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Showing posts from November, 2009

Previews HYPE: February '10

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Diligently wading through the phone book that is Previews Catalogue so you don't have to...here are ten choice books shipping to comic shops in February that I think may get overlooked or that I'm just plain excited about...

1. Hernandez Brothers collections - There are several new collections featuring Hernandez Brothers comics, for whichever of the three formats you are collecting Love & Rockets in.  In the original softcover format, Gilbert Hernandez is releasing High Soft Lisp, featuring my favorite Love & Rockets character Fritz.  New in the thick omnibus hardcover collections, we get Gilbert Hernandez' continued look at his most popular character from Palomar in Luba.  And finally, in the new-reader-friendly line of softcovers, Jamie Hernandez is coming out with a collection featuring Penny Century.

2. The John Stanley Library: Melvin Monster (Volume 2) HC - I really enjoyed the first collection featuring John Stanley's silly monster Melvin Monster and his…

Stitches

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David Small


This memoir graphic novel has been getting a lot of notice lately from outside of the comics community, most notably nominated for a National Book Award in the Young People's Literature category.  It was also listed as one of Publisher's Weekly's best books of the year.  Perhaps it's because Small is well known in other aspects of literature that this caught more mainstream attention, particularly with the National Book Award nomination, since he is a Caldecott-winning author of children's picture books, and was nominated in the Young People's Literature category when this book was not marketed as such.  Whatever the reason, having read this book, I'm amazed that this has been so praised, pretty much held up over other graphic novels published this year and proclaimed as the best by some well-respected book lovers outside of the comics community.  This is a good book, don't get me wrong, but it's certainly not the best thing published thi…

In Stores 11/25

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Here are the highlights of books shipping to comic shops on Wednesday!

Pick of the Week

Image United #1 (of 6) - Finally Image Comics joins the other two big companies in experimenting with company-wide crossover events.  Image United brings together the biggest superheroes from the shared universe for some sort of earth-shattering event, including Savage Dragon, Spawn, Witchblade, Invincible and Shadowhawk, in a collaborative comic that has prolific Image creators (six of the seven being founders) working together with creations near and dear to their hearts.  The big names involved include Erik Larsen, Marc Silvestri, Todd McFarlane, Jim Valentino, Rob Liefeld, Whilce Portacio and new Image partner Robert Kirkman.

Other Noteworthy Releases

Berserk (Volume 32)
Blackest Night #5 (of 8)
The Boys (Volume 5): Herogasm TP
Captain America: Death of Omnibus HC
Chew (Volume 1) TP
Chronicles of Kull (Volume 1): King Comes Riding TP
Chronicles of Solomon Kane (Volume 1) TP
Dark Reign: Elektra TP
Deadpool …

Manga Monday: Moyasimon

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Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture (Volume 1)
Masayuki Ishikawa

After a delay from the publisher due to legal reasons, I finally got my hands on one of my most anticipated manga of the year, Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture.  The series follows Tadayasu, a new student at an agricultural university, who has the unique ability to see bacteria, germs and various microbes with his own eyes, without the aid of microscopes or any other technology usually used for this sort of thing.  And these germs and whatnot appear to him in really cutesy forms, saying cute little things.  And they do funny things, and seem to be having a generally really good time, which never failed to bring a smile to my face.  Tadayasu has learned to identify the forms that these creatures take on, making him a very useful resource at his school, especially to Professor Keizo Itsuki and his assistant, the skeptical Haruka Hasegawa.  But they're not the only ones interested in Tadayasu's unique talents, as a pair of…

The Week In Awesome! Star Trek and More

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Here are five things that excited me over the past week!


1. Star Trek on DVD - The latest Star Trek movie, rebooting the franchise after breathing new life into the characters and its universe, came to DVD and Blu-Ray this week.  J.J. Abrams' science fiction film was largely successful and critically-acclaimed, with great casting and wonderful action effects.

2. The Twilight Saga: New Moon in theaters - It's getting pretty abysmal reviews, but the latest movie in the highly successful supernatural films adapted from the teen novels hit theaters at midnight last night, featuring the stars we've seen plastered all over magazines without a moment's breath for the past year (well, perhaps a pause when Michael Jackson died).  Featuring a buffed-up Taylor Lautner and the villianous Volturi, this was my least favorite book, but you can't deny the eye candy.

3. Mr. Marvel canceled - Not that I'm excited about this, because I really, really enjoyed this Marvel superhero se…

In Stores 11/18

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Here are the highlights of books available in comic shops tomorrow!

Pick of the Week

Christmas Graphic Novels - HarperCollins is putting out adaptations of classic Christmas prose stories, adapted by some very exciting and talented creators, as graphic novels.  There will be three in all, two of which are available this week.  My most anticipated of the bunch is Lilli Carre's adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Fir TreeThe Lagoon was one of my favorite graphic novels of last year, and with her beautiful pencils, I'm sure this will look just amazing.  Also available this week is Joel Priddy's adaptation of O. Henry's Gift of the Magi.  Still forthcoming from HaperCollins is another one that I'll probably have to own, Alex Robinson adapting L. Frank Baum's A Kidnapped Santa Claus.

Other Noteworthy Releases

Alien Legion Omnibus (Volume 1) TP
Batman: Battle For the Cowl HC
Black Jack (Volume 8)
Black Knight #1
Black Lightning: Year One TP
Case Closed (Volume…

Manga Monday Is Taking a Rest This Week!

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See you next Monday!

The Squirrel Machine

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Hans Rickheit
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This is a quirky, beautiful, sometimes frightening graphic novel. The Squirrel Machine is definitely not for everyone, but I really had a great experience reading it. The book is about two shunned brothers living in a small town and the grotesque art that they create that the townsfolk don't understand. The book has a really eerie vibe all throughout, with some disturbing images that could have easily stumbled right out of a David Lynch film, culminating in some pretty shocking scenes. But the story is oddly sort of touching, despite the overt oddness of the brothers. There are some panels of the book that I'm still not sure what to make of, or how I feel about them, like one of my favorites of one of the brothers dressed in nothing but a boar's head covering his own, and some sort of a musical device with a crank covering his privates, with a proper young woman reaching out to touch it. It feels wrong, but is still very striking, and the whole book rai…

West Coast Blues

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Jacques Tardi
Adapted from the novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette . West Coast Blues is a graphic novel adapted by French cartoonist Jacques Tardi from the crime novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette. Fantagraphics is beginning to translate and publish these graphic novels by acclaimed artist Tardi, another of which was just recently released, You Are There. I'm really enjoying a lot of the European comics that are being translated as of late, like Archaia's The Killer (which is gritty crime fiction like this one) and the Soleil books through Marvel like Sky Doll, not to mention other talented European artists like Posy Simmonds and Joann Sfar. Jacques Tardi is one of the greats and I'm happy that Fantagraphics has undertaken the project of bringing his works to American audiences. West Coast Blues is a crime story, but it's quite different than what most people associate with the genre, especially when it comes to the gritty noir of comics. This is full of surprises both in …

Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 (of 5)

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Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning & Kevin Walker
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I've always enjoyed whenever the Imperial Guard would appear in superhero comics, which was usually in the random cosmic adventure the Uncanny X-Men would go on when I was growing up. Lately, they've been involved in quite a few conflicts involving the Shi'ar, like War of Kings, but they haven't lost their lustre for me. There are enough characters, of varying powers and alien races, with a cyborg or two thrown in for good measure, that any story could really focus on any one of them, or a choice few. Of course with Gladiator taking on the role of majestor of the Shi'ar empire, the heavyhitting leader of the Imperial Guard has other duties, duties which his advisors insist do not involve getting his hands dirty with fighting, and so he must sit back and watch his former comrades battle his foes for him, which is frustrating for a warrior. Featured in this mini-series are several of my favorite Imperial Guard members, …

The Week In Awesome! Up and More

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Here are five things that got me excited over the past week.
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1. Fantastic Mr. Fox in theaters - While it's only going to be in select theaters this weekend (and none around me) I'm still excited to see this Wes Anderson-directed claymation film, and it's getting some pretty amazing reviews already. Trailer here.
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2. Precious in theaters - Speaking of movies getting amazing reviews, Precious: Based On the Novel Push by Sapphire is getting a lot of Oscar buzz, and has a pretty amazing trailer. Watch it here. Oprah loves it.
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3. Up on DVD - Pixar's latest animation masterpiece comes to DVD. 'Nuff said.
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4. Under the Dome by Stephen King - The latest novel by horror writer Stephen King is supposedly a "return to form" for the writer. Clocking in at 1088 pages, it had better be.
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5. Project Runway finale - Part 1 of the season finale of Project Runway aired this week, featuring three female designers this time around. This may have been a pretty lacklustre s…

S.W.O.R.D. #1

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Kieron Gillen, Steve Sanders & Jamie McKelvie
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S.W.O.R.D. is a fun comic with a great premise. Spun out of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's excellent run on Astonishing X-Men, Agent Brand is running the Sentient World Observation and Response Department, the government's answer to threats from outer space, a compliment to their S.H.I.E.L.D. division. In this book, Agent Brand is actually co-commander as, under Norman Osborn's Dark Reign, he has assigned the villainous Henry Gyrich to keep an eye on Brand, something he does in the form of stabbing her in the back by presenting to a committee his own idea to keep alien threats from Earth: namely getting rid of all aliens on the planet, good or otherwise, to eradicate any potential threat. Meanwhile Brand has a busy day juggling galactic threats while X-Men Beast and Lockheed, and the alien Sydren, aide her in her tasks, which are entertaining, funny and action-packed. Gillen sets up a great dynamic here between the cha…

In Stores 11/11

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Here are the highlights of books available at comic shops tomorrow!
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Pick of the Week
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Sky Doll: Doll Factory #1 (of 2) - Marvel's publication of Soleil's Sky Doll sci-fi/fantasy series continues into material never before translated for American audiences, although it is mostly supplementary material. The first mini-series was fantastic, so I'm looking forward to more top-notch art here, with a new short story.
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Other Noteworthy Releases
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Absolute Justice HC
Amazing Spider-Man by J. Michael
....Straczynski Ultimate Collection
....(Book 2) TP
Casper & the Spectrals #1
Dark X-Men #1 (of 5)
Green Lantern: Agent Orange HC
Hercules: Full Circle HC
Hot Potatoe HC
Hulk: Green Hulk/Red Hulk HC
Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit (Volume 3)
Inu Yasha VizBig Edition (Volume 1)
Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows #1
Luna Park HC
Peanuts 60th Anniversary Book HC
Perfect Example TP
Pim & Francie in Golden Bear Days HC
Project Superpowers: Black Fever (Volume 1) TP
Punisher MAX #1
Realm of Kings: Imperial Gua…

Manga Monday: Beast Master

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Beast Master (Volume 1)
Kyousuke Motomi
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Get past that whole S & M vibe going on on the cover of this book and you get a pretty sweet story, actually. Beast Master follows high school girl Yuiko Kubozuka, who loves animals. In a smother-them-to-death sort of way that gives Elmyra from Tiny Toons a run for her money. Which is why animals don't give her the time of day. But then a mysterious wild-eyed boy joins Yuiko's class in school, and she quickly befriends him, despite his similarities to a wild animal. Leo Aoi grew up in countries among natives and on uninhabited islands, so he's had to really learn to survive off of the land and doesn't really understand modern civilization very well, which is why everyone he meets is frightened of him, particularly his new class. But Yuiko isn't afraid, so he quickly takes a liking to her in one of the sweetest romances I've seen in a shojo manga in a long time. They learn a lot from each other. Yuiko believed t…

Stumptown #1

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Greg Rucka & Matthew Southworth
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This is a fantastic comic. It really surprised me, but it shouldn't have come as such of a shock since Rucka has really proven time and again that he can put forth some quality material. He's very gifted at writing complex female protagonists, and this was certainly no exception. Dex is a private investigator who likes gambling, women and being a complete smart-ass. And all of those things get her into trouble. But she's good at what she does, which is why she's given the task of find the missing grandchild of a casino owner who may or may not have run off with her boyfriend. It's neat watching Dex put two and two together as she examines Charlotte's things - as readers, we seem to do the work right along with her. But things are a lot more complicated than they seem here, as several people are actually looking for the whereabouts of Charlotte, people who either want Dex's help as well, or want her to stop sticking…

Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love #1 (of 6)

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Chris Roberson & Shawn McManus
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Seemingly ditsy fashion aficionado by day, secret spy for Fabletown by night - that's the idea behind Cinderella in Fables, the Vertigo book that this six-issue mini-series spins out from. Cindy has been one of my favorite Fables characters because of this dynamic, and this new series doesn't disappoint, as we see Cinderella perform some James Bond-ish moves as she works to track down some magical Fable weapons that are being smuggled into the "mundy" world, that could expose the immortal Fables to the humans. This is really a fun book to read because Cinderella is such a cheeky character. Throw in the undercover action and it's easily better than that otherFables spin-off (Jack of Fables). Chris Roberson comes up with a nice story for Cinderella to show off her talents, one that incorporates many favorite Fables characters, and big enough to really show readers what Cindy is made of. McManus does a fine job of illustrating…

The Week In Awesome! V and More

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Here are five things that excited me over the past week!
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1. Suckin' It For the Holidays by Kathy Griffin - Her latest television special on Bravo, Balls of Steel, may not have been up to her usual standards, but her new "Christmas" CD, recorded live in New Jersey, is a lot of fun. Within, she trashes the Housewives, tells dick jokes, talks about her mom...pretty much what you'd expect from the lovely Ms. Griffin.
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2. 1,001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up - Like the title implies, Julia Eccleshare gives synopses of 1,001 children's books, from board books to teen novels, that are the cream of the crop. Lots of fun with plenty of history of the medium.
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3. V - The television series remake of V debuted to stellar ratings with a pretty decent episode, with plenty of familiar faces from past science fiction shows.
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4. Battlestar Galactica: The Plan - The final offering from the Battlestar Galactica television show is this direct-to-video movie of th…

Black Widow: Deadly Origin #1 (of 4)

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Paul Cornell & Tom Raney . The acclaimed writer behind fan-favorite series Captain Britain and MI-13 sets his eyes on the Russian spy Black Widow to tell her origin in time for the new Iron Man film coming out next summer. The opening scene is pretty neat, that of Black Widow aboard a space shuttle with the man who stole it, and revealing herself as having replaced his partner. The two then have a little shit-talk where they try to up the other one about what they're going to do to each other, leading into a scuffle that ends with the two of them parachuting over a casino. Very fun. Then the book regresses in time to show Natasha as she's slowly drawn in to The Red Room, beginning with having been raised by a soldier she treated as her father, then training under the tutelage of a man who wishes to train her as a weapon. When Natasha is chosen for the "icepick protocol," which threatens to destroy everyone close in her life, she vows revenge. The art by Raney…

Age of Reptiles: The Journey #1 (of 4)

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Ricardo Delgado
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The Journey is the third mini-series from Ricardo Delgado's Age of Reptiles series, following Tribal Warfare and The Hunt. Unlike those previous two mini-series however, this book isn't focused almost exclusively on carnivorous dinosaurs (although they certainly make an appearance, and create quite a shake-up when they do) and contains far less gore. Like those previous incarnations, The Journey is a silent comic. Delgado could certainly have gone the route of having the dinosaurs talk, or make noises at the very least, but he keeps things quite realistic, even if the dinosaurs do do cute things on occasion. Despite being silent, Delgado manages to assign personalities to the giant lizards, especially the tyrannosaurus rex who eventually comes into the mix before leaving reluctantly without any prize to show his/her young. The Journey is about a great migration that the dinosaurs are making. All different types of herbivores (and a few smaller carnivores) are t…

In Stores 11/4

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Here are the highlights of books available in comic stores tomorrow! . Pick of the Week . The Marvelous Land of Oz #1 (of 8) - I really enjoyed Eric Shanower and Skottie Young's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz adaptation of L. Frank Baum's classic children's book, so I'm really excited that the two are continuing on with the second book in the Oz series (and my personal favorite) with some crazy new characters who are going to be fun to see come to life in comic form. . Other Noteworthy Releases . Age of Reptiles: Journey #1 (of 4) Beast Master (Volume 1) Best of The Wizard of Id HC Black Bird (Volume 2) Black Widow: Deadly Origin #1 (of 4) A Christmas Carol HC Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love #1 (of 6) Claymore (Volume 15) Criminal Deluxe Edition HC Deathlok #1 (of 7) Exiles: Point of No Return TP High School Debut (Volume 12) Hikaru No Go (Volume 17) Honey Hunt (Volume 3) Like a Dog HC Lobo: Highway To Hell #1 (of 2) Marvel Zombies: Evil Evolution Nana (Volume 19) Otomen (Volume 4) Psylocke #1…

Monga Monday: Sugarholic

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Sugarholic (Volume 1)
Gong GooGoo . Sugarholic is a manhwa starring Jae-Gyu Sin, a lazy tomboyish character who used to bully kids when she was younger, and hasn't lost that tendency, as she's still loud and pretty violent to those around her. When her ancestral home is destroyed in a landslide, she is sent by her grandmother from the country to the big city to live with her reluctant brother in a fancy apartment, in a fish-out-of-water sort of tale, as she really isn't suited to the city life, at least not initially. I think her grandmother realized this, and used the excuse of the landslide to send this undisciplined girl out into the real world, since she is the kind of woman to teach a girl a lesson the hard way, like with the value of money, as is demonstrated by the bare minimum she sends Jae-Gyu into the city with, which ends up getting the irresponsible girl into trouble. I think the word obnoxious suits Jae-Gyu best, and I can't figure out why her childhood "…

Previews HYPE: January '10

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Diligently wading through the phone book that is Previews Catalogue so you don't have to...here are ten choice books shipping to comic shops in January that I think may get overlooked or that I'm just plain excited about... . 1. Joe the Barbarian #1 - This new Vertigo series by Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy follows a diabetic kid who may or may not be in an insulin-deprived hallucination when he's transported to a land populated by his toys. . 2. Little Adventures In Oz (Book 1) TP - One of my favorite comic book fantasies is being rereleased by IDW in smaller sizes, perhaps to appeal to readers of all-ages books like Bone. These self-contained stories by Eric Shanower are going to be available for $9.99 each, a nice appealing price, so hopefully they will be successful in reaching a new audience. . 3. Donald Duck Classics (Volume 1): Quack Up HC - Boom! Studios is beginning to turn out these classic collections of Disney comics, featuring favorite characters from the enterta…