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By @vintagelaureate

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The world of comics is constantly expanding, and for the modern reader there is so much choice and variety out there it can be difficult to appreciate all the genres, characters and creators presented each week. With a multitude of publishers available comics exist now very much outside the core ‘Big Two’, indeed Image over the past few years have gained so much market-share due to their high quality produce there is an argument that now exists for a ‘Big Three’.

The purpose of this new monthly column, produced in conjunction with the UK`s Premier Comic Retailer, is to pick some of the highlights (in my opinion, and discussion is welcomed!) out from forthcoming solicitations which will be available to order online and my ‘quick picks’ to pull. Due to the vast amount of comics available monthly these days, there will be a focus on Marvel, DC and Image; although there will no doubt be honourable mentions to such juggernauts as IDW, Boom, Dark Horse and hopefully all manner of ‘indie’ publishers.

Before we start properly, perhaps it is best to introduce myself for those who are unfortunate (or as some would say fortunate) enough to have avoided my presence for so long! I am a massive comic book fan; I was introduced to comics at a tender age as I was lucky enough to have an Auntie who owned a store in Canada who would ship boxes to me every so often. These musky boxes contained all types of characters, and I remember in the late 1980`s and earlier 1990`s being introduced to the likes of Lobo through the pages of L.E.G.I.O.N, Barry Allen as The Flash and, of course, Batman. This led to me having an obsession in my teenage years, and although I gradually read less as I got older and was introduced to the social extravaganza that is the teenage years, I always had a fixation with comics and pop culture in general. I was ‘re-introduced’ to reading comics again properly a good few years ago now, and like any ‘new’ reader this led to me mass buying back issue after back issue to catch up on everything.

Now, eventually, several years later although there are still things I want to read and catch up on, each month I find myself now eagerly scanning the solicitations to make sure I don`t miss out again on the next great read or the introduction of some brand new iconic characters. This has led to me building a not so insignificant pull list, but thanks to the new subscription service from all that is needed is a few quick lines of text and they do the hard work for me and I just get the enjoyment that comes when freshly printed, crisp and bagged comics lands through the post box.

So with that brief introduction, and the formality that goes with it over and done with, it`s time to get scanning those previews and taking a look at what`s to come in November 2014.


Following on from what promises to be an epic month in October, Marvel look to have raised the bar further with some of its published solicitations for this coming November. Readers are set to see the introduction of a different kind of Iron Man, a familiar character take over the mantle of Captain America, the continuation of the Axis event and all manner of ‘Spider-Verse’ books.
A much maligned variant cover has detracted somewhat from the return of a Jessica Drew solo series but Spider-Woman #1 from the team of Dennis Hopeless and Greg Land has the potential to be a great read. Of course this ties in directly with the events of the two issue series Spider-Verse, with #1 out in November. So if you like all things Spider-Man; or simply want to learn more about their world then these two books are definitely worth checking out. Of course, these aren`t the only Spidey related titles this month; highlights include the continuation of Dan Slott`s Amazing Spider-Man with issues #9 and #10, Spider-Man 2099 from acclaimed writer Peter David, another new book in Michael Costa`s mini-series Scarlet Spiders #1 and the finale of Nick Spencer`s fantastic run on Superior Foes of Spider-Man with issue #17. All these titles; and much more are available to pre-order from

November 2014 is also the month that Sam Wilson takes over the mantle of Captain America, and not only does he get to do it in his own solo series All New Captain America #1 from Rick Remender, but he also gets a good old fashioned team up book from Al Ewing in Captain America and The Mighty Avengers #1. It will be interesting to see how Sam copes with the added pressure of taking over from Steve Rodgers, but it is great to see Marvel bringing a much loved character to the forefront. Speaking of Avengers, November also sees the launch of Superior Iron Man #1 from writer Tom Taylor; which will see guest appearances from Daredevil and others as the reader is introduced to a character “more stylish, more confident, and more cunning than ever before.” Hopefully this will take Iron Man in a completely new direction, and serve to refresh the character to the same effect Superior Spider-Man had on its own title character.

Other Marvel highlights for the month include the Guardians of the Galaxy #21 where the Guardians will be visiting a world full of symbiotes, the continuation of Hickman`s epic run on Avengers with issue #38, the next issues in Thor and Bucky Barnes: The Winter Solider both on issue #2 after being introduced in October 2014, the brilliant Magneto from Cullen Bunn and if you liked the Guardians of the Galaxy movie be sure to check out Skottie Young`s all ages series Rocket Raccoon.

Each month I will highlight one book from each publisher that I simply urge you to pre-order and pick up from; so consider this my Marvel quick pick recommendation for November 2014:

All New Captain America #1 Monthly

  • All-New Captain America #1

Written by RICK REMENDER • Art and Cover by STUART IMMONEN

• This is it! The all-new, Spy-Fi, highflying adventures of Sam Wilson Captain America and Nomad begin here!
• Hydra is growing, the terrorist band have has infiltrated the Marvel Universe completely! But what is their ultimate goal?
• United by Hydra, Cap’s rogue’s gallery gathers to take down the new untested Captain America and Nomad!

32 PGS./Rated T+


After what is predicted to be a stellar October for DC, November 2014 sees a creative shift on one of the New 52`s more consistent books and the arrival of another Batman related title.
Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang have been turning in a high quality book, loved by member of the Inter-Comics Podcast, month after month in the form of their Wonder Woman title. With issue #36 the title is set to face a significant change in direction. The creative team of David Finch and Meredith Finch will be taking over, and are set to introduce characters such as Swamp Thing into a new ongoing arc for Diana Prince. For those wanted to dip into the world of DC`s Amazonian Legend ahead of her introduction onto the big screen in Batman Vs, Superman: Dawn of Justice, this is the perfect jumping on point!

Talking of jumping on points, November sees the launch of a particularly interesting title for lovers of all things Bat-Family and the horror genre. Gotham By Midnight #1 is an all new ongoing title which will look at the ‘paranormal’ side of DC`s most famous city. From a creative team with a background in horror, Ray Fawkes writing and Ben Templesmith on art, this could take Gotham in a previously unheralded direction.

Other highlights from DC for the month include the continuation of Grant Morrison`s The Multiversity, with the release of The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1, in which the acclaimed writer will continue to do what he does best and give the reader a complex and compelling  narrative that keeps you coming back. Cullen Bunn`s Lobo will continue with issue #2, as will the other books introduced in October such as Klarion, Trinity of Sin and Deathstroke, which will hopefully develop the characters to both new and old readers.  Scott Snyder’s next big Batman story ‘Endgame’ continues in Batman #36, alongside the regular plethora of Bat-Family titles such as Batman Eternal #31 – #34, Batgirl #36 which continues with the new team of Cameron Stewart and Brendan Fletcher and the impressive Grayson from Tim Seeley with issue #4.

Also this month, DC continues its variant themes with the introduction of Lego covers for several books across the New 52. These covers are impressive and highly collectible, when Marvel did a similar range they flew off the shelves, so don`t forget to pre-order them at

Continuing the pre-order pick, the DC title that is not to be missed in November 2014 is;

Gotham By Midnight #1 Monthly

  • Gotham By Midnight #1

Written by RAY FAWKES
Art and cover by BEN TEMPLESMITH
1:25 Variant cover by ANDREA SORRENTINO

Strange doings are afoot in Gotham City! Look out, though – Jim Corrigan is on the case in this new series by writer Ray Fawkes (CONSTANTINE, BATMAN ETERNAL) and artist Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Ten Grand).

32 pg, FC • RATED T

Image Comics

Image is probably the publisher hardest to write for monthly; they are constantly producing new top-quality titles month after month. Guess what? It appears November 2014 is set to repeat that trend with the launch of several new titles from brilliant creative teams, and the continuation of some already well-established favourites.

One obvious stand out title comes from Matt Fraction and Christian Ward and according to Image is a ‘psychedelic sci-fi retelling of The Odyssey’. ODY-C #1 will look to appeal to all readers of sci-fi, lovers of cosmic chaos and could well be the next Image ‘must-have’, following on the mantle set by titles such as East Is West, Black Science and Manifest Destiny.

Whilst discussing ‘must-have’ titles, the previews of new fantasy title Tooth & Claw #1 from Kurt Busiek look superb. The first double-sized issue launches this November and has been described as a ‘high-fantasy epic’, if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones or fantasy in general be sure to pre-order this title as its set to be a big seller.

November looks to be a big month for Ray Fawkes, previously mentioned with Gotham By Midnight #1, he launches Intersect from Image too and has complete creative control over the books as he is on writing, art and covers. If you are a fan of his work, or are just looking to ‘dip you toe’ into the Image world this may be the books for you.

Other new titles launching this November from Image include mind-bending sci-fi series Drifter #1 from Ivan Brandon, the crazy looking The Humans #1 from Keenan Marshall Keller, Sinergy #1 from Michael Avon Oeming and Taki Soma which has the potential to become a sought after indie gem, and American Legends #1 – #5 which will see Image take a crack at the ‘weeklies’ market with a title depicting some stalwarts from America history of a madcap quest to take on Napoleon!

Every Image title is worth checking out and November sees the next issue of Rick Remender`s relatively new series Low with #5, Manifest Destiny continues to serve up thrills in issue #12, the brilliant horror series Nailbiter features a guest appearance from non-other than the legend that is Brian Michael Bendis in issue #7 and the ever popular The Walking Dead continues with #134, just what has turned the whispers into screams?

If you only want to buy one Image title this month and you’re looking for something new, the quick pick recommendation is the already mentioned ODY-C #1 from the brilliant Matt Fraction;

ODYC #1 Monthly

  • ODYC #1

Art and Cover by CHRISTIAN WARD

An epic 26 centuries in the making: In the aftermath of a galactic war a hundred years long, Odyssia the Clever Champion and her compatriots begin their longest, strangest trip yet: the one home. A gender-bent eye-popping psychedelic science fiction odyssey begins HERE, by MATT FRACTION (CASANOVA, SEX CRIMINALS, SATELLITE SAM) and CHRISTIAN WARD (INFINITE VACATION, OLYMPUS). INCLUDES SPECIAL EIGHT-PAGE FOLDOUT!


To see this and the full range of Image Comics titles available for November, please check out and reserve the titles using their new subscription service to ensure you never miss an issue again!

Other Titles of Note

In November 2014, Boom! Studios are launching two particularly noteworthy new titles. Deep State #1 comes from the mind behind Image Comics Spread and Dead Body Road, Justin Jordan and looks at conspiracy theories in an all new light. If you know your Koba`s from your Caesar’s and your Chimps from Orang-utans, then the new min-series Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #1 may be of interest. If you loved the recent film, why not continue the experience in print?

IDW continues its marketing ploys by combining two of their more popular titles with the publication of Transformers Angry Birds #1 from John Barber. This is more of interest to see exactly how it works; but will certainly appeal to children, how exactly will the ‘Allspark’ work on Piggie Island? This bizarre unification could lend itself to this being one of the years more somewhat ‘interesting ‘reads.
Dark Horse have published some must read mini-series` recently and November sees the conclusion of some of those;  both POP from Curt Pires and Dark Ages from Dan Abnett conclude with their respective issue #4`s.  Yet as some good things end, November sees the dawn of a book with some superb potential. Following on from his previous series Grindhouse, Alex de Campi brings readers its sequel; Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out #1. If all those comics weren`t enough, and you and the kids’ weren`t taken with Transformers Angry Birds offering from IDW, Dark Horse are bringing us Itty Bitty Comics: The Mask #1 from Art Balthazar which is the first Mask comic in over a decade and with its cutesy art is sure to be a big seller.

So if you’re looking for a title outside the usual big hitters, the quick pick recommendation that should find its way onto your pull is Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out #1;

Grindhouse Drive In #1 Monthly

  • Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out #1 (Of 8)

Written by Alex de Campi
Art and Cover by R. M. Guéra

Grindhouse is back from the dead, and it’s meaner, badder, and dirtier than ever! In the first of four new exploitation opuses, Scalped’s R. M. Guéra joins series writer Alex de Campi for “Slay Ride,” a brutal holiday tale of revenge and supernatural terror in the driven snow!

FC, 32 pages

To Conclude

November looks set to be another month of non-stop comics, with something to appeal to everyone across all publishers and genres. I hope that you have enjoyed my look at some titles; and don`t forget if you see something that appeals to you they are all available to pre-order at, the Uk`s premier comic retailer.

Don`t forget to check the fantastic range of premium toys and figures available in previews, as well as the ever expanding world of Pop Vinyl Funkos all available to order via; please contact them if you are looking to order something not featured on the site and they will do their very best to accommodate your order. The guys from the Inter-Comics Podcast will be offering up their weekly picks so please tune in to them to see what they believe you should be buying.

Until next month, thanks for reading, and if you’re not bored enough of my ramblings you can catch more on Twitter @vintagelaureate. Have a great month!

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Posted on September 8th, 2014
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By Jack Chambers, Daniel Cole and Free Costin

Click HERE to listen to the Inter-Comics podcast – Episode #049

This week the gang is joined by John-Paul Bove. JP talks about his work, the role of colourists and which comic book characters he’d marry, kill or fuck.

The gang also look at the big news announcements from the week, talk about their best/worst comics of the week and discuss a double helping of 52.

Sit down, relax and enjoy!

Click HERE to listen to the Inter-Comics podcast – Episode #049

Click HERE to view all the podcast episodes

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Posted on July 26th, 2014
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By Chris Fenn

Spread #1 No
Image number ones are usually a good choice to take a first look at. Spread is yet another post-apocalyptic tale that features wastelands, bandits and blood. It’s sort of funny because the book has elements and parts that remind me of a few different books; but Spread still retains its own identity.

The narrative really struck me as being similar to Saga; it’s an anecdotal tale from an articulate individual who we see as a baby later revealed to be called Hope. Our main character is a man who is referred to as “No”, and he seems to have gotten his name from his monosyllabic answers, and he seems good hearted but also highly capable in close quarters combat.

The main threat of the book is The Spread, which leads me to comparisons to the recent Garth Ennis series Rover Red Charlie. So far the nature of the spread is not mentioned, we don’t know what it is, how it got there or how it reproduces, but the thing that really linked the two books was the simplicity and innocence of the naming. No is called No because he says “no”, Hope is called Hope because she is the only hope against the spread, a plane is called a Flyer because it flies, and the Spread is called the Spread presumably because it spreads across the world quickly.

Spread #1 Hope
Now I know the comparisons to Rover Red Charlie are sketchy at best, especially in a post-apocalyptic world where there is no formal education and everything is more basic due to survival, but noticing them made me really optimistic for the series because the elements of innocence and the unknown really hooked me with Rover Red Charlie.

Linking to another piece of Ennis’ work I found the scene where No takes on the bandits really reminiscent of Preacher; specifically the issues that cover the origin of The Saint of Killers. Seeing a lone traveller in a snowy wasteland lay waste to a group of bandits is something I think I’ll always find cool, and I can’t help but think that Justin Jordan is somewhat a fan of Ennis.

Now as a comic reader I’m not too much of a fan of the ultra-gore style comics. Crossed is something that has never appealed to me, and at times I find looking through books like Kick-Ass and feeling put off by the seemingly superfluous and excessive gore, but I can safely say that Kyle Strahm has got a balance that I can really invest and believe in.

Spread #1 Dead
The book does contain blood, violence and a fair bit of pulverising and chopping, and the Spread does look like somebodies digestive system with teeth, but it all feels tonally right and I’ve not seen something that I think is just unnecessary.

Now I’m not one to say that a book is going to be the next greatest thing or anything like that, but I think if you like the idea of the close knit relationships in Saga, with a hint of Ennis thrown into the mix and thrown out onto a dystopian snowy wasteland then I think this is certainly worth your time!

For more comic views and reviews follow Chris on Twitter at @fenneth1989

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Posted on July 10th, 2014
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By Jack Chambers, Daniel Cole and Free Costin

Click HERE to listen to the Inter-Comics podcast – Episode #046

Jack Of Spades #1 teaser
This week the mighty trio reunite and are joined by Joshua Werner! Josh talks about his work, life and love for comics. He even allows Free to indulge her TMNT obsession.

On top of Josh’s appearance the team tackle the newest news, look at the sales charts and discuss their best and worst of the week.

It all finishes on a high note with the return of the dramatic reading!

Click HERE to listen to the Inter-Comics podcast – Episode #046

Click HERE to view all the podcast episodes

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Posted on July 10th, 2014
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By Chris Fenn

Sovereign #4 Survival
I wanted Sovereign to be the Game of Thrones of comics. I wanted to be able to get into an epic world of fantasy, swords and politics and be reading each page with bated breath. Sadly I am not reading with baited breath; I’m counting down the pages until the book has finished.

This book started off in a really unusual way because we were told about the basic forces of this universe and the previous eras of the world. It feels like this is how the first issue should have begun, but reading it in the fourth issue feels like Chris Roberson thought it was pretty cool and wanted to shove it in somewhere.

I feel this issue as a whole really missed an opportunity; last issue ended with a zombie king being killed by his sons, and the guys that deal with disposing of the dead warn everybody of worse things to come. This issue basically dissolves into everybody talking to each other.

Sovereign #4 Intro
Now I enjoy good bits of writing and dialogue, I find films like Clerks massively engaging because of the dialogue between characters, but in Sovereign it feels overly indulgent of itself. I understand that this is a fantasy world, and it will have more fantasy-sounding people and places, but I honestly feel completely lost reading this. I have no idea who or what places are called.

Perhaps this is a problem with me though, I did used to call Prince Oberyn in Game of Thrones ‘Yellow Man’ because he was a man who wore yellow, but I never felt lost with that; I knew who people were talking about even if I couldn’t remember the names myself, and I can’t say I have that same level of understanding with Sovereign.

I do kind of like what Roberson does at the end of each issue, having a piece of prose that helps explain things to the reader and fleshes out the world, but when I’ve not really been enjoying the plot I find it difficult to care what’s written there. Truth be told, I missed out reading this part for the last couple of issues because I didn’t get what the others were talking about.

I think Sovereign is a brilliant idea and it’s something I know I would love to watch, but the way it’s written doesn’t lend itself to monthly comic book reading. Perhaps this is something that would translate better to trades, and produce the small prose parts as a reader’s companion or something.

Sovereign #4 Daemons
I’ve given this book the first four issues, and I think it’s time for me to drop it. I got caught up with it during the closing pages of issue three, but it felt like issue four has taken a few steps in the wrong direction.

I’d be interested to see what anybody else thinks of Sovereign; is there a nuance I’ve missed and this is a gem? You tell me! Go check out the first couple of issues and let me know on twitter @fenneth1989

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Posted on June 26th, 2014
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By Chris Fenn

Saga #20 Hazel
Listen to anybody from the @intercomicspod or @InterComics himself and they will tell you how good Saga is, and I’m not going to be the first to disagree with them.

This issue starts in a way that reminded me a lot of the first issue; utterly ridiculous without any context. It’s good to see that Prince Robot IV will still be in this story, I was wondering if he had dropped out of the story when he seemed to forget who he was.

Following on from the bombshell that was the final page of the previous issue we see the seeds potentially being sewn here. Alana seems to be very preoccupied with work, leaving to get there before Marco is even awake. I imagine this could play in to the separation a lot, but more interestingly we see Alana start to use some drugs. Now she hints that she has done drugs in the past, but we are warned that this is stronger than what she may be used to, and I can see this really escalating into a problem for her.

Saga #20 Dance
Marco is looking after Hazel full time and is seeing more of Ginny, a parent and dance teacher. Now I know that just because a man and a woman talk to each other doesn’t necessarily mean they’re together, but seeing the two parents feeling kind of ‘alone’ in their relationships seems to suggest they will form some kind of connection; be it a friendship or more. I have to say I can see this factoring in to the inevitable break-up.

The true shocker of this issue was seeing the events unfold with Price Robot IV’s wife and son. We see a robot janitor, who has been a minor character in previous issues, confront the Princess and tell her a story of poverty and death within her kingdom.

Then the surprise comes.

Saga #20 Janitor
I don’t really know much about this robot janitor, but he clearly has a key part in the future of Saga, and his sights are set on the Open Circuit, which will weave his story in with that of Alana’s and ultimately Marco and Hazel.

It’s amazing how fleshed out this universe is, and at this point it does feel like a universe. The art is consistently brilliant; every character looks and feels unique in all of their outfits and disguises, and they all speak, think and act like real characters.

Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples are killing it again. Saga is utterly brilliant, and if you’re reading this and have never heard of the series I urge you to pick up all the back issues or trades and go from the beginning.

For more comic views and reviews follow Chris on Twitter at @fenneth1989

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Posted on June 26th, 2014
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By Chris Fenn

Wicked & The Divine #1 Miss You
This will be the first Image #1 I’ve ever reviewed. Pretty much every Image comic I own I’ve gotten because @InterComics or @intercomicspod has suggested it – Saga, East of West, Nailbiter, the list goes on – and they have all been brilliant titles.

The Wicked + The Divine was suggested to me by @InterComics and I thought it sounded appealing. The concept of Gods on Earth is something that always appeals to me, and when it’s done right (Seven Soldiers of Victory: Mr Miracle or Wonder Woman) it makes for a fantastic read.

The story starts with five nameless characters on New Year’s Eve 1923. Not much is explained about these characters; there is a large table with skulls in front of empty seats and four people sitting down. Now I did become a bit of a Wikipedia warrior for this; Susanoo is the Shinto God of Sea and Storms, and in this comic he is the young lad with the lightning bolt cuff links and tie pin. Based on this, and the obvious conclusion to this beginning segment, the four seated people are all Gods who had to die, or go away.

When we get to the present day we follow the story of Laura, a normal human. When she goes to a concert she ends up meeting three Gods who all seem to be ‘disguised’ as mega successful pop stars. We are introduced to a woman who is cynical and disbelieves the fact that these people are Gods, however after an attack on their lives we witness some of the power of Luci (a.k.a Lucifer).

Wicked & The Divine #1 Luci
Now I had some questions and some things I pieced together. I think Laura, our everywoman seventeen year old, is or will become a God. It’s stated that Laura is seventeen, which is the same as Amaterasu, and every other God has looked very young. Also Laura gets brought along to an interview with three mega celebrities, which is something that doesn’t typically happen to a fan who passed out in a concert.

Another thing I observed is all the Gods are from different religions, which is very unusual. When I mentioned Wonder Woman before they are all Greek Gods, and Mr Miracle is all New Gods from The Fourth World. This is a really interesting take on things, and I observed that one of the ‘terrorists’ who shoots at Lucifer is wearing a silver cross. I think it will be fascinating to see how humanity responds to their own Gods.

This issue ends with a not so typical ‘whodunit’ as we see a judge murdered in the same way that the terrorists were murdered. With Lucifer being the only person seen to use the ‘head explosion’ click the obvious answer is it’s her, however Laura, and the reader, know it isn’t.

Wicked & The Divine #1 Gods
At the start of each time period we saw a circle with twelve symbols; in 1923 eight of those symbols were skulls, which tied to the skulls around the absent seats on the table. In the present day there are no skulls and we have only met three Gods so far. I for one will be back for the second issue of The Wicked + The Divine, and I can see this being something special to read.

For more comic views and reviews follow Chris on Twitter at @fenneth1989

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Posted on June 20th, 2014
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By Chris Fenn

Nailbiter #2 fingernails
This is something I originally picked up at the suggestion of Mr Inter-Comics himself (@InterComics) and I did the forbidden thing of judging the first issue by its cover. I didn’t really want it; I thought it would be needlessly gory without any substance.

Holy crap how wrong I was. Top Gear top tip people: when Mr. Inter-Comics recommends a book to you, give it a buy because he’s spot on!

The world of Nailbiter is so fleshed out and complete; the town feels real and every one of the inhabitants has had proper characterization despite their small appearances. It’s interesting that the person who I feel has the least characterisation is Nicholas Finch, the main character, but I don’t view this as a bad thing because he acts as a conduit for the reader to exist in this book. His reactions are what I think a lot of people would wish they could do, and it offers relief to some situations.

Nailbiter #2 Moo
Now I think relief is a smart phrasing, if I do say so myself, as I found the opening pages of this book to be exceptionally tense. After listening to the Inter-Comics Podcast (@intercomicspod) after the release of the first issue Free (@Free_Costin) commented how the comic managed to get to her and creep her out so much, and I have to agree with her. I felt utter chills when we saw a glimpse of what Warren does to his cattle, and his dialogue about cow’s mooing was so haunting.

I really loved how the masked killer slashed the face of Robby, the way it was drawn made it feel so real and gave me chills.  Then this is really juxtaposed by the dinner conversation of the other Buckaroo Butchers; how their methods are mocked and seen as jokingly admirable by two defenders of the law.

Nailbiter #2 Silent Movie
This series has got a lot in it, it’s barely scratched the surface and I’m already in love with it. I can see twists, turns and blood curdling scenes on the horizon and I’m happy to fully embrace it. I honestly cannot recommend this comic high enough, especially if you’re into chilling thrillers.

I mentioned this about C.O.W.L. #1, but this does have a feel of True Detectives to it, only instead of the main focus being on the relationship between the two cops it is more about the almost supernatural murders before them.

Please, anybody who is reading this; get on behind this title.

For more comic views and reviews follow Chris on Twitter at @fenneth1989

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Posted on June 5th, 2014
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By Chris Fenn

Trees #1 Flowers
Coming in to this book I knew nothing to expect except the cover and a brief bit of text on the Inter-Comics website that told the same text that can be found across the first six pages, so I had no preconception of what I thought I was about to read.

I would best describe this as the tale of a post-apocalyptic horror without the apocalypse. Society still stands, there are still police, there are mayors, there are armies, monuments still stand and cities still stand, but the world is not right.

There seems to be no ‘main character’ of this book, there are a few characters that appear significant and we may follow, but this isn’t the story of one man’s struggle; instead we get a good cross section of a global response to an alien invasion and how multiple people have adapted accordingly.

Trees #1 Gunk
The opening scene is in Rio, and we see a bunch of ‘youths’ using a makeshift surveillance unit and talking about ‘Pacification Police’ before watching Drones, machines and a heavily armed task force kill them all. This by itself is very curious; Brazil having turned into a police state, but it becomes easily overshadowed when the giant Tree pours green gunk over the city, destroying everything.

Now I won’t go through the details of every scene, but there are some very interesting ideas that I can’t wait to see played out. Having New York revert to a gang like tribal existence with no independent police will be fun to see played out. And seeing a city filled with creativity, art and freedom seems to imply that the rest of the world, or at least that country, has knuckled under law and oppression in the wake of the trees.

I love how the trees are simply treated as objects. We are told that they are intelligent and they do not regard humans as intelligent, but we haven’t seen any of this in action. For the reader, they are simply giant pylons on an Earth that’s gone insane, so I can’t wait to see them play more of a an active role in this story.

Trees #1 Mayor
This week I’ve read two brand new Image comics, and I have to say I’ve really liked them both; long live Image Comics!

For more comic views and reviews follow Chris on Twitter at @fenneth1989

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Posted on May 31st, 2014
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OUT OF THE LONG BOX #025 – C.O.W.L. #1

By Chris Fenn

COWL #1 Whine
The first time I had ever heard of C.O.W.L. was on the Fatman on Batman podcast. Kyle Higgins was the guest and he was speaking to Kevin Smith about his past, or origin story if you will. He mentioned he had done a short film called C.O.W.L. for a project and it was really successful, and he created a short film about it and it had a website. I thought this was a really cool idea, to me it sounded really noir and gritty without being needlessly dark.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that this was going to be a creator owned comic that was hitting the shelves!

From my first read I can say that my assumptions were correct. I left this book feeling like it had been partially inspired by comics like Watchmen and Sin City, but it felt like I was reading a super powered version of True Detective or something. It feels so real, and in one issue I am totally on board and understanding what C.O.W.L. is and how they operate.

COWL #1 Naked
I have to say that Rod Reis artwork really does fit the tone and style of this book. It has that noir feel, it really adds an extra element to the narrative and makes the characters and setting feel very real. Even though the plot is set in the 1960’s the book has an almost timeless feel to it; it could be set yesterday, or thirty years from now. That isn’t to say the art is off or inappropriate, but it just looks excellent and reminds me of the sort of style the Batman Animated Series had in the 1990’s.

I love the relationship between the guys who do the “leg work”. They had a reality to them, like Jules and Vince, or Rust and Marty; I can just invest in them and utterly believe them. I love the reality of the child who does the age old “my dad says…” and the boss who would use that against the father in such a passive way later. I must be going around in circles here, but this is such a world I can invest in and I can tell that I’m going to like this series.

COWL #1 Self Centred
All I can say is I spoke to Mr. Inter-Comics himself (@InterComics) and he loved it, I would put money on the podcast gang (@intercomicspod) either choosing this as book of the week or a quick mention, I loved it and I am telling you that if you do not own this book you HAVE to buy it now.

For more comic views and reviews follow Chris on Twitter at @fenneth1989

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Posted on May 31st, 2014
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By Simon Dixon

Walking Dead #127 Rick Grimes
All-out war is over and it’s “A new beginning” for The Walking Dead! After the events of the storyline Negan was captured by Rick and the start of a brand new era of expansion and civilization was set into motion. I have personally seen some people become uninterested with the previous storyline and this progression could be the perfect thing to get people excited for the comic again.

In the issue Kirkman makes the bold move to advance the story 2 years into the future. Understandably some people will be annoyed with the sudden jump in the story; leaving a rather large gap in the life of some of their favourite characters. However, this isn’t just a gimmick or a tool used to bring aboard new readers. It’s directly linked to the previous story arc and is beneficial to both new and old readers. It seems clear that the 2 years that were skipped over where a time of a rebuilding of civilization. Which, while being interesting for some could get boring very fast for others.

Walking Dead #127 Magna
Some of the noticeable changes are the look of the main cast; Rick is particularly unrecognisable. However, it is not hard to determine who is who. Carl has obviously grown up a lot and is a teenager at this point. Rick & Andrea’s relationship has advanced in the issue and they are more like a married couple. The main change is the huge expansion of the overall community both in size and quality of life. This includes all of the camps (Alexandria, The Hilltop, etc.) in the area. Everyone seems to have systems for trading, farming, manufacturing, schooling and careers. As well as ways in which they lead Walkers away from the camps. They also seem to run a “Fair” of some sorts. But, we don’t know what that consists of yet.

It seems clear that the type of story The Walking Dead is changes within this issue. We’ve gone from a comic about survival at all costs to a comic about the rebuilding of civilization and the problems that come with it. The whole change breathes new life into the story and adds some hope & safety for the future, something we’ve not truly experienced before in this universe. The characters in the book have also evolved with this change. Everyone seems to have their certain role in the community and have developed personally through those roles. Rick is the leader, Andrea is his second-in-command and leader in her own right, Jesus is in charge of the defence of the community and Eugene is in charge of manufacturing and science. We’ve also seen a development of Carl getting into the mentality of a normal teenager; he’s become someone who wants to do his own thing which might lead him away from Rick. Carl has also connected with someone who probably isn’t good for him. We also see the introduction of new characters into the book. “Magna” will likely become a big character in the story to come.

Walking Dead #127 Carl Grimes
Robert Kirkman promised big things this year in The Walking Dead and if this issue is anything to go by he is delivering. He’s giving the series a new lease of life. The progression in the story has allowed for new characters, the development of fan favourites as well as the civilization around them. Seeing how their plans and what they have done as well as how this budding new community has affected them is very intriguing and I can’t wait to find out more.

Story/Writing – 5/5
Art – 4.5/5
Overall – 4.5/5

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Posted on May 15th, 2014
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By Jack Chambers, Daniel Cole and Brian Visaggio

Click HERE to listen to the Inter-Comics podcast – Episode #039

Brian Visaggio joins the team this week as they look around his Stronghold. They talk news, comics and Brian. Ending on a high as they open the doors to a new kingdom.

Click HERE to listen to the Inter-Comics podcast – Episode #039

Click HERE to view all the podcast episodes

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Posted on May 10th, 2014
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By Jack Chambers, Daniel Cole and Mario Covone

Click HERE to listen to the Inter-Comics podcast – Episode #037

Bash Street Kids
This week the Freeless defenders team up with comics creator Mario Covone. They discuss everything from the latest news to 52 #16. Mario divulges his writing secrets as the episode heads towards a dramatically tragic end.

Click HERE to listen to the Inter-Comics podcast – Episode #037

Click HERE to view all the podcast episodes

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Posted on May 10th, 2014
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By Jason Webb

Sovereign #1A
Sovereign is an intriguing mythological world, with many different factions all occupying the same time. Issue 1 follows numerous groups throughout this fantasy world, shedding light on the different kinds of people that share the lands. The issue contains monsters, mythology, high fantasy, hunters, religion, all mixed in to create an intriguing world that creates enough mystery to make you want to read more, but doesn’t give away anything major plot points and give away too much.

Chris Roberson once again proves why he works on so many comic’s, he craft’s worlds of mystery and intrigue that make you want to read more. Sovereign is an unusual book that may not be for all tastes, and reading in the pdf format (that i read) I don’t think helps really, this is a book that needs to be read in print for you to get the full feeling of the story as it opens up before you. On art duties for this book is Paul Maybury, who was handpicked by Roberson for this story. The panels are dark and easily help to add to the feelings portrayed in the issue, and the character design is so varied almost making you second guess what you thought of the cultural background of each character and group.

Sovereign #1B
Sovereign is a comic that will split comics fans I think, some may say this isn’t for them, some may say this is a great book. I am kind of on the fence, the book creates enough feeling to make me want to read on,  but wasn’t a “WOW” kind of book. I urge everyone to at least, give it a shot. You may be surprised what you read.

Please let me know your thoughts, comments and even if you just want to chat to me @jaybwebb on twitter

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Posted on March 18th, 2014
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By Robin Jones

Papercuts and Inkstains Vol. 2 #011 Header
Hello, welcome, good day and how the fuck are ya doin’? Welcome to another Papercuts and Inkstains, and it’s the second of our special treats for you as this time around, we are talking with one of comics most shocking, sensory overloading, sublime artists, Mr Darick Robertson!

Darick Robertson is a name synonymous with ultra-violence, gonzo, boundary pushing artwork. He has co-created two of comics’ most outlandish, outrageous and outstanding bodies of work, Transmetropolitan and The Boys and he has worked with some of the greatest writers of comic bookdom, including Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, Grant Morrison, Stan Lee, Mark Waid and Greg Rucka to name but a few. He has illustrated classic characters like The Punisher, Spider-Man, the X-Men, The Justice League and the New Warriors. He has also written numerous other comics as well, including Spider-Man, New Warriors, Conan and Batman. Darick is currently working on Ballistic for Black Mask Comics and Oliver for Image Comics. And we here at Inter-Comics are lucky enough to have the man himself answering some of our and some of your questions!

0liver Rooftops CLR
So enough background, anyone who reads my column knows that The Boys is perhaps my favourite comic book story. It had ultra-violence, sex, depravity, Machiavellian political struggles, haunting back stories, defamation of the capitalist system, war weariness, a running social commentary and it looked none too lightly on the world of Superheroes. There was nothing I didn’t like about this series. The art, courtesy of Darick, was EXPLOSIVE! It leapt off of the page at you, grabbed you round the back of the head and slammed your face into the table repeatedly whilst it had wild, unbridled, passionate sex with your better half, which they enjoyed more than with yourself. It ate your favourite sandwich, drank your beer, then left you sat in a puddle of sweat, vomit, mucus and other bodily fluids as you struggled to catch your breath and figure out what the hell had just happened? Each character was flawless, with their appearance and facial expressions revealing all that Robertson and Ennis wanted to reveal to you. They visually had depth and even the stone cold bastard Billy Butcher came across as warm with the stroke of Robertson’s brush. After conducting this interview, I started reading Transmetropolitan and I can safely say that it has knocked Butcher and The Boys off the top spot. It’s easy to see why Wired magazine called it the “graphic novel of the decade.”

It combines elements from two of the 20th Centuries greatest writers, Hunter S. Thompson and Phillip K Dick, creating a dystopian, sci-fi tale, with an over-sexualized, over stimulated populous living in huge metropolitan areas, following Feeds on google glass style headwear, in cities where the poor are vilified, politicians are corrupt and only one man can bring the world to rights. Spider Jerusalem, a horny, drug taking, over stimulated, under-sexed, gonzo journalist, who hates fame, loves money, comes with “filthy assistants”, one of whom act’s as his bodyguard (who also happens to be an ex-stripper and nun of a semi transient sex addict) who bears a striking resemblance to the afore mentioned Thompson. Darick’s art is sublime, portraying an advanced yet morally decayed future with charm and ease. You love Spider Jerusalem as he is the voice of the disenfranchised, the mouth piece of the masses and he hates every minute in the limelight. It is quite frankly, fucking brilliant and if you haven’t read it, you deserve to be shot in the gut with Jerusalem’s bowel disruptor. On its unspeakable gut horror setting. But enough waffle from me, let’s get down to the nitty gritty!

Me: First off, you’ve worked on several titles with Garth Ennis, including Punisher MAX, Fury and the brilliant co-created The Boys. What is about Garth that made you want to keep doing projects with him?

Darick: Ennis is full of funny and challenging ideas. Creatively, he knows what he wants and explains himself very clearly.

Me: How did the idea and concept for The Boys come about?

Darick: Originally it was going to be a more subtle book, more along the lines of Hitman, and we were going to present it as fitting into the DCU. However as Ennis got deeper into the concept and we started to share ideas, we realized that it would never work unless we could go full out and do what we wanted to do, no gloves. That’s when Ennis started to say, and included in the pitch, that this series would “Out-Preacher, Preacher”.

Me: Did you set out with the intention to tear apart the foundations of the big two’s Superhero lore and history?

Darick: Not really as much as satirizing the idea of how Super-heroes would function within our real world. There are a lot of presumptions made that people with great power will rise to the challenge of great responsibility. What if they didn’t? What if the people with great super-power were just like everyone else in our corrupt, dirty real world? What if these people had super powers, but instead of nobility and integrity, a greasy dollar was all that leads to the costumes and uniforms? So not the characters themselves, but a different take on how and why those characters would exist. I love Super-heroes, and grew up with them in California, USA. Garth grew up on Beano, 2000 A.D. and war comics in Belfast, Ireland. Our creative worlds met in the middle in very different ways. I was just happy to be creating new characters and working with someone as talented as Ennis. I think for Ennis, he wanted to explore the side of US Comic book characters that he unsentimentally delved into with Hitman and Punisher, but really take them apart from the inside out, while making a deeper statement about corporate power and malfeasance, and its influence on corrupt government.

Me: Was it difficult turning down Spider-Man in favor of doing Transmetropolitan, or did the idea of pursuing something which would be yours outweigh the idea of drawing everyone’s favorite friendly neighborhood Spider-Man?

Darick: It was a difficult choice, in that until that time, I believed that drawing Spider-man monthly was what success would look like. However, I had already done quite a few Spider-man projects, including an issue of Amazing Spider-man and had worked on a Spidey story with Stan Lee himself in 1995, so really, there was less to gain from a side book that predictably, because of the state of the market at that time, got cancelled after eight issues.  It was 1997, and the book I turned down was called “Spider-Man Team up” which was going to be a monthly title featuring Spider-man and a different Marvel character each issue/arc. I did not turn down “Amazing Spider-man” or the like. I had already been offered, but hadn’t committed to, Transmet when the Spider-man Team Up book was offered. Honestly, I would still enjoy a run on a book like that, I just believed in Warren Ellis and what we were planning with Transmetropolitan, too much to pass it up. So it was a tough choice. It was generous offer then and like I said, I would dig drawing that book today if it were offered again. A few years earlier I’d turned down a run on Excalibur, and I would have followed Alan Davis. I didn’t know who the writer would be because Scott Lobdell, who I knew and liked, had passed, so I said “no, thanks” so I could write and draw my own book for Malibu’s Ultraverse that never really got off the ground. But that writer on Excalibur that I inadvertently passed up collaborating with? Turned out to be Warren Ellis. D’oh!

So, Co-creating Transmet with Warren seemed like something I was inspired to do and was more to my sensibilities as a reader at that time. And to this day I love knowing, as I’m often told, that Transmet brought some readers back into comics or has been some reader’s introductory comic to the world of sequential art. That is more than I ever dreamed I might achieve with that title.

Me: What’s your creative process, and when it comes to creating a new story, what decision process do you go through to choose whether you write it, draw it or both?

Darick: I want to do good work with good people. I know that I am trying with great effort to keep that process fresh and find new pathways into creativity. I try to craft my work more now to get a look I am proud of, rather than just produce just to hit deadlines. I have reduced the number of steps in my technical process in the past 6 years. I went from creating layouts in non-photo blue, to pencil, to ink, and now I draw only in blue pencil and ink from there. I spend a lot more time thinking about a script before I draw it. I still avoid, and have for years, drawing thumbnails first unless I have to, as it tends to dilute the spontaneity of the final image. I try as much as possible, to capture of my original idea onto the page by drawing the script as I read it. As far as a comic I write, my process is the same in that I draw from my script. I write my scripts as if I’m not the artist and find myself annoyed as my own artist when drawing, like I’m two different people. But I feel it’s important that both crafts, both skills, get treated with equal effort. I shouldn’t get a pass at being a mediocre writer just because I can draw. I like writing my own stories, but when you have worked with writers of the caliber that I have, and when there are so many talented writers I still want to work with, it’s difficult to justify going off on my own. I imagine there’s a future where I’ll start exclusively writing and drawing my own ideas. I have a lot of stories I’d like to tell.

Me: Do you still read comics now and if so what are some of your favorites?

Darick: I don’t read as much as I want to, as I don’t get to shops that often and I’m very busy. Plus I try to keep my mind fresh so I’m not overly influenced by what’s being published. I’ve been reading SAGA and The Umbrella Academy. Both are fantastic. I want to read “Locke & Key” and “Quantum & Woody.” Mostly when I read now, I read prose. I read a few books at a time. I am currently reading a biography of Wyatt Earp, Tom Shadyac’s “Life’s Operating Manual” and “A Farewell To Arms” by Hemingway.

Me: What got you into comics in the first place, and do you have any particular titles which stand out from your reading history?

Darick: My first ever series that got me hooked was “The Flash”. Then I got my big boy pants reading Wolfman and Perez’s “Teen Titans” and Barr & Bolland’s “Camelot 3000”. From there I started getting into Frank Miller’s Daredevil and the classic Byrne/Smith/Claremont era X-men and also Spider-man was always on my reading list. When Dark Knight, Watchmen and then Sandman and Animal Man were published, my taste went that direction. I was heavily influenced by film too, as I’m a massive fan of movies, and would often want to work my ideas for films and such into comics. I drew as way of expressing story.

Me: I recently read something you tweeted, referring to people picking up on writers as being the sole creator of certain comic books whilst artists, who toil and sweat and pour life into words often get overlooked. Is this something which you find is endemic amongst comic book fans?

Darick: I just feel it’s disrespectful to something that is clearly a team effort to leave half the creative team out when the work gets into the media. Artwork in a sequential story is not accidental. It’s a craft that is embedded into the read. If it was just the writer, then it would be only text and it would be a novel. But when it’s a comic, that’s two story-tellers working in unison to create what the reader experiences. It wouldn’t be reasonable to just talk about the artwork as if those images would exist independent of the story when a writer has created the context, any more than it’s reasonable to talk about the images that are being used to promote a comic as if the writer, who’s name is often the only name being presented, created that artwork and by default, it’s solely a reflection of that writer’s talent. That artist is their own person and deserves to be regarded as such. Two people made it and it doesn’t take much to include both of their names or at the barest of minimums, credit the artist in the artwork being shown. Photographers get photo credit, and comic art gets credited often to the publisher. Two creators started with blank space and two creators made something successful together, so two creators should be named when discussing it. It wouldn’t exist without the other. Like a child has two parents; If a creative work has two parents, both are essential. Bendis AND Oeming made ‘Powers’. Moore AND Gibbons made ‘Watchmen’. Ennis AND Dillon gave us “Preacher”. Tony Moore, then Adlard AND Kirkman made “Walking Dead”. Somehow of late, a certain intellectual laziness in media has made it OK to boil a creative team down to one component. If you take away an artist’s name from his work, and just present the work, you imply that the writer drew the art as well as wrote the story. And you make the artist invisible and inconsequential to the successful creation.

Me: What has been the hardest panel you’ve ever had to draw?

Darick: Too many to mention! Emotionally or technically?  The most recent technically difficult drawing I’ve done was page 3 from Ballistic #1:

But emotionally, one of the hardest things I recall was penciling the final page of Transmetropolitan as it was the end of a 6 year creative journey.

Me: You’ve worked with some of the biggest names in comics, is there anyone working at the moment who you would love to collaborate with, either writing or illustrating with them?

Darick: Certainly! There are too many to list and there are people I’ve collaborated with in the past that I’d love to work with again, I just can’t draw fast enough to even propose new projects outside of what’s already on my schedule for the next few years. The work I am currently doing with Adam Egypt Mortimer on “Ballistic” and Gary Whitta on “OLIVER” is very satisfying.

Me: Do you have any advice to give to new starting illustrators/writers out there?

Darick: Honestly, as far as this business goes, the internet and digital age has changed the game entirely. So as an artist, this is my only advice: Do it because it brings you a sense of accomplishment when you finish something and you enjoy it while you do it. Draw because it calls to you. Draw because you can’t think of anything else you’d rather do. Draw because it’s the best video game you’ll ever play, and the levels are only your limitations to what you can learn. If you do that, success will find you. Success will be in your soul, not in your paycheck.

Me: Finally, just for fun, who would win in a fight…. Billy Butcher or Spider Jerusalem?

Darick: Butcher for sure. But he’d have a pants load of shit when it was all over.

I’ve also got some readers’ questions for you, I hope this is ok?

Darick: HELL NO! Well, OK…

Matt Saviker asked:  Did anything which you drew on the boys disturb  you at all?

Darick: Of course! To create that stuff you have to really put your head in that reality and a lot of that was a very disturbing reality. The scene with the little boy getting sucked out of the plane in particular upset me, as I have two sons.

Flodo Span asked: Do you have to be a little bit twisted to co-create The Boys or do you just channel it for the book?

Darick: I’ve drawn violent images since I was a kid. Long before I drew the BOYS, I liked twisted stuff, like Tarantino movies and horror/sci-fi, Heavy Metal and Punk Rock, so if that makes me twisted, I suppose the answer is yes. I work my demons out in my artwork.

Leon McKenzie asked: If  you had the pick of the Comic universe, which character would  you love to write and draw today, and was there an event story that you weren’t involved in that you thought  “I would have done a better job than THAT!”?

Darick: It’s arrogant to think I could do something better than another creative person as I don’t know what their challenges were, how much time they were given, how much editorial influence and interference may have been a factor,.. so I don’t judge stuff that way. I keep my judgment to my own stuff, as it’s got plenty of room for improvement. As a fan, I would have loved to have been involved drawing the Comedian and Rorschach for “Before Watchmen”. Just because I love Dave Gibbon’s character designs. I love the sillier characters of both the DC and Marvel universes and would love to get to play with them. I drew “Squirrel Girl” in Angoleme, France for a fan and realized that I would enjoy doing a series with her. When I worked on New Warriors back in the day, I loved Speedball. I like Firestorm, Blue Devil and Plastic man… but all this desire to create something like that just has me trying to get more original work out there as I truly enjoy not being told what I can’t do with a good idea. When you play with other people’s toys, you have to give them back. They’re not yours.

You can order Darick’s co-created masterpiece The Boys HERE Search his back catalogue of work HERE at Comixology, check out his personal website at and follow him madly like a stalker on Twitter @DarickR.

Next time around, we have Magneto, The Sixth Gun and Sinestro scribe Cullen Bunn chatting to us!

Until next time…

For more comic views and reviews follow Robin on Twitter at @Hulksmash1985

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Posted on March 18th, 2014
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