Back to being a comics blog.

*Ok, holiday’s over. It’s now All Saints Day. Let’s all be transfigured in the light of the past’s benevolence, its radiance shining forward through the clammy corridors of time. Alternatively, we can examine


Solo #7 (Mike Allred always offers up some great visuals, even when the preaching gets ya weary)

Jack Cross #3, The Authority: The Magnificent Kevin #3 (of 5)

and then I posted a review of my day for Mischief Night, and oh how we laughed at the jest.

At Comic Book Galaxy we had a 2-in-1 deal with a pair of newsprint comics, Matthew Thurber's Carrot for Girls and Marc Bell's and Peter Thompson's The Hobbit.

Hell, I also went over the Wong Kar-Wai film 2046 and hid my comments in this post without marking it as a 'review,' though it sort of is, now that I look at it.

In addition, there was the horror of Halloween. But horror to me need not be confined to pages and celluloid; horror can leak from the confines of media and saturate our contemplation of horrific works of creativity - the moral implications of successful film, within and without its themes and execution, can provide just as profound a shock to the system as flash cuts and loud noises. And I’m not talking proud, outright filmic wickedness (the sort of nihilism Roger Ebert would no doubt cluck his tongue at), or even the passivity of propagating cruel genre standards in the interests of finance; I’m talking about witnessing total textual distress, a movie’s panicked state of awakening to a perceived immorality, one it shares in whilst wading though that piranha-infested river of a certain lowdown style. It’s a self-destructive yowl of confusion, most chilling of all in its uncertainty - exploitation is exploitation, after all. Cannibal Holocaust is just such a work of cinema self-immolation, a Euro-cult suicide bombing of a feature presentation. And if its power lies in wait largely outside of your television screen, somehow clouding your sight despite its seeming invisibility, well, such is the nature of the beast.

(I also ought to note the extra-bizarre feeling of watching an old friend of mine, one whom I haven’t seen in years, suddenly pop up in one of the dvd bonus features. Just to add that extra personal connection, I guess.)

*Other Bloggers’ Accomplishments Dept: Hey - I know you’ve heard of Marc Singer, dictator-for-life of his excellent blog I Am NOT the Beastmaster. Surely you’ve enjoyed his insights on various comics topics and other things. Well soon you can enjoy him fictionally as well: this very month he’ll have a short story published in the new annual fiction anthology Adventure, from MonkeyBrain Books, home of Jess Nevin’s gargantuan 1200-page The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana, as well as his popular League of Extraordinary Gentlemen annotation books. The anthology will also feature stories by Michael Moorcock and Paul Di Filippo, along with several others. Details on Marc’s site!



676 Apparitions of Killoffer: I’ve heard some things about this one; it’s a 48-page album by L’Association co-founder Killoffer, published by that French artcomics leader in 2002. An experimental autobiography, the book follows the author, seething with sexual frustration, as he’s confronted by a horde of malevolent doppelgangers, ripping out of his body and breaking and devouring and fucking everything. It’s picked up quite a lot of acclaim over the years, and now it’s available from Typocrat in a fully re-lettered (by Killoffer himself) English-language format. It’s a huge item (10” x 15”), with a price tag to match ($25.95). But the art certainly looks gorgeous, and it’s an intriguing premise.

Eden Vol. 1: New manga from Dark Horse; this time it's the kickoff book for Hiroki Endo’s magnum opus, an often blood-soaked, philosophic sci-fi epic about skin-hardening viruses, robot killers, and the usual rebel forces fighting off oppressive hordes, but purportedly with a lyrical twist and formidable thematic complexity. It’s still undergoing serialization in Japan (11 volumes have been released thus far), but it seems to be quite popular among English-speaking readers. Dark Horse’s preview makes it all seem a bit blunt, but the art carries great promise.

Insomnia #1: But getting back to expensive large-format books, here’s a $7.95 tome from Fantagraphics’ Ignatz line of dustjacketed softcover 8 1/2” x 11” pamphlets, 32 pages, 2-color. It’s by Matt Broersma, a UK talent who also had the most impressive material in Drawn & Quarterly Showcase Vol. 3, a creepily funny pair of supernatural noir pieces. Here, he presents a self-contained tale of intrigue and crime sprawling across the Mexican border, though later installments will supposedly intersect with this initial outing. I like Broersma’s stuff, as little of it I’ve seen (I think this and the D&Q book are his only US releases thus far), and you should give it a peek. Nice production values, I expect (as should you, given the price).

Flaming Carrot Comics #4: Not the fumetti issue it was originally promoted as; that material been reassigned a place as a Special in the near-future. No, this one is a Halloween issue; it’s a bit late, but the thought is there, no doubt. The Carrot embarks on a magnificent quest to recover his lost bar of soap, and battles a sexy ghost. You know the drill. Preview available on Image’s swank new front page.

Conversation #2: Another 5” x 5” (and $5) jam comic, this time 48 pages of James Kochalka discussing stuff with Jeffrey Brown, a chat which apparently devolves into a comical ‘fight scene’ regarding each creator’s philosophy of art. If you liked the Kochalka/Craig Thompson issue #1 (I haven‘t read it), you might enjoy this as well.

Desolation Jones #4: Here’s a four-page preview, neatly demonstrating colorist Jose Villarrubia’s use of reds and whites (and presumably penciler/inker J.H. Williams III’s utilization of frames-within-frames) to immerse us into the enhanced sensory capacity of the title character, as he struggles with a hired tough. The color provides an added level of experience, apart from the visceral impact of the action itself. It’s quite a simple technique, but not often exploited, and it’s one of the elements that puts this book above the rest of the pack. Get it.

The Winter Men #3 (of 8): More covert Russian action in this highly entertaining series, which is unfortunately beginning to fall behind schedule (issue #4 is noticeably absent from December’s and January’s release lists). Still, it’s a literate, often funny tour of Russian and American streets in a mildly fantastical alternate world, with a battered yet skilled operative chasing superpowered black market organs across the ocean. Artist John Paul Leon is doing some great work too on this series; you shouldn’t miss it.

Seven Soldiers - The Bulleteer #1 (of 4): Where’s Zatanna? Pushed back again to Nov. 23! I maintain that it’s not that big a deal, arriving in the midst of the final batch of first issues, which haven’t been the best chapters of this project in general. Having a ‘conclusion’ issue dropped into the middle (as much as any of these things really conclude - seriously, are people upset that DC isn’t collecting these things miniseries-by-miniseries? because none but Klarion really work all that well as single units so far, the focus being firmly on the larger project) might liven things up. This one apparently focuses on the sexual aspects of superheroics, complete with the cheesecake stylings of penciler Yanick Paquette of Terra Obscura fame, as well as acting as a semi-direct continuation of Seven Soldiers #0, at least in future issues. Here’s hoping for a smooth start.

The Punisher MAX #27: Bang.

The Originals: Ah, it’s that Dave Gibbons graphic novel about mods in a futuristic milieu; I hadn’t picked it up since I couldn’t really justify the hardcover price when considering my interest in the project. I think I recall people liking it. Anyway, now it’s out in a less-expensive softcover, so maybe I’ll take a look at some point. Also this week, Alan Moore and Zander Cannon’s neato Smax miniseries arrives in softcover, for a piddling $12.99. You can’t pass that up!