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Graphic Breakdown: ‘VS’, ‘The Beef’ and Other Must Reads!

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown, the Friday edition!

Let’s talk about some alternative comics to get your weekend going.


Days of Hate #1
Written by Ales Kot
Illustrated by Danijel Zezelj
Published by Image Comics

I love it when I read a comic book written by Ales Kot. I know I am in for a well written and well constructed comic book.

That is certainly the case here. This is the first part of a twelve issue series and I cannot wait to see where it goes.

The series takes place four years from now, in the year 2022.

Things have gotten worse in the world if you can imagine that. They are being described as catatonic.

We meet two women from a marriage that didn’t work out. One of the women is bombing roadhouses in L.A. The other one has been contacted by the government to find her.

And so we are off.

The writing is sharp and strong. It’s relevant to today’s times. The art isn’t my favorite. For some reasons I can never get into Zezelj’s art. The story shines through here however and I can recommend it for that reason.



Death of Love #1
Written by Justin Jordan
Illustrated by Donal Delay
Published by Image Comics

This crazy comic comes down the line just in time for Valentines Day! It’s written by Justin Jordan so you know it’s going to be very different and fun. It’s a five part series and this is the first part.

And it starts off great! Philo Harris realizes love sucks! And he’s off to do something about it! So he gets drunk and can suddenly see Cupidae. They are the creatures responsible for love in the world.

And he decides to kill these goddamn creatures with a chainsaw.

The story is nuts. But a good nuts. Jordan always brings something entertaining to the table. The art is good too. I enjoyed this very much. Give it a shot. It’s a good start to a unique title.




Ice Cream Man #1
Written by W. Maxwell Prince
Illustrated by Martin Morazzo
Published by Image Comics

This is a comic book where every issue is a one shot. It deals with variety of emotions and stories.

The first issue was actually pretty damn good and I’m interested in seeing where this comic book goes.

This first issue reminds me of an old Twilight Zone or Black Mirror episode.

The stories are linked by a 1950s looking Ice Cream Man. He’s creepy and made me feel quite icky looking at him.

Artist Martin Morazzo may be the perfect artist for this world as he can do it all: drama, humor, horror. He makes it look easy.

The real question will be if the team can keep up the quality? I’m hoping they can. This first issue is promising.



Clandestino Complete Collection
Written and Illustrated by Amancay Nahuelpan
Published by Black Mask Comics

This was a fairly good read.

Black Mask puts out some quality books. This is one of the better ones to come down the pipeline from them. I read this from cover to cover and I quite enjoyed it.

There is a military coup in the country of Tairona. It’s become a no man’s land. There is a rebellion that is forming against the dictator and his regime.

The rebellion puts their hopes in Clandestino, who barely escaped the military’s attacks as a child. It becomes up to him to lead the rebellion against the regime.

The book has an incredible energy to it you cannot ignore. Amancay Nahuelpan writes a hell of a story.

The art is strong too and it just flies off off the page. Pick this up. It’s quite excellent.



The Beef #1
Written by Richard Starkings and Tyler Shainline
Illustrated by Shaky Kane
Published by Image Comics

I love the comic book Elephantmen. I love the comic book A-Men. If you get two of the creators together to write a comic book? I’m there in a heartbeat. Oh? What’s that? You brought along Shaky Kane to draw it? Well, then this comic book is now a must read!

Chuck is a mild mannered meat factory worker. Mary Lynn is a strawberry picker. Chuck is in love with Mary Lynn. But when Mary Lynn gets into trouble, Chuck turns into the Beef to help her out. Okay, you really need to just read this.

The story is crazy. I love it. The art is pretty amazing. Shaky Kane is just pure awesomeness. Pick this up. It was delight to read and to review.





Twisted Romance #1
Written by Alex de Campi
Illustrated by Katie Skelly
Published by Image Comics

This is another kind of anthology book coming out from Image Comics. Alex de Campi and a fine writer and this debut issue is quite well done. I got into it right away.

This issue starts off in 1978 in New York City.

People are trying to get together. But there is an agency that is tearing them apart. It’s called Heartbreak Inc. Who is the guy running it? And what is he hiding?

de Campi keeps the reader guessing and it’s fun.

There are two other backups here and both are equally good. The art for all is great. The main story is the best one though. Give this a shot. It’s pretty good overall.



VS #1
Written by Ivan Brandon
Illustrated by Esad Ribic
Published by Image Comics

A lot of press is coming out for this title as it is Esad Ribic’s first creator owned comic book. And man, it’s damn good. The story by Brandon is great and the art is gorgeous. Buy this immediately and savor it.

Satta Flynn is a soldier armed with some crazy weapons. He’s in a gonzo war. It has sponsorships and even commercial breaks. Flynn then loses. What follows after that is a Robocop like twist.

I was sad the first issue ended. I wanted to read that whole thing. The story is creative and excellent. I can’t stop thinking about where this might be going. It’s an interesting satire and you need to read it immediately.




Aliens: Dead Orbit TPB
Written and Illustrated by James Stokoe
Published by Dark Horse Comics

I know I’m supposed to like this book. I keep seeing reviews of it saying how it’s groundbreaking. I have to be honest in saying I found it a bit boring and contrived. I like James Stokoe. But it really didn’t work for me.

There is an accident on a space station.

And there is death by the Alien!

And there is an engineering officer who must use basic tools to try to beat the alien.

On top of that, they’ve got to survive the terror of space as well!

The art is very good. The writing is a bit much for me. It should have been exciting. I actually prefer the early Dark Horse Aliens books to these. At least those were a guilty but exciting pleasure. This is just okay at best.



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