Monday, September 7, 2009

This week, comics are late, due to labor (or the lack thereof)

One quick link: Since I pointed to that post of Urasawa sketches the other day, here's another one, featuring Takehiko Inoue's work on Vagabond. Sweet.

And here's the list for the week, delayed by a day because of Labor Day. Oh, lazy Americans!

New comics this week (THURSDAY, 9/10/09):

Cursed Pirate Girl #2

Here you go, all those of you who weren't fortunate enough to meet Jeremy Bastian at a convention and buy this issue from him. It's now out through the direct market, and I assure you, it's awesome. Sure, you might want to get the first issue if you haven't already, but this still works on its own, I think. Whatever the case, don't pass it up, because this is a crazy, fun, and beautifully detailed comic. Here's more about what I thought, if you really want to know.

Dead Space Extraction

I never did read the original Dead Space miniseries (which was a tie-in to the video game of the same name) by Antony Johnston and Ben Templesmith, but I was interested in it. I still might pick up the trade at some point, since I'm a fan of both creators. But here's a follow-up one-shot to tie into the Wii version/sequel of the game. I might have to try that one out at some point. Zombies in space, right? Why not?

DMZ #45

Brian Wood is still doing his thing, and I'm still liking it. I need to read the trade that just came out...

Hellboy The Wild Hunt #6

Mignola/Fegredo, still appearing. I believe this mini is eight issues long, so there will be a few more before it ends and gets collected, and then I can read it and attempt to follow what the hell is happening. That's what I did on that last series, but I sure enjoyed it through my confusion.

House of Mystery #17

Have I jumped off the boat on this series? I wasn't too keen on the last collection, so I don't know if I'll bother keeping up with the book. Who knows what the future holds. Anyway, the guest artist this issue is Al Davison (The Dreaming?); they might be running out of the big-name contributors...

Kick-Ass #7

Oh lord, this comic is stupid. I guess people like it, but man, it's just dumb people committing violent acts against each other, with little of actual interest happening. This isue is no exception, although we do finally circle back around to that opening scene from the first issue where the lead character gets his testicles electrocuted. Enjoy, Millar fans!

Life And Times of Savior 28 #5

So, is this series any good? I think I read a review or two of the first issue, and it didn't sound all that great. I like Mike Cavallaro's art (his Parade (With Fireworks) was pretty damn great), but yet another superhero riff doesn't excite me too much. Somebody tell me what they think.

Models Inc #1

Ah, another attempt by Marvel to lure the elusive female reader (at least, I assume that's the point, but who really knows). This series follows the adventures of some of the various romance comics models of the past, including Millie the Model and Patsy Walker as they deal with job-related intrigue and a murder mystery, or something. Also, there's a backup strip featuring Project Runway's Tim Gunn, who gets to wear Iron Man's armor for some reason. Weird shit; I'll have a review up on Comics Bulletin tomorrow.

Muppet Robin Hood #4

I think this is the last issue of Boom!'s other Muppet series. I haven't read any of it, but it does look nice, and I imagine it's fun. The poor creators can only suffer in comparison to Roger Langridge though.

Nomad Girl Without a World #1

Here's another interesting Marvel project, which sounds in theory like it might be terrible, but becomes intriguing due to the presence of writer Sean McKeever, making his return to Marvel after slaving away at DC doing by-all-accounts-terrible books like Countdown and Teen Titans. The concept here is that the girl version of Bucky from Rob Liefeld's "Heroes Reborn" Captain America series gets transported to the main Marvel universe. It's pretty funny; the title page reprints some terrible Liefeld art (you can see it here), which should immediately make anybody who peeks inside the cover throw the thing down in disgust. The actual story art by David Baldeon isn't bad though, so maybe this will be worth reading after all. We'll see how it goes.

Olympus #4

Here's another series that looked interesting, but I've heard little about it. Again, somebody let me know if it's any good, for I am innately curious.

Red Herring #2

This one sounded interesting, and I bet it's a pretty good read, if only because of Philip Bond's art. Maybe worth checking out at some point.

Rotten #3

I think I mentioned this when the first issue came out? It's about zombies in the Old West, which could be all right. Another one to glance at if I see it.

Ultimate Comics Avengers #2

More Millar/Pacheco action centering on Captain America and his nazi son, along with a drunk Iron Man and who knows what else. I liked the first issue; it had some of that good Millar action. Hopefully he'll be able to keep it up and not do anything too stupid. That'll be the day.

Wednesday Comics #10

It's getting closer to the end of this thing, and I'm still digging it. I don't think I need to go over each strip this time, but I'll mention that Flash was pretty great last week. Superman still sucks though; it seems he should have taken that super-Prozac after all.

Achewood HC Vol 2 Worst Song, Played on Ugliest Guitar

This might have come out last week, or maybe not; I dunno. It's the second print volume of what seems to be everybody's favorite webcomic (which you can read here, I mention perfunctorily), although rather than collecting a single storyline, it seems to be going back to the beginning and printing the first few years of the strip, with lots of extras. I will say, I've finally come around on the comic; I didn't like it much the first several times I read it, mostly due to the still rather poor art, but at some point I just dove in and read a whole bunch, and it finally clicked. I still have to tolerate the artwork, but the writing is just regularly hilarious. I might have to check out this volume and see what it was like back in the beginning. Here's a preview, which seems odd for some reason.

All & Sundry Uncollected Work HC 2004-2009

The title doesn't really indicate it, but this is by Paul Hornschemeier, and it contains what the title actually does say. I bet his name will be on the cover, so no worries. Anyway, it's a bunch of random stuff from over the years (you can read the introduction for more information), and since I really dig Hornschemeier, I'll probably have to drop the 30 bucks on it. And here's where you can see a preview; enjoy.

Art of Tony Millionaire HC

Ah, it's one of those books that collects non-comics artwork from folks. Tony Millionaire is pretty great though, so this will probably be nice. Here, have another preview.

Biographical Novel Che Guevara TP

Well that title doesn't make sense; I suppose it's meant to be a play on the term "graphic novel", but whatever. The life of Che, yada yada yada, by Kiyoshi Konno and Chie Shimano. Notable? Maybe. Here's the official site, which has one of those "trailer" type previews.

Fantastic Four Lost Adventures by Stan Lee TPB

Wow, this book seems hella overpriced at $25 and only containing that "lost" issue that came out a while back (I reviewed it here and did another post about a page layout from it here) and "three other classic stories" written by Lee. Maybe that "Last Fantastic Four Story" with art by John Romita, Jr.? I dunno, that seems like not very much content for the price. I would skip it if I were you. And then I would probably ruin your life and get fired from your job, because I don't know any of those people.

Giraffes In My Hair A Rock N Roll Life HC

I guess it's necessary to mention most every book Fantagraphics puts out, even if I'm not all that interested in them. This one is by Bruce Paley and Carol Swain, and it's autobiographical, about Paley and the music of the 60s and 70s. It's probably good, but I've got other stuff to read, man. Here's a preview.

Gotham Central HC Vol 02 Jokers and Madmen

I'll admit it again; I've never read any of this series, but I always hear that it's really good. I'll have to look for this and the previous volume at the library or something. Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka telling street-level crime stories; what's not to like? Other than lame superhero nonsense, that is.

Grimwood's Daughter HC

I had no idea this existed before today, and I might forget about it tomorrow, but I'll mention it for now. It's apparently an early work by Kevin Nowlan, some sort of fantasy thing from the early 80s written by Jan Strnad. There you go; early stuff from a good artist. If that's something you want to read, go for it.

Grown-Ups Are Dumb No Offense SC

You know, I don't mean to be a jerk or anything, but would Alexa Kitchen be known at all if she weren't Denis Kitchen's daughter? Her comics are supposedly really good, but from what I've seen of them (I think the Sexy Chix anthology is the only place I've read any), they're fairly typical kid art. Lots of people have praised them though, so maybe they're not just sucking up to her dad. This book is even being published by Harper Collins; wow. Lucky kid; read her book if you want, but I think I can safely skip it.

I Kill Giants TPB

I've been saying this for a while now, but I might as well mention once again that I should check this out because I've heard good things, even though I wasn't all that thrilled with the first issue of this miniseries. As it came to an end though, people were talking about it being a good look at childhood fantasies and abuse and whatnot; I'm intrigued, so I'll have to look for this collection and see what I think of the whole package. Don't let me down, Joe Kelly!

John Stanley Library Nancy Volume 1 HC

Another volume of comics by what people are calling one of the greatest children's comics artists. Maybe it'll be good? I'm not that into Nancy, but I kind of like what I've seen of the Ernie Bushmiller strips. I don't know how these full-size comics stand up to those though. Eh, worth a look, right?

Love & Rockets New Stories TP Vol 2

Ooh, here's the big release for the week. The second "issue" of volume 3 of the Hernandez brothers' series, featuring more superheroics by Jaime and probably more weird shit from Gilbert (and Mario will probably be in there somewhere). I can't wait. Here's where you can see your preview, as if you really need one.

Marvel Superhero Team Up TPB

Formerly known as "Marvel Bromance". That's the only reason to mention it though; I doubt there's much of anything in here that begs to be read. I recommend hunting for cheap back issues of Marvel Team-Up instead.

Paul The Samurai Complete Works TP

I was not aware of this character/comic, but it's apparently a spin-off of The Tick. That means it's probably pretty enjoyable. That is all.

Process Recess HC Vol 03 Hallowed Seam

More of James Jean's art. I bet it's pretty.

Red Monkey Double Happiness Book HC

Another Fantagraphics release! They're busy this week. This one is by Joe Daly, and Tom Spurgeon's recent review got me interested in checking it out. I guess it's about stoners or something? I dunno. Here's where you can see a preview.

Runaways Good Die Young HC

Marvel's latest attempt to bilk people out of money by overpricing something that was previously packaged in a cheaper form. It's actually the final part of the first volume of the series, and it's a good story, with a surprising reveal and some big drama. If you haven't read it before, this is good stuff, but I recommend getting one of the earlier, better-priced versions of the story.

Squirrel Machine HC

More Fantagraphics! This book by Hans Rickheit is one that people have been talking about for a while now, and it's finally out. I wasn't previously aware of Rickheit, but I realized that he's the guy behind the Kirby/Freud mashup comic that I linked to a few months ago. That was some crazy shit, and judging by the art samples I've seen from this book, it's going to be good. I'll have to try to read it, yes I will. Here, preview.

Storm In The Barn GN

I'm not sure what this is exactly, but it seems to be about a Depression-era kid encountering supernatural forces in a barn near where he lives. It's by Matt Phelan, and you can see a bit of the interior art on the publisher's page.

Super Human Resources TP Season 1

People seem to like this series, which is a humorous take on superheroes as seen by cubicle-dwelling office functionaries in their crime-fighting organizations. That's cute and all, but isn't everybody sick of all the various variations on superhero stories? There are other genres, dudes! Anyway, here's the first collection. You can read the entire first issue here, if you wish.

Ultimatum Spider-Man Prem HC

It's the ignominious end of the first volume of one of Marvel's best comics, but it's pretty poor going, completely hamstrung by the beyond-awful Ultimatum series that kind of ruined the Ultimate universe. Still, you've got some nice Stuart Immonen art, and Brian Michael Bendis does his best to keep things going with what he was handed, but unless you're a completist or something, it's eminently skippable.

West Coast Blues HC

More Fantagraphics! This is the first in their new series of Jacques Tardi imports, a noir story about one of those normal guys that gets sucked into a world of crime and intrigue and whatnot. I've been looking forward to reading these Tardi books, so I'm excited to hunt this down and see what all the fuss is about. For now, here's where you can see a preview.

Which Witch's Wand Works TP

This appears to be a children's book from the UK, released in the US by IDW. It's about two bumbling witches having silly misadventures, or something. Probably cute.

With The Light Raising An Autistic Child Vol 5 GN

On the manga front, here's a series that I've read one volume of, and thought was quite good. Since then, there have been four more installments (with each one being of massive size), so I'm way behind. Maybe I'll catch up someday; I do want to see Hikaru become a cheerful working adult.

Yakitate Japan Vol 19 TP

The bread-making continues. I still haven't read any of this; maybe someday, maybe, maybe, maybe.

Yotsuba Vol 1 GN Yen Press Edition
Yotsuba Vol 2 GN Yen Press Edition
Yotsuba Vol 3 GN Yen Press Edition
Yotsuba Vol 4 GN Yen Press Edition
Yotsuba Vol 5 GN Yen Press Edition
Yotsuba Vol 6 GN

Ah, and here's one to get everybody excited, along with a bunch of reprints. Yen Press picked up this popular title when ADV went under (or whatever happened to them), so they're putting out new versions of the first five volumes, and also the long-awaited sixth one. Everybody can cheer in the streets; our favorite green-haired cutey pie has been released from captivity! This series is really fun and cute and everything, so check it out if you can stand the sweetness. I've only read up through volume 3, so I've got some catching up to do...

And that's everything? That's a bunch of book-format stuff that will keep me busy (and poor). Better than rich and bored, I always (never) say!


  1. Oh, you are wrong this week, my friend. "Muppet Robin Hood" is no fun at all. (Honestly, it's not. It's painfully bad, with far too many words and too few gags.)

  2. Re Gotham Central: I read the first two trades a while back (from the library) -- they were enjoyable but not so much so as to get me to go buy the third.

    As I recall, the "lame superhero nonsense" wasn't that distracting. But the work felt incredibly derivative to me, and of a single source -- the NBC show Homicide: Life on the Street (which, incidentally, was based on source material by the guy who'd go on to make the even-better (although HLS was good enough) The Wire). It felt to me -- and I grant that this might be as much about my limited horizons as anything else, but I don't *think* so -- like they said, Hey, let's do Homicide -- with Batman!! The Batman part didn't bother me (he's minor) nearly as much as the "doing Homicide" part -- where David Simon (author of the book) actually hung out with real detectives, it felt like EB & GR just watched TV shows based on a book by someone who did.

    Overall -- not bad, but nothing special.

  3. only real "Superhero nonsense" in Gotham Central that I can remember is that in Brubaker's last arc where they bring in the Teen Titans for questioning, and the Infinite Crisis tie-in with Captain Marvel, but even then they still pulled it off reasonably well.

  4. Your review of Kick-Ass: "Oh lord, this comic is stupid. I guess people like it, but man, it's just dumb people committing violent acts against each other, with little of actual interest happening."

    Yes, it's very, very stupid. But it's fun stupid. It's also paced well. I dunno, I like it a lot!

  5. Re: Gotham Central - the line about superhero nonsense was more of my usual bitching about superheroes, so feel free to take that with a grain of salt. I do wish writers like Rucka and Brubaker would be able to do plain old crime stories without having to dress the characters up in spandex, so that's the source of my complaints. They gotta pay the bills though, so I imagine they do their best. It's interesting that you found it so derivative of Homicide though, Stephen; I don't think I've heard that complaint before. Most people seem to praise it, but maybe they're just overjoyed to get something of relative sophistication in the superhero mainstream. I say just cut out the superheroes; we don't need them to tell stories, dammit.

    Re: Kick-Ass - Oh yeah, it's enjoyable enough, if you're in the right frame of mind. I think what bothers me about it is that I feel like I can see Millar pulling all the strings, trying to evoke the perfect reaction from fanboys, whom he's both celebrating and mocking. It just seems to calculated to me. But to each his own; there's certainly a lot worse (and dumber) out there.