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CSBG Archive

What I bought – 28 September 2011

“… All idealization makes life poorer. To beautify it is to take away its character of complexity — it is to destroy it.” (Joseph Conrad, from The Secret Agent)

Hipsters assemble! There's only one thing on this cover that is not misleading! 'How?  How?  How can I get Kool-Aid out of the carpet?!?!? Look out for the Joker truck! If comics have taught us anything, it's never trust anyone with a minister's collar on! Is it a mirage? More fun with Brian Braddock! More fun with annotations! Maybe now everyone will get off my case about the fact that I haven't read 'Blankets' Man, Henry Flint is good

All Nighter #4 (of 5) (“Stealing Lives”) by David Hahn (writer/artist) and Aditya Bidikar (letterer). $2.99, 24 pgs, BW, Image.

Issue #4 of All Nighter came out last week, but Diamond shorted my shop’s order, so I didn’t get it until this week. Such is life. Hahn’s oddball comic continues, as we finally learn the deal with Kit’s mother and what happened to her, and then it takes an even more serious turn at the end, but from what we already know (or believe), it might not be that serious after all. This is a strange (but good) book because Hahn doesn’t really have a narrative thread – things just kind of happen, and then other things supplant those things in importance even though a few pages earlier the first thing might have seemed paramount, if you catch my drift. Kit thinks the fact that she’s wrecking a relationship is the most important thing in the world, but suddenly, it loses all meaning because something of actual importance supersedes it. It’s a lurching kind of book, but that’s life, innit? Things just arise that we don’t expect, and we just don’t know how the order of importance will be shuffled in our lives. It’s a bit wobbly, but Hahn makes it work. Plus, his art is still wonderful.

I have no idea how issue #5 will play out, which is kind of the point. What will be important to Kit? How will she sort it out? Hahn has kept us on our toes throughout, and it will be neat to see how it all wraps up.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

You shouldn't keep making her grumpy, then

Avengers Academy #19 (“Things Fall Apart”)* by Christos Gage (writer), Tom Raney (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), Jeromy Cox (colorist), and Joe Caramagna (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, Marvel.

I’ve been loving Creel and Titania’s True Romance throughout this arc, and now that they’re gone from the book (for the final battle in Fear Itself #7 – lulling you gently to sleep in three short weeks!), I’m going to miss them. I’m totally serious – Marvel could do a lot worse than giving us a Bonnie and Clyde-type series about the adventures of two bad people on the lam who love each other madly and have all sorts of adventures while committing crimes. It would be awesome. Alas, it probably won’t ever happen. Dang.

Anyway, last week I said that the Juggernaut’s exit from Uncanny X-Men was kind of lame, because the Serpent just yanked him away to fulfill the dictates of an event comic and therefore deprived readers of a serious beat-down. ZZZ pointed out that the Serpent called him away to save him, not because he needed him. That’s in the text, and I forgot about it, but I should point out that Creel and Titania are about to destroy the Avengers Academicians and they’re still called away. So there’s that.

Even though we once again get a lame non-ending to the fight, Gage does a good job making this a character piece in the middle of a big-ass action comic, because he shows how much these kids have grown up, made friendships (and more), and learned what is necessary to be a hero. For a superhero comic, it’s rare to get a “Butch and Sundance” kind of moment, but Gage works it nicely. And then he sticks the knife into the teachers because they find out that one member rejects the lifestyle that they’ve shown the kids. Gage has done such a nice job building up these characters that it’s not surprising what happens – it’s supposed to be a shock, but when you reach the end, you think, “Yeah, that would happen, wouldn’t it?”

So it’s another solid issue of this quite good superhero book. Still, I want a Titania and Absorbing Man ongoing. That would rule.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

How can you not love him?

Planet of the Apes #5 (“The Devil’s Pawn Part 1″) by Daryl Gregory (writer), Carlos Magno (artist), Nolan Woodard (colorist), and Travis Lanham (letterer). $1.00, 22 pgs, FC, Boom! Studios.

Not only did Chip Mosher send me the first trade of this series, he also sent me the fifth issue, which will cost you one thin dollar if you choose to pick it up (the sixth issue is out, too, but I haven’t read that yet).

After the world-changing events of issue #4, in this issue Gregory deals with the aftermath, as Wyn, a human, gets over the river to the ape part of town in order to sabotage the factories where men work (but they’re on strike right now). He gets captured, and at the end of this issue we see that the apes are through treating humans with any sympathy. Meanwhile, Alaya and Nix discuss making new kinds of weapons, while a bunch of humans decide that being martyrs is more important than effecting change. It’s all getting messy, isn’t it?

Gregory continues to do a nice job getting all kinds of points of view into this book. He not-so-subtly compares humans to illegal immigrants and/or the poor, because the apes don’t want to work in the factories as they consider it beneath them. Alaya and Nix on their side and Sully on the human side are still trying to withstand the more radical factions, and Gregory does a pretty good job showing how desperate they are.

Magno continues to do a very nice job with the art. The opening sequence that ends with an explosion is nicely laid out, and he keeps introducing more characters but making sure they’re easily discernible. It’s a really nice-looking comic, as Magno keeps up with Gregory’s sophisticated script.

I told Mosher I won’t be buying the single issues, because I want to get the trades, but if you’re interested in the single issues, this is, as I pointed out, only a buck. That’s not a bad deal! (Plus, the first trade is 10 dollars for four issues, which also isn’t a bad deal.)

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

You never want to see that

Secret Avengers #17 (“Beast Box”) by Warren Ellis (writer), Kev Walker (artist), Frank Martin (colorist), and Dave Lanphear (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Marvel.

Ellis gives us another excellent single issue, as Steve Rogers, Sharon Carter, War Machine, and Valkyrie investigate a spooky truck that is roaming around the Serbian countryside stealing people right out of their homes via some kind of electromagnetic field. No one wants to investigate, so Steve and his team saddle up! Of course, what they find won’t be to anyone’s liking, but that’s life in the Ellisverse!

What makes Ellis such a good superhero writer (and yes, I know he hates superheroes, but that’s not the point) is that unlike his creator-owned work, where characters all tend to gravitate toward the Spider Jerusalem template, in superhero comics he’s working with established characters, so he has to find ways to write them so they don’t gravitate toward the Spider Jerusalem template, and he’s good enough to do it (again, whether he likes it or not is beside the point). So Steve sounds like Steve, but he’s a bit more hardened and cynical than we usually see. Valkyrie sounds like Valkyrie, but she’s a little more majestic than usual (see below). Sharon sounds like Sharon, but she’s a little more competent than usual. James Rhodes doesn’t say much throughout the book, so we don’t get much of a read on him. Ellis, like some other writers but unlike far too many, thinks about what the characters have been through and what their personalities are like and writes dialogue that sounds unique to them AND sounds different from everyone else. That’s a nice trick, and it would be nice if other writers were as good as Ellis. Okay, so that’s probably not going to happen, but it would be nice if other writers actually thought about who the characters are and how they would speak instead of just writing down whatever moves the plot along.

Walker continues to get better, and his work here is magnificent. He nails the creepy horror of the undead creatures coming after the Avengers (and Pilot Marko, I should point out, says exactly 37 words in this comic and he’s instantly more memorable than 90% of the DCnU characters), but he’s also good with the ‘splosions and shit. This is a superb-looking comic – Walker’s harsh lines are tempered by Martin’s stunning colors, forming a beautiful gestalt that emphasizes the horror but doesn’t allow it to overwhelm the book. Plus, I don’t know whose idea it was to put a “smiley face-angry face” mood-o-meter into one of the zombie’s eye sockets, but it’s pure genius. GENIUS!!!!

So that’s two strong single-issue stories in a row on Secret Avengers for Ellis. I might like this one a bit more than last issue, in fact. I’m looking forward to the next four!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

'Sarcasm? What is this sarcasm? Sounds like something cowards would utilize!'

The Sixth Gun #15 (“Bound Part Four”) by Cullen Bunn (writer), Brian Hurtt (artist), Bill Crabtree (colorist), and Douglas E. Sherwood (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Oni Press.

Hurtt returns after an issue off, and Bunn takes the time to kind of reset the book a bit – this is a fairly slow issue in which we find out what Gord is up to, as he tracks down books that might help Becky and Drake destroy the guns, while Becky recovers after seemingly losing Drake off the train a few issues ago. Gord’s visit to the old plantation where he used to live turns spooky as he finds it populated by ghosts, including a few he didn’t really want to see again, while Becky gets a tour of the castle (!) headquarters of the Sword of Abraham (I have to suspend my disbelief with regard to the medieval castle standing in the middle of the United States, I guess). She also gets a ghostly visitor at the end of the book, so next issue, it’s ghosts ahoy!

I can’t say this is the best issue, but that’s because I’ve been accustomed to Bunn giving us plenty of information while still keeping things zipping along. I suppose he wanted to build up an atmosphere of dread in this issue (what does that slave ghost serve, exactly?) and while Gord’s journey through the plantation and into the basement works, Becky’s tour of the castle seems a bit info-dumpy and it gets a bit dull. I do like how Hurtt and Bunn slip Muslims into the Sword of Abraham without making a big deal about it – it’s a cross-religious order, I guess! But it’s still a bit long-winded, and while I’m not sure how they could have changed it, that doesn’t mean I can’t dislike that section!

Of course, I’m sure next issue will be back to the high standards Bunn and Hurtt have set for themselves, and perhaps this issue will read better in trade. Oh well. Hurtt’s art is gorgeous, as usual. So there’s that!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Man, creepy old white dudes shouldn't wear capes!

Wasteland #31 (“For All You Leave Behind”) by Antony Johnston (writer), Remington Veteto (artist), and Douglas E. Sherwood (letterer). $3.50, 25 pgs, BW, Oni Press.

Johnston hopes that this comic is back on track – the next issue, with Brett Weldele on art, should be out in November, according to his blog, and he has something to announce about the book in 2012 (a new artist, presumably – Veteto isn’t bad by any means, but this is his first comic, so maybe he couldn’t keep up with it?). I’m very glad – this is such a good comic and I want to see Johnston get through the 60 or so issues he has planned out, because I think it could easily be a masterpiece when it’s all said and done. The momentum of the middle issues (let’s say the second 12 or so) has been slowed, not only because this arc has been an interesting experiment by Johnston but hasn’t been as straightforward as the previous issues, but also because of the delays. But it all comes to a head in this issue, as we find out what was said between Golden Voice and Michael way back when, and the machinations of Golden Voice, Jakob, and Skot come to fruition – but not in the way we might expect. It’s a good way to wrap things up for this arc and lead into the next one (the book ends with a naked man standing on a hill watching Newbegin – now that’s an image!). I just hope the sales on the trade continue to be strong and that people haven’t forgotten about this book. It’s still one of the best comics out there, people!

Veteto is still a step down from Mitten, but he’s not terrible, and I wonder if there’s an artist change in the future or not. What Veteto lacks in Mitten’s grittiness he makes up (somewhat) in definition of the main characters – Marcus and Mary look more refined than the rest of the population, for instance, because they’re the rulers. I’ve said it before – I don’t like Veteto’s art as much as I like Mitten’s, but it gets the job done, for the most part. I think the book lost a bit of the raggedness that Mitten brought to the book (I say that in the best way possible; the art on this book needs to be ragged), and I wonder if it will return to that after Weldele’s fill-in (given Weldele’s style, I have no doubt next issue will look nice and desert-y). We’ll see.

Whenever an issue has come out recently, I’ve hoped that the book is back on track. I’ll just have to trust Johnston, won’t I?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Like that's ever worked in the history of humanity

Captain Britain volume 2: Siege of Camelot by a bunch of dudes who were hanging around Marvel in the late 1970s and couldn’t run away when Larry Lieber or Danny Fingeroth or Archie Goodwin tried to tackle them to work on Captain Britain comics. $39.99, 368, BW & FC, Marvel.

The first volume of Captain Britain (even though the volumes of the Moore/Davis/Delano stuff came out years ago, so this should probably be volume 4) probably wasn’t anyone’s definition of “good comics,” but I have a soft spot for ol’ Cap, and it was entertaining. I’m sure this will be too. I don’t know how close this takes us up to the Moore stuff, but I do hope Marvel releases something that links the two. That would be keen.

The Finder Library volume 2 by Carla Speed McNeil (writer/artist). $24.99, 664 pgs, BW, Dark Horse.

I should probably get around to reading the first volume, shouldn’t I? I will, one day when I have 6-7 hours to kill. These things are gihugeic, man! And they have the annotations, to boot!

Habibi by Craig Thompson (writer/artist). $35.00, 665 pgs, BW, Pantheon Books.

This looks staggeringly gorgeous, I must say. I hope it’s good!

Shakara the Avenger by Robbie Morrison (writer), Henry Flint (artist), and many different letterers. $19.99, 171 pgs, BW (with some color), Rebellion.

If there was any justice in this world, Henry Flint would be drawing one of the new DC books. Maybe he didn’t want to, but dang, he’s a good artist. This is an amazing-looking book.

Let’s do it: The Ten Most Recent Songs Played On My iPod (Which Is Always On Shuffle):

1. “You’re My Home”Billy Joel (1973) “Long as I have you by my side there’s a roof above and good walls all around”
2. “The Same Boy You’ve Always Known”White Stripes (2001) “Forgot my name, of course, then you started to remember”
3. “All the Voices”INXS (1984) “We want a new start; is it just too much to ask?”
4. “Lordy Lord” – Stress (1991) “I hear the children cry, politicians lie”
5. “I Wish I Had an Evil Twin”Magnetic Fields (2004) “My evil twin would lie and steal and he would stink of sex appeal”
6. “People and Places”Journey (1980) “Every single face there lies a trace of sadness felt before”
7. “Murphy It’s You” (2003?) “Why can I punch through a wall and not feel it but don’t know that I had a son?”1
8. “Black Boys on Mopeds”Sinéad O’Connor (1990) “These are dangerous days – to say what you feel is to dig your own grave”
9. “The Train”King’s X (1996) “Leave all your bags behind and tighten up your metal belt”
10. “Gone Daddy Gone”Violent Femmes (1982) “Beautiful girl, lovely dress, where she is now I can only guess”2

1 Years ago, the irrepressible Mike Sterling put this on a CD he sent to me (and some other bloggers as well), and I still don’t know who’s actually singing it. But you can watch it on YouTube, because it’s awesome!

2 Play that air xylophone!

So, yeah. I got nothing else. It was a small week, even though all the comics were quite good. Can you imagine if I had gotten All Nighter when I should have and if I hadn’t received Planet of the Apes? I’m still working on my monstrous DCnU post (it’s a race between finishing it and losing my sanity, and it will be close!), so there’s that. Anyone have anything they want to talk about? I’ve been watching several of the new shows on television, and either I’m getting old or they’re just lousy. Let’s see – The Playboy Club is junk, Unforgettable is an unintentionally ironic title, Revenge hopes that it’s the new Desperate Housewives, Prime Suspect was okay but nothing great, Charlie’s Angels can’t even get exploitative television right, and it’s a sad that some people are calling Pan Am one of the best new shows of the season, because they’re right even though it’s pretty lousy. I haven’t watched Terra Nova yet, but I don’t have high hopes for it. So far (and some shows haven’t premiered yet, so I can hope, can’t I?), Person of Interest is the only show that’s kind of interesting. I don’t know if it’s just me or if the new shows do, indeed, suck.

How about sports? The baseball playoffs are about to begin after a fairly exciting week. I’m rooting for the Phillies, of course, but it really bothers me that the playoffs are essentially a crapshoot (the Phillies scored more runs than the Giants in last year’s NLCS but still lost the series), yet if the 102-win Phillies don’t win the World Series, people will say the season is a failure. Oh well. I think they’ll win, but they have to play the Cardinals in the first round, and I was kind of hoping that Atlanta would get in, because St. Louis scares me a bit. I think the Phillies should beat them and whoever comes out of the other series, but you never know, right? Meanwhile, football is football – the Eagles are 1-2 and everyone is panicking, but the Eagles always start slowly. Get back to me at the beginning of November and we’ll see where we are. In worldwide sports, apparently there are still hundreds of tickets left over for the AFL Grand Final at the MCG. Geelong fans might be experiencing “event fatigue” because it’s their team’s fourth Final in five years. Yeah, it sucks to be that successful. In the States, we call those people “Atlanta Braves fans.”

I’m currently reading a book called Rogue Republic, which is about a bunch of American settlers in Spanish West Florida who in 1810 established a short-lived “republic” before President Madison sent troops in to occupy the area in the name of the U.S. It’s an interesting topic, but unfortunately, the author isn’t a very good writer (always a concern when you’re reading a history book), so the actual writing is kind of boring. But I like the subject matter, so I’ll keep on with it! Is anyone reading anything fascinating right now (non-comics division, that is)?

Anything else anyone wants to talk about? We’re all friends here! Chime in about comics … and more!

28 Comments

Unfortunately, I dropped WASTELAND after the 25th issues.
Just too many delays between issues, and the departure of the book’s original artist, has shaken my confidence in the series to bother picking it up anymore.
I wish Johnston well though.

Does anyone know when the final issue of CHOKER is coming out?

I have high hopes for Person of Interest. Kind of hoping that first episode was just the crappiness that is a pilot episode. Info dump of everything you need to know, so now the show can get on with it. The small sections of action were done quite well, and the actors did good work. High hopes.

Terra Nova was alright…I don’t think they can keep it up over the long haul, though.

It’s always great when an issue of Wasteland comes out, but with these delays I can’t remember almost anything about the plot and characters.

I found the place where the apes kept the captured humans (and the real-world comparisons that it brings to mind) a bit heavy-handed, but Planet of the Apes really is a great comic. I already read issue 6 and it’s just as good.

you can get a near full CB run on in Paninii Mavel UK paperbacks about 5 volumes in total

Man, i dropped Wasteland. It was great but for multiple reasons, i stopped getting the singles and went to trades. I wasnt happy about the artist change either. I skimmed through the newest issue at the shop and it looked great, so i will follow this comic in some form. Secret Avengers is what i expect from a $4 comic and definitely looking forward to more issues. Makes you wonder where the hell Captain Swing #4 is.

I bought the first two HC Post Apocalyptic Editions of Wasteland, which are friggin beautiful and unlike the trades contain the great Walking the Dust backup.

I really hope to see the rest of Johnston’s story come out and collected.

I just ordered Shakara from Amazon last night. As a long time Dredd fan that lives in the U.S. and therefore has had spotty access to Dredd and 2000ad in general, I love that Rebellion has been putting out so many collections in the past year. I hope they sell well enough to keep going with it. But where’s my collected editions of Rogue Trooper and Strontium Dog? While I’ve really enjoyed checking out some of the more random and obscure stuff I hadn’t heard of before, I’m surprised we haven’t seen Trooper or Stronty yet. Aren’t they pretty much the 2nd and 3rd most popular 2000ad features?

Most of the new shows do suck. I assigned my Young Authors kids to watch as many of them as they could to see how TV series writers do set-up and exposition, and honestly the majority of them do it VERY BADLY.

In our own household, we’re sticking with REVENGE because it’s fun and it feeds my fantasy of sticking it to all those rich bastards I went to high school with in dear old Lake O, and we liked PERSON OF INTEREST okay and were quite surprised by how good A GIFTED MAN was (seriously, the first act of that pilot was just f’n elegant in its construction, you instantly knew everything you needed to know and there was none of that clunky exposition dialogue that plagues all the other pilots this year. Well, every year, really.) RINGER we are kind of hooked on but not terribly excited about– you know, we want to see where it’s going but so far it’s not paying off much of anything. Sarah Michelle Gellar is carrying that one completely on her back– SHE is doing amazing work but the story’s just thin.

TERRA NOVA, considering it’s the being peddled as the Great Geek Hope, was not terribly interesting, and we’re pretty annoyed that, once again, the parents are saintly and the teenagers are all assholes. I’d have swapped some of the CGI budget out to get some real SF writers. Looks to be the same kind of Spielberg fizzle that AMAZING STORIES was. I was deeply disappointed by CHARLIE’S ANGELS. How you can screw up something that simple baffles me.

PLAYBOY CLUB and PAN AM are just kind of pathetic. (The self-congratulatory Hef voice-overs in PLAYBOY CLUB reminded me how idiotic the “Playboy philosophy” sounds when you try to apply it in the real world.) Am I the only one that is wondering why the sudden fascination with this weird mythical early 60s era when rich white guys ran everything and if a woman ever managed to succeed at anything it was by stealth and trickery?

…oh, yeah, comics. You sold me on PLANET OF THE APES. I AM a Planet of the Apes guy. I have great affection for all five movies, the TV show, the cartoon, and the old Marvel magazine comic, which is why the Tim Burton version made me sad. You make the comic sound like it’s aimed much more at my generation than the Burton one, so I think I’ll have to check it out.

@ Jazzbo: ABC Warriors would make a run for 3rd place, but yeah, you’re right. For a lot of 2000AD fans, Johnny Alpha is just as big as Dredd.

Like most 2000AD readers, I’m pretty amazed that Flint’s DC work didn’t turn into a more permanent gig. However, I’m also pretty happy that this means we still get him knocking out more Zombo and Dredd week after week. What’s particularly fun about Shakara is the way he very deliberately changes his style for each story. Lovely stuff.

@ Jazzbo: the original runs of both Stront and Rogue have been fully collected in chunky Case Files style editions. Your problem is probably the US distribution. Not sure if these will re-emerge in the Simon & Schuster line at some point.

The Phillies better not lose to the Cardinals or I’ll get angry and you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

Where’s that DCnU post? I been waitin’ all month. Catwoman, Starfire, oh the humanity!

I know there’s collections of Rogue and Stronty out there, unfortunately just not a part of the fairly newly launched U.S. line. I’ve gotten some of the Dredd collections through amazon.uk or ebay that aren’t available here yet, but it can be expensive. Pretty much all the stuff that’s been released in the U.S. this past year has been in the $15-$20 range, which is awesome, and why I’m hoping they get some U.S. releases soon. Although I really shouldn’t complain, since there’s way more available here right now then there ever has been before.

The Dude: I had no idea ABC Warriors were that popular. Figured they would be much further down the list.

The Cosh: What did Flint do at DC? I got the Zombo trade and was a big fan.

Greg: Well, I hope you actually like PotA, of course!

Patrick: I’ll probably post the DC reviews on Monday. Clear your schedule, ’cause it’s a monster!

Jazzbo: Flint did the Omega Men mini-series a few years, if I am remembering correctly. Lousy story, nice art!

I had NO IDEA that Gone Daddy Gone was by Violent Femmes! I thought it was a Gnarls Barkley song! I’m slightly embarrassed!

Crusher Creel is a character I have always loved for no real reason, so I should really read Avengers Academy if it’s gonna give me, you know, an actual reason.

The only reason that there are unsold tickets to the AFL grand final is because of corporate allocations. There are more than enough fans to fill the place, if they can get tickets.

Series about bad guys never work long term, but a Crusher and Titania limited series would be a great idea. They could even do a series of limited series, like they used to do with Venom, except that it would be good.

I doubt if Jim Shooter realised it at the time, but creating Titania and putting her together with the Absorbing Man, was the greatest thing about Secret Wars, and possibly the best story idea he ever had.

Elpie – I’ve always been a fan of Creel, too, although I can’t really point to any particular story that made me like the character. Probably Secret Wars, but it might just be that he’s a cool concept.

Anyway, if you like Creel, Avengers Academy is worth picking up. As a long-time Avengers fan who pretty much hates everything Bendis has done, it’s also the only book that feels like the Avengers to me. So there’s that, too.

Well, and a third thing, as someone who usually is a fan of Fraction but finds Fear Itself rather boring, AA has been a really good tie-in book that adds to the overall AA story and Fear Itself story, while being more interesting than the story it is tying into. So there’s that, too, too.

Greg- I’m pretty pumped for your all-encompassing DCnU review. You should try to make it a spectacle. Incorporate some animated .gifs and sound effects or something. Maybe set off some fireworks.

Ok, I’m a little buzzed and reading the post and comments more thoroughly now, hence the multiple comments. Sorry.

Matthew – You thinking it was a Gnarls Barkley song makes me want to be mad, but instead just makes me feel old. I do think Gnarls Barkley did a good job on their cover, though.

Greg- I definitely get what you’re saying about the writing on the history book you’re reading. While I haven’t read that book, there are multiple history books I’ve read, mostly on events of WW2, that were fascinating subject matter with sub-par writing. There’s also a book about the Borgia’s I started reading a couple months ago and had to take a break from for the same reasons. For some good history writing I would recommend “Digging up Butch and Sundance” by Anne Meadows. The subject matter should be apparent, and the writing was extremely engaging.

As far as other good books go, I realized a few weeks ago that despite the fact that Philip K Dick is one of my favorite writers, I’ve mainly read his short stories and only a handful of his novels. So in the past month I’ve read Ubik and Game Player of Titan. Both are great. If you’re into psychedelic and philosophical sci-fi, pretty much anything by PKD is a good bet.

The Secret Avengers cover kind of looks like a tribute to the crappy old Stephen King movie “Maximum Overdrive”, which featured a living psychopathic semi truck with, for no reason at all, a giant Green Goblin face on the front of it.
http://static.sportressofblogitude.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/maximum-overdrive.jpg

Man, wasteland is still a fantastic book. It has been fairly brutal post the 25th issue, and its extremely discouraging to see Mitten leave the book, but its still such an amazing book. Here’s hoping it comes back on schedule in 2012 because there’s no reason this book shouldn’t be as big if not bigger than the walking dead.

It sounds like Justin Greenwood is on for at least an arc and I’d guess the rest of the book. His wasteland sketches etc. on his blog are really good and much better than the resurrection work so I think it’s something to look forward too.

Lately I’ve been soaking up Ian Watson’s backlist. He’s a (very) English sci-fi writer who knocked out a healthy body of work from the late 70s onwards. His stuff tends to focus on the problems people would have in perceiving or understanding the alien and how we can try (and usually fail) to overcome that. Lots of stuff about language and modes of consciousness that could well have been on a young GMozz’s bookshelf. I get the impression that if Watson was only a slightly better writer he could’ve taken the same literary route as Christopher Priest rather than being stuck churning out Warhammer tie-ins. Well worth checking out The Jonah Kit and Miracle Visitors if you haven’t already.

Jazzbo – Flint did the Omega Men mini that Greg mentioned and a Haunted Tank mini. Not read either, so I can’t say if they’re worth getting. In other news, the first Rogue Trooper doorstopper is pencilled in for an April/May US release. Nothing in writing yet for Strontium Dog but I’d imagine it must be on the cards.
I’d imagine Slaine would trouble the top three if anyone ever compiled one. Personally, I’d rate Nikolai Dante as the equal of anything from the comic’s past and, by extension, comics in general.

Some good book suggestions, people. Thanks! (I certainly don’t NEED to find out about new books, but I always appreciate it!)

Jazzbo: If I can figure out HOW to make animated .gifs this weekend, I’ll try to add them. It might break my brain, though. NO ONE WANTS THAT!!!!

Ganky: Yeah, I thought of Maximum Overdrive and then forgot to mention it. I wonder if Cassaday was thinking of it.

Jamie: Thanks for reminding me about Greenwood. Johnston wrote about him a while ago, but since it’s been so long, I forgot about it!

Man, I called him “Creed” in the post. I think that’s a typo. I’ll have to change that.

@Jazzbo: I always thought the ABC Warriors were pretty popular, but after reading The Cosh’s comment, I have to agree with him. Slaine would be in the top three. Also, Nemesis the Warlock would be up there. Too many good stuff in 2000AD.

I enjoyed Habibi myself, but I’m really looking forward to reading your take on it. Whether one appreciates the story or not, the book is incontrovertibly gorgeous.

Looking forward to Dc reviews!

Hatcher got it on the nose, SMG is the only thing carrying Ringer. The whole damn story is going to collapse under its own weight, but it’s compelling so far.

Although the one bit in Paris was a bit off — and I can’t talk much more about it without spoiling things for other people. But I will if anyone cares…

And thanks to your post last week, I caught the reference to Jay with “Faerber Funds”. Woo hoo!

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