*Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!


An Introduction to the Mystical Union of Souls (minicomic/mini-album with Ron Rege Jr. on the drums and at the board)

Terra Obscura Vol. 2 #5 (of 6), BPRD: The Dead #3 (of 5)

Epileptic (you want to experience this)


*Comics has decided to kick my ass this week, and I had it coming for a while. I will secretly cherish this ass kicking because it will make me a stronger and more worldly gentleman. Please comics, I await the strap.


We3 #3 (of 3): I hope people on the Internet talk about this!

JLA Classified #3: I hope people on the Internet are given a reason to talk about this!

Deadpan #2: I was totally unaware that Fantagraphics was releasing this, the most recent issue of David Heatley’s solo series. I was going to say that this’ll be an easy way to get yourself more acclimated with Heatley’s work, if you happened to like his stuff in “Kramer’s Ergot 5” or “McSweeney’s 13“, except that it looks like both of those stories will be reprinted in this book, which I imagine will eat up a good 1/3 of the 32 page length. And given that the book is $6 (though full-color and oversized), it’s going to be a more difficult purchase than average, especially considering that a lot of interested readers are going to be looking for this as based on their enjoyment of those high-profile anthology pieces, only to find exactly the same thing here. But there will be new dream comics too, the stuff that filled the first issue of this series which I liked a lot (review here). If you liked that “Kramer’s” story, than you don’t need me to mention that Heatley is utterly fearless in putting everything on the page, no matter what sort of material waltzes through his unconsciousness, and he has quite a talent for capturing the random mood shifts of nocturnal wanderings. I like Heatley’s work, but this is gonna have to be a maybe, given the price and my familiarity with some of the material.

King: A Comics Biography of Martin Luther King: I was also unaware that Ho Che Anderson’s three-volume biography of the famed civil rights icon hadn’t yet been collected into a single volume. Now it is, and maybe I’ll check it out; it’s one of those comics I keep hearing about off and on from various people, and I’ve never had the inclination to look into it (maybe because I always figred there’d be a collected edition to run across, which I never did). Anyone care to make a case for or against this work? I’m interested in your views.

Stoker’s Dracula #3 (of 4): The first issue of this stately, old-timey horror comics adaptation by Roy Thomas and Dick Giordano. Lovely b&w inks, and a good balance of captions and action (and the source material lends itself particularly well to such a style of adaptation). It’s probably my favorite book of Marvel’s at the moment.

Black Widow #5 (of 6): Chugging along. I just don’t have the grounding in this character to appreciate the twists on her history that appear to be popping up. I just like it as a good-looking spy story that kind of flirts with deeper themes.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #15: Yeah, after getting the entirety of the last arc plus all pre-existing issue of “Ultimate Nightmare” in a back-issue sale blowout (about 10 comics for under $15, like it’s meant to be!) I’m riding out the rest of Ellis’ run. I’ve gotta get my thought together on this (which won’t be a problem with the troubled “Ultimate Nightmare”: don’t read it). There’s some good characterizations, at least as good as possible given the editorially mandated Radical Teenage FF we're handed. Last issue had way too many space-chomping splashes of big machinery, but that’s no surprise at this point. It’s… it’s ok stuff. There’s a significant gulf of ambition between these Ultimate projects and Ellis’ “Iron Man” revamp, though, with the latter book feeling a lot more considered and thought through. This is almost designed as a throwaway.

Planetary #22: This, however, is always handled with care. It’s always a pleasure with “Planetary”, even I have to consult my archives just to fathom where we are in the plot.

Mighty Love (softcover): Finally, a somewhat less monstrously expensive version of Howard Chaykin’s recent graphic novel, although $18 for less than 100 pages is still pushing it. I need to pick this up eventually, but this is too crowded a week at that price point.

Vivid Girls Vol. 1: Golly, it really is a swell week! Now that Avatar is all finished with releasing those Warren Ellis Apparat books, they can get back to their 379 other backlogged projects, like this dandy little item, the much-delayed debut volume from their Vivid Comix porno imprint. At $15 for 48 color magazine-sized pages it’s way too expensive of course, but it’s notable in that Avatar managed to get a bunch of their regular contributors to work on this, like Steven Grant and Antony Johnston and Juan Jose Ryp; it‘s slightly reminiscent of Fantagraphs/Eros‘ “Dirty Stories“ anthologies, only with fully authorized corporate porno star likenesses scattered throughout. Honestly, if we had a Warren Ellis/Jacen Burrows short and a Johnston/Ryp sequential adaptation of some Alan Moore poem (a SEXY poem mind you), I might have considered looking into this. I wonder if there were any content guidelines handed out? With the ads largely focusing on the comics presence of assorted Vivid contract players, this looks to be just as much a license book as “Robocop” or “Stargate”, and I‘m curious if anything was off limits…