Monday, September 15, 2008

This week, I've GOT to get to the comics store

Damn, I wasn't kidding when I said I might not write much, was I?  It's because I'm spending all my free time deep in the mind of Neal Stephenson.  Maybe I'll get to something later this week, but don't count on it.

New comics this week (Wednesday, 9/17/08):

Air #2

I wasn't too keen on the first issue of this Vertigo series, but who knows, it could get better.  Not that I plan to buy it or anything.

Age of the Sentry #1

I've never liked the Sentry as a character (here, you can see my review of his first miniseries), so I'm not really interested in this series about his earlier adventures, but it's notable for being written by Jeff Parker and Paul Tobin, with art by Nick Dragotta (sans Mike Allred, unfortunately) and some other guy (Ramon Rosas).  So it might actually be all right.

All Star Superman #12

And here's the big release of the week, the conclusion of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's excellent run on this title, seeing the big showdown with a superpowered Lex Luthor, and the final answer to the question of whether Superman is going to die.  Which seems silly, but Morrison has managed to make his mortality actually seem like a real threat; I can't wait to see how he finishes it off.  It's been a great series, and while it will be missed, I'm always excited to see what Morrison will do next.

Atomic Robo Dogs of War #2

Gotta love the cranky, wisecracking robot fighting in WWII.  It's a good one; here's my review.

Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam #2

I didn't read the first issue of Mike Kunkel's new, kid-friendly version of Captain Marvel, but it looked pretty good and got some good reviews.  I'll have to check it out sometime; it's probably pretty fun.

Castle Waiting Vol. 2 #12

Here's another series I've never read, but I often hear that it is really good.  I'll try it out someday.

DC Universe Decisions #1

Ah, here's the book that I highlight out of ridicule.  In one of the dumber ideas, DC is doing this thing where they have their superheroes get involved in politics, or something.  Of course, it will probably only involve the idealistic superheroes, so known liberal Green Arrow will support an Obama stand-in (I'm sure they won't actually use any real politicians) and Hawkman or some conservative type will argue in support of faux-McCain.  But I'm sure Superman or Wonder Woman will remain independent so as not to offend any readers.  It's written by Judd Winick and Bill Willingham, which is interesting, since Winick is an outspoken liberal, and Willingham has a reupatation as a conservative, so maybe they're supposed to balance each other out?  Ah, whatever the case, it will probably be a disaster.  Why anybody cares about superheroes getting involved in real-life politics is beyond me.  

Dead Space #6

I think this is the final issue of Antony Johnston and Ben Templesmith's space-zombie video game tie-in.  I never did read it, but it looked like it could be all right.  Like most of what I mention here, I might get to it someday.

Glamourpuss #3

More of Dave Sim's examination of Alex Raymond and fashion models.  I've bowed out of the series, but it has been quite interesting so far, and definitely pretty unique.  If you're still into it, I bet you'll keep enjoying it.

Greatest Hits #1

The newest thing from Vertigo, this miniseries by David Tischman and Glenn Fabry is about a Beatles-esque team of British superheroes that have had adventures from the 60s to the present.  Who knows if it will be any good, but it's notable that Vertigo is doing a superhero series.  They used to shunt the "mature" spandex stuff off to Wildstorm.  But here they are, and hey, maybe it will turn out okay.


Looks like Dark Horse is rereleasing their version of Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy, in bigger volumes that combine two of the previous volumes for $14.95.  Not a bad value, and some pretty good comics.  I should try to pick it up, since I've only read a little of the series, and I'll grab anything by Tezuka that I can get my hands on.

Burma Chronicles HC

Guy DeLisle's new book, doing for Myanmar/Burma what he did for China and North Korea in his books Shenzhen and Pyongyang.  I thought the latter was quite interesting (here's my review), so I'd love to read this one.

Criminal Macabre: My Demon Baby TPB

I'm not a big fan of Steve Niles, and I've never read any of the various Criminal Macabre books, but I did talk to artist Nick Stakal at Wizard World this summer, and I like his art quite a bit.  So while I don't know if I would really want to read this, I could take a look, and I would recommend taking a look at it at least, since it's got some good artwork.  That's a weird recommendation.


This Image graphic novel from Raffaele Ienco is a sci-fi/horror story about the discovery of a new planet in the solar system, which, when investigated, unleashes some sort of ghostly alien protectors that gruesomely kill anybody who learns of their existence.  Sounds interesting.  Here's an interview with Ienco that includes several preview pages.

Janes In Love GN

From Minx, it's the follow-up to their very first book, by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg.  I really liked the first volume (although, like everybody else, I admit that it had a weak ending), and I'm excited to see where the new one is going.  I hope it's good (and I'm sure the art will be great).

Local HC

For those who waited for a collection of this excellent series, here's a nice complete volume.  It's hardcover, and it collects all twelve issues, along with the essays from each issue by writer Brian Wood and artist Ryan Kelly.  I totally dug the series, so if you haven't read it before now, I definitely recommend checking it out.

Loveless Vol 3 Blackwater Falls TPB

This volume collects the final issues of Brian Azzarello's western series, up until when it was cancelled.  I stopped reading the series around the tenth issue, but I keep hearing that it got really good, so I should really try to catch up on the rest of the series sometime.

Superman Kryptonite HC

It's the collection of the first storyline of the Superman Confidential series, by Darwyn Cooke and Tim Sale, detailing Superman's first experience with Kryptonite.  I read it, but wasn't too impressed, although maybe that had to do with the wait for the final issue to come out.  The art was definitely quite nice, but I don't think the story is worth $25.  Wait for a softcover, I say.

Aria Vol 3 GN Tokyopop Edition

I've heard that this manga series is really good.  I've got to check it out sometime.  Cute Martian gondoliers!

Art Of Vagabond Sumi HC
Art Of Vagabond Water HC

Viz is putting out both of these Takehiko Inoue art books, and I bet they look great.  I love Inoue's work, but I don't usually spend the money on this sort of thing.  Still, they're something I would love to take a look at.

Death Note Vol 1 Collectors Edition HC

I don't know about these collectors' editions, but if people want them, I guess they're a good idea.  For $19.99, you get an oversized hardcover version of the volume, including color artwork and maybe some other extras.  I love the series, but I wouldn't spend the money, and if you want to try it out, the regular $7.99 volume is a much better option.

Dragon Ball VIZBIG Edition Vol 2 GN

Ooh, I've gotta try to get this one.  I recently read volume 1 and loved it, so I need to read more.  I've gotta!

Make Love & Peace Vol 1 GN

This is from Aurora Publishing, which I thought was a Yaoi publisher, but this seems to be more of a straight-up hetero romance series.  It's about a couple in which the man is a cop, and it promises action along with the lovey-dovey stuff, so it might be pretty entertaining.  I don't expect to read it, but it would be one to watch out for.

Manga Sutra -Futari H- Vol 3 GN

Looks like Tokyopop is continuing to crank out volumes of this sex manual series.  I haven't read any of them, and I've heard they aren't great, but I'm still curious to check them out.  I'll probably get the chance at some point, since there are something like 20 volumes out in Japan.

Naruto Vol 1 Collectors Edition HC

Here's another fancy-pants collectors' volume of a hit Viz series.  Same deal as the Death Note one, with color art and whatnot.  I haven't read hardly any of the series, but I do want to at some point.  But again, this probably isn't the place to start.  But hey, it's right there in the title.

Path Of The Assassin Vol 13 Hateful Burden TP

Like I say with most Kazuo Koike manga, I would really like to read this someday.  And that's about all.

Speed Grapher Manga Vol 1 GN

This series seems pretty weird, with a seedy future setting and a main character who has the ability to make anything he photographs explode.  Maybe interesting?

Vagabond VIZBIG Edition Vol 1 GN

And finally, another big book of Inoue, since he doesn't already have enough material for the week.  Vagabond is an excellent samurai series, and this collects the first three volumes.  Viz sent me a review copy, and even though I've read the volumes previously, I'll probably try to reread this volume and see how much I still like it.  Hey, I dig Inoue, so I doubt it will have diminished in my opinion.

And that's everything.  I've really got to go buy comics, if only because of All-Star Superman.  But I've got lots of other stuff waiting for me, since I haven't bought any for a while now.  Lots of reading ahead.  And maybe I'll even post something here; you never know.


  1. Hi Matt,
    I'm from India. The comic/graphic novel scene in the country is relatively new. Was wondering if you could help me out - I have a few questions about graphic novels.
    If yes, do email me on

  2. So Glamourpuss made it to a third issue. I'll be amazed if it lasts past six.

    Then again, I'm probably going to continue buying it, even though it's not very good. So if there are enough people like me ...

    (I really need to get my Cerebus phone-books out of storage, so I can satisfy my Sim fix without shelling out for more Glamourpuss issues.)