Saturday, June 30, 2007

Previews: September '07 Comics

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 to overstate the importance of the early Mad comic books, so serious fans of the medium are going to want to grab this. Looks like it’s advance solicited for a November 28th release date. We’ve waited this long, right?

Comic Art Magazine #9 (Buenaventura Press)

Hooray! The ninth issue of the best comics magazine (and the second issue since the relaunch as a larger, annual publication) is here. Featuring all kinds of terrific writers on the subject of terrific comics, doubtless sporting the stunning production values the magazine has become famous for, plus an 80-page separate booklet by Ivan Brunetti!! Awesome.

Shortcomings HC (Drawn and Quarterly)

This is the collected edition of the story Adrian Tomine had been serializing in his ongoing comic book series, Optic Nerve. I didn’t follow the comic book, so I’ll definitely be picking this up.

The Ice Wanderer (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)

This new book by Jiro (The Walking Man) Taniguchi has a picture of a moose on the cover.

The Arrival GN (Scholastic Inc.)

A wordless graphic novel by Shaun Tan depicting the experiences of an immigrant trying to build a better life for the family he has left behind. This looks lovely, and has garnered acclaim from the likes of Jeff Smith and Eddie Campbell. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for this one.

Sundays With Walt and Skeezix Volume 1 HC (Sunday Press Books)

Well, here it is, folks. If I were inclined to select a book of the month from this here Previews catalogue, this would have to be the one. Hell, I’d say this is probably going to be a very strong contender for book of the year. This 16 X 21 inch (read: BIG) hardcover collects a selection of the gorgeous, groundbreaking Gasoline Alley Sunday pages by Frank King. I love, love, love the fact that the book looks as though it’s been designed to fit perfectly with the complete Gasoline Alley dailies archival project Drawn and Quarterly is putting out. Like that extraordinary series of books, this volume is designed by Chris Ware and features an introduction by Jeet Heer. Peter Maresca, the man who brought us the acclaimed Little Nemo book last year, serves as editor. Really, there’s no reason to believe that this book won’t be absolutely phenomenal. At 95 dollars, it is expensive, but unlike with the Captain America collection, there’s no doubt in my mind that I will own this. ESSENTIAL.

Uzumaki Volume 1 (2nd Edition) GN & Gyo Volume 1 (2nd Edition) GN (Viz)

After Vertical, Viz is my favorite publisher of Manga, particularly their “Viz Signature” line of books. Here are two more reasons to love them: New editions of two popular horror manga from Junji Ito, one about a town terrorized by spirals (Uzumaki), the other about a community terrorized by killer fish with legs (Gyo). Read them….if you dare!!!

The Completely Mad Don Martin HC

Boy, am I a sucker for deluxe hardcovers or what? Actually, I probably wouldn’t buy this 150 dollar two volume slipcase featuring the work of Mad artist Don Martin, but this seems like a really nifty way to experience the work of these artists if you’re more inclined toward that particular area of cartooning.

Kirby: King of Comics HC

Boy, a lot of great stuff coming out this month. This is Kirby expert Mark Evanier’s long awaited, definitive biography of the man who is arguably the most important force in mainstream comics. I’m very much looking forward to this, particularly as it looks as though it will be a high quality showcase for Kirby’s artwork, and a long, long overdue comprehensive, respectful, and informed look at the man’s life and extraordinary career. I can’t believe many true comics fans won’t want to get their hands on this.

Dave’s Picks

Presents (Volume 1)

From DC’s CMX line, this new manga series is the imprint’s first foray into horror and boasts the introduction of a new larger format. This should be pretty neat, as it’s from the creator known as the “Queen of Horror” in Japan.

The Mice Templar #1

And it’s now time to capitalize on the success of Archaia Studios’ Mouse Guard with the first of what’s sure to be several rip-offs. It’s funny since Mouse Guard itself isn’t a very original idea, what with the Redwall series in novels - it’s just the first time this sort of thing has made its way to comics, and by a very talented artist with an appealing look that people noticed. The Mice Templar from Image is obviously trying to make a quick buck off of the interest, but why not try to find the next “Mouse Guard” without creating what’s sure to be a pale imitation, since it’s not the original? Ah, well. At least we get nice art from Michael Avon Oeming, and I suppose being copied like this is really a compliment to Mouse Guard in the end.

Primordial #1

And from the innovative publisher that brought us Mouse Guard, here comes a new series set in a fantasy world of wood nymphs and demons. It may look a little oversexed at first glance, but I have faith in the studio based on their track record. I can always go for a fun fantasy series.

30 Days of Night: Return To Barrow #1

In time for the movie, a new 30 Days of Night series debuts with the series creator, Steve Niles, at the helm. I wouldn’t have really paid much heed to this book if not for the fact that none other than Bill Sienkiewicz is illustrating the thing.

Battle Royale: Ultimate Edition (Volume 1)

The first of five “Ultimate Collections” of the fan-favorite Battle Royale series is a thick hardcover book containing three volumes of the original manga. I’ve seen this sort of thing in Barnes & Noble with series like Negima (but in paperback), and it’s probably a great way to go. Tokyopop will also be releasing a similar four-volume set for Fruits Basket beginning the same month.

Tezuka’s MW

I don’t really need to know what any Tezuka book is about. It’s going to be worth the price of admission. Easily one of the most exciting releases of the month. From Vertical, of course.

Mouse Guard: Lieam Deluxe Plush

I would have felt cheated had this series come and gone without a stuffed animal.

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