It feels good to post on time.

*It's like I'm in a mid-century social engineering film and I've just grasped the virtue of washing behind the ears and setting out the cutlery just right.


Punisher War Journal #1, Casanova #6 (as Geoff Klock put it regarding the latter title, "If you can’t get into this, kill yourself now, because ain’t nothing good comin' your way.")

Seven Sons (AiT/Planet Lar, a book of a reconfigured folk tale, nice art)

Rock Bottom (AiT/Planet Lar; at first I thought I put in too many rock-themed analogies, but then I remembered that the book is titled Rock Bottom)

*Right. We start with -


The Comics Journal #279: The full list of contents isn’t going up until Wednesday on the Journal’s site, so I’m not 100% sure, but I do believe I have a longish analysis piece on the Gilbert Hernandez book Sloth in this issue, and possibly also a lil’ capsule review of the Canadian comics-and-drawings compilation Nog a Dod. The feature interview is with the ever-awesome Joost Swarte, who’s also got a career retrospective collection coming in 2007 from Fantagraphics. Also: Johnny Ryan, Sammy Harkham, more. So take time out to buy this issue, even if you don’t have the money - the dog won’t turn on you if he goes just one day without eating.

Ok -


Acme Novelty Library Vol. 17: Another year, another Acme arrives with the dying of the leaves and the graying of the skies. This is the first of the Drawn & Quarterly issues, though I’m pretty sure Chris Ware is keeping the format identical to last issue (64 pages in hardcover, though it’s a buck more at $16.95), so as best to preserve aesthetic continuity. Too bad - I was hoping 2011 would see Ware design a second version of the infamous Acme cardboard comics stand for the sole purpose of storing each issue with perfection. Anyhow, this is the second half of the ‘introduction’ to Rusty Brown, featuring all your favorites. Probably other stuff in there too.

Ulysses: Meanwhile, if it’s reprints of vintage spacey Eurocomics you’re after, Heavy Metal is reprinting this 64-page album by Jacques Lob & Georges Pichard, originally presented to English-language audiences in 1978, though the comic itself dates back earlier. I think this is only volume 1 of 2, if my knowledge of early HM is sound. Anyway, saddle up for skimpy metal costumes and general curiosity.

The Dark Horse Book of Monsters: The fourth installment of Dark Horse’s compact hardcover house anthology of horror, featuring all the usual suspects. Evan Dorkin & Jill Thompson present the adventures of cats and dogs, Mike Mignola provides a new Hellboy short, Gary Gianni illustrates classic prose (this time by William Hope Hodgson), and other folks do other things. Arvid Nelson’s and Juan Ferreyra’s story is posted in full online, to act as a preview.

The Art of Brian Bolland: Of course, the big spenders out there might just be interested in Image’s $49.99 hardcover, a 176-page retrospective of the artist’s career. Or hey, how about the $79.99 deluxe signed edition? Lots of pretty pictures.

Batman/The Spirit: This this week’s theme at DC - Prestige Format. Oh yeah, Prestige Format is in town to class your longbox right the fuck up. First, we have what basically amounts to the debut of Darwyn Cooke’s run on The Spirit, a 48-page, $4.99 one-shot facing Eisner’s boy up against an obvious choice. Co-written by Jeph Loeb, with inks by J. Bone. Here’s a preview, sans dialogue.

Guy Gardner: Collateral Damage #1 (of 2): Also in Prestige, we’ve a got a similarly 48-page (yet dissimilarly $5.99) first issue to a Green Lantern Corps. miniseries by writer/artist Howard Chaykin, the first of these all-out superhero projects that Chaykin is tackling from both the script and drawing angles. The preview already makes it look a bit better than Chaykin’s recent art-only projects; note his signature use of repeating layouts and angles to emphasize the camaraderie between like-minded characters. Could be interesting.

Immortal Iron Fist #1: What the… no Civil War tie-in?! This is negligence! Iron Fist ought to spend at least a page or something punching Iron Man in the iron sternum - that’s like 25,000 copies right there! Oh, wait… ok, ok. There was a preview story in that Civil War: Choosing Sides thing the other week. Whew! The racks are now safe for co-writers Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction and artist David Aja, and this new ongoing series. I certainly hope Onslaught Reborn acknowledges Cap’s current status quo…

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #10 (of 12): This one, of course, knows the lay of the land.

Punisher MAX #41: Shootings and veiled references to other books.

Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human-Error Processor #2 (of 8): Wrapping up the first of four storylines that were discarded in Masamune Shirow’s quest to squelch any lingering yelps of human emotion from Ghost in the Shell 2. Added bonus: almost no CGI!

52 #30 (of 52): The second week in a row with no back-up feature, as 52 presents an all Bat-Family bonanza, apparently written solely by Grant Morrison, which acts as a retroactive lead-in to the writer’s current run on Batman, which is actually on hiatus until February as John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake present a four-issue fill-in storyline. Three cheers for fun!