Oh sweet god I think this stupid project I've been working on for that last three weeks is actually done!!

*Well, there’s one monkey off my back. Now to deal with the rest of the zoo…


Seven Soldiers - Bulleteer #1 (of 4)

Sunset City (interesting attempt, but a flawed work by Rob Osborne, following senior citizens and their many issues)

The Winter Men #3 (of 8)

Spiral-Bound (Top Secret Summer) (good-looking, decent comic for kids)

That is certainly that.

*Real Mainstream Dept: Hey kids - vintage CIA-backed propaganda comics, straight from Grenada, circa 1984! (found at EGON)

*Some of you might remember a column I did a while back on my experiences in collecting a comic called Wild Stars; the book was created by one Michael Tierney, also a successful retailer. It thus interested me to see Tierney pop up in Rich Johnston’s latest Lying in the Gutters today, in the context of being prompted by a customer to bag and hand-label a recent issue of The Outsiders for ‘Mature Readers.’ See? These preoccupations of mine do sort of coexist with the real world!

*No time for cleverness - jumping right into


where there’s really not too much stuff at all. I mean, obviously there's Infinite Crisis and House of M/Decimation comics Event hi-jinx galore, but... maybe if you missed Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man the first time around you can pick that up? I hear it's pretty good... (EDIT: 11/8/05 6:19 PM) and just to clarify, by 'missed it the first time around,' I refer to the months in which it's been available for either direct mail-order purchase or convention pick-up - I thought it'd been out since July, but upon a bit of research I see there's reviews dating back to February. This is, however, the first the book's been released by Diamond to the Direct Market, so your shop is a whole lot more likely to have a copy.

Maximum Fantastic Four Vol. 1: Got a spare fifty bucks? Just don’t know what to do with it? Well, I could give you my address, or I could direct you toward this peculiar art object from Marvel, a 224-page hardcover reprinting the Lee/Kirby Fantastic Four #1 as an oversized, one panel per page art book, with an introduction and afterward by project mastermind Walter Mosley and an extensive essay by Mark Evanier. Apparently, it’s meant to recontextualize the elements of the comics page into a simulation of the world-revealing scrutiny that a child would lavish upon each panel, with Lee’s scripting now redefined via visual emphasis into an integral portion of Kirby’s art, something of a unified pop blow-up. Not of too much interest to those interested in things like page design (or even the structure of sequential pacing), but exploding and sewing together the book into some kind of faux gallery exhibition catalog is a strange enough idea to maybe work, and I’m sure the text will be enlightening. Still - fifty bucks.

DMZ #1: A new ongoing Vertigo series from writer Brian Wood and artist Riccardo Burchielli (with short visual interludes by Wood himself); it looks to be an action thing, recasting our national culture conflict as a literal civil war between the American Midwest’s anti-establishment militias (the Free Armies) and the Federal-protected dual coasts. The story basically follows a young journalist, working for a government mouthpiece news organization, stranded in war-torn Manhattan, packed with all the civilians too financially disadvantaged to escape, with only a young lady ‘guide’ (hip and feisty, no doubt) to aid him. Here’s a preview - note the helpful “Every Day is 9/11!” graffiti setting the mood; something tells me subtlety might not be much of a concern here, not that an action-emphasis book needs too much of that.

XIII #3: Raising the question of ‘now that this material is being released in an uncensored 7” x 10” album(ish) format, why would anyone want to pick up these squished-down pamphlet versions, with all of the naughty bits covered up?’ Well, I guess to ensure that the series actually gets to issue #6, which is the number of chapters that the collection is supposed to ultimately compile. Halfway there!

Friday the 13th: Bloodbath #1 (of 3): The aforementioned Mr. Johnston recently announced that Avatar is going to publish a Jason vs. Jason X special; an amusing idea, although they’re going to have to get the original Jason X special out the door first, I reckon. In the meantime, here’s the first of the new miniseries expansions of Avatar’s extra-sadistic grouping of one-shots based on various New Line Cinema horror properties. As before, Brian Pulido scripts and Mike Wolfer handles the art (though the preferable Sebastian Fiumara will be tackling the visuals in the Jason X special). Sometime in the near(?) future we’ll be seeing minis for A Nightmare on Elm Street (featuring Juan Jose Ryp, possibly maybe creeping closer to finishing that Frank Miller’s Robocop book) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (with Brazilian artist Daniel HDR taking over for Jacen Burrows, who’s starting work with Garth Ennis on a new 5-issue Avatar series about the Antichrist titled Wormwood). Much bleeding will be included, as one would expect.

ABC A - Z #2 (of 6): Greyshirt and Cobweb: Yes, this week is slow enough that I’m actually listing this thing, another comics-format reference guide to the soon-to-be abandoned ABC universe, with no Alan Moore in sight. Still, all-new art by Rick Veitch and Melinda Gebbie should prove to be something of a lure, and I note that Steve Moore has been temporarily added to the scripting team to supplement Peter Hogan. I’m not sure why Veitch isn’t writing the Greyshirt material, since he’s done quite a lot of stuff with the character apart from Moore (his sorely underrated Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset miniseries remains the finest non-Moore ABC miniseries). Still, might be fun to see what Veitch does with the layouts (and which sort of visual style Gebbie adopts).