What did I do?

*Can you tell I was distracted with my breaking car?


RPLC #4 (a comedy-of-all-stripes review special, featuring Cryptic Wit #2, We Lost the War but Not the Battle, Angry Youth Comix #14, Injury Comics #2 and Yam: Bite-Sized Chunks)


Column #17 (on The Horrorist and other Jamie Delano affairs with one John Constantine)

At The Savage Critics!

*You'll recall that last week got a little messed up with Diamond's list coming out late; now it looks like a few items got shuffled around. Pertinent to readers of this site are the NBM books Ordinary Victories: What is Precious and Bluesman, both of which are now out this week. And speaking of missed books, if you haven't got them already, Diamond is offering again Nick Abadzis's Laika (from First Second), as well as Drawn and Quarterly Showcase Vol. 3, which has some nice stuff from Matt Broersma, along with Sammy Harkham and Geneviève Castrée.

But anyway...


Good-Bye: Drawn and Quarterly's third (and I believe, for now, final) hardcover collection of Yoshihiro Tatsumi stories, this time covering works from 1971-72, and finding the artist moving into some longer, ever-more balefully pulpy tales of people in cities. It's $19.95 for 208 pages. Sneak peek here. D&Q's 2009 Tatsumi book will be a brand-new work, the artist's 810-page autobiography, A Drifting Life.

Gantz Vol. 1: But I'm not kidding myself - this is probably the 'big' manga release of the week, and Dark Horse has it. For a while this was considered to be one of those 'holy grail' series, very popular in scanlations but with limited hope of licensing, in this case due to explicit content concerns. Well, now your $12.95 will get you 224 pages of big-time boobs 'n bloodshed, as writer/artist Hiroya Oku's plot sees a team of troubled dead folks pulled together into skintight uniforms to pull off deadly missions, guns blazing. Decompressed to the extreme, but the action can get dazzling. And since it's still ongoing, with Vol. 23 released in Japan just last month, Dark Horse is unlikely to run out of stuff to present so long as the fans stay hungry. Preview here.

APPLE Vol. 1: That's A Place for People who Love Entertainment to you, although you might also be tempted to call it publisher UDON's $34.95 manhwa answer to the manga/illustration anthology Robot. However, this full-color, 264-page production looks to be firmly steeped in the Korean gaming scene, with few established comics folk in sight. Still, it sure looks candied.

The Prince Valiant Page: I can't say I've been keeping up with Mark Schultz's & Gary Gianni's current version of the venerable Prince Valiant newspaper strip, but admirers will no doubt enjoy this Gianni-centered 9" x 12" hardcover art book, featuring 112 pages of process and result. From Flesk Publications, priced at $29.95 (a slipcased limited edition will run you $10 extra). Found in Diamond's helpful Merchandise section, alongside some dapper Wolverine Enameled Cufflinks - you won't think $49.99 is too much after you've nailed that big Pentagon contract!

Native Americans in Comic Books: A Critical Study: A $49.95, 223-page prose book from Michael A. Sheyahshe that will tell you about what the title says. Features interviews with Terry LaBan, David Mack, Tim Truman, John Ostrander, Mike Grell, Steve Englehart, Rachel Pollack and others. Published by McFarland; info here.

The Discworld Graphic Novels: The Colour of Magic & The Light Fantastic: Don't ask me how these 1992-93 comics adaptations of Terry Pratchett's first two Discworld novels are, as I must confess I'd never even heard of them until now. But I bet somebody will want a $24.95 hardcover collection of both. From writer Steven Ross and artists Scott Rockwell (Colour) & Joe Bennet (Light); published by Doubleday.

Demo: Being a new, $19.99 printing of the 328-page collected edition for Brian Wood's & Becky Cloonan's 2003-04 series about young people with strange powers, now from Vertigo. An all-new six-issue second series will follow. Here's my review of the old AiT/Planet Lar edition.

No Hero #0 (of 7): This is the new Avatar series from Warren Ellis & Juan Jose Ryp... yes, you're right, their last series (Black Summer) still has an issue to go yet. This is one of those $1.00, 16-page things that nonetheless provides the important first chapter for the story. It actually looks to be something of a thematic sibling work to Ellis' & Ryp's prior series, finding a team of drug-powered '60s radical superhumans giving way to something different in the near-future. Have a b&w look.

The Programme #12 (of 12): Concluding this Wildstorm series from Peter Milligan & C.P. Smith, all about wounds from the Cold War spilling out all over our modern times. Looks like a good day for patriots. Wildstorm also has the $29.99 Ex Machina Deluxe Edition Vol. 1, in case you'd enjoy owning issues #1-11 again in hardcover.

The Immortal Iron Fist #16: Concluding the Matt Fraction/David Aja run on this Marvel series, co-writer Ed Brubaker having checked out two issues ago. Stare through your tears. Fraction also has Thor: Ages of Thunder - Reign of Blood #1 this week, with pencils by Khari Evans & Patrick Zircher. Other Marvel highlights include a double-shot of Mark Millar with Fantastic Four #558 and Marvel 1985 #2 (of 6), and a Joss Whedon finale with Runaways #30

What If…This Was The Fantastic Four?: A Tribute to Mike Wieringo: Both a tribute to the late Wieringo and a benefit project for The Hero Initiative, this $4.99 book sees the artist's final, incomplete Marvel comics story finished by (or written testimonials provided by) the likes of Art Adams, Jeff Parker, Mike Allred, Barry Kitson, Alan Davis, Stuart Immonen, Cully Hamner, Humberto Ramos and others. More here.

B.P.R.D.: The Ectoplasmic Man: One question I've gotten a few times is whether the new reader needs to start at Vol. 1 of the collected B.P.R.D., seeing as how it's still a bunch of scattered short stories at that point. My typical answer is no, you can easily start at Vol. 3 (wherein the firm creative team gathers and the main plot begins) without missing anything insanely compelling, although you will miss the introduction of vaporous medium Johann Kraus, one of the series' main characters. But now it looks like I don't even need to equivocate that much, since here we've got an all-new expanded origin one-shot from writers Mike Mignola & John Arcudi and artist Ben Stenbeck. Peer into the other world, and thank the movie tie-in gods.

All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder Vol. 1: The American classic, now in its first hardcover. It's $24.99 for all extant issues (#1-9), 240 pages in sum. I really want to see what the mainline review outlets make of this.

Final Crisis #2 (of 7): More final than ever before.