Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pick of the Week 6/2

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

Captain Britain (Volume 1): Birth of a Legend HC - For the 35th anniversary of the debut of Marvel U.K.'s first original superhero, Captain Britain's earliest adventures are being collected in the USA for the very first time!  Includes Betsy Braddock's (aka Psylocke) first appearance as well.

Other Noteworthy Releases
50 Girls 50 #1 (of 4)
A Bride's Story (Book 1) HC
Captain America: Serve and Protect HC
Citizen Rex HC
Criminal: The Last of the Innocent #1 (of 4)
Fear Itself #3 (of 7)
Flashpoint #2
Hellboy: The Fury #1 (of 3)
Jurassic Park: Devils In the Desert TP
Marvel Zombies Christmas Carol #1 (of 5)
Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip (Volume 6) HC
The Tooth HC
Wonder Woman (Volume 1): Odyssey HC

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Incredible Hulks #623-628

Greg Pak, Dale Eaglesham & Tom Grummett

I was curious to pick up this title for a few reasons.  First, Greg Pak is writing it, and I really loved the Planet Hulk storyline, which he wrote.  Secondly, I really had no idea what was going on with all of the Hulks out there.  Green Hulk, Red Hulk, Green She-Hulk, Red She-Hulk, Son of Hulk.  I mean, jeez.  I just want to know who all of these people are, especially since they're popping up in a bunch of other Marvel titles.  And third, I like the Savage Land, which is where #623 begins.

The Incredible Hulks #623-625 sees Hulk respond to a request for assistance from Ka-zar in the Savage Land, and has to do with some Sakaarians that Hulk helped settle onto Earth.  Along for the ride are the Warbound, the aliens who fought alongside Hulk on Planet Hulk, including different species of aliens.  I was glad to see them again, since I am a fan of Planet Hulk, especially No-Name of the Brood.  And of course, The Savage Land is a great backdrop for some fun visual treats, like Hulk versus dinosaurs and creepy, giant bugs.  The story actually flew by pretty fast, heavy on action, and beautifully illustrated by Dale Eaglesham (Fantastic Four).  But it did feel a little rushed, perhaps because it was setting up Son of Hulk's new role in the Savage Land.  But it was still plenty of fun.

The Incredible Hulks #626-628 focus on the relationship between Bruce Banner and his former wife (Green Hulk and Red She-Hulk).  I actually really like Betty Ross as the new She-Hulk.  She loves smashing things, and thinks that Bruce is kind of a stick-in-the-mud, but they have a great love-hate relationship, and this storyline is perfect to bring forth their feelings for one another (there's still one issue to go to conclude the story).  Overall, this series is really fun and feels fresh and new.  The new characters that have been brought into Hulk's life over the past few years have really enhanced the character's appeal, and it seems that some very talented people are eager to work on books starring the green guy, to some great results.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pick of the Week 5/25

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

Book of Lilah GN - This just seems like a fun story, priced at a low $8.99.  From the publisher: For thousands of years, a secret association known as the Keepers has quietly protected the world's knowledge. This group skillfully tracks and cultivates world progress, and at times destroys knowledge that they believe could harm mankind. Someone is after the Keepers, and it's up to one unsuspecting 20-year-old girl named Lilah to save the day.

Other Noteworthy Releases
5 Ronin HC
Al Capp's Shmoo: The Complete Newspaper Strips (Volume 2) HC
American Vampire (Volume 2) HC
Anthology Project (Volume 2) HC
Beauty and the Squat Bears HC
Charlaine Harris' Grave Sight (Volume 1) GN
Deep Sleeper HC
Ducktales #1
Emma Frost Ultimate Collection TP
Even the Giants GN
George RR Martin's Doorways HC
Green Lantern Corps: Revolt of the Alpha Lanterns HC
Invincible Iron Man (Volume 7): My Monsters HC
Kirby Genesis #0
L.A. Banks' Vampire Huntress (Volume 1) TP
Lucid HC
Mega Man: Gigamix (Volume 1) TP
Mystique by Brian K. Vaughan Ultimate Collection TP
Pixar Presents Cars #1
The Smurfs (Volume 6): The Smurfs and the Howlibird GN
Strange Adventures #1
Ultimate Comics: Captain America HC
Ultimate War HC
Yeah! GN

Monday, May 23, 2011

Manga Monday: A Bride's Story

A Bride's Story (Volume 1)
Kaoru Mori

A Bride's Story is a new series published by Yen Press, from the creator of the excellent manga Emma.  Like Emma, this new book is historical fiction, although Mori turns in Victorian Era England for 19th Century Asia, giving readers a look at the Silk Road, where a young woman named Amir is betrothed to a husband in a neighboring village.  Amir's husband, Karluk, is only twelve-years-old, a full eight years younger than she is.  It's a shock initially, but very quickly, she becomes an integral part of the family and is in love with her new life.  As with Emma, Mori is very detailed in her historical facts and the items she draws, especially when it comes to carpentry, customs, and how the nomadic tribes live.  She tells her stories cinematically, beautifully drawing out the scenes with her masterful art.  She gives just as much time to every day occurrences as she does big events, really letting readers live and breathe in this culture that she's thrown them in.  If we've learned anything from Mori's previous work, it's that she doesn't do anything halfway.  She creates an array of fully-realized characters that move through this vivid glimpse into the past, indulging in her own interests of the time period, while drawing breathtaking landscapes and scenes of intimate family life.  Yen Press has brought this lovely story to readers in a deserving hardcover volume.  While the pace can be a little slow at times, this really does immerse readers in the time period for a very unique reading experience that shouldn't be missed.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pick of the Week 5/18

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

Paying For It HC - Chester Brown releases a new autobiographical graphic novel through Drawn & Quarterly, on prostitution.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Alpha Flight #0.1
Batman: Gates of Gotham #1 (of 5)
Courtney Crumrin Tales #2: League of Ordinary Gentlemen
Flash Omnibus by Geoff Johns (Volume 1) HC
If N Oof GN
Liar's Kiss HC
Paying For It: The Golden Era of Romance Comics SC
Peanuts: Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown GN
Pinocchio HC
Powers (Volume 1): Who Killed Retro Girl HC
Rocketeer Adventures #1 (of 4)
Thor: World Eaters HC

Monday, May 16, 2011

Manga Monday: Lychee Light Club

Usamaru Furuya

This new manga put out by Vertical, Lychee Light Club, is about a cult of middle school students from an all-boys school.  This cult, or light club, that they have banded together to create, doesn't shy away from violence or death.  Neither does the creator of this title, Usamaru Furuya.  The pages of Lychee Light Club are full of images of stabbing people, kids playing with intestines and setting people on fire, among other things.  The boys seem to watch the proceedings in a detached sort of way, taking it in stride, almost bored with the scenes bathed in blood, at least those not reveling in it.  They're all very willing to do what is necessary for the club, even give up their lives.  But this sick cult's greatest feat is bringing to life a robot that will do their bidding.  And of course, being middle school boys at an all-boys school, what they want most is pretty girls.  And so they get some, although they may have gotten more than they bargained for with one beautiful girl that the robot brings back to them.  All in all, this is a pretty fun book.  It's definitely an 18+ title, extremely violent, without remorse, with plenty of nudity and dark imagery. 

My only real problem with the story was the characters.  Despite some physical differences between most of the boys, I found it difficult to keep them straight, especially as none of them really have much in terms of personality.  Oh, except for the one boy who, after all of the horrible things they do, suddenly grows a conscience when a girl becomes involved.  I think I was supposed to be rooting for him at the end.  Anyways, there's a plot point about one of the boys betraying the club, but without much investment in the characters, I really couldn't care less when the big reveal came.  I think for a one-volume work, there were just too many characters crammed into this story, with few characters really vital to the story.

The real good stuff lies in the art, for the most part.  It's just very pretty to look at.  Yes, even intestines and eyeballs can be pretty to look at.  But seriously, the art is really dark, but it's very clear and Furuya just makes the images surrounding this twisted little clubhouse look really cool.  Another really neat part of the story is between the robot and the girl he kidnaps.  I enjoyed their relationship quite a bit.  But yes, overall, Lychee Light Club is a violent, bloody, sick good time, and it's all done in a knowing, fun way.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Another Crossgen property is being revived at Marvel, and one of my favorites, Mystic.  This one will be from the creative team of G. Willow Wilson (Air) and David Lopez (Hawkeye & Mockingbird). 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pick of the Week 5/11

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

Flashpoint #1 - DC's big Summer crossover event begins here.  Fan favorite writer Geoff Johns (Green Lantern) writes, with Andy Kubert (X-Men) on art, in a DC Universe where everything has changed, and it's up to Barry Allen to find out who is behind the alteration of time, and restore it.

Other Noteworthy Releases
30 Days of Night: Night Again #1 (of 4)
Batman and Robin (Volume 3): Batman Must Die HC
Birds of Prey (Volume 1): Endrun HC
Captain America and the Korvac Saga TP
Captain America Omnibus (Volume 1) HC
Chronicles of King Conan (Volume 2) TP
Danger Girl (Volume 1): Destination Danger TP
Deadman (Volume 1) TP
The Devil's Concubine HC
Emily the Strange (Volume 3): The 13th Hour TP
Fighting American TP
Garden GN
Little Lulu (Volume 27): Treasure Map and Other Stories TP
Mega Man #1
New X-Men By Grant Morrison (Book 1) TP
Superboy: The Boy of Steel TP
Wynonna Earp: Yeti Wars #1
Yossel TP
Young Marvelman Classic (Volume 1) HC

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Pick of the Week 5/4

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

Lychee Light Club (Volume 1) - This horror comedy is the latest manga offering brought to us by Vertical, from creator Usamaru Furuya, about a group of students who build a machine to change the world.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Archie Archives (Volume 1) HC
Avengers Academy Giant-Size #1
Bat Boy: The Complete Weekly World Comic Strips by Peter Bagge HC
Brightest Day (Volume 2) HC
Captain America: First Vengeance #1 (of 4)
Conan (Volume 10): Iron Shadows In the Room TP
Cyclops (Volume 1) HC
DMZ (Volume 10): Collective Punishment TP
I Will Bite You and Other Stories GN
Moon Girl #1 (of 5)
Moon Knight #1
Naruto 3-In-1 Edition (Volume 1)
Next Day GN
Richie Rich #1 (of 4)
Stuff of Legend (Volume 2): The Jungle TP
Thor: For Asgard HC
X-Men: Fall of the Mutants HC
X-Men: Prelude To Schism #1 (of 4)

Monday, May 02, 2011

Manga Monday: Hipira

Katsuhiro Otomo & Shinji Kimura

Hipira is more of a picture book than manga, but as it's written by Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira), I thought of it as close enough.  The artist, Shinji Kimura, has worked on plenty of art for anime, including Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro and the more recent Steamboy, which is where he met Katsuhiro Otomo, resulting in the production of this beautiful book.

Hipira is about a little boy vampire who lives in a city of vampires, Salta, where the sun never shines.  And together with his best friend, a little sprite named Soul, he gets into lots of mischief, including confronting a monster frog and climbing a strange vine produced by a meteorite.  This book isn't told with speech balloons, but rather with the words merely printed within the panels of the pages, speech and descriptive sentences alike, just like a picture book.  And as the language is very simple and nothing ever remotely scary happens, it's meant for those little kids who love monsters, much like I did when I was a little terror.

The real draw here, despite the pedigree of the writer, is the art.  Kimura's art is amazing.  It's very moody and Gothic, but ultimately very cartoony and whimsical, despite the dark color palette and constant shadows.  Kimura uses a scratch board style of art to illustrate the elaborate city scenes, the backgrounds, and of course, the characters, all with a beautiful blending of color.  This may not be the typical thing manga readers would buy for themselves, but if you've got little ones, this might be exactly the sort of thing you're looking for to share with them.