Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Strange Tales Vol. 1 (Marvel)
Not a lot from Marvel or DC jumped out at me from this month’s catalogue. From the House of Ideas, we’ve got this hardcover collection of Golden Age horror shorts, featuring artwork by the likes of John Romita, Gene Colan, Russ Heath, Joe Sinnott, Bill Everett, Bernie Krigstein, Dick Ayers, George Tuska, and others. That’s a pretty impressive lineup of artists, and I’ve been craving some good Golden Age comics lately, but I’ll admit the price-point is a little high for me here. Still, worth taking note of.
Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy: For People Who Love Movies (Dark Horse)
This is so not comics I actually feel guilty listing it here, but it’s kind of a slow month and I think this book could be pretty terrific, so what the hell. Collects the best material from his quarterly newsletter. I do love movies.
Alright, back to comics….
JLA: Ultramarine Corps TP (DC)
This collects Grant Morrison’s and Ed McGuinness’ very good three issue arc from JLA Classified, plus JLA/Wildcats, which I guess Morrison wrote as well? I somehow missed that one. Anyway, those three Classified issues are a lot of fun, so you’ll want to check those out if you missed them the first time around.
Gargoyles: Bad Guys #1 (Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight may be the most high profile of the “television show or movie now continued in comics form” properties out there right now, but Slave Labor’s Gargoyles series actually got there first. I had been a fan of the cartoon when it originally aired several years ago, but only recently discovered the extent of Gargoyles fandom, which includes an annual convention, The Gathering of the Gargoyles, held in a different city each year. Greg Weisman, a creator of the cartoon series, has remained very involved in said fandom, leaking ideas for unrealized story arcs and spin-offs to fans over the years. Now, he has a chance to bring some of those stories to fruition. This series is essentially The Dirty Dozen with Gargoyles characters. A group of baddies are gathered by the government to perform a dangerous task. Written by Weisman with black and white artwork by Karine Charlebois. Although it doesn’t say so in the solicit, I believe this is a bi-monthly miniseries set to alternate months with the ongoing Gargoyles comic book.
R.F. Outcault’s the Yellow Kid HC (Checker Book Publishing Group)
The entire run of the groundbreaking strip is collected here. Should be pretty awesome.
Fantagraphics is all about the vintage comic strip reprints this month. This book collects Jack Cole’s short lived newspaper strip, only two and a half month’s worth of which was completed before Cole tragically shot himself. R.C. Harvey provides an essay purportedly shedding light on the final days of the great artist’s life.
Popeye Volume 2: Well Blow Me Down HC (Fantagraphics)
Volume 1 of this beautifully produced series was my favorite book of last year. This volume features the debut of the one and only J. Wellington Wimpy!
Hank Ketcham’s The Complete Dennis the Menace 1957-1958 Volume 4 HC (Fantagraphics)
It’s hip to be square with these handsome, hardcover collections of Hank Ketcham’s classic, gorgeously drawn strip. Also available this month is Hank Ketcham’s The Complete Dennis the Menace 1955-1958 Box Set. (Fantagraphics)
The Original Art of Basil Wolverton HC (Last Gasp)
This should provide a nice showcase for the work of the influential cartoonist.
Maggots GN (Picturebox) ***My Pick of the Month!!!***
This long awaited and sure to be excellent book from Brian Chippendale is only the tip of the iceberg of awesomeness that is Picturebox’s publishing schedule this month. Also check out Lauren Weinstein’s Goddess of War, C.F.’s Powr Mastrs Volume 1 GN, Frank Santoro’s Storeyville GN, and Yuichi Yokoyama’s New Engineering. Make mine Picturebox!
Mutts: The Best of Mutts TP
I’ve been meaning to check out this comic strip by Patrick McDonnell, and this seems like a terrific place to start.
X-Men: Die By the Sword #1 (of 5) (Marvel)
Yes, Chris Claremont has bitterly disappointed me in recent years. He’s been virtually unreadable. But he keeps exciting me with his concepts. If only someone else would write the damn things (or at least script them for his overwritten drivel). New Excalibur was awful, so I’m sure this is going to end up the same, but I’m sure I’ll be looking for an excuse to read this new mini when the time comes, as Excalibur and Exiles team up to save Crosstime.
The Sword #1 (Image)
A new series by The Luna Brothers!!! Nuff said.
El Cazador TP (Disney Press)
Checker recently picked up publishing unfinished volumes of Crossgen books like Sojourn and Negation, but a few titles were noticeably missing from the batch, such as Mystic and Meridian (the latter being a title that Disney has expressed some interest in) and this one, now being collected by Disney Press. Perhaps a revival of the properties will occur with good enough sales?
The Complete Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy (Volume 3) (IDW)
The latest volume of the comic strip archival project comes out, collecting strips from January 1935 to June 1936. IDW also takes another cue from Fantagraphics and offers the first two volumes in a slipcase the same month.
Courtney Crumrin and the Prince of Nowhere (Oni Press)
***My Pick of the Month!!!***
I hadn’t heard that this was coming out, so my jaw just kind of dropped when I saw this solicitation. A 56-page one-shot featuring Ted Naifeh’s great creation.
The Complete Persepolis TP (Pantheon)
I figured that Pantheon would have to do this in time for the new animated film that won the Jury Prize at the Cannes. Both volumes of Marjane Satrapi’s memoir are collected under one cover.
The Art of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: Watercolor Impressions HC (Viz)
208 pages of watercolor illustrations and early sketches from master animator Hayao Miyazaki that served as concepts for the incredible manga, and the anime that followed.
Death Note (Volume 1) DVD
The fan-favorite manga finally spills over into other multimedia properties in America, in this first volume of the anime series.