Holy slop! It's another week!

*These days keep going faster and faster.


Continuity (new AiT/Planet Lar release, mostly suggesting that its creative team has the capacity to create better things in the future)

All Star Superman #4

Eternals #1 (of 6)

Haunt of Horror: Edgar Allen Poe #2 (of 3)

Wasteland #1 (pre-release review - new ongoing post-cataclysm adventure series from Oni, about what you'd expect)

Even when they don't feel fast.

*A few releases have snuck up on us -


Babel #2: From Fantagraphics. Book of the week, very little doubt. The latest chapter in David B.'s expansive examination of violence, history, communication, and all the world's epilepsy - it's kind of a sister work to the masterful Epileptic, but far broader in its metaphorical scope. The last issue of this (released by Drawn & Quarterly) was my #2 book of 2004. The collected Epileptic was my #1 book of 2005. Ignatz format, $7.95 for 32 pages, and I'll be stunned if it's not worth every penny.

Southland Tales Book 1 (of 3): Two Roads Diverge: A co-production of Graphitti Designs, Kevin Smith's View Askew Productions, and creator/writer Richard Kelly's Darko Entertainment, this is the 96-page, $12.95 initial chapter of a satirical sci-fi multimedia extravaganza. You might have already heard of another segment of the project, the 160-minute Kelly-directed Southland Tales movie, which was frostily received at Cannes and is now unlikely to appear in US theaters without significant edits (but at least it has a US distributor, Universal, which puts it a step ahead of the likes of Terry Gilliam's Tideland). These comics all take place prior to the film on the grand project timeline, so at least now there's plenty of room for everything to get ready. Art by Brett Weldele of AiT/Planet Lar's Couscous Express and Top Shelf's The Surrogates. Preview and info here.

Dragon Head Vol. 3 (of 10): More claustrophobia and physical/mental decay from Minetaro Mochizuki's survival horror showcase. More tunnel!

Lady Snowblood Vol. 4 (of 4): Retribution Part 2 (of 2): Obviously, Dark Horse has realized that there’s no such thing as ‘too much’ Kazuo Koike, so we get two fat books of stuff this week. First, there’s the grand finale to this 1972-73 swordfights-at-the-dawn-of-modernization saga, with Kazuo Kamimura providing elegantly cutting visuals. Our Heroine rains hell down on the villains, as the wild spirit of a tamed nation rises to lay bare the still-atrocious crimes of man, now clad in a new finery. Or at least that’s how it went in Vol. 1, and how Dark Horse suggests it’s still going in their preview - I can never keep up with all these Koike historical throat-slitters.

Path of the Assassin Vol. 1 (of 15): Serving in the Dark: But don’t fret, Goseki Kojima fans! Those rough lines also have a place this week, as the 1978-84 re-teaming of the Lone Wolf and Cub/Samurai Executioner team kicks off. Keep the former of those past exploits in mind, as writer Koike has cannily whipped up another young-old duo of fighters - Tokugawa Ieyasu, future shogun, and the legendary Hattori Hanzo, master ninja. Dark Horse has a preview for this too, but given the 38 volumes of prior work by these two, I think we all know what to expect.

Hawkgirl #53: But watch your back, Koike - Howard Chaykin also has two releases this week (albeit about 560 less pages in cumulative length)! First up, we have another installment of this series, which I still think is endearingly silly and old-fashioned, though I recognize I’m in a rather extreme minority at this point. If you like Chaykin, savor him while you can - he’s apparently still on the book through at least September, but that’s the month he’s becoming the artist for Marvel’s new Blade series, so don’t expect him to stick around much longer.

New Avengers #21: Also on tap, a special one-off teaming with Brian Michael Bendis, as this big money series launches into a spread of standalone tie-ins to Civil War. This one follows Captain America, as he fights things in an angry, Civil War-related manner. Have some b&w preview art. Clearly, Chaykin is leaping into a new phase of his career, one far more friendly to both superheroes and providing art for other writers - he’s going to have illustrated more outside scripts this year that he has in the last decade. But there’ll be some solo work too, like November’s two-issue Guy Gardner: Collateral Damage miniseries. I’m really waiting for that new Black Kiss series he’s supposed to be cooking up, myself.

A Nightmare on Elm Street: Paranoid #3 (of 3): Nearing the end of the second wave of Avatar horror license books from New Line. The third wave will feature a slew of 'Fearbook' one-shots, mostly from altered creative teams, and Escape of the Living Dead's Dheeraj Verma will be stepping in for Juan Jose Ryp - writer Brian Pulido will remain on writing, the only series he'll stick with in the third wave. Be sure to check out this Verma interview at Newsarama, which is interesting in both its focus on the Indian comics scene and the artist's own perceptions, often emphasizing his interest in comics for children, though all of his English-language work has been very much for adults.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Grind #2 (of 3): It really is odd that all of these books seem to arrive in packs. I've managed to convince myself that it's a release strategy on Avatar's part, meant to diffuse the feeling of lateness surrounding these titles by putting out clumps of them at a time. I have no backing for any of these notions, sorry.

Eternals by Jack Kirby: For those wild 'n crazy Jack Kirby fans, or those who've been inspired by Neil Gaiman to spend huge stacks of dollar bills on old comics, here's a $75, 392-page hardcover collecting all 20 issues of The Eternals that Kirby made from 1976-78 (that's 19 regular issues and an annual), which I believe comprises the complete original series.

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #6: I believe this thing has an initial 12-issue lifespan on it, right? It is a nice little structural gesture, then, that the conclusion to Our Heroes' big clash with H.A.T.E. itself arrives at the halfway mark. Will writer Warren Ellis be taking things in a new direction after this? Does any 'direction' really matter with this book?

Solo #11: Sergio Aragonés! Joined by regular collaborator Mark Evanier! Yes, this is guaranteed to be an amusing, good-natured outing for this not-long-for-the-world series.

52 #8 (of 52): Oh man, what’s Donna gonna tell me about this week?!

DCU: Brave New World: Ah, this one’s sure to provide fodder for future histories of the DCU, not to mention a cheap ($1 for 80 pages) lead-in to a bunch of new series. Here’s the full lineup, and a preview. “Plus, witness the shocking return of a character you never thought you'd see again!” Yeah, unless it’s the robot Shadow or Alan Moore or something, I don’t know how shocked I can be at this point.