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Showing posts from June, 2007

Previews: September '07 Comics

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Patrick’s Picks:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home (Dark Horse)
The first paperback collection of my current favorite ongoing series - Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight. The first four issue story arc is collected here, along with the fifth, stand alone issue.
Captain America by Ed Brubaker Omnibus Vol. 1 HC (Marvel)
Sadly, I haven’t been able to afford any of the Marvel “omnibus” books, but I really admire a lot of the choices they’ve made for these oversized hardcover collections. Ed Brubaker’s run on Captain America is one of the ongoing superhero books I’ve been meaning to get caught up on, and this would be a neat way to experience the material for the first time. Still, expensive.
The Mad Archives Vol. 2 HC (DC)
Wow!!! Where did this thing come from??? The first volume of this came out waaaaaay back in 2002. I’d assumed the project had been abandoned due to low sales, but now here’s the follow-up effort, tucked away on the very last page of DC’s solicits. It’s difficult…

Picks of the Week: 6/27

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Patrick's Pick:

The Art of Bone - Well, this is nice. I just this morning finished reading Jeff Smith’s entire Bone saga for the first time, and now this companion to the series is published. Bone was an absolute masterpiece, so I’ll definitely be checking this book out. I’ve not read the other Dark Horse published “The Art of…” books (I know there are volumes for Frank Miller’s Sin City and Mike Mignola’s Hellboy), but this one is said to feature lots of neat behind-the-scenes tidbits like homemade comics, promotional material, sketches, etc. I can’t imagine this would appeal to folks who’ve not read the series, so consider this a heads up to those who have.

Dave's Pick: Apollo's Song - I was blown away by the last Osama Tezuka work printed from Vertical, Ode To Kirihito. This is another one-volume edition of classic Tezuka from the 70's. Over 500 pages of great art and story from the master. If you're going to get one book this week, this should be the one.

Music Review: Wild Hope

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Mandy Moore

Mandy Moore's first new release in over four years sees the starlet mature as an artist. Working with The Weepies, Lori McKenna and Rachel Yamagata, among others, she co-wrote all of the songs on this CD, realizing a sound that could be seen forming in the album Coverage, where she remade songs like Elton John's Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, with a voice much stronger than established previously. In Wild Hope, Moore brings an artistic vision to fruition as her music makes a sharp turn toward folk, and sprinkled with a little country, leaving most of the instantly gratifying bubblegum pop in the past. There are a few songs that hold a little semblance to Coverage, like the first release from the CD, Extraordinary, and the sassy Nothing That You Are, but for the most part, Mandy's sound is refreshing and really, quite good. As much of an improvement as Coverage was over Moore's previous efforts, Wild Hope is that much better in every respect: the vocals, the wri…

Ultimate Spider-Man: Ultimate Knights

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Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Bagley

Ultimate Knights is the last storyarc coming from the creative team that's been with this book since its initial issue. After the next issue, Bagley will move on to other things and Stuart Immonen will be taking over penciling chores. Still, Immonen's a great choice to continue the series with and really, it's something to look forward to. It's just a little sad to think of reading more of this book without Bagley in the mix. Ah, well. This series has been consistently fantastic over the years up through the last issue of this arc, issue #110, where Ultimate Knights comes to a conclusion. A very suitable end to Bagley's run on the book, as many characters we have seen in the book over the years join forces to try to take down the Kingpin of Crime, including Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Moon Knight, Iron Fist and Shang-Chi. Big changes occur before this issue is over and we get some great sequences of dialogue and action along the…

Picks of the Week: 6/20

New weekly feature! Patrick and I will each pick a collection or comic shipping to comic stores each week to highlight, that will hopefully tempt you to add it to your collection...

Patrick's Pick:
New Gilbert Hernandez - Gilbert Hernandez may be the greatest living cartoonist, and there are two new publications showcasing his considerable talent out this week:
* Human Diastrophism: Palomar (Volume 2) - The second Gilbert volume in the new Love & Rockets reprint effort features some of Hernandez' most acclaimed work from that venerable series. This handsomely designed series of books may be the best way to experience this material, and might be worth buying even if you already own the comics in one form or another.
* New Tales From Old Palomar #2 - Hernandez took full advantage of the lovely Ignatz format in the first issue of this limited series, and this issue sounds pretty great.
Dave's Pick:
Death Note (Volume 12) - The final volume of one of the best manga to come out i…

Mystic Arcana: Magik

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Louise Simonson & Steve Scott

Ritual of the Sphinx (Part One)
David Sexton & Eric Nguyen

The first comic in Marvel'sMystic Arcana crossover event arrived in stores this past week, a series of four books that focus on four mystical members of the Marvel Universe, much like the Annihilation event of cosmic characters last year. Each issue will be tied to one another via the Ritual of the Sphinx story, which bookends each issue, and will focus on one of four artifacts being collected by sorcerer Ian McNee. In Mystic Arcana: Magik, we see Illyana Rasputin, ruler of Limbo, track down the Sword of Bones for an evil sorcerer who is holding a descendant of Storm hostage in Ancient Egypt. There are several references here to the Magik and Storm mini-series from the 1980's where Illyana is basically raised by Belasco and saved by an alternate version of Storm. In Mystic Arcana: Magik, in good old convolutedX-Men fashion, the story also picks up from the old New Mutants series, issu…

Manga Monday 36: Death Note & More

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A little early, but here we are...

Death Note (Volume 12)
Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata

The final volume of Death Note has finally arrived. What the series has been building toward since volume eight has finally been realized, though the latter part of the series was by far the weakest. In its initial run, before the first climax, Death Note was on top of its game and was the best manga being published. Since then, its creators attempted to refresh the franchise with new antagonists that were pale versions of the original, in stories that were still good, but never reached that same level of quality. In this final volume of the series, Ohba and Obata return to form for the first third of the book, with action about as tense as its ever been. Unfortunately that too soon gives way to a ridiculously drawn out conclusion that ties things up in a nice little bow, while all but forgetting some fan favorite characters like Misa Amane in the process, practically discarding them. This last vol…

Girls (Volume 4): Extinction

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The Luna Brothers

I'm not going to go into too much detail rehashing things I've said in reviews of earlier volumes of Girls, so if you don't know the premise, read this. Now that that's out of the way, let's get down to the fourth and final volume of the epic story from the Luna Brothers. First of all, I want to say that I hope that this is collected in one edition, because the story flows really well that way. Picking up the fourth volume and just beginning to read it doesn't work as well. You have to kind of flip through the last issue to recall events, because there's no recap, it just keeps going. And like Joss Whedon's quoted as saying on the back of this book: "I love the Luna Brothers' Girls. It's like watching a movie. I haven't read a comic like that since I can remember." It really does have a cinematic feel to it. Not that that makes it superior to other comics or anything. It certainly doesn't. I like comics that wo…

Covered

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And here is the awesome cover to the first trade from Joss Whedon's "Season Eight" of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, The Long Way Home.

30 Days of Night: The Film

Watch the trailer on-line now! Click here.

New X-Men #38

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Craig Kyle, Chris Yost & Skottie Young

Oh, boy, do I have problems with this book. I'll just say first of all, that the only saving grace for this issue is the art by Skottie Young, which is fantastic, but not without flaws itself. Issue 38 kicks off the four-part "Quest For Magik" arc that brings Illyana Rasputin back into the pages of Marvel Comics. Again. You're very astute if you recall that Amanda Sefton was established as the new Magik, from the X-Men: Black Sun and X-Men: Magik mini-series a few years back, but I guess she just couldn't cut it because Belasco's back and he wants Illyana. This issue isn't even really where this story kicks off though, as we are treated to a recap page about Amanda Sefton falling out of the sky, saying that "he was back," but why keep it all self-contained? It's not as if this storyarc that's been hyped to bring in new readers should make sense to anybody who wants to give the series a shot...s…

Previews: August '07 Comics

So we’re going to try to have a regular feature around Previews Magazine’s release each month where Patrick and I both highlight upcoming releases, beginning with the most recent edition of books being shipped in August.

Patrick:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #5 (Dark Horse)

I don’t want to list every issue of every ongoing comic book series I’m purchasing here, but this is supposed to be a special, one shot issue, so I’ll highlight it here. Written by Joss Whedon with guest pencils by Paul Lee. I’m afraid I can’t tell you much more than that because, determined as I am to avoid spoilers for this series, I’ve not read the solicitation copy. The first four were good.

Harvey Comics Classics Volume 2: Richie Rich (Dark Horse)

I don’t know if these are supposed to be any good, but the format is appealing: basically, a whole lot of comics at a nice price point. Could be a lot of fun.

Ghost In The Shell 1.5: Human-Error Processor (Dark Horse)

Okay, I think this is material that was excised from the col…