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Flippin’ through Previews – June 2014

terminal_hero_1_jaeleecover_colors (2)

Could it be? After all these years? Is it here? Will it come out on time? Some of these answers can be found in Previews #309, so let’s go under the cut to find them out!

Featuring what appears to be a grim-n-gritty Captain Carrot, because even G-Mozz cannot resist the DC Borg!

Featuring what appears to be a grim-n-gritty Captain Carrot, because even G-Mozz cannot resist the DC Borg!

Dark Horse:

On page 34, we find a new Dark Horse Presents, as it’s getting a relaunch (new #1s – they’re not just for Marvel anymore!) with fewer pages (48) at a cheaper price ($4.99). It’s still a great value, and considering they have Frank Miller and Geof Darrow doing a new Big Guy and Rusty story, it’s probably worth a look. Unless it’s, you know, Rusty stabbing zombies for 20 pages. That would suck. (20 August)

There’s a new Blacksad volume on page 35, and I’m sure it will be worth your time. Blacksad is a pretty good comic, writing-wise, but Guarnido’s art is simply astonishing. It’s a bit pricey – 18 bucks for 72 pages – but it will be very purty. (8 October)

Man, it's a gorgeous comic

Man, it’s a gorgeous comic

Abe Sapien #15 (page 36) features art by Juan Ferreyra, so, you know, I’m probably going to get it. In case you haven’t figured it out, Ferreyra is pretty awesome. (He and Paul Tobin also have a story in Creepy #17 on page 42, so there’s that.) (13 August)

On page 37, Dark Horse offers up B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs volume 1 in handy softcover format. I got these when the hardcovers came out, and they were worth it then, so the fact that they’re a bit cheaper now makes them even more worth it, if you haven’t dipped into them yet. (22 October)

Spirits of the Dead, which collects all of Richard Corben’s Edgar Allan Poe adaptations that he’s been cranking out recently, is on page 38. I’m sure this will be quite the handsome package.

I’m not familiar with Yves H., the writer of Station 16 on page 42, but I dig Hermann, the artist, and the premise – a distress call comes in from a long-abandoned Russian base and bad things happen when people go to investigate it – sounds cool. My biggest problem is, as usual, with the price – Dark Horse charges 20 dollars for 56 pages, which is pretty dear. They do this with European imports, which is just annoying, as I’d really like to get more European comics, but man! that price. (15 October)

A few commenters wondered if I was going to get Blackout when it was coming out, and I said no because I was waiting for the trade. Now the trade is here, on page 44, and I wonder if it’s worth it. Did anyone read this in singles? The brief story in DHP was pretty good, but I’m still not sure if I should get the trade or not. (15 October)

On page 50, Arkwright Integral shows up. It’s 50 bucks, but it’s over 500 pages of Luther Arkwright coolness, and I’ll probably plunk down the ducats for this. I own the first story but not Heart of Empire, and my trade is not bound particularly well. Speaking of which, you might wonder if I’m going to feature Bryan Talbot this year in my artists’ posts. Well, yes, but I’m waiting for something. Be patient! I must say that I really hate the cover to this hardcover, but such if life. (8 October)

Yeah, that cover just puts me right to--zzzzzzz ...

Yeah, that cover just puts me right to–zzzzzzz …

Jason Copland is a boss dude, so I have to point out that his latest comic, POP, shows up on page 51. It’s described as “We3 meets True Romance,” and whenever something is described as “A meets B,” I die a little inside, but it does sound like a neat idea – pop stars and celebrities are grown as products, and one escapes. I’m not familiar with writer Curt Pires, but I’m on board to support Copland! (27 August)

Don't force the poor guy out onto the street - they're fining the homeless beaucoup bucks in Vancouver these days!

Don’t force the poor guy out onto the street – they’re fining the homeless beaucoup bucks in Vancouver these days!

Because I am a horrible human being, I’ve never really gotten into Usagi Yojimbo. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that these epics that began before I began collecting comics are really hard to get into, for me at least. So it’s nice that Dark Horse is offering The Usagi Yojimbo Saga volume 1 on page 55 for only 25 dollars. It’s also an opportunity to throw some bucks Stan Sakai’s way, as the dude needs some bucks. Here’s the thing, though: This begins with “volume 2.” I assume the things Fantagraphics occasionally publishes are “volume 1″? Do I need to track those down as well? Help me out, good readers! (22 October)

Jeepers, on page 64 we find Predator versus Judge Dredd versus Aliens for 30 bucks, which sounds like a good value considering it’s written by John Wagner and Andy Diggle and features art by Alcatena, Henry Flint, Brian Bolland, and Frazer Irving. Jeepers. (8 October)

You know, I don’t mind that Dark Horse is offering the Action Philosophers! hardcover on page 69, because it’s a superb comic. I can even understand why there’s a new eight-page story. I’m just the tiniest bit miffed about it because people like your humble blogger, who bought every single issue of the series AND the trade paperback shouldn’t feel like they’re missing something because they don’t want to buy it yet again. I mean, I know they’re trying to get people like me to pony up again, but shouldn’t they be just happy to get a wider audience who never knew this sucker existed in the first place and not add extra stuff? It’s great that van Lente and Dunlavey are going to make some extra coin from this, though, and I encourage you to get this if you haven’t already. It’s brilliant. (15 October)

It's even more awesome than the cover implies!

It’s even more awesome than the cover implies!

DC:

Holy crap, is that THE Multiversity on page 81? I don’t even have anything to say about this except that DC better had made damned sure that the God of All Comics actually finished this entire bastard and sent it off to the artists before they solicited issue #1, given that he’s been working on this motherfucker for eight years. It better not be fucking late, is all I’m saying, especially as it probably has absolutely nothing to do with the DCnU, as it started, what, two reboots ago? (20 August)

Page 85: FOUR MORE FUTURES END ISSUES THAT WILL MAKE CHAD WANT TO GOUGE HIS EYES OUT. Yay, comics! (August)

Oh, DC: “As Aquaman lies impaled with his own trident …” (page 88). You’re like a comfortable old shoe. If that shoe was sentient and gnawed your foot off. (6 August)

Wait, how many people are impaled in this issue?

Wait, how many people are impaled in this issue?

So who’s the chick on the New Suicide Squad cover (page 91) who decided that the Joker’s idea of slicing his own face off was a good idea? Because, yeah, it wasn’t. It was perhaps the stupidest idea of the entire reboot, and that’s saying something. (13 August)

Fuck.  The.  Heck.

Fuck. The. Heck.

Star-Spangled War Stories Featuring G. I. Zombie #2, page 94:

I take it all back, DC!  You're almost too awesome!

I take it all back, DC! You’re almost too awesome!

Holy. Shit. I might buy this issue just for that cover alone. Wait, it’s the variant? Come on, DC, embrace the phallic symbol! Why it’s not a 3-D cover is beyond me. (27 August)

Wait, is that a second Wonder Woman comic – Sensation Comics – on page 119? You can’t pull that shit, DC! A girl might accidentally pick that up and decide that she likes comics, and then the world as we know it will cease to exist!!!! (20 August)

Apparently I need to get Legion of Super-Heroes: The Curse on page 134, as I am woefully pathetic because I’ve never been a big fan of the Legion. What say you, good folk? Will “classic” Legion by Levitz, Giffen, and Mahlstedt change my mind? It failed once, but will this do the trick? (10 September)

IDW:

Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez are starting up Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland on page 156. The art samples look really nice, and Shanower knows what he’s doing, so this might be pretty neat.

That moon is freaking me out!

That moon is freaking me out!

I think I’m a bit disturbed by Cerebus: High Society Digital Audio/Visual Experience on page 158. It’s Dave Sim reading Cerebus to you, in character, with sound effects and music. That could be the most awesome thing ever or something that makes you want to punch holes in your eardrums. I’m not sure which it will be.

On page 164, you can pick up a trade of Sinister Dexter by Dan Abnett and Andy Clarke, which might be a good buy. I don’t know, but it’s a good creative team!

As we’re in the Golden Age of Reprints, we get Wonder Woman: The Complete Newspaper Comics on page 183. This covers most of 1944 and 1945. It’s 50 bucks, but IDW does a really nice job with these reproductions, so it might be worth it.

Image:

Brubillips begin their “groundbreaking five-year deal at Image” with The Fade Out (page 192), and if you think it’s a noir tale set in the late 1940s … well, you’ve read a Brubillips comic before, but that doesn’t really matter, because they do these comics so very, very, very well that it doesn’t actually matter what the book is about. It will still be awesome. (20 August)

Steven T. Seagle is a pretty interesting writer, so Imperial (page 196), which is about a guy who has to choose between getting married or taking over as the next superhero has potential. We shall see. (6 August)

On page 212, Displaced Persons gets solicited. It takes place in three different time periods – 1939, 1969, and 1999 – and somehow brings them together. Writer Derek McCulloch has been trying to get this published for years, and it’s cool that it’s finally here. McCulloch sent me an advance copy (I’ll review it closer to its release date) and Anthony Peruzzo’s art is very nice. I’m glad it’s here! (6 August)

That's a neat cover, too

That’s a neat cover, too

The Fuse gets a trade on page 213, if you’ve been waiting for the trade. It’s been pretty good so far, although issue #4 just came out, and this collects issues #1-6, so I’m not sure if Antony Johnston will be able to stick the landing. I have faith in him! This is one of Image’s 10 bucks-for-6 issues trade, so there’s not a lot of risk for you to check it out! (27 August)

Marvel:

On page 28, we’re back to the “penultimate” issue of Superior Foes of Spider-Man, which is where we were two months ago. Man, what’s going on? I assume issue #15 really is the last one, but Marvel solicited a trade for issues #7-11, so the final one will be #12-15, I guess. Sort it out, Marvel!

So Marvel relaunched Hulk with the same writer, just a different artist, and now Gerry Duggan takes over as writer (page 47), but they’re not relaunching it? Marvel makes my head hurt sometimes. (13 August)

Frank Cho is a wonderful artist, and it’s cool that he’s drawing the Guardians of the Galaxy Annual on page 52, because one-shots are probably the way to go with him, but it seems that this doesn’t really take advantage of his … special skills. YouknowwhatImsayin? (13 August)

Aren't there any beaches or hot, steamy jungles in space?

Aren’t there any beaches or hot, steamy jungles in space?

Miracleman #9 (page 55) features pretty graphic childbirth scenes. It’s going to be polybagged, but Marvel did censor this book already, so I’m very, very curious to see if they do anything to Rick Veitch’s art. God, I hope not. It’s a woman having a child, for crying out loud! (6 August)

Do we really believe that Marvel is going to publish a 75th Anniversary Omnibus (page 81) with the content chosen by fans? Really? If this entire thing isn’t Clone Saga and Teen Tony Stark stories, I will be very disappointed in the pranking abilities of comic book fans. (5 November)

Ms. Marvel gets a trade on page 87. This has been pretty good so far, and Alphona’s art has been very nice. I’m not sure if it’s the greatest comic ever conceived by humans, but it’s pretty good. (15 October)

Meanwhile, on page 91, She-Hulk also gets a trade. It’s another cool comic, a bit better than Ms. Marvel, with great art by Javier Pulido. Get them both and feel confident in your masculinity! (8 October)

There’s a new printing of X-Men: The Asgardian Wars on page 100, in case you don’t already own it. This is a tremendous group of stories, with Claremont at his Claremontian heights and Paul Smith and Arthur Adams cranking out absolutely gorgeous art. I don’t know if the old versions are out of print, but if you can’t them, this is worth the dough. (10 September)

Man, I hope they don't recolor it

Man, I hope they don’t recolor it

I read some issues of The Pulse when it came out, but it wasn’t thrilling me, so I dropped it. Now Marvel, in preparation for the NetFlix show, is releasing Jessica Jones: The Pulse – The Complete Collection on page 107, which is 360 pages for $35. I do like that it’s the “complete collection” but issue #10 is missing. I assume this was part of some crossover, but that means this isn’t exactly complete, is it? IS IT?!?!?!? Anyway, it’s Bendis writing Jessica Jones. It’s not as good as Alias. (27 August)

Shall we see what’s in the back of the book? I think we shall!

Boom! Studios:

Man, I reached Boom! before I found anything that really leaped out at me. That’s weird. Anyway, on page 285, Michael Alan Nelson brings back Hexed, which is nice for him. You won’t remember that the first series was Emma Ríos’s introduction to American comics, and she’s not back this time, but if Dan Mora is half as good as she is, this should look pretty keen.

Well, that's creepy

Well, that’s creepy

The first trade of Dead Letters shows up on page 286. I’m not sure yet if I’m getting it, but I flipped through the first issue and liked the art, so I might plunk down the 10 dollars for the trade.

On page 291, Archaia/Boom! offers The Collector by Sergio Toppi. I’ve only read one Toppi book in my life, but it’s staggeringly beautiful, and I cannot wait to read this. Seriously, people, pick this sucker up. I haven’t even seen it and I know it’s stunning.

Man, I CANNOT wait!

Man, I CANNOT wait!

I have no idea if Giant Robot Warrior Maintenance Crew #1 on page 303 from Cosmic Times will be any good, but I do like that you can get the entire high concept just from the title. That’s efficiency! It does sound fun, though.

Dynamite:

Peter Milligan and Piotr Kowalski (who’s everywhere these days!) unleash Terminal Hero on us on page 305. It’s about a dude who gets experimental treatment for his brain tumor but, because it’s a comic, it has “nightmarish” side effects. Of course it does! I’m always keen to read something from Milligan, so I’ll have to check this out. Plus, it’s only $2.99, which is very strange for Dynamite books. It might actually be a first for them. (6 August)

Can you notice it? I mean, some makeup will cover it right up, right?

Can you notice it? I mean, some makeup will cover it right up, right?

Joe Casey, Nathan Fox, Jim Rugg, and Ulises Farinas is a pretty good team, so I’m interested in Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers, which shows up on page 312. I’m not entirely sure how the art will work, but I’m sure it will be keen, although it does sound a bit like Gødland. Still, Casey does cosmic really well, so there’s that. (6 August)

Fantagraphics has a softcover of Tales Designed to Thrizzle on page 342, in case you missed the single issues and the hardcover. This is one of Our Dread Lord and Master’s favorite comics ever, but it never really thrizzled me. Make of that what you will!

Also on page 342, we find Tardi’s WWI: It Was the War in the Trenches/Goddamn This War! gift box set. These are two quite good books about the Great War, but I can’t imagine giving them to anyone as a gift unless you want them to commit suicide, because they’re both so bleak. “Here, honey, happy anniversary!” “WHY DO YOU HATE ME?!?!?!?”

On page 351, Humanoids offers up the El Niño Omnibus, which sounds pretty cool – a woman finds out her long-lost separated conjoined twin is a modern-day pirate, and she goes looking for him. It’s $45, which is a pretty penny, but it’s also almost 400 pages long, and the presentation is always good.

Broody!

Broody!

The Tower Chronicles is back from Legendary Comics on page 356, this time as a 12-issue series. This is Matt Wagner and Simon Bisley having an absolute blast doing crazy shit in comics, and I’m totally on board!

NEEDS MOAR WEAPONS

NEEDS MOAR WEAPONS

Down at the bottom of page 356, we find Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer, published by Liveright. I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever read anything by Feiffer, but this sounds pretty keen, as it’s a noir tale about five women linked through a washed-up private detective. I’ll have to check it out!

Page 356 is a good place to be, as Microcosm Publishing has the trade paperback of Henry and Glenn Forever and Ever. If you’ve ever wanted to read a comic in which Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig are lovers living next door to Daryl Hall and John Oates, who happen to be devil-worshippers, well, have I got good news for you!

Oni:

Jeff Parker and Sandy Jarrell show up on page 359 with Meteor Men, which seems to be about an alien invasion. Whatever – it’s Parker, so I’m in! (15 October)

Cullen Bunn is almost at the end of The Sixth Gun, but that doesn’t mean he can’t fire up another ancillary mini-series, and on page 362, we find Days of the Dead, which about Roberto and Jesup, two of the characters from his epic. I like that he and Brian Hurtt do this – it keeps the main story going, but if you’re interested in a little back story, you can get these. If you’re not, no harm, no foul.

Rebellion has their usual assortment of cool stuff, including Jaegir (page 370), which is about a war-crimes investigator in the future who has to hunt down a bad dude. I don’t know if this is a one-shot, because it’s a 30-page, $3.99-comic with no #1 after it, so I think it might be. I’ll still check it out!

On page 381, you can find Kingdom of the Wicked from Titan Comics. According to the solicit text, this is the first collaboration between Ian Edginton and D’Israeli, and I think it might be their best. It’s really good, so it’s nice that it’s back in print.

Titan also has 13 Coins (page 382), which comes from the writers of Hitman: Absolution (which doesn’t bode well) but which features art by Simon Bisley. So, yeah. I’ll probably have to at least give it a look.

Can you ever get enough Bisley?  (The answer is no, by the way)

Can you ever get enough Bisley? (The answer is no, by the way)

I always get a bit scared when I venture past the comics section, so let’s wrap things up here. I don’t think I did quite as good a job this month as I usually do – for some reason, I just wasn’t feeling it this month, which should piss Travis right off. Still, there’s a lot of cool stuff in Previews, as usual, so get to digging. You know you want to!

42 Comments

Maybe that Luther Arkwright cover is successful, because it’s so bad I can’t stop staring at it. I’m much more aware of the comic’s existence than I would have been if it had a decent-to-good cover. Such a weird fuckin… John Grisham looking… aren’t you a good artist… why? Just baffling.

By the way, not that it makes a difference, but if I remember my internet chatter right, I think it was some Doll guy who sliced off the Joker’s face, not the Joker himself.

The Pulse #10 was a House of M tie-in issue that isn’t at all necessary to the rest of the series (and takes place in the House of M universe). I only first read it about two months ago.

the_fourth_man

June 2, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Is an accurate representation of childbirth really all that controversial? I own the Eclipse version of that comic and there’s nothing pornographic about it. It’s just an honest depiction of a beautiful (if messy) aspect of life. Do we really need to protect children from that? (By children I mean the 18-44year old men most likely to buy this comic)

It’ll be interesting to see if the violent issue 15 (which I find more objectionable) gets the same treatment. Although I don’t think either issue should be censored.

I can only pray that Multiversity indeed has nothing to do with the New 52, because I don’t give a crap about its current multiverse. But I’m guessing the original concept has been adapted to fit the current clusterfudge.

That said, I’m pretty darned excited about Sensation Comics. But the fact that it’s not necessarily tied to the current continuity has a lot to do with that.

Cass: Success!

I should have been more specific. The Joker didn’t cut his face off, but he wanted it done, so he got that dude to do it. But yeah, he didn’t do it to himself.

Chad: But they said COMPLETE!!!!! :)

the_fourth_man: Who the hell knows what people think is controversial? I think it’s ridiculous, and I love cat yronwode’s introduction to the trade, where she says how ridiculous it is. I doubt if the really violent issue will be censored, but I’m sure it will be bagged.

buttler: I didn’t realize Sensation is digital first like Legends of the Dark Knight and Adventures of Superman, but that is pretty cool that it’s not tied to current continuity. Let’s hope it does well!

My interest in that 75th Omnibus depends solely on whether it includes Thunderbolts #1 (the greatest twist ending in all of comics). I’m also really hoping they included “Nothing Can Stop The Juggernaut” since it’s only two issues.

Re: Teen Tony, if there’s one Iron Man idea from the mid-90s pre-relaunch to bring back (though they would be better off forgetting that period entirely), it should be War Machine’s Eidolon War-Wear armor. I didn’t realize it was an X-O Manowar ripoff until very recently, but it looked cool and sang war shanties while Rhodey fought, which is more interesting than anything happening in Iron Patriot.

re: Usagi

It’s good to read teh Fantagraphics stuff, as it does introduce a number of the characters, but Sakai does a good job re-introducing everyone. Pick up the new omnibus without fear –it’ll be like jumping into the middle of some more well-written comic series from the days of yore. You know you’re missing something, but this is awesome enough you’re not at a loss. Enjoy the rabbit bodyguard with his stories and art and humor and drama!

Jason Copland is a boss dude, so I have to point out that his latest comic, POP, shows up on page 51. It’s described as “We3 meets True Romance,” and whenever something is described as “A meets B,” I die a little inside, but it does sound like a neat idea – pop stars and celebrities are grown as products, and one escapes.

So it’s just like that episode of Gravity Falls where it turns out that a popular boy band are literally clones produced by the industry?

tom fitzpatrick

June 3, 2014 at 3:15 am

Hasn’t CHAD gouged his eyes out yet? ;-)

Is that a rocket in Robin’s pants or is he’s just unhappy to see us?!?

More Matt Wagner stuff, but no MAGE or GRENDEL. bummer.

Sure hope that the God of all comics comes through with this new series. It’s been a damn long time in coming.

Why would Marvel censor Miracleman #9? Isn’t the book already for Mature Audience?

This is one of my favorite columns, but I hate this new page layout. I’m using Firefox and it’s not displaying properly right now at all. I hope it returns to the old layout again soon.

As far as Previews, I’m getting The Collector and El Nino for sure. Doesn’t “Ring of the Nibelung” come out in August, too?

I guess for some reason the “iPad theme” was default. That explains why it wasn’t displaying right on my PC.

Jake Earlewine

June 3, 2014 at 4:55 am

Yep, Alias was great and The Pulse sucked. Anybody know why Marvel ended Alias to put out an inferior comic like The Pulse?

It’s as if Marvel consulted with Dan Didio or some other comic book hater from DC…

Someone’s got to walk me through the new Suicide Squad lineup. Deathstroke and Deadshot? Harley Quinn and Joker’s Daughter? Is the program now overseen by the Department of Redundancy Department?

Black Doug: All Nineties comics or GTFO!!!! :)

Jon: Thanks a lot. I was going to get it anyway, but I just wanted some more background. That’s good to know.

Drax: Dang, dropping the Gravity Falls knowledge! I forgot about that episode, but it does sound like that, doesn’t it? 2013!!!!

tom: They already censored Miracleman, so why wouldn’t they censor it again?

Chris: Ring of the Nibelung might come out in August, but it was solicited either last month or the month before. So I didn’t mention it this time, because it wasn’t in Previews.

Jake: I’m not sure. Maybe Bendis wanted to end it? Maybe sales weren’t great and they thought integrating Jessica more into the Marvel U. would help? You’re right, though. RIP Alias!

Michael P: If one dies, they have another right there to step in! :)

Tom said: “Why would Marvel censor Miracleman #9? Isn’t the book already for Mature Audiences?”

It hurts some people’s heads if sexy parts are presented in non-sexy contexts. That’s why they get so hung up on public breastfeeding.

That moon on the “Little Nemo” cover disturbs you because it looks like Quagmire from “Family Guy” – giggity! :Þ

As I understand the Alias problem Bendis wanted all along to include other marvel characters in her own series but when he asked for Spider-Man he was told he would have to make a whole new series, different name, everything to use the Wallcrawler. He really wanted to so goodbye Alias, hello Pulse, and no connection between them honest!

I hope in this Action Philosophers collection they include the text pages at the end of each issue. Those were missing from past collections.

AverageJoeEveryman

June 3, 2014 at 9:06 am

How in the world did the caption for El Nino not read “Spanish for . . . The Nino”

On Usagi, I started collecting the trades as well in the last few years after seeing the books since their inception and not reading regularly. I love them, absolutely fantastic and easy to get into at any point. And I’ve gotten my brother and 4 of my nephews/nieces/cousins hooked on them. There is an age range here from 7 to teens to 50. They want more of them and it makes my Christmas shopping so much easier.

Matthew: Yeah, there’s that, too. It’s ridiculous.

Kenozoic: Alas, I do not watch Family Guy, so it’s not that!

Anonymous: I think I remember reading that somewhere, which is just annoying. Oh well – at least we got a bunch of Alias issues before he wanted to include Spider-Man!

T.: That’s true. Maybe they’re committed to including those.

AverageJoeEveryman: Dang it! Missed opportunity!!!! :(

BA: I’ve picked up a few issues over the years, and enjoyed them, so it’s good to know they’re all good!

Lol. GRRRR, JD.

So, what’s Jae Lee’s connection to the Milligan book?

Josh: None – he’s just doing the cover. Covers? That’s it, apparently.

Cover, singular, is actually believable. Just curious.

In other comments, DC actually found a way to get me to buy one of their variant covers by releasing a blank variant to Multiversity. I’m going to try to get Doug Mahnke to do Multiversity riff on one of his JLA covers, most likely JLA 61.

Damn, that Suicide Squad cover is good looking stupidity. Sexy Waller, ugh.

I can finally buy a Frank Cho cover and not worry about feeling vaguely pervy.

Count me among the people that haven’t yet read the Asgardian Wars. There are a lot of X-men stories that were so hard to find for so long when I started reading comics, I haven’t thought to look for them in a while. I’ll have to take a peek at that.

TotalSnorefest

June 3, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Hey that cover to POP looks cool, plus it’s only a mini-series, so gonna consider picking that up if the art previews look cool! And thanks for highlighting the Ferreyra+Tobin story in August’s Creepy. Colder remains one of, if not the best horror comics I’ve ever read, so this team back together sounds promising. I tend not to read Creepy/Eerie because the few issues I’ve seen of them were honestly kinda goofy, or had sub-par art on some of the stories. But looks like I might have to make an exception. :)

TotalSnorefest: Yeah, I’ve seen a few of the new Creepy stuff that Dark Horse has put out, and nothing has inspired me to grab it. But like you, I will definitely give that a look and probably end up buying it.

Travis Pelkie

June 3, 2014 at 5:17 pm

I am definitely getting the Cerebus High Society DVD set. Although I too am wary of Dave performing the book. However, as a Cerebus dyed-in-the-wool fan, I must have this. I MUST!!!

More commentary later.

tom fitzpatrick

June 3, 2014 at 8:31 pm

One fine day I’m gonna have to compare the original Miracleman with the Marvel Miracleman. Outside of the coloring, I didn’t think Marvel was going to censor anything of the original. I imagine a certain hermaphrodite being censored in the Neil Gaiman Miracleman Book four.

tom: I’m planning on doing that, too, and it will be interesting to see. So far, as far as I know, they’ve only censored the n-word from the print edition, although I know they covered up some nudity in the digital version. It seems ridiculous, because it’s obviously a “mature audience” book, but apparently some people can’t handle even that.

Travis Pelkie

June 4, 2014 at 12:30 am

Comments on the comments:

From here on out, iirc, Miracleman is being bagged every issue. Which would make a difference to me if I hadn’t decided to wait for the inevitable massive omni of the “original writer” issues.

Totally go for the DH Usagi. Even if you’re missing some stuff, Usagi is so good who cares? (It appears that Fantagraphics published 38 issues of v1, Mirage the 16 issues of v2, and DH has published it since. Fanta has collected it in 7 trades, at least 2 of which they’ve recently put back into print — I wanna say 2 and 6, but I can’t remember — I bought one and preordered the other they’ve offered recently. This omni apparently collects the entire Mirage run and the first 6 DH issues. Not sure if Space Usagi is in print, but that was 3 3 issue minis from around that time, since at least one of the minis was from Mirage). I hope they include the original intros from the trades, and I hope they make it clear what trades these omnis will “replace” — I’d guess this contains the material in volumes 8 and 9 and possibly part of 10.

Creepy and Eerie have had a number of decent issues, but like any anthology it’s hit or miss. I have liked that they reprint a classic tale in each issue, so I got to read the creepiness that is “Jenifer”.

Travis Pelkie

June 4, 2014 at 1:40 am

More comments!

DH: Man, I knew when I saw the DH listings on the Previews site before the book came out that I would have problems cutting things from this list. DH has so much good stuff on offer!

I think I’ll be starting DHP. I still hang my head in shame at missing out on the previous series. Any idea if this new Resident Alien is something that picks up right after Suicide Blonde (or was there something else in between)? or if Sabertooth Swordsman picks up right after that GN (I can’t remember, did you pick that one up, Greg?)?

I hope eventually there are some nice Blacksad omnis, because it looks good, but that is pricey. Same with Station 16.

I’d like to get into Hellboy and BPRD, but man, there’s so much it’s hard to know where to start. Is Plague of Frogs a good jumping on point?

Man, me missing DHP bites me again with that Corben/Poe book. I’ve picked up (or will pick up) all the one shots, but I don’t have the DHP stories in there. ARRGH! I’ll have to wait for a trade and sell my singles off or something.

I think I’ll go for that issue of Creepy, but hope I won’t regret not waiting for the Creepy trade. Damn you for getting me into Ferreyra! (Or worse will be if they include it in the Colder 2 trade that I plan on eventually picking up whenever that comes out)

Blackout sounds interesting, and Barbiere started Five Ghosts out quite well, but that book lost me a bit into it. Eventually I’ll look for this.

pg 49 has Vachss: Underground. How was that in DHP? I’m a fan of Vachss my own self, but I’m torn on this. My favorite story of his is probably the one in the original DHP 5th Anniversary book (the one that intro’d Sin City), which I believe is called “Placebo”. Klaus Janson work, gritty tale, good stuff.

Arkwright Integral is a bad cover, not only because it’s so bland, or because it evokes the movie poster of Caligula (plus, it says “Moorcock”, get it? huhhuhuhuhuhuhehehehehh!), but because Luther Arkwright is so fucking out there cool and this doesn’t “say” that at ALL!

pg 50 also has Concrete Park. Was that decent in DHP? Or am I just distracted by the boobs on the cover? That one’s a bit pricey too.

I didn’t even notice the “WE3 meets True Romance” bit at the top of the Pop (ha!) listing. Sounds interesting, but I think I’ll trade wait.

pg 52 has Sundowners by Tim Seeley and Jim Terry (who I think did some of the art on Jack Kraken, which was decent but not great). Interesting notion that these “superheroes” might just be nutters, but in typing that bit about Jack Kraken, I think I answered for myself that I’m going to trade wait.

pg 53 has the complete Eltingville Club! I loves me some Dorkin, so I’ll be hard pressed to cut this from my list. I sure hope he puts together some more House of Fun soon.

I discussed the Usagi omni on 55 before, but let me say that the Senso mini on 54 sounds neat, because it seems to be bringing a certain ship from a doomed planet into Usagi’s world. I’m wondering if they’ll re-issue the Space Usagi stuff in conjunction with this as well.

Battlepug is tempting me. Partly because of the Roger Stern intro. And the fact that the other volumes are reoffered. Damn you DH! (pg 56)

pg 57’s Misfits of Avalon sounds interesting, although I’m not a huge fantasy fan. Looks a bit reminiscent of Thieves and Kings, art-wise.

pg 58 has Art of the Venture Bros, which I totally want, but I think I need to wait until it’s a more reasonable price. 40 bucks!

That Dredd/Aliens/Predator book sounds cool too, but probably more than I wanna spend. One of the local comic shop owners is a Dredd fan, though, so I should be able to find it easy if I want it.

No comment on the end of the DH Star Wars stuff? I was tempted by the Rebel Heist book (which had to have been DH telling Kindt “dude, we’re gonna lose SW soon — here’s your chance to do whatever story you want!”), and I’m wondering if Marvel will be pushing SW next month or if they have to wait a little bit still. It’s not like they’ll be pushing Fantastic Four, amirite?!

For the non-heathen comics lover, we’ve got a Beto book on pg 69 called Loverboys. I’m wondering if it’s another of the “movie” books that Gilbert’s been doing with Fritz or what. It does sound a bit like warmed over Palomar, however.

And yeah, I’m all over Action Philosophers. Those Nietzsche knuckle tats rule!

pg 71 features a re-teaming of the New Deadwardians guys on a medieval monster series. Hells yeah, although I’m going to trade wait.

Damn, that was a lot already, but I know that DH had the biggest chunk of stuff I wanted, so other sections should be less type-y from me.

Travis Pelkie

June 4, 2014 at 2:06 am

DC:

Man, I pretty much just flip through without even looking. I didn’t even notice how fucking awesome that GI Zombie cover was. As much as I like Darwyn Cooke’s stuff, I don’t think he can POSSIBLY top that cover. Dick move, DC, for not making that the regular cover. And for, uh, the missile that looks like a dick.

I’m all over Multiversity, of course, but I am wary. It spins out of Final Crisis, which was decent, but as great SOUNDING as this stuff is, GMozz has a tendency to disappoint me these days. Plus, I’m not much of an Ivan Reis fan. Captain Carrot doesn’t look grim and gritty so much as too “realistic”, because god forbid we make comics with GIANT FUCKING RABBIT SUPERHEROES. WE MUST BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY!!! But that does explain why that Capt Carrot Showcase volume finally is coming out.

Who is that Lantern supposed to be? Some demon dude, or what?

But if this leads into a new Crisis and we get some universes that don’t suck from DC, I’ll be happy.

Aquaman lies impaled with his own trident? Did Jesse Custer tell him the same thing he told Arseface’s dad?

Man, that GI Zombie one should be 3D. Hey, the one thing I never saw people complain about with the whole debacle involving the Villain month covers from last year was that in the end, the “effect” SUCKED. That’s why I didn’t bother at all with any of them this year (well, that and the whole “not buying any regular DC books anymore” stuff).

pg 96 Damn you Ferreyra, that is one sweet ass Constantine cover. Day-um!

DC’s hurting so bad for 52 books that they’re double shipping Harley Quinn to try to get it up to 52. Oy.

I’m torn on Sensation Comics (although I think they’re ribbed for our pleasure). I want to like it but I’m not sure on the stories on tap here. I’ll probably go for it and see if it’s worth it. I have liked a LOT of the digital first stuff.

Like Batman ’66, which seems to have gone to a 2.99 cover price. Which sounds good, except that’s only a 25% drop in price for what will probably be a 33% drop in content (assuming that they switch to 2 10 pagers an issue instead of 3). Grr!

Adventures of Superman 16 looks awesome, though. Check out that Bogdanove cover on 121! Holy crap, that’s cool. And a Keatinge story with Doyle et al art? Yes please.

Glad that Martian Manhunter by Ostrander and Mandrake is continuing. I’m not sure if I have these issues. (pg 131)

same page, the Batman ’66 HC 2, issues 6-10, for those who missed them the first time around. So good! I hope the book is continuing past, say, issue 15, though. Man, if that gets cancelled I will be sad. I can’t remember if I said it on your monthly post, but Joker’s stand up routine in #11 was great stuff.

Anyone know if the Gordon of Gotham stuff on 132 is any good?

Ok, am I forgetting something, or did someone screw up and say that Poison Ivy is in Arkham Asylum when she’s not? WTF? (pg 132) I’m pretty sure, by design, in fact, that Arkham Asylum is almost exclusively a sausage fest. Because girls are icky. But tasty.

I have to check and see how much of that LoSH stuff I have myself.

New Teen Titans volume 1 trade? Hmm, I may go for that. Or Toe Tags by Romero (ok, not that). Or Ronin Deluxe HC. Damn your good trades, DC!!!! At least you’ve got that going for you! (pg 134)

Man, I should probably get around to reading v1 of FBP (pg 143) so I can decide if I want v2, huh?

pg 144 Dammit, ANOTHER version of Punk Rock Jesus? Fuckin’ Christ, that’s annoying! I liked the book fairly well, but I hope Murphy’s next writing project has some more characters and less mouthpieces for viewpoints.

pg 150 — A Zatanna Bombshells statue that DOESN’T have fishnets? Weak. Although that Constantine bunny is hilarious.

That iZombie statue on 152 looks pretty damn good, too.

Travis Pelkie

June 4, 2014 at 2:22 am

so much for less type-y

IDW:

I think I’ll tradewait Little Nemo. It looks neat and all but I dunno. The lettering is way too good here ;) I’m waiting, hopefully in next Previews, for the tribute book that someone else is putting out with an amazing piece by Cerebus’s Gerhard.

Hey, here he is on pg 158! As I said, I’m totally in for this set, even though I’m afraid of it at the same time ;) See that moire effect on Cerebus just in the solicit for this book? That’s what’s happening through the entire print version of the comic, which is why HS and the original books are out of print right now. I saw that this would be 13 discs, so if that’s true, 40 bucks is a hell of a good deal. Watching comics on my tee-vee?! That’s amazing!

Ohhhohohohooooooo! That Simonson Manhunter (pg 159) book looks so tempting. I splurged and just recently picked up the Kirby New Gods book. Oh my lordy! That is awesome looking. And I like that if I come on to hard times, I can sell that and make back what I spent and then some.

pg 163 has a new Godzilla mini by Cullen Bunn and Dave Wachter, the Breath of Bones dude.

pg 164, besides the Sinister Dexter book (which looked decent from the little amount of SD I’ve seen) has the Doug Wolk Dredd tale in trade. So…tempting! Plus, new Psi Judge Anderson (apparently Pamela, from that Yoon variant) series!

pg 167 Monster and Madman trade. I was afraid that the trade would be way more than the singles. Dammit. Maybe my shop still has copies.

pg 174 TMNT Secret History of the Foot Clan Workprint Ed sounds like a neat book, with the script on the left and the page, sans balloons, on the right, but this isn’t the sort of book that I’d want that kind of treatment for. Sandman, Cerebus…um, probably others but I dunno what.

pg 177 has the Transformers IDW Phase 2 HC, which I understand was pretty good, if that’s your sort of thing. Too rich for my blood.

pg 181 has another Byrne Star Trek fumetti. Hope they do a trade soon.

Man, that Wonder Woman strips book sounds cool. Oy.

pg 184, anyone hear if the Illegitimates was any good? (Or if it was a self contained story?) I mean, it’s no Dynamo 5, I’m sure, but….;)

Also on that page, more THUNDER Agents Classics. I’m glad these are being made available, even if I’m not picking them up.

Alright, that’s enough of that.

Travis Pelkie

June 4, 2014 at 2:48 am

Image was kinda light for me this month.

I think I’ll go for The Fade Out 1, even go for the magazine variant with more stuff and bigger size. I’ve been wondering what the Bru/Phillips comics and back matter are like.

I’ll wait and see on Imperial. Doesn’t sound all that interesting to me (and the preview seems more like the Avatar Hero Worship series).

pg 202 — I’m torn on Genius. It’s a 5 issue weekly book, and I loved the Pilot Season issue and the preview from that Top Cow spotlight trade (y’know. that ONE that you reviewed….), but I’m wondering if I should trade wait this. The other Top Cow weekly mini from a couple months ago, Shotgun Wedding, hasn’t been offered in trade yet, so I dunno. 20 bucks for 5 issues isn’t awful, and I did like the stuff, but still….

pg 206 — Nightworld! Holy crap, that looks cool. Might trade wait, though.

pg 208 — Wayward looks ok, but I think I’ll trade wait that one, too.

Very interested in Displaced Persons. Derek McCulloch was an old Cerebus letter writer!

I’ll have to read it still, but maybe Satellite Sam will get me to buy the new trade. No, probably not.

Otherwise, it’s all stuff on my pull list. I do love Image, though.

Travis Pelkie

June 4, 2014 at 3:02 am

Marvel

pg 1 — you can get a free copy of our 75th Anniversary Mag, or pay 10 bucks. Your choice. Wha?

pg 43 New Warriors. Again, they’re fighting Jake Waffles and Mister Whiskers, because apparently LOLcats have great powers in the Marvel U.

pg 58 — Spider Ham!

pg 88 — If I order this Fantastic Four collection, will it come out? ;)

Ms Marvel and She Hulk have been pretty good so far, so I’d recommend both, even though they star icky girls.

pg 97 has the new DD trade, but apparently it’s been changed and WON’T include the 1.50 issue in there. Dick move, Marvel!

Man, that’s it this time.

Travis Pelkie

June 4, 2014 at 3:16 am

Other stuff:

pg 248 — SIP Kids, Terry Moore does the Strangers in Paradise gang as kids. Sounds cute.

Methinks Action Lab is probably trying to put out too much stuff now. Some of it sounds interesting but a lot seems lame.

pg 251 has Death in Oaxaca by Bughouse’s Steve Lafler, and Night of the Living Vidiots by Charlatan Ball’s (?) Andy Ristaino.

pg 252 has the Misadventures of Salem Hyde by Frank Cammuso, which is a cute book of a magical little girl and the cat who’s trying to train her. Sabrina meets Barnaby.

plus Reading With Pictures sounds like a cool collection of stuff (including a van Lente/Dunlavey story, and a Roger Langridge tale!)

pg 258 — Betty and Veronica 272 got resolicited, and it looks like even Archie can’t sustain the 2.99 cover price. It’s doomed, folks.

264 features All Crime 3 and Five Color Comics 2, both of which are pretty neat series.

pg 266 God is Dead Book of Acts Alpha features an Alan Moore story!!! Snake rape!

pg 274 Face Value with an Autistic superhero sounds interesting.

pg 282 has a Kang and Kodos special! Shazbot!

Hexed sounds decent, how was it? And I think I’ll go for Dead Letters, sounded like it got good reviews.

pg 290 has Suicide Risk TP 3. I gotta read v2 still, but v1 was excellent.

Man, Toppi looks neat.

Actually, Devilers from Dynamite is 2.99 as well (pg 318). But Terminal Hero sounds neat, as does the Captain Victory. Damn you Nevett!

Tricky how Dynamite didn’t solicit Doctor Spektor as a mini, just says 4 is last ish here on 323.

And with that I leave you for now.

tom fitzpatrick

June 4, 2014 at 3:32 am

Any chance that we can trade wait on T.P.? ;-)

Travis: Sheesh, you’re out of control.

I assume Resident Alien picks up right after Suicide Blond. There hasn’t to my knowledge been anything in between.

I did read Sabertooth Swordsman, and I don’t think I reviewed it here. Again, I assume this picks up right after it.

If you want to get into Hellboy, the Library Editions, as pricey as they are, are a great place to start. The Plague of Frogs trade is the place to begin with B.P.R.D., and you really don’t need to know too much about their Hellboy-related activities. It’s brought up occasionally, but recapped pretty well.

The Underground stuff by Vachss was kind of forgettable, unfortunately. I’d tell you what it was about, but I’ve forgotten! :) It was about gangs roaming around the sewer tunnels, and it didn’t really do anything for me.

Concrete Park was … okay. I’m sure it will read better in one shot, because it was all over the place. I seem to remember it ending on a weird cliffhanger, too, so perhaps more is coming, but it was a bit too ambitious for the length, as it felt like there was a lot left undone.

No comments on the Star Wars stuff. I only write about those when trades come out, and then only certain trades, and nothing really grabbed me this month.

I completely forgot to mention The Killing Joke bit in Batman ’66 #11. That was bizarre but kind of awesome.

I don’t know if the Gordon of Gotham trade is any good. I don’t own the issues, and I haven’t decided if I’m getting the trade. I know it has a pretty good reputation.

It’s been so long since I’ve read Arkham Asylum, I can’t remember if Ivy is in it. I could have sworn she was, but I don’t feel like going out to the (superhot) garage and finding out.

I think Shotgun Wedding was offered in trade last month. Wasn’t it? I thought I saw it. Maybe I didn’t. But I’ll probably wait for the trade on Genius too. Weird how long it took to actually come out.

The first series of Hexed was pretty good, made better by Rios’s art. But it came out in, what, 2008? So who knows what this series will be like – Nelson has gotten better in the interim, but I don’t know if Mora is as good as Rios was, even back then. The trade is fun to read, though.

Thanks, as always, for all the commentary. It just makes me want to get more stuff!!!!

Travis (and by extension, Greg, et al),

DH did put out an omnibus of the first 3 Blacksad books. I find them to be worth the money, regardless of the page count, but that’s just me, obviously.

The Gordon of Gotham stuff was Chuck Dixon at his Chuck Dixonist, if that makes any sense. Lots of hard-boiled detective stuff (at least as hard-boiled as DC was likely to get at the time), and it holds up well. As the late Don Thompson used to say, “if you like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you’ll like.”

Dave: Yeah, I own the Blacksad big volume – it’s the first time I had read it. I don’t remember the price, but I thought it was a bit better for being three volumes in one. I’m getting this latest volume, so obviously I think they’re worth it, but I do think the art is better than the writing, so if you’re more interested in story, they might be a bit much.

I haven’t read the Gordon of Gotham stuff, but I know what you mean about Dixon. I like that, so I might have to pick this up.

I’m not familiar with Yves H., the writer of Station 16 on page 42, but I dig Hermann, […] My biggest problem is, as usual, with the price

Well, I’d suggest waiting for reviews or sampling from a library, especially at this price. I love Hermann too (all 30+ he drew for Greg [that’s the writer’s name, like Hermann or Hergé] and all 40+ books he later wrote and drew alone) but you see, Yves Huppen is the offspring of Hermann Huppen: I’ve not read Station 16 because after 2 or 3 boring books plotted by the son and not redeemed by the father, I understood how it could be Hermann’s blind spot, and gave up on this tandem ten years ago. “Hermann, I am your son! Turn to the trite side, and join me!”

whenever something is described as “A meets B,” I die a little inside […] Jeepers, on page 64 we find Predator versus Judge Dredd versus Aliens for 30 bucks, which sounds like a good value

I didn’t say it, nobody heard me say it, you can’t prove anything, man!

I don’t mind that Dark Horse is offering the Action Philosophers! hardcover on page 69, because it’s a superb comic. I can even understand why there’s a new eight-page story.

Well, for the excellent STRAY BULLETS, David Lapham solicited some months ago the big ÜBER ALLES EDITION that added the ten-year-missing conclusion #41 — but he also solicited it as a separate issue for the readers who funded him all those years. (Lapham got $60 off my wallet, with more to come.)

Now, for the excellent ACTION PHILOSOPHERS, they solicit this big ÜBEREDITION that adds one more story, and five years ago they had already solicited a trade with a few more stories than all the issues I already owned — so I’m sure any day now they’re going to solicit a separate issue with all the bonuses from these two collections, right? (Meanwhile, I get to keep my money, and my self-respect.)

Holy crap, is that THE Multiversity […] Featuring what appears to be a grim-n-gritty Captain Carrot, because even G-Mozz cannot resist the DC Borg!

Hey, I hear that every Morrison book features a kiddie rape and I was wondering which creative child-molestation he’d invent this time: I guess Captain Carrot answers that and is about to get a new meaning for his moniker!

Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez are starting up Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland

I wonder whether that’s more bankrupt creatively or morally?

That moon is freaking me out!

That’s because the moon seems swiped from Al Columbia, while the kid seems swiped from Moebius: illustrative dissonance!

Displaced Persons gets solicited. It takes place in three different time periods – 1939, 1969, and 1999 – and somehow brings them together

Is it this month’s LOEG: CENTURY / ONE SOUL mashup? (Last month’s was Bodies #1.)

The Fuse gets a trade on page 213, if you’ve been waiting for the trade.

Well, actually no: I got #1 and found it meh, like a padded version of FELL in an ill-conceived future; but then, $10 on a first volume is a good idea for a series because now I’m giving series and writer both a second and last chance as a complete arc.

Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer, published by Liveright. I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever read anything by Feiffer

If you’ve not read his classic graphic story TANTRUM, it would make for good company while waiting for this hardcover to go soft on us.

I don’t think I did quite as good a job this month as I usually do

Well, you did a good one on the items you commented, I just think you left quite some change under the couch, Greg! Like:

— Abnett and Culbard’s DARK AGES #1 of 4 (p. 71 from Dark Horse) — hey look, the NEW DEADWARDIANS boys are at it again! Now, this could go well like ALIEN or wrong like ALIENS, and the writer boasting of “Kingdom of Heaven meets Starship Troopers” or “Medieval Die Hard” isn’t exactly reassuring… but I’m getting a #1 sampler and will keep an eye on reviews, towards an eventual softcover. This interview has one sample page at http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=52285

— Raina Telgemeier’s memoir SISTERS (p. 349 from Graphix) — the companion to her good and lighthearted “#1 New York Times bestselling and Eisner award-winning” memoir SMILE: A DENTAL DRAMA, and we get to choose hardcover or softcover on the spot.

— Liz Prince’s memoir TOMBOY (p. 351 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) — I dig Jeffrey Brown and John Porcellino, and I liked her previous book WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME IF I WET THE BED. This one’s nominally about gender stereotypes and growing up different, but I also see it being about individuality (there’s not a big diff between “all girls like skirts or dresses”, “all kids like sweets or chocolates”, “all blacks like jazz or rap”, they’re all Procustean beds). I found 4 sample pages and some pull quotes at http://zestbooks.net/tomboy/

— The short-story collection TWISTED DARK VOL. 1 by Neil Gibson (p. 380 from T Pub) — my understanding is that it’s twelve tales between Twilight Zone and Richard Matheson, independent but interlinked (à la Stray Bullets), written by the same guy and drawn by six artists: four similar volumes were released digitally, got good reviews from males and females both (relying on psychological thrills rather than clinical gore), became bestsellers at Amazon and Comixology, and the author is now confident enough to let us get a 200-page taste for $10.

Looking it up, I encountered reviews such as http://old.brokenfrontier.com/columns/p/detail/the-vault-of-horror-london-horror-comic-twisted-dark-and-something-wicked and http://www.ladiesoftheroundtable.net/neil-gibson-twisted-dark-graphic-novel/ plus no-spoiler synopses at http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/740640418 ; an interview at http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/02/28/catching-up-with-neil-gibson-and-his-twisted-dark-a-british-twilight-zone/ ; and it’s supposed to be readable for free at http://www.neilgibsoncomics.com/comics.htm and http://issuu.com/neilgibsoncomics/docs/twisted_dark_volume_1?e=0/5383126 (if you enable Javascript and Flash, disable some security options, and let the NSA watch your underwear, so instead I’ll sacrifice a tree on the altar of paranoid Ludditude and gamble a tenner on it already).

— Fred’s A PHILEMON ADVENTURE VOL. 1: CAST AWAY ON THE LETTER “A” (p. 383 from Toon Graphics) — the first volume (of 16 standalone; 1965-1987, 2013) of a classic masterpiece translated at last!

On the plus side: it’s like THE LITTLE PRINCE in being a true all-ages story with poetic and meaningful whimsy: a kid will enjoy the wild rides, a teen will peel away some layers of subtext, an adult will discern some wisdom. It’s like ALICE IN WONDERLAND in having the character fall down a hole and ending up in another world of absurdly consistent creatures, on an island that’s the first “A” of A T L A N T I C across its ocean. And it’s like LITTLE NEMO in exploring amazing and befuddling worlds, though Fred’s art can feel more strange or otherworldly.

On the minus side: this first volume is very good, but the excellent ones are next in the series; and it seems a bit priced to fail as a $17 hardcover for 48 pages (though it’s a 12-panel grid like Tintin, so you get the storytelling equivalent of 100 to 150 pages of “decompressed” comics). But I’m not saying “you must buy this album”: I just think it’s a great classic everyone should have read some volumes of, whether it’s from a bookstore or a library. (And disclaimer: I’m recommending something I don’t order, since I own the original series already.)

It’s a new imprint for older readers of Toon Books, they have a page (and praise from Lemony Snicket, Art Spiegelman, Jeff Smith, etc.) at http://www.toon-books.com/cast-away-on-the-letter-a-a-philemon-adventure.html plus ten sample pages at http://toon-books.com/slideshows/FRED/

— Last but not least, the completion of IKIGAMI: ULTIMATE LIMIT by Motorô Mase (p. 403 from Viz) — a griping and moving near-future manga series in 10 volumes (I’ve read them already) that’s been five years to translate to English. It’s constructed as 20 independent “episodes” of about 110 pages each (two per volume) also featuring a slow-burning overarching story where the few recurring characters evolve. And you’ll never really be sure how each story will turn out: as with Tezuka’s BLACKJACK, happy and sad endings don’t always come on cue.

Each volume “contains case studies of two young men who receive notice from the government that they are going to die in 24 hours”, so it could be compared to the shtick of early 100 BULLETS (all those stories about someone receiving irrefutable evidence of having been wronged plus an untraceable gun: “irrefutable” and “untraceable” aren’t the most believable concepts, but it was the setup for telling some interesting individual stories).

So the translation is now complete and they also relist volumes 1-3: I usually suggest to just start with volume 3 to sample the series, then backtrack if you liked it (which isn’t weirder than suggesting to start CEREBUS with HIGH SOCIETY or JAKA’S STORY). The cutthroat world of manga magazines has weekly or monthly reader polls where a new series can be swiftly voted off the island, so debuts tend to feature more violence and fan service: IKIGAMI crossed that hurdle smartly, but volume 1 alone still could give a wrong idea; volume 2 is much better, volume 3 very good.

There’s been an appreciation of vol. 1-3 at http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2009/04/14/danielle-leighs-reading-diary-ikigami-the-ultimate-limit-vol-1/ http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2009/08/11/danielle-leighs-reading-diary-ikigami-the-ultimate-limit-vol-2/ http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2009/12/01/danielle-leighs-reading-diary-viz-sig-releases/ ; and synopses for 1-3 at http://comicsworthreading.com/2009/11/23/ikigami-the-ultimate-limit-books-1-3/ along a less positive review being ultimately unsatisfied by the dystopian premise (though I think that’s rather misunderstanding the workings of the Asian policed cultures that produced such “unbelievable” notions as the seppuku and kamikaze, the domesticated Untouchable cast, or the uncanny kingdom of Nork; besides, compared to Nazi Germany’s lobster pot decade, the book’s premise seems almost tame).

P.S.: “Ikigami” means “Death Notice”, but you understand how litigiousness could bar such translation.

Simon: Thanks for the warning about Yves H. I’ll have to ponder what to do about it!

I saw Fred van Lente this past weekend, and he told me the new Action Philosophers story will be included in an upcoming issue of Dark Horse Presents. If you don’t get that regularly, you can still pick up that issue, which at $4.99 will be better than plunking down the coin for the entire hardcover just for that story.

I don’t mind if we get new Little Nemo. I don’t know the ownership issues, but if it’s in the public domain, it’s fair game, and if it’s not, as long as whoever owns it is getting a nice cut, it’s fine. I don’t know how good it will be, but I don’t have a problem with its existence.

Displaced Persons has been in the pipeline for several years, so it might actually predate Century and One Soul, depending on when those got started. That’s how long it took McCulloch to find an artist to replace the previous one!

Very cool recommendations this month. I always like how you provide links to stuff so I can check up on them. Thanks!

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