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Comic Sense with Julia

On a weekly basis comic enthusiasts face a dilemma: which series are worth buying fresh off the shelves and which are better left to collect dust in long boxes. With a plethora of new comics coming out weekly from every publisher, going to a comic store can be a daunting task. But hopefully, I can help with that! If you choose to trust my opinions (which you should), I’ll guide you through some of the issues hitting the shelves each week so you’re ready when Wednesday rolls around.

Groo: Friends and Foes #1

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Writer: Mark Evanier, Artist: Sergio Aragonés, Colorist: Tom Luth, Cover Artist: Sergio Aragonés

Price: $3.99

Reading Groo was reminiscent of sipping coffee on a Sunday morning and perusing the funny pages. Groo, the bumbling goober, is back in another swashbuckling adventure. As he sets sail again, he can’t even manage to make mistakes the way people expect, much to the chagrin of Captain Ahax and anyone else Groo encounters.  The cartoonish art style fits perfectly with the lighthearted fun and enduring characters of the story. With his faithful pooch at his side, Groo battles pirates and leaves chaos in his wake. If you’re looking for an entertaining, feel good read with a heavy dose of nostalgia, pick up Groo: Friends and Foes #1 this week!

Reyn #1

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: Kel Symons, Artist: Nathan Stockman

Price: $2.99

Scraggly trees and a massive spider erupting from the ground in the first few pages of Reyn gave me high hopes that this series would be a Lord of the Rings-esque fantasy epic. While I wasn’t wrong, I soon realized that Reyn held on to all of my least favorite fantasy tropes and did not do much to expand or innovate within the genre. This issue introduces a typical hunky hero, Reyn, who fights off monsters, swings a sword around a lot, and talks to himself. My first indication that this series was not going to live up to my expectations was when a local farmer attempts to use his daughter and her excessive boobage as an object of persuasion while trying to convince Reyn to become the village protector. My hopes rose again as the female lead, Seph, was introduced. Seph is strong, has occult powers, and is wearing shoes that look like Spider-Gwen’s (+5 Charisma for awesome lady footwear matching). However, as often happens to the eternal optimist, I was again let down as Reyn refers to Seph using the dreaded double d word, ‘damsel in distress’. While Reyn had the potential to be a great new fantasy adventure, I’d suggest waiting to read it until the first trade shows up in your local library. Oh also, the villains are giant lizards who look like ninja turtles, so there’s that.

Lumberjanes #10

Publisher: BOOM! Box

Writers: Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters, Artist: Carolyn Nowak, Cover Artists: Carolyn Nowak and Kat Leyh

Price: $3.99

                If you haven’t read Lumberjanes before, now is a great time to start! Lumberjanes #10 is the beginning of a new story arc so it’s the perfect place to jump on in. If you have read Lumberjanes before, keep reading because #10 does not disappoint. Dinosaurs, bear women, and three-eyed foxes, oh my! This series follows the summer shenanigans of a group of hardcore lady types attending camp. It’s not an ordinary summer camp, however, as the girls are constantly faced with bizarre and supernatural creatures and must use their smarts and the power of their friendship to overcome each strange occurrence. What really sets this series apart is the incredible character development of the main ladies. From April’s feminine strength to Ripley’s unapologetic enthusiasm, all of the girls have their own distinct personality, not dependent on their gender or any other stereotypes. Reading Lumberjanes feels like hanging out with a group of close friends and in #10 the adventure continues, so pick it up!

Burning Fields #1

Publisher: BOOM! Studios

Writers: Michael Moreci and Tim Daniel, Artist: Colin Lorimer, Cover Artists: Colin Lorimer, Trevor Hairsine, and Riley Rossmo

Price: $3.99

This intense horror comic combines the political drama of the Middle East with mysterious deaths and disappearances in a grotesquely fascinating first issue. The comic’s gritty realistic style is reminiscent of Greg Rucka’s Queen and Country. It follows investigators looking into the deaths of American workers whose bodies have appeared at an oilfield in Kirkuk, Iraq. The deaths are surrounded by controversy as the investigators clash with each other over past differences and strange marks are found on the corpses. Warning: there is some pretty gruesome art work in this comic, so if you’re squeamish you may want to give it a pass or at least read it with your fingers over your eyes so you can close them if things get too gross. Burning Fields is a great read and if you’re a fan of realistic, political, and/or supernatural mysteries, definitely give it a try!

Zombies vs Robots #1

Publisher: IDW Publishing

Writers: Chris Ryall and Steve Niles, Artists: Anthony Diecidue and Various, Cover Artist: Ashley Wood

Price: $3.99

                Zombies and robots fighting each other, need I say more? Let’s just say I was really excited to read this issue and I’m still pretty pumped about this series as a whole. The beautifully detailed art makes the post-apocalyptic world and oozing zombie flesh oddly gorgeous and serene. My one major frustration with this issue was the overabundance of exposition that the robots spewed out in every panel. I understand that the first comic of a series necessitates some background information, but a comic that is entirely explanation and nothing else gets to be a bit of a drag, especially when all of this exposition is told by a long winded bot who uses the words ‘whom’ and ‘coalesce’ properly. As Elvis would say, “a little less conversation, a little more action please”. Despite all of this, I have not lost hope for Zombies vs Robots as a series. The idea of a post nuclear fallout earth with no humans in existence is intriguing, so if you can get through the dense back story, I’d give Zombies vs Robots a chance. Along with this, the two additional stories, Tales of ZVR and The Orphan, which follow Zombies vs Robots in this issue are phenomenal and incredibly drawn.

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10155842_10152472331403939_7368762257089570951_nPlease welcome our newest contributor, Julia Walchuk!

Julia sings a lot and gets yelled at by her roommates. She hides comics in her college textbooks, but is amazingly still going to graduate this spring because she has superheroic multitasking skills. When she’s not reading, doing homework, working, or playing magic, she can be found sitting on the floor eating frozen peas and musing about the wonders of potatoes. They’re just so versatile!

new sticker DO YOU LOVE YOUR LCS? Nominate them to be featured on our show! It’s easy— just call 612-849-0545 and leave us a voicemail with the name of your comic shop and why you love it so much!  We’ll use your nomination on the show to spotlight your local shop, as well as independent comic creators and musicians near you. You can also send an .mp3 nomination to us at podcast@endoftheuniversecomics.com Bonus #1: This counts as 2 entries to win a free copy of Eisner Award-winning series Sex Criminals! Bonus #2: I’ll send FREE STICKERS to your shop to hand out to all of their customers, and I’ll personally mail one out to you!  What kind of sticker, you ask? A sticker featuring the VERY PRETTY PICTURE I made above ^!

New Feature!

We want to hear about YOUR local comic shop.  Please call in or send us an .mp3 about your favorite shop and why you love it!  We will be choosing from these voicemails and featuring comic shops around the world in a brand-new feature, but we need YOUR help!

You can call us at 612-849-0545 to leave your voicemails, or send audio files to podcast@endoftheuniversecomics.com