When Tuesday rolls around, you know it’s time for Joe McCulloch’s guide to This Week in Comics! This entry highlights new titles from Julia Wertz and Kyle Starks.
We also have Greg Hunter’s review of the new relaunch of Howard the Duck, with writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Joe Quinones trying to fill the shoes of Steve Gerber and Frank Brunner/Gene Colan. Here’s Greg on how the title fits into the modern Marvel universe:
Several years ago, Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals collaborator Matt Fraction scripted a brief, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead-style run on Punisher War Journal in which the lead character prowled the fringes of whatever “event” storyline was taking place. A few years later, Jeff Parker and Kev Walker took a similar approach with Marvel’s Thunderbolts series, dispatching a band of super-convicts to fight the minor battles of recent major events. Howard 2015 suggests the limitations of this storytelling style. Howard’s as suited to it as any other Marvel character, but the new series arrives at a time when Marvel’s properties—always the contents of a shared universe—have been so thoroughly integrated as to contain Iron Man, Spider-Man, and a few thousand Rosencrantzes and Guildensterns. The first issue’s tagline reads, “Trapped in a world he’s grown accustomed to,” but this world has also grown accustomed to a figure like Howard. His role as a witness to costumed absurdity has become increasingly common.
—News. The Miami Herald reports on Xavier Bonilla, the Ecuadorian cartoonist who has been persecuted by his country’s government and who recently received a death threat from a person claiming to be a member of the Islamic State.
Dave Sim has checked into the hospital with stomach cramps
The longtime Mandrake the Magician cartoonist Fred Fredericks has passed away.
DC has cancelled a controversial variant cover for an upcoming issue of Batgirl, at the artist’s request, following many reader complaints. Ardo Omer explains some of the issues fans had with the artwork here. As with a few other recent controversies, whether or not you think the fan critiques are legitimate, it seems wrong to decry this move as censorship, as some have; this seems more like a corporation trying to please a book’s fan base.
—Reviews & Commentary. Tom Murphy writes about Dylan Horrocks’s Sam Zabel and the Magic Pencil.
Abhay Khosla writes about meta-superhero exhaustion by way of reviewing Multiversity: Mastermen and Supreme: Blue Rose.
Sophia Foster-Dimino initiated a Twitter discussion on the alleged unpopularity of autobio comics which attracted many cartoonists, and which has now been Storified. I remember when I used to “hate autobio” (even while I read a ton of it); it seems to me this is something people tend to say for reasons that aren’t always rational.
—Interviews & Profiles. The Beat talks to James Kochalka.
Black Girl in Media has an interview with Cheryl Lee, the blogger and Ormes Society founder.
—Funnies. Dane Martin has published many of his recent comics on Tumblr.