*Just put me under.


MOME Vol. 11 (Summer 2008)

Speed Racer: Mach Go Go Go (that's the old manga)

Plus a new RPLC collection of capsules, including David Chelsea's 24 x 2, Leah Hayes' Funeral of the Heart, Jirô Taniguchi's The Ice Wanderer and Other Stories, Matt Broersma's Insomnia #3 and the first 1/3 of the anime Kaiba.

And a film review of the recent box office success story Speed Racer.

*A little calmed down...


Rex: This should be something - a new English-language edition of a 1995 graphic novel by Danijel Zezelj, a very fine artist who tends to shine brightest when left to his own devices on the page, although North American readers haven't seen much of that. Granted, this is an early work, dealing with a framed man's revenge after prison turns him into an animal, but I suspect some striking content will still appear. The publisher is Optimum Wound; it's 80 b&w pages for $9.95. Sample images here.

Casanova #14: Last issue of the second storyline, and last issue period for a while. Matt Fraction & Fábio Moon have the answers you need: why are you where you are, and where are you going, when? Preview here, if you dare look.

Wacky Packages: A $19.95, 240-page Abrams hardcover devoted to vintage gag stickers, 1973-74. I'm sure the included essays by contributing artists Art Spiegelman & Jay Lynch will raise some interest. More info here. I found this tucked away in the famous Merchandise section of Diamond's list, along with the fancy-sounding Medieval Wooden Sword, available in small, medium and large (the small is seven bucks cheaper than the medium, but the large is only two bucks more - that's how they get you with popcorn too).

Captain Britain and MI-13 #1: In which Secret Invasion spawns what was supposed to be a new direction for Excalibur a while back, but is now a new ongoing series from writer Paul Cornell, of last year's fine, underread Wisdom miniseries, a disarming study of British cultural identity via myth and popular entertainment, in the form of a mutant superhero team book. It looks like many of the characters are back for this one. Here's what the UK's finest look like when Skrulls need beating; Leonard Kirk is the penciller.

Batman #676: Marking the start of writer Grant Morrison's Batman R.I.P. storyline, the climax of his run on the title thus far. I liked the preview a lot; not only does it beg yet more New X-Men comparisons, it's just the kind of high-energy plot threading that Morrison specializes in when it's time to get things wrapped up. And hey: tacit acknowlegement of the futility inherent to affecting broad change in major shared-universe superhero properties on page one! I guess you can also pay $2.99 for the Final Crisis Sketchbook, if you really want to look at 32 pages of Morrison's least revealing script notes and J.G. Jones' preliminary drawings.

newuniversal: shockfront #1 (of 6): Being the return of Warren Ellis' New Universe revival, now with Steve Kurth on pencils. View. To mark the occasion, Marvel also has Psi-Force Classic Vol. 1 this week, rounding up the ol' #1-9.

Sky Doll #1 (of '3'): Friendly reminder - this series doesn't actually end at #3, that's just as far as it's gotten in its native Europe. The creation of Alessandro Barbucci & Barbara Canepa, it's the anime-influenced religious/political sci-fi action genesis of Marvel's new line of pamphlet-format translations for Soleil Productions' graphic albums, $5.99 a pop, robo-nipple apparently erased from the final cover of this debut issue. Can a pretty automaton find her destiny? It's a decent little story (so far), and might do well for those who didn't already read it when Heavy Metal released all three chapters of its English edition as a single $6.95 magazine less than two years ago. Preview here.

B.P.R.D.: 1946 #5 (of 5): Fun and thrills in the far past end here. Look at the monkeys. Next month will see regular co-writer John Arcudi return as Herb Trimpe(!) and Ben Stenbeck provide art for individual one-shots set in, respectively, the nearer and farther past. Guy Davis is back for the next present day miniseries in July.

Parasyte Vol. 3 (of 8): Japan is full of odd beasts too, and they love to curl the skin. More alien mutation from Del Rey.

Manga Sutra: Futari H Vol. 2 (of 5): This also isn't really only five volumes long; it's just how far Tokyopop has committed in its effort to bring Aki Katsu's long-lived, still-ongoing marital relations educational comedy to English letters. You might not find it -- nearly 400 pages for $19.99 -- at your local bookstore. I sure haven't.

The Punisher MAX #57: Shootings; ammo running low.

New X-Men by Grant Morrison Ultimate Collection Vol. 1 (of 3): Yeah, looks like they're putting out the old hardcovers as $34.99 paperbacks. So, five bucks more than before.

Cloud Vol. 1: It's bound to happen. This week, some of you are gonna walk into your local Direct Market comics retailer, flush with cash and ready for spending, but no sooner will you enter the store than your eyes will pop out and your heart will explode, and you'll howl: "This is it! The Kingdom of God has arrived on Earth!" Close, but no such luck, readers - you've merely come face to face with a $48.99 magazine/artbook dedicated to the sensitive, eponymous hero of Final Fantasy VII. Its 122 color pages are filled with pouty images, perfect for pinning on your locker or headboard, or simply placing atop your pillow in anticipation of your weary face. There's also an appearance by Gackt, because really - what forum isn't fit for Gackt? An enclosed dvd will preview Final Fantasy XIII and many other wonderful things. It took me three years to beat Final Fantasy on the NES, but it sure felt good when I did.