Black Harvest #1-2

By Josh Howard
32 pages, color
Published by Devil’s Due Publishing

I prefer to read two issues of a comic book before I review it. It helps me get a better feel for the book; if it can maintain what was set up in the first issue, as well as to see exactly where it’s going. It’s a strategy that often pays off; in the case of a book like Black Harvest, what I saw between the first and second issues was different indeed.

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The Ticking

By Renée French
216 pages, black and white
Published by Top Shelf Productions

“Edison Steelhead was born on the kitchen floor.” It’s the sort of opening you hear for legends, and of epic stories. It’s how Renée French begins the narration of The Ticking, her new graphic novel that like its opening words may make you believe it’s going in one direction, even as it quietly slides into something entirely different.

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Death Note Vol. 1-3

Written by Tsugumi Ohba
Art by Takeshi Obata
200 pages, black and white
Published by Viz

There are always series that you hear about, ones spoken with a sort of reverence. “Oh, you’ve got to read this,” is a familiar opening phrase. Sometimes you’ll even get the, “If you don’t like this, I’ll give you your money back,” gambit. After a while, it’s easy to get skeptical about such claims. Tastes don’t always intersect, after all, and even your most trusted friends can still lead you astray. In the case of Death Note, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that all of those praising it (before the series was even officially released) were wrong… because it was actually better than they’d claimed.

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Dead Boy Detectives

By Jill Thompson
144 pages, black and white
Published by Vertigo/DC Comics

When Jill Thompson wrote and drew Death: At Death’s Door, it was a charming little sidestep off of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: Season of Mists, showcasing several of the other Endless as all of the dead came back to life. Now Thompson’s written and drawn a second Sandman-connected digest—and the difference between the two could not be more obvious.

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