Archaia Studios Press:
Dave: Awakening (Volume 1) HC - This collection includes the first half of the Awakening mini-series, a slow, creeping story of zombies infiltrating peaceful Park Falls.
Patrick: Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails and Rose - New printings of two graphic novels set in the universe of Jeff Smith’s epic masterpiece, Bone. Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails is a comedy written by Tom Sniegoski with art by Smith, while Rose is a more traditional fantasy story written by Smith with art by Charles Vess. I love Bone, but I haven’t read either of these yet.
Patrick: Herbie Archives (Volume 1) - This book collects humor stories by Richard Hughes and cult-favorite cartoonist Ogden Whitney, and is apparently the first of Dark Horse’s efforts “collecting the finest works of 1960s comics publisher ACG.”
Dave: Wonderland HC - I really enjoyed the first few issues of this series (the only ones that I ever saw), so I’m glad that this is being collected. The book follows Disney’s Wonderland through the eyes of Maryann, the maid whom the White Rabbit mistook Alice for in the beginning of the Lewis Carroll novel. It’s a fun, pretty comic definitely worth checking out.
Dave: Manhunter #31 - I’m really excited about this one. After an excruciating break, my favorite comic published by DC, Marc Andreyko’s Manhunter, returns! Not only that, but the fantastic Michael Gaydos (Alias) takes on pencils!!
*** Dave’s Pick of the Month***
Madame Xanadu #1 - New Vertigo ongoing magicy title. I don’t really know much about this character, but I liked the preview art by Amy Reeder Hadley.
Shirley - Kaoru Mori, of Emma fame, does what she does best in this new CMX manga of short stories featuring maids. The period examined this time around is Edwardian England.
Patrick: JLA (Volume 1) Deluxe Edition - Grant Morrison’s work on the Justice League comic book was what made me a fan of the writer. While not his best work, I remember a lot of this run as being very entertaining. The first nine issues are collected here, featuring art by Howard Porter and others.
Drawn & Quarterly:
Patrick: What It Is - This new book by the great Lynda Barry, the first in several years, is sure to be one of the major books of 2008. A guide to Barry’s unique philosophy in regards to the creative process, incorporating comics, autobiography, drawing, and collage.
***Patrick’s Pick of the Month***
Patrick: The Troublemakers - Gilbert Hernandez’s previous original graphic novel, Chance in Hell, was my favorite comic of 2007, so you know I’m looking forward to his latest effort in that format.
Patrick: EC Archives: Frontline Combat (Volume 1) - The tiny fraction of EC comics I’ve read represents one of the most embarrassing gaps in my comics reading life. One day I’ll get on board, though, and these hardcover collections, this one featuring war comics by Harvey Kurtzman and friends, will show me the way.
The Hero Initiative:
Patrick: What If? The Fantastic Four Tribute to Mike Wieringo - Before his recent passing, artist Mike Wieringo had completed seven pages of an alternate universe take on Marvel’s Fantastic Four. The artwork for that issue, as well as the complete script, was donated by the publisher to The Hero Initiative, an organization set up to aide veteran comics creators in financial need. Several artists, including Arthur Adams, Stuart Immonen, and Alan Davis, have stepped in to finish Wieringo’s story and pay tribute to their late colleague in this 48-page special. Sounds to me like a good opportunity to support a worthy cause and pay tribute to a great artist.
Patrick: Angel: After the Fall HC - I’ll admit that Angel: After the Fall, a comic book continuation of the cancelled television series, Angel, is not as good as I had hoped, but there’s still fun to be had, enough that fans of the show will want to know this is out there. Unfortunately, the solicitation for this hardcover doesn’t say how many issues it collects. The first six or so, I’d guess? Written by Joss Whedon and Brian Lynch, with art by Franco Urru.
Dave: The Sword (Volume 1): Fire TP - It seems like this series just started, but here’s the first collection from The Luna Brothers’ new title The Sword, collecting issues 1-6.
Patrick: Eternals By Jack Kirby (Book 1) - Marvel put out an expensive, hardcover “omnibus” collecting the entirety of this series a while back. Now, they’re offering the material again, in two soft cover volumes, obviously in promotion of the new Eternals ongoing series. I don’t have much interest in the new series, but I’ll definitely be adding this book to my library of Jack Kirby volumes.
Dave: Astonishing X-Men (Volume 4): Unstoppable TP - The final volume collecting Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s excellent run on Astonishing X-Men, collecting issues 19-24 and the yet-to-be-released Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1.
Patrick: Comics Comics #4 - Along with The Comics Journal and Comic Art, this magazine, edited by Timothy Hodler, Dan Nadel, and Frank Santoro, completes the trinity of essential comics magazines. It’s no surprise that this fourth issue is slated to feature articles on subjects the editors have expressed interest in on the also essential Comics Comics blog, including a cover and interview with British artist Shaky Kane, and an essay on comics coloring by Frank Santoro, plus other treats and treasures.
Cola Madnes - It looks like my favorite publisher has picked up this graphic novel by Gary Panter, which I believe had been released previously by another publisher.
Red 5 Comics:
Dave: Atomic Robo (Volume 1) TP - I never read an issue of Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener’s series, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, so I’m happy to see this collection - it looks like a lot of fun, with some great art.
Top Shelf Productions:
Patrick: Johnny Boo (Volume 1) - The “Cute Manifesto” continues to be made manifest by James Kochalka in this first in a series of all-ages graphic novels.
Patrick: Reading Comics and What They Mean - If you missed Douglas Wolk’s very good book of essays and criticism in hardcover, this soft cover edition is your chance to catch up with one of comics’ smartest and most eloquent critics.