Such a week to be light on coin!
THIS WEEK IN COMICS:
Krazy & Ignatz 1933-34: Necromancy by the Blue Bean Bush: Oh, krap. My lack of funding is really starting to hurt now. It’s the fifth Fantagraphics kollection of “Krazy Kat” Sunday strips, with another Kris Ware design and more goodies and endnotes, I’m sure. This is the last one before the Sundays move into kolor, and I really wish I was getting it this week, since I hate being without my Krazy, konsidering my konversion of years ago. Fanta is also prepping a massive 500+ page hardcover kollection of all five of their kompilations, titled “Krazy and Ignatz: The Second Decade of Sundays” for $75. I’ll pass on that since I already have most of this material and very little kash. But Kat konnoisseurs don’t need my konstant karping; they already know. Wait… FUCK. That was a silent fucking ‘k’. Goddamn.
American Splendor: Our Movie Year: As glimpsed at the conclusion of the motion picture! Er, spoiler. It’s not just a new graphic novel event though, it’s also a collection of Harvey Pekar’s assorted strips for “Entertainment Weekly” and other publications, perhaps giving an even more rounded view of Harv’s recent exploits though a presentation of the work he completed. I can’t afford this right now (as I‘ve already indicated) but I’m sure it’ll be interesting stuff. Of course, I’m an established Pekar fan; new readers may find variance in their mileage, but I suspect this book might prove to be a good introduction, especially if you‘ve seen the movie.
A Series of Unfortunate Events Official Movie Magazine: Not on Diamond’s list and maybe not in your local shop on Wednesday, but it will be hitting newsstands everywhere this week. It’s a Nickelodeon Magazine special, and I’m sure it’ll be packed with kids fluff, but it also comes equipped with a 38-page color comics adaptation of the upcoming film (and popular prose series) by none other than Sam Hiti of the Xeric-funded self-published “End Times (Tiempos Finales)” original graphic novel! Very good news; I enjoyed Hiti’s book, essentially a 70-page fight scene bookended by bits of plot and packed with Catholic iconography as pumped up to a magic arsenal level. I can’t wait to see what he does with Lemony Snicket’s world, and there’s also a Jay Stephens backup strip. Preview art here. Love it! (found at Fanboy Rampage)
Shaolin Cowboy #1: Hey, it’s the other new series from Burlyman! Written and drawn by Geof Darrow, which already removes the potential bog of a Wachowski script to wade through. I bet there’ll be deaths and hurtings dished out as a kung-fu killer traipses through the Wild West! I’m a loving soul so I’ll look into this.
Return of Shadowhawk #1 (of 1): Ah, memories. I’m seriously tempted to pick this up, just for old times’ sake. Written and drawn by Jim Valentino, just like old times. It looks like this is an all-new Shadowhawk, as opposed to Kurt Busiek’s “The New Shadowhawk”, a seven issue run that forms the major gap in my amazing “Shadowhawk” collection. I did pick up the “Shadowhawks of Legend” special, and noticed that all sorts of mystical elements had been added in, with Shadowhawks appearing throughout history. I guess this book will deal with that stuff, only with even newer newness. Also featuring a reader’s guide to Shadowhawk, where I can relive all of my frustrating memories with this strange, conflicted series, which I‘ve tried to sort through here. I can’t help but sort of want this book, though I know it‘ll break my heart, or at least pinch my wallet.
Metal Hurlant #14: I know I’ll be getting some sweet Guy Davis art, and that super-deformed Mexican wrestlers story is apparently continuing, which is great. I’m sure “Fragile” will continue to lull me to sleep, but two out of three continuing serials plus lots of standalone stuff in a 64-page full-color for $3.95 book is not bad by any standard. Well, maybe it’s bad by the Direct Market’s standard since less than 5000 copies of issue #13 were sold, and I really don’t know of any major bookstore/newsstand presence for this title. Too bad; I’m enjoying it while it lasts.
Ocean #3 (of 6): The characters may be a little by-the-Ellis-book, but I like the world presented in this miniseries, brought to life by Chris Sprouse. There’s just about enough plot detail to yank some satisfying content out of, although I think the discoveries about the story’s environment will be continuing right up until the end.
Ex Machina #7: Ah, it’s too short a week in cash for me. This little book can wait a while. Maybe I need to gradually give it up. That’ll do…
Identity Crisis #7 (of 7): I am buckled up and ready to ride the wave of incredible and permanent impact that will sweep the DCU following the pant-shitting revelations that are sure to issue forth from this hotly anticipated comics pamphlet! Nothing will be the same ever! Batman will never have that boyish twinkle in his eye again! How can Green Lantern continue on? Who is Green Lantern these days anyway? How can Superman sit there eating those eggs for breakfast after these awful shotgun blasts of double-barreled truth blow out the eardrums of every superhero from Metropolis to Bizarro Metropolis where they’ll probably enjoy it?! He should skip breakfast and scowl more! I cannot wait to vicariously partake of this palm-sweating final chapter via Internet discussion and pass on the story of my experiences on this fateful day of Lasting Ramifications to my grandchildren or least my baby cousins over Christmas, if the repercussions of the whole thing last that long.
The Devil in Design: The Krampus Postcards: Right, so this is not a comic and has absolutely nothing to do with comics, save for the fact that editor Monte Beauchamp also edits the comics ’n visual design anthology “Blab”, where some of this material first appeared. But it’s one of my favorite little books in the world, and now Fantagraphics is offering it again this week just in time for the holidays. It’s a 168-page collection of late nineteenth/early twentieth century postcards featuring the Krampus, an evil servant of St. Nikolaus who would visit the naughty children of Austria and other Old World European areas on Christmas Eve and beat the living shit out of them with a birch switch. You really want to stay off the naughty list. By the time these postcards were produced, the ‘jollification’ of St. Nick (as Beauchamp puts it in one of his included essays) was well under way, and it was no longer acceptable for Santa to authorize midnight thrashings in celebration of Jesus’ birth. But the Krampus survived in these European postcards, sometimes presented in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, and sometimes reliving his horrid holiday exploits in gruesome detail. There’s a lot of dazzling images in this collection, with truly sick levels of detail and ingenuity. I fully recommend it to everyone!