Powerful pit-pat.

*Rain, rain, gloom, rain.


Casanova #1 (pre-release review for a new Image series coming soon - it's good)

52 #1 (of 52) and Warren Ellis' Wolfskin #1 (of 3)

Billy Hazelnuts (wonderful original graphic novel from Tony Millionaire, loaded with all the sas and spit of classic newspaper strips)

Heavy Metal Vol. XXX No. 3 (the new July 2006 edition, featuring the newest chapter of Alejandro Jodorowsky's and Milo Manara's trashtastic Borgia)


*UPDATE (5/16/06 1:04 AM): According to this AnimeOnDvd thread, Eiji Nonaka will soon be ending his Cromartie High School manga. The series will be complete in 17 or 18 volumes, so there's still a truckload of material left to release in the US before the well runs dry. Mmmmm... I like my metaphors mixed.

*Soooo... The Winter Men is back up to eight issues now (scroll down)?? A misprint (one that even shows on Wildstorm's own site)? Was the cover of issue #4 a misprint? At least a new issue is due in August, either way.

Also in August from the Greater DC area - Brian K. Vaughan’s and Niko Henrichon’s The Pride of Baghdad graphic novel (the one about the escaped zoo animals that’s a war allegory of some sort) sees release; I’m not much of a fan of Vaughan’s work, especially in regards to his politics-focused writing, but this has some potential. Plus, Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson launch a new ongoing ‘mature readers’ series titled The Boys, “a dark, twisted look at super powers, super-people, and the men and women who make sure the world's ‘heroes’ never go too far.” The writer vows that it will “out-Preacher Preacher.” I wonder if it won’t be another monotonous Ennis exercise in tough-guy bonding + The Inner Animal + superheroes r dumb lol. On that note, there’s another Kev miniseries (A Man Called Kev) going on too.

*Reprints are here to assassinate your wallet


Krazy & Ignatz 1937-1938: Shifting Sands Dusts Its Cheek in Powdered Beauty: Kompounding the kurrent kache of Krazy Kat kolor komics. Another two years of luminous Sundays, dotted with pertinent rarities and extras from the files of devoted kollectors. Fantagraphics is drawing awfully near to the end here (I think there’s only three volumes to go), after which they’ll loop back to the start and represent the Eclipse volumes of this komprehensive kompilation. Vintage strip reprints from visible publishers tend to build a lot of heat when they first start, then fade into the background in anticipation of the next thing - Krazy Kat moves forward still, and I’d certainly (kertainly?) hate to miss a beat.

Winsor McCay: Early Works Vol. VII: Yet another trade paperback batch of random McCay material from Checker, $19.95 for 200 pages. If it’s anything like prior installments it’ll sport some occasionally lousy visual quality due to source material faults, some color work presented in muddy b&w tones, and a whole heap of stuff nobody’s seen in a century or so, thus making it worthwhile for die-hard McCay fans anyway. Checker’s site is decidedly unhelpful as to what’s exactly in this volume, besides noting that there’ll be both editorial cartoons and comic strips - that could mean pretty much anything, as the insanely prolific McCay’s body of work goes so deep. But many fans are up for anything, so shadowed do these corners of the man’s output remain.

Castle Waiting: A monster 456-page hardcover brick of a collection from Fantagraphics, devoted to Linda Medley’s much-loved series and set at a crazy low $29.95 retail price. I expect even longtime fans will be interested in this, as it apparently contains an all-new chapter, but it will probably be of most interest to curious readers who maybe heard of the series a few times back when it was being published next to Bone at Jeff Smith’s Cartoon Books, then kept catching wind of it at various points through the ensuing years, though never really jumped in. Basically, readers like me. Now it’s easy, I imagine, to get familiar with this story of fairy tale and fable characters coexisting, without having to puzzle out the series’ somewhat convoluted publishing history. It all leads into the big ongoing series relaunch from Fanta, starting this July.

Hotwire Comix and Capers: Not a reprint book, but also from the very busy Fantagraphics. Some readers of this site might recall the Fanta-published 1990-92 anthology Snake Eyes from co-editor Glenn Head; it only lasted three issues, but boasted a huge line-up of talent, including early work by Chris Ware and contributions from David Mazzucchelli, Gary Panter, Charles Burns, and more. It’s since become something of a cult favorite. Now editor Head returns for this all-new 136-page b&w and color anthology, focusing on short, humorous, irreverent material; the contributor’s list features Tony Millionaire, Johnny Ryan, Matt Madden, Ivan Brunetti, Sam Henderson, David Lasky, Max Anderson, Doug Allen, R. Sikoryak, Carol Swain, Danny Hellman, Mack White, and more. There will be laffs within, I expect.

Batman: Year 100 #4 (of 4): Ah, finishing right on time, or at least close enough that I’m not tempted to actually go and check the release schedule! Quite a different experience than waiting (and waiting and waiting) on the last issue of 100% those many months ago - I presume enough of this book was ‘in the can’ (to borrow a completely inappropriate yet nonetheless useful film term) before its official release began that delays were thus avoided. And yet, the timing of the release as a whole still feels so fitting - just as Marvel has begin a large-scale superhero epic focusing on the loss of individual rights in a superhero milieu, writer/artist Paul Pope draws to a close his own similarly-attuned Bat-outing, only without a zillion tie-ins and supplementary miniseries. It’s always been more focused on visual world-building and eerie mystery and fun characters than beat-by-beat plot movement or conceptual originality, but it’s done a swell job of telling its story anyway, in the manner by which it feels like it needs to be told. Chris Butcher has already read this final issue, and says it’s “a wonderful close,” and I bet he’s right.

All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder #4: This, however, is not very much on time at all. I wonder how penciler Jim Lee is planning on re-launching WildC.A.T.s with Grant Morrison this summer when he still has a bunch of issues of this to go before Neal Adams takes over? Writer Frank Miller is also a busy one, apparently having a hand in developing the concept of the above mentioned Bat-series with Mr. Pope - Miller will have his own political tome (Holy Terror, Batman!) out eventually, but for now there’s this decidedly apolitical festival of corny jokes, eccentric writing tics, blissful go-nowhere plotting, and general irreverence. So basically it’s a bit like Shaolin Cowboy, only with corporate-owned characters and not nearly as good. And with an almost supernatural talent for pissing people off. I enjoy the book; this issue is sure to remind me even more of Geof Darrow, as it contains a crazy, space-wasting multi-page super-splash, though this one actually folds out of the book for your pleasure. Whether that’ll eat into the rest of the book’s pages remains to be seen.

52 #2 (of 52): This series has not fallen off schedule yet.

Fell #5: Man, issue #1 of this Warren Ellis/Ben Templesmith series is entering its fourth printing this week. Clearly there’s demand, so here’s a new issue.

X-Men Fairy Tales #1 (of 4): Once upon a time, Marvel had a whole bunch of X-Men titles out on the shelves of comics stores, even though half of them weren’t selling well at all. Then they put out another one, proving that what world folklore really needed was correlations with various X-Men storylines. The whole kingdom rejoiced and birds plucked out the eyes of Ashputtle’s stepsisters, except the birds were Wolverine. The end.

Haunt of Horror: Edgar Allen Poe #1 (of 3): Of course, helpful Marvel also provides an alternative for those still looking to scratch their itch for classics-adapted-to-comics, and it’s a cherry one: a new Marvel MAX miniseries (wait, weren’t they closing that line to new books?) from artist/co-writer Richard Corben, nominally updating the old Marvel horror property by transferring assorted works of Poe to sequential form, with the aid of co-writer Rich Margopoulos. The full text of the Poe originals will also be provided, in case you want to compare. This issue presents The Conqueror Worm, The Sleeper, and The Raven, in b&w for $3.99. Guaranteed to sell less then the X-men Fairy Tales book due to the distinct lack of color or Colossus, but I’m pretty interested. Copious preview images here.