Another almond sunset creates another fresh day.

*This week is already looking much better than last, in that the temperature is above 20 degrees and I don't have to walk everywhere in it.


Review Nuggets #1 (with Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human-Error Processor #2 and The Immortal Iron Fist #1)

American Virgin Vol. 1: Head

Review Nuggets #2 (with 52 #31, newuniversal #1, Desolation Jones #8, The Midnighter #2, and American Splendor #4)

Cold Heat #1-2 (of 12)

*Light week ahead in terms of volume, though the prices on these things will add up if you get them all.


Curses: This has been out and about for a little while now (it debuted at SPX), but apparently tomorrow is the day Diamond-serviced Direct Market stores finally get Kevin Huizenga’s first deluxe bookshelf collection of comics shorts, culled from the anthologies Orchid, Drawn & Quarterly Showcase Vol. 1, and Kramers Ergot 5, plus Time Magazine - Canadian Edition and issue #1 of Huizenga’s own Or Else series with D&Q (also publisher of this). I think it may be a bit too easy for some readers to gloss this book over, seeing as how there’s no new material and all the collected bits were pretty widely available for a while, but less acclimated readers really ought to get cozy with Huizenga’s unique blend of studied edutainment and magical realism; the D&Q Showcase and Kramers stories in particular are standouts.

The Drifting Classroom Vol. 3 (of 11): Oddly, it seems VIZ has broken up the release schedules for some of their VIZ Signature books, hopefully affording them a little extra individual attention. Here’s another volume of hyperactive curiosity from Kazuo Umezu, possibly involving crucifixions if last volume’s preview proves accurate. You can do that sort of thing in VIZ Signature, you know.

Phoenix Vol. 9 (of 12): Strange Beings/Life: Also on tap - another installment of Osamu Tezuka’s magnum opus, this time collected another two of the shorter chapters, 1980’s Life (about a future televised murder game involving clones) and 1981’s Strange Beings (concerning a vengeful woman’s penance on an alternate plane of existence). For the record, this leaves two volumes’ worth of Tezuka’s final completed installment, 1986-88’s Sun, and a whole book of extras, like an alternate shoujo version of one of the stories.

Crying Freeman Vol. 4 (of 5): And after you’re done with Tezuka’s philosophical musings, Dark Horse thinks you just might want to relax with some out-of-control super-assassin excess. Kazuo Koike and Ryoichi Ikegami are here to help.

Doomed Magazine #4: Another installment of IDW’s in-house horror comics magazine, no doubt involving Chris Ryall and Ashley Wood and a bunch of other people adapting prose horror to comics, along with other features.

The Spirit #1: Well, ok, here’s the ongoing series, sans Loeb. Writer/artist Darwyn Cooke (inked by J. Bone) presents all-new adventures of Will Eisner’s signature creation.

Sandman Mystery Theatre: The Sleep of Reason #1 (of 5): Speaking of old properties, there's a second revivial out from DC (well, Vertigo) this week. Writer John Ney Rieber and artist Eric Nguyen tackle the latter days of aged Wesley Dodds in late '90s Afghanistan, and the journey of a photojournalist who takes up the Sandman mantle a decade later while questing to interview a notorious terrorist. Preview here.

Blade #4: Sometimes regular ongoing superhero comics manage to release their Christmas issues just in time for the holidays! As opposed to simply having a holiday special, like DC’s DCU Infinite Christmas Special. This issue: Blade murders Santa.

Ghost Rider #6: Just noting that Richard Corben takes over the art duties for two issues, starting here. Corben also shows up this week in The Punisher MAX: From First to Last, a trade paperback collecting all of writer Garth Ennis’ assorted MAX one-shots with the title character, The Tyger, The Cell, and The End.

52 #32 (of 52): This issue’s cover involves a yeti of some sort, so there’s a lot of promise inherent. Also apparently featuring that Cully Hamner Blue Beetle short, but who knows anymore?