Comic Shots #8 with Chris Neseman: Rebel Yell and ‘Fear Agent’

September 3, 2008

Each week Chris Neseman drops by to pass along a tasty drink recipe and an even tastier comic book recommendation. The cocktail and the comic can both be enjoyed independently, but they have a common theme and when served together they can make for the perfect reading experience.


Welcome to week three of my month of bourbon drinks. This week’s bourbon selection was full of surprises for me. To begin with, it’s the first time I’ve ever made a drink that had an egg as one of the ingredients. Secondly, it in no way tasted like it’s name. The drink is called a Rebel Yell, and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite bourbon cocktails. This one takes a little work, but take my word for it, if you make this cocktail you’re going to be a happy little comic book bartender. So let’s get going. I present to you the Rebel Yell.

Rebel Yell
• 2 oz Bourbon
• 1 oz Lemon juice
• 1/2 oz Triple Sec
• 1 Egg White

I know the Egg White part is going to freak some people out, but stay with me. This elevates the drink from your average shaken cocktail into a creamy smooth concoction. For the bourbon I went with my regular 80 proof Jim Beam because the other ingredients are subtle enough that it can stand up to them. I wouldn’t begrudge anyone for using a stronger proof bourbon like Knob Creek if you want this to have more kick. The other ingredient that should be noted is the Lemon Juice. I can’t stress enough how important using fresh squeezed lemons is when you’re making a drink. Go buy a $12 lemon/lime juicer and thank me later. Set aside a cocktail shaker and fill it a little less than half way with ice. Add your bourbon, fresh lemon juice, Triple Sec and one egg white. I could explain how to separate an egg, but go here and get a better demonstration. Shake all the ingredients in a shaker with ice cubes and strain into an old-fashioned glass over ice.

This is a wonderfully smooth and refreshing drink that you have to taste to understand. I don’t think it’s aptly named, and instead of Rebel Yell, I would call it Kentucky Sunset, or something a little less angry. The citrus flavors from the lemon juice and the Triple Sec mix with the bourbon well, and the egg white holds everything together. This makes for a great before before dinner drink and the wow factor of your friends watching you make a cocktail with an egg isn’t a bad thing either.

So mix up a Rebel Yell and take a seat in your favorite comic book easy chair so you can catch up with another one of my favorite rebels:

Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Rick Remender
Artists: Tony Moore, Jerome Opena & Various

Two oddly connected comic occurrences have been the inspiration to this week’s comic book recommendation. The first was at the 2005 Wizard World Chicago when I stumbled into the lounge area of a mens room at the Hyatt Hotel, and the other was when I had the honor of talking with the truly wonderful Mr. Russ Cochran. How are these two things related you ask? Well, anyone who is a fan of EC Comics knows that Russ Cochran has been keeping the flame of those classic comics alive for decades, and as for the bathroom, well here’s the story.

After a long day of walking the floors of Wizard World, Brian Salazar and I were hanging out at the Hyatt Hotel Bar. This is the convention’s traditional post show meeting place where fans and creators have a chance to talk and have drinks. On a trip to the men’s room we happened upon two gentlemen who were sitting at a table by the door positioned near the sinks and paper towel dispensers. In retrospect I believe the table and chairs had been drug into the bathroom as a way to get away from the crowd outside. Those two gentlemen already engaged in conversation were Ivan Brandon and Rick Remender. This was the first time I had met them, and was totally unaware of their work as comics creators. It was 2005 and I was still getting up to speed on stuff outside of Marvel and DC. Rick and Ivan talked with Brian and I for about an hour… in the bathroom. People would walk in, hang out for a while and then wander out. Eventually Tony Moore joined the group and that’s when I heard about he and Rick’s new project called Fear Agent. From the second Rick described it as a Sci-Fi, two fisted man of action comic straight out of the Wally Wood school of EC comics, I was sold. Rick’s enthusiasm about the project was enough to make seek it out months later when it was released. We eventually got kicked out of the men’s room that night (or morning by that time) by security, and to this day, the whole experience has remained one of my favorite con moments.

Fast forward to today, and all of the expectations I had about Fear Agent have been more than fulfilled. Fear Agent has become a book that I look forward to each and every month. This column is supposed to be about drink and comic book recommendations, but after countless Top of The Stack selections on Around Comics and Picks of the Week here at iFanboy, if you haven’t taken our word for it yet, shame on you. I haven’t met anyone who’s read Fear Agent and not liked it. It’s that good.

I’ll get back to Fear Agent in a moment, but I want to tell you why Russ Cochran and EC play such a big roll here. As a modern comic reader who grew up in the 80s I never really took much notice of EC’s late 40s and 50s era comics. These were the epitome of old comics to my eyes. At the time I was more interested in Wolverine fighting Sabertooth than reading comics from thirty or forty years ago. But in January of 2007 I was lucky enough to be a part of an episode of Around Comics where we talked with Russ Cochran. After the interview I decided to give these classic old comics a chance. I picked up one of the new EC Archives that Russ was putting together through Gemstone Publishing and my comics life hasn’t been the same since. Really sitting down with EC for the first time was an eye opening experience to say the least. Sure, the stories were overwritten and didn’t hold up to my modern taste, but they were still fun and entertaining. EC had it all. Sci-Fi, war, crime, horror and western stories could all be found within the pages of these books. And the art. My God the art is amazing. Wally Wood is a name I had heard of, but I had no idea the mastery he had of the art form. Soon I fell in love with more artists like Jack Kamen, Al Feldstein, Johnny Craig, Reed Crandall, Graham Ingels, John Severin, Al Williamson and the amazing Jack Davis. These and other masters of sequential art are the reason EC became a juggernaut in the comics industry. The stories were filled with big action and quite often, big concepts. Before the world knew CGI the art in these books could transport a reader to places never imagined. EC comics sold in the millions and were rolled up in the back pockets of hundreds of thousands of kids all over the country. This was the Golden Age of comics. Alas, Fredric Wertham and the Comics Code Authority would end EC’s domination of the comics industry, and the age of the two fisted man of action would leave the world of color comics. That is until Rick Remender and Tony Moore unleashed Heath Huston, the last of the Fear Agents.

Remender and Moore have created a modern love letter to everything that was great about EC. The big action is there by the truckload, and Heath is nothing if not two fisted. He does everything hard. He fights hard, loves hard and he drinks really really hard. Fear Agent appears at first to be a sci-fi series, but the trick of the book is that it can morph into any type if story the creators want to tell. So far there have been outer space adventures, a war story and now a western. The universe that Heath lives in offers any setting, situation and conflict that the fertile imagination of Rick Remender can come up with. It’s not a huge leap to guess that Heath will take a turn as a gumshoe detective at some point in Fear Agent‘s future. The point is that Fear Agent exists without rules or limitations. Time travel, giant brain aliens, trips through black holes and battles that span galaxies are all the playground of Fear Agent. In a very short amount of issues, the Fear Agent universe has become a large tapestry of alien races, governments and a complex yet interesting history. The addition of the Tales of The Fear Agent backup stories has helped to flesh out the overall feel of the book and contributed to the large universe aspect of the book.

And the art. The art is amazing. Tony Moore has been a personal favorite of mine since I first saw his work in The Walking Dead. In Fear Agent I saw his work in color for the first time, thanks to Lee Loughridge, and was blown away. What makes the art of Fear Agent so special is the alternating art duties of Moore and Jerome Opena. What I first thought of as a fill-in work with Opena’s art I now see as a game of raising the bar between artist. Each time Moore and Opena pass the baton there is more to live up to. Both artist capture different aspects of Fear Agent in unique ways. Moore’s trademark “lots of crud” style showcases the gritty and hard world that Heath exists in. Nobody draws a thirty foot, slimy alien quite like Tony Moore. On the other side, Opena captures the big action of the book by throwing objects at the camera and choosing angles that emphasize the out of this world Sci-Fi adventure of the series. Amazingly, both styles work in concert with each other and each arc gets better as the duo seems to be playing a game of “see if you can top this”. As the stories of Tales of The Fear Agent have helped to build the universe, they have also served as an anthology like way to see new and different artists work on the series. I don’t know if anyone has a better feel for drawing Fear Agent than Moore and Opena, but it’s a lot of fun watching a wide variety of people try.

In the end I don’t think there’s anything more I can say about Fear Agent that hasn’t been covered in other articles, podcasts and blogs, but if there’s even one person out there that decides to FINALLY check out the adventures of Heath Huston I’ve done my job here. Just like you shouldn’t be afraid to mix an egg into your drink every once in a while you shouldn’t be afraid of some good old fashioned, two fisted man of action fun on the comics shelves. Thanks for reading and drinking, and see everyone back next week for another round of Comic Shots!


Chris Neseman is the host of The Around Comics Podcast and a co-host of the 11 O’Clock Comics podcast. You can contact him at and suggest a cocktail or comic of your own, because good drinks and good comics should be shared.

Please obey the law and only drink if you are of age. Drink responsibly and never drink and drive. Buy the comics that make you happy, and when they do, pass them on!


  1. I just ordered this yesterday.  You cost me money retroactively!  

    Once again, another fantastic review.  I’m even more excited for this to hit my doorstep.   

  2. One of my top three books.  Too bad I am the only one in my LCS that get it no matter how much I tell how great it is.

  3. Let me know who your LCS is.

    I will send some of my "friends" to have a chat with them.

    That ANY shop would only have one person buying Fear Agent is unforgivable. That’s a shop owner or manager that doesn’t care.

  4. Sounds like a great book.  After finally finding XXXombies and enjoying it, I’m sure I’ll like more of Remender’s work.

  5. i just recently caught up in the issue format.

  6. In a strange way, the drink looks like what Heath Huston would have to order as he sidled up on some bar stool in the middle of the Crab Nebula. 🙂

    Another fun (and informative) read Chris.


  7. …and you’re not supposed to, like, whip the egg white or anything? Just pour it into the shaker and get all Bryan Brown on it?



  8. The egg white gets the crap beat out of it when you shake the drink. I know it sounds weird, but because there’s no yolk, it doesn’t have an "egg" taste.

    My wife said I was crazy and refused to even try it 🙂

  9. All right…I’m going to trust you, even though you’re an insane Chicagoan probably trying to poison us all. I heard about whoever you killed in the strip mine…




  10. No body = No crime

  11. Good drink for a great series. Yet another good article. Nice work.

  12. @ChrisNeseman I didn’t know that us comic geeks had "friends".

  13. We don’t like to talk about it.

    When a podcast stops putting out new shows, now you know why 😉

  14. Fear Agent was another one of the addictions forced onto me by iFanboy.  I read the first two trade paperbacks, then got into issues, and there’s been no turning back.  Chris, you did a great job of summarizing why Fear Agent is so damn good.

  15. Rebel Yell (I used to know it a "the Rebel") is a drink I haven’t had in years!  Damn you Neseman, now I’m going to have to make one of these this weekend!


    Oh and Fear Agent is pretty o.k. too.  😉


    the Tiki 

  16. One thing I’m learning is that the iFanboys have good taste. Picked up the most recent TP of this and I can totally see what Conor is talking about. Good stuff.

  17. I will be picking up these trades someday soon. I promise.

  18. One of the best comics out  now…

    Rebel Yell…That’s friggin funny Chris, did you make that drink up!? 

  19. Can’t believe you didn’t use <a href="">this</a&gt; as your bourbon…

  20. Hey, how come I can’t do the linky thing? Anyway, REBEL YELL BOURBON WHISKEY, in case you didn’t want to cut and paste the URL. Sigh.

  21. Nice to know a Rebel Yell is still a Fear Agent against y’all. 😉