Herobear and the Kid Special #1

By Mike Kunkel
32 pages, black and white, with spot color
Published by Boom! Studios

It’s been over a decade since Mike Kunkel’s original Herobear and the Kid comic was published. Running just five issues, it managed to make a huge splash as readers were wowed by the light story about a kid named Tyler and his stuffed bear that transforms into a superhero, as well as the animation-inspired art. Since then Kunkel’s had a couple of small projects here and there, but his comic book output has been few and far between. With a new Herobear and the Kid mini-series scheduled for later this summer, though, Kunkel and Boom! Studios are kicking off the comic’s return with a new one-shot to presumably draw in new readers.

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Adventure Time #5

Written by Ryan North, Paul Pope, Chris Roberson, and Georgia Roberson
Art by Mike Holmes, Paul Pope, and Lucy Knisley
24 pages, color
Published by Boom! Studios

Boom! Studios’ wildly successful Adventure Time comic has been not just a good-seller, but enormously fun with its first four-issue storyline. With Adventure Time #5, though, Ryan North proves that he can tackle single-issue stories too. It’s a fun, meandering concept of an issue, with Finn and Jake competing to see who can walk in a straight line the longest in order to get a cupcake, but quickly turns into them encountering someone named "Adventure Tim" whose life seems suspiciously familiar to the duo. It’s a fun twist on the idea of an identical twin, and even as the story wanders off in different directions it never stops being entertaining. Mike Holmes takes over the art this issue and it’s another strong choice for the book, with that crisp, clean, animation-styled approach to the title.

And if that’s not enough… how about a little Paul Pope or Lucy Knisley art? Paul Pope writes and draws "Emit Erutnevda!!" which starts off with a magic hole that leads into other dimensions, and rapidly gets stranger with each of its four pages. It’s bizarre and wonderful, and I love that his stringy, textured, almost oily art isn’t changed or compromised at all in order to tackle an issue of Adventure Time. Knisley draws a one-page story written by Chris Roberson and his 8-year old daughter Georgia Roberson, which is ridiculous and I say that in a good way. From the generation of ice cubes to the Ice King’s "conversation" with penguin Gunter, it’s a fun little diversion to wrap up the comic. Adventure Time continues to bring sheer fun into its comics, and I like that this issue completely stands on its own if you’ve never read the comic or watched the show before. Check it out. You’ll be glad you did.

Supurbia #1

Written by Grace Randolph
Art by Russell Dauterman
24 pages, color
Published by Boom! Studios

The basic idea behind Grace Randolph’s Supurbia is a fairly simple one; superheroes and their spouses living next door to one another (in secret) in the same suburb. It’s a potentially fun concept, if one we’ve seen before. What can make a book like Supurbia stand out—both positively and negatively—is the execution. And with Supurbia, it’s the proverbial mixed bag; there are things to like here, and others to not care about. But ultimately, it’s the positives that will make you come back for #2.

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Adventure Time with Finn and Jake #1

Written by Ryan North and Aaron Renier
Art by Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb, and Aaron Renier
24 pages, color
Published by Boom! Studios

I’ve never actually seen an episode of Adventure Time with Jake and Finn, although I’ve always heard that the show is amazingly fun and silly and generally awesome. This perhaps makes me not the target audience for an Adventure Time with Jake and Finn comic, but with folks like Ryan North and Aaron Renier working on the title, I figured it was worth a gander. (Doubly so because all the new printings of this first issue keep selling out at the distributor level.) Turns out? I’m now dying to watch the show.

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Steed & Mrs. Peel #1

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Ian Gibson
32 pages, color
Published by Boom! Studios

When Eclipse published Steed and Mrs. Peel twenty years ago, I knew who Grant Morrison and Ian Gibson were, but had never actually watched an episode of The Avengers television show. I’ve since fixed the latter omission in my entertainment knowledge, so it’s nice to have Boom! Studios bringing this long-out-of-print series back to life for another go-round. And so far? Well, like any story involving John Steed, Emma Peel, and Tara King, it’s a mixed bag.

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Snarked! #3

By Roger Langridge
24 pages, color
Published by Boom! Studios

Roger Langridge is one of those comic creators that I’ve come to think of as "dependably good." It doesn’t matter what title he’s working on, from The Muppet Show to Thor, you automatically know that it’s going to be a great mix of drama and humor that is entertaining from start to finish. I think that’s why I had such high hopes for Snarked!, his new creator-owned series for Boom! Studios that provides his own particular spin on some the ancillary characters from Lewis Carroll’s works. And so far? It’s as excellent as I’d hoped it to be.

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Peanuts: Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown

Based on comic strips by Charles M. Schulz
Script by Stephan Pastis and Craig Schulz
Layouts by Vicki Scott
Pencils by Bob Scott and Vicki Scott
Inks by Ron Zorman
96 pages, color
Published by Boom! Studios

One of my top five favorite comic strips is, without a doubt, Peanuts. And in terms of the great Peanuts multimedia empire, there’s been a lot to love over the years. (Watching A Charlie Brown Christmas happens in my home every December, for starters.) So a new graphic novel based off a new direct-to-DVD animated special? Well, I certainly had to take a look and see just what we were offered up.

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Hellraiser #1

Written by Clive Barker and Christopher Monfette
Art by Leonardo Manco
40 pages, color
Published by Boom! Studios

Despite having never seen any of the Hellraiser movies, I was a big fan of the comic from Marvel’s Epic imprint back in the day. A friend introduced me to the relatively new series when I was in college; when I protested that I’d not seem the films, he told me it didn’t matter, that they were some shockingly good horror comics. And when you consider that early issues included creators like Bernie Wrightson, John Bolton, Ted McKeever, Scott Hampton, Kevin O’Neill, John Van Fleet, and Dave Dorman—to name but a few—you can get an idea of the pedigree of Hellraiser. So hearing that Clive Barker had come on board for a brand-new Hellraiser comic? Well, color me interested.

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7 Psychopaths #1

Written by Fabien Vehlmann
Art by Sean Phillips
24 pages, color
Published by Boom! Studios

It’s hard to not make the obvious comparison between 7 Psychopaths and Inglorious Basterds, both of them being about a team of slightly crazy people in World War II trying to assassinate Hitler. Once you move past that, though, the first issue this comic imported from France has little else in common with Quentin Tarantino’s film. 7 Psychopaths is a much more sedate story, at least so far, but at the same time Fabien Vehlmann and Sean Phillips are doing a good enough job that you’ll want to read more about these seven psychopaths.

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Finding Nemo: Reef Rescue #1

Written by Marie Croall
Art by Erica Leigh Currey
32 pages, color
Published by Boom! Studios

Writing a comic book sequel to a hit movie has got to be a thankless task. It’s a project that by very definition will be compared to something that’s a different form of media, and as a result run the real potential of falling short in the reader’s mind. I guess that’s why I was so impressed, then, with Marie Croall’s script for Finding Nemo: Reef Rescue #1. Reading the comic, it’s hard to not feel like this is something that’s perfectly in tune with the Finding Nemo film.

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