Good Comics at the Comic Shop November 20

Today, there are a number of great releases scheduled to appear at your local comic shop. I’m highlighting some notable titles worth paying attention to.

Book of my week is The Cute Girl Network (First Second, $17.99). It’s a New Adult modern romance in graphic novel form by Greg Means, MK Reed, and Joe Flood, and I really enjoyed reading this story of how Jane and Jack meet, fall in love, and put up with those who think he’s not good enough for her. (While being glad I was no longer that young or unsure of myself anymore.)

Fantagraphics is releasing Trina Robbinslatest and last history of women in comics, Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013 ($29.99). I’m really interested in reading it, as Robbins often hunts out previously unknown creators, and the book has plenty of art samples as well.

Dark Horse has been actively promoting The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, but I didn’t think it lived up to its promise. While Andrew C. Robinson’s art is gorgeous (you can mostly ignore the Kyle Baker credit, since he only contributes a handful of pages), I think Vivek J. Tiwary, as a new writer, could have used a bit more help with structure and explaining his story to non-devout Beatles fans. While the standard edition is $19.99, there are several upgrades available, as well, with a Collector’s Edition ($49.99) and a Limited Edition ($99.99). The first includes an extra “section of bonus materials including Beatles and Brian Epstein memorabilia, artist sketches, and alternate covers” while the limited-to-1500-copies edition “features a tip-in sheet signed by creators Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker, along with a twenty-four-page bonus section including rare Beatles and Brian Epstein memorabilia and behind-the-scenes sketches… and a special slipcase”.

The TwoMorrows magazine Back Issue celebrates its tenth anniversary with a super-sized 100-page issue #69 ($9.95). Articles inside cover famous anniversary issues, such as Superman #300 and #400, Wonder Woman #300, Avengers #300, Detective Comics #500, and more. Back Issue is a great history read about comics of the 1970s and 1980s, often with behind-the-scenes information from those who were there.

Sex Criminals #3 cover

The second issue of Afterlife With Archie (Archie Comics, $2.99) is out. Its launch last month was surprisingly successful, given that the comic is about “what if the Archie characters became zombies?” Sometimes, with these high-concept titles, the curious are satisfied after a small taste, so it’ll be interesting to see if the praise and press continue as the story does.

DC Comics is teaming up two long-time, well-known media properties as Batman and Robin guest-star in the first issue of Scooby-Doo Team-Up ($2.99). Retailer Mike Sterling calls it “light and fun and certainly a much-missed version of Batman”, which sounds right up my alley.

For a very different audience (adults only!), there’s Sex Criminals #3 (Image Comics, $3.50). It sounds ridiculous — a couple discovers that time freezes when they orgasm, so they decide to commit crimes with their superpower — but it’s really strong storytelling from Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. The first two issues were origin stories exploring the couple’s background, and Fraction selects some key incidents that are really true and heart-breaking. Great comic reading, if you’re old enough!

Mysterious Strangers wraps up its first run to be collected with issue #6 (Oni Press, $3.99). Chris Roberson and Scott Kowalchuk’s retro-hip superhero team face down space aliens (of course). I see echoes of the original Doom Patrol here, with a group of misfits who are really cooler than those who reject them, but it’s the distinctive look of the book that keeps me reading. It’s streamlined, but with echoes of 60s design, particularly in the character appearances. Read it with a cocktail lounge soundtrack!

4 Responses to “Good Comics at the Comic Shop November 20”

  1. ~chris Says:

    I picked up a copy of The Cute Girl Network thanks to your tip here and the name MK Reed and the interior art; someone at the comic shop saw it in my hands and asked to look at the art and then decided to buy a copy too. So the CGN team may thank you for two sales at least!

    No mention of Batman ’66 with a Batgirl & Catwoman (Eartha Kitt) story with Colleen Coover art?

  2. Johanna Says:

    Woo hoo! That’s the kind of response that makes this worthwhile. Thanks!

    Batman 66 — I read it both digitally and in print, which means I’m never sure what piece is appearing where. But yes, it’s good stuff!

  3. ~chris Says:

    I loved the book. My 22-year-old niece loved it even more than I did; she described it as “incredibly accurate.” Thanks again for the tip!

  4. Johanna Says:

    Oh, goody! It’s good to get a perspective from that age group. I’m glad to hear you both enjoyed it!




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