Category Archives: Image Comics

Review: POWER LINES #1


POWER LINES is one of the surprise hits for 2016 with its inventive plot and vivid characters. I have to hand it to the trifecta talent of Jimmie Robinson who draws, writes, letters, and colors this comic. Wait, that’s more than a trifecta. This guy is an Orson Welles of comics. He does it all and he does it well. Very trippy magical realism at play here.
Power LInes Jimmie Robinson

Our story involves some ley lines going back many thousands of years. Oh yeah, I am hip to ley lines. They are only referred to as power lines here but all the better for the double meaning. Basically, when the planet and humans were still in sync with, say, supernatural elements, people could find themselves charged with formidable energy in a time of crisis. But, as we humans trampled upon the earth and each other, that magic was lost. It seemed like it was always to elude us. Until now.

In a wonderfully rendered style using pencil, Robinson brings to life a story of struggle, a struggle for power amongst those who might be disenfranchised or vulnerable in some way. I think the softer and smoother quality of these pencil lines helps to bring us closer to this quirky tale so full of emotion and humanity.

For this first issue, Robinson provides us with a fascinating cast of characters from diverse backgrounds. We meet a group of friends eager to make their mark on the world. They are African-American, lower income, and sensitive to feeling marginalized in society. While they may be tough, they have dreams of their own too. Then we have an Anglo-American family with a misguided matriarch ready to blame all her problems on the Other, whoever that might be. Finally, we get a teasing look at a mysterious Native American who is hip to the re-emergence of the mighty power lines. So, lots to take in for a first issue and Robinson delivers at every turn. This is an impressive debut and I am ready for more.

POWER LINES #1 is available as of March 30, 2016 and is published by Image Comics.

1 Comment

Filed under Comics, Comics Reviews, Image Comics

Review: SNOWFALL #1

Snowfall Image Comics 2016

Screenwriter/director Adam McKay, known for “Anchorman” and “Talladega Nights,” and now, “The Big Short,” was asked recently, in an interview with The Wrap, what subject he’d like to tackle next. Without hesitation, he said that subject would be climate change. He said, by far, it is the biggest story to tell today. The creators of this new comic, published by Image Comics, would definitely agree. SNOWFALL (story by Joe Harris; art by Martin Morazzo) is about an Earth so harmed that it is no long capable of naturally creating snow. To add further insult to injury, corporations have found a way to profit from the fact there is no longer any natural snow!

Like an invigorating winter morning, this is one crisp and poetic comic. This will appeal not only to the Bernie Sanders contingent (which is growing by the hour) but to a wide spectrum of readers who may disagree on the details but who can feel in their gut that things have been steadily going south. Our story is set in the not-too-distant future. 2045, to be exact. Is that not-too-distant enough for you? I think it’s a good sweet spot, just far enough away. Corporations took over once the damage to the environment had gotten over the heads of government. In fact, the Hazeltyne Corporation oversees the “Cooperative States of America.”

To be sure, a tragic scene like this needs at least one hero and we get one in the White Wizard. He is a loner, part genius, part crazed zealot. What we get here is a dazzling opener of a first issue with the White Wizard lurking around in the background like some folklore legend. But one rebel can lead to another and so it goes with a college student that has plans of his own. Those plans include the White Wizard. However, the White Wizard did not get the memo.

Image Comics Snowfall

SNOWFALL #1 is available as of February 17th. For more details, visit our friends at Image Comics right here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, Comics, Comics Reviews, Image Comics

Review: MIRROR by Emma Ríos and Hwei Lim


MIRROR is a real beauty of a comic with such an effortless way about it. The work, both the writing by Emma Ríos and artwork by Hwei Lim, dance upon the page.

Very graceful use of space. You get that sketchbook feeling of uninhibited freshness.

Emma Rios Mirror

All you really need to know is that this is a strange and mysterious world. And some exotic and majestic animals are being held captive to further the ends of an evil entity.

All in all, one of the most magical comics you will find right now.

The first issue of this new ongoing series is available now. For more details on MIRROR, visit our friends at Image Comics right here.

Leave a comment

Filed under comic books, Comics, Comics Reviews, Image Comics

Review: RINGSIDE #1, published by Image Comics


Kayfabe” is the unspoken understanding between the audience and pro wrestlers to suspend disbelief. You never have to question what goes on in the ring. But what pact do pro wrestlers make amongst themselves and each other? This is part of what is going on in RINGSIDE, a new comic published by Image Comics, by writer Joe Keatinge (SHUTTER) and artist Nick Barber. Rounding out the creative team is colorist Simon Gough and letterer Ariana Maher. This is a unique behind-the-scenes look at the world of pro wrestling in the form of a noir tale which kicks off, in this first issue, with our getting to know ex-champ Dan “The Minotaur” Knossos.


In the spirit of a shaggy dog gritty story by Ed Brubaker, Joe Keatinge’s script begins with Dan as he makes his way to right some past wrongs. He’s like on a mission from God; nothing will stop him. We see him uproot himself from a relatively good position in Japan hellbent for San Francisco. Dan is now of a certain age. At this point in his career, he is best served if he was a mentor or, even better, if he just gracefully walked away. But this is a messy situation that is only going to get messier. Just what we want.

Nick Barber has a very accessible style. It reminds me a bit of Box Brown’s approach: pared down to the basics. Brown especially comes to mind since he did a tremendous book on pro wrestling a few years back. His tribute to Andre the Giant set the gold standard as far as I’m concerned. You can read my review of ANDRE THE GIANT: LIFE AND LEGEND right here. Barber has that same energy running throughout RINGSIDE.

This is a comic with a cinematic quality keeping to a steady pace. I especially enjoy the conversations here that involve some creative back and forth between poses and background and never gets caught in the rut of talking heads. The dialogue and composition won’t allow for that. This first issue offers a lot of intriguing possibilities. Dan is clearly a cut above the typical aging ex-wrestler. And he is also clearly over his head with what he plans to do next.

RINGSIDE #1 is available as of November 25. For more details, visit our friends at Image Comics right here.


Filed under Comics, Comics Reviews, Image Comics

Review: The Goddamned #1 – Before the Flood Part One


And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagining of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

–Genesis 6:5-6

THE GODDAMNED is a bold comic indeed, a Biblical noir series from the creative team that brought you SCALPED, writer Jason Aaron and artist R. M. Guéra, with the addition of artist Giulia Brusco.

It is 1600 years after Eden and the world has gone the way of Mad Max. An Adonis emerges, nude and unmarked, from a pond of shit. A little maundering boy peppers him with questions about why he has no scars and how he could survive violent torture. The young man, who turns out to be Cain, just keeps walking, all the way back to his tormentors, the Bone Boys. Off to a very good start.

The artwork is eye-poppingly good, all gritty Western noir. What happens next is that we find that Cain makes for a great, maybe even better, Conan. Although I can imagine Biblical devotees perhaps scratching their heads and waiting to see if things go too far. Well all these things considered, this looks to be a refreshing tale that no one should seriously have a problem with. It may be set in a Biblical landscape, but from there it takes off into its own world.

True to all the promotion for this comic, THE GODDAMNED delivers a satisfying read. There’s a good portion of it that is wordless and that makes for some perfect extended scenes. You’ll find some of the best compositions depicting action here. And I put it mildly when I say, action. Cain knows how to kick ass.

THE GODDAMNED is available as of November 11th. For more details, visit our friends at Image Comics right here.

1 Comment

Filed under Comics, Comics Reviews, Image Comics


Skottie Young's I HATE FAIRYLAND

Skottie Young’s I HATE FAIRYLAND

“I Hate Fairyland” is one of the most messed up, a good way, comics you’re likely to find. Now, Skottie Young has drawn a ton of super cute animals, kiddies, and rainbows. But he’s always added a twist. In this case, he has Gertrude, a little girl much like Dorothy from the Oz books, crash land onto a veritable fairyland. Except, for Gertrude, her crash landing really, really hurts and she is no Dorothy. In fact, she has the worst luck. Instead of finding her way back home within a few days at most, after twenty-seven years, she’s still trekking all over Fairyland.


Oh, and Gertrude swears like a sailor, takes drugs, kills and slaughters. Okay, this is not exactly a bed-time story. What it is, is just the sort of hilarious stuff you can find in the pages of MAD Magazine. Maybe you found them when you were a kid. Well, they’re still doing it! Skottie Young took his cues from MAD when he was but a lad. And it stuck with him. I think, in a lot of ways, despite all the success he’s known for all these years, it is with this comic that he really gets to let loose with that special blend of insolent humor that only a fourteen-year-old can truly appreciate. I think this could be very well be his best work yet.


In this first issue, we come to see just how gross and diabolical Gertrude can really be. With her green hair, distorted features, and penchant for violence, she cuts quite a creepy figure–but it’s all in fun. It is beautifully rendered in the master’s distinctive style. And Young writes just as fiercely as he draws. I was taken by surprise by how it kept my interest all the way to the last page. Yes, this is one of the most creepy and fun comics around.

I HATE FAIRYLAND #1 is available as of October 14, 2015. For more details, visit our friends at Image Comics right here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comics, Comics Reviews, Image Comics, Skottie Young

Review: WOLF #1, published by Image Comics


“Wolf,” is a new comic (script by Ales Kot; art by Matt Taylor) in which we follow Antoine Wolfe, a hard-boiled paranormal detective, down the sun-kissed streets of a noir-infused Los Angeles. The streets are indeed sun-kissed and beautifully harsh thanks to the intense colors by Lee Loughridge. Like any good crime story, we savor the details. One excellent moment simply has Antoine approach an anxious German Shepherd in his path with a mellow, “Meow.” From the start, we know this is going to be one weird tale as we begin with Antoine covered in flames one moment and completely unscathed the next.


This original fantasy/horror/crime saga is worthy of comparison to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. The narrative rolls along quite smoothly as the plot develops. Antoine is steadily revealed to be adroit as well as a bit out of his depth as we find him caught up in something of apocalyptic proportions. Ultimately, his fate will be linked to that of an orphaned teenage girl. And, through it all, we have a compelling clash between fantasy and gritty crime drama. For instance, Antoine may have supernatural powers but, as an African American, he is regularly reminded that he is not welcome in some places. And Los Angeles is depicted as a twisted wonderland, an amalgam of wilderness and concrete jungle. And full of magic. Wait until you meet Antoine’s pal, Freddy, a most Cthulhu-like fiend.

I am often asked where the best comics are coming from and the short answer is Image Comics. A perfect example is Wolf.

WOLF #1 is available as of July 22nd. It is a 64-page comic priced at $4.99. For more details, visit our friends at Image Comics right here.


Filed under Comics, Comics Reviews, Image Comics, Noir

Review: ISLAND #1, published by Image Comics


ISLAND is a whipsmart comics anthology brought to you by Image Comics. In the first issue, Brandon Graham provides a brief intro and we’re off and running. Work here is intro art by Marian Churchland, ongoing comic by Emma Rios, story by Kelly Sue DeConnick, ongoing comic by Brandon Graham, and ongoing comic by Ludroe.

Emma Rios presents a sci-fi thriller entitled, “I.D.” I love the clean linear quality to her artwork. Everyone looks hungry and jumpy. And that’s understandable considering a terrorist attack has just occurred in outer space. We open with a scene in a coffee shop. Just as you would expect, once a crisis has been declared by the media, hot-blooded youth feel compelled to do something. One outraged young man declares, “The streets should be burning these days!” To this remark, a woman gives him the most vicious of eye rolls. Anyway, that crisis is in the background. The focus is on the characters and some of them are desperate to change their bodies. Nice opener.

Kelly Sue DeConnick’s “Railbirds” is a poignant memoir that pays tribute to her friend, the poet, Maggie Estep. It is prose with illustrations by Emma Rios. We follow Kelly on a road to recovery from addiction and growing as a writer. You learn all about the “railbirds,” those overeager participants at the race track, in this moving story.

Brandon Graham’s “Ghost Town” is a tour de force adventure with his favorite couple, Nikoli and Sexica. This this chapter, the two try to enjoy brunch at a café that specializes in whale. A few other oddball things happen. No one gets blown up. Always excellent work.

And finally, there is Ludroe and his ongoing piece, “Dagger Proof Mummy,” which proves to be quite a revelation. I see a few touches of Graham’s influence in what is a very refreshing skater fantasy tale. Reno smokes a little too much weed. Dirk is a superstar skater. Will they ever be a cool couple like Nikoli and Sexica? Maybe not. Whatever the case, Dirk appears to have supernatural powers and presently he has made himself completely vanish during a mid-air daredevil jump.

ISLAND is published by Image Comics, priced at $7.99. It is brought to you by Pretty Deadly artist Emma Rios and King City writer/artist Brandon Graham. Each ongoing issue of this comics magazine runs 20 to 30 pages, ad free, with issue length chapters of new work from around the globe. The first issue is available as of June 15.

For more details, visit our friends at Image Comics right here.


Filed under Anthologies, Brandon Graham, Comics, Comics Reviews, Image Comics

Review: SEXCASTLE by Kyle Starks


“Sexcastle” is funny stuff from a dude named Kyle Starks. You may know him from his offbeat, yet sophisticated, webcomics. Sexcastle will have you laughing right from the start. It’s mature content, as you’ll notice from all the less than polite language in the first panels, but it’s totally immature goofy content too. The thing is, it only seems to be a slapdash free-for-all. This is a very well-built comic.


We need more comics like this with an authentic energy about them. It looks simple and silly but simple and silly alone won’t keep your interest. Starks may not render the most complex characters and objects but he uses a keen sense of style to keep things moving along. I suspect he does his fair share of laying out and editing both on the art and the script.

Okay, Shane Sexcastle is supposed to be the ultimate professional assassin dude, like the character Bruce Willis plays in all the Die Hard action movies. Sexcastle seems to be a little more mellow, crude, and unfocused than John McClane ever was.

What makes this so funny is how in tune Sexcastle is to doing whatever he needs to do next. If a VIP pushes Sexcastle to do his bidding, Sexcastle just pushes back. If a child is crying, he swiftly confronts the kid to explain to him the only reasons anyone should be brought to tears. If a woman has been disrespected, he has no problem at all with pummeling the dirty perpetrator into submission. And the whole time, Sexcastle seems more comical than authoritative. He can’t help that. The guy is deadly serious and ready for trouble! As he puts it, “Trouble does my laundry.”

Image Comics collects the whole Sexcastle saga. Will there me more? Well, you never know. This collection should hold you for a while. In this adventure, Sexcastle is up to his neck in trouble, including a briefcase that’s a portal to the End of Days. Good thing he buried that in his friend’s backyard, right? But there’s even more trouble: The Assassin’s Union is hot on Shane Sexcastle’s trail!

“Sexcastle” is a 208-page trade paperback, published by Image Comics, priced at $15.99, for mature readers, and available now. For more details, visit our friends at Image Comics right here.

1 Comment

Filed under Comics, Image Comics, Kyle Starks, Webcomics

Image Comics at Emerald City Comicon, March 27-29

DESCENDER #1 by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen

DESCENDER #1 by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen

Image Comics returns to Seattle for this year’s Emerald City Comicon on Friday, March 27 through Sunday, March 29. You can expect an impressive assortment of creator-owned panels, signings, and con exclusive variant covers like the one above for DESCENDER #1 by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen, priced at $5 (#Y-05, also available at Image booth #312). DESCENDER is about a young robot’s struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet. Read my review here.

Here’s a rundown on Image Comics variant covers at ECCC:


LOW, VOL. 1 hardcover by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini, $35

THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #9 by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, $5 (also available at creator table #II-06)

DESCENDER #1 by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen, $5 (also available at creator table #Y-05)


SEX CRIMINALS, VOL. 2 hardcover by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky, $40 (Table #II-04)

WAYWARD, VOL. 1 hardcover by Jim Zub and Steven Cummings, $30 (Table #HH-11)

DESCENDER #1 by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen, $5 (#Y-05, also available at Image booth #312)

INVISIBLE REPUBLIC #1 by Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko, $10 (#HH-05)

WAYWARD #6 variants by Jim Zub and Steven Cummings, starting at $5, blank sketch covers for $10 or $25 with sketch (Table #HH-11)

THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #9 by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, $5 (also available at Image booth #312)

For a full schedule of Image Comics events at Emerald City Comicon, visit our friends at Image Comics right here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comics, Dustin Nguyen, Emerald City Comicon, Image Comics, Jeff Lemire, Seattle