It's about to be 60 degrees in Pennsylvania in February.

*Next week it'll be an ice storm that literally freezes me in place while walking to the car.


The Arrival (this is an acclaimed comic)

and... um, I talked a lot about movies (which are not comics), like No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood. It's the time when they all get rereleased, you know.


Narcopolis #1 (of 4) (Jamie Delano's return to funnies)

At The Savage Critics!

*I hope I freeze on my building's sidewalk; I think the landlord has to chip me out then.


Crickets #2: At this point, it's a bit weird even seeing a new pamphlet-format release from Drawn and Quarterly, given their successful focus on deluxe bookshelf items (plus statements from artists like Adrian Tomine characterizing their continued support of the form as "a courtesy"), but here's the much-delayed sophomore issue of Kramers Ergot mastermind Sammy Harkham's one man show. Contains chapter two of the horror serial Black Death, and a batch of standalone shorts of various types. It's $4.95 for what I presume will be 32 three-color pages, if it's anything like last issue. You'll know your shop has stocked a copy when the see the cover from all the way across the room; don't be afraid to let the triumph rise in your belly.

Albert and the Others: Also from D&Q this week is a new Guy Delisle release, specifically a North American edition of a 2002 collection of wordless strips on the topic of men, which was itself a sequel of sorts to Aline and the Others, a 1999 collection of strips about women, released in North America by D&Q in 2006. Not to be confused with Delisle's autobiographical books about trips to China (Shenzhen: A Travelogue From China) and North Korea (Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea) A few samples, to help you out.

Hotwire Comics #2: The newest volume of editor Glenn Head's anthology of miscellaneous capers, published by Fantagraphics. Review here. Note that the debut installment is being offered again at the same time.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret: Now from Diamond, straight out of early 2007, and headed to your local store - it's writer/artist Brian Selznick's mystery of words and drawings, set in the Paris of early sound film. Lots of info at the official site. A Scholastic hardcover, 526 pages for $22.99.

Incognegro: No, it's not a Ludacris companion volume to last year's MF Grimm biography, although it is an original Vertigo hardcover. Written by Mat Johnson with b&w art by Warren Pleece, the story concerns a Harlem reporter passing as a white man to investigate the arrest of his brother in Mississippi. It's 136 pages, at $19.99. See some visuals here.

Aqua Vol. 2 (of 2): I've heard nice things about this Kozue Amano series, which started out in 2001, got retitled Aria after a publisher jump in 2002, and is now set to finish with its 12th Japanese volume (so, the 14th in total) this March; the 2002 incarnation of the material saw partial English-language publication by ADV in 2004, and now the whole thing is being released (or rereleased) by Tokyopop. It's supposed to be one of those relaxing, plot-light, 'drift through a fantasy world' type of manga, the kind you'd read anthologized chapters of on the train in order to distract yourself from the crushing futility of your everyday life. Follow the pretty exploits of gondolier pilots on the terraformed Mars! Pretty!

The Bakers: Babies & Kittens: I do believe this is the first of Kyle Baker's animation-influenced slapstick family comics to be released by Image, an $18.99, 96-page color hardcover. Can baby and kitty learn to live in peace? Samples of the style.

Scud: the Disposable Assassin #21 (of 24): I've never read more than a few pages of writer/artist Rob Schrab's '90s-born comedic robot suicide action brainchild, although I know a lot of people remember it fondly. Schrab has since become a writer for film (Monster House) and a director for television (The Sarah Silverman Program), but he and Image are now set on finishing off the comic, in anticipation of an all-in-one volume's release later this year. Considering that this issue resolves a cliffhanger from 1998, there may be something of a learning curve involved for the newly curious, but take a look.

Clandestine #1 (of 5): And speaking of '90s moments that passed me by, here's a revival for writer/penciller Alan Davis' superpowered bloodline concept. Preview.

Omega: The Unknown #5 (of 10): It's tempting right now to turn this series into Countdown to Gary Panter (in issue #7), but there's plenty of eagle-seizing fun in the present.

Infinity Inc. #6: Peter Milligan; new artist Matt Camp.

Abe Sapien: The Drowning #1 (of 5): None can stop the Mignola march. This is the latest of the Hellboy universe 'character' miniseries, offering a solo outing for the green fish guy. Story by Mignola, art by Jason Shawn Alexander. This whole line tends to be of admirably high quality.

Krazy and Ignatz 1941-1942: A Ragout of Raspberries: Oh my, it's the penultimate volume of Fantagraphics' Krazy Kat Sundays collection, now well into the color era. Be aware, however, that the end of the series will simply prompt Fantagraphics to go back and retool the old Eclipse collections of the earliest Sundays, if that's still the plan.

Albion Origins Vol. 1: Your Golden Age of Reprints oddity of the week. 'Odd,' in that this Titan hardcover appears to be designed as a tie-in volume to the already somewhat obscure 2005-06 Albion miniseries that Alan Moore masterminded at Wildstorm, aiming to revive a lot of old British comics characters. I guess a 112-page collection of vintage suspense and adventure comics (featuring characters used in the Moore project) could use any added value branding, though. Details here; $19.95 in US cash.