The Ogre's Staff Picks (01/03/2018)

It's.... Time! The first Ogre Staff Picks of 2018! So let's not delay... Here are this week's Staff Picks...

Lauren's Pick

Catboy GN

The premise of this book is simple. When art school graduate Olive spies a shooting star one night, she makes a wish: for her cat, Henry, to be able to hang out with her like a person. Her wish is granted, and thus, Catboy! Though some of the material has already been published by Vice, this print collection contains bonus art, Catboy fashion, and more new comics! Benji Nate brings each short story to life with beautiful pastel color schemes and an attention to detail that fills me with bitter envy. Though most of the comics are silly on the surface, the tribulations of Olive’s daily life will be extremely relatable to anyone who isn’t quite sure how to get this whole “living as an adult” thing started.

 
Gib's Pick

All's Faire in Middle School

Gib's Pick

Imogene sets off on two quests in this all ages story.  She has been home schooled by her Renaissance Faire employed parents, and she becomes a working member of the Faire at the same time she’s starting in public school.  Her trials make for a very compelling story, and you are completely caught up in her struggle.   An endearing tale that gets my highest recommendation.

 
Sarah's Pick

Bingo Love GN

Sarah's Pick

It’s often hard to find a queer love story that isn’t filled with sadness and doesn’t end in complete tragedy, but have no fear! Tee Franklin (Love is Love) and Jenn St-Onge (Jem and the Holograms) have your back! They’ve developed a touching and heartfelt story about two young women, Hazel and Mari, who meet each other at their church’s weekly bingo night. The two instantly develop deep feelings for one another that they are unable to act upon due to their parents’ and society’s disapproval. Almost 50 years later, both married with their own families, Hazel and Mari meet again at church bingo night where they discover their feelings are still as strong as ever.

This book was originally just a Kickstarter campaign that planned on delivering PDFs, trade paper backs, and various goodies to supporters of the project, however, it has now been picked up by Image Comics and will be available in stores on Valentine’s Day in 2018. Be sure to let us know if you’re interested in a copy!

 

Books for all ages! Keep your options varied and your minds open to the new and great! And if you want even more, come by the store and let us talk your ears off with wondeful books you may have never even thought of.

The Ogre's Staff Picks (12/27/2017)

It has been a crazy year! Today is the final shopping day of 2017 and we have one more Staff Pick to offer and then we will see you in 2018.

Mike's Pick

Night Business HC

Mike's Pick

At last!  My most anticipated graphic novel of 2017 has arrived.  Ben Marra’s Night Business is here and it does not disappoint.  Upon reading his deliriously lurid Terror Assaulter: One Man War on Terror in 2015, I knew I would be a lifelong fan.  His follow up, a collection of his self-published comics titled American Blood, only cemented my feelings.  Marra has shown himself to be a master of garish violence and sexuality delivered with deadpan irony.  This new story chronicling street toughs, strippers, gangsters, pimps, a secret society, and a slasher killer allows Marra to play to his strengths while the page count gives an epic feeling to the proceedings that is not present in his previous works.  If you consider yourself a fan of sleazy ‘80s slasher films or low budget actioners, you will dig this book.  With artwork reminiscent of something a stoner metalhead might have scrawled in a college ruled notebook during some long lost study hall, Night Business wears its underground, rock n’ roll attitude on its sleeve.  For some, this book probably pushes the boundaries of good taste.  For me, it’s trashy, tongue in cheek, gold!

 

The final day of 2017 is here and we hope to see you today! We have this one and so many more staff picks that we can offer you in store. But... In the small change we do not see you... Have a wonderful New Years and we will see you in 2018!

The Ogre's Staff Picks (12/20/2017)

Tomorrow is the last day. THE LAST RETAIL DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS!!! Let us help you cross off those very last items on your Holiday Lists! We even have an extra Staff Pick 

Mike's Pick

Wolverine: Weapon X TP

Mike's Pick

Looking for a definitive Wolverine story that’s not the Claremont/Miller mini or Old Man Logan?  For my money, Barry Windsor Smith’s Wolverine: Weapon X (originally serialized in the fan favorite weekly anthology series, Marvel Comics Presents) should be held in the same regard.  Chronicling how Logan came to be infused with the unbreakable metal, Adamantium, BWS’s story unfolds from the point of view of the scientists, administrators, and soldiers tasked with creating an unstoppable killing machine.  If you squint hard enough, it almost reads as a horror story with Logan cast in the role of a sympathetic monster.  Though it explores an element of his origin, it still leaves enough mystery to not diminish the character, as later explorations of the runt’s backstory unfortunately did.  As great as the somewhat unconventional story is, the art is even better.  BWS doesn’t seem to get as much attention as some of the other greats of the medium and that’s a crime.  Detailed, fluid, and beautiful, you’ll find yourself lingering on the weird machinery and mangled bodies that populate many of the claustrophobic panels.  This is clearly a book that deserves more recognition.  Pick it up today and I think you’ll enjoy this concise and satisfying read.

We have your last minute Holiday Needs! Come by and let us help you cross off those final holiday items on your list!

The Ogre's Staff Picks (12/06/2017)

Are you busy buying Holiday presents for your friends, family... Pets... Co-workers... Cousin's babysitter's brother's dog? Wow! The lists seem to get longer and longer every year. Let us help you by offering some Staff Picks suggestions.

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Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life GN

Lauren's Pick

Measuring up to its lengthy title, Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life sprawls over more than 400 pages of autobiographical fun! Follow the young author and her best friend on an epic journey through the Italy of the early 1980s in this travelogue meets coming-of-age story. Ulli Lust (Voices in the Dark GN) is a master cartoonist and storyteller, capturing the famous sights and settings with both clarity and style. Equal parts funny and heartwrenching, this book is my favorite graphic novel of all time. OF ALL TIME.

 
Mike's Pick

I Am Not Okay With This GN

Mike's Pick

Ever since I read the first issue of Charles Forsman’s Slasher (the final issue of which just came out last week!), I have been a huge fan.  His new Graphic Novel from Fantagraphics, I am Not Okay with This, is a return to his cleaner, simpler style.  Rendered in clear black and white, the cartooning reminds me of Peanuts or possibly Hi and Lois, however this is much darker, adult fare.  The story follows Sydney as she navigates a difficult teenage landscape.  Her father’s dead, she’s uncertain about her sexuality, her best friend is dating a jerk, and she has secret psionic abilities.  Authentic and angsty, melancholy and matter of fact, the book is a brisk read that nevertheless stays with you once you’ve finished.  Forsman seems to be a master at creating believable, and relatable, alienation.  I highly recommend this and all his other works.

 
Trish's Pick

Moon Knight TP Vol 1

Trish's Pick

Diverging from the original Moon Knight origin, this story written by Jeff Lemire (Underwater Welder, Descender, Animal Man) spins an entirely new beginning for Marc Spector. The reader first joins Marc in a mental hospital as he struggles to understand his dissociative personality disorder and grasp who he truly is. Hounded by abusive asylum attendants and a skeptical doctor but convinced that one of his personalities is the Moon Knight who fights crime by night, he’s consistently told that he has actually been in this asylum for his entire life. The art by Greg Smallwood (Amazing Spider-Man) is what first captured my attention as I’ve never really been interested in the character before. Not only are there multiple drawing styles depending on Marc’s current situation, but the panels themselves are often unconventional and change to convey certain story elements. Because the predominant theme of the story is Egyptian lore, the reader is introduced to many Egyptian gods and creatures that provide unique and stunning visuals from start to finish.   

Can you believe all of these incredible titles? And, don't worry, we always have more! Come by the store and let us help you stuff your stockings full of all the best books on the shelves.

And stop by here to see more of our Staff Picks.

The Ogre's Staff Picks (11/29/2017)

We apologize for the skipped week, but Mike is here to make things all better! With some wonderful new reads to offer. Let's check out his double-dose of Ogre Staff Picks...

Mike's Pick #1

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight TP

Mike's Pick (#1)

DC has a new animated movie coming out soon.  It’s an adaptation of the classic Elseworlds tale, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight.  I definitely recommend checking out the TPB (which also includes the sequel, Batman: Master of the Future) before you watch the film.  Penned by Brian Augustyn (Out There), this alternate reality story re-imagines Batman as a Victorian era crime fighter and pits him against one of the most notorious serial killers in history, Jack the Ripper.  Of course, this is an intriguing premise.  However, what really makes this dark and dreary tale so memorable is the magnificent pencils by the incomparable Mike Mignola (Hellboy).  I ask you, is there not a more perfect choice for this marriage of character, story, and atmosphere?  This story was so successful when it debuted that DC would go on to publish a whole slew of alternate takes on their stable of heroes.  It all started here, though, with this creepy and gorgeous thriller.

 
Mike's Pick #2

Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

Mike's Pick (#2)

In the mid ‘80s, DC enacted their first continuity reboot with the classic maxi series, Crisis on Infinite Earths.  Since they would be effectively starting their whole line over with a new beginning, it provided an opportunity for endings as well.  This is rare for traditional superhero comics as they’re designed to go on indefinitely.  The honor of providing an end for the first superhero, the inspiration for all the legions that would follow, fell to the peerless Alan Moore (Watchmen) and the man that many would describe as the perfect Superman artist, Curt Swan (Action Comics).  Evoking a bygone era while still retaining a contemporary approach, Moore and Swan create a truly bittersweet and heartfelt salute to a Superman that would soon be obsolete.  Crafting satisfying resolutions to decades long storylines and relationships was a monumental task, but they make it look easy.  In our era of decompressed storylines, it’s even more amazing that it only lasts two issues.  I’m not the biggest Superman fan, but this tale of his last battle has remained one of my favorite stories since its debut.  It deserves a spot on any superhero fan’s shelf.  It’s available now as part of the DC Universe by Alan Moore TPB.

 

Wow. Just... Wow! Can you handle these Staff Picks? Do you want even more? Make sure to stop by the store and we will happily toss more your way! And make sure to check back here weekly for all of the best Ogre Staff Picks.

The Ogre's Staff Picks (11/15/2017)

Are you ready for these Staff Picks? Are you? ARE YOU?!?!? Well, here are this week's Ogre Staff Picks.

Lauren's Pick

Cartoon Clouds GN

Lauren's Pick

Follow a group of art school friends as they try to navigate the postgraduate world in this new graphic novel from Joseph Remnant (Harvey Pekar's Cleveland). Fresh out of college, main character Seth finds himself laid off from his job as an artist’s assistant. Over the course of his search for some sort of fulfilling employment, he struggles to hold onto his own creativity as well as his relationships with the people in his life. Museums offer prestigious full-time internships but offer to pay in experience. Gallerists promise to open doors for emerging artists considered worthy, all of whom happen to be beautiful young women. Remnant employs his distinctive drawing style to depict a kingdom of trust fund babies with elaborate facial hair, each character more recognizable than the last. Elements of this story, if not its entirety, will feel eerily familiar to anyone who has experienced the pretentious depths of the art world.

 
Mike's Pick

The Private Eye DLX HC

Mike's Pick

Fan favorites Brian K. Vaughn (Saga) and Marcos Martin (Batgirl: Year One) are the creators of one of my favorite original graphic novels, The Private Eye.  Some decades after a Wikileaks-style dumping of the collective information of anyone who ever spent any time online, the world is a very different place.  The internet is virtually nonexistent, individuals' privacy is protected on a federal level, America has become isolationist, and most people have at least one alternate public identity.  The hero is an outlaw paparazzo private investigator known only by his initials, P.I.  What happens to him follows a classic L.A. style noir set up.  Femme fatales, getting in over his head, exploring murky morality, etc.  The mystery, while great, isn't exactly the point though.  The real strength of the book lies in its world building aesthetic and its unique and fully fleshed out take on a future shaped by the concerns of today.  What if all our internet search histories were made public for our friends, families, colleagues, bosses, and enemies to peruse?  Every drunken text, every awkward photo, every credit card bill?  Then there’s the art!  I've long been a fan of Martin's dynamic Steve Ditko meets Eurocomic style.  Additionally, the format of the book differs from that of a typical comic in that it is wider than it is tall, mimicking a cinematic presentation that brings scope to the imagery.  It's beautiful, entertaining, and thought provoking. I don't know about you, but that's my favorite combo.  A sci fi neon neo noir with a fresh premise, a gripping mystery, fun characters, and style to spare, I highly recommend giving it a look.

 

These Staff picks need to part of your collection. Like in a you-should-be-in-your-car-right-now-to-pick-them-up kind of need! And, if you need any more, we are more than happy to add to these. So come by the store! And check back weekly for the best Staff Picks around.

The Ogre's Staff Picks (11/8/2017)

Are you ready for this? Are you ready for some new Ogre Staff Picks? Well then... Let's jump right in.

Lauren's Pick

Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea TP

Lauren's Pick

As someone who has watched a lot of documentaries about North Korea, a recurring frustration I’ve had is a result of the restrictions on what filmmakers are permitted to capture. Because the nation is notorious for secrecy, particularly when it comes to outsiders, so many narratives from inside the Hermit Kingdom come out feeling narrow. Guy Delisle (Hostage HC) brings something new to the table with this critically-acclaimed travelogue chronicling a year he spent living and working as an animator in Pyongyang. His drawing style is simple and clean, conveying a feeling of tremendous loneliness that echoes through every panel. Equipped with sharp observational skills and an often dark sense of humor, Delisle maximizes the potential of his medium by revealing details of everyday life that a camera may not. For those (most) of us who are unable to travel there, Delisle’s Pyongyang opens a window into another world.

 
Mike's Pick

My Friend Dahmer GN

Mike's Pick

Like a mash up of From Hell and DAZED AND CONFUSED, Derf Backderf’s (Trashed) tale of his adolescent pseudo friendship with the notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is both heartbreaking and horrifying.  While Dahmer is the central figure in the book, he is also just a background character in Derf's own life story.  Had he not gone on to commit such grisly atrocities, he would've merely been one of those oddball outcast kids you every now and then find yourself wondering about, in the cascading years after leaving the pubescent sausage grinder of high school behind.  Dahmer's story, compiled from Derf's own memories and surviving high school memorabilia, as well as from credible news sources such as Dahmer and Derf's hometown Akron Beacon Journal, is told using Derf's more typical middle-American experience as a sort of foil that reveals much more in hindsight.  As much as he was a monster, Dahmer was also merely human.  His parents had a troubled marriage and a bitter divorce, he had a drinking problem, he had trouble coming to terms with his sexuality, he was bullied, he had urges that he couldn't confide to anyone, etc, etc.  This could be the story of any number of teenagers, and yet it isn't.  Derf's expressive and deceptively detailed artwork is also very engaging.  It looks like a cartoonish combination of Charles Burns and Robert Crumb.  Though the story is obviously a very personal one, the artwork being so unique intensified this feeling to a massive degree.  All told, this is a gorgeous book, despite the nature of the narrative.  My Friend Dahmer contains horror, but it is not a "horror" story.  It is a human story, that happens to be about the makings of a very real monster.  Read it now and then check out the new cinematic adaptation!

 

And... Because we did not post any Picks last week but Lauren always offers incredible book options. We though we would double up!

Lauren's 2nd Pick

100 Bullets TP Book 1

Lauren's Pick (Part 2)

A creepy old man hands you a briefcase. Inside is a gun, one hundred bullets of untraceable ammunition, and a photo of the person responsible for ruining your life. 100 Bullets is a story built on this simple moral quandary, following the mysterious Agent Graves as he travels the country dispensing the option of revenge—or justice?—to individuals who at first seem randomly selected. As the tale unravels over the course of its hundred-issue run, questions answered lead to new, bigger mysteries. Lives interconnect and are cut short, clues are hidden, and a conspiracy dating back hundreds of years is revealed. Brian Azzarello (Moonshine, Dark Knight III: Master Race) and Eduardo Risso work together masterfully to execute this sprawling work, a stellar example of modern noir fiction for fans of Sin City and Scalped.

 

We have the best books for you and there are so many more to offer. Make sure to stop by and we can talk your ears off! Come by and see us. And check back weekly for the best Staff Picks!

The Ogre's Staff Picks (10/25/2017)

It is almost Halloween ComicFest! Are we going to be seeing you? We are!!! That is so exciting! And we have the perfect Staff Picks for you to pick up.

Lauren's Pick

Sacred Heart GN

Lauren's Pick

What if all the adults vanished? This fascinating graphic novel takes a teenage fantasy to extremes, twisting it to unveil the horror lurking beneath an idea every adolescent has daydreamed about. Ben Schiller, her younger sister Empathy, and their various underage peers are the only remaining residents of their small town. As the kids go through the motions of normal life—parties, school, personal dramatics—writer/artist Liz Suburbia drops hints of something sinister. Without teachers the school is simply a gathering place, attendance part of a routine that the characters cling to. Ben passes a dead body on her way home, news that is met with little more than a shrug when she reports it to her friends. References to parents returning are sprinkled through conversations at parties, and everyone seems to be waiting for something. But what? This semi-apocalyptic tale is driven by its characters, each developed as much in silent montage as in the plot of the story itself. Suburbia executes each panel masterfully in black and white, with an attention to detail that will have you wanting to read this book again as soon as you make it to the big reveal on the last page.

Mike's Pick

Saga of the Swamp Thing TP Vol 1

Mike's Pick

Alan Moore (Watchmen) and a cadre of talented artists including most notably Stephen Bisette (Sgt. Rock) took Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson’s classic muck monster to new heights in a run that made Moore an icon.  At turns unsettling, horrifying, psychedelic, thoughtful, and fantastical, Saga of the Swamp Thing went from a cult series to a blockbuster.  Moore’s exploding and expansion of the character’s mythology from a more sophisticated viewpoint was directly responsible for the creation of the Vertigo publishing line.  Featuring guest appearances from Batman, Etrigan the Demon, and Adam Strange, Moore and company never neglected to add some fun while they were busy breaking ground on the types of stories that could be told in a mainstream comic.

 
Sarah's Pick

The Tea Dragon Society HC

Sarah's Pick

Greta, the young daughter of a blacksmith, is contemplating whether or not she wishes to continue in her mother's profession when she randomly stumbles upon a small, adorable, lost Tea Dragon in need of assistance. As thanks for returning his companion, an older man named Hesekiel offers to teach Greta the art of caring for these tiny creatures.

Creator Katie O'Neill (Princess Princess Ever After) returns with her beautiful colors and character designs to tell this story of new friends, relationships, and the ability to keep memories alive through traditional crafts passed down through the generations. Perfect for all ages!

 

Such great books! Trust us, we know best. We will see you Saturday (10/28) for Free Comics, Halloween Costumes and to throw incredible titles like these your way.

For all the best books, make sure to stop by here weekly and we will tell you about all of our favorite Picks!

The Ogre's Staff Picks (10/11/2017)

Why delay it any longer? Let's jump right on in. Here are this week's Ogre Staff Picks.

Lauren's Pick

Beautiful Darkness HC

Lauren's Pick

Gorgeous visuals disguise a growing sense of dread in this twisted fairy tale. When princess Aurora and her miniature subjects are forced to abandon their home, new challenges begin to reveal darker sides to the adorable citizens of Aurora’s world. Rendered in lush watercolors by artist Kerascoet (Beauty HC), the picturesque woodland environment takes on a new sense of danger and overwhelming scale in the eyes of characters no taller than blades of grass. Challenges mount, personalities clash, and the threat of winter draws ever closer until Aurora is forced into action. Fabien Vehlmann (7 Psychopaths TP) and Kerascoet's Beautiful Darkness offers a bleak thesis on the casual cruelty of nature and (tiny) humans alike, but I guarantee you won’t be able to look away!

Mike's Pick

My Favorite Thing is Monsters Vol 1

Mike's Pick

Emil Ferris’ debut graphic novel is an absolute masterpiece.  Eschewing traditional comic book story mechanics, the tale unfolds in the form of a young girl’s sketchbook/journal.  10-year-old Karen Reyes loves monsters and even imagines herself as a werewolf within the pages of her journal.  She draws versions of monster magazine covers that function as chapter breaks for the reader.  She’s also investigating the murder of her neighbor, a Holocaust survivor, while dealing with family issues and day to day life in Civil Rights era Chicago.  The theme of fictional monsters contrasted against real life monsters is cleverly explored in Karen’s journal entries.  Additionally, the artwork looks to be entirely done in intricate pen and ink.  MY FAVORITE THING IS MONSTERS announces a fantastic new talent to the medium.  It’s easily one of the best books I’ve read within the last five years.  Book one is available now with the concluding volume currently scheduled for an April release.

Don't these titles sound wonderful? You should absolutely come in and snatch these up and... While you are at the store, we can stock you up with even more fantastic stories. So come on by. And make sure to check back here weekly for all of the newest and greatest.

The Ogre's Staff Picks (10/04/2017)

Did you stop by and see us at CXC? Did you love every book we suggested? Of course you did! And we have even more titles to send your way, Here are this week's Ogre Staff Picks.

Lauren's Pick

Was She Pretty GN

Lauren's Pick

When we leave a relationship, what gets left behind for the next person to discover? Leanne Shapton (The Native Trees of Canada) channels the anxieties of dealing with a new partner’s history into this poignant collection. Each page of the book mirrors the way we learn about exes in life—in bits and pieces, latching onto specific details to anchor these unknown figures in our minds. A few sentences of text and a simple, minimal illustration give readers an outsider’s perspective on each life. Together, these vignettes weave together a tapestry of human relationships that feels true in its combination of vagueness and specificity.

Mike's Pick

The Crow TP

Mike's Pick

Arguably surpassed only by a certain quartet of mask clad turtles, The Crow was an ‘80s independent comics smash.  Creator James O’Barr (Deadworld) infused his artwork with his grief over a late loved one to create a violent supernatural noir revenge story that somehow merges operatic and punk rock sensibilities.  Utilizing lyrics interstitially from the likes of Joy Division and other goth favorites to flavor the melancholic narrative helps ground the strange happenings while enhancing the moody proceedings.  Eric’s journey as the vengeful titular Crow is both cathartic and moving, especially when considering O’Barr’s tragic history (recounted in the preface of the special edition TPB).  The Crow has lost none of its power over the years and comes highly recommended.  Check it out for a great start to this spooky season.

Mind blown from our unbelievably awesome suggestions? Well come by and we can throw even more wonderful titles at you. And check back here weekly for all the best Staff Picks.