Against the clock as always.

*As some of you have already noted, Haloscan was on the fritz for about 15 or so hours there from last night to this afternoon; I wasn’t able to get anything posted. It seems to be working fine now though (of course, if I had checked Ken Lowery's site, I'd have figured out a different way around the problem a bit earlier).

*Which means there’s so much opportunity to talk about


Shaolin Cowboy #4

Seven Soldiers - Klarion the Witch Boy #4 (of 4)

The Intimates #12

And a little ol' feature film review for the 2004 anime Mind Game, which needs a R1 dvd release yesterday.

That is them all right.



Today at Comic Book Galaxy, we venture into the wide world of newsprint, though these particular examples are limited to only 500 copies each, come with backing from the National Endowment for the Arts, and cost $5 a pop. It’s two of the new projects out from PictureBox Inc./The Ganzfeld, Matthew Thurber’s Carrot for Girls and Marc Bell’s and Peter Thompson’s The Hobbit. See what I have to say, then at least consider checking into Thurber’s stuff.

*New To Me Dept: Since I’m all about the links here this evening, how about getting yerself a little culture by heading on over to The Library and Archives Canada for their online gallery of English-language comics? They’ve uploaded a bunch of individual issues from various eras, letters pages and all, so it’s definitely worth a look, especially if you’ve never read David Boswell’s Reid Fleming, World’s Toughest Milkman (issue #1 is up) or Chester Brown’s Louis Riel (issue #3, the ‘execution’ chapter). If nothing else, check out Dave Sim’s very first Aardvark Comment essay from Cerebus #1, a fine display of youthful uncertainty and market consideration, with added period recommendations. The Library and Archives also has a Quebecois Comics site, featuring the original French-language editions of Michel Rabagliati’s Paul in the Country (in its entirety) and Julie Doucet’s The Madame Paul Affair (an excerpt). Certainly worth clicking around in; I have no idea what’s going on in André Philibert’s Oror 1970, but it looks damn neat.

*And if that’s not enough reading for you, Rick Smith has posted the entire 2003 Shuck Unmasked collection (which he produced with Tania Menesse), collecting all six original issues of Shuck Comics, free and in color to his site. In addition, pages from the currently ongoing follow-up Shuck the Sulfurstar series will be posted each day.

Did I mention that the Finder online serialization has begun, with three of the trades already posted online in support (see the ‘Reader’s Copies’ section to the left)? That’s a whole lot of reading.

*Of course, I hear there’s also reading set to appear at the local comical shops,


Night Fisher: Whew. Talk about hype. Fantagraphics is really pushing this one hard - the comics debut of R. Kikuo Johnson, an original graphic novel about privileged, academically overachieving aimless youths in Hawaii, drifting into drugs and petty crime and generally screwing each other over. Johnson certainly has a nice visual style (plenty of free samples and strips on his site - I especially liked this one), so we’ll have to see how the execution goes. Advance word is quite good.

The Freebooters: Hey! Here’s a surprise - the second of Fantagraphics’ three hardcover collections of Barry Windsor-Smith’s Storyteller has finally arrived. Storyteller, for those not familiar, was a 1996-97 magazine-sized Dark Horse series in which Windsor-Smith serialized an entertaining trio of genre tales; none of the stories reached completion before the series was cancelled with issue #9. Then this hardcover collection series was announced, and Windsor-Smith found himself unable to complete any of the stories; the spirit of the work simply wasn’t there any more. As a result, the first hardcover, Young Gods and Friends (a Kirby-influenced romp through the mythic pantheon) became a weirdly compelling work of self-reflection, apologetic letters to Gary Groth interrupting stalled attempts to revive the story, and colorful pages trailing off into pencil sketches. Not to mention a strange party sequence, with all of the various Storyteller characters hanging around and chatting with each other, a sequence that’s apparently going to continue in this volume. The Freebooters was Windsor-Smith’s ‘barbarian’ serial (anticipated by fans who’d still recall Windsor-Smith’s work on Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian), following the antics of an overweight former warrior hero, coasting on glory, and the young poet/seer that attempts to recruit him into battling an oncoming calamity. The metaphor is obvious. Don’t expect anything resembling a traditional ending, though there will be some art intended for unpublished issues, and 50 pages of new stuff. I do recall liking this serial from the five or so issues of Storyteller I hunted down the other year.

Solo #7: They made him change his cover (even though the original is still up on their site), but nothing could change his spirit! Or something. Right. Anyway, Mike Allred is up this issue, looking to be an all-DCU superhero extravaganza, with writing help from his brother Lee (who’s also a science fiction prose writer). The centerpiece is the much-mutated Batman A-Go-Go!, an evocation of what the Adam West Batman program meant to Allred while watching it as a kid, only half-comprehending its humorous intent. Probably one of my more anticipated purchases of the week.

Super F*ckers #2: Further amusing profanities from James Kochalka, now only $5 for 24 pages. Check out my review of issue #1 here. I bet I’ll laugh.

Marvel Monsters - Monsters on the Prowl #1: The final installment of this Halloween-themed monster set (gosh, I think it was all intended to promote some new book but I just… can’t seem to remember…), and it’s been batting 2 for 3 so far, so you might as well give this one a shot. It’s written by horror go-to guy Steve Niles, with art from the always-reliable Duncan Fegredo, as a group of Marvel superhero monsters (Thing, Hulk, Beast, etc.) battle pretty much ever Atlas-era beast that hasn’t yet shown up in one of these specials. The previous special (Fin Fang Four) already covered the whole ‘superheroes taking the reins from monsters’ angle already, but this might turn out swell anyhow.

The Authority: The Magnificent Kevin #3 (of 5): Hopefully pulling back towards the funnier bits; I understand it’s nice to praise Ennis for being kind of serious with his material, but last issue really just came off as clichéd and limp for me, just as the brooding ending of the last Kev miniseries didn’t so the trick for me. I’m sure he’ll find his way back.

Jack Cross #3: This thing might go either way. It has potential. Then again, it probably has less potential than Ocean, and writer Warren Ellis still managed to sink that one (ho ho!) under climactic action movie posturing. I think this is the second-to-last issue of this arc. Time will tell.

Little Nemo in Slumberland: So Many Splendid Sundays!: Oh, this one hurts. I love Winsor McCay, and I love Little Nemo, and that gigantic hardcover Little Nemo 1905-1914 collection from years back is one of my treasured books, but wow! A deluxe limited edition 100th anniversary best-of collection, 120 pages printed at a towering 16” x 23”, with meticulously restored colors and everything! As the sample included with In the Shadow of No Towers ably demonstrated, Little Nemo only gets better the bigger it’s presented. Unfortunately, I really don’t have a spare $120 to blow on stuff I already own, albeit at a reduced size. I wish I did, though.