IDW Pubwatch July 2020

IDW Pubwatch January 2020

Welcome to the IDW Pubwatch. The world is still mostly on lockdown but here’s something to distract you—a few exciting comics that will occupy your mind, at least for a little while. I’ve also got the latest news coming out of IDW, along with comic book reviews, and a selection of my favourite covers from the month. Stay inside and be safe, readers.

News and Announcements

IDW Publishing House Nominated For 20 Eisner Awards

NEWS-Eisner2020WWAC weren’t the only ones nominated for the Eisner’s this year! IDW Publishing have received 20 nominations, including Limited Series, Graphic Album, Publication for Teens, and more. You can see the full list of IDW nominations on their website.

New Art Book Goes Behind the Scenes of Pearl Jam’s Iconic Video

PJnewsgraphicThis October, IDW is set to publish Pearl Jam: Art of Do The Evolution, a full history about the rock band’s Grammy-nominated video, ‘Do the Evolution’. Joe Pearson, co-producer of the video, will take readers through the video-making process in this hardcover special edition. More details about where to pre-order the book can be found available on IDW’s website.

Story of Native American Band Coming to Comics

RBnewsgraphicIDW is publishing the forgotten history of a Native American rock band, Redbone, in a graphic novel, out this September. The band behind the song, ‘Come and Get Your Love’, popularised by the Guardians of the Galaxy film, were rock and roll pioneers. Their story will be written by Christian Staebler and Sonia Paoloni, in collaboration with band founder Pat Vegas, with art by Thibault Balahy.

New Goosebumps Mini-Series in the Works

NEWS-GoosebumpsGoosebumps: Secrets of the Swamp, a five-issue mini-series from IDW, is set to be published this September. Written by bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp, with art by Yasmin Flores Montanez, and colors by Rebecca Nalty, the series will follow Blake, a 12-year-old girl caught up in a war between werewolves and hunters.

IDW to Publish New D&D Mini-Series

ddspineotwDungeons & Dragons: At the Spine of the World is set to be written by an unusual duo—WWE star AJ Mendez and Lucifer actor Aimee Garcia. IDW mainstay Martín Cóccolo will be providing art for the four-issue series, which focuses on a band of adventurers trying to save their town.

Featured Comics

Afraid of Everything
Matthieu Cousin (Artist), Adam Tierney (Writer)
June 3, 2020

AoE cover revise 09-06-19Tierney and Cousin explore all the things people can be afraid of, creating horror stories to explore these myriad fears. This book is essentially a series of horror stories, poems, and illustrations aimed at children, but also meant to be enjoyed by older readers.

As someone who has never managed to get into horror comics (though I love scary stories), I admit I struggled with this book. The stories didn’t feel particularly scary, though the more existential ones did linger in my mind.

The illustrations were fun but this book doesn’t really qualify as a comic—the art and the writing don’t work in tandem but instead follow each other. That threw me a bit though it may not bother other readers.

This book didn’t work for me, but I’m sure other people, especially children, would like it.

Napoleon Dynamite Impeach Pedro TPB
Megan Brown (Writer), Carlos Guzman-Verdugo (Writer), Christine Larsen (Artist), Christa Miesner (Letters), Jorge Monlongo (Artist), Alejandro Verdugo (Writer)
June 3, 2020

Napoleon_TPBI haven’t watched the film but I didn’t have much trouble following the story or characters. I understand that this is supposed to be the kind of offensive fiction some people find humorous, but some of the humour fell flat for me. The bumbling protagonist, the stereotyped POC friend, the girl who solves all the problems—we’ve seen these trios before and this book didn’t do much to elevate the tropes.

The art was goofy but worked within the context of the story.

This wasn’t for me at all; I’m not sure how other readers would feel about it either.

Pandemica TPB
Jay Fotos (Colours), Shawn Lee (Letters), Jonathan Maberry (Writer), Alex Sanchez (Artist)
June 3, 2020

Pandemica01_cvr_PRHThis is a disturbingly timely story about a pandemic, however, here it’s a bio weapon used for ethnic cleansing. The concept is good but the characters and some of the politics don’t come across the way the creators may have intended. It’s not very progressive to have a Moses Katz be the super-rich protagonist who wants to save the world, even if he is Jewish and thus a minority.

And I really do wonder about the optics of a white male writer creating a story about ethnic cleansing—there’s definitely an undertone of the white saviour trope, despite it being funnelled through Katz. Also, it didn’t slip my notice that with all the global ethnic minorities mentioned here, there was no mention of Palestine. ‘Progressive,’ sure.

The only prominent WOC in this book barely transcends the ‘girl’ role—we’re supposed to believe that because she uses a gun and kills, she can’t be a stereotype. Unfortunately, she embodies the Smurfette trope too well.

This book tries to be woke but when you’re not woke behind the scenes, your comic comes across as cliched, trope-y, and regressive.

Cobra Kai TPB
Luis Antonio Delgado (Colours), Kagan McLeod (Artist), Denton J Tipton (Writer), Neil Uyetake (Letters)
June 10, 2020

CobraKai01-coverAThe story of Johnny Lawrence—the bad guy of Karate Kid—and why he was so bad. If this book was meant to be a sympathetic portrayal of Lawrence, it didn’t really come across as such. Older Lawrence shares the story of his reckless early life with his students, presumably to tell them to avoid being jerks. It doesn’t really come across.

I like the art style, though. Lots of movement and expression, and gorgeous colours. But the story? Not that great.

Tiananmen 1989: Our Shattered Hopes
Ameziane (Artist), Adrien Gombeaud (Writer), Lun Zhang (Writer)
June 17, 2020

Tiananmen 1989 - Our Shattered HopesWe’ve all seen the iconic photo of the lone man standing in front of a long line of tanks in Tiananmen Square. This book shares the first-person narrative of writer and activist Lun Zhang, when he took part in the demonstrations more than 30 years ago. A timely reminder about the importance of protests and their impact on the world, this book does not have a happy ending, but it is still a necessary read for everyone living in the global chaos of today.

Sleeping Beauties #1
Triona Tree Farrell (Colours), Owen King (Writer), Stephen King (Writer), Christa Miesner (Letters), Alison Sampson (Artist)
June 23, 2020

SleepingBeauties_01_CVR_AI tried to read this book but I couldn’t get past a few pages—needlessly gratuitous nudity, language, and violence. Seemed to have been designed to offend. I’m not in the mood, not this month.

My Little Pony: Feats of Friendship TPB
Heather Breckel (Colours), Tony Flees (Artist), Ian Flynn (Writer), Christa Miesner (Letters), Lauren Perry (Colours), Neil Uyetake (Letters)
June 23, 2020

MLP_FeatsofFriendship_TPB_CVR-PRHThis was a cute book. Loved the art—beautiful and very detailed. Equestria really came alive.

I think the plot was derivative: a villainous pony tries to sow seeds of discord among the various inhabitants of the land by pitting them against each other. I know this book is meant for a younger audience but it’s been done quite a few times before. An enjoyable reading experience, nonetheless.

Best Covers

Honourable Mentions

Dungeons and Dragons: A Darkened Wish TPB

The Grot

A Radical Shift of Gravity

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. E always has an eye out for the subversive and champions diversity in media. Louis' podcast, Stereo Geeks, is available on all major platforms. Pronouns: E/ Er/ Eir