Monday, December 14, 2009

This week, only Jim Rugg excites me at all

Link: Kurutta has another Taiyo Matsumoto short up, called "Universe". Nice.

New comics this week (Wednesday, 12/16/09):

Astonishing X-Men #33

I'm not sure what's going on in the current arc of Warren Ellis' corner of X-land, but I think it has something to do with the Brood and sentinels made of meat. Or something? Weird shit, kinda gross, but possibly actually interesting, which is a standard the X-line often fails to meet. Whee!

Authority The Lost Year #4

Hey, how is this going? Keith Giffen and company continue Grant Morrison's run, and it probably continues to fail to impress. Wake me up when it's over.

Captain America Reborn #5

I guess this is late, which probably can go without saying when Bryan Hitch is doing the art on a comic. But however Captain America gets reborn, he's already showing up in other comics, so there's not a whole lot of tension as to whether the Red Skull is actually going to take over his body and do evil Nazi stuff with it. Enjoy, detail fetishists!

Champion One Shot

What's with the meme lately of superheroes getting sick of helping everybody and turning evil? You've got Boom!'s Irredeemable, and The Boys sort of hits on the theme, and now this one from Arcana Studios. Maybe it's a sign that people are sick of superheroes, which would sure be nice, since I know I am, and I require the rest of the world to fall in line with my tastes. Anyway, this comic looks to fall into that subgenre, and who knows? Maybe it won't suck.

Complete Alice in Wonderland #1

Leah Moore and John Reppion seem to be establishing a cottage industry of adapting classics to comics, what with Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, and now this, which purports to be the first time that Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass, and a "lost chapter" called "The Wasp in a Wig" are all adapted into one complete story. And they're going to manage to do that all in four issues, somehow. Enjoy, classic literature lovers who don't want to read the actual books!

Ex Machina #47

Almost to the end; how will Mayor Hundred meet his unfortunate downfall (which we know is coming ever since the first issue)? Hopefully it's not a Spitzer-style sex scandal, but you never know. I need to read that most recent collection...

Fables #91

The magical fairy tale stuff keeps on coming. New collection, please.

Forgetless #1

This is a new (mini-?)series from Image, about some girls at a nightclub who are assassins trying to kill some guy, or something like that. It seems like it might be interesting, and kind of stylish, with pseudo-manga art and nice colors. Maybe worth a look? Here's an interview with a few pages of preview art.

Godland #30

Edging closer to the finale. I'll miss it when it's gone; hey, how about another collection sometime soon?

Incorruptible #1

Speaking of Irredeemable (which I did, above), is it really time for a spinoff already? Mark Waid and Boom! seem to think so, with this new series that takes place in the same universe and features an opposite narrative arc: villain decides to become a hero. That's even less original than the main story; maybe Waid has a plan to do something interesting (which he's kind of doing with the other book, even if he's not setting the shelves on fire with awesomeness or anything), but it all seems kind of unnecessary to me. Not that any of what I talk about is ever really necessary...

Next Issue Project #2: Silver Streak Comics #24

Wow, this took its sweet time coming out, didn't it? This "Next Issue Project" seemed like a cool idea when it was announced, what, two years ago or so? But then after the first issue showed up, nothing, and considering the talent involved with this second issue, maybe most of the players lost interest. While the first installment featured creators like Ashley Wood, Mike Allred, and Jim Rugg, this one has Erik Larsen and Paul Grist as the "name" talent, along with Steve Horton, Alan Weiss, and Michael T. Gilbert, whoever they are. And while the whole idea is kind of fun, considering the only so-so results last time around, I think I can safely skip this one. Here's a preview, if you're still interested.

Nomad Girl Without a World #4

Sean McKeever is still telling tales of teenaged angst and mind control, sort of tying into Captain America and Marvel comics in general. Not terrible so far; yet another great recommendation from yours truly!

Spider-Man 1602 #3

Backhanded recommendation number two: as lame as the whole "Elizabethan Marvel Universe" idea is, Jeff Parker does his best to make it enjoyable. Maybe there will be some swashbuckling or something in here, to satisfy people who must have Spider-Man in every type of story they read.

Ultimate Comics Armor Wars #3

Warren Ellis keeps going with the robots fighting each other all over the world; it's pretty good stuff, full of cool technological ideas and nice action. If Ellis has to write superhero comics, this is probably the ideal way to do so.

Underground #4

Jeff Parker and Steve Lieber keep plunging their characters deeper and deeper into trouble (ha ha, get it?); this series has been very good, with the rock-climbing knife fight of last issue being very intense. See, this is what Parker should be doing, not wasting his creativity doing lame Marvel superhero nonsense. I'm sure he'll drop the good-paying gigs for more work like this now, because I requested it.

Art Of Ditko HC

Ditko is really hot right now, isn't he? IDW has this big hardcover collection of some of his lesser-known comics and art, edited by Craig Yoe and featuring essays from the likes of P. Craig Russell and John Romita, Sr. Looks like a good coffee table book, and hopefully quite illuminating on the man himself and his work. I really need to read more Ditko, so maybe I'll look for this someday.

Best Of Battle TP

Titan Books has this collection of a bunch of classic British war comics, featuring some titles and characters that sound pretty awesome, like D-Day Dawson, the Bootneck Boy, Major Eazy, Hold Hill 109, Darkie's Mob, Panzer G-Man, Joe Two Beans, Hellmann of Hammer Force, Fighting Mann, and Death Squad. Those names alone are good reading; I'd love to check this out. Also included is Charley's War, which I've heard is a great series from writer Pat Mills. Yep, another one of those reprints that would be good to have. Someday? Someday.

Black Jesus GN

This graphic novel from Arcana Studios is apparently based on an upcoming movie about a kid with special powers that gets hailed as a Messiah or something. Huh. That's about all I can tell about what it's about; maybe it's interesting? Here's a short preview, and you can also watch a trailer on Arcana's site which contains live-action footage that might or might not be from the movie. Yes, this exists; I don't know if I have anything else to say about it.

Boys HC LTD ED Vol 03 Good for the Soul
Boys HC LTD ED Vol 04 We Gotta Go Now

If you want to spend more money, here are the more expensive versions of these volumes of the series. I'm fine with softcovers, but some people apparently have to have those limited editions of their satirical superhero decadence.

Complete Little Orphan Annie HC Vol 4

I still haven't read any of this series, but I always hear it's good. Maybe I'll get to it someday. Here's another volume to add to the pile.

Connie Vol 1 Captives Of The Space Pirates TP
Connie Vol 2 Battle For Titan TP

I had never heard of this, but it's apparently a sci-fi newspaper comic strip from 1939 by Harold and Frank Godwin, following a sexy lady adventurer (you can see a couple example strips on Wikipedia). Two complete stories in each volume; probably some interesting reading. Your golden age of reprints continues!

Crypt Of Horror #7

I guess this is an ongoing series of reprints of classic horror comics? I don't know if I've ever heard of it before, but publisher AC Comics appears to have a bunch of stuff along these lines. This one is a thick collection, with work by Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers, Bob Powell, and others. Neat?

Dead Run Vol 1 TP

Did anybody read this post-apocalyptic/zombie series from Boom!? I didn't. Is it any good? If I do end up checking it out, I guess I'll let you know. Somebody has to, right?

Drawing Down the Moon Art of Charles Vess HC

Dark Horse has this artbook about the fantasy illustrator who has worked on a bunch of good stuff, like Sandman and the Bone prequel Rose. I bet it's pretty. Not really something that I can afford, but I would pick it up and look at the pictures if I saw it on a shelf.

Engineer HC

I'm not sure if this is a collection of the previous issues of this series that came out or something new, but it garners some interest for featuring the work of Brian Churilla, who has gone on to do comics like We Kill Monsters and The Anchor. He's got a cool style, and the concept of this book, about a guy who fights other-dimensional monsters who eat spacetime with his cosmic pipe organ, is pretty awesome. This hardcover is only 10 dollars, so I'll probably buy it if I see it.

Gahan Wilson 50 Years Of Playboy Cartoons HC

Just what the title says. Here's the usual Fantagraphics slideshow/preview, if you need more info.

Giant Monster HC

I think AiT/PlanetLar originally published this Steve Niles/Nat Jones series/GN, but Boom! has it now, and I think this is their second edition. I still haven't read the thing, but it looked enjoyable enough, so maybe I'll finally give it a look.

Gravel Vol 02 The Major Seven

Warren Ellis and Mike Wolfer are still plugging away at this series about their long-running William Gravel character, and I have yet to read any of this iteration of his adventures (which are apparently less strange than they used to be). Maybe I'll get to it someday, but I'll probably start with the first volume rather than this one.

Life And Times Of Savior 28 TP

Hey, here's another example of the "superhero turns bad" genre I was talking about up top. Maybe he doesn't go evil, but he suffers a disgrace or something, right? Or maybe I'm wrong; I haven't read it. I suppose I could give it a try someday, if only because I like the talent involved, J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Cavallaro. But I'm less and less interested in superheroes these days, so I would appreciate somebody who actually read it telling me what they thought. Is that too much to ask?

Nightmare World Vol 1 Thirteen Tales Of Terror TP

This is apparently a webcomic, along the lines of The Twilight Zone or Tales from the Crypt, written by Dirk Manning and illustrated by various artists.. This volume would be the first print collection, although as I always say when it comes to webcomics, you can read it for free online. I don't know if it's any good, but there you go.

One Model Nation GN

New Jim Rugg! He's an illustrator I'm always excited to see new comics from, and this new graphic novel, written by Courtney Taylor of The Dandy Warhols, looks pretty interesting, about a musical/political revolution in 1977 Germany. Cool. Here's an interview/preview, to whet the appetite.

Punisher Frank Castle Max Welcome To The Bayou TPB

Up until the current Jason Aaron/Steve Dillon series, I haven't followed much of the Punisher MAX comic after Garth Ennis' departure, but I think this story might be the best-regarded of the lackluster bunch, having to do with redneck cannibal types in Louisiana, or something like that. I bet having Goran Parlov on art helps. Maybe it's worth reading, maybe not. Or maybe I should get around to reading that Ennis run already...

Rocketeer Complete Collection HC Vol 1

I don't know if this counts as Golden Age of Reprints material, but IDW is collecting Dave Stevens' comic, with new coloring by Laura Martin. Maybe I'll finally get around to reading it now. Or maybe not; whatever, man.

Secret Warriors Vol 1 Nick Fury Agent Of Nothing TPB

I've read some of this Jonathan Hickman-written series here and there, and it's all right, I guess, but not really anything exceptional. Fairly standard Nick Fury spy stuff, with attempts at conspiracy and "everything you know is wrong". I was hoping Hickman would bring some cool, crazy ideas to Marvel, but he seems to just be doing standard superhero stuff. Now I'm hoping he gets back to his creator-owned work as soon as possible.

Thor Ages of Thunder TPB

This Matt Fraction-written series of comics were pretty good, retelling some of the classic mythology surrounding Thor and acting as a kind of origin for his Marvel adventures. Decent stuff, pretty good art, not terrible. There I go again with the backhanded recommendations. Enjoy, people who can't bear to read anything not published by Marvel or DC!

And with that note of derision, we finish the look at another week. Let's see if I manage to get some writing done this time around...