Three regular features at once - what a novelty!

*I didn’t want to upset the Golgothic flow of yesterday’s feature, so now it’s today when we observe


All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder #1 (I hope so too, Mr. Rice, I hope so too)

XIII #1 (Europe's hottest graphic albums, now in friendly US pamphlet format, no matter the cost)

Seven Soldiers - Guardian #3 (of 4)

Desolation Jones #2 (or: I [heart] J.H. Williams III)

And don't miss Part 1 of Duke Togo in America - A Retrospective of the Localized Golgo 13, exactly half of a special feature!

*So what did I do last weekend? I certainly didn’t get to go to the San Diego Comic-Con, but that was no reason to feel down - in fact, I managed to enjoy the complete experience of attending our beloved industry’s #1 event from the comfort of my own town! And now you can too, though the community service requirement of my latest column. I’m warning you, folks! This 100% serious essay is very educational and guaranteed to change your life for the better, so you’ll probably want to tithe a minimum of 1/3 of your annual income over to me from now on. K thx!!1!

*FLASH! New project from writers of Matrix Trilogy/Doc Frankenstein might be unsubtle and philosophically repetitive! More as it develops!

*I was hoping for a quiet time


and I sure got it. Looks like the final issue of Hellboy: The Island isn't even showing up.

Cromartie High School Vol. 3: Holy shit, did ADV put this thing on the fast-track? Then why don’t I see it any stores? Still, it’s absolutely worth tracking down. By this point, Eiji Nonaka’s badass high school masterwork has become almost Achewood-like in its attention to slow-building character shtick, though its keen sense of absurdity and that delightfully stiff, labored art remain. It apparently won the Kodansha Manga Award, which might be like The Goon winning all those Eisners, except I’m living in a total frame-of-reference void, and boy is it comfy. In conclusion, you are required by federal statute to buy this book.

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #1: Abominable title aside, this is the new ongoing series from Michael Kupperman, creator of the diabolically funny Snake ’n Bacon’s Cartoon Cabaret, and I strongly, strongly doubt this book will be anything less than excellent based on that simple fact alone. The previews in Fantagraphics’ Free Comic Book Day offering looked alternately beautiful and berserk, a barrage of one-page gags and concepts. The $4.50 tag is a bit higher than average, but I think you’ll find the entertainment value of this little package to be more than worth the added fee.

Astonishing X-Men #11: Mayhap it stopped sucking during its break? Specifically, the book has been sucking exhaust fumes from the main Joss Whedon storyline pulling ahead to fill up its sudden one-year expansion, or at least that’s the best theory I can offer for the presence of this haphazard ‘The Danger Room Is Really Mad, Guys’ storyline we find ourselves bogged down in. Strive forward John Cassaday and Laura Martin, carry this book toward the future!

The Goon #13: Still more-or-less continuing the story initiated two issues back. I’m finding that writer/artist Eric Powell’s heavy, worked-over painterly style is distancing me from the material; it seems a little too akin to a museum piece, if that makes any sense. I liked this style when it was relegated to flashes of contained panel impact or background buffing, but slathering it all across the book is killing the immediacy of Powell’s humor. He’s got formidable chops, but I don’t feel as close to it as I’d like anymore. Still, it’s miles off from being a bad book, as careening off track as it seems to be.

Billy the Kid’s Old-Timey Oddities #4 (of 4): And I don’t even know why I stopped buying this Powell-scripted miniseries. It was pleasantly sour and amusing enough, with richly curved art from Kyle Hotz. I guess I just had too many things to buy and I kept putting it off, and then when I went to pick it up the other week I couldn’t find a copy of issue #2 (since I suspect the book went under-ordered) and obviously I’m not going to start buying a miniseries for cover price with a gaping hole in the center, so here we are. I bet it wasn’t dreadful. Might as well get the final issue if you’re more attentive than I.

Batman: Jekyll and Hyde #4 (of 6): This is the issue where they stop using Jae Lee. Just a public service reminder.