I got some interesting stuff coming up on the blog this week (some of which, oddly, doesn't involve me), but for now, here's the regular Monday ritual:
New comics this week (Wednesday, 6/11/08):
Boy Who Made Silence #4
Wow, this series is coming out quickly. I'm glad; it's a fascinating book, even if I don't really understand it. Joshua Hagler puts together some incredible abstract-ish art, and he's developing an interesting story around it. It's certainly like nothing else out there, and that makes me happy.
Charlatan Ball #1
Ooh, this is a good start to the week's list. A new ongoing series from Image by Joe Casey and Andy Suriano, it appears to be a Kirby-esque tale of a magician getting thrown into a world where real magic works, and thus having lots of crazy adventures. I'm excited to see what kind of interesting twists Casey brings to the concept, as he has done in his other Kirby-style series, Godland, and Suriano's art looks pretty incredible (there's also an interview with the creators at that link). I'm all over this one.
I only watched one episode of this series, and it didn't seem interesting enough to keep following, but apparently it's popular enough to spawn a comics spin-off. Who knows, maybe it'll work better as a comic than as a show. It's a fun concept, and the unlimited budget of comics action and special effects could make for some enjoyable stories. I know nothing about the creators (Peter Johnson writes and Joel Gomez and John Stanisci provide art), but maybe they've got something interesting planned. Or maybe it'll be a bland, boring tie-in to the show. I'll wait and see before spending any money.
Doktor Sleepless #7
I'm either losing interest in this series or not paying enough attention, because I'm having trouble remembering the plot from issue to issue. Didn't the last one have something to do with secret government apocalypse bunkers? I still find it enjoyable enough that I don't think I'll drop the series, but it's kind of near the bottom of my "must have" list if I need to cull my comics spending. Change my mind, Ellis!
After the disappointing non-ending of Neil Gaiman's resuscitation of Jack Kirby's original ideas, it was only a matter of time before Marvel followed it up with a sequel. But I don't know if nobody wanted to touch it or what, because somehow it got handed to Daniel and Charles Knauf, who haven't done much (that I know of) besides write the regular Iron Man series. Daniel Acuña is providing the art, and he's not a bad artist when it comes to covers and such, but I don't know how well he does with actual storytelling. So, it almost seems destined to fail, doesn't it? But you never know, it might actually be good. I'm supposed to write a review of the issue for Comics Bulletin, but I don't know if I'll have time before tomorrow. I'll let you know.
This looks like an odd concept of a book, about a regular-guy repairman who gets choses as heaven's weapon against demons that invade the earth, or something like that. It's written by Phil Hester, which makes it worth a look, at least. Art is by Brook Turner, with whom I'm not familiar.
Last issue was kind of a fill-in, with a story about the Buzzard encountering a cursed member of the Donner Party (or some analogue thereof), and a non-Powell-written bit of silliness about a portal to hell. Hopefully we'll get back to regular business this month.
Whoa, I had no idea the final issue of this series was coming so soon on the heels of the last installment! I've gotten used to waiting six months between issues. I'm excited to check this out and see what Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly have in store for the big finish. Will Megan conquer all her demons and live happily ever after? Probably not, that's silly, but I bet it will be fascinating and touching and emotional and all sorts of good.
Madman Atomic Comics #9
Oh man, please, Mike Allred, please don't make me drop this series. I love Madman, and I want to read good Madman comics, but the series has really gone off the rails as of late. Last issue was an obnoxious recap/origin-rehash, quite similar to the one that kicked off this series. I know you're trying to get new readers on board or something, but I just read all that stuff seven issues earlier. So, please give us a good story or something here. I really don't want to drop the title. Oh well, I guess I'll always have Madman Adventures, Madman Comics, and The Atomics.
This series is late too, isn't it? What's up with Avatar these days? Or is Warren Ellis drinking too much to get his scripts in on time? Oh, wait, this is Jamie Delano. Ellis is only late on Black Summer and Doktor Sleepless. Anyway, I've enjoyed this Orwellian-future series well enough, so I hope the second half of the mini finishes things up satisfyingly. That is all.
Newuniversal Shockfront #2
I succumbed to temptation and ended up getting the first issue of this new miniseries, and I actually thought it was pretty good. There were a few bits that seemed off, like the revelation that the "Justice" character thinks he is dead and in hell, which was never really explained in the first series, as far as I can remember. But I liked it well enough; it's Warren Ellis doing a sci-fi take on superheroes. Let's hope it doesn't go downhill.
Red Mass for Mars #1
New Jonathan Hickman! This one is about, uh, off-planet Catholicism? Nah, just kidding. From the description, it sounds like an ambitious sci-fi story dealing with utopias, dystopias, world(s)-ending threats, etc. I trust Hickman enough to follow him wherever he goes, so I'm all over it. Art by Ryan Bodenheim, and it looks cool. Bring it.
Sky Doll #2
Being the second part of Marvel's version of the sexy, satirical, and, um, shiny French series. I did like the first issue, but I read it for free; I don't know if it was worth six bucks. Maybe I'll pick the whole thing up when it's collected. Lord knows I need more naked sex robots in my life.
Superior Showcase #3
So is this an annual series or something? It's a pamphlet-format spinoff of Adhouse's Project: Superior superhero-themed anthology, and I never did find issue #2, even though it's supposed to be on my pull list. I'll have to make sure I get a copy of this one though, since it's got a new Street Angel story from Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca. There are also stories by Dustin Harbin and Laura Park, and a cover by Roger Langridge. Don't miss it!
Absolute Sandman HC Vol. 3
Giant brick number three of four shows up. I wish I could afford these, because man do they look nice. Uh, not much else to say, I guess, since I don't really need to direct anybody's attention toward the works of Neil Gaiman.
Amazing Joy Buzzards GN VOL 01 Here Come The Spiders
Oh, hell yeah. This is one of my favorite series of the last few years, and this volume collects everything that has already come out (minus some stories from the last couple issues of the second miniseries which featured guest artists), in preparation for a new volume to come this fall. For those who don't know, the series is about a popular rock band who, in addition to enjoying fame and fortune, get in all sorts of crazy adventures involving things like giant monsters, robot vampires, and world-ending threats, accompanied by their magical Mexican wrestler pal. It's written by Mark Andrew Smith (Aqua Leung) and illustrated by Dan Hipp (Gyakushu!), and it's tons of fun, full of goofy jokes, awesome action, and stylish art. I got a sneak peek at this volume, and it's a great-looking book; I highly recommend it if you haven't read it before. And stay tuned to the blog today or tomorrow for a special event involving the series!
American Terror Vol 1 Confession Of A Human Smart Bomb GN
This graphic novel takes place in the peaceful future world of 2041, and it concerns one man's retelling of the wars that brought about that world. I think. It certainly sounds interesting, so I might try to find it and check it out. Here's a preview.
The latest Minx book to come down the pike, this one is about a girl who is in love with her step-brother, and gets involved in eco-terrorism, and stuff. It's by Rebecca Donner and Inaki Miranda. Could be good? I'm more interested in Janes in Love or The New York Four.
Eternals by Jack Kirby TPB
Hey, just in time for a late-era bastardization, you can find out what kind of awesomeness Kirby was doing back in the 70s. This is some good stuff, dealing with evolution, the human perception of gods, and, of course, large scale conflicts and crazy Kirby action. It was eventually awkwardly shoehorned into the Marvel universe, but the best stuff is early on, when Kirby just goes nuts with big ideas. Read it.
Freddie & Me Coming Of Age Bohemian Rhapsody TPB
I've seen reviews of this book (an autobiographical story dealing with Queen fandom) popping up around the comics inter-blog-o-net (in fact, keep your eyes peeled for something about it around these parts), and it sounds pretty good. I just might have to read it.
Green Manor Vol 1 Assassins & Gentlemen GN
I probably won't see this book on any shelf anytime soon, but it sounds interesting. It's a European (French?) series about a Victorian-era hideout for murderers and other criminals. It sure looks nice, as you can from the non-English preview pages here; I would love to read it sometime.
Novo Vol 1 Birth Of Novo GN
This appears to be a sci-fi/fantasy book about the adventures of the last survivor of a dead world, the only member of his species. Could be interesting. Here's some pages.
Out Of Picture Vol 2 Art From The Outside Looking In TP
I guess there's already been one volume (the "volume 2" in the title would indicate that, duh) of this series of comics stories by animators from Blue Sky Studios, who produced animated films like Ice Age and Robots. I never read that one, and who knows if I'll ever get to read this one, but it looks nice, so maybe.
Programme Vol 1 TPB
Well, this Peter Milligan-written series has been interesting, but I think I might have to wait until the final issue comes out before I render a verdict on it. It hasn't blown me away, but it's had some good bits. I'm hoping Milligan pulls some sort of craziness out of his ass and blows my mind. But that might be too much to expect. At the very least, it's pretty unique, with an art style (by C.P. Smith) that's different from most superhero books. Is that a recommendation? I dunno.
I hadn't heard of this before, but apparently it's an anthology from the UK about, well, you can probably guess. It features stories by Leah Moore and John Reppion, Mark Buckingham, Kieron Gillen, and Frazier Irving, among others, so it would be worth checking out if I could find it. You can see preview pages at the publisher's site, although I found it kind of hard to navigate.
Silver Surfer In Thy Name TPB
I read the first issue of this miniseries by Simon Spurrier and Tan Eng Huat, and it seemed all right, with nice art and a decent concept. I suppose I could check out the trade, just to see how it turned out, but it's not likely I'll spend the money to do so.
Smuggling Spirits Book 2 GN
I reviewed the first volume of this series from Ambrosia Publishing last September, and I liked it a good deal. So I'll definitely have to check out this concluding book and see how it turns out.
Vinyl Underground Vol.1 Watching The Detectives TPB
Did this series ever get good? I thought it looked interesting, but waited to read reviews before checking it out, and those were almost uniformly negative. I haven't heard anything since; did the book get better? Worse? Stay exactly the same? I guess I'm wondering if it's worth a look, but the deafening silence indicates that it's not.
Gimmick Vol 1 GN
I just finished reading this manga about a makeup and special effects wizard, and it's, well, not terrible. I'll elaborate when I write a review, but that might not be for a while.
Manga Shakespeare Midsummer Nights Dream GN
Manga Shakespeare Tempest GN
So how many "manga" versions of Shakespeare plays are there out there now? This has got to be at least the third set that I've read about over the last six months or so. I don't know if I've heard of Kate Brown, the artist on A Midsummer Night's Dream, but Paul Duffield, artist of the Warren Ellis-written webcomic FreakAngels, is illustrating The Tempest, so that one might be worth checking out.
Yumekui Kenbun Nightmare Inspector Vol 2 TP
Here's another volume that's on my review pile, so I'll be getting to it sooner or later. It's about a guy who exorcises nightmares or something, I think. I dunno, it looks interesting (I guess "interesting" is my favorite word today or something).
And that's it for this week. Whew. Some good stuff, but unfortunately I won't be able to read any of it for a while, because we're going out of town on vacation for the next couple weeks, so I won't be grabbing stuff from the shop. And I won't be blogging either, but don't worry, I've got plans to keep things going around here. Stick around and find out, but I'm excited for what's coming up.