Monday, July 20, 2009

This week, I don't know what's going on

News: I was wondering what Mike Allred would be doing now that he's ending the current run of Madman, and now the news is out that he'll be providing the art on a new Vertigo series called I, Zombie. It's written by Chris Roberson, and it's apparently about a zombie girl detective or something. That's cool; I feel like Allred could use a break from writing his own comics. Hopefully this won't suck.

This interests me: I only found out about this weird movie through the blog of webcomics artist John Campbell, but I wish I had known more about it, since I could have gone to the screening in North Aurora. Maybe I'll try to catch it on DVD.

And: I contributed to Comics Bulletin's "Sunday Slugfest" group review of Boom!'s adaptation of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? And yes, it is an adaptation, even if the full text is included; I originally called it that in the review, but they edited it out. Is Boom! being really finicky about that or something? Not that it's a big deal, but I thought that was weird.

New comics this week (Wednesday, 7/22/09):

100 Bullets #1 Vertigo Crime Sampler

This is kind of an odd choice for Vertigo to be using to promote its new Vertigo Crime line of graphic novels (unless they're re-branding 100 Bullets to go under that line or something), since it's a single issue of a long-running series rather than a self-contained book. Still, I suppose it's a decent promotion, because the series is beyond awesome. If you haven't read it, check it out, although I suggest skipping this thing and going straight for the first volume. You won't be disappointed, unless you're Noah Berlatsky.

Amazing Spider-Man #600

Big anniversary issue number one of the week. I haven't read any Spider-Man comics in a while, having grown fairly bored with the character (and kind of weirded out by the whole "selling his marriage to the devil" thing), but a big honkin' issue like this is often an interesting thing to behold. This one features a story that's something like 60 pages long by Dan Slott and John Romita, Jr. in which Spidey has a good old throwdown with Doc Ock, a metafictional story by Stan Lee and Marcos Martin, some sort of something-or-other by Mark Waid and Colleen Doran, and a bunch of other crap that might or might not be very interesting. Enjoy, nerds.

Atomic Robo And The Shadow From Beyond Time #3

Hey, it's more of the wacky adventures of everybody's favorite robot scientist! I've pretty much loved every issue of this series that I've read, and the first two parts of this current miniseries were no exception, with a bunch of action involving a Lovecraftian monster rampaging through New York after having possessed the body of the actual H.P. Lovecraft. Good times, I say read it.

Boys Herogasm #3

Sexual antics continue. I still need to read that most recent trade; I'm always behind.

Citizen Rex #1

Gilbert Hernandez! (and also Mario). This new Dark Horse miniseries by these excellent fellows involves a robotic future and what will surely be lots of madcap adventures that blow minds and freak out people like me. Since I'm a square, I'll wait until it's collected to read it, but I bet I'll like it whenever that magical date rolls around. Go Gilbert (and also Mario)! Hey, when is The Troublemakers coming out, anyway?

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5

Jonathan Hickman concludes his placeholder miniseries, which is now fully revealed as a prologue to his run on the main FF book. I do hope that won't suck, but this is kind of a letdown; it basically goes, "Leave us alone, Norman Osborn!" "Okay, but now I'm mad at you!" And then Reed talks about a mystery to be revealed later. Yawn.

Delphine #4

It's the final issue of Richard Sala's Ignatz series, and I bet it's a good read. Of course, I haven't read the first three, so maybe I'm wrong. You can see a couple preview pages here.

Dethlok VS The Goon (One-Shot)

The regular Goon series is on hiatus right now, but here's something fun to tide fans like me over, with the big lug meeting the world's most famous and brutal rock band. I don't know how that will make sense, since they seem to exist in different universes, but it should be fun. I trust Eric Powell; that guy is hilarious, and also a great artist. Don't let me down, EP!

Digger and Friends #1

Hey, maybe this book will get nominated for a Harvey next year, since it stars NASCAR's mascot. Wait, NASCAR has a mascot? And it's a gopher? That's just strange. Anyway, this is from IDW, and it will be "heavily supported" by Fox, so watch out for lots of rednecks in the comic shop buying their racecar gopher comics.

Groom Lake #4

Also from IDW: this Chris Ryall/Ben Templesmith comic about aliens. I read the last issue, and it was fairly enjoyable, although not quite as funny as it seemed to think it was. But Templesmith is always good for some nice art, and, hey, aliens, robots, and monsters! It's hard to go wrong with that sort of thing, right?

Grotesque #3

Here's the other Ignatz release this week, from Itialian artist Sergio Ponchione. I haven't read any of this one either, but it look weird and enjoyable. Preview!

Immortal Weapons #1

This miniseries is a spin-off of Iron Fist, starring Fat Cobra, Dog Brother, and the other weird, strangely-named heroes that Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker created. It's written by Jason Aaron, with art from Mico Suayan and a bunch of others, including Khari Evans and Michael Lark. I guess each issue is going to focus on a different Immortal Weapon, with this one being all about Fat Cobra, who can't remember his long past and has ordered a historian to research it, bringing him much surprise. A preview of this issue ran in last month's Immortal Iron Fist, and maybe elsewhere, and it was quite enjoyable, as one might expect from Jason Aaron. I bet this series will be a fun read. You can see what else I have to say about it tomorrow; I should have a review up at Comics Bulletin.

Incredible Hulk #600

Here's the other big anniversary issue of the week, although this one makes a bit less sense. Marvel has kind of mashed several different series together here to come up with the number 600, and what's even weirder, this series is going to continue on, and so will all the others that contributed to the numbering. It seems illegitimate; how dare they sully the pristine issue numbers of the series? Eh, whatever. Unlike the lengthy story in the Spider-Man book, this issue sees a bunch of different creative teams, including Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness on a story featuring different-colored Hulks, MODOK, and Spider-Man; Stan Lee writing something or other; Fred Van Lente and Michael Ryan doing more stories about their new version of She-Hulk, an excerpt from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's Hulk: Gray; and some cartoony silliness from Audrey Loeb and Chris Giarrusso. An extensive package, yes, but I don't know if anybody needs this much Hulk in their life.

Jack of Fables #36

Jack keeps on Fabling. I need to finish the last trade of this series that came out so I can be ready for the next one and the big crossover, whenever that gets collected. Speed these things up, will you, Vertigo?

Runaways #12

Kathryn Immonen and Sara Pichelli's run on the series continues, and while I thought the first issue was good, I'm hoping things get even better here. It looks like Immonen is planning on shaking things up, and I trust her to tell a good story. She's off to a good start; don't screw it up! Please?

Supergirl #43

Is this issue the debut of Supergirl's new "bike-shorts" costume? I don't care! A teen girl flashing short-shorts at the reader is probably better than flashing panties (or bikini bottoms), but is it that much of a difference? Just don't draw her with her ass sticking out; it's not that hard. I was also going to make a joke about Power Girl here, but you know they're never going to stop drawing her as a T&A machine.

Wednesday Comics #3

I like this comic; it's fun to read. Does anything need to be said on a week-to-week basis other than that? Sure, I could make fun of the stupid super-Prozac line in the Superman strip or something, or marvel at Paul Pope, Mike Allred, Kyle Baker, Ryan Sook, and Eduardo Risso's art, but that's not saying anything that everybody else hasn't said already. I'll be reading it and enjoying it; that's all.

We Kill Monsters #1

A new series from Red 5, about dudes that need monster blood to survive or something. It looks nice, although I didn't read the Free Comic Book Day sampler, so I haven't really gotten the full preview. Maybe worth a look? I'm so indecisive when it comes to recommendations.

Adventures of the MASK Omnibus

It's another thick-ass Dark Horse volume, collecting some of their old comics. This isn't the good, John Arcudi/Doug Mahnke stuff though; it's the cartoony comic version of the Saturday morning cartoon that was a spin-off of the Jim Carrey movie adaptation. By this time, the material had lost pretty much all of its teeth, and just wasn't all that funny, from what I've read. Maybe there are some gems in here, but it's not anywhere near the best of the series by any measure.

Awakening Vol 1 HC

This book from Archaia collects (the first part of?) a miniseries about small town murde
rs that might or might not have been caused by zombies. It's by Nick Tapalansky and Alex Eckman-Lawn, and it looks to have a sort of scratchy, wispy style that seems kinda cool. You can preview some of the individual issues at Archaia's site.

Creepy Archives Vol 4 HC

More classic horror comics from Dark Horse. Expensive, as always, but sure to feature some good stuff, although I can't find a list of contributors anywhere. The short preview at Dark Horse's site has art by Neal Adams, so that's something. Enjoy?

Elephantmen Volume 2 Damaged Goods TPB

I often hear good things about this series, but I still have yet to read it. And now I'm further behind, as ever. Ah, maybe one day I'll be able to experience the wonder of animal dudes being sad about killing.

Flight GN Vol 6

This is getting pathetic. Every time a new volume of this anthology series appears, I express a desire to read it, along with all the previous volumes, but I still have yet to get to any of them. Ridiculous. One of these days, I'll actually read some of them, but who knows when it will ever happen. Anyway, this volume is probably as good as the others, with contributions from the likes of Kazu Kibuishi, Kean Soo, and probably most of the usual suspects. Fun!

From Wonderland With Love Danish Comics In The Third Millennium TP

I thought this came out already, but maybe not. It's Fantagraphics' collection of Danish comics, and it looks pretty excellent. Read it, says I, and I hope I can follow my own orders. Here's the page on Fanta's site where you can see a preview.

Little Mouse Gets Ready HC

This latest volume in the Toon Books series of kids' comics looks good, in that it's by Jeff Smith, so it will feature great artwork. But the subject matter might be a bit too simplistic even for me, as it seems to focus entirely on a mouse putting his clothes on. That might be an exciting adventure for the young'uns, but I think I can safely say that I've progressed beyond that stage in my development. If my daughter was a little bit older, this would probably be a perfect book to get and read to her; maybe I'll do so anyway and see if she can pick something up.

Mouse Guard Volume 2 Winter 1152 HC

The second volume of David Petersen's awesome fightin'-mice series gets collected. If you liked the first one, this features more along those lines, as our intrepid heroes fight bats, a giant owl, and the deadening chill of winter. Good stuff, says I.

Myspace Dark Horse Presents TP Vol 3

More webcomics in print form, and since Myspace is folding (or on its way to doing so; the comics section of the site has closed down), this might soon be the only place to read them, although they're still online for now. This volume contains stories by Sarah Oleksyk, Chris Onstad, Becky Cloonan, Mike Mignola, Farel Dalrymple, and Stan Sakai, among others. Pretty good stuff, but not really essential.

Richard Stark's Parker the Hunter HC

Ooh, here's the highlight of the week; I'm going to have to run out and get it and dive right in. I've been excited about Darwyn Cooke's adaptation of the famed crime series ever since I first heard about it, and it's finally here. You better not let me down, Cooke! You can also get an artbook that featuring Cooke's designs on the series. I bet that's pretty too.

Union Station GN New Edition

I've never read this true crime comic by Ande Parks and Eduardo Barreto, but it looks pretty good. It apparently involves a train transporting a criminal, a reporter and a massacre, taking place in 1933. Cool. Oni has this new version of it, and you can see a five-page preview here.

War Stories Graphic History SC

Not a comic; this is one of those books about the history of war comics, which is certainly an interesting subject. Here's more info, if you're interested.

Weasel Patrol GN

It's a comic about intergalactic crime-fighting weasels; you probably don't need to know much else. You can see an eight-page preview here.

You Have Killed Me HC

Another Oni crime book, although I thought it had already come out. This is the one by Jamie Rich and Joelle Jones, and I've heard good things. Oni's site has a 31-page preview.

You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation TP

Another book that I thought had come out already, but who knows. Fletcher Hanks, bizarre shit, psychotic punishments, weird art, you probably know the drill by now. Here's the usual spot for previews and all that jazz.

All You Need Is Kill TP
Lord Of The Sands Of Time TP

On the manga front, Viz has these books that aren't manga at all, but sci-fi novels translated from Japanese. The first is about an endlessly-reincarnated soldier falling in love, and the second has to do with a time-traveling robot or something also falling in love. Both could be quite interesting, depending on the quality of the translation. I have the first on my review pile, so I might be able to get to it sometime.

Children Of The Sea Vol 1 GN

Viz also has the first print volume of this seinen title that they've been serializing on their SIGIKKI site. I've only read the first couple chapters, but it was pretty nice-looking stuff; I should try to get to the rest soon.

Oishinbo A La Carte Vol 4 Fish Sushi And Sashimi TP

Another volume of the cooking manga that everybody seems to love. I liked the one that I read, and I have this one at home as well, so I'll try to read it as soon as I can. I do like cuisine-based nationalistic fervor and familial conflict.

Real Vol 5 GN

And here I go, falling behind again. I still haven't read volume four of this series, even though it's currently one of my favorite manga being published. I gotta get caught up on my wheelchair basketball.

Vagabond Vizbig ED GN Vol 4

And finally, we've got another massive volume of samurai adventure by Takehiko Inoue. I was hoping to get caught up on this series one day, but even with the VIZBIG volumes, I've got a ways to go.
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And that appears to be the week. I should get my ass in gear and do more writing around here. Stay tuned, maybe you'll see some.