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New Comics Haul Week Of 6.29.22

We made it to another New Comic Book Day, gang. Some weeks, that’s gotta be enough, and I for one am thankful that it always will be. Let’s crack this thing’s steaming shell open and see what wriggleth within, like a geode’s sparkling guts.

The Dark Room, By Duggan, Buonchristiano, Bonvilain, Sabino, And Gray

“The hunt for a camera containing an undeveloped photo of the face of true evil threatens to wipe out New York City one chilly autumn evening. Doune Mahoney is the curator of a private collection of extremely dangerous cursed objects, and her night’s about to go to hell. Werewolves, secret societies, blessed animals, cursed objects, and more, in a fantasy horror comedy from X-Men and Deadpool writer GERRY DUGGAN, your new favorite artist SCOTT BUONCRISTIANO, and color artist extraordinaire TAMRA BONVILLAIN. Take a deep dive into THE DARK ROOM, a world the creators will be returning to for many years. Includes the first appearance of your new favorite characters, including Walt, the dancing bones of Times Square, and his blessed boom box.”

The only thing I know about any of these creators is that Gerry Duggan wrote a title where he put Conan in the Avengers, and that is enough for this citizen, but fortunately it provides extra in the form of a truly bonkers premise (which tastes a lot like a juiced-up version of Matt Kindt’s Fear Case in a way that excites me) and the interesting promise that this is the first chunk in a larger worldbuilding project to which the creators plan to add with subsequent titles, not unlike the Bone Orchard mythos that Jeff Lemire and his stable of wordmonsters are working on. Obviously the crossover and shared setting are by no means new concepts, and indeed predate comic books altogether. But much as with the Black Hammer series-system (also by Lemire), the stated intention of establishing a core for narrative threads and branches to spin out from instead of letting it grow organically and haphazardly is bound to produce a distinctly different flavor of shared story-space, and I’m excited to start exploring it.

Drugstore In Another World: The Slow Life Of A Cheat Pharmacist, Vol. 5, Story By Kennoji, Art By Eri Haruno, Character Design By Matsuuni

“A medicine to cure problems for two lovers works too well, bringing on catastrophe! Meanwhile, Reiji expands his repertoire outside of the store, Mina dreams of a life of adventure, and Ririka tests her skills with the bow in a hunting competition. With a new addition to the house, and more characters joining the crew, this other world is getting better by the day.”

This is just a nice little series, that’s all, and I always look forward to a new volume; it’s like checking in with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. If I recall, in the last volume Reiji dabbled in making a pharmaceutical pepper-spray potion for the local constabulary and it sounds like that’s given him a taste for mixing up more than just herbal Advil and pheromonal monstro-repellant, and I’m intrigued to see more steps in that direction ’cause let’s face it, even a slow life still moves and grows.

Otaku Elf, Vol. 4, Story And Art By Akihiko Higuchi

“When a shrine’s deity is a total shut-in who plays games all day and her miko is a girl too mature for her age, it’s shocking how many hijinks can still ensue. Their most recent visitors at the shrine include Haila-sama of the Uramimi Shrine and her miko, Isuzu, who happens to be a famous influencer! But as their uneventful days go by, it’s the ordinary things they remember: helping with homework, leaking roofs, and reminiscing on bygone days.”

Like Drugstore In Another World above, this is another nice little series, but has a little more energy and joie de vivre, and I look for coming volumes a little more actively, because as a reverse-isekai, dealing as it does with an otherworld creature voiped to our human earth, Otaku Elf by its very nature finds a little more wonderment in the everyday workings of the world we already live in, showing us the beauty in the simple things we’ve forgotten how to see. Also it’s always fun to see what niche thing the shrine’s blatantly-not-a-deity is going to be into next, and whether it’s something you yourself find worthy of obsessing over; in the last volume, she ordered the latest issue of one of her favorite comics, then couldn’t wait and bought the ebook, and I found this, shall we say, embarrassingly relatable.

What’s The Furthest Place From Here, Volume One: Get Lost, By Boss And Rosenberg, With Otsmane-Elhaou

“From Eisner-nominated artist TYLER BOSS (4 Kids Walk Into A Bank, Dead Dog’s Bite) and bestselling writer MATTHEW ROSENBERG (DC vs. Vampires, Uncanny X-Men) comes an epic adventure about growing up and getting lost at the end of the world.
When 16-year-old Sid goes missing in the wastelands, it’s up to the members of her gang to discover what happened. But what they find is a whole world beyond anything they could have imagined. Like Lord of the Rings meets Lord of the Flies, or JOHN CARPENTER by way of JOHN HUGHES, this series smashes together sci-fi and fantasy with elements of comedy, horror, and mystery for an emotional coming-of-age story unlike anything you’ve read before.
This extra-length volume collects the first arc of the breakout hit series JAMES TYNION IV has said is “what the future of comics SHOULD feel like.”

I have no predictions on this one! Looks like Matthew Rosenberg did at least some work on James Tynion IV’s Joker solo title, which I liked a lot, and Chip Zdarsky’s Batman: Urban Legends, which I love, and his 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank sounds like so much fun I’m buying it right now, but the combination of listed influences and the sort of storytelling they seem to be aiming for, i.e. coming-of-age by way of horror story, makes this sounds like exactly my shit. I know it’s already continued well past the first trade, and I’ve heard nothing but praise from sources like Kieron Gillen and Brian K. Vaughan; it’s always hard to tell how much stock to put into those industry blurbs, which often read as a professionally courteous to the point of meaninglessness, but those are two creators whose works are usually big hits for me.

That’s the pile this week! Tell me whatcha got, whatcha really really got for your own dang selves in the comments, and I’ll see you all next week!

Look this is a tiny, modestly-trafficked site–the majority of hits on my visit-counter are me, making sure a page formatted properly–and I’m not upset about that, but everything is terrible and every day the world finds a new way to end, and if my dumb thoughts about comics and such make your day any brighter, I consider that a win and a blessing. Take care of yourselves, take care of each other, and if you see four lights, say four lights. BAGELER OUT.

And those are few
Who’ve seen it through
To glimpse the other side

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