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Showing posts from June, 2009

In Stores 7/1

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Here are the highlights of books hitting comic shops tomorrow!
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Pick of the Week
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Savage Dragon #150 - Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon reaches a new milestone this week, and in celebration, the 150th issue will be a whopping 100 pages in length! This follows a rejuvenated relaunch of the book a few issues back and the sell-out of issue #149 (a second printing will be in stores the same day as #150, and showcases the new Dart). Savage Dragon #150 features one of Dragon's fiercest foes from the past - Overlord, along with a few backstories that feature Thor and Vanguard, and a new G-Man story by Chris Giarrusso, as well as a reprint of Savage Dragon's origin and Charles Biro's origin for the Golden Age Daredevil. All this for $5.99. I've admired Erik Larsen's work for years now - his comic is in the top tier of current superhero books. This is sure to be a great jumping-on point for new readers, and an exciting issue for long-time fans!
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Other Noteworthy Releases
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B…

Manga Monday: Wolverine

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Wolverine: Prodigal Son (Volume 1)
Antony Johnston & Wilson Tortosa
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It was only a matter of time before Wolverine made the leap to OEL manga, and here it is under the care of Antony Johnston (Wasteland) and Wilson Tortosa (Battle of the Planets), who retell Wolverine's story and origin for their manga universe. In this version of his backstory, Wolverine was left at the door of "Quiet Earth," a school that teaches young students how to defend themselves, and shares earthy wisdom. A wolverine was standing over Logan in the doorway, thus his "codename" was attached to him. When Wolverine first joined the school, he bested the original champion of the school, who immediately left in disgrace, but of course, his story isn't over as he brings the real threat to Logan at their front door much later in the story. Wolverine, like in his superhero appearances, is not a people person: he's a broody loner who goes off into berserker rages when things don&#…

TGIF: The Box and More

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Another week come and gone. Here are the things I found exciting since last Friday...
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1. God Help the Girl - A new group established by Stuart Murdoch, lead singer/songwriter of Belle & Sebastian, this indie band has mostly female singers and tells the story of a Scottish girl's life growing up in the highlands and her eventual breakdown, although Stuart Murdoch does some vocals himself on this new CD of beautiful songs. I fell in love with the title song "God Help the Girl" immediately.
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2.Astro Boy on DVD - The original Astro Boy cartoon is very difficult to find, and impossible to track down at a reasonable price. But with a new feature film looming, The Right Stuff and Nozomi Entertainment are going to release mini-sets of Tezuka's cartoon from the 1960's (along with Kimba the White Lion mini-sets) at an affordable $49.99 price for 550 minutes of awesomeness.
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3.Michael Jackson's Thriller - This past week saw the passing of two American icons as Michae…

Batman: Streets of Gotham #1

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Paul Dini & Dustin Nguyen. Batman: Streets of Gotham debuted last week as a new monthly series written by Paul Dini (producer/writer on the influential Batman: The Animated Series) and drawn by Dustin Nguyen. The book finds Gotham City in a dark period for its residents, as Batman has died. While there is a new Batman, there are rumblings in the dark belly of Gotham's underworld and, as is illustrated by the first story in this book, even C-level villains like Firefly are getting bold. I like how this book, like Gotham Central before it, focuses on Gotham's street-fighters, like Gordan and the police force, as well as the lawyers and the new D.A., who has her own back-up feature in this book, as it's no other than Kate Spencer aka Manhunter, who is a vigilante very reminiscent of Batman, and so fits with the book very well. The Manhunter feature is a good-sized nine page story, which is nice to see, since I was sad to see Manhunter canceled (again), and even better …

In Stores 6/24

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Here are the highlights of books hitting comic shops tomorrow!
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Pick of the Week
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Queer Visitors From the Land of Oz HC - Sunday Press Books (the publisher behind Little Nemo: So Many Splendid Sundays) is known for its quality strip reprints, and here's another one, collecting Oz creator L. Frank Baum, and Walt McDougall's, comic strip that appeared in newspapers between August 1904 and February 1905, which this volume is named after, as well as W.W. Denslow's (the illustator on the original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book) strip Scarecrow and Tin-Man, among other various Oz strips. As always with Sunday Press Books, they will appear in their original format and will be fully colored.
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Other Noteworthy Releases
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All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder (Volume 1) TP
Black Jack (Volume 5)
Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1
Dark Reign: Accept Change TP
Dark Reign: Lethal Legion #1 (of 3)
Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man #1 (0f 4)
Dark Reign: Zodiac #1 (of 3)
Dark Wolverine #75
Essent…

Manga Monday: Leave It To PET!

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Leave It To PET! (Volume 1)
Kenji Sonishi
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Leave It To PET is a kids' manga put out by Viz that follows the adventures of Noboru Yamada and his PET. PET stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate, which is a type of plastic. That's because PET is a plastic bottle. But not just any plastic bottle. Noboru recycled this plastic bottle, so PET came back to grant Noboru a favor every day as a way of saying thanks (and is somehow now robotic as well, with many different attachments/uses). Unfortunately, things hardly ever go right when PET is involved. This is a gag manga, very silly and loads of fun, reminding me quite a bit of another all-ages manga that I love: Yotsuba&. But Leave It To PET! is just weird and as creative as a comic can get. Some of the mischief PET gets into includes giving out a password for Noboru to use to call for his help that's almost impossible to get down right, so PET hides behind a tree as bullies bother Noboru and a friend, who are trying to repeat th…

Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #1

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Chris Eliopoulos, Ig Guara & Colleen Coover
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I missed out on this comic the first time around, but the second printing came out this week to meet the high demand (because who wouldn't want a comic like this?) for the debut issue of this four-issue mini-series featuring the pets of various Marvel superheroes. Included on the team are Lockjaw (The Inhumans' canine), Lockheed (Kitty Pryde's purple pet dragon), Throg (a frog whose origin is explained within this first issue, who has the powers of Thor), Redwing (Falcon's sidekick), Hairball (Speedball's cat who shares his powers), and Ms. Lion (who really doesn't have any powers, as he (yes, he) is the dog of Aunt May). There's a really nice dynamic between the pet avengers, who Eliopoulos took some creative liberties with to assign personality traits (Redwing's a snob, Ms. Lion is stupid and annoying and Hairball can't stand him (At least that's how he acts anyway)), and the book is drawn very…

TGIF: Late Posting

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Yes, it's Saturday, but that doesn't mean I didn't find anything of interest this week! I had a stressful week of moving into a new apartment in Oak Creek, WI, complete with a library/study (which I've fantasized about for awhile now), but I'm finally back and relatively settled in. Here's what caught my attention since last Friday... . 1. Waltz With Bashir on DVD - Ari Folman's Oscar-nominated animated film, and winner of the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film, comes home to DVD. It's been pretty much universally praised with 97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. This is Folman's first foray into animation (he's a documentary filmmaker), but felt that this best captured what he needed to say, and obviously, he was successful. . 2. Back & Fourth by Pete Yorn - Pete Yorn is one of my favorite singers and on his fourth CD, he's wowing the critics with his crooning and rocking. The album comes to stores on Tuesday, but is already available through …

Manga...Sunday?

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I'm moving to my new home in Oak Creek, WI tomorrow, and I won't have internet access for the day, so here's Manga Monday a day early!
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A Drifting Life
Yoshihiro Tatsumi
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Yoshihiro Tatsumi's autobiographic work A Drifting Life is quite the undertaking, clocking in at over 830 pages. Often when I'd been reading the book for hours, I would be amazed to see how little progress I'd made along the thick spine. But if you're looking for what's bound to be one of the best manga to be published in America this year, then you won't be disappointed.
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For whatever reason, Tatsumi chose to tell this story in third person under the name of Hiroshi Katsumi, and as such, we see manga develop during his early life. This autobiography is more about his involvement with the industry than anything too personal, although I really think that Tatsumi was so immersed in this world that this is what his life was like, even if we don't get to see too much within his bril…

X-Men Forever #1

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Chris Claremont & Tom Grummett
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A blast from the past. Chris Claremont picks up the X-Men where he left off with them when he moved on to other projects in the 90's. The team consists of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolveine, Shadowcat, Nightcrawler, Gambit, Rogue, Storm, Beast and Professor Xavier at this point in the book (with Sabertooth soon to join if the cover is any indication). The characters are in their bright mismatched costumes of the period when the cartoon was at its prime, and indeed, the book felt a little bit like the 90's cartoon show - a little dumbed-down and simplified, keeping to iconic elements like the love triangle between Jean, Logan and Scott. It also feels like I just picked up a random X-Men comic off of the rack, mid-story. Claremont really did just jump onboard immediately after the Asteroid M stuff went down before he left the title: Magneto is dead, Fabian Cortez escaped, and Nick Fury is looking over the X-Men's shoulder as humans are afraid of …

TGIF: Mario and More

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TGIF is a new weekly feature on Comics-and-More! Every Friday, you can expect to see five things from the entertainment industry that I'm excited about right now. . 1. New Super Mario Bros. Wii - Recently announced at the E3 conference, a new Super Mario Brothers game will be released later this year on Nintendo's Wii console (supposedly in the Fall). The game will have classic 2-D sidescroll play (like the original three Super Mario Brothers games), but will contain new powers and can play up to four players at a time (Mario, Luigi, Blue Toad and Yellow Toad). A classic, reinvigorated. Something like this was all I needed as an excuse to pick up the system (even though I'll probably end up getting a Playstation 3 as well for the next Final Fantasy). You can watch the trailer for the game here.
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2. Friday the 13th on DVD - The 2009 remake of the horror franchise could have been better, but it was still better than any other Friday the 13th movie that came before it. Jason on…

Comics-and-More turns 4 today!!!

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I can't believe I've been doing this for four years... But in celebration, here are some covers of #4 comic issues...

Batman and Robin #1

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Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely
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This is awesome. The new Batman and the new Boy Wonder have a great dynamic and right from the get-go, this book is a rollicking superhero ride. I don't think Frank Quitely's art has ever looked better, and even a lame small-town crook like Toad seems really cool under Grant Morrison's hand. I didn't really follow any of the Battle For the Cowl stuff, to be quite honest. I read Morrison's R.I.P. and decided that that was the last word on the subject and the rest was just a way to build an event around the death of Batman. So I was a little surprised when this project was announced, but I love what Morrison's done for the next chapter of The Dark Knight. Batman, for anyone who hasn't read it or doesn't care to, is now Dick Grayson, formerly Nightwing and Robin, while Bruce Wayne and Talia's son Damian has taken on the mantle of Robin, in hopes of filling his father's shoes in the future. While Damian is a bright…

In Stores 6/10

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Here are the highlights of books shipping to comic shops on Wednesday!
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Pick of the Week
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Excalibur Visionaries: Alan Davis (Volume 1) TP - I'm really excited about this. I was waiting and hoping for more Excalibur Classic volumes, even though it got into some of the dreadful filler material - but this is even better. They're jumping over more crappy stuff and picking up where it got realy good again, with Alan Davis' innovative run. This collection includes the first comic book I ever read!
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Other Noteworthy Releases
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Anna Mercury 2 #1 (of 5)
Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter #1 (of 3)
Bleach (Volume 27)
Buck Rogers #1
Captain Britain and MI-13 (Volume 2): Hell Comes To Birmingham TP
Color of Water GN
The Complete Dracula #1 (of 5)
Conan (Volume 7): Cimmeria HC
Essential Thor (Volume 4) TP
Final Crisis HC
Miss America Comics #1 70th Anniversary Special
Showcase Presents: Green Lantern (Volume 4) TP
Sub-Maniner: Depths HC
Uncanny X-Men: First Class Giant-Size Special #1
X-Men Forever #1
X-Men Noir HC

Manga Monday: Oishinbo

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Oishinbo: Ramen & Gyoza
Tetsu Kariya & Akira Hanasaki
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Oishinbo is a long-running cooking manga with over one hundred volumes under its belt. Viz is publishing the book in English in an "a la carte" series, featuring "best of" chapters of the book that relate to each other in each volume. The volume I picked up centers around Ramen and Gyoza, and follows a young culinary journalist (the big-mouthed, lazy genius Yamaoka Shiro) and his friends at the paper he works for, Tozai News. He's trying to come up with an "ultimate menu" of various foods, at the same time as a competing newspaper (Teito Times) is, and along the way he partakes in various cooking adventures, constantly running into veteran competing culinary journalist (his own father, Kaibara Yuzan) who does his best to show him up. Yamaoka welcomes a challenge though, and through some creative ideas and a truly gifted knack for the culinary arts, slowly impresses his competition (even …

Captain Britain and MI-13 Annual #1

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Paul Cornell, Mike Collins & Adrian Alphona
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Since the very first comic book I ever picked up was an issue of Excalibur, Meggan has been a dear (if not obscure) character in my heart. I was a huge fan of the series and she was my favorite part of preceding Captain Britain comics. So I was, of course, excited to see that an annual of Captain Britain and MI-13 would focus on the character who'd made a brief cameo in a former issue as a supposed figment of Captain Britain's imagination (but to be fair, he was being teased by a demon who offered him and his teammates illusions of what they desired most, and what would Brian want more than his dead beloved wife?).
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The entirety of this comic is written by Captain Britain and MI-13 writer Paul Cornell, the main story of which is illustrated by Mike Collins, with Adrian Alphona (of Runaways) doing a little backup story. I love Alphona's art on his "British Magic" story, very cartoony with some really fun bantering bet…

Previews: August '09

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Here are the highlights from Previews Catalogue for books shipping to comic shops in August!!
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Abrams Comicarts
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The Toon Treasury of Classic Children's Comics HC - Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly edit this collection of self-contained classic comic books for kids, with works by artists such as Carl Barks, Walt Kelly and Basil Wolverton.
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Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics
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Gargoyles: Bad Guys TP - The latest Gargoyles collection from series creator Greg Weisman focuses on the villains from the Gargoyles universe.
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Ubu Bubu (Volume 1): The Filth TP - A cute demon-possessed cat animated by Jamie Smart's fun, cartoony art.
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Archaia Studios Press
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Days Missing #1 (of 5) - Phil Hester (of Firebreather) brings us a tale, along with artist Frazer Irving, about several days from human history that have been covered up by a powerful being that has shaped our world.
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The Killer (Volume 2) HC - The excellent, critically-acclaimed comic by Matz and Luc Jacamon returns in the second volume of the …

In Stores 6/3

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Here are the highlights of books hitting comic shops tomorrow!
. Pick of the Week . Batman and Robin #1 - I was extremely close to giving my pick of the week to the Captain Britian and MI-13 Annual (featuring Meggan!!!), but then I saw this...and it was a no-brainer. The team behind All-Star Superman and parts of New X-Men, and the writer behind the recent acclaimed Batman run, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, reunite on a new series featuring The Dark Knight and his sidekick. . Other Noteworthy Releases . Batgirl: Redemption TP Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight: Tales of the Vampires One-Shot Captain America (Volume 1): Fighting Chance TP Captain Britain and MI-13 Annual #1 Chew #1 Cirque du Freak (Volume 1) GN Daredevil Omnibus by Brubaker & Lark (Volume 1) HC Deadpool (Volume 1): Secret Invasion TP Echo (Volume 2): Atomic Dreams TP Eyeshield 21 (Volume 26) George Sprott HC Green Lantern Corps: Sins of the Star Sapphire TP Halo: Uprising HC Honey & Clover (Volume 6) House of Mystery (Volume …

Manga Monday: Metropolis

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Osamu Tezuka. For Manga Monday this week, I decided to go old school and picked up a classic science fiction manga from Osamu Tezuka (on clearance at my local comic store) from 1949. As it is an earlier work, it has a different feel to it than the manga we've seen translated by Vertical recently, like MW and Apollo's Song. It's more whimsical, with plenty of slapstick and cartoony villians bouncing around, meanwhile full of astute commentary of the times. Things are much more blunt in this early work by the manga master, but the innocence of his characters brings to mind early animation and comic strips with their simplicity and naivety (and not just because there are giant Mickey Mouse-ish rats in the story actually called Mikimaus Waltdisneus). Events chug along at an extremely quick pace, leaving characters little time to breathe or develop, the opposite of which is customary for modern comics and manga, but it suits the futuristic, silly world that Tezuka has set up…