I sweat over punctuation.

*Online Comics Dept: Shelton #3, by Tom Spurgeon and Dan Wright. I liked it.

*I won't be seeing any new comics until Thursday, given the holiday that pushed back


Bardin the Superrealist: A new 80-page, $14.95 hardcover from Fantagraphics, written and drawn by ‘Max’ of The Extended Dream of Mr. D. Apparently a Buñuel-inspired set of lightly-connected gags and skits, featuring man who enters another dimension and encounters questions of belief and philosophy. Sure looks nice.

Silk Road to Ruin: And on the absolute opposite end of the comics spectrum, here’s the new one from writer/artist Ted Rall, a mix of prose essays and comics-format travelogue, all about the history and contemporary political positioning of Central Asia, which Rall sees as a future hot spot due to its reserves of oil. Preview here.

American Splendor #1 (of 4): In which the venerable autobiographical series returns once again, now from Vertigo and sporting the sort of guest artist lineup that’s easier for a big comics company to assemble. This issue sees Dean Haspiel, Ty Templeton, Hilary Barta, and Splendor vets Greg Budgett & Gary Dumm join writer Harvey Pekar for the latest updates on the life and times of… Harvey Pekar. Future issues promise work from Richard Corben, Chris Weston, Rick Geary, and, most intriguingly, fellow autobio dean Eddie Campbell. In glorious b&w, $2.99.

Cross Bronx #1 (of 4): New from Image, a gory-looking supernatural-tinged noir from artist/co-writer Michael Avon Oeming (Powers) and co-writer Ivan Brandon (NYC Mech). Preview here. Guts.

Ed the Happy Clown #9 (of 9): Concluding this pamphlet-format Chester Brown reprint project from Drawn & Quarterly, with plenty of those tasty new annotations. I’m actually a bit surprised Brown’s managed to catch up on that - for a while he seemed to be almost an issue behind on his commentary, but he’s now in position to wrap it all up with ease. I’ll need to read it all together, even though I’m still missing issue #2, which hurts.

Local #6 (of 12): Coming back from a short hiatus, it’s the end of the first half of writer Brian Wood’s and artist Ryan Kelly’s municipality-hopping series of small character stories. Here we find ourselves in Brooklyn, for the case of the odd roommate. Good to have this series back.

Museum of Terror Vol. 2 (of 10): What the hell? The next installment of Dark Horse’s Junji Ito omnibus reprint project is out already?! I didn’t even buy the first one yet, but now I’m looking at another 376-page beast (only $13.95!), wrapping up Ito’s first big hit, Tomie. Bury yourself in this preview.

Escape of the Living Dead Fearbook #1: Also up in scares this week is a horror license that isn’t likely to scurry off from Avatar to DC, not now that they’ve hooked up with both George Romero and John Russo of classic American zombie lore. This one-shot concerns the origins of that hippie zombie we saw in the original Escape of the Living Dead miniseries, from writer/artist Mike Wolfer.

The Punisher MAX #37: Shootings. In continuity! Yes, it’s time for one of this series’ irregular storylines in which surviving characters from prior stories show up and interact. This time, General Zakharov from Mother Russia (still pound-for-pound my favorite storyline) teams up with malevolent black ops master Rawlins (the closest thing this series has to an archvillain) to exact awful revenge on both Frank and recurring cast member/semi love interest O’Brien. Somehow, everyone eventually winds up in Afghanistan, much in the vein of Garth Ennis’ 303. More-or-less regular penciller Leo Fernandez returns for the festivities.

52 #18 (of 52): In which psycho Ralph apparently teams up with Detective Chimp to crack a case or something, I guess. It is a mystery! In the same vein, Joe Bennett pops in for the origin of the Question, who is still not dead.

The All New Atom #3: H… hey! There’s a hyphen in the title now? I never noticed a hyphen in the solicitations, but now it seems to have been there for every issue online. There always seemed like there should have been one, yes, but it hasn’t shown up in the book itself yet. God, now I just know the first thing I’m going to be checking on Thursday isn’t the comics themselves, but the fucking hyphen in The All New Atom (or: The All-New Atom). I can’t help myself; when I screw up hyphens at work it’s twenty lashings, so I get sensitive about these things. This is the last issue for penciller John Byrne, so maybe the hyphen is some sort of commemoration? I’d like to have a hyphen in a superhero book…