This is going to look an awful lot like Chris Butcher's similar feature for the week, I do understand.

*I will salvage my individuality with


Monster Parade #1 (visual-dominant one-man anthology thingy from Ben Catmull, and it be good)

Dork #11 (funny)

And that's kind of it, since SPX took up a bunch of space. Here's the full-length rundown.

*Great minds just think alike.


Ohikkoshi: Here’s something neat from Dark Horse: a one-off, 248-page compilation of lighthearted comics about Japanese art students from Hiroaki Samura, creator of the evergreen Blade of the Immortal. Amusingly, it’s all drawn with much the same aplomb that Samura might bring to one of his samurai epics. Who knows if the significant Blade fanbase (save for Masamune Shirow’s stuff, it’s just about the only manga left that’s still successfully released in US pamphlet format before getting collected) will show for this, but it looks pretty great.

Golgo 13 Vol. 5 (of 13): It’s also time for VIZ to dump out their Signature books all on the same day. Hooray!

The Drifting Classroom Vol. 2 (of 11): As a delightful treat for the Direct Market, this time they didn’t all show up in bookstores weeks beforehand. Hooray, I guess!

Naoki Urasawa’s Monster Vol. 5 (of 18): I’m just listing them in the order I’ll pick them up; I’m perpetually a volume or two behind in Monster here, and I always go for Golgo 13 first, since I’m not sure it’s selling all that well and I want to make sure I don’t wind up having to order it online. Hooray for pragmatism!

Cromartie High School Vol. 8 (of who knows, I don’t want to jinx it - a lot more than 8, let me tell you): Despite ADV Manga’s release crunch (whither Yotsuba&!??), there’s apparently still time for a bit more of this. It’ll keep going till the manga division drops.

Q-Ko-chan Vol. 2 (of 2): Another model of clarity from writer/artist Ueda Hajime draws to a close. It looks nice!

John Woo’s Seven Brothers #1: Woo’s name might be in the title, but this is Garth Ennis’ new series for Virgin Comics, with covers by Yoshitaka Amano and Greg Horn; the contrast between those two might create enough friction energy to power several smaller Direct Market stores. Nobody talks much about the person filling in the minor duty of providing all interior art, but it’s Jeevan Kang; tough being surrounded by huge names at all sides, though the preview actually looks pretty sweet, giving off not nearly as much of a Top Cow house style vibe.

Wildcats: Worldstorm #1: In which the flagship title for Wildstorm’s Worldstorm relaunch effort steams into port about a month behind schedule. Thank heavens for good omens. Still, it’s from writer Grant Morrison and artist Jim Lee, with a variant cover featuring Todd McFarlane, so it’s not like it’ll bomb or anything, though it’ll be instructive to view how many of Lee’s many, many fans are willing to follow him away from the DCU big leagues and onto his ‘home’ book for more than a few issues. Wildcats (or WildC.A.T.s or whatever) has actually had some pretty decent creative runs in the past, so it’ll also be fun to see what Morrison plans to do with the material. The hints thus far have indicated glossy, ultra-’90s big superhero trash, which could work.

The Authority #1: Meanwhile, Morrison’s other Wildstorm relaunch arrives apparently on time, with no less than Gene Ha on art. Obviously, I’d watch these two team up on anything, so I’m not too concerned with the done-to-death ‘superheroes in the real world’ concept that Grant seems to have cooked up; at this point I’d hope you can’t even consider rolling out something like that without an original spin on it, and hey - Gene Ha.

Desolation Jones #7: The return of this series, the beginning of a new storyline, and the debut of new artist Danijel Zezelj. José Villarrubia is sticking around on colors, and the preview indicates that he may be retaining some elements of the color-coded visual signal system that he devised with prior artist J.H. Williams III. But wisely, it also looks like there’s going to be some major visual departures; I love how the whole world has somehow gone pale, with Zezelj’s rough-hewn Jones glowing like he’s carved from diamonds. He can’t be cut. Definitely worth picking back up.

Casanova #5: Jeez, this thing really comes out like clockwork. Casanova has not stopped being good, and you should continue paying the whopping $1.99 they’re charging for its pleasures.

Elephantmen #4: The prior issue of this was just bizarre, with one story dedicated entirely to a penis joke, and the other set up as some sort of oddball throwback to something I didn’t recognize; this issue features the contribution of Joe Madureira in some capacity, unless he got pushed off by the Brian Bolland cover which apparently didn’t pop up for last issue like it was supposed to. A preview to soothe your head.

The Sandman #1: Special Edition: A fifty-cent teaser for the shiny new upcoming Absolute Sandman brick brigade; thrill to the newly recolored exploits of original creators Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg, and be sure to savor that profound Alan Moore influence and the general notion that the book isn’t sure if it wants to stray too far from superhero-flavored material yet. I’m not the biggest fan of Sandman around (didn’t think it really got cooking until A Game of You), but at least it does have a nice, self-sufficient debut issue that’ll make for a fun giveaway/restoration demonstration.

Blade #2: Sure, I’ll stick with it a while longer. I’m very proud of my Howard Chaykin on Hawkgirl set too.

52 #24 (of 52): Featuring the very nostalgic return of Dan Jurgens of History of the DCU on the origin of Booster Gold; hmmm, well Booster’s dead, so maybe we’ll have someone stand around and cry! Just for old times’ sake.