Another two feature day!

*Hurry up for


featuring the talents of

The Ticking (excellent new Renee French material, coming in about six months - read all about it now!)

Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed?, Escape of the Living Dead #1 (of 5) (couldn't be two more different books, save for both of them destined to appeal mainly to their predetermined audiences)

Fell #2

Strangehaven #18, Marvel Monsters: Devil Dinosaur #1

and also a film review of A History of Violence to treasure.

*Very interesting Dark Horse manga licencing news - apparently, they’ve managed to seize the rights to Kazuo Koike and Ryoichi Ikegami’s Crying Freeman from Viz; it’ll be re-released as a five-volume series in 2006. In addition, the recent Koike samurai release Lady Snowblood will last for four volumes in total, the next one due in December.

But much better: Kazuo Umezu!! No, it’s not the series demanded in my special wish list, it’s something called Scary Books. Still - a second book of Umezu, one of the gods of manga horror (the first being Viz’s Orochi: Blood)! Plus - more Junji Ito (Museum of Terror) and a one-shot by Hideshi Hino (Lullabies From Hell)! It’s already looking like a very nice 2006 for horror manga.

*A good deal quieter


Wally Wood’s Lunar Tunes: Some shops already have this, an oversized softcover collection of a (mostly) unpublished 1981 story from the comics legend, one of his final works. It’s a very strange 45-page mass of lunar landscapes, naked ladies, odd creatures, photo collage, bad jokes, random bits of tongue-in-cheek philosophy, and general stream-of-consciousness comics fun. Wood originally wanted to self-publish the work, but ultimately only 2/9 of it surfaced in the pages of witzend, since the editor apparently felt the complete work would prove embarrassing to the ailing Wood’s legacy (more in this Comics Journal board thread); he needn’t have worried. I’ve already bought a copy, and I liked it a lot; it’s very loose, very stripped-down work, but it’s got creative vigor and cracked imagination to burn. Plus, it’s (as far as I know) free of the clumsy censorship that Vanguard Productions foisted upon their similar release of Wood’s The King of the World. More on this tomorrow.

Doom Patrol Vol. 3: Down Paradise Way: Here’s something to chase away those ‘still no Seven Soldiers in sight’ blues: another seven issues (#35-41) of writer Grant Morrison’s beloved epic in handy trade form, this time featuring the debut of the infamous Flex Mentallo. Note that this trade leaves off right before #42, one of the more troublesome issues, which featured a direct Charles Atlas parody sequence and fed right into the Atlas Estate’s eventual lawsuit, which is, of course, the reason why the Flex Mentallo miniseries currently costs one trillion dollars per issue. This is a step in a positive direction, and not just for Flex; Morrison’s Doom Patrol needs to be complete and in print, and there’s now only three trades left to go at this rate!

Perfect Example: I know for a fact that there’s been some new fans of John Porcellino’s gentle, minimalist work minted since the fall of Highwater Books; they’ll be delighted to see this new Drawn and Quarterly printing of Porcellino’s 2000 book, culled from his popular King-Cat Comics and Stories minicomic series. Good to see some of the Highwater catalog rising from the ashes.

Stoker’s Dracula: Just in time for Halloween! Give or take a few weeks! I really liked this thing during its not particularly successful latter-day serialization; it’s a close comics adaptation of the original source novel, carefully structured by writer Roy Thomas (never too much text, and I’ve got to say that Stoker’s own correspondence-based structure plays unusually well into caption-based comics storytelling) and gorgeously rendered in b&w ink-wash by Roy Thomas. Originally begun as a serial in various ill-fated Marvel horror magazines in the 1970's, stalled for decades, then restarted and eventually completed in the form of a 2004 miniseries to little sales attention, I presume that this deluxe hardcover will be the best way to enjoy the story. It’s modest, old-school horror comics, with plenty of chills and sensuality but most of the explicit stuff kept in the shadows - charming, handsome stuff.

The Golden Plates #3 (of 12): More Mormon magic from Mike and Laura Allred. Looks great (when it’s not saddled down with huge blocks of text), but I think everyone’s kind of figured out if they’re onboard by now. I think it’s selling quite well for an independent comic; by way of contrast...

Finder #38: Get ‘em while they’re still here! As I know you’ve heard, this highly-praised, low-selling book is going online-only soon in terms of serialization (trades will continue to be released at appropriate intervals). But there’s still some hardcopy fun to be had this week.

Gødland #4: This is a nice book and you should buy it.

The Goon 25 Cent Comic: Featuring a shiny new short story, along with a bunch of reprints. Great for new readers. And for big spenders, there’s also The Goon: Fancy Pants Edition hardcover, collecting most of the core ‘plot’ material from the self-published issues and the first ten Dark Horse issues, along with a big sketchbook section and a new 3-page story.

Ghost Rider #2: Don’t know if I’ll be back for this one; issue #1 wasn’t too impressive. Still, if you thought otherwise, there’s also a (*groan*) ‘Director’s Cut’ edition of that first issue out this week, featuring writer Garth Ennis’ original series proposal, and various art-related process extras from artist Clayton Crain. Who’s the director again?

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1: Mixing new book debuts with crossover Events in the creative team-swapping mighty Marvel manner! Enjoy, True Believers! Or wait a couple months.

Infinite Crisis #1 (of 7): Oh, this thing is starting too. I think it’s something with Batman? Superman, maybe?