Showing posts from August, 2010

Pick of the Week 9/1

Manga Monday will return next week.  For now, here's the book you should be paying attention to in comic shops this Wednesday...

A Drunken Dream and Other Stories HC - It's a good week when a new Kevin Huizenga graphic novel gets overshadowed.  This is the highly-anticipated collection of short works from acclaimed manga creator Moto Hagio, featuring some of her best stuff.  One of the biggest releases of the year.

Other Noteworthy Releases
5 Days To Die #1 (of 5)
Amazing Screw-On Head & Other Curious Objects HC
Amulet (Volume 3): Cloud Searchers SC
Anthology Project (Volume 1) HC
Apollo's Song (Volume 1) TP
Apollo's Song (Volume 2) TP
Dark Shadows Complete Series (Volume 1) HC
Fraggle Rock (Volume 1) HC
Freedom Fighters #1
Syndrome HC
Wild Kingdom HC
Wolverine #1
X-Men: Curse of the Mutants: Smoke and Blood #1


I've been a little busy lately, so here are some quick thoughts on comics I've recently read...

Scratch9 #1 (of 4) (Rob M. Worley & Jason T. Kruse) - This is a cute little all-ages title with cartoony art.  The story is pretty by-the-numbers until it gets to the hook of the series, where the kitten Scratch can call upon his eight past lives to aid him when he's in trouble.  Thus, a sabretooth tiger shows up to help him break out of a mad scientist's lair.  I like the idea, I like that "Little Orphan Annie" eyes are used on Scratch's little girl master who misses him, but the art is pretty average, the cat is a little too cutesy and the secondary characters like a crazy squirrel he meets seem pretty standard and unimaginative.

Scott Pigrim (Volume 6): Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour TP (Bryan Lee O'Malley) - They really squeaked this one out just in time for the movie.  This is the final volume in the Scott Pilgrim series, featuring a hipster who mus…

The Night Owls (Volume 1) TP

Peter Timony & Bobby Timony

The Night Owls is a comic originally published on-line through DC's Zuda line, but was one of the lucky ones popular enough to justify a print run (along with Bayou and High Moon).  The book is about a detective agency called The Night Owls who investigate supernatural crimes.  It takes place in New York City during the 1920's and features Ernest Baxter, a bookish occult specialist, his wise-cracking sidekick Roscoe the gargoyle, and feisty flapper Mindy Markus.  The art is done comic-strip style with two rows of strips, often ending with a gag or a good leave-off point to continue with the next strip.  It's mostly done in black and white, with the exception of an extended storyline in the middle of this volume, when the detectives venture to another world, which is decked out in full color.  It's nice and kind of cute to see, like an homage to Wizard of Oz, but for the most part, unnecessary.  The art already looks great in black and whi…

Pick of the Week 8/25

Here's the book you should be paying attention to in comic shops this Wednesday...

Archie Classic Newspaper Comics (Volume 1): 1946-1948 HC - IDW's first collection of Archie newspaper comic dailies, featuring Bob Montana's work on the characters, hits stores this week among some other big comic collections like a new Peanuts volume and more of John Stanley's Little Lulu.

Other Noteworthy Releases
AD: New Orleans After the Deluge SC
Chronicles of King Conan (Volume 1) TP
The Complete Peanuts (Volume 14): 1977-1978 HC
The Complete Peanuts Box Set: 1975-1978
Guarding the Globe #1 (of 6)
Little Lulu (Volume 24): Space Dolly & Other Stories TP
Namor: The First Mutant #1

Orc Stain #1

James Stokoe

Orc Stain is a new action fantasy series being put out by Image Comics, written and illustrated by James Stokoe.  Stokoe effortlessly builds a fantastic world, relaying a history of different lands and races that leads to the new Orktsar, who leads armies of vicious orcs usually given to squabbling amongst themselves, giving them direction and transforming them into a seemingly unstoppable force.  But there is a prophecy of a one-eyed orc who will be necessary to his success, the same safe-cracking, treasure-hunting orc that we get to know over the course of the rest of the issue as he aids another orc in uncovering some much-needed loot.  Stokoe beautifully illustrates this world with fantastic, detailed creatures and landscapes.  It's very odd, and often ugly, but also undeniably beautiful and crafted with ornate detail and care.  It's also bright and colorful and thoughtfully laid-out by Stokoe, who really owns this entire visual extravaganza we're left with…

Pick of the Week 8/18

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

Ignatz Titles - A new wave of Ignatz books is coming out from Fantagraphics today.  Among the oversized, high-quality offerings are: Niger #3 by Leila Marzocchi, Sammy the Mouse #3 by Zak Sally, Interiorae #4 by Gabriella Giandelli, and Grotesque #4 from Sergio Ponchione.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Riley One-Shot
Dark Rain: A New Orleans Story HC
Ex Machina #50 - Final issue
Ides of Blood #1 (of 6)
Little Lulu's Pal Tubby (Volume 1): Castaway and Other Stories TP

Phoenix Without Ashes #1 (of 4)

Manga Monday: The Dawn of Love

The Dawn of Love
Kazuho Hirokawa

I'm not terribly impressed with much of the yaoi manga that I've read.  Perhaps it's because most yaoi is written by women for a female audience, that the male-male interactions just don't seem very authentic to me.  Being a gay man, maybe I just can't relate to what they're tapping into for their audience.  I read and enjoy plenty of shojo manga that's written for women, but perhaps it's something else that they're getting out of yaoi.  Either way, I really enjoyed the yaoi title The Dawn of Love from Digital Manga.  Right off the bat, I was a big fan of the artwork from Kazuho Hirokawa.  Great hair, expressive eyes, and just a nice overall look to the faces of the characters portrayed that's unique to this title.  The book follows Masahiro, a law student who's kind of goofy, but is great in bed and pretty hot.  He very quickly lusts over one of his fellow students, the beautiful Takane, who agrees to sleep wi…

Morning Glories #1

Nick Spencer & Joe Eisma

I have to say that the reason I bought this book, even over the premise, was the covers by Rodin Esquejo.  They're just beautiful.  I think I saw a cover on an article at a comics news site after it was solicited and clicked on the article to find out what it was about before I decided to pick it up.  But I completely judged this book by its cover.  That being said, I enjoyed this book, so being judgmental worked this time around.
The book follows a group of kids, from varying backgrounds, accepted into a prestigious prep school.  Little do they know that the school is more than it appears.  From the getgo of Morning Glories, the readers are clued in to the sinister underbelly of the school, as a couple of students try to escape the grounds and are hunted down by guards and some sort of psychotic apparition.  After this brief, bloody action sequence, we are introduced to the protagonists of this book.  A brilliant girl from a loving family, a spoiled ch…

Pick of the Week 8/11

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

Moomin for Kids - These are books for kids from out of Tove Jansson's wonderful Moomin universe.  They are prose books, but are sure to captivate its intended audience just as much as the comic strips.  A number of them come out this week to comic stores including Comet In MoominlandSC, Finn Family Moomintroll SC, Moominpapas Memoirs SC and Moominsummer Madness SC, each for the reasonable price of $6.99.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Adventures of Superboy (Volume 1) HC
Al Williamson Archives (Volume 1) SC
Bone: Tall Tales HC/SC
Excalibur Visionaries: Warren Ellis (Volume 2) TP
Felix the Cat's Greatest Comic Book Tails HC
Flash Gordon Comic Book Archives (Volume 1) HC
Gossip Girl Manga (Volume 1): For Your Eyes Only GN
Marvelman Classic (Volume 1) HC
Morning Glories #1
Skeleton Story #1 (of 5)
Sky Doll: Lacrima Christi #1 (of 2)
Ultimate Comics: Avengers 3 #1 (of 6)

Manga Monday: Seiho

Seiho Boys' High School (Volume 1)
Kaneyoshi Izumi

Seiho High is an isolated campus, located on an island far from any contact with civilization.  Which is why the boys that attend school there are starved for female interaction.  The stories here actually revolve less around what life is like for the guys during their regular days among other guys with raging hormones as much as it's about the few girls who visit the high school, which is kind of a shame, because I think it's less interesting.  Of course the guys are going to go ga-ga over any young plain-looking thing that comes along.  In the same way that the guys are pouring over nudie magazines in their free time.  Seiho Boys' High School is made of pretty predictable stuff.  On top of the unimaginative circumstances that we find the boys in, the characters are all completely two dimensional, particularly the women.  Sure, there's the jock, the nerd, the gay guy who likes pretty frilly things, but they're a…

New Mutants Forever #1 (of 5)

Chris Claremont & Al Rio

Like Marvel's previous "Forever" titles, X-Men Forever and X-Factor Forever, this new five issue mini-series sees writer Chris Claremont return to the series he created, picking up the story where he left off back in 1987 before he handed the reins over to Louise Simonson with issue #55.  So this is a sort of reflection on what Claremont would have done with the team, having had over two decades to mull things over.  And the wonderful Bill Sienkiewicz, who worked with Claremont on part of the original series, illustrated one of the two covers for this issue (pictured), which is an added bonus.

I love a lot of Chris Claremont's classic runs on Marvel titles, especially when it comes to the mutants of X-Men, Excalibur and New Mutants, but in recent years, he's left a tad to be desired.  I've actually kind of tortured myself over the past decade, trying out new Claremont-penned X-titles, only to be disappointed over and over again.  X…

Previews HYPE: October '10

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

1. Picture This HC - A nice companion to Lynda Barry's What It Is, this is another inspirational workshop for creators, featuring Marlys and the new Nearsighted Monkey.

2. The Saga of Rex TP - Michel Gagne's popular story from Flight gets collected together in one place for the first time, bringing the lovable out-of-his-world fox to a whole new audience.

3. Miss Don't Touch Me (Volume 2) GN - The follow-up to husband-and-wife team Hubert & Kerascoet's story of a woman who joins a high-class bordello as a pain-inducing English governess in 1930's Paris (to solve a murder) features a new mystery for Blanche to solve.

4. Tezuka's Ayako GN - From Vertical, this is a new translated work from manga master Osamu Tezuka!  It's a massi…

Pick of the Week 8/4

Here's the book you should be paying attention to in comic shops tomorrow...kind of a slow week...

Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love TP - This is a really fun spin-off from DC/Vertigo's flagship title Fables, featuring the classic character as a sexy, stylish spy.  I really like the character and had more fun reading this mini than what the main title has been offering as of late.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Chloe GN
Fogtown HC
The John Stanley Library: Nancy (Volume 2) HC
New Mutants Forever #1 (of 5)
Spitfire #1
Tarzan: The Jesse Marsh Years (Volume 6) HC

Manga Monday: Bakuman

Bakuman (Volume 1)
Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata

Bakuman is the latest book from the creators behind the super-popular manga Death Note.  The story follows Moritaka Mashiro, a middle school student who's getting ready for his high school entrance exams, when a fellow classmate gets hold of his notebook and discovers what a great artist he is from some sketches he's done.  The classmate, Akito Takagi, happens to want to be a manga writer and has been searching for the perfect collaborator to break into the industry, and he's chosen Moritaka, and eventually convinces him to go all-out for this dream of becoming professional manga creators.  Bakuman is very much about exploring the manga industry, readers learning alongside the characters as they teach each other what storyboards are, how to pitch to editors, what sorts of pens to draw with, and just talk about influential or favorite manga, throwing in a few Death Note references for good measure.  Even the design of the bo…