Santa is going to take your money this Wednesday. Do not try to stop him.

*No time to waste in presenting


The Authority: The Magnificent Kevin #5 (of 5)

Local #2 and DMZ #2

Optic Nerve #9-10


*Plenty of gigantic releases slipping in before the holidays, perfect for those last-minute gift ideas, preferably for yourself. Anyone have any money left?


Acme Novelty Library #16: Yeah, I think this one counts as the ‘big’ release for the week, don’t you? It’s the first new Acme in four years, officially beginning the serialization of writer/artist Chris Ware’s new storyline, Rusty Brown (focusing on the infamous collector’s childhood, though the work will actually stretch from 1955 to a mission to Mars in the far future), though plenty of Rusty-related material was spotted in the recent Acme Novelty Library hardcover, among other places. Also included will be some Building Stories material, which is currently running in the New York Times (this’ll be different stuff though). It’s a deluxe 64-page hardcover presentation, with a deluxe $15.95 price tag. Now self-published by Ware himself, and apparently limited to only one printing. Get yours before the backlash hits the mainstream press outlets!

Daydreams and Nightmares: Ah, but perhaps the connoisseur of classic newspaper comics would rather something from an older Master of Comics Art - Mr. Winsor McCay. Those dazzled by that Little Nemo In Slumberland - So Many Splendid Sundays! collection (or those who really couldn’t afford it) will doubtlessly gravitate toward this also pretty big (12" x 16") but much less costly ($24.95) reprint of Fantagraphics’ 1988 collection of McCay miscellany. It’s 176 pages of lesser-known strips like Dream of the Rarebit Fiend, A Pilgrim’s Progress, Little Sammy Sneeze, plus illustrative and editorial cartooning. So basically, it’s similar content to that found in Checker’s Winsor McCay Early Works series (currently up to Vol. 6), though I’m certain that Fanta’s reproduction quality will be superior.

Mome Vol. 2: Of course, maybe you’ll want a look at some younger talents. This book is your ticket, the next edition of Fanta’s prestige anthology series, with its fixed contributer list of excellent folks (and David B. will be popping in next issue!). Full line-up and more here.

Poor Sailor: Sammy Harkham is another major talent, though perhaps best known for his editing work on the altogether awesome Kramers Ergot anthology series. But many readers know that Harkham is a formidable cartoonist in his own right (recent evidence appeared in Drawn and Quarterly Showcase Vol. 3). Published by Gingko Press, this is a small, $14.95 hardcover stand-alone repackaged version of Harkham’s story from Kramers Ergot 4, a sparsely-worded tale of tragedy and seafaring, reminiscent to me of the works of Chester Brown in its airy compositions and curved lines. Certainly worth a look if you haven’t gotten Kramers (which you ought to, though I think it’s getting kind of hard to find by now).

Wimbledon Green: And just to top it off, here’s that much-praised sketchbook-derived thing by Seth, from Drawn and Quarterly, for $19.95. Looks like a lot of affectionate fun, following the world’s greatest comic book collector on his adventures. You’ve probably heard about three or four billion people praising this from various print and internet sources already, so I guess your mind is made up, right?

Jason X Special #1 (of 1): Ah, just in time for the holidays - a quartet of horror books from Avatar! Deck your halls with this one-shot special, based specifically on the Jason-in-space incarnation of the New Line property. As always, the script is by Brian Pulido, though unlike the ‘standard’ Friday the 13th books from Avatar, the art here is not by Mike Wolfer of Strange Killings but Sebastian Fiumara, whom I’ve mainly known through his inks on his brother Max’s pencils on Avatar books like Nightjar (the latter Fiumara will be doing the art on the Warren Ellis zombie book Blackgas), though his cover for issue #1 of Alan Moore’s A Hypothetical Lizard was also pretty nice. I’m sure the gure will flow. Perhaps you can hang the gold foil cover variants on the tree as ornaments?

Friday the 13th: Bloodbath #2 (of 3): Meanwhile, the main series moves forward, with the aforementioned Wolfer on art. Some of last issue was actually pretty fun, positively soaking in hoary slasher cliches, though it’s looking like we’re up for an ill-advised turn into self-referential ‘cleverness,’ which is just as much a part of the series by this point as the straight stuff. And what’s worse, none of these variant covers look suitable for decoration! Maybe you can hang the gore cover up in place of mistletoe?

A Nightmare on Elm Street: Paranoid #1 (of 3): Freddy - I hear he’s ready. Hopefully this miniseries will climax with a block-rocking guest appearance by Dokken, or at least The Fat Boys, but I’m not Brian Pulido so I wouldn’t know. The art is by the ever-detailed Juan Jose Ryp (previously of Frank Miller’s Robocop, of which we are still waiting on the final issue, and soon to appear in the Warren Ellis barbarian miniseries Wolfskin), who will hopefully add some creepily surreal zest to the expected dream sequences (I recall the preceding one-shot in this series largely involving Freddy just stabbing people in creative environments, which is kind of a waste really). Still no word on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s own three-issue epic, coming soon, but there’s already plenty under the tree here.

Escape of the Living Dead #2 (of 5): Meanwhile, one of Avatar’s other horror books (not a license, nor written by Brian Pulido; the story is by John Russo, co-writer of Night of the Living Dead, with sequential adaptation by Mike Wolfer, whom I’ve mentioned earlier) presses onward. That Ellis book is hot on its heels, though I’m liking Dheeraj Verma’s art. Can there be such a thing as too much plasma for one holiday? Maybe Avatar should have snapped up the rights to Silent Night, Deadly Night while they were at it.

Seven Soldiers - Bulleteer #2 (of 4): Kind of wish I’d abstained from checking out these preview pages, as I’m at the point where I’d rather everything remain a surprise. Still I couldn’t resist, and it looks like there’s already one amusing character from a different series present and accounted for. There might be enough big-picture tie-in within this book for two issues (which would cover Mister Miracle quite nicely, actually).

Top Ten: Beyond the Farthest Precinct #5 (of 5): Sigh... probably the last ABC miniseries (one that's not some sort of character guide, mind you) wraps up. It wasn’t bad, actually quite better than expected, though I’m wondering how they’re going to resolve all of these dangling plot threads in one issue. Also out is the fourth Tom Strong collection, now in softcover form, so you can relive the memories at a lower price.

Iron Man: The Inevitable #1 (of 6): I expect artist Frazer Irving picked up a whole lot of new fans through his work on Klarion the Witch Boy - let’s see if they follow him over to this Iron Man miniseries. Joe Casey will be present on the script to keep things humming, with plenty of classic villains stocked up and ready to go. I like the looks of the preview art - there’s kind of a neat Bill Sienkiewicz vibe to that photograph in the third image, and I’m really digging the colors (by Irving himself, if I’m not mistaken). Might be worth a look.

Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk #1 (of 6): The one from Lost writer Damon Lindelof. Also: the one where that fellow gets yanked in half. As I mentioned above with Wimbledon Green, you’ve all made up your minds about this already, right?