Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pick of the Week 8/29

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

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

Other Noteworthy Releases
Amulet (Volume 5): Prince of the Elves SC
The Golden Twine (Book 1): Cat's Cradle GN
Lenore: Swirlies HC
Luz Makes a Splash GN
Machine Teen: History 101001 TP
Penny Arcade (Volume 8): Magical Kids in Danger TP
Peter Panzerfaust (Volume 1): The Great Escape TP
Phantom Lady #1
Rex Mundi Omnibus (Volume 1) TP
Riven TP
Showcase Presents: Tales of the Unexpected (Volume 1) TP
Sonic Saga (Volume 1): Darkest Storm TP
Star Wars: Clone Wars Omnibus (Vol 1): Republic War TP
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics (Volume 2) TP
The Voyeurs GN

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Captain Marvel #1-2

Kelly Sue Deconnick & Dexter Soy

I was a huge fan of Brian Reed's Ms. Marvel series from a few years ago, so this title had a lot to live up to for me.  I've since enjoyed Carol Danvers in the pages of the various Avengers books, and overall I just really like the character.  When Kelly Sue Deconnick was talking about this series at C2E2 this year, she got me really excited for this new series.  Deconnick has this enthusiasm that's really infectious, so it was tough to not get excited about it really, she just kind of inspires you to want to support her books.  And it's great to see a female creator take the reins of a major superhero title, especially one starring a strong female character.

Dexter Soy's art on this series was not what I expected it to be.  It's a rather dark style that looks almost painted, with a sort of bulkiness to the drawings.  And it looks really cool.  It's nice to see Carol as less of a waif of a girl and more like the strong presence she ought to be on theses pages, due in part to her cool design, and just how she's drawn.  No delicate softened lines for her, but hard, dark ones like other superhero books.  A girl could pick up this title and see herself in this character, instead of looking at the skinny, curvaceous girls of most superhero comics that portray them in proportions that are impossible.  She's a confident, courageous role model for anyone, with her faults, but brave and likable nonetheless.  And Deconnick has Carol interacting with her own role model in this book, a female pilot, which definitely underlines what she's striving for with Carol herself, someone for people to look up to, someone in comics for women to admire, a strong voice.  And to underline it further, the cover to number two is an homage to J. Howard Miller's "We Can Do It!" poster, featuring Geraldine Hoff, from the 40's.  Danvers is also independent, not pining over any man, and is holding her own fighting alongside Captain America, who insists that she's earned the mantel she takes on here.

I can't say I was completely sold right out of the gate.  The first issue was solid, but nothing that really excited me, but the shift in the story of the second issue grabbed me, drawing more cool female characters into the tale, a story that has Carol traveling into the past to see a group of brave wartime women in action.  The whole book has this classic, old-fashioned feel to it, not just because it addresses war heroes and iconic women from the past, but it just has that straight-forward, fun, adventure feel to it. Deconnick nailed the tone for this book and obviously has a vision for this title.  It's definitely the sort of book that female readers will gravitate toward and enjoy, but it's also just a great read for any superhero fan.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pick of the Week 8/22

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

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike #1 (of 5) - Following up his appearances in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Nine, fan-favorite character Spike gets a solo adventure.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Astonishing X-Men: Northstar HC
Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #1
The Best of Archie Comics (Volume 2) TP
Captain America and Namor #635.1
Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune (Volume 3) HC
The Complete Peanuts (Volume 18): 1985-1986 HC
The Invisibles Omnibus HC
Maya Makes a Mess HC
Namor Visionaries by John Byrne (Volume 2) TP
Only Skin GN
Prophet (Volume 1): Remission TP
Rock Star Super Diva GN
The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #1
Swamp Thing (Volume 1): Raise Them Bones TP
Thunderbolts Classic (Volume 3) TP
Wolverine and the X-Men by Jason Aaron (Volume 2) HC

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pick of the Week 8/15

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

Elektra: Assassin TP - One of my all-time favorite superhero comics comes out in softcover this week!  Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz' trippy and stunning Elektra: Assassin.  Do yourself a favor and add this to your graphic novel library pronto.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Aline and the Others GN
Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1
Cable Classic (Volume 3) TP
Classic Popeye #1
Creativity of Steve Ditko HC
The Definitive Flash Gordan & Jungle Jim (Volume 2) HC
Essential Warlock (Volume 1) TP
Hawk and Dove (Volume 1): First Strikes TP
Hulk: Season One HC
Lizzie Newton: Victorian Mysteries (Volume 1)
Making Of HC
Manara Library (Volume 3): Trip To Talum & Other Stories HC
Michael Avon Oeming's Victories #1
Peanuts (Volume 2) #1
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics (Volume 1) TP

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Gambit #1

James Asmus & Clay Mann

With a nod to his past with Rogue, the X-Men, and as a teacher of young mutants, Gambit turns his back on the latest goings-on of the X-Men universe in favor of solo adventures in his new ongoing series.  It begins with Gambit naked in the shower and follows him around his apartment as he dries off, the panels and his surroundings strategically placed to keep the title PG.  Given what we've seen in some of DC's comics from The New 52, it's a welcome change to see a male character showcasing some skin, and if you know Gambit at all, you know that he's a sexy, suave ladies' man, so this depiction is perfectly in tune to this character.  Throughout the issue, Asmus and Mann attempt to remind us of how cool and charming Gambit is, and they do a real bang-up job of it.  Aside from the rugged stubble and sexy accent, we get down to the basics on another level as well, as the creators also play up the origins of the character as part of the thieves' guild.  No, there's no Bella Donna or any of the sort of thing we've seen creep into his life over and over again, his past coming to haunt him.  Instead, Gambit just does what Gambit does best here.  He sweet-talks his way into a party, flirts with a girl, and steals something.  Gambit acknowledges that he's been out of the loop for awhile, but his connections have provided him with up-to-date technology that allows him to get past the sophisticated security equipment to claim his prize.  And armed with these new gadgets, he's almost a suave James Bond-like character, though with a real bad boy Southern edge.  Of course, things don't go as planned, as is usually the case with comics like this, and we're left with some questions at the end of the issue to bring us back for more hanging-out-in-his-boxers Remy.  Clay Mann's art does justice to the title with his realistic-looking pencils, and moving the story along nicely, with nice action scenes.  We really know who Gambit is from this first issue, and Asmus uses elements we've known from the character all along to bring us something new and return the character to form at the same time.  It's nice to see Gambit solo again, getting down to the roots of the character and why we like him, and maybe have a little crush on him.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Previews HYPE: September '12

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

Sword of Sorcery #0 - Amethyst returns in a new series this month, thanks to Jem creator Christy Marx, who worked on a bunch of animated shows you probably remember from your childhood like G.I. Joe and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Also contains a Beowulf back-up story by Tony Bedard.  Great artists on this issue too:  Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan and Jesus Saiz.

The Daniel Clowes Reader: Ghost World, Nine Short Stories and Critical Materials - Comics About Art, Adolescence and Real Life SC - Pretty self-explanatory, but this is a must for Clowes fans.  This also includes interviews and some stories reprinted for the first time.

Gasoline Alley (Volume 1): 1964-1966 HC - This continues to collect the Gasoline Alley strip from when Frank King hands it off to Dick Moores and begins his lauded run.

The Simon & Kirby Library: Science-Fiction HC - A 300+ page collection of sci-fi stories from two legendary creators from the 40's and 50's.

Avengers vs. X-Men HC - In cased you missed the action of the biggest crossover event of the Summer, you can get the collected edition.  This is one of the best crossovers I've read, so check it out if you haven't already.

Chris Ware: Building Stories HC - I really like these stories!  The complete comic is collected together in this hardcover, featuring the residents of three flats in a Chicago apartment.

Ghost #0 - Dark Horse resurrects Ghost in this new mini-series from Kelly Sue DeConnick (Captain Marvel) and Phil Noto (Angel & Faith).

Woodwork HC - From IDW comes the American edition of a museum catalogue that went along with a huge exhibit celebrating the career of Wally Wood.  A nice, big career retrospective fans won't want to miss.

Talon #0 - Part of DC's month worth of #0 comics, this book spins out of the popular Court of Owls storyline from the Batman comics.  Also debuting this month are Team 7 #0 and The Phantom Stranger #0.

Mattias Unfiltered: The Sketchbooks Art of Mattias Adolfsson TP - Revered Swedish illustrator Mattias Adolfsson has his sketchbooks collected for American audiences in a lovely moleskin edition.

Stumptown: The Case of the Baby In the Velvet Case #1 - A brand-new Stumptown detective mystery featuring great private eye Dex Parios, from creators Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth.

Paradise Kiss (Volume 1) - Back in print, thanks to Vertical, is the fantastic manga series about fashion, from Ai Yazawa.

A Wrinkle In Time GN - Hope Larson adapts Madeleine L'Engle's classic children's story into an eye-popping graphic novel.

Drama GN - Raina Telgemeier's follow-up to the smash-hit Smile that kids are constantly asking for in the bookstore I work at.

Gurading the Globe #1 - The successful Image Comics mini-series gets an ongoing series beginning this month, from the team of Phil Hester and Todd Nauck, and featuring several big characters from the Image universe.

Goddamn This War! - More Jacques Tardi!  Another war graphic novel, this explores World War I in a more chronological fashion than the last war story from Tardi we saw reprinted, It Was the War of the Trenches.

Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland HC - Series co-creator Bill Willingham writes an original Fables graphic novel featuring fan-favorite character Bigby Wolf.

Womanthology: Space #1 (of 5) - The successful Womanthology anthology continues with this new title, featuring out-of-this-world art and stories from female characters.

Legends of Zita the Spacegirl GN - I really enjoyed Ben Hatke's original Zita the Spacegirl graphic novel, so I'm excited to see what happens to our heroine in her next adventure.

Start With a Happy Ending (Volume 1) - A new manga series from Digital Manga Publishing, about doing what you want for the seven days leading up to your spirit ascending to Heaven.  And perhaps becoming a cat for those seven days.

The Kane Chronicles (Book 1): Red Pyramid GN - Adapting Rick Riordan's children's book series into a graphic novel, Orpheus Collar takes on the challenge to breathe life into the story of Egyptian mythology in the modern world.

Upside Down: A Vampire Tale HC - An all-ages graphic novel about a vampire boy who loves cnady so much he may have to have his teeth pulled!

Big Hero 6: Brave New Heroes #1 - Apparently, Disney is going to be creating a television show based on this obscure Marvel property that spun out of, of all things, Alpha Flight.  Catch up on the heroes coming to your small screen now.

Steed and Mrs. Peel #1 - They continue to put top talent on this spy series at Boom! Studios, this time with Mark Waid, Caleb Monroe and Steve Bryant.

The City of Ember: The Graphic Novel - How many graphic novel adaptations of children's books are there going to be this month?  Well, here's one more.  Dallas Middaugh and Niklas Asker adapt the book by Jeanne DuPrau.

G.I. Joe: The Complete Collection (Volume 1) HC - The original G.I. Joe comics are collected in a really nice hardcover by IDW.

Ragemoor HC - This was a fun mini-series from Dark Horse, about a living, deadly castle.  Collected for those who missed it.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Pick of the Week 8/8

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

Godzilla: The Half-Century War #1 (of 5) - James Stokoe (Orc Stain) brings us an eye-popping look at everyone's favorite giant monster.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Bernie Wrightson's Muck Monster: Artist's Edition Portfolio
Cardboard GN
Deathstroke (Volume 1): Legacy TP
The Eyes of the Cat HC
Gambit #1
Grendel Omnibus (Volume 1): Hunter Rose TP
It Girl & the Atomics #1
The Little Prince (Volume 1): Planet of the Wind GN
Neal Adam's Thrill Kill: Artist's Edition Portfolio
OMAC (Volume 1): Omactivate TP
RASL (Volume 4): The Lost Journals of Nikola Tesla TP
Scott Pilgrim Color (Volume 1) HC
Stephen King & Joe Hill's Road Rage HC
Steve Canyon (Volume 2): 1949-1950 HC
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures (Volume 1) TP