel like a smaller story.  A story of a group of “Autopsy Ships” that are salvaging parts of the deceased bodies of celestial gods that float in space after they die.  Meanwhile, there are interaction between characters in the book that are engaging and fascinating.  

There are some unbelievable concepts here and I am very excited to see where Al Ewing takes this book from here.  

 

REVIEW: We Only Find Them When They're Dead #1 — Comics Bookcase

Spy Island #1

Spy Island #1 :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics

Spy Island #1

Writer:  Chelsea Cain

Artist:  Elise McCall & Lia Miternique

Cover Art:  Lia Miternique

I put this comic on my pull list awhile back.  Seeing it today with the rest of the issues, I was not sure why.  I mean, it had an amazing cover, but I was uncertain why it attracted me.  I am more of a Marvel guy than anything else and, even though I have read more independent comics over the last year and a half, it is not like I have a large number.  I had a fleeting memory of liking the synopsis that I had read in the Previews, but it still did not compute.  

Then I saw it.

Chelsea Cain was the writer and was the co-creator.

That is why I wanted it.  

Chelsea Cain wrote one of my favorite runs of any comic book ever.  Mockingbird #1-8 (which we inducted into this year’s EYG Hall of Fame) was some of my favorite comic books ever written.  I absolutely loved that.  Seeing her return to comics with a spy story set in the Bermuda Triangle… well, to say the least, I’m in!

Cain was treated horribly by the internet during her run, with some of the anti-women rhetoric spewers becoming butt-hurt with the strength and feminism of Bobbi Morse, aka Mockingbird.  I never understand what is wrong with people.  Why couldn’t they just enjoy the brilliantly comedic and amazingly plotted Mockingbird series.

Honestly, I was downright angry when it ended.  I still have negative feelings surrounding that cancellation.

Maybe I can get over it now, because Spy Island #1 has that same tone, feel  and humor of those wondrous Mockingbird issues and I really loved it.  This was so entertaining and it scratched that itch I had been missing.

Nora Freud is the main character in this issue and she is on an island on the cusp of the Bermuda Triangle.  She is a spy, but there seems to be plenty of others here as well.  She is meant to keep an eye on the place, but how do you keep an eye open on so many possible problems?

I totally trust Chelsea Cain to entertain me and, if this issue is any indication, I have not misplaced that trust.  I thoroughly enjoyed this debut issue and the worst part is that it is only a four-issue limited series.  

I would be remiss if I did not mention the beautiful artwork in the book by Elise McCall and the absolutely stunning cover by co-creator, Lia Miternique.  

 

 

Ghost Spider #10

Ghost-Spider (2019) #10 | Comic Issues | Marvel

Ghost Spider #10

When the Chips are Down

Writer: Seanan McGuire

Artist:  Ig Guara

Cover Art:  Takeshi Miyazawa & Ian Herring

One of the collateral damages coming from the pandemic has been how several of the Marvel titles have been mucked up.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not comparing the horrors of COVID-19 and the loss of so many lives to the cancellation of a comic book.  But facts are fact.  Ghost Spider #10 is the final book of the current series run and you can tell that the creative team behind it had not intended to wrap their story up so quickly.

Truly, Ghost Spider’s story arc was scheduled for 12 issues, not ten.  And this issue showed that because it felt crammed with story and it felt rushed in the reveals.  The confrontation between Gwen and the Storm siblings came out of nowhere and it felt that way.  Heck, even Gwen Stacy was feeling that confusion.

Having said that, the story was really great and was taking the character in a fantastic (pardon that pun, it was unintentional) direction.  I would have loved to have seen this over two more issues.

Unfortunately, Ghost Spider fell victim to a series of cancellations that ended several very solid books.  I am going to miss Ghost Spider as I had been enjoying the story being told by Seanan McGuire.  Ghost Spider is one of the most original creations of the last few years and the new use of Johnny and Susan Storm in Gwen’s dimension was very creative.  Heroes more concerned with their social media accounts and their image, which brought them into conflict with Gwen is a solid story.  I wish it had time to develop more than what we got.

I am sure that Ghost Spider will return in the Marvel Universe and I hope she will continue to grow as a character.

ReadIt

Ghost-Spider (2019) #10 | Comic Issues | Marvel

Thor #6

Thor (2020) #6 | Comic Issues | Marvel

Thor #6

The Devourer King Part Six:  Herald of None

Writer: Donny Cates

Artist:  Nic Klein

Cover Art: Olivier Coipel & Laura Martin

Good lord.

This was amazing.  The finale of the arc that saw Thor and Galactus interacting, with Thor starting off as the new herald has been utterly fantastic.  And this ending is shocking and unbelievable.

The art is breath-taking.  The story is brutal and takes no prisoners.

And the ending is universe shaking.

Go read this.  In fact, read Thor #1-6 because this whole story arc is one of a kind.

I don’t have anything but the highest regard for this series and this issue.

 

excelsior

Thor (2020) #6 | Comic Issues | Marvel

Maestro #1

Comic Review - "Maestro #1" - LaughingPlace.com

Maestro #1

Symphony in a Gamma Key Part One: Overture

Writer:  Peter David

Artist:  German Peralta

Cover Art:  Dale Keown & Jason Keith

One of my all-time favorite mini-series was Future Imperfect with the Hulk.  It was an alternate future story of a world without the heroes and ruled by a monstrous villain known as Maestro.  It turned out that Maestro was actually Dr. Bruce Banner himself and the Hulk from the past had to face off with the Hulk of the future.

It was a great two-issue series.  You always wondered what lead to Bruce Banner becoming this villain.

Finally, the original writer of Future Imperfect has returned to give us the origin story of Maestro, and if issue #1 is any example, we have a wild ride ahead of us.

Peter David is one of the great writers in comic books and he has had an epic run with the Incredible Hulk.  He kicks off this book with some misdirection and immediately hooks you into the hero of the book, Bruce Banner.   You can already see some of the cracks forming in the character of the Hulk and I anticipate the fallout to be glorious.

excelsior

Comic Review - "Maestro #1" - LaughingPlace.com

The Amazing Spider-Man #46

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #46

The Amazing Spider-Man #46

Sins Rising Part Two

Writer:  Nick Spencer

Artist:  Marcelo Ferreira

Cover Art:  Casanovas

This is the second part of a huge Spider-Man story that sees the return of the Sin-Eater!

The Sin-Eater was the murderous villain years ago in one of the greatest Spidey arcs, “The Death of Jean DeWolff?”by Peter David and Rich Buckler.  This story included Daredevil and pushed Spidey to the precipice of his emotional brink.

We have already seen Sin-Eater return from the dead in Amazing Spider-Man: Sins Rising Prelude #1, which dove deep into the character of Stan Carter, the disgraced cop who became Sin-Eater, but showed us that there was more to him than what we remembered.

This new storyline has been fire so far as we look closely at one of the darkest periods in the life of the Web-Head.  The Sin-Eater is a moment where Spidey almost lost himself to his anger and thirst for vengeance and this continues exploring that.

However, there is a mystery to this story as well as Sin-Eater’s victims are not necessarily being killed.  Here, the Lethal Legion are used to show what happens after they are “cleansed” by the Sin-Eater.

Also, the comic is looking at the idea of mob mentality and the worship of someone who may not deserve your praise.  Sin-Eater is not being seen as a murderous vigilante by the public at large, with Spencer going as far as having bystanders applaud the apparent murders being committed by Sin-Eater.  There feels to be something deeper under the surface going down here as well.  The ending sequence brings some major doubt into the motives of Sin-Eater.

So far this has been a tremendous story with emotion and a true uncertainty about what is happening.  The art from Marcelo Ferreira creates a great darkness, a specific tone that works well with the tale being weaved.

As a huge Spider-Man fan, I am excited to see where this goes.

excelsior

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #46

Fantastic Four #22

Fantastic Four (2018) #22 | Comic Issues | Marvel

Fantastic Four #22

You Had One Job”

Writer:  Dan Slott

Artist:  Paco Medina & Sean Izaakse

Cover Art:  Nick Bradshaw & John Rauch

An Empyre tie in sees the story of Franklin and Valeria Richards continuing on Yancy Street with Spider-Man and Wolverine.  Franklin and Valeria are meant to protect the two children, one Skrull, one Kree, that the team had rescued last issue.

Unfortunately, Wolverine got a little stabby last issue, and N’Kalla the Skrull was injured.  Spidey’s spider-sense is going off, but he is more interested in meeting Sky, Johnny Storm’s soulmate.

It seems great that Dan Slott has a chance to write Spider-Man once again.  You can tell he slips right back into a regular feel with the Wall-Crawler.

I enjoyed this issue very much and I am looking forward to the advancement of this storyline.  Spidey and Wolvie are a fun pair to play off and we get to see how Franklin and Valeria continue to progress.

ReadIt

Fantastic Four (2018) #22 | Comic Issues | Marvel

X-Factor #1

X-FACTOR #1

X-Factor #1

Suite No. 1″ Prelude: Aurora Moratorium”

Writer:  Leah Williams

Artist:  David Baldeon

Cover Art:  Ivan Shavrin

I have not been a huge fan of the rebooted X-Men series.  I have only continued buying the main X-Men title since coming out of Powers of X/House of X series by Hickman.  So I did not have a lot of hope when I found X-Factor #1 in my pull box today.

Yet, I really enjoyed this book.

Northstar senses that his twin sister Aurora has died and he goes to demand that the resurrection process in Krakoa get started.   However, Hope demands proof of death before they start on the process.

Northstar and Polaris team up and recruit a group to help investigate what happened to her.

Joining Northstar and Polaris is Daken, Prodigy, Eye-Boy, and Rachel and they called themselves X-Factor.

I enjoyed the character interactions in the book.  I must say that the story of Aurora’s death was really underplayed.  I would not have minded if that had been spread out and made a little more substantial than what we got.  It felt like it was tossed in just to justify the creation of X-Factor.

However, the characterization was so good that I can excuse the lack of the plot with the hope that the story improves as the book continues.  The idea that X-Factor will be an investigative team looking for missing mutants and determining if a mutant has died is a solid hook for this comic.

I wonder if this book is just going to blend in with the other X-books and lose its identity.  That is one of the current strengths of this book so far.

It is an interesting and hopeful start at this point.

Itsfine

X-FACTOR #1

Eisner Award winners 2020 SDCC at home

 

The Eisner Awards were presented at the San Diego Comic Con at home edition, on YouTube.  The Eisner Awards are present to the top in the area of comics publishing.  Winner listed in red below….

 

Best Short Story
  • “Hot Comb,” by Ebony Flowers, in Hot Comb (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • “How to Draw a Horse,” by Emma Hunsinger, The New Yorker
  • “The Menopause,” by Mira Jacob, The Believer
  • “Who Gets Called an ‘Unfit’ Mother?” by Miriam Libicki, The Nib
  • “You’re Not Going to Believe What I’m About to Tell You,” by Matthew Inman, The Oatmeal

Best Single Issue/One-Shot
  • Coin-Op No. 8: Infatuation, by Peter and Maria Hoey (Coin-Op Books)
  • The Freak, by Matt Lesniewski (AdHouse)
  • Minotäar, by Lissa Treiman (Shortbox)
  • Our Favorite Thing Is My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics)
  • Sobek, by James Stokoe (Shortbox)

Best Continuing Series
  • Bitter Root, by David Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene (Image)
  • Criminal, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
  • Crowded, by Christopher Sebela, Ro Stein, and Ted Brandt (Image)
  • Daredevil, by Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto (Marvel)
  • The Dreaming, by Simon Spurrier, Bilquis Evely et al. (DC)
  • Immortal Hulk, by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, and Ruy José et al. (Marvel)

Best Limited Series
  • Ascender, by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen (Image)
  • Ghost Tree, by Bobby Curnow and Simon Gane (IDW)
  • Little Bird by Darcy Van Poelgeest and Ian Bertram (Image)
  • Naomi by Brian Michael Bendis, David Walker, and Jamal Campbell (DC)
  • Sentient, by Jeff Lemire and Gabriel Walta (TKO)

Best New Series
  • Doctor Doom, by Christopher Cantwell and Salvador Larocca (Marvel)
  • Invisible Kingdom, by G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward (Berger Books/Dark Horse)
  • Once & Future, by Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora (BOOM! Studios)
  • Something Is Killing the Children, by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera (BOOM! Studios)
  • Undiscovered Country, by Scott Snyder, Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Daniele Orlandini (Image)

Best Publication for Early Readers
  • Comics: Easy as ABC, by Ivan Brunetti (TOON)
  • Kitten Construction Company: A Bridge Too Fur, by John Patrick Green (First Second/Macmillan)
  • The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! by Mo Willems (Hyperion Books)
  • A Trip to the Top of the Volcano with Mouse, by Frank Viva (TOON)
  • ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market, by Raúl the Third (Versify/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Who Wet My Pants? by Bob Shea and Zachariah Ohora (Little, Brown)

Best Publication for Kids
  • Akissi: More Tales of Mischief, by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin (Flying Eye/Nobrow)
  • Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls, by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic Graphix)
  • Guts, by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic Graphix)
  • New Kid, by Jerry Craft (Quill Tree/HarperCollins)
  • This Was Our Pact, by Ryan Andrews (First Second/Macmillan)
  • The Wolf in Underpants, by Wilfrid Lupano, Mayana Itoïz, and Paul Cauuet (Graphic Universe/Lerner Publishing Group)

Best Publication for Teens
  • Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass, by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh (DC)
  • Hot Comb, by Ebony Flowers (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Kiss Number 8, by Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Penny Nichols, by MK Reed, Greg Means, and Matt Wiegle (Top Shelf)

Best Humor Publication
  • Anatomy of Authors, by Dave Kellett (SheldonComics.com)
  • Death Wins a Goldfish, by Brian Rea (Chronicle Books)
  • Minotäar, by Lissa Treiman (Shortbox)
  • Sobek, by James Stokoe (Shortbox)
  • The Way of the Househusband, vol. 1, by Kousuke Oono, translation by Sheldon Drzka (VIZ Media)
  • Wondermark: Friends You Can Ride On, by David Malki (Wondermark)

Best Anthology
  • ABC of Typography, by David Rault (SelfMade Hero)
  • Baltic Comics Anthology š! #34-37, edited by David Schilter, Sanita Muižniece et al. (kuš!)
  • Drawing Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival, edited by Diane Noomin (Abrams)
  • Kramer’s Ergot #10, edited by Sammy Harkham (Fantagraphics)
  • The Nib #2–4, edited by Matt Bors (Nib)

Best Reality-Based Work
  • Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations, by Mira Jacob (One World/Random House)
  • Grass, by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim, translation by Janet Hong (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos, by Lucy Knisley (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Moonbound: Apollo 11 and the Dream of Spaceflight, by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm (Hill & Wang)
  • My Solo Exchange Diary, vol. 2(sequel to My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness), by Nagata Kabi, translation by Jocelyne Allen (Seven Seas)
  • They Called Us Enemy, by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker (Top Shelf)

Best Graphic Album—New
  • Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden (First Second/Macmillan)
  • Bezimena, by Nina Bunjevac (Fantagraphics)
  • BTTM FDRS, by Ezra Claytan Daniels and Ben Passmore (Fantagraphics)
  • Life on the Moon, by Robert Grossman (Yoe Books/IDW)
  • New World, by David Jesus Vignolli (Archaia/BOOM!)
  • Reincarnation Stories, by Kim Deitch (Fantagraphics)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint
  • Bad Weekend by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
  • Clyde Fans, by Seth (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Cover, vol. 1, by Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack (DC/Jinxworld)
  • Glenn Ganges: The River at Night, by Kevin Huizenga (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • LaGuardia, by Nnedi Okorafor and Tana Ford (Berger Books/Dark Horse)
  • Rusty Brown, by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium
  • Giraffes on Horseback Salad: Salvador Dali, the Marx Brothers, and the Strangest Movie Never Made, by Josh Frank, Tim Hedecker, and Manuela Pertega (Quirk Books)
  • The Giver, by Lois Lowry and P. Craig Russell, (HMH Books for Young Readers)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel, by Margaret Atwood, adapted by Renee Nault (Nan A. Talese)
  • HP Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, vols. 1–2adapted by Gou Tanabe, translation by Zack Davisson (Dark Horse Manga)
  • The Seventh Voyage, by Stanislaw Lem, adapted by Jon Muth, translation by Michael Kandel (Scholastic Graphix)
  • Snow, Glass, Apples, by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran (Dark Horse Books)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
  • Diabolical Summer, by Thierry Smolderen and Alexandre Clerisse, translation by Edward Gauvin (IDW)
  • Gramercy Park, by Timothée de Fombelle and Christian Cailleaux, translation by Edward Gauvin (EuroComics/IDW)
  • The House, by Paco Roca, translation by Andrea Rosenberg (Fantagraphics)
  • Maggy Garrisson, by Lewis Trondheim and Stéphane Oiry, translation byEmma Wilson (SelfMadeHero)
  • Stay, by Lewis Trondheim and Hubert Chevillard, translation by Mike Kennedy (Magnetic Press)
  • Wrath of Fantômas, by Olivier Bouquet and Julie Rocheleau, translation by Edward Gauvin (Titan)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
  • BEASTARS, by Paru Itagaki, translation by Tomo Kimura(VIZ Media)
  • Cats of the Louvre, by Taiyo Matsumoto, translation by Michael Arias (VIZ Media)
  • Grass, by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim, translation by Janet Hong (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Magic Knight Rayearth 25th Anniversary Edition, by CLAMP, translation by Melissa Tanaka (Kodansha)
  • The Poe Clan, by Moto Hagio, translation by Rachel Thorn (Fantagraphics)
  • Witch Hat Atelier, by Kamome Shirahama, translation by Stephen Kohler (Kodansha)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
  • Cham: The Best Comic Strips and Graphic Novelettes, 1839–1862, by David Kunzle (University Press of Mississippi)
  • Ed Leffingwell’s Little Joe, by Harold Gray, edited by Peter Maresca and Sammy Harkham (Sunday Press Books)
  • The George Herriman Library: Krazy & Ignatz 1916–1918, edited by R.J. Casey(Fantagraphics)
  • Krazy Kat: The Complete Color Sundays, by George Herriman, edited by Alexander Braun (TASCHEN)
  • Madness in Crowds: The Teeming Mind of Harrison Cady, by Violet and Denis Kitchen (Beehive Books)
  • PogoVol. 6: Clean as a Weasel, by Walt Kelly, edited by Mark Evanier and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
  • Alay-Oop,by William Gropper (New York Review Comics)
  • The Complete Crepax, vol. 5: American Stories, edited by Kristy Valenti(Fantagraphics)
  • Jack Kirby’s Dingbat Love, edited by John Morrow (TwoMorrows)
  • Moonshadow: The Definitive Edition, by J. M. DeMatteis, Jon J Muth, George Pratt, Kent Williams, and others (Dark Horse Books)
  • Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo: The Complete Grasscutter Artist Select, by Stan Sakai, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
  • That Miyoko Asagaya Feeling, by Shinichi Abe, translation by Ryan Holmberg, edited by Mitsuhiro Asakawa (Black Hook Press)

Best Writer
  • Bobby Curnow, Ghost Tree (IDW)
  • MK Reed and Greg Means, Penny Nichols (Top Shelf)
  • Mariko Tamaki, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass (DC); Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me (First Second/Macmillan); Archie (Archie)
  • Lewis Trondheim, Stay (Magnetic Press); MaggyGarrisson (SelfMadeHero)
  • G. Willow Wilson, Invisible Kingdom (Berger Books/Dark Horse); Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
  • Chip Zdarsky, White Trees (Image); Daredevil, Spider-Man: Life Story (Marvel); Afterlift (comiXology Originals)

Best Writer/Artist
  • Nina Bunjevac, Bezimena (Fantagraphics)
  • Mira Jacob, Good Talk (Random House); “The Menopause” in The Believer (June 1, 2019)
  • Keum Suk Gendry-Kim, Grass (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • James Stokoe, Sobek (Shortbox)
  • Raina Telgemeier, Guts (Scholastic Graphix)
  • Tillie Walden, Are You Listening? (First Second/Macmillan)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
  • Ian Bertram, Little Bird (Image)
  • Colleen Doran, Snow, Glass, Apples (Dark Horse)
  • Bilquis Evely, The Dreaming (DC)
  • Simon Gane, Ghost Tree (IDW)
  • Steve Pugh, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass (DC)
  • Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me (First Second/Macmillan)

Best Painter/Digital Artist
  • Didier Cassegrain, Black Water Lilies (Europe Comics)
  • Alexandre Clarisse, Diabolical Summer (IDW)
  • David Mack, Cover (DC)
  • Léa Mazé, Elma, A Bear’s Life, vol. 1: The Great Journey (Europe Comics)
  • Julie Rocheleau, Wrath of Fantômas (Titan)
  • Christian Ward, Invisible Kingdom (Berger Books/Dark Horse)

Best Cover Artist
  • Jen Bartel, Blackbird  (Image Comics)
  • Francesco Francavilla, Archie, Archie 1955, Archie Vs. Predator II, Cosmo (Archie)
  • David Mack, American Gods, Fight Club 3 (Dark Horse); Cover (DC)
  • Emma Rios, Pretty Deadly (Image)
  • Julian Totino Tedesco, Daredevil (Marvel)
  • Christian Ward, Machine Gun Wizards (Dark Horse), Invisible Kingdom (Berger Books/Dark Horse)

Best Coloring
  • Lorena Alvarez, Hicotea (Nobrow)
  • Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Middlewest, Outpost Zero (Image)
  • Matt Hollingsworth, Batman: Curse of the White Knight, Batman White Knight Presents Von Freeze (DC); Little Bird, November (Image)
  • Molly Mendoza, Skip (Nobrow)
  • Dave Stewart, Black Hammer, B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know, Hellboy and the BPRD(Dark Horse); Gideon Falls (Image); Silver Surfer Black, Spider-Man (Marvel)

Best Lettering
  • Deron Bennett, Batgirl, Green Arrow, Justice League, Martian Manhunter (DC); Canto (IDW); Assassin Nation, Excellence (Skybound/Image); To Drink and To Eat, vol. 1 (Lion Forge); Resonant (Vault)
  • Jim Campbell, Black BadgeCoda (BOOM Studios); Giant DaysLumberjanes: The Shape of Friendship (BOOM Box!); Rocko’s Modern Afterlife (KaBOOM!); At the End of Your Tether (Lion Forge); Blade Runner 2019 (Titan); Mall, The Plot, Wasted Space (Vault)
  • Clayton Cowles, Aquaman, Batman, Batman and the Outsiders, Heroes in Crisis, Superman: Up in the Sky, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen (DC);Bitter Root, Pretty Deadly, Moonstruck, Redlands, The Wicked + The Divine (Image); Reaver  (Skybound/Image); Daredevil, Ghost-Spider, Silver Surfer Black, Superior Spider-Man, Venom (Marvel)
  • Emilie Plateau, Colored: The Unsung Life of Claudette Colvin (Europe Comics)
  • Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo (IDW)
  • Tillie Walden, Are You Listening? (First Second/Macmillan)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
  • Comic Riffs blog, by Michael Cavna
  • The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, RJ Casey, and Kristy Valenti(Fantagraphics)
  • Hogan’s Alley, edited by Tom Heintjes (Hogan’s Alley)
  • Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society, edited by Qiana Whitted(Ohio State University Press)
  • LAAB Magazine, vol. 4: This Was Your Life, edited by Ronald Wimberly and Josh O’Neill (Beehive Books)
  • Women Write About Comics, edited by Nola Pfau and Wendy Browne

Best Comics-Related Book
  • The Art of Nothing: 25 Years of Mutts and the Art of Patrick McDonnell(Abrams)
  • The Book of Weirdo, by Jon B. Cooke (Last Gasp)
  • Grunt: The Art and Unpublished Comics of James Stokoe (Dark Horse)
  • Logo a Gogo: Branding Pop Culture, by Rian Hughes (Korero Press)
  • Making Comics, by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Screwball! The Cartoonists Who Made the Funnies Funny, by Paul Tumey (Library of American Comics/IDW)

Best Academic/Scholarly Work
  • The Art of Pere Joan: Space, Landscape, and Comics Form, by Benjamin Fraser (University of Texas Press)
  • The Comics of Rutu Modan: War, Love, and Secrets, by Kevin Haworth (University Press of Mississippi)
  • EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest, by Qiana Whitted (Rutgers University Press)
  • The Peanuts Papers: Writers and Cartoonists on Charlie Brown, Snoopy & the Gang, and the Meaning of Life, edited by Andrew Blauner (Library of America)
  • Producing Mass Entertainment: The Serial Life of the Yellow Kid, by Christina Meyer (Ohio State University Press)
  • Women’s Manga in Asia and Beyond: Uniting Different Cultures and Identities, edited by Fusami Ogi et al. (Palgrave Macmillan)

Best Publication Design
  • Grunt: The Art and Unpublished Comics of James Stokoe, designed by Ethan Kimberling (Dark Horse)
  • Krazy Kat: The Complete Color Sundays, by George Herriman, designed by Anna-Tina Kessler (TASCHEN)
  • Logo a Gogo, designed by Rian Hughes (Korero Press)
  • Madness in Crowds: The Teeming Mind of Harrison Cady, designed by Paul Kopple and Alex Bruce (Beehive Books)
  • Making Comics, designed by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Rusty Brown, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

Best Digital Comic
  • Afterlift, by Chip Zdarsky and Jason Loo (comiXology Originals)
  • Black Water Lilies, by Michel Bussi, adapted by Frédéric Duval and Didier Cassegrain, translated by Edward Gauvin (Europe Comics)
  • Colored: The Unsung Life of Claudette Colvin, by Tania de Montaigne, adapted by Emilie Plateau, translated by Montana Kane (Europe Comics)
  • Elma, A Bear’s Life, vol. 1: The Great Journey, by Ingrid Chabbert and Léa Mazé, translated by Jenny Aufiery (Europe Comics)
  • Mare Internum, by Der-shing Helmer (comiXology; gumroad.com/l/MIPDF)
  • Tales from Behind the Window, by Edanur Kuntman, translated by Cem Ulgen (Europe Comics)

Best Webcomic
  • Cabramatta, by Matt Huynh
  • Chuckwagon at the End of the World, by Erik Lundy
  • The Eyes, by Javi de Castro
  • Fried Rice Comic, by Erica Eng
  •  reMIND, by Jason Brubaker
  • Third Shift Society, by Meredith Moriarty

 

Empyre: Avengers #1

Empyre: Avengers (2020) #1 | Comic Issues | Marvel

Empyre: Avengers #1

Seeds of Conflict

Writer:  Jim Zub

Artist:  Carlos Magno

Cover Art:  Steve McNiven & Morry Hollowell

Marvel Comics newest gigantic crossover event is Empyre and, as most of these type of events, there are a ton of secondary issues outside of the actual Empyre limited series.  Exactly how many issues are unknown because I have heard some of them may have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The fact that some of the issues can be cancelled in this story and not have them affect the overall event tells you something about a lot of these tie-in issues.  They are not necessarily important to the story.

However, there are positives to Empyre: Avengers that, while may not be vital to the story, make for a nice side tale worth reading.

This takes place within the continuity of the Empyre saga and I very much liked the group of characters that are involved.  By doing this, we get a more detailed look at these characters.

There are two prongs to the story.  My favorite part was seeing Brother Voodoo, Ka-Zar, Scarlet Witch, Black Knight and Zabu return to the Savage Land to face off with the the Cotati. In the Savage Land, we get a couple of cool cameos that could lead to some excitement next issue.  The other prong of the story was less interesting which included Quicksilver, Mockingbird and Wonder Man who wind up stuck in the middle between the forces of the Kree/Skull alliance and the Cotati.  There is a short third part involving Vision, Luke Cage and Doctor Nemesis too, but this was a very little piece of the book.

The deep roster of characters allow this book to focus in on other Avengers besides just Cap and Iron Man.

While the book may not be relevant for the overall story of Empyre, I did like the pieces that they are telling us of the outlier of the tale.

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Empyre: Avengers (2020) #1 | Comic Issues | Marvel

X-Men + Fantastic Four #4

X-Men + Fantastic Four #4

Welcome to the New World:  The Might of Latveria has been Unleashed

Writer:  Chip Zdarsky

Artist:  Terry Dodson

Cover Art:  Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson

This is one of the many mini series/regular series that have suffered because of COVID-19.  It has been such a long time since we saw the first three issues of this series that it really made this climactic chapter in this mini series feel like an after thought, and that is too bad since I had really been enjoying this series up to this point.

Everybody is trying to get their hands on Franklin Richards for their own reasons.  The series does a good job of presenting the different sides to the argument over Franklin whether it is the plans of Dr. Doom or the X-Men or Franklin’s parents.

I have to say that the art of this book has not been my favorite so far (in particular the faces of the characters), but I really think this issue stepped it up.  Some of the art here is so wonderful, especially with the images of Franklin and his power, so it helps the issue.

However, the ending scene (which I will not spoil) with Professor X and Magneto doing something that made me reconsider those two characters and their motivation.

The series also seemed to wrap up pretty easily.  Made me think about those sitcoms that introduce the story and it gets wrapped up in the half hour.  The characters’ changed their minds quickly.

The series was a decent overall read, and , if you did not have the months in between, I think it would have been all the better.  The minor quips I have are nothing major, but the final issue was not as great as my memory told me about the previous issues.

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