Monday, August 18, 2008

This week is another week

I think I've got something up at Comics Bulletin today? Maybe? If so, I'll give it a link.

New comics this week (Wednesday, 8/20/08):

Air #1

A new Vertigo ongoing series from G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker, the the creators of Cairo. I didn't especially like that book, but I thought Wilson and Perker showed promise. Unfortunately, this is still not very good. If you weren't impressed by the preview in recent Vertigo issues, you won't be surprised to see that the full issue pretty much lives up to its lack of promise. I should have a review up sometime today at Comics Bulletin, so you can see what I mean.

Anna Mercury #3

The first two issues of this crazy sci-fi action series from Warren Ellis were pretty good, but the book has fallen to the great culling of my pull list. I may never find out what happened, but I think I'll live.

Charlatan Ball #3

I don't think I'll get this one either, and that's a shame, since I loved the first two issues. Joe Casey can really bring the weirdness, and he put together an amazingly bizarre world here. And artist Andy Suriano fleshes it out beautifully, with lots of Kirby-style panache that still seems unique, rather than slavishly following the "square fingers, Kirby dots" style. It's excellent stuff; check it out if you want to see some of that true Kirby influence that so few creators have picked up on.

Immortal Iron Fist: Origin of Danny Rand

I might have a review of this one up tomorrow, but it's basically just a reprint of a couple issues of Marvel Premiere, with new computer coloring. I guess if you really want to read those old 70s issues, this is as good a place as any.

Killer #8

This European series is supposed to be really good. Maybe I'll get to read a collection someday.

Madman Atomic Comics #10

I dropped this one too, and maybe I won't regret it, but I do think that the most recent issue was the best one Mike Allred has done in quite a while. It was beautifully-illustrated and full of that old-school Madman adventure. If Allred can do more of that sort of thing, I'll really miss the series.

Rex Libris #12

I think I kept this one on my list, since it comes out so infrequently. Plus, I think it's supposed to end soon, so I've gotta complete my run, man. I can't miss out on the adventures of everybody's favorite two-fisted librarian. Maybe Rex will finally confront the Lovecraftian horror that has been unleashed. Or maybe he'll tell another story about fighting Nazis.

Victorian Horrors Of Old Mauch Chunk #1

This is a small-press book that tells a steampunk/horror story set in a Pennsylvania town during the industrial revolution. It looks pretty interesting, if only because the creators have set up a pretty elaborate promotional website. I would check it out, given the chance.

Abandoned Cars HC

From Fantagraphics, a collection of Americana stories from creator Tim Lane. It looks pretty good, so I suppose I could read it. Jog recently reviewed it here.

Achewood The Great Outdoor Fight HC

I've never been able to get into Achewood, despite the frequent claims of genius I read. I even tried reading this storyline a while back, since it was supposed to be really good, and while it had a couple amusing bits, it still didn't do much for me. Maybe one day I'll sit down and read a year's worth of strips, and finally get it, but for now, I still plead confusion as to what the big deal is. But if you want to check it out, here's a nice volume of that story, for $14.95. Or you could always read it for free online.

Donald Duck Family Daan Jippes Collection Vol 1 TPB

I'm not familiar with this Dutch artist, and he's not one of the "good" duck artists (Carl Barks, Don Rosa, and William Van Horn), so I don't know if he's worth reading. But he did get a whole book to himself, so I guess he can't be that bad. Oddly, the description of the book says he has done some "recreations" of Barks stories not originally drawn by Barks. I have no idea what that means.

Gravel Never A Dull Day Signed HC

I'm sure a less-expensive version of this book will come out eventually (this signed collectors' edition is $89.99), so when it does, I would give a sort of a recommendation for Warren Ellis and Mike Wolfer's tales of "combat magician" William Gravel, originally published as Strange Kiss, Stranger Kisses, etc. I've read some of it, and it's weird, gross stuff, but it's got that usual Ellis good writing. If you're reading the current Gravel series (which I'm not), this would be a good one to check out.

Good-Bye Marianne GN

From Tundra Publishing (which I believe is different from Steve Bissette's old company), this is a comics adaptation if Irene N. Watts' novel about a Jewish girl growing up in Nazi Germany. It seems to be intended for kids. Might be good.

Herbie Archive Vol 1 TPB

This seems to be getting a lot of attention, and probably rightly so, since Herbie is one of those really bizarre Silver Age comics, about a fat little boy who fights evil in a rather nonchalant manner, usually involving lollipops. I dunno, it's hard to explain, but it's hella enjoyable, if only because it's so weird. It's one of Dark Horse's expensive archive books, so I don't know if many will shell out the cash for it, but hopefully it will be available at libraries, so people can experience the craziness.

Jews & American Comics Illustrated History Of An American Art Form HC

As Dave Sim recently informed us, most of the original comics creators were Jewish, from Jerry Seigel and Joe Schuster to Will Eisner to Jack Kirby. So now we have a book all about it, by Paul Buhle, with lots of illustrations, including some strips from early-20th-century Yiddish newspapers. Probably very informative, and hopefully entertaining to boot.

Myspace Dark Horse Presents vol 1 TPB

Dark Horse seems to be going for the "pay for what you can read for free" dollar this week, since they've got both the Achewood book and this collection of material from the titular website. The first six "issues" are collected here, and there's some pretty good stuff, including Joss Whedon and Fabio Moon's "Sugarshock", an Umbrella Academy story by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba, an Empowered story by Adam Warren (in color!), and pieces by the likes of Peter Bagge, Tony Millionaire, Guy Davis, and many more. Good stuff, but really, just follow the link above to read it, unless you absolutely have to own a hard copy.

Myth Of The 8 Opus Prologue Expanded ED GN

I've heard of this Kirby-inspired Tom Scioli book before, but I had never seen it. And lucky me, it's now out in an easily-obtainable edition. I love Scioli's work on Godland; he mimics Kirby, but he has enough of his own style to keep things interesting. I'll have to try to check this out.

Sandman Presents Dead Boy Detectives TPB

This is a new collection of the four-issue Sandman-spinoff miniseries from 2001 by Ed Brubaker and Bryan Talbot. I picked up the issues from a back-issue bin several years ago, and I ended up selling them on Ebay, finding them disappointing. The story seemed to just try to recapture Neil Gaiman's work, grabbing characters that he invented and attempting to do something interesting with them. The plot involves somebody using the titular characters to try to steal Hob Gadling's immortality; I barely even remember. I guess it's somewhat interesting due to the creators, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Scorchy Smith And The Art Of Noel Sickles HC

The latest in IDW's line of classic strip reprints, this is an adventure series that lasted from 1933-1936. The volume collects the entire run of the series, which was apparently very influential (Dave Sim mentioned Sickles in the most recent issue of Glamourpuss). I certainly wouldn't mind checking it out.

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane Vol 2 HC

This second hardcover collection of Sean McKeever and Takeshi Miyazawa's series collects some darn good material. In my opinion, this series sets the standard for teenage drama in a superhero-related setting. Check it out, if you haven't before.

Wolverine Logan Premiere HC BW

I don't know if this is only the black and white version of the series, or if the color version will be available also. Either way, twenty bucks is a lot to pay for what was originally three issues. I liked the Bryan K. Vaughan/Eduardo Risso mini well enough, but it wasn't anything great, mostly notable for Risso's excellent artwork. I read the color version, and I thought it was beautifully done, so I would go for that one rather than black and white, but it is interesting to have both of them available.

Youngblood Vol 1 Focus Tested TPB

Does anybody (aside from Rob Liefeld) care about Youngblood? I certainly don't; I only mention it because this most recent revival was written by Joe Casey, toiling away in the work for hire trenches, hopefully so he can put out some awesome labors of love (see above). I think this took the "superheroes as celebrities" tack that occasionally gets trotted out, which Casey might have been able to do something interesting with, but I'm sure it isn't really worth bothering with.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBIG Edition Vol 2 GN

I've still got volume 1 of this series on my review pile (except I think it's plain old Dragon Ball, rather than the Z phase of the series), so I need to get to that before I'll ever be able to read this. But it's not like I'll ever be able to finish the damn thing anyway...

Eiken Vol 11 GN

I continue to be morbidly curious about this series, if only because Jason Thompson labeled it the worst manga to be imported to the U.S. Maybe I'll be able to read some of it some day, and have my mind warped forever (yeah, right; I think it's as warped as it's going to get).

Naoki Urasawas Monster Vol 16 TP

The third-to-last volume of the excellent suspense series. Man, I've really got to try to get caught up on it; I still need to read volumes 8 and 9 so I can burn through all the ones I have sitting on my review pile. I can't wait; it's been a great read so far, and I'm sure it doesn't get any worse.

And that seems to be everything. I'll have a review up tonight, hopefully.


  1. Hey Matthew,

    Daan Jippes was the very first Duck comics professional to not just be a Carl Barks fan, but to prize what made Barks' drawing and writing style great, and to consciously attempt to mimic it. Jippes became editor of the Dutch Disney comics in 1974 and produced the first-ever Disney collectors' comics in Europe, taking sales through the roof and inspiring others to follow suit — including artists like Branca, Vicar, writers like Stefan Printz-Påhlson and Jan Kruse, and others whom I'm concerned you may take for granted. Gladstone in this country got started largely because Disney saw the Dutch publisher's success and decided, from Jippes' triumphs, that *fans* could be trusted with the license.
    Without Jippes, we'd never have Rosa or Van Horn, because unsympathetic editors wouldn't have let them in. Not to short Jippes himself as a creator: he's one of my personal favorites, with his endearingly cynical self-written stories (and collaborations with Fred Milton) among my special favorites. We'll see some of them next year in Book 2 of our series.

    Re: "recreations" of Barks, what we mean is that the Junior Woodchuck and Scrooge stories in our book were written and laid out by Barks in the 1970s, but drawn in an ugly Saturday morning style by non-Barks Western Publishing artists, most of whom ignored Barks' layout suggestions considerably. Jippes has taken Barks' original layouts and drawn new versions of the stories in a style faithful to Barks. More details in an article by Gary Leach that you'll find in the book. Three cheers, sez me!

  2. Thanks for the info, David. That sounds really neat; I'll have to check the book out if I get the chance.