August Comics Look Ahead

by Phoenix Comics and Games

Hi there folks! Welcome to our June look ahead blog. In the interest of helping folks stay up on new comic series and happenings well before they hit the shelves, we're delving into the catalogues each month to put forth reviews and recommendations, as well as notifications about new series for popular franchises and tie-ins for big crossovers. So if you were wondering what's new and fun coming out this August, read on and find out more!

Reviews and Recommendations

Looking for a new series or two to follow? Here are a few recommendations for new series courtesy of Team Phoenix! This month's reviews are all from Sloane, Selena, and Nick! 

Shirtless Bear Fighter 2

Image Comics

by Jody Leheup (writer) and Nil Vendrell (artist)

This comic is everything you want it to be and more. It's about a super strong man named Shirtless. He's been trained since birth to fight bears, but is not himself a bear. If he wears a shirt he loses his strange bear-fighting powers. No I am not joking, this is really the for real plot of the original Shirtless Bear Fighter series, and now they are back for more bear fighting! If you are in the mood for silly dialogue, goofy humor and reading about a big buff dude fighting bears, this is the comic for you.

– Nick

Bonus: There's a video game!

Double Bonus: We're hosting a signing with Jody on the Wednesday the book comes out! More details on that as we get a little closer, but save the date of August 17th! 

Deadliest Bouquet

Image comics

by Erica Schultz (writer), Carola Borelli (artist) and Gab Contreras (artist)

In 1998, three estranged sisters trained by their Nazi-hunting mother come together to solve their mom's murder…and try not to kill each other in the process. Rose, Poppy, and Violet Hawthorn had an unusual upbringing. Their mother, Jasmine, was the daughter of Nazi hunters and indoctrinated into La Résistance after WW2. After moving to the United States, Jasmine settled down and had three daughters, where her past finally catches up with her.

The Deadliest Bouquet explores the relationships these sisters have with each other and their complicated bond with their mother. This looks to be a cross between Charlie's Angels and Charmed, appealing to fans of murder mysteries and crime dramas. I'm very excited to see how Erica Schultz (writer of Bylines in Blood) delves into the conflict between vengeance and grief in a family ruled by secrets.

– Selena

Love Everlasting

Image Comics

by Tom King (writer) and Elsa Charretier (artist)

Love Everlasting is about Joan Peterson, who finds herself whisked from one pulp romance story to another. As soon as the tension in each story is resolved and she gets the guy, she finds herself torn from her old life and in a new place and time with a new romantic problem to solve, with only foggy, unsettling memories of what had taken place before. Someone or something is forcing her to live out these stories without her consent. Tom King’s writing nails the cheesy stock romance plots and Elsa Charretier’s art perfectly suits the tone as well, so it’s all the more unsettling as Joan begins to realize what’s happening and things go off the rails. 

It’s easy to tell that this is a passion project for King, and he’s really flexing his muscles here. Whether or not you’re a fan of his Batman run, we can all agree that King as a writer is at his best when he’s allowed to get a little weird, and this Love Everlasting is certainly that. In interviews he compares his vision for the book to epic long-running titles like Saga and Sandman, and says he wants to explore the very meaning and history of stories. It’s an ambitious goal, but looking at just the first issue I feel like there’s a good chance he’s going to be able to pull it off. 

– Sloane

The Vineyard

Aftershock

by Brian Hawkins (writer) and Sami Kivelä (artist)

We enter into the story of The Vineyard at a great time of crisis. Familial obligations conflicting with personal morals make fertile ground for an incredibly engaging horror story. Writer Brian Hawkins (an avid fan of Stephen King, Midnight Mass, and The Haunting at Hill House) manages to bring to the table something reminiscent of the greats and also entirely fresh.

The Vineyard is a family-owned winery that prospers because of the continued blessings from the god of wine and revelry, none other than Dionysus himself. However, his blessing comes at a steep price, four sacrificial killings every year. A price that the devout patriarch of the family Didache Vines has always willingly paid until a tragic accident leaves him wheelchair-bound and incapable. Now it falls to the matriarch of the family Maranatha Vines to fulfill these grisly duties, and her struggles with familial obligation and morality put her entire family and livelihood at risk.

Besides the delightfully unusual depiction of Dionysus in a surprisingly sinister light, this story is sure to capture one fully with the beautiful illustration and coloring. Fittingly wine-tinted panels beautifully illustrated, this promises to be a story one cannot look away from.

– Selena

Golden Rage 

 

Image Comics

by Chrissy Williams (writer) and Lauren Knight (artist)

Sometimes it feels like society throws older women away. They’re passed up by the kind of opportunities that younger women have, and that men continue to have late into their lives. They’re often not afforded the kind of respect that older men get as they age. But what if society literally threw older women away? In Golden Rage that’s exactly what happens. After they’re deemed ‘no longer useful to society,’ women are shipped off to a deserted island to fend for themselves, often being forced to resort to violence to survive. Part Golden Girls, part Battle Royale, debut writer Chrissy Williams (former editor of Die and store-favorite The Wicked + The Divine) describes the book as an opportunity to depict just how formidable older women are in a way that you don’t see often in the media.

– Sloane

Emmett

Artists Writers and Artisans inc.

by Ian Grody (writer) and Li Yishan (artist)

If you're excited about actually catching the beginning of a brand new universe then listen up because Emmett #1, the first one shot in the Lesser Evils series is the comic to look out for this August. Promising five stories in all, plus online video content, Lesser Evils is sure to be the beginning of a marvelous journey. This new universe is set in a supernatural Brooklyn filled with magical creatures of myth: golems, djinn, mermaids, and more! 

Emmett follows the story of Lydia Loew, a potter who, after a bad breakup, goes on a bender and accidentally creates Emmett, an adorably murderous golem whose only desire is to fulfill Lydia's deepest wishes — from bloody marys to bloody vengeance. Each story aims to explore the very real struggles of the human condition through a fantastical lens and to make the reader look inward to question their own morality. I'm excited to see where each story takes us.

– Selena

Noteworthy Tie-Ins

This month there's only a few tie-ins to talk about. Fans of the Tom Taylor series DCeased get a bit more love in the form of DCeased: War of the Undead Gods, a continuation of the saga that we last left off on a somewhat hopeful note. While not a continuation of the main series, Tales of the Human Target is a one-shot to help take the edge off before the Human Target #7 comes out in September. And last we have a five issue mini-series for all you Spider-Man fans out there. Edge of the Spider-Verse offers an opportunity to peak at some new Spider-people, some of which are sure to be fan favorites or potential new series candidates.

Fun One-Shots and Nice-to-Haves 

Selena and Sloane found a bunch of fun trades this time around, so I’m a turn the keyboard over to them now to fill you in on what looks good in the one-shots and OGN department this August!

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For

Mariner Books

by Allison Bechdel

Allison Bechdel is no-contest one of the greatest comics creators living today. Her book Fun Home, about discovering her sexuality and her relationship with her father, is one of my favorite comics of all time, and was so popular it was adapted into a Broadway musical. Her grasp of pacing and panel work, and her ability to convey subtle emotion are second to basically no one.

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For is a collection of the best installments of the popular lesbian comic strip she wrote and published in gay newspapers across the country from 1983 to 2008. It’s about feminism, activism, and the experiences of queer women in a world that’s often not made for them. The comic was hugely influential  it’s where the now well-known Bechdel Test comes from  and straddles the line between humor and drama in a way that only the best comic strips can. It’s been hard to find for a long time, so it’s nice to see an accessible collection of some of its greatest hits finally getting reprinted.

– Sloane

Dandy Present Penny Dreadfuls

Source Point Press

by Brent Fisher, Jaysea Williams, Keith Frady (writers), Rachel Distler, Seth Abair, V. Gagon, and Kel Neveu (artists)

Pride month may be over, but that doesn't mean we can't continue to celebrate all year round! Queer comedy icon and internet sensation Dandy, organizer of the secret organization of homosexuals the Lavender Society brings us three Victorian era horror stories written and illustrated by some of the best up-and-coming LGBTQIA+ artists in this one-shot.

The intersection of queerness and horror has always fascinated me personally, as so often conversations about what is 'odd' in society seem to intertwine so well with what we fear. Dandy states in an interview “I’m so happy to be connecting with so many LGBTQ+ comic professionals. It’s the best way to tell queer stories. If it were done by straight people it would be like reading a book about a city in which the author has never visited. And people think I’M absurd! Huzzah!”

 – Selena

Loonicorns

Magnetic Press

by Ced (writer) and Peter Waltch (artist)

Welcome to Looniland! A colorful world filled with extinct animals of myth and legend, where dodos, cyclopses, unicorns, and many others live happily and safely in the town of Looniville... if they're deemed "beautiful." behind this happy façade hides a deeply unequal society where those judged as uglies must do all the menial and sometimes dangerous work of keeping everything looking perfect. After a storm ravages the world, a mysterious sickness begins to spread through the "beautifuls," and in a forest outside of town a mysterious visitor appears. An amnesiac child, Penelope, unknowingly wreaks havoc with societal standards, sowing confusion and dissent wherever she goes. 

For fans of Gravity Falls and Adventure Time, Loonicorns looks to be an absolutely delightful treat! Targeted toward teens, this joyful and fantastical world aims to tackle the difficult conversation of inequality and discrimination through colorful fantasy and fun.

–Selena

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