I can't help posting about candy.

*A weird compulsion.


Mineshaft #18 (nice new edition of this underground comics-infused publication)

The Mother's Mouth (graphic novel from Dash Shaw; some very interesting use of page-by-page visual contrasts and clashing narrative approaches)

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #9, Planetary #26 (also featuring a preliminary non-review of Seven Soldiers #1)

Action Figure #1 (adorned autobio comics from Baboon Books)

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (the fans'll like it, provided they're already fans...)

*Drama Dept:

Jog! Jog!!

Yes, gentle reader?

It’s the most awful emergency! I’m to inherit a considerable sum of money from my considerably deceased grandfather, but I have to spend a million dollars in one day to get it!

Holy shit, reader. That is something!

So what’s the very best manner you can think of in which to spend, say, eleven and a half or so bucks? I've got to get the pipes flowing.”

Hmm… why not pick up a copy of Frank Santoro’s excellent Storeyville (yes, I spelled it right)? You may be familiar with Santoro’s more recent works with PictureBox: Chimera, Incanto, and Cold Heat (with Ben Jones). This was his 1995 debut, a huge 11” x 16” tabloid newspaper comic, 40 dense pages of images and colors (the latter by Kate Glicksberg) mixing beautifully to tell the early 20th century story of a young bum on a journey to find the only man who ever loaned him direction in life. Derik Badman reviewed it here, if you want more info. It’s fine work, enough to make you sad that Santoro vanished from comics for a solid decade thereafter, and happy that he’s back and working the art form once more. You’ll want to get one quick if it sounds interesting; decade-old newspaper-printed comics don’t age well, and once this stock is gone you’ll have a hell of a time finding another source.”

Wow! You pronounced all those parentheses perfectly!


*Yesterday was a day of triumph. There I was at the store, calculating how many weeks of shunning I’d be in for if I restricted my participation in the office’s Halloween candy exchange to three peanut butter Hershey’s kisses rather than four, when something special came into view. Something tough and new, something revelatory.

Snickers Xtreme.

Wow,” I thought, dropping everything I had, including the eggs and my cousin’s baby, “How the hell might Snickers transfigure itself into something… Xtreme?!

I bought the bleeding hell out of that candy bar, friends; I ate it into submission. But it wasn’t enough for me. No no. I had to understand Snickers Xtreme. Foolishly, impossibly, it had somehow let its secrets get printed, right on the wrapper.

The key? No nougat.

Really - they just got rid of the nougat, and added more peanuts.

Thus, as logic and science can definitively discern, nougat is a clear impediment to the Xtreme. Indeed, it may well be the anti-Xtreme.

So in conclusion:

Fuck you, 3 Musketeers eaters.

Yeah, I meant that. Go crawl back to your corporate suburban comfy chair lite FM jobs and sip some chamomile tea out of the taxes of America and saunter home into your diapers and snuggle into the crib of conformity, suckling on your fluffy nougat bars and mewling into teddy’s cheek - the rest of us will be out snowboarding atop the flames of hell, wearing helmets, yes, but helmets made of incurable diseases, because that’s how tough we are with our peanut candy. Pray we never meet the Payday eaters, for that may end us all.

*If you didn’t find a copy of Seven Soldiers #1 last week, it ought to be stumbling into the store this week, smelling faintly of gin and great times. I sure hope I’ll have that review up sometime this weekend. So…


(also note that Diamond didn’t get their list out yet this week, so I’m triangulating this from assorted stores’ lists - all of it should be arriving)

The Mourning Star: I really don’t know anything about this book except that it’s from writer/artist Kazimir Strzepek, published by Bodega Distribution, and got some really excellent buzz at SPX this year. Now it’s in comics shops, though you can view it and a bunch of other books at Bodega’s online shop as well.

Daybreak: I think Wednesday might actually be Bodega in the Direct Market Day, since we’re also getting the new one from Fort Thunder alum Brian Ralph, the man who puts to rest the popular myth that everything out of the Fort was ferocious scribbling and looming outlays of brut. Tom Spurgeon had some nice coverage of this one, including scads of art.

A Last Cry for Help: And completing the day’s Bodega trilogy, we have this fresh collection from Dave Kiersh purveyor of young romantic agony. Preview here.

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #3: Meanwhile, Fantagraphics presents the new Michael Kupperman experience. It is funny.

The Complete Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy Vol. 1: 1931-1933: New from IDW, a project to compile the early years of the famous newspaper strip, dailies and Sundays in one tome. The book design may look a wee bit familiar to those who’ve kept up on their vintage strips, but hey - why mess with success?

Local #7 (of 12): Youth rampage from Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly, as we learn about protagonist Megan’s troubled younger half-brother.

Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human-Error Processor #1 (of 8): Holy shit!! It’s a new (in English) high-profile manga series being released in pamphlet format before hitting bookshelves! In 2006! That’s a handy indication of just how much Dark Horse believes writer/artist Masamune Shirow is ingrained in the minds of the Direct Market; he, and perhaps only he can kick off a fresh new series with high enough floppy numbers to add that extra boost to the inevitable compendium. The pamphlets will apparently be in right-to-left format, though, just as a little gift to the other side of the market, though I‘m not entirely sure how much appeal Shirow even has to the contemporary manga devotee; certainly the assorted GitS anime continue to do well enough. In case you’re wondering what this is, it’s actually a set of four somewhat self-contained stories that used to be part of Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface during its extended 1991-96 serialization in Japan, and wound up getting sliced out when Shirow released the collected edition, which he also redid a good portion of the extant art for - that’s why the book drifts in and out of pen & ink and CGI in its current form. I didn’t care much for the computer graphics, so luckily this stuff is all in the classic ‘color openings, b&w majority’ Shirow style, and serves to follow up on what Section 9 has been up to during the largely inscrutable goings-on of GitS2. Nobody makes ‘em like Shirow, as the preview indicates (footnote!), and take whatever you want from that.

Eden: It’s an Endless World! Vol. 5: There’s other bits of sci-fi coming from Dark Horse too, in the contemporary format. I’ve really fallen behind on this.

Apocalypse Nerd #4 (of 6): Also from Dark Horse, the new installment of this Peter Bagge miniseries. With Founding Fathers Funnies, of course.

Love Roma Vol. 4: Also in manga, the latest volume of this cute lil’ thing from Minoru Toyoda.

Midnighter #1: The new ongoing series from writer Garth Ennis and artists Chris Sprouse & Karl Story, concerning the exploits of that one fellow who hits things. Hey, we didn’t see him in The Authority’s relaunch, right? Ennis is sure to take a far more direct approach.

Superman Confidential #1: Obviously what the world really needs right now is Superman’s very own Legends of the Dark Knight, so we’ve all been gifted with this new ongoing series. The initial six-issue arc is by writer Darwyn Cooke and artist Tim Sale, providing the debut hook.

American Splendor #3 (of 4): A slew of artists tackle no less than eight quick shorts this issue; contributors include Dean Haspiel, Rick Geary, Steve Vance, Hunt Emerson, Josh Neufeld, Zachary Baldus, Ty Templeton, and Gary Dumm.

52 #26 (of 52): Hey, it’s the halfway point at the end if this issue. Maybe Batwoman will uncork the champagne and explain to us what she’s been up to in the last few months in celebration of the book’s financial success - almost every issue through #21 has sat above the 100,000 copy mark. Over two million served! This issue also has Joe Bennett on the origin of Hawkman.

Criminal #2: More crime, obviously.

Vault of Michael Allred #2 (of 4): Already? Nice - maybe we’ll be getting regular blasts of voluminous scrapbook information from the Allred archives. Get out your bifocals and prepare for some dense reading.