Monday, November 23, 2009

This week, I'm thankful for Ennis, Powell, BruPhil, Thompkin (DorkThom?), hell, even Millar

Elsewhere: I'm late linking to these, but I reviewed the latest episodes of Fringe and The Venture Brothers for The Factual Opinion, and Days Missing #2 and 3 for Comics Bulletin.

Links: Speaking of TFO, Tucker's latest episode of Advanced Common Sense is up, and it's as hilarious as always, all positive reviews of comics that really don't deserve it. At least one bit makes me want to start calling Tucker the new Miss South Carolina.

Online comics links: Joshua Hagler is going to be posting the issues of The Boy Who Made Silence on his blog in anticipation of the upcoming collection of the first volume of the series, so if you haven't read it, I highly recommend you go check it out. I raved about it here, if you want to know more of what I thought.

Colleen Frakes, whose Tragic Relief I just wrote about the other day (I liked it), is participating in that National Novel Writing Month thing that people do in November, except she's doing a graphic novel, and posting it on her blog as she goes. I'm liking it quite a bit so far; you can also read the whole thing on Flickr.

Viz's latest addition to their SIGIKKI site is the series Bob and His Funky Crew, which is a baseball comedy that's sort of similar to Cromartie High School, if a bit less absurd, at least so far. I liked the first chapter; give it a read.

New comics this week (Wednesday, 11/25/09):

Beasts of Burden #3

Have I mentioned that I'm loving this series? It's been really, exceptionally good so far, with the second issue especially standing out. Evan Dorkin, Jill Thompson, cute animals, beautiful art, really horrifying shit, what's not to love?

Creepy Vol. 3 #2

I don't think I ever even saw the first issue of this relaunched horror anthology on the shelves, but here's another one. I might check it out, who knows. This issue features the second part of a Joe R. Lansdale-written story, stuff by Dan Braun, Greg Ruth, Jason Shawn Alexander, and maybe some others? (ETA: "others" includes one Nathan Fox, so plan accordingly). Here's a preview.

Criminal Sinners #2

Ah, it's good to have this series back. I'm digging the current story arc so far, and I can't wait to see where Brubaker goes with it. And also how awesomely Phillips draws it. Yes, it should be good; I will try to control my salivary glands while I wait.

Fantastic Four #573

Jonathan Hickman's run on the title continues, with what appears to be a one-off adventure on Mark Millar's Nu-World with Ben, Johnny, Franklin, and Valeria. The fill-in artist is Niel Edwards, and he appears to be working in a Bryan Hitch mode, which makes for some excitement. Seems decent enough.

Ganges #3

I thought this newest issue of Kevin Huizenga's Ignatz series had come out a while ago, but maybe this is when it's hitting the direct market. Whatever; I haven't read it, since I'm not all that interested in comics about insomnia. Ha ha! No, I just haven't gotten to it; maybe one of these days.

The Goon #33

It's the latest issue of Eric Powell's signature series, although it apparently fits into Dark Horse's current series of one-shot comics, featuring a sure-to-be-funny self-contained tale that probably involves grotesquery and punching.

Immortal Weapons #5

Here's the final issue of this Iron Fist spinoff series, with a story about Prince of Orphans by David Lapham and Arturo Lozzi that also sees an appearance by Iron Fist himself, along with Luke Cage and a giant dragon. Looks pretty cool; I should have a review up at Comics Bulletin tomorrow.

Invincible Iron Man #20

This is the first part of Matt Fraction's latest Iron Man arc, called "Stark: Disassembled". I expect Tony is going to come back from his coma or whatever pretty soon, but it should be interesting to see how Fraction is going to dig his way out of the hole he's put himself in. He's got a plan, man!


Northlanders #22

More Brian Wood Viking stories, with what I think is the second part of the current storyline, "The Plague Widow". I'll read it eventually.

Powers Vol. 3 #1

Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming relaunch what's probably their best series, and it's supposedly going to be monthly, at least for a while. We'll see how long that lasts, but hopefully it will be a good read. I'll wait for the collection; don't let me down, Christian Walker!

Tick Vol. 2 #1

I rarely read any Tick comics (although I've enjoyed his stories in other media), but the creative team on this relaunch looks interesting: Hector Plasm's Benito Cereno and The Middleman's Les McClaine. Those guys make it at least worth a look, I think.

Ultimate Comics Avengers #4

Mark Millar, still writing his league of assholes. More big action this issue, with Captain America fighting the new team and being a general badass. Millar can sure be fun when he just does action, and well, has his characters be dicks. Enjoy, misanthropes.

Unknown Soldier #14

Another Vertigo series that I read in collections. I'll get to it eventually, but I'll be waiting expectantly until I do.

Astonishing X-Men Vol 5 Ghost Box TPB

The first arc of Warren Ellis' run on Astonishing, with Simone Bianchi on art, and some kinda blah storytelling. I think I read this whole thing, but I don't even remember what it was about. Something about interdimensional mutants threatening to invade, and Forge turning out to be the bad guy. Really, Bianchi's art is probably the most interesting thing about it, what with the crazy layouts that he does, but it's still not all that good. We'll see if the current arc with Phil Jimenez is any better, but I kinda doubt it. Oh, if only Ellis could go back to Nextwave...

Boys Vol 5 Herogasm TPB

The porny miniseries that is apparently just another story arc in the main series gets collected, so I can finally find out what I was missing. I hear it's nasty, so don't let me down, Ennis!

Chew vol 1: Taster's Choice TPB

The indie (if Image counts) success story of the year gets its first collection, at the bargain price of ten bucks. I think I might have to buy it and see what all the fuss was about. I do like what I've seen of the series, and it's good to see something non-superhero get this much recognition in the "mainstream", so now let's see how it all works as a comic. Ah yes, that's what this blog is supposed to be about, isn't it? Comics! Don't let me down, hype!

Dark Reign Elektra TPB

I really don't have much interest in all this Dim Kingdom hoo har, so usually something like this would be pretty ignorable. And maybe it should be, but David Brothers piqued my interest with this excerpt, which features some pretty sweet action. That's something, I guess. But yeah, I probably still won't read it.

The Dead: Kingdom Of Flies TP

It looks like zombies will never get old, doesn't it? Here's yet another comic about them, but it's notable because it's by Alan Grant and Simon Bisley. Whoa, that's a team worth taking note of. If you're interested, the official site has some sample artwork, including a PDF of the whole first issue. Neato.

The Devil's Handshake

Archaia has this new graphic novel/prestige format one-shot about an Indiana Jones-style adventurer, and it looks interesting enough. It's written by Larry Hama, from a concept by Ryan Schifrin, with art by Adam Archer. Maybe interesting? Here's a preview.

A Distant Neighborhood Vol 2 GN

The second half of Jiro Taniguchi's latest thing that everybody is raving about. I never read the first one (or anything else by Taniguchi for that matter, which is a shame), but I might catch up to it at some point. My list of "read this someday" comics grows ever longer.

Doris Danger Giant Monster Adventures TP

Slave Labor is publishing this collection of Chris Wisnia's comics about giant, Kirby-style monsters, and it looks pretty cool. I met Wisnia at Wizard World Chicago a few years ago, and he was a cool guy, so I'll go ahead and recommend this even though I haven't read it. But if you want a sample, here are a few stories that you can read on the official site. Enjoy, freeloaders!

Eagle Annual Best of the 1960s Comic HC

It's a collection of the classic British boys' comics, featuring stuff like Dan Dare and PC 49: Extra Special Agent Harris Tweed (I love the British-ness of that name; couldn't they have worked tea and crumpets in there somewhere?). Neat stuff, it seems; gotta love the historical reprints, even if you never read them.

From The Pages Of Bram Stokers Dracula Harker GN

Okay, so this is "the first graphical sequel to Dracula ever to be endorsed by the Bram Stoker estate", which is one hell of a dubious distinction if you ask me. I suppose that's a mark of honor or something, but do you really need to get Stoker's descendants' stamp of approval to just write a damn sequel to Dracula? I'm sure it's been done plenty of times, and while this might be decent (or even really good, who knows), it seems like a cheap stab at relevance and attention. Anyway, it's by Tony Lee and Neil Van Antwerpen, and it involves Dracula's last bride trying to steal Mina Harker's unborn baby, or something like that. Enjoy, vampire fetishists!

Harpe: America's First Serial Killers GN

This appears to be a small, possibly self-published graphic novel about, well, what the title says, a frontier-era bit of history about some brothers who did some killin'. It might well be an interesting book; the official site is here, and it links to a bunch of reviews, and Newsarama has a preview. Yeah, I could give it a read if I ever got the chance.

Immortal Iron Fist TPB Vol 5 Escape From the Eighth City

I mentioned Iron Fist above, and here's what is likely the final volume of the main series, seeing Danny and his pals trapped in a mystical prison dimension and finding out deadly secrets and whatnot. Good stuff, although I remember being a bit disappointed by the ending. Still, it's cool, and shows that Duane Swierczynski had some good ideas and might have done some interesting stuff if he had been able to continue to the series. Ah well, such is life.

Incognito TPB

This bit of superhero/villain/pulp by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips was a decent enough diversion from Criminal, but I'm glad it's over and they're back doing the good stuff. If you've gotta have spandex in your crime comics though, you could certainly do worse.

Powers HC Vol 3 Definitive Collection

And just in time for a new volume of this series, here's the completion of the big hardcover collections from two volumes ago. Timing! This actually collects the "Sellouts" and "Forever" arcs from the end of the original series, which contain some of the series' strongest storytelling (although that might not stand up with a reread, which I should probably do someday). If you still need to catch up, or if you want the fancy-pants expensive version of the comics, here you go.

Proper Go Well High: A Trains Are Mint Book GN

Oliver East continues his travelogue series, and although I've never read the first one, this looks pretty nice, so I wouldn't mind checking it out. You can see some sample artwork at the official site.

Saga of the Swamp Thing HC Book 02

DC/Vertigo continues to collect Alan Moore's run on Swampy, so maybe I'll get to read more of it. I did get the first volume at the library, and really enjoyed it, so here's my chance for more. Gotta love catching up on the classics.

SHADE the Changing Man TP Vol 01 American Scream
SHADE the Changing Man TP Vol 02 Edge of Vision TP

Here's the other big Vertigo collection, the first two volumes of Peter Milligan and Chris Bachalo's revamp of an old Steve Ditko character, with some totally crazy/awesome ideas just sprayed all over the pages. Some really dark stuff in here; I like it a hell of a lot. The first volume was previously collected several years ago, but this is the first time any more of it has been collected, so don't let it go by the wayside. It's a weird, hard-to-follow series, but it's from Milligan's prime, fitting in alongside stuff he did in books like Enigma, or, I dunno, whatever other crazy shit was coming out from Vertigo at the time (and yes, I know, the series was originally pre-Vertigo, but it became part of the imprint at its beginning and kept up with the other stuff that was going on, so it counts). Good stuff, don't miss out.

Simon Bisley Illustration From The Bible TPB

I bet this will be more interesting than the Crumb version. Actually, this might not be a new release at all, but it's on the list of stuff that will show up at my local store this week, so we'll see if it makes it there. I expect weirdness and depravity; don't let me down, Bisley!

Sparky O Hare Master Electrician GN

I'm not sure if this is easily available outside of England, but it's a collection of strips by German cartoonist Mawil about a cute lil' rabbit who does wiring and stuff. Here's a review with some sample strips. Awwww.

Winter Men TPB

Ooh, another big release. Jog and some others have been talking this series up since it first started, and though it's been plagued by long, long delays, it finally finished up this year, and here's a collection of the whole thing. Now I can finally find out what the fuss is. I hope it doesn't disappoint. Brett Lewis, John Paul Leon, hidden secrets from the Cold War coming back to bite the world on the ass, et cetera. Rock.

Years Of The Elephant GN

Finally, Fanfare/Ponent Mon has this release of a graphic novel from Belgian cartoonist Willy Linthout, apparently the autobiographical story of Linthout trying to cope with the suicide of his son. Sounds like some nice, bright, cheery material there. Good holiday reading. Probably very moving and emotional and all that, if you can stand it. If I ever get my hands on it, I'll see how much I can take.
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Kinda slow week? Maybe? Eh, everybody (in the U.S., anyway) is getting ready to stuff themselves and watch football in a brazen display of excess; comics are a secondary concern. Not for me though! I'll be here on the front lines, keeping everyone informed on my own sequential art consumption. I do it for you, so now you can be thankful as well.