Look here.

*Marc has written good on Seven Soldiers. Yep.

*There is something unspeakably beautiful about the comics linked to on this page; it’s all art by Golden Age artist Fletcher Hanks, who will be the subject of an upcoming collection from Fantagraphics. It’s incredibly awkward material, packed with bizarre visual choices and bodily contortions and flashes of unexpected grace. It’s fascinating. It really, truly is. Look at how Tabu is almost always hidden by bushes or panel borders, except for his head. Check out how the villains in the same story are constantly depicted in long-shot, as a collective. And all those silhouettes, and Stardust’s amazingly teeny head, and oh god the military men in those masks! “Stardust, whose vast knowledge of interplanetary science has made him the most remarkable man that ever lived, devotes his abilities to crime-busting.” Has Grant Morrison read this stuff?! “Space.” Wow. I wish I knew who wrote all this. These are awesome comics. Fantagraphics has just sold a copy of that book. (And I found it all at Tom’s)

*But what of those things that are coming out tomorrow? Look not to the far future, but to


Shuck the Sulfurstar #1: I’ve not read the prior issues of this series, collected into the Top Shelf trade Shuck Unmasked. I’ve heard only good things about it. I’ve also heard good things about this first issue of the new Shuck series; creator/artist/co-writer Rick Smith and co-writer Tania Menesse have big plans for this one, with issues through #10 planned out, a schedule taking them straight into 2007. This might be a swell jumping-on point. Look at all the stuff on their site. It’s neat.

Hellboy: The Island #1 (of 2): Will poor Hellboy still have his kick after an extended absence from the comics page (save for a trio of shorts in hardcover anthologies)? Preview images look pretty sweet; a lighter palate by Dave Stewart, heavy on the pales, and lots of jutting edges by Mignola. The atmosphere of Hellboy can seem overly familiar (even lulling) when a lot of it’s read at once, but seeing those carefully placed close-ups of statues and glaring figures after months and months of nothing like it - it’s like coming home.

Astro City: The Dark Age #1 (of 16): No, that’s not a typo (I neever make spelling or grammatical errors), this miniseries is planned to last longer than the average ‘ongoing’ X-Men spin-off. And it’s apparently going to reveal some big secrets about the Astro City past. Having only a passing familiarity with this stuff (I read the first trade and the recent Local Heroes mini), I think I’ll put off getting into something this huge for now, though I trust Kurt Busiek will make it friendly for new readers. Just not the right week for me, I think.

Shaolin Cowboy #3: But it’s definitely the right week for this book; in fact, every week’s the right week for Geof Darrow’s crazed mix of gorgeous violence, absurd humor, sing-song dialogue, groaning wordplay, and psychotic graphical trickery. Truly, this is a book where anything can happen. I don’t even know what’s scheduled for this issue. I don’t want to know. Something about a bone orchard. Here’s a preview of the Cowboy and his Ass shooting the shit. Moebius does a variant cover. Market realities.

Doc Frankenstein #3: So both Burlyman books arrive on the same day. This is the one the Wachowskis write by themselves, and boy oh boy was last issue stupid. Just imagine the laziest, shallowest sociopolitical satire you can, shot up good and high with bloated self-importance (a pretty impressive trick, seeing as how the star of the book is Frankenstein and he’s fighting an evil Pope), then grafted onto a totally generic action story, clichés flying everywhere. The only good part was that they mostly jettisoned the dire narration that stank up issue #1. And, well, Steve Skroce makes it look nice. This issue features an angry old cowboy kicking ass (though not an Ass), and there’s not a lot of words. That might be a positive sign, but I’d hate to get my hopes too high.

Flaming Carrot #3: You know what sounds like a Flaming Carrot plot? From the new DC solicitations:

Written by Grant Morrison
Art and cover by Cameron Stewart

More must-see mysteries of the SEVEN SOLDIERS saga unfold as the GUARDIAN miniseries finale builds toward the epic conclusion in SEVEN SOLDIERS #1!

Is a broken, embittered Jake Jordan ready for "Sex Secrets of the Newsboy Army"? Who were Captain 7, Kid Scarface, Baby Brains, Ali-Ka-Zoom, Chop Suzi, Li'l Hollywood and Millions the Mystery Mutt? What was the vow they made as children outside the United Nations building? What did they do that was so wrong - and why will the entire world suffer in an alien hell if the Guardian makes the wrong decision this time?"

Seriously. Carrot is the seventh soldier from issue #0. You heard it here first!

Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere: Oh, so that’s what Glenn Fabry’s doing instead of the new Kev mini with Garth Ennis. It’s an adaptation of the much-loved (and already adapted to television) Gaiman prose novel. Or was it the other way around? Regardless, I’ve heard fans of the book express dismay that the female lead is now apparently a busty goth chick, with naked thighs and chest a flashin’. Who knows, might be good. Don’t think I’ll be there for it.

Batman: Jekyll and Hyde #3 (of 6):


Just a friendly reminder.