I hope the highway thaws for Thanksgiving.

*A lot of connecting fiber behind.


The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (say, this is an anime movie! that's not a book at all)

Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo (this used to be an anime tv show, but now it's a book! an animator drew it, though)

*A very diverse time ahead.


The Comics Journal #294: Mmmm, a feature interview with Jason. The Journal did a shorter 'interview' with Norway's finest a few years back, but it was only a panel transcript; this one ought to be the treasure trove. Plus: Liō's Mark Tatulli and early Barney Google. More.


Mesmo Delivery: Finally out in Diamond-serviced stores - Rafael Grampá's high style book of blood, a 56-page, $12.95 AdHouse softcover. A trucker on a mystery haul gets into trouble at a stop, in both the expected and unexpected ways. Nice looking thing. Preview here; my review here.

Fight or Run: Shadow of the Chopper: I really loved the opening segment of Kevin Huizenga's Ganges #2, which perfectly evoked the feeling of toying around with some strange foreign freeware computer game, pat-seeming play mechanics stretching unexpectedly into something of accidental vision. This new Huizenga release a bit similar, a 32-page, b&w, 7" x 8.25" Buenaventura Press pamphlet depicting lil' combat guys going one-on-one in a game of fists or flight. No words, no story; all page-stretching action and bold new characters with unexpected powers. Maybe a little transcendent evolution too, if you behave. Only $3.95!

The Umbrella Academy: Dallas #1 (of 6): In which the popular Gerard Way/Gabriel Bá weird superhero series returns for a second go. Only $2.99 for 32 ad-free pages. I thought the first one of these was a very solid genre piece, if a lot more traditional than I think some of the commentary surrounding it let on. Still, I'm up for tradition when the stuff works this well. Take a look.

Black Jack Vol. 2 (of 17): The next 304-page Vertical collection of 14 tales from across the scope of Osamu Tezuka's time with his famed super-surgeon. High melodrama and mad medicine for only $16.95. Heartbreaking sample story here. As with the prior and subsequent volumes, note that a limited edition hardcover will eventually be out (Direct Market only) with a bonus story Tezuka didn't feel like reprinting in the Japanese series this is all based on.

Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo Vol. 1 (of 3): An anime tie-in manga, as only a longtime animator like Mahiro Maeda can bring it: actually not half bad! He's even the guy who directed the source material - hope you're up for aristocrat vampires in Space Europe! My review here.

Berserk Vol. 26: Ha ha, holy shit - I keep forgetting how many of these things are out there. But Kentarō Miura's saga of swords 'n slaughter (est. 1988) keeps pressing onward; vol. 33 just popped up in Japan last month. From Dark Horse, as always; preview here.

Rocky Vol. 2: Strictly Business: And from the 'stuff I never thought would be seen again' file comes a different brand of translation - another 112 pages of Martin Kellerman's story-driven funny animal youth goings-on strip from Sweden. Slideshow here; preview here. Man, vol. 1 came out in 2005, didn't it? $12.95.

Comics Are for Idiots!: Blecky Yuckerella Vol. 3: And then, there's always Johnny Ryan's four-panel strip to come through in the clinch. Also from Fantagraphics; $11.99 for 104 b&w pages. Slideshow and bonus wallpaper here, snot-green of course.

American Elf (Book 3): You've read the interview, now breathe the sensation of 2006 and 2007 as known through James Kochalka's daily sketchbook diary. It's all online too. Your $19.95 wins you 192 searing color pages.

The Best of Tharg's Future Shocks: Ah, good old Tharg. How many sorry souls did he tempt into the absolute zero night pit of comics? Grant Morrison, Peter Milligan, Neil Gaiman, Steve Dillon, John Smith (just in case you thought everyone hit in America) and several others appear in this 160-page log of possibilities. It's $26.50, from Rebellion.

Harvey Pekar: Conversations: Being a $22.00 University Press of Mississippi compilation of nearly one quarter of a century's worth of chit-chat with the American Splendor creator, maybe (hopefully?) forming a miniature portrait of the vast changes that took hold of comics distribution and shaped the potential of independent work. Or hell, maybe Harv talks about bills in an entertaining manner for 240 pages, I dunno. Edited by Michael G. Rhode.

Holy Sh*t!: The World's Weirdest Comic Books: Jesus f*cking Christ: a 128-page tour of 50 or so oddball funnies by Paul Gravett & Peter Stanbury. I've heard it's funny, but also kind of like the internet as a book. From St. Martin's Press; $12.95.

Drop-In: A new 160-page book by Dave Lapp, presenting scenes from the artist's time at a drop-in youth art center in inner-city Toronto. From Conundrum Press, $17.00; worth a flip.

Sloth: New to softcover - Gilbert Hernandez's very fine 2006 Vertigo original about young people dreaming themselves into reality, 128 pages for $14.99. My review here. I think Drawn and Quarterly's gonna have a new edition of Adrian Tomine's Summer Blonde softcover from 2003 as well - that's Optic Nerve #5-8, all single-issue stories. The high school one (#8) reminded me of every single person I knew when I was 15.

Unknown Soldier #2: Vertigo is now also your home for action with a conscience. I liked issue #1 good enough.

Thor: Man of War #1: This is the newest in Marvel's line of Matt Fraction-written Thor one-offs that lean heavy on the big action and mythic beats; the prior installments are Thor: Ages of Thunder and Thor: Reign of Blood. This time around: vs. Oden! Have a look.

glamourpuss #4: Dave Sim reveals it all, again.

Garth Ennis' Battlefields: The Night Witches #2 (of 3): More small Russian women propped up on cockpit cushions, dropping bombs on (or near) things while a sensitive German guy frowns at stuff. I like it. Look.

Savage Dragon #141: No rest for Erik Larsen. I think every Image character is in here, possibly including Jim Valentino from his autobiographical works.

Batman #681: Who is the Black Glove? Who will be Batman? Who is writing this book in the future? Some of these questions will be answered in this spellbinding, extra-length (40 pages!) extra-cost ($3.99!) final chapter of R.I.P., unless they've been answered already! You never know!