Variant Covers: Nothing To Fear But Mega Events Themselves.

New releases! Trade paperbacks! Splash pages! These are a few of my favorite things. Man, what a clichéd way to start a column, no? Jesus Christ and then I followed it up with a rhetorical question. This is Variant Covers, the place where I puke up adolespeak about the comics I’m most excited about this week. Not a Be All List, I encourage you to let me know what you’re reading.


Sweet Tooth #20.
Jeff Lemire’s post-apocalyptic romp continues this week. Reluctant hero Jepperd and his proxy-son Gus embark on a journey to hunt down the girls from their little Apoca-Posse that went missing. Those two chaps better get a move on, for they’ve been netted by some toothless goober.

Let me tell you something about toothless goobers: they’re looking for orifices to fill. Especially in the Wasteland.

I expect Lemire to push the form of funny books per usual in a title that is consistently heartbreaking, beautiful, and occasionally a synthesis of those two oft typed adjectives.


Orc Stain #6.
Finally!, the Orc Stain has come back to comic book shelves. Woo boy!, this title is a fucking doozy. James Stokoe’s utterly insane fucking romp is written and drawn by him with such an intense passion that I’m fucking fine waiting as long as it takes for a new issue to arrive.

One of the best goddamn things I did with a gift card in recent memory was parlay one I snagged in a Yankee Swap back on December 25 into the first TPB of this series. Madness. Utter madness. A world dominated by orcs, where cocks are cash, and every page is rendered with obscene amounts of detail.

It’s a work of love. Bananas love. If you haven’t bought this year, do it. You’ll discover what those of us lucky enough to stumble upon it already know. James Stokoe is a fucking beast.


Nate Simpson’s six-issue comic book series has been getting hyped for a good couple of months now. Everyone and their dog Lou has been piling on the praise for the title, and fuck it, I’m sold. When Warren Ellis tells me something brilliant is afoot, as one of his minions, I listen. When that praise is supplemented by praise from other respected creators, including even Moebius, I can’t help but ride the jock. The jock, it is comfortable.

Comics Alliance had a preview a couple of months ago and I won’t stunt – I only gazed at the pictures. I don’t want the plot ruined for me, I want to experience this beauty’s plotted particulars for the first time on the day it drops.

All I know is something vague about a female heroine, permeable walls of reality, and gorgeous artwork.

Combine that with the Hype Machine, and its got my soda money.


Fear Itself #1.
I don’t exactly have a fucking PANTS TENT for Marvel’s TENT POLE even of the year. You would think I would. Matt Fraction is one of my favorite writers, and Stuart Immonen is a stud of a penciler. Yet after last month’s Fear Itself: Book of the Skull, I was significantly dissuaded. Frost giants? In another title? With Red Skull’s daughter? I’m wondering how hard this title is going to be pushed as a conduit for Cap/Thor movie goers and their potential interest in the funny books after the flicks.

This is me trying to keep my mind open. Especially since I love me some Fraction. The premise is uh, the God of Death and Fear Type Stuff is doing things and is all awful. Meanwhile, anxiety and fear are running rampant throughout society, as heightened tensions are parlayed into hate mongering and that and such.

It’s one-half Asgardian Epic, one-half social commentary.  We’ll see.


Around The Horn:
Elsewhere in the land of comics, Memoir #3 is dropping. We’ll continue to see what is happening in the town that lost its memory, and the one good lad who remembers everything. That dude has to be totally fucked. Uncanny X-Men #534.1 is being marketed as a jumping on point, and I suppose I’ll give it a go. Again. I haven’t dug anything outside of the Morrison and Whedon runs on X-Men in the past ten years, but maybe it’ll surprise me. And finally, the latest on the Hellboy tip is getting started with  B.P.R.D.: The Dead Remembered.


What are you guys reading?