It's no cooler at night.

*Oh well, something tells me there just may be hotter places on this planet.


Interiorae #1-2

Plus my MoCCA 2008 post.

And a look at Haunt of Horror: Lovecraft #1 (of 3) at The Savage Critics.

*A few long-brewing projects coming soon...


Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean: This is the new, $16.95 softcover edition of Douglas Wolk's book of essays, profiles and theory. Perfect reading for the beach, where I may soon be hallucinating myself to be if this heat keeps up.


The Complete Little Orphan Annie Vol. 1: Will Tomorrow Ever Come?: Ok! It may have gotten delayed for a while, but now it's time to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and plunk down $39.99 for the first nine storylines (1924-27) of Harold Gray's classic, with some biographical bonus material by Jeet Heer. I don't think the prime, adventurous, political material started up until the '30s, but I suppose IDW deemed it best to start at the beginning.

Reich #3: Wait a second... issue #2 came out through Diamond? Er, anyway, I guess this is issue #3 of Elijah Brubaker's comics biography of the (in)famous Wilhelm Reich. Preview here. Issue #4's already done -- I bought it at MoCCA the other day -- so it'll probably be along to stores soon.

Freddie & Me: A Coming-of-Age (Bohemian) Rhapsody: This 308-page, $19.99 book by Mike Dawson has been getting a lot of attention, and now the Direct Market will have the Bloomsbury USA edition for North America. It's about the author's life amidst the music of Queen. Have a look. A long interview about the book is here.

Superior Showcase #3: The newest edition of AdHouse's pamphlet-format superhero anthology series, this time boasting an all-new Street Angel story by Jim Rugg & Brian Maruca, plus contributions from Laura Park and Dustin Harbin. A photo parade preview is here.

Robots: No not the manga thing with the girls; this is a 204-page, $15.99 anthology from AccentUK, focusing on a topic you'll never be able to guess. Features the participation of Kieron Gillen, Leah Moore & John Reppion, and Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, among others. Huge stack of stuff here.

One-Pound Gospel Vol. 1 (of 4): Sometimes, series by popular manga artists fly off the drawing board and onto store shelves, one after another, dozens of volumes stacking up over the years. And sometimes, projects get lost in the shuffle. Hence we have this series by superstar Rumiko Takahashi -- a sporty romantic comedy about a hard-eating boxer and the nun who wants to get him on the right track -- which started off in 1987, inspired an Osamu Dezaki-directed anime OVA in 1988, and sparked some fan following upon its initial VIZ serialization, but didn't actually finish its Japanese serialization until 2007, despite being only four books long. Now it's done, a live-action television drama has run earlier this year, and the contemporary VIZ is ready to present a proper 21st century manga edition, priced at $9.99.

B.P.R.D.: War on Frogs #1: Being the first of four one-off pamphlets spinning out of a two-parter that ran in the MySpace version of Dark Horse Presents; it looks like it'll mostly be a gap-filling project, with this particular segment having Roger the Homunculus look into secrets established all the way back in the first Hellboy storyline, Seed of Destruction. With pencils by special guest Herb Trimpe; see it here.

Charlatan Ball #1: This is a new ongoing Image series from writer Joe Casey, he of the now-finite Gødland, this time with animator Andy Suriano providing the art. It's about a low-rent stage magician who's whisked away to a place where real magic can be commanded; exploits ensue. Scaled back to 24 pages and priced at $2.50, for your pleasure. Image has a bunch of comics out this week, including Madman Atomic Comics #9, Jack Staff #17 and Elephantmen #12.

Eternals #1: Back to the well? Back to the well. Granted, Neil Gaiman's and John Romita Jr.'s 2006-07 revival of the Kirby concept did mostly function as a continuity spit 'n shine, so it makes some sense for an ongoing series to follow up on the new status quo. Charles & Daniel Knauf (formerly of Iron Man) are the writers, and Daniel Acuña is the artist. Here it is. On the other hand, the whole thing does seem to have prompted a softcover release of what Marvel has now dubbed Eternals by Jack Kirby, which will see the first of two $24.99 volumes out this week; sure beats the $75.00 for the omnibus hardcover prompted by the Gaiman miniseries. And if it's that JRJR guy you're crazy about, this week also has a $29.99 softcover omnibus for the Mark Millar-written Wolverine: Enemy of the State.

The Punisher MAX: Little Black Book: It's another one-off special for The Punisher MAX, and you know what that means - a prose crime writer taking the franchise out for a spin. This time it's Victor Gischler -- of books titled Shotgun Opera and The Pistol Poets, and the upcoming Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse -- joined by Jefte Palo on art, for a tale of Frank's accomplishment of shootings inside a fortress of monied decadence, if I've got the preview right. In other Marvel pamphlets, I'll probably get Captain Britain and MI: 13 #2, since the first one was fun enough. Issue #2 of Sky Doll is also out, if your interest was piqued.

Narcopolis #3 (of 4): Delano writing the future. Pre-view.

Local #12 (of 12): Wood writing the present.

The Programme Vol. 1 (of 2): In case you've been waiting for the trade of writer Peter Milligan's and artist C.P. Smith's Wildstorm series about Soviet superheroes popping up in our difficult contemporary world, prompting the activation of real (flawed) American heroes, here's the first one. This is kind of an interesting series, first in that it's got some of the most garish visuals I've seen in a DC-affiliated comic -- enough so that it actually gets kind of fascinating, even as it still falls prey to the stiffness that affects a lot of current heavy realist superhero character art -- and also due to Milligan's hellish determination to poke at the festering political and racial wounds that marked the war between the superpowers that were the US and the USSR, lest we feel the ambiguities of a War on Terror are altogether fresh. I can't say it's always successful, but it's the kind of work that remains compelling among its shortcomings, and unafraid to tumble far over the top in pursuit of its booming themes...