In my preview of Terminal Punks, I explained how much love I have for Mad Cave Studios and why they are one of the rising stars of the Comic Book game!!! This next book, which releases on November 4th is no different! Before you read my thoughts....watch this:
The Nitty Gritty
A pair of teenagers life is turned upside down with the death of their mother. It was not fully a surprise as she'd been sick for a year, yet the death brought something new...new family, new circumstances, and eventually a new school.
The story focuses on Haley and Max. Haley is deaf and until they land in their new home, Max serves as her primary sign-language interpreter and protector. Life begins anew when they land at their new home, the Wafair Academy for Special Needs (which Haley hates the name, but she gets by). It immediately feels like home, as there are multiple people who can communicate with her with ease. Both of them are welcomed instantly with ease into a small friend group. Immediately, they become thick as thieves...eventually they become actual Thieves with a taste for justice. But as we learn throughout the rest of the book is like a taste for Lays potato chips...."I bet you can't have just one!"
There are several things to love about this story. First the way Haley's deafness is written into the story and used in the art is phenomenal from the squiggled lines of those actually speaking, the slight motions in the hands to show sign-language occurring, and the heavy reliance on text-messaging as a means of communication are all eloquently done. Additionally, there may be one of the first non-binary characters I've seen in a comic book without an storyline which focuses on Queerness and identity.
The art is both subtle and stunning, and the colorist and letterer both bring their talents to heighten your understanding of the characters' perspectives and makes life at the Wayfair Academy for Special Needs something you desire and wouldn't want to be torn away from.
This book speaks to everyone. Even if you are not intrinsically in love with comics, this is a story which feels relatable to everyone who's ever felt different for any reason. I'm excited to hold a physical issue of this in my hands and fall in love with it all over again on November 4th!
As I've said multiple times, Mad Cave Studios is absolutely crushing it. From ongoing titles like: Battlecats, Knights of the Golden Sun, Hellfighter Quin and Over the Ropes to their recent #1's in Dryfoot and Stargazer, they continue to force other publishers to raise their game! Villainous, one of the next #1's released is about to become a game changer.
Don't believe my MCS Hype? How about this announcement on both Dryfoot and Stargazer #1:
It is evident everything they create strikes gold! I'm chomping at the bit to talk about another one, Terminal Punks!!
To summarize this book in one word: bonkers!
Two airplanes are en-route to New York City. One plane is your standard passenger flight. The other, is a cargo plane carrying some "exotic" cargo. You can tell pretty early that something's going to end poorly when the crew loading the exotic "animals" on a plane is questioning the new method to tranquilize these beasts during the flight. Spoiler alert, the handling crew was right and the eccentric billionaire was quite wrong.
At the same time our literal band of main characters are landing in New York the cargo plane is crashing after the beasts go wild and kill the onboard crew, and of course, they survive and invade the airport terminal, and the rest is an epic surprise I don't want to spoil....except for the line "An intoxicating burst of sweet orange."
Aside from loving the story, and Shelby's intoxicating art the one thing I absolutely love at the end of the book is the PLAYLIST! (I'll exclude the normal love rant....) However, the final page of the book includes a playlist shared by Kee, the band's drummer, to offer some of his favorite tracks to introduce who he is, and it is EPIC!
If you want a witty horror tale that feels like an amazing mash-up of Almost Famous, Night of the Living Dead, and Snakes on a Plane...then you should make sure you pre-order a copy of Terminal Punks hitting your shop this November!
A tip of the hat to the creative team, I think Mad Cave Studios has another #1 which will be ordered for a second printing on their hands!
I for some reason have not been reading a lot of comics from Vault. I do not have a defensible explanation why. There are only two titles I'm actively pulling: Money Shot and Finger Guns..and based on what I've read today, at least one more Vault title is making the list!
Engineward #1 (Vault)---Releases 7/15 (preorders close 6/22)
Engineward takes place in some sort of rugged world (described as "when primal chaos remained wild). We are introduced to a small crew of folks who are out salvaging while looking for a specific item they dig from a rock wall...when all of a sudden they are attacked by a worm/dinosaur/tremor which they quickly dispatch of!
But to label this world as prehistoric would date it incorrectly as there is are robots and other forms of technology used...which makes you wonder why outwardly the civilizations don't look fully technologically enhanced.
Should you preorder this book?
If you like science fiction stories, or stories with a great deal of Mythos, then Engineward should definitely be on your radar. The story gets more interesting with each little nugget we discover about the past, and there is some sort of unknown complexity to the relationship between the individuals of the village AND the zodiacs.
The art in this book is also quite excellent, as the action scenes have nuance, the environment around dialogue-heavy panels, and just the contrast of the dusty old village to the opluent house of the zodiacs really pops.
Preorders for this book close on the 22nd, so you should quickly reach out to your LCS to make sure you have a copy!
That is one of the greatest reasons why you could write. There's a hot discussion in the culinary world about whether or not you cook for yourself or the guest...and which answer is the best. I've seen shallow versions of the same discussion in the comic community, but I think Ryan's motive behind creating this book and sharing with the world is a true combination of both. I remember feeling the same way Ryan did when my first child was born after many difficulties to have a child, and then how I felt with my daughter born 10 weeks early, and then how I felt when my wife told me she was pregnant with our 3rd child (we didn't think we could have kids naturally...)
I'm prepared to die on a hill for my kids. Each day there is a hard look in the mirror at all of my actions, where I find myself asking if I did everything not only to better their lives each day, but if I did something that would raise them to be an amazing human being in the future.
Aside from my "crying on the couch with Oprah" moment, I am really excited to talk about today's First Creation from Ryan Bis (and his team):
Curiosities from Another World #1 (Curious Perspective Comics)
By: Ryan Bis, Crizam, Nathan Olson, Cristian Sauret, Nazareno Acuña, Sabrina Deigert, Renan Balmonte, Elijah Isaiah Johnson, Emma Southey-Ray, Jaka Prawira, Harold Palad, Heidi Black, Max Moda, Matias Zanetti and Mauro Mantella, Kathleen Brown, and Iwan Yoko Triyono
Curiosities is set in the Hive, a large city of 12 districts that all have their own unique backstories. This world almost feels cyberpunk-esque in terms of some of the high levels of technology on display (but lacks the body modification present in most cyberpunk takes). Each story focuses on one of six characters who will have some larger role to play in the future.
You have a young man who can use crystals to put on magical displays of brilliant light (and has a sweet pet!). A woman recently terminated from her job debating whether or not she wants to see simulations of her life (imagine this is your life + total recall). A young artistic woman who is sick of her job. A young telepath who's fled a prison (but she didn't know it) and found more of her kind. A man who is attempting to pull all of the strings, and struggling to understand why everything doesn't go according to his plans, and a woman who is an inspector of sorts who isn't afraid to shoot whilst asking some questions.
How do these 6 divergent stories work together? Ohboi that epilogue though!!!!! I'm really excited to see how it all shakes out!
This book does a lot of awesome things, THE ART is one of them!!!!!!!!!
I think this story has the ability to build into a 20-30 issue or more story to look at how each of these characters work alone or together to transform their fate. I'm impressed with what I've seen, and I think you should definitely throw $3 bucks at this book and see if it sticks for you! As soon as I push post, I'm going to spend the money on an on-demand print copy because I think it's that great!
I've reached out to Ryan about an interview, because I want to see where his ideas came from, and how he teamed up with the rest of the creative engines of this beautiful book!
It's one of the best satirical works since Bushisms!
Ronald Rump: The Poor Little Rich Brat #1
By: Peter Wolf
3. The satire is 100% on point, if you want to take the absurdity of the last several years in American Politics, and put it into a scope which would make it much more believable...this book encapsulates it perfectly down to every hamberderish detail.
Finally, to bookend the first point, the word search, scrumple, maze and ads in the back of the book makes it not just poignant satire, but embraces nostalgia perfectly.
How can you get this book?
The journey of a 30-something father of three who's trying to break into the world of reviewing comics after a loooooong hiatus...
Rimmey is a high school history/government teacher & speech and debate coach in Kansas. He has slowly been rediscovering his love for comics since June of 2019.
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