Heaven’s War

Written by Micah Harris
Art by Michael Gaydos
120 pages, black and white
Published by Image Comics

When Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill debuted their series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the book took off like a shot. Take a bunch of literary characters and have them work together to try and save the world from certain destruction. In many ways, then, Heaven’s War is the flipside of that idea. Instead of taking literary characters, writer Micah Harris has taken several literary authors that were linked together in real life—J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams—and has them save the world. In concept alone, this seems to be a sure fire hit.

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Big Dumb Fun

Edited by Patrick Godfrey and Jesse Bauch
168 pages, black and white
Published by Oddgod Press

It’s rare to find an anthology in which you like every single story. To have your tastes match up exactly with the editor’s is pretty difficult, after all, making you really just hope to enjoy the majority. When I opened up Big Dumb Fun I wasn’t at all sure who half of the names connected were, but I figured that if a majority of them turned out to be good, well, I was definitely ahead.

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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang #1

Written by Tony Bedard
Penciled by Mike Perkins
Inked by Andrew Hennessy
32 pages, color
Published by CrossGen

In terms of successful film franchises, James Bond is certainly near the top of the list. Spawning twenty movies with no sign of stopping, their influence is almost too high to count. Adding to that list, now, is CrossGen’s new series Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Named after the Japanese title for James Bond, will Kiss Kiss Bang Bang be able to capture more than just the name?

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Written by Marc Bryant
Art by Shepherd Hendrix
64 pages, black and white
Published by Image Comics

The music industry is like almost any other art form these days: a prime example of how the business side of art threatens to keep the creative side under lock and key. With iron-clad contracts, lawsuits, and bankruptcies getting more press than actual songs, it’s easy to see where writer Marc Bryant came up with the idea for Shangri-La, a story about when music goes horribly wrong…

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Dead Memory

By Marc-Antoine Mathieu
64 pages, black and white
Published by Dark Horse

Have you ever read something and was convinced it was written by a completely different author? That’s what kept happening with me when I read the graphic novel Dead Memory. The cover said it was by Marc-Antoine Mathieu. Mathieu’s biography said nothing about a pen name. But if I didn’t know better, I’d have thought this was a new Cities of the Fantastic volume by comics superstars Benoit Peeters and Francois Schuiten.

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Baraka and Black Magic in Morocco

By Rick Smith
128 pages, two-color
Published by Alternative Comics

When told properly, I adore reading travelogues. There’s something fascinating about reading other people’s experiences in far-off places that I may never experience for myself. Through their eyes, I’m able to better get an idea of just what this part of the world is truly like. That’s probably why I was instantly intrigued by Rick Smith’s upcoming graphic novel Baraka and Black Magic in Morocco; I knew from Shuck Comics that Smith can tell a story, and I suspect the closest I’m getting to Morocco in the near future is the EPCOT Center at Disneyworld, so this seemed like a perfect book for me.

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Written by Moebius
Art by Jiro Taniguchi
160 pages, black and white
Published by iBooks, Inc.

If you asked people what superpower they’d want to have, I think flight would be one of the top choices. There’s something liberating about the idea of being able to fly—that you can somehow escape the grasp of the world around you and instantly go wherever you want. French comics legend Moebius certainly understood that when he wrote Icaro, a two-volume collaboration with Japanese artist Jiro Taniguchi where a child is born with the power of flight… but without the power of liberation.

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Lex Talionis: A Jungle Tale

By Aneurin Wright
48 pages, color
Published by Image Comics

We’re seeing more and more comics printed landscape, these days. I’m referring to comics where instead of being taller than they are wide, the book’s been rotated 90 degrees so now it’s wider than it is tall. It certainly gets the reader’s attention, but once you’ve gotten past the initial “ooh, it’s sideways” the question remains: is the comic itself any good?

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Outsiders #7

Written by Judd Winick
Penciled by Tom Raney
Inked by Scott Hanna
32 pages, color
Published by DC Comics

Sometimes all it takes is a snazzy cover. It’s what got me to buy the most recent issue of Outsiders, after all. I’d heard a lot about the new hit series from DC Comics, and it was certainly on my radar as something I should take a look at. But while I was browsing the racks, there was something about Tom Raney and Scott Hanna’s illustration on the front of Outsiders #7 that begged me to take a closer look. Maybe it was the character on the front page melting, maybe it was is catatonic pose, but whatever it was… it worked.

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My Faith in Frankie #1

Written by Mike Carey
Penciled by Sonny Liew
Inked by Sonny Liew and Marc Hempel
32 pages, color
Published by Vertigo/DC Comics

It’s been a while since I’ve been so surprised by a comic. Usually when a new book comes out, I’ve read a bunch about it, know what to expect, seen an advance page or two… stuff like that. But somehow My Faith in Frankie fell completely off my radar. I knew it was being created, I knew that Mike Carey (whose comics I really enjoy) was writing it, and that Sonny Liew (whose Malinky Robot I reviewed about a month ago) was the penciler. But somehow, it just didn’t stick in my mind. Now that I’ve read #1, though, I won’t be forgetting it any time soon.

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