Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It Came From the Back Issue Bin! #14: More comics and The Wizard World Toronto Comic Con 2011

by Jason Shayer

Hellboy - Beats of Burden: Sacrifice (one-shot)
Writers: Evan Dorkin and Mike Mignola
Artist: Jill Thompson
Hellboy teaming up with a gang of cats and dogs? What the hell, you might be wondering. Well, the Beasts of Burden aren't simply a gang of cats and dogs. They are heroes and members of the Wise Dog Society, a detective organization that protect the town of Burden from supernatural threats. This one-shot is a great introduction to the Beasts of Burden. Their stories have been told as part of a wonderful hardcover anthology called The Dark Horse Book of ... (Hauntings, Witchcraft, the Dead). This story, as well as all the others, feature the beautiful painted artwork by the severely underappreciated Jill Thompson. These earlier stories have been nicely put together in a beautiful hardcover entitled Beasts of Burden.

Ghost Rider Omnibus
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artists: Roland Bosch, Tan Eng Huat, and Tony Moore
Hardcover, 536 pages
There’s just not enough praise I can give to Jason Aaron’s Ghost Rider. You need to pick up the Ghost Rider Omnibus which collects Ghost Rider #30-35 and Ghost Riders: Heaven’s on Fire #1-6. Why? Spirits of Vengeance. Rogue angels overthrowing Heaven. The Anti-Christ. Gun Nuns. Cannibal Ghosts. Ghost Rider of the 1970s vs the Ghost Rider of the 1990s. If you were a fan of the 1970s Ghost Rider, you’ll need to prepare yourself as it does a bit of ret-conning (retroactive continuity) of Johnny Blaze’s origin and reveals that there’s a legacy of Ghost Riders not only in North America, but across the world. It’s a kick-ass ride that gets your heart pumping and doesn’t stop until you slam into the story’s finish. The art, while handled by three different artists, managed to blended in well-enough. Jason Aaron adeptly handles both Ghost Riders and pays them both the proper respect and attention they deserve.

The Suicide Forest
Writer: El Torres
Artist: Gabriel Hernandez
Aokigahara is a forest conservation near Tokyo and it’s also the most famous suicide area in the world. This creepy, eerie, allegedly demon-haunted real-world setting plays a central role in the two stories put into motion in this comic. One of a young American man, Alan, who breaks up with Japanese girl. The girl is so distraught over the break up that she goes to Aokigahara and kills herself. The catch is that she returns as a monstrous spirit ready to haunt Alan. The other story is that of Ryoko, a young woman who serves as a caretaker of the forest. She not only helps collect the bodies from the forest, but she ensures that their ghosts are put to rest. However, somewhere deep in the forest is the body of her father and his spirit is not at rest and she hopes to find it and put him to rest.

The art seems a bit rudimentary at first, even a bit sloppy, but after a few pages, it started to grow on me. It reminded me a lot of Eddie Campbell’s work in From Hell. Wonderfully moody and creepy stuff.

Wizard World Toronto Comic Con 2011
The Wizard World Toronto Comic Con returns to the Direct Energy Centre, March 18-20, with superstar guests Billy Dee Williams, Julie Benz, David Prowse, Daniel Logan, John Schneider and Scott Thompson headlining the list of celebrity attendees. The event will bring together thousands of fans of all ages and dozens of celebrities and industry professionals to celebrate the best in pop culture, movies, comics, toys, video gaming, television, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more.

Of note to Black Glove readers is the appearances of Julie Benz, who has starred in (“Dexter” and “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer”) and comic book writer and artist Bruce Jones (“Incredible Hulk,” “Nightwing”, “Twisted Tales”, “Alien Worlds,” and “Somerset Holmes”.)

For more information on location, time and tickets check out: www.wizardworld.com/toronto

--Jason Shayer