Happy New Comic Book Day! Let us celebrate by checking in with the best eight issue #1s and graphic novels launching this week. Typically the focus is indie comics that don’t get a lot of attention despite thoroughly deserving it, but we also throw in some mainstream content if it’s worth a mention. Come back next week for the final Comical Commentary for 2016. NOTE: You can find the digital only comics on Comixology.
The House #1 is the beginning of a new supernatural horror series. Lost in the woods during a violent storm, a squad of US soldiers is forced to take shelter in an abandoned manor, only to discover horrors worse than anything they could imagine… The great thing about indie digital comics is that there’s no set page limit. The House #1 comes in at 39 pages.
All Bill wanted was a date with the new girl at school, what he got was something otherworldly. Psychic Girl #1 follows a girl named Claire who abuses her ‘abilities’ for personal gain and her angry mother attempts to keep her in line. In Speak No Evil #1 brothers Silas and Edwin try survive by scamming and stealing until their past catches up with them. An abandoned cabin becomes the brother’s refuge, although they discover it was once occupied by HP Lovecraft and Nikola Tesla for otherworldly experiments. What happens next will change their lives forever.
The realm of Cairnthala is dying. A demonic entity known as the Eye-God has reduced entire kingdoms to rubble; blood sacrifices fail to repel the creature, and the people have given up hope. Amid the chaos, a legendary warrior named Wake emerges. She and the Eye share a unique bond that must be broken for the world to survive. All this and more in Vessels #1. When a pattern of unsolved groupie murders from the 1970s resumes in present-day Los Angeles, nobody makes the connection except Jackie Mayer, a rock nerd with a strange connection to music’s urban legends and lost history. Together with muckraking music writer Dorothy Buell, they soon uncover a vast conspiracy involving a legendary band, demonic possession, and sacrifices to the dark gods of rock. That’s Rockstars #1.
Death’s End #1 explores a conspiracy that could change the world forever. Captain Divar investigates a murder that leads to something much bigger, an event that could end death!
Richard Corbin, a master of supernatural horror, returns with an eerie new story presented in his signature black and white style. Sadly, I haven’t read it yet, and details are scarce but Shadows of the Grave #1 follows Denaeus, who’s reminiscent of Corbin’s character Den from Heavy Metal.
Over in graphic novels, The Spire is a sprawling fantasy noir that collects all eight issues of the Eisner Award-nominated series. At the Spire, a sprawling mountain of metal and stone in the middle of a radioactive desert, Sha, the Commander of the City Watch, is tasked with keeping the hodgepodge of forgotten technology and new biology safe. When a string of grisly murders is committed just as a new Baroness of the Spire is about to be sworn in, Sha will have to find the killer and bring them to justice.
That’s our pick of the week. What are you reading? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments below.
Michael Vane is a freelance journalist and co-editor of PN2. He’s on Twitter @DrVane