Monday, September 21, 2009

This week, I need a vacation from my vacation

Links: This comment thread on the Jog blog is some good readin', featuring a discussion of Frank Quitely's action choreography in Batman and Robin vs. John Romita, Jr.'s in Kick-Ass. I tried to participate (and I can at least claim credit for getting things going), but Jog's long, long rant on Quitely is pretty awesome. Check it out.

This is neat: Jamie Tanner is doing a sort of fundraising thing to finance his next graphic novel. Looks pretty neat; I might have to spring for one of the more affordable options.

This Popeye picture by a French artist named Raphael is pretty cool.

Back to something resembling a normal schedule this week, I hope. Here's what to watch for:

New comics this week (Wednesday, 9/23/09):

76 #5

Hey, look at this. If I remember correctly, this was a sort of crime series that took place in the 70s (that took some hardcore deduction skills, right?) by B. Clay Moore and some other guys. I don't know if it was originally meant to be an ongoing series or a miniseries, but it kind of dropped off the face of the earth, maybe as long ago as last year. But it's back! New issue, maybe it'll even start coming out more regularly. Me, I never read it, although I might have if I had seen it on the shelves of my local shop. Maybe if it gets collected at some point?

Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror #15

Here's what might be the book of the week, surprisingly; I rarely read any Simpsons comics, since they haven't impressed me, but this anthology is guest-edited by Sammy Harkham, and he brought along a bunch of his Kramers Ergot buddies like Kevin Huizenga, Jeffrey Brown, and Ben Jones, making this a must-buy for indie comics afficionados. I know I'm getting it; hope it doesn't disappoint.

Beautiful Creatures #1

This is a new series from Red 5 (who usually put out interesting books, so I feel like they're always worth a mention), about a group of college girls who are actually mythological monsters in disguise, or something like that. Epic fantasy, the description says. Could be interesting. Here's a preview.

Dark Reign: The List: X-Men: One Shot

I shouldn't care about this sort of thing, but it's written by Matt Fraction, with art by Alan Davis, so that's worth a mention. It's probably more of that supposedly grim nonsense about secret plots and angry allegiances between various shadowy players, which has gotten tiresome really fast. Sight-unseen ranking: Don't Bother.

Detective Comics #857

It seems like J.H. Williams III is continuing to knock these out of the park. I might even have to seek out a collected volume at the library. How about that.

Fantastic Four #571

Jonathan Hickman, continuing his run. I thought the last issue got off to an interesting start, so we'll see how it goes. Crisis of infinite Reeds, go!

Immortal Weapons #3

The latest entry in the "sidekicks of Iron Fist" series; this one focuses on Dog Brother #1, and it's written by Rick Spears, with art by Timothy Green II, who I think did that interstitial issue that took place in the future on another planet. I'm never sure if Spears will turn out something cool and fun or just stupid, so we'll see.

Madman Atomic Comics #17

Oh, so I guess this is the final issue of the current Madman series. Madman and the Atomics meet Red Rocket 7 and Mike Allred's real-life band, The Gear. I've lost track of the series, but I'll get to it eventually, I expect. And then it's off to Vertigo, for some Eugene-based zombie action.

Muppet Peter Pan #1

Another Boom! Studios Muppet thing. Roger Langridge's series gets all the acclaim, but these are also showing up, although at least one person said the recent Muppet Robin Hood was not very good. Maybe this one will be better? It's by Grace Randolph and Amy Mebberson, whoever they are.

Muppet Show Treasure Of Peg-Leg Wilson #3

But here's the good stuff, with Langridge continuing his series of miniseries (which might eventually turn into an ongoing series; I think I heard that somewhere?). What I've read of his Muppet work has been great, so pick this up, people.

New Avengers #57

Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen are still doing their thing here. From what I've seen, the action has been pretty cool, even if the plot and dialogue and whatnot are no great shakes. But Immonen is pretty great with the visuals, so it's at least worth a look, says I.

No Hero #7

And another Warren Ellis/Juan Jose Ryp miniseries drags to a delayed close. I read the first issue, and thought it seemed pretty good, but I haven't kept up. Should I get the collected version? I always want to like these things, and I like Ellis' ideas, but I don't want to waste my time and money. Somebody tell me what to do.

Spider-Woman #1

Here's the old-fashioned version of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev's "motion comic"; you'll have to act out the voices yourself, losers. I haven't heard much about it, but I imagine it's the typical Bendis sort of thing, with lots of Maleev's moody photoreferenced art. Enjoy, if that's your style.

Underground #1

Jeff Parker! Steve Lieber! No superheroes in sight! This one has been hyped through some canny online marketing (you can read the black and white version of the full first issue here), and it looks quite good, being about local Kentucky law enforcement getting into a conflict with developers in a mountain cave, with underground action and whatnot. I bet it's good.

Wolverine Giant-Size Old Man Logan #1

Finally, the conclusion of Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's oft-delayed run on the ol' Canucklehead (emphasis on "ol'"), as he spends an issue killing Hulks and committing acts of violence. Probably lots of stupid (but fun) action and pretty good art. I'm almost always torn on Millar, and I haven't been all that impressed by this run, but he might deliver a good rip-roaring, blood-soaked finale. It could happen.

Wasteland #26

I decided to just go with it and start up on this series on a monthly basis again, since it seems to be kind of infrequent lately. Which reminds me, I should write something up about the last arc, and the big anniversary issue. As for this one, it starts a new arc, shifting back to the city of Newbegin and following the post-battle state of affairs, which should be interesting. I do like this book.

Wednesday Comics #12

Final issue! I have yet to read last week's, so no commentary here, but I'll say that I've enjoyed the ride quite a bit. I like when the companies do experiments like this, and I hope it sold well enough to encourage them to keep coming up with good ideas involving great creators. Or, those talents could just ignore the big two and do indie stuff; I like that idea too.

Zombies That Ate The World #5

I don't know how many issues this Euro-zombie satire goes, but I do hope to eventually buy a collected version. Guy Davis!

3 Story Secret History of the Giant Man

This might have come out last week, but I didn't mention it. It's a new graphic novel from Dark Horse by Matt Kindt, about a guy who grows really big and becomes an international celebrity. I really want to read it. For more about Kindt, check out my review of his book Super Spy, which was my favorite comic of 2007.

Astonishing X-Men by Whedon & Cassaday Omnibus HC

Ah, here's the weekly example of overpriced thick books, collecting the entire 25-ish issue run of Joss & John's take on Marvel's merry mutants. It's not bad, full of nice moments and good art, but please don't spend $75 on it. Seriously.

Big Kahn TP

I thought this was already out, but in case I didn't mention it before, it's a graphic novel from Neil Kleid and Nicholas Cinquegrani about a rabbi who was found to not actually be Jewish after his death, throwing his family and friends into upheaval. It sounds like the kind of thing I would be interested in, even if Tucker Stone didn't like it. But what does he know?

Fantastic Four Prem HC Masters of Doom

Marvel collects things quickly these days, don't they? Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch's run on this series just ended, and here's the final story arc collected already. All-righty. If you missed reading the issues, you might feel like checking this out, but it's kind of typical Millar stuff, full of bombast and "cool" proclamations, with little in the way of substance. Nice art by Hitch (and Stuart Immonen on the final issue) though. Get it at the library, that's my recommendation.

Ghost Comics GN

This week's anthology, about the ectoplasmic spooks indicated in the title. It's a Xeric-winning book, and it benefits a Minneapolis substance abuse clinic called RS Eden. Lots of eye-catching names here, including Kevin Cannon, Lucy Knisley, Jeffrey Brown, David Heatley, John Hankiewicz, Sarah Morean, John Porcellino, Zak Sally, and Maris Wicks. You can buy it and also see a few excerpts here. Looks good.

The Goon TP Vol 9 Calamity of Conscience

I think this catches us up to the most recent issue in the series, ending the year-long storyline that Eric Powell had been working on and seeing our big lug of a hero sacrificing a bunch of stuff to defeat his mortal enemy, with lots of gross-out humor along the way. I like this series a lot, but if you haven't read it before, this isn't the place to start. It's still good though, with some gorgeous art by Powell and nice colors by Dave Stewart.

If You Lived Here Youd Be Home By Now HC

This is a sort of kiddie comic by Ed Briant, a wordless story about a boy discovering a leaf monster at the park and teaming up with it to fight some construction men who want to demolish the place. Sounds neat.

Know Thyself HC

This European graphic novel by Maryam Naville is published by Heavy Metal, and it sounds interesting, about a girl discovering alternate realities and ghosts and shit. I bet there's nudity too.

Labor Days Vol 2 Just Another Damn Day GN

I never read the first book in this series from Oni Press, and I think I only ever saw one review, which was negative. Doesn't really stick in my memory, it seems. Anyway, here's volume 2, and it seems to be about some drunken douchebag "everyman" searching out a global conspiracy with a team of weirdos. Hmm, that sounds interesting enough that I should probably get around to reading that first volume.

Pet Avengers Classic TP

Marvel collects a bunch of the issues that introduced or spotlighted various pet Marvel superheroes, including Lockjaw, Zabu, Lockheed, and others. Not a bad collection of stories, I suppose, especially if you like goofy bits of Marvel's universe.

Salt Water Taffy: The Seaside Adventures Of Jack And Benny Vol 3 The Truth About Dr True GN

This kid-oriented series by Matthew Loux, about a couple of brothers who get involved in various wacky, somewhat magical adventures while summering with their family in Maine, has been quite enjoyable, and I doubt this volume will be any different. Here are my reviews of the first two volumes, if you want more info.

Spirit TP Vol. 2

Here's the paperback version of the second half of Darwyn Cooke's run on Will Eisner's stomping grounds, and it's pretty good stuff. There's a sort of zombie storyline that's decent, but the final issue is really where it's at, adapting Eisner's original Sand Saref story and throwing in some Contract With God influence. Yes, it's darn good. Twenty bucks, which is slightly more than I would like, but if you haven't read it, I recommend you do so.

Sulk GN Vol 03 Kind of Strength Comics From Madness

It's the latest volume of Jeffrey Brown's one-man anthology (or whatever you want to call it), with this one seeing his superhero Bighead repeatedly die and get resurrected. I haven't read any of these, but I did buy the first volume a while back. I tend to like Brown's fictional comics much more than his autobio stuff, so I'm hoping this will be fun and funny. Don't let me down, Brown!

Talking Lines HC

Drawn and Quarterly is publishing this collection of R.O. Blechman's comics, which are the sort of thing you see in The New Yorker, it seems. I don't know if that appeals to many people, but it's worth mentioning. Here's more information and art samples at D&Q's blog.

Things Undone TP

NBM has this graphic novel by Shane White, and it seems to be a different sort of zombie story, about a guy who is sort of going through the motions in his life until he actually starts decaying into one of the walking dead. Could be interesting. Here's an interview with White that includes some sample art.

Thor By Jurgens and Romita JR. TP Vol. 1

I never read this run (or much of any Thor at all, really), but it seemed to get some attention several years back for being kind of daring and surprising with how far it went, having Thor become the leader of Asgard and then jumping to a future in which he had conquered the Earth. I think it came out in the early Oughts, maybe even starting in the late 90s, back before Marvel kind of went through its brief revolution of experimentation. Maybe it was ahead of its time? Or maybe not; I dunno.

Umbrella Academy DLX LTD HC Vol. 2 Dallas

I'm quite excited to read the collected version of the second volume of this series, since I loved the first one, but I'm going to have to wait a bit longer, since this fancy, expensive version is pretty far out of my price range. It's 80 bucks, but that gets you an oversized hardcover with lots of extras like sketches and concept art. If I had the money, I might consider it, even though I usually despise this sort of expensive novelty.

Wasteland Vol 1 HC Apocalyptic Edition

I mentioned above that I really like this series, so if you haven't read any of it, I suppose this is a good way to get into it, if you can afford it. It contains the first thirteen issues of the post-apocalyptic series that aims to focus on world-building and creating culture and language as much as gritty action, including the one-shot #7 that was not previously collected, and also the backmatter essays that fill out the world of the series. If you can't find the original issues, this looks like the next-best thing.

Will Eisners Spirit Archives HC Vol 1 New Adventures

Dark Horse is publishing this collection of the Eisner-supervised miniseries that saw a bunch of comics all-stars take on the character, including Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Neil Gaiman, Eddie Campbell, Paul Pope, Mike Allred, Paul Chadwick, and lots of others. I have a few issues of this, but I don't think I've ever read them for some reason. I should remedy that.

Detroit Metal City Vol 2 TP

In the manga world, here's the second volume of this hilarious series about a sensitive, nebbishy loser who moonlights as a profane death metal star. I loved the first one, and I expect this will see more of the same, which means lots of laughs.

Eden Its An Endless World Vol 12 TP

And here's another series that I liked one volume of, but it will be a long time before I ever catch up. Dark Horse keeps publishing it though, and I imagine it's good. Sci-fi, robots, violence, you know the drill. Someday I'll get to read more of it, I hope.

Karakuri Odette Vol 1 GN

And here's a manga I don't know much about, but it sounds interesting enough to mention. It's about an android girl who goes to a high school in order to "find the ultimate difference between" humans and robots, whatever that means. Hmm, maybe that's not all that interesting, but given the right touch, it could be a funny take on high school manga, or something. Uh, if this turns out to suck, forget I mentioned it. But if it becomes a surprise critical hit, man, don't forget I pointed it out!

Okay, that's everything that I feel like mentioning. I'm behind now, after taking a vacation, so we'll see if I can get caught up anytime soon. That means some posts this week, hopefully, but don't hold me to it. Don't pressure me!