February looks to be quite a zinger.

*Boy, cookies ‘n cream flavored waffles sounded like such a great idea at the grocery store, but my toaster just proved to me that sometimes two great tastes don‘t taste very good together at all. Crazy, reckless, beautiful Eggo people.

*New comics of February from the Big Two. Not a lot of action.


- “Seven Soldiers”. Looking good.

- “Bizarro World”. Also looking good (and expensive).

- “Solo” issue #3 by Paul Pope. Looking best of all!

- There’s also a new printing of Alan Moore’s “Skizz”, one of the three major stories he serialized in “2000 AD” in the early stages of his career (for the record, “D.R. & Quinch” and “The Ballad of Halo Jones” are the others, along with assorted shorts and Future Shocks). I already have the Titan edition of this collection, which I suspect will be nearly identical to this new release. The story is decent, heavily steeped in working-class England with laid-off workers and a punkish young girl encountering a lost alien interpreter. It’s sweet if mostly predictable, with one of the least shaded villains in the Moore library, a wicked government official who’s obsessed with military security (if he had a moustache he’d be twirling it in every second panel), providing only the easiest symbol for the disconnect between the then-current English government and the hardscrabble common folk. Still, as a grittier alternative to the affluent suburban-set “E.T.” it gets the job done, and Moore fans who’ve missed out on the Titan edition will want to act. Nice art by Jim Baikie, who most recently collaborated with Moore in ABC’s “Tomorrow Stories”.

- Moore also provides dialogue work on one of the stories collected in “The Maxx Book 4”. Issues #21-27 are represented, kicking off the venerable Image series’ second (and final) major storyline. At this rate Book 5 will wrap up the whole series, leaving Sam Kieth’s magnum opus in bookshelf-ready form. It was always one of my very favorite of the Image books, and out of all of them it’s probably held up the best over the years. Kudos to Wildstorm for pressing forward with this project.

- On the Vertigo front we’ve got Morrison’s third three-issue miniseries “Vimanarama!” which will hopefully maintain the high level of quality we’ve seen from prior recent work. And 40-pages for three dollars; it’s even keeping up with the value of “We3”!


- What's this heading for some of the new books... Marvel Next, eh? I guess what’s ‘next’ is a spin-off of an established title, a new issue #1 of a recently ended title, and a new version of an old concept: the standard-issue black ops superhero team. Hmm. Maybe that is a decent prediction of the sort of thing I've come to expect from Marvel though, so big points for honesty!

- A whole new era begins for the Marvel Universe in issue #10 of “Excalibur”. Just in case you missed that; you should write it down or something.

- God, what a boring month. The solicitation for that “Combat Zone” thing is wisely playing up the tactical aspects of the story; I get the feeling that Pulse-Pounding Authentic Military Action might be enough to overcome a light sprinkling of politics, provided that advance buzz doesn’t sink interest in the project beforehand.

- Hey! New “Shatterstar” mini from Brandon Thomas and Marat Mychaels! The same team who were supposed to have a new “Brigade” series ready in 2003 for Rob Liefeld’s Arcade Comics! Has the siren’s song of the X-Franchise truly captured the best and brightest of “Youngblood” and related titles?! Stay seated, True Believers…