What's new: Comic book releases for August
Published: Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 2, 2012 13:08
Each and every month, new comic books come and go in spurts and droves, and while the right purchase may be clear to the already aware reader, individuals only roughly aware of the medium may be in need of an encouraging recommendation, or three.
‘Prophet, Volume 1: Remission’
Brandon Graham, Simon Roy
This trade paperback collects the first six issues of the already critically acclaimed science fiction series, "Prophet." Blowing the dust off of an old Rob Liefeld concept, this reimagining takes from a mid-1990s series of the same name and completely reinvents the stakes, setting and protagonist.
The book follows a man by the name of John Prophet who, after countless years of hibernation, awakes in a universe far from our own and must restart the "Earth Empire."
Of course, the plot becomes a little more complicated than that as things progress, but the beauty of this comic book derives from its atmosphere and setting development.
Like all hard science fiction, the gold’s in the fictional background, and writer Brandon Graham ("King City") certainly understands this principle as he directs the reader with stoic narration.
Graham leads this creative effort, but he’s not alone. Alongside him, an equally talented roundtable of illustrators such as Simon Roy and Farel Dalrymple decorate Graham’s prose and show exactly what a comic book artist can add to the final product.
Through various measured and master-crafted strokes of storytelling, they bring the world of "Prophet" to life and deliver a science fiction comic more dependent on its thematic complexity and subtlty rather than spectacle or blatant remarks.
This one’s received plenty of positive responses thus far, and it will certainly mark a handful of critics’ "Best Of" lists come year’s end. Pick this up, and let the world of "Prophet" envelop you.
"Prophet" will arrive in stores Aug. 15.
‘The Underwater Welder’
While cartoonist Jeff Lemire has been off producing work for the corporate IP house of DC Comics, he has also been patiently working on his next original graphic novel for the Portland, Ore.-based publisher Top Shelf. Titled "The Underwater Welder," this project marks Lemire’s return to the format which birthed his career as well as furthers his general interest of father/son narratives.
As the solicitation text tells us:
"As an underwater welder on an oilrig off the coast of Nova Scotia, Jack Joseph is used to the immense pressures of deep-sea work. Nothing, however, could prepare him for the pressures of impending fatherhood.
As Jack dives deeper and deeper, he seems to pull further and further away from his young wife and their unborn son. Then one night, deep in the icy solitude of the ocean floor, something unexplainable happens.
Jack has a mysterious and supernatural encounter that will change the course of his life forever."
Lemire’s the type of cartoonist who can conjure up emotion like few others, yet he also seems to trap himself with this skill, weakening his work at times under the pressures of too much melodrama.
"The Underwater Welder" will most certainly supply Lemire’s trademark willow tree line art, but I’m hoping his script can find some sense of backbone to propel his usual haunts past the utter dependence on emotion for applause.
As "Lost Dogs" has shown us, Lemire can hit a reader in more places than their tear ducts. Let’s hope he throws those punches.
"The Underwater Welder" arrives in stores Aug. 7.
‘Scott Pilgrim Color Edition, Volume 1: Precious Little Life’
Bryan Lee O’Malley
No. This isn’t new Scott Pilgrim, but in case anyone who read the black and white paperbacks wanted a color experience, well, here you go .
This reprint marks Oni Press’s first in a series of newly colored hardback editions of the immensely popular series.
And while it’s nothing new, colorist Nathan Fairbairn ("Batman Incorporated") will be able to bring his own touch to O’Malley’s masterpiece while also supplying the text with a little bit of that extra "zing" found in Edgar Wright’s film adaptation.
Personally, I won’t purchase these, but for a fan of the film, this might make a nice gift.
Also, if you’re a big fan of the series, it could be of interest to you as O’Malley and Oni Press plan to include all sorts of extras and bonus materials in each volume.
Volume 1 arrives in stores Aug. 8.
If you are interested in reading any of these, please check out one of Morgantown’s comic book stores or Amazon.