I can tell I'm going to be perpetually behind for a while. More reviews coming up, and more talk about Wizard World at some point, but for now, here's the weekly crapshoot:
New comics this week (Wednesday, 7/2/08):
American Splendor Season Two #4
And another "season" of Harvey Pekar comics comes to a close. I wish Vertigo would just make this an ongoing, and put it out bimonthly or quarterly or something if there isn't enough material to keep it going every month. As for this issue, the only artist I see listed is Darick Robertson, but I bet Dean Haspiel will be in there, among others.
Astonishing X-Men #25
Beginning the Warren Ellis/Simone Bianchi run on this title. I decided to drop the thing after the Whedon run, partly because I was only buying it to see how it turned out (verdict: pretty good, but rendered anticlimactic by the delays) and partly because I am very apathetic toward superhero comics these days. Even the venerable Ellis isn't enough to get me to read an X-Men comic. But maybe it'll be awesome (which I doubt, since not much in the way of awesomeness can be done with the X-Men these days), in which case I'll endeavor to read it in collected form.
Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam #1
Mike Kunkel (Herobear and the Kid) picks up the reins of Jeff Smith's all-ages Captain Marvel relaunch, and it certainly looks cute and fun and everything. I don't know if I'll buy it or wait for a collection, but it will probably be hard to resist (especially because it's something I can probably get my wife to read. And my daughter, in a few years!).
Origins and backstories, hopefully. What went down between Butcher and The Seven? More good times ahead from Garth Ennis' excellent book. Dig it!
Hellboy The Crooked Man #1
A new three-issue miniseries written by Mike Mignola and drawn by Richard Corben. Their previous story, Makoma; or, A Tale Told By a Mummy in the New York Explorers' Club on August 16, 1993 was awesome, and while I vowed to wait for the trade on the next Hellboy series, I don't think I can pass this one up. Not that I'm complaining; getting Corben art is always a treat.
High Rollers #1
A gambling/crime comic from Boom! Entertainment, written by mystery novelist Gary Phillips and drawn by Sergio Carrera (After the Cape II). Could be good. I've got a review PDF sitting on my computer, so if I read it and dig it, I'll write something up.
House of Mystery #3
The mystery continues to build, or something. I'm liking it so far. This issue features a short story with art by Bernie Wrightson. Will it be the next Swamp Thing? I dunno, how does Bill Willingham stack up against Len Wein?
A miniseries from image about four female intergalactic bounty hunters who crash land on a planet and have to fight aliens and stuff. Eh, it could be good, but it also could be a lame excuse for cheesecakey art. Mike Wieringo did a variant cover though, so take a look at that, at least.
Lucha Libre #5
I decided to drop this after the last issue, not because it's bad, but because when the pocketbook is feeling the crunch, the inessentials have to go. Somebody let me know if I made a bad decision.
Brian Wood's viking thing gets closer to wrapping up the first storyline. Last issue ended with a pretty big twist, so it should be interesting to see how it plays out. Bring on the medieval violence!
Patsy Walker: Hellcat, Agent of Initiative #1
As silly as this sounds, I read a preview PDF of the issue, and it's actually pretty good. It's written by Kathryn Immonen with a fun, jaunty tone, and the art by David LaFuente Garcia is appealingly different, with kind of a manga look, or something sort of similar to Kathryn's husband Stuart Immonen. The story involves the titular character being recruited for the 50-state Initiative and sent to Alaska. Hilarity ensues. If you dig this sort of thing, check it out.
Stephen Colbert's Tek Jansen #1 (#2?)
I'm not sure if this is a reprint or a second issue, but either way, it's probably pretty funny. I should pick up that first issue sometime.
I thought this had come out already, but it's another miniseries from Boom!, by Johanna Stokes (writer for the show Eureka; she's also done some other stuff for Boom!) and Leno Carvalho. It's about a murder on a space station, and it's described as being in the vein of Whiteout. It certainly sounds interesting, and I've got a review PDF that I need to read, so I'll let you know if it's good.
Storming Paradise #1
New Chuck Dixon WWII comics. I dunno, I like war comics, but I'm not really a fan of Dixon. I saw him at WWC, but I didn't talk to him. Maybe I should have asked him if this would be worth reading.
Cola Madnes TP
A new Gary Panter collection from Picturebox. As I've mentioned before, I totally don't get Panter's work, but if you dig him, by all means, check this out.
Coraline Graphic Novel HC
I saw this at Borders the other day, and it looked pretty nice; you can't go wrong with P. Craig Russell doing the artwork. I would probably find it somewhat disappointing though, since I really liked Neil Gaiman's original novel. So I won't go rushing out to buy it, but I could definitely pick it up at the library as an academic exercise in adaptation. So watch for that, someday.
Complete K Chronicles TP
Keith Knight! I don't know if my shop will get this, and I don't know if I have the money for it, but I do like his comics, so I would love to read it sometime. Library, perhaps?
Fantastic Four Premiere HC Lost Adventures Stan Lee HC
This collects The Last Fantastic Four Story, a recent one-shot by Stan Lee and John Romita, Jr., along with that reconstruction of what would have been Lee and Jack Kirby's final issue of Fantastic Four (here's my review of said project). Plus a couple "rare" Lee-written issues, #296 and #543. All under one cover for more money! If you're a Stan Lee completist, here you go. But I think you would do better to read some early FF instead, like the expensive Omnibus editions or the cheap Essentials.
Minister Jade GN
Some sort of superhero-style story set in ancient China. Fun? It's from Cellar Door Publishing, whom I saw at a table at WWC, but didn't really stop to look at. Now I wish I had. Anyway, you can see a preview at their site.
Nevermore A Graphic Adaptation Of Edgar Allan Poes Short Stories TP
From British publisher Self Made Hero, this features what the title says, with stories by the likes of Jamie Delano and Steve Pugh, Ian Edginton and D'israeli, Leah Moore and John Reppion, and John McCrea, among others. If it ever shows in the U.S., it might be worth a look.
Strange And Stranger The world of Steve Ditko HC
A "critical retrospective" of Ditko's career, by Blake Bell. Looks like it would be a good companion to Mark Evanier's recent Jack Kirby book.
Trial A Graphic Novel TP
Also from Self Made Man, an adaptation of the Kafka book done by French comics artist Chantal Montellier and writer David Zane Mairowitz. I never know how well Kafka will turn out in graphic form (or any adaptation, really), but it could be good. Or I could read that Kafka book that R. Crumb did...
I thought this already came out, but maybe not. Anyway, it's a Minx book by Ross Campbell, about a surfer girl who loses a leg. I've got a review copy sitting at home, so expect something about it from me as soon as I get to reading it.
Wondermark Beards Of Our Forefathers HC
A collection of the popular (popular enough to get printed by Dark Horse, anyway) webcomic. I don't know if I'm too keen on the strips that I've read, but I did giggle a few times at the story that creator David Malki did for Dark Horse Presents. If this book is more like that, I could see myself reading it.
Lots of manga this week, starting with this older Akira Toriyama book about cute monsters like vampires and ghosts trying to fend off a monstrous disease. Looks like fun, and luckily I've got a review copy sitting at home to read. So look out for something here soon!
Crayon Shinchan Vol 3 TP CMX Edition
More youthful profanity and offensiveness against humanity. I really should try to read these.
Fairy Tail Vol 3 GN
This book was the talk of the comics blog-o-tubes a while back when the first two volumes came out. Will people still be excited about it? Should I try to read it? Why not, it's not like I don't have a million other things to catch up on.
Gun Blaze West Vol 2 TP
I dug the first volume of this shonen series by Nobuhiro Watsuki, creator of Rurouni Kenshin, so I'll definitely try to check out this second installment.
NANA Vol 11 TP
And then there's this volume, which I will certainly run to the bookstore like a madman in order to acquire. By the way, if you're wondering why I haven't reviewed the latest issue of Shojo Beat, it's because I screwed up my subscription renewal and missed an issue, so I'll have to seek it out from a newsstand somewhere. Damnation!
Path Of The Assassin Vol 12 Three Foot Battle TP
I really need to read this series, along with everything else Kazuo Koike has done, ever.
More maid manga from Kaoru Mori, creator of Emma. I still haven't read the earlier series, but I often hear that it is really good. Someday, someday.
Suppli Vol 3 GN
And finally, another volume of the josei series that I've fallen behind on, like almost all the manga I read. I'm sure I'll get to it eventually.
And that's everything, I believe. Whew! We'll see if I can get to anything tonight, but I'll hopefully get a review written and posted. But no promises.