I Hate Fairyland 13 (June 2017)


Larry gets his own issue. I mean, there’s brackets, but Larry gets a flashback. An origin story of sorts. Dean Rankine does the art on the flashback, which takes Larry from his inglorious start as a larvae to his greatest achievements. The writing is fantastic, though it’s sort of unclear what Young wants to do with the issue, if anything. Even for a filler issue, Fairyland is kind of heavy on the cotton candy. The issue does set up another big plot moment possibility for the book, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.


Writer, Skottie Young; artists, Young and Dean Rankine; colorist, Jean-Francois Bealieu; letterer, Nate Piekos; publisher, Image Comics.

Black Hammer 10 (June 2017)


Has Black Hammer not had a big issue lately? Because this issue gives me the “momentous reveal” chills I got reading the first trade. Lemire works the whole thing on multiple levels–you get big moment on a character level for Barbalien, but there’s also a whole “what’s the mystery of Black Hammer” thing going on. And Lemire juxtaposes those subplots against Abraham Slam’s story and flashback. It’s really good.

Wonderful Ormston art this issue too. The flashback is awesome, but the modern stuff is so melancholic and disheartening. Real upper, this comic.


Writer, Jeff Lemire; artist, Dean Ormston; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Cardner Clark and Daniel Chabon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Kill the Minotaur 1 (June 2017)


The funny thing about Kill the Minotaur is how it’s pretty funny. It’s serious, about serious things–writers Chris Pasetto and Christian Cantamessa are retelling the Greek Minotaur legend with some actual history involved, but they still manage to make it funny. It’s about a young prince in a weird situation, he’s going to be angsty, but still stupid enough to be funny. So even though there’s danger and awfulness going on, it’s always an engaging read.

Artist Lukas Ketner works a lot on his expressions. Expressive eyes, looking around, thinking; it’s awesome. He’s also great at the Greek setting and costumes.

Kill the Minotaur is off to an excellent start.


Writers, Chris Pasetto and Christian Cantamessa; artist, Lukas Ketner; colorist, Jean-Francois Beaulieu; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Arielle Basich and Sean Mankiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

Jimmy’s Bastards 1 (June 2017)


What if James Bond had a bunch of bastard children out to destroy him (and, presumably, Mother England)? That concept is the hook for Jimmy’s Bastards, which has got to be some of Garth Ennis’s most accessible work in years. Sure, it’s frequently risque, but it’s still an accessible risque. It’s all for laughs so far. Are they great laughs? Not really. Mostly smiles, the occasional eye-roll actually–Ennis takes some way too easy shots at "safe spaces," for instance–but it’s got gorgeous Russ Braun art. Braun handles the action, the hi-tech, the London setting, and the goofy villains beautifully.


Get Daddy; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, John Kalisz; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Mike Marts; publisher, AfterShock Comics.

Godshaper 3 (June 2017)


I wish it didn’t, but Godshaper now feels like a six issue limited. This issue ends with a cliffhanger setting up big revelations and big events. Spurrier hints at what the reveal might involve and it’s a lot of stuff. It’s not bad stuff, it’s interesting stuff, it’s just a lot of stuff. And the series only has three more issues and about half this issue washing its hands with the idea of character development. Spurrier totally changes the pace. It’s still well-written and Goonface’s art is a lot of fun–though he gets overwhelmed–but the reading experience of Godshaper has changed. Fingers crossed it’s worth it.


Writer, Simon Spurrier; artist, Jonas Goonface; letterer, Colin Bell; editors, Cameron Chittock and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

The Damned 2 (June 2017)


Bunn and Hurtt open the issue with an atmospheric, ominous ride in the car for Eddie. It turns out to be less immediately dramatic and more about Bunn setting up Damned as an ongoing series. Eddie exists in a world with a lot going on; it’s not all about him. As the issue goes on, maybe there’s a little bit too much world-building and exposition, but it’s for Hurtt art so one can’t complain too much. Bunn’s definitely filling the book with content.


Ill-Gotten, Chapter 2; writer, Cullen Bunn; artist, Brian Hurtt; colorist, Bill Crabtree; letterer, Chris Crank; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

Cinema Purgatorio 10 (May 2017)


Cinema Purgatorio is getting rather long in the tooth, not just for each of the five stories–The Vast might actually be showing signs of rejuvenation, actually–but as a concept. It was always a loose anthology, but when Garth Ennis is writing a cameo for a Predator in Code Pru, it’s clear exhaustion has long since set in.

The Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill feature is about some kids in a British kids movie–there’s history related to the British film industry, which restricts interest on its own–and their encounter with a giant hair thing. I think it’s supposed to have gotten on the film itself and they’re interacting with its physical effect on the print, but whatever. O’Neill’s got some nice establishing panels, but Moore’s beyond phoning this one in.

Then there’s the secret origin–with evil, abusive witches–of Code Pru. Caceres works on the art. It’s just so rushed, there’s not much point in that care. And then that Predator cameo… I mean, at this point, maybe Ennis and Caceres should just do a Predator comic. Why not? Pru isn’t going anywhere.

More Perfect Union gets back into the actual Civil War history, which doesn’t help it. Brooks still has some big ideas; they don’t seem likely to translate to comics any better than his last big ideas on the strip. Andrade’s giant ant art is gross and cool.

Lopez’s art continues to help Modded immensely. Gillen’s story is still meandering, albeit with a monster fight this time, but it’s still meandering. Reading Modded is just part of the Cinema Purgatorio experience.

As for the improving Vast, Gage has moved the action to kaiju training. Still abjectly unoriginal and derivative, but at least it’s more amusing. Andrade’s art does well with the sterile conditions. He can concentrate.

I was really hoping this issue of Cinema Purgatorio would be the last, if not for the series itself, than at least for Moore and O’Neill. They’re hacking out the material without much inspiration lately.


Cinema Purgatorio, The Picture Palace Mystery; writer, Alan Moore; artist, Kevin O’Neill. Code Pru, Havin’ Me Some Fun Tonight; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Raulo Caceres. A More Perfect Union; writer, Max Brooks; artist, Gabriel Andrade. Modded; writer, Kieron Gillen; artist, Nahuel Lopez. The Vast; writer, Christos Gage; artist, Andrade. Letterer, Kurt Hathaway; publisher, Avatar Press.

Copperhead 14 (June 2017)


Faerber closes off the arc with an action thriller. The sheriff has got to find and apprehend a contract killer, but without enough information and without any backup. Why no backup? Because Mayor Boo is a bureaucrat now, not a deputy. And, of course, the subplot with Clara’s ex-husband hunting her down moves along. It’s a strange pairing, visually speaking; Moss’s sci-fi action chase is competent and maybe even more confident, but his Western sci-fi space showdown is far more ambitious, if loose. Copperhead‘s a little wobbly, it’s still a very solid book.


Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Drew Moss; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

The Flintstones 12 (August 2017)

The Flintstones #12

Russell puts The Flintstones to bed with a summary of the human race (from the Great Gazoo). Turns out prehistoric Bedrock is a lot more like the 21st century than one might think. There’s a lot of story threads–Fred needs to win an important bowling game, his bowling ball is preparing to rebel against human oppression, Pebbles thinks maybe mystery god Gerald is bunk and science is real–plus some nods back to previous issues. Wilma doesn’t get anything, Betty gets less. It’s sort of manipulative, Russell knows all the right buttons to push, including the nostalgia ones (including mocking nostalgia ones), and Pugh’s art is wonderful as always. The Flintstones has been an interesting, not entirely successful, but often inordinately ambitious series. It’s been a fine time; a yabba dabba doo time, as it were.


Farewell to Bedrock; writer, Mark Russell; artist, Steve Pugh; colorist, Chris Chuckry; letterer, Dave Sharpe; editors, Brittany Holzherr and Marie Javins; publisher, DC Comics.

The Comics Fondle Podcast | Episode 38

It’s been forever since our last episode but we still manage to be (relatively) speedy.

We talk about these comics: Kamandi Challenge, Black Hammer, Godshaper, Aliens Dead Orbit, Heroines, Redneck, New Superman, Letter 44, Hadrian’s Wall, War Stories, Last Contract, Providence, Mockingbird.

Then we talk the CW superhero TV wrap-up (though no “Arrow” because come on) and Vernon tries to get me to spoil Wonder Woman.

you can also subscribe on iTunes…

Aliens: Dead Orbit 2 (May 2017)

Aliens: Dead Orbit #2

Dead Orbit continues–James Stokoe drawing chestbursters alert!–without any bumps. Stokoe’s script is solid; most of the issue is flashback explaining how the aliens got onboard, then the aliens finally show up at the end. The issue leaves the protagonist in a precarious situation but it doesn’t really matter. Stokoe, even in his reduced, licensed-title friendly level of detail, is the draw. And there’s a cute nod to Alien3.


Writer, artist, and letterer, James Stokoe; editors, Rachel Roberts and Daniel Chabon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Hadrian’s Wall 7 (May 2017)

Hadrian's Wall #7

Three big things happen this issue. One is the semi-hard cliffhanger, another is the conclusion to the mystery, and the last is Eduardo Ferigato’s continued art assists. Ferigato, whatever he does, is a perfect pair for Reis. Hadrian’s Wall has always had excellent art, but Reis and Ferigato together give it a somewhat different look. Frizzy lines. It changes the energy of the book, just as Higgins and Siegel’s script changes up too. The pacing is different, more intense; the characters now have to synthesize to respond to the new situations. The book might just end a lot better than originally forecasted. One to go.


Writers, Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel; artists, Rod Reis and Eduardo Ferigato; letterer, Troy Peteri; editor, Matt Idelson; publisher, Image Comics.

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