Monday, January 5, 2009

This week's releases continue to bore me

I appear to be in a sort of non-posting holding pattern here, even though I have a few books piling up.  Luckily I have these weekly things to keep me from turning into Jones.  And if anybody is interested, I started what I initially thought would be a fun thing and then gave up on it, but rather than throw away what I finished, I posted it here.  Enjoy, or don't.

New comics this week (Wednesday, 1/7/09):

Anna Mercury #5

Warren Ellis continues to roll on with this sort of thing.  This issue finishes the miniseries, but apparently it's going to continue at some point.  I only read the first two or three issues, and they were decent, but apparently fairly unremarkable.  Somebody let me know if it is imperative that I finish the series.

Blue Monday Thieves Like Us #1

Hey, new Blue Monday!  I don't think I'm fully caught up on this series, having only read the first two miniseries, but I still recommend it.  Chynna Clugston writes some funny, dirty teen comedies, and she's good with the manga-style art too.  Check it out if you haven't read her stuff before.  If you have, you'll probably be planning to do so anyway.

Boys #26

Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson keep keeping this thing going.  I'm regretting that I have to wait for a collection to catch up, because it's one of the most entertaining and well-done books currently coming out.  But I'll jump right on it when I get the chance.

Doktor Sleepless #11

Did I mention that Warren Ellis is still doing his thing?  Because that's the case here as well.  Like before, I stopped reading the series, but I was kind of enjoying it before I dropped it.  Maybe I'll catch up at some point.

Haunted Tank #2

The first issue of this Vertigo series kind of got mixed reviews, but it seems like it could turn into something pretty interesting.  Or it could go into the crapper.  Let's hope it's the former and that I'll have to seek out a collection, because I always like to cheer for comics to be good.

Hellboy The Wild Hunt #2

Part two of the latest Mignola/Fegredo thing.  I'll probably be jumping on this as soon as it's collected; I know the art I saw from the first issue was gorgeous.

Hexed #1

Some sort of witchy comic from Boom! Studios.  I really should read the preview PDFs they send me more often; the glance I took at this one looked neat, if only because of the crazy-colorful artwork.  Uh, it's by Michael Alan Nelson and Emma Rios.  Take a look?

House of Mystery #9

Another Vertigo series that I might try to catch up on at some point.  This issue is supposed to have a story illustrated by Bernie Wrightson, but hasn't he been advertised in something like three issues already?  Maybe he'll actually be in this one.

Invincible Iron Man #9

Fraction and Larocca, trying to work with the hand that Marvel dealt them.  They get my sympathies, and maybe they'll even turn out a decent comic.  I'm tiring of Larocca's art style though; just draw some lines, man!

No Hero #3

Warren Ellis does his thing, part three.  I only read the preview #0 issue of this series (which is illustrated by Juan Jose Ryp), and it seemed pretty good, although I've heard that the next two issues were only so-so.  Maybe it gets better here, and I'll have to pick up a collection at some point.  Maybes are my stock in trade these days.

Sandman Dream Hunters #3

P. Craig Russell continues the unnecessary adaptation.  Cover by Paul Pope!

Shrapnel #1

The latest new series from Radical, about a solar-system-wide civil war.  Created (but not written) by science fiction author Nick Sagan (who?).  Radical's books often look pretty nice, but I've never read more than an issue or so of any of them, so who knows how worthwhile they are.  But here's another one, for your consideration.

Sub-Mariner The Depths #4

Peter Milligan and Esad Ribic continue their weird book about undersea paranoia, and maybe Namor.  It's been an interesting one, but not all that memorable, at least not yet.  Only one or two more issues to go though, so maybe Milligan will end it well.

Agents of Atlas TPB

For anybody who missed the original Jeff Parker/Leonard Kirk miniseries and want to catch up on the new ongoing series, here's the paperback version of the collection of that story.  It's pretty good stuff, gathering a bunch of forgotten characters from the 50s and sending them on a neat adventure.  Hopefully the new series will be as good.  Like the original hardcover collection, this also includes reprints of the characters first appearances, which is a nifty extra.  Check it out.

American Splendor Another Dollar TP

The collection of the second Vertigo miniseries of Harvey Pekar stories.  As always with Harvey, it's good stuff, with art by lots of great collaborators, including Dean Haspiel, Darwyn Cooke, Darick Robertson, and many others.  I forget, was Gilbert Hernandez in this volume?

Daredevil by Frank Miller Vol 3 TPB

Respected earlier work by Miller; I think this finishes off his run on the title, containing the post-death-of-Elektra material.  I read the whole thing a few years ago, and it's pretty good, for superhero action and such.  I've kind of soured on Miller in recent years, but this stuff is pretty classic, so it's worth a look if you want to see why people hold him in such high esteem.  But if you're looking for his best stuff, you should probably check out Daredevil: Born Again or something, rather than the post-climactic tail end of a long story.

DC Universe Illustrated By Neal Adams Vol 1 HC

Looks like DC is putting together volumes of all of the less-famous Adams work (meaning, the non-Batman, non-Green Lantern/Green Arrow, non-Deadman stuff).  This volume features war comics and other miscellany.  I've only read a little bit of Adams' stuff, so this might be something to look at if I see it at the library.

Fantastic Four Worlds Greatest HC

The first collection of the Mark Millar/Bryan Hitch run on the title, which doesn't seem to be burning up the charts like some of their other stuff has.  I've read some of the run here and there, and it's entertaining enough, but it's no Ultimates.  Maybe writing everyone in their snarky, self-obsessed style works in the postmodern Ultimate universe, but not so much with the classic FF.  Or maybe Millar does better with straight-up action rather than the crazy cosmic stuff that he seems to be going for here.  Or maybe he's out of ideas altogether.  Whatever the case, I would venture the guess that this isn't going to be as fondly remembered (or vehemently hated) as Millar's best work.  So if that sounds like your bag, then buy buy buy!

Groo Hell On Earth TP

Aw yeah, I love me some Groo.  This was a good return to form for Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier, combining the funny violence and satirical commentary on current events without tipping into heavy-handedness.  So when is the next one coming?

Gunnerkrigg Court Vol. 1 Orientation HC

A print version of a webcomic about a girl attending the titular school and encountering various magical, mythical creatures and events.  I haven't read it, but it seems to have some nice artwork.  As always with this sort of book, you can forego paying for dead trees and read it for free online.  Take that, economy!

Him & Hers Smuggling Vacation GN

This European comic was apparently banned in prisons in England to avoid copycat crimes or something.  It's about a British couple on vacation in Spain who end up becoming drug smugglers; some if it is supposedly based on real events?  You can read the first 38 pages online at the book's website, if you so wish.  I wouldn't mind checking it out, given the chance.

Myth Of 8-Opus Doomed Battalion GN New Printing

I thought this just had a new printing recently.  I guess Tom Scioli is determined to get me to read this.  Someday, Tom.

Rasl Vol 1 Drift TPB

Collecting the first four three issues of Jeff Smith's series about interdimensional violence, theft, and murder.  I've been reading it, and it's pretty damn good (I can say "damn" because this series is for adults, not kids).  Give it a try if you haven't already; I can't wait to see where he's going with this.

Runaways Pride And Joy HC

I guess Marvel is doing new versions of collections of this series; this hardcover contains the first six issues of the first volume for $20.  Not an especially good deal, when you can get a digest collection of those issues for $8, or a copy of the hardcover collecting the entire first volume for around the same price (although that hardcover is apparently out of print, which probably prompted this new version).  But whatever format or price you go with, I love the series, so give it a try if you haven't before.  Brian K. Vaughan, Adrian Alphona, good Marvel-based adventure that's fun to read.  Read it.

Secret Invasion TPB

In my opinion, the only reason to bother with this is if you want to follow along with Abhay Khosla's reviews of the series.  Except I didn't bother to read the series and enjoyed the hell out of the reviews, so it looks like that's not necessary.  I guess what I'm saying is, don't buy this.

Showcase Presents Strange Adventures Vol 1 TPB

Silly DC sci-fi books from the 50s!  Hopefully it will contain stuff like this.  Or this.  Or this.  Damn, that stuff is awesome, at least on the covers.  The insides are probably much less interesting.  Okay, forget buying the book, just surf around for a while to get your fill.

Spider-Man Blue Prem HC

One of the Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale collaborations, getting a new printing, I guess.  I think the only one of these that I've read (at Marvel, anyway) is Daredevil: Yellow, which wasn't terrible.  Maybe this is similar?  At the least, it probably looks really nice; Tim Sale is pretty great.

Tales Of The Batman Tim Sale TPB

And speaking of Sale, DC also has a new print of a collection of his comics.  This has stories from Legends of the Dark Knight, Shadow of the Bat, Batman: Black and White, Solo, etc.  Decent stuff, I imagine; I think I've only read a small amount of it.

Universal War One Vol 1 HC

The collection of Marvel's version of this French series.  I read the first issue back when it came out, and thought it was pretty decent.  Given the chance, I could see myself also reading this.  If that ever happens, I'm sure you'll know (because I'll write about it).

Walking Dead Vol 9 Here we remain TP

I gave up on this series back around issue #25, but I keep hearing people talk about it, so maybe it's gotten better since then.  Perhaps I should gather all the collections and devour them in one sitting.  Tear apart their entrails, if you will.  Ah, one day that feast will be had.  Or maybe not.

XOXO Hugs and Kisses Postcard Book 

Not comics, but this is a sort of small, cheap artbook by James Jean.  Ten bucks for 30 of his nice images.  He's pretty awesome, so maybe this is worth it?

Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Vol 8 TP

This is one of those series that I keep meaning to read more of but also keep getting farther behind on.  I'll catch up someday; what I've read of it is quite good.

Manga Sutra -Futari H- Vol 4 GN

Wow, this manga sex manual is still coming out.  I haven't heard many good things (although Caleb Mozzocco seems to like it), but it looks like that hasn't stopped Tokyopop from putting more volumes on shelves.  They've got plenty of source material; I think there are 20 or so volumes out in Japan.  That's a lot of awkward, unfulfilling intercourse.

Manzai Comics Vol 1 GN

Brigid Alverson reviewed this the other day, and while she didn't make it sound like the greatest thing ever, she did at least picque my interest, since I read about the manzai tradition of Japanese comedy a while back in Shojo Beat (it was a tie-in with the series Love Com).  I might have to check this series out sometime.  Just like the 50 other series that I should also check out.

And that's the week, in which I expect to buy none of these items.  Hopefully I'll have some reviews up soon though, and I'm working on getting to my best-of-2008 list.  I still have two books on order (Speak of the Devil and Three Shadows) that I want to read before posting a final list, and there are a couple others that might also be in contention.  So maybe next week or so?  Stay tuned, I guess.