Monday, August 10, 2009

This week, I'm trying to recover

Elsewhere: I joined Tim Callahan and Chad Nevett for this week's installment of The Splash Page on CBR to discuss Wednesday Comics #5. Fun!

Missed it: In Robot 6's roundup of San Diego news, they note that Kurt Busiek will have a new series coming from Wildstorm called Kurt Busiek's American Gothic, exploring American myths or something, but the cool part is that the art will be by Connor Willumsen, who I think is about to break out and become a big star in the comics world. He's pretty great, so this is one to watch out for.

Other links: Check out IDW's preview of the Act-I-Vate Primer. That book looks pretty great.

And speaking of comics you can read online, Dark Horse has posted the second Evan Dorkin/Jill Thompson Beasts of Burden story from the Dark Horse Book of... series. I can't wait for that series; it looks great.

And here's another interesting preview: Brandon Graham posts a bunch of pages from Marian Churchland's upcoming Beast.

New comics this week (Wednesday, 8/12/09):

Chronicles of Wormwood The Last Battle Preview

I liked the original Garth Ennis/Jacen Burrows series about the antichrist living on earth and doing his best to keep the apocalypse from happening, but the one-shot follow-up was kind of awful. This sequel series might be better; we'll see. Art this time around is by Oscar Jimenez. I was talking to Burrows at Wizard Chicago over the weekend, and he's kind of weirded out by Jimenez' work on the new book, since he's following Burrows' original designs, but with a much more realistic style. He thought that was pretty cool. So, yeah, this is only a preview and not the real book, but it's worth a mention.

DMZ #44

War in New York continues. I'm still behind. Ryan Kelly is still illustrating this arc, which I really need to see.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? #2

More wordy comics adapting Dick. I don't know if I'll be able to read this whole thing. What's the consensus here; is anybody buying the issues, or is it better to wait for it to be collected into a complete book?

Dominic Fortune #1

Howard Chaykin! I think Dominic Fortune is a Marvel character, but I don't now anything about him. This being a Marvel MAX book, Chaykin is going the "sex n' violence" route, with a WWII-era story about the character getting mixed up in a revolution in South America, or something like that. That's pretty cool.

Fables #87

I have no idea what's going on with this series, but I feel like I have to mention it each time a new issue comes out. I'll read it eventually.

Lockjaw and the pet Avengers #4 (of 4)

Those crazy critters finally face their foe. It's Thanos, of course. Eh, this thing isn't bad, but I haven't been blown away by it or anything. Maybe fun for kids? I dunno.

Marvel Divas #2

It's cancer-time! Yup, gotta have the breast cancer plot in a story about girlfriends. I was all right with the first issue, and who knows, this might end up being all right in the end, but it seems like an attempt to fill a niche that just isn't really there. Maybe fun for girls? Probably not.

Marvels Project #1

Here's the latest event thing about the importance of Marvel superheroes throughout history or something. I'm not sure if it ties into Marvels or is on its own, but it's noteworthy because it's by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. I think it involves time travel, and probably something about the beginnings of the Marvel heroes. Maybe it won't be bad, but it could certainly end up being one of those nostalgiafests that annoy the crap out of me. Maybe fun for nerds? Yeah, probably. I should have a review up at Comics Bulletin tomorrow.

Red Herring #1

I had not been aware of this before now; it's a new miniseries from Wildstorm about a conspiracy theorist or something, by David Tischman and Philip Bond. I'm not so sure about Tischman, but Bond is a great artist, so it'll look nice, at least.

Starstruck #1

This is a classic European-style fantasy/sci-fi comic from Elaine Lee and Michael William Kaluta, back in print from IDW with new coloring. Jog's been talking this up for a while, so I'm pretty interested to check it out.

Ultimate Comics Avengers #1

I guess Ultimatum didn't completely burn down the Ultimate Marvel universe, because it's getting relaunched again already. Will it be any good? Well, Mark Millar is writing this series, and Carlos Pacheco is drawing at least the first storyline, so it might be all right. Millar has done some of the best Ultimate stuff, and The Ultimates was also some of the most enjoyable work of his career, so hopefully this will be pretty good. Of course, he might have to spend too much time picking up the pieces after Jeph Loeb's childish destruction, so we'll see how it goes.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1

And here's the other Ultimate relaunch, with Brian Michael Bendis still plugging away at the character that's been the source of some of his best work. Again, he's probably going to be stuck cleaning up Loeb's mess for a bit, but hopefully he'll get back on track soon. David Lafuente is the new artist, and he's got a nice, fun style, so (also) hopefully he'll be able to make Bendis' talkiness look good. I'm probably too optimistic about these things, but it helps that I'm not actually planning to buy them.

Unwritten #4

I like what I've seen of this series, so it's one that I'll try to read when it gets collected. That scene from the previous issue (I think) in which the various horror writers were sniping at each other? Funny stuff.

Wednesday Comics #6

Yes, this is good stuff. Watch for a special appearance by me elsewhere discussing last week's issue; I'll link to it when it's up. As of this week, I'm loving Kamandi the most, but also enjoying Batman, Deadman, Hawkman, and Strange Adventures a whole bunch, having a good time with Flash, Sgt. Rock, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman, tolerating Metal Men, and hating Teen Titans and Superman. Is that everything? I'm getting old and forgetful, so I probably missed something.

10 Beautiful Assassins Vol 1 GN

I don't know about this. From Seven Seas, this seems to be a goofy action comic about a virginal master thief who is awesome at his job but gets befuddled around beautiful women (only beautiful ones? Even the homely ones should get the hormones racing). It's manga-style, and maybe enjoyable, although it seems to be done right-to-left, which I always find to be pointless and annoying in English-language comics. It looks like it was also a webcomic (or at least has a lengthy preview available), and you can read it online here.

Batman Hush Complete TPB

Oh yes, I'm sure this is something every Batman fan will have to have. Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee doing a nonsensical story about some new villain screwing with Batman and other lame shit going on. I read it a while back, and it's actually not bad for a big, dumb comic that manages to cram in every villain and guest star possible, but it's by no means great comics. And now it's available in one big book! Enjoy, losers.

Charlatan Ball TPB

Here, get this instead. Joe Casey and Andy Suriano bring the Kirby-style craziness in a story about a magician getting transported to a series of magical worlds and forced to compete in some sort of magical tournament even though he doesn't actually have any magical powers. It's insane, full of nutty characters and bizarre settings, moving with breakneck speed and using plenty of weird language. Between this and Godland, Casey seems to me to be the best heir to Kirby, coming up with wild ideas and putting his own spin on them rather than just trotting Kirby's characters (or analogues thereof) out for another go-round. I'm not sure if I understand this series completely, but I have a blast reading it; it's the kind of thing that gets me excited about comics, because I have no idea what's going to happen next. Plus, the art is really good too; I hope a second volume follows soon.

Fables Vol 12 The Dark Ages TPB

Ooh, this is always exciting. A new volume of Fables means I can finally start to get caught up on what is going on; hopefully the "Great Fables Crossover" collection won't take to long to come out either. I never know if I'm being objective when reading these, or if I've become a fan blinded to any faults. I do like reading the series though.

Geronimo Stilton GN Vol 01 Discovery of America
Geronimo Stilton GN Vol 02 Secret O/T Sphinx

I was not aware of this children's book series (which is an import from Italy, I think), but it's apparently about a mouse journalist and his time-traveling adventures, which sounds like fun. Although the books are credited to Stilton himself, the actual authors of the graphic novel versions are Luca Crippa, Maurizio Onnis, Demetrio Bargellini, and Gianluigi Fungo, with the original books written by Elisabetta Dami. Neat?

Old Man Winter & Other Sordid Tales GN

I've heard about this Xeric-winning collection of J.T. Yost's short stories here and there, and it sounds quite good. I'll have to check it out if I get the chance. Here, Sandy Bilus has a review.

Punisher War Zone TPB

This Garth Ennis/Steve Dillon reunion on the "funny" style of the Punisher was pretty damn enjoyable, full of gross violence and other such nastiness. And now it's collected, in case you missed it when it was coming out. Here, I reviewed the first, second, third, and fifth issues, so you can see what I really thought if you want.

Runaways Pride & Joy TPB

I think this is the trade paperback version of the first collection of the first volume of the series. It originally came out in a digest format, then more recently in a hardcover format, and now in a softcover. I guess. My choice would be the digest, or the thick hardcover that collects the entire first volume, but this works if you want to read the series, I suppose. It's good stuff; Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona have kids romp through the Marvel universe trying to do superhero-y stuff without getting caught up in the whole business of whatever is going on with the rest of the heroes. I give it my recommendation if you've never read it before.

Sandman By Joe Simon and Jack Kirby HC

Ooh, it's more of those Simon/Kirby reprints, collecting some golden age stuff they did in the 1940s. Me, I'm more interested in the later Kirby stuff, but I'll read anything by him that I can get my hands on. I bet this is rather interesting. I think the pair reunited on the character in the 70s, but that run isn't considered to be all that good. Anyway: Kirby! Yes!

Some New Kind Of Slaughter HC

I did not read this series from A. David Lewis and mpMann about flood myths around the world, but it sounded interesting. Of course, so did their previous book, The Lone and Level Sands, and I kind of hated that one. I'm always generous with the second chances though, so this might be worth checking out.

Universal War One Prem HC Revelations

Eurocomics from Marvel; I believe this is the second volume of their version of this series. I only read the first issue of the first volume, and thought it was pretty good. Maybe I'll get around to reading the rest of the series someday.

Vampire Dance GN

This is one of those Italian books that Dark Horse is releasing in the U.S., about vampires fighting neo-Nazis and shit. It's by Sergio Bleda, and it looks kinda neat, with some nice black and white artwork. Here's a short preview.

X-Men First Class TPB Finals GN

The end of Jeff Parker's run on the fan-favorite book about the early days of the X-Men; I read it, and it's pretty decent, although not really my sort of thing. The Colleen Coover-illustrated stories are pretty great though; too bad the whole book isn't like that.

Art Of Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea TP

Viz has this artbook of stuff from Hayao Miyazaki's latest movie. Hey, here's the story of my attempted viewing of the film: I went to the screening, but halfway through the movie, one of the reels was spliced in backward, so the movie suddenly started playing backward and upside down, with people walking backward and speaking in reverse. It was pretty ridiculous. Professional! So, yeah, the first half was pretty great, but I don't know how it turned out. I think they're redoing the screening next week, so I should be able to see it then. Good times!

Dogs Bullets & Carnage Vol 1 TP

Futuristic assassins! This book starts the series proper, after the introductory volume 0, which I liked when I read it. I'll have to check this one out if I get the chance.

Ikigami Ultimate Limit GN Vol 02

I also liked this manga about people dying by order of the government. I have this volume sitting on my review pile at home, so hopefully I'll get to it soon.

Oishinbo GN Vol 04 Fish Sushi & Sashimi

This might already be out, since I mentioned it a couple weeks ago in one of these posts, but my local shop has it on their release list, so I figure it's worth mentioning again. I'm in the process of reading it right now, so expect a review soon. In the meantime, here's what I thought of the sake volume. This series is fun.

Wow, that's everything, which seems like a small week. That's fine, I've got a lot to catch up on. More content coming, as I always promise.


  1. I definitely enjoyed you contributing to this week's column. Always nice to have another perspective since, sometimes, Tim and I get a bit of a 'hive-mind' thing going on and disagree over things like "I think the book deserves 4 stars!" "Well, I think it deserves 4.5!" You know, BIG differences...

    Anyway, thanks for helping out.

  2. Sorry you didn't care for The Lone and Level Sands, but thanks for pointing to Some New Kind of Slaughter. It provides its own kind of challenges, inasmuch as its a thematically interconnected string of flood myths from around the world.

    Success or failure, I think you'll allow that A. David Lewis and I have made a point of tackling ambitious projects.

    And coming up next from Archaia, Josh Hechinger and I bring something completely different, a comedy western about a dead cowboy and an 8 year old going after the ones whut done them wrong.

    I hope you'll look for The Grave Doug Freshley.

  3. Thanks, Marvin! I do definitely appreciate the ambition and interest in doing new and interesting things. I'll have to keep an eye out for the western book; it sounds fun.