Deepest Thoughts

*Gosh, Wednesday is maybe not a good idea to debut this Savage Critics thing. I mean, the whole day's going to be buried in posts about new comics, right? I suspect that's so. Hmmm... if there's a review up tomorrow morning, you'll know I waited.


Well, I wasn't even here much of last week, so there was

a bunch of short reviews (Injury Comics #1, Madman Atomic Comics #3, and Action Comics #851)


The Programme #1 (of 12)

*I didn't expect there to be so much stuff.


The Comics Journal #284: Not to denigrate the very excellent Roger Langridge, who's the latest feature interview subject (excerpt here), but I think the big attraction this time around is a suite of color comics from Frederick Opper, creator of Happy Hooligan. Career overview included! Also: a talk with Gene Yang of American Born Chinese (excerpt here). I do believe I only have a wee lil' review in this issue, of Gabriella Giandelli's Ignatz series Interiorae. Plenty of other stuff in there, don't you sweat.


The Ganzfeld 5: Japanada!: From PictureBox comes the big fifth volume of this Dan Nadel-edited color extravaganza of comics and illustration. Actually, this particular edition marks something of a departure for The Ganzfeld, in that it's devoted entirely to visuals and stories from various artists, with only short introductory pieces provided for context. Its 196 pages are split between Japanese and Canadian artists, as the title suggests. Of special note is some excellent English lettering by David Heatley on a trio of Shigeru Sugiura stories, although be aware that the Japan section is light on the sequentials. Still: King Terry!! Also, there's a nearly 30-page batch of Mark Connery comics in the Canada section that had me laughing forever. Only $29.95. You'll like it.

Stop Forgetting to Remember: The Autobiography of Walter Kurtz: A deluxe exercise in reconstitution from writer/artist Peter Kuper, mixing sepia-toned works from the past (dating from 1993 onward) into a new narrative starring the author's alter ego. Fantasy autobio in 208 pages. Hardcover, $19.95, from Crown Publishers. Kuper clearly knows his way around the form, so this is probably worth flipping through.

Intersections: This should be something - a 'conversation sketchbook' passed via mail between artists Duncan Fegredo and Sean Phillips, in which the artists took turns drawing and painting in a book. The result is 96 pages, and published by Image. Will be pretty.

Flight Vol. 4: I don't think much of anything needs to be said about this new edition of the visually resplendent anthology, so I'll just point you to the sprawling preview page, containing a full list of folks involved.

Madman Gargantua!: Oh, here's that 852-page brick of every solo Madman comic ever released (The Atomics not included!). Only $125, although if you're rolling that high you might as well dump out the extra $25 for the signed limited edition, eh?

Gødland #19: A new issue is always welcome, and this week also has the third trade collection,
Gødland Vol. 3: Proto-Plastic Party. Man, there's a bunch of stuff out this week.

Monster Attack Network: New from AiT/Planet Lar, writers Marc Bernardin & Adam Freemen (also of Wildstorm's current miniseries The Highwaymen, issue #2 of which is also out this week) and artist Nima Sorat. Monsters and attacks. Review soon.

The Programme #1 (of 12): Fairly striking new Wildstorm miniseries from writer Peter Milligan and artist CP Smith (noteworthy colors by Jonny Rench too). Review here. War is in the air. Give it a flip.

Army@Love #5: Additional war for the comics stands.

All-Flash #1: In which writer Mark Waid presses down on the lever and flushes the series' prior incarnation down, down, down. Assists by artists Karl Kerschl, Ian Churchill & Norm Rapmund, Manuel Garcia, Joe Bennet & Ruy Jose, and new regular artist Daniel Acuña. If ya love that Waid, see also The Brave and the Bold #5.

Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil #4 (of 4): Confession - the cheesy political satire kind of managed to unbalance things badly for me last issue, drawing attention away from writer/artist Jeff Smith's excellent grasp of childlike dream logic and making the whole thing seem heavy-handed. Still, the ending will be worth looking at.

Warren Ellis' Blackgas 2 #3 (of 3): I've read that this will be the last of Ellis' Italian-seasoned zombie comics, and it's indeed probably about time to wrap it up, although these are generally good little shock-gore books. Expect nasty fates and a lack of hope. Artist Max Fiumara will soon be seen teamed up with Peter Milligan on DC's Infinity Inc. series, and it'll be something to witness how his gnarled style will interact with whatever direction Milligan plans to go in.

The Order #1: Speaking of new superhero ongoings, here's the debut issue of the Matt Fraction/Barry Kitson series that used to be called something that nobody can say anymore without acid raining from Heaven. I was kind of pulling for The ___________ as the official title, since that's what Marvel's website had it listed as for a long while. Fill in your own legally touchy brand! Out of the ashes of Civil War - The Disney Starbucks!! Featuring attractive, carefully managed superhero expendables; the premise seems like a continuity-aware X-Statix, which could be quite good or otherwise. I trust in Fraction. In other Marvel news, Stuart Immonen takes charge of the art in Ultimate Spider-Man, and the 2002 Brian K. Vaughn/Kyle Hotz MAX miniseries The Hood gets a hardcover collection, presumably on the increasing value of Vaughn's name. The astral form of Jemas nods silently.

Justice League of America #11: This is the penultimate issue of writer Brad Meltzer's run on the series, which I don't believe I've read since issue #2 or so. I'm back for this standalone issue, though, since I really want to see what guest artist Gene Ha will bring to the big-time superhero blockbuster table.

Space Pinchy: This is only on here because I like the title. It's some 18+ 3-D cheesecake thingy from Tony Takezaki, the guy who did the AD Police manga. It was supposed to be a pamphlet-format miniseries back in early 2006, but now Dark Horse is blowing it out at $15.95 for 224 full-color pages. Finally, Space Pinchy may find its audience. "Here! Are you all right, Lady Pinchy?"

World War Hulk #2 (of 5): I wonder if Hulk met up with Lady Pinchy in his journey across the sea of stars... sounds like a good idea for an issue of World War Hulk: Front Line, or possibly World War Hulk: Gamma Corps. I think Pinchy's more 'news' than 'gamma,' myself. That joke probably didn't make any sense, and that would be because I've entirely forgotten what Gamma Corps is supposed to be about. I'm only reading the main book here. It's pretty good, by the way! Greg Pak seems to have a nice grasp on the mix of silliness and gravitas necessary to make a gigantic Hulk fight series pop - it might be the best Summer Event follow-up to Civil War that Marvel could have managed. But yeah, I'm keeping away from those tie-ins and offshoots...