Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pick of the Week 5/30

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

Wonder Woman (Volume 1): Blood HC - One of the best things to come out of DC's New 52 is this fantastic run on Wonder Woman, who has rarely been written well in the past.  Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang find the perfect balance of superheroic action and bloody mythology for Diana in this first collection of their run.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Baltimore (Volume 2): The Curse Bells HC
Batman: Death By Design HC
Channel Zero: The Complete Collection TP
Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse HC
Empowered (Volume 7) TP
Fables Deluxe Edition (Volume 5) HC
The Graphic Cannon (Volume 1): From the Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons TP
Green Arrow (Volume 1): The Midas Touch TP
Grim Leaper #1 (of 4)
Kick-Ass 2 HC
Monsieur Jean: The Singles Theory HC
The Moon Moth GN
Peyo: The Life & Work of a Marvellous Storyteller SC
Ravagers #1
Starman Omnibus (Volume 1) TP
Superman Family Adventures #1
Until Death Do Us Part (Volume 1)
X-Men: Phoenix Endsong/Warsong Ultimate Collection TP
Zombies HC

Monday, May 28, 2012

Manga Monday: Linking

For this week's Manga Monday, I wanted to point you toward a youtube video of Patrick Markfort talking about 20th Century Boys, and creator Naoki Urasawa in general.  Patrick Markfort is the co-host of the Comics-and-More Podcast, and he has begun posting his own videos pretty frequently.  It's good stuff, so check it out!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Justice League Dark #9

Jeff Lemire & Mikel Janin

I wasn't a fan of the original launch of DC's New 52 title Justice League Dark, written by Peter Mulligan, but I like the idea of this book, so with Jeff Lemire coming on board as writer, and him writing some excellent books for DC, like Animal Man and Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E., I thought I would check out what he planned to do to steer this title into new territory.  Mikel Janis is still on art, but while his panels were a little unfocused and hard to follow in his initial issue, he does a good job of making the action flow better in this new incarnation of the team.  His art style is well-suited for the book and I hope he continues to grow with the title.  Jeff Lemire's new team consists of John Contantine, Deadman, Zatanna, the vampire Andrew Bennett, and the shapeshifter Black Orchid.  For all intents and purposes, this is like a new book.  There are a few references to Mulligan's initial run, but the introduction of the new characters and the new direction make it feel really fresh, like it's the first issue of a brand new series.  Basically, Constantine is working for the government to help them with a supernatural threat, recruiting a few friends to help him complete his task, this one being a power-hungry sorcerer in the Amazon who has kidnapped a government operative and is in possession of an artifact of immense power.  Along with his friends, Constantine must take along the mysterious Black Orchid, who will be aiding him in his quest, as well as watching him for the government.  Lemire brings together a nice blend of personalities that play off of each other well, and I would say that he's created a solid first issue of his run here.  I'm looking forward to what else he has up his sleeve.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pick of the Week 5/23

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

Makeshift Miracle (Book One): Girl From Nowhere HC - This new full-color graphic novel from UDON makes its way from webcomic to print, boasting beautiful illustrations in a coming-of-age fantasy.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Absolute Batman: Dark Victory HC
Adventures Into the Unknown Archives (Volume 1) HC
Batman Incorporated #1
Best of Sonic the Hedgehog HC
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight Library Edition (Vol. 1) HC
Comic Book History of Comics GN
Godzilla #1
Golden Age Western Comics HC
Interiorae TP
Justice League Dark #9
Mind Mgmt #1
Resident Alien #1
Savage Hawkman #9
Showcase Presents: Sea Devils (Volume 1) TP
Steve Ditko Archives (Volume 3): Mysterious Traveler HC
Stormwatch (Volume 1): The Dark Side TP
Uncanny X-Force: Otherworld HC
Youngblood #71

Monday, May 21, 2012

Manga Monday: Young Miss Holmes

Young Miss Holmes: Casebook 1-2
Kaoru Shintani

It's been awhile, but Manga Monday is back!  This week, I'm talking about Seven Seas release Young Miss Holmes, which in Japan, goes by the title Christie: High TensionYoung Miss Holmes is a title that immediately gets the concept of the manga across, however.  This book follows Christie, the niece of famed detective Sherlock Holmes.  In these adventures, we get to know this rambunctious ten-year-old who has inherited her uncle's intellect and knack for solving cases.  Already, she's bored with her studies, and it seems that the only thing that really holds her interest is when she's in the middle of a new mystery.  Young Miss Holmes takes place in a Victorian setting, with a retro art style that suits the story really well.  The art of the pages is rather detailed, with nice cartooning demonstrated by Shintani.  Christie is a very likable character who it's hard not to like; her enthusiasm is just infectious.  And she has several servants around her who happen to have skills in combat that aid her often when she sticks her nose in a new case.  I really like the interactions between Christie and the other characters in this book, particularly Sherlock Holmes himself, as well as Watson.  We actually often see Christie's side of a case, as well as her uncle's, as they both come to the same conclusions about a case in different ways, which gives a neat perspective to the crimes.  And since Christie can deduct things very clearly and articulately, she puts Watson to shame, who is often intimidated by her when she's around.  This is just a really fun mystery series with a fantastic female protagonist at its heart.  And since it's serialized in the same Japanese magazine as Dance in the Vampire Bund, there's a crossover with that title in the story The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire.  This is a rather thick book, which means that you get a lot more bang for your buck, and I doubt anyone is going to disappointed with this smartly-written, lovingly-drawn gem.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Previews HYPE: June 2012

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

Fantagraphics EC Reprint Line - Two offerings become available through Fantagraphics' new line of EC reprints, focusing on the artists of the classic tales.  "Came the Dawn" and Other Stories from Wally Wood, and "Corpse of the Imjini" and Other Stories from Harvey Kurtzman.

Fatima: The Blood Spinners #1 - A new series from Gilbert Hernandez (Love & Rockets) featuring zombies?  Yes, please!

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century #3: 2009 - Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill bring the League into current time!

Dark Avengers #175 - They're baaack!  Thunderbolts become Dark Avengers this month, featuring your favorite Avengers to hate.

Before Watchmen - The debut issues in several mini-series featuring characters from Alan Moore's Watchmen come out this month, including Minutemen #1, Silk Spectre #1, Comedian #1 and Nite Owl #1.

Out of the Shadows by Mort Meskin SC - Featuring the best works from Mort Meskins' stories from the 30's through the 50's, spanning many genres.

Spider-Men #1 (of 5) - Peter Parker from the Marvel Universe and Miles Morales from the Ultimate Universe meet in this mini from Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Drusilla #1 (of 5) - Coming off of a recent story arc in Angel & Faith, Bat-crazy Buffy villain Drusilla gets her own mini-series, written by the actress who played her character on TV, Juliet Landau herself!  Also available this month, the first volume of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Nine!

Courtney Crumrin (Volume 2): The Coven of Mystics, Special Edition - My favorite Courtney Crumrin tale from Ted Naifeh gets the hardcover treatment in this colored edition of the story.

Mars Attacks #1 - The new series comes with 55 different covers, each depicting a card from the original 1962 set, which is kind of awesome.  Also available this month, Mars Attacks Classics (Volume 1) TP.

The Massive #1 - At the end of the world, when Earth is dying, an environmentalist searches for a missing ship along with his crew.  Brian Wood writes, Kristian Donaldson draws.

The Invisibles Omnibus HC - Grant Morrison's acclaimed series all together for the first time in one volume. 47+ issues for $150.

Hit-Girl #1 (of 5) - From out of the pages of Kick-Ass comes a spinoff featuring Hit-Girl in a solo adventure.  From Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.

Iron, or, The War After GN - Who doesn't like a good anthropomorphic comic?  Animals in the aftermath of a long war.

The Crackle of the Frost GN - Lorenzo Mattotti offers pages of full-color paintings in this new graphic novel from Fantagraphics.

Riven TP - An original horror graphic novel featuring werewolves, from Dark Horse.

Spellbinders: Signs and Wonders TP - If you haven't checked out this book about teen witches from Mike Carey and Mike Perkins, do yourself a favor and pick this book up!

The Manara Library (Volume 3): Trip To Tulum and Other Stories HC - More Milo Manara goodness!

Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Classic (Volume 1) TP - Late 80's, early 90's material.  Could be fun.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pick of the Week 5/16

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

Are You My Mother? HC - One of the most anticipated graphic novels of the year is Alison Bechdel's follow-up to her hugely-successful and acclaimed Fun Home, this book focusing on her mother, whereas Fun Home was about her father.

Other Noteworthy Releases
B.P.R.D.: Hell On Earth - The Devil's Engine #1 (of 3)
Catwoman (Volume 1): The Game TP
The Coldest City HC
The Complete Chester Gould's Dick Tracy (Volume 13) HC
Eerie Archives (Volume 10) HC
Flowers of Evil (Volume 1)
Green Lantern (Volume 1): Sinestro HC
Hardcore #1
Kamen HC
Moon Knight by Bendis & Maleev (Volume 2) HC
New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis (Volume 3) HC
New Mutants Classic (Volume 7) TP
Walt Kelly: The Life & Art of the Creator of Pogo HC

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Friends With Boys GN

Faith Erin Hicks

Friends With Boys is a new graphic novel from Faith Erin Hicks, creator of the webcomic Demonology 101 and the graphic novel Zombies Calling.  I've never read anything from her before, but she fits in well with the First Second Books crowd, with a gentle story for the young adult crowd, with a little supernatural element thrown in for good measure.  The story follows Maggie, who's going to high school for the first time after being home schooled by her mother her whole life.  Her three brothers (two of whom are twins) all went to public school for high school, so it's nothing new for the family, except that this comes off of their mother leaving the family.  Maggie blames herself for some things she said to her, adding more drama to the tale as Maggie falls in with two outcasts from school, and watches her popular brothers strut around the school.  Maggie also has a ghost that follows her around that doesn't speak, and while she would rather have the ghost leave her alone, she wants to know what it wants as well, something she attempts to find out during the climax of the book.  Hicks has some pretty fantastic cartooning skills, and really shows her storytelling abilities off in this quiet story, often using facial expressions to convey her characters' emotions.  It was all very nice, but I wish there was a little more personality to this book.  The characters have some quirky qualities and drama amongst themselves, but everything is just a little too neat and tidy, and the ghost element just kind of stalls out.  It's hardly a memorable read, but it's nice enough if somebody's looking for a breezy, light story.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Pick of the Week 5/9

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

Nonnonba GN -  The big graphic novel release of the week.  Nonnonba is the "definitive" work of Shigeru Mizuki, the manga creator behind last year's Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Archie's Sunday Finest HC
Atomic Robo (Volume 6): The Ghost of Station X TP
Avengers Academy: Second Semester HC
Baby's In Black HC
Batman (Volume 1): The Court of Owls HC
Essential Black Panther (Volume 1) TP
FLCL Omnibus GN
Frankenstein: Alive, Alive! #1
Justice League International (Volume 1): Signal Masters TP
Marvel Zombies: Destroy #1 (of 5)
Spider-Man: Season One HC
Takio #1
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Classics #1
Trio #1

Monday, May 07, 2012

Comics-and-More Podcast: Uncanny X-Force

This week, on the Comics-and-More Podcast, Patrick Markfort and I review a title that I've been wanting to read for awhile now, Rick Remender's Uncanny X-Force.

Uncanny X-Force (Volume 1): The Apocalypse Solution
Rick Remender & Jerome Opena

Uncanny X-Force (Volume 2): Deathlok Nation
Rick Remender, Esad Ribic & Rafael Albuquerque

Uncanny X-Force (Volume 3): The Dark Angel Saga (Book One)
Rick Remender, Billy Tan & Mark Brooks

Uncanny X-Force (Volume 4): The Dark Angel Saga (Book Two)
Rick Remender, Jerome Opena & Robbi Rodriguez

Part One:

Part Two:

For further reading:
Secret Avengers #21.1, 22-25
Rick Remender & Gabriel Hardman

Uncanny X-Force #19-22
Rick Remender & Greg Tocchini

Venom by Rick Remender (Volume 1)
Rick Remender, Tony Moore & Tom Fowler

Age of Apocalypse #1
David Lapham & Roberto De La Torre

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Pick of the Week 5/2

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

Fallen Words GN -  A new manga from Yoshihiro Tatsumi is always cause for celebration.  This collects eight "moral comedies" adapted from oral tradition, from the Edo-era Japanese storytelling form rakugo.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Animal Man (Volume 1): The Hunt TP
Avengers: Kree/Skrull War HC
Avengers: X-Sanction HC
Dial H #1
Earth Two #1
Epic Kill #1
Exiled #1
Fury MAX #1
Garfield #1
G.I. Combat #1
Hulk: Return of the Monster HC
Justice League (Volume 1): Origin HC
Kiki de Montparnasse GN
Mind the Gap #1
Skeleton Key Color Special One-Shot
The Spider #1
Spirit World HC
Tanpopo Collection (Volume 1) HC
Teen Boat GN
Worlds' Finest #1

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Previews HYPE: May 2012

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

Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: "Only a Poor Old Man" HC - Carl Barks' classic Uncle Scrooge begins bing collected here!

DC's New 52: Second Wave Titles - New titles replace the recently canceled ones in DC's New 52, including Earth Two #1 (James Robinson & Nicola Scott), Worlds' Finest #1 (Paul Levitz, George Perez & Kevin Maguire), Batman, Incorporated #1 (Grant Morrison & Chris Burnham), Dial H #1 (China Mieville & Mateus Santolouco), G.I. Combat #1 (J.T. Krul, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Ariel Olivetti & Dan Panosian), and The Ravagers #1 (Howard Mackie & Ian Churchill).

Cursed Pirate Girl (Volume 1) HC - My favorite comic from last year gets the deluxe treatment, thanks to Archaia.  A nice new hardcover edition of Jeremy Bastian's gorgeous comic is being released with a new epilogue.  If you missed the small print run the first time around, do not miss out this time.  This book is amazing!

Trio #1 - John Byrne returns to creating new superheroes in this new team title from IDW.

Mind Mgmt #1 - A new ongoing series from Matt Kindt, creator of Super Spy.

Marvel Zombies Destroy! #1 (of 5) - Marvel visits the Marvel Zombie-verse again with this new five issue mini-series, which sees a cast of characters including Dum Dum Dugan and Howard the Duck.  The envelope really can't be pushed any further at this point.

Frankenstein: Alive, Alive! #1 - Bernie Wrightson returns to Frankenstein in this comic written by Steve Niles that picks up at the end of the novel.

The Furry Trap HC - Josh Simmons (House) returns with a collection of 11 short horror stories!!

Justice League Dark #9 - Jeff Lemire (Animal Man) takes on writing chores of this dark title with this issue.  Another creative shift of note is Rob Liefeld's writing on The Savage Hawkman #9, Grifter #9, and Deathstroke #9 (which he also does art for).

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Color Classics #1 - Beginning with the first issue, you can collect the original issues of the turtles in floppies, and in full color for the first time.

Blacksad: A Silent Hell HC - A new Blacksad story!

David Mazzucchelli's Daredevil: Born Again: Artist's Edition HC - I think that pretty much sums it up.

Exiled #1 - A new crossover event begins here with this one-shot, bringing together the titles New Mutants and Journey Into Mystery.

Dal Tokyo HC - After several delays, Gary Panter's Dal Tokyo is finally seeing the light of day.

Night Force TP - With the new Night Force series currently running, the original series gets a collection!

Creepy Presents: Richard Corben HC - A nice showcase for Corben's work on Creepy and Eerie, this will include all of his short stories and cover illustrations.

Dinosaurs vs. Aliens HC - If that title isn't enticing enough, know that it's also written by Grant Morrison.

The Lovely Horrible Stuff HC - New Eddie Campbell!

Takio #1 - A new creator-owned series through Marvel's Icon imprint, this is from Brian Michael Bendis and The Mice Templar's Michael Avon Oeming.

Flowers of Evil (Volume 1) - A new manga series brought to us by Vertical, this one about a boy who causes a scandal at school, due to his eccentric way of expressing himself.

God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls HC - Jamie Hernandez' wild superhero story from Love & Rockets: New Stories is collected here with thirty new pages.

Youngblood #71 - Just in time for the 20th anniversary, Youngblood is resurrected with brand-new stories.

Essential Black Panther (Volume 1) TP - Just when you think there really can't be any more characters to collect comics into these big Essential volumes, a no-brainer like this one shows up.

Superman Family Adventures #1 - Art Baltazar and Franco (Tiny Titans) expand their all-ages reign to focus on the Superman extended family is a new book.

Garfield #1 - A new all-ages comic series featuring the lazy, lasagna-scarfing orange cat and his friends.