I got a chip in my windshield.

*So begins another thrilling chapter in my life of surrendering twenty dollar bills.


Man Against Time (a 1996 Image series from the Motown Machineworks studio, which only seemed to publish in 1996; maybe the first published comics work by Brett Lewis of The Winter Men, with John Paul Leon on covers even!)

Yeah, that's it.

*Anime Dept: Famed designer-mangaka Yoshitoshi ABe takes on moé. From Eastern Standard, a fine anime/manga/other things blog from veteran translator Andrew Cunningham and friends.

*Speaking of losing your money -


Sabre: 30th Anniversary Hardcover: Yeah, the ol' Direct Market may be in for some turbulence in days to come, so why not let Desperado Publishing close your fluttering eyes and whisk you back to the sunny days of idealism that were 1978, when a fancy-looking b&w comics album could hit the stands and everyone would realize that shit was going down that wouldn't happen on newsstands, no sir. This is a new 48-page, $14,99 edition of that album, a sci-fi take on vintage gallantry and derring-do from writer Don McGregor (then best known for a popular, similarly-toned run on Marvel's Killraven) and artist Paul Gulacy (with some uncredited inks by P. Craig Russell, if I recall correctly). Contains bonus chit-chat with McGregor. Samples 'n info here.

APPLE Vol. 2: Being UDON Entertainment's return to A Place for People who Love Entertainment, which a plurality of cartographers has identified as a 272-page collection of full-color comics and pin-ups from Korea's most available video game and manhwa talents. Think Range Murata's Robot (also published in English by UDON), only more illustration-heavy (and from a different country). It's $34.95; preview here.

I.R.$. Vol. 2: Blue Ice: There really are a lot of totally random releases this week, huh? Here's the latest Cinebook two-in-one (vols. 3-4) English-language softcover (96 pages, $19.95) for writer Stephen Desberg's and artist Bernard Vrancken's ongoing Belgian-born saga of an I.R.S. special agent and his glamorous adventures in the world of high finance and monied crime, currently up to vol. 10 in Europe. Pure, slick escapism, I expect. Have a look.

Blake and Mortimer: The Strange Encounter: You can get old-school (or faux-old-school) with your Belgian funnies this week too, since Cinebook also has this 2001 installment of the venerable Edgar P. Jacobs series (created in 1946) concerning the exploits of a famed British scientist and a pal from MI5. This time they confront strange, laser-toting forces and ghosts of America's past, although Jacobs isn't behind the action, having died in 1987; the series currently gets passed around among various creative teams, with this particular installment being the second (and thus far final) contribution by writer Jean Van Hamme and artist Ted Benoît. It's 66 pages for $15.95; preview here.

Apropos of nothing, did any of you US residents catch part one of the XIII tv miniseries (a 2008 Franco-Canadian production based on the megahit comic Van Hamme co-created) last night? I thought the first hour was a pretty clever update of the initial album's Robert Ludlam tropes, kind of linking things up with the latter-day Jason Bourne movies; on the other hand, the pacing was sorta lacksidasical, Val Kilmer was awful as the Mongoose (just bored-looking, puffy, winded) and the script appears to be mixing and matching plot points from all over the series, only the first three volumes of which have ever been released in English. I think even the video game got farther into the plot than vol. 3. Man.

Welcome to Hoxford: This is writer/artist Ben Templesmith's recent werewolves-in-prison miniseries from IDW, now a 132-page, $19.99 softcover. I haven't seen any of it, but Templesmith is generally worth a look. Preview here.

Jack the Lantern: Ghosts #3 (of 3): I am bound by blood to mention all Tim Vigil comics, as they are released to the North American comic book retailing scene. Do not ask questions.

B.P.R.D.: The Black Goddess #2 (of 5): Davis.

Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #3 (of 8): Fegredo (and Davis, in a backup short).

Incognito #2 (of 5): Brubaker & Phillips.

Captain Britain and MI13 #10: Dr. Doom & Count Dracula team up on the moon.

Patsy Walker: Hellcat #5 (of 5): A lot of people liked this, I think. Kathryn Immonen & David Lafuente. Looks pretty. Here is the end of this.

All Star Superman Vol. 2 (of 2): Oh, people liked this too. Now your $19.99 hardcovers can match.

Batman: R.I.P.: Shit, people even liked this! All right, all right - it did have its moments, at the height of the "Batman's backup personality" mania. Vol. 4 of the complete Grant Morrison run, a 208-page oversized hardcover, priced at $24.99. This also collects the two Final Crisis tie-in issues, so it totally wraps up the Morrison run until it restarts later this year.

Batman #686: But no, R.I.P. is over, Final Crisis is over, that handful of other storylines is over - it's time to get down to brass tacks and look toward the future, by which I mean give Neil Gaiman this and the next issue of Detective Comics to riff on a 22-year old Alan Moore story, Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? Qualitative debate aside, I think we can all agree that's what Final Crisis was truly meant to accomplish. Maybe some surprises? Andy Kubert & Scott Williams draw it; 48 pages for $3.99.