Comics Creators

The Trades Thread - Hardcovers, Graphic Novels, and More


I read a few issues on MU a while back; it’s not particularly good.


That was the one where Bendis decided that because Moon Knight has Dissociative Personality Disorder, he should think he’s other Marvel superheroes like Spider-Man and Wolverine, right?


IST are now saying they have the corrected versions of the Fourth World Omnibus in, so hopefully Amazon will soon get some proper replacement copies in too, @Tom_Punk.

It’s still pretty damning of DC that they have to advertise it like this though:

“They’ve managed to get it right this time!”




Well, Amazon hasn’t immediately sent another copy like last time. So hopefully they actually are checking into getting the corrected copies.


Yeah, are you sure you’d recognise the right version if you saw it? :wink:


Yeah, it’s cheaper than my getting the two trades and very little of Bendis’ output do I consider truly awful.


Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet
Hey, another new (to me) trade in amongst all my rereads. I stumbled upon a copy of the OHC of this for about £6 and I was planning to reread the main series OHCs that follow it anyway, which is handy.

This was originally one of Marvel’s digital first “Infinite” comics which has been adapted for print and that does actually show quite starkly at times. There are lots of repeated panels with gradual changes that were clearly designed for the near-animated feel you’d get from a panel view progression of them. They work fine on the page, but they stick out a bit for their frequency. More cumbersome are the amount of panels that have been resized drastically - some smaller, some bigger - to their screen size, which shows in the artwork. Still, the story is (mostly) by Reilly Brown, who is great, so it holds up.

He does get a tad overwhelmed by the massive monster mash of the end of the story, but then so does the writing. The story is a bit thin to begin with - Deadpool is hired by Dracula to retrieve Shiklah, a succubus that’s been sealed away underground for centuries, so they can marry. But it quickly turns into Dracula sending people after them for spurious reasons, with a sort of travelogue romp from the middle east to the US. The whole thing feels like it’s been plotted on the fly - Shiklah’s brothers are suddenly introduced out of the blue, hang around doing nothing in particular for a while, then get dispatched - which isn’t to its benefit. But Gerry Duggan manages to keep the whole thing funny enough to chug along suitably.


Secret Empire

Like a lot of people, I purchased Secret Empire in the recent Comixology sale that offered the full collection for 69p/99c. I think I just about got my money’s worth.

As with a lot of reviled superhero stories {cough} One More Day {cough} it’s not actually as bad as its awful reputation suggests, it’s just pretty mediocre, and suffers from two of the symptoms that seem to blight a lot of ‘event’ books: uneven art (the artists here are mostly pretty good, they’re just mixed-and-matched from issue to issue in a way that leaves the whole thing feeling very disjointed and inconsistent) and a sense of major chunks being missing from the story, presumably farmed off to the tie-ins.

It means that you get lots of key plot points set up in the main series that are either never mentioned again, or lack any real meaningful payoff or resolution by the end. And it also means you get oh sod it, I can’t actually muster up the enthusiasm to even talk about it any longer, it’s just not worth the pixels. Let’s abandon this halfway through and move on to something that I actually enjoyed…

Mesmo Delivery HC

Rafael Grampá is someone I mainly know through his occasional pin-ups and covers, which I’ve loved - but until now I’d never actually read a story by him. So as one of his few major comics works, I thought I’d give Mesmo Delivery a shot. And I’m glad I did, as I found it very enjoyable.

At only around 50 pages, it’s a fairly short and simple story that revolves around a fairly small cast of characters and largely takes place at a single location, giving Grampá a reasonably limited framework in which to let his mystery play out. In fact, you could sum up the plot in just a few lines (but I won’t, as it’s a more fun book without any spoilers at all). But the real attraction here isn’t in the story so much as how it’s told.

Grampá’s style is big, bold and intricate, making him one of those artists that can draw pretty much anything and leave you drooling over the details.

In this way, he brings to mind greats like Geof Darrow or Frank Quitely, even though his specific style isn’t particularly similar.

It’s confident, textured stuff that isn’t afraid to open up and give over a large amount of page space to create some big moments.

Considering the start of the story is fairly low-key and quiet, it builds to a very dynamic and vibrant climax, with some strong, bloody violence and other unpleasantness that would be offensive if the whole thing wasn’t so gleefully cartoonish and stylised.

The closest thing I can compare it to is a Tarantino movie. Like Tarantino’s work, the characters and situations of Mesmo Delivery feel heightened and exaggerated, not even attempting to be grounded or realistic, and are all the more enjoyable for it.

While detractors might say it’s an example of style over substance (the characters are wafer-thin and the plot twists are not all that unpredictable, and don’t come with a huge amount of fanfare), I’d argue that - like so many great comics artists - the style is the substance, and you’re reading it more to be taken on a ride by Grampá’s particular flavour of storytelling than anything else.

Given that it’s a fairly short book with large panels, Grampá still makes time for some fun diversions, including an amusingly surreal subconscious scene…

…and some lingering shots that draw attention to background details - signage, logos, architecture and the like - in a way that gives them an almost abstract quality. All of these finessed details add up to a fully-realised world created by someone who obviously has a clear vision for their art, and it makes for a more fulfilling read than you might expect from such a slight story.

As for the book itself, it’s a nice smart hardback from Dark Horse, printed at regular page size, with plenty in the way of extra material at the back (detailing character designs, layout ideas, and lots of other little aspects of the book that give you some insight into Grampá’s processes). I got my copy for just over seven quid from Books Etc., and at that price it’s well worth a look.


I picked up Mesmo Delivery a while back (I think before the printing of this current edition) and really enjoyed it. The only downside to me is that Grampa has so little work out there (beyond covers) that there was nothing to really follow it up with. I follow him on Instagram and he does post some interesting work from time to time.


Yep. I looked up his bibliography and aside from a couple of odd bits here and there it doesn’t look like he has much of a body of work. Hopefully we see something more substantial again at some point.


I’m not sure if we will see much. He has been doing work with commercials. Absolut was one of the big ones.


Trashed by Derf Backderf - This is a book all about garbagemen and trash. Derf uses his personal experience working a summer job on a garbage truck and research into the area of landfills and garbage to tell a story that encompasses the feeling of a shitty job along with being very informative about the state of trash in our world. Even though he has fictionalized most of the story, it’s pretty obvious what his influences were and where some of the events take place. I’m sure I have friends in at least one of the neighbors referenced and the bit at the end shows a glimpse of the cheap theater down the road. If you like slice of life comics, definitely check this out. With the interested you’ve expressed in the field, I definitely think you would enjoy it, @Todd.


Okay so
This has to be one of the stupidest things I’ve seen.
Using a separate titles trade dress on a cover of reprint material which is 20 years old.

Collects X-Men (1991) #70-79, X-Men/Dr. Doom Annual 1998 and material from X-Men Unlimited (1993) #18

X-Men Gold Vol. 0: Homecoming

If their goal is to confuse older readers and deceive newer ones then Job done.


That art is incredible, and I’m intrigued by the story after reading your write up

Good sales job Dave, I’m going to order this


I looked into that in the sale this week and I was completely gob smacked by what they were trying to do


Not got much more time to post but I just want to add that I read kill or be killed volume 3 yesterday and this book just gets better and better.

Some of the reveals have added some more real depth to the story and characters and I never saw them coming.

I’m so eager to read on. The temptation to pick up the next few singles instead of waiting for volume 4 is overwhelming - I love it when a comic does this to me.


It is batshit crazy; but I love that Kelly/ Pacheco era.


The next arc goes somewhere quite different, but just as great. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all wraps up.


Yeah they really are keeping you guessing with Kill or Be Killed.