Monday, May 18, 2009

This week, I'm still behind on the reading. Actually, that's true every week

One link, so far: the new "issue" of Myspace Dark Horse Presents has a really cool Marquis story by Guy Davis.  I especially like the colors by Dave Stewart.

New comics this week (Wednesday, 5/20/09):

Agents of Atlas #5

It's another issue (already?) of what is probably Marvel's best superhero book (hell, maybe it's the only good one they've got going, for that matter), with the team facing off against one of the many versions of the Avengers (the New ones, I think, as opposed to the Dark, Mighty, or Pet editions).  Should be good times, even if we get a full issue of Carlo Pagulayan's passable, over-colored art, with no backups by Gabriel Hardman.  I'll have a review up tomorrow at Comics Bulletin if all goes well.

Boys Herogasm #1

Garth Ennis!  Doing nasty stuff with superheroes!  And John McCrea draws it!  Should be fun.

Complete Dracula #1 (of 5)

Dynamite really likes public domain characters, don't they?  This purports to be an "unprecedented" adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel, telling the tale as it was intended to be told, whatever that means.  I don't know enough about Dracula to know what has and hasn't been included in other adaptations, so who knows if that's a worthy task or not.  The comic is written by Leah Moore and John Reppion, with painted-style art by some guy named Colton Worley.  Sounds British.

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3

Jonathan Hickman continues his story of alternate Fantastic Fours (Fantastics Four?), and it'll probably continue to be halfway decent.  I might have a review of this one up at CB tomorrow, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Ex Machina #42

This continues to come out.  I would certainly like to read more about the superheroic mayor, so let's have a new collection sometime soon, mmkay?  Doesn't this arc guest-star Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris as the creators of a comic about Mayor Hundred?  I guess that's clever?

Fantastic Four #566

Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch are trying to stay on schedule; this issue apparently kicks off the storyline about Dr. Doom's "masters", who taught him to be evil.  Sure, whatever.  Wake me when Stuart Immonen does his guest artist issue.

Final Crisis Aftermath Dance #1 (of 6)

I generally care not about all this DC event stuff, but this miniseries is notable for being written by Joe Casey (art is by ChrisCross).  It's about the Grant Morrison created Super Young Team of Japanese superheroes.  Could be fun; somebody let me know how it goes.

The Great Unknown #2

The first issue of this Duncan Rouleau series didn't seem to be all that well-received, but I'm still intrigued.  Maybe I'll get the collection.

Incredibles Family Matters #2

More of the Boom!/Disney/Pixar kids' comics; I bet this is fun.

Jack of Fables #34

Part five of the Great Fables Crossover.  I am fairly excited to read this.  Apparently Jack popped up in the main title last week (an issue that had a great cover, by the way), so who knows what he's getting into here.

Killapalooza #1 (of 6)

I like the title of this comic, if nothing else.  It's a creator-owned miniseries from Wildstorm, along the lines of Mysterius the Unfathomable, I suppose, with creators in question being Adam Beechen and Trevor Hairsine.  The comic? It's about a rock band that is also a team of superhuman assassins.  That sounds neat.  I bet it's worth a look, at the very least.

Marvel Mystery Comics #1 70th Anniversary Special

Another of those lots-of-years celebration issues, with a story by Tom DeFalco that sees the Human Torch and the Submariner team up with some other heroes to fight bad guys.  The good news is that the art is by Chris Burnham, who illustrated Nixon's Pals; he's pretty awesome.  Also, there's some reprint backups, including one starring a character called The Ferret.  That's something, right?

Mysterius: The Unfathomable #5

Hey, I just mentioned this comic!  Jeff Parker and Tom Fowler continue their magic thing, and I hope it finishes and gets collected soon, because I wanna read it!

Olympus #1

An Image miniseries about twin Rome-founders Castor and Pollux hunting rogue gods in modern times, I think.  It seems interesting; Sandy Bilius talks about it here and gives some art samples.

Wolverine Noir #2

I guess the first issue of this one was okay?  I'm mostly interesed in the C.P. Smith art; it looks weird.

World Of Cars The Rookie #2

More Pixar stuff from Boom! Studios.  I don't think the first issue was as well-received as The Incredibles, but it's probably enjoyable enough.  I should read these and form an actual opinion.

X-Men #510

Hey, Psylocke is back!  Wait, she was dead?  Should I care? (No)  Matt Fraction's run on this title has been sporadically interesting, but it's currently in a Greg Land-illustrated arc, so it's probably best to wait this story out.

X-Men Forever Alpha

Everything old is new again.  If you really wanted to know what Chris Claremont was going to do with the X-Men next back in 1991 (and even Jason Powell might have been getting tired of it at that point), you're going to get to find out with this X-Men Forever series.  And here's a preview, in the form of a reprint of Claremont's last story, before he got pissed at Jim Lee and walked away.  Now, if you somehow missed out on a story that only sold a few million copies or so, you can read this reprint, in all its overly-word-ballooned glory.  This is some pretty dire stuff, with lots of lines and grimaces, and page after page of Claremontian speechifying.  Needless to say, I loved it as a teenager (I was especially fascinated with scenes of Moira MacTaggart being coated in liquid metal that highlighted her womanly shapes; yes, the roundness of Jim Lee-penned breasts were quite enticing to me at the time).  Now? Not so much.

32 Stories The Complete Optic Nerve Mini-Comics TP

This is a new collection of Adrian Tomine's minicomics that has a pretty cool format, with reproductions of the original seven issues in a box set.  I don't think I've read any of this material; I should give it a look if I get the chance.

Batman Mad Love and Other Stories HC

This is the well-regarded origin story of Harley Quinn, I believe, although it's the version that was in the animated series rather than the DC Universe proper, if that distinction means anything.  Paul Dini writes, Bruce Timm draws, other stories get included.  Decent Batman stories, right?  That's not a terrible thing to exist.

Ben Templesmith's Dracula GN

Looks like it's Dracula week.  This isn't a comic, but rather an illustrated version of the novel (shouldn't it be Ben Templesmith's Bram Stoker's Dracula?).  I bet the pictures look cool.

Big Book of Barry Ween Boy Genius TPB

Before Judd Winick was DC's most hated writer, he used to make funny comics that he even drew himself.  This is probably his best-regarded creation (take that, resurrected Jason Todd!), a foul-mouthed kid genius who gets up to various comedic shenanigans.  I read some issues a while back, and I remember them being pretty funny, but it's possible that the humor hasn't aged well.  Still, if you're a fan, this seems to be a nice package, collecting all twelve existing issues that came out between 1999 and 2002.  Fun?

Flinch Vol 1 GN

From a publisher I've never heard of called Gestalt, this anthology features a bunch of artists interpreting the titular word in some way or another.  Okay, sure.  The headliner here is Shaun Tan, but there are one or two other recognizable names among the contributors, including Colin Wilson and Ray Fawkes.  Could be interesting.  Here's the official site, which contains preview art and information and all that jazz.

G-Man TP Vol 1 Learning to Fly

Chris Giarrusso, the guy behind the Mini-Marvels stories, has this new digest-size collection of stories featuring his own superheroic creation, and it looks fun, in a kind of cute, kiddie way.  Maybe worth checking out.

The Goon Vol 7 Place Of Heartache & Grief TPB

This collection should bring the trades up to date, finishing the recent epic-length storyline that saw the Goon go up against a resurrected Labrazio and other nasty minions.  I do love this series, due to Eric Powell's great art and ridiculous sense of humor.  He's not bad with the drama either, and this story managed to walk a pretty good line between the two extremes.  By this point, you're probably either on board for The Goon or not, but if you haven't read it before, I suggest starting with one of the earlier volumes and plowing through it.  It's a great series.

Johnny Hiro Vol 1 TP

Fred Chao!  I've only read the first issue of this series, but it was super-fun, and from what I hear, it's only gotten better.  This was one of the casualties of Diamond's increased order minimums, so no longer being feasible in pamphlet format, the issues (including two which have not been released) have been collected into this nice volume.  I think it is one which I will have to procure.  You can download some preview pages at Adhouse's site, if you wish.

Milton Caniffs Steve Canyon 1955 TP

Milton Caniff was a hell of a cartoonist, and Steve Canyon is pretty awesome.  The strip was nine years old at this point, so Caniff definitely knew what he was doing.  Give it a try, I dare you.  Oh, and you can also read the strip online, if you like.

NYX No Way Home Prem HC

This probably isn't really worth reading, but it's notable for sporting the art of one Sarah Pichelli (although only on two or three of the six collected issues, it seems), who will soon be providing visuals for Runaways.  I probably shouldn't get too excited about that creative team (Kathryn Immonen!), but I can't help it.

Photographer Into War-Torn Afghanistan With Doctors Without Borders TP

The new Emmanuel Guibert-illustrated book, an autobiographical look at war written by Didier Lefevre.  It's supposed to be good.  Hell, I still need to read Alan's War; like that book, this is probably going to be on everyone's short list for best-of-2009 honors.

Transmetropolitan Vol 2 Lust for Life New Ed

The nice new versions of Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson's series continue to appear; this now collects issues 6-12 of the series.  Good times with the old bowel-disruptor gun.

Ultimate Galactus Trilogy TP

Speaking of Warren Ellis.  Has this not all been collected in softcover before?  It's a story that consists of three miniseries (Ultimate Nightmare, Ultimate Secret, and Ultimate Extinction) written by Ellis, in which various players in the Ultimate Marvel universe discover the approach of Galactus (or Gah-Lak-Tus, which pissed some people off) and try to work out a way to fend him/it/them off.  Pretty good stuff, in my opinion.

You'll Never Know Vol 1 A Good Decent Man HC

From Fantagraphics, this is the first full-length graphic novel from Carol Tyler, about her relationship with her father and his experiences in World War II.  I bet it's pretty good.  Here's Fanta's page for the book, with the usual excerpt and preview slideshow.

Afro Samurai Vol 2 GN

I was looking at this volume at the bookstore the other day, and it was tempting.  I do like scenes of graphic bloodletting in my manga, and this one has the distinction of coloring the blood red on top of the black and white artwork.  According to Jog, it's not the greatest manga, but it could be fun.  Maybe I'll read it someday; I did enjoy the anime series, for the most part...

Clover Omnibus Edition TP

Dark Horse collects all four volumes of this CLAMP series into one book for only 20 bucks; not a bad deal.  I haven't read enough (or any, really) CLAMP, and this probably isn't the place to start, but maybe I will anyway.  According to Wikipedia, it's about kids with special powers in a dystopian future.  Could be good.

Dragon Ball VIZBIG Edition Vol 4 TP

One day, I'll read this whole damn series.  I don't know if I need to own it, but if I do decide to acquire it, the VIZBIG edition is definitely the way to go.  Here's my review of the first volume; it's fun stuff.

Fairy Tail Vol 6 GN

This series is supposed to be pretty good. Maybe I'll read it someday.  Which is the volume where Jason Thompson shows up?

Flower Of Life Vol 4 GN

I haven't read any Fumi Yoshinaga, but she's supposed to be very good, even for those who (like me) aren't into yaoi.  I could definitely give this series a try, but I'm inclined to read Ooku, which is coming out later this year; that one looks good.

Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Vol 9 TP

Oh snap, I'm never going to catch up on this series, am I?

Lapis Lazuli Crown Vol 1 TP

Judging by David Welsh's review, this series looks to be a decent bit of shojo drama.  Maybe worth a try?

Mijeong TP

NBM has this manhwa book by Byun Byung-Jun, author of the well-regarded (I keep using that term...) Run, Bong-Gu, Run!, about various city folk crossing paths.  Looks quite good; NBM has a preview up at their site.

Oishinbo A La Carte Vol 3 Ramen And Gyoza TP

More foodie manga, hoping to hook us Westerners and demonstrate Japan's superiority.  I quite liked the second volume, so hopefully this one will also be good.

Pluto Urasawa x Tezuka Vol 3 TP

Apparently, I can never stay caught up on Naoki Urasawa manga; I still haven't read volume 2.  Get ready for a cascade of Pluto and 20th Century Boys posts sometime in 2009 or later.

Shojo Beat Vol 5 #6 June 2009

Ah, my monthly teenybopper manga.  If all goes well, I should have a review of this issue right below this post.  I do hope all goes well...

Vagabond Vol 29 TP

And finally, it's another series on which I am very far behind.  Hell, I'm getting behind on Takehiko Inoue's other series, so it will likely be years and years before I get around to this volume.  Someday though.  Someday.
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And that appears to be the entirety of notability this week, from where I'm standing.  Keep your needle pointed at this site though, because I've got more content planned.