Monday, June 22, 2009

This week, I note some notable stuff

Links: Hey, looks like Geoff Grogan is going to be doing a follow-up to Look Out!! Monsters, which I recently read and thought was pretty good. That's nice to hear.

CBR has a sort of "exit interview" with Mike Allred up, talking about his last couple issues of Madman Atomic Comics and various plans for the future. That's all good, but the best bit is that you can download several tracks from Allred's band The Gear's upcoming album, which manages to tie in to Madman and Red Rocket 7, Allred's other series. It's a multimedia explosion!

And check this out: J. Caleb Mozzocco reports that Boom! Studios is going to be publishing upcoming issues of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories and Mickey Mouse Presents. That's good to hear, since those are the place to read classic Carl Barks comics and the like, and Boom! is doing newsstand distribution with their kids' books. Get those comics out there!

New comics this week (Wednesday, 6/24/09):

Actress And The Bishop #1

Hey, this looks cool. It's a collection of Brian Bolland's strips starring the titular characters that have appeared in places like A1. Here's a post about them; I'll have to try to get my hands on this.

Astonishing X-Men #30

I don't know if anybody is still bothering to pay attention to Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi's run on this book, but this is their last issue, in which the X-Men fight Forge, who has turned crazyevil. Was it worth the wait? Eh, probably not. Following Bianchi, Phil Jimenez is supposedly going to illustrate the next arc, but I don't know if that has been confirmed, or if I should really care. Again, probably not.

Barack the Barbarian #1 Obama Cover

Oh god, this actually exists. I shouldn't even be mentioning it, it's so stupid. In fact, forget you ever saw it, and hopefully it will go away.

Cerebus Archive #2 Zombie & Obama Cover

Crap, more Obamasploitation. Dave Sim, what will we ever do with you? Here's more of his old stuff, if you really want to see what he was doing before Cerebus, which itself wasn't all that interesting until he had been doing it for a couple years. Yay?

Dark Avengers Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1

I probably shouldn't bother mentioning this one either, but I'm kind of fascinated by Matt Fraction's continuing evolution into generic Marvel writer #47. Here, he's joined by Marc Silvestri for some ugly, ugly scenes (seriously, it's like less-laughable Rob Liefeld art) of superdudes fighting in order to establish a "dark" version of the X-Men, since everything Marvel does has to have an evil version these days. Yawn.

Dark Reign Sinister Spider-Man #1

See, here's more "darkness". Ugh. Again, I wouldn't even bother mentioning it if it weren't for Chris Bachalo doing the art. It looks nice, at least, but that probably doesn't make it worth reading. Brian Reed writes, if it matters.

Dark Reign Zodiac #1

And then there's one Dark thing that I am actually interested in, solely for the creative team. That would be Joe Casey and Nathan Fox; writer and artist match up, for once! I have no idea what this is about; maybe some sort of new supervillain? Hopefully it will be good; Casey can sometimes wrangle good stories in the midst of corporate dictates, and I love love love Nathan Fox's art. I should have a review of this one up at Comics Bulletin tomorrow.

Detective Comics #854

On the other side of the aisle, here's a comic that I don't really care to read, but it's still notable; it's the beginning of Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III's Batwoman story, which will surely look beautiful, if nothing else. Who knows, maybe it'll turn out to be a classic that we all hail as genius. If so, I'll read the trade.

Fantastic Four Giant-Size Adventures #1

I wouldn't really recommend this for the main story, which has kind-of-ugly art by Vicente Cifuentes (whoever that is), but the backup stories are pretty notable: a Sue Storm/Misty Knight bit illustrated by Colleen Coover, and that two-page Tintin homage drawn by Dustin Weaver that I mentioned the other day. It's all written by Paul Tobin; I say give it an in-store flip-through, at least.

Immortal Iron Fist #27

I didn't realize this was getting cancelled, but this is the last issue of the series. I guess the upcoming Immortal Weapons series is something of a relaunch, rather than a spinoff? It's too bad; this was getting to be pretty good. Anyway, this issue is about "the fall of the house of Rand". Sounds like fun; way to end on a downer, guys.

Literals #3

It's the end of the Great Fables Crossover! I've been avoiding reading too much about it, so I don't know exactly what the big to-do was all about, but I'll find out soon enough. Fables; apparently I can't get enough of it.

Northlanders #18

New storyline, apparently about Viking women going into battle, or the legends of valkyries, or something like that. Art by Danijel Zezelj, so it should look pretty great.

Runaways #11

It's the first issue in the long-awaited (by me, anyway) run by Kathryn Immonen and Sara Pichelli! This one seems mostly devoted to re-establishing characterization (which was kind of all over the place in Terry Moore's run) and setting up the storyline that starts here, but there's at least one pretty major event that will shock fans, I expect. I'm definitely liking it so far, although that doesn't necessarily mean it won't go off the rails. Don't let me down, ladies!

Spirit Vol 6 #30

I haven't been following this series since Darwyn Cooke left, so I don't know if it's been any good, but this issue is notable because it's written and drawn by Michael Avon Oeming. I usually like his stuff, so hopefully it will be good. We'll see...

Unknown Soldier Vol 4 #9

Did I mention that I read the first issue of this series and thought it was really good? Now I'm pretty interested in reading more, even more so than I was already. Collection, please.

Viking #2

I picked up the first issue of this Ivan Brandon/Nic Klein book, and it certainly looked nice, but it was way too hard to follow for a comic about Vikings. I had trouble telling characters apart and figuring out what was supposed to be going on from panel to panel. Very disappointing, but it still seems like something worth following. Maybe Klein is still learning the sequential stuff; he mostly does covers, right? I do like that it's oversized and still costs only $2.99. This is one to keep watching, I say.

X-Men #512

I was ragging on Matt Fraction above, but this issue of his X-Men run is probably the best thing he's written on that series so far. It's a double-sized story about Beast's team of scientists going back in time to 1906 to research early mutants and getting in fights with the Hellfire Club of the time and a steampunk Sentinel; very cool and enjoyable stuff, with big action and actual emotional resonance. Nice art by Yanick Paquette too. Give it a try if you want to see Fraction do something that fits his style for once before he gets caught up in more pointless crossovers and shit.

X-Men Forever #2

Wow, I saw a couple mentions of the first issue of this Chris Claremont revival thing that seemed to think it was pretty good; me, I thought it was terrible, just badly-written, ugly, stupid shit. Please don't support this sort of thing, people.

All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder TP Vol 01

It's the softcover version of Frank Miller's current Batman stupidity, in case you didn't want to shell out for the fancy one that already came out. Nine issues worth of material for 20 bucks; not a bad deal. As long as you really want to read this kind of dumb shit, that is.

Awesome 2 Awesomer TP

It's the second installment of Indie Spinner Rack's anthology, with a nice-looking cover by Jeff Smith! I liked the first one, if I remember correctly, so I bet this will be good. It looks like a lot of the same talent will be returning, along with people like Jeff Lemire and Alex Robinson. You can see a 20-page preview here.

Brat Pack TP New Edition

Rick Veitch! This is one of those comics that get mentioned in the same breath as Watchmen as stories that redefined superheroes or brough realism to them or whatever, although it also has a reputation as a book that just brought ugliness and nastiness to the genre. Me, I just want to read it because I really like Veitch. Here, you can sample the first 32 pages of the book at Veitch's site to get a taste.

City Of Fever HC

Apparently, this graphic novel by Kalman Spigel is some sort of sci-fi noir about crime in a domed city on a super-hot planet. The concept interests me, but I can barely find any information about it online; there's only a blurb and an "order now" link on the author/publisher's website. It might be interesting, but it's hard to tell.

Empowered Vol 5 TPB

Ah, more Adam Warren and his goofy, naughty, slightly meta superhero series. I love this book, both for Warren's art and his strong characters, not to mention his cool, out-there ideas. Don't let me down, Adam!

Graphic Classics Vol 17 Science Fiction Classics GN

I don't read much of these literary adaptations, but this one looks like it has some good stuff, including stories by Johnny Ryan, Roger Langridge, and Ellen Lindner, with the main event being Micah Farritor (White Picket Fences) drawing War of the Worlds. Cool. Here's a review by Johanna Draper Carlson; I might need to read this one.

Immortal Iron Fist Fraction Brubaker Aja Omnibus HC

Here's a complete collection of the run that got the current Iron Fist series going to so much acclaim, although 75 bucks seems pricey; can't you get the three or so individual volumes for less than $20 each? I guess you have to pay extra to have it all under one cover. I still haven't read the whole thing, but that first storyline is pretty great, and I dig the cool historical stories that Fraction told here and there during the run. I wouldn't spring for it, but I'll recommend the stories inside it, in one form or another.

Immortal Iron Fist TP Vol 4 Mortal Iron Fist

On the other hand, this follow-up to the Brubaker/Fraction/Aja run might be what killed the book. Duane Swierczynski might have been trying too hard to replicate their style; once he moved onto the next thing, it got pretty good. And then it ended. I say skip this one and read the next volume, then get bummed out that it's over.

JLA Deluxe Edition Vol 2 HC

Part two of the swanky editions of Grant Morrison's run on this series. I think this includes the "Rock of Ages" arc that a lot of people said Final Crisis rehashed, and the Prometheus story that came next. Good stuff; give it a read if you haven't before.

Low Moon TP

New Jason! Fantagraphics had this at MoCCA, and it looks like it's available elsewhere now. It's a hardcover book collecting the strips that ran in the New York Times Magazine. I think these are mostly shorts, with some of them being westerns, and maybe film noir or sci-fi. I don't care; I'll read the hell out of them. I love Jason. You can get the standard preview/slideshow at Fanta's site.

Outlaw Territory GN Vol 01

This is a western comics anthology from Image, featuring creators like Christopher Mitten, Dean Motter, Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Khoi Pham, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Max Fiumara, Moritat, and (you always have to say this with anthologies) many more. Interesting; maybe decent stuff? You can see some samples on the official blog, and read a full story by Fialkov and artist Christie Tseng at Myspace Comics, as long as its still around.

Patsy Walker Hellcat TP

Here's Kathryn Immonen's calling card as Marvel's newest rising star; this series was tons of fun, with some really nice art by David LaFuente. This volume also includes the serialized story that Immonen did with her husband Stuart in Marvel Comics Presents. This is good readin'.

Remake Vol 1 GN

People have been talking about Lamar Abrams' book, and it looks like fun, so now that we're able to buy it, maybe it will get even more attention. I got a copy at MoCCA, and I hope to get to it soon. Don't let me down, Abrams.

Rex Libris TP Vol. 2 Book of Monsters

Ooh, Rex Libris! This comic is lots of fun, packed full of clever, goofy stuff. In case you don't know, it stars an immortal librarian who often battles monsters and Nazis, while telling long-winded stories and arguing with his publisher. It's by James Turner, who did the book Warlords of Io that everyone was talking about recently because it got screwed by Diamond, so I encourage everybody to buy this and encourage him to create more comics.

Ultimates by Mark Millar & Bryan Hitch Omnibus HC

Another expensive Marvel omnibus? This one contains all 26 issues (plus an annual) of Millar and Hitch's series, which is some good reading, but I don't think it's worth 100 bucks; can't you get four trades of the material for about $15 each? Well, anyway, it's not very substantive, but I found both volumes to be highly enjoyable, full of ridiculous action and provocatively transgressive bullshit. Check them out if you haven't read them before, but don't waste your money on this huge thing.

Whatever Happened To The World Of Tomorrow HC

Did I mention this book last week? I know Jog did, but I shouldn't be confusing myself with him. Anyway, just in case, it's the new book by Brian Fies (Mom's Cancer), and it's about a boy growing up with the science and science fiction of the 20th century. I bet it'll be good.

X-Men Spider-Man HC

I don't know if this miniseries was any good, but a few people mentioned it due to its pretty art by Mario Alberti. It was written by Christos N. Gage, and seemed to take a similar tack to that Spider-Man/Human Torch miniseries that Dan Slott wrote a few years ago, showing Spidey's relationship with the X-Men in different eras of Marvel history. I suppose that could be all right, if you like that sort of thing.

Gantz TP Vol 5

This appears to be the only manga of note for the week, which is surprising. I still haven't bought any of Dark Horse's translation of this series, but I do hope to at some point. Violence can be fun. Okay, that's all.
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Hmm, kind of a slow week, although there are several good releases. I'm sure I'll be busy with the readin' and whatnot anyway.