Monday, November 30, 2009

This week, I realize how many 2009 books I still have left to read

I don't believe I have anything new to say, so let's get to it:

New comics this week (THURSDAY, 11/3/09):

Boys #37

The problem with listing these alphabetically is that this title always ends up at the top, and I never have anything to say other than that I look forward to reading it when it's collected. Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson, superhero decadence of the quality sort. I still need to read Herogasm...

Cinderella from Fabletown with Love #2

One of your Fables-related titles for the week, which I'll end up reading once it's collected. Hmm, that probably gets pretty tiresome when I say that about multiple comics every week. Sorry, tiny readership! Anyway, if you want to read what I thought was a good review, check out Nina Stone's take on the first issue, and then read the comments for some superhero-fan whining. Gotta love the internet.

Dingo #1

It seems like Boom! Studios is constantly releasing these little miniseries, many of them written by Michael Alan Nelson. This one is "a supernatural crime story in the vein of 100 Bullets" (which wasn't supernatural), something about a dude who wants a box and probably kills people to get it. If Nelson learned anything from Quentin Tarantino, we'll probably never find out what was in the box, but who knows. It might be interesting to read, maybe some good action? I can never tell if these are just a bunch of rejected film scripts that Nelson has lying around or something. That doesn't mean they aren't good, but it's weird that Boom! makes so many of them.

Empowered One-Shot

Aw, yeah, a dose of Adam Warren before the year ends. This is part of Dark Horse's current "one-shot" initiative that sees single-issue releases related to several of the series they publish. That means a standalone Empowered story, although it's in black and white rather than the color that I would hope for in a pamphlet-style release like this. Still, I'll take anything by Warren that I can get. Here, have a preview.

Fall of the Hulks Alpha

I really shouldn't care about whatever sort of event/crossover is going on in the Hulk line of books, but since Jeff Parker is involved, I guess I'm obligated, since I do tend to worship at his feet. I don't know how the rest of the story will go, but this first part, in which Parker tells the secret history of yet another shadowy group of major players in the Marvel Universe, this one consisting of super-smart villains the Leader, the Mad Thinker, the Wizard, Egghead, and the Red Ghost. It's retcon-tastic blah-de-blah, Parker-style! If that sounds like fun to you, well, you're probably not reading stuff like Underground, where Parker is actually telling stories rather than carrying out editorial diktat. You're missing out. Enjoy your multicolored smashing, nerds.

Glamourpuss #10

Dave Sim, still carrying on with the history lessons and weird humor that only he really gets. This issue features a look at Gene Colan, which will probably be neat and informative, if you are one of the few who bother to read it.

Iron Man Requiem

Here's another weird Marvel thing: their current penchant for recoloring their old comics. I guess people like the shiny layers of digital paint slapped on top of 40-year-old linework? That's what we get here, with reprints of the first Iron Man story from Tales of Suspense #39 and the story about how Tony Stark met James Rhodes from Iron Man #144, along with a framing story by Matt Fraction and Kano that metafictionally points out the discrepancy between the original Vietnam War setting of the origin and the current version, which took place in Afghanistan. Good god, comics don't make much sense these days, do they? Fraction even makes fun of Stan Lee's goofy writing, possibly as an expression of annoyance because he's also chafing under editorial constraints. Hey, Matt, Iron Man is fun and all, but you should get back to writing Casanova! That's what you're really good at!

Jack of Fables #40

Another Fables-related comic, another obligatory mention from me. I need to read that most recent collection sometime before the next volume of the main book comes out...

King City #3

Brandon Graham, baby! I'm loving this reprint series, even though I already read the book. It looks great, it's cool, people are reading it. Don't stop anytime soon, please!

Secret History Book 7

I haven't read any of this European series that Archaia has been sporadically publishing, but I've heard it's good. Something about an alternate history and World War I? I dunno, it seems cool. Someday, maybe.

Starr the Slayer #4

Daniel Way and Richard Corben keep up the lowbrow comedy and violence here, I expect, and probably some other metafictional stuff. It's the finale, and I bet Starr wins. It's been an enjoyable little series, especially for Corben fans. Now let's have him do Ultimate Spider-Man or something; that would be interesting.

Starstruck #4

I don't think I've seen this revived fantasy series in stores, but it's one that I would definitely like to check out. Let's hope a collection comes out soon.

Strange #2

I liked the first, baseball-themed issue of this new series about ex-Dr. Strange (except he should still be a doctor, right? Eh, whatever), so we'll see how it goes as it continues. It looks like this issue focuses on the girl he helped out last time, who is probably going to be his new apprentice. I hope it's good; I should have a review up at Comics Bulletin tomorrow.

Sweet Tooth #4

I finally got around to reading Essex County recently (review coming soon, if it's not up already), and man, now I'm aboard the Jeff Lemire love train. Damn, that guy is good. So, yeah, I'll have to get around to reading this post-apocalyptic Vertigo series that he's doing. Let's have a collection soon, please.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #5

Ultimate Spidey fights Mysterio, which should be fun, with lots of cool David LaFuente art, even if Tucker Stone disapproves. Hey, I like it.

365 Samurai & Few Bowls of Rice SC

Dark Horse has this digest-sized volume from European creator J.P. Kalonji, and it looks pretty cool, an art-focused action story about a wandering swordsman that's told in full-page panels. Kalonji looks like a creator to watch out for. Here's a fairly lengthy preview that really gets across what a nice-looking book this is.

Batman The Cat And The Bat TPB

This is the collection of that one Batman Confidential story where Batgirl and Catwoman fight naked. I might have to buy it and then white out all the nipple-obstructing objects and draw them in myself, because that would be so hot.

Larry Marder's Beanworld Vol 3 Remember Here When You Are There HC

This might have come out already, or maybe not; I dunno. I might read it sometime, but I really need to check out the first two volumes. I've never been able to get into this series, but I think I just need to jump in and read it, just immerse myself until it makes sense. Dancing beans in a weird two-dimensional landscape! Yeah, that's the ticket! Comics will drive me insane yet!

Binky Brown Meets The Holy Virgin Mary GN

I don't know if there's a new version of this book or something, but it's on my local shop's list of stuff coming out this week. I've never read it, but it's apparently a groundbreaking bit of autobiographical cartooning from way back in 1972, about author Justin Green's struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder and Catholicism. So, yeah, I should definitely give it a read if I ever get the chance. Someday? That's what I always say, isn't it?

Dead She Said TP

IDW has this collection of the miniseries by Steve Niles and Berni Wrightson, some sort of ghost detective story. I heard it wasn't all that good, but I suppose I would look inside if I saw it on a shelf. Recommendations! That's what I do!

Doctor Grordbort Presents Victory HC

I think it's weird that Dark Horse publishes comics/books based on a line of replica rayguns produced by Weta, the special effects guys who worked on the Lord of the Rings movies, but here it is anyway. I guess this details a sort of alternate history full of retro-futuristic goofiness; maybe it's kind of fun? It's a bit pricey at $20 for a 64-page hardcover though. Here's a preview.

Electropolis TP

I think this collects a miniseries from a while back by Dean Motter, but it doesn't appear to be directly tied into his Mister X series, like so much of his other stuff. This one is about a robot detective in a futuristic city, and it does seem kind of cool. Maybe I might read it even, who knows? Here's a preview.

Ex Machina Deluxe Edition HC Vol 2

Just what the title says; it's the fancy hardcover version of the third and fourth volumes of the series. I like it just fine in paperback, or even single issues, but this is good too. It used to be one of my favorite series, but it seems pretty sporadic these days, even as it's nearing a conclusion. Absence doesn't always make the heart grow fonder.

Myspace Dark Horse Presents TP Vol 4

Wow, four volumes of this anthology already. How about that. And you can still read all of it online for free. This volume includes stories by Kate Beaton, Chris Onstad, David Malki, and plenty of others. Spend your money on it if you want, rich guy.

North World Vol 3 GN

I should probably try to read the second volume of this webcomics-to-print series, since I liked the first one. It's an odd sort of fantasy/modern hybrid that deals with relationships and whatnot in between the monster-slaying. I guess this one follows some supporting characters, rather than the main hero of the series. Maybe I'll catch up someday.

Nuns Without Guns GN

A weird title, a high concept, a probable lack of substance: yes, this is a Jason M. Burns graphic novel. I haven't been too impressed with what he's written in the past (The Expendable One, Curse of the Were-Woman, etc.), but man, that guy is prolific. This one involves nuns that fight demons, presumably hand-to-hand. Who knows, maybe he's turned a corner and doesn't suck as much now?

Popeye HC Vol 4 Plunder Island

I know this latest collection of the classic E.C. Segar strip is out in some places, because I saw it on the shelf at Quimby's a couple weeks ago. But here it is on the shipping list, so check it out if you haven't seen it yet. Popeye! Cool! I think this is an epic storyline from the good old days. Me, I still need to get through the first volume, but maybe I'll get caught up at some point. It's good stuff. Here, Fantagraphics has the usual slideshow/preview.

Stinky SC

It's the softcover version of Eleanor Davis' entry in the Toon Books line, about a monster who lives in a swamp and his boy pal. I hear it's good. Only five bucks! I can't pass that up if I see it.

Transmetropolitan Vol 5 Lonely City New Ed TPB

The next volume in the new edition of the Transmet reprints; I should really try to catch up on these. I think this is the first one after the election storyline? I dunno.

Unthinkable TP

Here's the collection of Boom!'s miniseries about a think tank that tried to come up with terrorist attacks in order to be prepared to fight them, but then the attacks start happening for real. It looked good, but I never did read it. Maybe I can remedy that now. Mark Sable writes, Julian Totino Tedesco draws, the TSA provides extra security screenings. Enjoy, paranoiacs!

Butterflies Flowers Vol 1 GN

This is the latest shojo/josei manga that Viz is pushing, and it looks like a good one, about a woman from a rich background who has to work in an office after her family goes bankrupt, and her boss is mean, which probably means he has a crush on her. Workplace romance manga? Yeah, that's the good stuff. Hopefully, people will buy it.

Emma Vol 10 TP

The final volume in the popular Victorian romance series. I really need to read this.

Honey And Clover Vol 8 GN

All right, it's a new volume of one of my favorite Shojo Beat titles! I can finally get caught up with my pretend art school pals! This is the first volume that contains new material that wasn't serialized in the magazine, so I'll be reading the hell out of it. Don't let me down, Chica Umino!

Moyasimon Vol 1 GN

I guess the release of this volume was delayed, possibly due to translation revisions? It's good stuff, about a college kid who can see bacteria, which causes him to get into wacky situations. I liked it. And hey, the contest in which I'm giving away copies of this volume is still open, so you might not even have to buy it!

One Piece East Blue 1-2-3 TP

I guess this is the omnibus edition of the first three volumes of the series, a pretty good deal at $15. I still haven't read hardly any of it at all, but I do plan to at some point. If you're like me and want to get into it, here's your chance.

Red Snow HC

Here's the artsy manga release of the week, from Drawn and Quarterly. It's about life in the Japanese countryside in the early 20th century, with some fantastical trappings and an emphasis on angst and loneliness, from what I understand. By Susumu Katsumata. It's always good to get this sort of classic stuff translated into English; I'll have to try to read it.

Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei The Power Of Negative Thinking Vol 4 GN

It's also good to get weird, silly comedy series like this, which, from what I understand, is full of untranslatable in-jokes, references, and puns, but remains funny even for Westerners who don't understand any of that stuff. I do want to check it out. Someday, someday.

Slam Dunk Vol 7 GN

Aagh, I'm behind on this series! I really need to catch up, because I love it; it's one of the funniest manga I've ever read, and it's got some pretty exciting sports action too. I hope somebody gives me a bookstore gift card for Christmas, with all this stuff I'm going to need to buy...

Yokaiden Vol 2 GN

Finally, here's a non-manga manga pick, originating in the United States from creator Nina Matsumoto, but being all about supernatural Japanese creatures and whatnot. I actually received a review copy of this one, so I'll have to give it a read, even though I haven't read the first volume. I've heard it's good though, and I like Matsumoto's art. Let's hope it doesn't disappoint.

Okay, enough blathering. I've got more comics to read and write about.


  1. The ironic thing about Nuns Without Guns is that the nuns are indeed packing heat on the cover...

    And I'm pretty sure the One Piece pack is really just the three first volumes bundled together, if that helps anyone. I'd definitely recommend getting into this series, and plus if you get it off Amazon or something you'd be getting a discount off of a price that is already a fraction of the original cost of the three.

  2. Oh wow, I wrote long comment earlier, but it got lost!

    Anyway, I had said you'll have the 1st 3 volumes of One Piece, plus about 15 more, as soon as I find the box and mail it to you. I'm *really* sorry I'm taking so long on that....

    I'm *really* glad to see you enjoyed Essex County! I've been singing Jeff Lemire's praises for a while, so I'm happy you are a fan now, too.

    No love for Haunt? It's not Kirkman's best work, but I'm reading it hoping it gets better.

    I forgot everything else I wrote!

  3. Yeah, I'm not that interested in ghost-sperm Spider-Man. I'm not that big on Kirkman, but he can be okay. I don't share his affection for Rob Liefeld and the other early Image guys though, so that's why I didn't bother mentioning Image United either, whenever that started coming out. I already lived through the 90s once, thank you.

  4. Image United is one of the oddest vanity pieces I've ever seen. I'm not sure who, besides the artists themselves, is sitting around missing the glory days of Image. On the other hand, I like Larsen's Savage Dragon (sorta), I *really* like McFarlane's illustrations, and Rob Liefeld won me over when he was *super* nice to me at a con, so I read it. It was just splash page after splash page - about what you'd expect from Image. It was neither "awesomely stupid" or "just stupid," it was just kinda there.

    Haunt feels like it can be good if everyone gets on the same page and if Kirkman starts using the strong structure he shows in Invincible and Walking Dead. As it is, Haunt's writing feels more like Kirkman trying to polish a by-the-numbers McFarlane story. Everything is cliche and passionless right now. I'm hoping he can turn it around. The other problem I have is Greg Capulo should *never* do lay-outs. His page design sense has always been awful.