The Consumer News Returns!

*I serve you. I serve.


Well, no reviews on this site, since I spent most of the week pondering my life's trajectory.


RASL #1 (the new Jeff Smith project)

Batman #674 and All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder #9

are at The Savage Critics.

*And now, TO SERVE.


(hey, Lat's Town Boy is being offered again by Diamond, and you should pick that up if you see it; my review is here)

Service Industry: One of those long-available projects -- this being at least its third full iteration since its 2004-05 birth as a weekly magazine strip -- that's just now creeping into Direct Market stores via Diamond. It's a really fine mix of autobiography, philosophy, politics, fantasy, allegory, low-paying grunt work and infinite longing from artist T. Edward Bak, a dense blend of shifting styles and swirling color & ash. Read some pages here. I have a minicomic version, but I'll bet that this one, Bodega Distribution's 9.5" x 13" big-time edition, will be well worth the $9.95 for its 32 pages. Get it.

Daybreak Vol. 2: Oh, I guess it's 'release Bodega' week at Diamond then. This is the next 48-page chapter of Brian Ralph's first-person perspective cataclysm comic. Here ya go. Man, this has been out for months and months...

Kirby: King of Comics: Being Mark Evanier's much-anticipated, 224-page, 9" x 12 1/4" hardcover ode to the art of Jack Kirby, with 35,000 words of biography sprinkled in. From Harry N. Abrams, Inc., at a fee of $40.00. Note, however, that this is not Evanier's doorstop-sized 500,000+ word life of the King, which is still forthcoming.

C'est Bon Anthology Vol. 4: I have no idea if these $17.95 anthologies of world comics are any good, but this newest edition has a cover by Junko Mizuno and stuff from Rutu Modan (of Exit Wounds) and David Mack, among others you can find at the project's homepage.

Thorgal Vol. 3: Beyond the Shadows: New to Diamond, from the UK-based Cinebook Ltd. I mention this since just the other day I picked up a pair of the Donning Company's mid-'80s English editions of writer Jean Van Hamme's and artist Grzegorz Rosiński's long-lived French-language fantasy series (although these days Van Hamme's no longer writing it). This $19.95, 96-page album collects both the 1983 album Au-delà des Ombres and the 1984 album La chute de Brek Zarith, although I think both of them play off an earlier storyline. More Thorgal here.

Honey & Clover Vol. 1 (of 10): The manga debut of an apparently well-regarded josei franchise, focusing on the relationships of art students. From VIZ. In other manga news, Vertical wraps up its current Keiko Takemiya releases with Andromeda Stories Vol. 3 (of 3), and Nana Vol. 9 appears.

Casanova #12: Probably the best of Image for the week; two issues off from the end of the second storyline. Heat. There's also a new gaming tie-in, Dead Space #1 (of 6), from the capable team of writer Antony Johnston and artist Ben Templesmith, and Scud, the Disposable Assassin #22 (of 24), which seems to have cut down on the delays a bit. And for you art lovers, $29.99 will get you Unhuman: The Elephantmen Art of Ladrönn, a 128-page hardcover collection of elephantine sketches and drawings.

Punisher War Journal #17: Also in Fraction this week; another character-focused one-off. I did like the last one. Preview.

Infinity Inc. #7: I swear, this series has gotten kind of interesting now. Second half of a two-part story; television and beauty will ruin you.

Streets of Glory #4 (of 6): Garth Ennis shoots them down. See also: The Boys #16.

Young Liars #1: This is the new Vertigo ongoing from writer/artist David Lapham (with colorist Lee Loughridge), a defunct Mature Readers revival of DC-owned character Bullet Girl transformed into the saga of a rich girl who became mad for kicks after being shot in the head, and her adventures with a loser boyfriend amidst many antic complications, I guess. Behold.

Terry Moore's Echo #1: Shit, since we're on the topic, why not Moore's follow-up series to Strangers in Paradise (which I've never read)? It's "a black humor thriller comedy drama, with some sci-fi around the edges," according to the author, and will run for 18-30ish issues. Pages.

Dark Tower: The Long Road Home #1 (of 5): Debut debut debut. I'm sure this is the big debut in a week of several for Marvel, since it's less a license book than a license to print money, at least on the Direct Market scale. For those not keeping track, this is the second of five storylines in the megaseries, and supposedly the first to begin extensively filling in stuff only hinted at in Stephen King's original prose books. The whole crew from the last episode returns, which means more of Jae Lee's often fine pencils being transmuted into latex gobs by Richard Isanove - witness it here. Will your store be open at the stroke of midnight?

Logan #1 (of 3): If so, they might let you flip through this new miniseries -- one of those smallish, off-center ones where the essence of a popular Marvel character is supposed to be concentrated -- from writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Eduardo Risso (he of 100 Bullets). Available in dazzling full color or glorious black & white. And since we're talking Marvel first issues, writer Duane Swierczynski and penciller Ariel Olivetti have the new Cable #1, which looks like this. Hell, you might as well turn your sleepy eyes over to the Event hype of Secret Invasion Saga #1, since it's free.

Omega: The Unknown #6 (of 10): Always worth reading. Look at it.

Zombies vs. Robots vs. Amazons #3 (of 3): COMPLETION.

Otaku USA #5 (April 2008): The latest issue of the only mass-market anime/manga magazine that puts things like Bleach on the cover, while tucking away odes to Golgo 13 and the 1995-96 OVA series Golden Boy. This issue also taught me that sometimes you can find lots of fun surprises out on YouTube, so I'd call it a success on the whole.