Let Me Eat Cake

*More productive this week, that's for sure.


Sloth (a golden oldie from the pages of The Comics Journal, covering the 2006 Gilbert Hernandez graphic novel from Vertigo)

Sergio Aragonés' Groo: 25th Anniversary Special

Maggots (the new old Brian Chippendale book, out next month)


Column #9 (covering two Vertigo looks at a broad subject matter, Kill Your Boyfriend and Girl)

Miriam #1 (new Rich Tommaso series starting up)

At The Savage Critics!

*Special note to my readers in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia - Wegmans' Ultimate Carrot Cake lives up to the hype. That is all.

*And in random news that actually deals with comics - Doom Patrol Vol. 6: Planet Love. January 2008. Judging from the solicitation, Doom Force is a yes, and Flex Mentallo is a no. Still, at least they're finishing the core run. It seems like it's been a while since Vol. 5, and it'll have been a longer while by January.

*But to take a glimpse at a closer future -


The Comics Journal #285: Cover artist and feature interview for this one is Darwyn Cooke; a big ol' excerpt of his chat with Markisan Naso can be found here. Also important: talks with Ernie Colón and Keith Knight, a trio of John Buscema pre-Code horror/crime shorts, and the always-worthwhile Bill Randall on the manga of Kazu Yuzuki. Less important: me babbling about anthologies and Ignatz books.


With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child Vol. 1: Now here's just the sort of ongoing manga serial we rarely see in the English language - a drama aimed at married women, about everyday life with an autistic son. It picked up one of the runner-up Excellence Prizes at the 2004 Japan Media Arts Festival (the Grand Prize that year went to Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms), and the work's official festival page has some nice English-language information on writer/artist Keiko Tobe. From Yen Press, priced at a very nice $14.99 for 528 pages.

Phoenix Vol. 11 (of 12): Sun Part 2 (of 2): And so, after many years, Osamu Tezuka's unfinished lifelong work draws to a close of sorts. This storyline ends (it ran from 1986-88), just as all the Phoenix stories have an ending, but the grand weave of time remains forever elusive from the master's comprehensive ambition, just as the Phoenix itself had a way of slipping past its many pursuers. Tezuka died in '89 (at only 60!), so this is also one of his final works period. The faithful will want to plunk down their $16.99 for these last 408 pages, but it will be a bittersweet plunk indeed. Note that there's still another volume due out in March 2008 - it's more-or-less an appendix to the main saga, featuring Tezuka's early attempt to redo one of the stories as a shōjo manga. Also be on the lookout for next month's R1 dvd debut of the 2004 Phoenix anime television series, which adapted several of the manga's stories over the course of 13 episodes.

Andromeda Stories Vol. 1 (of 3): And completing this week's trilogy of noteworthy manga releases, here's Vertical's new Keiko Takemiya project, now that To Terra... has wrapped. It's a 1980-82 tale which "examines themes of man versus machine, and the inescapable grip of destiny," as the promotional copy goes. Cosmic preview here, if you scroll down. Fans of the
Magnificent 49ers... will probably be thankful that anything's getting released. It's $11.95 for 216 pages.

The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #1 (of 6): Your big pamphlet debut of the week, from Dark Horse. Beginning the story of a weird child superteam that reunites as even weirder adults to confront a nasty threat. All eyes will no doubt be on creator/writer Gerard Way (also of musical outfit My Chemical Romance), whose short comics thus far have given me the impression of an enthusiastic novice who's got a good grasp on what makes his obvious influences tick (Grant Morrison looms large), but needs to smooth out his own style into something less affected and more inviting. He'll have time over this series, and artist Gabriel Bá will keep things looking pretty.

Streets of Glory #1 (of 6): I've found writer Garth Ennis' various Avatar projects to be especially willing to play with the freedom the publisher affords 'name' writers to be idiosyncratic, so I'll take a look at this Mike Wolfer-illustrated Western, apparently Ennis' first shot at the genre without any supernatural backing. There will be blood. Also from Ennis this week is the new JLA/Hitman #1 (of 2), with John McCrea. I think there's even a Bloodlines tie-in?

Madman Atomic Comics #4: Continuing Mike Allred's Promethea. Yeah, just from glancing around online I can tell that this series is testing the patience of even the hardest Allred junkies -- even the real Promethea made sure to front-load itself with 12 issues of mostly straightforward superheroish action before getting in deep -- but I still thought that last issue was a really striking marriage of words and pictures, burning through mysteries of the self on-page and in-character while Allred used every panel to catalog his endless artistic influences... a real homage-powered purification ritual. Judging from this preview, things look to be getting a little calmer this time around.

Gutsville #2 (of 6): Good, I was wondering where this went. More Image-published belly-of-the-beast intrigue from writer Simon Spurrier and artist Frazer Irving, who looks to be in good form. I like that page 4 a lot. For more Irving, Marvel's got the Silent War trade out this week too. Speaking of which...

World War Hulk #4 (of 5): My lone Marvel purchase of the week. Don't let me down, Hulk!

Batman/Lobo: Deadly Serious #2 (of 2): Probably some laughs in here.

Army@Love #7: Here too, but different laughs.

The Programme #3 (of 12): Not likely to be many laughs in this one, but you never know.

Dr. Thirteen: Architecture and Mortality: Oh, here's that one Brian Azzarello/Cliff Chiang back-up story from Tales of the Unexpected a bunch of people went crazy over a while back; I think it's supposed to be a caustic commentary on superhero revamps by 'name' writers, or something? I have to admit I didn't want to pay the extra cover price to sit through the series' other feature, a David Lapham/Eric Battle Spectre saga that seemingly everybody on the planet agreed was awful, so I can't comment with authority. Now it's on its own in a $14.95 trade paperback.

Apocalypse Nerd #5 (of 6): Holy shit. New from Peter Bagge. And the finale is only two months away. Holy shit.