Friday, November 28, 2014

Comic Review: 7th Wave Comics' Undertow

Review By Joe David Thompson
Undertow #1 cover
After the 7th Wave Comics appearance at the Jet City Comic Show earlier this November, Luke Donkersloot shared his latest project with us.  Donkersloot is the writer and letterer of Undertow, an anthology series currently in its fourth issue with a fifth currently in production.
Undertow writer, Luke Donkersloot

After its inception, Undertow evolved to include two separate stories which split each issue.  Undertow begins with The Organ Grinder, an old fashioned Western meets the Twilight Zone, centered around a mysterious, one-armed musician who stumbles into a mining town, with his monkey and interesting instrument in tow.  Trouble ensues when our hero comes up against some unsavory characters doing unsavory acts.  Undertow's back half is currently occupied by The Forgetting, a supernatural tale about magic, reincarnation, and monsters.  

It's challenging to review indie comics chiefly because these are the creators on the front lines, putting these books together on their own dime and time.  To paraphrase an idiom, if you want to get better at something, the best way to do that is by doing it.  If you want to be a writer, then write.  If you want to draw, draw.  If you want to sing in a N'Sync cover band, we need to talk.  

Seriously, you can see this expression in action looking over the four issues of Undertow.  The current issue demonstrates a major evolvement in terms of writing and art.  Where the earlier issues are overly dependent, weighed down even, on the use of captions, this issue uses more visuals and dialogue.  Comics is primarily a visual medium, so it's a natural think to let the images do the talking.  Besides, this demonstrates a trust in your artist, who in turn, gets her chance to shine.  In the case of the Organ Grinder, Gibson Quarter is doing just that: shining with each panel.  In additon, the language of this book has gotten stronger both in terms of directness and swearing.
Undertow #1 digital variant cover

Donkersloot clearly has a vision and a story to tell in both vignettes.  To me, the strongest of these is The Organ Grinder, which owes a big debt to Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name films.  Donkersloot is keeping many of the secrets of the Grinder close to his vest, and I'm ready to know more about this character.  My biggest gripe story wise is with how women are depicted in this world.  While I can appreciate that this period is definitely not packed with feminism, you're not going to attract a strong female readership with a scantily clad Native American victim of violence.  There is a female sharpshooter who is dressed as a man we we first see her.  We discover the supposed "he" is a "she" only when she strips down and finishes her scenes in a bubble bath with a bouyant bosom.  I'd love to see some strong women add some color to this black and white comic.

The Forgotten is an entirely different animal.  I can get the gist of what's going on in this story, I just haven't had a strong reason to care about this one.  The way in here is through the magical elements, but the better part of The Forgetting's run has been spent on reactions to violent creatures by characters we haven't had a chance with which to connect.  Adam Gorham's art makes great uses of minimalism in rendering scenes both intimate and sprawling.

Still, Undertow is a fine example of passionate creators working and honing their craft.  I fully believe these guys are going to keep getting better.  If you're interested in supporting indie creators, Undertow's digital issues can be snatched up for a buck a pop on the 7th Wave Comics website.

Joe David Thompson has been doing media reviews for websites such as Red Carpet Crash and the 405 Music Blog. For any questions or comments for Joe David Thompson, you can email him at, and plese follow him on Twitter: @jovid52

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Comic Review: Casanova Volume One

Review by Joe David Thompson
I was cruisin' Comixology last week, looking for interesting new releases to review, when I stumbled across something for which I blew my weekly comic budget in one fell swoop: the first volume of Casanova, Luxuria, collected in what's called a "complete edition," and there was no stopping me.

If that sounds like the ravings of a madman, let me explain.  Casanova first dropped in the summer of 2006 on Image Comics before the title moved to Marvel's Icon imprint in 2011.  Since picking up the first issue, I've purchased both the print and digital singles, and now I've gone and done it again. 

Casanova is a psychedelic, spy, and science fiction comic from the mind of Matt Fraction, writer of Hawkeye and Sex Criminals, and illustrated by the extraordinary talents of Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon.  Casanova Quinn, the star of the book, is the much maligned son of the leader of one of the world's most powerful espionage groups.  Quinn is soon drawn into a plot that finds him kidnapped across timelines and other dimensions, where he must claim to be something he's not: a super spy.

Fraction infuses this book with dynamite pacing, smart humor, and a pop sensibility that keeps readers on their toes.  He's clearly having fun writing this book and that feeling practically leaps off the pages.  Fraction plays around with the cool spy tropes and atmospheres of the sixties, for which he seems to have an affection.  Gabriel Ba (The Umbrella Academy, De:Tales) turns in art that is fluid, sexy, and just plain gorgeous.  Ba captures the playful tone of the book masterfully.  I've been a fan of Ba's art for a while now, something I credit to his work on this book. 

For all its spectacle, Casanova has a lot of heart driving the book.  A shocking death forces Quinn to take stock of who he is and what motivates him to do the things he does.  We see a man trying to define himself beyond, and in spite of, the excesses he seems to enjoy.  Eventually, Quinn must confront the questions we all do: when are we going to grow up?  How long are we going to let other influences control our life?  And what does this look like?  Fraction has always been good at pulling the human drama out of whatever fantastic circumstances his books may be set.  And, after reading through the honest commentaries in the back matter, we see just how personal Casanova is for him as an artist. 

This complete edition includes all that back matter, Ba's covers, a deeper look at Casanova's color palette and lettering style, among other assorted goodies.  If you're a Casanova junkie like me or just love the spy or science fiction genres, Casanova is the perfect book to take you away from the family fights and the same old turkey dinner.
Joe David Thompson has been doing media reviews for websites such as Red Carpet Crash and the 405 Music Blog. For any questions or comments for Joe David Thompson, you can email him and follow him on twitter @jovid52

Monday, November 24, 2014

Interview with comic book artist Matthew Southworth

You've heard me rave about Mathew Southworth's art and how big a fan I am of his work, so I'm more than pleased to share this Q&A Matthew and I did to discuss his background and upcoming projects.

Before we get into that, I want to mention that I will be announcing another really exciting guest at the next Comic Book Swap Meet here in the next few days or so! Also, don't forget about the contest for the signed Jet City Comic Show poster over on our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Links are posted at the end of this interview. The poster is signed by some great comic creators including Matthew Clark, Clayton Crain, Tim Seeley, and the subject of the following interview, Matthew Southworth!! Here's a peak at the poster...


Inteview with Matthew Southworth, November 18, 2014
TheSteveStrout: I assume, based on your beautiful artwork, that you've been drawing and doing art in some way from a young age. At what point did you realize that you WANTED to and COULD make a career in the field?

MS: I've been drawing since I was three years old, but there have been some big gaps in there. In my teens I alternated between obsessing over comic books and playing guitar, and eventually I went off to theatre school. From the age of 18 or so on through to my late twenties, I didn't do much drawing at all. But once I'd been working in the film industry for a while, I realized the immediacy of working in comics really appealed to me, so I started diving back in around age 27 or 28.

TSS: Did you have any artistic inspirations growing up?

MS: Yes--I was always "the kid who could draw" in elementary school, and that made me want to be...wait for it...Leonardo da Vinci. I set my sights pretty high. Haven't reached that level yet.

TSS: Your first published comic was a piece in Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon.How did that gig come about?

MS: I met Erik at Emerald City Comicon and showed him my work in hopes of getting a review. He was very helpful--his primary bit of advice was "make sure a thing looks like the thing it's supposed to; this leather jacket does not look like leather", and I learned to look at things with a different eye. He invited me to do the Star backup in Savage Dragon #133, which was very challenging for me but was a great way to get my feet wet. Seeing your work in print is shocking--SHOCKING--but you gotta start somewhere and calibrate your eye to what will actually appear on the printed page.

Here's a commission Southworth did for
me earlier this year when he was a guest
at the Comic Book Swap Meet!!!
TSS: Stumptown is probably your most acclaimed work to date. How did you get that hooked up with Greg Rucka to do the art for the series?
MS: I was working with Stefano Gaudiano as his assistant on DAREDEVIL and a few other assignments, and he was bringing me along, teaching me technique and being an excellent and generous mentor. He and Greg had worked together on GOTHAM CENTRAL, and when STUMPTOWN came along, Greg and Oni contacted Stefano to see if he'd be interested in drawing the book. He didn't have time to do so on his own but suggested that he and his assistant Matt might do it. But it immediately became clear that Stefano had no time to work on it; he put in about an hour and a half on the book total. So all of a sudden Greg and Oni were left holding the bag, stuck with this untested Matt Southworth guy. 

TSS: What are some of the notable comics you've worked on, for fans who aren't as familiar?

MS: I've done a little work here and there for just about every publisher in comics. I just finished an X-Files Christmas Special for IDW; I've done Spider-Man, Spider-Girl, Thunderbolts, X-Men, a Beta Ray Bill Special, Ares and others for Marvel; I did a story in a Batman Special and inked Infinity Inc. for DC; drew a Shadowman story and did layouts on several other books for Valiant; did some layouts for an issue of The Activity for Image; and I've done a number of things for Dark Horse, too. I've been all over the place.

TSS: How hard is the process of putting a writer like Rucka's characters and vision onto the pages?

MS: Extremely easy because Greg's writing is complete, and he's very detailed about character. It's easy, once you've read his script, to picture who these people are and what they look like, how they sit, and so forth. He puts a lot of character in subtext, which is my favorite kind of writing. Alex de Campi, who I'm working with now on a book called MAYDAY, is very effective at the same thing. You read her work and immediately ideas are pinging around all over the place because the script is so full of life.

TSS: Would you say the work in Stumptown best exemplifies your art style?
MS: Hmm. I'm not sure I'd say that, but that's only because my art style changed so much over the course of the two series. I'm constantly testing, pushing, trying new techniques and tools and approaches, and that can create a lack of unity in the work. On the second arc of the book, however, I decided just to go with that impulse, to keep pushing and testing; I figured that where I sacrificed stylistic unity, the work would benefit from enthusiasm and experimentation.
Here's a page from Sumptown #3 on
Oni Press

TSS: How would you personally describe your drawing/inking style if you were to see it from a fan's perspective?
MS: My drawing style is probably best described as "high-contrast", which is something I'm pushing even more now. I think the most marked characteristics of my work are not so much in my drawing style, however, but in my storytelling. I place a very strong emphasis not on how well I draw but on exactly what I draw to convey the drama of the story.

TSS: Do you work in any other artistic mediums other than pencil/ink?
MS: I do... I paint a bit, mostly in watercolor, and I'm coloring MAYDAY and have colored some of my other work. I'm also a very amateur sculptor, fiddling with little bits of clay in order to create maquettes of characters. This helps keep the characters consistent.

TSS: Who is your favorite character to draw?
MS: I don't know the answer to that, actually. I'm finding that the more I do it, the more I like characters who have "caricaturable" features--guys with huge eyebrows or women with long flowing red hair, people with big hands and feet or terrible skin. Character actors instead of romantic leads. 

TSS: You worked with and assisted Stefano Guadiano earlier in your career. How much if any influence did Mr. Guadiano (who happens to be one of my favorite comic artists) have on your drawing technique?

MS: He had a huge influence in teaching me how to approach high contrast work. Stefano uses a strange combination of highly-considered, time-intensive labor and sudden bursts of messy experiment done in a flash, and he passed that on to me. I'm very grateful that that was what I learned from him rather than something more focused on polish and glossy finish; it's the enthusiasm and intellectual stimulation one gets from suddenly deciding to ink a page with a Q-tip or wiping one's dirty hands across a panel that makes it fun.

TSS: If you could work on any current comic book series, what would it be? Why?
MS: This will sound glib, but MAYDAY is the most exciting thing to me. I want to do that, and I want to do this book I'm writing about paramedics who cater to injured superheroes. MAYDAY issue one is the best script I've ever read, and Alex is doing something very interesting with the series. And my paramedic book deals with all sorts of things I've wanted to see in comics but which no one seems to be doing, for some reason. 

TSS: What are you personally reading nowadays?

Matt hanging out at the Comic Book
Swap Meet this past August
MS: Lately I'm reading a lot of prose. This year I've read books by Martin Amis (TIME'S ARROW, which is an amazing book in which the narrative creeps backwards through time), Charles Willeford (PICK-UP, a noir novel that is easily, unquestionably the most surprising book I've ever read--if you seek it out, do yourself a favor and do NOT read ahead or skim anything), Elmore Leonard (MR PARADISE, the audiobook as read by Robert Forster), Gary Webb's DARK ALLIANCE, which is a non-fiction book about the CIA's involvement in building the crack cocaine epidemic in South Central LA in the 1980s, and books by David Goodis, Richard Brautigan, Don DeLillo, and Harlan Ellison, among others. 

As far as comics, I just finished Michael Cho's book SHOPLIFTER; I've been re-reading the Bill Sienkiewicz issues of NEW MUTANTS, which blew my mind when they first came out and which are still amazing; I've been finding old issues of various superhero comics by Trevor von Eeden in his prime experimental phase--those are all pretty fantastic; I just read Chris Ware's BUILDING STORIES, which I'd bought more than a year ago but was intimidated to attempt, it's so big; and I've got books by Al Columbia, Dave McKean, Darwyn Cooke, Zack Soto, Emily Carroll and Brandon Graham all stacked up and ready to go next. I've also been loving Brubaker/Phillips/Breitweiser's THE FADE-OUT, Vaughan/Martin's THE PRIVATE EYE, and Soule/Pulido's SHE-HULK. 

TSS: You also have a background in screenwriting and music. Are there any works out there that we can check out?

MS: As far as screenwriting, no, unfortunately. Years ago I made a feature, BIG WIDE EMPTY, but it was never properly completed. I finished a rough cut but never had the money, time or energy to do a proper mix and tighten up all the weak edits and effects. One day! Music-wise, yes--when my website is back up and running, you'll be able to stream/download several things, be they from my band The Capillaries or from a still-developing project called RKO.

TSS: Do you have any projects coming up, or in the works that you can discuss?

MS: I've mentioned MAYDAY and the as-yet-untitled Superhero Paramedic Project; I'm also writing a book called THE UNDERSTUDY, which is being drawn by Nick Barber. Nick is an animator who is new to the comics industry; his work has so much vitality and character, and it looks totally unique. I can't think of anyone in comics who draws like Nick. That book is about a metaphysical robbery.

I'm finishing up a project for Dark Horse Presents called "Addressee Unknown", which I've written, drawn and colored, and I'm just beginning my second story for CREEPY, which is called "Skinny", about a boy who adopts a sickly monster. Those will both be out before the summer; MAYDAY will likely be out in late summer, and I suspect THE UNDERSTUDY will come out around the same time.

I really appreciate the time Matthew Southworth took for us, and will be on the lookout for the interesting projects he's working on!!! Stay tuned, and go search out some of his work. It's fantastic.

Steve Strout is the media mastermind behind this site, host of the Comic Book Swap Meet, nerd, terrible artist, gamer, convention goer and comic book reader who spends more time rescuing toys from thrift shops than a normal adult should. He is also known around the northwest for his promotion of live music and stand-up comedy events and is the creator/producer of the Olympic Peninsula Comedy Competition (which will make it's big return in 2015). Follow him on Instagram at, and  He can be reached for comments at on twitter at @thestevestrout

Cosplay Talk with Kit Cosplay

Cosplaying for causes
by Kit Cosplay November 2014
One of my favorite things about cosplaying, is that I get to bring many smiles to many faces. There’s just something so special about putting a lot of work into being the embodiment of a character, and having someone else really enjoy your creation. In fact, I loved doing that so much, that I created a business with friends that centers around cosplaying for causes. We’re called Comic Book Characters for Causes (CBC4C for short), and we volunteer time with kids in need around the Seattle area, and also raise funds to support pediatric wellness programs. Some of the more notable causes we’ve worked with are Seattle Children’s Hospital, The Goodtimes Project, Love Your Melon, and the Make-A-Wish foundation. Personally, if showing up as a superhero can take a child’s mind off of their current troubles, then I’ve won that day. I can’t tell you how fulfilling it is to see a kid’s face light up when they see Spider-Man, Iron Man, Black Widow, or Thor in front of them!

It is so awesome to see many other similar causes around the country as well. From The Portland Superheroes Coalition, to the Avengers Initiative, to Cosplay for a Cause, these fantastic people are putting their blood, sweat, and tears (Yes, making costumes typically involves all 3 of those things – at least for me!) into making lives better.
Sure, it may seem like kind of a silly thing to do, and I’ve heard my fair share of nay-sayers (“they’re only doing it for attention”), but I can’t tell you how absolutely fulfilled I feel when I volunteer with these kids. Most of the time, the littler ones are just looking for a buddy – Just being there, and hanging out with them is enough to brighten their day. Besides, it’s not every day that you get to do arts and crafts with Captain America, or eat lunch with Captain Marvel.
If you’d like to equally brighten someone’s day, check out the causes listed above, even if you’re not so willing to hop into a spandex suit. If you are a cosplayer, check around for local groups in your area that you could help support – and if there aren’t any, form a charity group! Send me an email if you’re looking for advice on getting a group started in your area, I’m happy to help –
Until next time!

Kit Cosplay is a co-founder of the Comic Book Charcters For Causes fundraising and charity cosplay group. Whether you are interested in cosplay as a spectator, just starting out, or have been doing it for years, Kit hopes that her monthly column entertains or inspires you. Reach out to Kit Cosplay on Facebook, Twitter, or shoot her an email – She’d love to chat with you!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jet City Comic Show recap and more...

This one took a little longer than planned to get posted due to my work schedule getting turned upside down. but here goes.

I made my first visit to the Jet City Comic on Saturday November 8th. I was absolutely pleased by the amount of talented artists and writers who attended the show. I got the pleasure of meeting some great creators I hadn't dealt with, as well as getting to hang with some old friends.

I had the pleasure of meeting Damon Gentry, (through my friend Matthew Southworth,with whom I will be posting an interview with very soon!) one of the creators of a really intriguing comic from Dark Horse called the Sabretooth Swordsman. This is a really cool looking story about a farmer who has to find his inner warrior to save his enslaved people. Go check out the Tumblr page for the book and see some art samples ...I hope to chat more soon with Damon about the book and other projects to come.

I also picked up a couple books to potentially review for the site including Undertow. The writer of the series, Luke Donkersloot was in attendance selling the book and was gracious enough to submit a copy for us to review. We cant wait to dig in. If you're not up for waiting on the review, go preview the book at . If I'm not mistaken, there should be a link to a free digital copy of one of the books. Check it out. Flipping through the pages, it looks like a real throwback to some old school comic books that we grew up on. Looks fantastic!!

As usual, Here is my pictorial recap of some of the great talent from the convention. Of course I had to include my pics with Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict from Battlestar Galactica!!

Tim Seeley making fans happy... Follow his twitter feed at
Matthew Clark has worked on Superman, Ghost rider, and Wonder Woman to name a few. Check out his site
This was a friend of Brandon Jerwa's, I think?
I was very excited to meet Steve Lieber. He's worked on some of my favorite books like Hellboy and especially Gotham Central. I'm going to attempt to get him up for a Comic Book Swap Meet.
I prior mentioned Luke Donkersloot, writer of Undertow. Check out the Undertow Facebook page too!
Clayton Crain...One of the sickest artists around. Go take a look. He was very busy at the show,so I didn't have much time to chat with him...unfortunately.
Richard Hatch aka Apollo from the origianl Battlestar Galactica. Also played Tam Zarek on the most recent BSG series. He told me about an awesome independent Star Trek project called Star Trek: Axanar . It's a fan funded film based in the Star Trek universe that stars Hatch and other Trek series veterans. For more info or to contribute:
Dirk Benedict is hands down, one of the most down to earth celebs I've had the plesure of meeting on the conention circuit. I was actually shocked that he remembered chatting with me at Emerald City Comic Con about the 80's comedy about pro wrestling, Bodyslam, starring him and Roddy Piper. I loved that film as a kid. Then there's the A-Team, of course. Ahhh childhood...
My friend Abi Sue Cosplay and her debut of her She Hulk costume. I'd say it's looking pretty awesome! If your not following her on Facebook yet, you should be. She does a lot of charity work and stuff involving her great cosplay work.
I brought this poster around to a bunch of artists and writers at the show and had them sign it. I'm going to be giving this poster away in a contest through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Be sure to follow me on those social network sites to find the info on the giveaway.

This awesome show poster was created by the super talented artist, Shane White. Go look at his website at to see some more of this talented artists work. He's another I hope to interview in the future and have out as a guest at a Comic Book Swap Meet...
I mentioned the Comic Book Swap Meet a couple times. Here's a little info on our next little convention up here on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. Our first Guest announced is Scott Adams. You might remember the interview we did with him earlier this year. If not here it is again:

Stay tuned, as I will probably share some more from the Jet City Comic Show, including some more cosplay pics, and as always, thanks for reading. Keep spreading the word. Don't forget to join our Comic Book Swap Meet group and page on Facebook to keep up on updates, news and other nerdiness!

Steve Strout is the media mastermind behind this site, host of the Comic Book Swap Meet, nerd, terrible artist, gamer, convention goer and comic book reader who spends more time rescuing toys from thrift shops than a normal adult should. He is also known around the northwest for his promotion of live music and stand-up comedy events and is the creator/producer of the Olympic Peninsula Comedy Competition (which will make it's big return in 2015). Follow him on Instagram at, and  He can be reached for comments at on twitter at @thestevestrout

Comic Reviews: Batman #36 and Batgirl #36

Review by Joe David Thompson
This was the first week in a long while when comic books tries to bankrupt me, but I took the hit cause I love you guys.

Here are the highlights from my pull list:  Alex + Ada 10, All New Captain America 1, The Fade Out 3, The Kitchen 1, The Ressurectionists 1, Thor 2, and Wild's End 3.  These were all solid books, from Alex and Ada's reunion to the cool American Hustle vibe of The Kitchen.  Jason Aaron takes us a little deeper into what a female Thor really looks like, and does so through an action packed issue, while Wild's End continues to be charming and fun.

But the books I want to talk about are Batgirl and Batman, both on issue #36. 

Written by Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart, Batgirl is taking an exciting new direction, following Barbara to Burnside, a hip district of Gotham, where she attends her first day of grad school.  But this is a Batgirl book, so it's obvious her alter ego would find much to do.  This time it's a pair of cosplaying assassins on motorcyles hired to kill Batgirl by...Batgirl?  I'm loving the new direction and tone of this book, which is playful, refreshing, and fun, all the while keeping what makes a Bat-book exciting.  Babs Tarr's art is perfect, most notabel both in the action sequences and the nuances of the caracter's expressions.  You need to be reading this book, and it's easy since this new tteam took over on issue 35.

Scott Snyder's run on Batman by now should be a no brainer for a pick.  Snyder's brought a level of darkness and grit to a book that demands it and this latest issue is no exception.  Seems the Justice League has been perverted by The Joker's machinations and now Batman must first deal with a Joker-ized Supes in a spectacular fight before hunting down just what Joker is up to.  I loved the scenes with Alfred in this book, who's grown stubborn with age.  Snyder's Joker is still terrifying, not just because he's still having some facial issues.  The Joker has always been a fantastic charade fed, and I love how Snyder grounds him by making his motivations seem almost same.  Greg Capullo's art continues to be epic, delivering panels that look torn from a film.

And on a side note (or two), Image dropped the first trade collection of The Wicked + The Divine, for an affordable price, so if anybody's been on the fence with the book, this is the perfect way to jump on and catch up.  Secondly, I must confess I can't stop listening to this new Taylor Swift record, and I might need professional help.

Joe David Thompson has been doing media reviews for websites such as Red Carpet Crash and the 405 Music Blog. For any questions or comments for Joe David Thompson, you can email him at and follow him on twitter @jovid52

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Comic Reviews: Low and Rasputin

Review by Joe David Thompson
Ok, so I spaced last week and thought I had sent my comic reviews/recommendations, but obviously I hadn't.  My apologies!!  So, let's do something a little different this week, shall we?!?  Nothing grabbed me this week, but two weeks ago was a good comic week.  I'll be back on a better schedule...promise!

I wanted to write about Low, the completely exciting sci fi comic from Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini on Image.  Currently in its fourth issue, Low is the story of the survival of the human race, long ago sent into the depths of the ocean when the sun irradiates the Earth beyond our abilities to live.  From this refuge, the Kane family is charged with protecting this world and searching for a new and habitable world.  

Remender has crafted a gripping tale about a family torn apart by violence and fear, still struggling with hope and how to overcome the odds.  The aesthetic here is very hard sci fi meets Game of Thrones, both content and thematically.  The narrative never gets overwhelmed by this approach, as Remender keeps everyhting well grounded by delivering interesting characters and focusing on very human relationshoips.  Tocchini's art has been stunning with each issue, which is a major achievement as the story expands and grows.  The colors are rich and warm, complementing Remender's plot.

Remender is also helming the All New Captain America, which features Sam Wilson (formerly The Falcon) taking up the titular mantle.  The first issue drops this Wednesday, and with Stuart Immonen on art duty, this one is a definite one to pick up for me.  I've been binging myself on Remender's run on Uncanny X-Force, which is shaping up quite nicely so far.

I also enjoyed another Image title from two weeks ago, Alex Grecian and Riley Rossmo's new Rasputin.  Grecian is obviously taken with the legend/rumors of the virtually unkillable Rasputin.  He tells a very human story with an extraordinary uses of image and an economy of words that left me wanting the book to keep going.  Rossmo's art is gorgeous and Grecian lets his artist's skills speak for themselves.  

Let's see, what else have I been remiss about?

Brian K Vaughan's Saga is on an agonizing six month hiatus, but digital comic fans can grab his excellent, pay what you want comic The Private Eye at the link below.  Vaughan is excellently accessible to his fans, which is great and this book is so funny and cool.

That's all for now, except for my reassurances I'll be back on a better game this week.  Thanks for understanding!

Joe David Thompson has been doing media reviews for websites such as Red Carpet Crash and the 405 Music Blog. For any questions or comments for Joe David Thompson, you can email him at and follow him on twitter @jovid52