New Comic Book Day highlights some of the best books released this week.
It has arrived once more, the middle of the week for the rest of the world but for us, comic book fans, it is the ultimate. The best day of the week: New Comic Book Day. For me, it was a light week, but even when the yield is low there are always some gems to be harvested. Let’s get into it…
Written By: Jonathan Hickman
Art By: Tomm Coker
Published: August 10, 2106 by Image Comics
Ho…ly…smokes! This book! This book right here….this book right here…oh man. This brand new series by Image was the very first thing I grabbed this week to read, and I have to say, it’s a darn strong start. I had already known a little bit about this book, and the general direction it was going to take. Yet, I had no idea just how great it was going to deliver.
What we have here is a noir story wrapped around the stock market crash of 1929. We follow one of the rather wealthier men of that time as he’s talking with his butler. When suddenly his nose just bursts open and starts bleeding. As one would, his butler freaks out, but our Mr. Moneybags doesn’t seem to be bothered by it at all. Fast-forward a bit and we learn that his bleeding nose is simply a sign of horrible things to come. A group of powerful people all convene, including our bleeding man, and it’s determined that the stock market is going to crash. It’s at this point when everything takes a wild turn for the weird. As it turns out, this group of filthy rich, power hungry people have made some sort of deal with beings unknown. A price must be paid, and bloody face boy was just offered up.
Jump to current day and we’re introduced to what looks like our main protagonist, a young cop with Sherlockian tendencies. He’s called upon to investigate a murder in a rather illustrious complex, and it’s there that we learn that another price has been paid. Another price very similar to the price that was paid in 1929. Now, while that’s the major premise, I’ll also add that between the amazing artwork by Coker and Hickman’s unbelievable skill to tell a story, what we have here is one heck of an old school feeling detective novel in the form of a comic book. I know detective stories aren’t for everyone, but honestly, I’d recommend this to anyone looking for something with substance. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill comic, or even a typical detective story. There’s depth and intricacies being delivered in the medium we all love. Give it a shot, I’ll be surprised if you don’t love it.
Written By: Eric Powell
Art By: Eric Powell
Published: August 10, 2016 by Albatross Funnybooks
While this may look, and feel, and even smell like a comic make no mistake this is folk lore like none you’ve ever read. Eric Powell is, in my opinion, one of the best comic creators out there today. His art style is beautiful, and super creepy (that’s a compliment), and his writing and storytelling might actually be better than his art (also a compliment). Hillbilly is simply too much to be called a comic book. IF you’re unfamiliar with the story what we have is a man who’s been blessed/cursed, depending on how you look at it, with the ability to see into the supernatural. He can see and talk with spirits, Death, and has a powerful hatred toward witches. He travels around the back hills, wandering it seems aimlessly, lugging around a cleaver he stole from the devil. That might sound odd and boring but what grabs your attention is how Powell uses this character. He is creating nothing short of modern day folk tales, and since this is only the second book, I can’t fathom where we’re going from here.
In this book our boy the Hillbilly retells a part of his childhood wherein he came across a small town that had been ravaged by a warring neighbor clan. This village had been burnt to the ground along with all its inhabitants, plundered and looted, and left for ruin. It was here that Hillbilly saw Death, striding through the carnage upon his pale horse. We jump forward into present day and Hillbilly has once again come across the face of Death. This time, however, he’s not without his wits…and his devil knife. What ensues is a tale of lovers betrayed, and the darkness of sinners having seeped into the earth. I know I’m being vague, but honestly, I would be upset if someone spoiled any part of this book…it’s that good. I completely understand if the dark and creepy isn’t for you, however, if your not one to shy away from such things there might not be a better comic of this genre being published in today’s market. Read this…love this…you’re welcome.