Good Comics at the Comic Shop July 9

Here’s what I recommend appearing today at your local comic shop.

The Life After #1 cover

Boom! StudiosLumberjanes #4 ($3.99) introduces some key new characters. After the girls run into a yeti (a yeti! fulfilling the mystical creature quota this issue), they are helped by the Scouting Lads, who are too good to be true. The crazy fun adventures continue as the mystery deepens, so don’t expect all the answers here, but it’s a fine place to join the ride. It’s by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke Allen.

Ghosted (Image Comics, $2.99) continues with issue #11, a look into the history of Anderson, the tough blonde who’s currently a ghost. We find out, in this story by Joshua Williamson and Goran Sudzuka, how she came to be hired by Markus Schrecken, the rich ghost collector of the first storyline, and how she loves killing people. This is a breather before the next story arc, and although it’s grim, I still like the series because the grimness serves a purpose beyond shock or trying to prove the reader’s age. And Sudzuka’s art is very nice, particularly the pencil texturing during the ghost scenes.

Oni Press launches The Life After ($3.99), a new series described as fantasy/horror by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Gabo. You’ve seen the premise before — guy in boring mediocre life discovers that it’s all a staged illusion and breaks free to the reality behind it — but what they reveal the reality to be (no spoilers here) may take the series in an unexpected direction. Plus, Hemingway guest stars. The visual effects to illustrate reality transitions, possible time travel, and maybe ascension are nicely done. (Yeah, I don’t know exactly where this is going yet.) There are three variant covers, just to make things confusing.

Charlie Brown: POW! cover

In book format, there’s a new printing of Hope Larson’s Mercury (Atheneum Books, $12.99), an oddly appealing historical fantasy involving two girls in two very different eras and a necklace that brings them together.

Amp! Comics for Kids continues repackaging well-known strips into books aimed at young readers. This week brings two. The more recognizable is Charlie Brown: POW! ($9.99), a seasonally appropriate baseball-themed reworking of Peanuts comic strips, all in color. With over 200 pages of comics, often with two strips a page, this is a substantial collection for kids to enjoy.

More modern is Pearls Before Swine: The Croc Ate My Homework ($9.99), a collection of Stephan Pastis’ snarky strip. One might think, given the title, that this would be focused on the crocodiles and their attempts to eat their zebra neighbor, but it’s just a kid-aimed collection of selected comic strips. The heavily sarcastic tone will likely appeal to youngsters, who can appreciate making fun of everything around them.

Viz has released this week several good shojo manga titles, including Midnight Secretary Volume 6 ($9.99) and Sweet Rein Volume 3 ($9.99), which I’ve talked about previously. That second title ends its run with that volume, as does Demon Love Spell this week with Volume 6 ($9.99).

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