The first month of 2013 seems like it has lasted an eternity already and it’s not even over yet. Between traveling for the holidays, dealing with two small children, getting stuck in the mid-west blizzard of 2012, work deadlines and school term papers, I haven’t had time to take a dump let alone time to write for the blog. But I’m one of those half full kinda guys. Every story has a silver lining. The silver lining of this story ends with a giganto stack of unread comics waiting for me to consume. It’s good to be back!
Joe Harris Artist: Martin Morazzo
Checking out the ‘New this Week’ wall at my LCS this past Saturday, I spied a couple comics from Image that were in their second printing. Great Pacific #1 & #2. Now here me out. This is my sure fire rule that I have for new Image comics tiles. If they get a second printing, I should be reading them. That’s the rule. I follow it almost to the T these days. This was true for Saga, The Manhattan Projects, Happy!, Walking Dead, Chew, Revival and the list goes on… If an Image book gets a second printing, this should ignite a fire under your ass that indicates you should be reading that book. Unlike the big three, when Image titles get a second printing, it’s a good indication that readers are liking it and its something you should check out.
Great Pacific starts with Chas Worthington, the heir to an oil tycoon, who proceeds to fake his death and embezzle several millions from his late father’s public oil company. This causes all sorts of troubles for the current CEO of the company who is more than happy to see Chas go, but falls under government watch when the FBI is tipped off , by Chas, to some of the company’s illegal actions. When the stock market crashes, due to to Chas’ virus that robs the company of millions, the FBI wants to strike a deal with the oil company CEO to help chase down Chas. Chas has other plans. Other BIG plans. Chas has taken his best friend, his father’s company’s money and the latest laser drilling prototype and has set out to found his own sovereign nation in the craziest of all places. The Great Pacific Gyre.
The Pacific Gyre is this sudo landmass in the middle of the Pacific Ocean made up of floating broken down plastic debris and garbage. (Wikipedia link here.) His plan is to survey the landmass, set up a settlement and colonize it for himself. The experimental laser drill that he stole from the oil company has the ability to break down plastics and convert the particles into usable materials like soil and water. Immediately after landing on the Gyre, Chas runs into trouble with natives, a French spy and of all things a giant Kraken that calls the Great Gyre it’s home. The Kraken survey’s what walks on top of the thin transparent layers of the gyre and strikes through the landmass of plastic at it’s prey, which is unaware that he is stalking from beneath.
The story is fresh, ripe with social, political and environmental turmoil, with a twist of a creature feature thriller. Great Pacific is a legit addition to the pull-list.Francesco Francavilla
The Black Beetle is a straight pulp noir super-hero protecting his home base of Colt City, from mobsters, Nazi’s and crazy villains. Francesco Francavilla takes a few pages right out of Mike Mignola’s book of awesome and gave it a bit of a pulp noir feel. In fact, The Black Beetle is ripe to have a cross-over with Lobster Johnson (nudge.. nudge Dark Horse). Take Lobster Johnson, The Black Beetle and mix in the occult, crime noir, mobsters, Nazi’s and some historical fiction and you have a wicked recipe for fun.
Francavilla loves to leverage these double page spreads to accelerate the pace of the story , while at the same time quickly and adequately filling in the gaps. They are fantastically laid out comic book montages that remind of the Goodfellas montage where all the gangsters are getting whacked. (Here are a couple of examples linked here, here, here & here.) The art is fantastic and his panel work is magnificent. (examples here, here and here) The man knows how to work a story on a comic page.
Dark Horse continues to put out titles that I can not simply pass up. The Black Beetle has been added to the pull-list.