Welcome to “Cheat Sheet,” ROBOT 6’s guide to the week ahead. Below you’ll find a breakdown of the big announcements that came out of this weekend’s Emerald City Comicon, our contributors’ picks for the comics of the week — from Age of Ultron to Al Capp — and the top events to look for in the next seven days (hint: convention season is fully under way).
Emerald City brings ‘100 Bullets’ sequel, ‘Ghosted’ and more
If you weren’t following along online this weekend, you missed a flurry of news coming out of Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, led by Vertigo’s announcement that the 100 Bullets team of Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso, Trish Mulvihill, Clem Robbins and Dave Johnson is reuniting for “a sort of sequel” called Brother Lono. The miniseries debuts in June.
But there was more where that came from: Gail Simone is teaming with Walter Giovani in July for Dynamite Entertainment’s new Red Sonja series; Dark Horse will publish Mass Effect: Foundation, the first ongoing series based on the popular video game; Skybound unveiled Ghosted, a new series by Joshua Williamson and Goran Sudzuka described as “Essentially it is Ocean’s Eleven but in a haunted house instead of a casino”; DC Comics will shed some light on the mysterious Pandora with Trinity of Sin: Pandora, debuting in June from Ray Fawkes and Daniel Sampere; in October, Oni Press will launch Letter 44, a sci-fi series by Charles Soule and Alberto Alburquerque; and Monkeybrain Comics announced Frost, a digital-first espionage thriller from Brandon Jerwa, Eric Trautmann and Giovanni Timpano, by debuting a free zero issue. Check out Comic Book Resources for full coverage of Emerald City Comicon.
This week, it’s Toronto ComiCon and ‘Lost Vegas’ release party
Fan Expo’s Toronto ComiCon kicks off Saturday, bringing an anticipated 90,000 attendees to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The two-day event is headlined by a Star Trek: The Next Generation cast reunion — Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis and Brent Spiner — but there will be plenty of comics guests, too: Mike McKone, Dale Keown, Cary Nord, Katie Cook, Leonard Kirk, Ty Templeton, Mike Del Mundo and Ken Wheaton, among others.
The convention runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Passes are $25 for Saturday, $20 for Sunday, and $39 for the full weekend.
Collector’s Paradise in Los Angeles is playing host Saturday to a release party for Lost Vegas #1, from Dapper Men collaborators Jim McCann and Janet Lee (who of course will be in attendance). The four-issue miniseries, which debuts Wednesday from Image Comics, is the futuristic story of a gambler turned slave to a casino-filled space station who has 24 hours to pull off the greatest heist the universe has ever seen. The store is the only place in Los Angeles to find the Skottie Young Ghost Variant (above) for Lost Vegas #1.
ROBOT 6 contributors name their top choices from among the comic books, and comics-related books, scheduled to arrive in stores this week. We welcome readers to highlight their picks in the comments below.
Dial H #10
For me it’s Dial H #10. If it’s not DC’s most inventive superhero series, it’s certainly in the top three. I mean, how can you not want to read a comic with a Brian Bolland-drawn plane-dog-thing on the cover? — Tom Bondurant
Lost Vegas #1
The long wait for new work from the award-winning creative team of Jim McCann and Janet Lee (Return of the Dapper Men) is over. No offense to McCann (a top-notch writer), but the core appeal to this series for me is Lee’s art. The miniseries’ plot — a slave/gambler who has 24 hours to pull a heist off in space — enables McCann and Lee to cut loose, judging from the advance issue I was able to read. The first issue is worth picking up for a two-page Cirque du Soleil-esque spread that Lee successfully executes. It will be great to see McCann and Lee working together again. — Tim O’Shea
Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary
Al Capp’s long-running comic strip Li’l Abner gave us Dogpatch, the Shmoos, Sadie Hawkins dances and Joe Btfsplk, the perpetually unlucky fall guy who was followed around by his own dark cloud. Those are expressions and metaphors I have been using all my life, but I have to admit, I never paid too much attention to their creator until now. Steven Heller’s recent article in The Atlantic has whetted my appetite for this new biography of Capp, which promises to be a fascinating story about a complicated man. — Brigid Alverson
Cullen Bunn doing another series for Oni (who publish the awesome Sixth Gun by Bunn and Brian Hurtt) would be enough to get my attention, but adding Joelle Jones as the artist seals the deal. Jones shows her versatility yet again — she’s drawn everything from crime (You Have Killed Me) to witchy teen dramas (Spellcheckers) to superheroes (Ultimate Spider-Man), and now she can add decapitating viking horror to her resume. Did I mention undead Vikings with demons and ghosts? Just add a metal soundtrack, and this book is golden. Read more about it here. — JK Parkin
Last Day in Vietnam: A Memory
Just in time for Will Eisner Week, Dark Horse reissues this Harvey Award-winning graphic novel of six short war stories, in hardcover for the first time (and adds an introduction by Matt Fraction). Covering Eisner’s own experiences and observations both as a soldier and a correspondent for the Army’s P.S. Magazine, the graphic novel tells stories at times terrifying, tragic and funny of soldiers and citizens involved in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Using a unique sepia ink, Last Day in Vietnam was originally released five years before Eisner’s death and is the final word on war by a comics innovator who saw so much of it firsthand. — Corey Blake
Age of Ultron #1
Holy cats! It’s here! The story that Brian Michael Bendis has been hinting at and teasing us with from the start of the Heroic Age, only to leave the intended title the story would be told through and then come back! Like some strange, horror jump scare, this time with Bryan Hitch! Eek! And a holo-foil cover on Issue 1! Aah! Quite frankly, I’m terrified to see what Bendis will do to the Avengers and their robot nemesis this time around, so much like a horror movie I’ll be peeking through my fingers to see what terrible fates lie in store for our heroes. — Carla Hoffman