Showing posts from January, 2010

The Week In Awesome! Incarceron and More!

Things that caught my attention this week...

Incarceron - The biggest release of the week in books, really.  This is a young adult fantasy that's been getting a lot of buzz.  By Catherine Fisher, it should appeal to fans of recent hits like The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner.

C2E2 - Chicago's new comic book convention boasts a list of major artist appearances, including Chris Ware, which may indicate a show with something to offer, unlike the faltering Wizard World Chicago convention with its weak panel offerings and poor showing that couldn't even tempt major publishers to attend last year.  It's about time the midwest gets a good covention again.

The Heroic Age - Marvel announced a new direction for the Marvel Universe beginning in May, turning its back on the dark, trying times of recent years for the heroes.

Batman and Robin #7 - Cameron Stewart's first issue as artist on the series, written by Grant Morrison, is really, really great.  "Blackest Knight"…

Pick of the Week 1/27

The book you should be paying attention to when you stop by your local comic book shop on Wednesday...

Alias Ultimate Collection (Book 2) TP - This is the second and final collection featuring the excellent Alias by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos, one of the best books put out by Marvel last decade.  Also, if you loved this series, read Bendis's current book Spider-Woman, which has the same vibe.  But Alias definitely deserves a spot in your graphic novel library.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Afrodisiac HC - New from the creative team behind Street Angel.
Green Lantern #50
Remember GN - Another book by Orange creator Benjamin.
Ultimate Comics: Enemy #1 (of 4) - Event fatigue - pffft.

Manga Monday: Darling Daughters

All My Darling Daughters
Fumi Yoshinaga

All My Darling Daughters is a book consisting of five stories, all of which are connected through characters in one way or another.  It's written and illustrated by the creator of Antique Bakery and Ooku: The Inner Chambers, so of course, the art is beautiful and elegant.  With this book, Yoshinaga really focused on a group of people, digging into their motivations and examining their relationships with one another.  Unlike some of the other more well-known books by Yoshinaga, there's not an immediate hook to grab readers.  I personally went into this with blind faith in a creator that I've enjoyed previous works from, otherwise I'm not sure that I would have given it a second glance.  But I was fortunate in reading the tales she weaved, beginning with a story about the relationship between a mother and the 30-something daughter who still lives with her.  After going into remission for cancer, the mother decides to live life to its…

The Week In Awesome! Awards and More!

Congratulations are in order for the winners of prestigious children's book awards announced earlier this week.

Caldecott Medal:The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

Newberry Medal: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Printz Award:Going Bovine by Libba Bray

The ALA also announced ten of their choices for best graphic novels for teens, including several books from my year-end list like Gunnerkrigg Court, Pluto and Ooku: The Inner Chambers, with the overlooked Wonderland making their full list.

Also, if you've been hiding under a rock, you may have missed that it's been announced that Kitty Pryde will be returning to the Marvel Universe beginning with Uncanny X-Men #522.

Not so awesome...Marvel announced that they have cancelled the excellent series S.W.O.R.D.  Issue five will be its last.

Previews HYPE: March '10

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

1. The Art of Jaime Hernandez: The Secrets of Life & Death HC - An examination of the work of a cartooning legend, featuring childhood drawings, unpublished work, unseen sketches, an introduction by Alison Bechdel, and, of course, plenty of beautiful art.

2. House of Five Leaves (Volume 1) - After reading Natsume Ono's excellent not simple, I'm really excited about this new offering through Viz's IKKI line, the most recent manga from the acclaimed artist.

3. Uncanny X-Men #522 - Awww, yeah!  My favorite superhero Kitty Pryde returns to the Marvel Universe this month under the guiding hand of Matt Fraction and Whilce Portacio.

4. It Was the War of the Trenches - A new Jacques Tardi (West Coast Blues, You Are There) offering, continuing Fantagraphi…

Pick of the Week 1/20

The book you should be paying attention to when you stop by your local comic book shop on Wednesday...

The John Stanley Library: Thirteen Going on Eighteen HC - The latest offering from Drawn &Quarterly's efforts to bring classic John Stanley comics to readers via beautiful packages is the creator's beloved Thirteen Going On Eighteen teen humor comic.

Other Noteworthy Releases

All My Darling Daughters GN - More manga from Ooku: The Inner Chamber's Fumi Yoshinaga.
Barry Windsor-Smith Conan Archives (Volume 1) HC
Excalibur Visionaries: Alan Davis (Volume 2) TP
Joe the Barbarian #1 (of 8) - New Grant Morrison & Sean Murphy Vertigo mini-series.
not simple GN - Read my review of this excellent manga.

Manga Monday: Not Simple

not simple
Natsume Ono

The year in manga is off to a great start with this very strong offering from Natsume Ono.  Already, I can tell you that this is going to be one strong contender for one of the best books of the year.  not simple tells the story of Ian, beginning with the end of his life.  It's a brutal opening chapter, but as Ono fills in Ian's life story throughout the rest of the book, it becomes apparent very quickly that the events that lead to his death are hardly the worst things he's been through.  It's really quite tame compared with the turmoil of his history, which includes shocking revelations and turning points that you don't see coming.  It's very depressing, and if you can say one thing about it all, it's that it really is not simple.  Ian is a strange character, kind of hard to pin down.  He's very passive, seems very naive and innocent.  Malleable I think sums him up quite nicely.  He kind of goes with what life gives him, from a ve…

Pick of the Week 1/13

This is replacing the "In Stores" feature, putting the focus on a few big releases instead of listing numerous books coming to comic stores in any given week.  I'm keeping the "Pick of the Week," putting that in the spotlight, while listing a few other notable books each week.  Unfortunately, it's kind of a lacklustre week, but if you can only get a few comics, these are the ones I recommend paying attention to...

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #31 - A one off issue by Joss Whedon before a new storyarc begins for the slayer (which will be written by Brad Meltzer (Identity Crisis)) sees Buffy exhibit superhero powers and deals with consequences of recent events.  The storyarc beginning with #32 (the issue cover pictured) will reveal the identity of Twilight for those few who have been able to avoid spoiler images and angry fanboys on message boards.

Other Noteworthy Releases

Calamity Jack (Volume 1) HC
The Complete Chester Gould's Dick Tracy (Volume 9) HC
The Muppe…

Manga Monday: Natsume

Natsume's Book of Friends (Volume 1)
Yuki Midorikawa

The first book that I read published in 2010 is this cute manga from Viz that follows an orphaned boy named Takashi Natsume.  But Takashi isn't your typical kid.  He has the ability to see spirits, so a lot of his peers think he's strange, especially since he often talks to himself (actually the spirits) and reacts to things that nobody else can see.  Many of the adults he grew up around weren't too fond of him either because of his strange habits, so he was shuffled around a lot, making for a lonely upbringing.  In fact, one friend that he did make when he was young who didn't make him feel quite so alone turned out to be a spirit herself, disguising herself as a human to keep him company.  Well, it turns out that this gift/curse is hereditary, because his grandmother, a powerful woman named Reiko, had the same gift, although she used the gift to bully spirits, playing games with them and demanding their servitude…

Most Anticipated Comics of 2010

Now that we've rung in the New Year and the best-of lists are beginning to taper off, it's time to take a look at the highlights of what next year has to offer in the medium of comics.


AX anthology - Top Shelf is releasing a greatest hits of offerings from Japan's alternative comics anthology of the same name.

Bakuman - The creative team behind the fantastic series Death Note release Bakuman this year, about aspiring manga artists.

Black Blizzard - An early crime story from Yoshihiro Tatsumi, creator of A Drifting Life and The Push-Man and Other Stories.

Reprint Collections

Nancy Is Happy: The Complete Dailies: 1942-1945 - It was only a matter of time before these were reprinted.  One of the major omissions from the comic strip reprint boom is Ernie Bushmiller's beloved comic.

Walt & Skeezix (Volume 4): 1927-1928 - Drawn & Quarterly finally continues reprinting Frank King's comic strip.

Archie - IDW is doing several reprint collections of Archie material thro…

In Stores 1/6

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

Pick of the Week

The Troublemakers HC - Finally the wait is over!  It's been pushed back and delayed, teasing us for a over a year, but Gilbert Hernandez's latest original graphic novel will see the light of day tomorrow.  Sloth and Chance In Hell were both great original books from the creator, and I doubt this crime story will prove the exception.

Other Noteworthy Releases

The Box Man HC
BPRD: King of Fear #1 (of 5)
Bringing Up Father (Volume 1): From Sea To Shining Sea HC
Chill HC
Daffodil #1 (of 3)
Daredevil: Born Again TP
Essential Avengers (Volume 7) TP
Fairy Tail (Volume 9)
Fruits Basket Ultimate Edition (Volume 4)
Invincible Iron Man (Volume 3): Most Wanted Book 2 HC
Leave It To PET! (Volume 4) - Final volume!
The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck (Volume 1) HC
The List HC
Little Adventures In Oz (Book 1)
Marvel Boy: The Uranian #1 (of 3)
The Muppet Show: Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson TP
Nana (Volume 20)
Night of the Bedbugs H…