*Don't think about money. It's the cause of all your problems.


Free Comic Book Day 2008 (in which the town declines to remain the same)

Hickee Vol. 3 #3 (from the pages of The Comics Journal; my review, not the comic)


glamourpuss #1 (Dave Sim makes his favorite drawings his own)

At The Savage Critics!

*There's no comics at all this week! I guess I'll have to stretch to fill out...

(that was a lie above; there's like 10,000 volumes of manga alone, enough to bury you)

Gary Panter: Yes, for only $95.00 you too can own... Gary Panter. This is PictureBox's newest (and probably biggest) project, a two-volume, Dan Nadel-edited hardcover slipcased package devoted to the renowned artist. The first book is a landscape-format monograph covering Panter's many areas of work - truth be told, about 200 of its 350-or-so pages are devoted to his paintings, but there's an ample look at his various comics projects (one more time - Jimbo: Adventures in Paradise is maybe my favorite comic ever, and this thing's got an early incarnation of the famed ending bit with the horse), as well as posters, structures, etc. The second tome is 336 pages of sketchbook materials, 1971-2002. There's a nice, 61-page 'him, in his own words' thing included in the first book, with various short essays, but the emphasis here is very, very much on images - to learn more about the man, I'd point you to this podcast interview and The Comics Journal #250. Infomercial here.

Three Shadows: Excellent Cyril Pedrosa project from First Second, a look at death that's haunting even when not quite steady; review here. Look for it.

Kaput & Zösky: Yeah, it looks like First Second week for Diamond. This is a collection of Lewis Trondheim-created (if not always drawn) alien slapstick mayhem comics for the youth of today. Review here. I might as well mention Life Sucks, the vampire youth ennui comedy from Jessica Able, Gabe Soria and Warren Pleece, since that's out too (preview here). Friendly reminder: First Second is putting out eight books in their August-November wave, including Eddie Campbell's & Dan Best's The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard (August) and an all-in-one edition of Emmanuel Guibert's Alan's War (November).

Tom of Finland: The Complete Kake Comics: This merry volume is published by art book specialists Taschen, which I suppose is why Diamond plopped it in the Merchandise section of their list with various Moetan PVC statues. No matter - a scant $29.99 will get you 704 pages(!) of vintage leather exploits, 1968-86. Don't consult this preview if your boss is staring at the screen right now or anything.

Amor Y Cohetes: Being the seventh and final volume of Fantagraphics' chunky collections of vintage Love and Rockets material, bringing together 280 pages of assorted comics that didn't really fit into a series of any sort. Highlights include Beto's complete BEM, and... the works of Mario. Only $16.99; preview here.

Color of Rage: For some, all that needs be said is "Kazuo Koike writes a blaxploitation samurai manga" to get $14.95 in cash thrown at the nearest comics retailer, but for the more recalcitrant among you: this is a 416-page one-off from 1973 (drawn by the heretofore unseen-in-English Seisaku Kanou) about an African-American man and a Japanese man who escape a slave ship, shackled to one another, and confront the many injustices of Edo Japan in quintessential manly style. Dark Horse promises "plenty of action, fighting, blood, sexiness, and more fighting," and I'll hold them to that. Have a look.

JLA Presents - Aztek: The Ultimate Man: But others will be jazzed by a different kind of reprint. Here, finally, is the 240-page entirety of this 1996-97 series from writers Grant Morrison & Mark Millar, a loose fragment of Morrison's JLA mythos. I've never read all of this, but what I've seen looked fairly bright and episodic as far as '90s spandex went.

Tor #1 (of 6): Well, shit. It's a new prehistoric action miniseries from writer/artist/co-creator Joe Kubert. Not in 3-D, but it'll probably look nice. DC also has issue #1 (of 12!!) of The War That Time Forgot this week, in which a whole bunch of otherwise unoccupied corporate properties (Enemy Ace! Firehair! Tomahawk!) find themselves on a weird island where they fight dinosaurs and shit. For twelve issues. This does sound like something writer Bruce Jones might have soaked in way back when; Al Barrionuevo & Jimmy Palmiotti provide the visuals.

House of Mystery #1: Oh god, they won't stop coming back. This one's a new Vertigo project, primarily written by Matthew Sturges (Jack of Fables) with art by Luca Rossi, but the first five issues will have an added value short by writer Bill Willingham (just plain Fables) and a unique guest artist (who is it this issue? that's a mystery to me). Five people are stuck in the titular house, so they turn it into a sort of extra-dimensional bar & grill where tales are exchanged for eats. Too cute preview here.

The Man With No Name: The Good, the Bad and the Uglier #1: One day, everything will be a comic. And everyone. But for now, Dynamite Entertainment's got another horse-ridin' character up from the past, written by Christos Gage with art by Wellington Dias. Visions of shooting.

The Invincible Iron Man #1: You may have heard of a recent motion picture adaptation of this superhero character. Banking on everyone in North America being driven into an Iron-frenzy by the silver screen then opting to wait until New Comics Wednesday to buy stuff, Marvel has a lot of related books out. This is an all-new ongoing series from writer Matt Fraction and artist Salvador Larroca, in which new readers are beckoned to climb aboard. See here. Also: Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas #1 (of 4), from writer Jon Favreau (director of the movie) and artist Adi Granov (of the Extremis storyline and a designer on the movie). Here see. Further: a trade for Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin, from writer Joe Casey and artist Eric Canete. Moreover: Iron Man: War Machine, compiling a suite of early '90s Jim Rhodes-era issues (#280-291) from writer Len Kaminski. And don't forget added Fraction in Punisher War Journal #19, although I don't think Tony Stark's anywhere near that.

Infinity Inc. #9: Milligan.

American Splendor Season 2 #2 (of 4): Pekar.

Action Comics Annual #11: Donner. No, seriously - here's the ending to that Richard Donner/Geoff Johns/Adam Kubert storyline that started 18 months ago.

Rex Libris #11: Hmm, more of James Turner's man-of-action librarian, from Slave Labor. Never know when to expect it.

My Inner Bimbo #4 (of 5): And over in Oni pamphlets, we've got Sam Kieth's & Josh Hagler's look inside a man's persona.

Jack Staff #16: Paul Grist, Image. Preview.

Scud: The Disposable Assassin #24: Final issue, for those keeping track.

Omega: The Unknown #8 (of 10): Best monthly comic out of the front of Previews, right here.

Foolkiller MAX #5 (of 5): Not the best monthly comic out of anywhere in Previews, but I like it ok anyway. Look.

Dark Tower: The Long Road Home #3 (of 5): Christ, this is a lot of comics, isn't it?

Abe Sapian: The Drowning #4 (of 5): I'm reading this.

Eden: It's an Endless World! Vol. 10: I'm not reading this (just couldn't keep up), but I know some of you are very happy that Dark Horse continues to push Hiroki Endo's ongoing sci-fi saga, currently up to Vol. 17 in Japan.

Mack Bolan - The Executioner: Devil's Tools #2 (of 5): Three things were noteworthy about the (mostly bland) first issue of this: (1) Douglas Wojtowicz scripted it in the chunky, exclamatory manner of a current newspaper drama strip, but also added the gory injury-to-the-eye action I've always demanded from Judge Parker; (2) it was entirely aware of exactly how thoroughly The Punisher has covered the same ground in comics, leading to assorted nods and jabs toward the younger franchise; and (3) the whole thing was awash in how deeply, profoundly moral Mack Bolan's War on Nasty happens to be, and how Bolan would never kill a simple truck driver for criminals because their families need to eat, and how illegal weapons need to be off the streets, and etc. etc. Hey, if you're gonna set yourself apart...

Madman Atomic Comics #8: Meanwhile, one thing was noteworthy about the prior issue of this: (1) it was really fucking unsettling. So pop on in for this new issue of the super-groovy, nifty-keen adventures of Frank Einstein, your go-to guy for really fucking unsettling. He did eat an eyeball once...

Powr Mastrs Vol. 1 (of 6): Hey, C.F.'s fine PictureBox fantasy is being offered again. I liked it, a lot. While you're at it, pick up Jason's Why Are You Doing This? from Fantagraphics for more oddly-seen suspense. If you haven't already, and you don't already have enough to buy this week.