Oh were am I?



Q-Ko-chan Vol. 1 (of 2) (new Ueda Hajime manga, odd, pretty)

B.P.R.D.: The Universal Machine #5 (of 5)

The Black Plague Special #1, Jeremiah Harm #4, Second Wave #5

Martian Manhunter #1 (of 8)


*I'm really disoriented today.


Drawn & Quarterly Showcase: Book Four Another great-looking installment of D&Q’s eponymous effort to provide meaty new stories (at least 25 pages a pop) from promising young cartoonists, this time featuring a trio of people I first got familiar with in Alternative Comics’ Hi-Horse Omnibus anthology back in 2004. I think the big hit of this one will be Dan Zettwoch, one of my favorite minicomics creators (please buy this!) and a Kramers Ergot vet, with a new series coming soon from Buenaventura Press. His is a truly original vision, sharply-drawn scenes from history and everyday life molded into often surprising designs and cutaways on the page, the comics form made to sing in spirit of entertainment and revelation. But there will also be work by fellow Kramers contributor Gabrielle Bell, plus Martin Cendreda - those two are also regular contributors to Fantagraphics’ MOME, so surely you can appreciate the beauteous web of interconnections betwixt alternative comics anthologies. Preview here. It's 96 pages for $14.95.

Recess Pieces: Heh. From Bob Fingerman, a 96-page, full-color Dark Horse hardcover about cute grade school kids fighting zombies. Most of the appeal is probably going to stem from Fingerman’s art, though I got a few laughs out of the dialogue in the preview too.

Kickback: A new original graphic novel by David Lloyd of V for Vendetta, from Dark Horse. It’s always good to see Lloyd’s visuals getting a big hardcover showcase, though I don’t know how the plot (about a corrupt cop betrayed and fighting back) will fare in this one. It all looks pretty nice from the preview, though do note that the book is actually 96 pages and full-color (like the above Recess Pieces), not 208 pages and b&w like the Dark Horse site claims.

The Tale of Genji: And Dark Horse still has yet another hardcover showcase out this week, though certainly less focused on story - an 80-page series of drawings and paintings (b&w and color) by Yoshitaka Amano created in interpretation of The Tale of Genji, that 11th century landmark of Japanese literature by Murasaki Shikibu. Lavish, sort of costly ($24.95), but just look at those pictures!

X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl: This, however, is a softcover from Marvel. And it collects the generally very good recent X-Statix revival miniseries, seeing the original team of writer Peter Milligan and artist Mike Allred reunited, albeit augmented by co-artist Nick Dragotta to fine effect - the book’s visual style retains Allred’s unmistakable flavor, yet pushes things a bit deeper into the grotesque in a way that, well, Allred alone used to do in the early days of Madman. The plot might be of some interest to current readers of 52, as it’s all about a cadre of still-dead comics characters trying to unlock the secrets of being revived; Dead Girl naturally figures in heavily, through the very non-X-Statix Dr. Strange is the true protagonist. It’s witty, smart, filled with little nods toward team lore and unresolved character threads from the original series, and generally a great superhero book up until the somewhat disappointing, scattered ending. But the good points still put it in the upper echelon of X-Statix stories, and since not too many people bought it in pamphlet form, maybe they’d be interested in this collection.

Martian Manhunter #1 (of 8): Reviewed yesterday, see link above. Although I just noticed there’s a preview here if you want to look at it.

Fantastic Four: First Family #6 (of 6): A pretty nice miniseries that has a way of getting lost, both in online coverage and sales. Still, I'm enjoying it.

52 #14 (of 52): This week’s origin backup features Jon Bogdanove on Steel, whom I suspect is also the focal point of this issue’s main story.

The Authority/Lobo: Holiday Hell: Sure, Wildstorm made sure the brand of The Authority got plopped all over the title, and not without good reason, but do note that this new trade also collects 1991's The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special along with 2003's The Authority/Lobo: Jingle Hell and 2005's The Authority/Lobo: Spring Break Massacre, all of them from writers Keith Giffen & Alan Grant and artist Simon Bisley. There is violence, I guess.