Posts

Showing posts from June, 2006

In Passing...Blue Beetle to X-Factor

Image
Another week with plenty of floppies...

New Avengers #21 - This issue kicks off the "New Avengers: Disassembled" arc, a Civil War tie-in. Howard Chaykin takes over pencil duties as Captain America attempts to put together a team to resist the government's Superhero Registration Act. The team as we know it is obviously at odds with one another, with Iron Man and Spidey conforming, and Cap not. Perhaps we'll see a new team altogether at the end of this arc, led by Captain America? The renegade superheros? Well, we'll have to wait and see. This issue was awesome though, focusing pretty exclusively on Cap. In the next issue, Luke Cage is the star attraction. I think it's kind of a fun idea to go through all of the characters in this book... A

X-Factor #8 - The other Civil War tie-in I got this week guest-starred Quicksilver as well as Spider-Man, both of whom had pretty small roles. The next issue seems to be pretty Quicksilver-heavy, if the end of this issue is a…

Previews: September 2006

Image
Cartoon Books:
Bone One Volume Edition SC - The complete Bone gets a new printing, for those of you who missed it the first time around. Only $40 for the whole saga! Buy it if you haven't already.

DC Comics:
I took a look at DC solicitations separately.

Fantagraphics Books:
Popeye (Volume 1): I Yam What I Yam HC - The next comic strip series to be collected by Fantagraphics is E.C. Segar's classic Popeye. It's been collected before, but not since the new trend of comic strip collections. Patrick only got his hands on one volume of the past editions, and loved it, so we're excited about this. Volume one will collect material from 1928 through 1930.

Mome (Volume 5) GN - The last one just came out, but this anthology is always a treat.

Shadowland GN - And here's a new graphic novel from Kim Deitch! It sounds weird but really cool.

Tales Designed To Thrizzle #3 - The hilarious comic from the mind of Michael Kupperman has left a huge impression on Patrick. I don't get much …

Superman Returns Triumphant!

Image
I'm not a big Superman fan. Never have been. I just find the guy dull, especially in light of other more complex superheroes out there presently. But man, I loved Superman Returns. Sure, he doesn't have the most exciting powers, but this story has heart. It focuses on his relationship with Lois and dealing with the fact that she's moved on since his absence. Lois Lane, for the record, is awesome in this movie. She's an extremely capable woman and Brian Singer reminds us all over again why we love her. And he does something similar with Superman. Clark Kent's kind of a non-entity in this film, but Superman is someone that I really liked, boring powers and all. I think the fact that Superman returned from a five year absence and had to earn the respect of the populace all over again made him vulnerable, especially given Lois needed said convincing as well. It was an interesting situation to see Superman in, and it made his character maybe seem a little more h…

My 15 Favorite Video Games

Image
Video games were a huge part of my youth. I remember opening my Super Nintendo on Christmas one year (or rather me AND my brother's Super NES) and being blown away because I wasn't expecting it. Needless to say, I didn't go outside much for the rest of that Winter Break. The following is a list of my favorite video games of all time, most of which...or rather, all of which, pre-date the Playstation 2 and Gamecube. What can I say? I have a fondness for the less flashy.

1. Final Fantasy II - The second installment of the ironically-titled Final Fantasy franchise released in the U.S. was actually Final Fantasy IV in Japan, but the previous sequels didn't make the cut to be released to American audiences (until collected on the Playstation years later). This is a turn-based RPG with a quality story and monsters that required real strategy to defeat. My problem with the later Final Fantasy games, beginning with the mega-seller Final Fantasy VII, is that they sacrifice story …

In Stores 6/28

Image
Here are the highlights of the week...full list at Diamond.

Polly & the Pirates #6 (of 6) - The final issue of Ted Naifeh's wonderful tale of a prim and proper young lady pulled into a life of piracy comes out on Wednesday! The collection can't be too far behind, but for those of you who've been following the series in floppies like I have, a treat to the series' conclusion!

Eternals by Jack Kirby HC - Collecting the entire run of Jack Kirby's Eternals, this hefty book goes for $75, and brings another classic by Jack Kirby back into print.

Oz: The Manga (Volume 1) - The wonderful world of Oz gets the manga treatment, and when you think about it, Oz is damn weird and...manga may be a perfect fit.

Dragon Head (Volume 3) - The next installment of the awesome survivalist tale makes its way to comic stores! If you like Death Note, this is on the same level of suspense and quality.

Lady Snowblood (Volume 4): Retribution Part 2 TP - The Kill Bill-inspiring manga by Kazuo…

Kitty Pryde Post

Mike Sterling did a post on all things Kitty Pryde, including links to fan fiction, discussions on the character, quotes from Joss Whedon, interviews with Ellen Page and more! Go check it out!

Death Note Volume 6

Image
Volume six of the ever-popular Death Note offers what we come to expect from the title: quality story-telling and smart, fast-paced action. This book brings events from the previous volume to a head, with some very exciting moments in terms of both plot and character development. I know it's been said that with the fifth volume, the authors kind of wrote themselves into a corner and everything changed. However, the way things were set up by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, things can return to how they were previously, and it seems that that's the most likely thing to happen in coming volumes. While the tone of the series did shift with the major event from the last book, the quality has been consistent nonetheless and the world created is as fascinating as ever, even with the shift in perspective. I wish I was as excited about other comics I read as I am about this one, particularly other genre books like superhero titles, but really, Death Note is a step ahead of most offeri…

A Few Tidbits

A few items of interest were uncovered by Patrick on some down-time at work...

Tom Spurgeon, of The Comics Reporter and editor of The Comics Journal Library, is publishing a book called John Romita: Generations this November from Dynamite Entertainment.
The Description, as provided by Amazon: While Steve Ditko and Stan Lee may have created Spider-Man, it was John Romita Sr. who defined him... Romita brought his clean, romantic style of illustration to the book. And his story is fully explored by writer Tom Spurgeon! From his days before Marvel, through the Silver Age and his days designing and creating the characters we know and love still today (including Wolverine, The Punisher and many, many more), Romita: Generations covers it all. Also available in a hardcover edition (1-933305-28-2, $29.99) (Paperback edition 1-933305-27-4, $19.99)

Also, the first volume of Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys will be available on October 3rd!

Eternals #1

Image
The new six issue mini-series Eternals kicked off this week, from the minds of Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr. And although steeped in a history that I am completely unfamiliar with, this issue did a great job of introducing the concept of the alien race and porpelling an interesting story forward. Basically, the Eternals, an immortal race who've shaped the course of humanity, have been brainwashed by a group they've been at odds with since the beginning of their races, when they were both created by the galactic beings known as The Celestials. This race that they are at odds with are the Deviants, a despicable species who once enslaved humanity. And once some Deviant agents have discovered that one of the Eternals has gained some insight into his true origins and is trying to awaken it in others, they do their best to remove that individual from the scenario. It sounds a little complicated, but the characters are very recognizable and the main conflict is told through tw…

Gargoyles #1

Image
Slave Labor Graphics has launched a new comic book series based on Disney's hit cartoon Gargoyles. The series, written by the creator of Gargoyles, Greg Weisman himself, takes place following the second season of the cartoon, but dismisses The Goliath Chronicles, which he doesn't consider cannon as these comics intend to be, as he did not work on that season. Art on the book is provided by David Hedgecock, Will Terrell, Greg Guler and Stephanie Lostimolo, Guler being the man who actually originally designed many of the characters that appear in the Gargoyles universe. Gargoyles is really a cartoon that stands up years later if you watch the DVDs (the second half of the second season is not available yet, nor are The Goliath Chronicles, but with any luck this comic may spurn a demand for at least the rest of the second season to become available), and the series has quite a fan base, with conventions and costume contests and the like dedicated exclusively for it. It's reall…

In Passing...Manhunter to New Avengers

Image
Quite a week for floppies: Astonishing X-Men, All-Star Superman, New Avengers, Manhunter...and I'll have reviews of Gargoyles and Eternals later in the week.

Manhunter #23 - This is a great title. Really. It's life has been extended a little, but people, come on, pick up the damn book and give it a chance. In this issue, Chase fights for her life against a knife-wielding maniac and Kate Spencer kinds out a little more about her family ties. A-

All-Star Superman #4 - I personally think that Superman is just a boring character, but the All-Star series, I like. This issue's the Jimmy Olsen issue. If you've read Showcase Presents Superman Family lately, you'll probably find that this has a lot in common with those cheesy Jimmy Olsen stories from the 70's. Out there and whacky. But Grant Morrison isn't so highly-revered for nothing. There are some really cool moments, including a new kryptonite and a really neat take on the crappy Death of Superman comic that pits…

Astonishing X-Men #15

Image
Contains spoilers! The first perfect issue of a comic book this year. Joss Whedon...okay, I've said this before, but he is just a master storyteller. It's The Hellfire Club vs. The X-Men in this issue, with some of the best fights, moments and dialogue of the series thus far. The opening scene was four panels of Emma Frost with the same expression on her face, and it conveyed a different emotion with each panel, and I felt each of them in turn. I mean, that's just genius. Then it's Cassandra Nova vs. The Beast and Wolverine, with Wolverine acting like a little girl, scared of the "moose." It was hilarious. I love what Cassandra Nova says about the situation later: "My two were simplicity itself. A beast who thought he was a man...and a frightened little boy who fancied himself a beast." The scene with Hisako and Blindfold was just as exciting as the ones with the X-Men battling the villains. Whedon has already made me care a lot for the secondary ch…

Nightwolf #0

Nightwolf #0 is a prequel to a mini-series coming from Devil's Due Publishing next month called Nightwolf: The Price. I thought that the covers and solicitations were interesting, so I wanted to check it out. Little did I know that I would get a sneak preview into the world of Nightwolf a month early at a mere 99 cents.

Now, Nightwolf is written by Stephen L. Antczak with art by Nick Marinkovich, and the talent of the latter I think far outdoes the former. The story here is muddled and murky. As a reader, I had to do a lot more work than I should have for a straight-forward genre work. I didn't get that there was a family curse involved or anything from the work itself, but from things I read about it. That being said though, the art is really something. I don't know who Marinkovich is, but he's the perfect artist for a book like this. It's really the quality you'd expect to see coming from IDW nowadays, with moody, realistic pencils. The opening panel…

Marvel Solicits: September '06

Image
Hot on the heels of DC, Marvel has released their solicitations of books shipping in September. Here are my highlights (full list at Comic Book Resources).

Ultimate Spider-Man #100 - The ultimate version of Spidey reaches his 100th issue. This a great series and I'm glad to see Bendis and Bagley reach this milestone on the series.

Blade #1 - I distinctly remember Joe Quesada saying that horror didn't work in comics (after a failed Blade mini-series had concluded) at a convention when asked of any Blade books in the works (an outlook that I completely disagree with). I guess a new hit TV series is enough to change his mind anyway...

Union Jack #1 (of 4) - The British superhero comes back for a four issue stint. Art by Mike Perkins.

Captain America #22 - I don't read Captain America anymore, but I may come back to it for the Civil War tie-in. It focuses on Agent 13 in SHIELD, and I thought that the SHIELD stuff was what really worked in the first issue of Civil War. Could be coo…

DC Solicits: September '06

Image
The DC solicitations are up for books shipping in September. The full list is up at Comic Book Resources. Here are the highlights...

All-Star Superman #6 - This book's always a treat, and I love that cover.

Absolute DC: The New Frontier HC - If you really, really loved Darwyn Cooke's series, you can now pay DC $75 for a nice hardcover... I'm sure there are plenty of extras and all, but there's no way I'm paying that when two little trades are out there for $30. Anyways, this is not actually on sale until October.

Showcase Presents The Phantom Stranger (Volume 1) - Yeah, I don't know much about the DC Universe, so I have no idea who this is, but the Showcase collections are great. This is also an advance solicitation, available in October.

Krypto the Superdog #1 - Krypto makes the leap from his cartoon series to a new all-ages book!

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier HC - Here it is! Alan Moore's last work for DC is an original graphic novel…

In Stores 6/21

Image
Here's a highlight of books coming to comic stores this Wednesday (a full list of Diamond's books shipping can be found here)

Gargoyles #1 - Slave Labor Graphics are releasing a comic book series that follows the Gargoyles from the beloved Disney television cartoon series as they continue their adventures past the second season (ignoring the Goliath Chronicles debacle), with the original creative team behind the helm. Should be awesome - the cartoon really stands up well.

Eternals #1 (of 6) - A new mini-series from Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr. begins, examining the mysterious alien race.

Showcase Presents Superman (Volume 2) - A second volume of that series that Patrick just couldn't get enough of...

Champions Classic (Volume 1) - Another series comes out from Marvel's "Classic" line of graphic novel reprints, this one featuring talent from the likes of Tony Isabella and Chris Clairmont as they bring together the Champions in the 70's: Black Widow, Hercule…

In Passing...Civil War to Superf*ckers

Image
I had the flu this weekend on top of working full days, so I unfortunately had little time to read comics until this evening. But, it's all behind me now and I'm caught up on the floppies, and am able to eat solid food again. It's funny how Saltines taste so good when it's the only thing you can keep down...

Superf*ckers #277 - The third issue of James Kochalka's wild superhero romp is great, full of blood, cursing, drugs, mutant cancers and a load of rip-roaring offensive material. Beyond all of this is a refreshing take on superheroes and warnings on the dangers of holding onto the past (which isn't exactly suggested in a subtle way, but is an appropriate place for commentary on superhero comics in general and their fellowship). This is an extremely funny book. Although I didn't think it was as good as its predecessors, it's still one of the best comics coming out. And there's a cute picture on the inside cover of James with his son Eli making fa…

Art Out of Time: Part Five

The fifth and final chapter of Dan Nadel's Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries 1900-1969 is "Form and Style," where the six cartoonists worked with their medium to push the designs of their pages and charaters to make those elements as much a part of the comic as anything else contained within.

Charles Forbell was constantly experimenting with the layout of his Naughty Pete strip, even though the strip always contained the same formula: the father of Pete tells the child not to do something or other, whereupon little Pete will do just that. Things will, of course, go wrong, and the last sentence of every page is of Pete saying "I guess Pop was right." Very basic, but each page is beautifully designed.

I didn't really get the appeal of T.E. Powers Joys and Glooms. It was very bizarre, with these little imps appearing in the panels to portray whether certain characters felt joy or gloom (or another random emotion like worries or delight). The strip …

Death Note (4 & 5)

Image
I love Death Note. If not for Nana, it would be my favorite manga that I'm reading. I hear that volume six has come out, but I have yet to see it, so for all intents and purposes, I am caught up on the series. Oh, and there are a few minor spoilers ahead, so if you've procrastinated like I have, you may want to hold off on continuing until you're caught up as well. In volume four of the series, we are introduced to Misa Amane, the second Kira, who we got a glimpse of at the end of the third volume, but finally have a personality to attach to her. It's really cool to hear the motivations behind the people who are in possession of the death notes, and their intentions and philosophies. They're all varied. The fifth volume has yet another Kira who takes a completely different approach to the whole thing, one more adult-oriented and selfish, but very probable. And what I find extremely exciting about the series is that the concept of the death note is a tool that can b…

Shojo Beat: July '06

Shojo Beat celebrates its one year anniversary this month with a new title, Vampire Knight, taking over the spot left from Godchild's departure. Also, as advertised, the magazine is a full 235 color pages. Don't get too excited though. Their definition of color is printing the black inkwork in blue and pink, alternating by story. Nice and misleading, and at first, quite distracting, but I got over it. The first story I read, Vampire Knight, was the worst. It's kind of a strain to read a story in bright pink. My favorites, Absolute Boyfriend and Nana, were saved from that fate however, and appeared in a less obnoxious blue. Still, I say nay to this sort of format in the future. It does nothing to serve the art and at the very least, slightly hinders it.

Okay, I'm officially over it now. So moving on...Vampire Knight. Much better than Godchild. It's in the same vain - all gothic and supernatural with hot vampires and the like, but good. I could see myself…

In Stores 6/14

Image
Me and Patrick celebrated our sixth year anniversary today! We went to the zoo and ate out at a nice restaurant, and of course stopped by the local Barnes & Noble and picked up some manga. I got Veronica Mars Season One on DVD too!

And in comic shops tomorrow...

Megan Kelso's The Squirrel Mother Stories looks like a good read. It's a collection of her short stories on real-life dilemmas and situations. I really like Kelso's cartooning and hey, cute squirrels must be involved at some point.

Umbra #1 (of 3) - The new Image mini-series follows a police forensics technician in Iceland with some problems (anxiety, drinking...) and "her discovery of a very strange skeleton sets in motion a series of violent and tragic events. And then things get weird." I'll be there.

The new issue of Shojo Beat is in bookstores already, featuring a new manga: Vampire Knight. It's the anniversary issue, so it promises lots of goodies! Another milestone this week: Fables reaches…

Abadazad: The Dream Thief

Image
Book two of the irresistible Abadazad series from J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Ploog finally delves into material not seen in comic form when the initial three issues were launched by Crossgen years ago. Released simultaneously with book one (The Road To Inconceivable), The Dream Thief is part comic, part prose children's book. The angry protagonist Kate gets pulled further into the strange world of Abadazad under the care of Little Martha and Queen Ija, with appearances by some new whacky characters that are different to Kate than the Abadazad books published in her world. That's right. Abadazad, if you're unaware, is a successful series of children's books published in Kate's world by Arthur N. Pierson, who takes some creative liberties when adapting the stories related to him by Little Martha after she leaves Abadazad to grow up in the real world. One major change is that he makes Little Martha (the star of those stories) a white girl when she's really blac…

Comics-and-More Turns One!

It's Comics-and-More's one year anniversary! That's 281 posts, from a brief welcome and 100 things I love about comics (which would probably look a lot different a year later) to a letter from Renee French. I'd like to thank you all for supporting my blog and I hope to make this coming year even better. Below I've listed links to twenty of my favorite posts (in a very rough order). Enjoy!

1. 50 Greatest Comic Characters

2. My Most Important Comics

3. Excalibur

4. Top 10 Comics of 2005

5. 5 CDs You Should Know About

6. 5 More CDs You Should Know About

7. Girls: Emergence

8. Hippolyte's Dracula, Book I

9. Ten Books To Read For Halloween #1

10. On-Line Comic Retailers

11. Mora

12. In the Meantime

13. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer

14. Toys

15. My 5 Favorite Novels of All Time

16. X-Men: The Last Stand

17. Civil War #1

18. Peculia

19. Mouse Guard #2

20. Astonishing X-Men #14

Follow-up on The Ticking

Renee French e-mailed me the other day about The Tickingreview on Comics-and-More and had some cool things to say about the handwriting:

"I have to say thank you for the nice stuff you said about my drawings AND my handwriting. Nobody has ever mentioned that before. The handwriting stuff. I've always been sort of self conscious of my handwriting not having that comics style that so many cartoonists have. Always thought I was too sloppy. In this case, just so you know, just because you noticed it, not that it's that interesting...

The handwriting, the script, I did by just writing backwards. Then I reversed it by writing on the back of the paper with my darker pencil using a lightbox. Seems completely insane but it felt more like drawing the words than writing them and I liked the way it looked. The printing, both Edison's and the all caps stuff were done, written upside down. Didn't have to do any lightbox with that, just turn it right side up."

I really like cr…

Art Out Of Time: Part Four

The fourth section of Art Out Of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries 1900-1969 (edited by Dan Nadel) is "Words in Pictures," focusing more on strips that excelled with their plots, dialogue and wordplay.

I really enjoyed the adventure/comedy strip from Boody Rogers entitled Sparky Watts in this section. It follows the title character, who shrinks unless he gets a dose of cosmic rays every once in awhile. Here, he doesn't get them in time, and he goes on a little adventure ala Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, but crazier. Featuring a really cute monkey and plenty of wacky bugs. And it's a quick read, which I appreciate sometimes.

Harry J. Tuthill's The Bungle Family really surprised me. I wasn't expecting much from it, but I really loved it. It's very much a slice-of-life strip. One page will be about imagining a bug brushing against you in the dark at night, but you don't see it when the lights are ablaze, another about trying to meet up with your partner when C…

Monster Volume 3

Image
Naoki Urasawa'a Monster has steadily gotten better with each installment of the series. The manga features Dr. Tenma, a brilliant surgeon on the run from authorities after he became the lead suspect in a serial murder case. Dr. Tenma is determined to track down the real killer. Each volume of the series actually feels like a chapter of a book, with a beginning, middle and end. Like a season of a television series, with an overarcing theme. In the latest volume, Dr. Tenma learns more about the killer's past as he visits East Berlin where the orphanages were scenes of true horror. One orphanage in particular, 511 Kinderheim, has a tragic past that the people Dr. Tenma interviews are less than happy to divulge details about. It's all very impressive, the mystery, the action, the drama. I think this latest volume really goes that extra mile to prove that Naoki Urasawa has earned his title as Japan's Master of Suspense. Although I hear 20th Century Boys and Pluto, later wor…

Civil War: Front Line #1

Image
And from the pages of Marvel's big summer crossover event Civil War comes...moreCivil War. Civil War: Front Line is the rest of the crap that didn't make it into the main mini-series. It's the leftovers. Think Generation M. Think The Pulse picking up plot threads from Secret War and House of M. If you really can't get enough of Marvel crossovers, you really can't ask for more. So, with this new ten issue (!) series, we get well, Ben Urich playing the investigator on the events of Civil War ala The Pulse (for the right wing), while alcoholic Journalist Sally from the recent Generation M mini-series reports for the left wing on the consequences of the Superhuman Registration Act. And there are guest appearances by the likes of Spider-Man and Iron Man, with superheroes revealing their identities and costumes giving up their reasons for staying anonymous. There are back-up stories for the rest of the crap that isn't covered in the main story, like of the only surv…

Art Out Of Time: Part Three

Continuing to offer my thoughts on Dan Nadel's Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries 1900-1969, I move on from the "Slapstick" section to "Acts of Drawing."

The first offering in this section is Charles M. Payne. His S'Matter, Pop follows a father who's besieged by these children prone to violence, accidents, etc. It was a pretty classic example of comics strips, nothing too exciting.

I did enjoy Fletcher Hanks' Stardust, The Super Wizard. Hanks' drawing style is really vibrant and just cool, with some really fun stories and superhero antics, unafraid of going over-the-top with silly powers and illustrating planets devestated by death.

White Boy by Garrett Price got plenty of page space. Eighteen strips was a little overkill, in my opinion, but I did enjoy them. And to be fair, it does take a few to get the appeal of the adventure strip among an Indian tribe and wildlife aplenty. Its naivety drew comparions to the childrens' prose series

In Stores 6/7

Image
Some books of interest appearing on the shelves of comic shops across the country this Wednesday...

Arf Museum softcover - An anthology from Fantagraphics (edited by Craig Yoe) examining where fine art and comics meet. Appearing in this volume are ten unpublished paintings of Richard Felton Outcaults's The Yellow Kid, as well as a look at Picasso's "secret comics past" among other things. Should be really interesting.

Embroideries softcover - Marjane Satrapi's sketchier follow-up to Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood and Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return will be available in softcover for the first time.

Nana (volume 3) TP - The third installment of what I consider to be the best manga out there, comes to comic stores in case you haven't been following it in Shojo Beat (or just want the trades in addition, like me).

Manifest Eternity #1 - From Wildstorm/DC, this new sci/fi series, about a century-spanning intergalactic war, will examine the battle between two…

Art Out Of Time: Part Two

Following up on my first entry on Dan Nadel's Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionsaries 1900-1969, I will move on from the "Exercises In Exploration" section of creators to "Slapstick."

Now Vaudeville-like humor like from Milt Gross' work really isn't my thing. I think his Nize Baby is drawn well, but it kind of bugged me, especially the thick dialect. His Pete the Pooch (from Milt Gross Funnies #2) was a little better. The panels were bigger and it was a quick read, although the characters were still really obnoxious. It was kind of strange to see six panels from Nize Baby (from page 66) recycled and used again exactly in Pete the Pooch (pages 76-77). It was kind of a bizarre scene in the first place, so I don't know why he thought it needed repeating.

Stan Mac Govern's Silly Milly was a little better. His work was displayed in several short strips. They were kind of hit and miss, but overall, I enjoyed them more than Milt Gross' work.

Now …

Abadazad: The Road To Inconceivable

Image
My favorite title from a company I had a lot of affection for (Crossgen) has been reborn in the form of a comic/prose hybrid from Hyperion Books. Abadazad: The Road To Inconceivable, by J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Ploog, is the first book in the series of Abadazad books for young readers. This first volume contains story from the first two issues of the comic. Much of the illustration has been done away with in favor of the sarcastic, angry prose of ten-year-old Kate, which was a part of the Abadazad comic in the first place, so it doesn't hurt the story at all. It stays pretty true to the feel of the original work. There's just a lot more prose. The story thus far has been flushed out by the creators, but nothing that conflicts with what has been told. It's all pretty much the same Abadazad many know and love, just formatted a little differently. Abadazad is a very imaginative world, featuring some colorful characters, and the pictures that we need to see are shown here. We

Harvey Awards

It's Harvey Award time again, so I'll just offer up some thoughts on the nominees...

BEST WRITER
Brian Michael Bendis NEW AVENGERS Marvel Comics
Ed Brubaker CAPTAIN AMERICA Marvel Comics
Joshua Hale Fialkov ELK'S RUN Hoarse and Buggy Productions/Speakeasy Comics
Mike Mignola BPRD Dark Horse Comics
Alex Robinson TRICKED Top Shelf

I wish I'd gotten my hands on Elk's Run, but it never appeared on the shelves of my comic store (not even the Bumper Edition). But I'm glad that they're not just ignoring the Speakeasy books just because they went under. I didn't read Tricked either, so I would go with Brian Michael Bendis among the remaining. New Avengers is a really underrated book. It's one of the best superhero comics currently. Plus, there's the excellent Ultimate Spider-Man by the man too.

BEST ARTIST
Frank Cho SHANNA, THE SHE-DEVIL Marvel Comics
David Finch NEW AVENGERS Marvel Comics
Eduardo Risso 100 BULLETS DC/Vertigo
Noel Tuazon ELK&#…

In Passing...Mouse Guard to Runaways

Image
A smaller week when it came to floppies, but it was all good stuff...

Mouse Guard #3 - David Petersen's all-ages book continues with the "Rise of the Axe" chapter, where the villain of the tale makes a move. Beautiful as ever, this colorful, enchanting book is one of the best of the year. I'm sad that it's already half over. Hopefully there'll be more on the way once the mini-series is completed... A

Ultimate Spider-man #95 - Part one of the "Morbius" storyline introduces us to the world of vampires in Spidey's world. Meanwhile, Peter and MJ have a little talk in wake of the Krakoa Island incident. B

Runaways #16 - The runaways try to deal with the issues that ended in Molly's abduction last issue. Tensions run high between them in light of the hurtful things said. And there's a nice ending to the issue that made me happy. I wasn't sure how much I would like Victor on the team, but I really enjoy his interaction with the others…

Art Out Of Time: Part One

Image
Dan Nadel's Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries 1900-1969 takes 29 unsung figures from comics and features their work, briefly putting them into context in comics history. The book is broken up into five categories: Exercises In Exploration, Slapstick, Acts of Drawing, Words In Pictures, and Form and Style. I will be commenting on my impressions from each of these sections separately, beginning with this entry and "Exercise In Exploration," in which the artists explore different worlds (internally and externally).

The book begins with Harry Grant Dart's The Explorigator, which draws comparisons to Winsor McCay's Little Nemo In Slumberland. A gaggle of children explore various lands and wackiness ensues. And like Little Nemo In Slumberland, it suffers in reproduction because it was really meant to be oversized. Here you have to strain to read the word balloons, not really allowing you to experience the art with the story as it was meant to be. I certain…