Bryan Lee O’Malley: Can’t wait for ‘Seconds’?

I learned two totally exciting things today.

1. Bryan Lee O’Malley is bringing out a new comic

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2. It’s being released by Random House in July 2014

“Juuuuulyyyy” I hear you cry. Well, despite how endless January currently feels that’s not long folks. Just think of yourself, kicking back after work with some sort of tall peachy drink, the warm evening sun caressing the pages of your brand new O’Malley comic, pages smelling faintly of paper dust and magical-realism…

So far all we know about ‘Seconds’ is that it is set in a restaurant in a fairy-tale world that I’m pretty sure all O’Malley fans will lap up like Ms. Pacman with the munchies.

O’Malley has described his protagonist as a “lovable spaz”.

I love her already.

You can see more previews of ‘Seconds’ artwork over at iO9.

I love that this has gone even more manga in it’s artistic style – I especially love that he mentions Rumiko Takahashi as an influence. I’ve been a massive Inuyasha fan since living in Japan many moons ago and sitting poring over each new release with my denchi-jisho and a puzzled look on my face…”a what monster now??”

And this slight delay in your pleasure means you’ve plenty of time to re-read all those lovely black and white original Scott Pilgrim comics you collected on 3 for 2 in Waterstones despite the weird feeling of buying comics from a high street book shop (it was weird for me any way).

So blow the dust of those babies and re-live some magic moments from the surreal video game-infused life of Scott and Co.

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Who can resist mentally humming “dah dah dah da daaaah” in a Windwaker-esque way when Scott finally earns the power of love?

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Relive your own sweaty teenage memories of following that band you loved from one dive to the next (but without the angst and damaged ear-drums).

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Which I think is kind of why the film didn’t quite do it for me.

I mean lets face it, enjoying the distant memory of (in hindsight) terrible, loud, shaky amateur music is waaay better than seeing it weirdly re-created and glossed up on-screen by Hollywood.  And that’s only fun if you fancy the bass player, so yeah, the film loses out for me to the comic any day.

I’ll post a review of ‘Seconds’ as soon as I can get hold of a copy.

Until then you can follow Bryan Lee O’Malley in various ways including on Tumblr where he also announced that the Scott Pilgrim series is being re-released in colour.

Until then if you start going out with someone who has seven evil exes – you know what to do…

FIGHT!

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Review: Chew, Volume 1: Taster’s Choice

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Chew, volume 1: Taster’s Choice came out in 2011.

Was on the New York Times Bestseller list for a while.

Won an Eisner Award.

But I’m going to review it again here because I think it deserves a re-read.

John Layman’s story has always stuck in my mind as clever, original and weird.

Rob Guillory’s artwork is distinctive, stylish and beautifully realises a cartoon world where two cops in the Philly P.D. would sit up all night on a stakeout of a chicken speakeasy.

That’s right, you heard me.

A chicken speakeasy.

What’s the story?

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There has been a massive Bird Flu epidemic that has led to a complete ban on all poultry.

That means no fried chicken.

No chicken soup.

No hot ‘n’ spicy chicken wings.

Understandably people are getting cranky.

And the chicken meat market has gone underground.

Hence the speakeasy.

Nice to meet-chew

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Our hero is one Tony Chu.

A cop.

A Cibopath.

He gets the life story of whatever he eats in psychic flashes.

Everything from fruit to pork chops.

Everything except beets.

So he mostly eats beets.

Until he’s forced into a job with the Special Crimes Division of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Then he has to eat whatever is at the crime scene.

Yup, so this central plot device sounds screwy.

It is kind of screwy.

But it works, trust me.

Getting a taste of the action

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You’ll read Chew volume 1 in a single sitting.

The plot fairly rattles along.

His new boss hates him.

He’s on the trail of a murder.

He meets the love of his life.

No ordinary girl.

There’s black market chickyn.

There’s bad guys with bad motives.

All is not what is seems.

Did someone mention a “Upyr”?

See what I mean?

And that’s just the first volume.

There are 8 in total.

If you want to get a taste of this story for free then the first volume is available 100% legal and gratis on Comixology.

You can also keep up to date with the latest issues on the Chew Blog.

Oh, and Chew is another Image Comics release.

How to read comics for free

I’ve made a New Year’s resolution.

To use my local public library more.

It’s almost like a revelation.

I wonder how many of you, like me, just forgot that you can go in there and read books, including comics for free.

It’s like magic.

And don’t be disheartened if you do go over to the comics section and all you see are a few dog-eared Sandmans and some obscure ‘never heard of that’s’.

Libraries have gone digital.

It’s like magic.

So here’s how it works for those of you in Edinburgh.

Hopefully where you are it’s similar or even better.

First off your library probably has an app.

“There’s an app for that!”

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Here’s a screen grab from the Edinburgh Council app you can get it from iTunes and Android Playstore.

There are three totally cool things about this app.

1. If you are in say, Waterstones, and you are flipping the pages of a cool graphics novel, you can use this app to scan the bar-code and see if the library has a copy and reserve it.

2. You can scan you library card bar-code into this app. Then use your phone as your card.

3. You can renew your loan from the app. No more late fines!

What you can find online

Plus, they have some pretty cool comics on their catalogue.

I did a random search for a few things I have on my shelves.

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  • Preacher: Gone to Texas by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon
  • Fables: Wolves by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Shawn McManus and Andrew Pepoy
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley
  • The Walking Dead: vl 8 by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn

You can borrow every one of these comics from the library.

For free.

Heck, the Fables comic alone was £13.99 from Forbidden Planet.

And we have every single one in the series.

Ouch.

I mean sure if you really love a comic it’s great to own them to re-read and treasure.

But when you’re just starting out with comics or a new series it makes sense to borrow the first couple at least.

Plus we should be supporting our public libraries.

Or one day they might not be there any more.

Comic Review: Saga, volume #1

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Two tribes go to war

This comic is pretty much a dream team of Fiona Staples’ beautiful artwork and Brian K. Vaughan’s fast paced plotting.

And just wierdly inventive characters.

You might not have heard of Brian K. Vaughan.

I hadn’t.

But I had watched and enjoyed Lost (until it just got too convoluted).

Vaughan was writer and producer on the show seasons 3-5.

But I digress.

Saga introduces us to two star-crossed lovers Marco and Alana.

Marco has horns and Alana has wings.

At first it’s the old tale of Montague vs. Capulet but then it gets way more interesting.

Tired of their unwinnable war the citizens of planet Landfall and its moon Wreath have outsourced their fight to the rest of the universe.

This opens the door to all kinds of interesting characters.

Freelancers.

The Stalk

Opportunists.

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War dead teenagers turned ghostly babysitters.

Izabel

Y’know, the usual.

The writing manages to be touching in places without turning sentimental. It’s gruesome without being gratuitous.

There are no one-dimensional characters.

Our heroes have shades of grey.

And even the terrifying Prince Robot IV has PTSD and a domineering father who’s keeping him from his family.

Get hold of Saga, volume #1

You can buy Saga, volume #1 from Amazon. It doesn’t seem to have hit the public library system yet but you can get hold of some of Brian K. Vaughan’s other work from Edinburgh public libraries including:

Y: The Last Man
Runaways
Pride of Bagdad

Saga, the story continues

Once you read saga, volume #1 you’re going to immediately rush out and get volume #2.

And the good news is that Image comics have announced that Saga, volume #3 will be released on paper March 19, 2014 in the U.S. Or if you’re not in the U.S. or can’t wait that long you can buy the individual comics in digital direct from Image Comics for $1.99 a pop.

Welcome to ComicOpa!

First off, I love comics.

I really love comics.

Ever since I graduated from Pepper Street to the Beano, comics have been a part of my life.

Okay, well, there might have been a gap between about 1990 and 1995 that was comics free.

Then I discovered Neil Gaiman and the Sandman series and it was love at first sight.

Since then I’ve read most of the classics from big names like Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and the like but I’ve also discovered some great lesser known titles.

I thought you might like some of them too.

And I was hoping you might share some new ones with me.

I’m also going to include, new releases, reviews, interviews, comic cons, film & TV adaptations.

Sound okay?

Cool.

I hope you enjoy the blog.

ComicOpa!

PS. “Opa!” is a Greek word that kind of defies definition. It expresses joy, an insatiable happiness and exuberance. That’s kind of how I feel when I find a great new comic. So ComicOpa!