Happy Colorful Explosion Day, United States of America!

*I save all the regular features for one day, so they'll all have a friend to play with.


Fox Bunny Funny (new from Andy Hartzell & Top Shelf, effective wordless tale of the Self and the Other - you'll get the title pun when you read it)

The Black Diamond #1-2 (of 6) (a new Ait/Planet Lar miniseries about high-speed action... or is it?)

Apollo's Song (new English-language Osamu Tezuka from Vertical - learn how the boys of Japan got their comics-format sex ed in 1970)

And, a very, very fresh review of the very recent television anime series Paranoia Agent, by which I mean the show came out in 2004.

*You know what's patriotic? Buying things.


Silverfish: A new original b&w graphic novel from writer/artist David Lapham, working again in his crime thriller element. Plenty of secret agendas and lurid violence, from the looks of it. Also from Vertigo this week, there’s Faker #1 (of 6), a new Mike Carey-written miniseries about repressed memories and mysterious disappearances in a college setting. The art is by Jock, which will sell a few copies on its own.

Buddha Vol. 8 (of 8): Jetavana: I just reviewed Vertical’s most recent Osamu Tezuka release, Apollo’s Song, yesterday (in case you didn’t find the link on the top of this page), and now tomorrow brings us the completion of their softcover release of Tezuka’s acclaimed historical/spiritual series. Go get it.

Dragon Head Vol. 7 (of 10): On the other hand, if I was to participate in the current ‘list the manga series you dropped’ game… well, I might not list this, but I’d certainly make a lot of excuses about how I’ll totally catch up on it someday.

The Collected normalman: Meanwhile, here’s your flashback omnibus of the week. For only $19.99, you can own all 432 b&w pages of Image founder Jim Valentino’s parodic series about an entirely non-super man trapped in a world of marvelous powers. Ain’t the New Golden Age something?

All Star Superman #8: Concluding the Bizarro World storyline, as Superman struggles to find a way off Bizarro Earth and save the day. Feel free to expect plenty of modern Sliver Age antics, although if you’re hungry for authentic old-school Superman family nonsense, DC’s also got The Amazing Transformations of Jimmy Olsen out this week, a $14.95, 192-page compilation of classic ‘50s and ‘60s Jimmy stories, with a shared metamorphosis motif.

Following Cerebus #10: In which the magazine about Cerebus (and whatever Cerebus’ creative team thinks might be neat) returns after a 10 month break. In case you’re interested, the circumstances that led to the delay have been posted to the Dave Sim blogandmail website, along with a short preview of some of the new issue’s content.

The Black Diamond #2 (of 6): Ait/Planet Lar’s action(?) series continues. I reviewed the whole series this far the other day. Repeat links are the best links!

The Punisher MAX #49: Concluding yet another solid storyline in Marvel’s most spookily consistent series. Well, unless writer Garth Ennis screws up the finale, which I doubt he will - his endings in this series tend to be the most excellent parts. The next storyline will be a bit different, in that it’ll open with a special one-issue guest artist (Howard Chaykin!) and then move into what I presume will be a regular artist (the very fine Goran Parlov). Speaking of endings, this week also concludes the far sillier spin-off miniseries The Punisher Presents: Barracuda, featuring the aforementioned Mr. Parlov, and the primary antagonist for the proper series’ new storyline.

Garth Ennis’ Chronicles of Wormwood #5 (of 6): But if it’s a relatively subdued, thoughtful/dirty/spiritual Ennis you’re after, Avatar has a speedy release of the latest issue in this increasingly interesting Jacen Burrows-illustrated series.

Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born #6 (of 7): I think everyone online has been mildly surprised with this series’ performance - despite a suspicious lack of internet buzz surrounding its debut -- complete with huffing and harrumphing about some would make it a point to not buy into the hype -- it appears to be chugging along with very steady sales to the Direct Market through Diamond, and there’s no doubt that giving artists Jae Lee and Richard Isanove that generous head start has benefited the book’s scheduling. Plus, it’s one of the only pamphlet-format comics I ever see stacked along with the bookshelf-ready material out in the proper book aisles at chain bookstores (thanks, Stephen King connection!), so I have to imagine sales are even stronger than estimated (and they’re estimated at north of 130,000 as of issue #4). It’s probably one of the biggest-selling pamphlets around these days, all things considered, even though it’s somehow slipped through the cracks of much of the online comics discussion.

So how can a book be an instant financial smash and a ‘sleeper’ at the same time, loaded with high-profile connections yet rarely spoken of? Trick of the internet, folks. Maybe we’d like to pretend that gaps in the online conversation equate to gaps in readership interest, but clearly that’s not always true. Might as well brace yourself for the lingering presence of sequels - I can’t imagine this not running through its planned total of 30 or so issues across a series of miniseries at this point.