Raf’s Featured New Releases 12.15.21

Howdy, everyone! It’s our Charity Art Show this week at Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop! We had an awesome turnout this year with 100 covers and we’re excited for you all to see them. The art show starts this Wednesday and will run through Sunday the 19th. You’ll be able to walk through the foyer and see them all on display, and also get the chance to purchase raffle tickets and place them in your favorites this year. Don’t forget to tune into our Facebook Livestream Sunday at 6:00 p.m. where we’ll highlight every cover on display and draw winners. ALL of your ticket purchases will go to the Cleveland Food Bank and this is the perfect way to celebrate the holidays with us this year. We miss seeing everyone during our usual in-person holiday party, but we’ll get there soon enough, so in the meantime enjoy the show. We will post the full gallery online on Saturday also, so if you won’t be able to make it into the shop this week, you’ll be able to call in and purchase tickets by phone Sunday during shop hours, 12-5pm. There may be a few fun surprises too during the stream, so tune in. But hey, we’ve always got new books too, so let’s see what’s up this week!

DC Comics

Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown are back, and teaming up in this week’s new Batgirls #1. Fans have been clamoring for more from these two, and now they’ve got it in one book. It’s bright colors in dark Gotham City with artist Jorge Corona and writers Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad teaming up not just Cassanda and Stephanie, but also Barbara Gordon’s Oracle. This book is giving me big Babs Tarr Batgirl and Annie Wu Black Canary vibes, both of which I think are underappreciated in some circles. Anything Bat-Family has my interest and this is no different. Check it out.

The first volume of Tom Taylor’s excellent Nightwing series is out in hardcover this week. “Nightwing is back in Blüdhaven and his drive to keep his adopted city safe has never been stronger! But protecting Blüdhaven is no small task, especially now that it’s being menaced by Nightwing’s most terrifying foe yet—a mysterious and murderous villain with a penchant for stealing his victim’s hearts, known only as Heartless.” I’ve been hearing nothing but fantastic things about this series, from staff and customers alike, and so now nobody has an excuse for not being hip to it.

Speaking of hip, there are also TWO big new Tom King series finally collected in hardcover, with Rorschach and Strange Adventures out now. Both of these were epic 12 issue maxiseries that explored the return of Rorschach (or is this really Walter Kovacs back again as Rorschach?) and the Rann-ifications of Adam Strange’s actions during war exposed. If you’ve never read a Tom King book, you’re missing out on one of the best writers DC has had in decades, and both of these are more than worthy of checking out. I’ve been patiently waiting for these to come out in collections, and of course, they both come out the same week. I know what my holiday bonus is going towards now…

Marvel Comics

Superstar artist and Marvel Stormbreaker Peach Momoko is back with another installment in her Demon Days saga, with Rising Storm this week. You no doubt recognize her art if you’ve been paying attention for the past couple of years, she’s a prolific cover artist, and Demon Days is her first series with writing and interior art by this talented artist. I’m a little behind on the series now, but this issue features ancient feudal Japan-inspired versions of Thor and Storm. That’s cool! I sense lightning in the forecast for this one.

Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian was an industry-shaking, monster success that introduced comic readers to the pulp legend that is Conan of Cimmeria, created by Robert E. Howard. Written by Roy Thomas and drawn by a young Barry Windsor-Smith, Conan the Barbarian #1 is one of the most influential comic books of all time, sparking the sword and sorcery craze of the 1970s and bringing a new kind of hero to Marvel Comics. I only really got into Conan this year, and I’ve become OBSESSED with the character and his history and am excited to share that his original #1 is getting the facsimile treatment this week with a faithful reprint complete with original ads and old-school pages. Not that glossy stuff we’re all used to today; pulpy paper! Finding a 1970 original in the wild will cost you a pretty penny today, but now you can own a piece of comic history just the same for only $3.99. By Crom, buy this book.

And also new this week are two-second issues that I had to mention. Donny Cates’s Hulk was a smash and Ryan Ottley’s artwork was the best it’s been in years, and we’re all excited to see where the Starship Hulk goes next. And it was a bit of a surprise, we weren’t sure what to expect, but Walter Mosley’s The Thing had a great first issue and was one of the better Marvel reads for me recently, so I’m excited to jump back into Ben Grimm’s world with this follow-up issue.

And that’s some of the big new titles out this week. Be sure to stop by and check out the art show, it’s something I know John Dudas himself is very proud of, and it’s a really cool event and an awesome way to showcase local comic art, and it’s a lot of fun to have a winning ticket and get to take some home with you too. Check out my cover this year! We’ll see you around.