*Man, that $1 frozen sausage & pepper stromboli was better than expected.


Local #1 (of 12)

All Star Superman #1

Tomorrow Stories Special #1 (of 2)

Plus, at Comic Book Galaxy I have a review of Jenny Finn: Messiah.

And I did a little film review of the Harold Lloyd/Preston Sturges team-up, The Sin of Harold Diddlebock.

Really... even the aftertaste was ok...

*Kind of eclectic


Æon Flux: The Herodotus File: Very interesting - apparently, MTV Productions is determined to roll out every last bit of Flux miscellany to coincide with the debut of the new live-action film, since here’s a reprint of this strange 1995 book project, originally released to supplement the ten-episode stand-alone iteration of the television series. Executed in the style of a confidential file (though bound in book format, I believe), this 96-page production presents magazine and news articles, random bits of data and surveillance info, ‘photographs’ and historical essays, all of it set in the Æon Flux universe. Eventually some sort of plot can be gleaned, regarding Trevor Godchild’s (dastardly?) plan to shore up his own power by perverting the world’s historical record. Scripted by Mark Mars and Eric Singer, both writers on the television program. I don’t know who does the art, but there’s apparently a lot of it. Devout fans might want to snap this up on Wednesday after spending much of tomorrow evening gorging on the newly-released Æon Flux - The Complete Animated Collection dvd set (which, by the way, apparently features various animation enhancements, occasional dialogue rewrites, and one minor character’s voice actor entirely replaced - creator Peter Chung oversaw all of these alterations to cover some of the weaker elements of the original broadcasts and increase inter-episode continuity). High times!

Winsor McCay Early Works Vol. 6: Continuing on. I reviewed the prior volume of this at the Galaxy, and I’ll echo what I said there in mentioning that it’s good that more and more of McCay’s gargantuan body of work is coming into print; Little Nemo in Slumberland is but a fraction of the story. I do hope that some of my other comments regarding typos and haphazard dating and poor reproduction quality will not require any cross-application here, but we’ll have to see. This edition will showcase another barely-seen McCay feature, Mr. Goodenough, a social comment strip about a wealthy man of leisure who continually strives to become more active, always never quite making it. Plus: more Dream of the Rarebit Fiend, more A Pilgrim’s Progress and plenty more editorial cartooning. Also keep your eyes peeled for Fantagraphics’ new reprint of their own McCay miscellany compilation, Daydreams and Nightmares - it should be out any week now.

Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon Vol. 4 and Vol. 5: Yes, that’s two separate books, two volumes in one week. Obviously, Checker has been busy with their vintage strips. This is their 100-page per volume, landscape-format hardcover compilation series of the original Flash Gordon Sundays. Just to keep a pattern going, here’s Derik Badman’s reviews of the first three books from the over at the Galaxy. I love Raymond’s Flash; silly as it gets, it’s never less than utterly saturated with muscular pulp atmosphere and barely-contained sexuality (characters’ clothes get ripped off an awful lot), and the art has been rightfully hailed for ages as featuring some of the best adventure visuals of its day. The reproduction quality isn’t stunning, but one gets the feeling that Checker is doing their best given the means at their disposal. If you don’t already have this stuff, you should give it a look now. Oddly, Checker doesn’t seem to have any listings on their site for the two or so future volumes necessary to complete Raymond’s run. Hopefully we’ll see these books eventually.

Cromartie High School Vol. 4: Oh I’ve been waiting for you, dearie. At this point, nobody needs me to explain the magic of Cromartie High School to them: it’s just damn good comedy. Who even knows what happens in this volume? Just let Cromartie take your hand and frolic with you through the tulip fields of entertainment.

Palooka-Ville #18: New comics from Seth are always a treat; Wimbleton Green should be out very soon, and that’s sure to satisfy your cravings, from what I’ve been hearing. But some of you are probably also following Seth’s current ‘big’ project, Clyde Fans, which Palooka-Ville has been serializing since issue #10 (released in 1997). I believe this issue marks the end of Book 3, leaving one more three-issue book to go before the project’s completion (a hardcover compilation of Books 1 and 2 is currently available, for those looking to catch up). If you’ve been waiting, I’m sure you’ll not want to wait even longer for whatever collected edition is planned for the future. Or heck, maybe you do.

Yuggoth Creatures #2 (of 3): Ha ha ha holy shit! Where the hell did this come from?! It’s Avatar’s b&w Lovecraftian short story series, which I had basically given up for dead seeing as how issue #1 came out in Summer 2004. If this issue is anything like the first (and I’m going by some very old solicitation copy), it’ll be a 40-page spread of Antony Johnston-scripted short stories, about six of them, at six to eight pages each, all of them centering around the memoirs of some professor who keeps getting mixed up in monstrous happenings. It’s all pretty light and snappy, an unashamed excuse for Avatar’s regular stable of artists to draw a lot of freaky monsters; if the old info holds, we’ll get Jacen Burrows (Garth Ennis’ 303), Juan Jose Ryp (Frank Miller’s Robocop), Dheeraj Verma (Escape of the Living Dead) and more. Man, at this rate we’ll be seeing issue #3 of Alan Moore’s Glory any week now.

Down #1 (of 4): Another Warren Ellis blast from the past, this time dating back to 2001. Down was intended as a 6-issue transplant of the too-much-is-never-enough ethos of The Authority to the environs of crime fiction, with heavy doses of Hong Kong-style gunfire action drizzled atop; it was to be released by Top Cow’s Minotaur imprint, with art from Tony Harris (currently of Ex Machina). For whatever reason, Harris never finished issue #1 and the project got shelved. But this week it returns, now from Top Cow proper, scaled back to 4 issues, with Harris having completed that first issue and the remaining three to be illustrated by Cully Hamner of Ellis’ Red. Here’s a preview of Harris’ visuals for issue #1, and here’s a look at Hamner’s work on future issues. The plot involves an undercover cop who, five years ago, got too enchanted with the criminal world and eventually became king of the local drug trade. Now only a tough-talking loose-cannon badass cop (she once shot an entire gang to death by herself OH MAN) can stop him, but maybe she’s just angling to take his place (because, you know, she’s a badass). Sounds… well, pretty fucking stupid actually, and perhaps best left in 2001, but maybe it’ll work as a record of the writer’s state of mind from nearly half a decade ago. The art looks nice, at least.

Jack Cross #4: Or maybe I’ve just been ruined by the declining quality of this thing. Last issue was just plain bad, with poorly-staged action scenes overwhelming any sort of potential that I thought the book might have held. Ah well, maybe this concluding chapter of the opening arc will pull it together - if not, that’ll be it for me, thanks.

Gødland #5: Latest issue of this fun series. If you go here and look way over on the right sidebar, you’ll find a nice five-page preview. Still liking it.

The Authority: The Magnificent Kevin #4 (of 5): Wish I was liking this more than I am; maybe this issue’s return to the present day will liven things up.

Tom Strong #35: Penultimate issue, allowing writer Peter Hogan to wrap up the varying loose ends left by his own intermittent contributions to the title, specifically the fate of Tom’s icy ex-lover Greta Gabriel. Penciler/co-creator Chris Sprouse also returns, with inker Karl Story in tow. Alan Moore will be back next issue to wrap it all up.

Seven Soldiers - Zatanna # 4 (of 4) and Seven Soldiers - Frankenstein #1 (of 4): Ah here they are! The much-delayed (and allegedly much-rewritten) conclusion to the initial wave of Seven Soldiers books, along with the project’s final debut issue (wipe those tears from yer eyes, everyone). I’m looking forward to not being let down!

The Comics Journal #272: Featuring part two of the excellent, career-spanning interview with Golden Age legend Jerry Robinson, plus chats with editorial cartoonists both American (Jeff Danzinger) and English (Steve Bell). And all the fun and frolic you’ve come to expect. Keep watching that homepage for the soon-to-arrive update.