Regular Feature!

*But tomorrow our not-really-a-week-long-theme will be back. But now...


*Well, this one’s gonna be quick. Luckily, I have too many boulders to push up the hill already today.

Vimanarama! #1 (of 3): This one. This is the last of the Grant Morrison three-issue projects at Vertigo (this one with Phillip Bond providing art), saddled with the unenviable task of following both the trade release of the ever-contentious (if low selling) “Seaguy” and the concluded serialization of the much-loved “We3”. It seems to me that the hype for this one has gotten lost somewhere underneath the flurry of discussion as to the prior works. But advance word has been quite good, and I hardly expect it to be garbage anyway. I also see that it’s taking a page from the “We3” playbook and offering 40 pages for the same $3 price. Very good.

Negative Burn Very Best From 1993-1998: I believe this is technically coming out of the same Desperado imprint that’s giving us the new “Flaming Carrot Comics” series, and will later relaunch this long running Caliber anthology series itself. I have a few stray issues of “Negative Burn” stashed away; this is a ‘Best Of’ collection and a very selective one at that, considering that the average random issue was 64 pages by the end of its 50-issue run, with some of them running over 90 pages. This book, on the other hand, is 200 pages total, and there’s little doubt that they’ll be sticking to as many of the ‘name’ creators as rights issues will allow before plugging in some really obscure stuff, which might not be that bad an idea considering that for every genuinely surprising bit of work from a completely unknown talent we‘d get five or six Artistic shorts about surly yet passionate young men staring at the beautiful and vapid women their tortured artists‘ souls will never allow them to approach while cutting their palms open with glass and drawing crosses with their blood on the coffeehouse countertop (understand though, that this is an assumed risk when working with largely untested writers and artists). And that’s good marketing; you’ve got to show the world that “Negative Burn” was a prominent book capable of attracting (or discovering) the industry’s finest if you’re about to revive the damned thing, and make no mistake - this book can’t help but act as an advertisement for the new iteration, which looks to be largely relying on established artists doing short work for its content anyway. And even many of those big names aren’t exactly at their finest: for example, if you think Avatar is the first company to make some cash adapting Alan Moore poems and songs to comics while slapping his name all over it, I think you’ll find this book to be rather educational. Still, “Negative Burn” gave it quite a shot back in the day, published well over a thousand pages of stuff, much of it by young creators eager for a forum for their work, and I’m betting there’ll be some great lost stuff in here.

Doc Frankenstein #2: The big Wachowski-written book, coming out more or less on schedule too. Judging from some other reactions most people either weren’t as bugged by the purpler-than-purple narrative style as me or ignored the book entirely. In case you ignored it, the book is basically Hellboy with Frankenstein’s Monster plugged into the lead, drawn by Steve Skroce instead of Mike Mignola, and topped off with the most irritatingly overblown running narration imaginable. I’ll give it another issue to see if the monster-fighting bits and the cheesy ‘outsiders against the norm’ metaphors overwhelm the dodgy storytelling choices.

Ojo #5 (of 5): Oh ho! The final issue! I find it hard to even recall where we are in the story, and the book isn’t running late either; it’s just not very compelling. Maybe it’ll read better from start to finish, like I plan to do after picking up this concluding installment?

Wild Girl #4 (of 6): Well… I like it.

The Punisher MAX #17: I really hope there’s an interrogation scene. C’mon, he’s trapped by Evil Soviets (ex-Soviets, granted, but close enough), and they don’t know who sent him. That’s a recipe for a mandatory interrogation scene. Someone had better spit in someone’s face!

Young Avengers #1: WILL THE INTERNET FOCUS ON THIS ONE?! Well, really I’m not feeling a lot of anticipation floating around for this anymore. This is pretty plainly the superhero event of the week, but… not a lot of excitement at all. Hm. Well, what do I know? That issue of "NYX" where X-23 makes her quasi-first appearance (she was on a cartoon first, right?) is supposedly going for over $30 these days (folks have told me they've gotten over $50, and I'm starting to believe that it's true). That'll teach me not to drop books just because I don't enjoy them; I missed out on a rad investment opportunity. It'd be nice if I could spin this into a 'boy, people like Josh Middleton' thing, and I like him too, but no no no no, this is the sort of hype that ignores irrelevant things like creators. It's a hot character that can be plugged into whichever book regardless of whichever asshole is writing or drawing, coupled with the fact that we've got an early appearance in a hard-to-get book that just happens to be hard-to-get becasue it's only had two issues released in a year. Well, I guess that's creator-based. None of this really matters with "Young Avengers" though, since they don't have a single Hot character. Oh who knows.