Mind MGMT #1

By Matt Kindt
24 pages, color
Published by Dark Horse

I’ve been a fan of Matt Kindt’s comics ever since his big debut with the graphic novel Pistolwhip, so the lure of a new ongoing series written and drawn by Kindt was an instant must-read for me. With just one issue, it’s often hard to get a good grasp on just how a comic series is going to be; that said, Mind MGMT #1 made such an instant impression to me as a reader that I feel safe to say that I know I’ll be reading it for quite some time to come.

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Dark Horse Presents #12

Written by John Layman, John Arcudi, Carla Speed McNeil, Steve Niles, Evan Dorkin, Tim Seeley, Francesco Francavilla, Dean Motter, Mike Baron, Harlan Ellison, and Mike Russell
Art by Sam Kieth, Jonathan Case, Carla Speed McNeil, Christopher Mitten, Evan Dorkin, Victor Drujiniu, Francesco Francavilla, Dean Motter, Steve Rude, Richard Corben, and Mike Russell
80 pages, color
Published by Dark Horse

Dark Horse Presents is a title that I perpetually feel should be a blockbuster seller in today’s comics industry. It offers up so much of what readers say they want; an anthology of different types of stories, with a mixture of old and new creators bringing their A-game to the page. With this latest issue, I think it’s as good a sign as any on how well the series has settled into its format, and finding just the right material for everyone to enjoy something.

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Bloody Chester

Written by J.T. Petty
Art by Hilary Florido
160 pages, color
Published by First Second

One of the things that I appreciate about First Second’s graphic novel line is that they don’t seem to ever confine themselves to one specific genre or mood. It means that there’s room for books like Bloody Chester by J.T. Petty and Hilary Florido, a Western about a teen who agrees to go on a mission to burn down an abandoned town in order to break free from his tormentors, but finds just as many problems at his destination. It’s an odd little book, but one that grew on me the more I thought about it.

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Genetiks™ Vol. 1

Story and layouts by Richard Marazano
Art by Jean-Michel Ponzio
104 pages, color
Published by Archaia

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a graphic novel written by Richard Marazano—I think the only other one of his comics to be translated into English was Dusk back in 2000—and I’d not heard of Jean-Michel Ponzio at all. Genetiks™ Vol. 1 was an impulse read, the sort of book that literally caught my eye thanks to its dynamic cover layout. What I found was a graphic novel with some slight rough edges, but overall something that was worth my time.

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Rohan at the Louvre

By Hirohiko Araki
128 pages, color
Published by NBM

I’ve always loved the fact that the Louvre art museum in Paris has been commissioning a series a graphic novels set within and around the famed museum. Each one’s had a different take on the idea (my favorite is probably Museum Vaults by Marc-Antoine Mathieu) but they’ve all been good. With Rohan at the Louvre, the Louvre has hired a manga creator to tackle the subject. And what we got was not only able to stand out in its own right, but strong enough that now I want to read more comics by Araki.

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Brody’s Ghost Vol. 3

By Mark Crilley
96 pages, black and white
Published by Dark Horse

It’s been a little over a year since the first two volumes of Brody’s Ghost, Mark Crilley’s new series for Dark Horse. It would be easy to have forgotten about the series by then, or at the very least feel slightly lost with this new installment. But if anything, I think the reverse is true here. Crilley picks up where he’d left off with the previous volume, but does so in a way that keeps readers instantly informed, and if anything picks up steam at a rapid pace. I’d go so far as to say that readers who jumped in with this new installment would do just fine.

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Frankenstein Alive, Alive! #1

Written by Steve Niles
Art by Bernie Wrightson
32 pages, color
Published by IDW

In comics, Bernie Wrightson is probably best known for co-creating Swamp Thing. Outside of comics, though, it might be his illustrated edition of Frankenstein. I remember looking at the beautiful illustrations back in the mid-’80s and being entranced by the gorgeous drawings of Frankenstein, the monster, and the situations that Mary Shelley had come up with back in 1831. Frankenstein Alive, Alive! #1 is in many ways a spiritual heir to that project, operating as a direct sequel to Shelley’s novel with a story written by Steve Niles. And so far? It’s got that tone down pat.

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