Showing posts from June, 2010

Pick of the Week 6/30

Here is the book you should be paying attention to at the local comic shop today...

Krazy Kat: A Celebration of Sundays HC - 135 pages of classic Krazy Kat Sunday strips presented in their original size and colors, from Sunday Press Books, the publisher behind the excellent Little Nemo In Slumberland reprints.  Includes an introduction by Patrick McDonnell, a biography and other treats.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Batman Beyond #1 (of 6)
Batwoman: Elegy Deluxe Edition HC
Bizenghast (Volume 7) - Final volume!
Chi's Sweet Home (Volume 1)
Death of Dracula #1
Prince Valiant (Volume 2): 1939-1940 HC
The Royal Historian of Oz #1
Werewolves of Montpelier GN

Manga Monday: I'll Give It My All...Tomorrow

Shunju Aono

New from Viz's IKKI line is I'll Give It My All...Tomorrow, a manga series from Shunju Aono.  The story follows Shizuo Oguro, a loser by any stretch of the imagination.  Not only does he still live with his father and is a regular fast food server at age forty, but he has no aspirations beyond playing hours of video games and trying to impress thirteen-year-olds with his ability to ride a bicycle without using his hands.  Lately, he's come to realize that he is middle-aged and is a bad father/role model to his teenage daughter, and tries to do things to rectify his ways.  So, he begins creating manga.  He has no experience, and is all over the map with the sort of content he churns out, but he's dedicated to this new driving force in his life...sort of.  He gets distracted still, is lazy generally, and goes into slumps, but he rebounds and creating manga begins to have an effect on his life.  He begins to look to others around him for inspiration, like a juv…

Pick of the Week 6/23

Here is the book you should be paying attention to in comic shops on Wednesday...

X-Men: S.W.O.R.D.: No Time To Breathe TP - What good timing!  Check out one of the most overlooked comic books in its collected format tomorrow - all five issues of the amazing, short-lived series.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Archie: The Best of Dan DeCarlo (Volume 1) HC
Beasts of Burden HC
Family Circus Library (Volume 2) HC
Jurassic Park: Redemption #1
Namora #1
The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen HC
Saga of the Swamp Thing (Book 3) HC
Sea Bear & Grizzly Shark #1

30 Most Overlooked Comics

I thought that for the 5-year anniversary of Comics-and-More that I would highlight some comic books that I feel have been overlooked.  I feel like one of my most important contributions as a blogger is pointing people toward good books that may interest them.  I decided to look at books that have come out over the past decade, so some books that I think are criminally overlooked from before that time, such as Keith Giffin and Erik Larsen's Freak Force, are not included here.  These are thirty books that I feel, one way or another, should have received more attention from comic fandom in America, and deserved to sell more books.

Honorable Mentions
Athena Voltaire (Steve Bryant & Paul Daly)
Mnemovore (Ray Fawkes, Hans Rodionoff & Mike Huddleston)
Mystic (Ron Marz, Brandon Peterson, John Dell, Aaron Lopresti, etc.)
Octopus Girl (Toru Yamazaki)
Sidescrollers (Matthew Loux)

30. (TIE) It was really difficult for me to narrow this list down to thirty (as you can probably tell by the fi…

Avengers Academy #1

Christos Gage & Mike McKone

A new young team of heroes assemble in Marvel Comics, trained under the tutelage of veteran Avengers Hank Pym, Justice, Tigra, Speedball and Quicksilver.  This new generation of Avengers were teenagers experimented on by Norman Osborn, and were handpicked by Pym to join this group, but not because they are exemplary students that could usher in the next generation of superheroes, but because they have the potential to be dangerous to society, and need to be tempered and perhaps defused.  It's nice and refreshing to have a whole new bunch of characters to get to know in this all-new series, superpowered individuals with a little edge, a little darkness to them.  And the characters have some really great designs, particularly Veil and Hazmat, with Mettle having a great overall look.  The art in general is very well done: clear action, and crisp clean lines showcasing the interactions between the beautifully-rendered characters.  There's a lot of po…

Underground TP

Jeff Parker & Steve Lieber

This five-issue mini-series from writer Jeff Parker (Agents of Atlas, X-Men: First Class) and artist Steve Lieber (Whiteout, Civil War: Frontline) was recently collected, including a little "pilot episode" from Image Comics' Four Letter Worlds anthology.  The book follows two park rangers: Wes, who's new to town and has plenty of experience spelunking, and Seth, who grew up in the small town where Stillwater Cave resides.  While Wes adamantly opposes opening the cave to tourism and destroying the precious cave life, Seth sees the townfolk's point-of-view, as it would help to dispel the town's economic draught.  While they may not see eye-to-eye, these two get along, and are nursing a blooming romance.  When the book opens, a local business owner presses the idea of opening the cave to tourism, and goes to the extremes of hiring some men to detonate explosives in the cave to show its promise to a representative from the state depa…

Manga Monday: Saturn Apartments

Saturn Apartments (Volume 1)
Hisae Iwaoka

New from Viz's IKKI line is Saturn Apartments, which features a future Earth where humans live in a huge structure shaped like a ring that surrounds the planet, a ring inspired by the natural one that surrounds Saturn.  This man made ring is 35 kilometers into the sky and is humanity's home while a sick Earth recovers from the damage humans have done to it.  There are different classes aboard the ring, the lower floor being the working class, the middle floor where everyone goes to school among other things, and the upper level being where high society lives.  Being from the lower levels, Mitsu follows in the steps of his father to be a window-washer.  Window-washing is a dangerous line of work aboard the ring, as high winds, meteorites and other hazards can come out of nowhere to harm the unsuspecting workers.  Mitsu's own father was lost to high winds while completing work, falling to Earth far below.  Basically, Mitsu and his co-w…

Pick of the Week 6/16

Here is the book you should be paying attention to at the local comic shop on Wednesday...

Artichoke Tales HC - This is the latest highly-anticipated graphic novel from exciting cartoonist Megan Kelso, whose excellent The Squirrel Mother Stories came out from Fantagraphics a few years ago.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Amazing Spider-Man Presents Black Cat #1 (of 4)
Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird HC
Darkwing Duck #1: The Duck Knight Returns
Little Adventures In Oz (Book 2) GN
Meatcake GN
New Avengers #1
Temperance HC

Darkstar and The Winter Guard #1 (of 3)

David Gallaher & Steve Ellis

I've always liked Darkstar.  She may be an odd character to like out of the billions of obscure superheroes out there, but I think it was an appearance on X-Men: The Animated Series that sealed the deal for me.  She seemed badass, had cool powers and was a great visual.  So, of course, I picked up the first series featuring her alongside her Russian superhero teammates in the Hulk: Winter Guard one-shot last year, and really, really enjoyed it.  I'm very happy that David Gallaher chose to pluck her out of obscurity to feature in a Marvel comic, and I'm glad that that initial one-shot was successful enough to warrant another mini-series featuring the neat little team, with the original Gallaher/Ellis team intact for the new title.  The Winter Guard is a team of interchangeable superhero icons featuring Darkstar, Ursa Major, Crimson Dynamo and Red Guardian.  If one of them is killed in battle, they are swiftly replaced by an understudy as the …

Pick of the Week 6/9

Here is the book you should be paying attention to at the local comic shop tomorrow...

The Golden Collection of Klassic Krazy Kool Kids Komics HC - From IDW's Yoe Books! imprint is this collection of comics from the 40's and 50's by legends of the medium such as Jack Kirby, Carl Barks, Steve Ditko, Walt Kelly, Jules Pfeiffer and John Stanley.  There's also an introduction by childen's picture book author Mo Willems.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Avengers Academy #1
Batman #700 - Grant Morrison's back!
Blacksad (Volume 1) HC
Siegel and Schuster's Funnyman TP
Stardrop (Volume 1) GN
Tales Designed To Thrizzle #6
Tumor HC

Manga Monday: Book Lovers!

This week for Manga Monday, I take a look at two new manga series that involve books: Library Wars: Love & War and Kingyo Used Books.

Library Wars: Love & War
(Volume 1) Kiiro Yumi
Library Wars: Love & War is a shojo manga from Viz about a future world where books are censored by local government (thanks to a law that's passed called the Media Betterment Act) and seized from bookstores due to what they deem "content issues."  Librarians have taken a stand and have formed the Library Forces in retaliation, and exercise the right to seize the books for themselves to be accessed by people legally in their libraries.  The library forces are a rather militant group, trained in combat to fight (and die) for the cause.  Kiiro Yumi's manga actually adapts this concept from a series of prose novels by Hiro Arikawa, giving it a shojo focus for this title.  In this manga series, the main character is Iku, a girl who has grown up with the determination to defend these b…

Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard #1 (of 4)

David Petersen, Jeremy Bastian, Ted Naifeh & Alex Sheikman

Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard is a new anthology from Archaia featuring artists hand-picked by Mouse Guard creator David Petersen to give other artists the opportunity to delve into his fun fantasy world (and give fans a little something to chew on while they anxiously await Petersen's third Mouse Guard mini-series, The Black Axe).  Subsequent issues of this mini-series will see creators such as Gene Ha (Top Ten: The Forty-Niners) and Terry Moore (Echo, Strangers In Paradise) take a stab at the characters, but in this debut issue, we get three talented creators bringing this world to life.  The series is set up as a group of mice at a tavern who all have hefty bar tabs.  The owner offers to waive the tab of the mouse who tells the greatest story, while the others have to pay up immediately.  The scenes in the bar are illustrated by David Petersen himself, setting up each of the tales which are written and illustrate…

Avengers Prime #1 (of 5)

Brian Michael Bendis & Alan Davis

First of all, I've always been a huge Alan Davis fan, since his days on Excalibur, and that was really the reason why I picked this up.  I didn't need to read yet another Avengers title.  But I'm glad I did.  Davis beautifully renders these events that take place immediately following Asgard's fall, focusing on the three big Avengers: Captain America, Thor and Iron Man.  It's a really cool story actually.  Now that Asgard has fallen, what has become of the rainbow bridge?  The rest of the nine realms?  Well, this book answers those questions, pulling the three big guys through a portal to be scattered over the nine realms, where they each encounter some adversity.  And now that Asgard, Odin AND Loki are all down for the count, another foe seizes the opportunity of ruling over the vast kingdoms of gods and fantasy creatures, someone I was very pleased to see.  I think the three characters focused on here have a really nice dynami…

Previews HYPE: August '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 August that I think may get overlooked or that I'm just plain excited about...

1. Comic Strip/Book Archival Projects - Holy crap!  Just when you thought everything that would ever be worth reprinting had been given the deserving treatment, along comes another round of great titles!  This month:  More John Stanley goodness is The John Stanley Library: Tubby (Volume 1) HC, and from out of last year's Doug Wright: Canada's Master Cartoonist comes Nipper (Volume 1): 1963-1964.  Dark Horse begins to print their expensive hardcover archive collections is affordable softcover editions beginning with Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom Archives (Volume 1) TP (perhaps to get readers onboard with the new material they are printing starring the characters).  Polly and Her Pals: The Complete Sunday Comics (Volume 1): 1925-1927 HC joins IDW's …

Galacta: Daughter of Galactus #1

Adam Warren & Hector Sevilla Lujan

Collected from the webcomic of the same name (plus a short story from an anthology), this one-shot introduces readers to the daughter of Galactus, Galacta, who lives on Earth.  And like her world-devouring father, she has an instatiable appetite and wants nothing more than to consume living things.  She lives in the guise of a human, and lives among them, oftentimes assessing the humans she comes into contact with by how much nutritional value they would serve to offer.  She does the same thing when watching TV, calling all channels The Food Network.  But Galacta doesn't want to be an all-consuming hated entity.  So, she's basically a vegetarian, eating only non-Earth creatures that have invaded the planet, usually bacteria or some creatures flying under the radar of the world's super scientists.  In this way, she aids Earth from alien aggressors, but she also protects her home from harm in other ways, basically acting as a superhero o…

Zatanna #1

Paul Dini & Stephane Roux

I'll be honest:  I don't really get Zatanna.  She seems a bit goofy to me.  She's a stage magician, but actually some sort of sorceress in fishnets?  Isn't that...cheating, using real magic?  It seems from this issue that her powers make her pretty much omnipotent too.  She just says things backwards (whatever the hell she wants) and it happens.  Seems like she could be running the DC Universe in a matter of minutes.  But magic is kind of a hard thing to write.  The boundaries can be sketchy, so making any real tension when magic's involved is difficult.  Zatanna is a prime example, it seems to me.  Also the whole talking-backward thing bothers me.  It's a little silly, but it also takes me out of the story, stopping the action to decipher what she's saying.  At the same time, it's a way to let the audience know what she's doing specifically and since it's not written normally, that it's magic.  It's just wei…

Pick of the Week 6/3

Comics will be in stores a day late due to the Monday holiday.  Here is the book you should be paying attention to...

Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard #1 (of 4) - A new anthology mini-series from Archaia to take the edge off of fans' appetites awaiting David Petersen's next book featuring cute warrior mice.  The artists involved in this project were handpicked by Petersen himself and include Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin), Terry Moore (Strangers In Paradise) and Gene Ha (Top Ten: The Forty-Niners).

Other Noteworthy Releases
Avengers Prime #1 (of 5)
Darkstar and the Winter Guard #1 (of 3)
Library Wars (Volume 1)
Moving Pictures GN
Okko (Volume 2): The Cycle of Earth HC
Serenity: Float Out One-Shot
Sky Doll: Space Ship #1 (of 2)
Stuck Rubber Baby HC (New Edition)
Thanos Imperative #1 (of 6)