Monday, November 2, 2009

This week, I thought I could avoid a trip to the store, to no avail

I already used up all my links, so straight to business:

Wait, here's one: You can download the latest issue of James Turner's Warlord of Io here for 99 cents. I need to do just that.

And: Kevin Church and Paul Horn posted this decent little horror comic just in time for Halloween. Check it out.

And and: This Aliens fan-comic by Paul Maybury is pretty awesome, as are the included random sketches. I gotta get this guy to do a Groo sketch for me...

Okay:

New comics this week (Wednesday, 11/4/09):

Age of Reptiles Journey #1

If Steve Bissette isn't going to finish Tyrant anytime soon (or ever, as seems likely), somebody else is going to have to step in and provide the dinosaur-based awesomeness. At least, that's the hope with this series, as Ricardo Delgado tells some pretty sweet-looking stories about survival in the Cretaceous. I guess this is a series that has been around for at least a little while, but this is the first I've heard of it. Looks cool. Here's a preview.

Assault on New Olympus #1

I haven't been following Incredible Hercules at all, but it seems I should have given it a try at some point, since everybody raves about it all the time. Looks like I've finally got the impetus to start though, as Jeff Parker's Agents of Atlas gets folded into the series as a backup, starting with this one-shot that kicks off the latest storyline. I can only resist for so long.

Astonishing X-Men #32

Warren Ellis keeps going on his run with this series, although he's kind of off doing his own thing, telling stories in which the team is still situated in San Francisco. He's got something going on here, with Sentinels made out of meat and Brood aliens attacking, but I don't know what. The art is by Phil Jimenez, who isn't really my bag. Eh, read it if you want, Ellis-heads.

Atomika #11

I think I read the first issue of this series way back when it first came out; it has something to do with a Soviet superhero or something, right? I guess it's still showing up, and almost finished. Is it something worth taking a look at? Anybody?

Boys #36
Boys Herogasm #6

I'll lump these two together out of laziness. They both finish storylines, with the main title telling Mother's Milk's origin and the miniseries doing something nasty, I presume, so hopefully that means more collections to come soon. I'm waiting expectantly; don't let me down, Ennis! (I feel like there should be a sex joke in there, but I can't quite formulate it, so feel free to come up with your own).

Cinderella From Fabletown with Love #1

Vertigo expands its Fables umbrella with this miniseries, which I think is the first one without creator Bill Willingham's direct involvement (although one presumes he at least okayed it), being written by Chris Roberson, with art by Shawn McManus. As the title suggests, it's all about espionage, which should be fun. I'll wait for a collection, as always, but I'll be eager for its arrival.

Eternal Conflicts of the Cosmic Warrior One-Shot

A.k.a. "Paul Grist's Big Cosmic Comic", which can be read online here. Or maybe not; this version is in color, as can be seen in this preview, and appears to be something different, while still starring the same character, who apparently is a spin-off of Jack Staff, and is, well, an eternal cosmic warrior. Whatever the case, it looks cool, so it's probably worth checking out.

Immortal Weapons #4

Your latest Iron Fist spinoff, by regular writer Duane Swierczynski and artist Khari Evans, with this issue focusing on Tiger's Beautiful Daughter. If you're into the series, it's probably about as good as any other chapter. Otherwise, you can suck it. Ha ha, random insults; that's the internet for you.

Lobo Highway to Hell #1

People still seem to like Lobo for some reason; weird. This miniseries is notable, however, because it's drawn by Sam Kieth, which means it will probably look pretty incredible, but possibly be impossible to follow. It's written by Scott Ian, who, being in the band Anthrax, will probably try to make it quite badass. Whoop-de-doo. But hey, maybe it will be fun. Worth a flip-through?

Marvelous Land of Oz #1

Oh, Marvel, you just can't keep your branding off books that you publish, even if they aren't involved with your regular "universe". That's corporate comics for you. What? That's the actual title of the original novel? From 1904? Holy crap, Joe Quesada has a time machine! ...Wow, that was a dumb joke. Anyway, I haven't read the original miniseries by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young, but it looked quite nice, and I imagine this one will continue to do so. I'm sure I'll catch up with them at some point. To the library!

Secret History Book 06

Now that Archaia is publishing again, they can pick up on some of their series, like this European import about conspiracies and, um, secrets of history. I've heard it's pretty good, but never read it. As ever, it's one for someday. Man, if I ever try to actually write down the list of stuff to get to at some point, my head might explode.

Starr the Slayer #3

This series from Daniel Way and Richard Corben has been pretty entertaining, in a lurid, purposefully nasty way, with lots of gratuitous swearing, violence, and nudity. I should have a review up at Comics Bulletin tomorrow, so you can learn more of my opinions then.

Strange Tales #3

The final issue of Marvel's indie anthology mini, featuring contributions from the likes of Becky Cloonan, Paul Hornschemeier, Stan Sakai, Corey Lewis, and the conclusion of Peter Bagge's "Incorrigible Hulk" (which, probably due to overly high expectations, has been one of the weaker stories in the series). I wish this was an ongoing series, or at least a bit longer, but hopefully it will get Marvel enough attention to do again sometime. I like it, even if it's not necessarily anything so great that it warrants praises to the heavens or something. Good, solid entertainment, better than most anything else I read from Marvel these days. That's what comics should be, right?

Stumptown #1

This is Greg Rucka's new crime series from Oni, with art by Matthew Southworth. It's about a lady PI who has to find a missing girl in order to clear a debt with an Indian casino. Knowing Rucka, it'll probably be good, and lord knows I'm into the crime comics lately. You can see some preview pages here.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #4

Hey, I've been really enjoying this relaunch of the longest-running comic in the Ultimate line. Brian Michael Bendis has been writing as good as ever, nailing the dialogue and characters and coming up with some cool action, and David LaFuente has been really delivering some great art. If you've stopped reading the series, you might want to come back; this is good comics.

Witchfinder In the Service of Angels #5

I think this is the final issue of this Hellboy-verse-related miniseries? I don't know if it's been especially good or not, but I'm interested. Maybe I'll read it at some point.

X-Men Vs Agents of Atlas #2

I mentioned Jeff Parker's Agents of Atlas above, and if you want to find out how the Agents end up involved with Hercules and his shenanigans, here's where you can do so, as the two teams of the title do the "throw down and then resolve their differences" thing enjoyably. Parker is pretty awesome at writing these sorts of fights and whatnot, and he doesn't let us down here. Give it a read, man, don't be shy.

Zombies That Ate The World #6

I don't think this is the end of this European-originated series by Jerry Frissen and Guy Davis, but it's probably getting close? I do want to read it, so let's finish it up and collect it already, dudes!

Batman Battle for the Cowl Companion TP

Oh god, as if the main series wasn't pointless enough, here's a bunch of tangential comics, now all collected under one cover for maximum irrelevance! Ugh, please don't buy this; I think I can safely say that these comics suck, sight unseen.

Best Of Wizard Of Id HC

Looks like one of those "golden age of reprints" volumes, although aren't they supposed to be comprehensive, collecting every strip ever? Maybe the "best of" approach suits this strip, since it's kind of the lesser younger brother to Johnny Hart's B.C. As with many of these zombie strips that are still in the newspaper long after their creators died/retired/threw up their hands in embarrassment, the early years were probably better than the tiresome repeated gags that bore everyone today. Read this volume and find out!

Boys HC Vol. 1 Limited Edition Name of the Game

I guess this is Boys week at Dynamite; in addition to the two pamphlets mentioned above, they've got this special, fancy-pants version of the first volume, with a bunch of extras like an introduction from Simon Pegg and 50 pages of bonus materials. If you've got the 30 bucks and want to give (a portion of) it to Garth Ennis, here's your chance.

BP Comics Revival Previews Exclusive 3-Pak #1

This is certainly a cute idea, a "stimulus pak" of comics from Buenaventura Press. It includes Ted May's Injury #3, Eric Haven's The Aviatrix, and Lisa Hanawalt's I Want You, all for $11.95. If my shop doesn't get it, I'll have to special order it, because those are three comics that should get more exposure. The direct market may be dying, but we shouldn't give up on it yet, if it can still provide good stuff like this.

Criminal Deluxe Edition

Ooh, it looks like this is the week for fancy, pricey collections. This "omnibus" version of the series collects the first three storylines, "Coward", "Lawless", and "The Dead and the Dying", along with a bunch of extras. Considering that those three volumes probably ran around $15 each, the $50 price tag on this volume isn't too unreasonable, what with the hardcover and stuff included. If you haven't read the series before, this wouldn't be the worst way to give it a try. I highly recommend it; it's awesome comics.

Exiles Point of No Return TP

More Jeff Parker! That guy is a content machine for Marvel. This version of the dimension-hopping series didn't last long, but from what I saw, it wasn't terrible or anything. There was at least one good recurring gag, which saw Forge's robot arm punching him in the face. Ah, slapstick; it never gets old. This might be a lesser Parker series, but it probably won't completely disappoint any of his completists (if there are any).

Family Circus Library Vol 1 Complete Comics From The Beginning 1960-61 HC

Speaking of Golden Age of Reprints, here's another one of those complete collections of classic strips (although this isn't really a strip, is it? More of a circle). It's another series that has gained a reputation for being lame in its latter years, and while one suspects that it probably wasn't surprisingly edgy or anything, it was probably better at the beginning. I know Lynda Barry is a fan, if that means anything. I still wouldn't buy it, but I might pick it up and read a couple installments if I saw it on a shelf somewhere. Recommendations! They're what I'm good at!

Johnny Cash I See A Darkness TP

Ah, it's one of them "comics biographies" that are sort of popular lately. This one is by Reinhard Kleist, and it's already been published in Europe, to apparent acclaim. It actually looks pretty nice, with an evocative art style (you can see a few pages here), and you don't have to try to ignore Joaquin Phoenix when you read it. If I need to bone up on my Cash history, now I know where to look.

Like A Dog HC

This is the Fantagraphics release of the week, the newest work from Zak Sally, collecting various stories that he's done over the years (some autobiographical, some not) in various minicomics and anthologies like MOME. Probably pretty good? As usual, Fanta's site has an excerpt and slideshow/preview.

Sherlock Holmes HC Vol 01

Not the further adventures of the world's most famous detective (see below for that), this is actually a collection of several of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories, with illustrations by Kelley Jones. Is IDW trying to piggy-back on someone else's success? Maybe!

Sherlock Holmes Vol 1 Trial Of Sherlock Holmes HC

Here's the new Holmes comics, collecting the first volume of the series written by Leah Moore and John Reppion, in which the detective is apparently put on trial (yes, I did read the title, thank you). I haven't really heard whether this is all that good, but who doesn't like ol' Sherlock? It's probably worth a look, at least. Right?

Spider-Man the Short Halloween PREM HC

Whoa, Marvel is turning smaller and smaller comics into hardcovers these days; this was a recent one-shot by Saturday Night Live talents Bill Hader and Seth Meyers, with art by Kevin Maguire, and it was pretty fun, if lightweight and not really of much lasting value. But there's no way that's enough to wrap in a hardcover and charge 20 bucks for, so there's some other stuff included as well, from who knows what original source. That includes an Aunt May story called "The Amazing Spider-Ma'am" and a story about Peter Porker, the Amazing Spider-Ham's daughter, Swiney-Girl (ugh). My verdict (sight unseen): lame. Skip this. Since I'm not a comic shop employee, I'll say NOT BUY.

Beast Master Vol 1 GN Shojo Beat

On the manga front, Viz has this new series which they're sure to label with the title of their cancelled magazine, so as to remind people that they still publish manga for girls (no, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?). This one is about a boy who is wild and animalistic (maybe he was raised by wolves or something) and the animal-loving girl who likes him. Maybe it's good? I could certainly take a look, if I go into girly manga withdrawals.

Fairy Tail Vol 8 GN

So, is this a series that I should check out? I haven't read any of it, but it's gotten a bit of acclaim, if I remember correctly. This volume apparently sees a fight between dragons and dragon slayers, which is always cool. Another one for the "someday" pile.

Fire Investigator Nanase Vol 3 TP

And here's another one that I might try to read at some point, about a girl who, uh, investigates fires. She ends up trapped in a building targeted by a terrorist plot in this volume. Sounds exciting.

Honey Hunt Vol 3 TP

Speaking of Shojo Beat, here's the latest volume of Miki Aihara's current series, which I liked well enough when it ran in the magazine. It wasn't really good enough to seek out though, so I don't feel the need to keep reading. Somebody let me know if it turns out to be awesome, and I'll try to catch up.

Lucky Star Vol 2 GN

Is this series any good? I think I've seen some clips from the anime version, and it's...disconcerting, to say the least, with a bunch of doe-eyed girls in tiny skirts doing cute stuff that references other series. I guess it's a four-panel manga, and it's probably total otaku-bait, playing up the fantasy that cute girls also like nerdy things. Sounds pleasant for some (a.k.a. virgins. Oh, snap!). Probably not anything I need to immerse myself in though.

Manga Kamishibai Art Of Japanese Paper Theater HC

Not really a manga book, this is all about the proto-manga form of entertainment that was sort of like puppet shows acted out with cut-out images. At least, that's the way I understand it. Manga scholar Frederick Schodt is one of the authors, and some complete stories are included, so if you're into the history of Japanese comics, this is probably a really good resource. Yeah, I'd take a look inside if I saw it.

Manga Shakespeare King Lear TP

Another not-manga, since it originates in the United States, I find this one notable for its strange confluence of several traditions. That is, it's a retelling of Shakespeare's play in the manga art style, but the setting has been shifted so that the title character is a Native American chief, which is kind of bizarre. I don't know if that's enough to make the thing actually worth searching out, but it's at least something that grabs the attention. Mission accomplished?

NANA Vol 19 TP

And finally, it's another volume of the series on which I am ridiculously behind. What is wrong with me that I haven't attempted to catch up yet? I'll have to take a break one month and just blast through this series, which will surely rip my heart from my chest and leave my eyes tearily red for weeks. I can't wait.
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Yes, those are comics. This week, more posting will commence, I hope. Keep an eye out; I'll be here.