An anticipation post that goes near and far.

*Ladies and gentlemen, Brendan McCarthy on Spider-Man and Dr. Strange. April, May, June: 2010.


Detective Comics #858 (focusing on J.H. Williams III - where he's been, what he's doing, and where he's going with what he's done; thanks for the kind words on this one, everyone!)

*Closer -


: A new Secret Acres collection of Ken Dahl's frank, vivid, and energetically cartooned account of herpes - its composition, its spread and its effects on a man, and other people. I've read some of this in minicomics form, and I was impressed by its visual ingenuity and strong sense of humor. Very much worth checking out; it's $18.00 for 208 pages, 7" x 7". Chris Mautner reviews it here.

Buenaventura Press Comics Revival 3-Pak: In which the well-known art comics publisher looks to the past for a means of keeping pamphlet-format alternative comics viable in the Direct Market - the old fashioned 3-in-1 plastic bag bundle, like you used to see in the supermarket. Except every one of these $11.95 packs features the same three comics: (1) Lisa Hanawalt's I Want You #1; (2) Ted May's Injury Comics #3; and (3) Eric Haven's The Aviatrix #1. All three are essentially humor comics in some way, whether it's (1) alternative weekly-type cute-absurd grotesqueries, (2) high school autobio and fantasy hero pastiche or (3) po-faced adventure stuff crashing into wild-eyed faux-autobio vignettes. I reviewed them in here.

Like a Dog: A new hardcover collection of rare and scattered work by cartoonist and musician Zak Sally -- best known in comics for his Ignatz series Sammy the Mouse, two issues extant -- culled from 15 years of work. Featuring the first two (of three) issues of Sally's one-man anthology series Recidivist, plus various and sundry short pieces, with annotations, bonuses and an introduction by John Porcellino. From Fantagraphics; $22.99 for 134 b&w and color pages. Preview here.

Usagi Yojimbo: Yokai: Think of it as a really special, really deluxe one-off issue if you want, but I wonder if this isn't Dark Horse's bid to break Stan Sakai's long-lived funny animal swordsman series into some bookstore hearts. A 6" x 9", $14.95 hardcover, 64 pages, all-new in painted color, wherein Usagi struggles to rescue a kidnapped man from a thoroughly haunted castle. Have a look.

Lobo: Highway to Hell #1 (of 2): Sometimes I feel like Sam Kieth is single-handedly keeping the old DC Prestige Format afloat; then I wonder if the creator of The Maxx and Zero Girl (and errant co-creator of The Sandman) is the only artist I'll follow onto these things. Anyhow, here's our latest chance to catch up, in a new Lobo vs. Satan story written by Scott Ian, the bedrock of music outfit Anthrax. Your $6.99 gets you 64 color pages, which I'm actually only presuming are in the Prestige Format, given the price point. Let's hope? Preview.

The James Bond Omnibus Vol. 001: Vintage reprints, as expected. Some year not far away there might be weeks without huge stacks of material pulled from all over the history of world comics, but, for now, Titan Books brings a 304-page compilation of the earliest, most famous comic strip adaptations of Ian Fleming's novels, 11 serials that ran from 1958 to 1962 in the Daily Express, drawn by John McLusky with script adaptation by Henry Gammidge, Anthony Hearne and, in the case of Dr. No, Peter O'Donnell, later co-creator of Modesty Blaise. In glorious b&w; it'll run you only $14.95 in the U.S.

Criminal Deluxe Edition Vol. 1: But if it's more recent guns 'n money (in omnibus form) you lust for, now you can plunk down $49.99 for a 432-page collection of the first three storylines (Vol. 1 #1-10, Vol. 2 #1-3) of Ed Brubaker's & Sean Phillips' intergenerational crime saga, which reads a hell of a lot better in big chunks anyway. Includes an introduction by Dave Gibbons, a bonus story (from Liberty Comics #1, I think), the series' initial comics-format online 'trailer,' bonus production art and more.

NANA Vol. 19: And then there's always the latest from this prime shōjo series, whose readers will appreciate its drawing closer to where it's up to in Japan (vol. 21), currently still frozen, I think, since artist Ai Yazawa took ill in June.

Age of Reptiles: The Journey #1 (of 4): Man, I didn't expect to see this series again. Not a value judgment, just... you never really know when veteran storyboardist and production artist Ricardo Delgado will pop up with more wordless Dark Horse comics about dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts romping around. This new entry follows the 1993-94 Age of Reptiles (later subtitled Tribal Warfare) and 1996's Age of Reptiles: The Hunt, and sees lots of creatures herding together to migrate south, only to encounter a feisty Tyrannosaurus rex. They don't make 'em like this anymore. In color, $3.50; preview.

Starstruck #3 (of 13): And on that note, more from IDW, presenting the Elaine Lee/Michael Wm. Kaluta classic in new color.

From the Ashes #6 (of 6): Also, IDW wraps up Bob Fingerman's post-apocalypse slice-of-life this week.

The Zombies That Ate the World #6 (of 8): Devil's Due and Humanoids with more Guy Davis, in case you're in withdrawal. Related -

Witchfinder: In the Service of Angels #5 (of 5): Your Mike Mignola of the week, with artist Ben Stenbeck, now linking up to current stories in B.P.R.D., despite taking place in Victorian times. Like so.

Greek Street #5: Your Peter Milligan of the week, bringing the first softcover's worth of this ancient-myths-as-crime-drama series to a close. See some here. Note that Vertigo also has the actual first softcover for Milligan's Hellblazer run out this week, Scab, collecting his first storyline with regular artists Giuseppe Camuncoli & Stefano Landini (#251-253), a subsequent story with guest artists Goran Sudzuka & Rodney Ramos (#254-255) and a bonus short from issue #250 drawn by Eddie Campbell, all for $14.99.

Herogasm #6 (of 6): Closing out a fairly typical stretch of issues for The Boys, which just seemed ready to go a little early. Have a peek, but don't settle in...

The Boys #36: That's right, a double-shot of Garth Ennis climax power, as the subsiding orgy of Herogasm gives way to this final set of revelations regarding team member Mother's Milk. Yep. The French guy and the dangerous lady have their secret origins up next.

Starr the Slayer #3 (of 4): This is kind of a lot of pamphlets this week, huh? These things add up too. But the stylings of Richard Corben, they are hard to resist. Daniel Way scripts.

Black Widow: Deadly Origin #1 (of 4): On the other hand, I'm not sure about $3.99 for a movie-primed Natalia Romanova background tour, although the usually-good Paul Cornell is writing and the always-good John Paul Leon is on board for flashback sequences. Primary drawing by Tom Raney, as you can see.

Strange Tales #3 (of 3): And then, the Marvel 'indie' experiment reaches its end. Peter Bagge closes up his Hulk story, and nods are made by Max Cannon, Nicholas Gurewitch, Chris Chua, Becky Cloonan, Paul Hornschemeier, Jay Stephens, Corey Lewis, Stan Sakai (as mentioned above), Jonathan Jay Lee and Warren Simons. Cloonan preview here; Lewis preview here.

Age of Bronze #29: And then there's the long haul. The 'part 10 in a continuing story.' The Special Music Issue in which "Achilles headlines with a song about cosmic sex as Cressida has her heart ripped out. The gods don’t seem to pay much attention to King Priam of Troy, but he drones on and on anyway. And when the songs are over, the battles and intrigue keep going." I suspect battles and intrigue sums up the process of maintaining a creator-owned comic book for 11 years. So here's to you, Eric Shanower -- also starting a second Skottie Young-illustrated Marvel Oz series this week, The Marvelous Land of Oz -- and your massive comics account of the Trojan War. See it here, 24 pages, $3.50. Luck to you as always.