Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
On pages 26-27, Dark Horse is selling six old #1 issues for $1 each, which isn’t a bad gimmick. The six are: Aliens vs. Predator, Sin City: The Hard Goodbye, Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, Usagi Yojimbo, Conan, and The Goon. If you’ve ever wanted to check these titles out, give these a look!
There’s a trade of Citizen Rex by Mario and Gilbert Hernandez on page 36. I was a bit disappointed by Speak of the Devil, the last Hernandez book, so I didn’t get this in singles. Did anyone out there read it and can therefore give me an unvarnished opinion about it? (27 October)
On page 38, we get De: Tales by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá, one of their early collaborations. I’ve seen this before but never bought it. Perhaps I should now! (6 October)
I wasn’t too jazzed by Grandville, Bryan Talbot’s latest graphic novel, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to check out the sequel, Grandville Mon Amour, which shows up on page 43. I know a couple of things: It will be entertaining (Grandville was that; I had some other issues with the story) and it will look fantastic. It seems like this might be a story you can read without getting the first one, so give it a look! (20 October)
Page 45 has Hellboy: Masks and Monsters, which collects the two crossovers, one with Batman and Starman, the other with Ghost. Apparently they’ve been out of print for a while. I read the first one and enjoyed it, although it wasn’t great. This might be worth the $17.99, though, based on the second story’s goodness and how much you like Hellboy. (20 October)
I find it interesting that in the solicit for Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight Volume 7: Twilight (phew!) on page 49, Dark Horse does its best to keep the identity of Twilight a secret … when the cover shows Seeley Booth about to kill our heroine. You think that might give it away there, Dark Horse? (6 October)
Speaking of which, Entertainment Weekly has their list of the 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years in their latest issue, and Buffy is on it (she’s #3, actually). It’s not like I ever forgot, but it’s nice to be reminded how hawt Sarah Michelle Gellar was a decade ago. Even with fancy make-up and hair and airbrushing.
There’s a deluxe edition of Jill Thompson’s Scary Godmother on page 51, with four separate books included. I’ve never read this, but I simply cannot imagine that they’re not freakin’ awesome. I mean, look at the cover! (20 October)
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
I won’t be buying Superman: Earth One (page 68), but I appreciate the effort that DC continues to make with regard to publishing different stuff. If only it would stick this time. If only Marvel would make the same effort. Sigh. (27 October)
I’m a bit puzzled by the solicitation text for Green Lantern Corps #51 (page 71). It speaks of “Hannu, the Green Lantern who does not want to use his power ring.” Um, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of actually, you know, being a Green Lantern? I mean, why did he get it in the first place? And why don’t the Guardians take it away from him and give it to someone who would actually use it to, I don’t know, police the galaxy? I’m sure there’s some logical (well, comic-book logic, which isn’t exactly logical at all) explanation for it! (18 August)
Green Arrow as Jesus (page 73). Yeah, that’ll work. Remember that time when Jesus slaughtered that Pharisee by ripping his head off with the power of his mind? That was back when the Bible was kewl, before they retconned it to make him all wimpy and shit. (25 August)
Two things about The Return of Bruce Wayne #5 (page 80): First, why is it that whenever something takes place in the pulpy 1930s, blimps always crowd the skies? They didn’t actually pollute the airways in our world, so why do they in every book set during that time? Is it just the cool visual? Second, I like how Batman is moving through what looks like the 1930s. If he doesn’t meet his 1930s self, I’ll be disappointed in the God of All Comics. I mean, that’s just time-travel logic! (11 August)
Why is Elseworlds back (page 87)? Believe me, I dig a good Elseworlds tale as much as anyone, but why specifically for this Superman story? It’s odd. (4 August)
I like the text for Booster Gold #35 (page 90): “Back in the past, Booster Gold is mistaken for himself.” I know what they mean, but that wording just cracks me up. “Hey, aren’t you Booster Gold?” “Uh, no, I mean, yeah, but, I mean …” (11 August)
I don’t want you to be too, too upset, but … well … Magog has been cancelled (page 94). I know, it’s shocking, but try to control your emotions! (4 August)
I never noticed this before (because I’m dim), but DC and Marvel need to do a crossover featuring Raven and Psylocke in a wacky comedy of mistaken identity! I would totally buy that. I mean, look at Raven:
They could be twins!
The fact that it’s only issue #4 of Zatanna and there’s already a different artist (Chad Hardin instead of Stéphane Roux) does not fill me with confidence. (11 August)
I’m probably going to have to break down and buy the Starman Omnibi sooner or later (volume 5 is offered on page 100). I own all the issues, but the collections have various ancillary stuff that I’m sure are terribly important to the main book. Right? Can anyone confirm? (6 October)
I never got those big-sized Alex Ross hardcovers featuring various superheroes, but DC has just collected them, and I’m tempted. The World’s Greatest Super-Heroes features the six OGNs he did with Paul Dini, and it’s 400 pages for 30 dollars (page 103). Should I get this? What say the readers? (15 September)
I’m not sure if Wildcats 3.0 has ever been collected before (I mean, it had to have been, right?), but there’s a new trade on page 110 collecting the first 12 issues. This is a really, really good series. If you don’t believe me, just ask Chad Nevett!
There’s yet another book based on a video game, Kane and Lynch (page 112), that bugs me. I’m sure it’s a cash grab by Ian Edginton and Christopher Mitten, which I have no problem with. I like those two creators a lot, but I have no interest in this. I just hope they bank enough to go back to doing good work. It’s the eternal conundrum! (4 August)
So, manga experts, can anyone tell me why DC is still soliciting stuff from CMX (pages 134-36)? Didn’t they shut it down? I look to Danielle Leigh for my manga insider news!
IDW has decided to start labeling the number of issues in their mini-series, which leads to a humorous solicitation on page 160 for Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper #3: “In this concluding issue …” Right above it, IDW tells us this is issue #3 of 4. So which is it, really? The mind boggles!
Kill Shakespeare is 12 issues (page 166)? Really? I’m not sure if they can sustain it that long, but we’ll see. I could have sworn it was originally shorter, though. Of course, I’m often wrong.
Robert Kirkman continues to expand the Invincible-verse, as we get Guardians of the Globe, a 6-issue mini-series about the super-team (page 168). I’ll probably get the trade, but I just thought I’d point out that it’s pretty keen that Kirkman is doing this for some time and that he’s able to keep adding to it. (25 August)
I never like when something is described as “It’s ______ meets ______,” but Morning Glories #1 (page 172) by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma does sound and look neat. (In this case, it’s “Runaways meets Lost.” I think the reason I don’t like it is because Robert Altman savaged this kind of movie pitch so well in The Player that I can never accept that kind of lazy shorthand again when describing a piece of work. Damn, The Player is a good movie, don’tcha think?) Six new students in a prestigious prep school discover things are somewhat off about the place. Mayhem, I’m sure, ensues. (11 August)
David Hahn draws Murderland #1 (page 174), which may or may not get me to buy it, but it’s certainly a good start! (4 August)
On page 176, we get Nancy in Hell, a 4-issue mini-series. It sounds just like the title describes: A girl named Nancy ends up in Hell after her death, and she doesn’t like it. El Torres wrote The Veil, a very good horror comic from last year, and this is drawn by Juan Jose Ryp, so it will probably look great. Plus, it looks like the kind of comic that would make Kelly Thompson want to castrate all men, and that can’t be a bad thing, can it? (4 August)
Corey Lewis brings us Seedless on page 178, which is about … sentient grapes. Would I lie? Lewis is an insane artist, but I’m not a huge fan of his writing. I’ll have to ponder whether to get this or not. (4 August)
And on page 180 (sorry, but Image just has a bunch of cool-looking stuff all in a row), we get Sullivan’s Sluggers by Mark Andrew Smith and James Stokoe. A minor-league baseball team finds themselves playing a game in a town full of fleash-eating monsters. I’m lukewarm on Smith – his ideas are often better than his execution – but I’ve never hated anything I’ve read by him, and the art on this looks absolutely insanely awesome (which is why I really ought to get Orc Stain, I suppose). Another to ponder! (11 August)
I’ve heard some good things about Existence 2.0 and its sequel, and now they’re in one handy trade on page 184. Of course, the fact that Blair Butler (apparently the only notable person in the world reading comics, as she’s always quoted on everything) calls it “The Wanted of 2009!” doesn’t fill me with confidence.
You know, I’m not going to buy Deadpool #1000 (page 12), but let’s check out the talent: David Lapham, Peter Bagge, Howard Chaykin, Fred van Lente, Jerome Opeña, Philip Bond, and many others. That’s not bad.
I’m not surprised when people writing solicitation texts are lazy, but here’s an example: In the text for Deadpool: Wade Wilson’s War #4 (page 15), we find this: “They say the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist … Wait. That wasn’t ‘they.’ It was Kevin Spacey, in The Usual Suspects.” I know we’re all nerdy here, but neither Kevin Spacey nor Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote the movie, came up with that. It was Baudelaire in 1864. You know how I know that? I Googled it, and it took approximately ten seconds to type the first part of the quote into the search engine and find what came up. Just sayin’.
On two successive pages in Marvel Previews (27-28), we find these two covers:
Man, it’s like cover artists aren’t even trying anymore.
This drawing of Iron Man’s face on the cover of Avengers Prime #2 (page 31) freaks me the hell out:
As you know, I’m always torn when indy creators I like get noticed by the Big Boys. On the one hand, whoo-hoo! On the other hand, it’s hard to resist the brain-draining powers of Joey Q and Danny D, so I always fear all their awesomeness will be sucked right out of them. The latest case in point: Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet by Brian Clevinger and Brian Churilla (page 34). At first glance, this looks like a slam dunk. But then I remember that when a big corporation owns the toys, it’s hard to be as awesome with them as you can be with your own toys. But I’m rooting for this!
I’m not all that interested in the whole “Shadowland” thing that Marvel is doing with its “street-level” heroes, but page 42 brings us a Bullseye one-shot by John Layman and Sean Chen, while page 44 has a Power Man mini-series by Fred van Lente and Mahmud Asrar. Those might be hard to resist.
I’m getting annoyed with editors again, as the text for S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 (page 60) refers to “Issac” Newton. I know that this is a common typo, but doesn’t anyone spell check these things?
Al Rio is drawing New Mutants Forever #1 (page 79). I don’t know why, but that makes me chuckle.
For $25, you can buy a “Premiere Hardcover” of New Mutants #86-94 and Annual #5 (page 97). It’s been rebranded as “X-Force,” by the way. I have nothing against Louise Simonson, and she’s written some good comics in the past, but these comics are terrible. I mean, Liefeld’s presence doesn’t help, naturally, but they’re badly written as well. Avoid this at all costs!
The trade of Strange Tales is out, on page 107. As usual with anthologies, it’s a mixed bag, but it’s certainly not terrible.
And so, let us venture into the dark depths of … the back of the book!
Over there on page 218, Abrams Comicarts has The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger, who wrote The Time Traveler’s Wife. It’s a story about a woman who discovers a library that contains every book she’s ever read and her attempts to find it again. On the one hand, I’m not a woman, so I have no idea if The Time Traveler’s Wife is any good. Plus, prose authors who start writing comics can give us dicey stuff. On the other hand, this sounds like an intriguing book. Plus, it’s $20 for 40 pages. Man, that’s rough. But there it is!
SLG has their usual assortment of keen stuff on page 220. A Friendly Game is described as No Country for Old Men crossed with Lord of the Flies (hey, didn’t I just rail against that sort of thing?), but it sounds pretty neat. Two boys play a game that defines their friendship, but a dispute between them elevates it to something darker. Then we get The Sisters’ Luck, in which one twin can steal people’s good luck while the other gives bad luck to everyone she meets. Only by being together can they cancel each other out, but the first one, naturally, doesn’t want to have anything to do with her sister. Finally, they offer the two trade paperbacks of Rex Libris, which are, well, awesome.
On page 228, Arcana gives us Ripped, about a time traveler who wakes up in Dallas on the day of JFK’s assassination. It sounds intriguing … but we shall see, won’t we?
Syndrome is a new graphic novel from Archaia on page 229, and it sounds nifty. A doctor isolates the root of all evil in the human brain and begins a weird experiment in the Nevada desert with the help of some odd and possibly unsavory characters. It’s “certified cool,” people!
So on page 239, Alan Moore’s Neonomicon shows up from Avatar. I don’t really have much interest in Moore’s pseudo-Lovecraftian stuff, but Jacen Burrows draws this and he’s good, so you might like it!
As I mentioned this week when issue #1 came out, 7 Psychopaths from Boom! is offered on page 248 for the can’t-beat-it price of $9.99. I’ve only read the first issue, but it was pretty good, so give it a look! Meanwhile, over on page 252, Boom! offers a Dracula: The Company of Monsters, co-written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by Scott Godlewski, who suddenly has more work than he can handle (he has a kid to feed, so good for him!). As always, I’m wary of vampire stories, but that’s not a bad pedigree.
I’m interested in Trouble Point #1 from Broken Tree Publications on page 257, because it sounds neat: An investigation into the murders in and around Ciudad Juarez turns deadly! But then I saw that Eddy Barrows is drawing it. I’m really not a huge fan of Barrows. Darn it. I’ll have to think about it.
If you’ve been waiting for a big-ass trade collecting both mini-series of The Gamekeeper (and really, who hasn’t?), Dynamite has picked up the rights and has brought it to us. This isn’t bad – the first series, by Andy Diggle and Mukesh Singh, was a bit better than the sequel by Jeff Parker and Ron Randall, but they’re both pretty cool espionage stories with lots of violence.
Speaking of Jacques Tardi (and I assume someone in the world is speaking of Tardi at all times), Fantagraphics has The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec on page 290, the first of 5 volumes featuring crazy and scary mysteries. Sounds wacky. Sign me up! (And, apparently, it’s been made into a movie by Luc Besson. Yeah, it might be released in Arizona for a day or two. I’m not holding my breath. Also, maybe our pal Pedro can stop by and tell us if the book is any good. It’s only 35 years old, so I presume he’s had a chance to read it.) Also on page 290, there’s another old volume of pre-Spider-Man Ditko stuff, and if it’s as good as the first one, you need to buy this. DO IT!!!!!
I still haven’t read the one book I own from Gestalt Publishing (although they did “friend” me on Facebook!), so I don’t know if what they publish is any good or not, but they do have at least one other book that sound keen: The Example on page 293. It’s written by Tom Taylor and drawn by Colin Wilson, and it’s a tale that seems tangentially about terrorism, but a bit more existential. How can you go wrong?
If you can’t find it in your local comics shoppe, you might consider picking up What If … The Fantastic Four from The Hero Initiative. It’s the book Mike Wieringo was working on when he died, and Jeff Parker writes the story and a bunch of very good artists draw it (along with Wieringo’s contribution, of course). It’s 5 bucks, but it’s for a good cause, and while I didn’t love the story (obviously, Parker is limited by what he can do), it looks superb.
Noel Tuazon, who’s a good artist, draws The Broadcast, which is from NBM on page 301. It riffs off of Orson Welles’ broadcast of The War of the Worlds and sounds intriguingly creepy. And I know it will look good!
Oni has the second monster volume of Wasteland, collecting issues #14-25 in a groovy hardcover. And here I am buying the single issues like a sucker!
The people from Rebellion/2000AD always have some odd stuff that appeared in the magazine and is now getting collected. Case in point: Harry 20: On the Highrock on page 315, which is about a falsely accused convict in an orbital prison. It’s drawn by Alan Davis. How old is this, 2000AD aficianados? Is it any good?
Top Shelf brings us Fingerprints, Will Dinski’s first full-length graphic novel. It’s about plastic surgery and what is beautiful and it sounds pretty keen. Dinski is an interesting creator, so I might have to check this out.
As we move further into the back of the book, Back Issue #43 checks in on comics’ jungle and barbarian characters. Lots of stuff about all your favorites! I don’t read every issue of Back Issue, because sometime they just don’t cover stuff I’m that interested in, but when they cover a topic, they really cover a topic!
I think I should be scared of this:
Yes, it’s My Little Cthulhu Do-It-Yourself kit! I know what I’m getting my 8-year-old nephew for Christmas!*
* Seriously. Look how cute that is!
Of course, if I get him that, I have to get my 5-year-old niece the “Dexter in Jumpsuit Action Figure” on page 384:
She’ll love that!
And with that, let’s wrap this sucker up. Lots of good stuff this month – more, it seems, than in a few months. Have fun paging through the comics goodness!
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