Monday, September 14, 2009

This week, I'll get away from it all

Lotsa links: This has gone around for a while, but it's worth pointing out: Jason Thompson is going to be updating his Manga: The Complete Guide online, covering whatever has been released since it came out in daily reviews on (here's the link to that series of posts). In addition, he's going to be giving away five volumes from his collection each day to somebody who signs up, so that's a good incentive to read. Here's the post with the details; the whole thing starts on September 16.

Around the blogosphere: Alan David Doane is relaunching his regularly-metamorphosing Comic Book Galaxy site, creating a group blog called Trouble With Comics. Looks like it'll be one to follow, with contributors that include Johnny Bacardy, D. Emerson Eddy, Marc Sobel, Matt Springer, and others. Check it out.

Dark Horse has posted the third Beasts of Burden story online, and it's a doozy, featuring an attack of zombie dogs. The upcoming series looks pretty incredible; I can't wait to read it. Why, if you look below, you might just see it! Cool!

Other neat online comics: I haven't linked to Darryl Cunningham's series on mental illnesses, but it's been really good and very informative. The latest one, on schizophrenia, went up the other day, and I also recommend the recent entry on bipolar disorder. These are eventually going to be collected in a book called Psychiatric Tales. Gotta love the nonfiction comics; good stuff.

I liked this Lucy Knisley comic about the Julie and Julia movie and the condescension critics have shown for young writers who publish online.

Finally, this Kieron Gillen/PJ Holden comic is really good. If Gillen did more of this stuff and less impenetrable music comics, I might read more of his stuff (I kid! He's done some good Thor comics, if I remember correctly).

New comics this week (Wednesday, 9/15/09):

Agents of Atlas #11

The Jeff Parker parade marches on, for now. I think the team fights the bad guys in this issue (there's an informative description). Dan Panosian and Gabriel Hardman on art. Rock.

Atomic Robo And The Shadow From Beyond Time #5

Have I mentioned that I like this comic? Of course, I haven't read the last couple issues, but what I did get to was pretty great. I imagine Robo is still fighting Lovecraftian monsters and whatnot. Fun!

Batman and Robin #4

And here's where I stop buying this series, at least for now (although I probably won't be able to pass it up when Cameron Stewart comes on board...), since Frank Quitely's arc is over and he's being replaced by Philip Tan. Ugh. I'm sure I'll be able to read all about it, and flip through it in the store to catch whatever "important" stuff I miss. See you later, Morrison; you gotta convince DC not to stick you with the bad artists.

Beasts of Burden #1

Did I mention that I was excited about this series? Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson continue writing about their group of dogs (and one cat) that fight the supernatural. The various short stories were awesome, and this four-issue miniseries looks pretty incredible as well. I urge everybody to buy it so they get to do more. Here's a short preview if you need any more convincing.

Citizen Rex #3

Gilbert (and Mario) Hernandez! I'm waiting for the collection, but I'll be antsy until I get to read it.

Dark Reign: The List: Daredevil: One Shot

I guess this is the kickoff of Andy Diggle's run on Daredevil, and it's not a very good way to gain interest, if you ask me. Not only is it a tie-in to the tiresome Marvel over-event, it's illustrated by Billy Tan (if it wasn't for Shaun Tan, I would think that surname signals comics awfulness). Yuck. Anyway, Daredevil fights Bullseye, which is supposed to be a big deal, even though this is what, their ninety-third battle? Yawn. Wake me when it's over.

Dark Wolverine #78

As much as I hate to say it, I'm curious about this book after reading Tucker Stone's description of it as the adventures of a metrosexual, hipster version of the character. And Guiseppe Camuncoli's art is probably pretty nice as well. So I might give it a look, but I'm still not wasting any money. Take that, comics!

Dominic Fortune #2

Howard Chaykin's old-school adventure continues. If this is anything like the first issue, I expect there will be lots of nudity, violence, and naughty language. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Ex Machina #45

Vaughan and Harris keep leaning towards that final issue. I need another collection; I miss reading this series.

Fables #88

Oh yeah, I still need to read that last collection. Soon, I expect. Anyway, it's still charging on, with a storyline about the various Fabletown witches, I believe. I'll read it eventually.

Invincible Iron Man #18

Matt Fraction's story keeps going, as Tony continues to get dumber, this time going all the way back to his clunky grey version of the armor. When will he end up as a drooling vegetable? That should make for some fun adventures.

MODOK: Reign Delay

Ooh, this is an out-of-nowhere book, and it looks like a fun one at that. Ryan Dunlavey, of Action Philosophers fame, makes his writing debut here, with a goofy-looking story about MODOK and whatever the hell is going on in the Marvel universe. I don't know if it's in-continuity or not, but I do know that I really shouldn't care; I expect hilarity and fun, and that's what matters. Don't let me down, Dunlavey!

Swordsmith Assassin #2

I reviewed the first issue of this Boom! series a while back, and it's not bad, about a samurai sword-maker seeking out all the swords he made in order to keep them from being used by evil people. We'll see if it keeps up the same level of gloomy action and honor, and maybe even gets better. Hope springs eternal.

Thor Annual #1

I haven't been reading these various Thor one-shots that Peter Milligan has written, but I am a fan of his, so I should try to do so more often. This one sees Thor exiled from Asgard and fighting some of the Egyptian gods. Cool. Art is by Mico Suayan and some others. Don't let me down, Milligan!

Ultimate Comics Armor Wars #1

Ah, the recycling of plotlines from old Marvel comics begins anew! Warren Ellis writes this one, and as you would expect, it's about Tony hunting down people who stole his designs. Art is by Steve Kurth, and I should have a review up at Comics Bulletin tomorrow.

Wednesday Comics #11

We're almost at the end now. One of the best moments of the series so far: Hawkman saying "Look what I can do!" That made me laugh. Oh, Kyle Baker, you incorrigible scamp! Also, Wonder Woman got tied up in her lasso, so Ben Caldwell is trying to keep the Marston spirit alive. Two more to go.

Alcoholic SC

Vertigo has this paperback version of the Jonathan Ames/Dean Haspiel book from last year, so maybe I'll finally get around to reading it. It's gotten mixed reviews, but I like Haspiel enough that I want to give it a try. To the library!

Bad Girls TP

I've never heard of this comic, but it apparently came out from DC back in 2003, and it's about super-powered teenagers or something. Mean Girls meets whatever superhero cliche you want to plug in? I dunno, I'm sick of that sort of thing, but I guess it's worth a mention. Notable for the Darwyn Cooke cover; it will look nice on the stands, at least.

Haunt of Horror TP

I think Marvel had previously only collected these Richard Corben comics into two overpriced hardcovers, so this paperback version should be nice to have. Of course, it's too expensive too, at $30 for six issues worth of material. Still, I'll give it a recommendation, because I love Corben. He adapted some Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft, and the text of all the original stories and poems is included. Good old Corben horror; check it out.

Johnny Boo HC Vol 03 Happy Apples

The third in James Kochalka's latest series, about a cute ghost and his little ghost pal. I haven't read any of these yet (although I did purchase the first volume recently), but Kochalka is always fun to read and full of cute, funny energy. This should be good; you know, for kids.

Life & Times of Martha Washington in the 21st Century HC

For those with deep pockets, Dark Horse has this collection of all the various stories by Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons, about a futuristic freedom fighter. Surprisingly, I haven't read any of these; I should really try to get to them. Not here though; $100 is too steep for me.

Locke & Key Volume 1 Head Games HC

People seem to like this series from IDW by Stephen King's son Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez. I don't even know what it's about, but it's spooky horror, which can be enjoyable. Despite the "volume 1" in the title there, I guess this is the second collection of the series? Weird.

Marvel Comics In The 1960s SC

Not comics! This nonfiction book from TwoMorrows by Pierre Comtois is all about those heady days of inspiration and creativity at the dawn of the Marvel Age of Comics, or whatever people like to call it. I'm sure there are plenty of interesting stories from that era, as Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and company were pumping out groundbreaking work. This might be a book to hunt down and read, just to get that behind-the-scenes info.

Matriarch Vol 1 TP

Arcana has this superhero book by Robert Burke Richardson and Steven Yarbrough, and while I complain about the lack of new, interesting ideas in spandex-centered stories, this one seems like it's taking a path that I haven't seen explored before: that of the working mother. It's all about a lady hero who has to fight a bunch of villains in a single day while still balancing a job and kids. That could be interesting, or it could be lame, but it's got my attention, so that's something. You can read what appears to be the first 25 pages online, if you're interested.

Mr. Stuffins TPB

Boom!'s long-delayed story about a secret agent/bodyguard teddy bear gets collected. I never did read beyond the first chapter, but I did like that one, and now it's all in one volume, so here you go.

Supergirls Fashion Feminism Fantasy And The History Of Comic Book Heroines TP

Another one of them non-comic book type things, all about them strange beings that us dudes just can't understand, man. Mike Madrid writes this "alternative history" of comics, focusing on the female characters and what they say about society, or something. Maybe interesting? Or maybe kind of tiresome, an attempt to find feminist values in the fetishistic depictions of impossibly-proportioned women in revealing, skin-tight garb and ridiculous poses. I guess that would be interesting as well, or at least kind of humorous. I dunno, this whole thing seems kind of dubious to me, but maybe it's worth thinking about. Alternatively, we could try to move on from that same ridiculous superhero genre that has been infecting the medium for so damn long...

Tank Girl Remastered ED Volume 3 GN

More re-releases of Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett's raucous comic. I've still never very much of any of the series at all. That's something I need to remedy.

Tiffany's Epiphany HC

Image is putting out this kids' book by Kristen Koerner Simon and Jim Valentino, about a bunch of animals dealing with a bully of a skunk. At least, I hope it's a kids' book.

Tom Strong Deluxe ED HC Book 1

DC won't let Alan Moore's work rest; here's a new version of one of his ABC series, collecting the first 12 issues (I assume; there will be three volumes, and the series is 36 issues long) in a fancy, expensive format ($40). Pretty good comics here, even though it's not my favorite of Moore's work.

Vietnam War: A Graphic History HC

More nonfiction comics! Dwight Von Zimmerman, Wayne Vansant, and Chuck Horner bring this history comic to us from one of them mainstream book publishers (Macmillan). Comics are all growns-ed up now.

Fushigi Yugi VIZBIG Edition Vol 3 TP

The large, omnibus collections of Yuu Watase's fantasy series continue. I should try to read this.

Oishinbo A La Carte Vol 5 Vegetables TP

More food and father/son arguing. I like this series, and one of the good things about it is that you can grab any volume at random and not worry about being lost in the story. So if you haven't read any of it, this is as good a place to start as any. Of course, you might also want to look for a subject that appeals to you; since my wife is a vegetarian, maybe I should get this one for her.

Pluto Urasawa x Tezuka Vol 5 TP

Just when I'm about to catch up on this series, another volume comes out. I'll get to it soon enough, I hope. This series has been pretty damn great so far; Urasawa rules. And so does Tezuka, for that matter. Go fightin' robots! Don't cry too much though; we don't want emotions to get in the way of good action.

Unsophisticated And Rude GN

Well that doesn't sound like something I would want to read at all. WHOSE RESPONSIBLE THIS?

Usurper Of The Sun TP

Rather than manga, these are two more entries in Viz's line of translated novels, with the first being about aliens threatening the earth by building large structures in the solar system, and the second being a collection of sci-fi and horror stories by a popular author named Otsuichi. I wouldn't mind giving either one of them a go.

And I guess that's it for the week. I'm going to be on vacation for the next few days, but I've got some Kirby posts lined up, and maybe I'll be able to get to a computer and do something else; we'll see. I'll see everybody when I get back. Don't mess the place up too much.


  1. Cammuncoli isn't doing the art for Dark Wolverine anymore. At least not for this arc -- and the new artist is quite awful.

  2. Yeah, after I wrote that, I looked at the actual issue and saw that it was some other guy, and goddamn, is it terrible. There's a scene of a woman running in a bra, and it looks like her breasts are protruding forward farther than her forehead, even though she's running so hard she's just about horizontal. That was one awful comic.

  3. "Anyway, Daredevil fights Bullseye, which is supposed to be a big deal, even though this is what, their ninety-third battle? Yawn. "

    what makes it notable to fans (or just me at least) is that the last real fight they had was in the middle Bendis run (top 20 best fight scenes easy), and we were all expecting it to happen like 3 years ago when we heard Bullseye was on the Tbolts and DD was an outlaw.

    What makes it mildly more interesting this time is that DD seems to have no aversion to killing anymore and has an army of killer ninjas at his dispoal.

  4. Ah, I guess that is something. It was just another excuse for me to complain about superheroes like usual. And I took a look at the issue since then, and it's fairly significant in what happens, so it's not altogether worthless if you care about it. The art's still ugly though.

  5. In terms of superhero comics, the fact that there have only been TWO DD/Bullseye fights this decade is simply amazing, shows a lot of restraint and actually makes me heavily anticipate Bullseye showing up again in a way I've never done before.

    And while I do not HATE Billy Tan, I thought his work on the preview they had in last week's Avengers one-shot (I like Bendis, sue me) was simply appauling. Well at least we're getting Robert De La Torre on art for the actual run.

  6. also Gillen hasn't done Thor yet, he did Beta Ray Bill. He's GOING to write Thor ... with Billy Tan. I'm serious. Apparently Coipel is too busy with the deadline for the JMS one-shot that ends his run to work with Gillen.

  7. Since your last Pluto review, I've had a ton of stuff swimming in my mind. Ideas about the robot emotions, about the design of Atom, about the approach, about the original, but I can never keep them together long enough to write about them. I think I may wait until the series is over before continuing on. I enjoy it so much that I want to read it all at once.

    I wish DC would just knock it off with Moore's work. I think it's a sad statement on the state of DC when the bottom line is fueled by a writer they ostracized 20 years ago.

  8. I know this is going to invalidate my opinion, but I saw the B&R #4 preview and I gotta say Phillip's arc in it doesn't look that bad, at least compared to what I've seen before. Like if he put effort into it (which would explain why his recent GL stuff was rushed and he had a fill in, he bailed to do B&R)

  9. Nathan: Eh, shows what I know. That's actually quite true about the surprising restraint, especially since Bullseye has had a high profile in other books. And that's kind of hilarious that Tan is doing Thor; he seems totally wrong for that. If he does anything, it's shadows and grittiness, and Thor needs a fantastical, larger-than-life style. And yeah, good art always helps, which Tan certainly doesn't have.

    As for Philip Tan, I looked around for a preview of his B&R art, and couldn't find anything. I guess it's up now, so maybe I could see it, but yeah, I don't really like what I've seen of his stuff. But maybe he's brought his A game for Morrison, which would be nice.

    Kenny: I love your enthusiasm for Pluto; it makes me more excited to read it. Feel free to comment about it here anytime, and if you think you have enough material for a guest post or something, go ahead and email me and let me know. That would be fun.

  10. yeah exactly what I was thinking on the Tan/Thor thing. Coipel is just a perfect fit, he's really evolved his style to fit the grand epic scale a Thor book needs, Tan just ... just ... sigh

    anyways Tan says that after he's off Thor, he's going to be doing a big "street level" mini entitled "The Shadowlands". while I don't like that Tan very much, that sounds like a much better fit