Spring IDW Pubwatch Returns!

IDW Pubwatch January 2020

Welcome to the IDW Pubwatch! I’ve taken over from Christa this month and I couldn’t be more excited. Fun fact: I joined WWAC exclusively on the IDW account, so it’s fun to be back in the IDW saddle.

This month we have some interesting news coming out of IDW Publishing and I’ve also reviewed my favourite comic books from what they have on offer. Plus, I have a selection of my favourite covers from May!

News and Announcements

IDW to Publish Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite #1 cover by Sara Richard - A "Vote for Pedro" shirt with the first two words scribbled out and "IMPEACH" written above

Napoleon Dynamite fans rejoice! IDW have announced that they will be publishing a four-issue limited series based on the popular film, written by sibling duo Carlos Guzman-Verdugo and Alejandro Verdugo, with art by Jorge Monlongo. The story will follow Napoleon’s friend Pedro’s time as student body president. The first issue is set to debut in September.

Twelve Eisner Nominations for IDW

IDW have made a massive impact this year with their comics, earning twelve Eisner nominations for themselves and their imprints. A number of those nominations are for their children’s and teen books, as well as two nominations each for Best Graphic Album, Best Artist, and Best Archival/Collection.

New Star Trek: Discovery Mini Series

Star Trek: Discovery comic cover by Tony Shasteen - Character portraits of the leads from Star Trek: Discovery

The newest Star Trek series is getting a mini-series soon from IDW, written by Kirsten Beyer and Mike Johnson, and drawn by Tony Shasteen. Aftermath will follow Discovery’s Spock after the events of the second season finale and will delve into his past. Spock has been seen in numerous iterations on- and off-screen and Ethan Peck’s take has certainly been enjoyable. It will be interesting to learn more about this young Spock. No release date has yet been set.

The Crow and Hack/Slash Crossover Coming Soon

Crow: Hack/Slash #1 cover by Tim Seeley - The Crow and Cassie Hack face off in a rainy graveyard, Cassie holding the Crow by the throat and wielding a dagger as he raises his hand to strike
If you’re a fan of The Crow and Hack/Slash, you will be very excited to learn that IDW is publishing a crossover between the two properties. Hack/Slash creator Tim Seeley will be writing the crossover with The Crow artist Jim Terry doing the inking. The series will be available June 19, 2019.

Featured Comics

Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House

Chris Fenoglio (artist), Christa Miesner (letters), Valentina Pinto (colours), Matthew Dow Smith (writer), Denton J Tipton (writer)
May 1, 2019

Goosebumps: Horrors of the Witch House cover - Art by Chris Fenoglio. Written by Matthew Dow Smith and Denton J Tipton, and drawn by Chris Fenoglio. Published by IDW Publishing. May 1, 2019 - Three kids run in terror from a house where a silhouette with red eyes stands threateningly in the open doorway

The Whaley House had been lying abandoned for decades before mysterious tech multimillionaire Veruca Curry bought the property. With rumours about hauntings, witches, and other paranormal activities following the house, local teens Rosie, Becca, and Carlos become suspicious. But when they go to investigate the house and its new owner, they realise that hauntings may be the least of their problems.

Who doesn’t love a good Goosebumps story? This is the start of a fun and suspenseful tale, which is sure to build into a very exciting plot. I already love the teenage characters, who are plucky and realistic. I can’t wait to see how they handle their new discovery.

The art is simultaneously adorable and extremely detailed. One gets a real sense of the town and the school, and the horrors of the Whaley House, all with a comical air about them so you know you don’t have to take the story too seriously. I loved every page of this!

House Amok

Aditya Bidikar (letters), Lee Loughridge (colours), Shawn McManus (artist), Christopher Sebela (writer), Neil Uyetake (letters)
May 1, 2019

House Amok cover by Shawn McManus. Written by Christopher Sebela and drawn by Shawn McManus. Published by IDW Publishing. May 1, 2019 - Two kids in matching outfits run from a montage of horrors

The Sandifer family fight monsters together, but are they real? Dylan Sandifer certainly believed in the monsters, but after a high fever, she is no longer able to see them as clearly as she used to. Are her family members really the only sane people in the world, or are they collectively losing their mind, and killing innocents along the way?

What a bizarre and creepy book! It constantly plays with the boundary between reality and fiction. Over 140 pages, I found myself questioning whether or not I believed Dylan’s point of view, or whether or not the monsters they saw were real. I like that it is up in the air and the slow build-up about the monstrous manifestations helps to increase the readers’ tension and confusion.

The art in this book isn’t generally the kind I like but it works well to convey the eeriness and unreal quality of the story. There’s a ton of detail on each page that gives one an idea of setting and mood, and made me look deep into the pages for clues. Thus, what starts off as a strange horror story turns into an examination of the ties that bind families together and why sometimes those ties should be cut.

Star Wars Adventures: Flight Falcon

Arianna Florean (artist), Mattia Iacono (colours), Tom B Long (letters), Michael Moreci (writer)
May 1, 2019

Star Wars Adventures: Flight Falcon cover by Arianna Florean. Published by IDW Publishing. May 1, 2019 - A figure in a black skintight hood smiles threateningly, hand extended over a small shuttle

Hondo Ohnaka is in possession of the Millennium Falcon but Bala-Tik of the Guavian Death Gang wants proof he’s worthy of it. How else would pirates prove their worth except with a race? But come race time, Hondo and his trusted partner Mahjo find themselves headed into a trap. How will they get out of this pickle?

I love Star Wars comic books and this one certainly was enjoyable. Fans will recognise Bala-Tik from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and he continues to be just as shady in this book. Hondo is a quirky protagonist—all bluster and no brains. I liked Mahjo, who has an almost General Leia Organa-like quality of ease and patience to her. And in the midst of it all is Hondo’s good luck charm—an adorable little Porg named Puffy, who loves to eat. I am sold!

The art is cute and cartoony but still manages to make the Falcon look magnificent. I loved the scenes in space and the planet of Batuu, which was depicted as having a rich and diverse culture. This is Star Wars in comic form. What more could you ask for?

Star Trek: Terra Incognita

Frank Gamboa (colours), Angel Hernandez (artist), JD Mettler (colours), Carlos Nieto (artist), Mark Roberts (colours), Tony Shasteen (artist), David Tipton (writer), Scott Tipton (writer), Neil Uyetake (letters)
May 1, 2019

Star Trek: Terra Incognita TPB cover by J.K. Woodward. Published by IDW Publishing. May 1, 2019 - Realistic portraits of Star Trek characters

If you love Star Trek: The Next Generation, you are going to love Terra Incognita. The story takes place at a time when duplicates of the TNG crew from the Mirror Universe are roaming free. One of those duplicates is Reginald Barclay, who takes his Prime counterpart’s place. But what is Mirror Barclay’s plan? Why does it look like he’s helping the Enterprise-D crew?

I’ve always loved Barclay, who is more akin to a Star Trek fan than a crew member himself (watch his Voyager episodes, they’re amazing!). Seeing this evil, but efficient, version of Barclay strut about was disorienting but also cathartic. Barclay is often the butt of the joke—it was good to see people take him seriously at last, even if it is the wrong version!

Sprinkled against the backdrop of the Mirror Universe characters’ infiltration are stories featuring the bridge crew as they go on missions to alien planets in the hope of bringing new allies to the Federation, settling conflicts, and saving lives. My particular favourite was Deanna Troi’s story of getting fellow counsellors to a rendezvous point. I love her bravery and spunk even when things go bad. Also, who isn’t a sucker for a non-romantic Deanna story?

And of course, my forever favourite Beverly Crusher’s story of saving a species from extinction was perfect and displayed how intelligent and brave she is even in the most dire of circumstances.

Loved this book to bits and I desperately need the next volume now!

Eve Stranger: Retrograde Part One: Rescue Me

David Barnett (writer), Philip Bond (artist), Eva de la Cruz (colours), Jane Heir (letters)
May 8, 2019

Eve Stranger: Retrograde Part One: Rescue Me cover by Philip Bond. Written by David Barnett and drawn by Philip Bond. Published by IDW Publishing. May 8, 2019 - A woman with short pale hair, surrounded by illustrations of various objects in yellow circular frames

Eve Stranger wakes up in a hotel room with no memory of who or what she is. But she has a particular set of skills that she puts to good use to save people, and hurt people, and have some fun along the way. But who is leaving her notes and what is the deal with Eve’s blood?

The amnesiac as assassin plot has been done a few times but I still can’t help but feel intrigued by Eve. Who is she? Why is her blood special? Why can she only keep her short-term memory and select memories of her dad from childhood? Are those memories even real?

I also like how Eve has very natural reactions to her situation: she learns she has an unlimited bank account and tries to get a jetpack from NASA (as one does). She joins a #MeToo protest in her free time. She saves trafficked children. I really like her and I definitely want to read more.

The book has a second story featuring Eve, one where she’s a journalist. This is far more whimsical than the main plot, and quite adorable. Though it doesn’t seem like this story is immediately linked to the first, I feel like there is a deeper connection that will be explored further. Or at least I hope so. There’s more to Eve than we realise and I want to know all about her.

Gears of War

Kominaki Studio (colours), Sean Lee (colours), Shawn Lee (letters), Alan Quah (artist), Kurtis Wiebe (writer)
May 8, 2019

Gears of War #1 cover by Alan Quah. Written by Kurtis Wiebe and drawn by Alan Quah. Published by IDW Publishing. May 8, 2019 - Three soldiers in combat gear standing on what looks like the roots of a sinister red tree, whose trunks resemble tentacles
Mac, Lahni, and Keegan are soldiers on a very special mission to take down a hive of monsters who are wreaking havoc on the world. They accomplish their mission, but are given the option to attack another hive. They barely made it out alive, but these brothers-in-arms aren’t afraid of a fight. Will they regret it?

This story plonks the reader right in the midst of the plot, which I found a bit confusing. I had no idea what the world was about, who these characters were, and why I should be concerned with the hive. But the essential elements of the plot unfold fairly quickly and what we get is an action-packed story with a sense of mystery. I also enjoyed the characters’ banter, which was fun to read and gave me a better understanding of their camaraderie.

I loved the art more than anything else and want to read more of this series just so I can see these amazing hyper-realistic illustrations!

Clue Candlestick #1

Dash Shaw (writer, artist, letters)
May 22, 2019

Clue Candlestick #1 cover by Dash Shaw. Written and drawn by Dash Shaw. Published by IDW Publishing. May 22, 2019 - A collage of character heads along with objects like a magnifying glass and yellow game pawn

This quirky Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery sees a group of intellectuals called to dinner by a mutual friend. Boddy, a collector of grotesque murder-related objects, has been receiving death threats, and he summons his friends to help him find out why. But before the night is over, two men lie dead and four guests are under suspicion. Then there’s the sole maid in the house, who seems to have some personal interest in Boddy.

I enjoyed this story and its old-fashioned tone. It really felt like I was reading a comics version of Miss Marple or Poirot. We slowly get to learn about the different characters and how or why they could be suspects, but the book still manages to end on a cliff-hanger with a death I really didn’t expect.

The art is lovely and detailed, and I like that there are a diverse set of characters in the story. Some of the angles were a bit odd but it felt a bit like I was peeking into a doll’s house, which was quite fun. I’m looking forward to reading more.

Best Covers

Marvel Action: Spider-Man #4 cover by Christopher Jones - A hand holding a phone displaying an image of Spider-man doing a web-slinging gesture
Marvel Action: Spider-Man #4
Transformers #5 cover by Andrew Griffith. - Several Transformers stand ready for battle
Transformers #5
Clue Candlestick #1 cover RI by Dash Shaw. Written and drawn by Dash Shaw. Published by IDW Publishing. May 22, 2019 - A mustachioed man stands on a chess board, surrounded by oversized Clue accessories such as the candlestick, wrench, knife, revolver, and lead pipe
Clue Candlestick #1 cover RI

Honourable Mentions

A Shining Beacon


Life on the Moon

V Wars

Thanks for joining me on this Pubwatch!

Louis Skye

Louis Skye

A writer at heart with a fondness for well-told stories, Louis Skye is always looking for a way to escape the planet, whether through comic books, films, television, books or video games. She always has an eye out for the subversive and champions diversity in media.