I'm even more behind than usual so this is gonna be quick.



almost every comic I bought last week (including Orc Stain #1, Army of Two #1, Neonomicon Hornbook, Starstruck #5 and PunisherMax #3)



not simple: Being the start of Viz's major 2010 effort to launch mangaka Natsume Ono on the North American scene. I mentioned her a little bit last summer when I picked up her Japanese-only story collection Tesoro; I really like her art, a pliable series of variations on squat cartoon forms that absolutely radiate tenderness and vulnerability, two traits probably in generous supply in this all-in-one collection of a 2004-05 webmagazine series following a young man's search for his sister, the only bright point in all his existence. A big 320 pages for $14.99. Free chapter here; overview by David Welsh here.

Joe the Barbarian #1 (of 8): You might have heard of this one - the big new Grant Morrison project from Vertigo, with art by the wonderfully vocal Sean Murphy. A troubled boy is whisked away in an ill delirium to save the world of his toys from a terrible disaster. Preview.

The Barry Windsor-Smith Conan Archives Vol. 1 (of 2): Hmm, can it be called a product of the Golden Age of Reprints if it's collecting prior reprints into a handier form? I dunno -- and I bet a cleaner example will present itself shortly -- but if for some reason you don't have Windsor-Smith's Conan comics on hand, here's the 200-page first half of Dark Horse's artist-specific hardcover project, with 'remastered' coloring I'm not sure about. Written by Roy Thomas, priced at $49.99.

Loverboy: This appears to be a new 128-page Vanguard Productions semi-autobiographical graphic novel about a small man on the prowl for the tall women he craves, written and drawn by 91-year old Dondi (and Wildcat) co-creator Irwin Hasen. Yes, that does automatically make it worth a flip-through, and there's both a $19.95 softcover and a $29.95 hardcover available if you're up for buying.

Thirteen Going on Eighteen: Now here's the Golden Age I know, hauling in a big (7.75" x 11") fat (336-page) entry in Drawn and Quarterly's John Stanley Library, this time covering a '60s teen humor series about girls as friends and rivals, with Stanley as writer/artist. I've read samples from this around, and it's pretty damn funny. It's $39.95.

Oishinbo Vol. 7: Izakaya: Pub Food: Say goodbye for now to cocky eating master Yamaoka with one more edutaining 276-page dose of hooray-for-Japan food power; you'll never eat half of this, ha ha ha! This time: casual eats. It's $12.99.

Pluto Vol. 7 (of 8): Woah, look what's almost done! Osamu Tezuka by way of Naoki Urasawa, screaming towards the penultimate. From Viz, $12.99.

Black Jack Vol. 9 (of 17): But if it's uncut Tezuka you crave, Vertical's got you covered with 320 more pages of $16.95 super-medicine. My god, when will the healing end?!

Vagabond VizBig Edition Vol. 6: We do know when this is going to end - later this year, as artist Takehiko Inoue has recently stated. That'll put the final tally of these three-in-one bricks at 11 or 12, depending on exactly when the swordsman series concludes. For now, $19.99 nets you vols. 16-18 of the regular run. Note that Inoue and Viz also have REAL vol. 7 this week (in Japan it's up to vol. 9), and I wonder if that irregular ongoing basketball drama won't be getting its creator's fuller attention by 2011.

All My Darling Daughters: And finally in Japanese comics, Viz presents a $12.99, 208-page suite of five short stories brushing on a thirtysomething woman's difficult personal situation after her mother (whom she still lives with) decides to marry a much younger man. From the widely respected Fumi Yoshinaga, of Antique Bakery and Ôoku: The Inner Chambers.

RASL #6: More of Jeff Smith and dimension-hopping desert sci-fi.

Garth Ennis' Battlefields: Happy Valley #2 (of 3): More of Ennis-written combat sagas. Preview.

Hellblazer #263: Your Peter Milligan of the week, continuing Constantine's India.

glamourpuss #11: Dave Sim keeps it photo-real.

The Zombies That Ate the World #8 (of 8): And finally, the end of this Guy Davis-drawn saga of undead co-existence with the urban American future. I think this also wraps up the DDP/Humanoids alliance for now, in that I'm unaware of any future scheduled projects, although it's always worth keeping an eye open, eh?