Ok, here's the future.

*I'm gonna be attending the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival this Saturday, located in scenic Williamsburg, right off the L line. One day only and no admission fee, so everybody in the NYC area should think about peering in.

It should be a special occasion; I've never been to a comics show on its very first date of operation, the lineup of exhibitors looks really impressive (Le Dernier Cri! Bries!) and the programming boasts a killer lineup, stuffing Gary Panter, Peter Saul, R.O. Blechman, Kim Deitch, Dash Shaw, Ben Katchor, Lisa Hanawalt, Mark Newgarden, Ron Regé, Jr, David Sandlin, Frank Santoro, Gabrielle Bell and R. Sikoryak into just five segments of one hour each. More here.



Manga (the early '80s anthology of that name; the art form of a foreign people; the presence in North America; the idea and the shifting reality; MANGA) (also: Youtube anime links)


*I'm not the first to say this, but holy shit is this a big week for Diamond's "offered again" items. I don't usually cover those, but - Asterios Polyp, The ACME Novelty Library #19 (aka: Chris Ware's Martian Chronicles), the first Moomin newspaper strip collection, all three volumes of Osamu Tezuka's excellent supernatural action series Dororo... I'd recommend any of these, so feel free to catch up.


The Comics Journal #300: It wasn't online for long because it was too beautiful to live, but now it's in print ready for a place of honor in your home. Just $14.99 buys you the last-ever periodical installment of the Journal, now an online presence (well, actually the online presence will be here; that's the beta version over there) that might run a review or two by someone you know.

For now, a thick collection of conversations between comics figures aware of the terrain and new to the game: Art Spiegelman & Kevin Huizenga; J.C. Menu & Sammy Harkham; Dave Gibbons & Frank Quitely; Dave Mazzucchelli & Dash Shaw; Alison Bechdel & Danica Novgorodoff; Howard Chaykin & Ho Che Anderson; Dennis O’Neil & Matt Fraction; Jaime Hernandez & Zak Sally; Ted Rall & Matt Bors; Jim Borgman & Keith Knight; and Stan Sakai & Chris Schweizer. Essays too. Good readin'.


GoGo Monster: There's a ton of manga out this week, so I'm putting something extra-special up top - a new VIZ English edition of a 2000 book by Taiyō Matsumoto, he of Tekkonkinkreet (Black & White). It's another story of friendship between young boys, this time a transfer student and the kid he sits next to, who believes that weird creatures only he can see are taking over the world. The climax is supposedly a whopper. Also unique: the presentation, a deluxe slipcased hardcover in keeping with the original Japanese edition. And it's still only $27.99 for 464 pages. Art samples here. I expect fine things.

Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary: And I know there's good things here, in a 64-page McSweeney's reissue of Justin Green's seminal 1972 autobiographical comic, a lively depiction of obsessive-compulsive disorder as fueled by the conflict between religious faith and sexual desire. A classic, but a very active one. The publisher looks to be giving it a biblical gold trim kind of design scheme, with way oversized 14" x 10" dimensions, hence the $29.00 price tag; if that seems a bit much, Last Gasp's fatter, smaller, less expensive 1995 Binky Brown Sampler is still in print. Introduction by Art Spiegelman. Google books images from the Last Gasp edition here.

Larry Marder's Beanworld Book 3: Remember Here When You Are There!: Being an all-new 186-page, $19.95 hardcover shot of Larry Marder's study of natural fantasy - the close workings of a whimsically invented ecosystem and the talking critter society inside it. Halfway between an experimental clip art webcomic and a gag-heavy serial newspaper strip, Beanworld is just too damn peculiar to look its age, despite hailing from the 1985 pre-heat of the coming b&w boom; this installment finally concludes the first 1/4 of the series' seasonal cycle. Preview.

One Model Nation: An Image original from Dandy Warhols singer/guitarist Courtney Taylor & Street Angel's Jim Rugg, laying out the wide influence and abrupt end of a German band in tumultuous 1977; I think the theme is the futility of remaining apolitical as a prime actor in society. It's 144 color pages for $17.99. Have a look.

Popeye Vol. 4 (of 6): Plunder Island: The one with the Sea Hag and the Goon; the Golden Age of E.C. Segar's creation, or so it's said. Up to the usual die-cut hardcover standard, I'm sure; 168 pages, 10.5" x 14.75", $29.99. From Fantagraphics; preview.

Little Lulu Vol. 21: Miss Feeny's Folly and Other Stories: Meanwhile, Dark Horse has another 200-page, $14.95 color package of vintage John Stanley & Irving Tripp. Call it Popeye's antithesis: compact, no-frills, and possibly ready to go on forever, although Stanley's only sticking around for the next six volumes or so. Collects issues #100-105 of the Dell series, in case you need to keep your checklist straight. Samples.

Slam Dunk Vol. 7 (of 31): Takehiko Inoue's basketball classic, which seems to have gotten itself upped in price to $9.99 somewhere along the way.

Sayonara, Zetsubo Sensei Vol. 4: Jokes, satire, suicide and endnotes - Japanese funnies as we like it. Ongoing, currently up to vol. 19 overseas.

Empowered Special: The Wench With a Million Sighs: A special $3.99 Dark Horse pamphlet outing for Adam Warren's superheroine exploitation lampoon, likely poised to summarize the concept for people not quite ready for five 200+ page softcover books. Pages.

The Secret History Vol. 7: I haven't kept up with this $5.95 prestige format-type English translation of writer Jean-Pierre Pécau's immortals-across-time series, but I ought to note that this is apparently the final album Archaia Studios will publish, with initial artist Igor Kordey onboard (and always welcome). It's up to vol. 16 in France.

Dark Tower: The Battle of Jericho Hill #1 (of 5): And in other endings-that-don't-end-anything-but-at-least-the-original-artist-came-back news, here's the 'final' installment of Marvel's original Stephen King-derived series-of-series, with Jae Lee restored to the penciller's position. As of now, he does not appear to be returning for the interiors of the next Dark Tower comic, a more direct prequel thing subtitled simply The Gunslinger, with follow-up miniseries already planned to follow.

Starstruck #4 (of 13): Long reprint-but-not-entirely series #1 - Elaine Lee's & Michael Wm. Kaluta's massive sci-fi saga, from IDW.

King City #3 (of 12): Long reprint-but-not-entirely series #2 - Brandon Graham's city romance action cat thingy, from Image.

The Boys #37: Continuing the series' current spread of secret origins with an issue dedicated specially to that French guy. Voilà.

Jonah Hex #50: With special guest artist Darwyn Cook.

Starr the Slayer #4 (of 4): With always special artist Richard Corben. Preview.

Greek Street #6: The Peter Milligan location this week.

glamourpuss #10: Dave Sim was in comics stores in 1977 and he'll be waving goodbye behind you when you opt yourself out, believe it.