Monday, May 4, 2009

This week, I'll eventually get around to talking about new releases

The links pile up when I don't post very often:

Here's a good article about Lat, the creator of Kampung Boy and Town Boy.  Let's get The Early Series translated to English, please.

Lots of previews: The Beat has a few pages from Bob Fingerman's post-apocalyptic From the Ashes.

Here's a sample of Awesome 2: Awesomer.

Drawn and Quarterly has a preview of their next gekiga translation, Red Snow, by Susumu Katsumata.

A blog called Monster Brains has some pages from Johnny Ryan's upcoming Prison Pit, which appears to be page after page of disgusting violence.  Fun!

In other types of links, you can download this Jack Kirby/Joe Simon comic called The Strange World of Your Dreams, which looks like the Rare Bit Fiends/Slow Wave of its day (hat tip: Laura Hudson).

James Turner (Nil, Rex Libris) has a new series coming out called Warlords of Io, which you can read about here.  Cool.  Unfortunately, Diamond declined to carry it, which is lame, but you can download it from Slave Labor's website, and it will probably be collected.

And speaking of comics you can read on the web, Kevin Church has a new webcomic, Lydia, which is a spinoff of The Rack.  It's illustrated by Max Riffner, and it looks pretty cool.

If you want some longer reading, here's a lengthy essay about anti-Americanism in manga and Japanese culture, with several samples, including an Osamu Tezuka Astro Boy story in which the character dies(!) defending a North Vietnamese village from American bombings.  Interesting stuff, although it gets pretty dry about halfway through.

And speaking of Tezuka, here's the trailer for a live-action adaptation of his book MW (which I reviewed here).  Interesting.

And before I get to talking about the week's releases, I wanted to give a hearty recommendation to the anime Gurren Lagann.  It's a "giant robot" series from Gainax, who also did Evangelion and FLCL, and it's awesome, full of crazy designs, wild animation, and big ideas.  You can expect lots of rhetoric about believing in yourself and the positive power of humanity, along with plenty of silliness like slapstick antics and heaving bosoms, but it all adds up to a pretty amazing experience.  I especially love the way it just keeps growing in scope, starting out with a kid who lives in an underground city and just wants to dig his way to the surface, and growing to the point where he's leading a huge army against the tyrannical king of the world.  And that's only the halfway point of the series; the later episodes bloom into an intergalactic, inter-dimensional battle that sees creatures that are literally the size of galaxies duking it out for the fate of humanity; it was so awesome that I was nearly cheering at the screen.  Great stuff; highly recommended.

Okay, finally:

New comics this week (Wednesday, 5/6/09):

Agents of Atlas #4

More Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman (with some other guys)!  I've been digging this series, so let's hope it sticks around for a while.

Atomic Robo And The Shadow From Beyond Time #1

It's the new Robo miniseries, which has to do with magic and Lovecraftian beasties or something this time around.  I still need to finish reading the second story, but hopefully I'll have a review of this issue up at Comics Bulletin a some point.

Boys #30

New storyline, I think!  Hopefully that means the one that just ended will get collected, and I can catch up on the series.  I've missed it.

Cerebus Archive #1

As with everything Dave Sim does anymore, the only people all that interested in this are probably diehard fans of his, but hey, he caters to his audience.  I guess this new series is going to collect various Cerebus ephemera, including stories that weren't in the main series and early stuff that predated the start of the series proper.  Eh, since Sim took a little while to get going on the series itself, I imagine this isn't exactly essential material.  Still, it could be interesting to check out.

Fin Fang Four Return #1

Scott Gray and Roger Langridge return to the goofy team that they put together for a special a few years back, and it's sure to be hilarious.  48 pages of good times; don't miss it.

Groom Lake #2

I dug the first issue of this aliens-n-monsters series by Chris Ryall and Ben Templesmith, so I bet this will also be good.

Hack Slash Entry Wound

I don't think this series is all that good from what I've seen of it, but it has its fans, including horror blogger Curt Purcell, so I guess this is notable, being a sort of jumping-on point for those who want to check it out.  Maybe you'll like it?

Human Torch Comics #1 70th Anniversary Special

Continuing the retro thing that Marvel is doing lately, here's a comic about another old character that people will probably still recognize.  I don't know if it will be especially worthwhile, but the art on the new story is by Atomic Robo's Scott Wegener, and there's a reprint of an old Golden Age story.  Enjoy?

Power Girl #1

I guess the boob window on Power Girl's costume is square now.  That makes for kind of an ugly costume, doesn't it?  Not that I would bother with this book anyway, but I'll mention it because Amanda Conner is doing the art, and she seems to like the character, so I expect it will look nice.  People will still think you're a pervert if they see you reading it in public though.

Seaguy The Slaves of Mickey Eye #2

Ooh, hopefully we'll get to find out what's the deal with TeaGuy, ThreeGuy, and PeeGuy.  Like all the other right-minded people out there, I dug the first issue of Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart's sequel miniseries, so I'm going to be all over this one.  Don't let me down, British (and Canadian, I think) guys!

Sword of My Mouth #1

It's the sequel (or at least related, taking place in the same "universe") to Therefore Repent!, which was an excellent post-rapture graphic novel from Jim Munroe and Salgood Sam (my review can be read here).  This new series is written by Munroe again, and illustrated by Shannon Gerard, and it has to do with a woman in Detroit who thinks something is wrong with her baby.  This is one I'll have to read.  And if you're interested, you can still download Repent for free.

Wind Raider #2 Cvr A Gabriel Hardman

This series is apparently some sort of post-apocalyptic thing about a guy who controls wind.  Okay.  I only noticed it because of Gabriel Hardman's name; he's the guy who is doing the "past" sequences in Agents of Atlas, and he's very good.  So maybe this will be worth a look.  Here's the official site, if you want to learn more.

X-Men First Class Finals #4

More Jeff Parker, bringing one of his series to a finish.  I've only been so-so on what I've read of the book, but I do like the bits illustrated by Colleen Coover.

Zombies That Ate The World #3

More Eurocomics from Jerry Frissen and Guy Davis.  I'll have to try to read this one when it's collected.

Adventures Of Tintin Vol 2 HC New Edition
Adventures Of Tintin Vol 3 HC New Edition
Adventures Of Tintin Vol 4 HC New Edition
Adventures Of Tintin Vol 5 HC New Edition
Adventures Of Tintin Vol 6 HC New Edition
Adventures Of Tintin Vol 7 HC New Edition

Well, I mentioned the first volume of this new version last week, and now all the rest show up.  I think this is the entire series, not counting earlier stuff like Tintin in the Land of the Soviets or the "banned" Tintin in the Congo or the unfinished Tintin and Alph-Art.  I should go and drop the $150 or so for the whole series.  Tintin rocks.

Ace-Face Mod With The Metal Arms GN

Mike Dawson!  Here's the long-form version of his goofy superhero-ish comic about, well, a guy with metal arms.  There were some short strips featuring the character in Project Superior and Superior Showcase, but I believe this expands and adds to those.  It's $7, which is pretty cheap, right?  Here's an interview with Dawson that has a couple preview pages.

Alias Ultimate Collection Vol 1 TPB

Here's the first fifteen issues of one of Brian Michael Bendis' best series; I like this one a lot.  I don't know if $35 is a very good price though; you can probably collect the back issues for not too much more than that.  Maybe there are some extras or something to make it worthwhile.  Still, this is good stuff (as I recall; it's been a while since I read it), bringing an adult sensibility and nice noir storytelling to the Marvel universe without rubbing your face into its luridness (lots of swearing though; Bendis does love the word "fuck").

Eternal Smile TP

I thought this already came out?  It's the new book from Gene Yang and Derek Kirk Kim, and it's supposed to be pretty good.  I've read several good reviews, and the art looks really nice; I do want to read it.  To the library!

Fantastic Four True Story TPB

This recent miniseries from Paul Cornell and Horacio Dominguez wasn't bad, with the FF fighting a menace that threatened the very nature of fiction.  Pretty fun, with some striking artwork.  I reviewed the first, second, and fourth issues at Comics Bulletin, if you want more detail.

Gravel Vol 1 Bloody Liars TP

The first collection of the Strange Kiss (etc.) continuation from Warren Ellis and Mike Wolfer.  I gave it a pass, but it might be worth checking out.

Monologues For Calculating The Density Of Black Holes GN

I thought this was out already too, but who knows.  It's the new book from Anders Nilsen and it's along the lines of his previous Monologues for the Coming Plague, with quick, goofy cartoons about philosophy and shit.  I prefer the stuff where he draws meticulous, beautiful artwork, but this probably isn't bad.  Go for it, if you like.  Here's the page for it on Fantagraphics' site, with the usual slideshow preview.

Pherone HC

This graphic novel about a sexy spy looks kind of interesting.  It's by Viktor Kalvachev (who has provided guest art for DMZ) and Patrick Baggatta, and it's about a female spy having a breakdown.  The art looks pretty cool; here's an interview that has some preview pages.

Point Blank TP New Ed

I've never read this series, but it apparently functioned as a prequel for Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Sleeper, although it features art by Colin Wilson rather than Phillips.  Knowing Brubaker, it's probably a decent little bit of superhero noir, but I doubt it's all that notable, other than its prequel status, unless you're a big fan of Wildstorm characters like Grifter or something.

Seaweed Vol 1 A Cure For Mildew HC

This is a new children's comic by Ben Balistreri, an animator who has worked on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.  It's apparently about a pelican and fish who go on an adventure to help a blind bat find a magical cure for his life-threatening illness. It looks pretty cool; you can check out a preview here.

Superman Escape from Bizarro World TP

So, was this Eric Powell-illustrated storyline any good?  I was curious about it simply for the art, since I really don't care about Superman's Geoff Johns-written shenanigans.  Maybe I'll read it if I see it at the library or something.

Tank Girl Remastered Edition Vol 1 TP
Tank Girl Remastered Edition Vol 2 TP

I believe these are new versions of the original black and white strips that Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett did.  I don't think I've ever read any of this material; I certainly wouldn't mind checking it out at some point.

Thor HC Ages of Thunder

This collects Matt Fraction's recent series of mythological Thor stories, which featured art by the likes of Patrick Zircher, Marko Djurdjevic, Doug Braithwaite, and Dan Brereton.  Not bad, but probably not worth the hardcover price; I suggest waiting for a softcover.

Walking Dead Compendium TP Vol 01

Whoa, this is a big book.  It collects issues #1-48 of Robert Kirkman's zombie series for $60; not a bad deal, really.  I haven't read it since around #25, but I used to like it, and I hear that it's been pretty good, so maybe I'll give it another try at some point.

Wally Wood Edge Of Genius SC

A collection of Wood's earlier works, which is proably really cool.  I haven't read enough Wood; I woudn't mind giving this a look.

Wonderland HC

A collection of the miniseries by Tommy Kovac and Sonny Liew.  It looked pretty nice when it first came out; I'll have to try to check it out now.  I do like me some Liew.  Here's a good review by Caleb Mozzocco.

Y The Last Man Vol 2 Deluxe edition HC

More of the fancy version of Bryan K. Vaughan's series.  I sure did like this one while it lasted.  This volume appears to contain the third and fourth volumes of the paperback collections.  Good stuff; check it out if you haven't read it yet.

Bamboo Blade Vol 1 TP

On the manga front, Yen Press has this collection of the series that ran in the anthology Yen Plus.  It's about kendo, and is probably interesting, at least.  I wouldn't mind reading it.

History Of the West Wing GN

Also from Yen, this appears to be a Chinese comic, in full color, that has nothing to do with President Bartlett.  It's actually an adaptation of a classic historical play that appears to be about political intrigue and heroism and such.  Looks neat.

Jack Frost Vol 1 TP

Another Yen Plus series, about a girl who gets decapitated and fights monsters at her school, or something.  Sounds weirdly interesting (interestingly weird?).

Nabari No Ou Vol 1 TP

This is a big Yen week; here's another series, about ninjas trying to take over the world or something.  Cool?

Otomen Vol 2 GN

Not a Yen book!  I didn't read the first volume of this shojo series, but I liked the first chapter when it was previewed in Shojo Beat.  Maybe I'll read more of it someday.

Sgt Frog Vol 17 GN

I haven't read this series in several volumes, but I should try to catch up sometime.  I'm sure it's still at least mildly funny.

Sumomomo Momomo Vol 1 TP

Finally, it's one more series from Yen Plus, about a girl from a martial arts family trying to marry into another karate clan.  Maybe fun?

Okay, I think that's everything.  Whew!  We'll see if I do any more writing this week; hopefully I'll be able to get to it, because books are piling up.