And we’re back! Sort of. Things are slowly starting to open up again where I am (though, personally, I am sticking close to home for a little bit longer) and that includes comic shops. I had missed having new releases to look forward to every Wednesday. This month for the Pubwatch I’ll be sharing my favourite of these new releases.
New Mega Man Comic Series
BOOM! has announced there will be a new six-issue comic book series, Mega Man: Fully Charged. This comic will be based on the television series of the same name and will be written by two of the television series writers, A.J. Marchisello and Marcus Rinehard, with art by Stefano Simeone.
As someone who has a Funko toy Rush staring at her from across the room as she types this, I will definitely be checking out this series in August.
It’s Eisner Nomination Time!
The Eisner Award nominations were announced on June 4th and in addition to Women Write About Comics being nominated for Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism, BOOM! picked up three nominations and one shared nomination of their own.
The full list of nominated comics and talent are:
Best New Series: Once & Future, by Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora (BOOM! Studios)
Best New Series: Something is Killing the Children, by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera (BOOM! Studios)
Best Graphic Album- New: New World, by David Jesus Vignolli (Archaia)
Best Lettering: Jim Campbell, Black Badge, Coda (BOOM! Studios); Giant Days, Lumberjanes: The Shape of Friendship (BOOM! Box); Rocko’s Modern Afterlife (KaBOOM!); At the End of Your Tether (Lion Forge); Blade Runner 2019 (Titan); Mall, The Plot, Wasted Space (Vault)
Discover a Town Where Salem Witches Have Survived for Generations
Imagine a world where not all the witches were burned during the Salem Witch Trials. Where some escaped and survived together for generations in a different town. That is the world in the upcoming original series, An Unkindness of Ravens. The five-issue series is about a group of teenagers in this town. One of the descendants (known as the Ravens), Waverly, has gone missing and the new girl in school, Wilma, bears an uncanny resemblance to her. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding Waverly’s disappearance and Wilma will have to use powers she never knew she had in order to save herself and her new friends.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Every Generation #1
Morgan Beem (writer and artist), Jim Campbell (letterer), Lauren Garcia (writer), Alex Guimarães (colourist), Lauren Knight (artist), Nilah Magruder (writer), Caitlin Yarsky (writer and artist)
June 3, 2020
The first issue of this Buffy spin-off series is broken into three parts. The first ties into the recent Hellmouth story arc. We see a little more of Buffy’s time inside the Hellmouth and the people/creatures she encountered there. And while that was interesting, what really made this issue stand out to me were the two stories that followed, “The Hilot Of 1910” and “The Sisters Of Angelus,” both of which tell the story of slayers from early generations.
“The Hilot of 1910” takes us to the Philippines, where a village hilot (healer) named Matay has discovered the village has an Aswang, a creature from Filipino folktales. This was a unique and different way to look at what it means to be a slayer, and the accompanying artwork is gorgeous and fits the tone of the story perfectly.
“The Sisters of Angelus” jumps ahead a few decades to Dublin in 1947. In this story, a young girl is sent away to a nunnery after some gossip threatens to ruin her reputation. Her best friend, Una, the slayer of this story, heads up to check on her and finds out that the “nuns” are really vampires. The story is well-paced and dramatic and it was easy to feel swept away, even if it was only a few pages. This was by far my favourite of the three and it makes me curious about what slayers we’ll be meeting in future issues.
We Served the People
Emei Burrell (writer and artist)
June 3, 2020
In China during the mid-1960s, millions of kids/teens were moved from their homes in the city to the countryside, in what was known as the ‘Great Leap Forward.’ It was a part of the Cultural Revolution that enabled China to occupy all of the youths who would soon be graduating and looking for work. This particular work takes the form of stories told to the artist, Emei Burrell, by her mother who lived in China during that time. When she was a teenager she moved from her home in Beijing to a rubber plantation 800 miles away. Though she was quite young when she moved, the stories she tells demonstrate that even at a young age she was a strong-willed person with a drive to succeed. Starting with her becoming one of the only truck-driving women during the movement, to pursuing her degree despite numerous obstacles.
This was a great approach to tackle such a big moment in Chinese history. Though there are likely millions of stories about this time, focusing on just this one woman’s experience really personalizes what happened. Emei’s mother is a remarkable person and I found myself wanting to hear even more about her life. The collection ends with her heading abroad to pursue her education and I hope there’s another volume coming so we can follow her adventures from there.
June 17, 2020
Aditya Bidikar (letterer), Michael Dialynas (artist), James Tynion IV (writer)
This new fantasy world introduces readers to Pipetown. In Pipetown, magical heritage is punishable by death, so the protagonist, Wynd, must hide his magic (and his pointy ears) from everyone. But one day his secret is threatened and he’s forced to leave town and head out on a quest with his best friend Oakley, his crush Thorn, and Prince Yorick. I was instantly drawn to all of these characters, especially Wynd. He’s just so sweet and charming, and because of the setting Tynion is able to explore Wynd coming to terms with his magic and his sexuality simultaneously.
Also, I can’t stress enough how much I adore the artwork in this first issue. It’s so whimsical and bright and I instantly felt transported to Pipetown. The colour palette is nice and light, with lots of blues and teals that are easy on the eyes. The way the characters are framed in the panels, gets the reader up close and personal with them. Michael Dialynas draws them with such a range of expressions, that you feel immediately connected to them. The writing and the artwork really work well together, bringing you into the story and making you excited to go on this journey with Wynd, Oakley, Thorn and Yorick.