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Comicscape: Revival

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Comicscape: Revival

Don't Call It a Comeback

By Joel Rickenbach     July 18, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Last week's column had a bit of a Sci-Fi flavor to it (Planetoid, Hypernaturals, The Massive), and as luck would have it, the comic publishing gods saw fit to deliver some books from the dark half of the genre- Horror. Ya know, for balance. In the genre world horror is by far the most pervasive, no matter what medium. However, it's also the hardest to get right. I could go on a rant about the state of horror in all its delivery methods, but I'll spare you that for now. Suffice it to say the needle for creativity, originality and storytelling ability is always dangerously close to empty. Now, every time I, or some other writer, says this, there's always a comment that reads something like "...but that's true of every genre."
It's not.
Everyone thinks they can do horror, and just about everyone tries, therefore almost by sheer quantity alone does that needle inch downward. Don't believe me? When was the last time you attended a Romantic Comedy convention? Thought so. It also doesn't help that horror fans in general don't have the most discerning tastes. And before you get offended- I count myself among that number. Relax. The sheer amount of sequels, direct to video garbage and strip mining of genre icons such as Vampires and Zombies in horror culture proves it. Someone is buying into this crap, and they probably have the custom made canines  to go with their heaping helping of fan service.

Comics are no different than any of other mediums. We get half-baked, unoriginal ideas, cash in brand names and "Vs" books that pit any number of horror icons against each other in paper thin premises. Of course, we do have the shining example of what horror can be in the medium, that being the milestone that is The Walking Dead. I'm sure many of you thought this column may center around the record shattering issue #100, but alas, I'm a bit behind on TWD, but that's OK- there's a new book in town that has me as excited as the day I turned the last page of The Walking Dead #1

 

his column originally was going to compare and contrast two new horror themed books- Hoax Hunters and Revival. However, it occurred to me that I'd rather spend my column inches on recommending something, rather than... well, not recommending something. Hoax Hunters has a great premise- A reality TV show team goes out to find real monsters and cryptid cases, but uses the show to convince the public that they are fake, thus keeping these urban legends just that- Legends. Fantastic idea, but an incredibly boring and stifled execution. The story has leaden dialogue that serves no purpose other than exposition, and it's delivery has no style. The art, while at times good, has zero atmosphere, and that is the kiss of death for any horror tale. Hopefully it will pick up with future issues, but for now it's tough to recommend the pick-up.

Revival, on the other hand, is the best horror anything in a good long while. It does everything good horror should, and does it with confidence, class and a wonderful understanding of how to tell a compelling story. See if this grabs you- In Wausau, Wisconsin people who were once dead are coming back to life. Not as brain craving zombies, just back to life, as if they were never dead in the first place. No fuss, no muss, just... back. The government has cut the snowy town off from the rest of the world until they can figure out just what is going on. TV hosts and radio pundits argue about the nature of this "revival". Is it god? A freak of science? Something worse? Regardless, the townsfolk of Wausau have to live with these "Revivers" or "Revitalized Citizens". Are they our loved ones, or is there something about them that's just a bit... off? We meet the less-than-happy town Sherriff, and his newly appointed CDC liaison, but our window into this world is through the Sherriff's daughter- Dana Cypress, a divorced single mother and officer on the Rothschild police force. There's obviously some unresolved issues between Dana and her buttoned-up father, but he trusts her enough to put her in charge of "the Revitalizes Citizens Arbitration Force". Any crime or incident involving the Revivers are now in her wheelhouse- it's not exactly a promotion, and it's a position that's not exactly enviable. The "promotion" comes with its first case attached- The murder of a zorse (that would be a zebra-horse mix), whose owners have a Reviver living in their household. I won't go any further than that, because what follows is a series of surprising, disturbing and fascinating things best left for you to experience.

 

 

 

Even if that plot tease didn't grab you, the way the story is told will. The book opens with an ominous poem from a Wausau local, peppered amongst images of the snow laden town in the early hours of the morning. The aforementioned zorse gallops through the white haze, and begins to foam and bleed from the mouth, until it collapses in a trail of red snow. As the story shifts to later that morning, we begin to pick up little by little what has happened in this town. The plot is never thrust upon us in clumsy amounts of exposition, we learn what we need to know through bits of conversation, snippets of radio chatter and eventually seeing for ourselves. The book presents us with many mysteries and quirky ideas that will have you impatient for the next issue. It's a little Fargo, a little Twin Peaks and a little Stephen King- We get the snow covered part of our country filled with odd local characters and curious plot threads.

Writer Tim Seeley and Artist Mike Norton should be commended. They've managed to craft an issue that brings out the best of what comic book storytelling can be. It's also surprising and impressive considering Seeley has some of the things I ranted about earlier on his resume. I guess it's a lesson learned- Don't be so quick to judge, horror is always best when it surprises you. My fingers are crossed Revival can continue at this level of quality, if so we have a true gem on our hands.

Revival and Hoax Hunters both published monthly by Image Comics.

If you are attending any comic cons this summer take a look at this handy guide of good books to keep your frugal eyes out for- Spelunking Cons for Comic Gold.

 

New Comic Releases for 7/18/12:

 

12-GAUGE COMICS
Luke McBain TP, $14.99

ABSTRACT STUDIOS
Rachel Rising #9, $3.99

ACE BOOKS
Doctor Who Shada The Lost Adventure HC, $26.95

AMAZING FIGURE MODELER
Amazing Figure Modeler #52 (not verified by Diamond), $8.00

ANTARCTIC PRESS
Zombie Kid Diaries Volume 1 Playing Dead GN (not verified by Diamond), $10.99
Zombie Kid Diaries Volume 2 Grossery Games GN (not verified by Diamond), $10.99

APE ENTERTAINMENT
Cut The Rope Special Delivery GN, $9.99
Kung Fu Panda Digest The Slow Fast And Other Stories GN, $6.99

ARCHIE COMICS
Archie Clash Of The New Kids TP (not verified by Diamond), $11.99
Archie Double Digest #231, $3.99
Jughead #214, $2.99
Jugheads Double Digest #183, $3.99
Sonic Universe #42 (Stephen Downer Regular Cover), $2.99
Sonic Universe #42 (Sega Variant Cover), $2.99

AUDIOGO LTD
Doctor Who The Gunfighters Audio CD, $24.95
Doctor Who The Moonbase Audio CD, $24.95

AZURE PRESS
Storm Rider #2 (not verified by Diamond), $3.99

BONGO COMICS
Radioactive Man Volume 1 Radioactive Repository HC, $25.99
Simpsons Comics #192, $2.99

BOOM! STUDIOS
Adventure Time #6 (Cover A Chris Houghton), $3.99
Adventure Time #6 (Cover B James Lloyd), $3.99
Adventure Time #6 (Cover C Dan Hipp), AR
Adventure Time #6 (Cover D Steve Wolfhard), AR
Clive Barker's Hellraiser Volume 3 Heaven's Reply TP, $14.99
Elric The Balance Lost #11 (Of 12)(Cover A Francesco Mattina), $3.99
Elric The Balance Lost #11 (Of 12)(Cover B Dan Panosian), $3.99
Elric The Balance Lost #11 (Of 12)(Cover C Francesco Mattina), AR
Extermination #2 (Cover A John Cassaday), $3.99
Extermination #2 (Cover B Trevor Hairsine), $3.99
Extermination #2 (Cover C Michael Gaydos), AR
Extermination #2 (Cover D Ben Oliver Sketch), AR
Extermination #2 (Cover E Trevor Hairsine Sketch), AR
Extermination #2 (Cover F John Cassaday CGC 9.8), AR
Hypernaturals #1 (Mitch Breitweiser 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Roger Langridge's Snarked #10, $3.99

COMIC SHOP NEWS
Comic Shop News #1309, AR

DARK HORSE COMICS
Alabaster Wolves #4 (Of 5), $3.50
B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth The Devil's Engine #3 (Of 3)(Duncan Fegredo Regular Cover), $3.50
B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth The Devil's Engine #3 (Of 3)(Mike Mignola Variant Cover), AR
Baltimore Dr. Leskovar's Remedy #2 (Of 2), $3.50
Concrete Three Easy Pieces (One Shot), $2.99
Dark Horse Presents #14, $7.99
Fatima The Blood Spinners #2 (Of 4), $3.99
Reset #4 (Of 4), $3.50
Star Wars Darth Vader And The Ghost Prison #3 (Of 5), $3.50

DC COMICS
Batman Beyond Unlimited #6, $3.99
Batman Earth One Special Preview Edition, AR
Batman Symbol Pin (Promotional Item), AR
Batwing Volume 1 The Lost Kingdom TP, $14.99
Batwoman #11 (J.H. Williams III Black & White Variant Cover), AR
Batwoman #11 (J.H. Williams III Regular Cover), $2.99
Before Watchmen Silk Spectre #2 (Amanda Conner Regular Cover), $3.99
Before Watchmen Silk Spectre #2 (Combo Pack Edition), $4.99
Before Watchmen Silk Spectre #2 (Joshua Middleton Variant Cover), AR
Birds Of Prey #11, $2.99
Blue Beetle #11, $2.99
Captain Atom #11, $2.99
Catwoman #11, $2.99
Dark Knight Rises Bane 1/12 Scale Statue, $79.95
Dark Knight Rises Batman 1/12 Scale Statue, $79.95
Dark Knight Rises Catwoman 1/12 Scale Statue, $79.95
DC Universe Presents #11, $2.99
Dominique Laveau Voodoo Child #5, $2.99
Fables #119, $2.99
Green Lantern Corps #11, $2.99
Hellblazer #293, $2.99
Justice League #11 (Bryan Hitch Variant Cover), AR
Justice League #11 (Combo Pack Edition), $4.99
Justice League #11 (Jim Lee & Scott Williams Regular Cover), $3.99
Justice League #11 (Jim Lee Black & White Variant Cover), AR
Legion Of Super-Heroes #11, $2.99
Men Of War Volume 1 Uneasy Company TP, $19.99
Nightwing #11, $2.99
Red Hood And The Outlaws #11, $2.99
Showcase Presents Rip Hunter Time Master Volume 1 TP, $19.99
Smallville Season 11 #1 (Gary Frank 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Supergirl #11, $2.99
Unwritten #39, $2.99
Wonder Woman #11 (Cliff Chiang Black & White Variant Cover), AR
Wonder Woman #11 (Cliff Chiang Regular Cover ), $2.99
Young Justice #18, $2.99

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
Garth Ennis' Jennifer Blood Annual #1 (Sean Chen Regular Cover), $4.99
Prophecy #2 (Of 7)(Paul Renaud Black & White Variant Cover), AR
Prophecy #2 (Of 7)(Paul Renaud Regular Cover), $3.99
Prophecy #2 (Of 7)(Paul Renaud Virgin Variant Cover), AR
Red Sonja #67 (Jack Herbert Regular Cover), $3.99
Red Sonja #67 (Walter Geovani Regular Cover), $3.99
Spider #3 (Francesco Francavilla Variant Cover), AR
Spider #3 (Francesco Francavilla Virgin Variant Cover), AR
Spider #3 (John Cassaday Black & White Variant Cover), AR
Spider #3 (John Cassaday Regular Cover), $3.99
Spider #3 (Ron Lesser Variant Cover), AR
Total Recall Volume 1 Life On Mars TP, $16.99
Vampirella #19 (Ale Garza Regular Cover), $3.99
Vampirella #19 (Fabiano Neves Black & White Variant Cover), AR
Vampirella #19 (Fabiano Neves Regular Cover), $3.99
Vampirella #19 (Lucio Parrillo Regular Cover), $3.99
Vampirella #19 (Paul Renaud Red Variant Cover), AR
Vampirella #19 (Paul Renaud Regular Cover), $3.99
Vampirella #19 (Risque Variant Cover), AR
Warehouse 13 Volume 1 TP, $19.99
Warlord Of Mars Dejah Thoris #13 (Fabiano Neves Black & White Variant Cover), AR
Warlord Of Mars Dejah Thoris #13 (Fabiano Neves Regular Cover), $3.99
Warlord Of Mars Dejah Thoris #13 (Patrick Berkenkotter Regular Cover), $3.99
Warlord Of Mars Dejah Thoris #13 (Paul Renaud Red Variant Cover), AR
Warlord Of Mars Dejah Thoris #13 (Paul Renaud Regular Cover), $3.99

FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS
Adventures Of Venus HC, $9.99
Flannery O'Connor The Cartoons HC (not verified by Diamond), $22.99
Jack Davis Drawing American Pop Culture HC (resolicited), $49.99
Significant Objects SC (not verified by Diamond), $24.99
Wandering Son Volume 3 HC, $19.99

FIRST SECOND
Bloody Chester GN, $18.99

GAMES WORKSHOP
White Dwarf #390, $5.64

HIGH SPEED PRODUCTIONS
Juxtapoz #139 (August 2012), $5.99

HILL AND WANG
Hammer And The Anvil GN (not verified by Diamond), $24.95
Not The Israel My Parents Promised Me GN, $24.95

IDW PUBLISHING
Cobra #15 (Cover A Antonio Fuso), $3.99
Cobra #15 (Cover RI Joe Eisma & Juan Castro), AR
Danger Girl G.I. JOE #1 (Of 4)(Cover A J. Scott Campbell), $3.99
Danger Girl G.I. JOE #1 (Of 4)(Cover B J. Scott Campbell), $3.99
Danger Girl G.I. JOE #1 (Of 4)(Cover RI-A J. Scott Campbell), AR
Danger Girl G.I. JOE #1 (Of 4)(Cover RI-B J. Scott Campbell), AR
KISS #2 (Cover A Nick Runge), $3.99
KISS #2 (Cover B Jamal Igle), $3.99
KISS #2 (Cover RI-A Michael Gaydos), AR
KISS #2 (Cover RI-B Photo), AR
Mars Attacks #2 (Cover A John McCrea), $3.99
Mars Attacks #2 (Cover RI Sam Kieth), AR
Night Of 1000 Wolves #3 (Of 3)(Cover A Dave Wachter), $3.99
Night Of 1000 Wolves #3 (Of 3)(Cover RI Michael Manomivibul), AR
Spike The Complete Series TP, $29.99
Star Trek #11 (Cover A Tim Bradstreet), $3.99
Star Trek #11 (Cover RI-A Tim Bradstreet), AR
Star Trek #11 (Cover RI-B Photo), AR
Star Trek The Next Generation Doctor Who Assimilation2 #2 (Of 8)(2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Star Trek The Next Generation Doctor Who Assimilation2 #3 (Cover A J.K. Woodward), $3.99
Star Trek The Next Generation Doctor Who Assimilation2 #3 (Cover B Elena Casagrande), $3.99
Star Trek The Next Generation Doctor Who Assimilation2 #3 (Cover RI Elena Casagrande), AR

IMAGE COMICS
Activity #7, $3.50
Artifacts Volume 4 TP, $16.99
Carbon Grey Volume 2 #1 (Of 3)(Cover A Khari Evans & Kinsun Loh), $3.99
Carbon Grey Volume 2 #1 (Of 3)(Cover B Hoang Nguyen), $3.99
Darkness #105, $2.99
Glory #28, $2.99
Saga #2 (3rd Printing Variant Cover), $2.99
Saga #5, $2.99
Skullkickers #16, $3.50
Sunset HC, $19.99

JUMPING JACK PRESS
Marvel Super-Heroes Vs Villains An Explosive Pop-Up Rivalries HC, $29.95

KODANSHA COMICS
Fairy Tail Volume 20 GN (not verified by Diamond), $10.99
Negima Volume 35 GN (not verified by Diamond), $10.99
Sailor Moon Volume 6 GN (Kodansha Edition)(not verified by Diamond), $10.99

MARVEL COMICS
Avengers Academy #33, $2.99
Avengers Vs X-Men #8 (Of 12)(Adam Kubert Variant Cover), AR
Avengers Vs X-Men #8 (Of 12)(Alan Davis Avengers Team Variant Cover), AR
Avengers Vs X-Men #8 (Of 12)(Alan Davis Variant Cover), AR
Avengers Vs X-Men #8 (Of 12)(Alan Davis X-Men Team Variant Cover), AR
Avengers Vs X-Men #8 (Of 12)(Jerome Opena Sketch Variant Cover), AR
Avengers Vs X-Men #8 (Of 12)(Jerome Opena Variant Cover), AR
Avengers Vs X-Men #8 (Of 12)(Jim Cheung Regular Cover), $3.99
Avengers West Coast Avengers Family Ties TP, $29.99
Captain America And Bucky The Life Story Of Bucky Barnes TP, $14.99
Captain Marvel #1 (Adi Granov Variant Cover), AR
Captain Marvel #1 (Ed McGuinness Regular Cover), $2.99
Captain Marvel #1 (Paolo Rivera Amazing Spider-Man 50th Anniversary Variant Cover), AR
Counter X X-Force Rage War TP, $19.99
Daredevil #15, $2.99
Dark Tower The Gunslinger The Man In Black #2 (Of 5), $3.99
Fantastic Four #608, $2.99
FF By Jonathan Hickman Volume 2 TP, $19.99
Ghost Rider The Complete Series By Rob Williams TP, $29.99
Herc The Complete Series By Greg Pak And Fred Van Lente TP, $29.99
Infernal Man-Thing #2 (Of 3), $3.99
Invincible Iron Man #521, $3.99
Journey Into Mystery #641, $2.99
KA #1 (Promotional Item)(not verified by Diamond), AR
Marvel Masterworks Golden Age Marvel Comics Volume 7 HC, $74.99
Marvel Masterworks Golden Age Marvel Comics Volume 7 HC (Direct Market Variant Edition Volume 183), $74.99
Marvel Zombies Destroy #5 (Of 5), $3.99
New Mutants #46, $2.99
Secret Service #3 (Of 6), $2.99
Spider-Man Ends Of The Earth HC, $29.99
Spider-Man The Complete Ben Reilly Epic Volume 5 TP, $39.99
Ultimate Comics The Ultimates By Jonathan Hickman Volume 2 HC (Premiere Edition), $24.99
Uncanny X-Men #16, $3.99
Untold Tales Of The Punisher MAX #2 (Of 5), $3.99
Wolverine #309, $4.99
X-Factor #240, $2.99
X-Men #32, $3.99

MCFARLAND
Teaching Comics And Graphic Narratives SC (not verified by Diamond), $45.00

NON-SPORT UPDATE
Non Sport Update Volume 23 #4 (August/September 2012)(not verified by Diamond), $5.99

ONI PRESS
Secret History Of DB Cooper #5, $3.99

ORION
Asterix Omnibus Volume 4 SC, $19.95

PAPERCUTZ
Smurfs Volume 12 Smurf Versus Smurf SC, $5.99
Smurfs Volume 12 Smurf Versus Smurf HC, $10.99

PENGUIN GROUP UK
Doctor Who Decide Your Own Destiny Volume 1 Claws Of The Macra SC, $9.99
Doctor Who Decide Your Own Destiny Volume 2 The Coldest War SC, $9.99
Doctor Who Where's The Doctor HC, $12.99
Doctor Who Young Reader Adventures Volume 1 Heart Of Stone Death Riders SC, $10.99
Doctor Who Young Reader Adventures Volume 2 System Wipe The Good The Bad And The Alien SC, $10.99
Doctor Who Young Reader Adventures Volume 3 Alien Adventures SC, $10.99
Doctor Who Young Reader Adventures Volume 4 Sightseeing In Space SC, $10.99

PRESS OF THE SOVEREIGN VANGUARD
Hymns And Wretched Offerings To The Golden Ones HC, $24.95

REBELLION
Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files Volume 5 TP (Simon & Schuster Edition), $19.99
Judge Dredd When Judges Go Bad TP, $17.99

SEVEN SEAS ENTERTAINMENT
Alice In The Country Of Clover Volume 2 The Cheshire Cat Waltz GN, $12.99
Angel Para Bellum Volume 1 GN, $11.99
Jack The Ripper Hell Blade Volume 1 GN, $11.99
My Boyfriend Is A Vampire Collected Edition Volume 3 GN (Volumes 5-6), $15.99

SLG PUBLISHING
Pinocchio Vampire Slayer Volume 3 Of Wood And Blood Part 1 GN (not verified by Diamond), $10.95

TH3RD WORLD STUDIOS
Finding Gossamyr #1, $3.99
Stuff Of Legend Omnibus Volume 1 HC, $29.99

TITAN PUBLISHING
Supernatural Magazine #34 (August/September 2012)(Newsstand Edition)(not verified by Diamond), $6.99

TOP SHELF PRODUCTIONS
American Elf Volume 4 The Collected Sketchbook Diaries Of James Kochalka January 1 2008 - December 31 2011 TP, $24.95
World War 3 Illustrated #43, $7.00

TOUCHSTONE
Once Crowded Sky A Novel HC (not verified by Diamond), $26.00

TWOMORROWS PUBLISHING
Jack Kirby Collector #59, $10.95

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT
X-O Manowar #1 (Cary Nord 3rd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
X-O Manowar #3 (Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic Regular Cover), $3.99
X-O Manowar #3 (Mico Suayan Variant Cover), AR

VIZ MEDIA
Afterschool Charisma Volume 6 TP, $12.99
Case Closed Volume 43 GN, $9.99
Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys Volume 21 GN (not verified by Diamond), $12.99
Ooku The Inner Chambers Volume 7 GN, $12.99

YEN PRESS
13th Boy Volume 12 GN (not verified by Diamond), $11.99
Black Butler Volume 10 TP (not verified by Diamond), $11.99
Book Girl And The Wayfarer's Lamentation Novel SC (not verified by Diamond), $11.99
Durarara Volume 3 GN (not verified by Diamond), $11.99
High School Of The Dead Volume 7 GN (not verified by Diamond), $13.99
Is This A Zombie Volume 2 GN (not verified by Diamond), $11.99
Pandora Hearts Volume 11 GN (not verified by Diamond), $11.99
Soul Eater NOT Volume 1 TP (not verified by Diamond), $11.99
Twilight The Graphic Novel Volume 2 TP (not verified by Diamond), $14.99

ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT
Grimm Fairy Tales Myths And Legends #18 (Cover A Mike Capprotti), $2.99
Grimm Fairy Tales Myths And Legends #18 (Cover B Alfredo Reyes), $2.99
Grimm Fairy Tales Volume 2 TP (New Printing), $9.99
Grimm Fairy Tales Volume 4 TP (New Printing), $12.99
 
Joel Rickenbach is a curator of cult cinema at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA, and can be heard every week talking film, TV and other geekery on the You’ve got GEEK podcast. Follow him onTwitter and hilarity will no doubt ensue.

 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 2 of 2
1 
jedibanner 7/18/2012 6:25:42 AM

Image is kicking ass and taking names right now as far as originality is concerned. They are really going outside the ''box'' and doing new things that wasn't done before (revival, Morning Glory, WD, etc...).

I've said it before but Radical is another company that falls in line with originallity. Their work and art was always worth every penny you spent.

Avatar has some good things too (violent for some but still). Ferral or Crossed are 2 great ones.

gotta love comics and the older I get, the more I want to expend my genre of what I collect, no more just Avengers or Hulk, I want different things and it's great right now because we are getting lots of choices.

DaForce1 7/18/2012 1:15:04 PM

 I've been reading Hoax Hunters for a while now, since it started as a short tacked on to the end of Hack/Slash. It was interesting at first, then it became really, really boring, to the point where I'd just skim the pages to see if anything interesting happened. 

What I'm really looking forward to is the Criminal Macabre/30 Days of Night crossover. Since both were created by Steve Niles, and both have wound up in very different places from where they started. 

1 

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