You can now grab Ares & Aphrodite chapter 3 from Comixology. Preview gallery below.

Thought, technically, it's chapters 5 and 6, since the digital versions have two chapters each. With their own special titles, even.

Major Spoilers has been giving the book a lot of great coverage, including:

* A new interview with Megan Levens 

* Chapter 1 review

* Chapter 2 review

Don't forget to tell you favorite retailer to order you the print edition in April. Details here.

Megan's first issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 10 also goes on sale tomorrow from Dark Horse Comics. You can see a full preview at Comic Book Resourcesut here is a quick tease.

Current Soundtrack: The Thrills, So Much for the City



American SniperClint Eastwood's uneven, politically muddled Oscar-nominated feature. Go for Bradley Cooper and the combat, hit the restroom during the "drama."

BlackhatMichael Mann fails to make his fascination with hackers interesting onscreen. Hemsworth fizzles in a zero-thrills thriller.

Adding to the disappointment, I reviewed the Patricia Highsmith adaptation The Two Faces of January on Blu-ray, and despite a fine cast--Oscar Isaac, Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen--found the con-man tale to lack passion.

Special Portland screenings prove more interesting.

* A trio of Robert Altman: The Long Goodbye, 3 Women, and the documentary tribute Altman. You can also read my longer review of the 3 Women Criterion Blu-ray

* Heaven and Earth Magica rare showing of an obscure 1960s animated feature from Harry Smith

Why so serious, Thor...?

Current Soundtrack: Belle & Sebastian, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance


Dark Horse has released details of their April titles.

Lady Killer #4 (of 5)

Joëlle Jones (W/A/Cover) and Jamie S. Rich (W)
On sale Apr 1
FC, 32 pages

Josie is a happily dedicated housewife and mother in 1960s suburban Seattle—but she’s keeping a secret from her family: she’s also a contract killer with nerves of steel! But when the tables turn and she finds herself with a target on her own back, she looks for answers from another mysterious, deadly woman!

“A level of violence that can only be described as Mad Men’s Betty Draper meets Dexter.”—Comic Book Resources

Dark Horse's April Solicits

Click through the gallery to see all stages of the cover.

There have also been a few more reviews of #1:

The Onion AV Club

* Major Spoilers

A second one from Newsarama

* Thor's Comic Review at Bleeding Cool

And how about this sneak peek at #4 pencils that Joëlle tweeted out?

Current Soundtrack: Ariana Grande, Yours Truly


Chapter 2 of Ares & Aphrodite hit Comixology today. 

The book is written by me, with art by Megan Levens, and lettering by Crank.

Published by Oni Press.

If you dig romantic comedies with a little bit of mystery, then this is the book for you. Published weekly through Valentine's Day digitally, with a print version in April.

Scroll through the gallery below for a preview.

Current Soundtrack: Mark Ronson, Uptown Special


Did you pick up The Double Life of Miranda Turner #5 this week? And by pick up, I guess I mean download it from Comixology? Up, down, either way.

Well, if not, Panel Patter has a review that let's you know why you should.

Despite not being a ton of pages, there's a lot going on. Rich know just what to say to give meaning to the story while also piling on the jokes, showing his lighter side. With Kambadais pulling in stronger visuals again, playing with perspective, using better color contrasts and generally mixing things, up, this is well on its way to hitting my main favorites list in 2015. 

And if that's not enough, how about a sneak peek at the #6 cover?

Current Soundtrack: Michelle Rosenthal's 2014 playlist. If you don't follow her art blog, start.



Exit Marrakecha lop-sided coming-of-age story from Germany that's helped out by excellent performances.

Inherent Vice, the deranged Thomas Pynchon adaptation from Paul Thomas Anderson.

This weekend in Portland, you can also catch Pedro Almodovar's fantastic Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

And Thursday, there is a premiere screening of a new documentary, Arresting Power: Resisting Police Violence in Portland, Oregon

I also reviewed the DVD for The Legend of Korra: Book 3 - Change. Shame the show only got one more season after this, it's really hitting its stride.

Current Soundtrack: Inherent Vice music and score


I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed by the positive response to Lady Killer. It's starting to feel a little ludicrous how long the list of reviews is becoming. I've never experienced such a stupendous amount of buzz around a title...and I've had some pretty good buzz. Not complaining, mind you. This is a good problem to have.

If you liked the first issue, now is a good time to let your comics retailer know. Lady Killer #2 is on its way to the printer, and I believe the print run will be set soon. Make sure you tell them you want them to order all the issues for you. Final Order Cut-Off for the second one is this coming Monday, January 12.

And if you want a sneak peek of #2, Broken Frontier has an exclusive pair of pages in their new interview with Joëlle and I.

Also, check out Joëlle on the local news:

My first review post was, basically, all the links that were up before I went to bed on the eve of the comic going on sale. These started the next morning:

Newsarama Best Shots: 7 out of 10

We The Nerdy: 7/10

CC2K: 4/5

Comicosity: 8.5/10

Sort of like how Mad Men took the rich visual glamour of the early 60’s and drenched it in alcoholism, failed relationships, and child neglect, Lady Killer upends the story of the Cleavers with a literal cleaver. It’s always fun to take a lighter look at the darker side, and this book does it with both style and substance.

Broken Frontier, who already gave us a great slot in their advance picks, now gives us a full review.

By the end of this first issue, the team has thrown Josie into a situation that’s a far cry from her comfort zone—and that’s great news for readers. If you prefer your social commentary with an extra-sharp edge, Lady Killer offers plenty to savor.

Panel Patter 

This first issue throws us right into the middle of the mystery of Josie Schuller, housewife and professional killer, showing just enough about her and establishing the conflicts which will presumably serve as the main source of tension throughout the series (i.e., the balance between Josie's hidden life and her more public one, and the potential problem her mother-in-law may be). One issue in and Josie is a compelling, complex character. 

 * Bleeding Cool

The writing is very fluid, sucked me right into the plot and held my attention right until the end. Joelle Jones’ art style has a classic but cryptic feel at some points. At the beginning of the issue, when the main character is posing as an Avon lady, there is a panel that sent chills down my spine. The expression on her face was so detailed, but the look in her eyes made me think…”This woman is capable of some pretty crazy stuff.” 

Throwback Thursday: The first drawing of Josie in her Kitty Kat Club costume.

* The 10 Spot ranks us as one of their 10s of the week.

* Comic Vine also gives us a perfect score: 5 for 5.

There are times you need to simply try a brand new comic. LADY KILLER needs to be that comic. With a strange mix of a 1960s wholesome vibe and a some serious violence, this is a refreshing book that gives you something delightfully different.

* Backwards Compatible

Overall this is a miniseries that feels like it has some teeth, the visuals cast and plot all work well together and the creative team feel like they have a handle on the cadence of the story. If you enjoy undercover assassin stories then this will be for you, as for me I’m already caught in the Lady-killers web.

* Geeked-Out Nation

* Comic Book Resources: * * * *

I've been a huge fan of Jones ever since "12 Reasons Why I Love Her," but I feel like she's upped her game here. The art has the same characteristics of her earlier works -- clean, carefully composed characters -- but there are also some differences; the art in general feels a little more fluid, the inks a little slick. In many ways, it reminds me a lot of Paul Pope, whose art always feels like it's going to slide off of the page, but with a tiny bit more self-control imposed by Jones. Jones also does an amazing job of building a fully-realized world through the art. The clothing choices instantly plunge your mindset into the past, and that's before you add in the backgrounds. Everything from wallpaper to home appliances is deliberately chosen to root this book in a specific time period, and it's all meticulously drawn.

* The Frog Queen

Man I love this artwork. I really do. Joelle Jones is brilliant here with this nod at 1950's magazine advertising. Her previous work includes Helheim, The Adventures of Superman, Doctor Horrible, Creepy Comics, Ultimate Spiderman, and the New York Times to name a few. The ink splattered pages subconsciously projects grit into your mind. The action panels are terrifyingly realistic with confrontational character poses that puts you in both in the perspective of the killer and then also the victim. With sensational colorist Laura Allred in her corner, this series deserves some serious awards.

Mental Floss declares us one of the Most Interesting Comics of the Week

The Fandom Post grades us A+

Finally, thanks to everyone who came out to our party last night. Things from Another World really put on a great event, and so many people dressed up, it was great. Here's a photo of Joëlel and I at the store.

Current Soundtrack: Nicki Minaj, The Pinkprint (Deluxe); Charli XCX, Sucer


On sale today is the digital-only The Double Life of Miranda Turner #5.

If you haven't tried the book yet, entry is cheap. You can get the whole series so far for just under $5.

Or you can just jump in now.

Because that's what Steve Strout did.

First off, I really enjoyed the writing. Written by Jamie Rich,  it seems like the book is aimed at a younger audience, but the story is well written and brilliantly illustrated enough to keep me interested, though more than a few have referred to me as a big kid. This is definitely a "fun for all ages" story.
The art in this book is bold, colorful, and right to the point. The art isn't over done, and it absolutely compliments the writing. I think artist, George Kambadais tells the story in his drawing, perfectly!

Here is a preview of the book's opening. Just click on the images to scroll through the gallery.

Current Soundtrack: Vince Guaraldi, The Very Best of Vince Guaraldi


So, Lady Killer #1 is here. Portlanders, don't forget about our Wednesday release party. It's going to be a blast. Info is here, or you can stream my Spotify playlist for the event, check the embed below.

Reviews have been really good.

The Geek Initiative dissects the issue and finds it has a lot under the surface. They say it "begs the reader to examine the complexity of characters and people."

What'Cha Reading? also gives us a longer look. "I loved Lady Killer. It was dark and funny. The writing evoked the 60s well so the juxtaposition of Josie as killer was that much more jarring."

Nuke the Fridge says "It was just that awesome and everyone needs some awesome in their lives."

* Super Space Chick's Tea & Comics column ranks us "Really Love It."

* Comics Bulletin lists us among their picks of the week. Pole position, in fact.

First up is Lady Killer #1 by Joelle Jones and Jamie S. Rich, published by Dark Horse. Jones is a big draw for me, capable of some very graceful lines, while Rich was a stalwart figure on the indie scene a decade or so ago, and always worth a look. They’re promising a weird juxtaposition of domestic bliss and visceral violence, in a way that reminds me of The Milkman Murders, a seminal work by Joe Casey and Steve Parkhouse that was tongue-in-cheek suburban horror, sort of subsuming the American Dream and traditional social roles

* Likewise with Fantom Comics and their weekly picks

Early ’60s housewife turned killer for hire?! Sounds like fun to us, and continues the wonderful recent trend of lady badass series. Glad to see Dark Horse getting in on the game.

Skelton Pete shares the preview and some kind words.

Writers Joëlle Jones (Helheim) and Jamie S. Rich (It Girl and The Atomics) set the stage in the premiere issue with some “if at first you don’t succeed” mano-a-mano murder worthy of Alfred Hitchcock’s Torn Curtain. Jones is also the illustrator of the series and keeps the line work crisp and the 50’s/60’s details accurate.

And has some particularly nice things to say about Joëlle's hard work.

To go along with a very good story is page after page of some really great artwork from Joëlle Jones. Those familiar with her work already know the level of quality you’ll get here. Those that are new will be very pleased to see what awaits them in this issue. From the character designs to the décor and locations, you will be fully immersed in the time period. The action has a nice visceral flow to it that is more brawler than stylized martial arts scenes. All of it is made complete with the colors of Laura Allred. Making the entire visual experience one that is quite enjoyable and worth several looks after you read it the first time.

Rockin' Comics may win for the best opening line

It’s like Mary Tyler Moore and La Femme Nikita had a baby, and that baby was Lady Killer #1.  Man, I’m just 24 pages into this thing and I want to take this baby home, nurture it, care for it, and watch over it as it grows.  (I think I just called a child and “it”… I’m not sure how I feel about that.)

Rhymes With Geek rates us 8/10.

Laura Allred has really outdone herself in the coloring of this comic. She perfectly accentuates Jones’ vibrant tone. Each panel looks like piece of pop art fit for a museum. This book has so much beautiful attitude emanating from it, and I can’t think of a single thing I’d change about the way it looks. Right down to the ink spray in the gutters of the pages, the design of this issue is something to admire.

* Big Comic Page drops a 4/5 on us.

There’s something uniquely appealing about the contrast in style that’s going on here, with the saccharine-sweet, whiter-than-white world of the early 60’s being juxtaposed with the brutal reality of the hitman (or hitwoman, in this case). Jones clearly takes great pleasure in playing around with this, having Josie switch from ice-cold – if slightly unlucky – killer to doting housewife at the turn of a page, and throwing in several great visual flourishes along the way.

Jamie S. Rich provides polish to the dialogue here, and it definitely flows smoothly throughout, from Josie’s earnest ‘Avon Lady’ routine during her opening contract to the flirtatious, innuendo-laden exchange with her handler Peck later in the issue. 

All-Comics.Com also gave us 4/5.

This book may be a comedy, but the art in this book is no joke (insert rimshot here). Honestly, Lady Killer looks amazing. Joëlle Jones is such a talented artist that doesn’t get enough attention for her great work. Lady Killer truly feels like she is on top of her game. Jones is able to capture the feel of the 60’s without making the series look outdated or flat. Speaking of artists who don’t get enough attention, I almost jumped for joy when I saw Laura Allred was coloring Lady Killer. Allred usually doesn’t do a lot of coloring work outside of her collaborations with husband Mike Allred. So anytime you get to see Laura working with other artists it’s going to be a colorful treat.

A 9/10 from Adventures in Poor Taste

* Broken Frontier Staff Pick

Multiple picks from Multiversity.


* Retailer picks at 13th Dimension

And let's close with an absolute rave, 10/10 from Coming Up Comics.

The hook alone makes this book worth reading, but what propels it to the level of perfection is Jones’ meticulous attention to details. Every line, angle, and trademark ink spatter she puts down on the page creates a world of aesthetic impact—these panels nearly pop right off the page with how perfectly composed they are. Heavily inspired by the era’s slick advertising, Lady Killer has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek when showing pictures of domestic bliss, where a dainty Josie cooks in a spotless apron while a huge knife features in the foreground.


Laura Allred’s coloring, however, is what truly brings this issue to life. There is quite literally no one else in the industry who could have colored this book better. Her choices always elevate, never muddle or hinder the artwork, and it’s this final wash of brilliant tones that brings Joëlle’s artwork to the next level."

Current Soundtrack: Snow Tha Product, "Hola;" Nicki Minaj & Jessie Ware, "The Crying Game;" Beyonce & Nicki Minaj, "Flawless (Remix)"


Ares & Aphrodite debuted today on Comixology. You can get the first installment and sign up for a subscription right here.

The full print version is going to follow in April. Diamond has details. It has some extra features, including a small sketchbook section, an afterword by Sequential Crush's Jacque Nodell, and the "Two Wheels, Two Feet" short story that Megan Levens and I did for Double Feature a couple of years ago.

Here is a short preview. Click on the image to scroll through.



Portland, OR (January 6th, 2015) – Oni Press is pleased to announce the launch of Jamie S. Rich & Megan Levens’ newest graphic novel, ARES & APHRODITE, the first chapter of which is now available at ComiXology and Madefire!

ARES & APHRODITE is the second collaboration between Levens and Rich, following 2014’s MADAME FRANKENSTEIN, and will be split up into weekly chapters, released every Tuesday for $1.99.  There will be six chapters of ARES & APHRODITE in all, finishing up on February 10th—just in time for Valentine’s Day!

ARES & APHRODITE follows the exploits of divorce lawyer Will Ares and wedding planner Gigi Averelle. Under normal circumstances, they’d probably never meet, but their respective clients are getting married! Set against the beautiful and duplicitous backdrop of Hollywood, this romantic comedy is sure to satisfy even the most bitter of hearts.

Intrigued? Readers can click HERE to get Chapter 1 of ARES & APHRODITE from ComiXology, or head over to MADEFIRE.COM for the first installment!


Current Soundtrack: Charli XCX, "Gold Coins;" Rita Ora, "Grateful"



Burroughs: The Movie, a revived documentary from the 1980s offers unprecedented access to the author. 

A Most Violent YearJ.C. Chandor's businessman crime picture. Very little crime, more business. Jessica Chastain is good, though.

Portlanders can also catch a week-long run of Die Hard 2 see a restored print of Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice. (Looks like Los Angeles is getting The Sacrificetoo.) I also have a full review here from the Blu-ray release.

Speaking of Blu-rays, I reviewed the Criterion release of Tootsie and was bowled over by it.

Current Soundtrack: Spoon, "The Rent I Pay;" GusGus, "Crossfade"


The stats don't lie. I could make a critical Best Music of for 2014, pick and choose what I think is maybe artistically the most supreme from the year, but I think the artists and albums I listened to the most, the songs that I had on repeat, ends up saying it all. I chose subconsciously, with my ears, in my headphones. And so, as has become the tradition, my most listened to artists and songs of the year...


1. Lily Allen

2. Morrissey

3. Lana Del Rey

4. Taylor Swift

5. Christina Aguilera

6. Beyoncé

7. Leonard Cohen

8. Damon Albarn

9. Jessie Ware

10. Iggy Azalea

11. Elbow

12. Jenny Lewis

13. Nicki Minaj

14. Pharrell Williams

15. Kelis

Honorable Mention: Both Oasis and Duran Duran were in my top 10, but since neither released new music this year (unless you count the Oasis reissues, which was certainly the reissue project of 2014, and why the band got heavy rotation), I took them off the list.

Indeed, Lily Allen earned her Sheezus title this year. I listened to her nonstop for the first half of 2014, and she also gave one of the only concerts I intended. The numbers below were manipulated a bit so she only shows up in three slots, or it would be half her on this list.

Overall, women dominated pop music, and offered a variety. Lana Del Rey and Charli XCX and Jenny Lewis and Azealia Banks and Taylor Swift...all different styles, all landing on my playlists for 2014 (even if they don't all make this list).


1. Lily Allen - “Air Balloon”
2. Taylor Swift - “Shake It Off”
3. Lily Allen - “Our Time”
4. Nicki Minaj - “Pills n Potions”
5. Lily Allen - “L8 CMMR/Hard Out Here/Sheezus”
6. Iggy Azalea/Charli XCX - “Fancy”
7 (tie). Elbow - “Charge/Taylor Swift - “Blank Space”
8 (tie). Beyoncé/Frank Ocean - “Superpower”/Morrissey - “World Peace is None of Your Business”
9. Damon Albarn - “Everyday Robots”
10. Jessie Ware - “Tough Love”
11 (tie). Jenny Lewis - "Just One of the Guys”/Morissey - “Earth is the Loneliest Planet”/Taylor Swift - “Out of the Woods”

Runners-Up: Lana Del Rey “West Coast/Shades of Cool”/VV Brown feat. Kele Okereke, “Faith”/Jenny Lewis - “The Voyager/She’s Not Me”/Kelis - “Jerk Ribs”/The Horrors - “So Now You Know/I See You”/Broken Bells - “After the Disco”/Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea - “Problem”/Pharrell Williams feat. Justin Timberlake - “Brand New”/Jessie J, Ariana Grande, & Nicki Minaj - “Bang Bang”/Nicky Minaj - “Anaconda”/Phantogram - “Bill Murray”

Party like it's 1989.

Current Soundtrack: Embrace, "Follow You Home;" Rokysopp & Robin, "Do It Again;" Grouplove, "Let Me In" (all from my 2014 master list)

LADY KILLER: New reviews and upcoming appearances

We are just a week and a half out from Lady Killer's debut, and more advance word is rolling in. 

Joëlle and I did one more interview over at Big Comic Page.

BCP: There’s definitely some fairly graphic violence in the first issue, but the series also seems to have a steady undercurrent of dark humour throughout. Was it important for you to strike that balance?

JSR: From day one, Joëlle laid out her plan to really go for it with the violence. If I remember right, she mentioned DEXTER as an indicator of how violent. It was important to us both that Josie’s job not be toothless, that people be genuinely surprised to see her do what she does and that it’s not very nice. We both have a pretty wicked sense of humor, you should hang out with us after a couple of drinks when we’re being catty. We both like the macabre. So, you know, a little ADDAMS FAMILY, a little of the AMERICAN PSYCHO movie.

We also have some pretty positive advance reviews.

* Geek Rex:

One thing I really dig about this first issue is the way Jones and Rich go about setting up the story. Rather than use the bait and switch (as I just did in my short description), they go about it from the opposite direction, showing you her clever cunning as she brutally murders a woman and then giving us her cover story and family life. It really lets us jump right in without basing the whole first issue on a twist that we already know is coming. -

Geek Chic Elite:

The combination of writing and artwork accomplish the most important thing; making you interested in the characters. They seemed alive with their facial expression and smartly drawn backgrounds bringing the characters to the forefront even more. The familiar setting for the most part becomes forgotten and pages can go by while you get involved with what’s happening in the panels before your eyes.

We continue to update our Tumblrand also don't forget to come to our January 7 release party at Things from Another World if you are in the Portland area. Joëlle, Laura, and I will all be in attendance, and I am putting together an extensive playlist for the event. 

You can also meet Joëlle at Wizard World Portland on January 23-25 and at Challengers Comics in Chicago on March 20. Original Lady Killer art will be on display at Challengers.

Then we we will both be at Emerald City Comic Con on March 27-29, signing with Dark Horse and probably Oni Press. I'll maybe make an appearance at Image Comics' booth, and also be hanging around Megan Levens' table. I'll post a full schedule once I have it. 

Current Soundtrack: Alison Moyet, Minutes & Seconds (Live)



written by Jamie S. Rich, illustrated by George Kambadais, lettered by Crank!

Miranda has been caught red-handed snooping around her dead sister’s apartment. Or at least that’s how it looks. Lindy Turner’s best friend, the teleporting superhero Portal, has been wondering where her pal the Cat has disappeared to, and so it doesn’t look good when a girl she’s never met shows up at the Cat’s lair wearing the missing crimefighter’s costume.

On sale January 7, published by Monkeybrain

Current Soundtrack: Mark Ronson feat. Kevin Parker, "Daffodils"



Big Eyes, a decent effort from Tim Burton, but his Margaret Keane biopic still falls well short of being a masterpiece.

The Imitation Gamethe story of computer pioneer Alan Turing, with his tragic life being portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch.

* Inside the Mind of Leondardo 3D, an upgraded TV documentary with Peter Capaldi featured in dramatizations of Leondardo Da Vinci's journals.

Into the WoodsDisney's adaptation of the Sondheim musical mostly entertains.

Stray Dogs, a remarkable new Taiwanese drama from the director of Good Bye, Dragon Inn.

Or if you feel like watching one of the most legendary bombs on Blu-ray, Otto Preminger's 1968 stinker Skidoo, has somehow gotten the high-def treatment.

Current Soundtrack: Lana Del Rey, "Big Eyes/I Can Fly"