The thing about positive gender representation, is that it’s about more than just creating a bunch of cookie cutter characters in order to fulfil a quota. To get true equality the characters also have to be meaningful and engaging – and that means making them unlikeable as well as likeable. And that is definitely what Ryan Heshka has done with his new book The Mean Girls Club: Pink Dawn, which features a bunch of hell raising, ass kicking women who make the residents of Bitch Planet look like the Downton Abbey Women’s Institute!

To paraphrase the line that opens the comic itself, small towns can often hide big secrets. While, in many real life small communities, this is limited to infrequent scandal over doping at the local pumpkin growing contest or the occasional local vicar syphoning off bake sale funds to fund the construction of a monument to his dark lord Cthulhu. In White Ash by Charlie Stickney however, the titular small town is hiding something far bigger.

The Silver Age of comics, while not the beginning of comics, will always be the foundation of we all now take for granted. Without the likes of Lee, Kirby, Ditko and beyond, comics would surely not have reached the heights it has. This week, the silver age returns to modern comics in the guise Andy W. Clift’s love letter to that period; the Adventures of Captain Cosmic. But can this new comic of a galactic superhero and his sidekick capture the magic of that historic time?

Although we love our indie and small press comics here at Pipedream Comics, every now and again we like to dip our toe back in to the mainstream – although not too far – and so this week we take a look at a couple of books from Image that have been rocking our world (Mark Millar’s new arc of Kick Ass and Ryan O’Sullivan and Plaid Klaus’ trippy sci-fi road trip Void Trip), as well as a new offering from IDW’s Black Crown imprint that is brining a bit of snarling attitude to the world of comics in Punks Not Dead!

Mental Health continues to be an ever-growing concern in society and so it makes sense for fiction to focus more on it. Comics are no exception to this with a number of small press titles, like Worry Wart, Brain Shoodles and Wired Up Wrong, all focused on various mental health issues. This week we look at Roddy McCance and Rolands Kalnins’ Tales of the Fractured Mind, an anthology which offers readers a more varied glimpse into the different forms of mental health.

In late 1979 Atari released Adventure on its 2600 console, a landmark title in the archives of video game history as it featured the first documented “Easter Egg” when Warren Robinett secretly coded his name into a hidden screen of the gam, influencing countless others over the subsequent years. Fast forward 39 years to 2018 and video games have become a huge element of popular culture, a significant proportion of the entertainment industry, the subject of ongoing debate as to what can be considered art and, perhaps most importantly, a core theme in the story of Hex Loader, the third issue of which launched at the recent True Believers Comic Festival.

This week, we check out Alterna Comics’ new Post-Apocalyptic Horror story The XII: The Father by Patrick Trahey, Luis Suarez and Magnus which follows a family as they attempt to survive the hell of the apocalypse while avoiding a mythical band of boogeymen. Can this title reach the promised land of sales success or will it, too, end up getting marked?

We’re a bit late to the party when it comes to Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss’ pre-teen crime drama 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank from Black Mask Studios, as we only discovered it via a number of end of year lists. However if we’d reviewed in time, then it definitely would have made our top ten, but why is 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank so good?

Dan Butcher. Vince Hunt. Tony Esmond. Together they form the Awesome Comics Podcast, a motley bunch of small press comic creators whose weekly broadcast has grown into an essential backbone of the UK small press community. Now, the trio have taken their brand a step further with Awesome Comics #1, an anthology featuring stories from each member. In the aftermath of its release at True Believers, we at take a look and see if it’s truly deserving of the name ‘awesome’.

One of our essential picks from this year’s True Believers, the beautiful painted covers of Russell M. Olson’s Gateway City evoke memories of vintage adverts and posters from a pre Mad Men era – all stylish poses, soft pencil and pastel colours. However, lurking in the pages of the book itself is a strange and twisting tale of bootleggers, private eyes and intergalactic visitors! But will this new series be one that opens the gate to an exciting new creator or will it remain firmly shut?