The Smash Pages crew shares what they’ve been reading lately, including ‘Amazing Fantasy,’ ‘Star Trek: Year Five,’ ‘The Legend of Auntie Po,’ ‘Bloom County’ and more.
Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our (cough, cough) weekly (cough, cough) look at what the Smash Pages crew has been checking off their “to read” list lately. Ok, so it’s been a little more than just a week since we last shared what we’ve been reading, but we’re back now, locked and loaded with all kinds of comic reviews just for you.
Let us know what you’ve been reading lately in the comments or on social media.
‘Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory’ heads to post-WW2 Japan in April.
The Eisner-winning Beasts of Burden returns in April with a new miniseries, Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory.
Writers Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer tell a story set in post-World War II, as a member of the Wise Dogs must deal with a curse that creates an army of crawling heads. They’re joined by artist Benjamin Dewey and letterer Nate Piekos, while series co-creator Jill Thompson will provide a variant cover for issue #4.
“I’m very excited to have a new Beasts of Burden story for the fans and I’m extremely happy with the way everything came together working with Sarah, Benjamin and Nate,” Dorkin said. “Why post-war Japan? I used to half-jokingly ask editor Daniel Chabon if we could have his Shiba Inu, Zell. He said we should have a Shiba in the series, instead. One thing led to another, one idea led to three more, and that’s where our latest story of dogs fighting supernatural evil ended up.”
The series will feature stories told in red and blue.
If Batman has his Black & White series, then naturally Superman would get a “red & Blue” one. DC announced this week Superman: Red & Blue, an anthology miniseries featuring the Man of Steel told in shades of red and blue (or magenta and cyan, to be specific).
The first issue will include a Clark Kent story by John Ridley, whose name is all over DC lately, with artist Clayton Henry. Brandon Easton and Steve Lieber will have a “street level” story set in Metropolis.
A round-up of news and announcements from Marvel, DC, Top Shelf, Z2 Comics, AfterShock and more.
Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.
Marvel will pay tribute to the 80th anniversary of Captain America next year with a special project involving John Cassaday, Alex Ross, Marguerite Sauvage, David Lapham, Declan Shalvey and many more. Captain America Tribute #1, coming from Marvel in March, will feature a bunch of current artists redrawing both Captain America Comics #1 and Avengers #4, with each page by a different artist.
Paul Cornell, Russ Braun and Dean Motter will contribute to the anthology title’s first issue.
The follow-up to Ahoy Comics’ horror title Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror gets a slight title tweak that can’t bode well for anyone — Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood will arrive from the publisher in October.
The series is the third one invoking the name of the 19th century horror master.
“Since Edgar Allan Poe is dead, we get to make any arbitrary decision we want and there’s not a thing he can do about it,” said Editor-in-Chief Tom Peyer in Ahoy’s July newsletter. “So sometimes we just make a senseless power move out of sheer contempt for the great writer and his memory. Plus, we get to start again at #1, which should attract all of the most devoted comics collectors of 1991. Everybody wins! Except Poe.”
In the first issue, Paul Cornell and Russ Braun retell Poe’s “Black Cat” — but with a dog, while Dean Motter “settles the science vs. religion debate once and for all.”
Mariah McCourt, Soo Lee and Pippa Bowland team up for a new miniseries from AHOY Comics.
The apocalypse is about to get … well, at least a stern talking to as AHOY Comics presents Ash & Thorn, a new miniseries from Mariah McCourt, Soo Lee and Pippa Bowland, with lettering by Rob Steen and covers by Jill Thompson. With the end of the world in sight, the only ones who can stop it are an elderly woman and her friend.
“Everyone knows Chosen Ones are supposed to be young and extremely expendable, but even the Universe makes mistakes sometimes,” McCourt said in a press release. “And sometimes the mistakes are big ones. Like when it taps an 80+ year old retired art teacher to be the Champion who fights the next Apocalypse. Can an octogenarian overcome age and arthritis to save the world from cosmic monsters, world eaters, and gross creepy crawlies?”
The writer and co-creator of ‘Beasts of Burden’ discusses his long career in comics, his collaborations, ‘Blackwood’ and much more.
Evan Dorkin seems to have many careers. For many comics readers, he’s the writer and artist behind Dork,Milk and Cheese and The Elitingville Club. He wrote and drew Bill and Ted’s Excellent Comic Book series for Marvel back in 1991-92, which has since been reprinted. He’s contributed to MAD Magazine and other outlets. In television, he’s worked extensively with his wife, the noted creator Sarah Dyer, on shows like Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Superman: The Animated Series and others.
He is also the writer and co-creator of the award winning comic series Beasts of Burden. Dorkin’s approach to horror and suspense and his skill at writing animal protagonists — combined with the painted artwork of initially Jill Thompson and later Benjamin Dewey — have made the books a favorite among readers and critics. Beasts of Burden: Neighborhood Watch was just released by Dark Horse, which collects a lot of the one-shots and other stories featuring the supernatural-battling pets, including a crossover with Hellboy co-written by Mike Mignola.
A two-part series by Evan Dorkin, Jill Thompson and Benjamin Dewey will complete the second Burden Hill collection.
Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson will return to Burden Hill for another round of Beasts of Burden, their award-winning series about guardian dogs and cats facing supernatural menaces.
Beasts of Burden: The Presence of Others Part Onewill arrive in May, featuring artwork by Thompson, who co-created the series with Dorkin. Part Two will feature artwork by Benjamin Dewey, who drew the most recent Beasts of Burden series, Beasts of Burden: Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men. It will “complete the second Burden Hill collection begun with the Hellboy crossover published in 2010,” Dorkin revealed.
Plus: ‘Check Please’ goes to First Second, ‘Infini-T’ Force goes to Udon, Jill Thompson, Red Planet and more.
A Pirate’s Life… Ain’t what it used to be. Cecilia D’Anastasio talks to several former scanlators (including NJT, who set up MangaHelpers back in the day) about their struggles to go legit, and she also talks to some legitimate translators about what they do. While scanlators defend what they do as providing a service by fans, for fans—no ugly profit involved—it’s also true that publishers may not want to license a series that is already being widely read on bootleg sites. Also, they are finding that publishers don’t want to hire them, and the pay isn’t enough to let them quit their day jobs. Because, as Kodansha Comics’ Ben Applegate observed, “Whenever there’s a large group of people giving away their labor for free, it’s going to depress pay for those who are trying to do things legitimately.”
The dogs and cat of Burden Hill return this year in a new story by Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer and Jill Thompson.
The dogs and cat of Burden Hill return this year in a new story by Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer and Jill Thompson. The “all-cat” issue will detail where Dymphna, the witch’s familiar who has allied herself with the protectors of Burden Hill, disappears to at night.
“Dark Horse is mapping out the issue, and if all goes well we’re looking at a Spring release,” Dorkin said on his LiveJournal. “However, we have some blank pages to fill in the back of the comic, and we’re trying to see if anyone has any questions or comments for us to print in a letters page for the issue. Even if we only fill a page, that’s one less ad in the issue and a little something extra to read. Right now we only have one letter. Eep.”
The Eisner Award-winning comic from Dark Horse Comics stars a group of dogs and cats that investigates supernatural events in their town. Beasts of Burden began as a recurring feature in the Dark Horse Book of … anthologies before graduating into its own miniseries. The animal protectors have also teamed up with Hellboy and appeared in Dark Horse Presents.
Update, 2/11: Dark Horse issued a press release on the return of Beasts of Burden, which you can find below with art:
Dorkin, Dyer and Thompson Discover What the Cat Dragged In!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MILWAUKIE, OR—Evan Dorkin (Eltingville Club, Milk and Cheese), Sarah Dyer (The Dark Horse Book of Monsters) and Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother) return to the characters that won them the Eisner Awards for Best Short Story and Best Publication for Teens with a new one-shot comic: Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In!
This standalone adventure is a perfect entry point for readers new to the award-winning series. When curiosity gets the best of Burden Hill’s cats (and one reluctant raccoon), sleeping demons are awakened and black magic is unleashed on the town of Burden Hill.
Multiple award-winning comics creators Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson first introduced these very special investigators in The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings and the other Dark Horse Book of . . . anthologies, for which they won coveted Eisner Awards for Best Short Story and Best Painter.
In 2009, the beasts of Burden Hill received their own miniseries, Animal Rites, which garnered widespread critical acclaim. In 2010, they met up with Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, cementing these unlikely heroes in the pages of Dark Horse history.
The one-shot Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In (MAR160030) is in stores May 4, 2016. Preorder your copy today at your local comic shop!