Don't Forget Free Comic Book Day is Saturday, May 5th 2012!
Riffing: Nightmarish boat ride to the end of the world. Paranoia, claustrophobia and feelings of impending doom created by the experienced brushwork of a local metalhead.
Reference points: Imagine H.P. Lovecraft channeled by Mad magazine's Jack Davis. Mark Rudolph brings his craft to bear on the despairing planes of a pre-Cthulu horror classic.
If you like: Feelings of doom, despondency and the utter helplessness associated with the awareness that an ancient race of sea-dwelling pre-humans are waiting to pull all of humanity down into the cold, watery abyss.
Murder on Sesame Street
Riffing: Drugs. Murder. Corruption. These are the lessons that are being learned in a neglected and decaying Sesame Street.
Reference points: Rampaging plush psychotic parody. Mr. Rogers as Dirty Harry, Grover as pimped-out enforcer for mafiosoed Elmo. All in bright primary colors and brought to by the letters R., I. and P.
If you like: Laughing at the misfortunes of disadvantaged puppets. Tasteless parodies of beloved childhood television icons. Cookies.
Miserable Americans Part 1
Riffing: What if JFK and Abraham Lincoln both survived their assassination attempts, commandeered a convertible Cadillac, and shot back at a world they both helped to create?
Reference points: Evan Derian's scratchy linework intersects to create uncanny caricatures of two of the greatest presidents — and action heroes! Chase scenes through the modern dystopia of the modern industrial landscapes of Detroit help to frame a high-tech conspiracy of executive proportions.
If you like: Improbable buddy movies, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, Grant Morrison's Invisibles or Gone With the Wind.
Riffing: Great all-ages fun in this freshman release. A Tao of Pooh-style cast of archetypal characters in high adventure.
Reference points: What if Garfield and Heathcliff both went on a diet, after which one donned a pirate suit while the other one donned a cape and mask?
If you like: If you like: Good triumphing over evil, anthropomorphism and, of course, sharing your love of the comic art form with a younger generation.
Dan Merritt is co-owner of Green Brain Comics (13210 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-582-9444; greenbrain.biz). He is also the director of the Headspace Gallery and the vice-chair of the East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority.