Comicscape: Lookouts (Mania.com)

By:Joel Rickenbach
Date: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Ok, this week it’s time to inject some fun into Comicscape. Not that you should take this comic lightly, it’s just more of an adventure than some of the books covered in the last few weeks. Lookouts conjures up everything from Dungeons & Dragons, Video Games and… Boy Scouts? It’s true, so stick with me if that sounds appetizing to your delicate pallet, and I’ll explain. 

 
The lookouts is a new print and digital book by the guys who run Penny Arcade. Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik have been churning out video game and geek related comic strips going on 15 years. They have vision, that's for sure, as their empire has spread from the web, to multiple yearly conventions, and even their own video game. It is fitting, however, that their latest venture is bringing them back to what put them on the map in the first place. Years ago the duo put up a one page introduction to Lookouts. By their usual fan reaction the reception seemed lukewarm. Personally, I was instantly in love. A bit later they had guest creators Becky Dreistadt and Oliver Grigsby continue the story. Despite being creatively stunning, the Penny Arcade crowd was less than enthusiastic. Lookouts disappeared for a few years, and every time I visited the Penny Arcade website my hopes at seeing a new chapter were dashed. I love the Penny Arcade guys, I generally enjoy their daily dose of humor, but I honestly thought that one Lookouts page was my favorite thing they had ever done. Forums be damned, expand this tease of a fantasy world! Apparently the Penny Arcade folks were as big of fans of their own creation as I was, because Lookouts have been unleashed upon the comic world, and I'm sporting a serious grin.
 
Holkins, Krahulik and editor/writer Cory Jones have handed the reins to writer Ben McCool and artist Robb Mommaerts, linked up with gaming company Cryptozoic as publisher, and are overseeing this quickly expanding world like the robed wizards they always claimed to be. So what are the Lookouts all about? Honestly? Merit Badges, but we'll get to that in a minute. Lookouts takes place in a fantasy world full of adventure, strange beasts and monsters, magic and a lot (a lot!) of forest. Here is what the book is about in Krahulik's own words: “Human settlements are few and far between. Learning to navigate and live alongside the forest is a necessity. Men must protect the few roads they have through the woods and as the Lookouts’ creed says, ‘What men must know a boy must learn.’ Young boys in this world join the Lookouts and are taught the ways of the forest.” That alone is enough of an idea to sell me on the book, but it's when the video game and Boy Scout elements come in that the book truly shines. To teach the young Lookout recruits about the ways of the forest, the Lookout elders assign them tasks, which on completion award merit badges to those who are deserving. Each six issue arc of the book will deal with the lookouts earning merit badges under the tutelage of the Ranger Samson. These badges are not your average "fire building" or "whittling" the Boy Scouts sew on to their sash. No, we're talking badges such as "Troll Hunting", "Magnus Arbor", "Sibling Lunarist" and the badge our young heroes are trying to earn in the first arc- "Riddles". And how do they earn such a badge? By defeating a Sphinx that's guarding a neighboring village for very mysterious reasons, of course. Even more fascinating is in the back of each issue is a page from the Lookout handbook that details how to earn a particular badge, and its different levels. In many cases the supplemental material can be forgettable, but here it is essential. The pages are chock full of information, and have art showing each level of the badge. Very cool.

 
What's so impressive about all this is it's not just a gimmick, it's literally woven into the world, and provides structure for the story. Leave it to people who come from the world of games to hook us on a comic that has all the addictive bells and whistles that define that medium. None of this would matter though if the story, characters and art didn't measure up, but lucky for us all the above are superb. McCool is building a fascinating world where Sphinxes challenge weary travelers, and the forest is guarded by an ancient order. As serious as that sounds, our group of Lookouts in training are a bunch of adventure loving kids who are each developing unique personalities, and are more than capable at providing humor. Robb Mommaerts' art has to be seen to be believed. He renders the book in a cartoon style that makes you instantly want action figures of all the characters, yet treats the appropriate moments with a skilled hand. Mike Norton's inks and Ranier Petter's gorgeous, leap-off-the-page colors also deserve special recognition.

 

I am so very excited for the future of this book, it's scratches so many of the itches I have as a geek, it's like the ultimate Saturday morning cartoon made with all the hindsight we've acquired as geeks throughout our conquests. Issues #1 and #2 are available now in print and on Comixology, with issue #3 coming shortly. A 3-part strip introducing the "Thornwatch" just ran on Penny Arcade this week. I have no doubt there is plenty of material ready to explode the work of Lookouts.

Here are some links to get your feet wet:
 
The very first Lookouts strip: http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/06/10
 
The fill-in continuation: http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/07/01
 
The second Lookouts strip: http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/04/26
 
The recent Thornwatch strip: http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/10/17

 

New Comic Book Releases for 10/24/12:

ABSTRACT STUDIOS
Terry Moore How To Draw #5 (Comics), $4.99

ALTERNATIVE COMICS
Injury #4 (not verified by Diamond), $6.00

AMP! COMICS FOR KIDS
Mutts Bonk SC, $19.99

AMRYL ENTERTAINMENT
Cavewoman Natural Selection #2 (Of 2)(Budd Root Special Edition), AR

ANDREWS MCMEEL
Dilbert I Can't Remember If We're Cheap Or Smart TP, $16.99

ANTARCTIC PRESS
Eater's Digest #1, $10.99
Last Zombie Neverland TP, $14.95

ARCHIE COMICS
Archie Double Digest #234, $3.99
Archies Giant Kids Jokebook TP, $6.99

AVATAR PRESS
Crossed Badlands #13 (Raulo Caceres Auxiliary Edition), $3.99
Crossed Badlands #14 (Raulo Caceres Auxiliary Edition), $3.99
Crossed Badlands #16 (Raulo Caceres Regular Cover), $3.99
Crossed Badlands #16 (Raulo Caceres Red Crossed Incentive Cover), AR
Crossed Badlands #16 (Raulo Caceres Torture Cover), $3.99
Crossed Badlands #16 (Raulo Caceres Wraparound Cover), $3.99
Freakangels Complete Collection Slipcase Edition, $99.99
Hero Worship #4 (Of 6)(Michael Dipascale Regular Cover), $3.99
Hero Worship #4 (Of 6)(Michael Dipascale Heroic Incentive Cover), AR
Hero Worship #4 (Of 6)(Michael Dipascale Wraparound Cover), $3.99
Night Of The Living Dead Aftermath #1 (Original Painted Art Cover), AR
Night Of The Living Dead Day Of The Undead Retailer Promo Kit, AR

BONGO COMICS
Bart Simpson Comics #76, $2.99
Maggie #1 (Jason Ho Cover), $2.99
Maggie #1 (Mike Rote Cover), $2.99

BOOM! STUDIOS
Adventure Time #9 (Cover A Chris Houghton), $3.99
Adventure Time #9 (Cover B Shannon Wheeler), $3.99
Adventure Time #9 (Cover C Joe Quinones), AR
Adventure Time #9 (Cover D Jon Vermilyea), AR
Bravest Warriors #1 (Of 6)(Cover A Tyson Hesse), $3.99
Bravest Warriors #1 (Of 6)(Cover B Maris Wicks), $3.99
Bravest Warriors #1 (Of 6)(Cover C Marc Bell), AR
Bravest Warriors #1 (Of 6)(Cover D Jim Rugg), AR
Bravest Warriors #1 (Of 6)(Cover E Pendleton Ward), AR
Clive Barker's Hellraiser #19 (Cover A Tim Bradstreet), $3.99
Clive Barker's Hellraiser #19 (Cover B Retro Outlaw Studios), $3.99
Clive Barker's Hellraiser #19 (Cover C Tim Bradstreet), AR
Extermination #5 (Cover A Trevor Hairsine), $3.99
Extermination #5 (Cover B Tom Derenick), $3.99
Extermination #5 (Cover C Paul Azaceta), AR
Extermination #5 (Cover D Trevor Hairsine), AR
Hypernaturals #3 (Kris Anka 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Ice Age Past Presents And Future (One Shot), $3.99

BOUNDLESS COMICS
Lady Death #18 (Juan Jose Ryp Electric Cover), $9.99
Lady Death #19 (Renato Camilo Auxiliary Edition), $3.99

BROADSWORD COMICS
Tarot Witch Of The Black Rose #71 (Signed & Numbered Photo Cover), $15.00

CLUTTER MEDIA GROUP
Clutter Magazine #17, $9.99

COMIC SHOP NEWS
Comic Shop News #1323, AR

DARK HORSE COMICS
Bride Of The Water God Volume 12 TP, $9.99
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Spike #3 (Jenny Frison Regular Cover), $2.99
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Spike #3 (Steve Morris Variant Cover), AR
Dark Horse Presents #17, $7.99
Game of Thrones Daenerys Bust, $125.00
Game of Thrones Dire Wolf Bookends, $79.99
Game of Thrones Stark Shield Pin, $14.99
Gantz Volume 25 TP, $12.99
Ghost #1 (Alex Ross Variant Cover), AR
Ghost #1 (Phil Noto Regular Cover), $2.99
Mind MGMT #6, $3.99
Shaolin Cowboy Adventure Magazine TP, $15.99
Star Wars Agent Of The Empire Volume 1 Iron Eclipse TP, $18.99
Star Wars Dark Times Volume 5 Out Of The Wilderness TP, $17.99
Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic Volume 10 War TP, $19.99
Untold Tales Of Dog Mendonca And Pizzaboy (One Shot), $2.99

DC COMICS
All-Star Western #13, $3.99
Batman Black And White Batman Statue By Kelley Jones (New Edition), $79.95
Batman Incorporated #4 (Andy Clarke Variant Cover), AR
Batman Incorporated #4 (Chris Burnham Black & White Variant Cover), AR
Batman Incorporated #4 (Chris Burnham Regular Cover), $2.99
Batman Incorporated #4 (Combo Pack Edition), $3.99
Batman The Dark Knight #13 (David Finch Regular Cover), $2.99
Batman The Dark Knight #13 (David Finch Variant Cover), AR
Dark Knight Rises Bane Winter Battle Bust, $79.95
DC Comics Super-Heroes Superman Bust, $69.95
Fables #122, $2.99
Flash #13 (Francis Manapul Black & White Variant Cover), AR
Flash #13 (Francis Manapul Regular Cover), $2.99
Fury Of Firestorm The Nuclear Men #13, $2.99
Huntress Crossbow At The Crossroads TP, $14.99
I Vampire #13, $2.99
Justice League Batman Action Figure (New Production Run), AR
Justice League Dark #13, $2.99
Justice League Green Lantern Action Figure Wave 2, AR
Legion Secret Origin TP, $14.99
MAD Magazine #518, $5.99
National Comics Madame X #1, $3.99
Red Lanterns #13 (Ivan Reis & Joe Prado Regular Cover), $2.99
Red Lanterns #13 (Ivan Reis Black & White Variant Cover), AR
Savage Hawkman #13, $2.99
Savage Hawkman Volume 1 Darkness Rising TP, $16.99
Showcase Presents The Flash Volume 4 TP, $19.99
Superman #13 (Kenneth Rocafort Black & White Variant Cover), AR
Superman #13 (Kenneth Rocafort Regular Cover), $2.99
Talon #1 (Guillem March Black & White Variant Cover), AR
Talon #1 (Guillem March Regular Cover), $2.99
Talon #1 (Trevor McCarthy Variant Cover), AR
Teen Titans #13 (Brett Booth & Norm Rapmund Black & White Variant Cover), AR
Teen Titans #13 (Brett Booth & Norm Rapmund Regular Cover), $2.99
Unwritten #42, $2.99

DK PUBLISHING
Star Wars The Old Republic Encyclopedia HC, $40.00
Disney Pixar Character Encyclopedia HC, $16.99

DYNAMIC FORCES
Warlord Of Mars Dejah Thoris #16 (Exclusive Red Risque Cover)(Dynamic Forces), $14.99

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
Lord Of The Jungle #8 (Lucio Parrillo Regular Cover), $3.99
Lord Of The Jungle #8 (Paul Renaud Black & White Variant Cover), AR
Lord Of The Jungle #8 (Paul Renaud Regular Cover), $3.99
Lord Of The Jungle #8 (Paul Renaud Risque Variant Cover), AR
Marcus Nispel's Chosen #1 (Of 3)(Diego Latorre Regular Cover), $3.99
Pantha #4 (Mark Texeira Regular Cover), $3.99
Pantha #4 (Mark Texeira Virgin Variant Cover), AR
Red Sonja #70 (Walter Geovani Regular Cover), $3.99
Robert Jordan's The Wheel Of Time The Eye Of The World #30, $3.99
Shadow #6 (Alex Ross Regular Cover), $3.99
Shadow #6 (Alex Ross Virgin Variant Cover), AR
Shadow #6 (Francesco Francavilla Regular Cover), $3.99
Shadow #6 (Francesco Francavilla Virgin Variant Cover), AR
Shadow #6 (Howard Chaykin Red Variant Cover), AR
Shadow #6 (Howard Chaykin Regular Cover), $3.99
Shadow #6 (John Cassaday Black & White Variant Cover), AR
Shadow #6 (John Cassaday Regular Cover), $3.99
Warriors Of Mars #5 (Of 5)(Joe Jusko Regular Cover), $3.99

FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS
Cartoon Utopia HC (not verified by Diamond), $24.99
EC Harvey Kurtzman Corpse Of The Imjin And Other Stories HC (not verified by Diamond), $28.99
EC Wally Wood Came The Dawn And Other Stories HC (not verified by Diamond), $24.99
Heads Or Tails TP (not verified by Diamond), $22.99
Lost Art Of Ah Pook Is Here Images From The Graphic Novel HC, $39.99
Observed While Falling Bill Burroughs Ah Pook And Me HC, $29.99
Ralph Azham Volume 1 Why Would You Lie To Someone You Love HC, $14.99
You'll Never Know Volume 3 Soldier's Heart HC, $24.99

FUTURE PUBLISHING
SFX #227 (November 2012), $10.99
SFX Special #58 (The A To Z Of Horror), $17.99

GIRASOL COLLECTIBLES
Girasol Pulp Doubles The Spider Volume 25 SC, $14.95

HAPPY MEDIUM PRESS
Sci-Fi And Fantasy Modeller Presents Modelling The 21st Century Volume 5 Epic Scale Of Modelling TP, $27.99

IDW PUBLISHING
Alan Robert's Killogy #1 (Of 4)(Cover A Alan Robert), $3.99
Alan Robert's Killogy #1 (Of 4)(Cover B Alan Robert), $3.99
Alan Robert's Killogy #1 (Of 4)(Cover C Alan Robert), $3.99
Alan Robert's Killogy #1 (Of 4)(Cover RI Alan Robert), AR
Battle Beasts #4 (Of 4)(Cover A Valerio Schiti), $3.99
Battle Beasts #4 (Of 4)(Cover RI Jeff Zornow), AR
Cobra #18 (Cover A Antonio Fuso), $3.99
Cobra #18 (Cover RI Joe Eisma & Juan Castro), AR
Crow Midnight Legends Volume 2 Flesh And Blood GN, $17.99
Ghostbusters 100-Page Spooktacular, $7.99
KISS #5 (Cover A Sam Shearon), $3.99
KISS #5 (Cover B Jamal Igle), $3.99
KISS #5 (Cover RI-A Photo), AR
KISS #5 (Cover RI-B Sam Shearon), AR
Let's Play God #1 (Of 4)(Cover A EricJ), $3.99
Star Trek The Next Generation Doctor Who Assimilation2 #6 (Of 8)(Cover A J.K. Woodward), $3.99
Star Trek The Next Generation Doctor Who Assimilation2 #6 (Of 8)(Cover RI Emanuela Lupacchino), AR

IMAGE COMICS
Artifacts #22, $3.99
Dancer TP, $16.99
Debris #4 (Of 4), $3.50
Guarding The Globe #1 (2nd Printing Variant Cover), $2.99
Hack Slash #19 (Cover A Tim Seeley), $3.50
Hack Slash #19 (Cover B Emilio Laiso), $3.50
Invincible #96, $2.99
Li'l Depressed Boy #14, $3.99
Multiple Warheads Alphabet To Infinity #1 (Of 4), $3.99
Prophet #30, $3.99
Revival #1 (4th Printing Variant Cover), $2.99
Revival #2 (3rd Printing Variant Cover), $2.99
Revival #3 (2nd Printing Variant Cover), $2.99
Revival #4, $2.99
Spawn #224 (Cover A Todd McFarlane), $2.99
Spawn #224 (Cover B Todd McFarlane Black & White), $2.99
Thief Of Thieves #8 (2nd Printing Variant Cover), $2.99
Walking Dead #102 (2nd Printing Variant Cover), $2.99

KENZER AND COMPANY
Knights Of The Dinner Table #191, $5.99

KICKSTART COMICS
Head Full Of Noise GN (not verified by Diamond), $8.99
Purity GN (not verified by Diamond), $8.99

KIDS CAN PRESS
Binky Volume 4 Binky Takes Charge GN (not verified by Diamond), $8.95
Captive Prince GN (not verified by Diamond), $8.95

KODANSHA COMICS
Bloody Monday Volume 8 GN, $10.99

KRAUSE PUBLICATIONS
Comics Buyers Guide #1696 (December 2012)(not verified by Diamond), $5.99

LAST GASP
Memoir Tattooed Portraits Series HC, $24.95

LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS
Little Shoppe Of Horrors #29 (Dr Phibes Special), $9.95

MANUSCRIPT PRESS
Comics Revue Presents October 2012, $19.95

MARRS MEDIA
Rue Morgue Magazine #127 (October 2012), $9.95

MARVEL COMICS
A-Babies Vs X-Babies #1 (Chris Eliopoulos Variant Cover), AR
All-New X-Men Party Invitation Postcard (Promotional Item), AR
Amazing Spider-Man #696, $3.99
Astonishing X-Men #55, $3.99
Astonishing X-Men Volume 9 Exalted TP, $16.99
Avengers #32, $3.99
AvX Consequences #3 (Of 5)(Ron Garney Regular Cover), $3.99
AvX Consequences #3 (Of 5)(Adi Granov Variant Cover), AR
Captain America #19 (Collage Variant Cover)(Final Issue), AR
Captain America #19 (Final Issue Variant Cover)(Final Issue), AR
Captain America #19 (Steve Epting Regular Cover)(Final Issue), $3.99
Captain America And Black Widow #638, $2.99
Deadpool #63, $2.99
Disney Junior Magazine #9 (Disney Publishing Worldwide), $4.99
Fear Itself Youth In Revolt TP, $16.99
FF #23 (Final Issue Variant Cover)(Final Issue), AR
FF #23 (Kalman Androsofzsky Regular Cover)(Final Issue), $2.99
Gambit #4, $2.99
Incredible Hulk #15 (Ed McGuinness Regular Cover)(Final Issue), $2.99
Incredible Hulk #15 (Dale Keown Final Issue Variant Cover)(Final Issue), AR
Invincible Iron Man #527 (Collage Variant Cover)(Final Issue), AR
Invincible Iron Man #527 (Salvador Larroca Final Issue Variant Cover)(Final Issue), AR
Invincible Iron Man #527 (Salvador Larroca Regular Cover)(Final Issue), $3.99
Journey Into Mystery #645, $2.99
Marvel Masterworks Captain America Volume 2 TP, $24.99
Marvel Masterworks Captain America Volume 2 TP (Direct Market Variant Edition Volume 46), $24.99
Marvel Tales By Alan Davis TP, $16.99
Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man #7, $2.99
Phineas And Ferb Magazine #8 (Disney Publishing Worldwide), $4.99
Punisher War Zone #1 (Of 5), $2.99
Secret Avengers #33, $3.99
Spider-Man Flying Blind TP, $16.99
Spider-Man The Complete Ben Reilly Epic Volume 6 TP, $39.99
Supercrooks HC (Premiere Edition), $19.99
Ultimate Comics The Ultimates #15 (Michael Komarck 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Ultimate Comics The Ultimates #17, $3.99
Wolverine #315 (Ben Ang Susan G. Komen Variant Cover), AR
Wolverine #315 (Michael Del Mundo Regular Cover), $3.99
Wolverine And The X-Men By Jason Aaron Volume 1 TP, $14.99
Wolverine MAX #1 (Jock Regular Cover), $3.99
Wolverine MAX #1 (Paola Rivera Variant Cover), AR
X-Factor Volume 16 Together Again For The First Time TP, $16.99
X-Treme X-Men #5, $2.99

MOONSTONE
Full Moon Phases Of The Moon HC, $29.99
Spider Shadow Of Evil HC (Limited Edition), $22.99

PANINI PUBLISHING
Doctor Who Magazine #452, $8.99

PAPERCUTZ
Classics Illustrated Deluxe Volume 9 A Christmas Carol And Mugby Junction HC, $15.99
Disney Fairies Graphic Novels Volumes 5-8 Box Set, $29.99
Ninjago Volume 5 Kingdom Of The Snakes SC, $6.99
Ninjago Volume 5 Kingdom Of The Snakes HC, $10.99

PS ARTBOOKS
Tomorrow Revisited A Celebration Of The Life And Art Of Frank Hampson HC, $47.99

RANDOM HOUSE UK
Doctor Who Dalek Project GN, $23.99
Doctor Who A History Of The Universe In 100 Objects HC, $31.99

REBELLION
2000 AD #1802, $5.25
2000 AD #1803, $5.25
Art Of Judge Dredd Featuring 35 Years Of Zarjaz Covers HC, $68.00
Thargs Creepy Chronicles GN, $19.99

RUNNING PRESS
Brief Guide To James Bond SC, $13.95
Brief Guide To Star Wars SC (not verified by Diamond), $13.95
MAD's Greatest Artists Mort Drucker HC, $30.00

ST. MARTINS PRESS
Father Gaetano's Puppet Catechism An Illustrated Novella HC, $19.99

STARLOG GROUP
Fangoria #318, $9.99

THOMAS DUNNE BOOKS
Walking Dead Volume 2 The Road To Woodbury HC, $24.99

TITAN PUBLISHING
Star Wars Insider #137 (November/December 2012)(Newsstand Edition), $7.99
Walking Dead The Official Magazine #1 (Newsstand Edition), $9.99
Walking Dead The Official Magazine #1 (Previews Exclusive Edition), $9.99

TWOMORROWS PUBLISHING
Alter Ego #113, $8.95

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT
Archer And Armstrong #1 (Clayton Henry 3rd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Harbinger #1 (Patrick Zircher 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Harbinger #2 (Arturo Lozzi 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Valiant Masters Bloodshot Volume 1 Blood Of The Machine HC, $24.99

VIDEO WATCHDOG
Video Watchdog #170 (September/October 2012), $8.95

YEN PRESS
Black Butler Volume 11 TP, $11.99
Black God Volume 17 TP, $12.99
Disappearance Of Nagato Yuki-chan Volume 2 GN, $11.99
Durarara Volume 4 GN, $11.99
Infernal Devices Clockwork Angel Volume 1 GN (not verified by Diamond), $12.99
Pandora Hearts Volume 12 GN, $11.99
Triage X Volume 1 GN, $13.99
Twilight Manga Collector's Edition GN, $24.99

ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT
Giant Size Grimm Fairy Tales 2012 (Cover A Marat Mychaels), $7.99
Giant Size Grimm Fairy Tales 2012 (Cover B Alfredo Reyes), $7.99
Grimm Fairy Tales #78 (Cover A Pasquale Qualano), $2.99
Grimm Fairy Tales #78 (Cover B Stephen Thompson), $2.99
Grimm Fairy Tales Halloween Special 2012 (Cover A Joe Pekar), $5.99
Grimm Fairy Tales Halloween Special 2012 (Cover B Marat Mychaels), $5.99
Grimm Fairy Tales Myths And Legends #21 (Cover A Keu Cha), $2.99
Grimm Fairy Tales Myths And Legends #21 (Cover B), $2.99
Irresistible #4 (Of 4)(Cover A Eric J), $3.99
Irresistible #4 (Of 4)(Cover B Sheldon Goh), $3.99

 



Series: