Oh those publications.

*There are changes going on at The Comics Journal, as I expect you’ve already heard. Current managing editor Dirk Deppey will soon be moving to the newly-created position of online editor, and - like a glorious phoenix rising from the ashes - ¡Journalista! will be returning. I’m not the first to mention this, but ¡Journalista! provided quite the influential reading experience for a number of today’s comics bloggers, myself included, and it will be something to see it up and active again.

There will also be a number of separate online features to enjoy, including access for subscribers to an online version of each new issue, about a week or two in advance of the print version. Current news editor Michael Dean will be assuming the managing editor position, and the formal ‘news’ section of the Journal will cease to exist, though feature commentaries on news topics are still likely to see print. The new site is due to launch on August 15th. The next issue, #277, will be Deppey’s last as managing editor. His run was a great one.

*But as for the more immediate future (which is to say, in a few hours) -


Can’t Get No: The new book from Rick Veitch, a $19.99, 352-page landscape-format epic, concerning the journey of a man marked from head to toe with tattoos following the events of 9/11. Here's a 19-page preview, which points out two notable things. For one, Vertigo is apparently still thinking enough in terms of traditional comics pamphlet promotion that they feel the need to indicate that the author of a massive graphic novel also did the cover art - perhaps they're expecting that only pamphlet fans will download previews from their website anyway? Secondly, it seems that Veitch is employing a style somewhat akin to his work on Rare Bit Fiends, keeping his visuals relatively simple, all the better for potent icons to pop atop the dreamtime space - the illustrated man acts as a weird face of collected anxiety here, his hands covering his eyes as a plane leans right up next to a tower wall, as if to kiss it, the people inside both massive bodies but blobs of indistinct reaction before the power of onrushing history. I don't know what to expect from this book (that narration might get disastrous after a few hundred pages), but I'm ready to dive in.

The Squirrel Mother Stories: A collection of shorts from Megan Kelso, who has one of the most purely gut-level appealing visual styles I can think of. Her stories also tend to be funny, sweet, sad wisps of breeze, children living in their own quiet present as the adult world buzzes outside. Here's one of the stories, demonstrating a careful balance between smooth readability and emotional mining of the comics form. From Fantagraphics.

Phoenix Vol. 7 (of 12): Civil War Part One: God bless you VIZ, plunging deeper still into Osamu Tezuka’s magnum opus of comics spirituality, spanning the history of humankind via individual stories, all glued together by reincarnation, human struggle, and the dazzling power of the titular immortal bird. This new tome kicks off the 1978-80 Civil War storyline, set in the 12th century and concerned with the nature of combat, and possibly the unmasking of Spider-Man, unless I have this week’s Civil Wars mixed up. We’re still missing the 1971 Robe of Feathers storyline, though I believe that’s being included with the rest of Civil War in the upcoming Vol. 8. It’s $15.99 for 208 pages. Tezuka’s side is the one I’m on!

Crying Freeman Vol. 2 (of 7): If you just can’t decide which of those 24,521 volumes of sword-swinging Goseki Kojima collaborations to place with trembling hands before writer Kazuo Koike at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, why not take the road (somewhat) less traveled and present the manga legend with a delightsome Ryoichi Ikegami team-up for branding with his learned pen? Here’s the latest installment of the newest edition of far and away the duo’s best known work, out from Dark Horse at $14.95 for 400 pages, and packed to bursting with knives and nakedness and plasma and holy glowing genitals and a new storyline, not to mention the ending to the prior storyline, which I don’t believe the initial Dark Horse outing got around to (though it should be said that these volumes match Koike’s own preferred packaging of the material, the Koike Shoin version). A jamboree of super-assassin excess and romantic swagger, it will inevitably reap fresh fans from a new generation. Nice submarine too.

52 #6 (of 52): This series has not fallen off schedule yet.

Super F*ckers #3: More color madness from James Kochalka’s fun, funny, entirely vulgar superhero series. Nothing much to say except that it’s good entertainment.