Now I can't remember what day it is.

*I know it's sunny.


Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1 (of 2)

a bunch of old things (STARRING: Voyages Vol. 1, DenSaga #1-3 (of 4), The Origin of the Defiant Universe and Vivid Girls Vol. 1)


Kick-Ass #4 (of 8)

at The Savage Critics!

*Look at it. I didn't think this week would be very big at first, but I think leisure may have poisoned my head.


The Comics Journal #292: Seriously, they could just leave every page not containing the 120,000-word main feature blank this time and it'll still be one for your shelf - Fantagraphics is soon to release the Deitch family picture story project Deitch's Pictorama, so Gary Groth has gone and interviewed father Gene and sons Kim, Simon and Seth, their separate stories flowing in concurrence, bleeding together, looping, criss-crossing and flying apart. Gene is an animation legend and Kim is one of the best working cartoonists in North America, and I expect Simon & Seth will have plenty to say as well. Intro here, Gene excerpt here, lots of deleted Kim content here. Your pocketbook will swell with pride as you spend that $11.99, and your peers will toast your name.


Deitch's Pictorama: And then you can spin right the hell around and pick up the damn $18.99 book for yourself. Contains: words and pictures, some of the former by Kim or Seth, some of the latter by Kim or Simon. Five big yarns over 240 pages, with an intro by Gene. Action-packed slideshow preview here.

Love and Rockets: New Stories Vol. 1: I guess one family of great renown obviously wasn't quite enough for this week, because here also is the newest incarnation of the Hernandez brothers' long-lived series, now a digest-format annual packed with 100 pages of all-new stuff, including the first half of a long superhero comic by Jaime and a sextet of short stories by Gilbert, with some special guest writing by the elusive Mario. It takes $14.99 to win the day. Another slideshow here.

The Portable Frank: Man, I wish this was new material by Jim Woodring, just to see if such a confluence of Fantagraphics superstar power might blow a hole in Diamond's list and send us all screaming through a vortex back to the days of multiple distributors, so that the cycle of horror might begin anew. But, this is just a b&w 'greatest hits' collection of Woodring's much-loved wordless stories, a 200-page, $16.99 digest likely primed to punch hard into the bookstore market. Do you like slideshows? I don't, actually.

Baobab #3: Yeah, it's Fantagraphics spill week for Diamond; that happens sometimes. I can't even remember if this newest issue of Igort's era-spanning story set at the dawn of international comics was released before, but here it is this week regardless. Ignatz format, $7.95. Motherfucking slideshow here, with a pdf preview if you register.

Berlin Book Two (of Three): City of Smoke: Meanwhile, in not-Fantagraphics projects with deep roots in the past, here's the seven-years-in-the-making second collection of Jason Lutes' saga of Weimar fiction, a 200-page, $19.95 softcover from Drawn and Quarterly; if you've been waiting on the collections, I expect you'll be headed here first on Thursday. Preview here.

Slow Storm: First Second has a new one too in this crowded late week, an original 176-page color book from Danica Novgorodoff, whose 2006 comic A Late Freeze met with some acclaim. It's about a firefighter and an illegal immigrant in rural Kentucky, and the impetus for change in their lives. Large chunk here.

Dororo Vol. 3 (of 3): Manga... ends! Or, at least it 'ends' in that it reaches the last volume of completed material. But while Osamu Tezuka may have left this top-flight supernatural swordplay series to languish, history has afforded us the assurance that several of Dororo's madder ideas found their way into a later series, one that's up next from publisher Vertical - Black Jack. For now, a final 272 pages; $13.95.

Mushishi Vol. 5 (of 10): Manga... continues! This is noteworthy as the last of Del Rey's collections of Yuki Urushibara's excellent allegorical fantasy series to contain material entirely adapted to anime form in the famed 2005-06 television series. They got one episode out of Vol. 6, and from then on it's all new. It's $12.95, as usual.

Slam Dunk Vol. 1 (of 31): Manga... begins! Again! Gutsoon! Entertainment took a crack at this one back in 2002, but the project stalled with Vol. 5. Now comes VIZ, armed with bookstore power, the Shōnen Jump brand and a $7.99 price point; the time may be right. It is one of the quintessential contemporary shōnen series, a 1990-96 sports saga that made writer/artist Takehiko Inoue a full-blown star and helped popularize the unfamiliar game of basketball among Japan's youth - teamwork and burning spirit doubtlessly await.

Fokke & Sukke: But enough with this Japanese stuff; I've been told you've really been dying for is Dutch comics. Bestselling Dutch comics about funny animal characters that walk around with their cocks hanging out and riff cruelly on all the tough topics of the day via one-panel gags. Well, it seems that John Stuart Reid, Bastiaan Geleijnse & Jean-Marc van Tol have had just the comic for you going for a while now, and van Tol's own Catullus publishing house has now released a $10.50 English-language sampler for your North American pleasure. Here's a review by Bart Beaty, who estimates that one of these collections has been sold for every eighth person in the Netherlands. And yes, the name means just what it sounds like.

Beetle Bailey by Mort Walker Vol. 1: 1950-1952: Consider another vein hit in this Golden Age of Reprints, as Mort Walker's still-going strip evolves from a collegiate lazybones comedy to the military thingy we all currently recognize. From Checker, which includes commentary by the creator in its 200-page, $24.95 landscape-format hardcover. Samples.

From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books: From the Jewish Publication Society comes this 240-page history-minded softcover from comics writer Arie Kaplan; intros by Harvey Pekar & JT Waldman. Various pdf preview materials here. It's $25.00.

The Vertigo Encyclopedia: God, was it Death or John Constantine that put the condom on the banana? For the life of me I can't remember, but you might be able to find the answers in this 240-page, $30.00 color hardcover, author Alex Irvine's guide to most things Vertigo. Cover by Dave McKean; from illustrated reference specialist DK Publishing.

Punisher War Journal #23: Chaykin.

Army@Love: The Art of War #2 (of 6): Veitch.

Tor #5 (of 6): Kubert. Old school, no link.

Tank Girl: Visions of Booga #4 (of 4): Dayglo.

Jonah Hex #35: Williams. As in special guest artist J.H. Williams III, who'll get me buying anything. That's not a shot at Jonah Hex, mind you, just a simple statement of fact.

Sub-Mariner: The Depths #1 (of 5): Relatedly, this is written by Peter Milligan. Art by Esad Ribic.

Necronomicon #1 (of 4): So, you enjoyed that big ol' Journey collection IDW did, eh? As luck would have it, creator William Messner-Loebs is just starting this new project from BOOM! Studios this week, with art by Andrew Ritchie. It's about the evil titular book's wicked origins. Stare diabolically.

Telling Stories: The Classic Comic Art of Frank Frazetta: Being a deluxe, slipcased hardcover collection of Frazetta's Golden Age comic book work, recolored and bolstered by a critical overview of the stuff. A BlackBart Books production, $49.95 for 192 pages. Found in the loving arms of Diamond's Merchandise section, along with an eight-inch dancing plush doll of Gizmo-from-the-hit-film-Gremlins dressed as Santa, which I sure wish had been around for that blue Christmas formal of 1996.