Monday, November 17, 2008

This week, money being spent is unavoidable

Actually, I think there's only one that's a must-buy, but there are a few others that I'll probably end up getting, because I am hopelessly addicted to comics.

But first, I wanted to note that Becky Cloonan has a nice, creepy little story up in this month's MySpace Dark Horse Presents.  There's also a cool "Witchfinder" story by Mike Mignola and Ben Steinbeck.  Is that related to the Hellboy-verse, or something standalone?  It seems like it would make for a good series.

Okay, on with the show:

New comics this week (Wednesday, 11/19/08):

Age of the Sentry #3

I wouldn't normally bother with this series, since I dislike the Sentry character, but it's been getting raves around the comics interblogs for being a fun Silver Age-style romp.  Maybe I'll check it out, if I get the chance.

Air #4

So has this series gotten good yet?  I read the first issue and wasn't too impressed, but people who read through the first arc or so (like Neil Gaiman, for one) said that it got especially good a few issues in.  Is that true?  Or does it continue to suck?

Atomic Robo Dogs of War #4

I've only read the first two issues of this new miniseries, but they were as good as you would expect if you enjoyed the original mini.  So I bet this will still be fun.  Keep it up, Robo!

Castle Waiting Vol. 2 #13

As I say every time a new issue of this series comes out, I really need to read this sometime.  I'll probably try to get that collected version of the first volume from the library whenever I get to a lull in my "to read" pile.

Ex Machina #39

I sure miss reading this series regularly.  When is that latest collection coming out so I can get my dose of superheroic mayor-ness?

Fantastic Four #561

I don't know if people are still interested in this Mark Millar/Bryan Hitch run on the series, but I've read a few issues, and while it's not terrible, it's definitely not their best work.  I enjoy Millar's work when he writes big action, but his ideas are often not as clever as he thinks they are, and I don't think he's really all that good with characterization.  This issue sees some decent action, and some nice imagery from Hitch, but since it involves time travel, there's a big logical flaw that kind of ruins the whole thing.  Hopefully others will understand what I'm talking about, but ask me in the comments if you're curious.  So, uh, read it, maybe?  Or don't, I don't care.

The Goon #30

Eric Powell continues to roll on with the big conflict.  Let's see some punchin', and knives to eyes!  Yeah!

Greatest Hits #3

Hey, how about this series?  Is the verdict positive now that it's mostly over (it's only four issues long, right?)?  

Pax Romana #4

Jonathan Hickman's latest mindbender comes to a close here.  I really enjoyed the last issue; he's throwing a lot of crazy stuff onto the page and making the reader just try to keep up.  I don't know if it's as good as The Nightly News, but it's been very interesting, and I like that Hickman is stretching himself and coming up with interesting stories rather than sticking to similar subject matter.  He's an exciting new creator; I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

Samurai: Legend #3

I haven't seen anything about this Marvel/Soleil series; any word on if it's good/decent/readable?  It looked pretty, but who knows if that's all there was to it.  I think this is the second-to-last issue.  Somebody let me know!

Uncanny X-Men #504

I glanced through some of the issues from the Matt Fraction/Ed Brubaker run on this series, and I wasn't too impressed.  Maybe it was the awful Gred Land art, or maybe it was a forced attempt to be cool, but it just didn't seem too interesting.  But it looks like that might change with this issue.  Fraction scripted it alone, and Terry Dodson provides the art; it sure looks nice, and it's got some of the old Fraction magic, like Beast and Angel recruiting the world's greatest Nazi superscientist-hunter, or Emma taking a tour of Scott's mind and finding that it is populated by sexy versions of all the X-women (did I mention that Terry Dodson is the artist?).  Seems like it might actually get enjoyable and fun; check it out, at least for this arc.

Spirit Special #1

DC has this one-shot collection of Spirit stories from Will Eisner's original run as a tie-in to the upcoming Frank Miller movie.  I'm sure it will seem pretty incongruous to any viewers of the movie, but it's always cool to see Eisner comics available on the stand.  The stories here are "Sign of the Octopus", "Black Alley", "Sand Saref", and "Bring in Sand Saref".  I know I've read those last two, but I'm sure they're all good; Eisner was awesome.  Check it out if you want to understand how deeply Miller is sure to misunderstand his appeal.

Archer & Armstrong First Impressions HC

I've never read this Valiant series by Barry Windsor-Smith, but it's supposed to be quite good.  I guess this is my chance.  This book collects issues 0-6, and it will cost $25.  Is it worth grabbing at a library?

Best Of Vampirella Vol 2 Modern Masterpieces TP

I've barely read any Vampirella comics (I think only that collection of Morrison/Millar stories), since the character really doesn't appeal to me, but this one is notable for containing a story by Warren Ellis and Amanda Conner.  That one is probably pretty good; I could see myself reading it.  The other one is by James Robinson and Joe Jusko, to which I say "eh".


An interesting-looking graphic novel about a DJ searching for the "perfect beat", whatever that means.  It's by Paul Sizer, and you can read a good portion of the book online at his website.

Crogan's Vengeance GN

New from Oni Press, it's the first in a projected sixteen-volume series by cartoonist Chris Schweizer, following the adventures of the eponymous family over the course of several generations.  This first one is a pirate story taking place in the 1700s.  It looks like an enjoyable series; I recommend Greg McElhatton's review of this volume.  You can also read a 29-page preview at Oni's site.

Dead Space HC

I didn't read any of this "space zombies" series by Antony Johnston and Ben Templesmith, but it looked decent enough.  Maybe I'll check out this collected version.  I hear the game is pretty good too.

Fables Vol 11 War And Pieces TPB

And here's the must-purchase release of the week.  I'm a sucker for anything Fables-related, so I'll probably be rushing to the store to get it as soon as possible.  I think this is sort of a prelude to the current arc (which was originally going to be the ending arc of the series, before Bill Willingham decided to just get it over with and keep the book going in perpetuity).  I can't wait to read it.

Freakangels Vol 1 HC 

Didn't this come out already?  Well, it's worth mentioning either way, being a print version of Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield's webcomic.  Sure, you can read it for free online, but if you fetishize the dead trees, go ahead and spend the $28.  I've only read a little of it, but it seems pretty good, being a post-apocalyptic techno-punk story, or something like that.  I need to go through the archives and consume the whole thing one of these days...

How To Draw Stupid TP

Kyle Baker's intructional comics book.  Probably rather entertaining, whether you're actually trying to learn from it or not.

Jack Kirbys The Demon Omnibus HC

Yet another big Kirby book that I will have to acquire someday.  God, I love Jack Kirby.  This stuff is great.

Lagoon HC

Lilli Carre's new graphic novel.  After reading her story in Best American Comics, I want to check out more of her stuff.  This one looks good, but don't take my word for it; here, read Noah Berlatsky's review.  And you can check out a slideshow preview at Fantagraphics' site.

Love On The Racks HC

A prose book all about romance comics.  Maybe interesting reading, but I don't see anything about excerpts, and that's really what would make it a worthwhile books.  But who knows, maybe it's good reading.

Lucha Libre Vol 1 TP

A collection of the first five issues of the European style adventures of various masked wrestlers.  I enjoyed the series, although it didn't survive my purge of anything non-essential from my buying list.  It's pretty fun stuff though, so check it out if you haven't before.

Petey & Pussy HC

John Kerschbaum's book about a set of violent human-faced animals seems strange and funny.  Here, have another preview slideshow.

Punisher By Garth Ennis Omnibus TPB

Marvel is getting as much Ennis Punisher work out there as they can.  This collects his less-regarded mainstream Marvel universe work on the character, including the 12-issue "Welcome Back, Frank" story and its follow-up series, along with Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe.  There's some pretty good stuff here, full of that gross-out humor and contempt for superheroes that Ennis does so well, but it's definitely not his best work.  Still, if you want to see Frank Castle blow Wolverine's face and balls off and run him over with a steamroller (probably because he's annoyed that Wolvie keeps referring to himself as "the ol' Canucklehead!"), here's your book.  99 bucks, if you can afford it.

Stans Soapbox The Collection TP

A collection of the columns that Stan Lee used to write in Marvel comics.  I don't know how essential this stuff is, but it's probably entertaining in small doses.  Read too much of it though, and I bet you'll never want to hear the word "excelsior" ever again.

Swallow Me Whole HC

I thought this book came out a while ago.  Maybe it's only just getting a direct market release.  Whatever the case, it's one that I definitely want to read.  It's by Nate Powell, and it's about two siblings growing up with mental illnesses, I think.  Probably sure to show up on lots of "best of 2008" lists.

Tezukas Black Jack Vol 2 TP

More rogue surgery from Osamu Tezuka.  I'll end up acquiring this series someday.

Yokaiden Vol 1 GN

A new series from Nina Matsumoto, creator of the webcomic Saturnalia, and famous for creating manga-style images of the cast of The Simpsons.  I hadn't heard of her before, but I do like the artwork she's got on her site, and the concept of this series (a boy adventures through the world of Japanese monsters) intrigues me.  I might try to check it out sometime.

Is that everything?  Probably not.  Oh well, it's not like there won't always be more to read.  Always!


  1. I read Archer & Armstrong when it was published, and although I haven't gone back to it since, I remember really enjoying it - and I wasn't so fond of Barry Windsor-Smith's art back then. I thought it was truly funny, which was something that was all too rare in those days. I don't know how it holds up, but it's certainly worth checking out. I can still remember that one of the stories (issue 3, maybe), set in a big mansion with a bunch of goons chasing the heroes, had me cracking up.

  2. Archer & Armstrong is one of the absolute best comic series ever made. It's absolutely essential reading.

    Pax Romana is incredible. So good I couldn't even wait for the trade.

    Atomic Robo is the best superhero book on the stands. I don't understand why it doesn't get more attention.

    Air is getting better. I like it a lot, but I like the writer a lot, and I play favorites. It's gotten better than the first issue, though.