They say it'll make things better...

*I hope all of this gets out before Blogger’s sure-to-please planned outage for this evening.


Cinema Detectives, Adventures From Mauretania (two utterly superb volumes, collecting work from Escape contributer and self-publisher Chris Reynolds - get them)

Hellboy: Makoma, or, A Tale Told by a Mummy in the New York City Explorers’ Club on August 16, 1993 #1 (of 2)

Seven Soldiers - Bulleteer #3 (of 4)

Fury: Peacemaker #1 (of 6)

Golgo 13 Vol. 1 (of 13): Supergun (and it's not on Diamond's list for this week, it seems - patience, Direct Market!)

Well. I didn't beat the outage, but it ended nice and quick.

*Comics and the Silver Screen Dept: You’ll recall that yesterday I mentioned a bit of Jimmy Olson-themed trivia from the film Rebel Without a Cause; my interest was piqued by an article in the new Entertainment Weekly that was itself culled from Lawrence Frascella’s and Al Weisel’s new book Live Fast, Die Young: The Wild Ride of Making Rebel Without a Cause. Well, co-author Weisel has informed me that there’s some additional comics trivia squirreled away in the film - at one point, James Dean remarks to Cory Allen’s character that “You read too many comic books.” This line was actually an ad lib; the famous Congressional hearings as to the connections between comics and juvenile delinquency had just recently taken place as the film was being shot, and Dean might have had such topics in mind as he slipped in the reference. It’s also fun to note that the film was based on a nonfiction book by psychiatrist Dr. Robert M. Lindner (Rebel Without a Cause: The Hypnoanalysis of a Criminal Psychopath), a contemporary of another psychiatrist/author, one Dr. Fredric Wertham. Ah, those little connections.

*And for those hungering for something a bit more visceral, Abhay has located the actual video of filmmaker and suspected superhuman Werner Herzog shrugging off a shot from an air rifle during an interview with the BBC; the incident forms something of a bookend for the (quite decent) piece, all of which is included for your enjoyment. Quoth the director:

I’m not afraid of anything.”

Really, the best part for me of the whole thing is the implication that the BBC was ready to round up a news posse and scour the streets of LA for the assailant. Nobody fucks with the British entertainment media! Nobody!!

*A little more relief than we’ve had recently is now in sight


Tales Designed to Thrizzle #2: I have to tell you, that title gets funnier and funnier the more out-of-date it seems - that has to have been the plan from the start. Anyway, writer/artist Michael Kupperman did an excellent job with the first issue of this Fantagraphics-published humor series, and there’s no reason to expect anything less from this second installment. Truly, Kupperman is one of the funniest people working in comics today, and you’re really doing yourself a disservice if you haven’t sampled his work - this pamphlet-format $4.50 package should get you started nicely.

Love Roma Vol. 2: I liked the first volume of Minoru Toyoda’s cute story of high school kids in love, accompanied by all the awkwardness and embarrassment that such things attract; it’s an extremely good-natured, good-humored little set of short stories, with pleasingly eccentric flourishes and excellent art, reminiscent of Bryan Lee O’Malley, but very much with its own identity. Perfectly pleasant, poppy comics, accessible to just about anyone.

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #200: You see, I can’t avoid talking about Eddie Campbell for even one day anymore - he’s now made his way into this beloved weekly site feature, much to my delight. I enjoyed Campbell’s 2004 Elseworlds one-shot, Batman: The Order of Beasts, which envisioned a genteel Caped Crusader assisting the Scotland Yard of 1939 with a murder investigation; written with Daren White (also a contributor to Campbell’s Bacchus, as well as the Australian comics magazine DeeVee, which originally serialized Alec: How to be an Artist), it sought to reclaim a detection-focused, angst-free Batman, and did a decent job of it. Campbell and White return for the script to this one, a 56-page anniversary issue for the long-lived book, and it’ll be interesting to see how this non-Elseworlds Batman will behave; according to Campbell’s recent interview in The Comics Journal, it’s set up as “…the Gotham version of ER.” It also sports the art of Bart Sears, which ought to provide some rather turbulent contrast if Campbell and White do indeed intend to elect the Gentleman Bat option. Probably worth a peek.

I (heart) Marvel: Web of Romance: The House of Ideas continues its rampage across the perfumed fields of ardor with the obligatory Spider-Man book. It’s written by Tom Beland of True Story, Swear to God, which perhaps provides much of the appeal; Beland is skilled at depicting the tenderness and uncertainty of romance without teetering over into bathos, talents that would seem appropriate to a love-themed Spidey story. Art by Invincible co-creator Cory Walker.

Marvel Monsters: Now in a deluxe hardcover collection, just as the I (heart) Marvel thing rolls along. This was a similar month-long event, focused on the monstrous denizens of the Marvel Universe past, and it was roughly 70% worthwhile (not a scientific figure). Standing out were the Tom Sneigoski/Eric Powell Devil Dinosaur story, a funny little fight romp, and the Roger Langridge/Scott Gray (Marvel’s site still has the latter mixed up with Mick Gray of Promethea and Zatanna - it also has difficulty spelling the name ‘Fegredo’) epic Fin Fang Four, a sweet thing about the passing of genre prominence in ‘mainstream’ comics. The good-looking if fairly rote Steve Niles/Duncan Fegredo Monsters on the Prowl was about half worth it, and the only particularly interesting thing about the mini-anthology Where Monsters Dwell was Mike Allred inking over Keith Giffen's pencils. There were also vintage monster shorts in each issue, all of which are also included here - they're good for a smile. Plus, you get some informational handbook thing that was also on sale for a while, which I didn't look at. You actually might just be better off tracking down those two issues mentioned above - especially if this thing drives the prices down.

Ed the Happy Clown #5 (of 9): I haven’t mentioned this one in a while, but it’s coming out at a nice clip (from D&Q), the material’s still pretty strong, and those endnotes by writer/artist Chester Brown are often really interesting stuff. I don’t know if it’ll be reason enough to shell out for this reprint series if you already own the most recent out-of-print trade, but it’s ideal for lazy bastards such as myself, easing their way from section to section.