Monday, June 8, 2009

This week, I'm probably too tired to make much sense

Man, MoCCA takes a lot out of a person.  But more on that later.  For now, it's business as usual.

Elsewhere: I've contributed a couple entries to The Factual Opinion's Comics of the Weak, dissing on Ultimatum #4 and Punisher: Naked Kill.  I also reviewed Atomic Robo and the Shadow from Beyond Time #2 at Comics Bulletin.

In comics news, Tom Scioli reports that he's going to have a new Myth of 8-Opus graphic novel called The Labyrinth.  I dig Scioli's art on Godland, so I'll have to try to read this.  You can check out a 28-page preview PDF of the new book here.

And: Becky Cloonan announced a new project at MoCCA, a webcomic called KGB which will apparently be about a Japanese boy band.  She's collaborating on it with Hwan Cho, and it will begin in September.  Here's a preview.  Looks like fun.

And how about this? Marvel finally announced their long-rumored "indie" book, and it's called Strange Tales MAX.  It comes out in September, and it will feature creators like Dash Shaw, Michael Kupperman, Paul Pope (who also drew the cover), Junko Mizuno, James Kochalka, Johnny Ryan, Nick Bertozzi, Nicholas Gurewich, and Jason.  Also, Peter Bagge's "Incorrigible Hulk", which they've been sitting on since around 2001.  Holy shit.  Details (including that awesome Pope cover) here.  I can't wait.

God, I am exhausted and typing most of this while waiting for my plane in the airport, so be prepared, this could get silly.

New comics this week (Wednesday, 6/10/09):

Absolution #0   

Another week, another supposedly badass superhero series from Avatar, sure to feature lots of violence and variant covers.  This one is from Christos Gage, who people seem to like.  I don't think I've actually read anything he's written, so I go by hearsay here.  Art is by Roberto Viacava.  I think it's a more low-level, vigilante-cop sort of thing, rather than the big-idea, large-scale Warren Ellis stuff from Avatar.  Probably still pretty gory though.

Anna Mercury 2 #1

Speaking of Warren Ellis, he's continuing with his "hot chick adventures in alternate dimensions" series.  I should finish reading the first volume; the first couple issues weren't bad.

Billy Batson And The Magic Of SHAZAM #5

Is this worth reading without the presence of Mike Kunkel?  Maybe; Art Baltazar and "Franco" write, Byron Vaughn illustrates. Probably still cute.

DMZ #42

More urban war zone stuff from Brian Wood and company.  I was about to read that election volume, but I'm suddenly distracted by loads of MoCCA comics.  Eh, it's not going anywhere. ETA: I just found out that Ryan Kelly is illustrated the story that starts in this issue; you can see some sample artwork here.

Fables #85

Part 7 of the Great Fables Crossover.  Collection soon, please.  Hey, how about that Fables prose novel that's coming out?  I saw an advance copy at MoCCA, and even though it might not be great, I'm sure I will buy it, because I'm an addict.  Feed me your fairy tales, Bill Willingham, come to my house and read them to me as a bedtime story.  Only then will I be happy.

Fantastic Four #567

Millar, Hitch, Dr. Doom’s bosses wreck shit, etc.  Is everybody ready for this run to be over already, or is it just me?

Final Crisis Aftermath Escape #2 (of 6)

I heard this one wasn’t too bad.  Sort of a superhero version of The Prisoner, which isn’t a bad idea.  I flipped through that first issue, and there was a Wonder Woman of those freaky Build-A-Friend things from OMAC.  There’s potential for some crazy shit here.

Lockjaw and the pet Avengers #2 (of 4)

Reviewing the first issue of this, I totally missed out on the idea that it might be kind of inaccessible to casual readers, which is troubling, since it means that I’m a bigger nerd than I thought.  I don’t know if that really matters though, since even though people think this is for kids, since it features cute animals, it’s really for old (you know, like 25) superhero fans who like goofy shit.  Like Tiny Titans; do any kids actually read that?  Anyway, there’s dinosaurs here, and Ka-Zar’s sabretooth tiger pal, and no sign of gimmicky Obama cameos yet, so there you go.  Try to contain your glee.

Miss America Comics #1 70th Anniversary Special

Hey, these old-timey Marvel specials haven’t been half bad, with the best one so far probably being that Chris Burnham-illustrated thing from a couple weeks ago.  Here’s another one, by Jen Van Meter and Andy MacDonald (NYC Mech), with the title character teaming up with Rosie the Riveter (or some equivalent) and getting chained up and shit.  Looks nice, and there’s a backup reprint featuring the Whizzer, whose name always cracks me up, because I am twelve.

Resurrection 2 #1

I didn’t read the Free Comic Book Day thing for this book; was it any good?  Apparently, this new volume is in color, with a different artist from the original.  It could turn out okay; I’m always hopeful.

Soul Kiss #5

I think this is the last issue of Steven Seagle and Marco Cinello’s miniseries, and it’s one I’ll try to catch up on, if only because I dug the art.  It looks nice, is what I’m sayin’.  That’s all.

Storming Paradise #6

Hey, how about this one?  Alternate history war, with the US invading Japan instead of dropping nukes, right?  I’ve heard nothing.  Chuck Dixon wrote it.  Anything?  Anybody?  This is the last issue; I assume the Allies still win.

Thor Tales of Asgard By Stan Lee and Jack Kirby #2

More recolored reprints.  Is Marvel going to collect this?  Dumb question; they collect everything.  I’d rather read the original version; don’t spray (virtual) paint all over Jack Kirby and tell us it’s makeup. 

Toy Story Mysterious Stranger #1 

Boom! keeps rolling out these Disney/Pixar books, and they all look pretty nice.  This one’s by Dan Jolley and Chris Moreno (Paul Jenkins' Sidekick), and “The Mysterious Stranger” is the title of the story in the issue, not the miniseries itself.  It’s a done-in-one with the toys getting up to antics and whatnot, like they’re prone to do.  Wheeeeeeeee!

Uncanny X-Men First Class Giant-Size Special #1

This “First Class” thing is a whole sub-line for Marvel now, which is good news for those obsessed with certain eras that they grew up reading and want to return to in hopes that they can remember their first wet dream.  The new series is going to be about the Chris Claremont/Dave Cockrum(/John Byrne?) years, so here’s an introduction that does seem pretty fun, with stories by Jeff Parker, Scott Gray, and Roger Langridge, and art by Joe Infurnari, Cameron Stewart, Sean Galloway, and some other dudes.  Enjoy, but come on, isn’t it time to switch to big boy pants?

Unknown #2  

The first entry in “Un-“ week, it’s another installment of this series, which I think is about a girl supernatural detective?  It sure looks nice; I gotta read these and see how well they work.  Don’t let me down, Mark Waid!

Unthinkable #2

Oh yeah, this one too.  Mark Sable’s doing his thing about terrorists and getting cavity searched at airports for it, so the least I can do is give it a read.  You don’t let me down either, Sable!

Unwritten #2

There’s this one too, which seems okay.  I did get a free copy of the first issue at MoCCA (I only had to fly to New York to save that dollar. Thanks, Vertigo!), so I can see how this is.  Don’t let me down, faux Harry Potter!

Veil #1  

This one is from IDW, and it's about a woman private eye who can talk to ghosts, or see into the land of the dead, or something like that.  Sounds spooky, and maybe cool?  It's by El Torres and Gabriel "Not Gilbert" Hernandez.  Here's an interview with some preview pages.  Looks nice.

X-Men Forever #1

Did I mention people needing to grow up?  Chris Claremont is a good example; he’s “continuing” the story he left off telling way back in 1991 or whenever, because he obviously had something important to communicate about Fabian fucking Cortez.  I bet even Jason Powell isn’t all that interested in that dude.  I do like the idea of Marvel splitting up into various writer-based continuities though.  Let’s have Grant Morrison continue his run, and separately, Chuck Austen can come back and do more stupid shit, and then Joe Kelly and Steven Seagle can return and tell those stories they were obviously dying to relate before being quashed by editorial, and what the fuck, we’ll get Mark Gruenwald’s ghost to come back and do some more Captain America (Steve Rogers never died, you fuckers!), and David Michelinie can undo whatever travesties have been enacted upon Venom, and so on and so on.  That’s the wave of the future right there.  Hire me, Marvel, these are can’t miss ideas!

Adam Legend of the Blue Marvel TP DM ED

Hey, how about this thing, was it any good?  That guy that did the Underworld movies, writing about a secret black superhero?  Was there anything more to it than that, or did he eventually take off his mask and become the Jackie Robinson of spandex, with people spitting on him while he fought Galactus and shit?  Because that must have been relevant.

Captain Britain and MI 13 Vol 2 TPB Hell Comes To Birmingham 

Pour one on the curb, man, I can’t stop crying about this shit.  The world needed to read about Captain fucking Britain and his band of merry men.  Why do people not read good comics?  Wait, that’s not right.  Why do people not read halfway decent comics that were destined to fail from the beginning?  It’s just not fair!  Sorry, that probably sounds harsh, but after seeing all the excellence on display at MoCCA, I have no patience for that shit.  Wah wah wah, some corporate-owned superhero bullshit won’t be around; there’s always more in the pipeline.  You’ll survive.

The Color Of Water TP

I just finished the first volume of this series (The Color of Earth) by Korean cartoonist Kim Dong Hwa, and it was pretty good, all about poetic sexual awakening and shit.  Watch for a review, probably sometime this week, if I can ever stop talking about MoCCA.

Dare GN 

This isn’t the Grant Morrison/Rian Hughes thing, in case you were wondering.  It appears to by a graphic novel by (or adapted from something by) Philip Jose Farmer, with art by Dave Gutierrez.  Something about humans on another planet consorting with the natives.  Interesting?  Maybe?

Douglas Fredericks and the House of They TP

A new book by Joe Kelly, with art by Benjamin Roman, about a kid who wants to get a present for his parents' wedding anniversary, but is thwarted by all their friends and neighbors, who don't want to upset "They", whoever that is.  Ooh, spooky.  I would take a look, given the chance 

Dragenaro TP

Dark Horse has this fantasy thing about wizards and dragons and shit; I dunno, I find the description unreadable.  It's notable for being a translation of comic from Italian publisher Bonelli; I'm always on the lookout for those Eurocomics.  Here's a three-page preview.

Final Crisis HC

Maybe I can read this now, with sufficiently lowered expectations.  It certainly sounds ambitious, with Grant Morrison going crazy with the cosmic Kirby stuff and all that, but the critical reception is quite mixed, whether from inconsistent art, or random tie-ins of varying importance, or the whole thing just getting away from him, but it should at least be an interesting mess.  All right, now I can only be six months behind the rest of the world.  To the library!

Flash The Human Race TPB 

Hey, speaking of Grant Morrison, here’s a collection of some of his run on The Flash, co-written with Mark Millar.  I’ve read it, and it’s not bad, with the title story seeing him run a race across the galaxy against his imaginary childhood friend for the fate of the human race.  That sounds dumb, but it’s quite all right, if you like that sort of thing.

Four Frightened Women GN 

This is "one of comics' first graphic novels", which is always interesting to see, although the talent involved probably isn't on the level of Arnold Drake.  Amusingly, the description also says that "few collectors are even aware of its existence", which is always a good sign, right?  Still, it might be worth checking out, for historical value alone.

Red TP New Edition

This isn’t a bad story by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, about a retired CIA guy getting targeted and having to kill a bunch of dudes.  The bad thing is, it’s only three issues long, and this collection is $15, which really isn’t worth it.  It’s better if you can hunt down one of those flip-book volumes from a few years ago; I think this was paired up with Tokyo Storm Warning.

Runaways TPB Dead Wrong

It’s the collection of the beginning of Tony Moore’s run on the title, with art by Humberto Ramos?  I can’t really recommend it; Moore doesn’t do a very good job of capturing the characters’ voices or personalities.  I guess you can go for it if you’re a completist, but I can’t condone that sort of thing.  Buy a volume or two of Nana instead, please.

Runaways TPB Vol 8 Dead End Kids Digest 

I can get behind this one though, especially in the cheap digest format.  Joss Whedon did a great job at getting the characters right, and while the story isn’t anything mindblowing, it’s a fun time travel romp with some neat character designs and several good moments.  It’s a worthy follow-up to Brian K. Vaughan’s run; hopefully the Moore stuff was just a bump on the road before the series gets back on track.

Sub-Mariner Depths HC 

I don’t think I ever finished reading this, but it was a decent bit of undersea horror from Peter Milligan and Esad Ribic.  Pretty art, weird paranoia, not bad.  Of course, the ending might suck, but I’ll say that it starts out well.  There you go.

Supreme Power Vol 3 High Command HC

If I remember right, this was where the story started to get a bit stretched out in the Straczynski/Frank run on the series, although there’s at least one good issue in which a fight with a supervillain sees a bunch of civilian casualties.  That was kind of cool.  Eh, whatever.

X-Men The End Trilogy TPB

Ha ha, Chris fucking Claremont again!  This was his first attempt at revitalizing his own legacy, or whatever, taking all his storylines and bringing them to a long, ponderous conclusion or something.  I don’t know; I didn’t read it.  From what I understand though, it was fucking terrible, something like 18 issues of blah blah blah that nobody in their right mind should ever care about.  Don’t buy this, please.  Please.  I want this book to never sell a single issue, so Marvel has to pile them up in a field in Westchester and pave them over, hoping everybody forgets about them (Hah! Cross-medium nerd reference!).

Detroit Metal City Vol 1 TP  

Here’s my number one anticipated manga of the moment (unless I get distracted by something else).  It’s supposed to be hilarious and profane, about a guy who wants to be a sensitive, emo singer, but he ends up working as a nasty, raucous, makeup-wearing, constantly swearing rocker.  People have been talking about it for a while, and it’s finally coming out in the U.S., so we’ll finally get a chance to see whether it lives up to its reputation.  Don’t let me down, Japan!

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Is that everything?  Not really much of a week, but that’s okay, I’ve got lots of MoCCA stuff to keep me busy.  More about that later, so stay tuned.  And apologies for the obnoxiousness and naughty words (but not really); Tucker is obviously a bad influence on me.  What would my mommy think?