Digest Update Collection.

*Can you believe I almost forgot to present LAST WEEK’S REVIEWS?! Crazy thinking of crazy me.

Ironclad, Sermons #1, The Feathered Ogre: Designs and Sketches, and USS Catastrophe Election 2004 Treasury (a big roundup of recent and older minicomics)

Ex Machina #6, The Punisher MAX #14, Terra Obscura Vol. 2 #4, Ocean #2 (of 6)

Sip from this frosted mug!

*Gah! Trapped by circumstances of curious and devilish origin, my “Kramer’s Ergot 5” review will have to wait until tomorrow morning or afternoon or whatnot. Sorry.

*You may recall a little while ago that I was wondering aloud (since all wonderings on the Internet are aloud) as to how “Spider-Man India” was actually doing in India itself. Well, according to this article from today’s New York Times (registration required I‘m afraid), it’s now not being released until “the middle of next year”. This is quite a far cry from the simultaneous launch that was originally planned for the book alongside the Indian opening of the “Spider-Man 2” movie. I knew there’d been a delay of at least one month, but it seems like the entire thing has been stalled until publisher Gotham Studios has more comics to release at once. Does this make the book’s recent US release something of a try-out? A chance for Marvel to make some immediate cash off of the novelty value of their license? Or is Gotham hoping to make some money off the US prior to an Indian release? Are they getting any money from the US release?

The article also answered some of my questions regarding the status of comics fandom in India, which doesn’t seem to be very strong, at least not from Gotham’s perspective. Of course, Shekar Kapur of Gotham seems to take the presence of toy and film licensing opportunities as a signal of success for comics, perhaps understandably, given that he’s a film director himself. It’s also fascinating that Gotham seems to be approaching comics primarily as a children’s market, which is certainly a far cry from current trends in the US. But perhaps the most peculiar part of the story is the mention of training Indian talent; it seems that Gotham is going to spend much of their investment “grooming” Indian artists to produce comics; given the super-powered/supernatural bend of much of Gotham’s planned output, I have to wonder if American or Japanese styles will provide the model for the Indian artist’s training. And if so, which style will become predominant? How will it become localized? This experiment in cross-cultural artistic pollination may well be a good one to keep track of, provided that more delays don’t stall the whole endeavor before it can accomplish anything. (original article found at Tom's)


The Collected Sequential: Thanks for putting this out on a week when I’m really short of cash, Adhouse! This big 256-page hardcover collects Paul Hornschemeier’s experimental solo series, which began as a series of Xeroxed minicomics and ended with issue #7, a 128-page deluxe book with slick paper and dandy production design. I’m guessing that the completed chapters of the serials Hornschemeier began in these pages will be presented without conclusion, but that’s what happens sometimes with experimental self-published work. Obviously a mandatory purchase for fans (considering that those early “Sequential” issues are impossible to find) and worth a flip for everyone else, just to see how swiftly Hornschemeier’s design sense matures over a short period of time.

Tom Strong’s Terrific Tales #12: The final issue of ABC’s second “Tom Strong” title, with Peter Bagge doing the art honors on Moore’s final lead-off short. Also featuring the conclusions of the Jonni Future and Young Tom Strong storylines; I get the feeling that Young Tom will reject the science-hero life and become an imperialist rubber baron. I’m not sure what might become of Jonni (certainly nothing drastic since she shows up in later issues of “Promethea”) but I’m sure cheesecake will be involved. By which I mean she’ll become a renowned intergalactic dessert chef.

Adam Strange #3 (of 8): More good-looking space-fairing pulpy action. I expect attractive fun.

Black Widow #3 (of 6): More Sienkiewicz-looking super-spy pulpy action. I expect attractive shootings.

Ojo #3 (of 5): More wacky-looking… um… little kid and pet monster… stuff. I expect whatever it is I’m expecting.

Warren Ellis’ Frank Ironwine #1: The first of Avatar’s Warren Ellis one-shot Apparat project; this is the one with art by Carla Speed McNeil of “Finder”. For some reason I thought that all four of these Ellis one-shots were being released on the same day, but I’m sure it’s a bit wiser to spread them out. Anyway, it’s certain to look different from the typical Avatar release, and Ellis tends to be more effective the closer to straight science-fiction he gets, so I’m looking forward to this.

The Will Eisner Companion: Hmm. Here’s DC releasing a 176-page hardcover collection of ‘critical and historical essays’ pertaining to the comics legend, obviously intended as a supplement to their ongoing series of Eisner releases, like “The Spirit Archives”. This might be worth a glance.