Happiest Tuesday, Comic fans! Welcome to issue #27 of your favorite biweekly place to talk shop on comics and pop culture, the RVA Comics X-Change.
This week we have a smaller, post-Labor-Day-lull edition of the exchange, but just enough to get us ready for fall. We’ve got a bunch of pop culture favorites, an indie nod, and even a Throwback Thursday style recommendation to dig right into. Grab your best pumpkin spice latte and get comfortable. We’re diving in.
GLOW, by Tini Howard and Hannah Templer
Time and time again, IDW Publishing continues to prove that it is one of the best names in comic publishing right now. If you’re like me, after you have binged all eight episodes in season 3 of the popular Netflix series, GLOW, as soon as it’s released, you find yourself with a gaping, 80s-sized hole in your heart. Whatever shall you do now that you have binge-watched all three seasons again? Obviously you start digging into the comic series. The series mimics the show pretty closely and allows us to spend more time with favorite characters, such as Marc Maron’s Sam and Alison Brie’s Ruth. The only downside? This release is only four issues long, three of which have been released as of now.
SLAM! The Next Jam, by Pamela Ribon and Marina Julia
I have a confession to make. One of my secret dreams was always to be a roller derby babe, and that dream was only furthered by films such as Whip It. Now along comes this comic series. The Next Jam is the sequel series to its predecessor, SLAM!, which follows derby girls Knockout and Can Can, who have to fight to stay in their roller derby league.
Napoleon Dynamite, by Carlos Guzman-Verdugo, Jorge Monlongo, Sara Richard, and Alejandro Verdugo
Yet another pop culture favorite makes its way to comics, and much like GLOW, this one is also limited to a four-issue run. The comic series follows closely behind the end of the original film, and brings us to senior year. Napoleon and Deb are together (naturally), and Pedro is the student body president. However, when a fellow student accuses Pedro of cheating the election, its up to the gang to prove his innocence. Impeach Pedro? I say never.
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: Saturn Returns, by Mike Mignola, Scott Allie, Christopher Mitten, and Brenn Wagner
Did you enjoy the David Harbour blockbuster remake of Hellboy? No, of course you didn’t (unless you’re me who probably only enjoyed it because of David Harbour). However, luckily for us, we have yet another brand new Hellboy comic to heal the big red demon-fist-sized hole in our heart. Hellboy and Agent Kinsley have discovered a whole lot of murders in New Hampshire, and are trying to figure out where they keep coming from and if its supernatural. Shenanigans? Natch.
The Dark Tower by Stephen King, Peter David, Robin Furth, Jae Lee, Richard Isanove, and others
This weekend saw the release of another Stephen King film adaptation, the remake of one of his most famous stories, It. Trust me when I say this is probably the best adaptation of any of King’s works. However, to my surprise, there weren’t any comics or graphic novel releases to tie in or coincide with it. That being said, it’s possible we may get some closer to Halloween, or even next year closer to the Blu-ray release… but don’t quote me.
Regardless of the lack of graphic novel tie-ins, it did make me want to hop in the not-so-wayback machine and revisit one of my favorite King stories ever – The Dark Tower. The comic series was released in 2007, originally published by Marvel and based on the book series of the same name. Running through three different series, which were reissued last year in 16 graphic novel volumes from Gallery 13, the comic version of The Dark Tower mixed material adapted from the original book series with new stories that were original to the graphic novels.
The Dark Tower is one of those underappreciated King works that deserves more love and appreciation – like a sequel to the 2017 film starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. Incorporating a little bit of everything including dark fantasy, horror, sci-fi, and more, The Dark Tower follows a man known as The Gunslinger as he tries to find the eponymous Dark Tower and The Man in Black.
That is what we are cooking with this week, comic fans! What comics are you reading this week? What are you looking forward to?
Until next time…