Defiant reminisce - IN THIS POST.

*But first.


a few disorganized thoughts on Final Crisis #2 (of 7)

more organized thoughts on the comic and movie of Wanted


The Programme #12 (of 12)

at The Savage Critics!

*And speaking of which, did you know that Savage Critics contributor Abhay Khosla has just released Twist Street Vol. 1? It's a 308-page, print-format collection of his sporting webcomic Left Field, with exciting author's comments and a letters page and everything. Order it here for $14.00, and take it to your place of worship.

*Gee, what a bunch of various.


Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko: I'm on kind of a J.G. Jones kick these days; he hasn't done a lot of interior art, so I'm trying to go through literally all of his comics. And his first published work was in issue #7 of Dark Dominion, a 1993-94 Defiant series created by Jim Shooter & Steve Ditko. You can sense the latter's presence over the setup: a man can phase between planes of perception, seeing the problems that plague our lives -- fear, anger, annoyance -- as literal demons to squash. If the ATM is jamming up, he'll see a little critter sticking out. If my car is going down the highway, he'll see a black bear-sized monster with its legs wrapped around the rear bumper, throwing up devil horns with both hands as my steering column shakes when I hit 55 mph. Ditko didn't do much art, though - his drawings only graced "issue #0," which was actually a trading card set. I mean, I can get a set off eBay for $2.50 now, but god - I can only imagine how annoyed I'd have gotten back then. "Shit! This asshole's hands again..."

Er, anyway, I think this Blake Bell-written hardcover art book/career survey has been forthcoming since I started this site up, so it's nice to see it finally hitting the shelves. Fantagraphics is the publisher, 9" x 12" is the size, 216 pages is the length, and $39.99 is the price. Intro here, video here, preview here.

Dororo Vol. 2 (of 3): Introductions out of the way - now to get down to some serious killing. Osamu Tezuka and Vertical will show you how. It's $13.95, and 288 pages. You owe yourself this. Also in manga bloodletting this week, Dark Horse has your 320-page Kazuo Koike/Goseki Kojima dose with Path of the Assassin Vol. 12 (of 15): Three Foot Battle, for the usual $9.95.

Hellboy: The Crooked Man #1 (of 3): Mike Mignola and Richard Corben - truly they are the peanut butter and chocolate of our comic book gas station candy rack of July 2, 2008. This is a tale of Hellboy from 1956, and I wouldn't want to know a thing more. Still, I'll tempt you. Man, when was the last time Corben had two series going at the same time?

Hellblazer: Fear Machine: Good, good - Vol. 3 of the complete Jamie Delano, finally out there. Collecting the long storyline from issues #14-22, 240 pages for $19.99. I wrote a bunch about Delano and this series last week. Also from Vertigo: the fourth and final issue of American Splendor: Season Two.

Astonishing X-Men #25: The dawn of the Warren Ellis/Simone Bianchi administration of the prestige X-book. Feast.

Ralph Snart Adventures #1: Huh. This appears to be back. From creator Marc Hansen, 24 b&w pages for $2.95.

Lucky Vol. 2 #2: Huh. This appears to be a second installment of Gabrielle Bell's pamphlet-format series from Drawn and Quarterly. The prior issue was a nice blend of autobiography and fantasy storytelling, and this one looks to mix a travelogue with found anecdotes. I love her character designs. It's $3.95 for however many pages it is.

Water Baby: Another Minx book, this one noteworthy for the presence of writer/artist Ross Campbell, which at least means that every soft/sinewy body will seem coated in a thin layer of perspiration and ready to tear off everybody else's clothes at a moment's notice. Also: gory monster visions. I can't say this is an excellent work -- being the ambling tale of a punkish surfer girl who got her leg eaten by a shark and now can't get rid of her gross ex-boyfriend -- but it's surely more fluid and unpredictable than anything else DC's teen girl line has cooked up. It's $9.99 for 176 pages.

C'est Bon Anthology Vol. 5: The newest installment of this anthology of international comics and stories, this time $17.95. Contributors here. Found in Diamond's all-holy Merchandise section, along with the Serenity Mal Reynolds Stunt Pistol Replica, which I think is now cool to keep in your underwear drawer down in D.C. after Columbia v. Heller.

Fat Chunk Vol. 1: Robot: Meanwhile, here's an all-new anthology, an inclusive project masterminded by Bear creator Jamie Smart and heavy on internet talent. Each book will be themed, and fat. Contributors and previews here. From Slave Labor Graphics, 144 pages for $12.95.

Turning Points: Little Rock Nine: Being a new kid-targeted graphic novel from Marshall Poe & Ellen Lindler, all about school desegregation in 1957. Published by Simon & Schuster; $7.99 for 128 pages. Preview here.

Lore: Premiere Edition: Ok... ah, this is an unexpected 288-page oversized omnibus hardcover for a 2003-04 series from T.P. Louise & Ashley Wood. One that switched to an illustrated prose format halfway through its 2003-04 run, and never released its final issue in the pamphlet format, mind you. I actually rather liked it - it's a funny little thing about folkloric creatures running around and a woman coming to grips with her awful magician father. I don't think I'll need to drop $75.00 on reliving the magic, but here it is for the fans.

The Complete K Chronicles: But if you're gonna demand a soft cover and comedy in your omnibi, Dark Horse is waiting with 500 pages of Keith Knight's much-admired strip for only $24.95. Have a look. Note that the publisher also continues its webcomics reprint efforts with Wondermark: Beards of our Forefathers, a 96-page, $14.95 landscape-format hardcover edition of David Malki's Victorian clip-art whimsy. Samples.

Frank Bellamy's Robin Hood: No muss, no fuss - just 144 pages of early (1956-57) Swift Robin Hood strips from the British comics giant. From Book Palace Books; $24.99.

Savage Dragon #136: Aw, good ol' Dragon. Always worth a mention. From now-former Image publisher Erik Larsen, who wants more of this stuff out there.

Batman #678: Oh no, Batman is ruined! In a different way than the other Grant Morrison book!

Jonah Hex #33: With guest artist Darwyn Cooke.

Punisher War Journal #21: Neon shootings. Artist Howard Chaykin is also writing Squadron Supreme 2 this week, the start of a six-issue miniseries drawn by Marco Turini.

Dark Tower: The Long Road Home #5 (of 5): Latex gothics. I think there's three of these series left to go?

Tor #3 (of 6): Old-timey Joe Kubert animals.

The Legion of Super-Heroes #43: Shit, Jim Shooter - he has something this week too. Ditko fuzzied my mind!

Stan Lee Presents: Election Daze: But really, why waste any time and money fretting over frivolities like comic books or health insurance when you, partner, may personally purchase, peruse or, perchanse, purloin a pulsing packet of pert political parody from motherfucking Smilin' Stan fucking Lee? That's right, True Believers: your $9.95 has a new god, and it's a 96-page book of politics-related photographs with fresh dialogue added by Stan the Man himself. Kind of like this:

But even better. See the official MySpace! Face front; Excelsior!