Your Store Shall Burst

*Up too late tonight...


The Crusaders #18: The Enchanter (the further adventures of Jack T. Chick)

MOME Vol. 10 (Winter/Spring 2008)


Heavy Metal Jan. 2008

At The Savage Critics!

*Latest Anime Dept: With the release of this trailer, I am now 95% sure that Yasuomi Umetsu's upcoming Kite Liberator OVA will be a total disaster, but oh will it be a striking one. I do clearly recall finishing with the 1998 original and thinking: "Well that was a lot of fun, and potentially actionable, but it could have been perfect if only the heroine had swung around the city on a rope like Batman and all the grotty sex had been replaced with exploding space stations and robot gargoyles." Looks like wishes do come true, gang. There's another trailer out somewhere with maids... I did like the dude with the flowing blonde locks and the pink heart on his eyepatch, though. That's the real Umetsu shit.

Anyway, speaking of Batman, I'm probably more interested in the upcoming Batman: Gotham Knight, an anthology OVA similar to The Animatrix in that it'll present a bunch of Batman stories in various anime styles to tie in with the upcoming movie. The twist here is that Bruce Timm will be directing all of the six shorts (written by various Western comics, animation and movie vets, including Greg Rucka, Brian Azzarello, David S. Goyer and Josh Olson), but the animation will be produced by big-time Japanese studios like Studio 4°C, Madhouse and Production I.G. I'll want a look at the character designers and animation directors, since a good deal of the minute-by-minute direction will likely be left up to the studios' in-house crews, but yeah... I'm interested.

*Gad, plenty of sweet things -


The ACME Novelty Datebook: Vol. 2, 1995-2002: I can't think of a sketchbook collection that knocked more people over than Drawn & Quarterly's initial 2003 Chris Ware tome. Those equipped with $39.95 will soon have another deluxe hardcover brimming with 208 pages of supreme visual chops. Expect everything from full-blown comics to life studies to seemingly complete illustrations to handwritten notes to assured doodles to styles you wouldn't have expected from Ware, but should have. I mean it - this is a potential ass-kicker, with its eye on YOU.

The Art of Bryan Talbot: But then, there are also outside perspectives on an artist's completed works. As such, NBM offers this 96-page, $19.95 softcover look at the famed Englishman's visual career, hopefully stretching back from his underground days through the current Alice in Sunderland. A few samples and several crucial misspellings are here. I think this sort of book will prove especially worthwhile with an artist like Talbot, who's maybe a little better known for his choices in subject matter and narrative approach, and could use a dedicated study highlighting his use of pure visuals. Those with unlimited funds may want to draw comparisons with this week's The Art of P. Craig Russell: A Retrospective, a 256-page, $49.95 hardcover from Desperado, focusing on an artist whose aplomb can never be missed.

Starchild: Mythopolis II #1: Ahh, sometimes they come back. Seasoned readers will most likely remember writer/artist James A. Owen's fantasy saga as a creature of the '90s self-publishing scene, although it continued on with Image until near the end of the decade, and remains available today in six small collected volumes. Owen has since headed revivals of the magazines International Studio and Argosy, plus begun two series of prose novels - the as-of-yet German & French-only Mythworld, and the popular young adult illustrated saga Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica (the initial volume, Here, There Be Dragons is new to paperback, and the second, The Search for the Red Dragon, is due in hardback next month). Now he's with Desperado, and apparently out to bring back the 'one-man' indy comics anthology, come hell or high water. This 96-page, $6.99 b&w debut sports 20 new pages of Starchild, one chapter each of illustrated prose prequels to both of Owens' book series (the Mythworld prequel, Obscuro, first appeared in Negative Burn, and I think it's gonna be reprints of that for the first few issues), and collaborations with other comics folk. Quarterly issues will follow in the same format. Certainly worth a look.

Robot Vol. 4: Also returned from the abyss, albeit the international licensing circle thereof, is editor Range Murata's glossy Heavy Metal for moé-addled otaku, now published in English by Udon. Your $29.95 will get you plenty of pretty colors from anime, gaming and manga folk, spread across 164 pages - reports of the series' Japanese demise seem to have been greatly exaggerated, since Vol. 10 is set to hit stores next month. Have a look here; Yoshitoshi ABe die-hards had better prepare to feel the temptation once again.

Andromeda Stories Vol. 2 (of 3): More visual splendor from Keiko Takemiya, although I haven't been seeing high marks for the story. Publisher Vertical also has Vol. 1 of The Guin Saga Manga, which you can see a preview of by scrolling down here.

Appleseed ID: And in other manga news, Dark Horse has this 144-page replacement item for the old Appleseed Databook, filled with plenty of notes, sketches, select color illustrations from Masamune Shirow, plus an otherwise unavailable short story (well, unless you have the old Databook). Look at it.

Dondi Vol. 1: Good day, sirs and madams! Your vintage reprints Golden Age update of the week follows... Dondi Dondi Dondi Dondi Dondi Dondi Dondi Dondi. Dondi is now a $21.95 book of 264 pages. The authors are Gus Edson & Irwin Hasen. The publisher is Classic Comics Press. The dates are Sept. 25, 1955 to March 17, 1957 (dailies and Sundays included). The love is real. All three volumes of Leonard Starr's Mary Perkins On Stage are also tooting down the mountain on the Diamond train to Direct Market sales. Thank you for your attention!

NYC Mech Vol. 2: Beta Love: Huh, didn't see this Image trade of robot affection coming, yet here it is!

Garth Ennis' Chronicles of Wormwood: The Last Enemy: Ennis' recently collected Chronicles of Wormwood miniseries was a decent enough thing; while somewhat tedious in its comedic-ironic detailing of the writer's humanist fantasy cosmology, it did register as a keenly personal affirmation of human action in the face of omnious religious icons. And it seemed complete enough that I suspect this 48-page sequel one-shot won't have a lot to offer beyond additional jokes, although I'll take a look anyway. Note that original artist Jacen Burrows is busy working with Alan Moore on his upcoming Avatar horror miniseries, so one Rob Steen (previously of a Tokyopop OEL project titled Afterlife, if I've got the right guy) will be taking on the visuals. Also from Ennis and Avatar this week is Streets of Glory #3 (of 6), with artist Mike Wolfer.

Bat Lash #1 (of 6): Further proving that just about anything can get another shot, DC brings us another revival for an old western character, this time the peaceable wit of many loves. With writing by co-creator Sergio Aragonés & novelist Peter Brandvold, and art by the redoubtable John Severin. See some here.

Speed Racer Vol. 1: My favorite thing about that official movie trailer? Definitely the Frank Quitely/Bryan Singer era X-Men-style updated leather duds on Racer X. The movie's look brings to my mind Hideaki Anno's 2004 live-action adaptation of Cutey Honey, what with all the popping more-anime-than-anime colors and self-evidently 'fake' CGI... computer graphics don't have to look real to work, at least not in Speed Racer: The Movie, I don't think. Anyway, this is neither the super-deluxe slipcased set of the complete original manga (coming next year from DMP), nor the trade-format reprints of the old American NOW series (coming next year from IDW), but actually an all-new OEL book from Seven Seas. Dwayne Alexander Smith writes, Elmer Damaso draws, and Mike Allred provides a color insert.

Elephantmen: War Toys #1 (of 3): In which the regular Image series stops for a bit while the same core creative team -- Richard Starkings & Moritat -- provide an extended b&w flashback to the cast's days as soldiers. It's 40 pages for $2.99. Preview.

Hate Annual #7: It's time once again for Peter Bagge to revisit Buddy Bradley and collect assorted odds 'n ends for 40 pages. This year sees the last of Bagge's Bat Boy strips from Weekly World News, along with a struggle for junkyard dominance. $4.95.

BPRD: Killing Ground #5 (of 5): I buy it.

Wolverine #60: Yes, I buy it! Marvel (Icon) also has the collected Criminal Vol. 2: Lawless ready to go.

Laura Warholic: or, the Sexual Intellectual: I do believe Fantagraphics either published or distributed Alexander Theroux's monograph The Enigma of Al Capp back in the day, so maybe that's how the connection was made for the comics-and-related giant to publish its very first all-new prose novel, which is also Theroux's first novel in two decades. A big 878 pages of Not Comics waits for you!