Showing posts from December, 2011

Previews HYPE: February '12

Here are the books that caught my eye in Previews Catalogue, for books shipping to comic shops in February...

Folly: The Consequences of Indiscretion SC - This is a collection of material that was originally self-published by the creator, Hans Rickheit, who topped my best-of-the-year list a few years back with The Squirrel Machine.

Winter Soldier #1 & #2 - A new ongoing series from Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice, featuring Bucky as well as Black Widow.

Harvey Pekar's Cleveland HC - Autobiographical sketches and glimpses of the city he lived in for most of his life, haunt this graphic novel from the late great Harvey Pekar.

Fantastic Four: Season One HC - The first in a series of original graphic novels, these are great for new fans, retelling the origins of some of the greatest Marvel heroes.

DC Comics Presents #6 - Now that Deadman's story has wrapped up, Dan Didio and Jerry Ordway take the reigns of the anthology series DC Comics Presents to debut The Challengers into The New 52…

Best Superhero Comics of 2011

Here are my ten favorite superhero comics from 2011, the top-ranking of which will also be featured in my forthcoming overall best comics of the year list.

1.Animal Man (Jeff Lemire & Travel Foreman) - Jeff Lemire really struts his storytelling skills in this deliciously dark superhero title that oozes atmosphere and is drenched in horror.  Introducing really cool concepts into the Animal Man mythos, Lemire creates scary villains in a story that sees him protecting his family, and his daughter as she comes into her powers, from those who would harm them.  Foreman designs some great-looking baddies, and illustrates this creepy comic beautifully.

2.FF/Fantastic Four (Jonathan Hickman, Steve Epting, Greg Tocchini, Juan Bobilo, Barry Kitson & Others) - The new title FF launched this year, focusing the events of the Baxter Building on the Future Foundation, and bringing Spider-Man into the mix, as Human Torch was presumed dead in The Negative Zone.  And then Fantastic Four relaunched…

Comics-and-More Podcast: Pogo

This week on the Comics-and-More Podcast, Patrick Markfort and I discuss Walt Kelly's Pogo!


Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips (Volume 1): 1949-1950 "Through the Wild Blue Wonder"
Walt Kelly

Part One:

Part Two:

Pick of the Week 12/28

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

Shaky Kane's Monster Truck GN - This new edition of British writer Shaky Kane's (Bulletproof CoffinMonster Truck, from Image Comics, sees one panel sprawl over fifty-two pages, and allows more than the initial 500 copies from the UK Wishbone Studio edition (from 2007) to find its way to more readers.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Brothers of the Spear Archives (Volume 1) HC
Chase TP
Hulk by John Byrne and Ron Garney TP
Mystery Men HC
Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane Archives (Volume 1) HC
Walt & Skeezix (Volume 5): 1929-1930 HC
X-Men: Schism HC

Best Manga of 2011

The following are my ten favorite manga of the year, the best of which will also be ranked on my forthcoming overall best comics of the year list.

1. The Drops of God (Tadashi Agi & Shu Okimoto) - I love this manga!  About a man who learns about wine after his father, a famous wine critic, dies, this book looks great and is completely engrossing.  The world of wine is really fascinating - I had no idea that wine was so complex. And the way the creators take the readers away with taste, transporting the characters to memories and breathtaking landscapes, is a smart choice that gets the point across very nicely. But as interesting as all of the subtleties of wine is, the art on this title is just drop-dead gorgeous and steals the show. From that beautifully-designed cover to the detailed backgrounds to panel-upon-panel of beautifully-rendered talking heads, this books looks fantastic.

2. Princess Knight (Osamu Tezuka) - The title that set the tone for shojo manga is just as wonderf…

Three Worst Comics of the Year

I'm sure there's worse stuff out there, if some of the solicitations in Previews are any indication, but here are three comics that I suffered through in 2011...

1. X-Men: Regenesis #1 by Kieron Gillen & Billy Tan - This one-shot that kicks off the relaunch of the X-Men line in wake of X-Men: Schism, is a complete waste of time.  It pretty much shows which X-Men are siding with which new team, as Logan and Scott approach various members of the X-Men to recruit them. As each member decides on which side they are on, the artist flashes to this weird scene where Cyclops and Wolverine are battling each other in loincloths and animal skins, and each X-Man is depicted in this garb. It's...weird. The conversations that the X-Men have that lead them to their decisions are pretty shallow too, not insightful or interesting, but just...seemed like they were talking to fill the pages.

2. Animal Land (Volume 1) by Makoto Raiku - This manga, about a human baby raised in a world ful…

Pick of the Week 12/21

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

Memorial #1 (of 6) - This new title from Chris Roberson (iZombie) and Rich Ellis sees a young woman inherit a magic shop, and propels her into the world of the supernatural.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes #1
Blondie (Volume 2) HC
Fantastic Four by Waid and Wieringo Ultimate Collection (Book 4) TP
Siege HC
Spider-Man: Chapter One TP
Strange Girl Omnibus HC
Tales Designed To Thrizzle #7

Manga Monday: Book of Human Insects

The Book of Human Insects
Osamu Tezuka

The Book of Human Insects, published in the US by Vertical, is a minor work of Osamu Tezuka's when compared to the staggering amount of fantastic manga out there from the god of manga.  That being said, this is still one of the best manga to come out this year.  Even a minor work from Tezuka is superior to most of the stuff being translated currently.  Princess Knight is a first-rate work from Tezuka, the second volume of which just arrived in comic shops and bookstores a few weeks ago, if you're looking for something to compare it to, or want to experience Tezuka in top form for your first look at the artist.

This graphic novel may have the title of a horror story, but it's really a drama, with thrills, and twists and turns aplenty.  It begins with manga creator Toshiko Tomura winning a prestigious award for her debut manga "The Book of Human Insects" at the same time as her former roommate, another manga artist, commits suic…

My Favorite Comic Book Covers of 2011

I may have missed a few, but here are some of my favorite comic book covers of the year...

Best In Music 2011

The following are my favorite songs and albums of 2011, a great year in music.  For songs, I kept it to one song per artist to feature the most talent, and overall, it makes for one hell of a mixed CD if anyone's looking for some great tunes.  I do tend to gravitate toward female singers, but there are some guys in there to mix it up.  Enjoy!

30 Best Songs of 2011

1. "Rolling In the Deep" by Adele - It's hard not to fall in love with this song.  It's infectious, with a great beat and a powerhouse of a voice.  Adele pours her heart and soul into this one, and it comes through loud and clear.

2. "Blue Jeans" by Lana Del Rey - Her video for "Video Games" went viral, but it's her single "Blue Jeans" that's the real show stopper.  Great lyrics, interesting sounds, and a versatile voice with a unique delivery that's hard to stop listening to.
3. "Hear the Bells" by Vanessa Carlton - Vanessa Carlton really experimented wit…