The Most Interesting Comics of the Week

filed under: Comics

Every Wednesday, I write about the most interesting new comics hitting comic shops, bookstores, digital, Kickstarter, and the web. Feel free to comment below if there's a comic you've read recently that you want to talk about or an upcoming comic that you'd like me to consider highlighting.


1. Big Trouble in Little China #1

Written by Eric Powell with John Carpenter; art by Brian Churilla
Boom! Studios

Now we can finally find out what happened when Jack Burton drove off at the end of the movie.

People have tried in the past to turn John Carpenter’s 1986 cult classic Big Trouble in Little China into a comic. Top Cow Comics were going to do it back in 2009, but their plan never materialized and they eventually lost the license. Now, Boom! Studios is really going to make it happen and they’re doing it with the help of Carpenter himself.

Big Trouble in Little China #1 picks up right where the movie left off. Jack Burton (played by Kurt Russell in the film) has said farewell to Wang, Miao, Gracie, and the rest and drives off in his big rig, The Pork Chop Express. Unbeknownst to him, one of the monsters they fought off has stowed away in the back of his truck.

Boom! has brought a top notch creative team in to bring this to the page. Eric Powell is the creator of the popular comic The Goon and rarely works on anything outside of that series, but he could not resist the opportunity to create a sequel to one of his favorite movies. Artist Brian Churilla got a lot of attention for his recent Secret History of DB Cooper comic and has a clean, cartoony style that fits right in. On top of all that, John Carpenter has given his blessing on this series and has provided some input on the story.

Here’s a preview.

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2. Safari Honeymoon

By Jesse Jacobs
Koyama Press

A couple spend their honeymoon on a guided safari on another world.

Jesse Jacobs’ last graphic novel By This You Shall Know Him, is probably in my top 5 favorite comics of the past half-decade, which makes his latest, Safari Honeymoon, one of my most anticipated books of the year. His comics are weird, smart, beautifully designed, and always surprising.

In Safari Honeymoon, two affluent tourists pay a presumably exorbitant fee to spend their honeymoon in an alien world full of cute but dangerous wildlife, deadly parasites, infections, temporal disturbances, and strange, confusing landscapes. The couple’s journey is both terrifying and hilarious but constantly trippy.

Jacobs is great at drawing weird creatures that make you stop reading for ten minutes just to stare at the page to soak it all in. In between these hallucinatory interludes, though, he tells a really engaging story about men and women in the wild.

Here’s a preview

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3. Blindsprings

By Kadi Fedoruk
blindsprings.com / TheHiveworks.com

Sometimes a fairy tale princess shouldn’t be saved.

Recently, a reader recommended a webcomic in the comments section (I’m always looking for new comics to check out—especially webcomics—so please recommend some below). Blindsprings is a magical fantasy about a young girl named Tammy who lives in a lush forest straight out of a fairy tale. In fact, she soon meets a young man named Harris who knows of her from reading fairy tales. Harris soon leaves for school to study magic, while Tammy is involved with some sort of secret group of forest spirits. Years later, Harris returns to “save” Tammy and bring her out into the world. But that may not be what Tammy really wants or needs.

Kadi Fedoruk is an amazing young artist whose work would look right at home at Disney, although you can see other influences as well. Blindsprings looks like what would happen if Frozen’s Princess Anna wandered into the world of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. There is definitely a mysterious undertone to this that elevates the material above simple children’s fantasy though, and it hints at darker things to come.

Jump in and catch up on the story here.

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4. Afterlife With Archie Vol. 1: Escape from Riverdale

Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa; art by Francesco Francavilla
Archie Comics

There’s trouble in Riverdale when the dead begin to rise from their graves.

Undoubtedly the biggest surprise in comics the past year has been Afterlife With Archie, a new series from Archie Comics that takes the Riverdale gang and mashes them up with just about the last thing you’d expect: zombies. It’s understandable to want to dismiss this as trite bandwagon-jumping, but great reviews and impassioned word-of-mouth praise from readers have made this a hot-selling comic. Now, the first collected volume is about to hit bookstores and potential new audiences.

When Jughead’s pet Hot Dog is killed in a hit and run, he turns to Sabrina the Teenage Witch to bring him back to life. However, the dark magic Sabrina uses spreads out of control and Hot Dog is not the only corpse to rise from the dead in Riverdale. Soon, Archie and the gang are on the run and no one is safe.

This is the first book that Archie Comics has ever published that is meant for mature readers, and with its success it won’t be the last. Writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa just announced a new series that will focus on Sabrina The Teenage Witch in a similarly dark way. His collaborator, Francesco Francavilla, is a design-oriented comic book artist who has been making a big splash on Tumblr over the past year with his fan art posters for TV shows like Breaking Bad and True Detective. He brings that same, strong use of simple, bold color and graphic shadows to this comic to give it a look that feels true to the style of 1950s horror comics as well as the Archie comics of that same era.

Find out more about the book here.

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June 4, 2014 - 3:45pm
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