Author: James Hepplewhite


Let’s Talk Through Some Bad Ideas

“The one thing that will wash away all sins is if the books are really, really, really, really good.” –Dinesh Shamdasani, from a Multiversity interview Dinesh Shamdasani and the pre-DMG New Valiant crew (Warren Simons, Hunter Gorinson, and Josh Johns) made a splash last Thursday by announcing the scope of their new project called Bad […]

An Ending, A Beginning, And A Continuation

Three Comics: An Ending, A Beginning, And A Continuation

Hellboy Winter Special 2019 by Mike Mignola, Márk László, Dave Stewart, Chris Roberson, Leila del Duca, Michelle Madsen, Scott Allie, Andrea Mutti, Lee Loughridge, and Clem Robins: The real find here is Márk László, who’s exaggerated style in “The Miser’s Gift” feels like a revelation. Hopefully, Dark Horse can find a Hellboy spinoff for László, […]

Three Releases, Two Dark Horses, and A Titan In A Pear Tree

December seems like the time to bury new releases, but there’s still good material. I return with two Dark Horse debuts and one art book from Titan. Kill Whitey Donovan #1 by Sydney Duncan, Natalie Barahona and Troy Peteri: I’m not used to slavery stories in comics, so this one’s new to me. There’s a […]

Auto Draft

Three Moments Of An Explosion: Three Boom #1s

Wading into Boom’s #1s, or wading into Boom’s “in the midst of all these press releases about our first issues selling out three printings before a reader can buy them, hopefully no one remembers how buoyed these numbers are by some pretty heavy retailer incentives” #1s. Heartbeat #1 by Maria Llovet, Andworld Design, and Andrea […]

Adam Kubert And A Teachable Moment

Why Adam Kubert Refused to Sign the Industry-Only Stan Lee Tribute Comic

I follow Adam Kubert on instagram and saw him post about not signing an industry-only Stan Lee tribute comic, and felt a way about it. Adam Kubert described the experience like this: A fan brought me a copy of the Stan Lee Tribute comic to sign. This was a special book for a meaningful event. […]


One More Notch: The Fourth Power & Others [Reviews]

Another month, another couple first issues, plus a big European collection roundup. In this case, the big European collection is Humanoids reissuing Metabarons artist Juan Giménez‘s solo collection called The Fourth Power. Sera And The Royal Stars issue one by Jon Tsuei, Audrey Mok, Raúl Angulo, Jim Campbell, and Tim Daniel: A Persian-influenced swords and […]


Fun House: Matt Rosenberg Was Right

Fun House: Matt Rosenberg Was Right

When Matthew Rosenberg writes on Twitter (2, 3) that writers share some responsibility to promote an upcoming work, he accurately describes the reality of launching a new comic into 2019’s retail landscape. He does not absolve publishers of the responsibility to promote the work at all. This isn’t a big enough or healthy enough industry […]

Don't Leave: Fairlady Cancelled At Issue Five

Don’t Leave: Fairlady Canceled At Issue Five

One of my favorite comics from this year (#5, if I’m counting) just got the axe. Writer Brian Schirmer announced Fairlady’s cancellation with this week’s final issue on Twitter: Sad news, folks: Fairlady is canceled as of the forthcoming issue #5. Thread. The book came out swinging back in April & #1 even got a […]

The Contract: Cry Havoc’s French Release In Limbo

The Contract: Cry Havoc’s French Release In Limbo

Cry Havoc, the Image Comics series from Si Spurrier, Ryan Kelly, Matt Wilson, Lee Loughridge, Nick Filardi, Simon Bowland and Emma Price, released in 2016 to immense critical acclaim. Alan Moore described it as “An electrifying account of black ops, black dogs and weaponized folklore that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Best in show.” […]

Tale Told By Dead Men: The Night And Others [Comic Reviews]

I feel kinda bad putting new issues of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada next to a stone cold classic of French science fiction, but c’est la vie. Druillet’s The Night Druillet’s The Night: “Death…everywhere, Death with its garland of glistening rot…” Created as a response to his wife […]

I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone: Monster by Enki Bilal

I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone: Monster by Enki Bilal

I thought I’d never read the end of Monster. Humanoids released the first half of it in 2004 (they called it The Beast Trilogy), and no more followed. When I found three copies of that slim Humanoids paperback at C2E2 a couple years back from today, I bought all three just so I could loan […]

I Put A Spell On You: Thoughts About The Hexed Omnibus And Others

I Put A Spell On You: Thoughts About The Hexed Omnibus And Others

I had some thoughts about two recent single issues and two recent collections. Black Hammer/Justice League #1: Of the now six Black Hammer spinoffs (Sherlock Frankenstein, Doctor Star, The Quantum Age, Black Hammer ’45, Cthu-Louise and now this Justice League mini), I’ve only read Sherlock Frankenstein, so I’ve yet to be sick of the Black […]

My Five Favorite Debuts From January to June 2019

My Five Favorite Debuts From January to June 2019

I realized I missed writing lists occasionally, and in doing so, doing the fun work of cutting the wheat from the chaff of what I enjoyed. These are my five favorite debuts from the past six months. It’s a strong class. 5. Fairlady by Brian Schirmer and Claudia Balboni. Columbo in New Crobuzon. There’s relatively […]

Chicago Comics Vandalized During Pride 2019

Chicago Comics Vandalized in Reported Assault on June 30th

Chicago Comics (started in 1991) survived a vandalization episode on June 30th. I’ve shopped there more than a couple times, and I like their selection (as well as their sale section) quite a bit. Judging from their description of the incident (below), one of their two employees put themselves in the way of a flash […]

JJ Abrams to Write New Spider-Man Comic with Son and Artist Sara Pichelli

“We Don’t Want Nobody Nobody Sent”: JJ Abrams, Henry Abrams, And Spider-Man

I don’t believe the Spider-Man comic deserves this outcry. Yes, Henry Abrams’s father, J.J. Abrams, got Henry in the door. It’s the worst parts of nepotism and a stunt hire combined. Henry’s got no previous serialized fiction credits we’d care to be aware of, and it’s unclear how much of J.J. Abrams’ ideas will be […]

Our Favorite Debuts Of 2019

Our Favorite Comic Book Debuts Of 2019 (So Far)

In writing about comics, sometimes what we actually enjoy gets lost in the weeds. I wanted to do something quick that counteracted that. Thus: What’d you like most this year? This is how we responded. Image Comics’ Excellence would have to be the comic I recommend the most so far in 2019. Brandon Thomas created […]

After Twenty-Six Years, DC Comics to Finally Close Vertigo?

Rumors Of Vertigo’s Demise Were Not Exaggerated

Vertigo died a lot in the last ten odd years. You could say Vertigo died the year between 2000 and 2010 that Alan Horn demanded changes to the famously generous Vertigo contracts. You could say Vertigo died in 2012, when DC fired Karen Berger. You could say Vertigo died in 2016, when DC fired Shelly […]

Execution Dependent: Cemetery Beach And Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me

Execution Dependent: Cemetery Beach And Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me

Two TPBs that’re execution dependent: Cemetery Beach, by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard, and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. First up: Cemetery Beach. Cemetery Beach is pretty straight forward: It’s a seven issue long chase comic. Cemetery Beach won’t usurp Planetary or The Authority in anyone’s best […]