I was going to make a joke about Spider-Man/Black Cat in this post but I'm running late.

*Ok, now I can safely post


Colonia: On Into the Great Lands (nice fantasy book for all ages by Jeff Nicholson)

Fell #3

The Secret Voice #1 (individual, devoted genre fun by Zack Soto, very much worth checking out)

AEIOU or Any Easy Intimacy (the new one by Jeffrey Brown, and something is missing)

Whew. Such a relief.

*That’s It Dept: The X-Men Part Trois teaser. My reaction - if the occasion of my 110th birthday is the next time I see one of those overhead shots wherein a character stares at the sky and yowls in anguish, it will still have been far, far too soon. Beyond that, it's indicated that there aren’t any disastrous miscalculations in the costuming or makeup departments, which is pretty much all you can really glean from these uniformly fast-cut action/fantasy teasers anyway.

*The rise of tomorrow's sun will be just the time to face up to


Rocky Vol. 1: The Big Payback: Kim Thompson of Fantagraphics has been posting some very interesting information on the translation of this Swedish autobiographical funny (but rude) animal strip by Martin Kellerman over at the Fanta blog. This volume collects the first year of material, originally serialized daily in Swedish newspapers. Some samples and nice interview material awaits you here, to supplement the above links. Certainly it’s unique among Fanta’s varied ongoing reprint projects.

Demo: Hmmm, I think I’ve heard of the pamphlet incarnation of this book somewhere before… somewhere on the internet, I think. Not on this site, certainly - I’ve never reviewed an issue Demo. The situation will have changed by the end of this week, however. As of now, all I can say is that this collects all 12 issues of the much-discussed series, with new introductions by writer Brian Wood and artist Becky Cloonan, and none of the extras that accompanied the individual issues (thus retaining some measure of premium benefit for early adopters). But again, more on the book later this week.

Optic Nerve #10: There you are! For all of you waiting for Diamond to ship this latest issue of Adrian Tomine’s series (which pretty much speaks for itself by this point), here it comes. Unless there’s been a drastic change, this is part 2 of 3 of Tomine’s longest story ever, White on Rice, an exploration of race and relationships and such (EDIT 12/07/05 1:19 AM: and as Ian mentions in the comments below, there has been a change, in that the story isn't called 'White On Rice' anymore). I can just barely remember what happened last issue, so I’ll have to dig it out before reading through this one.

Nat Turner #2 (of 4): The next installment of this heavily-praised series. The first issue caught my interest, but I think I have to wait for another issue to really form an opinion; what we’ve seen thus far was very much a prelude, and I’d like to see what writer/artist Kyle Baker does with mixing word and image as the title character learns to read. If it’s like last issue, it’ll also be 48 fat pages for only three bucks; quite a bargain these days, though it's worthwhile material at most any price.

Vimanarama: Poor old miniseries. Without the boundless word-of-mouth of We3 or the mild infamy of Seaguy, this third and final entry in the most recent wave of Grant Morrison-written creator-owned miniseries kind of got lost. And it is probably the least of the three (I’d personally put Seaguy above We3 - take from that what you will), though all of them were at least pleasantly engaging slices of entertainment with an active appreciation of subtext married to the action. This one centers around a young man named Ali who’s nervous about his upcoming arranged marriage, though such concerns really ought to be eclipsed by the small matter of ancient gods rising from the past to either destroy or reform the world; they never quite are eclipsed, however, which is part of the book’s charm. There’s also hints of intergenerational culture strife and the clash between the storied heroism of ancient religions and how such things can chafe against the realities of today, plus little bits of Bollywood influence, with artist Phillip Bond neatly exploiting the capacity of the comics page to morph mundane character actions into catchy dance steps via the illusion of movement inherent to the form. It’s also pretty funny and endearing, even if the climax can’t quite keep its internal logic straight (given various conflicting explanations, I still can’t tell you what the Horn of Jabreel actually does, save for ‘conclude the comic’). Worth checking out, though.

All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder #1 Special Edition: Oh this book. Why, I have half a mind to devote a portion of the next edition of my column to highlighting the lack of differing opinions regarding this title within the theoretically diverse blogosphere by linking to what tiny smattering of positive reviews I can find! Anyway, for those itching to relive the laughs, the catchphrases, and the momentary waves of half-explicable embarrassment that this series always inspires, here’s a deluxe 48-page edition rendered entirely in Jim Lee’s original b&w pencil art (lettering added), with Frank Miller’s complete script included in the back. Quite a treat for process junkies, and maybe it’ll take the edge off waiting another three weeks for issue #3 to arrive. I’m serious when I say that I’m anticipating new issues of this book more than almost any other ongoing superhero title I can think of - I need to see what they’re going to come up with next.

The Punisher MAX #28: I shall place an entirely imaginary wager upon there being shootings in this issue.

Down #2 (of 4): This one too.

Seven Soldiers - Mister Miracle #2 (of 4): Try to enjoy new artist Billy Dallas Patton while he’s here, since he’s already off the book for issue #3 to make way for Freddie Williams II. Igor Kordey used to top my list of favored artists for issue #4 (just to maintain the one-artist-per-issue theme we’ve got going), but now I’ve got an even better idea: Alan Moore! I mean, why not? He used to draw sci-fi type comics (albeit parodic ones), and it’s not like we can claim exacting visual consistency is a top priority on this title anymore. Just imagine the hype, the sales! It could interact with Zatanna’s intermittent engagement with the Moore back-catalog! It’ll be just great. In the alternative, I could suggest that someone try and summon the ghost of Jack Kirby, but that would be silly.