Monday, September 1, 2008

This week, I choose to celebrate labor by not doing any

I mean, what's the deal with Labor Day? You don't do any labor; you got the day off! They should call it Relaxation Day!

Okay, enough of that silliness:

New comics this week (THURSDAY, 9/3/08):

Army@Love Art of War #2

I just got done talking about this series. I can't wait until this new miniseries gets collected; it looks good. I especially dig the covers, which homage famous paintings in Veitch's humorously deadpan style. Funny stuff.

Baobab #3

The latest Ignatz book, from Italian (?) artist Igort. This one follows a boy growing up in Japan and two cartoonists working in South America at the turn of the 20th century. Probably good stuff.

Boy who Made Silence #6

I believe this ends the current "volume" of this series, with more to come as Joshua Hagler completes it. I really dig the story, even if it's probably beyond my scope of understanding. Beautiful, artistic stuff. Check it out if you haven't before.

Boys #22

Ending the current storyline. That last issue was incredible; harsh, acerbically funny, and incredibly hard to read, given the events being referenced. It took Garth Ennis a little while to get going on this series, but he is really knocking it out of the park these days.

Challenger Deep #1

After the outer space thrills of Station, Boom! Studios is going the other direction, with a story set in the Marianas Trench, about scientists trying to stop a subterranean methane explosion that could destroy the earth. By Andrew Cosby and Marcelo Meuller. I'll give it a look.

Fables #75

Hey, did you hear that James Jean is leaving this series? Bummer. His covers have been consistently excellent. So who should replace him? Duncan Fegredo? Massimo Carnevale? J.H. Williams III? That's a tough act to follow. Anyway, here's an anniversary issue, or something. The wait between collections on this series is always too long.

Fringe #1

I have no idea if this new J.J. Abrams TV series is going to be any good, but people seem excited about it. This comics spinoff will probably not be as good, although I really don't know how well the quality has fared on DC/Wildstorm's TV tie-in comics. But if you can't wait to experience the show, I guess this works as a preview.

High Rollers #2

Also from Boom!, this urban crime series continues. I read the first issue, and wasn't really too impressed. I should try to put together a review that explains why, but who knows, maybe this issue will change my mind. We'll see.

Invincible Iron Man #5

More Matt Fraction/Salvador Larocca Iron Man. It's the big Ezekiel Stane fight. Yay?

Marvel Apes #1

The latest of Marvel's gimmick series, trying to capture some sort of zeitgeist. Having read the issue, it's not really my thing, but some might like it. The story follows the Gibbon, a loser ex-villain who ends up transported to a universe populated by monkey versions of all the Marvel characters. Kind of dumb, but the end hints at some interesting ideas about the feral nature of monkeys. Eh, maybe it'll get better. I suspect that, much like all the zombie stuff that people like, the real draw here might be the goofy covers. That's worth all the money!

Roberts #1

I heard about this series at Wizard World back in June, and it interested me mostly because I had seen some work by the artist Erik Rose, and I like his style. This miniseries is one of those high-concept pitches: the Boston Strangler and the Zodiac Killer both end up in the same retirement home, with hilarity ensuing, I assume.

Sub-Mariner The Depths #1

I would normally ignore this sort of thing, but this miniseries is written by Peter Milligan, who is always worth paying attention to, even if he isn't always reliable for a good story. This one, illustrated by Esad Ribic, sees man's first encouter with Namor, treating him like an undersea horror. The first issue is moody and creepy; it could turn out to be a pretty good story.

Universal War One #3

More of that Marvel/Soleil densely-illustrated sci-fi. I haven't read beyond the first issue, but I thought that was decent, so the series might keep getting better. I always support the release of European comics in the U.S., so if this seems interesting to you, by all means, read it.

X-Men Manifest Destiny #1

I don't normally care about these X-Men miniseries/anthologies (or X-Men comics at all, these days), but I'll highlight this one because it has a story about Tabitha/Boom Boom illustrated by Chris Burnham, the artist of Nixon's Pals. That's all.

Beetle Bailey By Mort Walker Vol 1 1950-1952 HC

It's yet another classic newspaper strip collection, this one from Checker. I don't know if the original series is very good, but it's probably better than the tiresome legacy strip that it has become. Gotta love the availability of all this classic material though.

Deitch's Pictorama TP

The latest book from Kim Deitch (and his siblings), combining comics and illustrated prose. Probably some really good stuff here.

Fokke & Sukke SC

A collection of a popular comic strip from the Netherlands. It's apparently very crude and offensive. Here's the official website (in Dutch).

Good Neighbors Vol 1 Kin HC

A kids' graphic novel from Graphix, a division of Scholastic. Written by Holly Black, author of The Spiderwick Chronicles, and illustrated by Ted Naifeh, it's about a fairy girl trying to clear her human father's name in the disappearance of her mother, who has been sent back to fairyland. Sounds decent, and I love Naifeh's art. Here's a review on Blogarama. And there's a preview at the official site.

Immortal Iron Fist Vol 2 Cities Of Heaven

The paperback version of the second collection of Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction's Iron Fist work, finishing off their work on the title (minus, I think the couple of solo issues that Fraction wrote alone). I need to check it out; I've heard it's pretty awesome, detailing a big, crazy, mystical martial arts tournament. I can't wait.

Impossible Territories Unofficial Companion To The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen TP

The new Jess Nevins annotations book, detailing the minutae of Alan Moore's writing on The Black Dossier. I don't know how essential these books are, but it's fascinating to see everything that Moore manages to pack into the series. It makes for a good way to bide the time until the next League story comes out.

Love And Rockets New Stories Vol 1 TP

Aw, man, I gotta get this. Although, I haven't read any of L&R volume 2, so I don't know if I'll be able to follow it. But it's great to get more material from Los Bros Hernandez.

Martian Confederacy Vol 1 Rednecks Red Planet GN

A lowbrow-seeming sci-fi story about three blue-collar workers who try to save Mars, or something. Could be interesting. Here's the official site.

Mixtape Vol 2 Food One/Jim Mahfood Art HC Regular Edition

More of Jim Mahfood's artwork, comics, and whatnot. I dig his style; this is probably some pretty good stuff.

Mo And Jo Vol 1 Fighting Together Forever GN

From Toon Books, it's a kids' graphic novel by Jay Lynch and Dean Haspiel about a superpowered brother and sister who are always squabbling. I'll try to check it out just for Haspiel's art; he's awesome. Here's the official page, with a preview.

Prince Of Persia HC

I was interested in this book, since I love the various video games, but from what I've heard, it doesn't have much to do with them, even though it's written by series creator Jordan Mechner. Still, it might be worth a look.

Slow Storm TP

Also from First Second, it's a graphic novel by Danica Novgodoroff, about the relationship between a Kentucky firefighter and an illegal immigrant. Novgodoroff's art is really impressive, and the book looks quite good. I'll try to read it. Here's a post by Novgodoroff on First Second's blog featuring some artwork from the book.

Dororo Vol 3 TP

Here's the big manga release of the week, the final volume of Osamu Tezuka's wild and crazy supernatural samurai story. I just received the book from Amazon, so I should be able to read and review it soon. I can't wait; I only wish the series was longer.

Honey And Clover Vol 3 GN

Another excellent release for the week; I love this series. You can read my thoughts on it every month when I do my Shojo Beat posts, but I'll say that you should definitely check the series out if you haven't already.

Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Vol 7 TP

I like this horror-ish series quite a bit, but I've only read the first two volumes. I hope I'll be able to get to the rest someday.

Mixed Vegetables Vol 1 GN

This series about cooking and romance looked interesting when it was previewed in Shojo Beat (here are my comments). I wouldn't mind checking it out.


Another sort of horror series from Dark Horse. I've read the first three (four?) volumes, and I do enjoy it, so I should try to keep up. Gotta love the goriness.

Mushishi Vol 4 GN
Mushishi Vol 5 GN

This series has received a lot of acclaim, but I wasn't all that thrilled with the first volume. It looked nice, but the stories didn't really wow me. I guess I like silly comedy and big action over quiet contemplation. How superficial of me. Anyway, looks like two more volumes are dropping this week, so if you like it, you're in luck.

NANA Vol 12 TP

Oh, man, I'm behind on this series, which is inexplicable, since I love it so much. I still need to get volume 11. I'm so ashamed at my poor level of devotion.

Slam Dunk Vol 1 GN Viz Edition

I will give this Takehiko Inoue series a high recommendation; I totally dug this volume (if you couldn't tell from the banner up at the top of the page). Classic basketball action and high school hijinx. Read it!

Wanted Shojo Beat GN

Another Shojo Beat preview series that I talked about, this one is about pirates, and it's by Vampire Knight creator Matsuri Hino. It looks crazily interesting, but not necessarily good. I think it's only one volume? Another one I could check out, I guess.

Yokai Attack Japanese Monster Survival Guide SC

Is this Kodansha's first book for the U.S. market? It's not actually a comic, but more of an illustrated guide to Japanese monsters. That's always a fun subject, so it will probably be an interesting read. Now bring on the Kodansha manga!

And that's the week. I should probably make the trip to the shop and actually pick up some comics for once. Or I might sit at home and keep reading whatever I've already got on hand. Hey, it's all comics. More content tomorrow, or whenever. Later.


  1. Matt,

    Thanks for spotlighting the Martian Confederacy in your round up. You seem kind of on the fence about TMC. Would it help if I told you it was a mix of high and lowbrow content?

    In the year 3535 the people of Mars struggle to afford breathable air. Three thieves uncover a conspiracy to keep clean air from the people. Marke for termination by a corrupt government, they're forced to save Mars to save themselves.

    It's social commentary on south american trade policies...with horny robots.

    Hope that helps. Thanks again!


  2. Don't worry. You don't need to have been following the past few issues in order to understand what's going on in the current L&R volume. It stands alone pretty well.