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Blake Northcott’s 3 Hottest #NCBD Picks For November 20, 2013
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Guest NCBD Picks by Blake Northcott

Yes, I admit it: one of the best comics I’ve read this year is about magical orgasms. This week, Sex Criminals #3 (Image Comics – $3.50), written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky, will be the first book I tear into the moment I get home from collecting my stash.

Sex Criminals #3 cover by Chip ZdarskyFew titles have caught my attention in 2013 like Criminals; surprisingly sweet and refreshingly honest, the story explores the life of a young girl growing into her sexuality and the pitfalls she encounters along the way. Oh, and there’s some pretty bad-ass superhero stuff going on as well.

By the second installment we’ve already learned about her “˜powers’ (I can’t describe them in any great detail here…for a number of reasons), and she soon discovers that she’s not the only one who possesses these unique abilities. I have no idea where Fraction is taking me on this journey, but after reading his first dozen issues of Hawkeye, I’d follow him anywhere.

If you already picked up and read issues #1 and #2, I’m preaching to the choir here – you are going to grab issue #3 this week because it’s just that good. And if you’ve had trepidations about purchasing a book with the word “˜sex’ in the title, don’t let it scare you away – it’s worth the awkward moment when you avoid eye contact while the cute girl behind the counter bags and boards it for you (and you never know…it might be a good ice-breaker?).

Harley Quinn #0My second pick is Harley Quinn #0 (DC Comics – $2.99) Written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, and illustrated by virtually everyone on DC’s contact list. There are no less than 17 (that’s not a typo – seventeen) artists working on this book, including Dan Panosian and Dave Johnson – two of my personal favorites – as well as Jim Lee, Adam Hughes, Becky Cloonan, Sam Keith…the list goes on and on.

Why are there seventeen artist working on a single issue of a comic? Why ask why? Just pick this up and enjoy; DC has pretty much ensured there would be something for everyone in here, including Harley breaking the fourth wall (Deadpool style!) and chatting with the artists during what promises to be a colorful misadventure.

Arguably the runner-up in terms of popular female comic book characters (behind only the ubiquitous Wonder Woman), Harley has been in desperate need of her own book, and this is an intriguing way to get the party started.

Velvet #1 cover by Steve EptingAnd finally, I’ll be grabbing Velvet #1 (Image Comics – $3.50, 2nd Printing Variant Cover) written by Ed Brubaker and illustrated by Steve Epting. This is just one in a long list of sellout titles for Image in recent months, and it goes into its second print run this week due to popular demand.

I missed this title the first time around (it was originally released October 23), but the positive reviews – coupled with an intriguing, noire/thriller premise – makes Velvet a nice alternative to the spandex and plasma bolt books that typically saturate the shelves.

Let me know what your #NCBD picks of the week are!

Blake NorthcottBlake Northcott is a Canadian writer, Twitter-er, and Vampire Slayer (only the ones that sparkle). She’s a regular contributor at CBS Man Cave Daily, and has written two Amazon Kindle bestsellers.

Blake’s new project, the sci-fi/superhero novel Assault or Attrition, is currently available on Kickstarter, and features character design and illustrations by Marvel, DC, Image Comics, and Adventure Time artists, including Dave Johnson, Mark McKenna, Steve McNiven, “˜Roc’ Upchurch, Derek Laufman, Dan Panosian, and Natasha Allegri.

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