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Showing posts from 2007

Manga Monday: Reptilia

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Kazuo Umezu

IDW Publishing ventures into manga territory with this horror title from Kazuo Umezu (The Drifting Classroom), reprinted in English over forty years after its initial run in Japan. Sporting a dazzling cover by Ashley Wood, I think that Reptilia was a pretty appropriate choice for IDW, as they were put on the map by 30 Days of Night and have been kind of the go-to company for horror books. With the Doomed anthology and translations of the popular European vampire series Dampyr under their belt, it was only a matter of time before they dipped into the well of Japanese horror, and this one is from "The Father of Horror Manga" himself, Kazuo Umezu.
Reptilia collects three stories that follow a half-human, half-snake woman who terrorizes little girls in various quests for revenge or food. It's really creepy seeing the snake woman creeping over the ground, particularly in the final story actually entitled "Reptilia" that takes up the bulk of this collection…

Five Worst Comics of 2007

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2007 was another great year in comics. That being said, there were some pretty terrible books to rear their heads this year. Now, I haven't subjected myself to a lot of stuff that's potentially worse than those listed below, but these are the worst comics that I read this year...

1. Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time
Tohko Mizuno

The first volume hasn't even hit stands yet, but this watered-down Fushugi Yugi: The Mysterious Play wannabe title has set roots in Shojo Beat, destroying our souls one chapter at a time. An excerpt of my review of chapter one: "It's impossible to follow what's going on: things happen too quickly and the panel arrangements don't give you any sense of what's happening or where the characters are. The only saving grace is that the dialogue fills in a lot of the gaps, so you're not completely lost. But it's not really fun to read the comic when I have to constantly read about what the action is supposed to be conveying. It wo…

Picks of the Week: 12/28

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Sifting out the books shipping to comic shops with the most potential... Remember, books come out on Friday this week and next week!

Dave's Pick:

Queen & Country Definitive Edition (Volume 1) - The definitive collection of Greg Rucka's acclaimed Queen & Country secret agent series comes out this week, collecting the first three volumes of the original collections (or twelve issues). I'll probably have a renewed interest in the series with Rucka's other Oni Press work, Whiteout, being released on the silver screen soon.

Patrick's Pick:

The Acme Novelty Library Vol. 18 - I would say that the latest installment of Chris Ware’s now annual series of self-published comic books/graphic novels is worthy of “Pick of the Week” status, wouldn’t you? Dave read and enjoyed it. I’ve not yet had the pleasure.

The Acme Novelty Library #18

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Chris Ware

The latest installment of Chris Ware's The Acme Novelty Library is always something to look forward to. The previous two installments collected strips from Rusty Brown, which were pretty fantastic. This one I wasn't so sure about before I read it, as it collects part of Ware's Building Stories strips, which I've heard aren't as good as other works from the creator, and the small tastes of the strip that were published in the back of the previous The Acme Novelty Library collections didn't exactly grab me (parts of the strip were also recently serialized in The New Yorker). However, Ware has wowed me once again with his latest collection. There was a lot to love in The Acme Novelty Library 18, and I think it's absolutely on par with his other works. I may even have a little more fondness for this than the Rusty Brown strips. This particular volume, bound in a beautiful, simple hardcover, follows a woman's lonely life as she struggles with depre…

Notes For a War Story

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Gipi

Notes For a War Story recounts the lives of three young men in a war zone who do what they must to survive, avoiding snipers and stealing car parts to exchange for food. The three boys (Giuliano, Christian and Little Killer) soon encounter a man named Felix who has them do odd jobs, collecting debts and selling drugs, to help them earn more money than they could ask for. Unfortunately, this new way of life causes tension between them and before long, they find themselves in over their heads.

I really enjoyed Note For a War Story. It’s a bleak tale offered through a cold world, but it’s quite compelling with interesting characters, with a great dynamic among them, and a story that sweeps readers up in the goings-on just as the trio of boys are swept along in events that they understand little about. The grim story, complimented by the great black and white art, ends on just the right note and is a tight tale when all is said and done, with no overexplaining or sidetracking from the…

Town Boy

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Lat

In Lat’s Town Boy, we see Mat, from Kampung Boy, as he grows into adolescence and moves to town with his father. The bustling Malaysian town is a far cry from the small village he grew up in, and before long, Mat makes some friends and is discovering girls. While most of this book centers around Mat’s education, it’s still a lot of fun, and is as charming as fans of Kampung Boy will remember. I felt that there was a bit more to Kampung Boy, a lot about the villagers and Mat’s life in general that gave readers more of a feel of who Mat was, a feeling that seems somewhat absent here, or at least scaled back. It is also a brisk read in comparison to the first book, though Kampung Boy was a pretty short work itself. Perhaps what I miss about Kampung Boy is how Mat used to always get in trouble and cause an uproar. Here, with age, he’s much more subdued, less wild, more concerned with image. Though he gets into some mischief and has other interesting adventures and moments, I prefer the…

Abadazad (Book 3):

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The Puppet, the Professor and the Prophet
J.M. DeMatteis & Mike Ploog
I was a huge fan of the Abadazad books when the floppies were being released by Crossgen years ago. The transition to children’s books, with less of a focus on the comic aspect of the series, really changed the title, and in the end, it didn’t work as well, and after two volumes, the new editions from Hyperion/Disney have been canceled, a third book published overseas didn’t even make it to the states. Anyone with any interest left in the series at this point can still purchase the book from Amazon UK, but don’t expect to see this material on the shelves state-side, at least not in this form. This particular book, The Puppet, The Professor and The Prophet, follows Kate as she navigates through Abadazad, picking up new traveling acquaintances on her quest to free her kidnapped brother from The Lanky Man, including Professor Headstrong (a big smart head who loves to hear himself talk), Mary Annette (a living marione…

Picks of the Week: 12/18

The most promising new releases, shipping to comic stores this Wednesday the 19th, are...

Dave's Pick:

Robotika: For A Few Rubles More #1 - Kind of a light week. Quite a bit of manga is coming out (the latest volumes of Golgo 13 and The Drifting Classroom, etc), but I'm most excited about the sequel to last year's Robotika, the first issue of which I already reviewed here. Also coming out from Archaia Studios Press is the first issue of The Long Count.

Patrick's Pick:

Angel: After the Fall #2 - I really enjoyed the first issue.

Manga Monday: The Guin Saga Manga:

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The Seven Magi (Volume 1)
Kazuaki Yanagisawa & Kaoru Kurimoto

Vertical has been releasing some fantastic manga from Osama Tezuka and Keiko Takemiya, so I had to check out this new manga release from the publisher. The Guin Saga is a very successful series of fantasy prose novels, totaling over a hundred books in Japan. This manga is the first of three volumes adapted from one of the many side stories from that universe. The story features a leopard-headed king whose kingdom has suddenly been struck with plague. Throwing himself head-first into danger, King Guin meets some new companions as he braves the dark magic of the ominous Talidd’s Alley: a pimp who searches for a cure to the plague to save his star girl, and a sorceress’ naïve dancing girl. Together, the three confront magic and beast alike in their quest to rid the kingdom of the horrible disease. Beautiful art and fun ideas aside, this book left me a little cold. It may be that I’m simply not much of a straight-forward fa…

Elk's Run

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Joshua Hale Fialkov & Noel Tuazon

A collection of Elk's Run, the acclaimed comic that was originally serialized by Speakeasy before the publisher went belly-up, came out earlier this year and I'm just now finally getting around to reading and reviewing it. I've actually been looking forward to reading it for awhile. I remember when the floppies were coming out, I sought them out, but never saw a copy. Then they released an issue that collected the initial three issues under one cover - still, a no show at the local stores. But the collections are the way to go nowadays with those hard-to-find books anyway, and I had no problem locating a copy of the paperback. In fact, we got roughly a dozen copies at the bookstore where I work when it first came out, probably because it was getting a bit of media attention and good write-ups from Entertainment Weekly and the like. But anyways, I read it and it was really a treat.

The story follows the inhabitants of the small town of El…

Misericordia #1 (of 11)

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Rebekah Cynthia Brem

A new eleven-issue mini-series about a dystopian future, Misericordia, debuted this week from Archaia Studios Press, courtesy of Rebekah Cynthia Brem. It's a unique comic, to say the least. It begins with a woman who awakens from her quarters in a city underground, and after waiting for job detail, she gets the dirty job of surface duty, an undesirable position where she must brave the humanoid inhabitants of the surface world and exchange drugs for a disk of information. After being chased by some of the natives, our protagonist is run through town and ends up taking shelter in an abandoned appliance store, where she falls asleep and is rudely awakened by a humanoid lumbering over her.

Sometimes it's a little hard to decipher what's going on in this comic - Brem gives her readers enough credit to let them figure things out without overexplaining, keeping things quite sparse, particularly words. There are no thought balloons, bubbles to explain things, a…

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight #9

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Brian K. Vaughan, Georges Jeanty, Andy Owens, Dave Stewart

Alright, I’m going to keep this relatively short and sweet, primarily because I don’t have too much more to say about this story arc, having already reviewed the previousthreechapters. This final chapter of Vaughan’s run on the book was a solid if slightly disappointing conclusion to the Faith-centered “No Future For You” story arc. Solid because, as in the previous three issues, Vaughan’s grasp of the characters (both those who originally appeared on the T.V. series, and those new ones making their first appearance in the comic book) is very strong, the dialogue is sharp and witty, and the story remains compelling to the final page.

The slight disappointment comes from the fact that Buffy appears only briefly in this issue, making her more prominent appearance last issue feel as though it was shoehorned in so as to make this story-arc appear as a significant chapter in the larger season eight project, rather than its own, stand…

In Stores 12/12

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Here we are again picking out the most promising releases of the week, in stores today!

Patrick's Pick:

The ACME Novelty Datebook: Vol. 2, 1995-2002 - I remember thinking when the first volume of this series of Chris Ware’s selected sketchbook collections came out that it was the most beautifully designed book I had ever seen, what with it’s retro red felt spine with gilt lettering and ribbon to mark one’s place. Now, while still beautiful, it doesn’t stand out so much, as many of the comics publishers have embraced such ornate, deluxe packaging. There are a lot of ribbons adorning our bookshelves these days. Anyway, it’s the insides of this book that you’ll want to pay the most attention to. The first volume was one of Ware’s finest books of any type, even though it was “merely” a collection of partly finished comics, journals, and drawings from the artist’s sketchbook rather than a graphic novel. If you’ve not seen one of these Datebooks, you owe it to yourself to at least give th…

The Complete Terry and the Pirates (Volume 1): 1934-1936

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Milton Caniff
Terry and the Pirates is a fantastic comic strip and really, a must-have for any serious comic collector. This complete version of Milton Caniff’s classic action/adventure strip, from IDW, is a huge book full of Caniff’s lush drawings, including many colored Sunday strips. The strip follows young Terry and his pal, the handsome lady’s man Pat Ryan, as they face pirates, kidnappers and conspirators alike through their many adventures among exotic locales. This collection begins with the colored Sunday pages, as the plots of the strips were kept separate between the Sundays and the dailies at first, the reasoning being that some newspaper subscribers only received the Sunday paper. Black and white dailies follow the Sundays in the middle of this book, making up the bulk of the volume. The volume ends with the converged strip when the story ran all the way through the week. Howard Chaykin does an excellent introduction that gives a lot of perspective to the classic strip, pr…

Not Comics?

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the relationship between comics and literature, and especially about the relationship between comics and children’s literature, and many of the ideas I’ve been wrestling with seem to me to be present in the following quote from Philip Pullman, taken from this very good interview:
“One of the texts I sometimes quote -- it's not a text, it's just a pronouncement -- was made by Pope Gregory the Great in about 592, I think. This was in connection with the question of whether it was okay to paint pictures on the wall of churches, given the commandment that forbids us to make representations of things. What he said was, "What words are to the reader, pictures are to those who cannot read." Which, on the face of it, seems to make sense. It seems sound, good policy. If you can read, you have the words; if you can't read, you have the pictures. . But what it does actually is make two assumptions that I think have bedeviled our understan…

Manga Monday: MW

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MW
Osama Tezuka

Like all of Osama Tezuka's works that I've been fortunate enough to have read, I loved MW. All 500+ pages are collected under a beautiful hardcover courtesy of Vertical, who has already provided readers with other great Tezuka packages like Apollo's Song and Ode To Kirihito. This particular story follows two lone survivors from an island near Okinawa, where a poisonous gas leak from a military facility led to an elaborate cover-up by the government after everyone on the island died. The two survivors haven't forgotten and fifteen years later, take steps toward exposing the event. Garai is a priest who was once in a gang, and is now under the thrall of the dangerous man who also survived the MW gas leak as a young boy, Michio Yuki. Michio is a charming up-and-comer who gets what he wants no matter what, often deceiving those around him, playing a part and using people for his nefarious purposes. When he was exposed to MW, he lost his ability to sympathize …

The Perry Bible Fellowship

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The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories
Nicholas Gurewitch

The Dark Horse collection of strips from Nicholas Gurewitch's ThePerry Bible Fellowship comic strip/webcomic is a pretty little hardcover with one of the best covers ever. It contains some incredibly funny, outrageous strips featuring cute animals, smiley faces and slimy space creatures. There are plenty of twists on properties like M&Ms and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, spoofs on other comic strips such as Family Circus, and funny extensions of things like alien abductions and The Garden of Eden. It kind of reminds me of The Far Side, but more sick and twisted. It's really fun stuff wrapped in a beautiful package, with art that varies in style from strip to strip. It's kind of hard to explain the appeal of the book - I feel like I'm not really doing it justice here. You kind of have to experience it for yourself. And I recommend you do so, at The Perry Bible Fellowship website, where you can read …

Scott Pilgrim (Volume 4):

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Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together
Bryan Lee O'Malley

Those who've read the previous three volumes of Scott Pilgrim know what to expect from the book: a pretty hilarious title featuring a cast of hipsters boasting influences from manga to video games to music. No one who's followed along will be disappointed with the latest edition to the universe, though it does throw a few curves at its readers, resulting in some changes to the series. For one thing: Scott Pilgrim does get it together. Sort of. He makes some good decisions that move him out of the realm of moocher/slacker, and more toward a responsible adult. I said more toward, because he still has a long way to go, and we want this book to be fun, right? And there's still the remainder of those seven evil exes of Ramona's that Scott has to battle to more permanently win her affection. And now there are mysterious figures stalking him as he and his friends travel from Sneaky Dee's to his apartment with his gay roo…

Moving Forward While Looking Back: The First 19 Months of John Byrne’s Fantastic Four

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Fantastic Four #232-250
John Byrne

Recently, I’ve been rereading John Byrne’s long and lauded run on the first volume of Fantastic Four. I’ve read through these issues several times in the past, and indeed this run of comic books holds special significance for me in that my first encounter with them marked the first time I became distinctly aware of the creator of the comic books, rather than just the characters. After reading these comics, John Byrne was the first artist whose work I sought out based on his talents, rather than my interest in the characters he was working on. In short, I went in a Fantastic Four fan, and came out a John Byrne fan.
As many times as I’ve read a lot of this material, I’ve not read the run in its entirety from the first to the final issue, and indeed there are a couple of issues I acquired only recently I’ve not read at all. I thought, then, that my thoughts on this rereading might make for an interesting blog post, or even series of posts. Certainly, my f…

Picks of the Week: 12/5

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Picking the most promising books of the week...

Dave's Pick:

Warren Ellis' Blackgas - Warren Ellis doing zombies - what's not to like here? This collection comes out in both trade paperback and a limited 750-copy run of a special hardcover edition. Collected are both the original Blackgas mini-series, and its sequel. Six issues. A bloody good time.

Patrick's Pick:

Popeye (Volume 2): Well Blow Me Down HC - It's Popeye.

Manga Monday 54: Parasyte

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Parasyte (Volume 1)Hitoshi Iwaaki
A fan-favorite series, Del Ray is releasing new editions of Parasyte for audiences that may not have caught it nearly a decade ago when it was first translated into English and published by Tokyopop in 1998. It's a fun science fiction series about an alien invasion. Where these aliens come from hasn't been explored by the end of the first volume. All we know is that one night a bunch of pods silently descend from the sky, releasing snake-like creatures on Earth, who seek out human hosts to bond with to survive. Typically, the creatures "eat" the host's brain and thus, control the entire body, able to shape the head any way they please, often whipping sword-like appendages out at humans to kill them before eating them. One quick-witted boy, Shin, has become an anomaly however. When he caught the creature attempting to crawl up his nose, he was able to thwart it and fend it off for awhile until the creature burrowed itself int…

Previews: February '08 Comics

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Patrick and I take a look at Previews catalogue and highlight the most exciting books shipping to comic shops in February.

Marvel:
Patrick:Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure - February sees the launch of Mark Millar’s and Bryan Hitch’s run on Fantastic Four, but I’m more interested in this project, presenting the final, 103rd issue of Stan Lee’s and Jack Kirby’s landmark run on the series, never before printed in it’s entirety. Stan Lee scripts and Joe Sinnott inks over Jack Kirby’s pencils, which are also presented uninked with analysis by John Morrow. A reprint of Stan Lee’s and John Buscema’s Fantastic Four #108, which incorporated some of the material in a flashback sequence, is also included. Sounds like a nice package.
Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 - This 64 page special issue is the conclusion of Joss Whedon’s and John Cassaday’s great run on Astonishing X-Men, which will be relaunched as Astonishing X-Men: Second Stage by Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi. Whedon’s final issue of…

Picks of the Week: 11/29

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And here we are again with our picks of the most promising books coming to comic shops this week. And due to Thanksgiving, remember that books will be arriving a day later, on Thursday...
Patrick’s Pick:
Little Sammy Sneeze: The Complete Color Sunday Comics 1904-1905 - The Holiday shopping season has begun, and this oversized collection from Sunday Press Books (of Little Nemo in Slumberland: So Many Splendid Sundays fame), would make a great gift for yourself or a loved one, don’t you think? Measuring 11”x 16”, this book collects all of Winsor McCay’s Little Sammy Sneeze Sunday pages, plus the comic strips originally printed on the backs of those pages, including the entirety of another McCay strip, Hungry Henrietta, plus work by other cartoonists. Sounds terrific, and prior work by the publisher inspires great confidence.
Dave’s Pick:
Age of Bronze (Volume 3): Betrayal - The latest collection of Eric Shanower’s beautifully-rendered graphic novel saga depicting The Trojan War hits shelve…

Robotika: For A Few Rubles More #1

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Alex Sheikman & David Moran

The first Robotika mini-series from Alex Sheikman came out of nowhere, full of creativity and a vision not often seen in mainstream comics. The world Sheikman created felt lively and fully-realized, and utterly odd. In my review of the first mini-series, I compared Sheikman's storytelling to Grant Morrison's, and I still think that Morrison's works are the closest out there to what Sheikman is doing with his Robotika universe. It just keeps hitting you with idea after idea relentlessly amid a really fun story.

In the first issue of the sequel, Robotika: For A Few Rubles More, Sheikman shows no signs of slowing down. Along with David Moran, he reintroduces readers to the futuristic world of cyborgs and magic via three samurai-for-hire. If anything, Sheikman seems more comfortable writing these characters this time around. I didn't really get much out of the characters through the first adventure with them, but in this sequel, I feel as if I…

Manga Monday 53: Portus

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PortusJun Abe
Portus is a single-volume horror manga that follows a young student, Asami, whose best friend begins to act uncharacteristically after playing the video game Portus. When her friend ends up committing suicide, Asami begins to investigate the events that led to the tragedy, and hears rumblings of an urban legend surrounding the game, and a hidden game within it. . The art on Portus is pretty fantastic, I'd say. Particularly when something really creepy is happening, Jun Abe knows how to depict a freaky floating head or a figure blinking from a computer screen. Unfortunately, that's about the end of the positive aspects of this book. While it's visually appealing overall, a lot of events that take place are things that are too reminiscent of The Grudge or any other generic Japanese ghost story you've ever read to make it interesting in its own right. And the story just kept getting sillier as it proceeded, and in turn, became less and less frightening, ki…

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen:

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The Black Dossier

Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill

The latest installment in Alan Moore's and Kevin O'Neill's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is very, very dense. It's also very rewarding. Anyone who's read and liked the previous books will find plenty to enjoy in the latest offering, though one might not expect as much prose and various non-comic aspects from the original graphic novel.

The previous two League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic series have followed a group of individuals from literature: Mina from Dracula, The Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Allan Quartermain, game hunter from King Solomon's Mines and its sequels and prequels. Not all of those characters appear in the latest book, given events from the previous series, and much of this story actually explores other incarnations of the group, boasting different big-named heroes and villains, from different times and from other countries…

Angel: After the Fall #1

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Joss Whedon, Brian Lynch & Franco Urru

***Spoilers!!***
Hot on the heels of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer: Season 8, comes the comic book continuation of the hit television show's spin-off TV series Angel, following the adventures of Buffy Summers' former lover and vampire with a soul, the brooding Angel. Following up on events from the series finale at the end of season five of the television series, readers are now transported to Los Angeles once more, where Los Angeles itself has been transported to Hell. Angel and a host of familiar faces are helping the surviving humans stay that way with the help of Angel's new pet dragon and an unsettling new liaison from evil law firm Wolfram & Hart, one ghost of Wesley Wyndham-Price. It's interesting that Angel is still working for them, though he confesses that trying to use the company's resources for good was one of the biggest mistakes of his life in the opening inner monologue. There are other surprises along th…

Castle, Waiting

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Cold Heat #1-4
BJ, Frank Santoro

Cold Heat Special #1
Jon Vermilyea, Frank Santoro
I’m not sure how much of value I have to say about Cold Heat, a comic book series intended to run twelve issues but which was discontinued after the first four had been released. The whole thing will eventually be released as a single graphic novel in the summer of 2008, but until then we have four issues of the comic book and a newspaper format “special” to tide us over.
Cold Heat is about a teenage girl named Castle, whose life of casual drug use, ninja classes, and sleeping with the CEO of the company for which she is interning, is interrupted when she hears news that Joel Cannon, lead singer of Castle’s favorite band, Chocolate Gun, has apparently killed himself. Then, at a party held in the band’s honor, a friend of Castle’s is killed, possibly of a drug overdose, and, well, things get a lot stranger from there. The father of the dead kid is a powerful and corrupt politician who worships (and has inter…

Picks of the Week: 11/21

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Picking out the most promising comics of the week...

Dave’s Pick:
Beyond Palomar (Palomar Volume 3) TP - These new collections of Gilbert Hernandez’ Palomar saga are great: accessible to new readers, beautifully packaged and, of course, containing some of the best comics ever produced. Collected in this particular volume is Love & Rockets X, and the fantastic backstory of Luba, Poison River.
Patrick’s Pick:
Angel: After the Fall #1 - Well, here it is. Those who’ve followed my writing on this blog know I’m a great fan of the Dark Horse published Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight comic book, so it should come as no surprise that I’m really looking forward to IDW’s “official” continuation of Angel in this twelve-issue series. Joss Whedon is not as intimately involved with the production of this series as he is with the Buffy comic, but he did work closely with writer Brian Lynch (of Spike: Shadow Puppets fame, which I’ve not read) to develop the story. Franco Urru provides the artw…

Courtney Crumrin and the Fire Thief's Tale

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Ted Naifeh

The Courtney Crumrin series has been a favorite of mine since I discovered it a few years back. For anyone who's read the series, they'll get what they've come to expect from the series: claw-like hands, beautiful art with Gothic fixtures, and a compelling story featuring the sharp-tongued, jaded witch-in-training Courtney. And this time around, Courtney Crumrin comes face-to-face with werewolves. This 56-page one-shot takes place in Romania, where Courtney is beginning a European tour with her powerful warlock uncle, Aloysius. And much like classic stories of vampires and werewolves in Europe, we find a town full of rash villagers upset and ready to march an angry mob toward a gypsy encampment, since it seems that one handsome young gypsy has been making eyes at a woman who's been spoken for (never mind that she doesn't return the affections of her betrothed). Werewolves are out in full force and various hunting parties are out to kill the wolves while C…

Manga Monday 52: Wild Rock

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Wild RockKazusa Takashima
It's been awhile since I've read a yaoi manga, but it's something I'm certainly interested in reading more of. I've been going back and forth on a few suggestions and decided to try out this single-volume work, Wild Rock, which takes place back in the Stone Age. The story follows Emba and Yuuen, heirs to different clans who fall in love with each other when the great hunter Emba saves meek Yuuen from a beast he's out hunting. In wake of a food shortage that Yuuen's clan is facing, he is sent out in girl's attire (since he looks pretty feminine) to trick Emba into providing them with meat. The interactions between the two sizzle as Yuuen's guilt weighs heavy on his conscience until all is revealed in the end. I really enjoyed Kazusa Takashima's artwork - the long torsos of the characters grew on me as it went along. And this book was really pretty hot, which isn't too typical in the emotionally-charged stories w…